Breakfast frittata

I love food with a plethora of tastes and textures. Being a celiac and needing to eat low FODMAP hasn’t stopped me for creating some awesome meals. Okay, awesome to me. Wadly isn’t a huge fan of some of the stuff I cook. He’s not into mushrooms or peppers or any cheese except America eaten cold . . . or vegetables or spices or foods with lot of ingredients. And there, in a nutshell, is why we might share one meal a day. For us, it works.
Today’s breakfast, a loaded, stuffed to the max, frittata. Ground sausage (mild), red and green peppers, green onion, shiitake mushrooms, fresh farm egg and milk, extra sharp cheddar, home cooked black beans, tomato. OMGosh SO good! Wadly would eat it and be entirely NOT a fan.
I sauteed the green onion, mushroom, red and green pepper. Then I added the sausage to reheat (cooked earlier) and the black beans (also cooked earlier). I added that mix to the egg/milk, added the cheese, stirred, poured it into a hot/buttered 6″ cast iron frying pan and stuck it in the oven on 350 for 10 minutes. Diced tomato on top and oh so good!

My hot chocolate!

Want the world’s easiest recipe for hot cocoa? SO easy. 2 tbsp choc chips, 1 cup milk. Warm until chips melt. DO NOT over-heat. Once steam starts rising off the milk, STOP. Scalding the milk changes the flavor in a not-favorable way.
Want to make it beyond awesome? Once you finish heating, pour it into a cup and stir in 2 tbsp peppermint schnapps. If you’re a no-alcohol person let it sit for 2 minutes before drinking. The heat will burn off the alcohol.
BEST DRINK EVER.
If cocoa upsets your stomach, consider this. Buy organic/gluten free/soy free/non-GMO chips (I use Enjoy choc chips) and use low FODMAP (lactose free) milk. You’ll never see hot cocoa the same again! Wadly says the lactose free milk tastes like a milk shake. To me, it just tastes like milk . . . really good milk!

Pork Stirfry

OMGosh! Dinner was so good! I made a pork stir fry. I wasn’t intending to but . . . I picked the last of the tomatillos. I was going to make a dipping sauce for pork I was going to deep fry and . . . well . . . uh . . . you know how I cook. When I veer of course it’s usually a pretty thorough affair. This was a deliciously thorough affair. Tomatillos, tomatoes, green onions, peppers (red & green), shiitake mushrooms, butter, cilantro, gochugaru (Korean red pepper), salt, bone broth and chopped up pork. OMGosh! SO good!

Nacho Beans!

Problematic food . . . I developed a recipe I call “Nacho Beans”. OMGosh! It’s REALLY hard to not eat it all at once. I make it to add to things like soup and stir fry and . . . stuff. But it’s SO good!
1/2 cup black beans. Soak the HECK out of them. Soak and drain until they no longer produce any dying of the soak water. Soak overnight, rinse and resoak . . . clear water after soak means they’ve been adequately soaked.
Beans (soaked as above)
handful of diced bacon ends
1/4 tsp hing (get the good stuff, the resin lumps. Run through blender/grinder before use)
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp gochugaru (Korean red pepper)
1/2 tbsp ancho chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup water
Instapot for 8 minutes with natural release.
OMGosh! SO good!

OMGosh! So good! Parsnip and turnip breakfast hash!

I really enjoy using older kitchen equipment. I have an old KitchenAid K5-A fixed stand mixer I use often. I bought it used in an inoperable state and repaired it. I use it to mix bread and cookie dough a couple times a week. I have a Universal 2 meat grinder (just got it! Woot!) I use for making pork patties, and that’s just the start of what I’ll use it for. SO exciting, the possibilities! I have an old manual WearEver food processor I use pretty much daily for grating cheese (nachos) and vegetables for soup. I only have two of the five cylinders (fine and coarse grate) but will definitely be hunting down the others.

Having such a nice variety of old tools expands my cooking.

We don’t eat a lot of potatoes. They make Wadly’s joints ache and they’re a bit difficult for me to digest, so they’re eaten just a couple times a month as a treat. That means more frequent meals like chowder, fries and hash have got to have remakes to make them great menu choices. I’ve got the chowder figured out (it’s truly awesome, one of our favorite meals), fries are in the works and hash is now having it’s day in the sun! OMGosh, SO good! I will fix this menu item regularly, it’s that good!

So, this morning I’m having breakfast hash. OMGosh. This is a keeper recipe! No boiling vegetables, not a lot of chopping or dicing! Fast AND easy, my favorite kind of recipe!

