I've been MIA for some time lately. I've had a whole lot of things going on in my personal life and I've not spent much time in the kitchen. Not to say I haven't been cooking and baking, b/c I have, but I've not been creating my own recipes. :( My divorce will be finalized in just a couple of weeks and that has taken a lot of my energy. I'm doing well...adjusting to single life well and making healthy choices for my life. It's hard to cook for just one person, so I've been snacking a lot and eating a lot of sandwiches (on Kinnikinnick's Tapioca Hamburger Buns, which are amazing, btw).
Yesterday I decided I needed some pecans. Not just your average roasted or even honey roasted pecans but those really delicious cinnamon-sugary ones you can get at Hockey games or fairs/festivals? They are usually still hot too when you get them! Yeah, I love them to pieces. I've seen them called cinnamon glazed nuts or german nuts. Whatever you call them, they are good and deserve to be eaten whenever they are desired!
So New Years Eve is here and 2010 has potential to be amazing. I'm excited about what it has to bring. And to usher in 2010, I have nuts!
1/4 cup Butter 1 cup Sugar 4 teaspoons Cinnamon 1 tablespoon Vanilla 3-4 cups Pecan halves (as desired)
(warning, be ready with strong arms, you'll be stirring for a long time!)
Put Butter, Sugar, Cinnamon and Vanilla into a large sauce pan and heat over medium heat. Stir constantly so it doesn't burn. Mixture will begin to boil softly and thicken after 10-15 minutes...it's a slow process to keep it just hot enough that it doesn't burn but not so hot that you can't get it all done in time. Continue stirring and add pecans once it's boiling softly and thickening. Mixture will appear sticky as you stir in the pecans. Stir over heat until most of the "sticky" is gone. Immediately remove from heat and continue to stir for another 5-10 minutes. Pecans will begin to separate from one another and start to look dry. Spoon pecans off into a large heat safe bowl and continue to stir until nuts are mostly separated.
One of my favorite websites is Cakewrecks.com It's hilarious. It's a website that tells the stories of cakes-gone-wrong. It's all in good fun and it's an awesome site.
The author/editor of the site, Jen, has gotten a book deal and she is on a book signing tour. This past weekend she and her husband were in Dallas for the signing. Specifically in Plano! Woohoo!
I made plans to attend because that is fun...and I wanted to support the site.
At each stop they hold a cake wreck replica contest, aka wreckplica contest, and I knew I HAD to enter. I went thru the pictures and stories of some of the "classic wrecks" and choose a delightfully horrible CCC.
MY wreckplica turned out very similar (as it was supposed to)
Jen, and some of the professional bakers she had on hand, picked out 3 of the wrecks as the winners. Then the 1st place winner is chosen by popular "clap" vote.
My cake wreckplica was chosen as one of the top 3 winners. Popular vote selected one of the other 3 as the 1st place winner but I was the 1st runner up!
It was fun making such a terrible cake. It was fun winning and I got a hand crafted carrot jockey necklace as my prize!
I got the idea of making a breakfast pizza the other night while sleeping. I was dreaming of the deliciousness as I frequently dream about pizza. It continues to be the one food I cannot make like it's full-gluten cousin.
I still enjoy the pizza I do make, but I remember the difference in flavor, texture and greasiness! I have been able to make or buy every other food (that I've wanted) to bake up just like it's gluten'd cousin, but pizza eludes me.
Well, I used the delicious Kinnikinnick square pizza crusts, brushed them with a little melted butter, added (all pre-cooked) scrambled eggs, potatoes, red and green peppers, onions and topped it off with grated cheese.
Cooked it at 425 for about 10 minutes and it was so delicious!
So, remember how I raved about the Tostitos Bite Sized Gold chips a while back? Well, Tostitos stopped making/selling them due to slow sales and that still makes me sad because they truly are the best chip ever made, but that's a whole other story and I'd rather talk about chips and not how sad that made me. :)
A few weeks ago I did a focus group study for Tostito's which required me to host a couple events, take pictures and video's of me talking about the events and the food I serve and how it makes me feel to do those things. Since I have girls over pretty regularly for Girls Nights in and craft nights, they felt like I was a good consumer to talk with further about all types of food products.
So today a group of executives from Tostito's came to my house to talk about food and gatherings and people and how it makes us (consumers and those who host events) feel about pre-packaged foods and home made foods and a bunch of other stuff about food and events. It was really cool to get to talk to them about Tostitos since I eat them so often!
