WIAW 121- Playing With My Food

WIAW 121 - Inhabited Kitchen

The new schedule, with one original recipe a week rather than two, is working well. I now do have the flexibility to experiment more, and try new ideas that I know won’t give me something ready to post within the week. At the same time, I can share some very good recipes from a few years ago. And in fact, remember them myself…

The problem with experimenting with food is that, well, we do eat it. So I don’t want to make, say, a loaf of bread every day – we won’t be able to use it for another week. (We don’t really eat much bread.) I don’t want to serve several early stage experiments in one meal – a trial balloon should be surrounded by things I know will work! I’m not talking here about minor variations, of course, but I am pursuing a few totally new ideas. Those things I made yesterday are recognizably crackers, and we’ll eat them, but I wouldn’t serve them to someone else yet. (They worked as proof of concept, though – I’m on the right track!)

So the What I Ate Wednesday posts will show a few of these… some days more than others.

WIAW 121 - Inhabited Kitchen

Sunday I decided to make a nice Sunday Breakfast. I wasn’t even thinking about Father’s Day. Rich is not a father, his father no longer lives in reasonable visiting distance, mine died years ago… I just felt like doing something Nice. So I made the no longer experimental strawberry muffins, since it’s still strawberry season! And served them with ham and eggs, and iced cold brew coffee (which is still slightly experimental – but seems to be working.) Lovely combination!

WIAW 121 - Inhabited Kitchen

And lunch itself was perfectly normal. Salad, lots of vegetables, chickpeas and cheese, rice cakes, and a nice glass of kefir. A very typical lunch for me these days. (Though I’m trying to get away a bit from the rice cakes… I don’t like to eat anything all the time. And they’re really kind of expensive for what they are. You’ll see variations on that theme as we go along.)

But then – there was dessert! You may notice that I almost never eat any kind of dessert… some fruit, occasionally, though even that is more likely to be part of breakfast. But, well, we acquired an ice cream maker. Like the pressure cooker, I have dithered over buying one, but we really don’t usually have enough room in the freezer for the bowl. But since I don’t eat sugar or artificial sweeteners I haven’t had ice cream for years, and it is a nice treat in summer! So when we were offered this one, we accepted. And that is my first batch of vanilla ice cream, served with strawberries.

WIAW 121 - Inhabited Kitchen

Now, the reason that this is early stage experimenting is that I just made the sugar free recipe in the manual without the sweetener, as a baseline, to see how it worked. And while it was OK, as I’d guessed it really didn’t work quite right. See, the sugar isn’t just for sweetness, it lowers the freezing point of the dairy products, and it’s that, together with the churning, that gives you the lovely smooth texture. This was OK eaten soon after making it (which is when the picture was taken) but everything returned to the freezer then froze rock solid. But I have old cookbooks with ice cream recipes, and I have a few ideas. I hope I’ll have something ready to share soon. OK, I know most people have absolutely no interest in unsweetened ice cream – but those of us who are interested really are.

WIAW 121 - Inhabited Kitchen

Then for dinner… see, I’m also working on an instant (or nearly) mushroom sauce. I’ve seen that one of the things people who have recently gone gluten free desperately look for is a replacement for that can of condensed soup, which has been the solution for so many quick and easy meals. I’m not quite there, but on the right track… So I mixed some of that up, and added roast chicken, and chickpeas, cooked millet, and some thinly sliced turnips. Then sauteed the turnip greens, and served them on the side.

So – I’m playing with gluten free baked goods and sauces, and sugar free desserts. That should keep me busy!

 

WIAW 121 - Inhabited Kitchen

 

WIAW 121 - Inhabited Kitchen

WIAW 120 – Fast and Easy

So I’ve been busy. The newsletter is off the ground, I have some experiments going in the kitchen, I’m working on a new project…

WIAW 120 - Fast and Easy

Our first CSA pickup was this week! Armloads of leafy greens (both salad and cooking greens,) radishes, snap peas (we ate them right away!) herbs, and a few root vegetables from storage. We move into the season when I plan my meals more completely around the vegetables (they’re always a factor) and they tend to dominate my posts.

