Adventures in Gluten (and Sugar) Freedom from a southern blogger chick!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Cast Your Vote! Vote early and often!

Martha Stewart is having a contest to pick the topic for a new magazine. One of her producers suggests a magazine for people with food allergies and intolerance -- LIKE ME!

I would love Martha Stewart's seal of approval on such a magazine. I think it would be outstanding.

So go here

And please vote to help us, your friends who would benefit from this magazine. Vote early! Vote Often!

and much love!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The worst meat loaf on the face of the earth

I learned a lesson the other night. Some things are just not meant to go into meat loaf.

I have a wonderful recipe for meat loaf that I have used for years. Here it is:

2 pounds of ground beef (or meat mixture of pork, beef, veal if you're like Rachel Ray. I use beef. Some people use turkey.)
2 eggs
1/2 cup quick cooking unflavored oatmeal (GF if need be)
1 small onion finely minced (or I use Penzeys dried shallots now)
1 t. garlic salt
1 T. Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herbs (no salt)
1 t. pepper or cajun seasoning (guess which one I use?)
1 T. worcestershire
1/4 cup ketchup or chili sauce (GF if need be). and more for the top.

Moosh it all together, form a loaf, and bake for about one hour. Take out of the oven and put another coating of ketchup or chili sauce on it. While it sets for 10 minutes, it will warm. Slice and serve.

OK, fine. This has been my recipe since I was about 20 years old in college. It has served me well.
Until Sunday night.

I learned a couple of things about my new GF eating habits -- they're not really in sync with meatloaf making.
1. I used Laura's organic extra lean beef (four percent fat).
2. I used regular cooking GF oats.
3. I used organic free-range eggs.

THAT was one lethal combination for that poor meatloaf. For one, meatloaf needs CHUCK at a minimum, or a meat with some fat in it. My meat had no fat in it. Regular GF oats don't cook in a meatloaf, so I could actually SEE the oats when the thing was BAKED. It was like an oatcake! And finally, the eggs were too small. I needed large eggs. I buy organic eggs at Kroger, but these were from a friend's chickens. Silly me.

AND I put too much garlic salt in there. Bleah. It was awful. I ate one little slice and sent it to the garbage.

If you try to make my meatloaf recipe, please do me a favor.
1. Use at least ground chuck (they make organic ground chuck, I swear). Or use mixed white and dark turkey.
2. Put your half up of oats in the food processor and break them down! Or use bread crumbs (GF if need be). Or a slice of GF bread soaked in milk. Whatever. No Whole Oats.
3. Use regular large eggs.

While I'm posting, a word about that Laura's Lean Organic beef. I buy it at Kroger, and I do like it. One thing I LOVE about it is it's grass feed and tastes good. It makes a mean Lazy Spaghetti Sauce, too.

Lazy Spaghetti Sauce

Layer the following in this order from bottom to top in your crock pot:
One pound of Laura's ground beef (four percent fat or eight percent fat, either will work). OR ANY low fat ground beef)
One container of purchased pesto sauce
One envelope of Good Seasons Italian Dressing Mix (no liquids, just the mix)
Two cans of sliced mushrooms drained well
2 T. minced dried onions (I use Penzeys Dried Shallots)
One cheapest possible ever jar of meatless spaghetti sauce -- can get one with mushrooms if you want, but I use one I get at Big Lots.

Cook on simmer high for the afternoon, or on simmer low all day. I SWEAR it tastes amazing. It's the pesto. I promise.
I'm Italian, and it tastes like my family recipe that takes hours on the stove. If you're home, stir is after about an hour. If not, make sure your crumble the ground beef. I SWEAR you don't have to pre cook it.

Best of all, with the four percent ground beef in the bottom, you don't have to worry about fat. I refrigerated the leftovers, and I swear to you, there was not ONE SPECK OF FAT that rose to the top.

While I'm at it....
Bush's vegetarian baked beans make some mean beanie weenies. I just want to go on record with that. But it's hard as heck to find out if they're GF (they are) or if they have MSG (they don't). But this secret recipe only the dog and I know stuff is for the birds....

Much love, Ging

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Farewell to January (A Sunday Blessing)

This has been a rough month, and the blessing of it all is it will be DONE in four days. YAY. I am ready for January to be over. It has made me extremely grumpy.

I spent 2 1/2 weeks on antibiotics for an upper respiratory/ear/sinus/bronchial infections that made me sicker than I've been in years. My Daddy and Mary have had it too, and it's passing through school. To tell the truth, I still feel run down from this. I want to sleep whenever I can (only right now, I can't find the time).

