Saturday, May 24, 2008

Is May almost over? I'm ready for summer!!

I've noticed that many of us have slowed down a bit in the past month. Winter passed, spring arrived, and summer is knocking at my back door. In South Florida summer arrives much sooner than for most of you. Our temps have averaged in the mid 90's for the past week and a half.

My herb garden is doing great. Patience is my only problem. I want to just go out and pluck some herbs every day. You know that expression, "God isn't finished with me yet?" Well, that's my garden. Goin' strong, slowly! I have used some parsley and oregano though. THERE IS NO COMPARISON! Shauna, at Gluten Free Girl and Melanie, at The Gluti Girls inspired me to start the garden. Shauna's book is wonderful and has made me more conscious of what fresh ingredients I should use. Our growing season is very different than in Seattle so I can't always get the same fresh veggies from a local farmer that Shauna gets. I thank you Melanie, for guiding the construction of my 5' by 2' garden. It's on casters so we roll it in and out of the hot Florida sun as needed.

My weekly menu planning has continued strong. I need to start experimenting with more vegetarian menus. I want to like quinoa, I really do! The first time I made it I tried it naked. That was my first mistake! I welcome any ideas or links to good quinoa recipes.

I was asked to co-chair our next Palm Beach Celiac Support Group's 2nd Annual Gluten Free Expo. (Feb. 7, 2009) I am sending out my "feelers" to all of you. If you have had any luck with companies who want to market themselves please let me know. We had a great vendor turnout last year and we want to increase the number of vendors for the next one. Please send me ideas or links of contacts so I can start calling now. Hey, it's 90 degrees plus now but who wouldn't want a Florida vacation at the beginning of February? (I don't own a winter coat or a shovel!)

Just a quickie....I hope life is good and all is well in your world...

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Weekly Menu:Some Old, Some New

24 is the magic number in my home. That's the number of days left until summer vacation is here and my 27th yr. of teaching/speech therapy is over! I'm really looking forward to the summer. I may go visit Ellen, my sister, or my older sister who lives in the North Country (upstate N.Y.) We'll see. Meanwhile, I did my usual Sunday morning menu planning for the week. It has really saved us money by making a list and sticking to it. I don't have to "wonder" what to make for dinner at 4:00 p.m. when I'm too tired to think!

Here's the menu for this week:

Sunday: Warm Tuscan Bean Salad (recipe to follow)
Pizza (Tom Sawyer flour I've been bragging about)
Lettuce and Tomato Salad with balsamic dressing

Since we've eaten already, I'll tell ya...the crust was so good.

Monday: Taco Salad (with ground turkey)
Tuesday: Peanut Noodle Salad (previously posted under the label NOODLES)
Summer rolls with vegetables
Wednesday: Chicken Caesar Salad (recipe to follow)
Thursday: Grilled Chicken Breasts
Brown Rice Fritters (Found on Fresh Ginger's site)
Friday: Tofu something! Not sure yet!

I've borrowed some recipes from fellow bloggers and found some myself. I think you'll agree that having a community to share recipes and ideas with makes this whole gluten free life much richer! Let me know if you try any of these. I highly recommend the Tom Sawyer flour. Since it was the first time I tried the pizza crust recipe (on the website)I didn't roll it out enough so we had "sicilian" pizza. MMmmm!
Have a great week.

Warm Tuscan Bean Salad (compliments of Linda Arnold)
Light and Tasty Magazine, Nov. 2007

1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 small green pepper, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tsp. olive oil
1 large tomato, coarsely chopped
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. salt (kosher)
1/2 tsp. pepper (fresh ground)
1 can (15 oz.) cannellini beans or white kidney beans, rinsed and drained

In a large nonstick skillet heat oil until warm. Add onions, green papper, and garlic and saute until tender. Stir in tomato and seasonings; cook 3-4 minutes longer. Add beans; cook and stir until heated through.

Caesar Salad dressing
Michael Chiarello, Food Network

2 eggs
2 T Dijon mustard
6-8 anchovy fillets, minced
2 T chopped garlic
4 T balsamic vinegar
3 t. fresh lemon juice
Worcestershire sauce
2 C olive oil
2 T warm water, if needed
1 C freshly grated Parmesan

Place the egg yolk, mustard, anchovies, garlic, vinegar, lemon juice, and a dash of Worcestershire sauce into a salad bowl. Blend with whisk, then add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream until it is fully incorporated. If the dressing gets too thick, add the warm water and then continue until all the oil is added. Add the cheese and continue to blend.(I use my Cuisinart because the white cup in the feeding tube has a small hole. I put the oil in the white cup and it allows it to be added slowly)
Yield: about 1 1/2 cups