Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Getting the kids together with my MIL just to take this photo was a bit of work! Keep in mind that kids LOVE making silly faces whenever a camera is waved in front of them. And this motley bunch of kids is no exception. But we're pretty happy with the results (though Ayden, the only boy in the group, could not be cajoled into looking directly at the camera) --and grandma now has a recent picture of her with her grandbabies to display at home and at the office.
Christmas Day we went to the home of Flamenco Dad's aunt and uncle, where we and a bunch of our relatives got our party on. One thing I love about marrying into a big family is the parties! It's very reminiscent of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," only with Puerto Rican food and Salsa music blaring in the background. Dad and Zoe performed a few Christmas songs together; and I even got in on the performing this time, dancing some flamenco for the guests. We stayed up quite late and the kids were exhausted afterwards, but it was a wonderful end to a great Christmas.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
recipe courtesy of Dawn
7 egg whites
2 1/2 cups white sugar (Superfine sugar, or process regular sugar in your food processer till its really fine.)
2 pounds ground almonds
2 tablespoons almond extract
1 cup chopped almonds
1/3 cup granulated sugar for decoration
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Beat egg whites and sugar until fluffy. Add the ground almond and almond extract, mixing well. Shape dough into walnut sized balls, roll in sugar and put a piece of almond or candied cherry on top.
(I use the candied cherries) Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees F) until firm. Bottom should be light brown.
P.S. I know that most of the county is either buried in snow and/or slush, or is just plain freezin'. The greenery in the background of my photos may make you long for warmer climes. Please know I'm sending warm thoughts, and hopefully sunny skies, your way.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
We've been celebrating the successful completion of the semester, which means yours truly hasn't had too much time for cooking or blogging. I got straight A's, internets! This overachiever is glad school's over for now; I've got a few weeks off before the new term starts on January 7.
I baked a gfcf chocolate cake for the family to enjoy this weekend (thank you Bob's Red Mill for making my life easier). Though I'm not a huge fan of cake mixes in general--I am more of a do-it-yourself type--sometimes a little help from some gluten-free friends does the trick. The cake was simply decorated with a dusting of sugar. We got our chocolate fix and the kids got to help, which they love to do.
We attended a going away party for a buddy of ours who is moving to Seattle at the end of the month. Our friend Justin has played with Flamenco Dad in the past; and to celebrate the start of a new chapter in his life, everyone was invited over to jam. Zoe, who is nothing if not a ham (gee, I wonder where she got her love of performing?), gleefully offered to sing a tune for all the party guests. And since it's Christmastime, she picked a favorite.
Monday, December 10, 2007
So no more foolin' around--next time I post here, I will have officially finished the semester. I mean it. Really. I promise.
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Saturday, December 01, 2007
The most important thing when it comes to making dishes like these is having your mise en place ready; all your prep should be done in advance and set up assembly-line style. I learned this the first time I made spring rolls, when I foolishly thought I could just wing it. Big mistake! Like yesterday, I learned from my earlier missteps and pressed on. And ooh, are these good! The Thai basil and mint lend a wonderful fragrance to this dish. Of course, if it's naturally gfcf then all the better.
Friday, November 30, 2007
The good news is that my kitchen smells like lemongrass.
The bad news is that my kitchen smells like lemongrass. And only lemongrass. And now all I can smell is...lemongrass.
The soup tasted decent. Except that the combination of the lemongrass and lime was WAY too overpowering for that delicate a soup. So needless to say the recipe needs a bit of tweaking before it's deemed worthy to share with the internets. When I go back to the market at the Buddhist Temple, I'll be sure to ask some of the cooks there for some advice.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
1. My finals begin next week. Good Lord, it's time for the freak-out to begin.
2. NaBloPoMo is coming to a close. Woo Hoo!
I kind of feel like Morgan Spurlock from the movie "Supersize Me" and the t.v. show "30 Days." I'm really proud of myself for being able to stick with blogging daily for that long. I know a month doesn't seem like a long time; but sometimes I feel I'm borderline flaky, so this is a real accomplishment. I'm going to commit to something else for the next month--though I will try to continue keeping a more regular blogging schedule (just maybe not every single day). I'll deliberate on it for another day, and then December 1st will be the kickoff.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
1. While my husband is the musician in the house, I had quite the music education myself. I took several years of band, where I became a mediocre trombone (yes, you read that correctly), clarinet, and alto saxophone player. I am unable to play any of these instruments today, though I can still read music.
