We are of The Day!
Of The Day - Recipe
What is is with children and condiments? Years ago, while working at a daycare, I was shocked at the amount of ketchup those kids could consume! We're talking an equal ratio of ketchup to whatever (crap) food product they were dipping into it. Truly impressive.
My daughter is also a lover of smears, but as my child has more refined tastes. Her spread of choice? Sun-dried tomato pesto. I kid you not! She will (and does!) eat the stuff by the bowlful!
In Mason City, where Erik's parents live, there's a delightful little restaurant that serves excellent dishes made with as many local foods as they can get their hands on. It's named "Ralph's" and we are well known there. On our last visit I found myself almost wishing the server seating us hadn't confirmed "Your family is grain-free, correct?" as she led us to our table so as to not blow the girls and I's cover with my husband and father-in-law. No way to pretend this trip was a special occasion at that point! Oh, well... at least, as their best customer, they shared the pesto recipe with me!
The recipe is perfect on its own, but I gave it some tweaks so as to be able to not make a special trip to the stores. I also made it two ways: one with standard dried and stored in a bag tomatoes, and once with dried and stored in olive oil tomatoes as the recipe hadn't specified which. I am quite sure they use the oil packed ones as the bright red color fades otherwise. Ralph's uses Parmesan as their cheese of choice. I used Asiago as I had it on hand and personally, I enjoy the bite. If you want a more subtle flavor, then by all means: use the Parm.
Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
1/2 cup packed basil
1 mounded cup sun dried tomatoes packed in olive oil (save the oil from the jar)
1/4-1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese (or Parmesan)
extra Olive Oil just in case
Here's how you do it: Throw the first two ingredients into your food processor and let the blade spin until everything is nicely chopped and blended. Now add the cheese and the oil from the jar and let the blade whirl some more. At this point you should be done. If you feel it is too crumbly or dry you can add more olive oil until you are happy with the consistency. This pesto is so delicious!
If you are going to make it using dried tomatoes from a bag, you will definitely need extra oil in the ballpark of 1/4-1/2 cups. The color will also be much darker. In the above picture, we are serving the tomato pesto on top of stew. The darker colored layer on the bottom is the recipe made with bagged tomatoes while the redder pesto on top is the same recipe made from tomatoes bought in oil. We prefer the recipe made with the oil soaked dried tomatoes.
Which way do you prefer it?
AHG! I am so excited!
I just won a free enrollment to the Surf and Turf Cooking Classes being offered by Cheeseslave. I CAN NOT WAIT!
Ann Marie of Cheeseslave has an amazing blog and story. You should go check it out! She cooks the stuff I should be cooking without fear! One of her recent posts was on cooking a pigs head. I mean, really? Haha!
She has put countless hours in to prepare for this Surf and Turf Class. It will be a 13 week online class with a members only online forum. It's $120 which is less than ten dollars a class. The cooking classes at our local Co-Op are $15 each and they are mostly worthless vegetarian ones. This is going to be awesome! Click on this link to register yourself! You won't regret it!
Cheeseslave recommends this class for those eating the following ways:
Gluten Free or Grain Free
Eating Grains and Starches but wanting to learn to cook grass fed meats, organ meats, and seafood.
Yep, that's just about everyone here, isn't it? :)
Praise the Lord, guys! Out of almost two hundred entries, my name was drawn! Pardon me, the baby is up. I need to go let her join in happy dance time!
I LOVE chocolate and dairy. I am pretty sure I could find a way to justify a hot chocolate diet if I needed to. Our whole family enjoys our hot chocolate before bed with Bible time, but it's been difficult to swing of late. For one thing, heating milk isn't good for the proteins in the milk. This is basically the crux of the raw vs. pasteurized milk debate. Secondly, while I like my chocolate dark as night, Erik prefers some sweetness to his which was fine when we were using honey, but now that we're trying a sweetener free lifestyle he was just having to suck it up. Poor guy.
Yesterday I really wanted chocolate and had the brilliant idea to make chocolate milk! That would solve all the worlds problems! It would be cold, not heat damaged, and I could add flavors to it so it wouldn't taste as bitter. The only thing standing in my way was that cocoa powder doesn't mix with cold milk. Epic fail.
