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Even now, I get cravings.

December 11, 2012 Leave a comment
Alton Brown is a god among men...

Alton Brown is a god among men…

Greetings fellow lovers of food. Well, food lovers who aren’t loved by their food? People who enjoy food under certain constraints? Anyway, if you are reading this, either you are another of the growing number of those of us who have some sort of gluten allergy (be it Celiac Disease or just an intolerance for that stupid protein chain). I welcome you…you aren’t alone.

I was at the local coffee place the other morning (I’ll call it “Barstucks” just so nobody knows what place I’m talking about…hehe) and happened to look through the glass case at the fine assortment of baked goods and had my first real craving in a long time. You know, it’s been almost 2 years since I ran my little experiment and discovered that I have negative reactions to gluten…and I honestly thought I was over this “gluten craving” thing. Well, I’m sad to say that, no…I’m not. The apple fritter (which I realize is REALLY bad and not om nom at all) was calling my name. It wasn’t this quite whisper of a calling…it was a “name shouted from mountain top using a bull horn” type of calling. That fritter loved me, and I loved it. We would grow old together and…well, I wanted that fritter more than I’ve wanted any baked goods in quite a while.

Strangely, I just smiled and shook it off. I say “Strangely” because, let’s face it, when it comes to food some things are hard to ignore. I know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that had I taken a bite of that flaky, sweet, baked deliciousness, that I would have been sick. Not just for an hour or two…but for days. It just wasn’t worth it. Nothing, really, is worth it to be honest.

I guess I’m writing all this down because I know I’m not the only one that fights urges. Sure, we all fight the urge to say words to co-workers who clearly aren’t using their brain (assuming they have one) or to smack those people upside the head (when they deserve it, I mean…hehe)…but fighting the urge to eat something that you know you shouldn’t, to me anyway, is more difficult. We can do this…we’re all strong people who don’t want to face the consequences of poor decisions. The thought of being sick for days (or up to a week sometimes!) isn’t worth the 5 minutes of sheer joy one would get from an apple fritter. I have to believe this is true…

Anyway, Thanksgiving just passed and Christmas is RIGHT around the corner. I still haven’t figure out how that was possible…but…sure enough, it is. My wife and I had a couple people over (none of which have food allergies) and I made a completely GF meal. It was OM NOM! The turkey (pictured above…all thanks go out to Alton Brown for the recipe!!) was perfect. I also made dressing out of some pumpkin bread that had been part of an experiment that didn’t have the desired results. Let me tell you…the sweet bread with the herbs and salty flavors were a PERFECT combination. Had two pies (one pumpkin and one pie I’m calling an Apple Crisp Pie) with GF crusts that were great as well. All-in-all, a very successful meal.

I’m starting to experiment some more with food and am having fun in the process. I made a batch of pumpkin bread (recipe in the blog somewhere) in which I substituted half of the pumpkin with apple sauce (the thought being Apple and Pumpkin are both Fall fruit/vegetables that both pair well with cinnamon and the other spices). It was om nom as well. Made some more pickles and pickled some beets with a friend of mine. More jam (strawberry and huckleberry this year) was also made. It’s been a productive Fall…and I’m looking forward to more experimentation as the year comes to a close.

If you are struggling…know that you aren’t alone. We all face the demons from time to time. We can do this…we can.

As always, happy (and healthy!) eating!

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I haven’t died…honest.

June 18, 2012 Leave a comment

 

Hello there, reader. Miss me? No? I don’t blame you. It’s been a busy couple months and I won’t bore you with the details all that much (moved the company I work for, bought a house, got married), but I promise, I have been busy and not just neglecting my writing!

I am doing much better with the whole GF thing. It’s more of a lifestyle change than anything, I think. You have to be REALLY careful what you eat and where you eat it from. What that does is pretty much discourage you from having any sort of social life at all (just kidding!). Actually, there are more and more places even here in the po-dunk town I live in that are offering GF options. Some of them are good…others, not so much.

For example, Staggering Ox is a local sandwich joint here in town that offers GF pizza! Let me tell you, it’s not perfect, but it IS pizza! I also read that Dominoes was going to be offering a GF option here soon, but that it wasn’t actually going to be 100% GF. What does that mean? Reduced gluten still is going to make people sick…and let’s not even start with cross contamination. I’m sure they have special pizza knives and ALWAYS use them to cut up the GF pizza. Riiiiight…

Another example is another local eatery called Steve’s Cafe. They now are offering a GF pancake plate! Once again, it’s not perfect but is a good treat if you are so inclined. I also worry about cross contamination here and have noticed my stomach making some bad sounds after eating there, but I never have full-blown gluten reactions, which is nice.

