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Life is getting back to normal

Posted Sep 22 2008 11:04am

Our basement is mostly finished.  There are some minor things here and there to do.  That was a job.  Not what I planned to do on my summer vacation!  I had planned to make a new craft room and was in the middle of that when the flood happened.  I am back to that now.  Any gluten free crafters out there?  You name it, I love to make it.  Scrap booking, stamping, jewelry, crochet, knitting, sewing etc.  Now I will have a place to do all that.  It’s more fun than tiling a basement and I can’t wait till it’s done!

I bought a new gluten free cookbook called “I Can’t Believe It’s Gluten Free” by Roben Ryberg.  It’s an interesting book from the stand point that Roben believes you can make gluten free baked goods by using one kind of flower verses several flours.  That would make baking a lot easier.  So far, I have tried her chocolate chip cookie recipe.  In the book she lists several recipes for each type food.  For example, the chocolate chip cookie has a corn based recipe, potato based recipe, rice flour based recipe and an oat based recipe.  I have tried both the potato and oat based recipe.  It is possible to make a cookie this way, but not my favorite.  But to be fair I will try them all eventually.

Then I moved on to biscuits.  I had heard rave reviews about her biscuit recipes.  I will tell you I have a daughter that misses biscuits so badly.  We have tried numerous times to make them gluten free and they weren’t bad, they just weren’t like “normal”.  Kati loves the biscuits you get at Red Lobster.  If you ate there in your gluten days, you know what I’m talking about.  This is what she misses.

I found the recipe for them in Roben’s book.  I tried the corn based biscuit recipe just as it is in the book.  My mom was over that day and she thought it tasted like the Red Lobster biscuit without the cheese and garlic.  Tonight Kati was craving biscuits really bad so I suggested she try the recipe, only that she add some cheddar cheese and put garlic butter over the top of them.  She did and I swear to you these tasted just like Red Lobster.  Kati was so happy she said she could cry!  Roben, thank you!  The book is worth the purchase alone just for the biscuit recipe.  I’m sure we are going to find more things we love in it.

I think that so far, my favorite cookie recipe has come from Carrie at Ginger Lemon Girl.  I tried her recipe last winter, but used butter in it.  I thought it was pretty darn good that way.  But she had insisted they are better using shortening instead of butter.  I finally tried them with butter flavored Crisco.  She was right.  Totally different cookie.  My kids loved them.  So far, the best chocolate chip cookie I’ve had.  She won a contest with this recipe and I can see why!  You can find the recipe here.  I am still working on converting my own recipe that I’ve made since Jr. High School.  Mainly because it’s my recipe I’ve made for so long.  But until then, Carrie’s is the one to make!  They are soft, chewy, and just plain yummy!  To me, they taste like the big cookies you get in a bakery.  It’s the one thing I took time to bake while we were tiling the basement.  It was great to have a treat while working.

Here is a favorite snack I discovered during the summer.  My son’s girlfriend told me her mom used to make this as a snack when they were young.  It sounds kind of weird, but trust me, it’s good.  Take a slice of gf deli ham, spread cream cheese on the ham, then roll that around a pickle.  Now I know what you’re saying, but trust me, it’s good!

And no, I’m not pregnant.  I’m too freaking old for that :)

For the last week and a half, my husband’s band has been playing at the Indiana State Fair.  I go out with him most days to watch them perform, make coffee and sometimes take snacks for them.  Gluten free of course!  The weather this year has been so great.  Low humidity and low temperatures for Indiana at this time of year.

Every year I make salsa and take out.  We call it Salsa Saturday.  It started years ago when I had an over abundance of tomatoes in the garden.  Now I make it even when I don’t have enough tomatoes in the garden!  Such as this year.  They are really coming in this week, but last week I didn’t have very many.

I never have a recipe for my salsa.  And it’s never the same twice, but close to it.  Basically what I did this year was to pick and wash what was ripe.  I had some cherry tomatoes, regular tomatoes, jalapeno peppers and some green peppers.

Because I didn’t have enough fresh, I added some canned in with it.  I made two batches.  One was hot and one was mild.  I divided it into two bowls.  In each bowl I put one can of tomato sauce, two cans of chopped tomatoes and one can of tomato paste.

Then I chopped my fresh tomatoes and divided them equally between the two bowls.

The type of cherry tomato I use is called Sweet 100.  I think they are the best home grown cherry tomatoes.  They have a fairly sweet taste to them and really add to the salsa.

My food processor died.  But I have a stick blender I used.  Mine is a Bamix brand.  There are many brands on the market and I highly recommend them.  I use mine quite a bit.  It does a really good job making salsa and is so much easier to clean than the food processor.

You can see how well it grinds everything up and it does it fairly quickly.  Then I hand chopped onions, green peppers, jalapeno peppers, and garlic.  I also added the juice of a lime in each bowl, some salt and pepper, cilantro, parsley and a bit of sugar.  Now, for the business of making one hotter than the other.  When I chopped the jalapeno peppers, on the mild salsa, I did not add the seeds or membrane of the pepper.  For the hot salsa I did.  Plus, I added some chill pepper and cumin to the hot one.

Can you believe I forgot to take a picture of the finished product?  I know.  Crazy.  But you can imagine it, right?  The band loved it.  It was a good fair.  Here they are performing during one of their shows.

My son is the trumpet player in the front row with the yellow jacket and plaid shorts.  My husband is just behind him in the blue jacket and frog hat.  They are goof balls.  I started a blog for them.  You can see it here.

I am in the process of thinking about making some more dietary changes.  I think there are some other foods that I am having issues with.  I’m not sure how I am going to deal with this yet.  Just thinking about it is overwhelming.  I am still weighing it all in my mind.  I will share when I figure it all out :)

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