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That site is so good, Anoushh, thanks for linking it here.
Gaaaah! Help me, BUSTi-Foodies!

The alpha female came back from her first naturopath appointment, and she's been put on a 10-day wheat, egg, and lactose-free diet to see if a wheat or other allergy is causing her hives (which her dematologist doubts, but let's give it a go.) Oh, and I'm volunteering to go on this diet with her out of support and curiosity. The naturopath said that she'd feel much more energy, sleep better, and no longer have a sore throat that she's not aware that she has if she tries this diet. (She's rather opinionated and also told her that she proabably shouldn't have children if she's not overcome with an urge to have them right now.) After 10 days, we're going on an extra-wheat diet for contrast.

So I just bought a bunch of oriental food supplies like Thai soup broth, tofu, and rice noodles, plus some corn tortillas, almond pepper-jack "cheese", and black beans for Mexican dinners/lunches. What we're needing most is breakfast ideas. I bought some rice bread for raisin toast, but it's not that thrilling.

Anyway, PLEASE let me know of inspiring and hopefully quick-to-prepare meal ideas. The rules are:

ALLOWED- rice, corn, soy, potato, tapioca, beans, sorghum (huh?!?), quinoa (?), millet, buckwheat, arrowroot, amaranth (I hear you must be a Level 4 Shaman to find these), tef, and nut flours.

NOT ALLOWED- (any gluten) durum, semolina, kamut, or spelt wheat, rye, barley, triticale, and possibly oats, plus any egg or dairy.
my doc suggested I do a diet like that a few years ago, lorewolf... as it turned out, I didn't need to stay on it. but it can seem daunting. I ate a LOT of rice and beans and fruit.

breakfast ideas... can't go wrong with a big bowl of fruit salad w/chopped (toasted perhaps?) nuts and a drizzle of honey. or a soy or almond milk + frozen fruit blender smoothie.

I've always found amaranth in the health food store, with grains or flours. it's delicious and nutty. it can cook up kinda mushy, though, so I usually use it for a hot breakfast cereal (with almond milk, maybe, and some cinnamon) instead of a supper dish. bob's red mill is a brand to look for:;product_ID=33

quinoa is AMAZING stuff. you can cook up the grain itself - look for it at the health food store and follow the package instructions. rinse it really really well before cooking, or it will taste bitter. you can use it just like rice. I like to cook up a big pot of quinoa and mix it with chickpeas, sauteed onions, diced apricots or raisins or apple, and curry powder. you can also find quinoa or quinoa-corn blend pastas that are pretty damn tasty, and you can top 'em with whatever pasta sauce you like, plus some almond "cheese," or nutritional yeast, ground meat (if you can have that), or whatever else you like. you can also cook it in almond milk with some sweetener and/or dried fruit for a nice breakfast dish.

oh, and also, since you can have potato... I'm a huge fan of baked sweet potatoes for breakfast. why not, right? with a bit of maple syrup and some nuts for crunch and protein. very autumnal.

good luck!
Thanks, FlyingFrog! Guess I'll have to try some hot amaranth and fruit salad for breakfast. It's great weather for hot cereal.

I made rice, refried black bean, and onion tostadas for breakfast yesterday. This morning it's rice cakes with peanutbutter and some fruit.

It's wierd, but even eating decent portions of this diet leaves us feeling like we're starving.
Lorewolf, the description you write about the Naturopath is hilarious! I love that the diet will help "cure" some of the symptoms your friend "isn't aware she has".

But I know why that diet is leaving you feeling empty, it's hard to get used to doing without wheat foods that we've all become so used to eating. The diet seems to lack a lot of essential nutrients too. Do you eat meat foods at all (I'm just wondering why they're out of the diet completely--was that the NDs choice or are you normally vegetarian)? The diet is seriously lacking essential fatty acids, saturated fats (can you add some coconut oil on this diet? It would make a huge difference in health and in your feeling satisfied with the food portions), and a variety of proteins.

I'd suggest varying the nuts you're eating to get a few more varieties of vitamins and fats from them--walnuts are a good source of omega 3's, for example; hazelnuts as well...almonds are a wonderful source of all kinds of essential fats and nutrients; I will even suggest you carry these with you so you can have them as snacks inbetween meals for extra support. There are lots of really good nut oils available now to help enhance flavours in salads. Pepper posted a recipe for Nutella earlier on this thread which calls for hazelnuts and (crappy canola) oil--but you could make it with toasted hazelnuts, cold, expeller pressed hazelnut oil, a sweetener like maple syrup/sugar, stevia, or brown sugar and the best organic cocoa powder you can find. This is a great food to eat as a snack, or use as a sauce over poached pears, sliced bananas, orange sections, any kind of fresh fruit you want to dress up with the nutella.
And it gives you a little more variety--you can have more than just peanut butter. Think about sesame seeds and tahini, too--tahini mixed with a little lemon juice makes a really delicious spread; a really great vegan food restaurant I know makes these incredible rice bowl dishes topped with tahini as a sauce that adds flavour, protein, a ton of calcium, and fat. I never feel like I need to eat more!