2. I smoked throughout my last two years of high school, during my first go-around at college, and for a couple of years after that. I smoked for about six years in total, and fortunately for me I quit the year before I met Flamenco Dad. He's not a fan of cigarette smoke.
3. I learned to drive at twenty-two (kind of late by some folks' standards). But before I got the hang of driving, I crashed an old boyfriend's car--oops. Hey, that stop sign and that tree jumped out in front of me; how could I not hit them?
4. I know lots of people think he's kind of grungy, but I think Johnny Depp is very sexy. Does that make me weird? Call me, Johnny!
5. I'm scared to death of mice (rats too). I'd elaborate, but I'm starting to hyperventilate.
6. As I mentioned in my previous meme, I never learned to ride a bike. But I can roller skate like nobody's business. And I'm talking the old school skates, not the rollerblades. Holla!
7. I did not enjoy any of the following movies: Crash, The English Patient, or The Thin Red Line. I know they're supposed to be these great, important movies; but I just don't see the appeal. In fact, the latter was so bad in my opinion I'm still wondering how I can get those three hours of my life back.
8. It's no secret that I love spicy foods. I put some variety of hot sauce (tobasco, sriracha, jalapenos) on just about everything I eat. I'm still trying to figure out how to successfully add heat to my desserts, but it's coming soon--I just know it!
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
BTW, I got tagged for a meme, and I'll be sure to do that tomorrow. I'm still reeling from the results of Dancing with the Stars.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Sunday, November 25, 2007
When we got back, I baked some cookies: gfcf pumpkin chocolate chip cookies to be precise. More on that tomorrow. Hopefully those pictures came out fine.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
We're going to a wine-tasting/start of the holiday season shindig at the home of a friend of ours named Paul; Paul is a sound engineer who has helped Flamenco Dad on several projects. Paul's also a great photographer, who recently took FD's new headshots. So we're bringing some wine and the guitar (and yours truly will do a bit of dancing tonight). So tonight the kiddies will be left in the loving care of my dear,sainted mother-in-law (can you tell I'm grateful to her for babysitting) while my husband and I get our party on. Tootles!
Friday, November 23, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
for my hubby, who totally rocks my world...
for my mom, brother, and the rest of my crazy familia. They always keep things interesting and entertaining...
for my friends, both near and far; thinking about all our adventures together makes me smile...
for all the wonderful people I have met online, through this blog and others. I'm amazed at the ability of the online community to bring people together...
for The Soup and Best Week Ever. Weekend television is so much better with you in it...
for turkey. Ahh, tryptophan and gravy...
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
The kids are excited to visit their grandmother, great-grandmother, uncle, and the assorted other relatives and friends that will be there. What my kids don't know yet is that my mom and her husband have already put up their Christmas tree: a 12-foot behemoth with a gazillion lights and a slew of adorable ornaments. I'll be sure to take many photos.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Today Zoe got some news that, while very exciting, threw her for a bit of a loop. Her occupational therapist told us that it may be time for Zoe to "graduate" from therapy. She's met all the goals the therapist had set for her, and she has improved in that area to the point where therapy may no longer be needed. I had a similar conversation with her speech therapist not long ago; so it appears that after the present evaluation period ends, Zoe may be done with private speech and O.T. after nearly 8 years. That's right folks; she has been in therapy for 8 of her 10 years. So you can see why Zoe might be a bit apprehensive about closing that chapter in her life.
Zoe loves the therapists, staff, and friends that she's met along the way; and I know that's the reason she doesn't want to leave. So part of what we'll be doing during her Thanksgiving break is talking about how we deal with moving on when things in our lives change. It's fascinating to see how she handles this; Zoe has reached a level of maturity that I guess I didn't really notice until now. That's the mama in me, always seeing my baby as, well...a baby. But today my baby came home from therapy, and sat at the desk and proceeded to write in her journal, no doubt about the changes in store for her now.
Monday, November 19, 2007
So I've got a couple of side dishes in the making, as well as some desserts. I'm doing a sweet potato dish and some gfcf cornbread stuffing. I'm still working out the dessert thing, but I've got to make a decision by tomorrow. I was thinking something with pumpkin, but the hubby is requesting chocolate. Maybe I can put the two together into one showstopper of a dessert. I'm running out of time to decide, so I've got to get to it!
