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Showing posts from August, 2013

Cream of Sweet Pepper, Bacon, & Tomato

Cream of Sweet Pepper, Bacon, & Tomato

This is a delicious tomato soup. I love that it has big chunks of tomato and pepper. It is hearty enough not to beg for a grilled cheese beside it.

3-14 oz. cans petite-diced tomatoes 2 tbsp. gluten free flour ½ medium yellow onion, diced 3 cloves garlic, minced 6 mini sweet peppers, thinly sliced 6 strips of bacon, drained, finely chopped, and grease reserved 1 tsp. basil 1 tsp. oregano 1 tsp. black pepper 1 c. heavy cream salt to taste grated mozzarella cheese 

First cook the bacon, and set aside to drain. Leaving the bacon grease in the same medium sized pan, add the flour and cook the flour with the grease for about five minutes, stirring often. Add the peppers, onion, and garlic and cook for about five more minutes, remembering to stir. Add the tomatoes, basil oregano, and pepper and cook for fifteen more minutes over medium heat. Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the cream. Add the bacon after it has been finely chopped. Season…

My Favorite Martian...Understanding my son.

My Favorite Martian
My son was born with a cool little collection of birthmarks on the side of his ribcage. Their configuration somewhat resembles a constellation. When he first started making sounds, his little baby cooing sounds were unusual. They were heavy in consonants, mostly ones that are found near the end of the alphabet. He would say: “Qui…Quay…Quiah…Zeek…Zurb.” He made sounds like that, over and over again, as he would look at my husband and I as though he were speaking directly to us. We started to jokingly wonder if he was speaking in his native language. We speculated as to whether his collection of birthmarks was a map back to his home planet.
My son’s behavior has only gotten stranger over the years. It is not because he is abnormal by any stretch of the imagination. He is a typical boy, one hundred percent, which is sort of like an alien. I didn’t have any siblings, and until I had my son, I had never spent much time around little baby boys. He is ten now and maturi…

Chicken Taco Dip

Chicken Taco Dip

This is a delicious dip. It’s great for football season, and easy to make. The most time consuming task is shredding the boiled chicken.

4 large chicken breasts, boiled and shredded 1-8 oz. package cream cheese, softened 8 oz. co-jack or cheddar cheese, shredded 2 cans Rotel with green chilies 6 miniature sweet peppers, or one small red bell pepper, thinly sliced 1 medium yellow onion, diced 3 cloves garlic, minced ½ c. taco sauce 1 tbsp. taco seasoning 1 tsp. black pepper 1 tsp. coriander 1 tsp. cumin 2 cans refried beans 

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the refried beans. Spread the two cans of beans in the bottom of a large baking dish. Pour the chicken mixture on top of the beans and bake in the oven at three hundred fifty degrees for one hour. After it comes out of the oven you can top the dip with sour cream or guacamole, or add a little more shredded cheese. Enjoy!

Au Revoir...A goodbye to my grandmother.

Au Revoir
You left us yesterday. I was so happy for you because I knew how badly you wanted to go. I know that you have gone somewhere wonderful and left a part of yourself here to watch over all of us who loved you so. I couldn’t sort out my feeling to transform them into words yesterday. Today it seems a little more real though. I have cried and cried. I have consoled the kids and given them lots of hugs.
You helped make my childhood so wonderful. I remember Christmases when I was little and the piles and piles of boxes under your tree. You always let me eat as much ice cream as I wanted, and took me out to restaurants all of the time. You let me pick out whatever I wanted in the grocery store when I was staying with you…all kinds of things that mom would not let me pick out. You gave me experiences that most children do not get to have. Like riding on the four-wheeler or driving the golf cart at seven years old.
I love all of the ways that I am like you and can only hope to prove…

Iatrophobia… An abnormal or irrational fear of doctors or going to the doctor.

Iatrophobia…An abnormal or irrational fear of doctors or going to the doctor.
I am absolutely horrified of doctors. It’s my largest phobia. I honestly think that I am going to have to have my husband go with me to the next appointment I make, because I truly need the support. Normally, if I take my blood pressure at the pharmacy it is right where it should be. When I walk into a doctor or dentist’s office, it shoots through the roof. A very sweet hygienist once explained to me that it is a recognized condition. So I guess that I am not alone.
One of the earliest memories I have in the long line of incidents that have fed into my fear, is from when I was nine or ten years old. I was having some fillings done at my dentist, who my mom was crazy about at the time. He was training two dental students who were observing while he worked on me. I have super sensitive teeth and not very responsive to Novocain, so dental work is rough on me. I was under the influence of laughing gas while he d…

