Spice of life

One of the staples in my house is steak burritos, so I knew I had to find a GF version pretty quickly. While my solution not particularly inspired, it was tasty.

I cooked some steak in a spice blend I found on BudgetByte$, tossed a pack of basmati rice in the microwave, shredded up some cheese, and, at the last minute, cooked some corn.


It’s not as much cheese as it looks like – most of the mound is corn and steak. (Really.) Next time  I’ll make two changes: cook some onions with the steak (I wish I liked peppers but alas); and use a lot more of the spice blend. I didn’t realize until afterwards that all that spice was for just one pot of chili, so even though I thought I was using a fairly generous hand when sprinkling it on my steak, I should’ve used a lot more. Probably a quarter to a third of the mixture. I’ll also stop being a wuss and add the cayenne pepper.

Some salsa dabbed on top would also be a nice addition. So would some GF tortilla chips or strips, if any good ones can be found.

For being so easy and quick, I sure did manage to make a big mess on my stove. The longest part of making the meal was cleaning that up.


Lemon Chicken Bake

I was delighted that I could make a Pioneer Woman recipe on my first day of being gluten free. I suspect there won’t be many of her (or the Barefoot Contessa, my other favorite) recipes that I’ll be able to use, so this was a welcome treat.

I used onions instead of fennel, and I didn’t roast lemon halves since I’d rather have lemons for other things. Next time I’d toss the veggies in olive oil and S&P instead of the lemon mixture, and I’d use the lemon juice and zest for the chicken alone. Otherwise everything has the same flavor. Marinating the chicken in the oil-lemon concoction for a little while might be a good idea, too.


Don’t be alarmed by the dark bits – it was lemon juice getting toasty and didn’t affect the yummy bits at all.

The next day I chopped up what was left, tossed it in a pan with some olive oil and (a lot) more S&P and made a sort of hash. It was very good and filling. I approve.

Click here for the recipe.

Chocolate cake! And raspberry sauce too

For Bill2’s birthday, I tried my hand at the oxymoronic flourless cake.  It came out great–rich and fudgy but not too dense.  I thought it had a perfect  blend of sweet and bite. If you make this, be sure to put the cake on a flat plate. I put mine on a dinner plate and the cake looks like a meteor crater.  It’s an easy fix, though.


Recipe and image from Epicurious.com: click here

To be extra fancy, I also made a raspberry sauce.  The process was a bit of a pain but the final product was great. I’m not sure the cake really needed it so I don’t know if I’d make it as an accompaniment for this again, but it would be lovely with sorbet or berries.

If you follow this recipe for the coulis, it’s helpful to know that the lemon juice goes in at the start, with the berries and sugar.  Mine took more than 10 minutes for the berries to break down, and after I strained it, I added about a tablespoon of Chambord and cooked it some more so it would reduce (maybe another 10 min).



Soup mugs

If you’re going to experiment with making soup and having it on hand, either for lunches or dinners, I highly recommend these mugs.  They’re great for travel because they don’t leak at all and they’re easy to microwave.  I can pick some up at our Wegmans for you, or they’re easily found online. They come in a variety of pleasing colors and useful sizes, too!  They make for a satisfying in-refrigerator display.


Click here for the Amazon listing.

Salads in Jars

I’ve been living lunches by salads in jars. There’s a lot of info online about what veggies you can put at the bottom because they assume that we’ll put salad dressing in the bottom of the jar when we make the salad. I keep a bottle of dressing at work (Girard’s light champagne dressing) so don’t have to worry which veggies will wilt and which won’t.

I do try to put more sturdy stuff at the bottom and then put the lettuce at the top, so it doesn’t get crushed. Otherwise it’s pretty easy.

I’ve made my jar salads with carrots, celery, raw broccoli, sprouts (didn’t like that; wouldn’t do it again), tomatoes, jicama. Above that, in different weeks, I’ve put cooked quinoa, small white beans (yum), and barley wheat (which doesn’t actually have wheat). I’ve used spring mix, baby spinach, and a couple other blends for the lettuce. I top with a small handful of slivered almonds or pine nuts or pepitas. In the summer, I’m looking forward to including fruit as well.

I typically make these on Sundays but will make a couple more on Wednesday, since I don’t want them to go beyond a few days.

I’m in love with this jar, which is plastic, so it’s light. It also does have a little container for dressing if needed–I’ve used it a couple of times when I’m out for the evening. Don’t forget to bring a bowl.

jar my jars.JPG

Aladdin Classic Mason Jar, amazon.com