Gluten Free Graham Crackers
May 22, 2014

GF Graham crackers

One of my favorite things in the world are s’mores.  I don’t even need a campfire.  Just give me a graham cracker, fat marshmallow, and a square of chocolate and I’ll take it to the microwave or even the fireplace or a hot plate.  In the microwave you can watch the marshmallow grow to 10x the size, or in the fire you can catch them on fire and blow them out just as they get singed to your personal preference.  And then ooh, the hot marshmallow melting the chocolate ever so slightly.  Smoosh them between two graham crackers and let the crumbs fly and cover your face with gooey, sticky marshmallowy chocolately goodness.  Ahhh….

But not everyone can enjoy this experience that appeals to all of your senses.  I was reminiscing about s’mores recently to a gluten sensitive friend and realized how sad it is she can’t enjoy them.  So, just as I converted my Molasses Cookies to gluten free, I figured I could try my hand at creating a gluten free graham cracker.  This is the result and I’m quite pleased!  And of course, these can be crushed up and substituted for any graham cracker pie crust too!

Gluten Free Graham Crackers

300 g Gluten Free Flour (equal parts or 100 g each: brown rice flour, tapioca flour/starch, sorghum flour)
51 g sweet rice flour
3/4 tsp xanthan gum (or 1/2 tsp xanthan gum and 1/4 tsp guar gum if you have it)
1.5 tsp cinnamon (or less if you want it less cinnamon flavor)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 c packed light brown sugar
8 Tbsp butter cut (still cold from refrigerator)
3 Tbsp cold water
3 Tbsp honey (or more if you want more honey flavor)
3 Tbsp molasses (or less if you want less molasses flavor)
1 tsp vanilla

Mix together flours.  Then mix in xanthan gum, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.  Then mix in sugar.  Cut in butter 1/2 Tbsp at a time and mix on high for several minutes until the mixture resembles sand or cornmeal.  Stir in water, honey, molasses, and vanilla.  Mix until dough forms one ball.  Wrap dough ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325º.  Place parchment paper on cookie sheet and set aside.

Lightly dust another piece of parchment paper or a clean counter surface with sweet rice flour.  Once dough ball has chilled, divide in half and put half back in the fridge.  Roll out the dough to 1/8″ thick.  Use a pizza cutter or pastry cutter to cut out a large rectangle, dividing into smaller squares or rectangles for the crackers.  Score the  crackers in half and use a plastic fork to create desired designs.

Transfer dough crackers to cookie sheet, keeping small distance between each.  They will not spread, but will stick together if touching.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, turning the sheet at the halfway point to help bake evenly. Once crackers are lightly browned and begin to feel firm to the touch, remove from oven and let cool on cookie sheet for a couple minutes before transferring to cooling rack.  They will continue to harden as they cool.

Notes:
* Just before baking, you can lightly dust the crackers with cinnamon and sugar, if desired.
* It is not necessary to cut them into boring rectangle crackers.  Feel free to use any cookie cutter you have handy.
* Add or subtract cinnamon or molasses according to taste.  Note, that you may need to add more water (or honey) one tablespoon at a time to achieve the desired dough consistency if you use less molasses.

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No-Fail Molasses Cookies – Gluten Free!
July 4, 2013

gfmolasses

Whenever I need to bake something that is quick and will be a crowd pleaser, I always fall back on my No-Fail Molasses Cookies.  I’ve posted my once closely guarded recipe here before.  But I can’t share these fabulous cookies with my gluten sensitive friends.  So I decided maybe I should experiment with trying to convert the recipe.  I’ve baked gluten free before.  And this is a fairly simple recipe, I figured I’d give it a try!  I clicked on 3 links did a little research online about converting baking recipes and took a stab in the dark.  Whoa, on my first try I actually have an edible product.  It’s not exactly like the original version of the cookies, but it’s a damn good substitute!  So I made these just in time for my gluten sensitive friend’s birthday and shipped them to her.

Gluten Free Molasses Cookies

Makes about 4 dozen

250g gluten free flour*
1 cup sugar (plus extra in a bowl or plate for rolling)
1/2 cup + 2 tsp oil
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup molasses
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2+ tsp (plus a pinch or two) salt
1 tsp cinnamon (plus extra to taste)
1 tsp ginger (plus extra if you prefer more of a gingerbread cookie)

Preheat oven to 300°.

