Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Summer: Slow VS Rushed

 

I LOVE weekends off. Working for a non-profit, you’d think I’d have tons of those, but our non-profit runs a retail store; so I’m there most weekends. But if you’ve read this blog for long, then you know I love my job. I’m not complaining; I just don’t always love the hours.

This past weekend I had a few days off, so I made a special trip to see my bestie sister and

basil_12

Lil’ Gluten Loves Me ! On Saturday we went down to visit our other sister and these cuties:

huntersville weekend 101

Gabriel and his twin sister Chloe, and an un-pictured baby Liam

huntersville weekend 096

It was SO much fun to spend a weekend with my nieces and nephews. (And YES twins run in my family!! It never skips a generation and it may or may not make me a bit nervous!!) We spent all day Saturday outside playing in the water and enjoying the sun.

huntersville weekend 107

It really is what I would consider a perfect summer day! Lil’ Gluten Loves Me agreed!

I spent several days at my bestie’s house and one night she and my BIL Scotty made the perfect summer meal:

basil_11

Perfectly seasoned, perfectly cooked steak with grilled peppers and onions. Simple and satisfying!

It was so nice to spend an entire day with my family, prepare supper together, and take our time enjoying each bite. No worries about deadlines or alarm clocks.

But I’m not naive. I know that having a job is part of being a grown up…at least it is when you and your husband plan on saving the world. SO I like to have tasty, quick standbys that still remind me that it’s summer. (Even when I’m in a hurry!) And that can hopefully be prepared with as few dishes as possible.

My bestie Joan had given me this gem from her and Scott’s own garden:

basil_3

A Stripey Tomato

So I paired it with a handful of basil

basil_2

from Parrish’s garden:

basil_4

I chopped the basil and tomato and added it to chopped onion. I sliced a baguette from GF Against the Grain Gourmet and topped it with the tomato mixture. I drizzled the bread with olive oil, balsamic, and fresh pepper. Then I sprinkled just a wink of low fat mozzarella. Bake on broil until the cheese is bubbly and brown!

basil_5 

Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm

The crunchiness from the baguette paired with the tangy tomato, creamy cheese, and the sweet balsamic is heaven. These summer flavors belong together.

*********************

What are some of your favorite summer foods? My top five would be:

As seen above: Summer Bruschetta

A similar dish sans gluten free bread

Baked Tomato Strata

Summer Squash Gratin

Crust-less Peach Pie

Oh man, making this list reminded me of how good that peach dessert is…hmmm :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Gluten Free Cake Batter Ice Cream

 

It’s true! I tried to think of a witty title and a catchy intro to this new recipe…but in all honesty gluten free cake batter ice cream really doesn’t need all that hoop-lah. It’s perfectly amazing all on it’s own!

huntersville weekend 085

Creamy. Rich. Birthday Cake-alicious. Love it!

My bestie sister and I followed the recipe found here, exactly, except that we used Betty Crocker Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix. It was my first time making homemade ice cream, so I was a bit nervous.

huntersville weekend 082

It was hard not to peek while the motor churned, but I was able to control myself.

The results:

huntersville weekend 084

SO GOOD!! This recipe makes a small amount, which was perfect! This ice cream is so rich and creamy, a small serving will do!

This was a recipe that I was dying to recreate gluten free. Before my Celiac diagnosis, it was always a special treat to go to Coldstone Creamery and enjoy a ‘like it’ portion of cake batter ice cream. It typically made me SUPER sick, but I thought I was just lactose intolerant!! Eesh. Anywho, I LOVE this recipe!! And I didn’t feel sick afterwards! :)

And if you’re keeping track, that makes Marlow: 4 Gluten:0

Did you miss the previous battles I’ve had recreating glutenous recipes that seemed impossible?

Here

Here

and Here!

*************************

Do you have a favorite recipe that you’re struggling to recreate?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Funky.