Baking is still fun, which is nice. I mean, who doesn’t like walking into a house with the smell of fresh baked goods? Ok…so it’s getting warmer out which means that baking is a little warmer than it would be if you, say, lived in Antarctica or had an air conditioner, but it’s still good eats! Along those lines, I made Gluten Free Upside Down Pineapple Muffins. Sadly, I don’t remember where I got the recipe for the cake part of them, but, as you can see from the picture, they turned out pretty good! Ok…so they aren’t really muffins either as they are the size of a softball, but they were delish! And, let’s face it, that’s all that matters.

During Mardi Gras, I also was able to find a good GF King Cake recipe (ok, so I took parts from 2-3 recipes and made my own, but it is the same idea). I’ll post that one up once I find the recipe again because King Cake is om nom x 10 (I even added apple filling to it!).

Anyway, that’s all for now I guess. Hope there is someone is out there that is reading this that gets something from my ramblings! As always, happy eating (because, what’s the point, otherwise?)

BBQ Chicken Pizza and another recipe!

April 4, 2011 Leave a comment

So I wrote a while back about making the BBQ Chicken Pizza and how good it was, but then realized later on that I neglected to actually post a picture of said goodness. Well readers…worry no more! Above is a picture of the BBQ Chicken Pizza that I made over the weekend. Or was it before the weekend? Whatever…it’s the most recent one that I made (thanks for clarifying that).  It was, as it has been the other couple times, really good. Again, I used Gluten Free Mama’s Pizza Crust.

After talking with one of the attorneys that I work with about the recipe, I’ve decided I’m going to post the recipe for the lemon bread and call it my own. Why? I’ve changed it enough that it really doesn’t resemble the product created with the original recipe. As such…

Scott’s Gluten-Free Lemon Bread!

Ingredients Needed:

2 Cup of Softened Butter (margarine, whatever…but, let’s face it…nothing beats butter! Well, except for bacon, maybe…)

2 Cup of Sugar

3 Cups White Rice Flour (I used white rice flour because it gives it a better texture and doesn’t have the flavor issues that brown rice flour has).

1 1/2 tsp Xantham Gum

4 tsp Baking Powder (or 1 Tbsp and 1 tsp…same thing)

8 Eggs (yeah…8…but it’s good)

1/2 Cup Lemon Juice (about 2 lemons if you do fresh)

Mix all the ingredients together in a mixer and then put in the refrigerator for 2 hours or so (this solidifies it just a little more and it worked out better this way for some reason).

Grease and flour 6 small loaf pans or 2 bigger ones and measure out equal parts into the pans

In a 350 degree oven, place the loaf pans (I sound like Yoda here…but you know what I mean! Good it is…mmmm)

Bake for 35-40 minutes (or until done)

 

For the glaze, take 1 cup Lemon Juice (or 4 lemons) and 1 cup sugar and mix together and “drizzle” (rain…sprinkle…whatever precipitation word you like best) over the top of the loaves when removed from the oven and then let cool.

What comes next? Well the most important phase of any cooking process, of course…the EATING PHASE! Om nom…happy eating!

Pasta and Garlic Bread

March 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Been a while since I wrote anything here. I would like to say that it’s because I haven’t had any more problems with gluten or products containing gluten, but, as we all know, that’s just not true. No…I’ve been busy at work a lot lately. Lots going on and, unfortunately, the thing that suffers is the one thing that helps me through the stress of those things happening. How’s that for irony, eh?

Made a double batch of both the lemon and pumpkin breads. I ended up changing 2 things on the lemon bread recipe to kind of make it “mine” (although, legally, I’m not sure what constitutes one person’s recipe and one that was just modified by another person…so I still don’t want to post the recipe, just in case). I substituted white rice flour instead of the brown and added 1.5 tsp Xantham Gum to it and the bread is MUCH better. It really resembles bread now instead of…well, whatever it was that it resembled the first couple times. I made some and brought it to work for a meeting we had Monday, and everyone that mentioned it to me after said they liked it. So…that was a win. *Note: if anyone reading this knows anything about recipe and recipe rights and what constitutes ownership, please let me know!*

Last night, Kate and I decided we were both in a pasta mood…and I, being the bread lover that I am, wanted some garlic bread. Mmm…oh how I miss you, my garlic-y friend! Anyway, I had purchased a french bread and pizza dough mix from Wal-Mart the other day by Gluten Free Pantry and decided that now (well, not now…last night…you know what I mean) was the perfect time to bake this. I got out my trusty stoneware (by a company that rhymes with “Smampered Sneff”) and mixed up the bread mix as instructed on the packaging. Honestly, it was really good. The texture was perfect…very much like french bread. The flavor was a little bland, so next time I may try to put some roasted garlic cloves or something yummy in there to see how it turns out.

Other than that, have just been plugging along and stuff. One of my co-workers has had stomach problems for a long time and I finally convinced her to go off gluten and now, surprise, she feels great. The more I read about this and talk with people, the more people I see really do have a problem, and just don’t know it.

Anyway, I’ll keep experimenting with cooking as long as you keep reading! And, as always, happy eating.

