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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Gluten Free Anzac Cookies

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some weeks ago dw & i participated in our first 5K together. it was a run for Celiac Disease. he and i are not gluten-intolerant, and except for a spotty lactose intolerance on my part, we can consume pretty much anything. i count my lucky stars that we don't have any food allergies. i can only imagine what it's like for others to have to read the fine print on labels, to figure out what their bodies do accept thru trial & error. that is hard.

this particular recipe came at a time when i received a few personal inquiries from friends for gluten-free alternatives to sweets. i sent dw on a search for quinoa flakes and flour, at two different Whole Foods. i almost made this vegan but only had honey on hand, and this was almost dairy-free but i decided to use butter instead of margarine. i don't have to run a restrictive dietary household, thankfully, so i utilized what was available with key adjustments to address one allergy/intolerance.

i don't have any idea what gluten free treats are supposed to taste like, i will say that these are nutty tasting, hyper-sweet and crumbly; perfect for tea but don't add any sugar to your cup. they were difficult to mold/shape, it's not a typical cookie batter and they did not flatten out like i had expected. i will make these again to ship to my friends with gluten-intolerance, just to see how they like 'em.

Gluten Free Anzac Cookies

**read more about the history of anzac cookies.**

1 cup quinoa flakes
1/2 cup rice flour (i used white)
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon quinoa flour
1 cup raw sugar
3/4 cup coconut flakes
125g butter or dairy-free margarine
1 TBL honey
1 tsp baking soda
2 TBL boiling water

Preheat oven to 170 C/338 F. 350F

basically, i put all the dry ingredients into a bowl, whisked it to pseudo-sift it together. melted up the butter and added it to the bowl. last was the boiling water. i used a wooden spoon to mix it all together.

using a tablespoon sized melon scooper, form balls and flatten slightly. i had to pretend that i was a superhero squeezing the ever living daylights out of these things for them to stay intact. that's why they weren't too flat.

Bake for 15 minutes.

allow to cool completely before eating. eat them too hot out of the oven and they will crumble in your hand.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Pan-Crisped Deviled Egg Salad

Egg Salad
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Here's the thing about eggs, the Noble Egg. i like it. i like it runny, fried, hard boiled, soft boiled, scrambled, omelette'd, poached... i especially like it sunny side up with SOY SAUCE. that is one of my ultimate comfort foods. i went thru a phase in middle school where i hated it, the consistency of it made me gag, and then there was also that one time in high school where a girl hit me with a raw egg, may she have everlasting painful trots for the rest of her life... anyway, consistency and egg attack aside, i'm back to loving on eggs, especially since it's been proven that it's quite healthy for you. dw & i don't eat much meat during the week, it's a good source of protein for us and so incredibly easy to prepare. he's particular about where the eggs come from, they must be organic and if at all possible, the chickens must have access to excercise outside of the coop. that's my darling, always sticking up for the chicks.

Pan-Crisped Deviled Eggs on Lettuce
adapted from The Spendid Table's How to Eat Supper by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift

note: don't get hung up on exact measurements, i used the ingredients list as a guideline but winged the rest. also, it's helpful to peel the eggs soon after they've been boiled. waiting a few hours when they're cool makes for a harder time peeling.

Egg Filling:
6 large eggs, hard-cooked and peeled
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1 really small onion, minced (a shallot would be ok)
2-3 teaspoons yogurt (dw doesn't like mayo, original calls for the latter)
some thyme, or whatever herbs you have on hand
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
Salt and fresh-ground black pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons good-tasting extra-virgin olive oil

Dressing:
The leftover egg stuffing
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 generous teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 1/2 tablespoons yogurt
2 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
Salt and fresh-ground black pepper

Salad:
4 generous handfuls mixed greens, bibb, sorrel, purslane, whatever!, washed and dried

Slice the eggs in half lengthwise. Gently remove the yolks, and place them in a bowl. Keep the whites.

Add the mustard, garlic, onion, thyme, yogurt, mayonnaise, and vinegar to the yolks. With a spoon, mash everything together into a thick paste. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pack the mixture back into the hollows of the egg whites, so the filling is even with the surface of the egg, not mounded. You will have leftover stuffing (this becomes the salad dressing).