We've all got a cold here...again. We're tired, cranky, and smell of Vicks Vaporub (so not hot); and my house is like a tropical rain forest because of the humidifiers.
Tonight, after the kids were tucked in, I cozied up on my couch and watched Dancing with the Stars with the hubby. He makes watching the show even more entertaining (if that were even possible). He provides interesting commentary on the musical selections (we agree they are often campy, and occasionally border on ridiculous) and the costume choices. My husband thinks the Spice Girl is sexy, while I think her partner is hot stuff. Wonder what he thinks of Vaporub?
I've heard nothing else about the kangaroo/wallaby/chupacabra, or whatever it was wandering the streets a few nights ago. Maybe it was some random hairy guy roaming the area. Oh boy, I think I'm delirious from the Nyquil.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
My mother-in-law's version didn't have the same combination of spices that resemble the Jamaican version, but her version rocked just the same. The hearty stew combined beef oxtails and some root vegetables, gourds and spices commonly used in the Latin kitchen: yucca (there it is again), calabasa (a type of pumpkin), green plantains (I know, I wasn't sure how it fit in there either, but it did), garlic, onions, bay leaves, peppers. It was just what we needed on this cool, lazy Sunday. Gracias!
Saturday, November 17, 2007
In other news, today Zoe performed at a Christmas tree lighting. I know, they just start doing these earlier and earlier every year. She and her group did a wonderful job, dancing and singing to "Sleigh Ride" and "Rockin' Round the Christmas Tree." I was a proud mama.
Oh yeah, and I haven't cooked a thing all day. What's up with that? Well, I have a great excuse, really. I've been out all day. Yours truly is pooped, so once I get the rascals to bed I'm going to kick back with an adult beverage and watch the boob tube.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Seems the local sheriff's office got a call about a kangaroo that was seen hopping around in traffic. So far, no one has been able to track it down, nor has anyone been able to confirm if there actually was a kangaroo in the area. There is speculation that the marsupial is someone's pet, though I'm not sure that our local Petco or Pet Supermarket is in the business of selling kangaroo chow. What do you feed a kangaroo, anyway?
Before I go any further, I should explain that I do not live in Australia, though there are two locations in the "larger" city nearest to me that may (or may not) have kangaroos. The nearest zoo is about 25 miles from where the caller claims the kangaroo was seen. Also Busch Gardens is at least 20 miles from where the kangaroo was allegedly spotted. Some folks who read the news headlines on the internet have been joking that the kangaroo escaped from the local Outback Steakhouse. I suppose that's possible. Gosh, I hope the legal people from Outback don't send me a nasty-gram for that comment. Oh well, I don't like their restaurant anyway.
Now our little town is blaming all the random events that have occurred in the last few days on the mysterious kangaroo. There was a bank robbery today? Blame it on the kangaroo. Traffic tie-up on the interstate? Must have been that darn kangaroo. The illusive marsupial has now achieved "celebrity" status here, joining the ranks of the Chupacabra and Sasquatch. All I know is if he's the one who knocked over my trash cans the other night, he's in a heap of trouble.
My husband has just informed me that the animal in question may have in fact been a wallaby. The plot thickens.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
I know some people would consider a gift of kitchenware to be unromantic; some would say that a more appropriate gift would be flowers or candy. Don't get me wrong: I love flowers and candy. But to me, cool gadgets I can use to get my kitchen mojo going are gifts that just keep on giving. And did I mention that the immersion blender has a whisk attachment and a mini chopper attachment, and that it makes fantastic smoothies?
The soup was silky smooth and full of flavor. It made for a delicious dinner on what was a slightly cool evening. And now that I've gotten over my fear of The Exorcist the soup tastes even better.
*Note: when using an immersion blender to puree the soup, make sure if you're using any kind of meat (ham, ham hocks, etc.) that you remove them from the pot before using the boat motor. Trust me on this.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
Sunday, November 11, 2007
What they don't tell you is what to do when, three-plus days into your vacation, your kids start to drive you out of your skull! When you're at home and your kids start to rattle you, you can always send them off to play in another part of the house, put in a movie, or send them into the backyard to let off steam. On vacation though, it's twenty-four-seven in your face time. Mama needs a break!
I ADORE my children. Actually, I'm not sure there's a word strong enough to convey how I feel for my babies. But I'm really craving some me time--as in me by myself time. Guess it'll have to wait till we get home.
