Sunday, January 27, 2008

Ruach Adonai

Here is the sculpture that I had in the show at the end of last semester. I said I would, but then I never did take or post pictures of it while it was in the gallery. Here is is on my living room floor (ignore the uncleanliness of the floor, it's a really old carpet, pre-dating us by a long shot), a detail of the bird- branch and a detail of the hebrew text that covers it (Genesis 1:1-3, and on the branches seven verses from the Old Testament of the Spirit of God). I'll even put up a professional-ish description. I had an offer to buy, but the girl recanted. I was sad, needless to say.

Title: Ruach Adonai (Spirit of God)
Medium: Stoneware, painted with acrylic
Date: September-October 2007
Artist: Beth Holdridge
Priced on Request

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Domestic Day...

Today consisted of cleaning, entertaining company (by company I mean Heidi and her little chinchilla friend, Henry), and cooking.
Meredith got up and cleaned the kitchen quite thoroughly -which was really good of her, it needed it. I slept in much later than I meant to, but then got up, tidied and dusted the living room, and then Heidi got here. Janice cleaned the carpet a little while later.

After Heidi left, They had dinner, then Brian decided he needed a nap, so we had a late dinner. I pan- seared some tilapia marinated in lemon juice, tahini, water, a little honey. Then I dredged it lightly in rice flour and seared it in a really hot pan. I then took the fish, set it on top of the brown rice that had finished cooking slightly before, covered it so that it would stay warm and made a sauce from the marinade. I stirred in the rest of the flour left from dredging- started with about 1/3 cup, ended with about 1/4 cup -along with some water, a little salt, and a bit of fruit juice, and poured it all into the still heating pan from the fish, stirring until thickened and uniform. I think that I had to add a little water so that it stayed saucy, and not pasty. It turned out really good though. I served it with brown rice (yum!) and oven roasted honey-glazed carrots.

For dessert, I baked some pears with ginger, and meredith got a mango and some sorbet, so we had baked pears, chilled mango, and strawberry sorbet, a very fruity end to a yummy meal.

And I was just craving raisinettes, so a made some with chocolate chips and the little bit of golden and regular raisins, and some dried cherries.

I heated the chocolate chips, stirred in a little coconut oil- to keep it smooth, and stirred in the raisins. Then I dropped one or a few raisins at a time onto a parchment paper, and stuck it (on a cookie sheet) in the freezer for twenty minutes or so until they set up. Then I picked them off and put them in the creamer of my tea set that I made last year.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


So today marked eleven months since Brian asked me the question "will you be mine?" :)

And, being that we are an awesome and creative couple, guess what we did....?

If you guessed "went to the eye doctor and got new glasses for Brian" you win a plush bunny. And by 'you win a plush bunny', I mean, I want one.

After we got out of the eye doctor's, we had a quick jaunt to Wegmans and purchased a delicious Lindt Creation 70% Orange gourmet chocolate bar, and a few ingredients for tacos. We came back and I made safe-for-me flour tortillas (made with rice, quinoa flour, and tapioca flour), and had healthy-ish tacos made with lean ground turkey, and even got light sour cream. Other toppings included avocado (too lazy and poor for guacamole), tomato, cheese for Brian (the sour cream was his too), lettuce, and salsa.

Before we went to the eye doctor, since we got there a half hour early, we popped over to the pet store that is down the plaza. Brian was sad that there were no scorpions, but we looked at the kitties and there was a really kute adolescent cat named Korea who I really wanted to take home. She was white with grey spots and really friendly. I always feel so depressed that I can't take them all (or any) home.

Recipe for allergen free tortillas:

2 cups of flour (I used 2/3 cup white rice flour, 1/3 cup brown rice flour, 1/3 cup quinoa flour, 2/3 cup tapioca flour, and 1 tsp xanthan gum)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp mild coconut oil, shortening, or lard (I used coconut oil)
2/3-1 cup warm water

Blend flour mixture, baking powder, and salt thoroughly

Add coconut oil (or shortening) and mix with fingers until shortening is crumbed through the flour mix evenly (or as evenly as you can get it.

Add 2/3 cup warm water, mix to combine, using mixer or hands. If using mixer, after the water density is uniform, see if the crumbs will knead into a dough. If it doesn't, add water, a little at a time, until it comes together.

Knead for a few minutes, then divide into "golf-balls" and set aside, covered with a damp towel or plastic so that they don't dry out.

Let sit for several minutes. (This is when I prepared the ingredients for the inside of the tacos- I put the meat on to cook, and prepped the other ingredients. I started rolling and frying right after I put the seasoning and water over the turkey to marinate.)

This is the method that I used to roll out the tortillas so that they wouldn't stick to the table or the rolling pin:
I taped a piece of parchment paper to the table, then after flattening a ball of dough a little with my hand, covered it with saran wrap and rolled it with the pin. I wasn't super careful about the shape- they have more character that way- and I also made them a little thinner than traditional, but they were still pliable (when warm, just like regular tortillas, when cold they cracked if bent).

Overall, we were very pleased!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Mini Pizza!

I made mini pizzas for dinner the other night and they were really really good. I had been craving pizza for a while, but hadn't had the time to make it (also I kept forgetting to buy tomatoes or sauce! Important!). I used the following recipe, originally posted with slight variations (I added a half tsp of xanthan gum because I didn't have the tsp of unflavored gelatin she had in the original recipe, also I used a mix of italian herbs in substitution of her tsp oregano) by a namesake Beth on her blog, "I Can Fly!"

