Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Gluten free, dairy free brownie for 2 or 3

Even before going gluten free myself, I would often look at classic baked goods recipes and think to myself, " I bet I could make that gluten free just by replacing the little bit of flour with more cocoa powder." Of course, anyone with any baking experience knows you can only go so far with that without the resulting baked good falling apart, even with eggs. But for a small item, made in a small container, you CAN get away with it! Here, after a bit of trial and error, is my microwave brownie for 3 ish, using no grains or flours!

In a microwavable ramekin with a capacity of about a cup, soften 3 TBL coconut oil. Stir in 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 3-4 TBL brown sugar, 1 egg, dash salt, and a few TBL chocolate chunks. Microwave at high for 1 minute, 10-20 seconds. Eat warm, and share with a friend !

Friday, September 30, 2011

Avocado Dressing plus bacon mayo

A quick and tasty dressing, suitable for almost everyone. It's vegan and free of grains, nuts, wacky vegetable oils that I know you're supposed to avoid on the Paleo diet but can't remember why*, and it's chock full of good fats...just the thing for dressing up greens!
Blend together;
2 small avocados
juice of 1 medium lime (or 2 TBL vinegar)
2-6 cloves garlic, depending on taste
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
dash salt


*( and after months of exclusively eating home made olive oil dressings, I no longer care. It just TASTES better)

Here's a nifty mod if you've looked at those jars of baconnaisse and decided it was too full of vile, unnatural ingredients to be worth it.

I used my fresh mayo recipe but replaced most of the olive oil with the fat rendered from a pound and a half of Hormel Natural Selections bacon. If you think bacon fat is gritty and gross, you REALLY need to get some uncured, naturally raised bacon and try it. The fat is nearly clear! This is so dang good, it must be wrong.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Preheat oven to 350

In bowl of stand mixer, cream:
1 stick room temperature butter
3/4 cup C&H brown sugar

When combined, add 2 jumbo eggs and a lug of vanilla.

When all is again combined, toss in
1 cup Bob's Red Mill white rice flour
1/2 cup Bob's flax meal
1 TBL organic cornstarch
dash salt

Process until well combined. Remove bowl and with large wooden spoon stir in:

1 cup Guittard 63% chocolate chips
1/4 cup Theo cacao nibs
1/4 walnut pieces

Use a small cookie scoop to scoop onto stainless cookie sheets, and bake for 12 minutes. This batch made 32 cookies, though I'm sure it would have made much more if my husband, best friend, daughter and myself had not been sampling the dough liberally. These taste quite a bit like your standard gluteny cookie and as always, the dough owns the final product.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Apple pancakes, inspired by Jamie Oliver.

My husband made Jamie's American Pancakes this morning, and I decided to have a go at primalizing them. I think I have a new favourite...these are way tastier than my standard pancakes, and hold together better too!
Stir together:
3 eggs
1 pear or apple, grated
1/2 cup flax meal
1/4 cup coconut flour
(I use Bob's Red Mill for both)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
2 TBL coconut milk (I use SoDelicious)

These pancakes need no sweetener or fat in the mix.

Heat a cast iron skillet to medium, and grease with butter or coconut oil. Drop by the mixing spoonful, making sure not to make your pancakes too big, and cook til golden and yummy (yada yada yada, I'm sure you know how to cook a pancake)

Serves as desired; I like real maple syrup, real butter, and some delicious coffee.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pretty Primal Cookies

They're a treat, but about as healthy as a treat gets without tasting like sawdust. Sweet but not too sweet, these are packed with nutrition!

Oven 350

Line a baking sheet with parchment.