I mentioned that I miss the Gold's and that they are/were the best chip ever made and the guy sitting to my left started agreeing with me. Turns out he invented that chip! I got to meet the guy who invented, designed and created the best chip on the planet! Unfortunately for me that doesn't change that Tostito'=s is still not making and selling them any longer. But it was still cool to get to meet the guy who was responsible for the best chip ever. Turns out his team is also responsible for the really good new Been & Cheese Queso Dip (i can't remember the exact name) on the market too. It's really good. TRY IT! You must try it because I want them to keep making it. It's gluten free and it's good.
They couldn't tell me too much but I know they have some great things in the works and I'm happy to say I'll definitely be on the look-out.
From what I can remember I haven't had one of these dreams for a long time...back when gluten free was still new to me.
I was sitting with friends and eating pizza. I had eaten half a slice and took a big bite of the crust only to realize I was eating regular gluten pizza! I set the slice down and almost spit out the offending crust but didn't because it was good and I'd already eaten half a slice of pizza...gluten and all. But I did stop eating any more. And I woke up frazzled that I'd done it somehow without remembering my intolerance to gluten.
Dreammoods says that dreaming of eating pizza indicated abundance, choices and variety. OR it might indicate that you are feeling deprived of something.
I think the latter part of that description is accurate and that there is NO symoblism in my dream. I feel deprived of yummy, delicious, greasy, salty pizza.
While grocery shopping I ran across some gluten free chicken nuggets! This is almost an impossibility to find and I was very excited about it. Even though I don't eat meat (I have always kind of disliked meat) I wanted to try them and see how they were.
The box says they are fully cooked and just need to be heated, either in the microwave or oven. I always choose the oven unless it's going to be a long time because the breading turns out much crispier.
So I baked them for 12 minutes in a 425 oven.
They were ok. Not great as they are pressed chicken shapes and not cut chicken breasts, but they are gluten free and that is nice. The breading got really crispy and delicious and I imagine that I'd enjoy them a lot with bbq sauce (it's my preferred sauce).
Anyway, all in all, they are good. Definitely not great b/c of the pressed meat stuff, but the flavor was good, the breading was awesome and they are gluten free! I'd recommend if you are gluten free and love chicken nuggets, but they aren't going to be a staple in my kitchen.
I read several baking blogs and one, Cupcake Takes the Cake, mentioned some Boston Cream Pie cupcakes the other day and reading about them made me decide that I NEEDED to make some that are gluten free! I've always loved boston cream pie and it's been years since I've had a slice.
Obviously going gluten free has made eating baked goods from restaurants or bakeries practically impossible since there aren't any dedicated gluten free ones around me...There used to be one in my neighborhood, but it closed down a couple weeks ago.
I've always assumed it was really hard to make so it just stayed in the very back of my mind laying dormant until the time came that I was prepared to tackle such a "complicated" desert.
I used the quotes around the word complicated because this is one of the easiest desert that I could make. It's not hard at all! Who knew?!?!
I used the new Betty Crocker GF Yellow Cake mix for my cupcakes and some bavarian cream filling that I bought from my local cake decorating shop. I piped it right in thru the top of the cupcakes and then covered with a delicious chocolate ganache topping made from 1 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips and 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream heated to melting and whisked until thick and completely mixed.
They found my flickr where I posted pictures of their hamburger bun and gave them a review on flickr. That review wasn't as thorough as I do on here, but they found it. In it, I claimed myself as their biggest fan. in the world.
I'm glad they know, not that it really makes any difference, but I think everyone should know who their biggest fan is. :)
It should come as no surprise that I finally bought a loaf of gluten free bread and it was by Kinnikinnick. I chose the Tapioca Rice loaf. The bread is thinly sliced and defrosts really quick in the microwave, though I bet I could store it in the fridge and not have to mess with defrosting. It didn't even crumble (like other GF breads) when I slathered thick peanut butter on it! It's soft and delicious!
I was diagnosed as having a wheat allergy in March of 2006...My dad and sister both are allergic to it, so I'm not sure why I was so surprised. In 2007 I found out it was gluten intolerance and not JUST an allergy. I've been gluten free since then.
I have an etsy shop (working on getting my own website/shopping experience) where I sell my lip balms. I also have solid perfumes but they don't sell online - it's that lack of being able to smell it thing - but they sell really well at shows. I'm working on some cuticle cream and an owie stick too. My lip balms won first place in an Indie E-tailer Lip Balm Contest. :) They really are awesome!