Mix all ingredients until fully incorporated.  It will be a sticky gooey batter, a little stiffer than brownie mix for example.  Scoop out a chunk of dough and roll into a 1″ ball in your hands.  Then roll the dough ball in sugar, coating evenly.  Place on cookie sheet covered with parchment paper about 2″ apart.

Bake for 10-12 minutes (12-14 for airbake cookie sheets).  After about 1/2 time, rotate cookie sheet and sprinkle extra sugar on top of cookies.  Do not overbake the cookies, they will get really hard if you do.  The cookies will flatten out when they’re ready and be slightly stiff on the edges, but soft in the middle.  Allow to cool a couple minutes on the cookie sheet before transfering to wire cooling rack.

* Gluten Free Flour  
You can use any gluten free flour or make a mixture of your own. For this particular recipe I used the following that weighed out to 250g together:
1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum
50g white rice flour
remainder brown rice flour (just shy of 200g)

*TIPS:

  • I like to add extra salt, cinnamon, and ginger to the recipe to taste.  An extra pinch of salt or two gives it a nice sweet and salty taste.  I also like to add nutmeg and some all spice if I have it.
  • The cookies will continue to bake a while on the cookie sheet after you remove from the oven.  Keep this in mind since you take them out a little underdone, but also don’t leave them on too long or they will get crispy.
  • Let the cookie sheet cool a little between batches for a more even batch.  I alternate cookie sheets to allow for this.
  • This mixture is much stickier and more gooey than the original version.  I found it was best to put a little bit of sugar in my palm while I try to roll it into a ball to get it into a ball and not stuck to my hand.  Then I rolled it in the sugar.
  • I found that if I let the batter sit a few minutes after mixing it didn’t stick to my hands as much.
  • The cookies will flatten out to thin cookies, so allow enough room between the cookies to spread.  Also don’t worry if the balls aren’t exactly round, they will flatten out perfectly.

Portable Protein
June 10, 2013

I’m in the heaviest load of my training for my first Half Ironman.  I make a lot of jokes about training and eating, but I love food.  No seriously I really love food.  Partly why I exercise so much is so I can eat all the delicious things the world of gastronomy has to offer.  But the cycle is vicious, because when I train at these extraordinarily high volumes (burning twice my daily caloric intake in one workout at times!) I find myself needing to eat extraordinarily high volumes as well.  Seriously, you might be appalled at the tonnage of food this petite redhead can put away.  Often triathletes are accused of “hoovering” their food, it’s not pretty.

All jokes aside, I do need to make sure I’m getting enough calories, especially protein for muscles and sustained energy, throughout the day to get me through to the next workout.  I started making these “Egg Muffins” a couple years ago when I was working a flex schedule, arriving at the office at 6:30am, working 10-11 hours, and running or working out at lunch.  I needed something that would give me enough calories to get through the long morning.  I’ve become addicted since then.  They’re very easy to make, don’t require a lot of special ingredients, portable, and very satisfying.  Best part, you make 1-2 weeks worth in advance!  I pack them in my lunch and eat them at work, or as a quick protein snack on the go any other time!

Egg Muffins
(see notes below)

1 muffin tin
10 eggs
milk
salt and pepper to taste
“mixers” (any veggies or meats will do)
Cheese mixers (whatever you have on hand)

Preheat oven to 350°.

Crack eggs in a large bowl.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add milk or whatever you usually add to scrambled eggs.  Whisk eggs thoroughly.  Add mixers.   Add cheese mixers if you like.  Mix well.  Grease muffin cups if they are not nonstick.  Pour or ladle eggs into muffin cups about 2/3 full.  Top with extra mixers or cheese mixers.

Bake 25-30min.  The muffins will puff up as you bake them.  When time is up and they appear to be puffed, turn off the oven.  But leave the muffins in the oven to cool down with the oven!! If you take them out and let them cool at room temperature, they will sink in the middle.  Once cooled enough to handle the tin, remove from oven and allow to cool before storing.