Another suggestion: can you eat avocadoes? Squashes? Root vegetables? Add them if you like them, the avocodo fat content will also help you feel like you've eaten "enough"; the use of cooked starchy foods like the squashes enhances the nutrients you're getting from the beans you're eating. If you can eat corn with them too--that would be ideal.

Organic, rolled oats that you cook yourself shouldn't be a problem--maybe you could ask your friend's ND if that is a grain you can eat for breakfast ("possibly" is not really helpful there). It's very high protein and it's another good suggestion for a breakfast cereal. I've used the Red Mill cereal for breakfast too and it's very good as well; the grains you list as hard to find are actually super easy to find in most health food stores. There's also a full grain bread you might find in your health food store's freezer, called Ezekiel bread, that you might like (another thing which won't leave you feeling so "empty").

Try varying the rices you eat, too--can you have basmati? Red rice? Wild rice? Brown and black rices? The varieties all offer different nutrients and flavours and textures. Basmati is far less filling, say, than a red rice dish. These are all available at health food stores and most supermarkets now.

There've been a whole slew of really great recipes posted on this thread, as well as on the Our Bodies Our Hells forums--the Becoming healthy thread, the When foods you love don't love you thread (I think there are a few links there to recipes using gluten free grains). You probably have to go back a few weeks in the archives, but there are some really terrific and useful ideas there which should give you plenty to experiment with while you're both getting well.

Finally, beware of foods that actually contain very few nutrients at all, which end up "stealing" nutrients from your body's stores...rice cakes are notorious for that. Better to eat the "other" grain flatbreads, tortillas, or the sprouted ezekiel bread (they add nutrients, not deplete them) that to eat the rice cakes.

Maybe this will make things a little easier on you; I know this isn't supposed to be a long term diet, but it doesn't look like your standard elimination diet to me either, and you've both got to feel like it's giving you what you need or it will become impossible for you both to comply with it.
turbojenn're just making me drool here already with all of your wonderful ideas!!

I live a mostly wheat free life, as well as dairy, eggs, and when I'm being good, sans sugar as well. Its an adjustment to be sure, but chacha gave you some wonderful ideas!

And I make the homeade nutella as chacha recommended with cold-pressed hazelnut oil, and a little maple syrup for sweetener, and it delicious! More expensive, but so much better than the jarred stuff, its hardly the same creature. And I make it with Green & Black's cocoa powder, which just really has an amazing depth.

But this time of year, when the harvests are coming in, I love to focus on what's available - I made up a pot of brown rice cooked with leeks and veg stock this morning, and I'm going to roast some butternut squash tonight with garlic, rosemary, sage, olive oil and pepper, serve it with the rice and some kale - dee-licious!

For breakfasts, I usually make a smoothie with almond milk, and a variety of frozen fruits that I've stockpiled in my freezer all summer, OR, I'll make some oatmeal, and put raisins or pecans, or some warm fruit in it, with a little cinnamon...always cinnamon!

Good luck, and I hope you can feel nourished, rather than deprived!
*peeks in*

lunasol, I really like the idea of a rotating dinner party. Last year, a group of my friends and I had a 'casserole club'; kind of like a cookie exchange, but everyone left with 6 individual serving sizes of different freeze-and-reheat dinners. It made life as a single student so much easier!

I just started seeing someone, and I'd like some advice on simple, easy breakfast ideas- I'd really like to impress him, but I don't function well in the b.c. (before coffee) hours. Any ideas? This weekend, he made pancakes for both of us AND my roommate.
French toast is really easy. My favorite variation is using eggnog at Christmas time. Yum!! Lots of nutmeg and cinnamon in the batter.
That sounds like the first good use for eggnog I've ever heard of!

Quinoa is lovely! I saw a recipe in a book about native american cooking for a Peruvian dish called quinoa con queso, which, not surprisingly, is quinoa with cheese, and potatoes. Can't find a similar recipe on line, but while it's nice with cheese, it's also very nice in all kinds of other ways.

I'd do an online search for quinoa recipes and see what appeals, but I just wanted to say I think it's yummy! (plus, these cute little spirals come out of it when you cook it. Really.)