As she said, the crust turns out delightfully chewy and crispy, though for the mini pizzas next time I might decrease the cooking temperature to 375, because they seemed a little underdone, but the bottoms were on the verge of being more than just toasted when I took them out.

2/3 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
2-1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
a few shakes of italian herbs
2/3 cup warm water
1 tbsp yeast
small squirt of honey
1 tsp oil
1 tsp cider vinegar
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 425.
Whisk together dry ingredients (except yeast).
Dissolve yeast in warm water, whisk in honey, oil, and vinegar.
Blend together and beat with mixer (using bread hooks) for three or four minutes.
Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray (or pizza pan if you are doing full-sized).
Divide dough evenly into as many little pizzas as you want to make. (I made five 4-5" pizzas)
spray hands with cooking spray, pull or press out little blobs into disks, leaving edges a little higher for the crust.
Pre-bake for ten minutes.
Remove from oven, top with sauce and pepperoni, as well as any other toppings your little heart desires.
Return to oven for ten-fifteen minutes, or until edges are browned (more like 20-25 minutes for a full sized pizza).
Enjoy! (But let rest for a few minutes so that you don't burn your mouth!)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I made cookies the other day.

I made oatmeal cookies for Stephanie (who was visiting this week! Yay!) and my darling, and chewy quinoa cookies for me. :) The wheat free version I made for myself turned out delightful, and two days later they are still soft, even though I had them on a plate on my table covered (not as tight as would be ideal) with plastic wrap. They are now, as of a few hours ago residing in a bag in the freezer, because I found myself munching too freely. He he. But they turned out nice and soft, not as gooey as the oatmeal ones, but still very moist. They didn't brown as much on top as would have been ideally aesthetic, but I'm not that picky. The bottoms and edges browned nicely though (ignore the one to the back of the plate in the picture- it's not as burnt as it looks. My ancient campus apartment oven doesn't heat too evenly so it makes it difficult to bake extremely evenly).

For the quinoa cookies:
3/4 cup EITHER (half-shortening-hallf butter) OR 3/4 cup Coconut oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2-3/4 of a banana, mashed, plus two Tbsp potato or arrowroot starch
3/4 cup honey
1/3 cup milk (regular, rice, soy, whatever)
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
If using coconut oil- 1-2 tsp butter flavoring (optional)
2 cups Quinoa flakes
1 cup Quinoa flour
1 cup flour blend
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1-2 handfuls of raisins
3/4 to 1 cup chocolate chips (I like mini, and I use Enjoy Life! brand, which are about mini sized anyway, so it works out :) )

Cream together the margarine/shortening or oil with the sugar and honey.
Beat in banana, vanilla and butter flavoring, and add milk.
Mix together the flakes, flours, and other dry ingredients, add to wet mixture until combined.
Stir in raisins and/or chocolate chips, or nuts or other dried fruit, or whatever else you might want to put in the cookies. Butterscotch chips would be delightful I feel.

For Oatmeal cookies, keep everything the same, except in stead of the flakes and two flour measurements, use 3 cups Oats and 1 cup flour.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Pan-cake for dinner, and a picture-heavy update post...

So for dinner today I wanted something light and non-salty. I thought pancakes, but didn't want to spend time making up a whole batch of pancakes just for myself. Then I remembered this post and figured an easier way to have my pancake sooner with less sweat and mess. So I made up some buckwheat pancake mix (recipe to follow), poured it into my heated, lightly oiled skillet, sprinkled it with some allergen free chocolate chips and organic unsweetened coconut, and popped it in the 350 degree oven for fifteen minutes or so.

In the pancakes:
1 cup Buckwheat Flour
1-1/2 tsp Baking Powder
Three generous squirts Honey (2ish Tablespoons)
1/2 tsp Salt
2 Tbsp Arrowroot or Potato Starch (or egg substitute for one egg, or just one egg)
1 cup + a little extra warmed Rice Milk (or soy milk, or coconut milk, or milk milk)
2 Tbsp melted Coconut Oil (or butter or margarine or olive oil)

Whisk together dry ingredients, whisk in wet ingredients.

And it turned out delicious! It baked through nicely, the edges were just a little crispy... mmm. Topped it with a little drizzle of pure maple syrup. :) Excuse the blurry pictures, the lighting was much less than pristine in the apartment tonight. I ate about a third of it. My darling and I will probably eat the rest of it's whole-grain, low sugar goodness before our workout tomorrow (New semester starts, and we are going to start working out again, hopefully with our schedules, we will be able to stick with it better this time around. We both have MWF mornings free, so we are going to go then- 8:30 every morning baby!.)

As promised long ago, here are some pictures of my pretty new computer. :) I love it lots. I feel very blessed.

And now, here are some other fun food adventures of late:

What's more Christmasy than guacamole? It's red and green! Though this batch turned out more like a green salsa, because the avocados were much less than ripe.

One of the first nights that I was back at my parents' house for break I made dinner, and it turned out very pretty, and tasty. Fresh flatbread with home-made hummus (with roasted red peppers and sun-dried tomatoes) and shrimps in a tangy tahini based sauce with peas.

For Christmas presents I made little packages of biscotti (tiramisu flavored and cranberry-pistachio), brown sugar fudge, and handmade chocolate mint truffles.

I also made some cranberry-orange relish and had my first canning experience.

And, last but not least, my allergen-free pursuits: I made crackers (several different kinds, including plain, salted, poppyseed, and rosemary)...

and sugar cookies... These ones had just sugar on top, but I also made some fudge-y topping with almonds and coconut...

And I made chocolate-mint biscotti, and honey-almond biscotti, but didn't get pictures of it.