Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Just a recipe this time--one I adapted from the New York Times at that. My family enjoyed these as a Sunday afternoon snack-- without a cooling cucumber salad (recipe below)which might be good if these are served for lunch or dinner. The browning process helps keep the meatball from becoming too greasy when they've cooled down. So, snacking or putting out for a picnic is possible.
SPICY LAMB MEATBALLS
1 pound ground lamb
1/3 cup Gluten Free breadcrumbs-- or PANKO if gluten is allowed
1-2 Tbsp of olive oil
3 garlic cloves chopped
1 tsp kosher salt, to taste
4 Tbsp golden raisens
1 tsp cumin seeds-- grind if you'd like-- I don't
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 cup[ chopped parsely
1/2 cup chopped mint leaves
Put all in mixing bowl and mix by hand
Form small -- little smaller than a ping pong ball-- meatballs
Brown well-- giving room around them-- in a frying pan on medium high
Turn so all sides get browned.
When browned on all sides, turn heat to medium, and put a cover on the pan-- but TILTED-- not fit on tightly, so that steam escapes.
Cook for about 6-8 minutes.
Cucumber Salad-- a refreshing side for these meatballs
2 European cucumber washed and sliced thinly
If using regular cucumbers, use 3, and peel skin in stripes for color,
Dress these cucumbers with:
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 cup sugar
Blend together, until sugar and salt melted,
pour over cucumbers and let it steep for an hour or so-- stirring gently a few times.
Tuesday, March 27, 2018
I have found a way to cheat on making homemade candy for my food allergic folks.
It's easy -=- but it helps to have the right "equipment"-- which in this case is:
- WILTON's ceramic candy melting cups-- available at Michael's crafts stores/ Joann's for under $12.00.
- Vermont Nut Free semisweet chocolate chips [in baking products section]
- Vermont Nut Free dark chocolate candies [coins are what I use]
- mini cupcake liner cups -- I like the foil ones
- mini cupcake baking pan-- OPTIONAL
So, I set up the little gold foil cup liners in my mini-cupcake pan. Then I melted the two kinds of chocolate together, exactly as the directions on the Melting Cups said.
While the chocolates were melting, I put a mini marshmallow or two in each foil cup-- it actually cuts the sweetness. When the chocolate was pourable, I poured enough to half-way full for each foil cup-- and put it all in the fridge.
About an hour later... handmade, homemade candy-- which everyone loved. and the gold foil cupcake holders (minis) made the treat a little more fun.
Monday, February 19, 2018
Obviously, he is old enough now-- unlike in grade school-- to have a say in every part of the planning. [Except the secret silly things I am doing, like making buttons with his picture on them!]
So, we have discussed that many of the party platters are not for him--pates Cheeses. However, I did make special beef tenderloin skewers with garlic and mustard and chicken skewers in lemon and capers. Those too will be surprise, I hope.
But he knows there will be Italian prosciuttos and cotto ham, sopressata and salame that he can have as well as lots of crudite-- for which I plan a special black bean and salsa dip, instead of ranch or sour cream and dill. He wanted 'elegant' appetizers and not chips et al that usually accompany the words 'Millennial' and "party."
So-- the birthday cake-- should there be a cake for an open house type party? Hmmm-- his cakes have always been delicious but definitely homemade looking. Not only am I a pretty useless baker, but there can be no dairy, no eggs, no wheat, no nuts --which comes together into a charming but very low cake. I won't say flat... but low.
So, I've been experimenting.
First, mini-cupcakes: well the lemon ones came out OK.. but not great, At least they rose over the top of the paper holders. Unlike the chocolate ones which basically refused to rise, then sunk into themselves as they cooled.
Stuck all of that in the freezer for a rainy day snack.
Then I had the brilliant idea of brownie bites! So I made the delicious Glutino double fudge brownie mix, gently spooned it into mini-cupcake pans and baked....
Wellllll, not exactly a slam dunk.
The brownies looked good-- just like little bites of chocolately goodness. Brownies don't have to rise and have a little peak that you can frost at the top-- so that was great. But-- and this is a big 'but'-- these brownies wouldn't pop out of the paper cupcake cups. They just stuck in there. I froze them, hoping it would help... it didn't. In fact, made it worse-- couldn't even dig it out with a spoon.
Those went into the garbage-- after I struggled and consoled myself with a few.
