Monthly Archives: September 2011

iFind it Funny

My husband is all computer genius-y, so it might stand to reason that I'd have my act together where technology is concerned.  You know, all my devices synched, my computer updated on a regular basis.  Much to his dismay, however, I don't and they are not.  I'm one of those people that hits "Not Now" every time my computer tells me that I have software updates.  I keep a minimum of six tabs open in two different browsers at all times, and, honestly, it's usually closer to fifteen or twenty.  I also regularly maintain several open, unsaved documents, let out an exasperated sigh whenever my computer needs to be restarted and I must save and close said documents, and I only synch my iPhone about twice a year.

Aren't I a gem?

My first annual synch-up was a few weeks ago, and I thought I'd share a few of the photos that came off my phone.  I have a bizarre sense of humor.  Feel free to look away.


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Mushroom Risotto


Oyster mushroom risotto


I recently got my hands on a packet of dried oyster mushrooms from Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. It seems that mushrooms from this region have quite the reputation.  As in, they're supposed to be seriously good.  Not one to buy into hype without some first-hand experience, I wanted to really give these 'shrooms a taste.  This meant I'd need to use them in a way that would let their flavor shine, and adding them to a simple risotto seemed like the perfect way to do just that.

Risotto is one of those things that, for some reason, has developed a reputation for being difficult to make.  Don't get me wrong, I have seen people mess it up--and royally--but I have a feeling those mishaps have more to do with a misunderstanding of what risotto is.  Risotto is not merely rice with stuff in it.  Rather, it is a creamy, comforting dish and a canvas for a multitude of flavors.

Like earthy mushrooms.


Oyster mushrooms


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Philly Local


Like a lot of bloggers out there, I occasionally get PR offers to receive products to try and potentially review on this site.  To be completely honest, I turn down those offers most of the time.  They're always conditional, of course: "...and if you like it, you can share it with your readers...."  Before I even try a product, however, I often know whether it is something I'd feel comfortable sharing here.  If I know I won't (because their cross-contamination prevention is sketchy, the product doesn't align with my personal values in some way, etc.), I politely decline.  I only want the best for you guys, and I can't hawk something I don't believe in.

Back in July, I received an e-mail from the Philadelphia tourism marketing office, asking if I'd like to try out some products local to the area and, if I find anything I particularly enjoy, pass them along to you.  This sounded like something I could get behind.  Chris and I try to eat/support local as much as we can, in part because we are aware of the many, many reasons why this is beneficial in the grand scheme, and in part because local ingredients tend to be fresher and better tasting.  While Philadelphia isn't precisely our local, it's still very close by.  Plus, Chris grew up less than an hour out of Philly, where his parents still reside, so there is that connection as well.

And seeing as how this is a gluten-free blog, I was kindly assured that everything they sent would be gluten-free.

When the box arrived from Philly Homegrown, I was pleased with the selection and excited to try the offerings.  There were nearly a dozen in all.  After much tasting and cooking, I came up with only a handful of items that I would like to recommend to you.  Those things that I'm not recommending weren't necessarily bad, but these are the ones I feel enthusiastic about, the ones I'd specifically seek out myself.  I humbly suggest trying them out for yourself as well.


Quality Control

And don't worry, we ran everything past our in-house quality control before the tasting even began.


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Cinnamon Cashew Milk


Creamy cashew milk


A few months ago, Chris and I found a coupon for something called the BluePrint Cleanse.  I'd seen the name around and had always been sort of curious about trying a juice cleanse, so we decided to give it a go.  We didn't do anything extreme, just a day, but found that the juices were really delicious and that we both felt great afterward.  We also chose to schedule our cleanse for a busy day, when cooking or thinking about meals would have inevitably led to stress; it was nice to have things planned and made for us in advance.  We've done it a couple times since, and we'll definitely do it again.  For us, it feels good to give our systems a break.




We wouldn't do it if the juices didn't taste fantastic, though.  Every last one is great.  I often have a hard time deciding which is my favorite--usually it's the one I'm currently drinking.  The green juice strikes a good balance between vegetal and lightly sweet, the spicy lemonade (a nod to the Master Cleanse) is zingy and energizing, and the pineapple apple mint--Chris' favorite--is a refreshing treat (if you have a juicer, Tracy from Shutterbean has a homemade version here).  The last bottle of the day is filled with cashew milk and, after a day of light juices, the richness of it is super comforting.

I personally love the cashew milk, and I look forward to it each time we cleanse.  Chris, on the other hand, likes the taste of it but has a hard time with the texture.  It is a little bit grainy.  As we were drinking our cashew milk during our most recent cleanse, I said to Chris, "You know, I could probably make a version of this that would taste pretty similar and just strain it through some cheesecloth so it would be smooth."  He was on board, and that's exactly what I did.

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(BA|GF) Tomato Cheddar Pie


Tomato cheddar pie


Okay, so I know this is late.  We’re almost halfway through September (what?!) and this is adapted from the August issue of Bon Appetit.  I’m going to go ahead and blame the earthquake and the hurricane that happened over the course of a single week here in NYC (again, what?!).  Now is probably better timing for this recipe anyway—and trust me, you’re going to want to make it now.

Check it out: tomato cheddar pie.


Tomatoes & melted cheese


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Gluten-Free Ratio Rally: Fritters


Blueberry fritters




Welcome to month seven of the Gluten-Free Ratio Rally! If you’ve stumbled upon this post and are interested in reading more about what the Rally is all about, check out the post from our inaugural run when we all shared ratios and recipes for pancakes. This month we’re sharing our recipes and ratios for doughnuts or fritters.  I chose to work with fritters, for which Ruhlman notes that the ratio is simply that of a muffin without the fat:

2 parts flour : 2 parts liquid : 1 part egg




When I was in high school, my mom randomly brought home a book one day. I won't call it a "diet" book--it was more like a fitness plan. She read it and then I, curious, read it as well. It was a smart plan, based on solid science of the body, and we were both inspired. We knew we could be living and eating better (at the time, I was hardly eating at all), so we decided to partner up and start taking care of ourselves. Six days each week, we got up together at 4am and exercised, alternating between cardio and lifting.  We ate several small meals throughout the day and I stopped counting calories.  As part of the plan outlaid in this book, it was also required that one day per week be a free day.


Fritters frying


And by free, I mean free.

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