A blogger’s kitchen bloopers

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In trying to come up with a new idea for a recipe to post here (have a suggestion? Let me hear it!), I was looking through some of my past recipes and photos when a few mess-ups caught my eye. Before I delete them, I thought I’d share. Things aren’t always perfect in this gluten free kitchen of mine – though I am a self-admitted perfectionist, so I know that has an influence as well. I’ve been blogging since November 2011, and I have a few kitchen blogging recipe disasters under my belt now. Want to see them? Of course you do!

The muffins that got a bit too ambitious.

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This seemed like grounds to purchase a new oven to me. Oh well.
Ah, it was such a mess to clean up.

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My first attempt at GF monkey bread. I did this one weekend a few months back when Joe and I were going to have a GF pull-apart sweet bread competition. Gluten free bread dough is incredibly sticky and wet – the money bread didn’t work out right. I’m convinced it can be done…and I’ll do just that, someday. Anyways, lucky for me, his pull-apart cinnamon rolls experiment flopped as well – so I got off pretty easy. *I* had, after all, created something edible. ;)

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Then there was the time I slaved over my mixer, making a recipe I hade made for weddings, dinners, and parties at my home that was always met with rave reviews. So I decided to make it and share here. I took all the time to prep and mix and then piped the potato mixture carefully and prettily into the shells…only to space out on the oven temp and cook them too low. The piping design disappeared.

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Yes. It’s been pointed out to me that that really wasn’t a huge mess up, as they were still quite delish. But? Why did I bother to go to all the trouble of piping them if they were going to flatten? It’s strictly a matter of principal. You were supposed to stay PRETTY, do you hear me?!

Maybe I’ll do them again another time. At the higher temp.

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My first attempt at gluten free onion rings flopped. So it became Onion Ring Casserole!
Yeah. My family was not real impressed.

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Okay, okay. This isn’t my flop. It just really annoys me though. Come on, Johnsonville. Beddar? Really? Yuck yuck yuck. Though I suppose I should be grateful you didn’t spell “cheddar” like “chetter” or something.

I wish I hadn’t deleted the pics of my step-by-step on turning sugar to a lovely caramel and then into a hard burnt dry sugary mess in my enameled cast iron. I wish I had documented a few other recent lovely fun messy kitchen disasters that I was involved in. But alas. I have no fear – I’m quite certain that I have my share of messes ahead of me still.

Have a great day!

~glutenvygirl

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Gluten Free chocolate ice cream

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I love ice cream! I’ve made a few different kinds now and experimented a bit. I’ve learned a lot, and had fun trying my hand at vanilla bean ice cream, and gluten free cookies and cream. I’m also trying to come up with a good dairy free recipe (stay tuned) and some others…but for now, how about some good old-fashioned creamy no-cook chocolate ice cream? This is, to date, my kids’ favorite.

*side note: you know how adding a tiny pinch of cayenne makes hot cocoa simply amazing? Well. It doesn’t work that way with I’ve cream. Trust me on this. It is sweet and smooth going down, and then your throat catches afire. No need to attempt that little addition. Trust me…

INGREDIENTS:
2 C half & half
2 C heavy cream
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 C unsweetened cocoa

Whisk all ingredients together. Chill for a few hours.

Process in your ice cream maker, then fold into a freezer safe container and place in the freezer to finish the ripening process.

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Pouring in the mixture.

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Getting there!

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Enjoy!

One more note: I love to serve ice cream in those individual ramekins. Perfect size for such a rich dessert. The ice cream scoop pictured was one I found at a general store in the small town of Crowell, Texas, tags still on for $2. I think it’s at least two decades old…which made it much newer than many of the store’s offerings! I’ve found lots of neat things in that store :)

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Planning my first Blogger Conference trip!

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It is official! I am going to Nourished and the Gluten and Allergy Free Expo next month! I am so excited! I will bring my camera and share what I find! I am very thrilled about the lists of sponsors, as well as the classes. Can’t wait! Wish me luck!

xoxo

~glutenvygirl

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My Velvet Aroma Contest Winnings!

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So…remember the contest I won with the help of my wonderful friends and readers? You know. This one, over at Velvet Aroma.
Well…I’ve received all the prizes now! I’ve been so excited. I thought I’d share some photos of my winnings here!

