Thursday, February 28, 2008

Kissy moosen!

My mom sent me an email with nature photo awards by NG (I'm guessing National Geographic), and I thought I would share this picture of kissing moose with you (or moosen, as my friend Karen calls more than one moose). I mean, they are moose, and they're nose to nose. How sweet. Aw.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

So last night instead of doing work (or rather as lengthy break in between work, using the excuse that doing Cognitive Psych labs for more than a half hour would both kill my eyes and drive me crazy), I baked. My darling still has my camera, so pictures are to come soon.

First I made this bread, with a few variations in the flours (I didn't have any millet flour or flax seed meal, so I substituted with a little garbanzo bean flour, sorghum flour and a little quinoa). It turned out so soft and delicious, I very much look forward to munching on it this week. :) (Thanks to Natalie at Gluten Free Mommy.)

Then I made these really tasty ginger cookies They turned out a lot darker, I think because I used blackstrap They were a test run for trying to find a non-chocolate cookie to make for Stephanie's wedding. (Jacques' little sister is allergic to wheat too, so I'm making a platter of cookies that will be safe for us. I'm planning on making some of those chocolate almond cookies I posted before Valentine's day, along with some chocolate mint ones, and wanted one or two other cookies to go with.) (Thanks to Kate at Gluten Free Gobsmacked.)

Like I said, pictures will come soon.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Break, 1st anniversary, and dinner tonight

Break was nice. It was good to be home. My parents are pretty much amazing, and my Georgie is so cute (and ornery, but hey, he's a cat), I just love him. I also got to see Cherisse and my godson, who is so big! He just turned two, and is almost as big as a three year old. Sadly, the only pictures are on my cell phone, and I don't know how to get them off of it. Brian took my camera on the roadtrip he and the guys went on. They did stop by and visit me on the way back through, which was nice. They got stuck in traffic and weather though, so instead of getting to my house around nine, they got there around half past midnight. They still ate the cheesecake I made though. (I hate cheesecake, and am pretty sure that even if I liked it, it would make me sick.) Then they were on their way to rochester at about two. I could not convince them that it would have been a better idea to spend the night and leave in the morning, they "just wanted to get back" that night. Crazies. They did make it back safe and sound though, and I went back to campus Saturday to spend coveted time with my darling, as Sunday (yesterday) was our first anniversary!

We divided the celebrations of our first between Saturday and Sunday. Saturday we went out to dinner at the Macaroni Grill, a nicer restaurant in Henrietta. Not very hypoallergenic, but extremely tasty. I tossed my self control out for the night and we partook a lot of food that I really shouldn't eat. It didn't really make me too sick though, thankfully. I have been reintroducing, very slowly, some things, like dairy yogurt and popcorn, but this was my first big interaction with wheat and cheese. We split a calamari appetizer, which was good, but I don't know that I'd order it again for a while. Then I got lobster ravioli (the white wine sauce was very different from what we used to make at the restaurant, much cheesier), which was really good, and my darling got mushroom ravioli, and we sampled each other's plates, his was really good too. Then we got dessert. HOLY TASTY BATMAN! I realize that what I consumed was really terrible for me, but I do not regret it at all. Brian got tiramisu. It was really good. I got this cake that was better than any other restaurant dessert that I have ever had. It was a citrus cake, about three inches high, with a thick layer of lemon cream unlike any other cake topping that I've ever had. I'm pretty sure that it was whipped marscapone with sugar and citrus. Then, the cake was soaked in some sort of cream. It was so rich and tasty, wow. We shared those too, though I ate more of the citrus cake and he ate more of the tiramisu.

Yesterday, our actual anniversary, we didn't do a whole lot. We went to church and stayed for the luncheon after. Then we came back, went to our respective rooms, and napped. Later Brian came over and we just hung out until late in the evening. I had reading to do, and so I did that while we chilled, then we watched House. It was really a nice day.

Dinner today was very tasty too. I was inspired by Sally's post on salads. I had a coupon for Perdue "short cuts" chicken breast strips, so I got those when I went shopping (and, as usual, I checked the ingredients and I was surprised that it is guaranteed gluten-free! It does have traces of soy though. This was at least true of the honey-roasted variety that I got, I didn't read the other packages). I made a salad of Romaine, tomatoes, almonds, and the chicken, and topped it with a quick dressing I made from apple cider vinegar, honey, light olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper. That filled up half of my plate, and the other half held thinly sliced apple that a paired with a slice of Uniekaas Hollandse Chevre, a firm but creamy, slightly tangy goat cheese. It was really satisfying. It was really pretty too, sadly, Brian still has my camera, so I can't show you.

There are other updates that I was planning on giving, but I have mucho work to do, so it will have to wait until another day.


Saturday, February 16, 2008

Hello, goodbye

I love the Beatles. Sister and I were listening to them last night.

I'm going on break for a week and going home to visit the parental units. Pretty excited, it's been a while. I just love them. Hopefully I'll get to see Lona and the child too. Amanda will be home Sunday night through Tuesday, which should be fun too. And of course I'm most excited about seeing the first love of my life, George. Sadly, my current love (and first human one) has gone on a roadtrip with friends (well that's not sad, it's pretty swell) so I won't see him for a week (that's the sad part), but he might stop in on the way back because they will be taking the highway that swings past my house.

