Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What not to eat for dinner.


Last night, the wee one went to sleep early and Ant & I didn't know what we wanted for dinner. We'd start talking about it, then get distracted. This went on for over an hour or two. Suddenly, it was 8:30PM and no dinner. Then both of us had an idea. (Mind you, I didn't say a smart idea.) We decided to have bacon for dinner. Just bacon. Not a BLT. Not a bacon cheese burger. Just bacon.

In the end, this is what we learned:

  1. Bacon alone is not a meal;
  2. Even though bacon is tasty, eating 1/2 pound for dinner isn't natural;
  3. Consuming this much bacon is not good for sleep;
  4. If you do have bacon, and only bacon, for dinner, this will be your dessert:

But as a sidenote....I found this

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Uovo Allevatori


Last night, Ant and I couldn't figure out what to have for dinner. I didn't want red meat; he didn't want fish. We both didn't want chicken. So I searched the blogosphere for a recipe that met our criteria. And I found Karina's recipe for Santa Fe Huevos on Polenta. Ant and both agreed that the recipe (and the photo) looked divine.

But, there was a problem. We didn't have all the ingredients. And it was raining out. So, I substituted. And made this wonderful Southwest recipe into an Italian one. And it wasn't bad....


Uovo Allevatori
(Inspired by and based on Karina's Santa Fe Huevos on Polenta)

Ingredients:

1 18-oz roll pre-made polenta, sliced (I used a roll from Trader Joes)
1 rinsed canned black beans
1 14-oz can of Italian-Style Diced Tomatoes
1/2 cup of pre-made bruschetta (I used the entire jar of Trader Joe's bruschetta - I love bruschetta)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 medium zucchini, chopped or diced
1 large red or green bell pepper, cored, seeded, diced
1 teaspoon each: Oregano, Basil and Taco Seasoning (My ADD kicked in and I grabbed Taco Seasoning instead of Parsley - but it was good)
1 bag of Italian-style shredded cheese
5 large eggs
Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Lay the polenta slices in an oiled oval casserole dish.
  3. In a bowl combine the beans, diced tomatoes, bruschetta, garlic, onion, zucchini, bell pepper, and spices.
  4. Spoon this mixture over the sliced polenta and place the pan in the pre-heated oven.
  5. Bake for twenty minutes
  6. Place the shredded cheese over the polenta mixure and continue to bake while your husband fries the eggs.
  7. Remove the casserole from the oven.
  8. Lay the cooked eggs on top of the polenta.
  9. Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.
My son wouldn't touch it, but yesterday he wouldn't eat anything. My husband, found the polenta creepy - he said it reminded him of overcooked squash, but he loved the tomato/egg mixture. He recommended subbing lentils for the black beans and adding bacon or pancetta. I liked it, but then again, I'm wierd and I believe any thing with cheese on it makes anything awesome. I would think arsenic smothered in gouda would be a kick-ass meal. It would even be better with bacon...lol

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Gluten-Free in the Staten Island mainstream?

Shockingly enough, my local rag, the Staten Island Advance, did a review of my favorite organic, gluten-free restaurant, Tuttoriso. After reading the review, I don't think the critic actually understood what goes into homemade gluten-free (and corn-free) meals. The review is somewhat favorable, but it still isn't an accurate picture of what a gift Tuttoriso is!

Friday, September 12, 2008

St. Armour's Madeleines

One of the secretaries I work with saw these on vacation during the summer and thought of me. I have never seen these before and how can you say no to chocolate. I put them in my desk at work and promptly forgot about them. Until yesterday.

I busted out the bag and decided that a "taste test" was in order. I gave one to my secretary and two counselors (and myself, duh). They were very light with a robust almond and orange taste. It wasn't too over powering, but covered the "blah" taste that sometimes baked goods made of tapioca and white rice flour have. And the chocolate was tasty. The only negative that we found was that they were crumbly and didn't have the golden look of a traditional madeleine.

