“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” – Mother Teresa

First off, I want to thank everyone who came to visit me last night at my booth during Afterglow. I had many great conversations with the lot of you and it was great to be able to share what I know about living dairy free, and very encouraging to have so many people excited to try my recipes.

Those who attended last night’s event got a bit of a preview that you folks have not yet been privy to, a few days ago I made Panko Crusted Stuffed Meatballs and posted a picture on both Facebook and Twitter. That resulted in several people asking for the recipe and I decided to include it in those featured at my booth.

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Since some of you were geographically unable to attend, and others either couldn’t make it out or the rain killed their copy of the recipe, I’ve uploaded a PDF version of the pamphlet I handed out with all three recipes included. Simply click the link and you’ll have access to them in all their glory. Tony’s Recipes – Afterglow

I look forward to hearing feedback from those who give these recipes a go and, as always, if you’d like to send me an e-mail with pictures of your creation and a write up on what you did, I would love to post them on here. My goal for this blog is to replicate the atmosphere found when sitting with a group of friends in the kitchen, swapping recipes.

Happy Cooking!

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This Life Is What You Make It” – Marilyn Monroe

When I first kicked this blog back into gear I wasn’t sure what I wanted it to become. It was more or les a virtual recipe book that I could refer to as need be, then something happened. People start reading. Not just people I knew either, I’ve met quite a few people since I started. In doing so, the main idea for my blog took form.

I love cooking with friends and sharing recipes/ideas, as well as riffing on how to make them better. So I want to replicate that atmosphere in a blog, and apart from encouraging people to comment about how the process goes for them or suggestions for recipes to feature, it is somewhat out of my hands haha. Luckily I received an e-mail this week with Barbara Nolan‘s take on the Breakfast Pizza recipe I posted a few entries ago.

So, basically from here on out, if you try one of the recipes and want to share with everyone, and I hope you do, just shoot off an e-mail to biodomer@hotmail.com with pictures and any tweaks you made to the recipe and I’ll gear up a post and share it with everyone else.

Here We Go!

Starting with the tweaks to the recipe:
Bacon fried in a 12″ pan – I was actually considering changing this to chopped up Canadian bacon in the future.
6 eggs scrambled – I did this with milk but think I might leave the milk out next time.
Daiya Cheddar cheese – Cheddar is my personal favorite kind of cheese.
Black olives spread over half of the eggs
Red/Green peppers spread over the other half
Sea Salt and Garlic & Herbs sprinkled over all

Bake at 350° for 15 min.

She also posed this question – “I am thinking that the consistency of mine may have been different because of using the milk to scramble the eggs.  Did you use anything?” The answer is just a very little bit of water. I find it makes the egg a lot fluffier, which gives your eggs a great little pick me up.

Now for the photographic evidence, and I would like to go on record saying this looks leaps and bounds fancier than mine! Great job, Barbara =)

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I look forward to more e-mails from all of you.

Have a great one!

PS – If you send in your goods, you name the post too =P

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

So, I was watching Chuck’s Day Off on the Food Network and he was making this really yummy looking spinach dip. Going on about the different cheeses that go into it, and the beer base and I slowly started to check out mentally. A beer based spinach dip sounded great, but when you’re lactose intolerant and they talk about how great the flavors of the different cheeses are, and the boost that they give to the recipe, you just sort of lose interest. But for whatever reason I decided I was going to make it work with my ingredients, I was going to make it dairy free, and it was going to be excellent…I was right!

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Los Ingredientes

  • Round loaf of bread (I find Sourdough works best)
  • 1 bottle of beer (We swear by Stella) (here’s a list of Gluten Free Beer to use instead. Note that I have not tried these, but have friends who drink Redbridge)
  • 1 pkg Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds (amazing dairy free cheese, best I’ve found)
  • 1/2 yellow pepper
  • 4-6 mushrooms
  • 1/2 medium sized onion
  • roughly 4 cups of chopped spinach
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Sea Salt & Herbs

Before I get into this, I have to expand on the Sea Salt & Herbs as it can be found in almost every recipe I make. It’s a mixture of, you guessed it, sea salt & herbs that can be purchased at the Bridgewater Farm Market from Rumtopf Farm for $5 a bag. If you live in my general area I strongly suggest picking up a bag and trying it for yourself. I barely make a meal without it.

