Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A lazy day...starting out with old fashioned biscuits and gravy (Gluten Free!)

I've had to go Gluten Free...ugh.  I never thought I would have to but here I am after 3 years of stomach aches and false diagnosis (but better than a failing liver!) here I am learning to cook all over again.

My husband's family is from the South so it goes without saying that I had to learn to make biscuits and gravy.  The first time I made them for my mother in law I made an impression.  She was shocked that I made them so well.  I didn't have the heart to tell her I used Bisquick, she wasn't a warm fuzzy woman and it was her first compliment for me.

So here's the recipe I tried today...not bad.  My version of Alton Brown's recipe with the ingredients I had.  My family loved them although my husband said it's not quite what he grew up with.  I don't think it's possible to truly replace the wheat floury goodness of a Southern biscuit.  But these were pretty darn good with the gravy and a little fried apple!

Gluten Free biscuits

1 cup GF Flour (just got what was available at WalMart)
4 heaping teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 tsp baking soda
2 tablespoons butter (frozen and grated into the dry ingredients...my secret easy way)
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Mix all the dry ingredients together.

Add the butter and mix with a fork  evenly, don't overwork.

Add the buttermilk until you have a slightly sticky dough (add a little more or less as needed).

Pat flat on a lightly GF floured board and cut with a biscuit cutter.  Gather the last bit and shape to size.

Bake on a baking stone or parchment lined cookie sheet for 10 minutes.  Rotate pan and bake for 5 more minutes or until golden brown and fluffy.



Until I make gravy with exact measurements here are some quick instructions in an experienced guess sort of way.

I had some leftover gluten free flour on a plate with salt and pepper from flouring the pork chops.  I put in the pan with the drippings from the pork chops.  Bacon or sausage grease will work as well.  I added a little butter and slowly lightly browned the flour.  Then I grated some leftover sausage links (about 3 or 4) into the mixture and then some milk tip it was like a cream soup.  Continue to cook it on medium low heat.  Gluten Free flour gravy wants to be lumpy so I figured out the only way to make it smooth is to use an immersion blender.  So as it thickened up a little I blend through the pan breaking up the lumps and then it's done!  Be careful with the salt, you don't need as much as usual.

MMMMMM!  Pretty good for a Latin California girl!

Monday, September 23, 2013

A Fresh Start


A freshly sharpened knife...
An empty room with great light...
A new (old) camera...
A new idea...

because life is short...
www.etsy.com/shop/DesignSmithPaperArts

Stay tuned!


Sunday, May 12, 2013

A simple meal in a hurry!

Sometimes you want a pretty meal of deliciousness but simply.  This is one of those meals.  I'm going to give you this recipe as a visit to my kitchen, following me through the steps of preparation on a beautiful spring day.

Start with a glass of wine and a smile, it's a beautiful day!  (May I recommend an Eberle Winery Chardonnay?)  

Take some mild fish filets and sprinkle them with curry powder, let sit while you prepare your side dishes.  (I keep frozen tilapia filets on hand in the freezer for this favorite meal).

Prepare a rice medley mix (like the unseasoned ones from Trader Joe's)from a package or just plain long grain rice.  The secret to good flavor is to brown chopped onions and grated carrot and toast the rice a little before you add chicken broth.  Make it easy by keeping chopped onions in the freezer in 1/4 cup amounts.
Add 1/2 tsp tumeric for that pretty yellow flavor.  Yes, yellow is a flavor...warm, golden and happy!

The rice to water ratio depends on how much you are making.  It's easiest if you do the browning in a pan, dump everything into a rice cooker and use the recommended amount of liquid to rice.  Then just use the browning pan for your fish.

I also keep chopped up frozen bacon (ends and pieces)in the freezer so I can brown it and add vegetables like these fresh green beans to steam in the bacon fat with a little water like a greasy delicious bacon broth.  

After I set the table and finish my glass of wine then it's time
to add butter to the pan I browned the onions in and cook the tilapia 4 to 6 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.  It will smell amazing.

Dinner's ready!



Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Squash Blossom Quesadilla - Farmer's Market Inspired!

Squash Blossom Quesadilla Ingredients
I have eaten almost exclusively organic for about 6 years but I am trying to step up my game, especially when I am craving familiar foods that I grew up with, my comfort foods.  The Mexican grilled cheese sandwich or "Quesadilla" is one of those foods.  Here I used a quality New Zealand sharp cheddar cheese and add squash blossoms to increase my healthy vegetable intake and a roasted yellow chili instead of a traditional jalapeno, anaheim or serrano chili.

I am just going to let the photographs "BE" the recipe with the exception of brushing the corn tortillas with olive oil after softening them on a griddle along with roasting the chilis at the same time.
blogtryptychtechnique

Serve with avocado, salsa is nice too!
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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Purslane Salad

Purslane is also known as a common weed in my yard anyway.  I bought some at the Farmer's Market to try it out.  When it starts growing again in the yard it will become a regular part of my salads!  It is super high in Omega-3 fatty acids and protein...a great vegan choice.  It is also used by herbalists as a blood cleanser, has antiparasitic properties...well, see for yourself what Cornell University says here.  Best of all it is a yummy, crunchy green addition to your salads.DSC09578purslanesalad
Purslane Salad with Lemon Garlic Dressing for 2
torn leaves of butter, green and red leaf lettuce
leaf clusters of purslane
2 chopped lemon cucumber or 1 persian 
1 chopped tomato 
You can also add cubed avocado and toasted pumpkin seeds if you have them but then you will have to eat this salad all summer long because then, well, it's just TOO GOOD!


Purslane Salad IngredientsLemon Garlic Dressing
sliced clove of elephant garlic
juice of 1/2 lemon
6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Whisk together ingredients, crush garlic if you don't like the raw garlic flavor of slices.  Pour over the salads right before serving evenly distributing the bits of garlic goodness.  (The secret is for both you and your loved one to eat garlic together.)  




Serve with great crusty bread, I served it with a loaf of Italian Semolina bread from the Farmer's Market.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Farmers Market Bounty

Farmers Market Food Basket
It's the middle of summer and I didn't plant a garden this year but thank goodness for the many Farmer's Markets in Southern California!  I have heard some snooty opinions on the "Best", usually hours from where I live but the best ones for me are always Locally Grown!  I like supporting the small backyard farmers and local growers in my neck of the woods...they are like neighbors to me.  Often I am surprised to find out they are acquaintances who soon become friends as we do business together...that means samples and specials and set asides!
  
It is good to know that there are people in my area who are equally concerned about the toxic effects of pesticides and herbicides so they grow their own food and in the process have extra to share in the local Farmer's Markets.  I find everything I need in fruits and vegetables except maybe lettuces since we live in such a hot summer area, they don't do well.  Now I just have to get someone to grow golden beets for my favorite roasted beet salad...although one of my new faves is a purslane (weed) salad with a lemony garlicy dressing and good crusty Italian Semolina bread from the market.
  
That's another great thing about the Farmer's Markets...wonderful breads, marinated garlics, olives, homemade cheeses, local honeys, homemade soaps and so much more.  LOVE IT!  Go visit one and don't forget to recycle your grocery bags or take your cloth ones.  Don't know where you can find one?  In Southern California the Los Angeles Times has a great interactive map here and nationally here.  Have fun!