172: Lazy Italian Wedding Soup

A couple of weekends ago, I was watching America’s Test Kitchen with E8. They made an amazing Italian Wedding soup* that he begged me to make for him. I really don’t have the time or energy to be making real meatballs so I came up with my own lazy version. It was really good, even though none of the kids would eat the kale (IT’S A SOUP WITH KALE WHY DID YOU ASK ME TO MAKE IT ARRRRGH!). Hubs and I quite liked it.

IMG_3242

1 package mild italian sausage
4 carrots, sliced
1 box chicken stock (I use the kind from Kitchen Basics.)
1 box beef stock
1 Tbsp Italian herbs (I use the Lighthouse freeze-dried herb blend. It’s delicious and almost as good as fresh herbs.)
2 cups quick cooking gluten-free pasta (I found Gefen macaroni in the local Publix. It was good, although it did thicken the soup.)
Kale (I used about 1/2 a bag of chopped kale from Trader Joe’s)

Remove the sausage from the casing and form into 1/2″ meatball shapes. Brown the meatballs in a few Tbsp of canola oil. Add the carrots and cook for a few minutes. Pour in both of the broths and bring to a boil. Add the pasta. Cook until tender. Don’t forget to stir! Reduce the heat and add the kale. When it has wilted down, the soup is ready to eat.

This was really tasty, but I do wish the kids had done more than just pick out the sausage. :-\

*link may or may not be behind a registration wall

Day 82, Really Good Beans and Rice

Well, clearly I am failing at this blog thing. Maybe eventually I will post more. Right now? *shrug* Mean time, here is a recipe:

Really Good Beans and Rice, very pithy directions

Sauté some chopped vegetables (I had a few carrots from the CSA, some onion, a bit of celery) in some olive oil with a bit of salt until they are tender and just starting to turn golden. Add 2 cans (any kind) of beans (rinsed and drained)* along with some garlic powder, fresh ground pepper, and about a tablespoon or so of hot sauce. Shimmy the pan around and add a box of stock (chicken or beef if you are not doing the veg*n thing, vegetable if you are). Bring to a boil and then gently (GENTLY DAMN YOU) stir in 2 or 3 cups of left over (or pre-) cooked rice. Cover and simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes, until the flavors are combined. Eat.

It’s fucking delicious.

Huh, I just realized I probably could have cooked rice right in there if I didn’t already happen to have left over rice on hand. Well. I guess that’s something I could do in the future. Anyway, enjoy!

*Or you can use dried beans which you have already softened. I can’t seem to get the hang of that shit, so I use canned.

 

 

This is the Best Goddamned Gluten/Dairy/Soy-Free Pie in the History of Pies

I have been trying, for the last few Thanksgivings, to find a decent pumpkin pie recipe that will work with all of our food allergies. I found a pretty good recipe for the filling, but an even serviceable pie crust has remained an elusive quarry, until now. The two recipes I riffed off of can be found here and here. Here’s my version:

Pie Crust (makes 2 9″ gluten/diary/soy-free pie crusts):

160 grams gluten-free all-purpose flour mix (usually I use Bob’s Red Mill, but right now I have a mix I’ve been working with that has amaranth, sorghum, arrowroot starch, and potato starch. It worked great)

150 grams coconut flour

40 grams almond flour

1/2 tsp salt

168 grams (6 oz) coconut oil

50 grams sugar

63 grams beaten egg (for me this was 3 eggs with several spoonfuls removed)

Ice water

Combine the flours. You can use a sifter, or put them all in a bowl and whisk them together like I did. Then I whisked in the salt.

Cream the coconut oil and the sugar. I used my stand mixer, but you can use a hand mixer or a spoon. Whatever works best for you.

Add the egg, and some of the flour, mixing to combine. Then add the remaining flour. Don’t forget to scrape your damn bowl!

What I ended up with at this point was exactly like gluten-full pie crust after you cut the fat into the flour. I split this crumbly mixture into 2 separate bowls (using my kitchen scale) and into each I added enough ice water (a little at a time) to form it into a ball. There is no reason you couldn’t do this before dividing it in half. Roll each half into a 9″ circle between sheets of plastic wrap and then move it to a cookie sheet and refrigerate for at least an hour. NO CHEATING.

When you’re ready, get your sheets of dough out of the refrigerator and, if they are stiff (mine were like planks), allow them to rest until they are pliable before transferring them to your pie plates. If you get any cracks, just pinch the edges back together. Prick with a fork before baking (something I almost always forget to do!)

Pumpkin Pie Filling (makes enough for one gluten/dairy/soy free-pie, double if you want to make 2)

1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1/4 cup white sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger (I use the dehydrated whole ginger root from here and grate it into the sugars with my Microplane.)

1/4 tsp nutmeg (I use whole nutmeg and grate it with the Microplane.)