All complaints aside, we visited the Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta today. We saw lots of great dinosaurs, sea creatures, and a pretty neat frog exhibit. We saw the IMAX film entitled "Sea Monsters," which was an interesting and well-done film. I enjoyed it even though my son was acting like a bit of a monster of the two-legged variety. The museum has many interactive exhibits that are great for inquiring minds and little hands. There was also a fascinating exhibit about different cultures and the various ways cultures use adornment to tell stories about their history. Pretty cool stuff.
Tomorrow we load up the Flamencomobile and head back to the hacienda. Once I've unpacked and gotten the mountain of laundry started, I'll work on getting some photos and video up here.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
We did just about everything there was to do at Stone Mountain Park, with the exception of the antebellum plantation stuff. We rode the scenic railroad twice (Ayden's head nearly exploded over that one!), we saw the 4D Polar Express show, the Christmas Parade, the Laser light show, the Great Barn--man, I'm so tired I can't even remember all of it right now!
Tomorrow we're going to the Fernbank Museum of Natural History. Hooray, dinosaurs!
Friday, November 09, 2007
As I had suspected, our GFCF choices have been a bit limited on this trip. Our hotel has a breakfast selection which has fruit juice as its only GFCF choice. Fortunately for me I brought the banana bread I made earlier in the week. The aquarium had some GFCF foods, mostly salads and fruits. We totally lucked out on the dinner front, though. We had dinner at a fantastic Thai restaurant in Tucker, L'Thai, which is just minutes from Stone Mountain. To top it off the restaurant offers organic and conventionally raised meat, for those who prefer organic. We had a terrific meal, and the staff was attentive and friendly. We feasted on delicious curries and steamed jasmine rice. The restaurant has a large fish tank with koi, and the owner was nice enough to let the kids feed the fish. Zoe and Ayden were thrilled. We are all exhausted, so it will be an early night for us this evening. The kids were out cold by about 8:00, and I'm off to bed now too.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
I meant to take a picture of the pair of western boots my mom gave me for my birthday, but of course the camera was already packed. But you can see them here. I got the denim blue ones. Zoe also got a pair of boots from her grandma, and they are too cute! Did I mention they're orange? We're both going to put our hot new boots to good use while we're away. More to follow tomorrow! Adios!
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
I made a simple dinner--hey, I wasn't about to get all creative in the kitchen today. So I made a simple roast chicken with herbs and some yuca. Those who are not familiar with it should give it a shot. It goes by many names: cassava, manioc, etc.--but it's wonderful. It's a traditional root vegetable served in Latino homes. Sorry, I don't have a photo of it, but I'll google it tomorrow and post one.
I'm off to bed. Tomorrow afternoon we hit the road.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Since we're going away this Thursday I wanted to make sure I had enough road-worthy, GFCF snacks to take with us in case we had limited food choices for Zoe. This morning I baked six mini-loaves of banana bread. This time I added buckwheat to the flour mixture, which gave a great texture and a more complex flavor. I decided to go the buckwheat route since my "regular" banana bread used to contain a mixture of white and wheat flour. I was very pleased with the results; the family loves it, and I've got a healthy snack or breakfast item to give Zoe in a pinch.
Tonight at school we worked on a lab involving food preservation and safety. So what do we do? We get to prepare petrie dishes with E. coli--great, two days before my trip and I have to get up close and personal with some nasty buggers. None of my lab partners wanted to touch the test tube with the bacteria sample, so yours truly had to be the one to do it. I think they figured since I'm the oldest person in the group (in the class, to be more specific) that I was somehow more expendable. Good times!
Monday, November 05, 2007
Flamenco Dad and I went out on a mini-date this evening to...the gun range. Romantic, right? Ha ha ha. We had fun; and frankly, I'm not too shabby in the marksmanship department, which surprised me. Though I don't really think I'm cut out to be a regular at the firing range. Let's just say that it's a good thing everyone there has to wear ear protection; otherwise they would have heard the sounds of me humming the music from "Annie Get Your Gun." Man I loved that show! The drama club geek in me comes out every so often. Sorry. I digress.
This range/gun shop had what seemed like hundreds of stuffed animals (not referring to the teddy bear kind either) adorning the entrance and walls of the entire place. It took me a while to get over the strangeness of all the animals just hanging out there; I felt like they were looking at me, I kid you not. I saw a bear that appeared to be about 7 feet tall, a mountain lion (at least I think that's what it was), and all manner of antelope, deer, and who knows what else. Can you tell I don't know much about wildlike? Who am I, Jack Hanna or something? Tell the folks on Animal Planet they have nothing to fear; their jobs are secure.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Me: Sweetie, it seems like just yesterday I gave birth to you.
