Tuesday, January 15, 2013

My new's years resolutions this year are kind of backwards, year of the hedonist I guess. The goal   overall for my life mission is to make up for all of the things that have always held me back, stop waiting for when I'm finally allowed to do things, and just try more.

Why do I have to always be told how “it's so important for a person to have this ___ and this ___ of their own and in their life” while at the same time being told by them that “you can never have them, oh we meant every body else. Of course, not you.”

It's not fair that child abusers have had me unable to enjoy so many things for 30 years now, that they can go on and forget but I can't even ever enjoy a simple kiss. I have lists of so many things that I'm needing to overcome and be able to experience like a normal person again.

Basic things that regular people get to take for granted, and I can't even touch or think about without flashbacks and tears and shaking.

I know that a lot of these things are going to cause even more memories that I've had locked up forever to flood back, and I'm starting to do them anyway. I was already having to deal with a lot of those coming up from my family and all their inconsiderate actions the past year too.

Instead of a diet that will make me lose weight(which I think I do need to, lose that is) I'm actually considering several diet changes that will more than likely make me gain even more weight back,
More than that, it's eating things I've expected to never have for the rest of my life, and would never even consider all of the past 15 years. So I'm torn on deciding to actually give up and do this, uncertain if my reasons are true, or if depression and hopelessness is just winning out so I'm entirely losing myself. If I'm doing it thinking it will make me feel better and get healthier, more options and less starving for days because I'm afraid to eat, then yeah I could accept that. A lot of my thoughts justify it fine, I mean there's still my beliefs and limits to some things I still never want to eat, but I don't think that starting back on the rest is bad,
I'm not worried about it making me a hypocrite and disappointed like that.

But I do doubt whether, for that very reason that it can be justified without guilt, I should be worried that something is seriously wrong with me, and my motives are more a sign of just giving up.

Maybe it's this birth control pill I took(except it shouldn't stay in my system so long) they always totally throw my hormones and things out of whack. It wasn't until that when I started seriously wanting and craving cheese and dairy for the first time in over ten years. Hormones, yeah I've always expected to someday be pregnant and fight off cravings, even ask that somebody help me remember not to give in to them. But here I am now.

So was it hormone, or  logical, since I only read that it now contains lactose AFTER getting it, and knowing that I would be willingly ingesting it again, not just an accident. Even that has always been acceptable in my opinion, I'll be lenient about taking lactose/gelatin in medicine if it's needed. So  that didn't bug me beyond wondering what more side effects I would feel from it..
End of  story.

Or so I thought.

Then I started WANTING and being obsessed with cheese pizza, and all sorts of other things I used to eat as a kid.

So maybe it lead to further thoughts on some subconscious levels, and caused all these urges and memories, deciding to actually consider it.


I'm scared that might be the case, but it feels like more than just admitting that yes, it would be so much easier if I was able to eat so many more things, right now I've been so limited and when I'm sick and in pain, the options dwindle even further since I can't even manage the needed cooking and preparation required most every day, and I sure don't have a budget to be able to overcome that.

Gluten free bread baking, at least I know I can master it and not just come out with inedible bricks, but trying to do that on a regular basis when you can hardly use your hands AT ALL? Sometimes squeeze bottles make me cry out in agony. Sometimes a grip for unscrewing bottle lids is entirely impossible and has been put off and avoided for weeks, and then required digging through freaking toolboxes. Seriously.. I need an electric can opener, and can't even afford that..

So yeah, it's not just a laziness causing slackitude, and if it were just weakness on that part I can accept that.
But I've always believed that listening to my body was the most important thing, and the reason I gave up meat in the first place. So why should it bother me to listen to it again and give it a chance to try now? It's probably good to test and see my reactions, I've always tried to not freak out whenever I eat something on accident, and observe closely just how my body responds more than anything.

Another big reason to reconsider milk is that in all my troubles with gluten reactions, the majority of people who have gluten intolerances also have lactose intolerance, BUT when they get the gluten under control, they're finally able to overcome dairy foods for the first time.

But what became of my beliefs that lactose intolerance was actually naturally, that humans shouldn't even be touching milk from other animals and it's no wonder it makes most of us sick in some way? That it causes our immune system to be bogged down, kids to have more allergies and infections, etc?