Stir together in one bowl:
1 1/4 cup almond meal (Trader Joe's)
1/4 cup each shredded coconut and walnuts
1/2 cup each honey and dark chocolate chips
1/4 tsp each salt and baking soda
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Drop with cookie scoop onto parchment lined tray and bake anywhere from 11-17 minutes, depending on your oven. I added an optional zest of one orange to mine- really ups the flavour!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Dairy Free Nutella recipes, via ravelry

200-400 grams chocolate bars of your choice - I use 1/2 dark and 1/2 milk
(for dairy free use Lindt 99% chocolate or plain cocoa and sugar to taste.)
Walnut oil
200-400 grams ground hazelnuts or almonds - your choice

break up the chocolate into a pan (or glass container if using the microwave) and add about 1/4 cup walnut oil. slowly melt over low heat, stirring constantly (micro - med heat & stir every 30 seconds). Do not let ANY water get into the mixture. When the chocolate is melted, it should be a thick fluid - about the consistency of fluid honey or a tad thinner. If too thick, add a bit more oil. Amount of oil needed will vary on what kind of chocolate you use.

Stir in nuts until it makes a thick paste - about the same weight of nuts as chocolate. This will keep @ room temperature for several months. I know it will keep in a cool cellar for 8 months or more - because I hid a jar and forgot about it. The DH was thrilled when I found it!! Usually it doesn’t hang around that long. Europeans use it as a spread on bread for breakfast or snacks. this version also makes a fabulous filling for cakes, or ‘glue’ for pairs of cookies. It will stiffen up when cool, but should still be spreadable. If you find it’s not, warm briefly to use, and use more oil in the next batch.

Nut free, dairy free:
500 gram jar of spun honey (the spreadable kind, not runny-honey)
3-5 heaping tablespoons of dark (NOT Hershey’s) Cocoa

Warm the honey for just a very few seconds in the microwave. just enough to warm it so you can stir it - but not enough to melt it.

Carefully stir the cocoa powder into the honey. Stir until completely blended.

Why do you want to make these instead of buying Nutella? If you have food allergies, the answer may be obvious. But even if you don't modern Nutella isn't real food.
Also via Hillary: Nutella these days is: 13% hazelnuts, with the rest being hydrogenated vegetable fats and chocolate.
OK folks: I'm hungry now!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fresh Mayo!

Last night I made souffles, and with the leftover yolks I decided to make mayo. It is so very very good you won't believe it has the same name as that stuff you buy in a  jar.
Throw into the cup of your blender 3 egg yolks, 1 whole eggs, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp each paprika, Dijon mustard, and 1 TBL apple cider vinegar. Blend about 5 seconds. Slowly dribble in about a cup of olive oil (you can go with extra virgin or light, depending on how strong you like your olive taste) with the blade running. It should be very thick at this point! Slowly add 1 TBL FRESH squeezed lemon juice, and run the blender JUST til all the lemon juice and oil are incorporated.

Store in a clean jar. Make sure you label it if you have similar looking jars of stuff, like honey Dijon dressing:

If is seems thin at first, I promise it will set in the fridge:
Makes a lovely chicken salad!

A French Celebration

Yesterday was Bastille Day. I'm not French, but I DO love French Food, as well as the idea of overthrowing the upper classes. Which meant celebration!
You'd think a French feast would be incompatible with paleo eating, but it doesn't have to be, especially if you eat some butter. If not, simply substitute olive oil.
For the pork: slice an onion and about 4-6 cloves of garlic  and toss it in a large frying pan with a generous pat of butter. Cook on medium low for about 20 minutes until the onions turn golden brown. The layer on the top 4-6 boneless pork chops, then cover with a large handful of fresh sage, chiffonaded. Cover and let simmer about 45 minutes to an hour, depending upon the thickness of the chops.

My side dishes were garlicky broccoli and the roasted fennel from Everyday Paleo .

For dessert I made the raspberry souffles from Jacques Pepins Simple and Healthy Cooking  .

 I simplified it, omitting the sauce, and brought dessert to the table with three simple ingredients- egg whites, sugar, and fresh raspberries picked by the Gothling. Souffles are so ridiculously easy, unless you have some physical or philosophical reason not to eat eggs, they MUST be in you repertoire of mad kitchen skills. Just...make sure you don't put them in without enough room to expand.