Ham and Mushroom Grilled Tortillas

Ham and Mushroom Grilled Tortillas 

This is another one of my non-grilled cheeses. It is a little sweet and very savory, and super delicious. If you serve it with a summer salad, it will make for a fantastic lunch.

small corn tortillas cooking oil swiss or mozzarella cheese 4 or 5 medium white mushrooms, sliced ½ medium yellow onion, sliced 3 cloves garlic, minced 4 oz. cooked ham, sliced 1 tbsp. unsalted butter 1 tsp. black pepper salt to taste

Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the mushroom, ham, onion, and garlic. Sauté for about ten minutes until the liquid is cooked out of the mixture and the ham and mushrooms are slightly browned. Remove from the heat and set aside. When it has cooled check the flavor and season with salt as needed.

In a small skillet over medium heat add a few drops of oil and a corn tortilla. Brown the tortilla on one side and then flip it and add a few pieces of the cheese. When the cheese is melted remove the tortilla to a cutting boa…

Hash Browns with Sausage Gravy

Hash Browns with Sausage Gravy

Biscuits and gravy are an old favorite of mine. I could make gluten free biscuits for this recipe, but I decided it would be fun to put the gravy over hash browns. I went for a hash brown patty because they get extra crispy when baked in the oven.

8-10 hash brown patties
1/2 stick butter ½ yellow onion, minced 3 cloves garlic, minced 4 oz. white mushrooms, diced (about five medium mushrooms) 1 lb. mild sausage meat 1 tsp. black pepper 1 tsp. salt 2 c. half and half

Cook the hash browns according to their instructions in the oven. I always coat each side in a little bit of butter to help crisp them up. In a large skillet cook the onion and garlic in the butter for about three minutes over medium heat before adding the mushrooms. Continue cooking for about three more minutes before adding the sausage. Cook the sausage, stirring frequently, until the sausage and the mushrooms have begun to brown. Add the half and half, the salt, and the pepper, and reduce…

Rebellion...A look at rebellious natures.

I am actually not talking about the kiddos here; I am talking about myself. Aurora is showing signs of having inherited it from me however. It is simply my first and most basically ingrained instinct. My rebellious nature has definitely contributed to making parts of my life much more difficult, especially in my childhood. I am not saying that I do not have to work hard to manage it, but it is a big part of who I am. It is a part that I am proud of.
I feel a little tingle of pride every time that I add the dry ingredients individually without combining them first. Shh…it seems to be a secret, but that step is completely unnecessary. I do read directions…well skim them at least, and then I figure out my own way to complete a task. I am terrified by authority figures; policemen, doctors, clergymen…even the people who work at the DMV. It’s strange too because, I am a relatively model citizen. I just do not want to be face to face with someone who is going to tell me what to do…

Indiana Green Beans

Indiana Green Beans

This is not a healthy recipe. If you are a Hoosier you already know that, because the word Indiana is in the title. It is a comfort food recipe, and it is rich and delicious. Take note that the plate I portioned is small.

1-32 oz. package frozen green beans (of course, you can use fresh) ½ medium yellow onion, diced 2 cloves garlic, minced 8 oz. cooked ham, cubed ¼ c. bacon grease 2 cans chicken broth 1 tsp. black pepper 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. saracha ½ c. heavy cream 4 boiled russet potatoes butter

Cook the diced ham in a large pot over medium heat with the bacon grease for three minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook for about three minutes more. Add in the rest of the ingredients except for the cream and cook for about thirty minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the broth is almost completely absorbed. Remove from the heat and add the heavy cream. Smash a boiled potato and serve the beans and sauce over the top. You can add a pat of butter. Yo…

Rough Week...When things get difficult all at once.

Rough Week
It is. This week is a little tricky for me. My grandmother is dying. She is ninety-two years old, and she has lived a long beautiful life. She is ready to go, and her body has given up. I am not so much upset with seeing her go, as the way that she is going. I think that she has been enduring a lot of pain that could have been prevented if our medical system were different. Even now, she is lying in a hospital bed, without any sort of life support. She is on morphine, but I wonder why we just can’t let her go without prolonging her pain. Yesterday there was a shift change and if my mother hadn’t been there to inform the nurse of my grandmother’s condition, she would have been suffering for several hours. I just can’t understand it.
At the same time, we have our twins’ tenth birthday party planned for this weekend. I don’t know when my husband and I are going to have to drop everything and get on a plane. I don’t know when to go shopping. I missed the garbage pick up this m…

Baked Pork with Goat Cheese & Pears

Baked Pork with Goat Cheese & Pears

I love pork and I have several favorite recipes. Unfortunately, no matter how tender the pork is, if it comes out of a pan on the stove, my husband does not want it. I just don’t think that he ate pork chops much as a kid. Anyways, I have discovered some methods of preparing pork in the crockpot and the oven. Here is a yummy one. 