It has been cold, cold, cold -- at least for here. I'm told old and achy for 22 degree mornings.

And school...well, it has been a challenge. Search committees, a tough schedule, and the feeling that I've been behind from the beginning...well, it just has been a slow start for me. I am being more critical than usual of my students. I don't mean to be.

Most of all, in four days, this research study Randy and I have been working on in earnest since December will be out of our hands. Last night, I was haunted by the ghost of Ralph Ginzburg in my brain. My former students remember him from Ginzburg v. New York in law class -- you know, pandering, mailing stuff from Blue Ball and Intercourse (which, i've learned, he only considered but settled on Middlesex.) I've been writing several hours a day for the last week, and I'm tired. My hands hurt. My BACK hurts. The paper has to be PDFed to the conference people by Thursday. I have no doubt the paper will be done by then, but I am tired.

But I am happy that in a few days it will be February, my favorite month of the year. I have a birthday two weeks from tomorrow, then there's the potential of a wonderful Valentine's weekend with my sweet husband. Plus some football, the Daytona 500, and the Georgia primary. Oh, and Jeffrey's Valentine dance, which I LOVE to attend (I can dance like a fool and no one notices). A BUSY 28 days. OOPS -- LEAP YEAR. 29 days.

I allow myself a plethora of birthday celebrations, a tradition started by my mother when I was a kid. I used to get one present for every year I was old. Sometimes, 20 of those presents would be a $20 bill, but she still managed to keep me celebrating all month long.

So next Friday, the celebrating begins. Janet and Don are coming to visit in Tampa, and Daddy and Mary will be passing through. We'll have a fun weekend, I hope, of sightseeing, cooking and eating, and enjoying good friendships. And football.

Of course, I have jury duty on my birthday...

Much love to you, and have a blessed end of this dreadful month.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Shrimp and peas, if you please

It happened again. I went to Big Lots and caught a whiff of Lieu's Peking, and suddenly I was craving Chinese food. By the time I got home with my haul, I was craving SHRIMP. Chinese shrimp.

I surveyed the recipes in the Chinese cookbooks and couldn't find the taste I was craving -- so I made this recipe up.
I wanted shrimp with something sweet (peas) crunchy (water chesnuts) and spice (chili paste).

And that's what I got. Try it. It's easy and was so delicious. Jeffrey stole a bowl of it and scarfed it right down

Shrimp and Peas

2 t. cornstarch mixed in 1/4 cup water
2 T. sherry or white wine
2 T. Soy Sauce (gf, if you please)
1 T. worcestershire sauce (again, GF)
1/2 t. chili paste (optional. If you don't like spicy, leave it out)
1/4 to 1/2 cup water or broth

1/2 pound shrimp (peeled and deveined, fresh or frozen).
1/2 c. frozen peas (still frozen)
1 T. ginger minced
1 T. garlic, minced
1/2 small onion, minced
1 cup sliced mushrooms (fresh, or canned)
1 can water chesnuts, drained and rinsed
1 T. canola oil.

In a hot wok, saute shrimp and peas (I used frozen medium white shrimp I bought at WalMart. It comes in a one-pound bag.)
Add garlic and ginger and saute until fragrant. Add onions. Add mushrooms and water chesnuts. Saute the entire mix until the aromatics are soft and shrimp is pink. This should take about seven or eight minutes.

Stir sauce thoroughly. Add to pan. Stir til heated and remove from heat. Sauce should be thick and glossy.

Serve over rice, rice noodles, or all alone. Yum. Here's my portion!

Serves at least two hungry people. Easy to double -- just double everything except the water chesnuts.

Much love, and then some!


Monday, January 21, 2008

Another crescent roll use -- Muffin Cup Quiches!

I just found another adaptation for the lovely crescent roll dough -- they make a GREAT mini quiche in a large muffin cup.

If you're GF like me, you've already made this dough -- it approximates beautifully the Pillsbury Dough you nonGF folks love so much. I guess you could use a tube of these to make these, too. One tube would make four mini quiches for you. I made a double batch Friday night, and thought I'd use the second half today to make some mini pizza cups -- but I really wasn't in the mood for Pizza. AND I had onions and mushrooms to cook....hmmmmm. QUICHE!

What I did: I took one batch of the crescent dough and divided it into five squares, then pressed into five holes in a large, nostick greased six-cup muffin tin. Press up the side so that it's thin and even all around. (There just isn't enough to fill six cups -- I tried.)