Ehh... if tis already out there everywhere you look, making so much food unavailable, then may as well eat it I guess. Especially if you can fight all of that with a pill.

See, what IS WRONG WITH ME? I'm all about the being as natural as possible. I suddenly just don't care anymore? *blinks rapidly at herself wondering where she went*

I haven't been having many bad cases of gluten lately, it got to the point where I try different brands knowing there was a 50/50 chance that it might end badly, and even if one is safe for me a few times, suddenly it might change the next time. If something makes me sick several times, I don't touch it again. Or at least wait over a week. Pretty much not following any strict rotation diets, but backing up and taking a break to reset my body again seems to work, along with making sure to keep portions in mind and spread them out.

I've learned moderation is the best thing, so there's another reason to have more options. Plus that means anything new I'm adding in to my diet shouldn't be done overboard either, I'm going to have to be very careful with the cheese, limited, and balanced out by something else not relied on to heavily, and certainly not considering anything too rich. No ice cream; I would like to be able to have yogurt though. It's funny I'm planning the time table of what to add first, and gradually work back up to... and tis exactly the reverse order of the things I ate last.

So yeah, I stopped doing bento so much when I got sick and then had to move so all my dishes and such have been packed up for months, I no longer have my own kitchen o area to do all of that in.
But I'm going to try to bring it back a little with bento, and came up with a new idea for this journey of coming undone. I'm already making a list of all the things I need to try tasting again, or for the first time ever. So I'll start to add posts here about each experience and review them, trying to compare to what I remember and how long it's been since I've had it.

Right now, there's so many things I know I've never even gotten to try(since as a kid I wasn't around them, and as a teen I couldn't eat them) and for the life of me I can't remember most! I know there's bread pudding, kollache pastries, hawaiian bread, paninis, tiramisu. Then there's the things I do know and miss most, first is going to be mexican for chili rejenos, enchiladas, tamales, sopapillas... then on to ravioli, lasagna, stromboli, and cheesecakes in very small portions.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Rice Dal and Pizza

One day I found a website... and tried two of the recipes onnit within 24hrs, because they're simple and called for ingredients I had all of, but would never have thought to combine. The first one was fried egg and mushrooms which came out amazing. Despite being like the first time I've fried an egg in a few years, still trying to get used to it. Cursed with breaking the yolks, and still being too worried about it. Also I had heard some australians on my cooking shows cook shrooms for breakfast, but never known what spices or anything else they used. This is def a fave now, especially with crispy potatoes too. MMMMN!

The second recipe I tried that day was kidney beans and pears which I put with some jasmine rice. It was quite different, but good and filling! We'd had pears that had been sitting around with nobody wanting to deal with, so it was purrfect timing too.

Here's that rice, topped with carrot strips, sunflower seeds, and kelp seasoning sprinkled on top. Tier 2 has my usual fave creamy red lentil soup with red pepper and carrots. Also in the corner(though on accident) is a parrot shaped jelly sucker that was way cute, I bought it for the boy and one with a tiger for the girl.

Later that weekend I ordered up all of my free pizzas and fed the kids, then got one last one for myself to say goodbye to gluten. We have an awesome pizza place, and tis near one of our friends so hopefully I'll be able to go get their gluten free with vegan cheese ones sometime! *drools a little thinking about it*

Also, I just had to do this and take the pic because my sister was laughing saying it was cute "she actually put PIZZA in the PIZZA dish!" cuz usually I'll stuff it with pasta or rice or something and she shakes her head about it. LOL.

The little ducky here is full of oil and vinegar that I make to dip breadsticks in, and put on the pizza crusts at end. I'm disappointed in those ducks though, 2/3 of them had their poor little beaks crack open on the first use! And the third one might too, I just haven't used it yet to see. WTF? Grrr!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Backlog, Party Times

I haven't been home much for the last few weeks.. a lot of pics to post have built up because I haven't been able to upload them here. If only my laptop wasn't so dead and blue screened, ehh?

They probably won't be posted in the right order, not sure I have the energy to remember and explain what was in each one. But I will get to fixin it, hopefully. o_0

The face dish is a goulash with spiral pasta, soy crumble meat, and veggies semi strategically arranged. The right side of it is actually a few brussel sprouts in garlic sauce, then some squash covered them so you don't even really see that here. On the left is mandarin oranges around a watermelon and candied ginger salad(in middle cup) black olives and a boiled egg that kindasorta resembles an elephant shape. Cmon, tis like looking at clouds, use your imagination. *whistles*

I know, I still needa find a "simple bento cuteness guide for the artistically impaired" but hey at least it's balanced and has lots of bright variety!

