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

Monday, March 31, 2008

Due Diligence: March ROARS out like a lion

I spent several hours (literally) today planning for our upcoming trip to Lisbon and Paris. I also had to make reservations for a business luncheon in Atlanta Thursday. Just before I left work, I had a phone call (I let it pass because i was busy) from Carraba's in Carrollwood, responding to my comment about their GF preparedness at their store.

All these processes are just in a day's work for someone who is gluten free. And it is time consuming and hard work, but required.

A few years ago, we had an ASNE fellow in Tampa who kept Kosher. I'd worked with Kosher people in my past, and I was prepared for label-reading, but to be responsible for someone else's dietary concern is demanding. I learned a whole lot from that woman, to be sure. First, I must NEVER assume a food doesn't have wheat. As I explained to a conference planner today, some chicken broth has wheat it in, so I can't always be sure. Second, it doesn't take much to make a sick. I now get a horrible stomach reaction AND a rash if I'm cross contaminated. Third, I can never let down my guard. Ever. two words: I=Hop.

I return to this concept again and again on this blog: I am not doing this because I want to be difficult. I do it because I become extremely ill when I eat BROWM -- barley, rye, oats, wheat, and malt. I also don't react well to certain kinds of GF flours, and other grains like millet, quinoa, and sorghum cause me gastric distress. No, I do this to be healthier.

Sadly, I'm not quite there yet.

The question I've had a lot of problems with lately is, if you don't eat all these foods, why aren't you thin? I mean, you should be thinner...I mean. Yeah. I get it. And you're right. I need to be thinner.

So here's the answer to that good question. Because while I am diligent about not eating BROWM etc., I am not as diligent about gluten free foods. Take that beautiful sandwich pictured below. Anyone want to guess the calorie count of it? The bread along has almost 500 calories -- it's the equivalent of FOUR 140 calorie slices of bread! And THAT is too high for bread in the first place. I ate a lot of bread.

I eat gluten free. But I eat a lot of other stuff that is wrong wrong wrong.

My dear former student Joyous and I have a pact. We're decided to be diet buddies. So as of tomorrow (April Fool's Day - classic day for this if there ever was one) I am going to begin to cut back on my intake.

Yep. The GF Paula Deen is going on a diet. Food reduction plan. Sensible eating plan.

I vow to you I will continue to provide gluten free recipes. I'm going to consume what I make. Only now, I'm going to try to practice moderation. And my goal -- yes I do have one -- is to lose 35 pounds. Now that won't make me rail thin, but it is my start. No, I'm not going to tell you how much I'll weigh then. But you know what I look like now. I currently weigh 27 pounds less than I did last year at this time. (Seriously!)

Tomorrow is the day. I hate April Fool's Day anyway. And really, all my diligence is necessary, because I'm starting to look like I'm due soon! One by one, I'm going to apply the "eat this, not that" theory to my life. (Great book, BTW.)

The first substitution begins in the morning. I am swapping my WHOLE FAT Duke's Mayonnaise for light Duke's Mayo. I don't like its taste as much, so I will surely eat less.

Much love, and hang in there with me, will you? There are still great recipes out there, folks.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Waiter, there's BREAD in my CROCKPOT (A blessing, plain and simple)

I was going to wait and post this tomorrow, but I just couldn't wait.

Earlier this week, Steph, the crockpot lady ( posted about making GF bread in her Crockpot. She used a pan, baked it in her oval crockpot in the pan for about 3 1/2 hours, and it looked delicious. Steph is the genius behind this recipe, friends. I bow deeply and reverently to her genius. (Note: I have an oval Crockpot in Tampa. It was a great wedding gift from Eva. I use it all the time in Tampa. But I'm not in Tampa right now...)

When I got home yesterday, I got to thinking: Could this work in the Crock part of an old-skool round Crock Pot?

I followed the directions exactly: I used Whole Foods 365 sandwich bread mix, and I mixed it with my hand mixer (you know, the tiny beaters) in a large bowl. It took under 5 minutes to prepare. NOTE to readers: This is virtually the same mix as the Gluten Free Pantry Sandwich Bread mix. Some people say it's the same, just packaged for a different company.

