Beets! (Part 2)

Because my son is playing with the iPad, because my daughter is fighting her nap and because I’m not venturing out of the house with these two due to the snow we had here, I’m taking a poll!

Yesterday, My friend Jennifer left a comment about how she is a beet lover and how it reminded her of when her grandmother used to make them when she was a kid.  I loved that my silly, but true post brought her such a sweet memory.  But I’m curious, who else likes beets? 

Raise your hand if you like beets!

Well, since I can’t see you, that wont do.

Since most of you are probably snowed in too, let’s have a little fun! Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts below too!

Cheers!  May your day be filled with warmth, compliant children, and something yummy to eat!

We got the Beet!

Four months ago, I gave birth to my precious little daughter. When my water broke, I was so relieved that is wasn’t stained red…and no I’m not talking about blood. I’m talking about beet juice.

When I was pregnant, believe it or not, I craved beets. Weird but true.

I had never really liked the strangely potent root vegetable until I was pregnant.

Just to reiterate….yes, pregnancy cravings are real, and yes, I craved beets. No lie.

They still conjure up a memory of going to a buffet restaurant as a kid and seeing them on the salad bar…You could always find them next to the cottage cheese and sunflower seeds.

Once, while grocery shopping during my pregnancy, I stumbled upon the pickled variation and just couldn’t resist. I snatched them up and tossed them into my cart. As I drove home, all I could think about was their strange, assertive flavor. I was salivating…over beets.

When I got home, I immediately opened the jar and ate one…or five. I couldn’t resist their earthly crunch. That night at dinner, I put a few on mine and my husband’s salads. They were delish. His scowling face told it all. He wasn’t a fan.

Over the course of my pregnancy, I went through Three jars. I even bought fresh ones and roasted them in the oven with carrots. I used a variation of Barefoot Contessa recipe that you can find here.

Be careful though. They stain. I mean REALLY STAIN. Your hands, your clothes and the other foods you eat. That is why beet juice is often used as a natural food coloring. Oh, and the color does not breakdown well during digestion. So if you decide to consume a lot like me, don’t be suprised when you flush the toilet…..don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Yesterday I had to get a few things at the grocery store and stumbled upon them again. I couldn’t resist. I had to buy them.

20140128-194913.jpg

So I did.

When I got home, my husband was helping unload everything and of course I hear, “These things! Ugh, they taste like sour dirt!”

I smiled…knowing that I would be able to have the entire jar to myself. 🙂

 

Pancakes from Scratch!

When you eat gluten free, breakfast can be a bit of a challenge. As more and more people have chosen this way of eating, the selection of gluten free products on the market has totally increased. However, theses products are pretty pricey and often times the calorie count is less than to be desired. (Like 100 calories for one smallish piece of sandwich bread!).

Because of this, I find myself eating a lot of eggs, yogurt, cheese, Rice Chex etc. which is fine, but sometimes I just want something completely carb-filled and “normal” like pancakes!

There are some wonderful gluten free pancake mixes that can really satisfy the craving for this yummy breakfast classic.  Of course, when I really have a craving for something in particular, I’m missing an ingredient…..the pancake mix!

This just in: you can make super delicious pancakes and waffles without using Bisquick or some other boxed mix.

(I’m not trying to dis Bisquick…I love the stuff, especially for a crowd…actually, I will be using it for my little buddy’s “Pancakes and Pajamas” birthday party next weekend…I’ll have a post about that too!)

The recipe I’m using I’ve adapted from a cookbook my twin brother got me for Christmas years ago…I have since tweaked it a bit and memorized it to make it my own.

Ya wanna know the best part?

Say yes.

(Yes!)

You can use regular AP flour for the APGF flour mix I use and regular milk for the almond milk I use as well!

Why almond milk? I have been dairy free for the last four months since realizing my daughter is intolerant to the fairly large cow’s milk protien that passes into breastmilk.

Pancakes
Makes about 14

1 cup APGF flour (You can find out about the All Purpose Gluten Free flour mix I use here)
1 T of baking powder (or 3 tsps if your tablespoon has been taken captive by a two-year-old….yes, 1 T is equal to 3 tsps)
1/4 tsp salt
2 T sugar
2 T oil
3/4 cup almond milk
1 egg, whisked

  1. Turn your griddle to med-high heat and butter it up….or not. You could use cooking spray or nothing at all if your griddle is nonstick and you’re dairy free.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl until the lumps are gone; don’t stress if there are a few lumps left.
  3. Using about 1/4 cup portions, pour the batter on the griddle.
  4. Flip when you see the pancakes bubbling and let the other side cook for a minute or so.

That’s it. Easy peasy pancakes from scratch. Top them with butter and syrup or whipped cream and strawberries….whatever tickles your fancy.