In gluten free news, I've tried Hodgson Mills Baking Mix, and totally loved it! The other brand of pancake mix I had before, it smells wonderful like muffins, but doesn't cook like pancakes no matter what for me. They flopped, stayed flat and texture wasn't right no matter what, seemed light/airy and not fluffy or filling like they should be.

The HM mix though, they were thick and browned up beautifully! Thank goodness, I'm so happy. Yeah yeah, give a girl cake...even just pancakes...and sometimes that's enough for a simple girl. *sniffles*

The box also had a lot of other recipes on it, not just pancake and waffles. For my uncle's birthday party at the last minute I decided to try the brownie recipe, twenty minutes before guests started to arrive. Originally I had chosen to just skip having any kinda sweets for myself, we had several cakes and red velvet cupcakes for everybody else already. But then I got selfish and NEEDED chocolate too.

It worked out great, the whole house smelled like fresh brownies, and everybody wanted to try them and were amazed when told they were gluten free saying they would never have known. Then there was one lady who made me repeat it again in shock since she's so used to just not eating when she's out at places because of her celiac, and then I told her the other food there that was safe.

I'd bought grape leaves stuffed with season rice that reminded me of a greek flavored variety of sushi. I'd also gotten some veggie burgers and udi's buns, but didn't seem I even needed them that night. And we had made some crock pot pork in "Sweet BBQ Sauce" from a recipe on my bottle of hoisin sauce which was actually marked GF so even though it wasn't something vegetarian that I could have, I knew everything in it should be OK for her. She got to eat a plateful of dinner instead of just seeing it, yay! Later on we sent some of the last brownies home to a couple who are also gluten free and couldn't make it for the party.

I didn't think to take pictures in time. These cupcakes were from the week before, when his son and some of our friends had their birthdays. They were made from the Betty Crocker cake mix.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


WOOOOT! Finally got my goodies to play with! Disregard the kitten who is just not as amused with my excitement over this haul, lol. She's all "I do not approve." while parking her tail onto the Just Bento Cookbook as if she can stop me by keeping the recipes out of reach. Pfffbt, I'm not afraid of you, little queen!
Well, usually... let's not mention the times when I *do* get afraid of her.  She can be evil, just trust me.
Mebbe I will name the new bento box after her, think that will appease her highness?
Lalalala, moving on.
See all the shinies, ain't they cuuuuute? *squees gleefully for awhile more*
I ate my dinner last night with a pair of the new chopsticks, then went and bought more rice and nori tonight so I'll be able to make my sushi and some riceballs shaped like the kitty and fishy, bwahaha!
In other news, the gluten free mishaps are really keeping me down for the count. Blah. The past few days, many many unmentionable things to deal with.
And I went out to the vegan diner, they had a nice GF menu online when I looked so I had high hopes of being able to be safe and have options there. Wound up being thoroughly disappointed. I guess they don't have the GF menu printed cuz when I went to order the sghetti since it had a nice little mark saying the noodles could be swapped for brown rice noodles.... he informed me that the soy meatballs had wheat in them. WTF why would you mark that option then... he went to double check for us, but didn't point out any other more friendly menu items so I went with the only one I knew, a wrap changed to be in corn tortillas.
I do not like corn tortillas for most things, never have. It was messy and not filling. Somehow I felt like MORE of a horrible outcast in a flipping vegan diner(I've been vegan for over ten years, and was there back when this place first opened) than I did at the old fashioned hamburger joint we went to last month, they have a "build it on a salad instead of bun" option and were surprised when I didn't ask for MORE changes to the order, gah.

