Yesterday, I stepped outside and got a whiff of orange blossoms. It was bellowing from our three legged dog of an orange tree. I immediately wanted to snarf up the sweet aroma. This is the best I could come up with. And I'm mightly pleased with them.
Orange Spice Muffins
Dry ingredients: 1 1/2 cups of buckwheat flour (or wheat if you can, or blend of your choice) 1 cup organic sugar 1 tsp aluminum free baking soda 1 1/2 tblspns ground cinnamon 2 tsps ground ginger 1/4 tsp sea salt
Wet Ingredients: 1/2 cup hemp milk (or milk of your choice) 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice 1/2 cup olive oil 1/2 tsp orange zest
Mix dry ingredients well. Add wet ingredients and mix just until combined, don't over mix. Pour into muffin pan (I used paper liners) and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
To make them a little extra special, I made a glaze with fresh squeezed orange juice, powdered sugar, and a pinch of cinnamon. Oops, now they're cupcakes!
It has been a while since I've been in the mood for salmon. Weird, I know. To get back into the groove, I tried something new. Instead of roasting, grilling, or pan frying, I marinaded heavily and let it cook for a long time at a very low temp. The result was exactly what I wanted.
First, you want to pull your salmon out of the fridge and give it 20 minutes or so on the counter where it can get to room temperature. This is true of almost all meats, cold meat thrown into a hot oven equals uneven cooking.
Marinade: 1/2 cup olive oil juice of one large lemon (I threw the pulp in, too) 1 tsp minced garlic minced basil (or herb of your choice) salt and pepper
Those are not scientific measurements or ingredients. Use salad dressing if you don't want to go through the trouble. But, throwing those ingredients in a jar and giving it a few shakes really only takes a few minutes and the fresh flavors are well worth the time. It's cheap, too.
Arrange the salmon (wild alaskan, it's affordable at TJs) in a glass dish, leaving space between the pieces, and cover them with the marinade. Once it's close to room temp you can throw it into a preheated 275 degree oven. Allow it to cook for about 15 minutes and then check it, it may need another 5. It will look slightly less done than your usual recipe but it will flake nicely and you'll know it's ready. If you're unsure and want to let it go for even another 5 minutes, that's fine, it's in it's juices and is pretty foolproof.
We had a borderline rainy day with spurts of sun to run and splash around in. We baked muffins and gorged ourselves so when dinner came along we weren't especially starving. Whipped up some guacamole to throw on our simple dinner. Jack ATE THE SALMON and dipped chips in his "dip" while playing games on nick jr. He's getting good and adventurous with food. Well, for him anyway.
Having allergies means I have to be super duper careful, like a mystery detective.
So, I don't push my book in your direction all that much. That would be annoying. But, I do keep that little amazon.com thingy on my side bar. You or someone you know may be in need of a social story type children's book for a child with food allergies (or dietary limitations, like GFCF) and if not, no pressure. It's not like Amazon tells me WHO ordered the book (or DON'T they?? HA).
OMG GET THIS...I picked up Drew from school and his teacher told me that on Fridays they have an assistant teacher. So, at snack time, she went around and put cheeze-its in front of everyone (including Drew because she didn't know not to). Then, Drew said, "NO NO NO, I can't have these, they will make my tummy hurt!." And, waited for the snack that I had actually sent in. I CANNOT BELIEVE IT!
I asked him about it on the way home and he said, "I can't eat cheeze-its because they will make my tummy hurt and I'll have to go to the hospital and I can't go to the park." That's from your book! So, THANK YOU! A job well done. Feel free to put some sort of testimonial like that on your page.
The look on my face, while reading that, would have you convinced that rainbows and unicorns were jumping from my screen. But no, it was better than that. A three year old boy advocated for himself. Some things come full circle, I got a taste of that magic today.
Hey, Drew, cheez-its suck anyway. I'm sure whatever your mommy packed for you, was WAY BETTER. Great detective work, little buddy. Jack (and his mama) are SUPER DUPER proud of you!
If that isn't the most mouth-watering bite of home roasted goodness you've ever seen then, quite frankly, I don't know how to please you people. Jokes aside, these were especially good. If you're into that kind of thing.
I just took a bundle of organic beets, peeled them, rough chopped them, and smothered them with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt. Then I roasted them. I think I've explained that no-brainer process enough times.
Lastly, I crumbled some quality bleu cheese on top. Then my two year old and I fought over them. We pee purple, tonight!