Into each cup, put three generous pinches of cheese of your choice (I used an Italian mix and some grated parmesan). Then add one generous tablespoon of the **filling of your choice* on top of the cheese.

(You need about a cup and a half total of filling. I used chopped onions and mushrooms sauteed in olive oil, seasoned with Mrs. Dash herb and garlic and salt. I would have added some crumbled bacon if I'd had some...but I didn't.)

In a 2-cup measuring cup, mix four eggs and add 1/4 cup milk, cream, half and half, or buttermilk. Whip with a fork, and season with a pinch of black pepper.

Pour on cups -- should be exactly enough to cover five mini quiches. Put the muffin tin on foil and bake at 350 degrees until puffed and golden, about 20-25 minutes (or until a tester comes out clean) and eacg quiche is puffed and golden. Let set before popping out of the pan and eating.

The bottoms should be light golden and will be infused with even more cheese than ever. Mine were perfectly crispy, not soggy, and tasty.

BETTER than a pie crust. In fact, I might use the dough AS a big quiche pie crust, but I really like the ease and portions of this!

I am one happy experimenter.

Wish my camera were here....

Much love,

A cake I remember....and love

Leslie on the Celiac listserv posted this the other day, and it brought back such fond memories for me.

My friend/sister Janet used to make this cake all the time when we were in grad school at Auburn. I got the recipe from her, out of her recipe box.

Janet and I bonded on three things: Julia Child, The Music Man, and the Manhattan Transfer. We both loved to cook, and we were always getting together at her apartment cooking something on the weekends. She worked full time AND was in graduate school. But we love to cook, and now, 30 years later, we're still friends and still love to cook (and eat) together.

It makes me happy that a cake I attribute to someone so important to me can be made easily gluten free. Now, here's the good part -- this is a cake all you new mommies need to know. It is delicious and easy. Just use regular flour instead of GF flour and drop the xanthan gum. Cooks up in under an hour, and be frosted right in the pan (it's better that way).

Try it. You'll LOVE it.

Chocolate Brownie Sheet Cake
Mix together 2 cups gf flour and add1 tsp xanthan gum and 2 cups sugar
Bring to boil: 2 sticks butter, 4 Tbs cocoa, 1 cup water
Then pour that over flour and sugar mixture and add 2 eggs (I added 2 extra egg whites per baking tips you sent me) 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 cup buttermilk
Beat well and bake @ 350 degrees for 20 min in a 9 by 13 pan.
Now for the icing (which is the best icing ever!) :
Melt 1 stick butter, 6 Tbs milk, 4 Tbs cocoa, and add 1 cup chopped pecans.
Bring to a boil, remove and add 1 lb of powdered sugar. Pour immediately over the hot cake.

Serves....ME! And you, if you're lucky.

Much love, and try it -- really!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Make-shift Mu Shu

Last night, it was cold and I felt awful. Randy was on his way to Georgia, and I wanted to make something warm and comforting for dinner. So I decided I'm make some Chinese again.

I call this dish "Make-shift Mu Shu" because it does have the flavor and texture of mu shu, but without the glutenous pancakes. In a way, the noodles "taste" like the pancake, so they make up for it.

Best of all, it is low in fat and carbs, very heart healthy, and very delicious.

There are four steps, but they're fairly easy, and you clean up as you go.

One: 1/2 package of Chinese rice noodles (vermicelli) (I used half a package of Kame noodles that come in an 8 oz pack. I find this in Kroger in the Oriental Food section.)
Put noodles in a zippered bag and fill with hot tap water and let sit for 20 minutes. Drain and cut in pieces *cut up* with knife or scissors. Place in a large bowl and set aside. (There will be about two cups), WHILE soaks, do step two and three and get out the veggies. They require no prep at all.

Two: 1 pound sirloin steak (or chicken breast or pork chop or shrimp), sliced thinly and mixed with 2 T. GF soy sauce, 1 T. worcestershire sauce, and 1 T. minced shallots or green onions. (Optional: A sprinkle of seasoned pepper like Tony Chachere's or red pepper flakes.) I used Penzeys freeze dried shallots. I love them.

