Run to the basement!…Wait. False alarm. AHH!! NO! GO BACK!!!

Last night was absolutely insane. It was fine until 11pm-ish when the tornado sirens went off. I was about to fall asleep when they started and I groggily went to help my parents wake up the kiddos. It’s always funny to hear people’s reactions when you wake them up. (Is that mean…?) My sister sat up, said “Wait, is this a dream?” and fell back asleep. And my insane brother yelled at me because I woke him up from his beauty sleep. I’m still not sure if he was joking or not…Anyway, we were in the basement for a good 1/2 hour and just as we thought we could go back upstairs, a funnel cloud was spotted close to our house. We finally came back upstairs way past midnight just to have the sirens go off again 15 minutes later. We ignored them and just went to sleep.

Needless to say, I woke up very tired this morning. I even drank coffee, which is unheard of for me, so you know I was desperate to wake up. I stopped my caffeine intake at 1 cup of coffee and 1 diet Dr Pepper. But even after that, I was still exhausted and had a massive headache. I really wasn’t in the mood to be awake, let alone make dinner. But I did anyway and, surprise! It didn’t turn out!

I made chicken and dumplings off of the Betty Crocker website. Had it turned out, it should of looked like this:But did it? Noooooo. It was more of this:

Just imagine it with bits of lifeless chicken and gross veggies, and that’s what I made everyone eat tonight for dinner. My family claimed it was great, but I don’t know what planet they were on. Planet I Love Eating Glue Soup For Dinner, maybe?

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Oh I’m sorry, I was lost in beef heaven

Those were the words uttered by my sister after she became unresponsive while eating dinner. Funny thing is I made a pork roast. Cow. Pig. They’re both the same thing at my house, obviously.

The food was really good tonight. Probably because the meat marinated for 6 hours and I hardly followed the recipe… the recipe called for a “1/2 bunch of mixed fresh herbs, including parsley”. Since those had to be, hands down, the most vague instructions I’ve ever read, I kinda cheated and used a packet of Italian seasonings. But everyone thought that it was the best meal I’ve made so far. Although, it really doesn’t have much competition.I also mustered up the courage to make not one, but two recipes tonight!!! Since we’re new to the whole no gluten thing, we’ve been experimenting with some different flours and such. Word of advice, don’t buy Red Mill all purpose flour that’s gluten free. It’ll make whatever you use it in taste like beans. I know, because I got to taste the disaster that was Green Bean Biscuits.But this recipe went well, aside from the giant hole in the bread. I don’t want to talk about what happened. If you’re ever feeling in the mood for non-wheat stuff, have a go at it :)

Gluten Free Cornbread

1 cup white rice flour
3/4 cup stone-ground cornmeal
2 to 3 Tablespoons of sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon butter
2 beaten eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease bread pan. Mix the dry ingredients (flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt) together in a medium bowl and set aside.
In a small bowl, mix together the  milk eggs and butter. Add this mixture all at once to the flour mixture and stir until just moistened. Pour batter into baking pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Serve while it’s warm.

Presto French Fry cutter, je t’adore

My mom is a big antique/vintage junkie which I guess, in a way, rubbed off on me.  She’s more of an old stuff junkie and I’m big on vintage clothes. Although, I guess vintage for me is anything made before 1985… She’s been getting some pretty awesome cast iron cooking tools lately. In the past month we’ve acquired a cornbread mold, a biscuit cutter, an apple corer and a french fry cutter.  The french fry cutter’s been my favorite, though. Am I super lazy? Maybe. Ok, yes I am. But as easy as cutting potatoes was before, it’s now that much easier for me! Like the fancy schmancy directions say, just place over potato and push down. I think I love it. I’m going to marry it and become Mrs. Presto French Fry cutter. You’re all invited to the wedding.Our dish for the evening was Linguine with Genoese Pesto. Also known as Linguine al Pesto Genovese. Basically, pasta with pesto, green beans and potatoes. I was dying for a recipe that used potatoes, just so I had an excuse to use my new utensil. The recipe called for 2 potatoes, cut into thin batons. Perfect. The pesto pasta (Ha! Say that three times fast. Ok wait, I just did and it’s not that hard. Never mind.) turned out well. The only major change I’d make to it was to cook the potatoes and green beans for 1-2 minutes before putting the pasta in. Otherwise, you’ll be scooping out the pasta so the still raw veggies can cook more, like I had to. It was fun and I’m pretty sure I got 2nd degree burns from when the food decided to slip off my spoon, and splash back into the pot of  212 °F water. In happier news, I also got to use the food processor. I actually felt like a real chef tonight! Except for the fact that in the process of making dinner, I spilled ground coffee beans all over the floor. And I also left the garlic out, which made the kitchen reek of, well, garlic. Coffee and garlic and pesto. One word:But back to the potato cutter because I love talking about it. :) I seriously had so much fun cutting potatoes that I had to stop myself at just 3 of them. Is that weird? Wait, don’t answer that.

