Thursday, February 28, 2013

But...I like the taste of coffee...

" dear, you like the taste of CREAM."  Guess who?  That's right...dear husband strikes again.  He's right, I do like cream...but I truly DO like the taste of coffee.  I know that when some people "go out for a coffee"'s more that they're going out for whipped cream and caramel sauce.  It always makes me tilt my head and go...."Barroo?" when people say they actually don't like the *taste* of coffee.  Then just get a hot cocoa with whipped cream and caramel!  We won't think you're like a little kid for doing it!  Go ahead, get a cookie too!  Heh.  :)

Now that THAT'S over with...I must say, I've actually been crafting today.  It started out as just another day...I was staring at this shelf in our hallway that's piled with random fabrics and half-started art projects.   As I was choosing what to relocate to my new "sewing closet", I pulled down two huge bags of fabric strips that I'd intended on making into rag garlands.  That's when the muse hit me...she downright slapped me across the face and then grabbed me by the ear and hissed..."What are you waiting for, Christmas?!!!"

Yes...Christmas a few years back, that's when I started making them!  *sigh*  So I decided to not think about it too hard, and to not tell myself to put it away or push it aside...I just carted the bags to the first floor and dumped them out.  Who cares if the kids run through all the strips?  So WHAT if they redistribute them all through the house?!  They're going to do that anyway, may as well be something new for them to mess with.  It must be boring playing with all those TOYS all day long. 

I grabbed my big 'ol ball of twine, and some coffee...and got busy.  I think of it as "doing my part to make use of all this STUFF we have over here".  I've always been enamored by stories of people keeping old clothes and sheets to make other things from them.  I'd like to get back to my sewing machine and make blankets and skirts...but today I just needed to get my hands moving. 

You see, I've got some big projects on my plate that are due soon and the hardest part is starting.  Lately I've been in the kitchen non-stop...the "to do" list never gets any shorter...I feel that if I stop doing dishes and laundry and cooking and actually do something crafty...I'm letting my chores slide.  But if I don't get into art mode...these projects are going to be impossible to start.  Sometimes I "unclog the pipe" in my creative brain by just going hog wild on an unimportant project.

And now...the window is decorated.  This garland is made from FAT CLOTHES.  Lots 'o material in a size 16 skirt, let me tell you!  I'm going to start buying plus sized skirts for fabric projects as there's way more fabric there than people realize.  Especially a ruffled skirt...take one apart and behold the yardage.  I can't afford to buy 4 yards of nice fabric, but I can afford a $5 skirt at the thrift store!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

You're my little fatty!

My dear husband strikes again, adorning me once more with special jewels that only he can bestow. He's decided that I'm not his "Sweety"...but rather his, "Fatty"!  Essentially, his argument is that if we "are what we eat"...then I must be his fatty due to the butter/cream/coconut oil that I consume.  *Sweets* aren't something that I go for anymore...I'll take a log of goat cheese over a cinnamon roll any day!

It's been a year since I parted ways with the (SAD) Standard American Diet.  If I'd been called someone's "Fatty" a year ago, I would not have been able to smile or enjoy the thought at all!  It's a wonderful place to on the other side of things.  It wasn't easy, it requires you to second-guess and examine everything that you eat.  But the work is done once and pays off continually.  The one "negative" thing about not eating like everyone else (and even calling this a negative is debatable) is that once again I'm the "odd one".   When I was a vegetarian, I was a nuisance because everyone ate meat...people didn't know what to do with me other than stuff me full of macaroni and cheese or biscuits and gravy.

It was in fact, *biscuits and gravy*, that sparked my exodus from the health-forsaken vegetarian starchetarian or grainetarian lifestyle.  The host at a certain gathering thought it would be pleasing to fix wheat bombs and gravy while the rest of them dined on grilled salmon and asparagus. It was the final straw as I sat there and ate this nasty, goopy, heavy wouldn't be long before I had ditched that lifestyle and was sitting in front of a plate of crab legs feeling self conscious as everyone stared at the "silly vegetarian sliding off the turnip wagon"!