Check this out:

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A lovely gourmet foodie gift set from Love With Food, a $100 gift card from Williams-Sonoma – and the ice cream maker attachment that I purchased with it, and recently the KitchenAid 2-speed hand blender sent direct from KitchenAid arrived!

I think I am the luckiest girl in the universe. :)
It was my first contest ever, and I was so incredibly thrilled with coming in first place! A huge thank you again to all who voted for me! <3

Be sure to check out the sponsor, Velvet Aroma – it is a great site to organize recipes and photos from your favorite online sources!

xoxo
-glutenvygirl

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Thank you! Awards Received

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I’ve been away for a bit, due to some family events, happenings, illnesses, as well as vacations. Well, I’m back! And now, to start things off right, I have a bunch of awards to tell you about!

I’ve been nominated for quite a few awards; as a novice blogger who is new to the scene, this absolutely blows my mind! A huge THANK YOU to my lovely peers for the noms! I must confess that I wasn’t sure how to respond to them at first, since I didn’t really feel qualified to continue the threads and nominations, as I knew so little about it all. At some point during my brief leave of absence though, I realized that I needed to thank those who took the time to nominate me, and share their links. It’s the least I can do, to return the kindness of a connection that they invested into me and my little blog here.

So…

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First, I have to thank Art over at Zendictive for the nomination of the Liebster Award. I love visiting his blog; check it out! I promise that you’ll walk away with something to think or smile about. Promise.

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I have a few to thank for the Versatile Blogger Award as well. A big thank you to my friends:
•Stacy at Jonesin’ After 40 – I love love love her hilarious sense of timing and humor! Really cracks me up!
•Joe at Joe’s Primal Scream – Totally enjoyable, snarky, intelligent musings about the world, with some Primal/Paleo recipes and ironic photos and thrown in. I adore his quirky writing style and his humorous take on life!
•Bianca at Glitter the Air. – A new follower; I look forward to learning more about this blogger!

I also want to thank Blue Jelly Beans
for the host of awards and the meme she nominated me for here.

I think that covers it all! Again, thanks to all! It means the world to me to have been nominated to receive these awards. Each of these awards I’ve been given have different and varied rules and responses; so by breaking the rules and not nominating or answering questions, I may have disqualified myself from receiving these awards. I hope that isn’t the case; I simply wanted to thank everyone properly, yet I’m ill-prepared at the moment than to do more than send heartfelt thank-yous. I truly appreciate the honors! I do hope that I’ve included every award from every blogger who nominated me; please let me know if I missed one.

There are so many blogs I regularly check out and read that I have missed dearly this last month; I cannot wait to catch up on them all!

I have many many favorite bloggers whom I subscribe to and enjoy; some of them are the ones who comment on my blog posts ;) so if you’re looking for some reading recommendations, first check out those who nominated me, and then those who comment. I’m lucky to be surrounded by a really great blogger community and sweet wonderful readers!

PS I’ve missed you all so much! I’m thrilled to be back :) )

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Rural Roadside Randomness

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Thank You For the Votes!

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A huge THANK YOU to everyone who voted for my recipe over at Velvet Aroma! And a special THANK YOU to those of you who voted every 4 hours! ;) The votes were tallied up, and I WON! This was the first contest ever for me…and I may have gone a smidgen overboard in bugging all my followers and friends to vote for my Cashew Butter Chocolate Strawberry Bites, but I was just SO EXCITED. Not to mention, I was simply floored by the outpouring of support! It was an altogether fantastic experience for me. Fellow bloggers reblogging or mentioning the contest and my entry, friends repeatedly posting links to vote for me on their walls… I am such an extremely lucky girl!
I am getting a great prize from the contest as well! A KitchenAid Hand Blender, a box of Love With Food Gourmet Bites, and a $100 gift card to Williams-Sonoma!

Again, thank you for the support and votes! <3

~glutenvygirl

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Tilapia, Gourmet Potatoes, & Garlic Risotto with a side of bad back

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My dearest lovely readers. I realize I’ve been somewhat absent here and in my online communities the past week, except for the occasional photo post of my refrigerator contents or the facebooking references to the contest I’m in (Vote HERE and “like” me on FB here) or the random tweets (follow me here). Alas, my life has been hectic chaos lately.