You: Well Mom, that's just silly. You know, I've been around a looong time. And soon I'm gonna be a teenager. How long before I become an adult?
Me: Too soon.
Today we feasted on GFCF cupcakes in your honor.
Pineapple Velvet Cake (recipe from Special Diets for Special Kids, with a minor modification from me)
2 1/2 cups GF flour mix
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. xanthan gum
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup canola oil
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 tsp. vinegar
1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
Combine first 5 ingredients and put aside. With an electric mixer, blend eggs, oil, sugar and vinegar. Beat well so oil is completely emulsified, and mixture is light and lemony looking. On low speed add flour mixture and pineapple juice, alternating.
Pour into paper-lined muffin tins and bake at 350 about 15-20 minutes.
1/2 cup CF margarine
1/2 cup solid white vegetable shortening.
1 lb. confectioner's sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbs. milk substitute
2-3 Tbs. corn syrup
In a mixer, combine margarine, shortening, vanilla, and any other flavorings you'd like to use. Beat until smooth. Add sugar, a cup at a time, and beat until all the sugar has been added. Beat in milk and add corn syrup to reach spreading consistency. You can add food coloring to this to reach your color of choice. Pink is tops for Zoe.
Makes about 30 cupcakes.
Saturday, November 03, 2007
I know the photo doesn't scream birthday celebration, but it's the most recent one I have; and he looks pretty cute in it, I must say. Happy Birthday, love!
Friday, November 02, 2007
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Yesterday was a great distraction from my research paper; I'm glad I decided to go along with Flamenco Dad and take the kids out to trick-or-treat. Oh yeah, and I am so totally DONE with my paper! Sweet Jebus, I put that baby to bed and turned it in to my professor this evening. I am so relieved. I've only got a few more tests, then finals, and the semester will be over. Hallelujah!
Nablopomo started today. I'm going to be a good girl and stick to my promise of thirty posts in thirty days. I've got some recipes I'm going to try out and post here during the month (now that I actually have time to cook). Lynn made some egg rolls on her blog the other day, and that inspired me to make some summer rolls. Fortunately I have rice flour wrappers on hand here, so I may get cracking on those this weekend. Oh, and the birthdays begin this weekend, so there will be much birthday merriment here at Casa de Flamenco. Stay tuned.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Bless his heart, my hubby orders his coffee beans online and grinds them every time he makes coffee. Swoon! Have I mentioned that in the twelve years we've been together, I can count the number of times I've made coffee on one hand?
For years we've been ordering from this coffee purveyor in New York (we found them while strolling through Greenwich Village while we were out on a date). Recently we decided to give the folks at Boca Java a try, and have been very pleased with the results.
Never one to rest on his laurels, the man been searching for even more ways to get his coffee on with even fresher-tasting results. And so, this arrived via UPS yesterday. Oh, and so did these. So last night my husband came home from work and, not unlike a kid in the proverbial candy store, proceeded to roast his first batch of coffee. I think I heard him squeal in delight once or twice.
My entire house smells like a coffee house--not a bad thing, right? I told my mother-in-law that I'm going to have to set up some tables on the front lawn, slap on my apron, and go around taking orders a la Flo from Alice. In the meantime, I'll be in the kitchen baking scones, lemon squares and the like for the handsome, and somewhat obsessive, coffee elitist I married.
Monday, October 08, 2007
My buddy Annie has awarded me these two blog awards. Annie and I became acquainted on an online forum for stay-at-home-moms. Annie isn't on that forum anymore, but I feel so blessed to have been able to stay in touch with her and form a friendship online with someone I've yet to meet (oh, how 21st century!). Ironically enough, Annie and I live within a modest driving distance of each other but still haven't met. Someday, when the stars align--and our kiddies cooperate--we're going to have to meet up for tea and girl-talk.
So, now it falls on me to share the love with some of the other bloggers who move me, make me laugh, and just brighten my day!
Lynn at Free to Eat. She is a food (and other life stuff) blogger like me. She's got a musical family, also like me. What I love about her blog is that Lynn's wonderful spirit really comes through in what she writes and creates in her kitchen. One day Lynn's family and mine are going to get together for a little flamenco and Navar jam session!
