Sunday, November 28, 2010

A staple for Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving, Chas and I did a few things that were pretty traditional, and we also did something not so traditional.
I don't know many people who make home made sushi for Thanksgiving, but that's what we decided to do.
It's all about being different for him. Plus, I really like sushi, a lot.
Of course, I had to try out my pumpkin pie recipe as part of the three gluten free recipes that I will be making in the next month. This crust was a little different than one that I tried a couple of years ago, mostly and only because it contains a couple other flours that I hadn't used before. Lucky for me I had just enough almond flour left, and Good Earth thankfully carries Teff flour. Notice all those flours I started with on the counter.....
And then, on to mixing the sandy dough....I learned a neat trick for adding in the butter to the flours too, thanks to . She recommended that the butter be frozen and grated into the dough. I tried it and it worked really well.

The ball of dough ready to be rolled out and of course the most tasteful part of the pie, the filling.....Thanks to the side of a Libby's pure pumpkin can.
And, the finished product! It turned out really good, for my taste. Chas liked it too, so I would say overall it was a success.
Thanksgiving would not be complete for me without deviled eggs. I will tell you a family secret, in case you ever decide to try it, or maybe have already. I think deviled eggs taste the best with dill pickle juice added to the mix. Just sayin.
And now, onto the sushi rolls. We didn't want to get too crazy, so we decided to go with a salmon roll with cream cheese and cucumber in the middle and a little bit of spicy mayo on top. Check them out, I think they turned out pretty darn good.
Chas cutting up his outside salmon roll. I decided to roll mine on the inside with a few very small slivers of lemon in them.
And here's all three of our sushi rolls. We made a spicy california too with crab meat and some mayo and Sriracha mixed together, one of Chas' personal favorites, besides the wasabi.
And here is our table for two Thanksgiving spread. We ate every last piece of the sushi, didn't get sick, had room for pie, and ended the night with the latest Harry Potter movie with a good friend and her family. Even though our meal wasn't super traditional, we made it our own for our first Thanksgiving and enjoyed making dinner together.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What I am thankful for

Even though there are moments where I curse under my breath (or cry to my husband in the middle of the night when we have our "pillow talks") that I am a celiac, I do know deep down that it is a blessing.

Had I not been diagnosed a celiac, I would probably be eating horribly like I was in the months before I first found out I had the now more growing disease.
Had I not cut gluten, including all wheat, white, barley, rye and some oat flours out of my diet, I would probably be well over the 200 pounds that I was closely reaching back then and on my way to a self-inflicted early death.

But I did find out, and it changed my life. After watching someone die of colon cancer, you bet it changed my life.
I think about food a lot differently now than I did before.
I am thankful for healthy foods.
I am also thankful for sweets that are gluten free. Yes I still eat them, but no, no nearly as much as I used to.

I am thankful for the people who found out they had the disease before I did and were smart enough to figure out how to make gluten free foods that taste good.
I am thankful for the iternet and blogs full of recipes that I can steal, bake, and taste in the comfort of my own kitchen.

I am thankful for a husband who is willing to go gluten free with me, even though I know he doesn't have to.
I am thankful for people who love me enough to go out of their way to accomodate me with gluten free goodness when I come around for meals. I know first hand how difficult it can be to know HOW to make a gluten free meal. There are lots of meals out there that don't, and never have contained, gluten. But, it's just taking the time to figure out WHAT gluten is, that's the challenge sometimes.

Sure, there are times where I gauck at a hambuger and drool, thinking how good it would taste to bite into a real, bunned buger. But then, I also take a step back and realize how much I am saving myself by no longer eating those types of things. Do I still eat fat? Yes. Do I still eat sugar? Yes. But, do I make a more conscious effort to eat better, including using gluten free flours because they are not as processed and are better for your body? Yes. Definitely yes. And sometimes, it's not just beacause I have to. It's because I want to. I want to eat healthy. I want to take care of the body that God has so graciously given me, because in reality it's not entirely mine anyway, it's just on loan. For now.

So, Happy Thanksgiving to you, and you, and you.