Oh, I'll have eggnog in just about any form (drink, cheesecake, ice cream)...Cook's Country magazine has a recipe for Whipped Eggnog Sweet Potatoes this month...I think I've decided on what to bring to Thanksgiving dinner this year!!
*squeams a bit* Quinoa looks like it could be tasty, but it also triggers a xenophobic reaction. I'll try not to try it right after watching Aliens.

We actually are able to eat meat. Kinda makes the diet seem wimpy. Thanks for all the advice, though smile.gif I went to make a Thai-ish rice noodle stirfry, but then had to re-think my spicing strategy because of the wheat in soy sauce. It turned out good with spicy lemongrass coconut broth, though.

Emtee, if you splurge on some very tempting-looking muslix or granola mix, then jazz it up in dessert cups with fruits and yoghurt, it's hard to go wrong. It's kinda like making icecream sundaes. Some rice crispies on top sounds fun, too. Breakfast parfait.
lorewolf - You can also get wheat-free tamari at most natural food stores to substitute for soy sauce - that's all I use, and its just as good!

I made up some brown rice in the rice cooker this morning, and have some chicken marinating, so that I can make curry fried rice tonight when I get home...I'm banking on getting some good veg to go with it in my produce box from the co-op this afternoon...*hopes for broccoli and zuchini*
Ooo – a food and cooking thread, how exciting!

((semi-newbie tip-toes very carefully so as not offend healthy eaters)) So, the granola/quinoa all sounds great – but I’m gonna second polly’s French toast idea.

If you’re really looking to impress with a post-coitus breakfast, some real “pain perdu” is the way to go. I’ve made this for several over-night guests (not *all* post-coitus wink.gif ), who have all claimed it "best.frech.toast.ever.”

1 day-old baguette or a good egg bread like challah or brioche- just make sure it's good n’ stale
-cut the loaf on a bias into 1 inch thick pieces
-spread the bread in a single layer in a large baking dish

1 cup whole milk (yes, it really should be whole milk – or eggnog!)
4 eggs
¼ cup sugar
2 t vanilla
1 T cinnamon
2 t nutmeg
-beat the mixture until completely combined and pour over the bread slices; let the bread soak up the batter (flip occasionally) while your pan pre-heats over medium heat.
-Use the largest, heaviest-bottomed skillet you have (cast iron is best) and use lots of butter (2-3 T); cook it about 3-4 minutes on each side.
-To keep the cooked pieces warm without getting soggy, I line a large cookie sheet with foil and put a cooling rack on top of that, put the cooked pieces on the cooling rack, and put the whole thing in a 200-degree oven. The cooling rack prevents the sogginess.

You could just serve it with butter, maple syrup, powdered sugar, *or* you could make this fabulous raspberry sauce:

16 oz. package frozen raspberries
1 cup sugar
¾ cup water
-Simmer on low while you cook the French toast, stir occasionally. To make it really special, add in a little Cointreau or Grand Marnier and some orange zest right before you serve it.

It’s also very important to make yourself some coffee before you even get started! smile.gif
mmm, french toast (and the pain perdu) sounds ah-mazing. I think I'll have to break that out next time he stays over- or maybe even the weekend my parents come visit.

Today I went into Toronto to go and see the Andy Warhol exhibit curated by (my heart just speeds up whenever I think of him) David Cronenberg. It has been pouring a cold, wet, dreary rain steadily here for 2 whole days now, I am waterlogged and my bones are chilled--but I braved that for the gallery, and when I got there, we were told that exhibit's closed on Tuesdays.

I'll have to go again this week, as it ends on Sunday....but since I was visiting the place, I had a chance to hit an organic market that sets up near my friend's house every Tuesday afternoon.

We bought: fresh fingerling potatoes, red cabbage, wild leeks, bok choi, organic raw milk parmiggiano reggiano cheese and organic raw sheep's milk blue cheese from Italy; black truffle butter, fresh and gorgeous shiitake and crimini mushrooms, homemade polenta with sliced truffles, mutzu and mac apples (doesn't anyone grow russets anymore?) red carrots, fresh beets, yellow heirloom tomatoes, fresh red peppers, and about a pound of garlic that the very sweet and lovely farmer grew organically in a town an hour and half away (by car) from Toronto--from which he cycled in on this foul, miserably cold wet day. How could we say no? By the time we lugged everything back to my friend's place, we were soaked mercilessly through to the skin, despite umbrellas. The man needs a bundle buggy for this weekly voyage across the street from his house, already. I think that will be my Christmas gift for him.

