Gluten free = delicious

I’m not big on food hypes or random diets. But recently, after doing a little research, we decided to go “low gluten / gluten free” at home and the results have been great so far! (more energy, less stomach aches, no ulcers or hiccups…)

One side effect of trying gluten free is learning to substitute snacks with alternatives. Pamela’s baking mix has been awesome for this. The mix tastes amazing as cookies, pancakes, and waffles and will make a lovely pizza dough some night soon.

Tonight we gorged on delicious warm chocolate chip cookies (gluten free!), courtesy of Pamela’s Baking Mix. Yum!

20120321-220222.jpg

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies:
(Pamela’s recipe)

20120321-220602.jpg

Mix ingredients and bake at 350 for approx. 15 minutes!
Enjoy warm and gooey.

Friday Daydreams…

Ketzali Scarf, please!

Baggu, organize my life!  I need these in my mom bag to keep a little order.  Done!

Delicious and beautiful new blog to follow!  uh oh deliciousness.  The First Mess has beautiful food photography and warm, delicious recipes.

Nautical Stripe Baggu

Happy weekend and expect some new and exciting paintings on Monday!

M

 

The Food Matters Project…

Member of The Food Matters Project

I love the blog-o-sphere.  Just joined up with The Food Matters Project and cannot wait to share and cook with some of the fabulous bloggers out there!

More from their website about the project:

“We hope to inspire, educate, and encourage as we cook our way through Mark Bittman’s book together. From vegans to pescetarians to those who love indulging in the semi-occasional (or frequent!) burger and fries, everyone is welcome to join!”

The entire concept was developed by other food bloggers and is based on Mark Bittman’s idea of eating less processed foods and more healthy veggies and fruits to make ourselves healthier but to also have a positive impact on the world around us.  Dirty hippies rejoice!

 

 

Sweethearts…

Happy Valentine’s Day!  That being said, I am teaching hoards of children in conversation-heart induced comas today.

After the fog clears, here are some sweet things to enjoy.

1. An easy Pink Beet and Quinoa Salad.  Yummy and “romantic”.  Are beets romantic?  Why yes, haha!

2.  Great sign / quote by FifiDuvie on Etsy.

courtesy of Etsy FifiDuvie Shop

3.  Design Crush Blog’s Valentines.  So cute and simple.

courtesy of Design Crush Blog

 

And my favorite Valentine’s day memory: 

My high school boyfriend (aka – my hubby…teehee) dropped off a giant stuffed animal at a friend’s house on 2/13…many years ago.  The friend then was instructed to put the stuffed animal in my locker before school so that I would be surprised.  Well, I was shocked to open a locker to find this surprise and a love note.  Then, later that day, there was a rose on my car.   What a sweetie, right?

I found out later that his car had broken down while trying to get to my school to leave the rose on my car and he had to walk / push his car to get there.  This people, is valentine’s day!

Love you hubby!

DC flamenco festival + Picasso’s Drawings

I can’t wait for DC Flamenco week!  It looks like such an awesome event full of beautiful dancing and Spanish food.

DC Flamenco Festival

And, at the National Gallery, there is an exhibition of Picasso’s Drawings!  What a fun little Spanish day of adventure this could be!

Now all I can think about is sitting outside at a cafe drinking a cafecito and people watching.

Happy Monday.

M

 

 

Havana Road in Towson, MD

New restaurant alert! Havana Road in Towson is authentic, delicious and has sparkly twinkle lights wrapped in the rafters. Plus, everything there feels very like “home”.

In college I was able to study in Cuba for a couple of weeks and the trip to Havana Road brought back memories of dining in Havana’s popular “paladares”: restaurants literally run out of people’s homes where you dine in their kitchen on the best croquetas, ropa vieja, picadillo, and mojo that you will ever eat!

See more about Towson’s new “tesoro” here

Oh and another awesome thing about Havana Road….they have great recipes on their website for traditional Cuban dishes! Mi esposo cubano seria un hombre feliz :)
croquetas de jamón

20120121-215451.jpg

Washington’s Green Grocer…

Suburbanites and City Girls rejoice!  The perfect CSA does, in fact, exist!  

Washington's Green Grocer

It’s called Washington’s Green Grocer and they are absolutely fantastic in every way.

