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Archive for January, 2010

Saved the Day

Saturday would have been a completely unremarkable, unblogworthy day.  Dave had work to do and I had to study.  But the evening saved the day!  I was so excited by our dinner.

I have had such success with Chebe mixes (thank you again to Chebe!!) in making rolls and pizza crust, that I wanted to see how the dough would handle calzones.  From the freezer, I grabbed a ball of dough, preportioned from a couple of weeks ago.  I let it thaw and then rolled it out.

I made a big bowl of filling so that I could make more calzones or a baked pasta dish later on.  The big bowl had: a 15 oz. tub of fat free ricotta, a 10 oz. box of frozen spinach (thawed and drained), a 1/2 cup shredded mozzerella, 1/4 cup parmesan, italian seasoning, and diced onion.  From that, I scooped out a portion for my calzone and Dave’s calzone.  I added red pepper and artichoke to mine,  which were excellent additions.  And to Dave’s, I added chicken (I used regular pizza dough fro Dave’s…not because the gluten-free is not good, but because it is more expensive. And lucky guy that he is, he has not issues with gluten!).

*I cooked the red pepper and onion a bit on the stovetop before adding then to the mix because I wanted to make sure they were cooked through. *

I filled the calzones and crimped the edges.  Mine is on parchment paper so that the gluten-free dough doesn’t touch the pizza pan….which I will admit, does not get scrubbed down each time we use it.

Ready for the oven!

I paired it with a salad and a dipping bowl of marinara sauce.

These were so good, we may even have the same thing tonight!  I have lots of left over filling.

This picture is fuzzy, but I am showing you a shot of Dave’s calzone….just so that you can see all of the spinach he ate!  And you know what?  He loved it.  Not the spinach, persay.  He loved the whole thing because he said he couldn’t taste the spinach.  I’ll take that!  He may not like spinach, but he’ll eat it if he can’t taste it.  I’m taking mental notes with each meal!

This amazing dinner was followed by the season finale of LOST that we DVR’ed earlier in the week.  Of course, we wtached it last year, but we have to review before the season premiere on Tuesday.  The trick is going to be showing restrain on Tuesday…we want to save it fo rour Friday night celebration, so we need to be strong and stay away from all spoilers from Tuesday until Friday.  We are such nerds!

Nothing too exciting going on today.  I need to clean and vacuum, and then dive back into microbiology.  This course is only 8 weeks long, so everything is packed in.  So much to memorize!   We have our first test this week (week 3…not that I’m counting!).

Have a wonderful Sunday!

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More About Me!

Happy Saturday everyone!  I spent most of yesterday glued to my computer, so blogging was just not on the agenda last night!  But I’m back, and I have a job to do.  The lovely Kristen at the Eating RD gave me the Beautiful Blogger and the Happy 101 Awards, so I have some work to do this morning!  I love these….writing them and reading them.  I really enjoy learning little tidbits about my favorite bloggers.  Usually, I find out that I share some random habit or piece of history with some one.

So here we go!  I already did this one a couple of months ago…..

….so we’ll move on to this one!

10 things that make me happy!

1.  My amazing, supportive, and always loving husband!

2.  My mom!  One of my two best friends in the world (see above) and the only person I wanted as Matron of Honor at my wedding!

3.  Our new baby nephews.  I miss them so much!

4.  A giant salad with everything in it!

5. Horseback riding!  I used to ride when I was growing up, but I don’t get to do it nearly enough now.

6.  Running!  I never would have said that a couple of years ago!

7.  A hot, fudgey brownie!  There is no better dessert!

8.  Tropical vacations!  We are going to Belize in a month and a half and I can’t wait to lie in this hammock again!

9.  Jack and Rudy!  I love my boys 🙂

10.  Something that made my day this week….. I found these Cadbury Mini Eggs at the college bookstore.  It’s not even Valentine’s Day yet, but I don’t care…..I love these!

That was fun and set a nice tone to my Saturday morning!  If you haven’t done one of these yet, take a few minutes and share something new about yourself.  It’s such fun to do!

Have a great day everyone!

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Spaghetti Squash Alfredo

My eyes are glazed over and I want to shut down my computer for the night.  I have been working on a chemistry lab for the last 4 hours and I just can’t envision any more molecular shapes right now.  But before I can unplug for the night, I have to share (err…brag) about my dinner tonight!

I have had a spaghetti squash in my fridge for probably 3 weeks.  The poor guy was starting to get wrinkly, so I knew he needed to be cooked up.  Spaghetti squash is a relatively recent discovery for me.  When I found out I had to go gluten-free I started using spaghetti squash a lot as a pasta substitute.  It’s amazing how good it is smothered in tomato sauce and parmesan cheese!  And that’s what I usually do with it.  But tonight, I wanted to do something a little different.