I greased the Crock, slid the dough into it, propped the lid open with a wooden spoon to vent it, and turned the knob to simmer hi. Here's how it looked about halfway through.

It doubled beautifully in size, and in three hours, the tester came out clean.

Friends, it was perfect. PERFECT. Delicious, moist, not gummy at all.

I never dreamed I could make GF bread I liked, but thanks to Steph, I did. I can. And I will. Roast beef, cheddar and mayo on soft, warm bread. YUM!

Thanks, Steph, and MUCH LOVE to you! This is the first sandwich I've had in almost a year -- at least, the first one that tasted like a sandwich. I can't wait to make this bread during tomato season.


Relaxed, refreshed, recharged...

...and ready for the home stretch. I was tempted several times this week to post, but I held strong. I needed time to relax, and I did. I've watched enough "A Baby Story," "Bringing Home Baby," and "Jon and Kate plus 8" for ages. And no, there's no reason for that except that was what was on the television. Randy has basketball. I have stupid baby shows.

I had a great time with my sweetie this week. I always enjoy being able to cook and putter around the house in Tampa, even if it does take a little doing to get it in a shape where I can do that. Randy is the best husband in the world, but he's not a house cleaner...but I really have to de-gluten the kitchen when I get there anyway, so I cope. But we had a great week. It's not long now til we'll have most of our summer together. I live for that time!

I made a lot of GF discoveries and purchases this week. My pantry is stocked for some good GF food for the next couple of weeks.

•I got PIECRUSTS. At Whole Foods and at Abbeys, and tomorrow, I am going to bake a quiche. I can't wait. I also discovered the Whole Foods GF Bakeshop Cherry Pie. Lattice top. OMG! I also found some new Bakery on Main Granola, and I tried this Scandanavian style yogurt-like food called Skyr, which I saw Andrew Zimmern eat in Minnesota. I STILL prefer Greek yogurt.
•We spend an hour in the Oriental Market, and I stocked up on my starches (corn and tapioca) and my flours (rice and sweet rice). I spent as much for six bags of flour there that I spend on Bob's Red Mill. So now, all I have to buy from Bob is Brown Rice flour, but I have a good store of it now, so I'm set. I also stocked up the flour mix at the Tampa house.

•One of my favorite things is shredded bamboo shoots. I found them at the Oriental Market (I used to get them at the International Market in Atlanta but they stopped selling them). LOVE them in a stir fry. I made my Shrimp and Peas for Randy one night -- he enjoyed it very much. Instead of peas, I steamed a package of the Birdseye Oriental Vegetable Mix (and didn't add extra water chesnuts). Steam the bag for about six minutes and stir in before you add the sauce.

•I found a GREAT Chili sauce at the Oriental Market that included chili paste and sesame seeds and sesame oil. Mightly tasty. I need to get a jar for THIS house too -- I left it in Tampa. It's GF -- no soy sauce.

•I'd never tried the Progresso Mushroom Soup, and it is much tastier than the Health Valley brand AND it's a buck a can cheaper at least. I bought up four cans.

•I discovered a product I'd read about on the Delphi list -- Gravy Magic. I discovererd that a couple of drops of it into the Mushroom soup, plus my dollop of mayo, and it tastes JUST LIKE CAMBELLS. I'm serious. I made Jen's Green Bean Casserole for Randy and found out -- he likes Funyuns! So now we can have that more often. Here's the recipe!

1/2 can GF Mushroom Soup, with 1 T. GF Gravy Magic and 2 T. mayo, combined
2 bags french style green beans, cooked slightly (or regular, or canned) well drained
1 can drained mushrooms (optional)
A 99 cent convenience store bag of Funyuns

Crush Funyuns in bag. Mix beans, soup mix, and 1/2 Funyuns in a casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes til bubbly. Top with remaining Funyuns (well crushed) and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

In other news:

•I had some gift cards from Williams-Sonoma, so I cashed them in for a Calphalon Egg Poacher pan for $50. The pan itself is a 10-in skillet with a lid. The poacher will hold enough eggs for ME and maybe Randy :-) And now I have a third Calphalon pan for the Tampa house.