So I snuck my back up lunch out while picking at my disappointing plate and tried to combine them into something more meal like. I'd had to pack whatever veggie leftovers I could in a rush, and it didn't travel too well during the day. Here's how it came out halfway through, heh. Mashed potatoes with soy bacon bits mixed in, scooped some out of the middle and filled it with mushroom gravy. Then there's some salad with sunflower seeds, brussel sprouts with olives. And then the messy leaky beans, I'd hoped to have veggie dogs to slice into them but haven't been able to find the nonwheat ones.
Oh well. Win some, flop some, eh? I'll just have to learn and try again! ;)
I guess I'm going to have to get over feeling weird and rude for taking my meal into resturaunts with me sometimes, just so I know I'll be able to have at least something to eat, and can still go out with people.
Just when I start to get comfortable with finding and trying new places, this has to happen! Curse my luck. Tis just so ironic and cruel.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Coming Soon/ To do List
I've been having a frustrating time of it the past few tries at tortillas(hello too thick hockey pucks, that crumble and are gritty when reheated) They fell apart in the toaster when I thought they were so thick and hard it would work, had to shake it out upside down to get all their bits out.
And then the expensive bread mix this morning that had me crying over it, telling me to "knead and shape into buns with hands" when it was just too sticky. Even adding a ton of rice flour (that I didn't want to do knowing it would just ruin it anyway) wouldn't help it to not be an annoying glue. But that was all I had to work with, so I tried then finally poured it into a loaf pan to bake.
Originally I had WANTED a loaf of bread, but since all the recipes I could find using that brand were all for flat breads, pizzas, and crackers and not actually bread.. all of which sounded awesome, just not what I was needing it for. I decided to try following the box's directions exactly for my initial experience with it. This means it's the first time I've used eggs in years. 
It came out and had risen some, just wouldn't brown at all, I told it that it wasn't pretty enough for a picture. So I left it on the counter cooling while cooking beans hoping for some toast to put them on. After having my back to it ten minutes I turn around and it had collapsed on it self. I've never seen something fall quite like that.
When I could stop laughing and crying I told it that it would probably have made great pita bread. As I tried cutting a slice of it, I found the center was wet and gummy... it made me worry about the eggs and I tried baking it again, twice as long but it didn't do anything, barely darkened and middle stayed iffy. I guess it's just from the rice dough and not eggs.
Mostly just able to nibble the edges and may cut them off to salvage skipping the middle. No good slice of toast. No sammiches. Boo.
I really don't have the energy for all this.
So I'm just going to make this little note to self about the different things I want to post here, recipes I need to get down and learn never to forget.
My first week trying to make stuff without wheat flour was unexpected, unplanned, hilarious, and miracously kinda sucessful when I improvised after all of the recipes I tried flopped. The downfall is that I didn't write down exactly what method and measurements I came up with for the good attempts and apparently don't remember it, now I really need to recreate them and save it for future.
1) Rice Tortillas - My first try was from an allergy book I have, it wanted you to make it in a blender(and I unfortunately don't have one) and "whiz it between POURING each batch" which sent my warning alarm signals into overdrive, but I decided to give it a go just in case. By the sounds of that, I could tell they would be too thin and more pancakes than tortillas if they came out. They were like really bland delicate(white and shiney, looked like fried eggs minus yolk, lol) crepes that didn't stay together to be flipped. Total flop.
That batch I added some corn masa to and made sure to use fresh that night. They weren't foldable at all. So then I came up with my own idea, after reading indian recipes awhile and seeing one that heated the flour and water in a pan, then shaped into flatbread as soon as it was cool enough to handle. I wasn't using the same ingredients or anything, I just thought the idea sounded like it could be useful. So I experimented, and came up with tortillas that even browned up in spots. They kept a soft texture, and I put them in a sandwhich baggy on top of my round tupperware full of hummous and dipping veggies. It worked well, and at the time I didn't yet realize how lucky that was!
2) French Toast Donut Sticks - One night with a sweet tooth hunger I decided to mix the few flours I had together for some sorta cake... but taste testing the batter I could tell the chickpea flour was too overpowering for that to work, and decided to try cooking it like pancakes, seeing if it could be turned into savory wraps somehow.
Then tasting the first one made me think of french toast, so I adjusted it accordingly with that in mind and they came out like a cross between those dunkin donut sticks and french toast. I'm wondering if they'll work for waffles to handle easier... They were really yummy and wonderful, being able to grab and go would make them even more amazing. The thought of much more experimenting being needed on these, testing to get them to work in different ways makes me drool a little here.
3) Sandwhich Bread - I have GOT to find a way to make some again, ACK!
4) Peach Cobbler - I almost nearly forgot this, I improvised and made one that came out quite lovely, it was much approved of and would be divine with coconut ice cream next time.
I need to remind myself that there HAVE been hits and not just misses like this.
Eventually I'll get to posting those recipes, hopefully soon.
And even sooner than that, I'll post a few more food pics I still have, and I took some of my new little dishes today for bento supplies too. Then of course I needa finish setting this site up, and get links put on ut, but Ima probably be lazy about that for now. Too much to do.
This top picture isn't something I made, it just happened to be too cute, it was a grilled portabella "burger" that my sister had for lunch one day. ;)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Bento Style, Corn Soup w/ Rice Noodles and Chocolate PB Pie
Okay so for starters these aren't REALLY bento or asian for the most part, it's just about getting used to the same sized small dishes(these ones are also glass, not quite bento friendly, tho they fit and I actually HAVE put them into my knapsack and taken them when needed) and making myself think about packing differently in the future. I also can't make them pefect or too bright with fresh produce, or anything only found at asian stores due to this town not having ANY asian stores. Yeah. So can't do too much of that YET. This will be for plotting it out for how to better do it in the future though. XD