 With my leftover egg yolks I made home made mayo- look for that post later today!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

What I'm eating, July 2011

I've been doing this semi paleo thing for about 3 1/2 months now.  There's a lot I've eliminated, a lot I haven't, and I've started loving new foods. I feel it's time for me to make some more changes.
First, I'll tell you about the new foods I've added: sweet potatoes and fennel. I always thought I hated sweet potatoes, but it turns out I hate mushy, sweetened, sweet potatoes. I love them with savory seasonings and roasted.
Fennel is delicious, roasted or pan fried with the green attached.
I've already given up all gluten grains and dairy at this point. At first I tried giving up all grains but without beans and rice I felt deprived. I'm finding now that I don't feel good after eating beans. I have resisted this for years, but I have to acknowledge that if something gives you that kind of gas, your body is saying not to eat it! They  taste much less good to me now. So I will for the most part be cutting out legumes. I may have occasional dal and I am making an exception for occasional soymilk. I make my coffee black at home, I no longer eat I don't think the occasional soy mocha is out of line.
I also plan to cut way back on white potatoes. They also don't taste very good to me any more. they're inflammatory, and since one of the things that got me exploring paleo was osteoarthritis is seems a good thing to cut way back on. Sweet potatoes are much less inflammatory.
I'm going to try to schedule fewer meals with rice or corn, but enjoy them when we do. The corn will have to be organic. So far I can say rice has had no ill effects on me and my favourite meals wouldn't be the same without it!
Baking? Don't get me started. You know I'll be doing gran free baking, and using cane sugar. I may try to use some honey in more things though.
So, if I'm looking to restrict things more, I'll want to find more food to love. What do you suggest?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Eating well in Astoria, OR

We just spent the past two days in Astoria, OR. In addition to seeing dear friends, climbing the Astoria column, and visiting the Astoria Column  , and visiting the Oregon Film Museum , I knew I would have to eat. This can be nerve wracking for anyone trying to hold to a particular way of eating; but for me it's more than that. I'm not "just paleo". There are foods I CAN'T eat in any quantity; I'm allergic to whey and peanuts and intolerant to dairy and wheat. The dairy has been a part of my life for a while but since the peanuts and wheat are new, I'm unused to navigating them outside my own home.
I'm happy to report nothing but good!
For lunch, both days we were there, we went to Cecil's. I can't find a link or review anywhere, but it's on the waterfront between 10th and 11th. Both times I got a Cecil's burger, no cheese, wrap style. The first day I got potato salad and the second side salad. The beef is DELICIOUS! The service is excellent but don't go if you're in a hurry to eat.
For our one supper, we went to Himani Indian Cuisine. You can find it at   (503) 325-8171
1044 Marine Drive
Astoria, OR 97103

Not only is is some of the best Indian food I have ever eaten, but they people there are something special. WE had been at Fort Stevens Park and gotten back to the hotel late- 8:40 PM. Spence at Cannery Pier Hotel asked them to hold a table for us, and they did. (My kids have declared Spence "The King of Astoria".) I had the Chicken Coconut Korma, hot. (Yes, you hardcore paleo folks, I did have the lovely basmati rice) . The eldest had Kedai lamb, and was pleasantly surprised to find he did like Indian food. The Girl  and our friend's son had the Himani chicken and Turbo had the Lamb Biryiani. The DM had his usual Indian restaurant fare, the grill plate.
For tea time, we went to Astoria Coffeehouse . The atmosphere was lovely, and my soy mocha was tasty and beautiful.
The gluten free, vegan brownie was one of the few things I had that failed to satisfy. It was crumbly, not moist, and lacked depth of chocolateyness. I am sure I could make a much better gluten free, vegan brownie myself.
Having been back home a day, I am thrilled that I have had no negative repercussions from anything I eat- including no weight gain! (OK, running up all 64 steps of the column barefoot, twice, might have helped).  It's not hard at all to have  primal trip to this beautiful Oregon coast town, and I hope it won't be too long until I have other places to review for you!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

How not to feel deprived at a birthday party!