•I tried the GF menu finally at Carrabbas, and it was great. I also ate Sushi at Crazy Buffet. As always, we enjoyed a GF dinner at Lee Roy Selmons, my favorite restaurant. The only ALLERGEN problem I had was because a cat...

•I got to hold the absolutely handsome Andrew Aiden Humphrey this time and visit with his mom and dad, Miriam and Joe (whom we all call Uncle Buck because of a college thing in the 90s). What a cutie -- he's four months old and already weighs 20 pounds, and I got to kiss his sweet head! And I enjoyed talking to Miriam about how to introduce baby food into his life (they just got the OK from the pediatrician).


•We're going to Lisbon as I've told you before, but the great exciting news is, we got a two-day layover in Paris. Randy has never been to Paris, and I'm excited to take him there. If you've been and you're GF, let me know your thoughts, ok?

I tested a couple other recipes this week, so I'll be posting them as the week progresses.

Much love, and I MISSED YOU!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Gone Fishin'

I am taking a week off from the world of GF blogging. It's Spring Break, I have a horrible --something, cold, flu--, and I need a break. I had a lovely visit with my Daddy Thursday night, sent Jeffrey away with him on Friday, and now, it's MY TIME.

I hope you don't mind. I need some time to plot, plan, and clear my head. Refresh. Recharge.

I need some more time with my sweetie. Happpy two-by-four day, Honey.

So check back next Sunday for the newest recipes and Sunday blessings.

Have a blessed, Happy Easter (if you celebrate it) and a pollen-free first-week of Spring.

I need a break from me, and you probably do, too.

Much love,


Monday, March 17, 2008

Taco Soup for Janet and Don

Two of my favorite people in my life, my sister Janet and her husband Don, came by yesterday for lunch. I contemplated a lot of things to cook for lunch, but I decided to make one of my favorite soups -- Taco Soup.

My friend Jessica gave me the recipe for taco soup a year ago, and I always adapt it based on what I have the cupboard. But this is the basic plan:

1 package GF taco seasoning
1 package GF Hidden Valley Ranch mix
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 can whole kernel corn
1 can of diced potatoes
1 can of beef broth
1 pound of ground beef, browned

I added a bag of thawed gumbo mix, which included okra, corn, red peppers, and onions. I also added a generous springking of Tony Chachere's seasoning (GF). It made the soup a little spicy.

I served it with hot GF bread, GF brownies, and fresh pineapple. We had a great time -- and they helped me move furniture, for which I CAN NEVER THANK THEM.

Now that menu is out of the way, I need to vent. See if any of these make you laugh! They made me ROTFLMAO.
I just (thanks to Kate) found a new site called -- they inspired me.