Three; Mix Sauce:
Mix in a bowl and set aside:
2 T. sherry (or substitute wine if you don't have sherry)
3 T. each worcestershire and GF soy sauce
1/2 t.. red pepper flakes
1/2 T. cornstarch
1 T. minced garlic
1 T. minced ginger (I buy them already chopped and keep them in the fridge)

Other materials: I BIG bag shredded cole slaw mix with carrots in it
1 small package of sliced mushrooms (or canned -- I had plain canned and canned shitake)
1 can bamboo shoots, jullienned.

NOW to cook:

Put I T. canola oil in a hot wok, and stir in meat of choice. Cook until meat is done and crispy. Dump cooked meat on top of rice noodles in the large bowl.
In the leftover oil in wok, stirfry mushrooms, cabbage, and bamboo shoots until crisp tender. Add rice noodles and meat back into wok and stir together. When heated thoroughly, pour on sauce and cook briefly. Pour back into the bowl and serve.

If you're not GF and want pancakes with this, steam some flour tortillas and top with hoisin sauce. If you are GF and have GF tortillas -- use them and find some GF hoisin.

Or just slurp it out of the bowl like Randy, Jeffrey and I did. There was not a speck of it left!

Update on the sickness: It's still here. I went back to the doctor today, and she said she wanted me to rest ALL weekend. As Randy and I are trying to write a paper, so I'll do my best. But I'm still on antibiotics and inhalers and nose sprays...

Much love, and happy weekend!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Returning to normal....whatever that is!

Two recipes are in order today. Neither is particularly innovative, but both proved delicious and helped get me (and Jeffrey) through my 10-day (and counting) illness. And these will work for the GF AND nonGF among us.

The first is derived from a recipe I learned during a summer honors program in French in 1973. We made this for the administrators of the Honors Program and it has always been a favorite. I adapted the cornflake part from Jen on the Celiac Site's suggestion. I used some Erewhom corn flakes, which are totally tasteless as is :-)

Dijon Chicken Fingers

1 pound chicken breast cut into strips (or double -- I did two pounds)
1 cup buttermilk
2 Tablespoons heaping good dijon mustard
1. t. salt and 1/2 t. each pepper and garlic powder (I use Mrs. Dash Herb and Garlic)

2 cups of cornflakes, crushed finely, seasoned with 1 T. season salt of choice and garlic powder

Soak the chicken in the buttermilk for at least two hours. Roll strips in cornflakes and bake at 350 degrees on a rack on a baking sheet. You CAN turn, but I don't. Cook for about 30 minutes or so until the tenders are done (use a thermometer if you're worried).

Make a dipping sauce of 2 T. plain yogurt, 1/2 t. mayo, and 1 T. dijon mustard.


How to make my Daddy's roast

We always used to have this roast on Sundays -- it cooks perfectly while you're away at church. There is nothing like the smell of this roast when you come home. Make some Minute rice and some peas while it rests, and you've got lunch and leftovers.

This recipe is VERY specific, and most people don't believe how good it is.

Buy a 3-5 pound RUMP roast (only kind that works here) and put fat side up in a heavy baking pan OR a cast-iron skillet. (I use my cast iron for this...always). You can always cook it on aromatic veggies if you must, but I rarely do it any other way than this.

Liberally season the roast with salt, pepper, and garlic powder of some kind. I use (of course) Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb, and I love it.

Put the roast in a 425 degree oven for 20 minutes, then crank it down to 350. Bake until it reaches 160 on a meat thermometer (about two hours, depending on the size) for medium. DON"T let it overcook.

Put the roast on the plate and let rest for 15 minutes or so before slicing against the grain. The pad of fat on the top is worth fighting matter what your diet status is. Even my Mama would give into that... While it rests, skim the fat off the pan drippings, put it on the stove, and stir hard to get up the accumulated bits. Add about a half cup of water and boil for about a minute. No thickening needed, as this is a delicious juice.

My favorite was always the juice on some white bread, the next day...still is, actually, if I could find some bread I like.

Much love. I'm trying. Really, I am

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Sickness update

I'm still sick down here. Really, really sick.

Now I'm on my second round of antibiotics, and this new cough medicine -- well it has me whacked out. I haven't taken any of it today and won't take any more because I couldn't drive right now if I had to. *Edited to add: I just figured out it was a combination of Vicodin and Sudafed. I don't do so well on Sudafed -- never have. That explains why I felt like I did -- it's almost out of my system.

And I've still not broken this fever, or this cough. I'm surviving on juice and bananas. Friday night I made a roast and nibbled on that some this weekend. But mostly, it has been apple juice and bananas. And now I'm out of juice...

