Sunday, December 30, 2007

Crazy about marzipan.

See that Christmas tree over there -- the one with the bubba-licious-looking squares around it?

That's what happens when Lizzie gets bored.

It was created Christmas morning in a whirlwind of creativity inspired by the fact that everyone else in my family was reading or playing with their new gifts -- and not giving me attention.

I grabbed a can of marzipan, care of my wonderful bro-in-law, dropped in a bit of food coloring and molded the marzipan into a lazy-man's Christmas tree scene. The nonpareils on the tree and the coconut on the tart, that's care of my dear Mom -- only a former elementary school teacher could come up with such brilliance.

I should probably mention that my marzipan creation is sitting atop an impromptu gluten-free and dairy-free Christmas Chocolate Tart that I made Christmas morning because the gluten-free desserts that my aunt ordered weren't apparently going to make it on time. So, I simply molded a frozen pastry crust that I had made weeks prior into the tart pan, baked it for about fifteen minutes at 350 degrees and poured some Love and Bake Schmear Chocolate Filling (which can be found here into it. The texture was a bit-off, as the smear probably should have been thinned out bit prior to being used as filling, but that didn't stop me from taking a bite out of the tart before it was served -- which is what happens when I am left alone.

Coming soon: Sweet Potato Casserole and a Chinese Food New Year's Feast (all gluten-free, of course)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Photo Phriday

A tradition on my old blog -- photo phriday. Since this is primarily a food blog, I present a picture of a lunch recently served at my place. It includes: bacon-wrapped pork, mashed potato & leeks, squash, mini-cornbread muffins and spinach salad with pecans and cranberries.

Friday, December 21, 2007

An Introduction & Easy Fried Rice

Nicknamed The Good Eatah by my Grandmother at an early age -- I was always one to clean my plate and try new foods. Now, as an adult, I've learned I have to be picky about what I put into my body. I was diagnosed with a gluten (the protein found in wheat, barley & rye) and casein (the protein found in milk) intolerance. Unfortunately, my "intolerance" cannot be compared to most individuals lactose intolerance, for the results from ingesting gluten and casein are severe for me -- even if ingested in the smallest form.

My diagnosis was a relief; I finally found the culprit of my many maladies, but I had a mourning period for the food I would never (knowingly) eat again. I was in mourning more for the sheer convenience of the gluten-laiden food I once loved, and for the social aspects of being able to eat what everyone else was eating. I was not in mourning over the taste, I had done my research and knew that this was an opportunity to explore the many grains and foods I had only heard of.

I am in no way a trained chef or baker. The recipes I post may not use proper technique, but they will list what works for me -- a twenty-five-year-old with a full-time job, crazy dog Henry, and a love for making a mess in the kitchen.

I'll start with a simple, satisfying recipe: Easy Fried Rice

Chinese takeout is a thing of the past for me. All the restaurants around me cook with soy sauce made with wheat, so I decided to make my own.

1 tablespoon canola (or any mild-flavored) oil
1 rounded teaspoon minced garlic
1 rounded teaspoon minced fresh ginger
2 slices, chopped deli-cut ham (make sure it's GF -- I used Applegate Farms)
1/4 cup frozen peas
3/4 cup cold, cooked brown rice
One egg

Heat a medium-sized wok or frying pan over medium-high heat. Pour the oil into the pan and let it swish around in the pan a bit. Add the garlic and ginger and saute for one minute. Add the diced ham and let cook for at least three minutes, stirring, or until the ham has browned. Now add the peas.

Once the garlic, ginger, ham and peas have started to crisp and brown, add the rice. With a metal spatula, incorporate the rice into the mixture, letting the rice crisp a bit in the oil -- this will take a few minutes. Now, make a hole in the center of the pan and add the raw egg. Once the egg has started to firm, mix with the rest of the rice mixture evenly.

Serve immediately with a few dashes of tamari, wheat-free soy sauce.