1. When did it become OK to ride your bike on the sidewalk and get mad at ME because I didn't see you riding up behind me. I'm sorry I left my rear-view mirror at home today, but don't curse me because I'm in your way. I can't see you. Next time....see no. 3.
2. When your gum falls out of your mouth, don't you worry that someone LIKE ME might step in it? OF course you don't. But I ALWAYS do.
3. Crazy skateboard boy, going 40 on a sidewalk is annoying to me. Next time I see you, I will step in front of you and hope you bust your butt on the sidewalk.
4. Reading directions in college is required. So is FOLLOWING directions. Yes, my sarcasm WAS directed at you. I expected more, that's all. But I covered for you anyway.
5. You there, young woman with your shorts pulled down to your pubic bones and your top tucked up to look like a bra. I know you're proud you're a runner. But dressed like THAT, where you were, is DANGEROUS. Cover up. Show off at the club.
6. I know you think your doggie is cuter than pie, but his poop...not so much. CURB YOUR DAMN DOG. That also means pick up his poop.
7. Your breasts are lovely. Now please, put them away.
8. If I'm not good enough to be a reference listed in your portfolio, then don't ask me for a letter, Make those people who are listed do the work. Don't get hurt by this, ok? I still think you're the best.
9. That red octagon -- it's called a STOP sign, not "speed out behind the shuttle bus and turn right." I had the right of way.
10. You, athletic young man, don't step in front of a car while on your cell phone without glancing to see if a car is coming. Yes, pedestrians have the right of way, but I don't like to play dodge ball with humans. And your cell phone would have been destroyed if I'd run over your ass.
11. One fat chick to another -- when you've got a three-inch jelly roll sticking out over your jeans, it's a sign. Either get bigger clothes, like I do, or lose some weight. I know of what I speak. It's not pretty if you can literally reach out and pinch three inches....
12. P.S. you know who you are --- you don't live here any more. CHANGE YOUR ADDRESS ON EVERYTHING -- your underwear, your driver's license, your past due bills. I am TIRED of answering phone calls from your bill collectors. They interrupt my naps.
13. BTW -- I'm really sorry you're so sick. You know, I have a significant stomach ailment, too. But I don't think the chips, salsa, and beer at the Mexican place is going to help your colon...
14. It's a small campus. If you accuse me of stuff, it will get back to me. I PROMISE.
15. Hey Heather Mills: you got lucky. Deal with it. You got $34,000 for each day with Sir Paul. There are people who would give HIM that to spend a day with him. BTW, you're not the first woman to get screwed in a divorce.

OK, I feel a little better now.
Much love,

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Hail, Hail, the gang's all here

What the HAIL do we care? A lot!

After the horrible damage to Atlanta yesterday, we were understandably worried tonight when there was the report of hail and tornadoes making their way down Highway 49 near our house.

Thank GOD it passed on either side of us, but we got some horrible wind, a little rain, and ping-pong ball sized hail. The pics above were taken about 20 minutes after they fell on our house. I hope there's no roof damage.

We hunkered down in the hallway bathroom with the whole house closed off. Jeffrey was screaming and crying when the hail hit. Honey, you timed your return to Tampa perfectly!

Gotta go...another thunderstorm is coming. I hear the thunder...

Much love, and what a night!

Friday, March 14, 2008

A recipe just for Kate: Cream of Mushroom with Mayo

I remember once when I lived in Germany, I got a recipe for German potato salad that began, "brown and crumble a pound of bacon; reserve grease. Add 1 cup wine vinegar and 1/4 cup sugar to warm bacon grease and stir briskly to make dressing."

I made a comment last week in my Paula Deen commentary about using mushroom soup and mayo in a recipe. My BFF Kate from Gluten-free Gobsmacked made one of those (to quote my students) "WTF?" responses.

Let me explain, dear Kate...and the rest of you, too.

A lot of my favorite southern recipes (including green bean casserole) call for a can of cream of mushroom (or celery or chicken) soup. To me, pre-GF, that meant Campbell's. Even the Healthy Request brand was thick and creamy.

But you've all probably noticed (if you're GF) that the Cream of Mushroom soups WE have to use are not very creamy, and adding cornstarch make them kind of gummy. And I don't want to make my own. Thanks, but no thanks. Defeats the purpose of the convenience.

So based on one of my favorite other southern chicken recipes, which I will post some other day, I experimented and made perfect creamy cream of mushroom soup by adding -- mayonnaise. Duke's Mayo, to be exact. In my mind, it's the only kind.

So to one can of soup (I use Health Valley Brand), I add about 1/3 cup of mayo. It can be light mayo, just not fat free. Whisk a little soup into the mayo, then beat the rest in. Just like old times! It tastes like the old stuff.

Of course, it kinda takes away from the low calorie-ness of dishes, but frankly, most of my Cream of Mushroom soup repetoire is not low fat. So I don't use it much, and it works great when I do.

Last night, I adapted a family recipe (my Mama's concoction) for potato casserole. I wouldn't call them scalloped or au gratin (though I did au gratin these with some 2 percent cheese -- my Mama wouldn't do that because my Daddy doesn't like cheese). I added cubed ham because I was tired and didn't want to cook it separately. Try it, though -- it is very good.

