sailorzeo: (Default)
...although a Thursday where both Matt and I are off work. We hit the turkey sales this past month; there are now 4 frozen turkeys in the big freezer. We had to take out the one we got last year to make room, so we got out Alton Brown's brine recipe and the electric roaster. I also picked up a 28 quart plastic storage bin (with lid!) to brine the bird in, since it was cheaper than the 5-gallon bucket recommended in the recipe (and it had a lid!).

One of the things I both like and dislike about that electric roaster is that it seems to cook a LOT faster than the oven. The bird was done 2 hours before we expected it to finish.

No stuffing, since, well, I was bad yesterday and had a couple chicken tenders, so my brain's misbehaving. Matt did make a fresh loaf of bread, sliced it, and set it in the oven to toast, so maybe we'll make some this weekend. Potatoes are merrily boiling away, waiting to hit the right level of tenderness to be mashed. Then it'll be time to make gravy. As for veg, well, I hate to say it, but we might not have any. :-P Not that we don't _have_ any, as the pantry is well stocked with canned goods from a few good sales, and we have some green beans and maybe some broccoli in the fridge still.

I did something new last night: I made vegetable stock, with Matt's immense help, as the brine recipe called for a gallon of it and we didn't have any, much less that much, but we did have a bunch of celery, some older carrots, an onion, some green onion, and some other things we could use. I'm planning on using the turkey carcass to make stock, as well as the bones from 2 half chicken breasts we had earlier in the week, and the neck from the turkey (we're not neck or giblet people here; the giblets went in a bowl for the cats).

Side note: my m-i-l got us a knife block set from Rada. They're nice knives; I think my parents and my grandmother both had some Rada knives. I used the vegetable peeler on the potatoes today, and it's very nice.
sailorzeo: (Default)
So, I may have mentioned this cookbook before, but I've started using it again this week. All the recipes made exactly two servings. It's been working well; I make the dish for dinner, and have the second portion as my lunch the next day. So far this week, I've made cheese'n'beef bundles, zucchini and beef casserole, and zucchini frittata from it. Some notes for my own reference:

cheese'n'beef bundles: since we're using very lean ground beef, I can probably leave out the egg and the bread crumbs (or in my case, flaxseed), which would make the small patties easier to handle, and not taste so "slick" when cooked.

zucchini and beef casserole: make sure to cook the ground beef finer, so it distributes more evenly. Layer the thin-sliced zucchini in the casserole dish rather than mixing it in with the beef and tomato sauce. Leave out the macaroni, as it doesn't really add anything to it.

zucchini frittata: get a new non-stick skillet so there's a better chance of it staying a frittata and not becoming scrambled eggs.

Next week, though, if I want to continue the trend, I'll have to double the recipes, so Matt can have some dinner, and lunch the next day, too. Although, with the frittata, it's going to be breakfast rather than lunch, and I'm not sure what to take for lunch. Maybe I should see if the veg soup in the fridge is still good.
sailorzeo: (Default)
One thing I've seriously missed since going gluten-free is pierogies. My mother-in-law had a recipe for them, and I've been wanting to adapt it to a gf-version for some time now.

Today was that time.

The only substitute I had to make was for the flour. Now, that's always a tricky part. I decided for this first batch, I'd try something simple: Living Without's basic all-purpose gf flour blend: 1/2 cup rice flour, 1/4 cup tapioca starch, 1/4 cup cornstarch. I had to make 5 cups worth (easy enough when the recipe makes one cup), and then add 2.5 teaspoons of xanthan gum for elasticity. The rest of the ingredients stayed the same.

Matt and I were worried. Very rarely has one of our gf-conversions worked on the first try.

This did. They boiled well, didn't separate more than expected, and actually tasted and felt like pierogies!!

I am thrilled!!! to boil 32 more.....


Nov. 27th, 2008 08:19 pm
sailorzeo: (busy)
Today's makings:

Sugar cookie dough
Ginger snaps
plain spritz cookies
brisket of beef with onion sauce
ham, egg and cheese tortilla sandwich

The sugar cookies I made last weekend didn't quite turn out the way I'd hoped. The recipe called for superfine brown rice flour, and all I had on hand was regular brown rice flour, so that's what I used. They spread. The recipe described them as "moist and tender." What I got was "flat, dry, and brittle." So, Monday I stopped at Whole Foods and picked up some superfine brown rice flour. $12 for 3 pounds. Ouch. But, it really is a LOT finer than the standard brown rice flour. It's almost like a starch in fineness. I didn't get around to rolling out the dough, though, so that'll probably be Saturday.

The ginger snaps turned out AMAZING. I think I made them a little bigger than I was supposed to, but that's just fine, because this way, the outside is crispy-chewy, and the inside is soft and moist, and the flavor is amazing. I had to hunt down the bitter orange marmalade, but again, Whole Foods had it.

The plain spritz cookies are a little more powdery than the chocolate ones I made last week. I wonder if it's because they're also non-dairy. Maybe if I add the 3 Tbsp of cream cheese that the other ones had, they'd be a little moister. Plus, I had issues with my cookie gun near the end; I couldn't get the one end off to switch plates, and the dough just wasn't wanting to come out of the gun.

