Sunday, March 18, 2012

Going with the flow

I don't like going with the flow. I'm a girl with a to do list and a plan. So no plan is much more stressful than a highly intense plan. I can get it done. Just tell me what it is!

Chris graduates in less than a month. All along my head was ready for new York. And then the last month or so Chris starts saying some of his top picks for design agencies are also in San Francisco. Which, let's be real, makes this west coast sunshine-aholic beach lovin girl quite happy. But now my brain is all crazy. The differences in life style are immense! But truthfully, it's all about where he gets a job. So I gotta calm down the efficiency Nazi in my brain and let the boy graduate.

So I am "going with the flow"... Sort of. Ive made to do lists for what we would do in each scenario and scouted apartments in both cities. So it's more like I am going with 2 flows trying to pretend they are both real until one actually is. And the funny part is we could end up somewhere entirely different.

I've never been to San Francisco. Anybody got any input on what to expect? The area I've been looking at is Berkeley actually. I've heard I should avoid Oakland... Any other tips?

Monday, March 5, 2012


(Turkey bacon, zucchini and parmesan risotto)

Random post... I eat risotto more than a person should. But it is rich and creamy and naturally gluten free so what's a celiac to do? Here is a recipe for risotto in case you are interested in trying it out. If you don't like mushrooms, you can make this with literally anything. I have used pancetta, zucchini (I grate it with a cheese grater so its fine shreds), butternut squash, or turkey bacon (as shown above), which as BACON is no substitute but as a meat for this or pasta is great.

Mushroom risotto
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 tbsp Olive oil
Mushrooms (I like to use a variety of white and wild)
1 medium sweet onion
1 tsp basil
1/2 cup parmesean cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

I use 2 pans... A skillet for the veggies or extras and a cast iron pot for the risotto - I combine the two at the end. You will have time to chop the veggies while you are waiting for the rice to absorb the chicken broth so get the rice started first. Dribble a little olive oil into the risotto pan and toast the rice for just a couple of minutes over medium heat. Add 2 cups broth and stir occasionally until it's absorbed. Add another 2 cups. Stir occasionally until it's absorbed. Add the last 2 cups and parm cheese and really stir the crap out of it. The stirring releases the starch which is what makes for a creamy texture. All and all the absorbing and stirring takes 30-40 min. And to prepare the extras, I just chop the onion, slice the mushrooms, add the basil (or whatever other combination you've chosen) and cook them in a little olive oil. I try to have them just simmering on low when I am finishing the last part of the risotto.

And in case you need some dessert... here's my fav cake. No eggs, no milk, no gluten. Wish I had a picture but i'm a lazy blogger.

Chocolate cake
1 1/2 cups gluten free oat flour (or all purpose gluten free flour mix)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
3/4 cup chocolate coconut milk (or soy or almond milk...)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Oil and sugar a 9x9 pan or circular cake pan (as in coat it in oil and then sugar... this is so it doesn't stick). Whisk dry ingredients and add wet ingredients. Batter should look like browny batter and should be pourable. If too thick add more coconut milk (depends on elevation). Bake for 30 minutes at 350. Do not overbake! Sprinkle powdered sugar on top. I have also used dark chocolate (dairy free) chips in this which is crazy intense but so so good with some vanilla bean ice cream!