In a large nonstick skillet, heat some oil over medium heat. Gently place the eggs in the pan, stuffed side down. Cook until the eggs are browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper as they cook.

As the eggs fry, combine in a large bowl the leftover egg stuffing with all the dressing ingredients. Add the salad greens to the bowl, and toss. Heap them on a serving platter.

Gently lift the eggs from the pan, turn them filling side up, set them on the greens, and serve.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Lemon-Blueberry Scones

Lemon- Blueberry Scones
Lemon-Blueberry Scones
Lemon-Blueberry Scones

know that busy feeling you get right before vacation where you have to balance work, laundry, packing, cleaning, eating, and LIVING? yeah, i'm going thru that right now, except minus the vacation bit. i don't know what my issue is. maybe it's the angst of having to buy a new AC unit or that Harry Potter is coming to an end in a few short weeks or that i've been running since January and i still hate it with the intensity of 10 million fires in the pits of hell. whatever it is, these scones make up for it all. don't skimp on the ingredients, organic & freshly picked are the way to go.

Lemon-Blueberry Scones
adapted from Sweet Pea's Kitchen (exact measurements but i didn't follow directions on how to actually cut these. pls refer to her for exact steps.)

2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 TBL baking powder
3 TBL sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 TBL frozen unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
zest of 1 lemon, use organic
1/2 cup frozen organic blueberries
1 cup heavy cream
juice of 1 lemon
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

preheat oven to 425F.

sift flour, baking powder, salt & sugar into food processor, process for 6 seconds to combine. add in the cold butter and lemon zest, process for another 12 seconds. transfer mixture to into a big bowl. this where i would do things differently:

add in the heavy cream and mix until dough forms. then add in the blueberries, mixing gently to not bust them up.

the original poster then spread the dough into a pan, flipped it on the counter to slice up. yeah i skipped that and just flipped the dough on the counter and free-shaped it, then cut them up with biscuit cutters. i don't know if it's a better method but i can assure you, it's messy.

bake on cookie sheet for 12-13 minutes.

i should add that i've never had a professionally made scone before (these don't count), i like all things brit-ish but not so much their food and scones just seem so... dry & drone. like all my baked goods, i underbaked these gems and they were soft and dare i say it, moist. i drizzled the top with the confectioners' sugar and lemon juice mixture.

my coworkers loved them, the boss lady who so rarely eats carbs said they were the best she'd ever had, dw said they were tender & tasty and personally, i loved the added citrus of the icing on top. also, i was a little worried about the amount of salt required but the saltiness worked.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

canvas print: a product review & giveaway

there is a GIVEAWAY. scroll down if you don't want to read thru. i'm not offended.

i've been thinking lately about how to write this. this blog has been around for over 3 years and i've done pretty well not doing advertising and too many gimmicky promotional stuff. any giveaways have been from me or from someone i actually know. i'm revising my stance on advertising, reviewing and partnering with various sites, depending on value and relevance to the blog. bear with me as i muddle my way thru this.

sunlight heart

today's review is from a photography standpoint. in the last year when i'm too lazy to post a recipe or i've been lax with cooking or crocheting, i've shared snaps of my days/nights/weekends. i fool around with different edits and sometimes, i just go SOOC.

HPIM3188

a few months ago, megan of build a sign contacted me to see if any of their products would be of interest. well yes, the canvas prints interested me, personally. from a readership standpoint, i don't know, i'll leave it to you.

b+w bed

the site is easy to use, it's not rocket science to figure out how to upload pictures. what they offer that a competitor i've used before doesn't is editting options. there's some retouching you can do, color changes etc. i guess if you're not using photoshop or whatever processing software it's a nice tool to have but it's really not necessary. pricing-wise, it's pretty standard. the free canvas i received was just 8"X10", so it sits at my desk in my office, for it's a view from santa monica pier & when i'm feeling pigeon-holed, i can look at it. perfect, no?

Ferris Wheel

but as perfect as it is, i'm willing to part with it. leave me a comment about where your fave vacation spot is. i'll pick someone randomly on Friday, 6/24, 4pmEST. *this* is out of my own pocket, i will ship internationally.