The truffles and cheese reminded me of a favourite breakfast dish I love making, and everyone I know really loves. For this recipe, you need fresh creme fraiche (I'll make mention of how to make this yourself==but some lucky people can buy this in their grocery stores), really good parmiggiano reggiano cheese, truffle oil or actual black truffle (you use a small amount--or you can use truffle butter if you can find it near you--or leave it out, as this is a delicious dish even without truffles) and eggs. A little bit of sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper and a loaf of really great bread...and you're set.

To make the creme fraiche:

In a really clean glass container (like a mason jar) put:

500 ml fresh (organic and raw preferred, naturally, but organic is good too) 35% whipping cream
A couple of tablespoons (I put about 3 or 4) of plain, full fat, (organic again preferred) live-cultured yogurt
or 1/2 cup or so of buttermilk, if you have it on hand.

Stir the two items together, cover the jar lightly with a clean cloth (I usually hold mine on with an elastic) and leave it out at room temperature for 24 hours.

It will thicken in that time--so cover it with an appropriate lid once this fermentation time has passed and store this in your fridge. It will continue to get thicker in there. Use this up within the next 14 days.

For the egg dish, you need:

oven-proof ramekins, buttered; one for each serving
1 egg for each ramekin
freshly grated parmiggiano reggiano cheese
and (purely optional, but if you love the taste of mushrooms these are heavenly) finely sliced truffle, or a drop or two of truffle oil to top off each ramekin--if you don't have these, you can use a favourite mushroom you like, like portobello, chopped finely.
Creme fraiche

Preheat oven to 400degrees F

In the buttered ramekins, place a tablespoon or so of the creme fraiche--it should provide a liquid surround for the egg, and the egg will actually cook in this, so use what you feel is necessary
Break an egg into each ramekin
place about a tsp. of grated parmiggiano reggiano in each ramekin (or to your taste--some like more, some less)
Add the sliced mushrooms on top

Place the ramekins on a tray and put the tray in the heated oven. Allow to cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until the eggs reach the desired consistency (if you like a more soft boiled egg, as opposed to a hard boiled egg).
Sprinkle a drop or two of the truffle oil over each ramekin after you've removed them from the oven.

These come out like creamy, rich eggs--eat them by dipping bread into the ramekins so that the ingredients can be experienced together.

Serve with lots of sliced, crusty bread, pots of hot coffee and/or tea, and fresh fruit.

Or, serve it as a first course for dinner. That works too.

A crummy day for art galleries, but a good day for food shopping, as soggy as it was.
prophecy_grrl chachaheels - those eggs sound incredible. I may have to make that my new "breakfast to impress." Reminds me of this Barefoot Contessa recipe that I love: herb baked eggs. Especially good this time of year when there is still an abundance of fresh herbs at the farmers' market.

Those herb baked eggs are perfect for right now--I've got a garden full of rosemary, thyme, and parsley and it's acting like late November out there. Yummy!

Also....I took a look at the endive, pear, and roquefort salad link right underneath the egg recipe, prophecy girl!, which I'm gonna make for dinner now. God I love that combo!
Greens, blue cheese, and pears--preferrably with candied walnuts or pecans--is food of the gods.

I don't even much care for pears or either of those nuts, but when you put them together--sublime.
another excellent combo is pears, arugula and parmesan (real parmesan, sliced thin--not that shredded crap that comes in a tub)
Whoever put parmiggiano and arugula together should win a Nobel prize. I love that with just a bit of salt, a touch of olive oil, and lemon juice. I could eat that for hours.

But throw pears in there too? Yummy.
I'm not a fan of any greens whatsoever...but Gorgonzola crumbles and walnuts tossed into grapes is to DIE for.

Stopping by per a request from the Kvetchies. My annual autumn rituals involve making much pumpkin bread - this year's first round was this weekend, and it came out better than ever. So I thought I'd share.

The original recipe came from Food Network; I've tweaked it over the years (and rarely make it exactly the same twice) for best results.

Start by preheating oven to 350 degrees F. (I'm at sea level; adjust accordingly if needed.)

Grease and flour your loaf pans. You can use Baker's Joy spray and knock it out all at once; otherwise, a thin coat of Pam, butter, shortening...whatever you like, and a light dusting of flour.

My success has varied widely with the size, but if you look up this recipe on Food and believe them when they say "two 9x5 loaf pans"...well, let's just say you need more room than that. If you like bigger loaves, try two 9" x 5" pans with mini loaves for the extra. Three 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" pans work best for me.

