Monday, April 9, 2012

Monday Madness

Holidays always equal mess. Everything the day after is like a world class hangover. There's food everywhere, dirt all over the floor, bottles and cans laying around and as if a tornado blew through. Then, when you get up in the morning it's like the body remembers all the partying and decides it's had enough. Slow motion life sets in as you look around and realize, 'someone has to clean this up.' LOL!

Well, today has been full speed ahead for me. I doubt it will last long but you know, take the energy while you have it, right? Finished ALL the laundry yesterday, today I'm packed and ready for my upcoming trip (OOOH Monday madness I tell you!) and the dishes are washing as I type and the kids have all been drill mastered through their studies, no more Ms. Nice Mom. I handed out paper work as they walked through the kitchen, got their breakfasts, did the chores and then promptly seated in their chairs to work. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Everyone wanted Monday off but like I said, when you only have so much energy you grab ahold of it. When your morning starts off kicka$$, it's such a waste to not keep going on that note. ;)

Been trying to decide if I should buy an iPad2 for the kids. It's got stiff competition with the Samsung Galaxy tab. Both refurbished, and the Galaxy is about $20 less. However, Apple's in the lead with some apps that I really would like to use for my autistic son. And then Galaxy comes back supporting flash. It's a real toss up. Then dh walks in and informs me we need a laptop. Uhh. ok. Nothing like being right there with the large ticket purchases right now. Seems it may all have to wait until I get back. Maybe not the iPad. Or the Galaxy. Sigh. Here I go again.

So the madness of today is simple. Post holiday, decision making, and a trip! I'll be leaving Friday so here's your hint for later this week:

Hint: If I get to this post Thurs night while trying to show the nanny all the cleaning stuff, food and schedule, then you'll get something fun to try this weekend. If not, well, I may try to put something together when I get there, via my iPod. It's a pain typing on the iPod though, so hence being unsure about the situation. Also, next Monday and Friday I will be in the mountain and on the beach so very little will be posted here if anything at all. I return shortly after that, and will resume the following Monday.

WHEW! Some hint. All the information you ever didn't need or want to know, but it's there! Let's hope my plane takes off and lands as usual or this is the end of the blog as we know it! hahaha. Get it? The end of the... ok ok ok. Bad joke.

Hope to see you here reading my new recipe on Friday AND that I see my destination in one piece! As usual for a rambling Monday piece, have some eye candy to reward yourself for reading this far!

Awww. Maybe not quite the 'eye candy' you were hoping for?! Better luck next time. =)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Free Friday - Spinach Artichoke!

You've waited TWO weeks now for this one! It's going to be great! Spinach artichoke dip. I was going to make this today, but I think my spinach has spoiled. So, instead, I will share with you the source and my recipe and hope you enjoy this amazing dish - wheat free!

Who does not LOVE spinach artichoke dip??? When you're sitting in the restaurant and see it on the menu, don't your eyes light up and think of the hearty crunch of a tortilla chip with the rich creamy goodness of cheese and spinach with a kick of tart artichoke? And then you realize you can't have it.

But I assure you, you'll be glad you saved yourself the $7.95 by NOT ordering this one at the restaurant. This recipe was adapted (from: )

DO NOT, and I'll repeat, DO NOT follow her recipe. Not only does it have wheat in it, it does not have cream and I assure you, like the other reviewers, you may not like it much. Also, if you were following along on Monday, you'll remember, hot mayo is worthy of the garbage can, and I refuse to ruin perfectly good spinach and cheese and artichokes to the likes of hot mayo.

For a little change up or if you're needing a main course, take this dip, add chicken and broccoli, or turkey and peas for a meal.

Spinach Artichoke dip
(adapted from the link above)

20 oz of spinach cooked down and set aside
(or you can use the 2 -10 oz boxes of frozen, but that's just gross)
4 oz butter (or coconunt oil)
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 small onion chopped
2 tBsp chopped thyme
2 tBsp grated lemon peel (can sub 1/2 oz of lemon juice)
3-4 oz of garbanzo bean flour
1 tBsp chicken flavor soup base
16 oz heavy cream
fresh ground pepper
couple pinches of nutmeg
2 cans artichoke hearts - chopped
4 oz of parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (PLUS a few generous handfuls)
8 oz of shredded mozzarella

Start with a large skillet, melt the butter OR oil over medium heat, add garlic and onion till tender - about 5 min. Stir in thyme and lemon peel. Whisk in the garbanzo flour until all the oil is soaked up and may start to clump - cook about 3 min. Gradually whisk in cream, making sure to break up all your clumps and the sauce is creamy smooth, add in the soup base, pepper and nutmeg. Continue heating on medium heat about 6-8 minutes to thicken - do NOT boil... your cream sauce will break! After it thickens, stir in 1/2 of each of the cheeses, completely melt THEN add in your spinach and artichokes. Stir well.

Preheat oven to 400f. Remove mixture from the skillet and pour into a baking dish (13x9 is fine). Sprinkle with remaining cheeses and pop into the oven for about 20 minutes. I did not use the broil method as she did because I had a glass pan. If you have a metal pan, you can go ahead and broil it. Baking kind of gives it that 'lasagne' melt together, awesomeness that you don't get from broiling though. I'd suggest the bake every time.

Serve with gluten free crackers, or use the casserole suggestions above for a meal. Either way, this recipe yields the most AMAZING, mayo free spinach artichoke dip. Your guests will swear you bought it at a restaurant and you'll know better from all the work, but it will be so worth it.


Monday, April 2, 2012

Food Negligence

I think that should be a blog felony. You cannot write a food blog then neglect food. It just isn't right. You see, it all started on Monday (last Monday) with my delusions of grandeur....

I thought I'd get on the right track by starting to talk about hot mayo and how riled up I could get talking about that one thing that's so icky, but then with the saving grace at the end by tossing in a redeeming dish with no hot mayo! What a great game plan. Until I went to see Johnny. Oh ya. You read that one right. My birthday was this past Friday, and what did I get for my birthday? John Rzeznik. Well. Not like in my house, at my disposal (whoa is it getting warm in here???) but live in concert; an acoustic show worthy of all praises. I was front row, pretty much, one short girl kinda next to/in front of me but I was really close. My friend went with me and I shot some amazing video, very very awesome. He was on F-I-R-E fire. I was getting really bummed out waiting because I got there so darn early, since I was afraid of missing it, that I started getting so tired of waiting and thought about if it was going to be worth it. But alas, he was the last one on stage and boy did he rock it. Very alive and sounded like an angel. Good setlist, nothing crazy, BUT he did sing American Girl - hot! When John Waite doesn't come in and take over... =( I wanted to get it on video John singing American Girl live... instead I get this 80's throw back singer turned stage hog. Don't get me wrong, John Waite is great for his own songs. But John sings American Girl like a dream.

For dinner, I had the steak and shrimp fajita at a decent chain restaurant. Later that night a hit at the rack for some sushi. That was the day's dealings with food. I was going to try to be up early to write here but it just all fell through. I was going to go for a walk too and that didn't happen, and I was going to sleep more and that didn't happen either. Seems like I have some catching up to do. Saturday I did end up making a gluten free sugar free cake, but I'll have to replicate the recipe a few more times to make sure it's right on.

So. Since I partied with JR, screamed like a overzealous teenager, celebrated my birthday and had a blast this past Friday, it's time to get back to work. So, what's coming up on Friday?

Hint: What I was going to talk about last Friday. =)

Stay tuned!

Oh he's so beautiful... Like an angel with golden ethereal tresses and a voice from heaven... (am I going a bit overboard? NAH I DIDN'T THINK SO! hee hee!)