Comments are now closed.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sugar Snap Peas with Lemon & Olive Oil ~ Busy

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there comes a time during the day when i will sit at my desk, bang out a phone call and then i list out exactly what i'll prepare for dinner, complete with 3 different sides (because of course, i'll have ALL the ingredients available) and quite possibly squeeze in a run beforehand. then 4 o'clock rolls in & i've had a killer salary negotiation argument an hour before, i don't actually have the fresh basil and do i really have to run 2 miles? better yet, i'm scheming to go out for dinner instead but make it seem like it was dw's idea. yeah, this is me everyday. you'd think i'd learn.

this dish was made twice last week... once to be consumed alongside a Roasted Chicken with Thai Inspired Tom Yam Herbs and another time by itself, because that was all that dw & i felt like preparing that night. by itself, sure it looks meager and lonely, but the crunch of the snap peas and the punch of the simple citrus dressing was enough. sometimes being busy is a curse and other times it brings forth dishes like this one that i would've otherwise ignored because it was too simple & easy to catch my eye.

Sugar Snap Peas with Lemon & Olive Oil
from martha stewart living, april 2010

half a bag of organic sugar snap peas, strings removed, sliced thin on the bias
drizzle of good olive oil
juice of 1 lemon, use organic
salt/pepper to taste

mix it all together, allow to sit for a few minutes for the flavors to meld. serve as a side to meat.

Friday, June 17, 2011

berries & greens

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all pictures SOOC.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. [Genesis, 1:1-3]

saw ... green grass, dotted with blueberry bushes, picked bare. weeds, grown high to neck level and skies so blue that the white of the clouds looked fake.
smelled ... blueberry scones, fresh from the oven. post to come.
heard ... heartbeats from hugs so close, tho sometimes not close enough.
felt ... dizzy from the winding roads that led to the berry picking, but then elation from the wide open spaces.
guffawed & chortled ... over inane, irreverent inside jokes only two loves can share & appreciate.
ate ... greens, organic & luscious, earthy & whole. {kale, sorrel, sugar snap peas, purslane}
listened ... bon iver and the Civil Wars. where have they been all my life?
commenced ... after a 4 month absence, finally picked up the crochet hook again & started a baby blanket.
whispered ... wishes for the future, observances of today, and stories of the past.

happy weekend, dear friends.

blueberry picking season has begun. enjoy these lovely berries the way God intended them to be: freshly plucked, ripe & juicy.

13734 Baldwin Mill Road, Baldwin, MD 21013

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

California Girl

Ferris Wheel
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Santa Monica
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i don't know if you know this but i was a west coast girl for about five seconds 13 months over a decade ago. i was a year out of college, i had nothing better to do than to follow a boy check out what being a beach bum was all about & well. let's just say that didn't work out (neither did following a boy).

visiting california is much better, as evidenced by a recent jaunt out that ways... to not only visit the gparents, but to meet up with my dear blogger friend wandering chopsticks. she hosted me for two evenings, showing me sights i'd never seen before, feeding me & basically selling me on the west coast life. to add to the california gurl soundtrack, i visited with a broad in the beautiful coastal town of san clemente, where the air was fresh, the water cold and the first sight i saw stepping off the train was a shirtless man rollerblading. (oh hello there sir).

i'm a lucky girl, if i wasn't with friends, i was with cousins. i'm happy to be home but i've still been dreaming of the california living...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Khai Yat Sai ไข่ยัดไส้ ~ apologies

Khai Yat Sai
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i fear this post is going to be one full of me begging for forgiveness. sorry i've been MIA, i lack organizational skills to sort thru my vacation pictures, and truth be told, i just haven't had anything to blog about. i know i also have a number of comments to respond to, i apologize about that. i swear, before this actually posts, i will get to it. and if not, dude, SORRY!

last, this dish is a mutated version of the original. i am really sorry about that. i am not thai and i took great liberty in changing up the recipe so it probably doesn't even count as the real Khai Yat Sai, it's just basically an omelete. i had to ask SheSimmers for the name of this dish and i'm also going to try to bribe her for her recipe. i probably won't follow her recipe exactly and it'll be so altered by the end... again, SORRY ABOUT THAT. i have following the rules issues.