20140126-133748.jpg

I topped these pancakes with cinnamon and brown sugar fried apples…I’d post the recipe, but I’m not 100% pleased with it yet, so stay tuned! oh, and the picture is a bit blurry because my camera died and I had to use my phone. Woopsy!

In the mean time, go make these for breakfast….or make them for dinner if you’re a fan of “breakfast for dinner” like my crew!

Slow-Cooked Chicken Drumsticks

The weather here has been abnormally cold, which is really quite ironic considering that it IS Winter…though, that really means nothing in this part of the country. Monday it was in the mid 50s and today the high is only supposed to be 24 degrees…burr!

On this particular day, none of my speech therapy patients wanted to come in due to the four whole inches of snow on the ground, so I had an extra day at home with my little kiddos.

The sight of snow immediately made my toes turn into ice cubes. So naturally when I am cold I want to eat something warm and cozy to take the chill off..or at least stick my toes in something warm and cozy.

When you are a mom, whether you work or not, a slower cooker can be your best friend. Since we were in and out of the house playing in the snow, I plugged in my slow cooker and anticipated the yummy smells that would soon follow.

I went out into the garage refrigerator where we keep most of our bulk items and opened the freezer. There were two things: a bag of chopped broccoli that looked freezer burned and a pack of chicken drumsticks. The choices were endless.

I really needed to go to the grocery store, but there was no way I was taking my baby and my little buddy out shopping, by myself, in this “blizzard.” Chicken drumsticks it was!

Most people think of drumsticks as that deliciously greasy piece of deep fried chicken at the bottom of the bucket that you and your siblings fought over as kids. But drumsticks are so much more than that!

In this particular case, they were getting slow cooked until they fell off the bone. Yum! The recipe I used has an Asian flare, and the ingredients can be adjusted according to your particular taste. If you like more spice, add more Sriracha, if you like more sweetness, add more brown sugar, if it’s too tangy, reduce the amount of balsamic vinegar…you get the idea.

Slow-Cooked Chicken Drumsticks

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger (or a Tablespoon of ground ginger)
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
  • black pepper
  • 10 chicken drumsticks (not drumettes), skin removed and discarded
  • green onion
  1. If you haven’t done so already, skin the chicken and set them aside. Don’t be afraid, just grab a hold of the skin by the meatier part of the drumstick and pull towards the end. Sometimes I do this while holding a paper towel as I tend to get a better grip this way.
  2. Mix all of the other ingredients in the slower cooker. The recipe I followed instructed you to boil the ingredients first to make a thicker sauce, but I was trying to get this done before my daughter woke up from her morning nap, so I skipped this step.

  3. Add in the chicken and roll it around to coat.

  4. Set the temperature to low and cook for 4-5 hours, turning the chicken on occasion.

  5. Once done, your house should smell awesome and the chicken should be falling off the bone.

  6. At this point, you can dish it up over rice, add a veggie and voila. Or you can make it pretty by plating it on a serving dish and pouring the sauce over top.

  7. If you have cilantro or toasted sesame seeds to garnish, that would be awesome! All I had was some almost wilted green onion, so I sliced them up and sprinkled on top.

slow-cooked chicken drumsticks

That’s it! Well, almost…

…back to the rice.

rice cooker

I got this baby for a wedding gift almost seven years ago and it is still going strong. I have to say, not once since I’ve been married have I ever fiddled with cooking rice on the stove, which is a good thing, because I would totally burn it and that wouldn’t be fair to my husband, since he does the dishes. 🙂

By the way, I mean BTW, I mean hold up! Did you know that you can also use a rice cooker to cook brown rice AND quinoa?! It’s true, and it’s the same 1:2, grain to liquid cooking ratio and it’s done in 20 minutes…Now you know!

Now go put on some fuzzy socks and enjoy!

adapted from Farm Girl Gourmet

And so it begins!

I’ll admit it, I’m totally a self declared blog lover.  One of my favorite things to do is veg out on the couch with my iPad and read The Pioneer Woman or some other blog I’ve stumbled upon after perusing Pinterest.  So naturally, having my own blog makes perfect sense, right?

Wrong.

Actually, my husband has been bugging me for years to write down different recipes I try or concoct.   He is also big into journaling and encourages me to do this as well, as I find myself searching for a way to organize my thoughts… happy, sad or indifferent. So, I guess I blame this blog on him. 🙂

I’m not a photographer and I have recipe flops. But…

I love to cook. Cooking is probably one of my greatest stress relievers.

I like to write.  I dabbled a bit in writing while in college and still find it enjoyable.

I need to be more structured with my journaling because in truth, it does help me gather my thoughts, draw closer to God and improve my prayer life, so blogging will be an accountability of sorts.

Plus, I totally dislike my handwriting.

My goal is to be real, open and reflective; whether it be about a cupcake success, mommy mishap or life lesson.

My hope in life is that with every breath I take, I’m learning and growing.

Growing as a mother, wife and friend, all while learning how to live a grace-filled life.