Muffins and Granola

Today I made muffins.  And granola.  

I made these muffins.  Only not mini.  Because I don’t have a mini muffin pan lying around.  You can do so much with a muffin pan, but I can’t think of as many things that I would want to make in a mini muffin pan.  Frivolous bakewear, in my humble opinion.  I digress.  These muffins.  They. Are. Amazing.  I’d recommend baking them for 20 minutes if you make them in a regular ol’ muffin pan.  You should get a dozen of them, and you can fill the cups pretty full-at least 3/4s.  They’re from the Gluten Free Goddess.  She’s got a pretty nice blog over there.  You should visit it after you make these muffins.  If you do it before, you’ll get distracted.  If you do it after, you’ll have muffins to eat while you browse.  Win-win, am I right?

Here’s a picture, because people like pictures, and I like taking them.Image

Now, onto the granola!  The recipe is from my most favorite blog ever: BigBANG Studio.  Her blog is so full of wit and whimsy that I nearly die from awesome every time I read it.  When I first found it, I spent days reading all her posts, back to the beginning of the blog.  That’s how much I love it.  So the granola.  She calls it Steve’s Best Damn Granola.  It’s A LOT of granola.  Beware!  And it’s really good, so that shouldn’t be a problem.  I left out the brown sugar. The maple syrup adds enough sweetness for me (even with my major sweet tooth). I added chia seeds…because I bought some randomly and hadn’t used them yet “so what better time to start than now?” I thought to myself.

I have a picture of that too.  Were you worried? 

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Look at all those little clustery bits of deliciousness.  And they’re ALL MINE!  But if you wanted some, it’s easy to make, and you could go do that.  Right now.  If you wanted.

Trader Joe’s

Where I’m from, there are Trader Joe’s stores all over the place.  Here, not so much.  There is one about 30-40 minutes away in Hadley, Mass.  I had a gift card burning a hole in my pocket, so we took a trip down there and I picked up more than a few things.  I bet they make a lot of money from gift cards.  I spent twice as much as I had on the card.  

I discovered that they have an organic beef jerky that is gluten free, for $5.  It’s really good.

They also sell huge bags of certified GF oats for about $3.00!

They sell Udi’s bread too ($4.99), and brown rice tortillas ($2.50, I think).  I hadn’t tried any GF tortillas yet, so yesterday I had a burrito for the first time in the almost three years I’ve been eating GF.  It was so awesome!  Of course, they’re not the same as a flour tortilla, and not as big as the ones I used to get, but they’re adequate.  They stay together pretty well as long as you don’t pack them too full.   

I picked up some blueberry vanilla chevre too.  Oh man.  It’s delicious.  I’ve eaten half of it already, just by itself.  Not on anything.  I’m trying to pace myself, but it’s not working too well.  Cheese is my biggest weakness.  

If you have a TJ’s near you, it’s definitely worth stopping in.  They have quite a selection of GF stuff.  

Gluten Free Almond Flour Pancakes from Nourishing Flourishing

As usual, I needed to feed myself this morning.  I keep hoping I’ll wake up and eating will no longer be a requirement.  Alas, today was not the day.  Chips and salsa didn’t go so well with my coffee, so it was on to plan B.  Except, I had no plan B.  

A recipe for “Sunday Morning (GF Almond Flour) Pancakes” arrived in my inbox yesterday, however, and I noticed that I miraculously had all the ingredients (or easy substitutes).  So, I decided to pretend that today is Sunday, because it’s my day off and it’s sunny and beautiful outside, so it may as well be Sunday.   

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Success!  They’re not just edible; they’re awesome!  I used maple syrup instead of agave nectar.  This is Vermont after all.  I think next time I’ll use a little less salt (I’m not a big salt fan). 

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Monday is looking pretty good right about now.

October, November, and December in Photos

This is good.

This is really good.  

Last night I made this simple tomato soup from Edible Existence.  

(As you can see, I’ve thrown in the towel with the whole nightshade-free business.)