To reheat: Microwave for 30-60 seconds depending on microwave strength.

mushrooms, spinach, monterey jack

mushrooms, spinach, monterey jack

NOTES:

Storage:  Muffins can be stored in containers or sandwich bags in fridge for 1-2 weeks.  They can be frozen for quite a good bit of time too.  I do recommend allowing them to thoroughly cool before freezing to avoid any frozen condensation and allowing to thaw before reheating to prevent extra moisture.

Muffin tins:  I prefer the oversized tin with 6 cups instead of 12 for larger muffins.  But when I’m not in heavy training, I use the 12 smaller ones instead.

Eggs:  I pick 10 eggs because it’s not quite 2 eggs per each muffin (it’s actually 1 2/3), but any amount will do.  Decide how much or little protein you want and go crazy!

Mixers:  Don’t over think this.  I take stock of whatever I have in my fridge/pantry that needs to be used.  I love mushrooms so I usually cut up mushrooms very small and add them.  If I have spinach on hand I add that for the potassium, just tear it up into tiny pieces.  The key is adding everything finely chopped so it distributes evenly.  Fresh herbs from the garden are lovely in the summer, or any other kind of seasoning you like.  You can also forego mixers and go natural.  I like regular egg muffins too.  Also, sometimes I wait to add the mixers until after I’ve put the egg mixture into the tins.  There is no wrong way to do this!

Cheese mixers:  I just check what I have on hand in the fridge. Then I sprinkle, cut up, grate, dollop whatever cheese or combination of cheeses I want into the mixture/tins.  I like to sprinkle some kind of shredded or grated cheese over the top of the muffins so it bakes in on top.  Parmesan or regular shredded mozzarella or cheddar is great for this.  But also like to cut up chunks of other cheeses like havarti into the eggs.  A nice herby goat cheese chevre bakes up lovely too!

Not the prettiest food, but so delicious.

Not the prettiest food, but so delicious.

 

Sally’s 2012
January 1, 2013

I love reading everyone’s year-in-review.  But I never feel that I have anything particularly interesting to share myself.  However looking back at where I’ve come since January 1, 2012, my year reads like the elevation profile of the 11.2 mile run through Percy Warner Park.

January
On New Year’s day I wake up with pain in my left shoulder.  It becomes very severe over the next few days and I begin many painful and expensive tests to diagnose it.  I eventually lose most of the strength and mobility in the arm altogether.  It is not for several months (see below) before we are able to diagnose the mystery condition.  But I take my first Caribbean vacation to Jamaica with my good friend Sara.  It is fantastic and just what we needed to thaw the dreary winter grays.  I also start training to Hoop the Half Marathon again.

February
I take a trip to Chicago to visit the city and see friends.  I begin planning my race calendar for the year.  But 2/3 of the way through the month I became very ill and take a brief stay in the hospital.  This sets me back physically and race and training-wise.  I eventually end up having to miss out on 4 different races this month and the next month due to illness and recovery.  I also support a friend during a difficult trial and witness that sometimes the judicial system doesn’t always work out the way it’s supposed to.

March
I miss out on the Triple Crown races due to the previous month’s recovery and post my first DNS ever, unfortunately it’s a 3-for-1.  I come up with an Athletic Bucket List and start working towards a plan to check off the items.  I tour the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and hit 7 distilleries in 2 days.  I attend an Olympic soccer qualifying tournament game.

April
I apply for the Nuun Hood To Coast team, though I don’t get picked, I still make a funny video.  I post some really high mileage with our hoop walking.  And eventually complete the Hooping the Half Marathon.  Many thanks to everyone who donates to the cause.  I finally really start training again in all 3 sports.  I also have my first swim lesson and find out that my self-taught freestyle form really isn’t that bad.  I also meet my Coach for the first time in a different swim lesson.  I witness my amazing friend Kira become ordained as an Episcopal priest.

May
I do my first open water swim ever, which also happens to be my first wetsuit swim ever.  I manage to survive both.  I compete in my first triathlon of the season and learn an important lesson of mental tenacity.  I have another minor surgery unrelated to my two previous medical issues earlier in the year.  I get a new fitting on my tri bike.

June
I make another trip to Chicago for a wedding and to visit friends.  I begin training with my Coach.  I go through a little bit of heartbreak.  I revise my race schedule for the year and really buckle down and distract myself with training.  I compete in the Du Run Run duathlon again and walk away with my first podium finish!  I also finally get back to the doctor for my left arm, and get a diagnosis of Parsonage Turner Syndrome.  I compete in the Muddy Buddy with a friend and have a great time, and once again somehow manage to never really get muddy in a mud event.  It’s a special talent.  I witness more heartbreak at the loss of a friend.  I also go to see Tenacious D with Sara and we have a lot of rocking out silliness.

