To Paraphrase An Old Song - Part I - WELCOME TO MY LABORATORY Blog at - 166630


To Paraphrase an Old Song - Part I 
Mar. 28, 2010 9:43 pm 
Updated: Sep. 10, 2010 11:52 pm
So, as I have been here for a little over four months now, I thought I would (for my own benefit at least) keep a record of the recipes that have been created in my (since January) Gluten-Free Journey.  It has been an exciting few months and, as I started this project, I was amazed at what I have churned out!  It is incredible the amount of time that it took to get just to February.  So, this blog is a list of my journey with AR to the end of January.  Part II will cover February and March.
I first stumbled onto AR at the end of January 2009, and made the Creamed Salmon on Toast, which my mother claimed that she made up more than 50 years ago. It was just as I remembered and is still one of the greatest-since-sliced-bread comfort foods!

I forgot about AR until October 29, 2009, when I whipped up the Apple Oatmeal Crisp.
This was amazing, but flukes happen.
Christmas was coming up and I wanted Norwegian recipes. (Always a Norwegian Christmas in our home.) Then, November 23, 2009, came the Budget Easy Sugar Cookies . They were good. I was impressed.

But the question nagged, "Is it worth becoming a SM?" (Supporting Member. Not the other thing. My cooking already easily fell into that category.) What did I need/want from a website?

1. To learn to cook outside the box. Although I have cooked for approximately 37 years, the first 36 3/4 don't count because I relied on casseroles, sandwiches, pre-packaged foods, M&M Meat Shops, etc. And, there were dietary challenges: Gluten-Free, Low-Sodium, Low-Fat, etc. that promised to take the fun out of cooking and baking;

2. To learn to cook edible meals -- It's just Hubby and me, and edible (at the risk of offending Chefs and Real Cooks who have spent their lives searching for the elusive Amazing Culinary Work of Art) is AWESOME! As a friend told me 37 years ago as she walked me through the making of my first packaged macaroni and powdered cheese (Kraparone) dinner, "You have to learn to crawl before you walk."

3. To blog - I love writing and decided it was time to be thrust into the 21st century.  Writing is to express, create, and (except for the writing part) very similar to cooking. You have to create something that people, or at least you, can live with;

4. To create shopping lists;

The banter and established friendships were a plus. Made it comfortable -- not like other sites I had stumbled upon.  I thought AR could deliver on the four most important items, so on November 29, 2009, I shelled out the hard-earned pennies and went (for) broke. I rated myself as a beginner and definitely culinarily challenged (see #1 reason for joining). To paraphrase "Ol' Blue Eyes", "Now, the time has come to face culinary uncertainty".

Following are the recipes I have tried, and whether or not they are in my repertoire. ("Keeper" is a good thing.)

November 2009
The Baked Pancake Squares were amazing! And lifted my confidence level to "Well, maybe I can do breakfast after all!" - Keeper

December 2009
Scandinavian Almond Bars opened floodgates of memories with my Norwegian grandmother. Incredible! "I can do dessert!" - Keeper
Ice Cream Kolacky - I wanted to like these. I really, really did, but considering the amount of money and energy that went into these for the blandness - No offense to the submitter, but -- they did not make it into the repertoire.
Caramel-Filled Chocolate Cookies were wonderful, but we have dental difficulties, so it does not make it into the repertoire.
Wild Rice Chicken Bake was amazing in that it took the chicken five hours to cook (for some reason, it could have been the oven, which had decided that it doesn't like cooking meat. It got better after I cleaned the element. :D) , but the stuffing was very tasty. -Keeper, but haven't made it since.
Bake Sale Lemon Bars - I was fascinated by the bad reviews, so undertook this recipe as written -- We love it! - Keeper
Roasted New Red Potatoes - Amazing! Quick and easy side dish.  We've had them since.  Keeper.
Norwegian Meatballs - Well, as you all know by now, I love the Norwegian dishes, having been brought up on them, but my Norwegian grandmother did not write down all her recipes. This was one of them, and it is very close to hers from what I can remember. This recipe makes ovr 300 (approximately 1 inch) meatballs. Very yummy, but rolling the little suckers is very time-consuming - Worth it, but I end up rolling about 150 balls as they can be frozen, thawed, and used on noodles, mashed potatoes, meatball sandwich, or just for that quick "I need something now!" times, and then shaping the rest into a meatloaf. AWESOME - Keeper. We make them at least once a month.

Russian Black Bread - This was amazing. I like the European dark rye breads and LOVE caraway seeds, but after the last piece was consumed one-week later, I was confident enough (not to mention sick enough) to go gluten-free again. I have been experimenting with a gluten-free version of this, but haven't quite hit on it yet - Keeper (for anyone who metabolizes gluten properly and live for dark rye bread).

January 2010

Death by Chocolate III - Hubby needed cheering up, and we had no ice cream in the house, and he loves chocolate wa-a-a-ay more than a person has a right to *lol*. Anyway, I delved into making these, but it took about eight hours of preparation making the chocolate cake, caramel sauce AND the pudding from scratch (as we didn't have any, but had all the ingredients), and whipping up the whipped cream (managed to have some left over from Christmas). When the time came to assemble them, I was so-o-o exhausted, but ... they were simply to die for! And Hubby went over the edge! AWESOME! Since there are only two of us, I made 16 little bowls. (Hubby ate four in one sitting to my half one. And then stated, "Wow! This is RICH!" which is what I had said after my first bite. :D) This was an absolutely guilty pleasure, but wa-a-a-ay too much work for an everyday occurrence. I'd have to quit my day job, which Hubby says I shouldn't quite yet to go into cooking full time. *lmbo*  Hubby requested it for his birthday cake tomorrow, so it's in the refrigerator melding as I type.

