Saturday, February 25, 2012

Classic 2nd Place Chili :-)

My husband's work had a chili cook off yesterday, and my classic chili came in second - I'm pretty excited, there were 8 entries total so I think this is pretty good. The winner used 7 different kinds of meat, beer, vodka, and who knows what else... I was told it was as thick as paste but had good flavor. The winner also happens to be a good friend of my husband's, we actually had dinner with him & his girlfriend last night. We beat them in old school Nintendo Jeopardy to make up for the chili loss :-)

So no picture, but here is the 2nd Place Chili Recipe:

1 onion, diced
2 tbs. high heat oil (I used almond)
2 1/2 lbs sirloin steak
1 can Hunt's Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
1 can Hunt's Italian Diced Tomatoes
1 can Hunt's Chili Tomatoes
1 can (smaller) Busch's country style Baked Beans
1 can Van Camps Pork & Beans
1 can Hormel Medium Spice Chili Beans
16 oz Regular V8
2 tbs. granulated garlic
2 tbs. chili powder
4 tbs. cumin
2 tbs. Lea & Perrins Worcestershire
Salt & Pepper to taste

Cut the steak into small cubes. Dice the onion and saute in the oil until it is soft - I do this in the stock pot I'm going to do everything in so this is a one pot clean up. Add steak, Worcestershire, salt & pepper. Cook on Medium High heat until steak is done. Drain off the fat. Start adding in your tomatoes, beans, & V8. Stir in your remaining spices, bring everything to a boil. If I am making this ahead, I turn it off then and let it cool, transfer it to a crockpot and stick it in the fridge. If we are eating right then, I let it simmer for 30 minutes or more so that the flavors combine better.


**I mention the brand names above because I know those a gluten free

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Can you believe February is almost over??

Can anyone else believe February is almost over? Anyone who lives where it snows is doing a happy dance that winter is close to being over.

So here is some fun stuff!

Restaurant Reviews:
Cosi - has gluten free salad on the menu, not all of them are gluten free, but most of them are. I tried the Cosi Cobb with Gouda instead of Gorgonzola, the Sherry Shallot dressing is quite good. It would be really nice to see a gluten free sandwich or flatbread from here, as those menus looked TASTY as well

Baja Sol - offers gluten free tacos, enchiladas, burrito bols, and salads. The tacos normally come on flour tortillas, but corn ones are available for a swap out. I haven't tried the burrito bols or salads, but the baja style tacos & chicken enchiladas are pretty good. They also have gluten free chips and cheese dip, as well as a free salsa bar. A good lunch spot.

New Recipe:
Lazy Omelet -  One of my husband's favorites, I'm not sure this qualifies as a recipe but it gets made often enough in our house that it should be mentioned.

1/2 cup diced ham (Hormel makes GF pre-packaged 98% FF)
2-3 eggs, whipped, depends on your egg preference
fresh mushrooms, diced, as much as you want
shredded cheese, C loves swiss

In a non-stick skillet, start sauteing ham and mushrooms. I usually do not use any oil because the ham has enough to keep everything from sticking. Once the mushrooms have reduced and started to brown, add the eggs. Scramble everything together until the eggs are done. Top with cheese and serve.

More Whole Foods Fun: I GOT TO TAKE A KNIFE SKILLS CLASS... not sure if you can feel my excitement radiating out from the computer screen, but this might top the list as far as classes go so far. The Chef was very informative, the class size was small enough we got individual attention when needed, the food we made was delish. I have been super impressed with their line of classes, esp. for the price.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

I hope everyone has someone that loves them - a mom, a dad, a sister, a brother, or significant other that takes the time to appreciate you.

My GF DF Chocolate Dessert class was divine... and it took me 2 days to recover from the sugar high. Will definetely be recreating the Flourless Chocolate Torte & the Fudge. My husband wasn't as thrilled with the Blackberry Sauce as I was, so this is going to require further revisions.

This weekend we went to the RV Show, which is always a good source for new fun things to do to our camper. It is also nice to look at the displays for campground we haven't been to before. We also got to see a camp cooking demo - nothing was gluten free, but it was modify-able :-)

In other news, I've lost a little momentum in the running department. I think because my job has really ramped up, and I come home more tired, I don't "feel" like I have the extra energy to expend. We are aiming to run tonight & Thursday night this week.