Khai Yat Sai ไข่ยัดไส้
loosely adapted from Clay's Kitchen

1 container of firm tofu, drained & crumbled by hand
a bunch of chopped green beans
1/2 red onion, diced
2 garlic gloves, minced
a nub of ginger, grated
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp fish sauce
1 TBL oyster sauce
2 tsp of garlic-chili, or if you're lucky, WC's homemade batch
6 eggs, beaten, divided
green scallions to garnish

heat up a pan with a bit of oil, canola/veggie/olive. add in the onions and cook until translucent. throw in the garlic and ginger, stirring. this is when i throw in the tofu to heat thru, because the tofu will suck in all that good sauteed flavor. add in your seasoning, to taste, the oyster sauce, fish sauce & sugar & chili. last, add in the green beans, you want it to keep its crunchy texture.  i made this stir fry to be extra bold in flavor because i knew that the eggs were going to be unseasoned. cook thru and set aside.

in another skillet, heat up with a smidge of oil, just to coat the bottom. crack 2 eggs and beat. cook a thin layer, just a layer to coat the bottom and cook til desired doneness. slide onto cutting board and cook up the rest of the eggs in the same manner.

to construct the omeletes, spoon however much filling you want in the middle and fold over the edges into a square shape. serve with rice, garnished with green scallions, fold side down.

Friday, June 3, 2011

strawberry picking

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friends, i'm in sunny california. MD is in the grips of a massive heat wave (hello 90+ degrees...). enjoy these strawberry picking pix... they've since been washed and tucked into the freezer to be made into smoothies for my AM breakfast (dw has a vitamix, how in the world have i lived my life without one of these contraptions is beyond me...) i think we will be trekking out again for more berries before the season is over because he swears by his strawberry pie, whereas i swear by mine.

Strawberry Pie throwdown, anyone?!

for more strawberry recipes, hit up:
Strawberry & Coconut Milk Ice Cream
Strawberry Scones
Strawberry Rhubarb & Rosemary Jam
Strawberry Cake

happy weekend!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars
Lemon bars

i don't know how you measure love but allow me to count the ways i adore dw:

1. he doesn't have a coffee maker, in fact, he hates the taste of it. so every weekend, i wake up gasping for caffeine and like the best boyfriend that he is, he goes with me to the corner Donna's and watches me inhale a cup until i have the good enough grace to say "hey, what's up? good saturday to you, sir."

2. i hate doing dishes. it's not my thing. neither of our places have dishwashers... unless the dishwasher's name is DW, in which case, i got that. yep.

3. fruit picking. until this past weekend, the extent of my fruit picking was relegated to the autumn time frame, when it's crispy cool and the apples are at adult height level. i love strawberries but the image of picking them, bent over in the blazing hellish sun of Memorial Day, makes me more than happy to just cough up the $5 it costs at Whole Food. but not dw. no. he picked two rows of them while i stood with camera in one hand and umbrella in the other. see, my unofficial duty was to keep him shaded, provide asinine commentary about the people around us, as well as take pretty pictures. he allowed me to do all this WITHOUT COMPLAINT.

4. running. when dw & i first started dating, i was just starting my Running Thing. i convinced him to do it with me, i like having company in my misery. we did our first 5K together two weeks ago. he ran it in 30:33, while i ran hobbled it in 38:45. for my last quarter mile he ran back to find me (he said he found me thru the crowd by my distinct gait.) so we could run the last part together.

5. Best Chauffeur. ever. sunday night nuria & i went to the new kids on the block & backstreet boys concert (do not judge us!) and rather than dealing with city driving, dw dropped us off and nuria's man picked us up after. LIKE WE WERE 12 AGAIN!

listen. i could go on & on, but it'll make you throw up and that is not the intention of this blog. so, i leave you with this recipe for Lemon Bars that dw got from his mom (yessss, another family recipe!) and we topped with the freshly picked strawberries, sunkissed and slightly dressed with lemon juice and sugar.

Lemon Bars

1 Cup flour
½ Cup butter
¼ Cup confectioner’s sugar
2 eggs
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoon lemon zest, divided (use organic people)
2 Tablespoons flour
1 Cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350°

Mix flour, butter, 1 tsp of lemon zest and confectioner’s sugar.
Press evenly into bottom of square pan (8” x 8”) or (9” x 9”)
Bake for 20 minutes

Beat remaining until light and fluffy.
Pour over hot crust and bake about 25 minutes longer
Cool
Cut into squares
Decorate with confectioners’ sugar and/or lemon zest