Carmen of Mom to the Screaming Masses and The Elff Diet. Carmen's got a gaggle of children, and is still sane enough to put together a coherent thought. Oh, and she's lost over seventy pounds and is sharing her wealth of knowledge with the entire world. Go girl!
Ali at Divine Domesticity. She's a fantastic cook. Her food is not gfcf, but her creations really motivate me to experiment in my own kitchen. She just gave birth to an adorable baby girl, and is revealing all the stuff about first time motherhood that nobody bothers to tell you about before your kid is born.
Kelly at Mocha Momma. She works as a dean at a high school (which should qualify her for sainthood or something). Kelly's got a razor-sharp wit, and I just love, love, love her blog.
Attila the Mom at Cheaper Than Therapy. ATM is hilarious, smart, and so REAL. Her posts are funny, touching, poignant, and sometimes snarky. I've adopted some of her Attila-isms in my daily vernacular (ex. Richard Cranium, Asshat of the Week, etc), which is a testament to how much I enjoy her writing.
Ooh, I feel all warm and fuzzy!
Thursday, October 04, 2007
1. They don't contain yeast (a bonus if you have some yeast sensitivity), which is great because you don't have to wait for bread dough to proof .
2. Quickbreads have wonderful, homey flavors and a moist, almost cake-like texture.
3. They're a fantastic way to sneak healthy ingredients into your kids' diet that they might otherwise not want to try.
4. Have I mentioned the cute little mini-loaf pans? No? I know, I know, it's a sickness how obsessed I am with kitchenware.
I baked some zucchini bread for the kids yesterday, which was a big hit with Zoe (not so much for Ayden, but at least he tried it). I used a recipe from Cooking Free by Carol Fenster. I've referred to the book frequently in this blog, and that's because it's just that good. For those who must avoid things like eggs and sugar in addition to gluten and casein, Carol includes some recipes which avoid these products as well.
I took photos of the zucchini bread, but am unable to upload it today. One of the kids (or both) broke the USB cable that connects my printer/card reader to my computer; don't ask, I nearly popped a blood vessel when I saw that the cable was broken. Again. Once I replace it I'll post the photo.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
I'm a bit behind in picking up this book--I meant to do it last week. So to say that I'm chomping at the bit to get this book in my hot little hands would be an understatement. Lately I've been up to my eyeballs in homework (I'm drowning in logic problems and chemical formulas over here!) and rehearsals. A chance to sit and read a book of my choosing will be such a treat. Flamenco Dad and I have 2 shows this week, and after that I'll be able to give Jenny's book my attention.
Monday, September 17, 2007
I took a break from studying for tomorrow's science test and baked some cookies for Miss Z and her brother. The recipe for these cookies comes from Special Diets for Special Kids, which is a wonderful cookbook for GFCF, kid-friendly cooking. The cookies have a delightfully chewy texture reminiscent of oatmeal cookies. They include puffed rice cereal, which is what gives it that lovely mouth-feel. I used Enjoy LIfe Foods Chocolate Chips for a bit of chocolatey flavor.
My kids really dug these cookies--Ayden ate four of them! I know, I know, bad mommy right? But I only fed him two; he managed to sneakily get hold of two more cookies on his own. Zoe was thrilled to see that the recipe made a large batch, so she knew there would be plenty to take to school. How many does the recipe make? Well that depends on how large you make them. I spooned them onto the baking sheets in generous tablespoonsful, and the recipe yielded 36 cookies.
Rice Puffies (recipe by Lisa Lewis)
1 cup GF flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. Xanthan Gum
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup CF margarine
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups puffed rice cereal
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together dry ingredients. Cream margarine, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg. Stir in flour mixture, then cereal and chips. Spoon onto baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes or until light brown.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Monday, September 10, 2007
The original recipe comes from Food Network babe Tyler Florence. So, given that I'm kinda sweet on him, I was on board with trying this recipe here at Casa Flamenco. I don't fry too often, but this was definitely worth the effort--and certainly worth making again. I served it along with some roasted herb chicken (hey I wasn't going to fry the entire meal) and some organic sweet peas. Oh yeah, and I had a bottle of Redbridge with it. Yum!