Dinners: Fajitas, Peperoni Lasagna, Fish Tacos, Out on Friday as we are traveling
             (already had Buttered Noodles with Chicken & Club Sandwiches)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Plan for the Week

Monday - GF DF Chocolate Dessert Class - will pick up dinner either at Whole Foods or on the way
Tuesday - Grilled Chicken Salads, running, catch up on PhotoShop Class
Wednesday - Fabulous Fajitas, new assignment from PhotoShop Class, maybe extra running night?
Thursday - dinner TBD, may pick up Pork Chops from Whole Foods to try with Blackberry Sauce (receipt to follow!), Running for sure
Friday - dinner TBD, Spaghetti or pepperoni lasagna is sounding pretty good, new assignment from PhotoShop Class
Saturday - RV Show, Original Pancake House for BFast, dinner out with Family - new restaurant review to come!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Fun Adventure Finds!

The past couple of weeks I have found several new GF/GF friendly products that I thought were pretty cool. I also have a couple new restaurant reviews to add to my growing pile...

Down in the Valley Bakery - courtesy of Valley Natural Foods, they have started their own GF bakery line. I have tried the Banana Bread & Double Chocolate Brownie, both are DIVINE. The Banana Bread was eaten over the course of 5 days and the texture was just as good on day 5 as day 1 - it came in a mini loaf size. I still have half the brownie (which was huge) so it is going on 8 days, so we will see how good it lasts.

Coleman  Dutch Oven Liners - How cool is this? If you had a Dutch Over pre gluten free days, or inherited one, you can still use it! These liners were created for easy cleanups, but would work like aluminum foil or parchment paper as a barrier to keep your food clean when using a "glutened" cast iron dutch oven. My husband and I usually camp with family (and I haven't bought our own dutch oven yet) so this would be great for shared meals we are making GF. I found them at Wal-Mart.

Doolittle's Woodfire Grill - We ate here on a Saturday night, I had checked out their website for their GF menu in advanced. The website instructs you to ask for a gluten free menu when you arrive, so I received my very own GF menu. One thing I liked about their GF menu is it included a description of the dishes and the prices just like the regular menu, something that is occasionally lacking on GF Menu. We GF customers do like to know what we are eating and how much we are going to pay for it...  Anyway, I had options from almost every section of the regular menu, the only things left out were sandwiches and pizza, no surprise there. It was nice to have both appetizer and dessert options. I ended up ordering the Scallops with Bacon Mashed potatoes and mango butter sauce, it was quite tasty. My husband and I split a creme brulee for dessert - it wasn't quite as good as Bonefish, but I would get it again. Everyone else in our party agreed it was a good pick as well.

Original Pancake House - I looked back on my posts and I can't believe I haven't mentioned this place before. The Original Pancake House has GF Pancakes AND Crepes! Oh, and the omelets, hash browns, sausage, bacon and a bunch of other things are safe too... but the big attraction for me is the crepes. They are so good I don't even put syrup on them. We only go there occasionally because it is a nutritional train wreck aka carb overload, but dang it is good. Ask your server for the GF Menu, and be prepared to wait 30 - 45 minutes if you go on a weekend.

Last but not least - many thanks to my local Whole Foods culinary director - I took her Meat Cookery class this week, and she made the whole class GF since I was attending. Gluten Free cooking wasn't discussed, but she picked brands/switched stuff out as needed so I could sample everything in the class. If you have a Whole Foods near you that offers classes, don't be afraid to ask if they are willing to modify a class for you, it is quite possible they will!

Friday, January 27, 2012

FINALLY - Blackened Fish Tacos!

Blackened Fish - for Tacos!
1 tbs. chopped dehydrated onions
1 1/2 tbs paprika
1 tbs garlic powder
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 - 1 tsp black pepper (to taste)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp leaf thyme
1/2 tsp leaf oregano

Crush dehydrated onion with the back of a spoon. Mix all the spices together.

For Fish:
5 tilapia fillets
1 tbs oil
cast iron skillet

Rub each fillet with seasoning on each side. Pour oil in skillet and heat to medium or medium/high heat depending on your stove top. Skillet should get hot but not so hot your oil smokes. Cook each fillet for 3 minute on each side. My skillet is small, so I do 2 at a time. I add a little more oil between batches (1 tsp?) to prevent sticking. Serve on corn tortillas with toppings of your choice - we haven't progressed beyond salsa, sour cream and cheese but I think a crunchy slaw would be super tasty.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

78 Ways to Cut Fat Calories from Your Diet | Yahoo! Health

Just a quick note - I thought this was a cool article on Yahoo! Health this week

78 Ways to Cut Fat Calories from Your Diet | Yahoo! Health

I'm sure most of us skip some of these already, but even if you could alter 5 a day, that would make a huge difference!