Friday, November 28, 2008

Gluten Free Pancake Success!

Holy Beautiful Buckwheat, Batman!

I just made great gluten-free pancakes. Not just good, but GRRRReat.

Now, I know what you're thinking. Pancakes shouldn't be hard. Flour + heat-activated leavening + milk + egg, right? Totally.

However, the last time I tried to make them, I found some recipe that said 2 tsp of baking powder. (I might have also experimented with the flours, but when do I not?) That last batch of pancakes was barely edible in my book. They took forever to cook because they were rising so fast -- like hungry and hollow ghosts from the grave.

The experience traumatized me.

Fast forward to this batch. Heavenly!! I confess that the recipe is based (but modified) on the one I found in The Gluten-Free Vegetarian Kitchen. Instead of using ALL buckwheat, I substituted rice flour and potato starch. Rice flour because it's free. (89 cents at the Asian markets) Potato starch because I've been hankering to use the potato starch for something and potato pancakes are a good thing. Also, pure buckwheat is just too darn darn and heavy for both Jason and I. He often mixes in 1/3 cup or less of buckwheat into the mixes we have just to get a hint of flavor without feeling overwhelmed. It really works for us. Trust us.

I think what really, really, makes these pancakes is the play of the 1/4 cup of buckwheat versus the nutmeg. That + the earthy sweetness of the brown sugar meant that we could eat them directly from the pan without condiments like syrup or berries. They were perfect entities all by themselves. Even Grete flipped for them -- following Jason and I around begging for another bite.

I am so proud of myself.

Heck, this is even more exciting: I took notes!! I can recreate these! Bring on gluten free bunch. I got this one nailed.

Here's the recipe:

1/2 c white rice flour
1/4 c potato starch
1/4 c bucketwheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 c fat free milk
1 egg

Tastes like food

Jason's pictures of me and my gluten-free cracker experiments.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

improv night with gluten-free crackers

inspired by maggi (who was in turn inspired by 101 cookbooks), we tried to make crackers from scatch tonight -- gluten-free crackers, of course!

the first recipe (found on some gluten-free blog somewhere) tasted, as jason says, "like its constituent ingredients." yum. flour. i love tasting flour.

so we improvised a new recipe.

here's my best recollection of what we threw together..

1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup quinoa flour
1/3 cup (or less) of flax seed meal
sprinklings of black and white sesame seeds for color / texture
(just make it look artisan - you'll know when you've got enough seeds)
2.5 tsp of wheat free tamari
and here's where it gets really improvised...
i think it was probably about 1.5 tsp of Smart Balance
i think it was about 4-5 tablespoons of water
and i salted, kneaded, tasted, salted, kneaded, tasted... until one point when i thought "oh no - that was it - that was too much"

turns out - they're pretty darn good. not too salty at all.

they taste, as jason says, "like food."

that's a high complement indeed.

pictures to come later.

Friday, November 21, 2008

iphone 2.2

About 2 hours ago, I was waiting for the bus. As I sat waiting with 8 other people for a bus that seemed a little late, I futzed around with metro's bus tracker on the iPhone. Or I should say, I attempted to futz around with it. It didn't really enlighten me.

About 1 hour ago, I was sitting on the company shuttle wondering if there was an iPhone app that would make finding out bus statuses easier. There were a couple, but they weren't free.

14 minutes ago, I received a very exciting email from Apple. Updates to the Maps application include: "Public Transit and Walking Directions. Get walking directions, find public transit schedules, check fares, and estimate your travel time."

Here's the Gizmodo write-up: iPhone 2.2 Update Review: Go Get It Now

I'm super excited. This is the second odd coincidence in my life in the past 24 hours. (I still need to post about yesterday's creepy coincidence.)

* Now... If you know me well, you're probably wondering why I care. I generally don't look at the bus schedule before heading out the door, preferring not to rush and preferring not to know if I just missed one. I do, however, succumb to the anxiousness of crowds. This morning, my spidey sense told me that something might be amiss with the bus. Also, given that I had to stand until the bus got to Fremont, I kept wondering if there was another less crowded bus just minutes behind us.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

one up mushroom

Frank points out that the Sinéad O'Connor song I just blogged about was, in fact, itself a cover of a Prince song.

Check it out on wikipedia.

I had never even heard of The Family.

So it goes...

Prince & The Family <- Original
Sinéad O'Connor <- Original.cover
The Coconutz <- Original.cover.cover


nothing compares 2 u

Tuesday, I worked from home. While working from home, I watched "Forgetting Sarah Marshall." (Yeah. I'm a slacker.)

In the credits of that movie, I discovered the best Sinead O'Connor cover ever.

Nothing Compares 2 U

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

switched at birth?

