Saturday, November 27, 2010

Post T-day hangovers anyone?

No, I don't have a hangover but if I did I think some greens would help, don't you?

Maybe I have a bit of a stuffing hangover though so I threw together this spinach fritatta for breakfast. So easy, chopped up some spinach, half an onion, a clove of garlic and some tomatoes- S&P of course! - in a bowl with a couple eggs (I used 4 cuz that was all I had). Grease a pie pan dump it in and bake for about 30 minutes at 350. *heart*
Still craving some greens I did this huge salad for lunch today. Red leaf lettuce, spinach, green onions, pear, tomato, and a can of tuna in olive oil with balsamic vinegar to dress it. The perfect antidote to the stuffing I keep snacking on!
The one thing we didn't have was dessert. I totally forgot until today when I was putting together my leftovers for dinner and thought how great a piece of pumpkin pie would be. I'm going to have to make sure that one shows up at Christmas!

What do you do after Thanksgiving to balance out again? or do you eat sensibly and don't need to?

Friday, November 26, 2010


Here's my beautiful Thanksgiving dinner. I made cranberry sauce from scratch!! And wild rice with onions and celery, mashed potatoes and stuffed squash from the glutenfreegoddess blog:
The wild rice took forever to wash! I was being ultra careful so I put it through a dozen bowls of water to make sure there was no sand left. How embarrassing would it be to have a dinner guest break a tooth? This picture was after bowl 8 ish, I actually lost count.

This was one of the nicest thanksgivings I've ever had. Of course that was after the screwdrivers, 2 kinds of wine, martinis and nog. We all get along great after a little hooch ;0)

So, what did you do for Thanksgiving?

P.S. nobody missed the turkey and I only have a couple meals worth of leftovers. Woo hoo!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Chocolate chip pancake hangover

This morning I got inspired to make pancakes so I got out the Bob's and tossed some chocolate chips in it and got cooking.

They didn't need syrup at all! They were so sweet and fluffy. Pure happiness.

Stay tuned for my Thanksgiving recap. Lots of yummy food ;0)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving and pomegranates

I found that pomegranates are not easy to eat. In fact, it takes to get the seeds out and then eating them is still no fun. Tastes great - lots of work.
I also got a persimmon. How do you eat a persimmon?!? Cute isn't it ;)
In other news, I have this whole week off. Forced PTO - not fair - blahdy blah - whiney whine whine. On the upside, I have a whole week off, including Thanksgiving. So I'll be cooking.
What are you cooking for t-day?
Since I can't have poultry anymore I plan to make stuffed acorn squash using Bob's Redmill cornbread ala Karina's:
We had this last Thanksgiving too, but with turkey. This year we will have wild rice instead. Mmm...wild rice is my favorite and my great uncle sent me some all the way from Minnesota which is way better than any you can get in Colorado!!
I'm really looking forward to it and over the next couple days all I need to do to prepare is get a couple acorn squash thanks to D2D bringing me all the other ingredients I need. :0)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Turban Squash!!

It totally looks like a turban...not! But it is really pretty. So, I didn't know how to cook it...exactly. I read that I could cut it open, scoop the seeds and bake it like any other squash, so I tried that.
Those seeds are soft and huge! That is a big soup spoon that I'm scooping them with.
What I learned:

1. Cut it in half, not just the top like a pumpkin. Why? Because the seeds are in every nook and cranny - it was impossible to get them all out through the top.
2. Plan a flavorful recipe. Although it is still yummy yummy squash, it is kind of bland and watery, like pumpkin.
3. Have plenty of people to eat it. I've been having some every day all week and there's still about half left!