I scooped out the inerds and mixed the strands on the stove top with: tomato, spinach, italian seasoning, 1/3 cup chick peas, and 2 wedges of Laughing Cow Lite Swiss.  You can call it Alfredo or Mac n’ Cheese…..but either way, its delicious. I’m so glad I have leftover squash so I can do this again!  And I probably don’t need to mention how much healthier this is that your typical pasta with alfredo sauce…

I am also excited for my dessert tonight.  I saw Mama Pea do this same thing with her darling little girls, I knew that this darling girl needed to make the same thing!  One banana, cut in half and filled with peanut butter…..

Then, rolled in melted chocolate!

Then into the freezer! And…. Tah dah!

Time to unplug, eat my frozen PB&banana, and catch up on the DVR.  We still have last week’s Grey’s Anatomy to watch!  Gotta get that in before tonight’s episode!

Coming up soon:

  • A review of a couple Shabtai Gourmet Bakery products (a hint….YUM!)
  • My Happy 101: 10 things that make me happy.  Thanks to Kristen at the Eating RD for the Happy 101 and Beautiful Blogger awards!

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Running…

Not that kind of running (although I did that too today).  I am running out the door for my Wednesday evening class.  5-10pm!  Last week he let us go a bit earlier, so I am crossing my fingers we aren’t there until 10 tonight.

One good thing about having an evening class is that I have the whole day to study.  On the other hand, after studying chemistry for the last 5 hours, the last thing I want to do is spend another 5 in a Microbiology Lab!  Oh well.  It’s 8 weeks long, and a quarter of the way through after tonight!

I am really excited to have this class done in 8 weeks.  Then I will only have 2 classes left this semester and a couple more over the summer.  Once I am down to only taking a couple of classes, I think I will be able to get a part-time job.  I am thinking a gym would be the perfect place to work because you can often work part-time and you get access to the gym.  I worked at the front desk at Healthworks when I was in grad school.  That was a great gig because its such an awesome gym.  I’ll have to see what I can find later in the spring.

I’m runnin gto class momentarily, but I’ll leave you with my yummy leftovers for lunch!  I drained the broth from the last of my soup that I made a couple nights ago and added some steamed spinach and broccoli slaw, along with some Laughing Cow!  It was perfect!  One of the perks of studying from home is that I can make a hot lunch pretty easily!

Quinoa is good in just about anything!  I paired this (which turned out to pretty much be a hot salad) with a half of an acorn squash.  Its really a toss up for me now between butternut and acorn squash.  I love them both!

I hope you all have a great night.  I will be in a dark lab growin gbacteria on petri dishes!  Anyone want to trade?!

If you were going back to school, what would you study?

I would not choose bacteria!  But unfortunately, microbio is a prerequisite for dietetics!  Ah, what you do for love!

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Soup’s On!

I studied all day yesterday while the smell of soup kept enticing me from the kitchen.  I love that!  And you know what I love even more???  When it comes out beautifully!  I wish I could give you a specific recipe, but it was one of those crock pot soups where you just throw in everyhting you have and need to use up: celery, carrots, onion, mixed frozen veggie, diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, garlic….. I added some quinoa in the last hour and then added chicken to Dave’s bowl.  He gave it an enthusiastic thumb’s up!

And what goes best with soup?  Yep!  Bread!  Using more of the Chebe mix I used for my pizza dough, I made rolls to pair with our soup.  Even my gluten-eating hubby ate them….instead of his Pillsbury Crescent Rolls!

Thank you again to the folks at Chebe.  Gluten-free products can be pricey, and it is really nice to sample a product before investing in it.  I have bought many products I will not be buying again and feel like I wasted my money.  But I have no reservations about buying Chebe products in the future.  Just look at how doughy these rolls were!

Crusty on the outside and doughy on the inside!  Exactly the way bread should be!

I have received samples from a couple of other gluten-free companies in recent weeks and I will be sharing my reviews periodically.  Just today, I received a shipment from the Shabtai Gourmet Bakery.  I saw their products on Eater Not a Runner, and I thought I’d write to them as well to see if I could sample something.  They didn’t just send me “something”… they sent me a case!

I tried a couple of treats today and I will show you in another post.  But they were wonderful!  So good in fact, that I don’t know how smart it is to have so many treats teasing me!  Gluten and non-gluten eaters alike will love these treats, so I think I may bave to have a giveaway of a couple unopened boxes at some point.  Something else to stay tuned for!