Back to the doctor tomorrow. No choice but classes on Tuesday. I hope I feel better in 24 hours. This illness is interrupting my life.

Much love,

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

I'm sick down here

I got my usual case of Spring semester bronchitis REALLY early this year -- before classes started. I had my first three classses yesterday, but I had to leave after the second one because I was so sick (let's just say, I almost *threw up ON Dean Wormer). I even had to call in an ex-favor and get Blanton to pick up Jeffrey at work. *Animal House reference.

I parked on the couch at 12:30 piled up with blankets, and ! only moved to go to the restroom. I finally brought out all the drugs and put them on the coffee table so I wouldn't have to move. My fever broke last night (after two more episodes with Dean Wormer) and two Robin WIlliams "two exits, no waiting" episodes.

It sucks being the only adult in the house when you're sick. I STILL have to get Jeffrey to work. I still have to get my own meds. I still have to cook for myself (I didn't. I drank apple juice and ate bananas).


So you should come back in a few days when I'm better. Go see what Kate (GF Gobsmacked) and GF Steve are doing witht his lovely little crescent roll mix that has been on the Celiac site...

much love, and all that

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Shoutout (a Friday, Saturday, AND Sunday Blessing) and a recipe to boot

It has been a good couple of days.

•I got back from Wal Mart, which I loathe, and I got a beautiful box of cookies in the mail today from Gluten Free Steve and the Artist, and I am so excited. I ate ONE cookie and OMGOMGOMGOMG. They are amazing. Steve, you know how much I love you already, and David, your cookies are wonderous AND your art is beautiful! I am a lucky girl! (P.S. At Wal Mart, I stuck to the revolution, if you're keeing score. But what I did need ended up costing a lot, and Jeffrey bought groceries.)

•I've made a new friend today. Shoshana Ginzburg. She's an amazing woman, the wife of the man we've been doing the research on (when we were in Indiana). She is a goldmine, and is so warm and lovely. I always knew in my heart she had a large part in his work, and I was right -- and now she will be a part of the research, too (and is willing to help us, which is great). I have had the best time today getting acquainted with her today on email. And it makes me even more eager to continue the research Randy and I are working on. WOW.

I have always gotten very lucky in my historical research, and let me just say, finding Shoshana last night, well, it will make this research something spectacular!

•Jenn Hill Watson had a beautiful baby boy yesterday, named Tyler Reed Watson. I am so happy for Jenn and Danny, even though she went through 14 hours of labor before the Csection. I've seen one picture (been trying to get it off my phone so Joy could post it, but damn the new phone...) and he's amazing. It makes me happy to have new babies in my circle of friends. And this one is much loved, to be sure. Here's a pic Joy just sent me. Isn't he beautiful? Looks like the perfect blend of his mama and daddy.

•A Recipe for a cold day when you need Chinese Food.

I was so seriously craving Chinese food the other day, I coudn't stand it .

I dragged out an old Chinese cookbook (it was my Mom's) and found that most of my old favorite recipes have cornstarch in them, so I converted/created a great recipe for GF Beef and Broccoli. Since I can't transfer pictures from my new phone (POC!) you can't see how yummy it looked. But this is adapted from Madame Chang's Chinese Food. This is my own combination, but an adaptation of one of her sauces.

GF Beef and Brocolli
Serves four

One pound beef steak, sliced thin (I used rib eye, but you can also use sirloin and flank steak)
One egg white
One T. cornstarch
1 inch canola oil for deep frying

One large crown of broccolli, cut into smaller florets
One t. chopped ginger
Two cloves garlic, chopped
One onion, sliced thin
Three green onions, chopped (optional)
One can of water chestnuts, rinsed and drained
One can of sliced bamboo shoots
One package sliced mushrooms, or one large can, drained


1 T. sherry
2 T. GF steak sauce or GF stir fry sauce (I used a GF La Choy Teriyaki Stir Fry Sauce)
2 T. GF soy sauce or wheat free tamari
2 T. GF Worchestershire sauce
1/2 t. sugar (Omit if you use Teriyaki Sauce)
3 T. water and one GF Beef Bouillon Cube, mixed
1 t. cornstarch
1.2 t. Chili garlic paste OR red pepper flakes (optional, or add more!)

Mix sauce and set aside.

Blanch broccoli in water in the microwave for three minutes, drain and set aside

Slice meat and mix with egg white and cornstarch; set aside while you chop the veggies.

Put drained broccoli, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, and mushrooms in a bowl and set aside.