Today is my youngest son Andrew's birthday- an occasion for pizza, cake, and ice cream! A time when someone with intolerance to wheat and dairy might feel deprived. But there's no need to!

Pizza- thanks to Everyday Paleo . I substituted 1/2 of the almond meal for flax meal. There's peppers, Hormel uncured pepperoni, spicy chicken  sausage from Trader Joe's, and BACON!

My best friend mentioned this would make great scones. I think if I replace the olive oil with butter, add some honey, and some chocolate chips (of course!) they will be awesome!

Chocolate Cake: I modified  the chocolate almond joy bars recipe from Elana's Pantry. To make the cake, mix together :
  • 4 eggs

  • ¾ cup coconut milk

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1/2  cup cane sugar

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

  • ½ cup  almond flour

  • ½ cup coconut flour

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 4 oz 72% Trader Joe's Pound Plus bar

  • I made the little cake and 14 cupcakes, baked at 350 for 25 minutes.
    My dairy and wheat eating husband said it had a pleasingly complex flavour, and the BFF even suggested I make it for her next birthday, so we can all have the same dessert.
    (paleo/primal folks, DON'T ask about the frosting)

    That's mango sorbet from TJ's and So Delicious Raspberry Sorbet.
    How much do I love the raspberry sorbet?

    Last but not least, the obligatory birthday cake picture. That's the standard cake everyone else ate, that is much requested.

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011

    Coconut Flax bread- gluten, grain, nut and dairy free!

    When somebody who loves her baking, including her bread baking, goes gluten or grain  free, alternate baking is sure to go on quite a bit. I've had a few goes at grain free breads and loaves from recipes I've seen on the Internet and from books. I've been uniformly disappointed.
    My breads all had the same problems: dense, greasy, and with congealed fat at the bottom. Now I know I can never expect grain free breads to be something they're not. I have to accept never eating fluffy, yeasty bread again. But I knew it had to be possible to make something better.
    After talking to The Dungeon Master and thinking of the GF baked goods that HAVE worked, we came up with a few ideas. His suggestion was to try and replicate the
    fluffiness and rise from gluten + yeast by whipping my eggs whites into peaks. I also thought of the congealed fatty layer and the greasiness of my breads, and remembered that the GF baked product that I ( and my gluten eating family) have been happiest was Elana's Pantry's Chocolate Almond Joy Bars - which have no butter or oil. I decided to use that as my base. I replaced the almond flour with flax meal, for two reasons: flax binds better than any grain free "flour" I have come across, and I want something up my sleeve for when  bake for nut-allergic people.

    Preheat oven to 350. Grease a loaf pan with coconut oil and line the bottom with parchment paper, leaving "handles" so you can us it to pull the bread out. Separate 4 eggs, putting the whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and the yolks in a mid size mixing bowl. Start whipping the white- you will stop when soft peaks form. Meanwhile, in the same bowl as the yolks, mix 1/2 cup each coconut flour and flax meal, 1 TBL honey, 1 tsp each salt and baking powder, and 3/4 cup coconut milk. Carefully fold in the other ingredients, pour into bread pan. Bake 40-45 minutes.

    (See my clever parchment handles?)
    Toasted with some  cinnamon sugar.

    This is a very eggy bread- I think I will have to experiment with baking it in a cast iron skillet like a Dutch Baby. But for now- can you say, days of French Toast?

    Thursday, June 16, 2011

    What the Primal movement gets right, and why they still get it wrong.

