Hercules somehow managed to get into the cabinet above the washer and dryer.
Monthly Archives: June 2012
Quinoa is classified as a “pseudograin” by nutritionists and can be used in place of wheat in many, many things. Since Quinoa is gluten-free, it’s an excellent substitute for those with gluten sensitivities, fibromyalgia and celiac disease. You can use to make biscuits, add it to beef stew and even turn it into a tasty and crusty topping for those tilapia fillets that you bought at the grocery store. Quinoa is so high in iron, fiber, potassium, calcium, protein and vitamins B and E that it’s considered a superfood. Even if you don’t have a gluten sensitivity or medical condition that is exacerbated by consuming gluten, it’s a good idea to eat at least a few meals each week with quinoa in them.
Now, before you go all “health food- aaaugh” like my husband. Here’s a tasty cracker recipe that will change your mind:
These crispy rustic crackers just beg to be topped with a creamy spread, such as goat cheese, flavored cream cheese, or pub cheese. For variety, try different seeds on top—roasted pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds, white or black sesame seeds, or chia seeds. These seeds, as well as the spelt flour used in this recipe, are easily found in natural food stores or a well-stocked grocery store. This is also a good chance to experiment with fancy salts, like smoked sea salt or pink
Himalayan salt; larger grains work best.
Makes about 3 Dozen Crackers
Good for Company, Healthy Choice, Vegetarian
1 cup quinoa flour
½ cup spelt flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup water, or as needed
2 tablespoons flax seeds
2 tablespoons quinoa flakes
1 tablespoon flaky sea salt
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In the bowl of a food processor, place the quinoa flour, spelt flour, whole wheat flour, and salt. Pulse to combine, about 10 pulses. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil through the feed tube, then gradually drizzle in the water until the mixture clumps together well when you squeeze it in your hand. You might need more or less water to achieve the right texture.
3. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Working with about a third of the dough at a time, roll it into a thin rectangle, no more than ⅛ inch thick. Prick the dough all over with a knife, then use a pizza wheel or pastry cutter to cut the dough into squares, diamonds, or any size or shape you wish. Transfer the crackers to the prepared baking sheet and brush each cracker with water, then sprinkle with the flax seeds, quinoa flakes, and flake salt.
4. Bake until the crackers are hard and browned, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before storing in an airtight container. The crackers will keep for 2 to 3 days.
After a quick introduction to quinoa, Quinoa Cuisine by Jessica Harlan and Kelley Sparwasser dives right into the good stuff: the recipes. Starting with breakfast, where recipes for porridge, pancakes and crepes can found, this cookbook then moves on to starters, salads (really!), soups and stews, side dishes and pilaf, meat and fish, vegetarian meals, desserts and even ideas for portable edibles perfect for lunches and picnics, and larger dishes for potlucks and parties. Pretty much any type of meal that you could possibly encounter is included, and there are multiple recipes for each. With easy to follow recipes and clear instructions, each entrée, dessert and side dish is simple to make.
If you’re thinking about going gluten-free (or have to, due to dietary restrictions) or simply want to eat a little healthier now and then, check out Quinoa Cuisine. It’s available now at Amazon.com and booksellers everywhere.
(Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. For more information, please check out my disclosure policy.)
The official countdown until the summer Olympics is 30 days. 30 days! I can’t wait. I may not be much of a sports fan the rest of the time (except for football when I have money riding on it and baseball and hockey when I’m attending a game in person) but during the two weeks worth of Olympics-goodness every two years? I’m glued to the TV watching sports that I’ve never heard of or seen outside of the Olympics. I even have some official Olympic pins around here someplace. I think they’re from the 1996 Atlanta games.
I’m even glued to the Olympics trials. I watched the track and field trials Saturday night, then the swimming ones last night. Gymnastics is next up – my second favorite Olympic sport after figure skating. Although I also like to watch curling, track and field, snowboarding, skiing, swimming and, well, just about everything.
I’ve been trying to determine exactly when I became so obsessed with this biennial sporting event, and I think it dates back to when I was a figure skater. Sure, I never made it beyond the Cleveland area (although I dreamed of someday making it to the Olympics for about a year before getting burned out on the sport), but I was inspired to watch every national and international figure skating competition that I could. I even went to the Ice Capades one year at the old Richfield Coliseum. So, roughly since I was 12 years old, I’ve been obsessed with the Olympics. And I don’t see that obsession waning anytime soon.