They are made by St. Armour.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

GF Restaurant Review: Charlie Brown's Steakhouse


Since I had a crappy day at work, my hubby decided to take our family out to dinner to relax. We chose Charlie Brown's here on Staten Island since we heard about a GF Menu and it was always a place we enjoyed before going gluten-free. I loved their hot wings and their salad bar.....*sigh*

Well, their GF menu wasn't great, but it was better than nothing. Shrimp cocktail, salad w/o most dressings, steak, plain veggies, etc. I opted for the Grilled Salmon with a Garlic Dill Sauce accompanied by a baked potato. And a glass of wine.
When our meals arrived, my dish had a naked piece of salmon and an undressed baked potato. After looking around for our server, we were able to get the Garlic Dill Sauce and some butter for my potato. The salmon was dry and the baked potato was, well, just a baked potato. On the plus side, they do have a gf cheesecake.
I don't think we will be stopping there again anytime soon......but my son LOVED his ice cream....lol

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

GF Restaurant Review: PF Changs

The one food that I have missed since going gluten-free has been chinese. There is a small chinese restaurant not to far away from me that only uses white meat, fresh veggies from the greenmarket, and lean cuts of beef that I used to love going to. But, I was too freaked out about cross contamination issues to even attempt to eat it. I've made some attempts to make chinese food at home, a favorite recipe has been Sweet and Sour Chicken from Gluten-Free Sox Fan. But, to my husband, it was still not the same.

This past weekend our family had a going away dinner for my parents, who are moving to Central Florida to what we call a Disneyland for Adults...lol Originally, my parents were thinking about going to a steakhouse, but I was craving chinese food badly. So, I looked up PF Changs, and realized that there is one equidistant from my family and my parents. That's where we went.

As soon as we sat down and I was looking at the GF menu, I was in heaven. The waiter, noticed my menu and made sure we had the GF soy sauce on the table. We ordered two plates of the GF version of Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wraps. They were quite tasty. My mom couldn't figure out what the different ingredient was in the non-GF ones. She said they tasted the same...awesome!

For dinner, I ordered the GF Singapore Street Noodles with the GF Shanghai Cucumbers. The Singapore Noodles are shrimp, chicken, and rice noodles stir-fried in a curry sauce. My 2 1/2 year old was going bonkers over it. I had to fight him to get to the plate! The dish was light and flavorful and the curry wasn't overpowering. The Shanghai Cucumbers are sliced cucumbers, seeded, tossed in soy sauce and white & black sesame seeds. This week I am buying cucumbers and sesame seeds so I can make these all the time. I could live off these they were that good!!!

I wanted to stay for dessert (how many places really have GF Chocolate Cake?), but we decided to walk off our dinner. The only negative was that when they boxed our leftovers, they put the GF stuff and the gluten stuff in the same bag. The gluten stuff leaked and got into the gf stuff. So my husband got a lot of leftovers!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Armadillo Eggs


I've been seeing a lot of recipes around the blogosphere for what my family calls armadillo eggs. My father-in-law used to eat these all the time when he was stationed in Louisiana in the Army. I like this recipe because it involves bacon. Bacon rocks. Bacon makes the world go round. I pink puffy heart bacon.

They are pretty simple to make and everyone will just gobble them up at parties, for lunch, or just a plain ol' midnight snack. Granted hot peppers at midnight isn't for everyone, but, I digress.

Armadillo Eggs

Ingredients

  • Hot peppers - the this summer I made them the first time with Anaheim peppers (since that was the only ones I could find) and the second time with locally grown jalapenos (yummy Jersey Fresh)

  • Cream Cheese - this is where you can get wacky. You can use flavored cream cheese like veggie or chive or sun dried tomato - I wouldn't use strawberry. I just seasoned mine with fresh random herbs from the garden - basil, rosemary, thyme, and Italian parsley)

  • Bacon. Yummy bacon. I just use the regular Oscar Meyer.

Directions

  1. Using gloves (unless you want to be like me and forget you have hot pepper juice on your hands and rub your eyes), cut open the peppers and take out the seed & membranes. Remember, seeds and membranes hold the heat - so take out as much as you need to;
  2. Once they are sufficiently gutted, take your cream cheese and fill each pepper half. Be generous;
  3. Then wrap each filled pepper half with uncooked bacon. For the Anaheims, I used an entire slice and for the jalapenos I would use a half (I only used a third and it wasn't enough). Skewer the pepper with a toothpick,
  4. At this point, place the skewered pepper on a rack on a baking sheet in an oven @ 375 for 20 minutes. My husband recommends grilling them, while Maureen @ Hold the Gluten opened my eyes to deep frying them.
  5. Eat.