WIAW 120 - Fast and Easy

I’m not really sure how the crazy weather this spring has affected the farmers in the long run. I know some crops came early, and some are late, because April was hot and May was cold… I do know what it has been doing to me – and that is a factor in this day of meals.

WIAW 120 - Fast and Easy

The day started out just fine. I’m back to the bean tacos – I liked the enfrijoladas, but they’re more fuss… What I may do is make them when I actually cook the beans, and then reserve the rest for tacos – we’ll see. But anyhow, I made tacos with refried beans and scrambled eggs (they were supposed to be pretty strips of omelet. Oh, well.) When I make the beans and eggs ahead, it’s one of the fastest breakfasts I can throw together…

Then, one of my current experiments is cold brewed coffee. It seems to make sense to make up a large batch, put it in the fridge, and then drink a glass of iced coffee on a hot morning… (Or add boiling water to make hot coffee – I have a friend who does that.) The first time I tried to make it I had this – um – coffee explosion all over the kitchen, with grounds running into the stove (which is now immaculate, thank you, Richard…)  I seem to have learned how not to do that… the last two batches have been uneventful. (I strongly prefer uneventful mornings before breakfast!) When I feel that I have it down to a system, I’ll share it…

WIAW 120 - Fast and Easy

But by lunch – I wasn’t feeling so great… And I was hungry! I’d gotten caught up in another task, and suddenly realized that I should be eating lunch Now. (I need to get better at this. I start writing, or researching, and – it’s lunchtime!) So I went in the kitchen and simply put cheese on a rice cake to get me started…

WIAW 120 - Fast and Easy

I had mixed greens for salad, and some cut up scallions, but didn’t feel like dealing with radishes or anything else I was going to have to wash and cut. So I did wash the lettuce, and then just opened a can of black beans and added them, and oil and vinegar dressing. And took a pretty poor picture… I also had a couple more rice cakes, with a little cheese, to round out the meal.

WIAW 120 - Fast and Easy

Well, then the migraine hit, and this one hit at just the wrong time for the dinner I’d planned. It was definitely over before dinner time – this was not a “wave weakly at Rich and eat chili” sort of night – but it also wasn’t the time to tackle the roasting chicken in the fridge. I was still washed out, and needed to get dinner on the table soon. What is fast and easy? Well… I did have corn grits… Make grits, stir in cheddar cheese and leftover cooked greens (It’s a while since I have had my frozen green “muffins” – I’ve missed them, they are so convenient!) Then I just fried a couple of eggs, popped them on top, and it was dinner.

And it is good to remember that this is always an option. It wasn’t much work, it was faster than ordering in, and it was creamy and comforting…

Well – it’s not a party at Laura’s Sprint 2 the Table today – more a wake. But still, we gather, as Jenn first brought us all together, and bring food. Food is a way to demonstrate caring – and we need more of that, in this world.

From my kitchen to yours – let us care for each other, share our food, remember that love must conquer hate.

 

WIAW 120 - Fast and Easy - Inhabited Kitchen

WIAW 120 - Fast and Easy

 

 

Gluten Free Strawberry Muffins

I always feel a little silly writing “Gluten Free” in a recipe title – after all, everything I cook is gluten free, I couldn’t eat it, otherwise! – but I’ve learned that this makes it easier for other people just looking for something they can eat, who may not be familiar enough with Inhabited Kitchen to know, and who might otherwise just skip recipes for baked goods. But these gluten free strawberry muffins are good enough for everyone to eat, whether you avoid gluten or not!

These Gluten Free Strawberry Muffins are also whole grain - no added starch or gums. Use the base recipe all summer with other fruit! Continue reading

WIAW 119

Strawberries!!!

Er, um, was that my outside voice?

WIAW 119 - fresh fruit and vegetables, and easy meals.

All right, many of you have been eating strawberries for months. Indeed, our supermarket had large red blobs with white centers (like radishes? but sort of pointy and mushy) they call strawberries… and this year I even gave in and bought them so I could write a recipe with them in time for other people to use it. (After all, for years those were all I knew…) But now the real things are coming into Greenmarket – smaller, tart (rather than either just unripe/sour or bland and sweet) with tons of flavor. Continue reading