It comes in waves…

March 15, 2011 2 comments

I’ve decided that this whole gluten free thing isn’t that bad, but when it gets bad…it’s bad. Take, for instance, this last week. Friday, I decided to make some more bread (as I had given most of it away from the last batch I made), so I made two batches of pumpkin bread (one with xantham gum and one without just to experiment) and two batches of lemon bread. Both were really good and tasty.

Then, Sunday I woke up and made buttermilk biscuits again simply because it was Sunday and I wanted them. I ate them (as did Kate and her sister) and enjoyed them a lot. We ended up making stir fry for dinner that night and it, also, was good.

On the way to work Monday, I stopped at a local coffee shop/sandwich place and talked with the owner for a bit. There were doughnuts on the counter and the one thought that flew through my mind at Warp 10 was “I want a doughnut.” Sure…I DID want a doughnut…but that was the LAST thing I needed. I don’t know of any way to MAKE doughnuts…so until that happens, I just have to look at them longingly. With drool running down my chin and evil…EVIL…thoughts running through my mind. Must control urge to DEVOUR doughnut!!!

Last night, I made sloppy joe’s again because, let’s face it, they are good. The following is the recipe I used so you, too, can make SJ’s from scratch (well, almost):

Brown 1 lb ground beef (turkey, chicken, elephant if you have it…whatever)

Dice 1 medium onion and saute’ it until it’s done (you know what I mean…I hope)

Combine onions and DRAINED beef along with:

1/2 Cup Ketchup

1 Tbsp Sugar

1 tsp Vinegar

1 tsp Mustard (anything, really, from Dijon to the hotdog kind)

1 tsp Salt (or a “pinch” as it’s easier and you don’t have to wash the measuring device first…hehe)

1 tsp Ground Pepper (or, you can do what I did…just add till you are content)

OPTIONAL: I added about 1 Tbsp Sriracha to this for an extra kick

Cook all the ingredients together for 10 minutes or so or until whatever else you are cooking (fries, in our case) are done.

Enjoy on your home made hamburger buns. As always, happy eating! (Edit: The picture of the steak above is, of course, unrelated…except for the fact that it, too, was om nom)

Mmm…Pumpkin Bread

March 4, 2011 Leave a comment

I got to leave work early yesterday due to good behavior (hah…let’s face it, we all know THAT’S not true…) and wanted to try to find a way to use my time as wisely as I could. As I have stated before, cooking and baking are really good ways for me to mentally unwind…so, I decided I would make some sweet breads (the bread that is sweet, not the parts of animals…I wouldn’t know how to begin making those, but the bread, I have that down).

First, I made a double batch of the lemon cake/bread that I’ve written about here before. It’s getting to the point that I just dumped everything in the mixing bowl, attached it to the mixer and let it do it’s thing. VERY good eats.

Another sweet bread I’ve always enjoyed making, especially back in the “gluten days” (not like it was really all that long ago…heh…”Back when I was a youngster…”) is Pumpkin Bread. To me, the smell of fresh pumpkin bread wafting through the house when it’s cold outside (which it still is here)…nothing beats it. Well, perhaps taking that same bread, cutting off a slice while it’s still warm and putting butter on it and taking a bite…that might beat it, but just barely. The problem is, I’ve never made the recipe I’ve always made in the past gluten free…so where to begin? As an experiment, I just changed 2 things and I have to tell you…the results were awesome!

First, preheat the oven to 325 (350 for those in higher altitudes!).

Cream together 2 3/4 cup sugar and 1 cup butter softened (I said it was good, not necessarily good for you!)

Add to that 3 large eggs and 2 cups of pureed pumpkin (be sure NOT to use the pumpkin pie mix in a can…that won’t work as well)

Mix that all together in the mixer until it’s fairly uniform.

Sift together(or you can do like I did and just dump it all in the pumpkin mixture above)

3 1/2 cups Brown Rice Flour LESS 1.5 tsp

1.5 tsp Xantham Gum

3 1/2 tsp (or, 1Tbsp and 1/2 tsp…same thing) Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp Cinnamon

1 tsp Allspice

1/4 tsp Cloves

Add this mixture to the pumpkin mixture (unless you did it the way I did above) and combine until it’s uniform. Put this mixture in greased and floured (or greased and sugared…for sweet breads, it adds a nice layer of crunchy sweetness on the outside…om nom) bread pan (or small loaf pans…it makes about 6 of the smaller ones and 1 big one) and bake for 1 hour.

You can ALSO add 1 cup chopped nuts and 1 cup raisins…but I’m a purist when it comes to pumpkin bread. If you DO add them…do it before you put it in the pans as that would just be funny.

SERIOUSLY good eats…I was very pleased with the results. If you try this out and like it, let me know…am interested to hear how it turns out for other people, or if you make changes to it. As always, happy eating!