Heat oil in wok until it ripples and add beef. Stir fry (it’s like a deep fry) for about three minutes until the crust is brown. Remove beef to its bowl and set aside (don’t worry, you will reheat it sufficiently).

Drain all the oil from the pan except 2 T. Add onion and stir fry til fragrant; add garlic and ginger for a minute.

Add remaining vegetables and stir fry them for about 3 minutes til the mushrooms are limp (or until all the veggies are warm and crunchy. Stir, then add the sauce and bring to a boil. Add the meat back and stir it all together for two more minutes.

Serve on rice or rice noodles.

Much, much love,

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Hey, back up two posts!

The pictures are in the post now. Woo hoo.

Much love, Ging the photog.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Gluten-Free New Year! What's your New Year's Revolution?

My Mama had a theory. She said "you spend your year like you spent your New Year's Eve."

I hope that's so. Auburn won the Chick Fil A bowl, I was with Randy, and I was in the company of a woman I love to death, Gloria "Bo the Writer." Jeffrey was happy and with his Dad for a much-needed visit. Daddy was happy with Mary in Kentucky.

We drove to Gainesville for Joe and Gay Haldeman's annual New Year's Eve party. I've been going since I started dating Randy, and this was my fourth party in five years. Truth to tell, I was sick and didn't feel like going, but I drove the 4 1/2 hours for Randy. See. he's been to this party every year since 1992 -- except last year, when my shoulder surgery grounded him here in Milledgeville. He doesn't ask much of me, so I did this. The things we do for love. (Joe Haldeman is a world-famous science fiction writer. There were a lot of science fiction writers there. I don't read or even like science fiction, but don't tell them, ok?)

Anyway, I spent four hours in the company of lovely Gloria, Gay, and Randy, talking and watching the people. OK, four hours minus an hour to hear the football game on radio, but War Eagle, Auburn won. Four hours in front of a buffet table without a speck of food I dare eat (because of gluten cross contamination). About 11:30 I found some individually wrapped Laughing Cow cheese and ate two pieces, but otherwise, I didn't eat a bit.

But one of the guest was commenting on how food and parties and company are all related. Company=compaigne (in French -- what is it in Spanish, Kate?) = com (con=with) pain (bread). ETC. You know, sometimes it has to be more about the company than the food. This party was not my party, not given in my honor, so should NOT have been gluten free. I enjoyed it anyway.

My mother also insisted that you have your hoppin' john on New Year's Day. Did you have some black eyed peas and greens? Gloria made beautiful collards for the party, but I couldn't have any -- the meat versions had Accent (msg) in them, and since my last allergic reaction, I didn't want to have them. And the vegetarian ones had soy sauce in them. Ack. When i got home yesterday, I was simply too tired and sick to cook, so I didn't have my greens. But I PROMISE I'll have my leftover hoppin john and some spinach for supper tonight. Greens mean MONEY, honey.

Do you have any new year's revolutions? I call them revolutions, because, done right, they'll change your life. Julie wrote about a theme, and I have decided my New Year's Revolution is "Get That Crap Out of your House!"

I have too much junk. I have too much junk in the trunk. There is a relationship there. So MY New Year's resolution is this:

1. If you don't need it right now, don't buy it.
2. If you really need it, pay cash for it.
3. If you can't pay cash for it, you shouldn't get it.
4. If you can unload it, do it, and get some money for it if you can.
5. Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.

Notice that a diet is not on my list. Nope. If I follow the above, my food consumption will reduce automatically. And thus, my weight. I need to be healthy, not thin. There's a difference when you're 50.

I also vow to you my friends and readers here at Gluten Free in Georgia (and Florida) that I will get back on the recipe train. Even if it's not New Year's Eve, try this hoppin john. It's lean and mean, and hearty this time of year.

Hoppin John

One bag frozen black-eyed peas
One small onion chopped
One Stick of Celery, chopped
Large glove of garlic, chopped
Seasoning of choice (I like hot pepper in my peas, but otherwise, salt and pepper)
Three pieces of lean ham, chopped
3 cups of water
2 cups Minute Rice

Saute the ham and veggies and add black eyed peas. Cook til it's soupy and boiling.
Add Minute Rice when it is at a boil, then remove from heat, and let sit five minutes.

Season more with jalapeno peppers and more chopped onions. It was hearty and made me keep my Mama's resolution, too. If you eat your hoppin' john, you'll have PLENTY.

Plenty of what? Hope. Happiness. Love.

and Much Love! in this blessed new year.