In other news...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dreamy coconut milk

Picture me at the store, picking up my usual Almond Milk and I see this coconut milk next to it and think "OOOOH! Something new!" and had to pick it up. What a goofball!! It isn't any different than the coconut milk you can get in a can, that they've sold I'm such a sucker for marketing, apparently ;)
The bonus though is that it makes the BEST Hot cocoa and chai lattes in the world. Better than cow milk, way better than soy and not as strong as almond.
So here's what I got to make chai lattes - totally recommend trying it!
For hot chocolate, I mix a tablespoon (rounded!) each of cocoa powder & sugar in a mug then fill it with coconut milk and microwave it for 1 minute, stir, nuke 1 more minute, done! MMMM perfect for a cold winter night like tonight.
I other news, I was too tired to deal with dinner tonight so I came home and fried up an egg and toasted some Udi's sandwich bread in the same pan on the stove. I haven't had an egg sandwich in YEARS! Seriously, 6+ years, I can't even remember. So I wanted to document it for posterity here:
It didn't have cheese or butter and I kind of missed the cheese but Oh Boy! it was perfect for me tonight.
Now, I'm gearing up for Thanksgiving. I'm cooking of course, which is easy since it'll just be me and the 'rents. Only kids get it easy I guess. Luckily, I'll have all next week off (universally forced PTO - when will I ever get to take a vacation day when I want to?) so I can find all my ingredients and prepare (like cleaning the house...).
What are you making for T-day?
Are you going to be watching a game on TV?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What would you do?

Oh No!! I left my lunch at home today. My beautiful salad with craisins, arugula, green onions and balsamic. So, I'm a little stupid this afternoon and decided to blog.
What do you do when you leave your lunch at home and can't get out to find anything?
In my office, there is a snack machine.

It has absolutely nothing gluten free though.
Lately, my desk drawer stash has shrunk down and with our upcoming 10 day shut-down, I'm putting off restocking it. No need to feed the rats or bugs or whatever takes over the office while we aren't here.
I want my salad. and it's 3:30 so I'm challenging myself to go the hour and a half until I can run home to my food.
So what happens when I don't eat for hours and hours? First, I get grouchy. Then I get stupid. Like I can't talk or recall information that was once at the tip of my tongue.
Once that passes, I get a headache - which I have learned to soothe with lots of water. Finally, I'm just a little light headed but the pain has passed. Much like now, I'm not hungry per se, but I know I need to eat soon or I'm in serious danger of falling off my chair.
Add to that the 6:00 HOA meeting that I'm compelled to go to and I'm seriously considering trolling for change to buy a Coke!
Trolling, you ask? Yes. I don't carry cash just exactly so I'm not drawn in my the Coke machine.
The HFCS is so bad for me, besides being fattening it's been proven to cause so many health issues.
The other option is aspartame and that has been proven to cause brain problems.
And I have enough of those!!
Yet, every day I crave a Coke. Once in a very long while I know I have change from some random purchase and I'll give in and buy a pop. Then there's guilt. and the burping. So I stay away.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Purple Potatoes?!?!

How cool looking are these purple potatoes?

They were purple all the way through, not like red potatoes that are white inside, which totally surprised me!

I roasted them at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes with a dash of EVOO S&P and I was in potato heaven.
Have you ever had purple potatoes? Have you ever seen purple potatoes? I didn't know they existed until this week, so this was a totally fun Friday dinner to try.
This morning I woke up with a hankering for something spicy so I made breakfast tacos. Totally easy - you toast some tortillas, rip up some lettuce, scramble a couple eggs with salsa and viola!!
This was literally a 7 minute breakfast.
So, I have absolutely no plans this weekend, which is AWESOME! I mean, there aren't chores to do even. It seems like a perfect weekend for some shopping and girl's night out, no?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Simple Pumpkin for a Simple Girl

I had such high hopes for this pie pumpkin D2D brought me - seriously! I was going to bake a pumpkin pie. I have a gf crust mix and all I really needed was a good filling recipe. But, I never found it and pretty soon the endeavor was forgotten.
I found myself baking a carnival squash - so cute, so yummy - and out of the corner of my eye this petite pumpkin waved at me and said "eat me!". Ahem. So I cut off his top, dug out his guts and put him in the oven with the squash.
About an hour later, they were both done but I still didn't know what to do with the pumpkin. I tasted it, and it was bland and kind of watery. So, I wrapped it up and shoved it in the fridge until I could come up with something. 2 days later he waved at me again when I was peeking around for a snack and said..." me?"
Ok, fine. So I put a chunk in a bowl with a teeny pat of butter and some maple syrup - it was good! I paired it with a simple salad for lunch and there you go. How simple is that? I think there is more pumpkin in my future, no longer sequestered to Thanksgiving pies and random muffins, the pumpkin is going to make a come back as a veggie side dish I tell you!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Roasted Curried Cauliflower

