When Inspiration Strikes: Pork Cutlets Cristo

Todd and I take turns each week setting the menu, grocery shopping, and cooking supper. We’ve been doing it this way since we first moved in together and I am continually grateful to has a husband that enjoys cooking as much as I do. Sometimes my menus are very specific (especially if I’m working on a new cookbook review) while other times they can be pretty vague: just stating the primary protein, starch, and vegetable for the meal. Keeping a good variety of spices and condiments on hand means I can improvise at will without needing to make a special trip
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Don’t Skimp on Those Spices

Planning a menu on a restricted diet–be it the Low-FODMAP protocol or otherwise–means a lot of the same. With broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, various beans and peas all on the trigger list that leaves a lot of repetition of spinach, green beans, and carrots (not to mention the ubiquitous green salad) as side dishes. Of course there are more options available seasonally, but these are our core components. Even the proteins can get a bit repetitive without a helping hand from the spice rack. Whether you’re following a recipe or experimenting on your own, a careful perusal of the spice blends
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Daring Bakers: Easter Breads

The April Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Wolf of Wolf’s Den . She challenged us to Spring into our kitchens and make Easter breads reflecting cultures around the world. We actually don’t do a whole lot for Easter–in fact, this year we did absolutely nothing as family members had other engagements and we’d just spent the previous day banging around our new house with no running water… More on that tomorrow! But way back when I’ve been known to make fun and flavorful baked goods at Easter time because why not? I’ve even made the somewhat traditional hot cross buns, though
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MxMo LXXXIII: Preserves | Strawberry Shot-Cake

This month’s Mixology Monday, hosted by Craig of A World of Drinks, is Preserves. Even though fresh-everything is the clarion call of cocktail enthusiasts today, back when cocktails were fresh and new, themselves, it wasn’t necessarily feasible to have fresh everything at the tip of your barspoon. Sure, that makes the cake for seasonal cocktails, but let’s face it–we’ve all had a craving for something at the absolute worst time for it, so why would imbibers be any different? In the spirit of those bygone days, the idea was to use an ingredient that had been preserved by drying, canning, freezing, syrup-ing,
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The Proof is in the Bread Box

After a successful-yet-leaves-room-for-improvement attempt at last month’s Daring Bakers challenge I wanted to try the given recipe again but tweak it a little. What I’d ended up with was a tasty, if somewhat dry, pastry that I thought could do with some enriching to make it work better with the vagaries of gluten-free baking. In order to create a more tender dough, I planned to add an extra egg (providing both fat as well as some extra protein for stability), a little more butter, and using all milk instead of 3:1 milk to water. In addition to the recipe changes, I knew
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The Spaghetti-String Budget Isn’t What it Used To Be!

The question of whether it costs more to eat healthy isn’t really a question: it does. But one thing I’ve noticed while sticking to the Low-FODMAP diet this past year (aside from the raising of already-high grocery bills), is that convenience is a loosing battle. It’s one thing to have one or two food allergies or intolerances to avoid–you can usually find a few options, especially as food marketers are jumping on the allergy trends. But when you’re avoiding a multitude of different, very common ingredients, even the easy stuff can get a little complex. Take a stand-by meal like
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Spiced Lentil Cakes for the Indian Cooking Challenge

Yay! I’m so glad I had a chance to participate in the Indian Cooking Challenge this month, and the recipe chosen was more than perfect: because it is a sattvic recipe, there’s no onion or garlic that I have to substitute for. Lentils can be high in oligosaccharides (the O of FODMAPs), but after a year of being pretty strict with my diet, an occasional meal that includes high-FODMAP ingredients can be tolerated with few issues. And, aside from needing to use a little more salt than I did, it was incredibly tasty! Dhokar Dalna Adapted from Sandeepa Ingredients: For the Lentil Cakes: 1 1/2
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Daring Bakers: Canadian Whoopie Pies

The December Daring Bakers’ Challenge had us all cheering – the lovely and talented Bourbonnatrix of Bourbonnatrix Bakes was our hostess and challenged us to make fun, delicious and creative whoopie pies! Delicious little cake-like cookies sandwiching luscious filling in any flavors we chose… What else is there to say but “Whoopie!” This month’s challenge was perfect for answering the question of what to make for holiday desserts. For some reason I never got onto the whoopie pie bandwangon so I was glad to give these a try and see what my family thought. Since we were encouraged to play around with
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Gluten-Free Fudge Cookies

This time, last year, I was just getting started down the Low-FODMAP road, trying to see how it might help (or not) my IBS. Considering it was the holidays, I was a little bummed about missing out on holiday goodies and picked up a copy of the Favorite Brand Name 3-in-1 Gluten-Free Cookbook at an overstock shop just to give some no-wheat baking a whirl. That book has become far more useful than its $6.99 price tag suggested, and inside were these instant-hit cookies that none of my friends could tell were gluten-free–always a good sign when you’re substituting ingredients!
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Meet the Sparkling: Cava

Have you heard of cava? It is, essentially, Spain’s answer to Champagne. More often than not it is made in the Champagne Method but since that, too, is limited to a particular region of France, a bottle of cava will usually denote “Método Tradicional” or Traditional Method. In the case of the bottle I tasted for this post, it actually says none of these things, going for the more explanatory: Sparkling wine fermented in this bottle. Straightforward, yes? As it was once in the glass. This week’s wine guy pointed me in the direction of Kila Cava, stating that while it
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