Potato Casserole

I bag of sliced prepared potatoes in the dairy case (or sliced large potatoes -- 3-4 of them)
1 package of sliced mushrooms (or a large jar, drained)
1 large onion sliced thin (because Randy is here, I used freeze dried shallots)
1 can Health Valley Organic Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream
Generous sprinkling of black pepper (it does not need salt).
One Tablespooon Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix (or bottled Ranch dressing)
Optional: 2 cups cubed ham or cooked chicken
Optional: 1/2 cup 2 percent shredded cheddar cheese, grated

Mix mayo, sour cream, and dressing, and stir in mushroom soup. Set aside.

Layer: Half potatoes, onion rings, ham (or chicken), sauce, and repeat. End with sauce. Top with cheese.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 50 minutes. Remove from oven and let set for about 15 minutes (to make sauce thicken a little more).

OR -- CROCK POT IT! Put it in the crock pot with the onions on the bottom and layer accordingly. You should leave this on simmer high for six hours to make sure the onions cook. If they're thinly sliced, it should work fine.

Four generous servings.

Much love and have a great Friday!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Essential Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide, 2008-2009

A Review

Triumph Dining (
The Essential Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide, 2008-2009.

I tend to be a notebook keeper -- I get a three ring flat binder, print stuff out, and punch holes in it. I have kept my GF food stuff lists and diet information in such binders, and I have urged others on the Celiac website to do this, too.

But thanks to the wonderful Truimph Dining folk. I can relax just a little -- we know eating out is risky, and I won't ever let my guard down, but this book is a great help!

A few weeks ago, a lovely young woman named Jennifer O'Neill asked if I would like to review a copy of the guide. She sent one along, along with a set of dining cards. Happy Days! I am so loving this book and the cards. If only they had one in Portuguese...

First, there are a whole lot of places listed in Atlanta that I simply didn't know about. For instance, there's Twist in Phipps Plaza. I love that place! They note they're very GF friendly, and the chef is willing to work with a GF diner. I personally found that to be true at Twist's sister restaurant Prime at Lenox Square.

One really handy thing is in the back -- the round up of GF menus. In Tampa, for instance, we eat at First Watch occasionally, so it's nice to see their menu included.

I know I'll be using the guide in August when we go to a conference in Chicago. in addition to the place that Steve has already scoped out, there's a great list of not-your-typical chain restaurants.

It's worth a read just to reassure the GF diner that a good GF meal can be had with clear communication and good strategy. I try to use that (and Lord knows, I fail. See Sunday). But the book has such a reassuring, positive tone. I really like the info, and I will now assure "newbies" that it's a logical purchase.

Jennifer said they found out that my favorite Florida restaurant, Lee Roy Selmon's, was GF by reading here. That makes me happy, since it has a dedicated GF menu and it's one of the tastiest and my most trusted place to dine.

I have a couple of suggestions, of course. J. Christopher (a national chain) is not listed, but like First Watch, it has plenty of good things it can offer someone on a GF diet. There's a referral guide in the back, and I plan to use it often to recommend new places. As the number of those who eat GF increases, it only makes sense that the size of this book should grow.

Thanksfully, IHOP is not present. Neither is Applebees. But Steak and Shake is there. So in Mimi's Cafe. Plus lots of great local places.

Jennifer, thanks for sending me the guide. I'll use it, and I'll be a resource for my friends with it at hand. The cards are going in the purse. The book will be with me when I'm on the hunt for a good GF meal.

Much love, and happy eating out, which can be risky...

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Pancake batter in my omelette? (A Sunday Mystery)

I guess the Sunday Blessing is that I'm still upright. Today I was glutenated big time. Or as my brother-in-law Ron would say, it was "glutenous maximus."

We went to the IHOP today to meet Aerial and David. I love them. Aerial is a former student and now is an admissions counselor at GCSU. David is her fiancee. Randy is here for Spring break, so we were all in town and decided to meet for breakfast. Jeffrey was with us, too. The gang's all here.

I am naturally leary of IHOP because they put pancake batter in their egg mixture for scrambled eggs and omelettes. Now, with so many folks with food allergies and intolerances, they say it outright on their menu.