Leave at least an inch of headroom when you put the batter in, and have some mini loaf pans on hand in case you have extra when the big ones are filled evenly. You can also do all mini loaves, or muffins...whatever you like.

It is perfectly acceptable to use an electric hand mixer - I usually do - but this doesn't go as well in a stand mixer. Your mileage may vary.

One more thing, and I cannot emphasize this enough: DO NOT USE DARK NONSTICK WITH THIS RECIPE, EVER. It always, always, always scorches the outside - yes, even lined muffin cups have done this. I used disposable aluminum pans this weekend, and they were perfect.


2 1/2 to 3 cups sugar (to taste)
1 cup canola OR sunflower oil
4 eggs (large or extra-large), lightly beaten
16 ounces canned unsweetened pumpkin
3 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 to 2 teaspoons allspice
3 to 5 teaspoons cinnamon
1 to 2 teaspoons cloves
2/3 cup milk (NOT soy)

Stir together sugar and oil. Stir in eggs and pumpkin. Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl. Blend dry ingredients and milk into wet mixture, alternating. Divide batter between two loaf pans. Bake for 40 to 55 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool.

Ingredient notes:

- SPICE NOTES: You are completely free to play with the spices, for the most part. I tend to use lots of cinnamon, a bit less nutmeg, and either cloves or allspice but rarely both. Have fun with it!
- MILK: If you're allergic to dairy, it's fine to use water instead. But I've noticed that even skim milk makes this more moist. I prefer 2%.
- I haven't tried egg substitutes - if you do, I'd love to hear how it went.
- SUGAR: I usually only use 2 1/2 cups. This weekend, I was going a bit too fast and added all 3 - but it still worked out OK.
- FLOUR: Normally I use unbleached white flour. Whole wheat was available this weekend, and I wonder if that's what made it so spectacular.
- ADDITIONS: My family and I prefer "girl bread" (i.e. no nuts). For those who like "boy bread," use up to a cup of walnuts or pecans. You can toss in a cup of raisins or cranberries instead (I'm going to try cranberries next time).

A ton of information, but trust me - this never goes wrong if I follow my notes! I'd love to hear about any experiences, if anyone tries this.
Had stopped reading this thread as I had no time to cook, but now that I've quit work I've got tons of time!
I have been working my way through a new cookbook this month: Eat Shrink and Be Merry by Janet Podleski (same author as Looneyspoons). The format is a bit obnoxious (recipes names are all puns) but OMG the food is good and easy. Thus far I have made a Slowcooker roast with rootbeer/hickory sauce, Coconut-Apple chicken curry, Chop Suey, Vietnamese beef noodle soup, Mango Basil Thai chicken and a bunch more. They have all been yummy and aside from fresh herbs, most use ingredients I already have in the pantry. They also have a bunch of really good looking potluck salads and a good vegetarian section.
And I finally found a good cornbread recipe! Uses sour cream, creamed corn and a little bit of wheat flour. Yummy!
Savory Pumpin Bread Pudding ( I made it yesterday and I am the absolute shit)

Tear up about half a loaf of white bread (I used potato bread, but any white bread should work) & put it in a baking pan

Melt a 1/2 to a stick of butter, pour it over the bread

Take 1 sort of medium sized pumpkin...cut it up and roast it, gouge out the meat and puree it in a blender with a small carton of half and half

Add ground ginger, nutmeg, brown sugar, salt and pepper (to taste, it should be a little sweet but mostly savory and pumpkiny and yummy)

Add 3-4 eggs to the mix and pour all of it over the bread and butter

Sprinkle with salt and ginger or nutmeg.

All ow it to soak in the fridge for a few hours.

Bake at 375 about an hour.

Die of how good it is.
Jem, that sounds kick-ass. I have been wanting to make pumpkin bread pudding for a while now...I just keep hoping I'll find one that uses pumpkin bread! smile.gif But that sounds among the best white-bread-with-pumpkin recipes I've seen, so I just might try it.
Jem - I made the pumpkin bread pudding and it was absolutely divine, except for the fact that I poured about 5000 kg of nutmeg in it by mistake, which made it slightly bitter. Next time, it will be perfect. Oh yes, it will be perfect.
Today's a good day to make "Nudi"
(yes, it means "nudes". Normally, you'd make ravioli with this mix, but since I'm way too lazy to make pasta from scratch today, I'm making nudes).
I also just want to make the quickest sauce, so a traditional brown butter sage sauce is it.

