Saturday, March 9, 2013

somewhere between asia and the south

i feel so much relief still about getting into grad school. i know this is the easy part, but man oh man. partly due to this, and perhaps partly due to hormones, i have been trying to balance our typical healthy meals with a little comfort food.

like biscuits and gravy. (simply use rice flour to thicken your typical milk gravy roux and bob's red mill biscuit mix.)

lord, but those were some fine biscuits. i can't wait to make them again. and again. and again. i'm just saying, when a gluten free girls hits on a delicious gluten free product - we all know it's on like donkey kong.

and crispy brown rice pancakes. these aren't naughty...but topping them with spicy mayo is a little naughty! (mayo mixed with sriracha!)

i've really been enjoying them with green onions, but we changed it up one day to really make an asian sounding dish quite a bit more southern. nearly biscuits and gravy southern.

crispy brown rice pancake with leftover pulled pork, spicy mayo, and pickled onions! y'all, this made my accent thicker just eating it. in case you're wondering, pickled onions are simple. simply chop up a couple onions, and put them in a container with some salt and sugar, then cover in white vinegar, with a splash of apple cider vinegar and store in the fridge. this time, i used four whole onions and about two tablespoons salt with about three tablespoons sugar. i'll be able to just add more onions (and cucumbers!) to the brine for months for easy refrigerator pickles.

i tried balancing with some super healthy greek yogurt.
and some dolmas from a local healthy, farm to store market nearby.
what are dolmas, you ask? simply a middle eastern savory snack or appetizer of grape leaves stuffed with rice, lemon, and lots of herbs such as parsley and mint, then drizzled generously in fruity olive oil. it's always served cold, and it is fabulous.
our local afghani restaurant serves them (like many others do) with a minty yogurt dipping sauce.

i also had some strawberries with a little sugar (those suckers are tart) and a little cream. there's that southern thing coming out again. i may or may not have eaten a few bites with a shortbread cookie or two...

apparently, i did.

i haven't posted skyler's lunches lately because, well, i forgot. but i remembered today! and it was a good one too.
clockwise from carrots: carrots; broccoli with cheese sauce (recipe adapted from Iowa Girl Eats); strawberry greek yogurt; whole wheat raspberry fig bar; leftover pulled pork; and freeze-dried cinnamon apple snacks.

that cheese sauce was so delicious! it was also super simple to adapt to make gluten free:
2 tbls butter
2 tbls sweet rice flour (mochiko)
1 cup milk
1.5 cup freshly shredded cheddar cheese

whisk together butter and flour over medium heat in a saucepan until smooth. add half of the milk, mix to combine well, then add the other half. once milk is heated through, add cheese and stir to combine and melt. if it looks too thick, add a splash more milk. i seasoned mine with a touch of salt, and used extra sharp cheddar.

this simple gluten free cheese sauce recipe came together in a snap and was really delicious. it's also easily adaptable - how about pepper jack and monterrey jack to pour into a chicken taco?!

it's even easier than gluten free milk and sausage gravy and gluten free biscuits! (and that was very simple.)

here's a picture of our two cats really showing true love
come on. bro-bros showing real kitty love. they napped like this for about an hour until i tossed them off to get to my quilt. my toes were cold!

and lastly, let us pay our respects to olga, who has served me well.
i bought olga second hand from somebody in nebraska that a friend found for me on craigslist. olga and i made many, many loaves of gluten-filled breads, cakes, and cookies. then she valiantly made the switch with me to gluten free. she had a bit of an accident that first winter we switched to gluten free. we went to make tamales with the family, and someone who just didn't quite get it, filled her up to the brim with masa dough (super thick) and turned her on much higher than she should have been. since then, olga had a bit of a wobble in her rear end, and i've been wary of using her for thick doughs and sticky gluten free batters. she just doesn't have the motor power or stability anymore for the ultra thick and sticky world of gluten free. olga found a new home with someone who always wanted a kitchenaid stand mixer and who also isn't an avid baker. she only wants to use olga for things like soft mashed potatoes and simple gluten filled boxed cake mixes. olga will do well in her new home. we all won. olga won't be traumatized any longer by painful gluten free batters, her new home has a long awaited mixer for only a fraction of the price of one new, and i get to upgrade to olga the second.

and i get to put a 20% off coupon and the money from olga towards olga the second. she's already been ordered and you will be seeing her soon. she is a beauty.

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