This next month, I will be making a couple of things, including these tasty recipes: (this will be used to make a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving)

and this (this will be my attempt to make something that Chas and I had in Jamaica on our honeymoon)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

From that, to this

You just never know what kind of fall you are going to have in Utah.
It can go from that....

To this, in a day.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The second time around

There are not very many things in my life right now that I would say I find difficult.
Confrontation is difficult.
Running more than 3 miles when I only want to run 2, is difficult.
Making gluten free cinnamon all the current difficulties in my life.
If complaining that it is hard to make gluten free cinnamon rolls is the worst thing I could say about my life right now, I consider myself to be very blessed. I have been through much worse than wanting to cry over cinnamon roll dough that is so sticky that I can't touch it with my hands or place it on anything because it will stick to it like glue, so I would say I am far from complaining. More like merely stating a fact.

Ok, to the details of this baby that I tackled last weekend.
The cinnamon rolls were the third attempt at my commitment to make at least 3 made-for-gluten-free recipes. I saved the best, and the most difficult, for last.

First, you have to combine about 5 different gluten free flours/starches, including corn flour (which was for some reason hard to find) and almond flour (which is expensive).

While doing that, you should be letting the luke warm water and yeast puff up, like so...

Then you mix all the ingredients together, with eggs, milk powder, etc. And then you let it rise for an hour. Insert painting our room from dark green to grey for the weekend.

Just before getting ready to attempt to create these ooey gooey goodness of a cinnamon roll, you make the filling. Mine, for some reason, decided to stick together, making it very hard to spread the filling more than about an inch in the middle of the dough once I got it rolled out.

Which leads me to my next disappointment (but hey, I still made them and they got eaten, I am just saying....) I didn't have parchment paper. So, I tried wax paper. NOT the same. The dough seemed as though it was rolling fine through the saran wrap and the wax paper. Until I tried to roll it off the wax paper. Insert 4 letter swear word here (under my breath because Chas had a 12 year old in the basement doing a guitar lesson)
So, I put it back in the bowl, and I run to the store. Bought a roll of parchment paper, $3.49.
Brought it home, rolled it out on the counter, proceeded to try again with the rolling of the dough between parchment paper and saran wrap.
SAME DAMN THING HAPPENS. The first batch of cinnamon rolls end up looking like this....

I stand for a minute with my eyes crossed, trying not to seethe through my teeth. I think for one second. The only thing that the dough seems to NOT be sticking to is the saran wrap. So, I take a piece of saran wrap, put the dough on it, take another piece of saran wrap, put it over the dough, and roll out. Success.
I take a piece of dental floss, yes, you read that right. I cut the rolls into pieces and put them in the pie pan. These ones look much better, right?

To be honest, by the time I got done rolling the dough out and putting the rolls into the plate, I was so hungry, could not stand to wait another hour to let the dough rise again. I put them in the oven and baked both batches for 30 minutes until the filling was bubbling.
Add creamy, sugary cream cheese frosting. Take a break from painting, bite into gluten free cinnamon roll heaven.

This recipe is one of those projects that I would think about tackling maaaaybe one, or twice if Chas is lucky, a year. But, if you are wanting to try GF, or you are GF and are up for a challenge, you can find the recipe for these bad boys at

Monday, November 15, 2010

On deck

Soon to come......

A new space and a three hour cooking project.

I am sooooo glad I got a four day weekend.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Under the knife

Some of you have met my mom. Some of you have not.
Even if you have not, it would be super greatly appreciated if you could say a little prayer for her today.

My mom has had bad knees for a long time, even to the point where I remember her falling once in a parking lot in wedges, for no apparent reason other than her knee went out and buckled underneath her.

She will be having surgery to repair one of her knees today. If things go well with the surgery, they will soon repair the other knee as well. I guess one at a time is better, though I have heard getting both knocked out at the same time is nice, but then you have to be in a wheelchair, and that's a boo.
Since I know my mom, I know that she has a hard time and does not do well with surgery. She takes a while to come out of being put under, so I am just praying that 1.The repair surgery is a success, and 2.that she does not have complications from being put under.

That's all for now, thanks for those of you who pray for her!