Monday!

It’s Monday again and I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! I pampered myself over the weekend and hand a manicure.

Not only did I pamper myself but made the decision to be a little wise to what I consume for food. I’ve been drinking alot of wine lately and have developed some “pudginess”. So I made up some recipes for the week to get back on track! Avocado salad, beets drizzled with balsamic, and kale salad with walnuts and a lemon dressing.

Image by Robin Moreau
Image by Robin Moreau
Image by Robin Moreau

By the way, if you have never smelled an organic lemon, I suggest you do. It awakens the senses and smells divine!

Image by Robin Moreau

Have a wonderful week!

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Kickin’ it with kale

I never liked kale. It was like eating the leaves off a maple tree. Tough and earthy. Not that I’ve eaten maple leaves, but it’s how I imagine it. Kale was okay in soups because it was softened up. Well, I learned I can’t learn to like something if I’m not preparing it correctly.

Kale is packed FULL of vitamins and fiber to help you le’ poo-poo.

I came home from the store with a bundle of organic kale. I separated the leaves and washed them. My husband walks in the kitchen and instantly wretched. The same wretching I did when my son cleaned the drain out of their bathroom sink. Except I wretched 5 or 6 times and way harder. So hard my eyes watered and I thought I’d lose my lunch.

“I’m not eating that” he said.

“Mind your business”

“I’m not eating that”

“I’m not fixing it for you”

“Good because I won’t eat that”

“Go do something with yourself”

I continued on my kale excursion. I salted it and let it set. In a bowl I poured about 1/8 cup of olive oil, a scoop of minced garlic, about 3 squirts of balsamic vinegar, 1 hearty squirt of dijon mustard, honey and a scoop of blackberry jam. I added freshly ground pepper and I whisked it together. I then added to my salted kale, organic carrots [shredded], organic dried cranberries, and organic walnuts. I sprinkled it with freshly ground parmesan cheese. You need a good pungent cheese like parmesan or feta. I love cheese. But it doesn’t love me.

I poured the dressing over the salad and mixed thoroughly. In the fridge it went. Occasionally I would check on it to see how it was doing. You know…stir things up a bit. It looked so delish I said, “I am so going to eat you up, you have no idea”.

My husband walks in. “Who you talking to”?

“My salad”.

“Gross, dirty kale”.

The kale leaves were already softening.

Image by Robin Moreau

When it was ready, I took my first bite. Yummy, the kale was not tough, not bitter. It absorbed the flavors of the dressing and had just a hint of blackberry, not too overpowering. I made it again the next day, then the following week. I changed the dressing up a bit and used olive oil and lemon juice. I added green onions, sunflower seeds and cashews.

Now I cannot get enough of it. Watch out 2019, mama’s gettin’ her greens on! It still makes my husband wretch.

Coffee Cake. No, Coffee Loaf

Alrighty! Here we go. I am going to attempt to make a gluten free, vegan coffee cake for Christmas morning.

Now, let’s start off with 2 cups of Bob’s Red Mill gluten free flour because 2 cups sound about right in most recipes. And I’ve made a mess. Surprise, surprise.

Image by Robin Moreau

Typical. I guess I will add baking powder? Baking soda? Both? Okay! Ironically, I’m watching the Netflix show, “Nailed It”. So, we will see if this coffee cake, gets nailed.

Meanwhile, my husband is getting all scrappy and making fun of the show and me, while eating a sandwich. With real bread. Jerk. He is a chef and a darn good one. But really? You have to eat in front of me?

Anyway, sugar, cinnamon, oil and I guess I won’t use vanilla. I don’t have any.

My husband is totally mouthing off. “Omg I’m going to vomit!”

I thought at first he was talking to me, but it was the gal on Netflix who was crying because her recipe didn’t turn out.

“I’m throwing up my sandwich!”

[The drama saga continues]

And this is why wine is made.

A bit of organic olive oil and sprinkle the mid section and top with cinnamon and sugar.

Image by Robin Moreau

In the oven! DEVIL!!! I forgot pecans when I went to the store!

Image by Robin Moreau

Well…it looks good but it smells a little too much olive oily. Hope it turns out! 350 in the oven is a standard time and I guess the time should be about 40 minutes or so. I’ll keep a close eye on this baby.