In an iron skillet add butter, freshly ground pepper, coarsely grated (not diced, equal amounts of) parsnip, turnip and carrot, chopped green onion (low FODMAP, no white parts), finely chopped red pepper and bacon. Throw all of those in the pan and cook on medium high, stirring often, until tender. OMGosh! SO good! The true challenge with this dish is to not eat it all by yourself! Please note I’m practicing great restraint to leave Wadly some for his breakfast.

Awesome low carb, low FODMAP chowder

Shrimp chowder

One of our family staples growing up was an awesome clam chowder. As a family, it was a favorite. Made with a roux, it was rich, creamy, tasty and filling. It was also fairly high in carbs and high FODMAP due to the addition of onions. Today, for us, that’s a total ouch. I do best when my meals are low FODMAP, low carbs. I just don’t have a way to put the carbs to productive use. After much experimentation, I’ve finally got a chowder recipe that’s every bit as good as the one I was raised on without the carbs and high FODMAP ingredients.

Finding a bacon we could eat was a challenge. Most bacon has high FODMAP ingredients, usually garlic and onion, sometimes wheat. As much as I love bacon, eating it and living with the resulting gastrointestinal distress is not my thing. It’s like getting stung. After a time or two, you avoid the beasties causing the pain. Our local Safeway carries Hempler products which are perfect for our needs, GMO free, gluten free, free of this, that and whatever that horrid other thing is. Hempler’s bacon is fab. Wadly started buying the package of bacon trimmings which work perfectly diced for chowder. If you’re cutting it into little bits anyway, it doesn’t matter what size or shape it was when you started.

Replacing the potatoes in chowder was the next challenge. I love potatoes but I don’t digest them well and they cause Wadly’s arthritis to flare up. My stomach tells me the next day I shouldn’t have eaten them however much I love that potato-y goodness. A 50/50 turnip/parsnip balance is a really nice replacement! Not kidding! I grate them fine and get great taste and texture with no carbs. Win/win!

The onion also had to go. Onion is ridiculously high FODMAP. There’s no point in adding something that gives me indigestion. I tried leeks, cutting away the white portion but with leeks there’s so much waste. Most of the green stuff is too tough to eat so with discarding the white parts, I’m throwing away half the leek! Ugh! Instead, I switched to using green onion. They’re readily available from the grocery store all year round and the white part is a relatively small portion of the plant and I don’t feel guilty discarding it! Super win!  I split the base lengthwise, cut in 1/4″ lengths and I’m good to go!

I’ve tried using heavy cream (supposed to be low FODMAP) and my tummy just wasn’t happy. Now I buy organic half and half and add lacteeze. After 48 hours it’s ready to use. AND my tummy likes it! I’m back to having it in my coffee! OMGosh! And home made ice cream! Go me!

So, here’s low carb low FODMAP, fabulously tasty, creamy, full of super good nutrition chowder.

Finely grate equal amounts turnip, parsnip and carrot (coarse grate). The combination of finely grated white veges (potato replacement) and coarsely grated carrot (nutrition, flavor and sweetness) gives the resulting chowder a really nice texture.

Dice bacon.

Prep green onions (wash, remove white part, trim previously cut ends, split the solid part lengthwise and cut into 1/4″ lengths)

In a sauce pan add butter (a fair amount) and bacon. Once the bacon is cooked, add green onion and stir. Add carrot and stir. After a couple minutes of cooking, add parsnip and turnip and stir. Cook for a minute or two.

Add liquid (bone, chicken, fish or vege broth). The liquid should not cover the veges. Add the liquid until you can see it peeking up through the veges. I use home made bone broth. It’s a natural tummy healer/soother, full of vital nutrition and even though it tastes like bone broth (not really appetizing), the taste, added to the other flavors, enhances the flavor of the chowder. If you aren’t a bone broth maker, use vegetable broth or chicken broth. Either will work. Watch the salt content if you’re using a commercial product. They are enhancing the “taste” by adding salt, not nutrition, which is not a healthy option. If you’re trying to stay low FODMAP, make your own broth. Many commercial broths have celery which is an “avoid” item.

Add salt and pepper. If you’re using a commercial broth consider skipping the salt until the very end. Taste test before adding more salt. If you prefer, add a couple teaspoons of fish sauce to enhance the seafood bit of the chowder.

Simmer until the turnip and parsnip are close to falling apart.

