Sunday, October 26, 2014

Mexican Spaghetti Squash {an apology, gluten-free recipe and an announcement}

Apology: And it happens yet again, I inadvertently take a 2 month blogging hiatus! Please know that I have NOT forgotten about you but plead insanity for the beginning of the school year (for those of you new to the blog I am a Kindergarten teacher). 

Gluten-Free Recipe: To make it up to you I have some yummy recipes to share with you this week! First up, another great way to get some spaghetti squash into your diet, based off this recipe. Just a reminder to check out this post for how to cook the squash and the Spaghetti Squash Au Gratin recipe.
 Mexican Spaghetti Squash

1 spaghetti squash cooked and shredded (don't forget to roast the seeds!)
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil 

1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 bell pepper, chopped (whatever colors you like best)
1 can black beans

2-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can black-eyed peas
1-2 T red pepper flakes (depending on how much heat you like)
2 tsp parsley

1 squirt lemon juice or the juice from half a lemon
pinch Real salt to taste
Optional- shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole

Heat skillet and add oil, garlic, onion, peppers. Sautee until soft. Add beans and peas for another few minutes. Add squash and the rest of the ingredients, cook until heated through. Place completed dish back in squash shells to serve. Add shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole as desired.

I ate mine with tortilla chips! Yum!

Announcement: I have recently become a consultant for Celadon Road! I am SO excited about using and selling these products. Organic/natural, produced sustainably, 90% made in USA and when from out of the country fair trade! Come check out their products and feel free to order from my Launch Party! Make sure you check "Ship to host" to get the $5.95 shipping deal. I will then pick up the tab and redirect right to you if you live outside of my delivery range. 

Some of the best selling products are the cleaning products. I love cleaning with vinegar and baking soda but the family doesn't appreciate the smell. These products have such a light scent without any chemicals to harm you, your family or your pets!

Some other great products to check out include the deodorant, dog shampoo, reusable sandwich bags and jewelry made from recycled glass!

This is the last week for the current catalogs so some items will no longer be available after October 31. This is also the last week to get signed up and be a Founding Consultant of this wonderful company! Let me know if you are interested!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

How to Can Applesauce {Guest Post}

I would like to thank my new friend, Kay, for her willingness to share her wisdom in this guest post! When I found out she was into canning I just knew I needed her wisdom on my blog :) I can't wait to go apple picking and try this recipe for myself. Happy canning to all readers! I would love to hear how your adventures in preserving your harvests are going!

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Hanover Hub {Review}

I love how many great local restaurants are popping up everywhere! The Hanover Hub came into town a while ago but I was unable to make it until recently.

The first trip was with my friend, Susan. We were at an all day training together and needed to go somewhere fairly quick. She recommended the Hub Comfort, a three cheese blend grilled cheese sandwich. They make their own fries and chips and that's the only thing they fry in the oil so as someone who eats gluten free, there is no worry of cross contamination. The fries were very good and had a nice blend of seasoning on them already. Their gluten free roll is amazing, so light and fluffy!

 The second time I visited was with my daughter. We were both not terribly hungry so we decided to split the Hubba-Cado with avocado, tomato, onion, lettuce and a tomato pesto. It was so delicious!
I wanted to try the chips this time. They were also good with the same seasoning but there is no way I could eat a whole portion myself and I definitely prefer the fries for when I return.
I met a few teacher friends there for a catch-up lunch this week. I really went outside my norm for my sandwich- The Philly Hub Sub, otherwise known as the best Philly cheese steak I have ever had. (This is only half the sandwich, I started to dig in before remembering to take a picture.) It also came with a spicy chipotle mayo that was amazing and a little went a long way.
The Hub also had a delicious gluten free dessert made with almond flour and a chocolate topping that was amazing! I look forward to trying a breakfast sandwich as well as one of their specialty coffee drinks. There is quite the selection of sandwiches it will take quite a few visits to try them all! Check out their web site and let me know what you would order if you go!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Red Brick Bakery & Tea Room {Review}

Last year for my birthday, my sister April gave me a tea date. Unfortunately it has taken us almost 11 months to fulfill that date but it was worth the wait! Our morning started with a ride in her convertible! 
She found quite the diamond in the rough in Red Lion, Red Brick Bakery & Tea Room. Initially it doesn't look like much but once you walk through the entrance way you feel like you were transported to a cafe in Europe!