 

For the past week I have been feeling POOOOOOOOPED!

moondays 008

BIG. SLEEPY. MONDAY. EYES. Too bad this was on Friday! :)

Wednesday and Thursday night I stayed up WAY too late, and by Friday morning it had all caught up with me. And even today, I feel like I can’t recover!

I have been living on this:

moondays 003

(The dark temptress!!) and this:

moondays 014

and this:

moondays 006

Which is probably a main factor in why I still feel so run down. Caffeine is a vicious cycle. Just when I think I’ve kicked my Diet Coke habit, I have a moment of weakness.

And technically the Steaz wasn’t my fault! I went to Whole Foods to get a delicious Kombucha only to find a ton of apple juice in it’s place. Apparently kombucha is being pulled from shelves because it has been found to have more alcohol than labeled on the bottle. (Which is probably why I like it…)

Funny thing about feeling like crap, I don’t feel like cooking. I literally didn’t eat supper Thursday or Friday. And if you know anything about me, you know that I LOVE food!! It’s nights like those that make you wish you could just grab a sandwich or some chicken tenders on the go. But the next day I’m super glad that I’m gluten free and can’t easily give in to cravings. So tonight I pulled myself out of the funk to make two dishes I’m currently crazy about.

Local Bounty Salad:

moondays 020

Ripe Tomatoes from the Farmer’s Market, Chapel Hill Creamery Farmer’s Cheese, and Basil from Parrish’s garden. Tossed with Balsamic, salt, and fresh cracked pepper!

moondays 021

Fresh. Tasty! Fast.

Followed up with:

moondays 057

Crispy BBQ tofu! I prepared the tofu the same way as in this recipe, but instead of the pineapple glaze I tossed with:

moondays 054

Love it! I honestly think I could eat Moore’s on everything. I love the smoky sweetness!

************ Now if I can just find some energy to clean the kitchen! :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Half-way There

 

I finally finished my About Me page! Reflecting on the past two years really made me realize just how long it’s been since having gluten! BUT when I start thinking about how long it’s been…I start to think about how quickly September 18th is coming. Oh my lord. I’m getting married!

Okay, let’s change gears before I start making lists again. Back to Sunday!

While Parrish worked on trimming the tree:

weekend revisited 026

Max worked on his water bowl:

weekend revisited 021

and on being adorable!

And I worked on the flower boxes. Behold! Death:

weekend revisited 022

Yuck!

Playing in the yard is currently my favorite part of being a homeowner! I showed that box of death who’s boss!

weekend revisited 029

I planted a back row of petunias and in the front I planted a trailing plant. I can’t find it’s marker, but hopefully I can get the name for you soon!

weekend revisited 035

Much better!

weekend revisited 036

Hey lady!

****************************

In other news I FINALLY watched Glee for the first time tonight!

I know, I know.

day off 021

What? You don’t peel peaches while watching TV?

day off 020

Multi tasking baby. I LOVE local peaches, but they often become ticking time bombs sitting on my counter. I always get over zealous when I see them at the Farmer’s Market and over buy. So tonight I peeled all the ripe ones and cut them in to chunks to freeze. I see lots of peachy oatmeal batches in my future. :)

Do you guys watch Glee? I thought it was pretty good! I was in dance all through high school and choral too, so of course I loved it!

Max tried to stay up to watch it:

day off 019

But he was just too tired. He played with all his toys!

************* TGIF!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Way MORE Info!!

Luckily, I figured out how to get my blog title picture fixed! It was literally driving me crazy last night. I'm a lady who hates gluten and LOVES visual balance.

I've also started laying down all the drama in the 'Marlow' tab! Check it out! I'm about half way through, and I've actually found it pretty cathartic to write! Hard to believe it's been two years.

24 more hours of CONSTRUCTION to go...I hope I make my self imposed deadline! :) Luckily I'm a pretty understanding project coordinator.

Thanks for the patience and the ideas! Keep the feedback coming!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

CONSTRUCTION

 

Over the next 48 hours, this blog is getting a MAJOR face lift.