Add raw seafood. Our current favorite is shrimp. I use shell-on, peel and cut them into chunks. Sometimes I use minced clams when I can get fresh (seasonal). I may try a seafood chowder with a selection of in-shell little necks, shrimp, orange roughy chunks and minced razor clams. I think that would be really good.

Once the chowder has just started to simmer, add enough half and half to cover the other contents. If you like your chowder on the runny side, add more half and half.

Continue to heat until the chowder starts to simmer. Turn the heat off and let the chowder rest.

This chowder is awesome but it’s even better the next day.

Bamboo Pop Just Guessing

Alternating solid with variegated insert and mosaic.

I adore Bamboo Pop!

I love this sweater! It’s SO simple, for all the apparent drama! It’s knit in stockinette, four rows of solid, four rows of matching variegated, four more rows of the same solid followed by mosaic in two rows of solid, two rows of contrast, two rows of the same solid. Take those two sets and repeat two more times! Truly, it was that simple! The sequence will work on any base, raglan, pieced, whatever.

I knit this sweater in all Bamboo Pop. The light blue on the yoke is Ocean, the dark blue is Ink with a matching variegated in Blueberry Swirl. The green is Clover with a matching variegated in Jungle Life. The purple is Royal with a matching variegated in Orchid Smash. The mosaic stripes are black and (top) Winter Blue, (middle) Coral, (bottom), Darling Pink.

The body is a helix knit of Graphite and Hot Spot.

This is top down conti-something, the base I use for my sweaters. If you’ve got a base you like, try it!

In the works . . . not yet on needles

I’ve got two sweaters in the planning.

The first is a wool sweater for our mail lady. I started it as a vee neck and it wasn’t coming out to gauge. I’m going to frog it back and restart. Instead of a vee neck I’m going to do something different. I saw this sweater on one of my Facebook groups and I think it would be perfect for the yarn and the recipient and I can do it in conti-rag.

The second sweater is a scrappy one I find really appealing. I will use up the Bamboo Pop I have left over from a number of other projects. There are a number of people on the list who are interested in this sweater. I’ll see how much I can share to help their projects.

Epiphany

I had an epiphany this morning. Here’s where it started.

I had an excess of chicken. I cooked the last of it yesterday, frying two pieces for Wadly snacks and baking two pieces with leeks, halved russet potatoes and butter (really good stuff). Normally I break up the potatoes, pour the chicken/butter/leek juice over the potatoes, dice up the chicken to go on top and it’s an awesome meal, simple, filling and flavorful.

But at this point in the “what’s for dinner” cycle I’m running a little low on groceries. It turns out I’m out of potatoes. I didn’t realize that until I thought about using some of the fried chicken to make chicken pot pie for dinner . . . which can’t happen without potatoes. So . . . time to improvise.

That’s when the epiphany hit. I do the same thing with knitting as I do with cooking! I look at what I’ve got to work with and improvise. So tonight’s chicken pot pie will be sauteed carrots, frozen corn, leeks and the chicken and potatoes I baked with all the associated juices. I’ll dice the chicken and potatoes and add some bone broth for additional liquid. It will be awesome served with home make biscuits, a simple, fast and delicious result.

Here’s the “step back and punt” half as it relates to knitting.

I bought two balls of Sublime Evie Prints in blue for socks. When it arrived I realized it was totally unsuited for that and let it set while my brain worked out how to use it.

I’ve always thought there should be an adult version of those cute little girl dresses where the top is knitted to an empire waist and a cloth skirt is added. One of those for running around at home would be perfect on cold February days. So now I’m playing with a knitted yoke for a navy sweatshirt fabric skirt. I bought the sweatshirt fabric on EBay to make a run-around-the-house full length sweatshirt. If I knit a yoke, extend the sleeves and create the skirt I bet I can get two or possibly three out of the fabric I bought. Because of the way my conti-something base fits, the softness of the yarn and the coziness of the sweater shirt fabric, this could be a really good thing!

My first attempt didn’t go so well. The neck was smaller than I wanted and I ran out of yarn before I got anywhere near having the real estate I needed to match my plan. Digging through my meager stash I came across a navy bamboo cotton of the same weight to use for neck edge and sleeves. At this point I am most of the way through what looks like a varsity (sleeves and trim one color, body another) themed yoke. I don’t think I’m going to make it to anything resembling an empire waist. I may get to the bottom of the armscye which would be great. I can work with that. Stay tuned. I’ll post pictures soon.