By hectic, I mean sinus infections and migraines and just when I thought I was getting better, I pulled a muscle in my back that knocked me flat.

By chaos, I mean my husband has taken over most of my motherly-duties and my meds were making me loopy. Which basically meant that he did things like put the opened organic cranberry juice in the cabinet, but I no longer cared.

By loopy, I mean loopier than my normal typical self.

Alas. Bear with me here.

This is what I’ve been up to. When I wasn’t laying in flat-out agony, I mean. I pulled this meal together a few nights ago. It was quick, easy, and simple enough I could manage it right now. I’ve never loved to eat fish, but this stuff was incredible.

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Yummy huh? Yes. It was.

Tilapia, gourmet potatoes, and risotto. With that side of bad back.

This was very easy. Even injured.

No, I don’t whine and complain much. Why do you ask?

I used a 28 oz package of Tasteful Selections potatoes and quartered them. I placed them in a skillet and added just enough water to not quite cover them and brought it to a boil and let cook uncovered. These are my favorite potatoes…I use the Sunrise Medley the most, and their fingerlings are wonderful as well. Delicious little things. Trust me.

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I let the water boil almost entirely out. Then I added a teaspoon of kosher salt, a teaspoon of crushed black pepper, and two tablespoons of butter. I let them slightly sauté until the outside started to crisp.

Meanwhile, I prepped the garlic risotto. It was a GF box mix from Lundberg, shown here. I followed the directions on the box. Honest! Rare for me, I know.

Then. For the fish I used a recipe from a friend and made a few tweaks (I had tilapia on hand, instead of his flounder) and fried it in a heavy cast iron skillet. His original recipe is here. I basically dredged the filets in butter and then in the seasoning mix, and fried them. Click the link, check it out, and go try it!

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Enjoy!

PS. Best things about cooking with a back that is a mess? I finally have a valid excuse for not being able to load the dishwashers.

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Stocked Fridge in a Small Town

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After a recent trip to the grocery store, this is what my fridge looks like.

Perfect? No. Far from perfect.

I live in a small town. My nearest Whole Foods store is 4 hours away. The nearest chain discount-type big store (that I despise and so I won’t even mention their name but it rhymes with Fall-Apart) is about an hour away. My local grocer is two minutes away.

What does this mean?

This means that I buy most of my groceries locally. I make trips occasionally to bigger stores, and once in a while to my dream grocers. Since I love cooking with less-processed foods, the local store sees me frequently.

My point? Is that it can be done. Gluten free can easily be done in a small town, even with a lack of most of the marvelous gluten free substitutes and a lack of organic produce and meats.

I frequently purchase things online. King Arthur Flour is one of my favorite places. I also am ready for spring so I can plant my seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.

There isn’t a lot of fresh meats in here – I am going today to go pick some up!

Anyways. You don’t have to spend a ton of money, or buy every thing in the specialty store just because it says “gluten free”. Find what you like. Visit the local store regularly to replenish your stock of fresh foods. Cook. Experiment a bit. Explore. Have fun with it!

~glutenvygirl

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Vote for me!

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Remember this recipe? I am so excited! It is a part of Velvet Aroma’s My Gourmet Valentine contest! I entered in my recipe for gluten free Cashew Butter Chocolate Strawberry Bites and I’m doing great in the contest! I am currently in 2nd place!

You can vote for my Cashew Butter Chocolate Strawberry Bites here. There is also a neat little widget over on the side bar from the great folks at Velvet Aroma that will get you there with a click! When you register with an email, you get entered in to win 2 dozen red roses delivered anywhere in the US by Valentine’s Day.

Since the morning the contest began, I’ve been posting this link on my Facebook page, on my personal Facebook wall, sending tweets about it, emailing and texting friends, and posting it everywhere I can. I have really been enjoying myself, and I am so overwhelmed by all of the positive feedback I’ve received – both on my recipe, as well as all the general support and encouragement! I’ve had friends share the info and link on their walls, even. The reaction has been astounding. <3

In summary. My friends and blogger-contacts are AMAZING. I am truly a lucky lucky girl! Thank you all! Please consider voting for me, the contest runs until Feb 10th and you can vote once each day! And I would be honored if you wanted to reblog this, or shared my links on FB, twitter, or anywhere else!

xoxo
~glutenvygirl

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