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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Chicken-Salad Spring Rolls

Do you sometimes wonder what to do with your left-over chicken? Sure you do and so do I. A lot of times, I'm sure it's Chicken Salad, but how about making a quick easy to take along snack or meal with that Chicken Salad.

Add a avocado, some sprouts, maybe some quinoa or wild rice, and salad, roll it up and Voila!

Chicken Salad Spring Rolls! Yum!

Just shred your left over chicken finely, mix it with rice and quinoa (if you want some carbs in your filling) and then add a tablespoon or two of mayo, season with salt and pepper (or whatever you fancy) and maybe some lemon juice for a bit of acidity. Set aside.

Prepare your other items, like avocado slices, lettuce leaves, sprouts, shredded carrot and arrange them in bowls.

Cover your counter with cling film, set out a plate with water to soak the rice paper wrappers. Just place the rice paper wrappers in the water maybe 30 seconds or less, then lay them onto the cling film.

Starting with the lettuce begin filling your wrappers and roll them up like a little burrito. Start by folding down the top, then fold in the sides and then wrap as tightly as you can. Put on a plate and EAT!

These stay fresh for a day or two, just place in a container with a moist paper towel.

Bon Appetite!

You could do this as well with tuna, crab, tofu, salmon or whatever other filling comes to mind.

PS: My next favorite hobby are horses.... volunteering at this rescue is one of my favorite things to do. Can you help us to keep these seniors well? Check us out at The Golden Carrot  or if you like to donate to the cause and support The Rescue Train Race for the Rescues.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Visit to "The Golden Carrot"

Wow it has been a long time since I wrote something here, but honestly I was busy and also distracted. We bought a house, we moved and we did some renovations with the help of my parents. They were so gracious to come visit and actually did most of the work, while Patrick and I were at work. Thank you so very much!

I also had some very sad things going on..... My favorite horse "Zeppelin" is no longer with us. I tried my best to get him to a sanctuary, but I was lied to and even though I tried my best, I never really had a chance at making it happen. The time I was told to find a "Retirement Home" for him, the owner had already scheduled the vet, for him to be put down..... It might sound strange to people, but it was devastating to me, it's like loosing a friend.... Had I know this, I would have just put a halter on him and take him across the street to a different stable and boarded him there for a few weeks, because the rescue just needed a little bit of time.

But good things can come out of bad situations, which now brings me to "The Golden Carrot"! While I was looking for a Rescue to find "Zeppelin" a new home, I discovered their website and started communicating with Casey. What a wonderful person she is! She immediately contacted her supporters and many of them were willing to help me! People I never met, were willing to pull together for a horse, that wouldn't be of any "use" to them... Amazing!

SO, even if I couldn't save Zeppelin, it brought me to this awesome Charity and I want to help them in any way I can. Regular visits to help with whatever is needed, raising funds, building awareness.... we cannot just discard our animals after a lifetime of service.... They love you, depend on you and trust you, how can you betray them??

Well I want to help out and my friend Jocelyn and I went to Anza, what a pretty drive, to meet Casey and the Horses! Some great dogs too! What a warm welcome! Casey showed me around the ranch and then we started mucking out stalls, not a small feat in the scorching sun. It must have been 90 degrees up there, well it was a great workout! After working a little, we got to cool down a little and started bathing some of the horses... They just loved it! And Gideon the new pup, loved rolling around in the mud. And he dried of clean.... don't know how that worked, but he didn't have any visible dirt on him after drying off.... go figure!

After all the hard work, Casey rewarded us both with a riding lesson... she is an amazing teacher and so kind! I can't wait to visit again.

In the meantime, help me help them! Can you donate a $1 or $2 (or more) to save the life of a horse? Buy some hay? Some grain? Help with vet bills? Even a small donation helps! We're not asking you to give a large amount..... but if you do that' be awesome!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Cold or Warm Cabbage Salad

Grilling Season is here and 4th of July Celebrations are only a week away, so I thought I'd post a recipe from Austria, that will give you an alternative to the true and sometimes tired Cole Slaw everyone serves with BBQ.