If you've been paying attention around here, you know that I quit my roasted bean habit around the holidays. You'll also remember that I took it like Hasselhoff (wow, I spelled that correctly on the first try), only it wasn't my addiction that had me eating cheeseburgers off the floor, it was a helluva flu bug. And cheeseburgers were not on the menu, all I could stomach was hot chocolate and hot and sour soup. I had a bumpy tongue sickness in kindergarten which limited my intake to orange (and orange only) jello for a full week. My dad and I lived with my grandma at the time, he never would have prepared dyed "food" for me, day after day. I wouldn't do it either, Dad. Sickness is a real food buzz kill.
I'm still, at the tail end of march, ON the wagon. Impressed? So. am. I. It's a treat to have a cup now and then, like once a month. And a relief to be freed of the dependency. Instead of scowling toward the kitchen and perching in the corner with my mug like a rabid squirrel with a nut, I can casually move through my morning. I'm not sure that it's realistic for the long haul, but it's what's working for me right now. I'm less (I said less, Justin, if you still read this blog HAHA) irritable. And that's a very good thing.
And yeah, so I've never been a tea person. I have tried, man I have TRIED. But, it just tastes TOO earthy and (insert annoying bitter lip smacking sounds) for me. But, listen to this, it's just evidence that you should never give up on a food/beverage after 30 years of trying to like it. Chamomile tea with a couple tablespoons (YES, THAT MUCH) of good honey is SO good. It's mild sweetness is perfect for my palate. The caffeine (and multitude of other chemicals) may be out of my blood, but my need for a warm mug to cuddle, is for life. It's a really good thing I'm so persistent.
So maybe I like tea, now! Sort of puts me in the mood for a tea party. Takers? I'll make cake. Am I getting boring? I really need my foot to heal up so I can get to work on my garden - I HATE being late.
First of all, THAT SUCKED. Surgery? I don't recommend it. Especially on the foot. And especially during the week of that damned freaky SUPER MOON. I mean, ouch. Stubbing a toe is nearly unbearable, that first night of recovery was a full fledged taste of hell. Next Sunday, I'm going to church.
I had constant waves of nausea and no appetite (sad!) even though I kicked the vicodin the morning after. I hate pain meds. Enough bitching, I finally have my sea legs back. And I have never been so happy to load a dishwasher.
I have an overwhelming craving for roasted beets topped with a good blue cheese. Expect photos of that as soon as I make it out to a market. My parents came over yesterday and brought food to cook dinner and entertained their grandchildren. Man, those kids love their grandparents. Made my heart (and stummy) very happy. I just remembered the leftovers in the fridge - woot.
So, I don't have much else to say other than HI, I'm alive! My kids survived (enjoyed even) several full days of preschool and daddy day care. AND, my husband is happier than anyone that I'm back on my feet. Oh, and it's raining BUCKETS right now, which really makes it that much easier to lay in my warm bed with my computer until preschool pick up time. Stay safe and dry out there t'day, San Diegans!
Cuz I'm gonna be feastin' on anti-inflammatories for the next few days... (((ACK ACK HEART ATTACK!!!)))
The secret to perfectly caramelized roasted veg is to roast them in a thin layer at a high temp (400), and flipping them around often. Coat even sized pieces of sweet potato in olive oil and salt, roast for about an hour, giving them a flip every fifteen minutes or so.
After an hour, add garlic (I used minced - if you use whole just add it about 15 minutes earlier) and herbs (I used poultry seasoning, cuz I'm original like that) and roast for another 10 to 15 minutes at a slightly lower temp. All this effort is for not if you burn your herbs, dudes.
The kitchen is smelling REALLY DELICIOUS right about now.
And voila! Fab side dish, burrito filling, midnight snack, breakfast, etc etc. Try it.
Pound the potato!
Finger-lickin'-good! (and get under those nails, wouldja?)
Part of me is freaking freaked about my surgery next week. Channeling that anxiety into preparedness is helping. Researching anti-inflammatory foods/healing remedies, thinking of books and movies I'll get to catch up on, focusing on how this may benefit us all. And dude, I'll get to wear shoes again...
I've been on a cold quinoa salad kick. High in protein and omegas, and the red quinoa is a great source of calcium. Also, it tastes REALLY GOOD. I cook mine in stock to add extra flavor, homemade (or a healing bone broth) is best obv. but I used a free range organic chicken broth from Trader J's this time.
While the quinoa cools you'll wanna chop your veggies, this is also a good time to throw fresh spinach into the quinoa if you'd like. I just used what I had on hand; tomatoes, cucumber, olives, artichoke hearts. Then I mixed the juice from a lemon, olive oil, and balsamic vin and added that into the quinoa.