My opinion on the vegetarian/vegan lifestyle, based on the ones that I've known and from personal experience, is that it's merely a control issue.  Life can be crazy, and random, and things happen one after another that are completely out of our control.  We can't say, "I never have car trouble", or, "I always have dinner made on time", or "I never get headaches"...but we can say, "I don't eat meat or harm animals" and we can control that.  Well...actually, it's harder than it sounds on the harming animals part...if you're not feeding your gut bacteria what it needs, then you are essentially harming animals!  You're harming...well, YOURSELF!  When does an animal stop being an animal, when we can't see them with our eyes?   There are far more bacteria in our own bodies than there are cows roaming across Kansas.  Don't anyone look up those statistics...I didn't!  I just know that there are some 10 trillion bacteria in the gut alone...and they don't appreciate garlic bread...or biscuits and gravy!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

"You're like an Italian cab driver..."

Quoting my dear husband yet again!  He was riding in the back seat of the van while trying to eat a Chipotle burrito bowl...we were en route to pick up my carry-out sushi, it was 8 pm and I was dreaming about raw salmon, what DID he expect?! 

Anyway, it had been a very long time since I'd had sushi...but not as long as it has been since I've had pizza.  I miss pizza, but I don't miss the post-pizza "wish I was wearing sweat pants" bloat!  Enter...cauliflower.  A friend mentioned that she makes pizza crust out of cauliflower and her kids love it.  So I starting searching and found this...Cauliflower Pizza Crust over at

As always, I had to tweak the recipe because I didn't have the exact ingredients...I used mozzarella and parmesan instead of goat cheese.

It was heavenly. Instead of topping it with pizza sauce per se, I used olive oil, 4 cloves of crushed garlic, tomato paste, salt and pepper.  For toppings I used sauteed portobello mushrooms, spinach, green onions and a mix of more parmesan and mozzarella cheese.  It hit the pizza spot!  The one thing I would really say to pay attention to is getting as much water out of the cauliflower as you can.  It's a very important step, otherwise you get soggy crust. Boo. 

Ahhh...wouldn't pepperoni pizza be nice with some Boulevard Harvest Dance Wheat's as close to wheat as I get these day, but it's OK!  

While we're talking about wheat...I'd like to voice my sadness and frustration with the whole, "whole wheat it good for you" concept.  Maybe as little as 50 years ago it was...but in 1968 the FDA made a ruling that all wheat berries in the US were to be irradiated (imported wheat berries were irradiated as early as 1963).  This was to control insect infestations, prevent mold, prolong shelf life...and all with the promise that it would have NO health implications.  Now, as infertility rates climb and immune systems are inefficient at dealing with just about appears that whole wheat is NOT good for any of us.

We can shrug our shoulders at that and say, oh have to die of something, right?  Maybe the fact that they tested irradiated wheat on CHILDREN back in 1975....and in mere weeks these children had abnormal lymph cell formations...could hit home to those of us who have children and grandchildren?  They discontinued the study because they were "concerned about the children's health"...and yet here we are today still eating this irradiated wheat and wondering why we feel like...well, crap!  Just think of all the products out there made of wheat...we're being irradiated, fumigated and sickened...for what?  ($$$$$$)

The next time someone hands my daughter a cracker because it's "whole wheat and sweetened with honey" I might just slap it out of her hand and then slap theirs!  I don't want my baby to die young, sick and miserable...I want her to be running full-speed into her later years, fit and healthy, and then one day just...drop dead! 

And if you're interested in the rest of the wheat story, because there's a lot more to it than lies here.
Wheaty Indiscretions: What Happens to Wheat, from Seed to Storage 

By the way, to the paleo crowd who thinks they've escaped this wheat issue by using almond flour, almonds are required to be fumigated too! And they need to be soaked/sprouted for the nutrition in them to become "available"...and I guarantee you that Trader Joe's isn't doing that to their $3.99 bag of almond meal. If you've ever read through some of the FDA regulations on's quite eye opening.  It might make you want to live off-grid in New Mexico and grow your own food....dig a well...stash 20 years worth of sardines...delete your facebook/twitter/myspace/google+ (if you CAN...)...throw your cell phone into the screaming from the grocery know, things of that nature!!!

Until my brain feels the need to decompress yet again,
Sincerely wheat-free and yours,

Monday, February 4, 2013

"I like my cookies flat, and my women round"...