A "Krautsalat" or Cabbage Salad is something you would find everywhere in Austria, maybe even Bavaria and it just goes great with any kind of grilled meat, but especially well with ribs and sausages. You can even prepare it a day in advance and it's going to be even better.

Krautsalat, is somewhere in between a Cole Slaw and a Sauerkraut, it's not entirely raw, but also not cooked fully. Its still crunchy! It's slightly tangy, but not sour like Sauerkraut, it has a refreshing taste and isn't loaded with Mayo! I think you'll have to try and you will love it.

Here is what you need:

1 1/4 lbs of finely cut white cabbage
3 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar
6 TBSP Vegetable Oil
1 TSP Cumin
1 TSP Salt
2 fl oz water

Bacon bits (optional)

Place the finely cut cabbage in a bowl, sprinkle with the salt and mix well with your hands (kinda knead it a bit like a dough), let stand in the fridge for about an hour.

Then again, using your clean hands, squeeze out some of the liquid and drain the excess water.

Mix the water, vinegar and cumin and bring to a boil. Then pour the vinegar mixture over the cabbage and add the oil, mix well and maybe add some pepper if you like. Or toss in some bacon bits and serve with your favorite BBQ.

 You can make this the day before and just do the marinade the day of the BBQ.

A variation to this is a warm version, it differs from it in the way that the cabbage is blanched/boiled. And it definitely calls for the bacon.

You'll need:

1 1/4 finely cut white cabbage
3 oz of smoked bacon cut in small cubes
4 oz water or soup stock (any kind you like)
3 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar
3 TBSP Vegetable Oil
1 TSP Cumin

As in the previous recipe, add the cabbage to a bowl, sprinkle with salt and knead. Set aside. Bring the stock or water, the cumin and vinegar to a boil, then add the cabbage and let cooking the covered pot at a rolling boil for about a few minutes. Remove and drain the excess liquid.

While it is boiling, render your bacon in a pan, then pour all of it (even the fat) over the cabbage, add the vegetable oil and mix well. Salt and pepper to taste and serve!


Monday, June 11, 2012

Gluten Free Crepes ~ Savory and Sweet

I love Crepes, who doesn't? As Children we would often eat them for lunch or dinner. Mostly the sweet variety. Spending summers at my Grandma's in Austria, we had the all the time, because they were easy to make and she would let us eat them with our fingers.... Ah she was so quick making them too.....

In and out of the pan, filled and in our hands in 3 minutes flat.... and the leftover ones, were kept plain, cooled down, cut in thin strips and then added to a broth the next day or so...... Delicious. "Palatschinken" is what we call them in Austria!

Here's what you need for the gluten-free version:

1 1/4 cup rice flour (I use Mochiko Sweet Rice Flour from Koda Farms)
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 1/2 tbsp melted butter (or you could probably use coconut oil too)

Put all above ingredients in a blender and blend well, or you can do this in a mixer too, then let the batter sit in the fridge for about 30 minutes. It thickens a bit!

For the savory filling I used:

1 large leek, cut in rings
8 oz chopped mushrooms
2 shallots minced (you can use chopped onion)
3 cloves garlic minced
dash of gluten free soy sauce (try Kikkoman)
salt & pepper
red pepper flakes

 In a lightly oiled pan, sautee the minced shallot and garlic, add the mushrooms and the leek, and sautee until the mushrooms are cooked, if it gets to dry add a little white wine or broth. Season with salt & pepper and a dash of soy sauce, add the red pepper flakes if you like it spicier, turn down the heat as far as you can to just keep the filling warm.

Make your crepes. Its best to use a flat crepe pan, as its easier to flip your crepes, but you can use any nonstick pan you have. Heat the pan with just a little bit of oil and pour in a little bit of batter, swirl it around so you have a very thin layer of batter. Let cook until the crepe batter has no more "liquid" spots and the edges look golden brown, then flip over and let cook on the flipside.. once cooked transfer onto a warm plate.... do so with all of the batter.