July
I do a LOT of running, biking, swimming during the hot month, and put down more mileage than I ever imagined.  I compete in my first Olympic distance triathlon.  And I go to the Forecastle Festival after my race and get to see my favorite band play.  I volunteer at a major triathlon in my city and really get a chance to give back for all the racing that I do.  I run in a cape for beer.

August
My Coach comes to town and I get in another swim session.  I work on riding the course for my next big race, but the course keeps changing and I learn my lesson on some hills.  I get up way too early (even for me) to watch the Olympics for marathon and triathlon.  I compete in a Women’s super sprint tri and get misdirected on the course by a volunteer.  They throw out the run times and I end up with a podium finish, but maybe not the one I planned.  I begin physical therapy for my arm and shoulder.

September
I compete in my second Olympic Triathlon, in a torrential downpour.  This is my last tri of the season, but I don’t let that stop me because I sign up for my first Half Ironman race for the next year.  I attend my first Nashville Rollergirls bout and love it.  I buckle down on my running to train for my next few running races of the season.  I run my first 5k in probably 5 or 6 years, and walk away with another podium finish, once again a second place in my age group, which makes for a hat trick of podium finishes for the year.  My best friend has another baby, once again with a dramatic entrance.

October
I run in the Boston Half Marathon.  I get to visit my old friends and meet new ones, and see my best friend in a play.  I tour the Sam Adams Brewery finally.  I try Eritrean food, and of course eat lots and lots of lobstah!  I walk the Goo Goos Jog N Hog due to a painful injury.  That injury turns out to be peroneal tendonitis, and I also find out (on my 3rd Xray and MRI of the year) that I have a cyst in my heel, but the doctor doesn’t think it is affecting me.  I attend a Vanderbilt football game and watch them actually win!  I take a Motorcyle class.  I watch the Kona Ironman championships online and am amazed by the athletes.  I do the Color Run with a couple friends.

November
I make a road trip to tour the Calfkiller brewery and fall more in love with their beer.  I try to talk them into selling me a bike jersey with no luck.  I run in the Ragnar Tennessee relay race and tick off another Athletic Bucket List item.  I volunteer at the Flying Monkey Marathon and witness some truly hardcore runners.  I run the Boulevard Bolt and get another PR.  Coach comes into town again and we have a little team dinner and recap of the year and discuss the next year.

December
I start the month off with my first 12k, the 12 South Winter Warm Up, and finish the day with the 12 South Winter Warmer, one of my favorite beer fests.  Running and beer, what a perfect day!  Then I announce I’m doing something really crazy for my birthday.  I document all of my runs here, and follow it up with beers with friends.  I do one more Yazoo Barely a 4k Beer Run and earn a Yazoo Santa hat.  I find out I qualified for the USAT national championships for Olympic distance triathlon based on that Women’s race in August, which redeems the unfortunate results of that race.  I bake a monstrous cake and swear off buttercream forever.  I take a little New Year’s vacation and got to see my alma mater play in a bowl game.

2013
And what does 2013 hold?  I’ve already started working on my race schedule for next year.  Who knows what else it holds?  I’m hoping for a happy, healthy, and injury-free year.  Looking forward to ticking off more Athletic Bucket List items and maybe clawing my way to more podium finishes?  I’d also like to start trying to race more duathlons.  What are your plans and goals?

Pasta Surprise
July 23, 2012

I have to admit, that before I made threw together this dish, I would have read this recipe and completely turned my nose up at it.  But I guess necessity really is the mother of invention.  When I have very little time between training and work and sleep, but still need to eat excessive quantities of healthy food I struggle to come up with something that doesn’t take much time, but can serve all my protein, carb, taste, etc fueling needs.

Too exhausted and hungry to think hard, I just grabbed the first things I could out of my pantry caveman style.  Protein – fish.  Carbs – Pasta.  Fiber – frozen veggies.  Grunt.  Cook.  Eat.  Fully expecting this to be gross, I was prepared to either choke it down or throw it out.  But the surprise was that this was actually pretty good, hence the name.