Third, I tried chocolate chip cookie mix. I use, and always have, CherryBrook Farms Gluten Free mix. It's easy and delicious and requires only vanilla and margarine and some water. So totally safe,
This time: A winner! The batter rose over the mini cups and held their shape after they cooled. They looked adorable-- and tasted delicious. Yay; They froze well [don't want to be cooking
So,along with the Italian antipasto, and the Prosecco and Champagne, there will be chocolate chip minis to enjoy-- And lots of friends to raise a glass and celebrate!
Friday, December 29, 2017
Here's a new recipe --born out of leftovers from a party we had.
The spinach --tons of it-- was the "nest" for a lovely crudite presentation (in a crate, very nice). As I was dismantling after the guests had left, I noticed, as I put all the peppers aside to make stir fry, I noticed that the "nest" was all baby spinach. Two huge bags full--
I rinsed it all and set it aside to dry.
Then I sauteed garlic in some olive oil, with a few diced tomatoes --I used canned-- and let it cook for about 10 minutes. Then I added stock [ShopRite boxed stock, without wheat or whey or any allergens at all and made in a safe facility] and let it simmer for about 10 more minutes.
Then I added pepper-- lots of shakes-- and a 15 oz can of chick peas [ cannellini beans will do nicely as well]. In about 5 minutes I stirred in handful after handful of that baby spinach. I let it wilt in the broth, seasoned for taste. and Viola--dinner.
And we where live it's been about 15 degrees-- so a warm easy soup -- I had some safe Italian bread I had made-- makes a wonderful welcoming meal. And not wasting the spinach made me feel good, and so easy.
Enjoy-- and a happy safe new year to all.
Sunday, November 19, 2017
9-10 lb. pork shoulder/ pernil
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 475
In a roasting pan, Have the Pork at room temperature-- out of the refrigerator for an hour or so.
Peel and half 3-4 garlic cloves and make slits in the roast and stuff in the halved cloves.
Rub the top of roast with olive oil, squeeze the juice of an orange over the roast
And salt and pepper
Tent the pan
Put in 475 oven for 35-40 minutes
Reduce heat to 425, for another 25-35 minutes
Reduce heat to 350 and roast for 2-21/3 hours more.
Baste with juices as you wish.
Roast should be crisp and golden brown and be super tender--
If you want it more brown, take tent off for last 20 minutes or so.
Let it rest 10-15 and enjoy!
Saturday, October 7, 2017
Thursday, August 10, 2017
We are on our way to Chicago to look at colleges, and I am stopped, as I slip back into my loafers, and watch my carry-on being X-rayed. Again.
My son nods to me, questioning--Epi-Pens? No, I say, think it’s the food bag. And the security guard pulls out the rectangular soft case meant for keeping baby bottles cool—ours happens to be plaid—and unzips it. Inside she finds a Ziploc bag of frozen steak, strips of chicken and ½ pound of roast beef.
My son has food allergies—multiple food allergies—so we travel with food. Everywhere, every trip.
It’s a strange territory this food allergy world—it’s not intolerance, you explain, he could stop breathing if he eats an egg or something made with an egg.
My son is anaphylactic to Dairy, Eggs, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Sesame, Shellfish—that means if he eats these foods in any of their multi-various forms, his throat will close, he will need a shot or two of adrenaline and a hospital visit.
As for other allergies—he’s allergic to wheat, soy, peas, strawberries, barley and so on—to these he merely vomits until they’re out of his system. But at least we know he won’t be guzzling beer at all these colleges we’re visiting.
But it also means that he’s never had pizza or ice cream or birthday cake at a party. Or ever sat down in a restaurant without a frisson of anxiety—prior research and experience notwithstanding. But at least we go to restaurants; some allergic families do not.
In the large scheme of bad things, food allergies are not the biggest deal. But the devil is in the details.
In the everyday details of life—breakfast, lunch and dinner. In the bring-your-own-food-to-every-
Food allergies are isolating, dangerous, exhausting and frustrating.
What it’s really about is finding a balance, like most things in life. Finding a balance between anxiety and self-confidence. Between anger and restraint. Between self-pity and joining the parade. Between avoidance and risk.
But, this day, as I step back from the virtual edge—the security guard smiles at me and waves me through. “It looks like good eats,” she says, and I smile back and say “thanks.”