September 25, 2013

bless you, GF "Sandwich Rounds" !

Too many times we who eat gluten free have to "put up" with poor substitutes for our favorite foods. Bread is a biggie for me! Most of my childhood memories are filled with meals where my grandma served her homemade bread. Alongside those are memories of my mom grinding wheat and baking deliciously brown loaves of whole-grained goodness. Of all the foods I miss, the craving for a decent slice of bread would of course be the strongest.

I buy a loaf of GF bread at the store and complain about texture & flavor. I mix up a loaf from a recipe I've found and complain about texture & flavor. Is there no acceptable substitute for wheat bread?

Is a girl doomed to romaine wraps forever?

Then that glorious day, exactly one month ago, I saw this incredible pin:
I was looking for a flat-bread recipe, so I investigated. 
Oh! My! 
I spy panini! So... Here's my immediate pin:

It's one thing to have a bread "substitute" but to be panini-able, well then! Gotta check it out!

I won't write out the recipe for you, because I followed just as Erica has it here. (Well, first time I used kefir instead of yogurt...) No "improvements" necessary. 

I bought my almond meal in bulk instead of packaged from my health food store. 
(I saved about half price per pound...)
Weighed it out before tossing it into the mixer with the other ingredients.

(I tried some batter in my muffin-top pan to obtain a little uniformity -- unfortunately, even well-greased, the pan did not yield the desired product!)

Had absolutely no release problems when using a silicon mat.

The batter can be dropped by tablespoon.

It will spread during baking, so leave them a little room.

They brown quite nicely.

(This batch was a little "wet" so there's not as much thickness as the prior attempt.)

I made a delicious ham & cheese grilled sandwich.

I also used them for buns to hold my tapenade-topped burger! It held together to the very last bite!

me & Joe

joewe’re like this, see…heart

Last week I was perusing one of my favorite embroidery design shops and found this:CaptureI knew we were destined to be together! Bought him, ran him through the processDSCN8598and stitched away until I came up withinstaBut… I just felt like I wouldn’t be happy until he was framed and hung in my coffee gallery over my pantry door.DSCN6777I carefully trimmed my cardboard backerDSCN8559and neatly swiftly glued the fabric around it.DSCN8560Paid big bucks for found a tab for hanging purposes and glued that, too.DSCN8562I know I checked and double-checked before I glued the tab, but evidently should’ve triple-checked, ‘cause I got it on the wrong side.DSCN8561Found another monster tab-top and glued it into place.DSCN8564Cute pictureDSCN8570and my husband doesn’t mind at all.DSCN8568



September 19, 2013

Three-Cheese Spinach Ravioli *GF*

EJ0Pasta & cheese, cheese & pasta… no matter how you stir it up, it’s always one of my favorite meals. Well, was one of my favorite meals. Gluten free (rice, potato, bean…) noodles are not an equal substitution for good ol’ durum semolina to my palate.
When Kristen proclaimed September’s Challenge to be Pasta and Cheese; well, that was the motivation I needed to make some Melody-approved gluten-free pasta!
I researched many recipes, but I wanted one with spinach. The best one I found here. I made a few tiny adjustments, but it came out perfectly on the first try!EJrecipe*(I need to make a comment here for garbanzo bean flour haters: Yes, it does smell/taste very strong while you’re mixing it up – but I didn’t even get the slightest hint of that flavor after the ravioli were cooked. Try it! The high protein content makes it a wonderful addition to pasta dough.)*EJ1After I had mixed in enough cold water for the ingredients to start coming together, I turned it out & kneaded a few turns.EJ2 While the dough was resting in the frig, it was time to make the filling.EJ3I chose provolone instead of mozzarella because that’s what our favorite Italian restaurant uses on top of all pizzas and in many of their dishes.EJ4I was planning on using the pasta attachment for my KitchenAid, but figured I needed it to be rolled wider to fit bunches of raviolis on at one time.EJ5WELL! My arms are soooooooo fatigued from rolling all that stiff dough! Next time I will use the machine! I found that if I rolled too much at a time, it just dried out.EJ6My 19-year-old Pampered Chef Cut-N-Seal® was the perfect tool. After an egg wash & dollop of cheese, the tops fit on and sealed so nicely.EJ7I slipped them over to a waiting platterEJ8then covered each stack in plastic wrap to wait until closer to the dinner hour. (Which was later than usual because of marching band practice/drama parent meeting…)EJ9Now the ravioli are ready for a salty bath boil. We let a few of them jump right in. (I know they look a little crowded, but that’s 12 quarts of water in my pasta pot…)EJ10We took this one out after 6 minutes, and decided the rest could cook a few more. (D.E.L.I.S.H. by the way!)EJ11When you cook for my crew, pasta alone is not enough; no matter how cheesy it might be. Good thing Sprouts had their Parmesan Chicken Sausage on sale.EJ12I picked up about a pound of “spicy” and almost that much “regular” as well as some red peppers & onions.EJ13After browning the sausage & veggies, we slid the cooked ravioli in to get all cozy & saucy with it all.Not a bite disappointed anyone!EJ15All but three lonely little raviolis were consumed for dinner. (And those were finished by my son for lunch today – still yummy!)
Why don’t you check out these links for more pasta & cheese goodness:

September 17, 2013

I found him

23 years ago. On a moonlit hike. By the time we got to the top of the mountain, I knew he was the man I would marry.
I tried my hand at this Pinterest pin.crazyhmmmmmmmmmm…DSCN8519Not quite what I had in mind.
So I tried this Pinterest pin.printFAIL!DSCN8308DSCN8309Then I turned to this Pinterest pin.stencilFAIL #2!DSCN8310So, I tried it my way, using my cheap-o WalMart shelf vinyl/contact paper and paint:DSCN8319Perfect!DSCN8314Even better after I finished a couple pieces of old wood from the discard pile.DSCN8318And I even found the perfect place to hang it…DSCN8503