To make the nudi:

1 lb ricotta cheese, good quality (the kind that comes wrapped in paper and is freshly made that day, not the kind that comes in a plastic tub)
1/2 lb spinach, blanched, dried and chopped (or I use a dry, baked squash--a similar amount, if I want to make a traditional pumpkin pasta)
4 oz flour
5 oz grated grana padano cheese or parmiggiano reggiano
2 eggs
Grated nutmeg

To make the brown butter sage:
4 oz butter
16 leaves sage

1. Place the ricotta in a strainer; cover the top and place on a bowl to drip overnight (or, like, me, I'll let this press out over the day and use it this evening).
2. Place the strained ricotta in a bowl and add the spinach (or baked squash), flour, eggs, cheese and a grating of nutmeg.
3. Mix the ingredients well and form small dumplings. Roll them in flour and plunge in boiling salted water. Cook until the dumplings float to the top (about 2 minutes). The dumplings will only float when the eggs and flour are thoroughly cooked through.
4. Melt the butter in a skillet, then add the sage and allow the butter to brown lightly until the sage leaves become crisp.
5. Lift the dumplings out of the water and toss in the butter sage; sprinkle with more grana padano or parmiggiano reggiano and serve.

If you want to use the nudi mixture to make ravioli, just leave the flour out of the ricotta mix and use fresh sheets of pasta. Use the mixture as filling for the ravioli, which should cook the same way--about 3 or 4 minutes in boiling salted water. The ravioli also taste great in the brown butter sage sauce, particularly the pumpkin ones--you can also add chopped dried cranberry to the brown butter sage sauce to make the dish perfect for thanksgiving.
Oooo! Thanks, Chacha! I've been wondering what to do with my ricotta other than 'Greek pasta' or salad. I'll have to try that smile.gif
I make killer gazpacho. All summer long, I revel in the reddest, juiciest tomatoes and live on cold, Spanish soup. However, it is late fall, and I was craving gazpacho anyway. Tried it with *forgive me* canned tomatoes. It is still quite delicious. I was a skeptic, too, but I'm enjoying it very much. It doesn't have that "sunkissed by angels" quality of ripe, red summer tomatoes, but it will definitely serve the purpose of filling the gazpacho-needing hole in my life. If anyone wants the recipe, drop a reply, and I'd be glad to oblige.
I would! I would!!

A lot of people say that the San Marzano canned tomatoes are really good--maybe I'll see if I can try the recipe with them--or, kelkello, did you use them?

I'll probably end up eating gazpacho all winter now.
I just had dinner at a friend's house over the weekend, and her husband is 1st generation Italian and he's a wonderful cook. He made "gravy" from scratch, with canned tomatoes (and sausage, pork, and homemade meatballs) and he said that San Marzano tomatoes are the only processed (stewed, pureed, paste, whatever) he'll use because they make a huge difference. I guess they're from an area in Italy whose dirt has a higher volcanic ash level than other places, so the theory is that's what makes them taste better. I'm sold on them!
Oooh, okay, San Marzano it is, Polly. I'm sure they won't really be like fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes, but I bet they'll be great in another way.

I love that Italians in the US call sauce "gravy". I'd never heard that name for it until last year...(and I'm in my forties). It's truly an American Italian thing.

Kelkello! Recipe, please!
I used Sun of Italy tomatoes, but I'll be on the lookout for the San Marzano. My boyfriend is Italian-American, and he calls it gravy, too. Never heard it before him. He also gets pissed if people don't say mozarella the way Italians do.

Gazpacho Recipe (I'll do the canned/fresh measurements)

Kelly’s Groovy "Stolen from Marisa in Spain" Gazpacho (This makes a huge batch. You can reduce it by thirds if you can do fractions)


• 6 ripe medium to large tomatoes (or one large can of tomatoes, about 28 ounces)
• 1 large cucumber, peeled and cut into three pieces (I use two cucumbers with the canned tomatoes because it makes it taste "fresher")
• 1 large green bell pepper, seeded and cut into three equal pieces
• 1 medium/large yellow onion, peeled and cut into three pieces
• 6 peeled cloves of garlic (real garlic, not the stuff in a jar)
• 1 slice of whole wheat bread (you can use white bread, but why?), cut into thirds
• Salt
• Sugar
• Olive oil
• Red wine vinegar

1. This is made in three batches in a food processor. Therefore, separate the ingredients into three equal piles (except for sugar, salt, olive oil and vinegar).

2. Toss one pile into food processor. Of course, cut up the vegetables into smaller pieces as necessary.

3. Process on high until liquidy. As it is processing, add about a teaspoon of salt (or to taste), ½ teaspoon of sugar, 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, and 1-2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar. I just drizzle the liquids in, but if you need measurements, there they are.