I had to leave the house to pick up my dear boyfriend from school (oh the joys of sharing a car and living outside of town), so I sauteed the veggies, then dumped everything in the crock pot to heat.  I left it in there on high for about an hour.  Then, Instead of leaving it totally chunky, I used my brand spankin’ new immersion blender that I got for Christmas, and made it a little smoother.  Then I added some milk.  Just to spruce it up a tiny bit.  I put some shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream on top.  

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See?  It’s pretty.  And so tasty.  

Did I mention that it’s really easy?  And really budget friendly?  It doesn’t get much better than that.  I made a double batch so we’d be sure to have leftovers.  It’s a lot of soup, let me tell you.

Give it a try.  You’ll be impressed, I’m sure.  

Quinoa Topped with Chard, Pine Nuts, Roasted Garlic, and Parmesan

The Beginnings of Dinner


Chard season is over, at least where I am, but I snatched some up at the Farmer’s Market a couple weeks ago (the last of it?  Greenhouse grown?  I dunno.) to make this recipe one last time before I won’t be able to find anymore of the stuff.

The original recipe is here, from The Bitten Word.

My mom sent it to me after she made it for me when I was home this summer for a week, before heading off to Vermont. I am not a big fan of vegetables. I try, but I don’t succeed much. They’re just all too bitter for my supertaster sensibilities. I almost always detest wilted greens too, because of the texture. But this stuff? Oh man. It was delicious! That was the first time I’d eaten chard too! I was very surprised. Now it’s one of my favorite veggies!

This time around, I decided to roast a head of garlic instead of using the minced garlic the recipe calls for. I followed that hilarious guide, since I’d never roasted garlic before and didn’t want to mess it up (it’s easy).

I use a lot of pine nuts in this recipe. A lot. So…use as many as you like. If you love pine nuts, do like I do. If you don’t, use a little. Or none. It’s up to you. They make the dish for me, but to each their own.

Here’s the deal:
Put the garlic in the oven and I forget about it for about half an hour.
Throw some quinoa in the rice cooker. Maybe 1/2 a cup. Maybe more.
Go do something else for 10-15 minutes, like check your facebook, pet the cat, or clean something.
Come back and follow the recipe for cutting and cooking the chard.
Toast the pine nuts.
Use the basil if you want it. I use it if I have it, but if I don’t, it doesn’t bother me to leave it out. I don’t like basil much anyway.
By the time you’re done, your quinoa and garlic should be ready.
I spooned the garlic cloves out and mixed them in with the chard mixture, smashing them a bit as I went. You could serve them on top, or give each person their own garlic head on the side. Whatever you like.

Mmm...


Grate as much parmesan as you want, and sprinkle it on. We use a lot. We like cheese. What can I say?
Now eat it and be happy. :)

Tadaaaa!

Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash-Vegan, GF, and Nightshade Free

I’m eliminating nightshades from my diet for a little bit, to see if it helps with my joint pain/arthritis, as well as some digestive issues I’ve been having (which could be from too much dairy, but we’ll see).

Cooking gluten free, nightshade free, and vegetarian (because The Boyfriend doesn’t eat meat, and I avoid it most of the time) is kind of tricky, especially when you’re finicky like I am.

This sweet potato breakfast hash from Emily Levinson was a big hit with The Boyfriend, though. I’m sure it helps that he had worked and trained all day, then came home and dinner was already done and he didn’t have to do dishes. But still. He said it was REALLY good. I thought it was good too, but I wasn’t quite as excited as he was. I was really skeptical at first, because while I like sweet potatoes, I don’t like more than a few bites of them, most of the time. This is definitely worth eating again, though.

It’s vegan, gluten-free, and nightshade free. Well, mine wasn’t vegan, because I added ground beef to my bowl…but it’s vegan when left the way it is.

She posted it right as I started looking around online for recipes. How convenient! I’m so thankful. :)

I’ve been in a food rut. I’m feeling uninspired and…well…lazy. Having to think even more about what I’m going to eat and not being able to just grab things I have in the house because now they’re off limits, is forcing me to cook, even when I don’t want to. So far it’s been alright though. Two out of three dinner ideas I’ve tried have been great, and they’ve all been from her!

It will be interesting to see how the rest of the week goes….

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