Tick tock.

Hurry up and wait.

I think I spilled flour on the floor because I pretty much lost it and did this mini little 1990s break dance.

I’m seriously impatient and snuck a peeked. It’s rising! It’s rising! That’s a good sign!!!

Image by Robin Moreau

Time for a snack and a glass of wine! OMG I’m so exciting and nervous at the same time!!! I hope it turns out. Do you think it will turn out? My husband is still poking fun at the people on the show. I hope he likes my coffee cake!

He will eat this coffee cake and he will like it.

Drum roll please……

Omg, omg, omg!!! I swear to howdy, this is the moment you all have been waiting for! Okay, maybe just me! Let’s taste this!

Not bad….a little chewy….not too cinnamon-y. My hubby actually approves so WINNER WINNER! Woot, woot!!!

Image by Robin Moreau

Little Bites of Bliss

Okay, I must admit, there is something about the holidays that inspires me to make goodies. Years ago I religiously baked this time of year. I baked cookies, candy, cake, breads and more. But now there is no point since I can’t eat it. And honestly, it’s better this way because I have lost an extreme amount of weight and having food allergies has worked to my advantage.

I miss the baking though. But I’m onto something here. One of my favorite things to eat is truffles. Not the mushrooms, gross…the chocolate kind. These little rich, decadent bites of heavenly bliss are enough to make my eyes roll back into my head. What is lovely about these is their savory flavors. One is all a person really needs. Maybe two. Three if your daring but that’s pushing it.

I love truffles and have been on a mission to making them this season. They’re not difficult, but the outer glaze must be just right to set well. And since I can’t have basic baking flours, cream, or anything posh, these little chocolate bad boys can be tricky. By the way, do you like the word, posh? It’s one of my favorites. It means luxurious or sumptuously appointed. And those of you who know me, know I love anything posh!

Back to truffles! Yesterday I made peanut butter truffles. Fresh ground peanut butter. Not the gross kind from a jar because there is stuff in it. Added stuff…it isn’t good for you. It doesn’t even taste like peanut butter. Organic chocolate chips, organic maple syrup (another to die for sweetness) and organic coconut cream. So….how did I stick these together? Well I don’t like using almond flour because it can leave the texture gritty and who wants gritty truffles? Not me! Rice flour is well…sometimes hard to work with. So I sprinkled a bit of coconut flour in the peanut butter mixture, just enough to make it workable but not enough to completely change the texture or flavor. The syrup provides the sweetness and stickiness. Once I have my mixture consistency right, I hand roll out little balls and put them in the fridge while I make the glaze.

Now for the glaze. Organic, dark chocolate chips. It is the only way. Add a bit of coconut cream and melt together. I don’t have a double boiler so this is the tricky part. Melting chocolate can be more drama than a toddler with a tiara. I couldn’t even begin to tell you how much cream to add because it has to be just enough to allow the chocolate to set just right for creaminess. Maybe a small dollop?

See I could never write a cookbook because the measurements would read as a pinch of this, a scoop of this, a dollop of that…it would not be a best seller. No person’s recipe would turn out.

Take the peanut butter balls out of the fridge and roll them in the chocolate. Then grind some Himalayan salt over the top of them and back in the fridge to set. Walla! Peanut butter truffles! Oh my goodness this are yummy! I have plently more ideas for these and I’m thinking of making family and friends a box of savory, posh truffles for the holidays….nope, just because! Kisses to you all, MUAH!

Image by Robin Moreau

You, Me and the Stench of Broccoli

“PHEW! WHAT THE HELL IS THAT SMELL?!?” This was the first question he had asked when he came home from work. The smell had lingered and I hadn’t noticed. “What’s it smell like?” I asked. I actually won’t repeat what he said. “I don’t know what the smell could be, it’s not the trash and the only thing I cooked today was roasted broccoli for breakfoooooohhhh”. Little did I know the stench of oven roasted broccoli was lingering. “Well turn on the fan, its smelling up the house”, he was annoyed. “What, you don’t like the smell of my breakfast?” He gave me a look and cursed a few words. “I take that as a no?” “You don’t like my stench?” He hates it when I get snarky right when he gets home from work.