Pasta Surprise

1 packet of Starkist Tuna Creations (Herb & Garlic Flavor)
1/2 box of penne pasta
Zesty Italian salad dressing to taste
parmesan
1 bag frozen veggies of your choice, cooked your favorite way.

Cook pasta according to directions on box.  Drain and return to pot/sauce pan with heat on low to medium.  Add Tuna, mixing well and breaking up with fork.  Add Zesty Italian dressing to taste and to help mix the pasta and tuna together.  Add some parmesan to taste.

Serve with veggies on side (or mixed in with pasta) and top with parmesan.

I cannot believe how easy (and fast!) and tasty this was.  I was actually craving it the next day.

No-Fail Molasses Cookies
December 12, 2011

When given the opportunity to participate in the Food Blogger Cookie Swap, I jumped on it!  I decided to finally share one of my closely guarded recipes.  And although it is a very simple recipe, it is always a crowd pleaser.  It is also one of my no-fail recipes.  It is really hard to mess up these cookies.  They come out looking perfect every time!

Molasses Cookies
Adapted from “A Taste of Heaven” (Westview Baptist Church Cookbook, Kingston Springs, TN)
Makes about 7-8 dozen

4 cups flour
2 cups sugar (plus extra in a bowl or plate for rolling)
1 1/3 cup oil
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup molasses
4 tsp baking soda
1+ tsp (plus a pinch or two*) salt
2 tsp cinnamon (plus extra to taste*)
2 tsp ginger (plus extra if you prefer more of a gingerbread cookie*)

Preheat oven to 300°.

Mix all ingredients until fully incorporated.  It will all stick together in clumps in the bowl.  Scoop out a chunk of dough and roll into a 1″ ball in your hands.  Then roll the dough ball in sugar, coating evenly.  Place on cookie sheet covered with parchment paper about 2″ apart.

Bake for 10-12 minutes (12-14 for airbake cookie sheets).  After about 1/2 time, rotate cookie sheet and sprinkle extra sugar on top of cookies.  Do not overbake the cookies, they will get really hard if you do.  Bake until the tops just start to crack open.  Remove immediately and transfer to wire cooling rack.

*TIPS:

  • I like to add extra salt, cinnamon, and ginger to the recipe to taste.  An extra pinch of salt or two gives it a nice sweet and salty taste.
  • This is easily cut in half for about 3-4 dozen cookies.
  • If you overbake, the cookies will get hard like gingersnaps, which you may prefer that texture.  But if they get too hard, put them in a container with a slice of apple for a day or so to rehydrate them.
  • The cookies will continue to bake a while on the cookie sheet after you remove from the oven.  Keep this in mind since you take them out a little underdone, but also don’t leave them on too long or they will get crispy.
  • Let the cookie sheet cool a little between batches for a more even batch.  I alternate cookie sheets to allow for this.
  • Your palms will get a nice exfoliation and moisturizing from the oil and sugar as you wash off the cookie from your hands.
  • Church cookbooks are incredible gems for recipe inspiration.  They are usually collections of recipes from the church members for tried and true recipes.  It’s like digging into someone’s recipe box.

P.S. If you need a Gluten Free version, you can find it here!

Get a napkin
September 28, 2011

Let tell you something shocking.  It is actually possible to over-indulge in chocolate.

Last weekend, I had a fantastic dinner party planned, and I was in charge of making dessert.  The only request was that it had to be chocolate and very dark chocolate at that.  I love my chocolate dark, so I had no problem working on this task.  After much drool-worthy painstaking research, I came across this recipe.  The richness of the chocolate, paired with the intense molten center made it impossible to finish one on your own.  I recommend sharing these, or making in much smaller oven-safe containers.  For those of you with any gluten issues, the good news is this is gluten free!  I opted to serve this warm dessert with some spumoni gelato from our local Bravo Gelato to pair the hot and cold with the cake texture and the molten center.

And make sure you have a napkin ready, because I was telling my friend Tabbulous about the recipe while she viewed the picture on my phone, and she threatened to lick my phone!  You might need to wipe off your computer screen.