Enter: the blender. Mr. Oster stepped right up to the plate on this one! I poured milk, vanilla, Ghirardelli chocolate powder (for the refined palate) into the blender with enough banana to add chill and sweetness and gave it a whirl. Divine. It was everything we had hoped for and then some! Last night we made it again and just added a little more of everything but the milk and had some killer milk shakes. Summer has been saved...
Note: Your chocolate flavored kitchen adventures will only be as good as the ingredients used. As chocolate is a once in awhile treat for us (except for the past 24 hours!) We spend the extra money to secure the good stuff. We also use quality vanilla and it makes all the difference!
The Basic Recipes:
Chocolate Milk (Sweetener Free)
3 Cups Whole Milk
2 Tbl. High Quality Chocolate powder
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
2 frozen Bananas
Put all ingredients in blender. Put lid on blender. Blend. Pour and drink!
Chocolate Banana Milk Shake (Sweetener Free)
3 cups Whole Milk
3 Tbl. High Quality Chocolate
3/4 tsp. Vanilla
approx. 4-5 frozen Bananas
Place first three ingredients into blender. Put lid on blender. Blend. Add bananas to blender until slushy consistency is achieved. Pour, drink, enjoy!
What are your favorite refreshing summer treats? Please share!
This post is a part of Real Food Wednesdays.
Disclaimer: I wrote this post while on my third day of a fever. If I seem a wee bit more punchy then normal, that's to blame. Thank you.
We love pizza around here. We love it so much we gave it a pet name: Pato. After our first month off grains it was one of the foods we were still in mourning over. No more, my friends! No more! After weeks of chanting: "it's not about finding grain free versions of our favorite foods, it's about finding new favorite foods" like a broken record I am glad to say that pizza is securely back into weekly rotation.
This is good pizza, guys. No, seriously! We've shared it with my Mother-in-law, our neighbor, and my cousins and Aunt and Uncle. Everyone really enjoys it! My cousins girlfriend didn't think it tasted like pizza, but thought it was really good whatever it was! I think it was cause I made my own sauce and it tasted a bit like spaghetti sauce giving the pizza a lasagna type flare. I digress. Oh, well, as I said it was delicious either way!
Let me say though that while being grain free, this recipe is not dairy free. If you cannot eat cheese, then your search for pizza happiness will not end here. My condolences.
Veggie Crusted Pizza
For the crust: For toppings:
2 cups Cauliflower or 1 cup Turnips 1 cup cheese
2 cups of cheese (we use a mix of either muenster, mozz, and/or cheddar) 1/2 cup sauce
2 large eggs toppings of choice
1 tsp Fennel and 1 tsp. Oregano
Start by shredding your cauliflower or turnips. I like to use my food processor as it has it done in moments instead of minutes. Here are some shredded Turnips:
Mix veggie, shredded cheese, egg, and spices in a bowl. Dump onto an oiled cookie sheet and using a fork, press down in a circular pattern until the crust is spread thin, but not too thin. You don't want any holes.
Now put it in the oven (450 degrees F) for 12 minutes give or take. You want the top to be nicely browning.
Beautiful, isn't it? Now is when you'll load it up with delicious toppings. We like to use artichokes, mushrooms and pineapple. Last week though, at my Aunts, we used ground turkey too. Yumma!
Here are your instructions: Add sauce, then toppings, then cheese... Ready, set, go! Done? Great. Now back into the oven we go! Well, not "we" exactly, more like just the pizza. Understand? This time we will use the broiler function on the oven as it's been feeling rather neglected of late. Don't worry little buddy! You are more than useful to us!
Just wait until the cheese starts to brown. This will typically take less than five minutes, maybe a couple more if you mounded your cheese as we tend to. :)
Take it out, cut it up, Give Thanks, and chow down! You may want to make more than one as the cold leftovers make a tasty breakfast, or midnight snack. One recipe is a good main dish for our family. The Little Lady counts as a third adult when it comes to eating pizza.
You can find the original unchanged recipe here. Sheer genius I'd say!
Give it a try and let me know your opinion. What changes did you make if any?