Where the *BLEEP* have I been?

August 1, 2007

Ever noticed that life seems to enjoy conspiring against your wishes? By being totally cool?

Harry Potter. The last book rocks. But before I would allow myself to read it, I had to go back and read the other six books. Because I am totally weird that way. Before I see the current movie, I am compelled to watch all the previous ones first. Which I haven’t done yet, because we recently got a satellite dish and I have been DVRing and watching all the Good Eats episodes on Food Network.

Courtesy of the publisher, I recently received a copy of Carol Fenster’s new cookbook, “Gluten-Free Quick & Easy.” Before I start picking out recipes to try, I have to read the whole thing through, cover to cover. I tried the first one tonight, which I will get to in a bit.

Sensing a pattern here? Just Not Dinner, aka Anal Are Us.

Amy’s sent me some samples this week – thankfully, they’re all products I have never had, namely because I have not seen them in any of my local stores. Maybe they’ll read this and fix that little problem. I have eaten one and not been totally impressed. But again, I will get to that later.

We have begun working in earnest on this year’s Haunted Barn. I spent several hours on Sunday covered in cobwebs and other unappetizing things while cleaning out what was left behind by the critters that inhabit the place in the off-season. Ew.

Last week Friday, someone I admire a great deal asked me to cook all of her meals for her. She is following the LA Weight Loss diet plan – quite successfully, I might add. However, she loathes cooking. Eating healthy and well and no cooking do not go hand-in-hand very well. So I have begun a new venture – private/personal chefdom. On Sundays, I make 3 meals per day for Monday through Wednesday, and on Wednesdays, I make 3 meals per day for Thursday and Friday (and sometimes the weekends, too).

God, PLEASE let my parents bring me my dishwasher.

While the foods I am cooking for her fit quite nicely into the gluten-free lifestyle, for the most part, it’s all pretty bland for my tastes. The diet plan only allows so many condiments, fat, and dairy per day. When I come up with something truly magnificent (and there will be), rest assured that it will show up here.

But now.

I tried the Amy’s GF mac and cheese. Eh. The pasta was too mushy for me and the sauce seemed gritty. It might have seemed weird to me because I didn’t put my normal ketchup on it (I know – shut up!); I wanted to taste it by itself. It’s not a bad product, but it’s not something I would buy. But then, I rarely (even in my gluten days) eat packaged mac and cheese without some major doctoring.

More Amy’s down the road as I eat my way through the samples.

Carol Fenster’s new book. I like it. If you’re looking for gluten-free dinners that can be put together in a hurry, this is the book for you. The only thing I have found that I don’t like is that the side dishes chapter is pretty thin compared to the other chapters.

I made the Balsamic Marinated Sirloin Steaks tonight. I put the meat into the marinade at 6 this morning so it had plenty of time to soak in. My mistake, most likely, was that I used a piece of meat that probably needed 24 hours in the marinade to do it justice – a buffalo steak. The game-y taste (which I like, by the way) overpowered the marinade, even though I made the full recipe for only 1 steak. So, when I make this again, I will try a beef sirloin and I expect better results.

No picture – I had to cook the steak so long to get it done that the outside was a bit charred (nearly 2″ thick – I won’t do that again).

Balsamic Marinated Sirloin Steaks
From Gluten-Free Quick & Easy by Carol Fenster

1/2 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp table salt, divided
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
6 sirloin steaks (6 ounces each) or similar cut

Combine the wine, oil, vinegar, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and the black pepper in a heavy-duty food storage bag. Add the steaks, seal the bag, and shake to blend the ingredients. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

Remove the beef from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Discard the marinade.

Heat a barbecue grill to medium heat. Sprinkle the steaks with the remaining 1 tsp salt and grill them to the desired degree of doneness. Remove the steaks from the grill and let stand, covered, 15 minutes. Serve hot.

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