If your house is anything like mine, this is about the time you'll catch a naked kid stealing your tomatoes.
Mix everything together and let it fully cool in the fridge (or not, it's certainly edible), top with an extra squeeze of lemon, some fresh herbs, avocado, whatever you've got. Yerm!
I've been attempting to prepare the boys for my surgery next week. Today they came home from preschool with first aid kits, they were learning to take care of their friends. Jack immediately had me lay down so he could get to work on my foot. And scold me.
Sorry about Harvey's lip-smacking.
Also playing doctor with Jack? A cutie-preschool-patootie. I was told today that when the kiddos were called in at playtime, Jack and (we'll call her) A were missing. They opened the doors to the castle playhouse and there were Jack and A...........A's hands were cupping Jack's face and she was layin' a big ole kiss on him. Guess now we know where Jack's been learning those moves. I asked Jack about the kiss and he says: "I don't like the big ones, only the small ones". Yeah, let's keep it that way, shall we!?
When I spotted the pile o' corned beef in Trader Joe's yesterday, I did a little Irish jig right there next to them and their cabbage counterparts. The TJ employees are some of my favorite peeps....and they're a quirky, Hawaiian shirt wearin' bunch, no disapprovin' eyes from them.
Peggy Bundy could make this dish, blindfolded. No recipe needed. Seriously, you can't do it arseways.
Dump carrots, potatoes, cabbage, and corned beef into a pot of water.
Allow to gently boil for an hour and a half or so.
Jack has recently decided that he can do everything himself. It. is. awesome. He has also decided that he is too big to use the potty, he must use the toilet. This morning he finished by declaring this:
Jack: (*flush*) It's going down to the city, to grow flowers.
I've been trying to eat WAY more raw food blah blah blah... The thing is, I feel OMGAMAZING when I put forth the effort. Really, it's not that much work (other than THE CHEWIN'). Feeling full a few times a day is key for me, and this grawnola (raw granola) totally accomplishes that. I intend to make it myself, just need to get my hands on a dehydrator. Can you think of a better summer "cooking" tool? In the meantime, here's what some other hippie genius thought up:
chew, chew, chew...chew
So, are you digging my new layout? Yes, you are. The beautiful and talented Sherrie, at Post + Taste helped me out with it. Be sure to read her Oscar Recap, hilarious. I'm getting back to my blog roots, yo. The address will be changing, so if you don't "follow" me or link through facebook, you can shoot me a message and I'll give it to ya! Enjoy your Friday, Spring is totally springing in So. Cal!
This month is NUTS around here! Fun stuff like my little brother's wedding (my boys in their first tuxedos, awwrr), a baby shower (NOT my brother's!), birthdays, etc.......but, there's a couple real bummers in there too. Like surgery on my foot. FUDGE. And dental appointments for the boys because I suspect a cavity on one of Harvey's teeth (darn him and his chocolate obsession) - double fudge. I'm doing my best to block out our impending allergist appointment next month. I'd like to just roll with it all. But this mama is overwhelmed.
And then there's the mental breakdown I had this morning. A real fun fest, let me tell you.
I'm on edge because after dropping the boys off at preschool I need to book it to the podiatrist to have a consult for my surgery (thinking about surgery makes me want to vomit - and that's me trying not to be dramatic). Justin leaves for work and I finish packing lunches and drag the boys upstairs so that they can hang out in my bedroom while I shower. I finish up and go to slide the shower door open and it's effing STUCK. So I jiggle, lift, and attempt to force the doors to slide but nope, they're hung up on each other and only liftable from the outside. NOT GOOD. I ask Jack to bring me the phone which he slips through the two inch opening and the boys start panicking a bit because I TOTALLY AM. I cry to Justin. He offers to call the neighbor but our doors are all locked so that ain't gonna work. He offers to come home but it would be 40 minutes and I need to get going. So I hang up the phone and use that adrenaline that allows mothers to pick up cars, to hoist myself (WET AND NAKED AND CRYING) over the entire shower door frame contraption and manage to drop down the other side without breaking my neck. I might have slightly pulled a hamstring.
I tell Jack and Harvey that they're my super heroes and Jack tells me "I forgot to get you a ladder!". I tell him he was AWESOME for getting me the phone and for not crying. I blow dry my hair, using the hot air and white noise to calm myself (worked like magic on Jack as an allergic colicky newborn) and watch my blood pressure lower via the GIANT BULGING VEIN in my forehead. Good. times.
I'm going to go now. I think I'll drink something alcoholic decaffeinated. And fight the urge to shave my head.