Baked Chocolate Pudding (Gluten Free)
adapted from Jamie Oliver recipe

4 120z oven safe ramekins (or 6-8 smaller ramekins)
1 ice cube tray

16-17.5 oz high quality dark chocolate. (minimum 70% cocoa solids, I used Green & Black’s 85%)
1/2 cup hot very strong coffee or hot espresso
1 stick + 1 Tbsp of butter, plus extra for greasing ramekins
6 eggs, separated
1 cup + 2 Tbsp of sugar
3.5 oz almond meal
3.5 oz rice flour

Brew the coffee/espresso, then melt 4.5oz chocolate (about 1.5 bars of a 3.5oz Green & Black’s) with the coffee.  Very dark chocolate won’t melt entirely with the coffee, so after mixing, I microwaved the mixture for 30 seconds at a time while stirring until totally mixed.  Pour chocolate coffee mixture into ice cube tray and freeze until hard.**

Grease the ramekins with butter and place in the fridge (to keep from melting) until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 375°.

Melt remaining chocolate with the butter in a bowl over a pot of boiling water, constantly stirring.  The chocolate  will melt faster than the butter, but keep stirring until mixed.  Allow the chocolate butter mixture to cool so as not to cook the remaining ingredients.  I placed it in the fridge for a few minutes, but don’t let it get cold and harden.  Whisk the egg yolks and fold into the chocolate butter mixture.  Add almond meal and rice flour and stir/whisk by hand until fully mixed.  Your mixture should look a lot like brownie batter.

Whisk egg whites with sugar until stiff in a separate large bowl with a stick blender or hand mixer with a whisk attachment.  Note, I recommend begin whisking the egg whites and slowly add sugar.  I whisked them together and my mixture looked more like marshmallow cream rather than meringue.  I don’t think it made a huge difference in taste or texture, but next time I will opt for this method.

Fold the chocolate mixture into the egg whites gently until completely  mixed.  Spoon the chocolate pudding mixture into the ramekins, filling about 1/3-1/2 full.  Push one of the chocolate coffee ice cubes into the pudding mixture, with the narrow portion of the cube towards the bottom of the ramekin.  Spoon the remaining portion of the pudding over the ice cube until fully covered.

Bake 18-20 minutes.  A toothpick inserted in the side will indicate if done, but do not insert in the middle as it will always be gooey and yummy.  Carefully turn ramekin upside down and remove baked pudding while still hot.  If you allow the pudding to cool, even while still warm, it will stick to the bottom and may break apart.  Serve immediately while still warm.

 

** Bonus – use the extra chocolate coffee ice cubes in your coffee or hot milk the next morning!

 

 

Return of the Hot Toddy
September 26, 2011

One of my most popular posts as well as one of my most requested cocktails.  The Hot Toddy. Fall is here, which means, cooler weather, fireplaces, and Hot Toddies!  And right now, it is entered into a cocktail contest for one of my favorite local restaurants, Rumba, and one of my favorite places to get a cocktail!  So I’m reposting the link for the recipe here, but also begging groveling kindly requesting that if you’re so inclined, please go vote for it on their contest!

Enjoy!

Apple Cider Hot Toddy

Spiced Cider (I prefer Trader Joe’s)
Caramel
Turbinado Sugar
Whiskey (preferably Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey!)

Heat the cider.
Rim a mug with caramel.
Dip the caramel rimmed mug in turbinado sugar.
Add a dollop of caramel to the bottom of the mug.
Pour the heated cider in the mug.
Top off with whiskey.

The omg omelette
July 7, 2011

My garden has really been humming along.  Every day I pull off several fruits of my labor, usually cherry tomatoes.  No really, every day I have a huge handful!  I recently pulled quite the bounty and as it was filling up the shelves in my fridge, I was trying to decide what to do with it all.  In particular I had my first shiitake mushrooms I harvested, some poblano peppers, onions, and more cherry tomatoes and herbs than I know what to do with.

Hm, how can I get all of those flavors together.  An omelette!  Little did I know it would turn into an omg, so good moment!  I made enough for 2 full servings.  I may have eaten the entire thing.  All of it.  Could not get enough!  But I biked 20 miles that morning, so I was replenishing carbs and protein right?

