Archive for July 2012


Manic Monday

Well, I’m not going to be doing this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie.

Reason #1 is — sit down — I hate blueberries. I wish I didn’t. I wish I loved them like everyone else does, but I just can’t. I don’t like the berries, I don’t like the flavor, I just don’t like them. Mike and the girls can take them or leave them, so I decided to give this week a pass.

The second reason is that I’m experimenting with giving up sugar. I’m a week and-a-half out and I’ve dropped five pounds. That, to me, is pretty amazing (if not a bit worthy of a sad face) since my weight hasn’t shifted in many years. I think I’m going to try and stick it out for the last 15 pounds I’d like to finally shed and see if that does the trick. I love you, sugar, but I know now you never loved me back.

I’ve also taken up a new hobby. As you can see in the picture above, I am wrestling with crochet. My mom crocheted, my grandmas crocheted, but I was never taught (my mom died when I was quite young). I’ve always loved the look of it, but every time I’ve tried to stick it out I get frustrated and walk away. I did learn to knit when I was 11, so for the last 25 years that’s what I’ve been doing. I can knit with my eyes closed, and have taught the girls how to do it, too. I love knitting. Knitting makes sense.

But I’m learning to like crochet. I haven’t given it a shot with a pattern yet, but there are tons of videos on Youtube now that have helped me make sense of what goes where and which stitch you shove the hook into and all that. The tension is still not pretty but I’m practicing and of course, I’ve got three smaller sets of hands that want to give it a try, too.

Speaking of which, I took the girls school clothes shopping today. They are at the ages now that we’ve been dreading since they were toddlers (when their clothes seemingly cost only a few dollars). I made the credit card cry.

So that’s been my week. I’m going to gather up some of the sugar-free (and subsequently low-carb) recipes that I’ve come across and start posting them, because that stuff has definitely improved since the early days of low-carbing.


Asian-Style Quinoa

Asian Quinoa

Quinoa is another food I’ve stumbled onto late in the game (much like the kale chips). I only bought my first package of it last spring, but since then it’s been a staple in my pantry and used for everything from side dishes to an ingredient in main dishes.

This one, however, is my favorite. Quinoa has a slightly nutty flavor by itself, but when you add other flavors to it it just makes it that much better, and is a great low-carb substitution for rice dishes.

This one goes particularly well with eggrolls and short ribs, and you can even toss it all into a big pan and scramble up an egg with it, similar to fried rice.

You can also make it vegetarian by substituting vegetable broth for the chicken broth.

Asian Style Quinoa

1 cup quinoa
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup frozen peas and carrots (add more or less to taste)

Put quinoa, chicken broth, soy sauce, ginger and garlic in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until all liquid has been absorbed, about 25 minutes. Right before quinoa is ready to be served, gently stir in the frozen vegetables and allow to heat through. Fluff quinoa with a fork and serve.


TWD: Semolina Bread

This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie is Semolina Bread, and is hosted by Renee and Anna.

I had a hard time trying to find semolina flour at the grocery store. You’d think it would be with, you know, the flour, but I realized when I was almost done with my trip that it was probably over in the fancy schmancy health food aisle, and I was right.

I had planned on starting the bread in the early evening on Sunday, but thankfully I read the tips section at the TWD site before I started, and several people pointed out that it’s got a six hour rise time. Yes, six hours. I started immediately and still didn’t get it into the oven until 9:00 PM, but it was worth it.

I’ve never used semolina flour before but it made a huge difference in the texture of the bread. It was light and chewy, and even after storing it overnight it was perfect this morning, instead of crumbly like homemade bread usually gets after a day or so.

It did flatten quite a bit after the second rise, and I could not understand how the slashing was supposed to be done, but overall the bread was delicious, and this recipe is another keeper!