A simple task, to turn on the fan when I roast broccoli. I hadn’t told him the fan over the oven was possessed and once it’s turned on it won’t turn off. I also hadn’t told him the stench of my broccoli rates right up there with the stench of his hard boiled or scrambled eggs bleh.

I never realized how bad the stench of roasted broccoli was until one day I ran to the store after breakfast and when I came home I thought I was going to gag. The instantaneously slap of previously roasted broccoli stench that hit my nostrils made me uncontrollably wretch and my eyes started to water. This is the stench he was talking about.

Oh I need to turn the fan on. Even I can’t tolerate the after stench of my own breakfast. It doesn’t even smell like broccoli. It smells like…like dirty socks or a locker room or something. It does not smell like broccoli. Even the bacon and sweet potatoes I cooked with it, doused in cinnamon don’t drown out the stench. The smell is far from pleasant one may experience during the holidays of vegetables, cinnamon and bacon grease. Nope this is straight raunchy, back street boys locker room. It’s raunchy enough to make the polish on my toenails curl.

The overhead fan must come on even though I may not be able to turn it off after. Then the drone of the fan will carry on throughout the night, driving me to insanity and sleep will be lost since the kitchen is next to our bedroom. Persistance will persevere with the pounding of the button, cursing under my breath the need for sleep and why this particular bedroom had to be near the kitchen and who’s dumb idea was it when the house was being built? It will eventually turn off if I hit it enough times and the quiet will overwhelm me into a deep slumber. Finally, it shuts off. Until the next time.

I am sure you’re asking, “who eats broccoli for breakfast?” I do. That’s who.

Sweet Potato Liar

Have you ever had sweet potato pie? Me neither until recently, I attempted to make a healthy vegan version of it. Growing up I would sing this random song that now, I have no idea where it originated from. I am sure it came from some cartoon or movie but it went something like this:

“Turkey, lobster, sweet potato pie

Pancakes piled up till they reach the sky

Oh I want to eat and eat and eat and eat and eat until I die!”

Now, I could have it wrong, but I’m sure those words were fairly close to what I remember. I would sing that song over and over. And up until this day, this song still crosses my mind around Thanksgiving.

I’m going to be honest, it wasn’t until the last year or so, I thought sweet potato pie was just a made up thing and didn’t exist. All I ever remember was that dreaded, blasted pumpkin pie that showed up every flipping year by the hundreds in stores. Is that all people knew to eat for dessert?

My mother said sweet potato pie was a southern thing. Hmmm, my Granny was from the south and every year at Thanksgiving and Christmas she would make multiple pies. Sweet potato pie was NEVER an option sitting on her counter. Granny made chocolate pie, cherry pie, that dreaded pumpkin pie (surprise, surprise), raisin pie (bleh) and there would be a pecan pie, but I don’t think she made the pecan pie and maybe one more such as apple. How many pies could my family possibly eat? Granny’s counter would be full of pies.

By the way, I don’t like pie, and I never have liked pie.

But a few months ago that song came to my mind for some bazaar reason and I was on the internet hunt for sweet potato pie. I found it, low and behold it DOES exist! My mother wasn’t a liar after all! Not that she would ever lie….

Well since I have many food allergies, I was on the lookout for a sweet potato pie I could eat. I was going to try making this pie if my life depended on it just so I could have full satisfaction of singing that song. I found a recipe on Pinterest (I am obsessed with Pinterest) and decided to give it a whirl. Now the recipe in the link had to be tweaked so I could eat it. I made a date, nut and coconut crust rather than a packaged pie crust. I also used general spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, etc. because I didn’t have some of the listed spices on hand such as cardamom. What is cardamom anyway?

What I liked about this recipe is the individual spices listed. I have to use individual spices and not packet spices so I know what is in them and I don’t take a risk of some additive that could cause an allergic reaction. Anyway, long story short, this pie was so good!!! And I don’t like pie!

Below is a picture of it before I baked it. I think the only reason it turned out good is because it was baked in one of my Granny’s original pie tins and as she would have said, it turned out because I “held my mouth right”.

Image by Robin Moreau

My first attempt at making an allergy friendly pie that I thought for sure didn’t exist, actually turned out yummy! Sweet potato pie in fact, DOES exist and if you’ve never had it, I suggest you try it! You’ll want to eat and eat and eat and eat and eat until you die!!!