Feel free to add other seasonings.  I had intentions of using several different kinds, and partly forgot to add them, and partly decided it just didn’t need anything else.  The feta and the dill really added so much to really flavor everything.  Plus, add in the mild heat of the poblano and the smoky, earthiness of the shiitake and it’s such a surprisingly wonderful complement of flavors!

OMG Omelette
2 servings (unless you’re me)

3 eggs
1 small poblano pepper, diced (they don’t grow to full size here, so about the size of your palm is good)
2 shiitake mushrooms sliced into short strips
1/2 cup (or so) of yellow and purple cherry tomatoes, quartered from the stem side
3 small onions (like scallions), sliced
fresh parsley, chopped
fresh rosemary, chopped
fresh dill, chopped
olive oil
salt
pepper
soy milk
sundried tomato feta, crumbled
shredded parmesan/asiago/romano cheese mixture

In a very small frying pan, heat a teaspoon of olive oil over med-hi heat.  Add the onions, peppers, and mushrooms. (Save the tomatoes until last!)  Lower temperature to medium or med-low and continue to cook until mushrooms just start to brown.  Do not overcook any of the veggies.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs with salt and pepper and add milk just as you would for any omelette or egg dish.  Then whisk in the herbs.

In an omelette pan or medium sized frying pan, heat a couple teaspoons of olive oil over med-hi heat.  Add the egg mixture.  Watch this carefully, you may need to lower the temperature.  You do not want the eggs to cook on the bottom too quickly.  I am not a master omelette maker, so I recommend you google omelette cooking techniques.  I certainly made some mistakes this time.

Once the omelette is mostly cooked through (will still be a little runny on top), and you are able to slide a spatula around the edges and up under it, place the cooked veggies, the tomatoes, and the cheeses on half of the omelette on the side closest to the handle on the frying pan, adding the cheeses as well.  Holding the handle angle the pan downwards and use the spatula to flip the other side over the veggies and cheeses.  Allow to cook a little longer and to heat up the veggies and melt the cheese.  If you’re really talented you can flip the whole thing over to cook some more on the other side so you don’t get too brown on one side.

When cooked to your desired amount, serve with some extra tomatoes and feta on the side.  omg so yummy!

(As you can see, mine was not pretty, nor is my picture, but damn it was good!)

Fresh easy smoothie
July 6, 2011

I’ve been saving up some food posts forever.  And I’m just giving in and posting them now.  Last weekend I made the best smoothie from scratch.  I love smoothies, but they are actually not as healthy as most people think. They’re usually loaded with sugars, calories, fat, protein (adding on more calories), etc.  The best way to avoid that is to keep it as simple as possible and make your own.  At a smoothie store, you don’t know what they are putting in it, how fresh the fruits are (or if they’re even using real fruit), or what kind of additives and supplements they include.

So, keep it simple.  Keep it as close to just fruit and ice as you possibly can.  Keep in mind a banana can add a lot of body and substance to a smoothie without loading it down with milk and powders.  The basic ingredients are ice (duh), fruit (berries work well, but just any soft-ish fruits are great), banana (if you’re so inclined), and then you can add juice or water to make it more liquid and if you’re inclined include some milk/soy milk/or yogurt.  For this smoothie, I was in a hurry to run some errands, but needed to eat my morning yogurt, get some other food in me since it was pushing past lunchtime already, and I wanted something cold because let’s face it, July in Nashville = purgatory heat!  So this is a great way to do all those things, especially beat the heat.

Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of this lovely pink strawberry banana smoothie.  It was so delicious, I sipped it down before I could get a picture.  Plus you don’t want it to melt right?

Strawberry Banana Yogurt Smoothie

1.5-2 cups ice (adjust to your frozen preference. I like mine pretty icy/crunchy for more texture)
6-8 medium to large strawberries (adjust to taste)
1 large banana
1- 4oz. container of strawberry fat free yogurt.
3/4-1.5 cup of Pear Cinnamon Cider (this came from Trader Joes but regular apple juice or cider would work)

In a blender, add 1/2 of the ice, capped strawberries, banana cut into pieces, yogurt, 3/4 cup cider/juice.  Pulse to break up ice and blend ingredients.  Add more ice and cider to taste and more strawberries if necessary.

Tip: Pulsing will break up the ice and move it down to the bottom, rather than leaving it on one setting where the bottom gets blended more than the top and wears out the motor of the blender.

Pour and enjoy!!