Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Don't forget to take a vitamin with your pie for breakfast

The best thing about Thanksgiving leftovers is having pie for breakfast, just be sure to take a vitamin to alleviate any guilt.  Plus, it's sweet potato pie, which is really good for a person.
I got my recipe here and made a couple changes for my tastes, of course:
I figured Paula Deen wouldn't steer a girl wrong when it came to pie, would she? No she didn't!
I skipped meringue, obvs and whipped some coconut cream up instead. Also, instead of regular milk, I used coconut milk so that it would be gluten free and dairy free for me :)  Turned out perfect and delicious!
I used Bob's Red Mill gluten free biscuit and baking mix for the crust. 
Tastes just like every pie crust I ever remember.  I never did like pie crust.
Here's my leftover sampler. Mashed potatoes (made with vegetable broth instead of water for some extra kick, yes, they were instant.), the curried cornbread stuffing I always make, Kentucky Legend brand pre-cooked turkey breast and green beans with shallots and toasted almonds. Of course there were 5 kinds of wine and Irish whiskey for the Irish Coffee.

I'm already planning for next year. I think I'll do a different stuffing and no pie. Any suggestions for desserts other than pie?
BTW, the pre-made turkey isn't out of lazy (although it is super convenient) it's because I don't really care for turkey and suspect I'm allergic to it like chicken so I opt out of the stress trying to cook one.  I ask my dad to make one like he used to every year, and he always declines, so the Kentucky Legend must be good enough.
I guess when Celiac took over my life and now everything has to be gluten free, he has passed the torch of cooking holiday dinners to me.  Or maybe I ripped it out of his hand and ran with it.  We'll never tell ;)
Rather than try to re-create what we loved before with gluten free substitutions, we've just decided to do things differently.  Mom loves the change, dad is just happy as long as there is plenty of wine and I've never been one to hold on to tradition.
So there's your little nap time story about a Bean Thanksgiving.  I hope you all had nice ones!

This was the official turkey time wine, in addition to the chillable red always on tap at Chez Cocoa, an organic Riesling, a Kosher dessert wine and a bottle of bubbly...I always need a bottle of cheer :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

New floors, Part 4 - the bedroom

 The floor is finally done! I kept the bedroom for last because it was the smallest and what I thought would be easiest area.  But it wasn't.  Not only was there a long triangular corner in the closet but there were the same angles coming in the door as everywhere else.
 Barfycat wanted to give you the tour...

tah daaaah!!
It was a lot of work and I have exactly 1 piece leftover, in case something needs replaced later.  I ordered enough so that I had an entire spare box but one of them was so damaged that I purposefully saved it for last and thankfully, I didn't need to try and salvage any of those broken pieces and was able to return it for a refund.
Now, I have a bunch of scraps and I'm trying to decide which to keep, just in case.
Why, you ask? Because something in my head makes me think that I'm going to get up one morning and look down and see a spot I missed.  Impossible, I know.  
I also think it wouldn't hurt to have a couple scraps around in case something needs replaced.

Phase 4, Bedroom Complete!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

New floors, Part 3 - the master suite

 It took 2 days for me to pull up all the carpet, staples, nails and scrape up the lumpy mess of putty that lived under the carpet.  You can see the stain spilled all over too from when this room was first finished!
That little red machine is the "Floor Boar".  It is basically a saw designed to use with Pergo flooring that works with a rachet mechanism to both feed and cut the boards by hand.  I loved it!  I wasn't afraid of the saw getting away without me - it used no power but my (now toned) arms and it did a really nice cut, even on angled pieces.
For $50, I'd definitely recommend it!  It didn't create a big mess of saw dust either - you end up with nice little chunks of board that clean up super easy.
Since I was connecting from the already finished hallway, I started this room in a fairly unconventional way. The instructions are to start in a corner and lay the boards out but I had to come in the door and go in 2 directions - one way into the bathroom and the other way into the bedroom!  
So, I basically laid a foundation row inside the door and out both directions to build off of horizontally.  This required nailing some boards to one side for stability while I connected the other rows out horizontally but once I had a wall on one side it was easy sailing from there!

 Did a little mopping to clean up any foot prints and dust... 
 See what I mean about the angles in my house? Cute but a DIY nightmare!
 And my room is done!
Phase 3, Master Suite Complete!