I'm a soup lover, I just love so many of them. They're wonderful, ideally when I can I'll have a soup day each week where I make up a big pot. Now I've been doing my version of ramen, making up a quick broth with dehydrated vegetables as a soup base then toss in a few frozen veggies and add rice noodles. This can be great for nearly instant veggie noodle soup when I'm sick, or fancied up or spiced out with different things. In this case I actually had some leftovers from an old recipe I've done for years originally called "chinese corn soup" and decided to try just throwing some noodles in with it. Tis got cute lil pearl onions cooked in it, and sprinkled with my sea weed seasoning.

Then there's the other dish with dessert, a rich thick chocolate pudding that I topped with a peanutbutter frosting and let chill. It sliced and stuck together like a pie. Some of it I just layed on top of a crunchy cliff bar(it tasted like a graham crust but better) and ate that way, then crumbled the second bar up to mix in with each bite instead.

This is just how those dishes look like closed and stacked up all ready to go and tuck in.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Bento, Soyrizo Saute, Black Bean Pineapple Rice, Millet Polenta  

This is just a semi-bento meal of mine, the round has cold stuff, and the plate is warmed up stuff that was originally meant to be wrapped in a tortilla, but alas, my gluten free fail! I couldn't even manage to find corn tortillas at the stores I went to that week, only flour. So I wound up with this. It was still a very yummy feast though! Also I had it all with a cup of cherry limeade.. mmmn.

1) Soyrizo, and sauteed squash, zucchini, onions, etc  - I had planned to put this in quesadillas, wound up just melting the daiya cheese over it all instead
2) rice with black beans and pineapples - the rice was soaked trying out this method and then cooked with chipotle and cilantro in broth
1)  Millet "polenta" with my sausage spice blend(first recipe on this page, that I found doing a search for "best millet recipe" after all my previous attempts have failed and ended in the range of "If millet is cooked improperly it can become very dense, hard, and useless." side of things. The key was in soaking it first, otherwise it never softened up for me.) I cooked some into patties and they were awesome! But too delicate for bento really, and best warm. They reminded me of a cross between potato cakes and polenta. The tastetesters said they reminded them of Bread Stuffing with my seasonings that way.
2) Elbow pasta(a brand made from brown rice) in a hummous(homemade and raw, it had a different almost meaty and filling texture, then I made it less creamy, with extra spices added for this.)
3) Caribbean-Sweet-Potato-Salad -this is something my roomies found and altered one night, we made it a whole theme.
What they ended up with was as follows: 
Potatoes, diced 1/2" cubes.  
Boil until just tender but not mushy. Strain in collander, then immerse in cold water to stop cooking...leave just until about room temp; salt to taste. 
Saute mild chiles (we had hot bananas, but Anaheim or Poblano would work) with red onion until just soft; 
add pineapple diced 1/4" and saute just until hot. 
Add to potatoes, along with fine chopped red or orange bell pepper. 
Dressing: Lime juice, coconut milk, olive oil (about a 2:2:1 ratio)... add garlic (paste or chopped) and finely chopped cilantro. About a teaspoon or 2 of dijon mustard in the dressing Sweeten dressing to taste with sugar or agave syrup ( I used agave). Toss with potato mixture. Enjoy!