Once you are done, fill the crepes with the prepare filling, transfer on dinner plates, garnish and serve.

For dessert I filled mine with Nutella and Raspberries! Yummy!

You can fill these with anything you like, all veggies, meat, chicken, tofu or any kind of preserves, applesauce, fruit, whatever.... the variations are as limitless as your imagination.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Gluten-Free Carrot Cake

I've been juicing a lot lately with my new Breville Juicer and I've always had such a bad conscience to trow away all the fruit and vegetable pulp, so I thought there must be a way for me to at least use some of it.

So I thought of making a carrot cake, as you'll need shredded carrot for it anyway, might just as well use the pulp right.... So if you are juicing carrots and you want to use your leftovers this is for you.

You will need the following:

200 g butter softened/cubed
100 g finely shredded carrots (or more if you like)
100 g ground almonds
200 g superfine sugar (I like C&H Sugar Products)
100 g sweet rice flour
1 tsp baking powder
5 eggs
1 lemon (finely grated zest)

Grab a large mixing bowl and start out by beating your softened butter until it makes little peaks, then add the sugar and keep beating, mix in a little bit of lemon juice and the lemon zest, then while beating on medium speed add one egg at a time. Once you added all your eggs and everything is nicely combined you will slowly add the shredded carrot and the almond meal.

Make sure to scrape down the edges of your bowl so you get all the buttery taste into your batter.

Then slowly and gently fold in the rice flour (I prefer Koda Farms Mochiko Sweet Rice Four), which has been combined with the baking powder.
I do this by hand, as over mixing will make the cake rubbery. Then transfer the batter into a 8" / 20cm spring form pan and bake at 375F/200C for about 60 - 70 Min or until wooden pick comes out clean.

If in doubt it's better to bake gluten-free recipe's a bit longer especially the ones without any gum (guar gum / xanthan gum) in them.

Once your cake is done, let it cool and you can either frost it or do a glaze like I did.

For the white sugar glaze you'll need:

200 g powdered sugar sifted
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp lemon juice

Mix the above ingredients to a very thick syrup (think thick honey), set a little aside and color with a few drops of food coloring or with some cocoa powder (you might have to add a little liquid) so you can draw circles on top of the cake to create the "Spiderweb".

To create a smooth surface for your glaze, take about a spoon of apricot jam or any jelly you like, heat in the microwave and brush on the cake with a pastry brush.

Add the with glaze and smooth with a large knife or spatula and tilting the cake. Before it sets, pipe circles in the reserved colored icing on the cake and with a wooden pick pull lines across the cake, just like you would cut your slices. If you like you can add little Marzipan Carrots too.

Let the frosting 'dry' and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I know it's been a while

and I haven't posted yet this year. Well things are a bit busy around these parts. My husband and I have finally found a house we're in the process of buying and any homeowners out there probably know how stressful it is to buy one's first home.

On top of that I got in a car accident, yep, on the 405 freeway! A 18-Wheeler misread the speed traffic was going at and BAM...... slammed in the car behind me, which in turn slammed into me. So ever since then I'm at the doctors office 3 times a week, for electromagnetic treatment and all that fun stuff. I could have done without it. Thank GOD, nothing worse happened. I'm also sending good vibes to the lady in the small car that got wedged between the truck and I, she broke her wrist and I don't know what else, but she got the short end of the stick as her car was just done for.

I applaud DODGE for their great product, my Magnum only needs a new bumper and some paint.... End of story. Too bad you took that beautiful car out of your line-up!

A big Thank You also goes out to Progressive Insurance that handled the claim speedily and professionally.

All there is to do now is fix the car and get all the expenses paid the the other insurance company!

Hope none of you have to deal with anything like that, an accident on a busy freeway is very scary!