im from texas (transplanted to california) and part of my heritage is the food! food is always associated with the south, and for good reason. its soul satisfying. over generations of mostly not having money and having plenty of limited resources, southern food has evolved into its own special cuisine. in my house, we called it poor people food. but that wasnt a derogatory term, you know? it was said with a sigh of contentment.
weve been making plans to go back to texas to visit for part of the beginning of december, and its getting me a bit nostalgic. my husband has met my family (of course) but we havent had the opportunity to spend time just hanging out at my parents house. im looking forward to it.
without further ado, the food! (influenced heavily by my roots, save for a restaurant.)
beans! oh lord, do i love pinto beans cooked in the crock pot. some beef stock, a few slices of bacon, seasoned salt, black pepper, an onion, gah-lic. thats pretty much it. we had it with lots of cilantro (a must) and fresh pico de gallo style salsa. also some gf bread i was experimenting with. it wasnt bad, but it could use some improvement. (a few slices of goat cheddar over there too.)
chili, made with whatever beans and juices were leftover in the crockpot. ground meat, water, chili powder, cumin, finely diced onion and bell pepper, a can of tomatoes, and a can of tomato paste, etc. i usually mix up a masa paste too, to thicken it up. just cornmeal and water to make a thick paste, then mix it in and let it cook for about another hour. mmm. i have no idea what else went in there, but it was basic stuff, and good. we like it with tortilla chips or sweet cornbread.
so apparently, while im supposed to avoid cow dairy for now (because of my healing gluten-poisoning), there are a few kinds that are pretty gentle on the intestines. for instance, the occasional yogurt, as long as it has live cultures. cool, i like yogurt sometimes. theres a brand, siggis, that ive been wanting to try for awhile. its icelandic style skyr, which turns out to be even thicker than greek yogurt. i finally found it one day and purchased one. it was on sale, but still pricey at 1.50 a serving. my thoughts? it was very thick, which i loved. (its 0% fat) its also quite tart, more so than greek yogurt. its very lightly sweetened and flavored, with agave syrup. i had the vanilla flavor. i actually loved the stuff, and would buy it again for an occasional treat. i did need to add honey to it, and had it with blueberries. (i wished for pumpkin butter though! yum!)
so i made pumpkin butter a few days later. its so easy to make. canned pumpkin, some sort of juice (i like orange juice, but used a splash of cranberry and applesauce this time), some brown sugar to taste, vanilla, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. thats it! just let it cook in a saucepan on real low until its darker and thick. i ate it fresh and hot on an udis gf bagel. (those bagels are so good, by the way, i adore them!) it SO hit the spot.
i had been wanting to eat at pf changs for awhile, but it never really worked out. my husband is 'meh' about it, and my father-in-law (who we often dine out with) doesnt care for it. so we usually choose somewhere that everyone likes. my husband took me this past weekend though as a fun little date at the mall. we walked around and chatted while we waited for a table, then got to it! pf changs is very allergen friendly, and our server was excellent. they have a deal going on where two people can share four courses for forty dollars. its quite a lot of food! a good price, and a good way to try lots of things. you each get a cup of soup, an appetizer to share, you each get an entree, and share a dessert. (or choose two little dessert 'shots')
the gluten free soup is egg drop, which i love. (i also love hot and sour soup, but its not gf!) it has excellent flavor, not bland at all.
we shared the gf appetizer option (thanks for bearing with me, honey!) which was gf chicken lettuce wraps. holy moly, no wonder these are the signature appetizer! they are so, so good. im definitely going to try to recreate them at home. i ate most of it by myself.
skyler, for his entree, got the mahi mahi (one of his favorite foods ever) over cilantro rice. no picture, but he said he really enjoyed it. i had the gf mongolian beef with green onions and brown rice. another bomb dish! it was SO rich and flavorful. the beef was plentiful and very tender, there was lots of sauce- which i like, because i like eating it on my rice. mmm. (i had leftovers the next morning for breakfast. no big deal.)
then, finally, instead of choosing the 'large' gf dessert, which is a flourless chocolate cake dome with some sort of raspberry sauce, we chose to each get a little dessert shot. skyler had raspberry cheesecake, and i had the only gf one- chocolate mousse. it was the perfect amount because it was so rich, but the flavor and texture was spot on!
all in all, pf changs was great! i cant wait to go back!
and, lastly, the picture of the silly dog that has made me laugh out loud countless times. its dumb, i cant lie, but it makes me smile.