Once inside, the cafe is inviting, well decorated and charming. We were ecstatic to see that there was an outside deck seating as the day was perfect for an al fresco brunch.

The bakery does not carry gluten free items on a daily basis but if you call ahead they can make accommodations. I had just picked up my favorite gluten free bread from Byers Butterflake Bakery at Eastern Market before coming and they were willing to make my selection with the bread that I brought. And on a side note, if you eat gluten free you MUST try their bread! Only 4 ingredients and SO good. You should call by Tuesday if you want to pick up at Eastern Market on Friday or Hanover Farmer's Market on Saturday. $6 per loaf and well worth it and they also freeze well and make the most amazing grilled cheese!
I ordered the Italian Breakfast Focaccia with house-made toasted focaccia (keep in mind I had my bread instead of theirs) filled with scrambled eggs, smoked provolone, ripe tomato, baby spinach and pesto spread and seasonal fresh fruit (substituted a salad for the fruit). Everything about this was delicious and delightful. The pesto made the sandwich and the balsamic dressing was so good I dipped my sandwich into it!
April ordered quiche with a salad, a savory custard tart with today’s special ingredients (If I recall it was ham and cheese). We shared a fresh squeezed lemonade with lunch.
After lunch came the tea and cake. They had gluten free carrot cake for us and we ordered a vanilla black tea.

The carrot cake was moist, had an amazing texture and was not too sweet. I thought I would be disappointed with not having the cream cheese icing but since it was still morning it was just right. We could not finish the cake so we each took most of our pieces home for later.

Unfortunately due to time constraints, we also did not finish our tea but they provided us with go cups so it didn't go to waste :) We both greatly enjoyed this tea room and can't wait to go back! Here are a few more pictures of our time together.
The smell of the tea reminded me of my Strawberry Shortcake doll I had when I was little.

I can't wait to go back here for another meal! I was fortunate to visit their booth at the Red Lion Street Fair last weekend and got a coupon for a free lunch! I can't wait!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Zucchini Crust Pizza {Gluten Free}

I was so excited to find this recipe to make a zucchini crust pizza! I love zucchini and use it in many recipes such as stir fry, zucchini cakes, zucchini bread, muffins, lasagna, zucchini parmesan, etc. My best friend shares my love for all things zucchini so I thought a (rare, no-kid other than the baby) lunch with her would be a great time to try it out. To me the recipe seemed very similar to the 2 versions of cauliflower crust pizza that I had tried in the past (here and here). I definitely like them well enough but in the summer when I can get fresh local zucchini? This is the go-to pizza for me!

2 c zucchini, grated (about 2 medium sized zucchini)
1/2-3/4 c almond meal
1 egg
1 T coconut oil
1 tsp each oregano, parsley, garlic and onion powders (or adjust to your taste)
1/8 tsp salt

toppings of your choice

Preheat oven to 400. After grating zucchini, wrap in paper towels, cheese cloth or clean hand towel and squeeze to get out excess moisture. The more water you can get out the better. Mix all ingredients except for the almond meal. Gradually add almond meal until the "dough" has become less watery/runny (it will not be the normal consistency of a wheat dough).

Cover baking sheet with parchment paper. Place dough on paper and form into large circle, I used the back of a spoon to help and then also my fingers.

Place the pan on the bottom rack of oven for 20 min.

Move to top rack for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and flip. To do this I place another sheet of parchment paper on top. It is a little tricky but also fun!