Serbian Ground Beef, Veggie, and Potato Bake - I loved this as it brought back memories of my Norwegian Grandmother, but Hubby found the nutmeg and cinnamon a little weird. By the time he finished it he liked it, too! It's a Keeper! We've had it since.

Hungarian Salad - This was very good, but I haven't made it since. 

Easy One-Step Spaghetti - Just heat the sauce and cook the spaghetti in the sauce.  Mind-numbingly easy, but nothing special and super boring.  Not being satisfied with "easy", I tossed in meat and veggies.  Made it more difficult and labour intensive -- not the recipe's fault.

Overnight Caramel Pecan Rolls - These were good -- not bad with sweet rice flour substituted for the regular flour.  Haven't made them since.

Chicken with Buttery Lemon Creamy Butter Sauce - This is famous for bringing Harley (a.k.a "Rocky, the Flying Squirrel") to the attention of AR when he sprung to the top of the fridge and brought down the tray of chicken where I had set them (thinking they were out of temptation's way while I cleared a spot for them in the fridge). A cuss of surprise escaped my lips and I had to chase the cat to rescue the chicken leg that he had taken captive.  Keeper recipe.  (Have had it since.) Not so sure about the cat, though! (J/K)

Norwegian Christmas Bread - For some reason, I am not fond of Christmas bread.  Don't ask me why, but this recipe converted me -- even with sweet white rice flour.  It was very good!  However, to be honest, with the expense and the calories, I really don't think it's worth it.
Sourdough Starter I -  This, I will have to try again.

Cheater Pancake Syrup 2 - I make this all the time.  Saves a lot of money on pancake syrup (Hubby goes through a bottle a week with waffles and pancakes for breakfast.)  I just toss the ingredients into a microwave safe bowl and nuke it until it bubbles. DONE!

Blueberry Chicken Salad -Blueberries on sale in the middle of winter.  This made a nice treat and caused me, for some reason, to dream of Jamaica.  Some place I've never been (and don't really want to go), but it evoked thoughts of warm sun and relaxation.
High-Protein Gluten-Free Flour - This is awesome for substitutions for all-purpose flour.  Keeper.  I use it all the time --
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free "Norwegian" Pancakes This was my "breakthrough" the gluten-free barrier recipe.  Despite substituting a High-Protein Gluten-Free flour mix, sweet white rice flour, or brown rice flour for the regular flour, this recipe (which has been in my family for years) ROCKS!  Hubby loves them and does not even know they are gluten-free.  We have them every weekend for breakfast. 

As you know, I've been busy in the kitchen since the end of January, but I will continue this blog at a later date.
Respectfully submitted.
Mar. 29, 2010 2:39 am
Nov. 09 brought a smile, and lured me onward. Your conversational style brought me to the submission, which was respectfully read. Great blog. I'm adding a few of these to my box, and was pleased to see the Serbian Ground Beef Potato Bake on your list, as well. We "discovered" it since January, too.
Mar. 29, 2010 5:36 am
You've been busy,Sparky! Copying your work makes my work easier! Keep it up so I don't have to:)
Mar. 29, 2010 11:50 am
The high protein gluten free flour recipe has been changed to "unshared". Would you mind passing it on. Really enjoy your blog.
Apr. 25, 2010 5:51 pm
I loved this. The Jamaican Blueberry Episode is something I can seriously relate to. Thanks for writing! :)
Sep. 10, 2010 11:52 pm
I love your blogs! Keep em comin.
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About Me
Live with my SoulMate Hubby (a.k.a. "The Most Wonderful Man In the World") in a teeny, tiny apartment with two psycho cats.
My favorite things to cook
Still in progress, but the list includes (from this site): Scandinavian Almond Bars; Serbian Beef and Vegetables; Scandinavian Almond Bars; Black Russian Bread; Scandinavian Almond Bars; Roasted Red Potatoes; Norwegian Meat Balls; Scandinavian Almond Bars; Norwegian Soft Cake; Milk-Braised Pork Loin!
My favorite family cooking traditions
Blot Kake (Norwegian Soft "Cake"); Sur Kal (Norwegian "Sour Cabbage"); Russian Peas; Scandinavian Almond Bars; Norwegian Meat Balls; (started by me) Milk-Braised Pork Loin
My cooking triumphs
My first loaf of bread (assisted by my very first breadmaker) Making the Scandinavian Almond Bars -- and they worked FIRST TIME Norwegian Meat Balls - HURRAY for me! Blot Kaker (even though it was a little tough due to using brown instead of white sugar) (Hokey Phinokey! I should upgrade my level as THE BEST EXPERT - WORLD AMAZING! Just because of this little cake)!! And, the recipe that boosted my rating from beginning to Intermediate: Milk-Braised Pork Loin!!!!!
My cooking tragedies
Never, EVER ... under any circumstance: 1. Add ketchup to Beef Stroganoff Hamburger Helper!! (We ordered Pizza that night.) 2. Pour onion soup mix from a bulk bag directly into what you are cooking ... *GAG* (Jam Sandwiches are a great replacement!) 3. When making Russian Peas, make sure they do NOT boil dry. That was Christmas Eve dinner (the Big Disaster) December 2009. 4. NOTE TO SELF: Although Hubby adds ketchup to EVERYTHING -- DO NOT add to anything while cooking (He's usually right!)-- Reminder: Easy Fettuccine Fiasco. *Sigh*
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