“Just what is ‘food porn’?” I hear you asking.
Well, it’s basically porn, but food rather than naked bodies. What does porn do? It arouses, titillates the senses, intrigues, pleases. (or disgusts, depending on your views on such things but hey, we’re going for the positive here)
I love to cook. I love to cook for many of the same reasons I love to write: It’s fun to make people groan in pleasure and happiness when they put that first bite in their mouths. It’s fun to watch as they eat steadily without saying a word because the food is just so good it doesn’t occur to them to do anything BUT eat. (although, really, I do like the verbal praise too lol)
I have pictures from the last few months. Some of them aren’t very well lit. Then I discovered the “cuisine” setting on my camera et voila! properly lit food. I’d have more but I only recently started taking the pictures to tease my friends.
The biggest thing that you have to understand about my cooking is that it has to be gluten/wheat, corn and soy free. Since I also appear to be intolerant to eggs and dairy, the less I use of those the better too. (My reactions to them are generally MUCH less violent to the first three. Just can’t eat hard boiled eggs. At all. You don’t want to be around.)
Trying to figure out what to do with left over ground beef one day. I decided I wanted to make a beefy-cheesy mac & cheese thing (I call it beefaroni but technically, I don’t think beefaroni has cheese in it). But I didn’t have any sauce so my daughter and I went to the grocery store. They didn’t have a single sauce I can eat in it. My reaction was “#@$#@$%@#$!” and some serious moping. I was having bad reactions to airborne chemicals that day and couldn’t make a decision. Then I happened to lay eyes on a bag of basmati rice. Yum.
My daughter helped me pick out veggies – broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, cauliflower, green pepper and green onion – and we discussed a sauce. Mind you, she wouldn’t eat the dinner with someone else’s mouth but she wants to be a chef so she likes to help me develop meals. The sauce she wanted involved lemons. So I made a lemon-garlic-butter sauce and added the basmati rice. Came out looking like this:
I will be posting older photos later in the blog so the quality will go down. I want main dishes, then dessert types. 😀
My son had never had a Philly Cheesesteak before. Can you believe that? So I made him one. I bought an inside round steak, since I couldn’t find Steak’ums (which work best). Usual ingredients – green peppers, onion. Added a little sweet onion & chipotle BBQ sauce. Mine is on gluten free bread but I put his on a nice, soft Portuguese roll. I used Swiss cheese instead of provolone and added fries on the side.
Yes I put salt & pepper on my fries. Blame Peter. I got to liking it.
My son is one of those stuff-his-face-omg-this-is-fantastic! type eaters. Had to ask him if it was good. I should know better because if it’s not (and it does happen, though rarely) he’ll say “No Mom. This is not food.” *laughs*
I live in a small apartment – well, actually it’s a fair size for what it is, big open spaces, huge bedroom. It’s a one bedroom in a really old building and I have no balcony. That means no BBQ, which frustrates me to no end. (And hey, really, if someone wants to send me a George Foreman Grill I wouldn’t object) It means I have to find other ways to get that BBQ flavour. One way I discovered is to steam chicken in BBQ sauce that’s been diluted with water. (if you don’t add the water it cooks down really quickly into a thick sludge on the bottom of the pan) The chicken turns out REALLY moist and just to die for, although without the smoky flavour a BBQ gives it. Even my super picky daughter, who is not a fan of the sauce, wolfed it down the first time I fed it to her.
This week though I wanted something different. So I decided to do chicken under the broiler. The tricks there are to a) make sure it’s close enough but not too close; b) use chicken that isn’t frozen and c) watch it closely. It tasted a little oven-y but I was using a garlic & herb sauce by Sensations, which is divine by the way, and that helped make me ignore the oven taste. Then I pulled out my basmati rice again (I prefer it to brown rice and white instant rice, thanks to our friend Jude, who introduced me to to it) and some stir fry vegetables.
Looks divine doesn’t it? It was fantastic even reheated. I do bulk cooking when I can so that there is always a meal in the freezer when I can’t cook. It was really good.
Now on to desserts!
Peter’s birthday is in November and he hadn’t had a birthday cake in ages. I really wanted to do his favourite – angel food cake – but being new to gluten free baking at that point, I couldn’t see my way around tackling it (and succeeding). So I made him one from a new discovery – Betty Crocker’s gluten free cake mixes. The yellow one in particular. I set aside some of the batter and added organic cocoa powder in order to make it pretty.
The filling is whipping cream with crushed raspberries folded in.
Lousy picture. It was eventually iced with more of the whipped cream and decorated with whole raspberries. It was a big hit. The BC GF cake mixes are a little dense but if you whisk/sift the mix before using it it gets to be a little lighter. I haven’t tried the brownie or cookie mix first because… well, aside from them having corn starch in them, I prefer to do those from scratch.
Thanksgiving was last October (as it is every year for Canadians) and I wanted something that was *me*. A new tradition. Peter doesn’t like pumpkin pie much so I wanted something he would like, as well as the pumpkin. Because I LOVE pumpkin. So I made an Apple-Cranberry Streusel pie. The crust was a bitch. For some reason the GF flour mix I was using just lets the liquid attach itself to the outside, rather than being properly absorbed, and remains sticky. It doesn’t work well at all for pie crust. So I ended up pressing it into the pan and it wasn’t as good as I’d like.
Fresh cranberries, apples and apple juice went into a pot with cinnamon, sugar, a tiny hit of nutmeg and cloves. It was all cooked down a bit then tossed with other apple slices and put into the crust. The topping is flour, brown sugar, a bit more cinnamon and nutmeg. Oh lordie it was good! My ex-husband wasn’t entirely sure he liked it but it got eaten up.
Looks good, yes?
A friend of Peter’s died last fall and there was a gathering to remember him. People were asked to bring things. He wouldn’t let me go because of the scents and stuff but I sent along two upside down lemon meringue pies.
“What the hell?”
I remembered it from my teens, when I was living with my mother in Calgary. She has Celiac Disease, which means she’s gluten free. We didn’t think a rice flour crust would work well (read: taste right) so we used the meringue as the crust. It’s a delicate thing but it turned out really well!
So that’s what I did. We’re not the only ones who are gluten free in our community of friends so it was good. It also made sure that Peter had something sweet he could have if he wanted.
So what did I do? I took a Pavlova recipe and used it to fill the pie plates. Smoothed it all out with a spoon and baked it. While it was cooling I made the filling – a Shirriff’s lemon pie filling. My absolutely favourite. I can’t have it anymore because it has some version of corn in it, starch I think, but that’s ok, I can make lemon curd. Just have to get over my fear of it going wrong and do it.
One last thing… Triple Chocolate Cookies. *drool*
I made these yesterday. They have a cocoa cookie dough base, milk chocolate chips and white chocolate mini chips. They are so good I can only make half a batch at a time. We eat them all almost immediately. They’re rich, not stupidly sweet and my kids don’t even care that they’re gluten free (they’ve gotten used to the GF stuff anyway).
And now I’m hungry. *laughs* Time to go make some food!
Oh! We had a visitor.
See his tail? Down by his hind feet. I’d have to name him Oreo. Peter says he must’ve smelled my brain thinking about food.