I’m bringing out the BIG GUNS:

weekend revisited 025

(He he. Naw, that’s just Parrish doing some yard work. But more on the yard transformation later) :)

If you haven’t read the news, (thanks SHU) Blogger has FINALLY added “pages” or tabs!! Now I don’t have to get all fancy and try to somehow transfer to Wordpress!

So while I’m working out the kinks…and going NUTS because now my blog title picture is off center…I thought I would take this opportunity to see:

What do you guys want to see?

Aside from an ‘About Me’ page, what other sorts of info would you like to see? What sorts of questions would you like answered? Anything! Just ask :)

After tons of emails about putting together a gluten free wedding, I thought a Gluten Free Bride to Be page might be helpful. Parrish is insisting he have a page…although I don’t know what it will say!? Maybe how to cope when your wifey is diagnosed with Celiac Disease!

So let me know! And please…

EXCUSE THE MESS!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Recipe Revisited

 

After last week’s FAIL, I’ll admit that I was a bit confused as to what went wrong. I hoped that it was because I tried to cook too much tofu at once and that the bits were too small. But I was hesitant to add it to the menu this week. BUT I was still craving crispy tofu! (And let’s face it…it’s better for me than craving crispy chicken!)

So I reread this recipe to get the general gist, and decided to give it a second chance!

pineapple stir fry 039

Good thing! Because this supper was light, delicious AND easy!

I pressed Nasoya tofu for an hour, and then heated a sautĂ© pan prepared with a quick spray of cooking oil. Once heated, I cut the tofu into 1’x2’ rectangles and sprinkled with corn starch. I cooked each batch for about 5 minutes total, flipping to get each side crispy.

pineapple stir fry 028

And then tossed in a pineapple glaze!

While the tofu was cooking, I mixed 3 tbsp. cornstarch with one cup pineapple juice. Once dissolved, I added 3 tbsp. honey and 6 tbsp. wheat free tamari. I poured it into a small sauce pan and cooked it down on medium heat. Once thick, I poured a few tbsp. over the tofu.

Once the tofu was finished, I put it aside and grabbed my wok. I heated one tsp. oil and added in one bag frozen pepper stir fry and one bag frozen sugar snap stir fry mix.

pineapple stir fry 024

It cooked super fast! Once cooked through, I added in the rest of the pineapple glaze:

pineapple stir fry 033

Around 1/2 to 3/4 cup. Stir to combine! Pineapple Glaze Nom Nom Nom

pineapple stir fry 037

Served on top of 5 Minute Brown Rice :)

pineapple stir fry 042

Mmmm crispy tofu :) 

Loved this recipe! I will definitely be making it again! And Parrish…well he was open to using tofu instead of chicken but he is a meat man! Did he enjoy this dish as much as butter basted steak? No. But he enjoyed it enough to enjoy it again!

Besides, you can’t eat butter basted steak every night! :)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Bull Riding

 

I had read over on Carpe Durham that there was going to be a rodeo this past Sunday, from 11:30 to 3pm and I was DYING to go!

Silver Anniversary | My new job | Gravy

Wait, not that kind of rodeo.

And yes, that is me. Circa 2004. Livin’ the dream.

It was a FOOD RODEO! Circa 2010!

a food truck 006

And it was packed!!

a food truck 007

There was a gluten truck and a gluten truck AND a gluten truck!! Just kidding :) But seriously, there was the Korean taco truck BulKogi, DaisyCakes, Parlez-Vous Crepes, Only Burger, the BigRedBus Indian Truck, and Loco Pops!!

Parrish and I arrived around 1:30, and pretty much every truck was sold out. I wasn’t really going to eat, as there was only ONE truck I could get food from. We were mainly just going because it’s not everyday that there’s a food truck rodeo!