I asked our server if they could make me an omelette without the batter. I knew they'd have to do it in a clean pan, and I felt fairly safe. I've eaten plain cooked eggs (over easy) twice with no ill effects. I've also eaten a philly cheesesteak (breadless).

Our server said sure, they could make me an omelette with eggs only and that they always made those in a separate pan. Aerial ordered the same thing, only wanted here with no onions and cheese. I asked for no hollandaise.

When they got there, we had to switch plates, but the omelette was delicious. Fresh spinach, onions, mushroom, tomatoes, and cheese. Jeffrey ate my pancakes. Very lovely. Then I got FOUR BITES from the end and cut a portion, and out oooooooozed what I was sure was the uncooked egg batter -- and it clearly had pancake batter in it. I have been a cook for a long time, and I know the texture. The damage was done. I told our server, and she checked with the kitchen, but as she said, "they could be lying to me. Who knows?" Who knows indeed.

Within minutes, my lips were tingling and I could feel my stomach churning. By the time we got to Big Lots, well, let's say it was rough. Brain fog. etc. By the time I got home I had a migraine. I expect the itching to set in.

Gluten free Steve and I were chatting about how silly it is to put pancake batter in an omelette (why can't they mix them on a milkshake machine like Waffle House?) But it does point out something valid for people like me -- you can never know what is going to show up in your food. I took a chance, and it could have been ok. But it wasn't. Eating out is RISKY.

I did want to post a recipe I tried on Friday.

Crock Pot Corned Beef

One bag cole slaw mix
1/2 c. GF beef broth
I point cut corned beef (I like that better than a flat, and it's cheaper)

Put cole slaw in the bottom and top with corned beef. Pour on the seasoning packing (mostly mustard seeds) and add the beef broth.

Cook on high for about five hour (or longer, if you're out all day, but mine took exactlt 5 hours).

Much love from the glutened-nation

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The gluten free Paula Deen?

I am reconsidering my self-appointed nickname of "The Gluten Free Paula Deen."

I guess I didn't realize how many people really, really don't like ol Paula from All-benny Georgia. In fact, if the comments I've been reading about her lately are true, she's becoming almost as unpopular as Rachel (YUM-O) Ray. Don't get me wrong -- I still watch her every night and weekends, too. And I recognize a lot of her recipes, since I own a million cookbooks (ok, a hundred). I guess I secretly wanted Paula to "discover" me and make me her gluten free protege, maybe even having me as a guest on her show.

My reconsideration all started last night when I was reading a post on one of my favorite non-GF food blogs, Serious Eat ( There is a post there called "Paula Deen is trying to kill us" and it refers to a DONUT HAMBURGER.

A hamburger, sandwiched between two Krispy Kreme donuts, with bacon...AND AN EGG on top! What, no cheese? No mayo? ACK!

I enjoyed looking at the comments in the subsequent posts (you'll see parts I, II and III listed there at the link) and got a lot of laughs. My favorite line about Paula's show? "Life is too short to spend a minute watching gomer pyle in drag on tv." I had to add that one to my Facebook quotes, ya'll.

So why DID I call myself the GF Paula Deen in the first place? Goodness knows I'm not rich like she is (though I admire that she made it big after a divorce and brought her family along with her to fame. She's nothing if not generous). And I don't have those dripping diamonds on my fingers and neck (don't want them...don't get me wrong). And I don't chain-smoke Virginia Slims like she does. But I am Southern woman through and through, and I like a good recipe made with mayonnaise and cream of mushroom soup (now GF soup, but still). And I wanted to find the GF recipes for my favorite Southern comfort foods, which she does demo all the time on her shows. I find her savory recipes in general easy to replicate on a GF diet.

But I try not to be a caricature of myself, and that, to me, is what Paula has become. She has gone over the top and it is hard for me, as a Southern woman, to watch her show -- especially Paula's Party. Oh sure, we've got stuff in common. We're both this side of hefty, that's for sure. I am a little (ok, a lot) hammy, I know that. And I do perform for my classes (to keep them awake largely, but they do learn). But I don't want to recommend recipes that are a literal heart attack on a plate. Being GF is about becoming more aware of the content of your foods. Sometimes I worry about the health of poor Paula and Michael.