    Earlier this year, I started exploring the paleo/primal lifestyle philosophies, due to a confluence of factors; my interest in evolutionary biology, rampant candida, and osteoarthritis is my hand that made it nearly impossible to knit. I'd had several friends have great results reducing inflammation by giving up grains and sugar, so it seemed worth trying. I read The Paleo Solution , I read The Primal Blueprint , I skimmed The Paleo Diet because at that point I didn't need to read the same information yet again. I didn't buy everything hook, line and sinker (I have never bought the low carb thing, especially if I am supposed to count them ) from an evolutionary perspective, it made a lot of sense. I  cut out cereal grains, I even tried eating my curries and stir fries without rices. I cut back on beans. I even cut out desserts for a while. I felt candida went away, and I had no hand pain within days. Knowing that the usual culprit is gluten, I added back in rice and beans ( though I do eat less than before). They don't cause me pain, so I decided I would eat them when I wish. I know  the primal community decries the "anti- nutrients" in beans and the brown rice I still prefer ( according to the primals if you're going to consume a grain, more refined is better) ; however, these foods are staples in my cooking repertoire and they don't make me feel ill, so they're staying.

    So first off, what's RIGHT with primal:

    Emphasis on real food:
    When you eat paleo or primal, your food choices are simple: meat (real meat; if you indulge in lunch meat get the uncured stuff) , vegetables, nuts, oils, and depending on whether you're on the low carb kick, fruit). Just the basics, and getting back to these basics is exactly what a lot of first world citizens need to do.

    Emphasis on food that is fed what it evolved to eat:
    If you're read The Omnivore's Dilemma , you know that grass fed beef is better for you than corn fed beef, which, in short, makes you fat. Getting people to think about what your meat eats can only be good.

    People are meant to eat meat :
    With all due respect to my veg*an friends, humans are meant to eat meat. Whether you believe in evolution, creationism, or a combination there of, our biology shows us to be omnivores.

    People are meant to eat fat :
    Our bodies need fat. Unless you have a condition that makes you physically ill from eating fat, avoid low fat diets like the plague.

    It makes it easier to give up grains :
    If you've read Fat Land , you know that corn makes you fat and gives you diabetes. And evidence is mounting all the time that indicates that the number of people with Celiac's or general gluten intolerance is much higher than we suspect. High enough to make gluten suspect. Paleo and primal show you what TO eat if you give up grains, instead of just saying "Don't eat!"

    So, what is the primal community doing wrong ? (And when I say wrong, I mean the internet communities much more than any of the above mentioned authors)

    Over thinking it :
    The beauty of the paleo/primal movement SHOULD be that you know what foods to eat, what foods to avoid, you eat when you're hungry and you stop when you're full (Wow, sounds like what ANY healthy eating plan should be! ) Yet you can't browse a primal forum without 75 % of the posts being about carb counts, macro nutrients, calories burned, etc. Why anyone would sign up for any way of eating that they felt required them to keep count of all that stuff is beyond me,

    Being judgemental toward seekers
    Nobody likes it in a church, and the same is true about eating plans. The best way to convince an interested person that all those primal people are a bunch of (grain free, sugar free ) fruitcakes is to tell people "NO NO NO YOU MUST DO THIS 100% PUT DOWN THE COOKIE OR DON'T BOTHER!"

    Bacon butter on pork rinds :
    In other words, eating tons of fat. This is crazy, goes against everything that makes sense, and would make my physically ill. I know I just said people need to eat fat; but telling people to try and get 70% of their calories from fat is irresponsible.

    Telling people to ignore the numbers
    For a group of people who seem so into number crunching, these folks get upset if someone posts poor cholesterol numbers. They will then tell those people why everything their doctor tells them about cholesterol is wrong, that high "bad" cholesterol is really GOOD, and the need to keep downing that fat. High cholesterol is not a reason to tell someone to go off primal, but it is a reason to tell them to rethink how they apply it. More veg, some fruit, less fatty meats. Pretty basic but telling people to do this would threaten the gospel of butter bacon.

    Being more primitive than thou:
    I got my fill of people who don't use soap or shampoo a decade ago on . If you're posting TO THE INTERNET, FROM A COMPUTER about how primally you live, get over yourself.

    In conclusion:
    I still mostly eat a paleo lifestyle, however; I'm not low carb, I still eat rice and beans and potatoes, and I still love me some sugary goodness now and again. So I probably can't call myself paleo or primal. Gluten free eater of real food might be just about right. I haven't given up on the community completely, they still have a lot to teach me and who knows, I may be able to teach them something.