So I opted to get a Loco Pop while Parrish scanned the lines to see what was available.

a food truck 008

While standing in line I overheard the guy in front of me…ok, I was totally eavesdropping…anyway, the guy was complaining about how there was NOTHING he could eat. And he was starving! And I just smiled to myself. I thought “WELCOME TO MY LIFE!” and then I stopped smiling and wondered if he was what I sound like to Parrish…moving on.

a food truck 009

Parrish came back from the lines empty handed, and found me with a Black Raspberry Mojito Loco Pop. Yeah son! And he wanted me to share…

a food truck 010

What this? Share this? But I licked it and I’m pretty sure I’m not up to date on my cootie shot.

Turns out getting engaged makes your fiancé immune to your cooties. Darn!

After the rodeo, we headed down to Dain’s Place on Ninth Street:

a food truck 013

where I enjoyed a cool glass of my favorite cider, Original Sin.

a food truck 011

And of course Parrish didn’t ask me to share! ;)

*******************

Do you guys have food trucks where you live? Durham seems to have a ton, and the community really supports it!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Supper FAIL & Five Great Things

 

Thankfully Parrish and I have really stuck with making a menu plan for each week. And if tonight’s dinner had gone to plan, we would have enjoyed a super delicious helping of GF Sesame Chicken.

But when I opened the chicken, I knew instantly that it had gone bad. But no worries, I had Nasoya cubed tofu in the fridge! So I quickly improvised and dusted the tofu with cornstarch to make it crispy. ( I LOVED how crispy the tofu was in this recipe)

But (you can see there are lots ‘buts’ here) the tofu I was used was pre-cubed and much smaller. PLUS I was lazy tonight and just threw it in there all at once…

five things 001

FAIL

five things 002

BIG TIME FAIL.

So we ditched the plan and opted for take out. But being gluten free, take out is always SO HARD.

Or at least it used to be.

Because now I live within 5 minutes of…

five things 003

P.F. Changs baby!!! I LOOOOOVE their gluten free menu!! I’m thinking of writing an “I Love P.F. Chang’s” song. Who’s with me?

So since I can’t share a recipe with you tonight, I thought I would share 5 things I’m crazy about right now! (Because Four Things are never enough!!!)

1. The Bora Bora Bar

five things e

You may remember a few months ago, when I picked up a Bora Bora Bar at my local Harris Teeter…and then tweeted that I thought I threw it away! Well, when we moved, I found it! In the freezer. Yeah, I don’t know why it was in there either.

five things f

Crunchy but not hard. Sweet but not sticky. PERFECT texture. Bangin’ gluten free good!

2. DANSKOS

Danskos are MAGICAL.

five things d

I don’t talk about it much on the blog because I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer, but I have MAJOR lower disc issues. EVERY SINGLE DAY my sciatic nerve hurts. And by the time I get home in the afternoon, I can’t even sit. Driving home from work is almost unbearable. I’ve worn crocs; I’ve worn keens. Nothing. Friday I went to Cozy, a local store that was having it’s Memorial Day shoe sale and bought a pair. Saturday I went back and bought a second pair.

five things 009

I could be on my feet for 10 hours and I would be fine! These shoes are MAGIC. My nerve hurt a tiny bit today because I was bending down a lot, but no where near the norm. I honestly can’t say enough. Love Love Love them.

3. SO Delicious Coconut Milk Coffee Creamer

five things c

Have I told you guys about this already? Actually, even if I did, I should tell you again. Buy it. Drink it. LURVE it.

4. Super Springy Cardigan

my birthday 007

I bet half (or more) of you lovely ladies own this same cardigan, because it was purchased at Target. BUT I still had to post it. Loves it! I feel very ‘impressionist period’ when I wear it! Monet anyone?

5. Ian’s Gluten Free Animal Cookies

aka GF tiny pieces of crunchy, buttery heaven

five things 011

My best friends over at Mambo Sprouts sent me these to review. And when I first saw the bag, I’ll admit, I was underwhelmed. I mean, it’s just animal cookies right?

five things 012

Wrong!

These puppies…I mean these wild animals are tasty!! And fun to eat!

five things 016

Oh No! That lion ate the elephant’s head!! :)

PLUS,

five things 020

there’s a wolf! How cool is that?!

*****************

Anything you’re crazy lovin’ right now?