Monday, September 03, 2007
Saturday, September 01, 2007
The rules for this meme game are:
1. Let others know who tagged you.
2. Players start with 8 random facts about themselves.
3. Those who are tagged should post these rules and their 8 random facts.
4. Players should tag 8 other people and notify them they have been tagged.
So here are my eight random facts:
1. I am an absolute crazy-obsessed Wizard of Oz freak. I don't eat at McDonald's, but my niece who works there has brought me all the little Madame Alexander Wizard of Oz toys that came in the Happy Meals. She is now my favorite niece of all time. My husband says I have a disease--and yet (enabler that he is), he bought the the 100th anniversary annotated version of the book. Hello?
2. Even though I'm rather short (barely 5'4) I have BIG, wide canoe feet. When I was a kid, my dad teased me and said I had Fred Flinstone feet, LOL! My dad and I never saw eye to eye on things, but he was totally right about the feet.
3. Speaking of those feet, you'd think that since they're big I'd have more support beneath me to keep me steady. And you would be wrong, because I can be one clumsy girl. It's a wonder that I can stay on my feet in dance class, I can barely navigate my living room!
4. I have got not-so-secret crushes on Alton Brown, Tyler Florence, and several of the other Food Network dudes. I loves me a guy that knows his way around a kitchen. Except for Bobby Flay--that guy's a real "Richard Cranium"(hope you don't mind me borrowing that, Attila).
5. I have what I believe to be an extremely cool tattoo on my shoulder. It took me two years to muster up the nerve to let my grandma see it--but she thinks it's pretty snazzy too. I never told her that I had my belly button pierced as well; it might have been too much for her to handle. Besides, I had that removed a little over ten years ago, at my doctor's insistence--I was seven months pregnant at the time and my belly button looked like it was about to pop and tear at the site of the piercing.
6. When I was a teenager, I had the chance to go on a tour of Europe with my school--and my parents said no. Merde! I missed out on two weeks traveling through London, Paris, Barcelona, and Rome. Trust me, I'm still mad about it. Mom, I hope you're reading this.
7. I am a beauty product junkie. Particularly when it comes to hair products. It must stem from the fact that I grew up in a beauty parlor. I love all manner of yummy smelling hair stuff. Some people say that the smell of cookies baking in the oven reminds them of their childhood. For me it's the smell of peroxide and hairspray.
8. I never learned to ride a bike. I grew up in the ghetto, and my parents refused to let me play outside to learn. And good luck learning to ride in an apartment. My husband bought me a bike (and a super-cute matching helmet) several years ago and I'm afraid to ride it. WTH?
Okay, so I know I'm supposed to tag 8 other people, but most of the other bloggers I know have already done this. If you haven't, then consider yourself tagged!
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
I guess I should consider myself lucky in that, at four years old, this is the first time we've had to go to the ER with Ayden for something like this. Zoe was just under two years old when she somehow got a hold of a small bit of cotton and jammed it in her ear. Moments later she was bleeding from her ear because she was trying to dig it out. Ick, I'm getting nauseous just thinking about it.
So we get to the ER, where the doctor on duty determines that it's just a cut (no concussion or anything like that), so it's two staples on Ayden's scalp and away we go. He needs to keep the staples in for seven to ten days. Picture me trying to wash the kid's hair when all he can think about are the two staples protruding from his head. For the next seven to ten days, people. Again with the nausea.
Which brings us to Friday--two days after the couch jumping incident. Ayden had surgery to correct his "tongue-tie," which is at the point where--if not corrected--could eventually affect his speech (we were already starting to see signs of that). The surgery is known as a frenoplasty; given the fact that my son's tongue tie was rather pronounced, it was necessary for the doctor to put two stitches on the underside of my son's tongue after cutting it. Okay, seriously, I'm turning green over here.
Needless to say, once the little guy woke up from the anesthesia and the drugs started to wear off...he was not happy. Fear not, it was nothing some Tylenol and an unlimited supply of ice pops couldn't fix. He's feeling much better, but he still doesn't want to stick his tongue out. Well, at least the kid's got good manners.
Monday, August 27, 2007
I'm doing the preschool curriculum with the little guy here at home since the state's voluntary preschool program is next summer, with Ayden starting kindergarten next fall. My son and I have a good routine worked out already. We begin at 8 a.m., do some work, and around 9:30 is when he has some free time to play while his mom checks emails and blogs.
Zoe's school year began with much fanfare, as she is beginning to mainstream this year. We're all very excited for her. She is also looking into being a regular part of her school's morning broadcast, which would be a great opportunity for her to challenge herself in new ways.