A donut hamburger, while it might appeal to some (I think I hear my husband salivating down in Tampa) is just plain wrong.
And scary. And maybe a little dangerous.

I dunno. Who else does Southern Comfort food? Tyler Florence, maybe -- he's way cuter and younger than me. I don't know.

But there is ONE THING I do know -- Paula Deen would never make it on a gluten free (or sugar free diet).

Guess I'll think that out. BUT I will leave you with a recipe for today.

Southern fried Cabbage

I bag of coleslaw mix that includes carrot and red cabbage
four-six strips of bacon, chopped (can use turkey bacon)
One onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
Hot sauce and black pepper to taste

In a large WOK or dutch oven (or Big Iron Skillet) with a cover, cook bacon til barely crisp, and add onion and garlic. You should have about 2 T. bacon drippings with real bacon, so add a little olive oil if you don't have fat.
Add the onion and garlic and cook til they begin to lightly brown. Add bag o slaw and cover pan for three minutes or so. The uncover and toss until cabbage is crisp tender and begins to brown. Season generously with a BIG pinch of salt, lots of fresh ground black pepper, and a couple dashes of hot sauce if you can take it.

Good served with chicken, pork, smoked sausage, but especially would be good with some Corned Beef on St. Patty's Day!

Much love, and best dishe....wait. Maybe I won't say that.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Joyful reunions (A Sunday Blessing)

This past week has been stressful and busy -- it has been advising week (I have 51 advisees) AND midterm/drop week. Yesterday, my PR and Administration class had two events in one day for Alumni Homecoming Weekend, and my Dad and Mary were coming in for the unveiling of a brick walkway on our campus (a project of the MSCM program and two of my classes).

Whew. Just writing that made me tired.

But I wanted to write to say how much I enjoyed seeing each and every one of my former students who showed up for our alumni reunion. It was GRAND! This was the first time we'd done this -- one of my classes just created a MSCM Alumni Network as a project -- and we had about 30 alums show up, from 1997 to 2007. kudos to the PR admin class, pictured above. They did an awesome job.

It was grand. Just grand.

Jeffrey got to have a glorious Papa weekend -- he loves my Daddy in ways I never imagined a child could love his grandpa -- and he spent a lot of time curled up with him on the couch. There was my six foot tall son, a blanket wrapped around his head, with his big size 12 feet in my Daddy's lap. Priceless. I wish I could do that. I was just proud my Daddy and Mary could come to the unveiling yesterday -- it made me proud to introduce him to my students, to our president, and to my friends.

It was a glorious weekend. IMHO, all that was missing was my Randy, but he'll be here this coming weekend for his Spring break.

I thawed out some of my lasagna for dinner Friday and we had a nice time. To go with them, I made some drop biscuits I found on the "Book of Yum" site. They were so delicious, I wanted to post my adaptation here. You non GF readers could make this easily with a mix like Bisquick...and it is worth it.

Drop Biscuits

2 cups GF baking.pancake mix. I used a mix of Pamela's and Arrowhead Mills (Non GF folks could use a package of pancake mix sold on the baking aisle -- or Bisquick).
1/2 cup small curd cottage cheese (not fat free)
1/2 stick melted margerine or butter or some combo
2/3 cup milk (I used buttermilk)

Mix and moosh in a bowl (is moosh a word?) and drop on a WELL GREASED baking sheet. Bake for 17 - 22 minutes until they are crispy and golden. You NEED to greased the pan, even with a baking spray, or the biscuits may stick.

Book of Yum, you hit a homer with these...I am going to Red Lobster these up with some shredded cheese and garlic, and brush them with garlic butter.

Hope you all have a glorious rest of the weekend.

Much love, and pass me a biscuit!

P.S. Just found out that the beautiful Whitney Fee, one of my students and advisees (and dear, dear one) won Miss GCSU! I am so happy for her, and I'm GLAD I wore that button all week (and the t-shirt, too! YAY for Whitney.