To be completely honest, I was going to review Jen Lancaster’s latest, Jeneration X several weeks ago, but never quite got around to it. Earlier today she posted an incentive on her blog that motivated me to finally write this – a free short story – so this post is finally getting written, only in a modified format. Rather than just review one book, I’m going to post a little something about all of them.
I’ll admit to coming late to the party and purchasing both Bitter is the new Black and Bright Lights, Big Ass at the same time. After reading them both over the course of a weekend (I can read fast and her books are hard to put down) I made sure to preorder her next book – Such a Pretty Fat - as soon as I could. This eventually became a pattern, especially after Pretty in Plaid, which I had to go to two different bookstores in order to find a copy of the same week that it came out. I never made that mistake again, and wound up receiving My Fair Lazy, If You Were Here and Jeneration X all within days of their official release dates. Thank you, Amazon.com!
But enough about how I obtained her books. The real question is why? For one thing, she’s funny. Each book has moments that make me laugh out loud, and that’s very rare. Even the most supposedly humorous books keep me from smiling at times. Hers never fail to make me snicker, even when I was dealing with an infected wisdom tooth that hurt so bad I wasn’t able to sleep at night – true story. I could go on and on about her unique tone and point-of-view, or the fact that with some memoirs, it’s hard to get a true sense of who the memoirist is, and that’s not the case at all with any of Jen Lancaster’s books.
Before this turns into a total mushfest, I can see how some more exhalted reviewers could complain about how she ignores some basic grammatical rules, uses a whole lot of the F-word and is obsessed with footnotes, but those things don’t bother me. I don’t read books that are known solely for their highbrow literary value — in fact, many of those books put me to sleep. Instead, I read books that keep me entertained. And all of these aforementioned titles by Jen Lancaster certainly do that.
WARNING: You need a sense of humor to read this review. If you take things way too seriously and find yourself easily insulted, then this book is not for you. Stop reading here. To the rest of you — if you find raunchy humor funny and find yourself laughing while watching Pauley Shore in Bio-Dome, continue reading…
While at a bar, have you ever glanced around the room and placed the people around you into sub-groups? Or is that a game that you play strictly at sporting events, outdoors shows and carnivals? Either way, Joe Bovino took these observations one step further and produced Field Guide to Chicks of the United States.
Field Guide to Chicks of the United States divides “chicks” (A.K.A. women, in case you need that to be further defined) into three groups: Regional, Ethnic and Other. Each of these groups is broken down further by area of the country (Regional), country of origin (Ethnic) and amount of baggage and/or issues (Other.) From there, each individual species is described by categories like behavior, song (what to talk about and how to strike up a conversation), mating, magnets (who she’s attracted to), populations, habitat and migration. There are also ratings on traits like friendliness, neuroticism, maintenance and promiscuity. Each species is accompanied by a cartoon drawing of the “chick” in question.
The first thing I did after receiving this book was to flip through it and try to find my particular species. Apparently, I’m a “One-Size-Fits-All” who’s indigenous to the Great Lakes States. After cracking up laughing at the amazingly accurate description, I made the mistake of handing the book to my husband, who read it cover to cover and then lent it to his brother before I could write this review. Both judged it to be accurate and funny at the same time. They’ve lived all over the U.S. and have encountered quite a few of these “species.”
If you’re one of those people who find humor in just about anything, isn’t easily insulted, or are under the age of 22 and living in a frat house, you will love Field Guide to Chicks of the United States. Seriously? It’s just good plain fun. Sometimes you need to lighten up and flip through something hilarious. And please, if you find this book distasteful and my thoughts on it disturbing, don’t send me hate mail. I warned you at the beginning of this review.
Field Guide to Chicks of the United States by Joe Bovino is not out in stores yet, but can be preordered here.
(Disclaimed: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. For more information, please check out my disclosure policy.)
If any of you are interested in cookbooks and buy books through Amazon.com, then this deal is for you:
Tomorrow – June 2nd – only, Amazon.com is having a lightning deal on 2 cookbooks from F + W Media. The Unofficial Game of Thrones Cookbook by Alan Kistler and The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook by Emily Ansara Baines will be on sale at an extreme discount.
If you’ve been wondering how to make Groosling or Aurach Stew, make sure you don’t miss out!