Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fall is in the air!!!

And we were not even in New England. Just at the Adirondacks. Have never had much luck with fall colors. The one year, C actually managed to take me in tow, it was past peak. The next few years, I always had a paper submission deadline while they went off for hikes to see the gorgeous colors in northern MN. Last time we drove to Willoughvale, it was past peak too. This was the first time I saw fall in all its glory. Granted we, I mean, he had to drive about 600 miles. But, it was worth it. Absolutely no traffic. Stop anywhere to take in the views. Now, only now, do I begin to comprehend C's madness.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Peruvian adventure in Portland!!!

We sat and listened while the waitress wowed us with her "Peruvian" accent as she described the specials for the day. Definitely only for the adventurous she said. The alligator with carrots and something else.. A crab soup of some sort. She was almost finished describing the day's specials. "Are we going to eat 'gators and crabs?!!" a small horrified voice piped up. Her eyes wider than ever. No hon, your parents and aunts and uncle just arent *that* adventurous. She relaxed as we settled for an abolutely amazing potato frittata, a fresh citrusy quinoa salad, chicken wings, the most tender lamb shank (no wonder its star dish) and mushrooms with the best fries ever. Not to forget, an exquisite sea food soup where the shrimps were skewered on lemongrass. Oh the so subtle taste of lemongrass in those perfectly cooked shrimp. Almost a peruvian take on the chicken pot pie... only better!!! And did I mention the potato bread with the spicy sauces(of course, only one was spicy enough for us). And for dessert, we resisted the "sigh of lima" and fell for the creme brulee trio. How, just how did you make that pear creme brulee??!! Outstanding. At Andina it was definitely from the Andes!!! Maybe one day I will confirm that.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Gluten-Free Almond-butter cookies

It took me about a year to return a neighbor's favour. Made almond butter cookies for her but also made these gluten-free version. Adapted from smittenkitchen's yet another recipe.

1/2c quinoa flour
1/2c tapioca flour
1/4c flaxmeal
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 c chocolate chips
Mix all these in a bowl

1 c almond butter
1/2 c butter
3/4 c sugar
1/2c brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
Whip the butter toegther. And then cream in the sugars. Beat in the egg and mix in the vanilla extract.

Mix in the flour mixture. Roll into teaspoon sized dough balls and press flat. Sprinkle salt and sugar. Bake in preheated oven at 350F for 10-12 minutes.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Gluten-free Banana-Berry muffins

This muffin reminded me of why I went away from the gluten-free flours to almond meal/tapioca flour mixture. Though much better, there was still the faint lingering bitter after taste. Need to identify the culprit - millet flour? Or, maybe.. convert it to a cupcake and slather it with a good dose of some yummy frosting??!! The banana-blue berry combination was a good match, pretty much like the milkshake.
1/2 c millet flour
1/2 c quinoa flour
1/4 c potato starch
1/4 c flaxmeal
1/2 c sugar
1 tsp xanthum gum
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 c frozen blueberries
1 c mashed banana
2 eggs
1/2 c oil

Preheat oven to 375F
Beat the 2 eggs. Beat in the mashed banana.
Mix all the dry ingredients together. With a spatula mix in the egg-banana mixture and oil alternately, ending with oil. Stir in the blueberries last of all. Pour into moulds and Bake for about 25-30 minutes.

People definitely refrain from flying on 9/11. A very empty flight to PDX today.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Next time, the court will be closer or "grass"ier ..

After spending all of the long weekend clearing out the trash I had so carefuly stowed away in each and every closet in the house, it was a breather to watch this 4th round match in person. Saved the entire weekend. Yup, Melzer won most of the interesting points. But then gave away the very next easy one. Consistency was the name of the game here. And who else will deliver when it matters the most. But of course, Federer. Such a thoughtful husband - carefully picked out a 4th round match that Federer would play in. An interesting match though a straight-setter (secretly thankful it dint drag out to another set and let us get some sleep before the work week hit us).

Even made an appearance on the big screen. Had never thought that the cameraman came with an enourage of volunteers handing out ben-n-jerry icecreams to people who scrreamed the loudest. Does that happen in other grand-slams too? In other sports too????...

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Never really liked hummus. Was always a little too bland for my taste. And then I chanced upon smittenkitchen's kick-ass recipe. All it takes is some forethought in soaking the chickpeas overnight and pressure-cooking it. I throw out the paprka and use the spicy red hot chilli powder I use for my curries. And it comes together in a jiffy. We paired it with some whole-grain gluten-free crackers and had a healthy snack as we watched Coco Chanel. And right now, I feel a thousand years old!!! Au revoir!!!

1 cup dried chickpeas (soaked overnight, pressure cooked)
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup tahini paste
1/3 cup lemon juice
chili powder and salt(to taste)
Process them all. Garnish with olive oil, fresh cilantro and chili powder.