Posted by: GlutenFreeGypsy | May 5, 2010

Foodie Book Club: Part Two

The month of May led the foodie book club into the polished, inspiring world of Molly Wizenberg, author of A Homemade Life: stories and recipes from my kitchen table and blog Orangette.  As is often the case, I became completely enthralled with the book and now want to create every recipe in it.  Note to self: Nicki this obsession,too, shall pass.  In the meantime I have begun the cult-like following that can only develop when an author (truly) impresses the reader and pushes them to follow in some footsteps.  The footsteps chosen in only the past couple of days have been:

Slow Roasted Tomatoes 

Cream Braised Green Cabbage

I didn’t take any pictures.  Bad blogger!  But I have never felt any sort of passion for cabbage before last night.  The recipe calls for carmelizing wedges of green cabbage before adding heavy cream and slowly simmering for forty minutes.  Finished with lemon juice, the vegetable becomes tender, succulent, and downright amazing.  Cabbage, you have a new sparkle to you.  Intrigued by the vegetable, I went ahead and bought a bag of the red version to create one of her other recipes; Red Cabbage Salad with Lemon and Black Pepper. 

I’ll tell you now, the to-do list is long.  Ms Wizenberg captivates the author with each tale of family life and personal gushing.  Each recipe leaves you with a twinge of desire.  And that feeling (oh so familiar) of ‘why do I not do more cooking/baking/experimenting in my kitchen??’  Molly begins with her childhood in Oklahoma and takes the reader through some of her ups and downs through life.  As another reader pointed out, it’s not that anything remarkable happens, it’s just that she allows us to connect through her writing.  From parental quirkiness to long-distance romance, Molly does a great job of intertwining recipes with her stories.

I’m terrible about blogging regularly.  If it weren’t for my Blackberry constantly updating me with email, I would be so utterly out of touch with the internet world I’d be shunned.  It’s a secret issue.  I purposely avoid the computer.  I am fully aware that I become fascinated with this blog or that and spend a vast amount of time reading said site.  Orangette is no exception to this phenomenom.  Wizenberg makes you want to dig into life and all foods that are entangled in it.  As is the case with the inspiration for our book club, (never)homemaker.  How can you guys be so good at so many things?!?! Can we be taught!?!? 

I love that these days we have access to the clever thoughts and words of so many people.  Think of how much better it is to share your thoughts on a book than to zone out to the latest TV show!  To check out the comments other people posted on A Homemade Life, head over here.  And go to you library and check out this book!

Posted by: GlutenFreeGypsy | April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

I find Easter to be my favorite holiday. For years my family would go to brunch after an infamous egg hunt at home where my parents watched as I scoured every crevice for hidden treasure. It reminds me of family and relaxation and food and happiness. Whatever today means for you, I hope you enjoy it.

Posted by: GlutenFreeGypsy | March 31, 2010

Out of Town

I think that part of leaving the comfort of home is to try something new. I love exploring towns and communities.  I’m always seeking a gluten-free meal that I haven’t had over and over.  Not another salad, burger sans bun, or baked potato.  I want different!  I want new!  I want…cactus?  On a plate?  Sure!  The above photo is from a day journey to Sedona, AZ.  I had read that Oaxaca Restaurante catered to the gluten-free out there.  And just like that, a new experience.

It was bizarre, I won’t lie.  But it was new.  And fun.  And completely Arizona.

We just returned from a mini vacation to Payson, Arizona.  Matt’s family has a cabin there, perfect for escaping life.  I called a bakery I had read about, asking the owner about gluten-free offerings.  Like magic, we arrived this morning to gluten free bread to go with our egg omelette.  Matt designated the cute little baker’s accent to be South African.  (He has an affinity for all things South Africa.)  I can honestly say I was humbled by the idea that someone baked especially for me!  If you’re in Payson, visit the Red Elephant Bakery.  It’s interesting and if you are of the short-term attention group like I am, there’s a room full of knick knack and antiques to peruse.

Today also included a tour of Fossil Creek Creamery.  We sell wonderful items at work from the creamery and I’ve wanted to check it out for months.  The owner, John, was the epitome of a proud business owner.  He introduced us to the goats by name, ensuring that each one is part of the family.  How can you not but love a local artisan like John, who treats his animals, and business, with respect and appreciation.

Posted by: GlutenFreeGypsy | March 31, 2010

Foodie Book Club: Part One

What is the entire world of blogging if not a way for everyone to feel some teensy bit more connected to the greater world they live in?  To feel like maybe, just maybe, someone else thinks the same bizarre thoughts they do?  On the same token, how many people do we know that extend themselves beyond limitation to be a part of this club and an organizer of that team?  It’s human…we need each other!

As part of my blogging drive, I started following two awesome people on (never home)  Ashley created the Foodie Book Club as a way for strangers to connect on the same topic…how fun is that?  With three months of books picked out, I ventured into the virtual book club, assuring myself that this kind of commitment was a good thing.

First on the list, Anthony Bourdain’s The Nasty Bits.

I’ll confess to spending night after night watching DVD episodes of Bourdain’s “No Reservations.”  Matt and I used to watch at least one episode per night, falling asleep to the sounds of bizarre food descriptions and crude comments from Bourdain himself.  Though sometimes annoying in his entitlement, Bourdain is able to entice viewers easily on the show.

The book is a collection of stories, thoughts, and articles, most of them based on earlier filming for the show.  The best part about it is the ease in which Bourdain makes the reader long to step outside of their comfort zone.  To walk away from set meal times and usual restaurants.  To stray from staying in for dinner and from planning the next vacation to the same cute little town you go to every summer.  Nasty Bits makes you want to GET OUT THERE.  Appreciate other food, people, culture, and scenery.

I can’t say the book inspired a certain inspiration for a recipe, of led me to periods of deep thought.  It did, however, make me realize that travel is a gift.  Out of town, out-of-state, out of the country.  If you can do it, then go forward, friend!

Posted by: GlutenFreeGypsy | March 17, 2010

You Can See It

It’s coming.

Summer.  Not just one of the four seasons.  The Arizona Summer.  For those who have experienced the phenomenon, it’s comparable to the New England winter.  It seems to last forever.  It’s the topic of conversation among strangers.  It leads you to linger in stores, cars, and movie theaters longer than necessary.  It’s inevitable.  Arizona summer.

I seem to have slipped through the cracks and missed the Arizona heat for the last four years or so.  In actuality, I haven’t witnessed a complete AZ summer for years.  It’s easy to forget the longevity of the heat.  It’s also easy to forget the positive side of this desert occurence.

I met with a best friend of mine today out west of Phoenix in Glendale.  Both Chelsea and I have moved away and experienced cold places for a number of years.  We were commenting today on how easily we take for granted our sunshine and heat here.  Today: sunny, highs in the eighties.  This is why we Arizonans suffer the scalding steering wheels and sticky car seats.  We get to enjoy a couple months of weather bliss.

And the heat brings good things…

Like ice cream.

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