1 lb. thinly sliced, boneless, pork loin chops 2 medium pears 4 oz. soft goat cheese three cloves garlic, finely chopped ½ tsp. salt ½ tsp. pepper ½ tsp. basil ½ stick butter, cut into slices ½ c. brandy

Beat out the pork slices with a meat tenderizer. The best way to do this is by placing them on a cutting board between two pieces of plastic wrap and gently pounding. Sprinkle a little water on the top sheet that you will be applying the tenderizer to. It will reduce friction and help prevent you from tearing the plastic.

When your pork slices are thin. Place about a teaspoon of goat cheese on each slice. Sprinkle wi…

Kindness...Setting an example for children.

It is one of the most important things in my life. It makes me happy when given or received, at any point that it passes between two beings. It is the simple acknowledgement that other people are here, on this planet, sharing this space with me, and that I wish them well. I seek kindness out, and it finds me continuously. Kindness is uncomplicated. Kindness can be a habit, so I am building it that way for my kids in their lives. I want for them to have it too.
Sometimes when I take a simple trip to the grocery store I come home lit up. The other day I had a conversation with the person who was checking me out. We started talking about gluten intolerance and the problems that she was having. I am pretty sure that I helped her out a lot. It makes me really happy. I remember each person that I encounter…even the person who smiles and waves when I stop for them at the crosswalk. These simple encounters, when noticed are powerful.
The most powerful thing about them is that my chi…

Corn Flake Onion Rings & Garlic Citrus Mayo

Corn Flake Onion Rings & Garlic Citrus Mayo

When you are gluten free there are a lot of things that you can’t have out in public. Luckily we can make them at home. When I made these today the kiddos inhaled them in less than an hour. Make the sauce first and let it chill in the fridge while you are frying the rings.

For the Sauce:
1 c. mayonnaise 2 scallions, thinly sliced 1 clove garlic, minced 1 tbsp. orange juice
Combine all of the ingredients well. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for an hour before serving.

For the Rings:
2 medium onions, sliced and rings separated 4 c. cooking oil 4 c. cornflakes ¼ c. gluten free flour 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. black pepper 1 tsp. garlic powder ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper 3 eggs 1 tsp. saracha ½ c. heavy cream

In a food processor or blender mix the cornflakes, flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne until fine. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. In another bowl beat the eggs with the cream and the saracha. Put the cooking oil in a large deep ski…

Sponge Bob...Thoughts on a study about the cartoon.

Sponge Bob
 My apologies if this comes out as a little bit of a rant. Recently, I was talking to another mother of young children. While we were talking, she was telling me about how she read a study that reported how children who watched  Sponge Bob were severely mentally affected by it. After reading about the study myself, I learned that specifically very young children, after watching the cartoon, have pointedly shorter attention spans and levels of patience. Additionally, the children who take a test after watching the show for fifteen minutes score significantly lower.
I am not intending to bully Sponge Bob here. I have never liked the cartoon. It is because of my own preferences though. I have never had the slightest interest in gross humor, and the cartoon embraces the disgusting. In the article that I read about the study, it explains that the test subjects were four-year-old children, so I smile and thank goodness that kept the kids away from Bob when they were really litt…

Gorgonzola Scalloped Potatoes

Gorgonzola Scalloped Potatoes

I’ve been making homey food for the past few days. I must be getting my inspiration from all the rain that we have been having. This is a delicious side dish, it would pair well with fried chicken or a nice steak.

6 medium russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced ½ medium yellow onion, minced 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 bunch fresh parsley, minced 2 tbsp. butter 2 tbsp. gluten free flour 1 ½ c. heavy cream 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. ground pepper 1-6 oz. package crumbled gorgonzola cheese 1 c. cottage cheese 3 scallions, thinly sliced

Put the sliced potatoes in a large baking dish and then top them with the onion, garlic, and parsley. Preheat the oven to three hundred and fifty degrees. Melt the butter in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture darkens in color and is smooth, about three to five minutes. Add the heavy cream, salt and pepper, and cook until the mixture is smooth, about five more min…

"Bad Dog Skruffy!" By: Joelle Mataluni, age 8.