Thus I husband!
Sorry dear...I'm not a fan of EITHER of those.
I spent many a year, round...and I can attest that not only do blondes NOT have more fun, but it is also better to be the beanpole..than the BEAN.
My great-grandmother made it to 92 being a beanpole and she would have lived a lot longer had an unfortunate accident not taken her down.  On the contrary, I also had a family member of the round variety who left this world early with diabetes and gout, among other things.

As for COOKIES!  Nothing grates my gastronomic sensibilities RAW more than an inordinately flat cookie...or likewise, a puffy cookie.  Lace cookies?  They're supposed to be flat!  They're special.  Macaron?  They're supposed to be puffy!  They're special, too.

What I'm talking about is the queen mother of cookies...the chocolate chip cookie.  After going wheat/gluten free...there are a few pleasures of the modern food supply that some, mainly my darling husband, miss dearly. crust...COOKIES.  Let me tell you, there are remedies for all of these missing food woes...but I'm going after the almighty cookie today.

Obviously, everyone has their favorite...whether puffy, flat, crispy, gooey!  I happen to like firm, crispy on the edge cookies that are not the unevenly mixed "butter too soft" flat and greasy type, nor the puffy "too much baking soda" variety.   I also don't eat wheat.  Modern wheat, that is.  We just bought a bag of the ancient variety Einkorn wheat that I'm looking forward to working with, but until then, this is how I made what I consider to be a lovely, gluten-free cookie.
Husband and toddler approved!

Coconut Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies - Gluten-Free
This is a Sally Fallon Nourishing Traditions recipe that I've tinkered with.  I'm not a fan of the flavor/consistency of heavy amounts of arrowroot starch, so I cut it in half with a homemade gluten-free flour mixture from The Perfect Health Diet. I also added coconut oil and a splash of maple syrup as the dough was very dry, and I was going after that classic cookie dough consistency.  (It was still dry after my additions but I decide to just BAKE IT, but this is not the "Tollhouse" afterall!)  The chocolate chips and almond extract were also my additions to the original recipe as I love almond flavor and wanted some lovely chocolate in there as well.  Use soy lecithin-free chocolate for optimal healthiness!

1-1/2 cups *sprouted almonds
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1/2 cup arrowroot starch
1/2 cup *gluten-free flour
1/2 cup rapadura or coconut sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt
Grated rind of 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup unsweetened, dried fine-shredded coconut
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  Place almonds in a food processor and process to a fine meal.  (You could also use store-bought almond meal in a pinch, but I'm not sure of what amount 1-1/2 cups of almonds works out to be.  Start with 1 cup and add more if needed.)
Add remaining ingredients EXCEPT for chocolate chips.  Process until well blended.  Stir in chocolate chips and roll (squeeze) into walnut sized balls.  Place on parchment paper (I use stainless steel baking sheets) and press cookies down with a fork (or your palm like I did) and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until they're lightly browned.  Let cool completely before removing from parchment paper as they are very crumbly until they set.

*Gluten-Free flour - mixture from "Perfect Health Diet"

2 cups rice flour (buy in bulk from Whole Foods, or I buy from Ambica, an Indian grocery store)
2/3 cup potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca starch

*Sprouting Almonds
*Most* almonds in the USA are required to be fumigated with chemicals to make them "safe" to eat.  This is probably not the almond's fault, but rather the mass farming, storage and mishandling of them that makes them 'bad'.   Supposedly, organic almonds are only steam pasteurized but since companies aren't required to be honest about much these days, it's hard to know what you're actually getting unless you get them from a trusted source.  We're fortunate to be able to buy raw almonds from a farmer in California...but organic almonds from the store used in moderation should be just fine!

To sprout almonds, soak them in salted water for about 12 hours.  Sometimes I let them sit in the strainer for the rest of the day to get them good and sprouted!  When they go in the water they look flat and wrinkled up, then they are larger, round and puffy after soaking.  Also, a little white "nub" will push through at the narrow end.  Drain and dehydrate at low temp for as long as needed, sometimes it takes a few days.  You can also dry them out in an oven but don't go over 150 degrees.

Enjoy, thanks for reading!