Top 5 reasons to love WGG:

1.  Produce arrives in a box, safe secure and perfectly fresh and protected.  (They even wrapped my portobellos in paper for me, xoxo)

2.  You PICK what you want and HAVE A CHOICE to choose what you do not want.  There are even lists for “never send” and “always send”.  We are Banana people in our house so 10 bananas per week are being sent every time we order, a la carte.

3.  NO COMMITMENT: You can order “On Demand” or sign up for every week, month or however often you would like.  I often have flashbacks to my first venture into CSA-ing when each week we recieved 20 lbs of Kale and were slightly overwhelmed and annoyed.

4.  THEY DELIVER: I kid you not, I live on the “outskirts” of DC.  (read: bumble) They deliver all over MD, DC and DE!!!  I love them.  Again, no awkward produce pick ups in weird warehouses places that are not convenient.  sigh.

5.  Their website rocks. Zeke, the brains behind the operation, is great and actually responds to emails!  CUSTOMER SERVICE! heyyy.

 

Try them out.  5 BIG FAT stars.

P.S. – Babies love organic produce.

P.P.S – Their logo is so cute, no?  Ok.  I need to relax about the produce.

Val’s Masala Chai…

My friend Valerie brought homemade Chai tea to a little get together once and it was to-die-for!

Recently, I got ahold of the recipe and cannot wait to try it out on one of these frigid January days.

Courtesy of Girly Bubble Blog

Masala Chai Recipe: (serves 2)

1 1/2 c. water
1 inch cinnamon stick
8 cardamom pods
8 whole cloves
2/3 c. milk
6 teaspoons sugar
3 teaspoons loose black tea
1 inch +/-  fresh ginger (grated or sliced) (this is her secret addition, extra spice!)

Put 1 1/2 c. of water in a saucepan. Add cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and ginger. Bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat to a low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the milk and sugar and bring to a simmer again. Throw in the tea leaves, cover and turn off the heat. After 2 minutes, strain the tea into two cups and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Mac’s Landing Cafe in Brooklyn…

Last weekend on a trip to visit friends in Brooklyn, NYC, we stumbled (thanks to Groupon) upon Mac’s Landing in the Bed-Stuy neighborhood.

It’s a hidden treasure off the beaten path that is definitely worth seeing!

Reasons to love Mac’s:

1. Amazing, fresh brunch dishes. I had a Mexican Omelet full of fresh veggies and chorizo…yum!

2. Delicious and creative hot drinks and a huge selection! I had a beautiful latte with the right pinch of cocoa on top…heaven.

20111221-131946.jpg

PS- There are crayons at every table. It was basically love at first sight!

3. Quirky, creative environment with a non-pretentious cafe vibe.
And great music.
And a lovely waitress / barrista.
And nice patrons.
And a picnic bench out front for a sunny day.

20111221-132123.jpg

20111221-132141.jpg

4. A penny tiled threshold. I made a wish :)

20111221-132236.jpg

Their location:
305 Halsey St
(between Tompkins Ave & Throop Ave)
Bedford Stuyvesant
Brooklyn, NY 11216

Find out more on Facebook.
Mac’s Landing Cafe

Something different for the quirky 20-something lady on your holiday list…

A Silly but Awesome Stocking Stuffer – Beeswax Crayon Set:

Anthropologie

http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/catalog/productdetail.jsp?navAction=jump&id=23589864&parentid=SEARCH_RESULTS&color=072

A Fun “kid’s toy” gift – Make your own Kaleidoscope kit: (don’t judge, I love!):

Anthropologie

http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/catalog/productdetail.jsp?navAction=jump&id=23192594&parentid=SEARCH_RESULTS&color=095

Beauty Products – Kiehl’s Products (anyone would love these gift sets!): 

Kiehl's Hydration Essentials - $23!

http://www.kiehls.com/Gifts-for-Her/gifts-for-her,default,sc.html

Simple Jewelry – Sterling Silver star necklace on Etsy:

Jenny Trihn on Etsy

http://www.etsy.com/listing/68406879/tiny-sterling-silver-star-necklace-free

A Cookbook – “Home Made” or “Dinner A Love Story”:

"Dinner: A Love Story" by Jenny Rosenstrach

"Home Made" by Yvette Van Boven

 

http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/catalog/productdetail.jsp?id=23084452&parentid=BAYNOTE