Deep Breath

Remember that scene from Julie and Julia when Julie falls on the floor because she couldn’t stuff or turkey or something? She ended up laying on the floor and crying? I have been feeling a lot like that in the kitchen lately. Things have been off. Recently, I made pumpkin muffins (which I’ve made many times) and realized I put baking soda in them instead of baking powder. **Sorry, friends from the meal exchange.**

Well, today this happened: 

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I cracked the egg, and the top flew right off and shot across the counter. The entire contents of said egg fell into the hole of my cutting board. Jerk. 

I was preparing gluten-free bread to bake in the oven, which came out taller than I am with a gigantic freaking hole in the side. 

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Looked much better after it settled, but not sure what the slices are going to look like for beloved child’s cheese sammies. 

I made tomato bisque. I really need to pay attention when following a recipe. I was supposed to have been cooking rice to add to the soup (to later be blended by immersion–which reminds me of another kitchen tale where I’m standing and staring at the immersion blender willing it to just pop itself onto the attachment–one of my favorite kitchen gadgets), but had overlooked that little tidbit completely. 

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I also threw in some cheddar biscuits, for good measure. And a southwestern chopped salad. I am one of those people for whom cilantro tastes like I’m digging my eye teeth into a bar of Irish Spring, but I don’t care. I love salsa. I love cilantro lemon chickpea soup. I’ll eat it anyway. Let’s consider it a breath freshener, of sorts. 

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The dressing was high on cumin, but it was quite tasty. I smartly didn’t add the dressing to the whole salad, so now I have leftovers for lunch tomorrow; way to welcome a Monday. 

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I approve of this meal. The soup was delicious. I used almond milk, because I don’t drink regular milk anymore (except for the half and half I put in my tea/coffee). In March, it will be four years I’ve gone without caffeine. And recently, I was reading about how coffee is a significant source of cross-contamination for Celiacs. I have gone the whole day without tea or coffee. I love coffee. I have been drinking it since I was wee. I love the ritual, the smell, the taste. But honestly, it’s decaf (I know, not completely caffeine free). I don’t really need to spend the money. And if it will make me feel better to cut it out altogether, I’ll try it. So, today, I bought apple cider pods for the office Keurig; not normally something I would go for, but I’m going to try it. 

And I did a little of this: 

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I’m ready. 

Happy fall, everyone. 

 

 

Upping My Game

This dinner was absolutely delicious. And relatively easy.

When people tell me what a good [cook] I am, I sometimes think/say, “Well, the oven did all the work.” And that was basically true here, but it all came out so perfectly.

IMG_1174I started with olive oil and half a chopped onion. Soften the onion and add garlic and 2 cups of rice. Toast for 4 minutes. Add 4 cups chicken broth, and 1 cup of water. Stir. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 minutes. I’m certain vegetable broth would taste good, too. After, add 1 lb. of chopped asparagus. Stir. Bake 5 mins. more.

IMG_1175Finally, stir in the zest of a whole lemon and a cup of parsley.

IMG_1176Perfection, on the level of meeting Jill Goodacre in an ATM vestibule.

The rest of the meal consisted of three steaks cooked in the crock pot on low for 8 hours. I brushed each side with steak sauce and dijon mustard, and added a 1/4 cup of wine.

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The salad is roasted vegetables (onion, carrots, red and yellow peppers)–zucchini would have been tasty. I roasted them in a balsamic vinaigrette that I made in the food processor. I think I will probably roast all vegetables in that henceforth. I put the vegetables on spinach leaves and drizzled balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Dessert, the gluten free donuts I’ve made a million times. Thank goodness for leftovers.

What’s Cooking

There have been a few times lately where I’ve royally screwed up in the kitchen. My friends and I have decided that I need to write a cookbook called, “When You Eff Up the Original Recipe, Here’s How You Can Fix It,”…or something of that nature. 

Just a few weeks ago, I forgot to add the flour to the pumpkin muffins. Cooked pretty much a pumpkin pie in paper muffin cups. Took out the steaming hot pumpkin, added it to the flour, put it back in the oven. Mixed together the topping and saw that I was supposed to put the topping on the muffins before baking. Added topping. Baked muffins AGAIN. Somehow they were “a 10,” as my friend informed me. I made them a couple days later the correct way, alone in my kitchen. Nothing to distract me. 

Tonight, I was assembling the ingredients for bean soup and noticed that I had purchased a can of spicy chili beans that the recipe did not call for. This is why I hate groceries. I can never reach the top shelf, and as I’ve mentioned before I refuse to wear stilettos to Kroger. I usually luck out and some tall man (or woman) will come down the aisle and I can get them to reach the things I cannot. When my daughter was a baby, I would put her on my shoulders to reach the high shelves. She’s way too big for that now. 

Nevertheless, the soup turned out to be quite delicious. I started with a mirepoix (and garlic). Image

Then added the ham, beans, broth, thyme, and salt and pepper. I even got to use my immersion blender I haven’t used in years. I actually forgot how to attach it to the base. 

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I made a salad with romaine and homemade dressing (olive oil, mustard, OJ, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and red wine vinegar), and homemade gluten free croutons. YUM. I’m going to start putting those suckers on everything! 

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My child and her friend requested mashed potatoes, chicken, and edamame. No complaints there. And for dessert, caramel apples with peanuts. OMG Thrilling. Followed by 45 minutes of dishwashing. 

Totally worth it. 

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Nice spatula indentions, yes?

And the quote of the day came from my dear daughter, who on the way to the grocery said, “I’m wearing my pearls, mom; just like Julia [Child].” 

I’ve done good work here.