Roasting roasting roasting!! Carrots and Cauliflowers. yummy
So, I got this huge head of cauliflower from D2D and didn't really know what to do with it, as I don't really dig Cauli. But, I found a recipe for curried roasted cauliflower in a cook book, I believe the new Skinny Bitch cookbook actually, and since I have this thing of curry powder that I don't really know how to use either I figured - why not?

It was a pretty simple recipe:
2 tsp curry powder
2 cloves garlic minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup oil
You stir it all up in a bowl, coat the cauli well and bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes. Can you stand it?!?

Gotta say, I like it! I ate a bunch right away and put the leftovers away.
My ENTIRE house smelled fantastic the first night but the second day of stale curry was not fantastic :(
So glad we had a warm-ish day so I could open the windows and air it out a bit. And don't forget the box of baking soda in the fridge, unless you like curry flavored everything!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Review: Gluten Free Pantry Bread

I made this in the bread maker and I'm going to give it a gold star!
It was super easy and came out soft and smelled so good while it was baking. Me and Fluffy were just drooling and running down stairs every 10 minutes to see if it was done yet (despite the timer which kept telling us exactly how many minutes were left!).
Once it was done and still really too hot, I sliced it open and as you can see it was divine!
I smeared it with peanut butter and honey and I gotta say - it's some heavy bread! I was STUFFED!
See, I've been planning to make Bob's bread mix for a few weeks now. I put it on the counter by the machine so that the next time I found myself in the kitchen with a few minutes to spare I could just drop in the ingredients and set it. One day, I was standing there and decided to start - but it calls for more egg whites than egg yolks, so I have to figure out what to do that will need extra yolks before I can try Bob's. See - at $4 a dozen for my organic cage free happy chicken eggs, I'm not wasting a yolk!!
BTW, the price is worth it - they taste better and I'm truly a believer in organics because my health has improved significantly since I went organic.
Back to the I was at the store and saw this Gluten Free Pantry brand on sale and looked at the directions - 2 eggs, 1.5 cups water, 4 Tbl butter. Ummm Yeah!! I can do that. And I did!
It was $5 and is about twice as much bread as Udi's (same cost) plus instead of a white bread taste, it has this moist warm buttery taste. I think it would make great dinner rolls too. Just a thought for Thanksgiving sweethearts!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Review: Thai Kitchen stir fry noodles and sauce

Good morning and happy Daylight savings time kids! I love getting that extra hour once a year, but would definitely give it up if I didn't have to spring forward in a few months!
I'm taking advantage of it today by baking bread though - tune in tomorrow for the results. It smells incredible!

Until then, let's talk stir fry. Of course, this was one of my magical finds at Walmart!!
Thai Kitchen Original Pad Thai Rice Noodles and Sauce. It's Gluten Free!! And I give it a gold star!
It was so easy to make, I have to say - it's going to be a staple at Chez Cocoa. You can pretty much add whatever you want: meat, tofu, shrimp...I did it veggie style of course! So, here's the steps and you can decide for your self if a meal that could serve 4 for just a few measly $ and 10 minutes of your time is worth it. You know I did!
1. Boil 4 cups of water
2. Put the noodles in and remove from heat - set timer for 8 minutes
3. Put 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet or wok, scramble an egg in it and add a bag of frozen stir-fry veggies (I always grab a bunch when they are $.88 - 1.00 on sale). Cook until hot.
4. By then the noodles should be done, drain them an rinse with cold water so they quit cooking.
5. Dump noodles and sauce in with veggies and mix well.
The sauce has a nice mild sweet taste to it. Having the noodles on a timer kept me from cooking the veggies too long so they were still fresh/crisp and the oil kept the egg from getting crispy too.
I added some red pepper flakes as garnish of sorts because I've been craving spicy all week and they did the trick - definitely recommend!!