    Saturday, June 11, 2011

    Chocolate Almond Souffles

    It's been challenging finding baking recipes since adopting a grain free lifestyle. Much of gluten free cooking using long lists of esoteric ingredients; most of the paleo baking recipes use artificial sweeteners ( which I think are THE DEVIL; I would rather live without sweets than let that poison into my body) , stevia, which tastes so much like nutrasweet to me that I cannot consider it natural. or expensive liquid sweeteners. So I turn to classic European recipes, many of which naturally don't use grains. Why dilute the intensity of your chocolate with all that flour, anyway? Sadly, scratching my souffle itch today was made more complicated by my lack of baking chocolate. After reading enough recipes to grok the chemistry of souffles, I put this one together. I made it alongside my fritatta and focaccia, so I had some interesting juggling to do! The best part is I got everything into the oven at the same time.

    In a small saucepan, bring 3/4 cup almonds, 1/2 cup milk, and 2 TBL sugar to the boil. Turn off heat and let cool.

    Puree in a food processor until it forms a paste.

    Butter and sugar 6 oven safe ramekins.

    In the bowl of a stand mixer , whip 4  egg white until the form stiff peaks ( I threw the yolks into my fritatta- 2 yolks replaces one whole egg. Add 1/3 cup sugar and whip until it's incorporated. Try not to eat the resulting crack.

     Fold in the almond paste, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, and touch vanilla.

    Divide evenly among ramekins.

    Bake at 400 for 12-15 minutes.

    These are a bit dry, so they do need a sauce. A quick ganache would be superb.

    Grain free Flax Focaccia

    Or as my daughter calls it, faux-caccia.
    In a small bowl, mix together 1/4 cup flax meal, 1 jumbo egg, 1/2 tsp baking soda, and 2 TBL extra virgin olive oil. Pour into a small cast iron skillet that has a generous glug of olive oil coating the bottom. Sprinkle the top with sea salt. Bake in 400 oven roughly 15 minutes, until firm and top is golden brown.

    I made the rest of the family a classic focaccia, using the recipe from Rustic EuropeanBreads from your BreadMachine .

    Tomato Basil Fritatta with Lemony Garbanzo Salad

    This is a protein rich meal what can be made with or without meat.

    Start with about 1 cup of dry garbanzos. Simmer for a few hours until they are tender but not mushy. Meanwhile, start the fritatta. Allow yourself about an hour. Slice a small onion, a small red pepper, and anywhere from 2-8 cloves garlic. Saute on low heat with extra virgin olive oil in a large cast iron skillet.

    Cook until the vegetables are soft, then you may optionally slice 2-3 hot Italian sausages. I used Isernio's pork sausage. Add the sausage, and continue cooking until they are cooked through.

    Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl whisk 6 jumbo eggs, 1 sliced tomato, and a handful of fresh picked basil, sliced thin. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

    Cook under low heat until the edges begin to set. Place, uncovered, in a 400 oven and bake until center is set.

    While the fritatta finishes in the oven, assemble the garbanzos: Drain, and place in a bowl. Drizzle generously with olive oil, then sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Toss in two sliced tomatoes, and another handful of thin sliced basil. Finish with the juice of one lemon.

    I served mine on a generous bed of baby lettuce, with the frittata and my flax foccacia.

    Friday, June 10, 2011

    Summer Fitness Friday 2- The TV Guide

    Popular wisdom tells us that watching TV makes us fat. It works two ways- it's a sedentary activity, and we love to eat crappy snacks in front of it. Today, I'll look at ways to bypass those dangers.

    Food; or, the revolution will be televised, and also available for streaming.

    Use your computer as a force for culinary good. Take advantage of streaming to set yourself up with some  delicious food porn to entertain you while you cook. I love to cook while streaming Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution , but really, any cooking show will do. If it's been a while since cooking excited you, then you need to watch Julie and Julia . The great thing about the Internet is that you can either go to Youtube to find someone making the exact recipe you're making, or watch a
    documentary , such as  Food, Inc.about the state of food that will inspire you to cook your own!

