Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Family Photos

This past weekend our talented friends Chad and Jenika Gantes came over and took some photos of our family before we move to LA. I've been wanting to take photos for a while, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity. Now we have some photos to put up in our new place! Thanks Chad and Jenika, we love them!

Japanese Grilled Chicken Salad

Ingredients: (for marinade)

4 tablespoons gf soy sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons honey
1/8 teaspoon grated ginger
juice of 1/2 a lime
sriracha to taste (optional)
1 teaspoon chili paste (optional)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
6 chicken breast tenders
3 cups mixed greens
1 cup chopped raw broccoli
1/2 cup julienne cut carrots
1/4 cup chopped scallions
2 tablespoons roasted shelled sunflower seeds or almonds

For Salad Dressing:
1/4 of above marinade
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil

In a bowl, mix marinade ingredients well (except chicken!). Reserve 1/4 of marinade in a separate bowl and set aside for salad dressing. Add add chicken and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

On medium heat, add chicken to a grill pan coated with olive oil. Grill 3-4 minutes on each side, until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from grill pan and cover with foil while you make your salad. Toss together greens of choice, chopped broccoli, carrots, scallions, cucumbers, and sunflower seeds.
Mix olive oil and vinegar into reserved (chicken-less) marinade and whisk well.

Serve salad with grilled chicken and dressing.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Life Lately

I've really been lagging on the posts the past few weeks. I haven't had the energy to post, which is not a very good excuse, but all the time, preparation, uploading, and typing just hasn't been very appealing.

About three weeks ago, after eating some popcorn chips, my stomach starting hurting. I don't really have stomach problems, so I brushed it off and went about my day. Well, that 'stomach ache' never really went away, so I've been in and out of doctor's offices for the past three weeks trying to figure out what's wrong.

So far, nothing has been determined. I'm waiting to see a gastroenterologist this week, so hopefully I will finally have some answers.

Needless to say, I haven't been very comfortable, so I haven't been cooking much. I also haven't been exercising, which is driving me crazy, but I just don't feel right. On top of that, it seems that different foods seem to upset my stomach even more. It feels like a giant side ache, on both sides, and the pain radiates to my back. Occasionally it feels like my intestines are being twisted around and stabbed with a knife. Fun, right?

So while that has been going on, we also have been in the process of relocating to Los Angeles. My husband recently got a new position in LA, so we've been busy with that whole process. Last week we stayed at the Beverly Hills Hotel (we stuck out like a sore thumb in my tiny honda civic) and looked for a place to live.

It was a fun experience, we'll probably never be able to afford that place on our own, so we took full advantage of our stay there. By 'full advantage', I mean I ordered coffee from room service. LIVIN' LARGE!

We found a place to live, a cute little duplex in Silverlake, and we will be moving the first week of June. It will be a fun experience, though I'm sad to leave San Diego. My job, friends, and comfortability of our life here.

Anyways, that's the reason why I haven't posted lately. So this week I'm going to try and do a post or two, from recipes I came up with before I got sick. Hopefully once we find out what is wrong, I can get back to my normal eating routine.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Crispy Gluten Free Flaxseed Baguette

Ladies and gentlemen, it's been done; I made a crispy, gluten-free baguette.

I was really craving a warm, crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, baguette straight out of the oven. But I didn't want to feel guilty about eating it. Also, I've been having some serious stomach pain lately, and I wasn't sure if it was due to the large amount of gluten I ate last week.

So I started researching gluten-free breads. Most of them required several different types of flours, or a gluten-free flour, mixed with xantham gum or guar gum. I don't know how I feel about pre-made gf flour mixtures yet, nor am I sure how I feel about xantham and guar gum, so I tried to find a recipe without any.

I came across this recipe from Bread & Companatico for a gluten-free baguette and altered it a bit. (By the way, she's a genius!)The problem (for me) was that the recipe is measured in grams and I do not own a kitchen scale, so my measurements might not be the same as her recipe, however it turned out great.

On my first try I converted the recipe into measurements (or so I thought) and it turned out horribly. The dough was way too wet, so I kept having to add extra flour. Then, the baguettes rose in the oven, but sunk shortly after cooling off. It was more like crispy flat bread...with the insides not baked through. Fail.

I asked my mathematically gifted husband to help me convert the recipe into something I could understand. Apparently different flours weigh different bad.

The second try came out great. Crispy outside, soft center, and not dense at all. The bread has a pretty strong yeast flavor, more so than a regular baguette, but I didn't mind. If you're wondering why one of the baguettes in the pictures is darker than the other two, it's because I experimented with that one and covered it in a layer of olive oil before baking. I rolled the other two in brown rice flour before baking. I'm not sure which I liked more; the olive oil baguette was a bit crispier on the outside, but a bit more moist on the inside, and the lighter baguettes were the opposite.


2/3 cup brown rice flour (plus extra for dusting at the end)
2/3 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons whole psyllium seed husks
3 tablespoons flaxseeds

1 package of instant yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1 1/3 cup warm water
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 egg white
1 tablespoon honey
ice cubes and water for a water bath

In a mixer add warm water, yeast, honey, beated egg white, and olive oil. Mix slightly and let sit for 5 minutes. Mix flours, cornstarch, salt, psyllium husks, and flaxseed together in a bowl and set aside.

Gently knead the flour into the warm water mixture (I used a standard mixer, but you can use your hands. However, I would recommend kneading in a bowl because the dough is extremely liquidy at first). Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, then cover and allow to proof in a warm place for an hour.

After the dough has rested, preheat oven to 475 degrees and place baking sheet or baking stone inside oven to heat up, as well as a metal baking dish (for ice bath. You want to use metal because you will be adding ice to it, and glass/ceramic might shatter).

Turn the dough onto a flat surface and separate into 3 equal portions. Carefully shape each portion into a baguette and roll in a bit of rice flour or add a layer of olive oil. Allow the bread to rest for 30 minutes while the oven is heating.

Score the baguettes and carefully and quickly add the dough to the hot baking sheet/stone and put in oven. At the same time add several ice cubes to 1/2 cup water and add into metal pan. Immediately close oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.

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