4. Taste it. If it tastes good, put it in a large container with a lid and do it again with the other piles. If it needs salt or vinegar, add a bit more. If it's too salty or vinegary, add a tiny bit more sugar. I start slow and add more as needed.

5. Dump each batch into your container.

6. Eat with bread or whatever. It’s good, isn’t it? It will keep for at least a week in the fridge. I eat it unless it smells weird.

7. Some folks like their gazpacho chunky. If you are one of them, chop up extra cuke, pepper, onion, and tomato (or whatever combination you like) and toss 'em in.
I'm pretty sure there's more than one brand that sells San Marzano tomatoes. I have a couple of Italian-owned grocery stores near me, so I hope I can find them!
So, what's everyone doing for Thanksgiving? We're going to my cousin's house- it will be my dad's side of the family (my mom's side lives in Missouri) and my cousin's annoying MENSA friends. We try to eat by mid-afternoon, like 3:30/4:00 or so. Later, we usually go to Le Boy's parent's house, which isn't too bad because they happen to only live 10 minutes or so from my cousin.

I'm making this stuffing (needs some garlic, doncha think?) and this pie. My recipe's a little different because it's from the Gourmet Cookbook, but basically the same thing.

I have a question about the pie recipe, though- my recipe says you need to take the temp of the mixture on an instant read thermometer. I have a meat thermometer, where it's like a circular gauge with a needle that goes up- pretty basic. I also have one similar to this one, but it's got two probes. Should I use that one? Just drop the end of it in the pot?

ETA: Woohoo- 1200 posts, exactly!

ETA, again: How many ounces of bread do you think 9 cups is? I'm not sure what kind of bread I'll use- something yummy from Trader Joe's probably.
I dunno, Polly, I always thought candy thermometers have to read pretty high temperatures--sometimes much hotter than the temperatures for cooked meat. Here's the Williams Sonoma high tech version candy thermometer, but the long glass and steel ones that you just poke into the candy mixture works just as well (and keeps you a safe distance away from the molten liquid).

Does your instand read thermometer have settings for measuring hot cooking oil? If it does, then it should be okay as long as the probe part is steel (but wear something to protect your hands and arms). The old fashioned meat thermometer with the probe and the temperature dial might not do the trick.

9 cups of bread is probably about a whole loaf. The stuffing sounds amazing...and the pie sounds great too. I love pie crusts that involve crumbs, sugar, and butter. Foolproof!

Many thanks for the gazpacho recipe, Kelkello!
The mixture only needs to get to 160 degrees, though, and I think it's because there's eggs in there and you want to make sure they're cooked. The meat thermometer goes up to at least 200 degrees, so it's capable. In the cookbook version of the recipe, it says to use an instant-read thermometer and I understand the difference between the instant-read and a meat thermometer, but I'm not sure what the benefits are in this case.
Oh, so it's like a zabaglione kind of thing, then? I'd guess instant read would keep you from accidentally overcooking the eggs while waiting for the the time it takes for a meat thermometer to actually guage the temperature. If the mixture is overcooked you won't get the texture you want, and it would only take seconds to overcook the eggs. If you can keep the sensor in the mix while it's warming, you'll know as soon as that 160 degree temp is cooked and you can remove it. Also, I think the meat thermometer probably won't give you the mixture's temp so much as the temperature of the heating element--it's just designed to take the temperature more slowly. It doesn't seem like the best tool for the job.

That's kinda what I figured, that a meat thermometer won't give you accurate results as quickly. I am sooo looking forward to that cake!!
It does sound heavenly, Polly.

I always try to make a pumpkin cheesecake or something a little different from the traditional pumpkin pie, just because people seem to try and visit a whole bunch of households during the thanksgiving weekend. It's really hard to have the same foods at every table, and a little variety keeps everybody happy. This year, I found a pastry chef who opened up his own pastry store and cafe in the next town--he's really friendly, extremely well schooled (not that it's a huge issue but man, does he know his pastry!) and he loves making the most beautiful desserts so he loves to talk to people who appreciate that. He made such a beautiful pumpkin mousse cake that we bought one to take with us for our family thanksgiving meal, which otherwise was very much the traditional turkey and fixings do. It was familiar, but the textures of the light pumpkin mousse, the rich creaminess of the flavours, and the really gorgeous presentation made it that much nicer. I have a feeling everyone will appreciate your pumpkin mousse pie for the same reasons--gorgeous, plus a lovely new experience of a familiar taste.
Me too, Chacha- I buy/make pumpkin pies just to have at home from about as early as they're available, like early October, so by the time Thanksgiving comes around, I want a variation. Last year I made a pumpkin banana tart from the Barefoot Contessa. Sooo good!
I feel really bad that this thread has been somewhat neglected because of all the food talk in other threads.