All this to say that postings will probably be few and far between. I might get one or two out, I'm uploading a few pictures now (maybe I will finally get those muffins posted), but my darling took my camera on the roadtrip, and I will be in the sparse land of dial-up, so even if I had my camera, uploading pictures to the internet would be near impossible.

Hope your week is grand!

<3 Beth

Friday, February 15, 2008

Valentine's Scones!

I made these scones for my darling and for my roomies for Valentine's morning! They turned out really wonderful, they were much sweeter than I expected them to be, so I might cut the sugar to 1/4 cup the next time I make them, which I definitely will. The original recipe can be found here, but I changed almost all of the ingredients to make them me-friendly.

*egg substitute equivalent to one egg
*1/3 cup rice milk
*1/4 cup orange cranberry relish (made this for Christmas, don't remember if I posted the recipe- basically a bag and a half of cranberries, pulp of four oranges (peel, remove membranes), processed and sweetened to taste (I used brown sugar), then cooked until just boiling so can be cold canned) [original recipe called for applesauce]
*2 Tablespoons coconut oil
*1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
*2 cups flour blend (I used 3/4 cup rice flour, 1/4 cup sorghum flour, 1/3 cup sweet rice flour, 2/3 cup tapioca flour)
*1 Tbsp baking powder
*1/2 tsp salt
*berry preserves
*sweet rice flour for dusting fingers

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Prepare egg substitute according to package directions. Whisk until frothy.
Whisk in milk, relish, coconut oil, and vanilla extract.
Whisk together dry ingredients, mix into wet ingredients.
Using a quarter cup measure, drop blobs of batter *at least three inches* apart on oiled cookie sheet. Dust fingers with sweet rice flour and pat the batter into heart shapes.
Press a small well in the center of each heart and spoon 1/2 teaspoon of berry preserves into each well.
Bake for 12 to fifteen minutes, or until browned on edges.
Gorge yourself on delicious scones! (But wait several minutes or you will scald your mouth on the hot preserves!)

Encouragement rant

I feel a great burden lately that this world we live in needs more encouragement. There is this huge undertone in our culture and attitudes that nothing is ever good enough, but if you aren't happy-smiley-cheerful then something must be terribly wrong with you and you need to go to the counseling center. And it's not permissible to encourage someone because someone might think that you are weird and beyond the fear of judgement there is a fear that goes along with that unexpressed undertone that says nothing is right that to encourage someone is to acknowledge that not everything is alright in itself is not right. So if you are reading this and feel burdened, or discouraged, or anything, know that you aren't alone and that someday, somehow it will be okay. And if you notice that someone might not be happy-joyous, give them a little word of encouragement.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Heart shaped deliciousness!

Happy day before Valentine's day! I love Valentine's day (my sister will adamantly disagree with her opinion that it is stupid). Not because of the over-commercialized romance factor, but simply because the heart motif is my favorite simple little pattern. I was so excited when chipping iced over snow off my car the other day and a piece broke off in the perfect shape of a heart. I put it on the sidewalk for others to look upon and feel loved. I love love. Not just the romantic kind (but I am excited that my darling is taking me on a fancy date tomorrow night to a nice Thai restaurant), but Agape love, God love, friend love, parent love, sibling love, aunt-niece love, godchild love, and any other kind. I will end my digression here.

Yesterday I was really craving chocolate, and then, in my checking of favorite blogs, I came across this really awsome looking recipe posted by Karina of Karina-s Kitchen for Mint Chocolate chip cookies. I didn't have any mint extract, but have been on an almond and/or amaretto kick lately and conveniently had some almond extract, so I used that instead. I also topped them with a little melted chocolate (with a little coconut oil stirred in to make it shiny and keep it a little soft and fudgey). Review: Awesome! Seriously, these cookies are so rich and light and chocolately and gooey that as much as I like to play with recipes, other than changing the flavor extract, I don't think I could ever feel okay with changing this recipe at all.

The previously mentioned muffin recipes are coming soon. Right now I have to go to class.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Foodie Blogroll, and other things

Hi there! Sorry it's been a while. I soon will post an entry on the muffins I made last week, a terrible dinner failure, some successes, and my plans for what I'm making for Valentines soon! Sorry it's been a while- life has been crazy again (the whole in college thing), on top of not feeling well still, and treacherous weather. I however have so far avoided the terrible bug that has been going around (it seems the whole world, or at least country), so it's mostly just the normal not feeling well (update on that coming soon too).

Just a little entry right now though to point out that I added the "Foodie Blogroll" to my page- it's over there on the right, below my profile. It's just a great little (okay, not so little) list of many many food blogs. Great resource for networking, getting idea, or just browsing. I thought it was neat. So take a look through if you so desire (warning- this can lead to a lot of time passing before you realize it!).

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Por Favor

I will post a food update soon, but for right now, I have a different kind of post.

I would like to put in a prayer request to the internet.

My friend Jacob's brother Tim has been in Guatemala doing relief work (I think with a long-term missions group), and they were working on a building of some sort when a gas line right where they were working blew up, sending Tim (and the other workers I'm guessing) flying backwards, and one of the walls of the building fell on him. He's in pretty bad shape, and in a pretty impoverished area, so the hospital where he is probably isn't the best. Prayers for him, the people with him, Jake, and their family would be greatly appreciated.