I’m off to snuggle with my boys.  Good night all!

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There is an icky feeling leftover after studying microbiology all afternoon.  Just thinking about all of those little microbes out there trying to bore their way into by body creeps me out a little bit.  So instead of rehashing my studies today, I will return to last night’s very sweet dinner!

I told you I was having comfort food for dinner and I said that I was not having a typical dinner.  I give you… Pumpkin Apple French toast!

I have been craving french toast and I knew when I received my loaf of gluten-free bread from EnerG that French toast would be one of the first things I made.  I combines some egg with some pumpkin puree, soaked the bread and then grilled it up!  It came out great!  But it’s topping that really made this dish.  I love this combination on just about anything….oatmeal, pancakes, waffles….french toast!  A sliced apple, with a generous scoop of pumpkin puree, raisins, and pumpkin pie spice.  Yum!

As if that weren’t sweet enough….I tried another baking experiment for dessert!

Like I said yesterday, I was playing again with single-serve baking trails.  This time, I combined the oat-base from yesterday’s creation with the blueberry sour cream muffins I made a couple of weeks ago.  Here’s the run down…

Into my magic bullet went:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 Tbs gluten free flour
  • 1 T sugar

I blended everything together in the bullet and then added my wet ingredients:

  • 1/4 T fat free sour cream
  • 1/4 cup egg beaters
  • 1/4 tsp, vanilla

After mixing the wet and dry ingredients, I stirred in 1/2 cup blueberries.

I baked these muffins/bread in 1 mini bread loaves at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.  The first time a did this, I microwaved it for 3 1/2 minutes.  That worked too, but in the oven it browns nicely.  If I have the time, I prefer to bake it in the real oven.

I served this with a side of vanilla yougurt and topped with fat free coolwhip (my guilty pleasure!) .  Without the sweet toppings, I probably would have liked another tablespoon of sugar (I like my muffins sweet!).  But with the yougurt and cool whip, it was plenty sweet….and very good!  The sour cream adds a nice creaminess too it.

I need to go contend with tonight’s dinner.  It’s been cooking all day and I can’t wait to try it!  Here’s a teaser…

To everyone here in Boston….stay dry!  Its like a monsoon out there!  Stay in and check out Kim’s giveaway instead!  🙂

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You know those foods that just make you feel warm and fuzzy or flash back to being a kid.  After I posted last night, I served up a dinner and dessert that was completely comfort food for me.

Pasta has always been a favorite food of mine.  Since cutting out gluten, I have found spaghetti squash and Shirataki noodles as good and tasty alternatives.  But they don’t have the same consistency as pasta.  So Last night, instead of using these substitutes, I used rice pasta for a big plate of pasta.  It’s a little gummier than regular pasta.  And its actually a little slimy when it finishes cooking.  But I rinsed the cooked noodles and they were quite good.  Topped with marinara, and paired with roasted brussel sprouts,  it satisfied the craving.

One of the tricky things about eating a gluten-free diet is eating with someone who is not on a gluten-free diet.  We had two pots of water going on the stove: one for rice pasta, and one for wheat.

Here’s Dave demonstrating how to properly slurp your spaghetti!

Sluuurp!

Dessert was equally comforting.  I love baked goods: muffins, cookies, cakes, brownies….  Yum!  And even better is the smell when these things are baking!  But given my love of all this carby goodness, I have a tough time not devouring a whole batch in a couple day’s time.  When I see something that is intended to be made as single-serve dish, I get excited!

Nicole recently posted about her spin on Tina’s 3-minute oatmeal cookie, something I was planning to try myself.  I decided to add my own spin by using what I had on hand.

Into my magic bullet went:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 Tbs gluten free flour
  • 1 T sugar

I blended everything together in the bullet and then added my wet ingredients:

  • 1 mashed banana
  • 1/2 cup egg beaters
  • 1/4 tsp, vanilla
  • 1 Tbs. peanut butter

After mixing the wet and dry ingredients, I stirred in 1 Tbs. of chocolate chips. For me, there is no greater combination than peanut butter, banana, and chocolate!

I baked these muffins/bread in 2 mini bread loaves at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.

Delish!  I am experimenting again tonight with another take on this.  I hope it comes out just as good!  I will show you tomorrow, along with the amazing dinner I made tonight!  2 Hints: Its not a typical dinner and it also falls under the category of “comfort food.”

Today was a relaxing day and I’m ready to continue the relaxing with the last 100 pages of Dan Brown’s Lost Symbol.  I just hope I don’t fall asleep!

Does anyone else find that you fall asleep when you get too comfy with a good book? Any must-read books you’re reading right now?

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