1/2 tsp salt

2 large eggs

1 15 oz can pumpkin

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup canned coconut milk (I use the full fat kind, but “lite” will work fine too)

Preheat oven to 425°

Whisk together the sugars, spices, and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer. Add eggs, pumpkin, and vanilla, and coconut milk. Mix on medium until smooth.

Pour into your prepared (unbaked) pie crusts and bake at 425° for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° and continue baking for 50-60 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. It will probably look a little wibbly-wobbly in the center, but it will set as it cools. Let it cool for at least 2 hours. NO CHEATING.

OMFG THIS PIE IS FUCKING AWESOME. This is the first gluten-free pie crust recipe I have found that actually works the same way as a gluten-full crust. I was able to roll it out and get it into the pan without it being too sticky and it didn’t crumble to dust when I cut and served the pie. I feel like I can actually make a covered pie now! I can make pocket pies! I am ridiculously, obscenely, excited. And the filling is AMAZEBALLS. Creamy, custardy, smooth, and perfectly pumpkiny. OM NOM NOM NOM NOM.

One final note, the egg in the pie crust makes it more susceptible to burning, so if you have (or can get) a pie crust shield, I highly recommend it. Or not. I mean. Pie crust that’s a bit dark on the edges never hurt anyone. Besides, you’re not fucking Martha Stewart so stop Instagraming that shit and eat it.

Although, to be fair, this photo is at least a little better than anything Martha Stewart took without a food stylist.

Hahaha Joke’s on Me

So then yesterday I made a post about how I wanted to blog more and then today I went back to Facebook and Twitter and did the exact same thing!! I logged on this morning and pretty much hung out there all day. I shared links and all my random thoughts and I didn’t blog instead at all! I think what I really need to do is change my routine. Right now I get up and make coffee and then browse the social medias while I wake up in the morning. It’s kind of like the way people used to read the morning newspaper only with people I knew in high school and whatnot. And then, instead of signing off and staying away for the rest of the day, I just kind of hang out. I think tomorrow I will try reading my kindle over my morning coffee instead.

I admit that it’s been hard to stay away, especially since Friday. I have opinions, dammit! I’m just too tired to post about them there. I kind of wore myself out on Facebook, even though here, the Blog, might’ve been a better place for it. Alas. Instead, here’s a link to the Rude Pundit. He said it better than I could have anyway.

Today wasn’t totally wasted on Facebook (which, I think, means I did a better job than usual). I made marshmallows!

om nom nom!

Aren’t they pretty and festive? Also they taste like peppermint.

Sunday Night Noms

2 perfect gluten and dairy free cupcakes. Brought to you by How Sweet It Is.

1 egg white

2 Tablespoons sugar

2 Tablespoons Grape Seed Oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill GF mix)

1/4 heaping teaspoon of baking powder

pinch of salt

1 1/2 tablespoons milk (I used TJ’s coconut milk)

a nip (or two) of guar gum

Preheat oven to 350°. In a bowl, add egg white and sugar and whisk until combined. Add in vanilla and oil and stir until mixed. Add flour, baking powder and salt and stir until smooth. Stir in milk. Divide batter equally between 2 cupcake liners.

Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, or until cake is set (mine took exactly 19 minutes). Let cool completely, then frost as desired. I may have skipped part of this step and ate my cupcake while it was still warm. So good.

Mild Veggie Curry

A couple of evenings ago, I walked into the kitchen at 6:30 without a single idea for what to make for dinner. All the meat was frozen, I was tired from my long day of kid wrangling, and the sink was full of dirty dishes. I was in no position to cook anything, much less prepare an evening meal for my family. What I wanted to do was fill up a bowl with cereal and call it good. But, it’s been cold here for the last few days and I figured we all needed something a little more substantial to keep us going so this is what I came up with:

1 16 oz bag frozen veggies (I used the broccoli/cauliflower/carrot mix from Stop & Shop)
2 15 oz cans chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
~ 1/2 cup tomato juice
~ 1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 Tbsp curry powder
white rice

Mix all of this together in a pan over medium high heat and bring up to a nice bubbling simmer. Cover and reduce heat to low, and let it cook while you make your rice (about 10 minutes or so).

This was on the table before 7 o’clock and, oh my goodness, was it delicious. E ate 2 big servings and Isaac (who is often usually a picky eater) ate most of what I put on his plate. (A small victory, but a victory nonetheless. It’s the little things, really.)

Happy nomming!

Unboxing the KitchenAid

Today I cleared some counter space (always a premium at our house) and unpacked my new mixer. This is the one I got:

And this is what it looked like when I opened the box:

Then I took everything out and set it on my newly cleared counter:

And later, once we had eaten and cleaned up dinner, E5 and I made cookies.

OMG, are they good.

OM NOM NOM NOM!