So, what do you think? is 10 minutes in front of the stove too long? or would you just order in?

Total for this meal ~$4.50

Friday, November 5, 2010

Wild Rice and Chocolate Chex?

First I have to tell you about Fry Sauce! I have spent some time in Salt Lake City during my lifetime and the one thing they have there that nobody else has is fry sauce. It's in every restaurant and I can't believe it hasn't spread to other places yet. I love it.
So, I had to make my own the other night when I made some fries (Ore Ida brand is gf). It's really simple - take equal parts of mayo and ketchup and stir them together. I used this cute little mug can guess it - no clean dishes!
I haven't only been eating junk food, I also made this wild rice dish:
Also simple:
First, get a teeny tiny box of wild rice at the store and pay an arm and half your leg for it. Then, try to follow the directions, which aren't right and keep adding water as it boils off/gets absorbed until you can't stand it any more. Or you can do what my mom does and dump a ton of water in it and boil it a very long time until the grains pop open and are chewy and soft and almost fluffy. I like it better the latter way, but I actually tried it the former.
Second, sautee 1 onion, 3 ribs of celery and 6 or so mushrooms in EVOO
Then, stir it all together and eat it!
This attempt was still pretty good the wild rice is not actually rice (as in grain). Did you know that? It's a seed and it's full of great nutrients and protein.
I like mine with lots of veggies, so if you don't, scale back on them a bit. Also, lots of people do a mix with brown rice - it makes it more affordable, but I'm a bit of a purist and don't feel the need to mix something in that will take away from the deliciousness that is wild rice.
No big secret here, just a recommendation. Pour chocolate Silk Almond milk on your Rice Chex, you won't regret it!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Review: DeBoles Angel Hair Pasta

I gave DeBoles Pasta a try with my usual Newman's Own Marinara (by far my favorite ever!).

It was pretty good. The pasta has a whole grain feel to it and reminds me of some whole wheat pasta I ate in a previous life. Definitely liked this!
The next day's leftovers were ok. The pasta seemed to lose its structural integrity and broke up into smaller pieces as I stirred it into the sauce. But still tasted great and you know what? It kept me from splattering sauce all over my chin at work! So, I think that's a bonus, don't you?

I'd definitely buy this to serve to anyone and I'll for sure buy it for me again soon!
Verdict? Try it! you'll probably like it if you like a nice hearty tasting pasta. If not, go the Tinkyada route, it's milder.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Review: Van's gf French Toast Sticks

Here's what they look like in real life:

I won't be buying these again for a couple reasons:

1. They are not fully cooked - this freaks me out
2. They come out of the oven after the required 10 minutes @400 degrees, hard - so hard I had to dunk them in hot coffee to soften them enough to chew and still they were quite tough.

Their actual taste would be good for kids or someone with a severe sweet tooth, they are very sugary. I'm trying very hard to think of positives here...but I didn't like them.
In a pinch, with hot coffee I might be convinced to eat them again. But I will never pay upwards of $5 for a box of these (comes with 8 of these teeny little biscuits).
Also, in the 25 minutes it took to make these (including oven pre-heat time), I could have dunked some pre-made bread, like Udi's, in eggs and had fresh French toast, and it would have been divine! Live and learn

You know, the more I start trying these gluten free products the more disappointed I am! Obvs when I started out gluten free I stuck with whole foods for the most part because I didn't want to blow my budget on all these truly expensive goodies. Then I got a raise and I thought, "I can dedicate this to savings or to trying new foods." I decided to do a little of both.
I'm glad I'm trying these packaged goods, so that I can be confident in my original choice to avoid them.

I have to admit, I've been getting a $5 loaf of Udi's bread every other week so I can pack sandwiches for lunch. And I buy Betty Crocker Devils Food Cake mixes, Pamela's mixes and a few Amy's frozen dinners - that's about all I have really found value in purchasing, out of all these various mixes and products in the market.

So, if you're thinking about trying these, I'd say, don't waste your money. Spend that $5 on a bread mix or Udi's and some eggs and make your own. Your taste buds will thank you.