My office mate and I have been listening to "Sirius XMS" (XM Radio Channel 43)

The DJ's name is "Josiah"

Via Internet staking, I think he's Josiah Lambert.

The funny thing is... He sounds a lot like Troy Nelson of KEXP.

The extra funny thing is that I'm related to BOTH the Nelson family name AND Lambert family name.

Creepy Midwest connections abound!

* I'm pretty sure I'm not really related to either of them.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

searching for the perfect coat rack

All practical concerns aside (like finding studs) I'm looking for the perfect coat rack. Here's my research so far.

1 Good round-up of ideas. This is where I started.

2 I think this is cool, and it might look good with the metal mirror.

3 4 Really like both of these. Not sure what we would spell.

5 6 Might be fun -- but probably not for the front entry.

7 Cute - but might not hold coats well. Neat site though.

8 9 10 Many simple options.

11 Hoodoo is just fun to say

12 Not really our style - but kinda both ironic and hip - kinda

13 Cool stand alone option.

14 Funny - but scary funny.

15 16 17 Again - funny - but scary funny.

18 Probably too rustic for our style - but kinda neat that you can just keep the mountain range going and going and going...

19 Too expensive. Very cool. Too expensive.

20 Available in gun metal and white. Not sure what color would look best.

21 22 I like that these fold away.

The Saga of the Rice Chex

I placed an order for 6 boxes of Rice Chex on October 27th with an estimated delivery date of November 5th.

On November 4th, Amazon wrote, "We're still trying to obtain [it]. Still want it? We'll keep on trying. To keep your order for this item open, please click the link below."

After I clicked on the magic "I really still want it" link, Amazon wrote, "We now have delivery date for the order. Estimated arrival date: 11/12/2008"

Today, November 11th, Amazon writes, "We're writing about the order you placed on October 27. Unfortunately, we are unable to ship the item(s) as soon as we expected and need to provide you with a new estimate of when the item(s) may be delivered. Estimated arrival date: 11/17/2008 - 11/19/2008"

Really? Amazon, please don't lead me on again.
I need my 6 boxes of Rice Chex. Really, I do.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sunday-Night Chef

Sunday-Night Chef
Originally uploaded by qwickening
I'm a slooooooooooow cook. Chopping things takes a lot of time for me, and I'm generally too impatient to want to cook on weeknights. Weekends are a different matter. I don't mind (and somewhat enjoy) cooking on weekends. Lots of time. Lots of snacks to tide me over. Good times.

This past Sunday, I made lasagna using Tinkyada's rice noodles. You can buy them on Amazon Fresh or at PCC. I basically followed the recipe on the side of the box, minus the mushrooms, plus a little extra eggplant. I also used pre-made pasta sauce instead of straight-up tomato sauce.

I have to say, I'm really impressed with the results. The Tinkyada stuck together a little bit, but that's my fault for not stirring it enough. (I added a glug of olive oil to the pot, but maybe I could have added another one.) The noodles weren't perfect, but it's lasagna -- who cares! What mattered was the taste and texture, and it was goooood. (Better than the Amy's frozen rice lasagna -- and way cheaper.) BTW, I still can't quite get over how fast Jason's Viking range cooks. Gas is crazy fast compared to my old coil electric stove.

Fall leaves on Queen Anne

I like orange.

seeing the light at el diablo

Light at El Diablo
Originally uploaded by qwickening
I recently splurged on a fancy digital SLR camera, the Nikon D90. Jason has a good selections of lenses already, so the choice to go with Nikon was simple. I'm fairly new the this SLR thing. Despite being a Person Who Reads Manuals, I'm learning more from Jason than from the manual. Important things like... Don't use the manual focus ring when your camera is on auto-focus. Buy a UV filter for the end of your lens so you don't have to worry about dirt and scratches as much.

In any event, I brought my new toy with me to Saturday knitting with Maggi and the other girls. I'm particularly proud of this photo because it was my first manual focus photo that turned out. Go me.

Why am I bothering with manual focus, you ask? Because sometimes I feel like the auto-focus is just wrong. It often feels like the camera "knows best" and refuses to take a picture. I'm sure that's a whole chapter in my manual that I've skimmed over. :-) I'm still learning...

It's not the Jedi way

Today, at 9:41 am, there was a man wearing a black Star Wars t-shirt that said, "It's not the Jedi way," on the northwest corner of 85th and Aurora. He was whooping and howling nonsense at southbound traffic. He was black with cornrows, not your typical Star Wars fan. At the same time, there was a white man with a folding chair and a sign on the southwest corner who appeared to be scowling at the Star Wars fan. As the light held me there, I watched as the white man hobbled across Aurora with his folding chair to the southeast corner, opposite the Star Wars fan. Then the light turned green, and I turned on to 85th and got on the highway, thinking, "Wow. You're right. That just isn't the Jedi way..."