On Thanksgiving weekend I think I'm going to get an elder member of the Raisin family to teach me how to make candy, a passing-the-torch (candy thermometer) kind of event. It's been an annual tradition for this elder family member for decades now, so it will be... how do you say... bittersweet (tragic, maudlin pun intended).

Now... where ARE the other foodies?!

::opens jars of Nutella substitutes that don't have hydrogenated junk in 'em::
I think it's so funny that we end up, inevitably, talking about food when facing the drudgery of trolls, fashion crimes, and our own interior politics. We are one concerned but hungry bunch.

I've had a lot of time to do more cooking these days. I'm wondering if I can coax my mom to teach me how to make some of the old-timey stuff she used to make but physically can't anymore, cause I'm feeling like if someone "new" doesn't start making that stuff it won't be around much longer. Much of the stuff she made was so labour intensive (and requires a certain palate, in my opinion) but there was stuff that wasn't so bad in terms of effort and everyone really loved them.

What if we shared those old traditional recipes? I'd love to know about that candy you'll make raisin (and did you know that Williams Sonoma has a very practical, attach to the pot while it cooks candy thermometre available?) What kind of candy is it?
Chacha, the candy recipes have been heavily guarded for decades and decades. We are like the Wonka factory of the North. All I can say is there are a few varieties involving caramels, nuts, chocolate, and other things I'm forgetting. wink.gif

Oh, and separately I am very seriously considering making the homemade Nutella recipe that I think Turbojenn posted -- making it and giving it out to everyone for Christmas (and by Christmas, I mean whatever holidays my recipients celebrate).
raisingirl, that is such a good (and lovely) idea about making the homemade nutella for holiday gifts!

does anyone have their favourite stuffing recipes that they could share? I would like to make stuffing (maybe more than one) this Christmas and I'm thinking chestnuts, cranberries and apricots could feature.

I'm also considering making winter fruits pavlova for dessert or maybe a PIE! or cheesecake.
I know what you mean, Raisin--same with my mom and her sisters (she has 2; one is still active as she's 11 years younger than my mom, but the other sister, very sadly, has an advanced form of alzheimer's disease now). Their recipes are unique to their little town--nowhere else in Italy are these things made, or if they are, they're made quite differently elsewhere. I'm feeling like the more known they become, the greater their chance of surviving the ravages of time's passing. So I'm posting.

Also: a well known food writer with similar roots did some extensive research in an area not too far away from my mom's town--and has published very similar recipes of the cuisine in that area in a book (thank goodness!) for what I think are the same reasons. I did look, however, and none of my mom's Christmas sweets made it into her book. Maybe all those foods were already "lost" in the areas where she concentrated her research; in any case, more reason to learn how to make them. I will post whatever doesn't look ridiculously time and labour intensive, and still tastes incredibly good.

If anyone else is aware of similar traditional recipes in their own families, and they don't mind sharing them, I'd really love it if they posted them here. If they are guarded though, they're guarded! But I'd love it if you thought trying out some other older recipes might be fun too.
Fucking hell... PISS ME OFF! Why the frell doesn't Pyrex make a 9" square glass baking dish?! WHY WHY WHY?! I don't want to use another brand and I don't want to use a metal pan and I don't want to substitute a size (11" x 7"? WHYYYYY?! Ugliness.).

Not everything made for a 9" square pan can be squeezed into the trusty and more common 8" square pan.

I was going to make a cute birthday cake for someone special. Maybe now it will be mini cupcakes or regular-sized cupcakes or just use the frelling 8" pan and dump the extra batter down the drain.

Not what I wanted.

Sorry, Bunny, I don't do stuffing; I'm no help.

::stomps off in a huff, obviously having a Martha Stewart moment::
Wow, I couldn't believe Pyrex didn't make a 9x9 glass dish until I went and looked for it, raisin- what is up with that? Could you just use less batter in the 8x8?
Here's a recipe for a stuffing with goat's cheese, dried cherries, and smoked ham. It's similar to one of my faves, only I've used fresh cranberries and dried apricots instead of the cherries and fresh sage instead of parsley.

I like using wild rice, dried fruits, mango or tamarind chutney, brandy, and butter to make a stuffing as well (or just serve it as a side dish too).
I found this website, with a particularly good looking stuffing recipe:

Look down on the left hand side for the Sage, walnut, and dried fig stuffing. The carrot recipe featured is just beautiful, too.
thank you chachaheels! your version of the goat's cheese stuffing sounds amazing!
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