Friday, November 11, 2011

New floors, Part 2 - the hall

When my pergo arrived, I answered the door and the driver told me he had 900 pounds of flooring on 2 pallets, I have to admit, I panicked.  Where was I going to put it?
He couldn't get it up on the sidewalk and to my front porch, nor was he allowed to break it down and help me carry it into my house. So, I pulled a car out of the garage so he could bring the pallets in.  They were low and I managed to bring all 25 boxes @ 35 pounds a piece in my house and up the stairs...You're always stronger than you think you can be.

 Working in the hall I learned several things about my house.  Although the dramatic angles, lines and vaulted ceilings are impressive looking, they can be a pain for a DIY project.  I decided to use Pergo flooring to match the downstairs floors (that came with the house) but sadly, the same color is no longer sold so I decided to go with Whitehall Pine since it goes nicely with the cream and white color scheme I already have in the main areas, not to mention looking pretty snazzy on the stair landings where I couldn't just paint white!
 Since pergo is a floating floor you have to cut it to accommodate the tongue and groove space needed to interlock the boards and slide them together.  In a nice rectangular area, this is no problem at all.  If you have any funky angles, like I do - then you have to get creative.
 This is how I'm learning to use a jigsaw like a professional!
once the hall was finally finished I also discovered that the walls are slightly wavy, needless to say this made trimming that last row tricky.

Phase 2, Hall Complete!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

New floors, Part 1 - the stairs

 You may remember this from before...
 When I decided to de-carpet my second floor, it all started with the stairs.  I stripped them, scraped them, pulled staples out of them for hours, sanded them and finally... Painted them!
The second half were about the same.  I basically had to dedicate a 3 day weekend to each flight because of staple pulling hours and paint drying time.
A word to the wise, if you paint any floor white, be prepared to clean it regularly!  I used Glidden floor and porch paint with no tint and I'm pretty pleased with the overall look and it certainly does resist scuffing and chipping or wear.
If you have a choice, they gray might be a better option if you're looking for low-upkeep cleaning.
Phase 1, Stairs Complete!

Friday, November 4, 2011

I woke up today and thought, how long has it been since I blogged? I’ll give you a little TMI…I’ve been absolutely flustered since August.  My grandpa turning 100, my grandma passing away, crazy men torturing me on a regular basis and working on a floor that was supposed to be easy peasy and turned out to be the most difficult project I could imagine…Well, I’ll admit it – something had to give and it was usually my health, then my blog.  So sad because I actually enjoy this blog a lot.
So back to it baby!
 This week I ran my bread maker.  That and my crock pot make me so happy. I mean, what is nicer than coming home to the smell of hot food?
This kind of bread mix is probably my favorite so far.
 One thing I miss from the days of gluten ignorance was dipping Macaroni Grill’s bread in EVOO and Balsamic.  This bread was a really close second to my memory of that crunchy outside, soft inside loaf.
Do you like my Halloween nails? They are supposed to look like spattered blood…any way…

I dipped it in marinara sauce with a pinch heap of parmesan in it too which makes me think this would make some nice bread sticks if one was so ambitious to roll the dough into sticks and bake them without burning them! This is probably not me…

Barfycat chased me around, as usual, to get some gluten free baked goods.  The stuff drives her nutty! I had to stand up to eat or she’d jump right up on the counter to try and steal it away from me. I gave her my plate with crumbs and she licked it clean.  Goofy cat!
She likes gluten free baked stuff better than meat or fish or anything else in the world. Weird right?

I did some fun juice too with some stripey beets. They made stripey juice!

  I roasted some too - there's nothing like roasted beets and squash on a cold evening. Comfort food :)
 I’ll post pictures of my floor in a couple days.  It’s still not done L  There’s one more room which will have to wait until the weekend of the 19th – but rest assured I’ll get this baby done!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Lundberg Risotto

First, my most beautiful and tasty salad. Yes, that is a raw organic beet on top. I luv beets :) This one was so rich in color it stained my fingers! Underneath is a simple tuna salad made with mayo and seasoned salt. No dressing needed after that!

I came upon this little box while shopping with my mom and thought, "Why not"? It's Gluten Free, Organic and Vegan. I was really surprised when it came out looking just like the picture on the box. I made it in the microwave, of course! I bet it would have been better on the stove top though. It was creamy and filling and just like most box mixes a little salty. Would have gone great with something bland like tofu.