Flamenco Dad has been busy writing syllabi for his students. He's teaching a new course this year(in addition to his regular course load), which required extra preparation (like going through the new textbook and preparing a syllabus and lecture material), but he's done and now the fun begins.
As for me, my first week back at school has been positive. Unfortunately for me, the courses I'm taking this semester have nothing at all to do with my major--which means I've got to work harder at making it interesting for me. And did I mention I'm taking math AND science? I'm an artsy gal, so these subjects in particular are quite difficult for me. I am committed to kicking butt on these classes, whether I'm a math and science girl or not. The first time I was a college student I was much younger, and more interested in my social life than my studies. I spent much time goofing off and going to many a campus party. Fast forward seventeen years (oh, good heavens!) and I find now that I'm considerably more focused on what matters. Thank goodness--I'm a bit too old to be hanging out with the sorority sisters.
Edited to add: Since I've gone back to school, my brother has now nicknamed me "Billy Madison"
Saturday, August 18, 2007
This recipe I found on her site is for Almost Nantucket Cookie Bars. I'm not going to post the recipe here, but here is the link: http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/2006/11/pepperidge-farm-remember.html. Please forgive me, I haven't mastered the art of linking without having to put the entire url up. I've still got a ways to go there.
But anyway, this cookie is absolutely divine. And it really is incredibly close to those Pepperidge Farm goodies that haven't graced my home in many years. Zoe loved them (even if they do have coconut in them). And as Karina mentions in her blog, they are truly dunk worthy. I didn't even have time to photograph them; I was too busy woofing them down with my husband and kids. So thank you, thank you Karina--the entire Flamenco Family sends many besos!!!
Thursday, August 09, 2007
There are as many ways to make sofrito as there are cooks that prepare it. This recipe is one that my mother-in-law gave to me; the ingredients make a smaller batch, and it can be easily doubled or tripled to suit the cook's needs. Some of the ingredients may be hard to find in the produce section of your local market; things like cilantro, culantro, and aji dulce may be found at your local Latin American or Asian grocer.
Unlike some sofrito recipes, this one is not cooked in advance. When I use it, I heat oil in the pan I'm cooking in, add a few teaspoons of sofrito and cook for a few minutes, then add whatever other ingredients my recipe calls for. When used in meats, I use it raw--I simply season the uncooked meat with it, adding other seasonings like salt and pepper as needed.
1 green bell pepper, roughly chopped
1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
2 medium onions, peeled and roughly chopped
1 head garlic, peeled
1 bunch cilantro, leaves only
1 bunch recao (culantro)
1 small bag aji dulce, about 4 oz.
1 tsp oregano, dried
pinch of black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
In blender, place peppers, onions, aji dulces, and garlic; add oil and pulse. Add cilantro, culantro, oregano, and pepper and continue to pulse until pureed. Please note that depending on the size of the blender it may be necessary to do this in batches. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container up to two weeks. This freezes extremely well in airtight containers. You may want to store this in multiple smaller containers and keep one in the fridge and the rest in the freezer.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Sofrito is a popular ingredient in Puerto Rican cooking--similar in appearance to pesto, it combines peppers, onions, garlic, culantro, cilantro, and this really small, sweet chile called aji dulce. These ingredients go into the food processor, and are added to lots of traditional dishes. I make it in large batches, and freeze it in plastic containers. Now I know what you're going to say: that doesn't sound like something that would go in traditional Italian meatballs. You would be correct. But they do go in my Nuyorican meatballs. I remember Giada de Laurentiis from the Food Network using a sofrito once too--though I don't think she put it in her meatballs.
Once the meatballs are done done I'll drop them into my marinara sauce and let 'em simmer for about 30 minutes. I'll serve them over gluten free pasta--today it's Bionaturae Elbow macaroni--they're made with potato, rice, and soy. I really like the texture and flavor of the pasta; to me, it is the most similar to semolina pastas than other gluten free varieties.
Sorry, no picture yet--but once dinner's ready I'll post one. Ciao!
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
In other news, Zoe was "glutened" on this trip--at least, we're pretty sure she was. She was okay on the drive home, although she was oddly quiet. She had a horrendous night went we arrived home, and unfortunately threw up in our car the next morning. Yesterday she was a total wreck with stomach problems, shakiness, and lots of uncontrollable stimming. Thank God she is much better today, though she is quite exhausted from the lack of sleep.