Bake another 5 minutes on top rack.

Remove crust. Heat oven to 500 and add desired toppings to crust. I used organic sauce, Parmesan, Monterrey jack and mozzarella cheeses. I had full intentions on making a fancier pizza but due to time (and forgetting) it didn't happen! I also usually put some more onion and garlic on top of the sauce and parsley and oregano on top of the cheese but forgot that, too!

Bake 3 minutes on bottom rack then top rack for about 2 minutes. Keep a close eye on it!

Remove, allow to cool a few minutes, slice and enjoy!

I have never been able to get the nice brown tinge to the cheese before but I also have never baked pizza at 500 either! The crust was not able to be eaten by hand too easily although after it cooled and I had washed the dishes I ate another slice and that picked up quite nicely. I think the more water you can get out of the zucchini the better the crust will be.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Summer Kale Salad {Gluten Free}

Has anyone ever bought a fruit or veggie and then had no idea how to cook/bake with it? Two years ago I got my first bunch of kale (from a neighbor's CSA order) and made them into kale chips. I was not impressed, at least not with the recipe I tried. Ever since I have been scared of kale! This past week the same friend (who, sadly, is no longer a neighbor) asked if we wanted their CSA order for the week and I gladly said yes! Of course there would be kale as part of the order this week! Fortunately my husband recently bought a small container of kale salad at our local grocery store and wrote down the ingredients as listed on the label (kale, red onion, dried cranberry, carrots, blueberries, walnuts and dressing). A quick search brought up this recipe that I was able to combine with the ingredients from the store recipe as well as make adjustments as needed according to what we had at home. The salad is supposed to mingle for 4-6 hours before eating but I couldn't resist taking a bite before putting it into the fridge and oh my it was good! So I am definitely looking forward to dinner tonight of kale salad and corn on the cob (another item from the CSA this week)! As always, try to use as many organic and/or local ingredients as possible!

Summer Kale Salad

3/4 c white sugar
1/2 c vinegar
1/2 tsp Real salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil

1 bunch kale (I used 4 large stalks which was more than enough), wash, cut off stems and chop leaves
1/4-1/2 c chopped red onion according to taste
1 c shredded carrots (I sliced baby carrots)
2/3 c fresh blueberries (I used frozen ones that we just picked a few weeks ago)
1/2 c dried cherries (this is what we had on hand, could also use dried cranberries or raisins)
1/2 c walnuts (again can substitute another nut if needed)

Whisk together first set of ingredients until the sugar dissolves and set aside.

Combine all other ingredients in large bowl. Add half of dressing and coat. Cover and place in refrigerator for 4-6 hours. Store extra dressing in jar and add as desired.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Sauerkraut {Gluten Free}

I love when I am able to share and receive recipes with friends. My friend and co-worker, Bethanie, shared this one that she got from an Amish lady at the market in Raystown. I am also thankful for friends who share their produce with us, so I have to give a shout-out to my friend (and former neighbor ), Claire for providing the head of cabbage from her CSA (community-supported agriculture, a great way to get local vegetables every week).


cabbage, sliced (I got 6 pints from one head)
kosher or Real salt
boiling water
pint jars, lids and rings sterilized (put in boiling water for at least a minute to sterilize)
Add 1 tsp salt and 1 T vinegar into each jar.
Pack jar with cabbage up to the neck of the jar. 
Fill the jar with boiling water leaving headspace and cap lightly.

Ferment for 6 weeks in a cool dark place. Wait patiently (or not).

Eat sauerkraut or water bath can to preserve for later.

Sauerkraut has a ton of beneficial probiotics. I have heard of people eating a tablespoon before each meal to aid digestion. The caveat is if you cook the sauerkraut then that kills the probiotics even though it will still taste good!

I will give an update in about 6 weeks on the taste! Have you ever made sauerkraut before? If so, what method/recipe did you use?
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