15 August 2014

Busy Friday

Stopped by Trader Joe's last night to get a 5 lb. chicken. I'm not acknowledging soup season is fast approaching, I just want some homemade chicken stock for a few recipes that deserve good stock.

So, in addition to re-organizing my pantry and two cabinets, I spent a good part of the evening in the kitchen.

I've made Berta's Chicken Stock from The Silver Palate cookbook forever. It's the best. It's not a difficult recipe, just requires a few hours of my presence and a tiny bit of attention. The messiest part is straining off the stock and disposing of the chicken and vegetables.

Tonight I retrieved the parsnips and carrots for our dinner veggie, which accompanied an oven-roasted pork tenderloin with peach sauce. We also enjoyed some seasonal figs with honey, oven-roasted and topped with goat cheese and bacon. I no longer have the patience to stuff and wrap individual figs. Layering works, and the flavors are divine.

Sizzling hot, oven-roasted Figs with Honey.


Topped with Goat Cheese and Crispy Bacon.


Who Knew?

Top shelf: Dry Ingredients and Baking.
Bottom shelf: All Gluten-Free.


I've had to re-organize my kitchen.

Going gluten-free requires more than dietary changes. In order to eat well, one must cook. And, bake. That requires ingredients. GF bloggers and creatives provide a road-map that is so valuable--the Gluten-Free Goddess and Aran fron Cannelle et Vanille, to name two who have been on my radar for years. Not just because they live gluten-free, but because they are amazing cooks and photographers; artists, truly.

So, as new ingredients piled onto my kitchen island, they overflowed the pantry basket I designated to contain them. I've spent a bit of time this week shopping for the right storage containers. Containers that incorporate design, utility, and visibility. I do not want these expensive ingredients disappearing into the dark recesses of my small pantry.

I've spent odd moments pondering the same principles--design, utility, visibility--looking for the best solution. Luckily, I'm a process-oriented individual. I can usually work through needs vs. options and find resolution; at least the solution that streamlines and works for me.

The answer this time is these from Crate and Barrel...


These are not brand new to our family. I regularly use three sizes, plus bowls for pantry and freezer storage. We've actually used these as drinking glasses in the past.

Creating the above storage shelves required that I re-organize another cabinet, as well as my pantry shelves.


Baking and Food Prep Equipment

Re-organized Pantry to accommodate baking pan storage.


This project took me about two hours this morning, and quite a bit of time shopping and processing over the past week. I've ordered more 21 oz. jars and lids from Crate and Barrel to further organize the gluten-free dry ingredients.



13 August 2014

Time for a Big Adventure?

My French Country Cottage. 2011


Just bought a new desktop Mac Pro. Not that we didn't desperately need a new "real" computer. The old Sony laptop was mean and cranky. I'd 99.9% given up on it, but CA ambled forward. "Good riddance" is just too nice. That machine was nasty.

Life is beautiful with this lovely Apple product--we're currently utilizing 6 Apple devices in our life as a couple.

And, I finally have access to tons of photos stored on the Sony, which is why this fun photo is showing up.

We've been stateside for over two years, and are hoping for a late Fall European adventure.


10 August 2014

Big Commitment


After months (and years) of various symptoms and maladies, my research has led me to simplify my food intake and see what results. Encouraged, so far. Had to laugh...


Being gluten-free is just one of my dietary adjustments. The research indicates that you see results within 6 weeks, but some symtoms improve much more quickly. I'm either delusional (quite possibly) or some of my symptoms have already eased.

What I know for sure is that I'm off NSAIDs (Ibuprofen) and feel better than many times when I've been consistently taking anti-inflammatories.

And, I can attest that food prep and readiness is a struggle, and time consuming. But, hey!, I'm retired I can rebalance my life to handle things. Especially if I begin feeling better.

I don't expect a total cure for what ails me, but at this point dietary restrictions are much more attractive than my status quo of late.


06 August 2014

Half-Way Better



One week ago yesterday. Right eye cataract removed. Life has been blurry and a tad inconvenient, but the results were deemed very successful by my opthamologist earlier today--close vision 20/20 without glasses, distance vision 20/20 with correction.


My right retina has a slight fold, but didn't interfere with attaining 20/20 results. The doctor congratulated himself, thoroughly. And, the good news is that he's agreed to move forward the left eye procedure to August 19th. Earlier, if there's a cancellation.