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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Did you guess?

So did you guess what this is?



Well here is another hint:



Did you figure it out?

How about this:



It is a recipe box that I worked up from a basic wooden box that I picked up at Hobby Lobby (here is a set of 3 and the one I used is the middle one).

I found a piece of wood to go in the middle and with some glue and craft sticks I fixed a divider. Sorry, no pictures of the process because I am a bad blogger.

I then painted it black, but not just any black. No, I used chalk board paint (which was the most expensive part of the project). Since I used chalk board paint, I can let the kids decorate my box and then it can be wiped off later.

I can also write on the inside, maybe a recipe I want to look for or try. Or something to add to the shopping list. Or the plan for a big dinner, like Thanksgiving dinner.

With the extra room, I can keep the family recipes that we can't eat but have been written by family members.

I have room to add other things, like a list of foods through the year that we think of to use in food competition.

I didn't mean for it to be quite that big but I think I will like it better with the extra size. I have already got it close to half-full.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Guess what this is



Hubby thinks it is too big but I have gotten it almost halfway filled up.

I wasn't planning on it being this large but I am able to do more with it.

I'll explain more later but first, try to guess what it is.

Monday, October 25, 2010

What to do to welcome traveling gluten-free family

I have a friend who has a new sister-in-law who is gluten-free and so Kristen was hoping to make her delicious gluten-free dinner rolls for Thanksgiving dinner. Unfortunately, I have no recipe to give her, I haven't been baking since February and I hadn't build up any go-to recipes prior to that.

Then I started thinking how I would much rather have a sandwich bread for left overs than a dinner roll - then again dinner rolls have never really been my thing.

Then I started thinking about what would make me feel really welcome at Thanksgiving and I came up with this list:
  • a new unopened jar of peanut butter
  • a separate stick of butter or tub of butter spread
  • a new jar of mayo or Miracle Whip
  • a loaf or two of sandwich bread and a plan to heat it up
  • some gluten-free canned soup for a snack or in case I don't feel the meal is safe
  • being included in during the cooking plans, I may be able to tell you a simple thing to do to make the dish gluten free
  • showing a willingness to learn so that I do feel safe eating what you have cooked - and don't be afraid to say "don't eat that, I didn't know how to make it gluten-free"

I know there are other things that I am not even thinking of - what would you suggest be added to this list?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Posole de la Gringa - or - White Girl's Hominy Stew

Since I grew up in West Texas and my grandparents lived in New Mexico I grew up hearing about posole. It held a fascination for me because it was said to have pigs feet in it. Not that I wanted to try it! In fact with there being a possibility that it might contain pigs feet, I had no interest in tasting it. Ever.

I am not very picky but I draw the line at cole slaw and pigs feet.

Ewww.

Tonight I made a variation of Posole (poe-soe-lay) and my family loved it. I didn't tell them about the pigs feet though. Not that I used pigs feet. Ewww.

So here is what I did:

I had a rack of pork ribs that I had gotten on quick sale and then sat in the freezer for a few months because I couldn't figure out what to do with them. I took them out and put them in the crockpot and decided I would do soup. Isn't that what ribs say to you?

In retrospect, I should have trimmed some of the fat off but I didn't.

They cooked a few hours until the meat was falling off the bone and I took the meat out and cut it into bite-size pieces and put it back into the slowcooker along with a 32 ounce can of diced tomatoes and a large can of hominy.

I then added about a 1/2 teaspoon of habanero seasoning, two teaspoons of garlic powder, a teaspoon of thyme, oregano and salt, half a small can of tomato paste. I then decided it needed something to perk it up so I went with 5-6 dashes of Louisiana hot sauce and one long squeeze of ketchup. My son and I are wimps when it comes to spices so we could taste the heat but it wasn't uncomfortable. If you like it hotter, you could add more hot sauce and less ketchup. Then to thicken the broth I mixed a tablespoon of cornstarch and 1/3 cup of cold water and let that cook in.

My daughter LOVED it, she said she wanted to keep eating because it tasted so good but she was full. My son gave it a thumbs up and considering he almost always finds something to complain about its good but I wish you hadn't added onions he must have loved it. My husband was most surprised of all. This is not my usual cooking style, I have never added hot sauce or ketchup to any soup unless the recipe called for it. He loved it and told me to write down what I did so I could do it again.

As for me, it reminded me of visits to New Mexico and so I really enjoyed it.

As usual, I didn't measure so all measurements are approxomate, taste and add more if you want.