    Moving: It's only sedentary if you sit
    Just because you're watching TV doesn't mean you HAVE to sit. There's no rule. The TV viewing police are not going to come over and glue you to your couch. If you have a treadmill or one of those nifty bicycle wheel things, you can use your equipment while you watch. If not, keep some hand weights by your TV and do a few minutes lifting before you sit down to watch. Tell yourself if you lift until the credits are over, then you can sit down.

    Headology: Pick up that yarn!

    It's no surprise I'd say that, especially give that tomorrow is World Wide Knit in Public Day . It's really hard to eat and knit or crochet at the same time. This is especially true if you use nice yarn. Yellow Cheeze like powder may wash out of Red Heart Super Saver, but can you really risk it with that hand painted merino?

    Thursday, June 9, 2011

    Buttery Dijon Chicken with Garlic Broccoli and Orange Glazed Fennel

    Tonight's dinner- pure bliss!

    The chicken:Oven 350. Start with a whole chicken. If you're in the Pacific Northwest, I suggest Foster Farms or Draper Valley Farms . Skinning it or not is up to your personal preference : I skin mine. I'm also saving  the livers and other organs because I hope to make pate . In a cup, soften 1/2 stick on unsalted butter. Stir in about 1 1/2 TBL each Dijon Mustard and extra virgin olive oil.

    Crush about 6 cloves of garlic and stir in, along with a few dashes of sea salt:

    Stir it all up, and it should look like this:

    Slap your chicken into a baking dish, and brush with about half-ish of the sauce:

    Bake for 45 minutes, flip, brush with the other half of the sauce, bake another 45.
    Turn off the oven and let the chicken rest while you prepare the veg. Get out two large skillets (I use cats iron as much as possible) and put a generous lug of olive oil in each. For the first, chop about another 6 cloves of garlic and  the florets from 2 heads of broccoli.

    For the second, slice up a bulb of fennel, greenery and all. Throw it in the pan and pour over about 2 TBL fresh squeezed orange juice and a TSP of sugar or honey. (I used leftover orange glaze from Picard and Troi cake ) Fry them all up until your garlic is crispy and your fennel has caramelised.

    Carve your bird,

    And serve!

    This is the wine we served: Not my first pick for chicken, but I didn't plan ahead:

    Oh, and because I do have a cruel streak, contrary to popular belief: This is what happens when you google Picard Cake. (safe for kids and work)

    Tuesday, June 7, 2011

    A Day of Eating

    I thought from time to time I'd post a photo essay of a day's eating for me. I've included everything with calories, but not shown the press of French Roast and the cuppa Jasmine green tea.
     This is a very typical weekday for me.

    Breakfast : 1 jumbo egg scrambled with butter, red pepper, onion, and topped with 1/2 an avocado.

    Lunch- leftover hamburger patty and onion, with Trader Joe's organic baby spinach, some broccoli, the other 1/2 avocado, and home made balsamic vinaigrette.

    Treat, because I always have one : a little bit of honey mixed with almond butter and two squares of dark chocolate, chopped. Today the chocolate was Godiva because I'd gotten some in a Ravelry swap. I like quite a few varieties- many of TJs, Theo, Endangered Species , Equal Exchange , Divine and Ghirardhelli and Guitard. As much as I like to buy fair trade myself I won't turn down a decent, all natural dark chocolate anyone might want to give me (hint, hint, world!)

    Sipped on  about 1/2 of this Sea Breeze whilst making dinner. Been drinking the same one since Friday. Yes, I know how to nurse a drink! I'm not much of a drinker; I blame The Host for me craving one.

    Dinner- leftover steak the Dungeon Master had grilled a few days before, simmered with onions, mushrooms, and garlic, served with garlic broccoli and a green salad with carrots and the balsamic. You can cover your plate with food like this if most of it's produce.
    And that's it. Then we went for an hour long walk to wind down from the day hooray for nice weather!