Thank you, Mr. Hitchcock, for making me scared of absolutely everything

I love Alfred Hitchcock movies. Like LOVE love. I could easily watch all of them all day. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of watching The Birds last night. Mistake #1: watching it at night.  Not only was I scared out of my mind, but I was over at my grandma’s sleeping in a dark room. By myself. Just waiting for birds to swarm in through the windows and vents to attack me. The Alfred Hitchcock movies have a way of making me scared of things that really aren’t that scary. So now I’m terrified of showers, crop dusters, windows, the number 39, and now birds. Great.

Luckily, Hitchcock didn’t have time to make a movie about bacon-wrapped chicken coming alive and taking over the world. And if he did, please don’t tell me about it until all the leftovers from tonight have been eaten. But anyway, I was skimming through The Silver Spoon the other day looking for edible things and I came across a recipe called Chicken Roulades with Sage. So basically, chicken wrapped with pancetta and a sage leaf, held together with a toothpick. Seemed good enough, so that’s what I made tonight. Pancetta is disgustingly expensive so I opted for bacon. Bacon is so much tastier anyway! ;) And, like a dummy, I forgot to check and see if we had dried sage, since I didn’t get any fresh sage from the store. Shockingly, we didn’t. So its understudy, thyme, took its place. I didn’t hit the chicken with a mallet like the recipe said to (the closest thing we had to a food mallet was a sledgehammer and as tempting as that is…) and I didn’t serve the chicken with a radicchio salad. So, pretty much, I didn’t follow the recipe. Not that I ever really do.

As for my critique of this recipe, it didn’t wow me. It was definitely good (bacon and chicken. Um hello, yum), but I didn’t eat it and, with tears of joy rolling down my face, scream out, “WHERE HAS THIS BEEN ALL MY LIFE?!”. Instead, I ate it and went “Eh.” Maybe something I’d make again. After I calm down from the fact that chicken is a bird and now it’s out to get me.

I’d love opera, if only I could understand it

How did you spend your Friday night? I’ll tell you how I spent mine. At an opera. WHACHA. Bet you didn’t see that one coming! Except for the fact that there’s a picture of my opera program right up there. Yeah… But anyway, I went to go see La Traviata and it actually was better than I thought it was going to be. Granted, I went into it with the lowest expectations on the planet and I expected to be bored the entire time. But it wasn’t too long (2 1/2 hours), the singers had amazing voices, and there were English subtitles :) Oh I’m sorry, my 11 year old sister just corrected me. They’re called “supertitles”. Supra above, sub under. Silly me! *eyeroll* But the best part was that while they were running through the aisles during the performance (I’m still not sure why…) one of the…larger singers… got stuck in between my sister’s chair and the wall which made her laugh hysterically. Of course I got stuck next to the lady with the mask over her face, so the whole time I was thinking “Oh great, what deadly toxin is she emitting that I’m breathing in right now?”.  Oh yeah, and then I’m pretty sure the old lady behind me almost died. She was dizzy and loudly announcing “I’M FINE, I’M FINE!” to everyone around her. If she had died on me, that soooo would have ruined my night. 

I got back in the groove of Italian food tonight. I made tomato bruschetta which, of course, decided to not turn out on me. The bread decided to burn even though I had it in the oven for less than a minute. And the tomatoes tasted weird. But other than that-lovely! ;) If you ever make this, I’d recommend slicing the tomatoes in half, scooping out the seeds and then putting salt on it. It helps dry out the tomatoes so it doesn’t turn your bread to mush.

Get ready for some super awesome foods coming up this week. There will be pesto, cod, and of course, flourless cakes!

Random Italian (or not) Foods, the movie. Coming to a computer screen near you.