Matt and I didn't want to make a turkey for just the two of us, so instead, I got one of the corned beef briskets out of the freezer, and made the brisket with onion sauce. Boiled the meat for three hours, then finished it in a 400-degree oven for half an hour. Browned two tablespoons sugar in one tablespoon butter, then added one large sliced sweet onion. Covered, let sit until onion was soft, stirring occasionally. Then I added 1 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in water, 1 cup of the broth from boiling the meat, a tablespoon of cider vinegar, and salt to taste. I let that sit and bubble while the meat finished. That onion sauce is wonderful. Matt was eating spoonfuls of it right out of the pan (better than eating globs of cookie dough out of the mixing bowl, which he was doing earlier).

The ham, egg, and smoked gouda tortilla sandwich came about because I realized it was close to two and I hadn't eaten anything yet.


Nov. 22nd, 2008 12:25 pm
sailorzeo: (busy)
I love cookies. Troublesome, given 1) my weight, and 2) my gluten-intolerance. That cuts down my cookie intake by a great deal, since store-bought gf cookies are _expensive,_ and I don't have a lot of time to bake. But today, I felt like baking. Living Without magazine has an article on cookies this month, and has a preview of two of the recipes up on their website ( I've made the dough for the sugar cookies, and it's in the fridge (side note, I was a little startled when a portion of vanilla bean fell out from the bottle of Penzey's Double-Strength Vanilla Extract ( I'm currently making chocolate spritz cookies, from the recipe found here: It's not gf, but I can substitute.

They're good. The flour blend I used was the same as in the sugar cookies (since I'd made the whole recipe, which was 6 cups, and only needed 2.5 for the sugar cookies), and added .5 tsp xanthan gum for binding. I also doubled the vanilla (vanilla I bought in Mexico last year on our cruise, since I used up the Penzey's in the sugar cookies). They're a little dry, but I've come to expect and enjoy the dry texture in gf baked goods. I'll be rolling out the sugar cookies later this afternoon (OMG it's 1 pm already, where did the day GO??), since last week I picked up a rolling cloth and pin cover...and cookie cutters. I picked up a set of 100 at Bed Bath and Beyond last weekend (when I got the spritz cookie press, the rolling cloth and pin cover, and a funnel cake kit). For years, I've just been using the round biscuit cutters to cut cookies and the like. Now I can have SHAPES!! They're open plastic, so no imprinted designs on the cookies, but all for the better, because this way, I can use them on biscuits, too. :-)
sailorzeo: (busy)
I received a package of Bob's Red Mill brown rice farina (hot cereal) from a friend the other week.  Here's a quick recipe I devised with it:

1 cup cereal
3 cups water
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter, diced or sliced
1 cup vanilla yogurt

Disregard instructions on farina package.  Mix cereal, water and salt in saucepan, bring to boil, stirring frequently with wisk.  After boiling, reduce heat, simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently with wisk.

Turn heat off.  Add butter, stir until melted and combined.  Add yogurt, stir.  Serve.

Now, we had it as a side dish with some barbecue ham, but I also had it the next morning, reheated in a skillet to dry it out some, and it was pretty tasty.  It has the consistancy of grits or cream of wheat, and I guess you could alter it to be either sweet or savory (change the yogurt to plain, add cheese or onion to make it savory), or add fruit to it for something more dessert-like, but we enjoyed it.
sailorzeo: (busy)

I had to make one to make the other...
both are modified slightly from the original recipe due to on-hands and circumstances.

Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix
1 cup white rice flour
1 Cup sweet rice flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1 tsp xanthan gum

Mix well; use in place of AP wheat flour. (I just combined in a big zip bag; 
mixing container and storage container in one! I probably should have sifted, though, now that I think about it)

Andrea's Somewhat-Healthy Bars (originally found here, my commentary in italics)
2 cups oatmeal
1 cup flour
3/4 cup sweetened coconut
1.5 cups dried fruit (I used cranberries)

1/3 cup honey
1 stick butter

2 tbsp warm water
1 tbsp baking soda

1 cup yogurt  (I used low-fat lemon)

Preheat oven to 350°F
Combine first four ingredients
Melt butter and honey together in large bowl, not a 1 cup pyrex measuring cup
Add baking soda to water
Add baking soda mixture to butter mixture

Stand back because the whole mass froths and bubbles over!! 

Add baking soda butter mixture to dry ingredients, mix well

Refrigerate mixture for 30-45-60 minutes while you run to the store because someone ate the last yogurt.

Add yogurt, mix well
Pour into a 9"X14" baking dish.  Or a 9" round cake tin because you can't find your normal baking dish.
Sprinkle top with coconut, and/or chopped nuts if you have them (I don't)
Bake for 30 minutes, check.  Mine still looked a little soft in the center, so I turned off the oven and let it sit in 
there while the oven cooled

So I won't know for sure how they turned out for a while yet, but they certainly look and smell good.

Mmm good

Jul. 29th, 2006 03:50 pm
sailorzeo: (busy)
I made cinnamon swirl bread yesterday/this morning, from scratch, in order to make cinnamon swirl french toast this morning (also from scratch, using Alton Brown's recipe). Both the bread and the resultant toast turned out as hits.

See, the reason I went to the trouble was because Matt was helping Chris and Laura move today. So, we invited Chris, Laura, and Jamie (mutual friend who is ALSO moving!) over for breakfast/lunch after Matt and Chris picked up the van from University Ford. This was also sort of my wedding present to Chris and Laura (the van rental being Matt's). Good, homemade breakfast.

I still have half a loaf of bread and three pieces of toast left over. Have to wrap them all up tightly. Matt and I might have the toast for breakfast tomorrow.

Side note, is it just my stupid firewall, or is the Yahoo! Avatar not showing up on my main page? I followed the directions....

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