First thing’s first, put your cheese in a bowl with the 2 tablespoons of flour and mix to make sure its all coated so they don’t clump together and put it to the side.

Next, take a bread knife and cut the top inch or so off the top of the loaf of bread and, taking a paring knife, cut out the inside of the loaf, leaving about an inch the whole way around. Scoop out the bread from inside the loaf as you would a pumpkin when making a Jack-O-Lantern and chop them up into little cubes doing the same with the top you cut off earlier. Spread them out on a baking sheet and drizzle olive oil, along with salt & pepper over top and mix to make sure they are all coated. Make room for the newly formed bread bowl and put them all in the oven at 350 for 5 minutes. Afterwards, take your cubes and put them on a plate, or tray, or in a basket if you’d prefer but keep the bread bowl on the pan, you’ll need it again .

While all this is going on you can fry up the yellow pepper, mushroom, and onion in a frying pan with a bit of olive oil and whichever spices you prefer. Keep it at a low heat, you won’t need them until after the spinach goes in with the beer & cheese.

In a pot, bring the beer to a very warm temperature without bringing it to a boil and add in the cheese. This will take longer with the dairy free cheese than normal cheese just because it’s a different consistency. Add in the Sea Salt & Herbs, or your go to seasoning, and with a wooden spoon keep mixing it slowly until it becomes completely melted, then comes the audience participation. Get the person who’s been standing there holding up the counter while you’ve been working to slowly add the spinach to the pot while you keep stirring.

Now is the moment you’ve been waiting for since I mentioned it, I know you have! The veggies you fried up earlier can now be added into the pot too! Once it’s all had a chance to get properly acquainted, take the contents and pour it into your bread bowl. Then it’s back into the oven for another 15 minutes, still at 350, and you can dig in and enjoy.

Remember, if you run out of the cubes, you can always start ripping the bowl apart!

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Be sure to check out the other recipes on the blog too, as all of them are dairy free! =)

PS – If you want to make this more of a meal, you can always fry up some ground chicken or turkey, or stick with the veggie theme and double up on the mushrooms. peppers, and onion. Zucchini is also a nice addition =)

“Every great film should seem new every time you see it.” – Roger Ebert

*NOTE* – Both of these recipes have had additions/tweaks made to them and the additional info can be found Here!

normally I’ll go full tilt for one meal a day, and Saturday, that meal was Lasagna cupcakes and Make Ahead Potatoes. Neither are all that labor intensive and both taste awesome! I think I’ve stepped up my game a bit because I have friends staying with me from Vancouver and they’ve seen all the pictures I post with what I’ve cooked and now they get to try it, so I don’t want to miss any chances to impress.

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They are a cinch to make, and just so everyone felt involved we made an assembly line.

The Goods

  • 2-3 mini muffin tins (can also use regular muffin tins)
  • 24-30 Wonton Wrappers
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 pkg ground meat (we used chicken)
  • sauce of your choosing (we used Hunt’s mushroom & basil)
  • cheese (we used Daiya Dairy Free Mozzarella)
  • seasoning for meat, completely up to you

(To make these vegetarian, simply ditch the ground chicken and supplement veg of your choice. I have made them with zucchini, mushroom, peppers, and onion with excellent results.)

I’ll tell you right off the top, these babies are going in at 375, so turn your oven on when you think you should to be ready to cook. Put some olive oil in a pan and bring it to temperature. Add your ground meat and once it starts to break apart and get a little bit of colour add your onion and seasoning/spices. Cook on a low-medium heat for maximum flavor.

While it’s cooking get one of your houseguests/family/friends AKA prep cooks to put a wonton wrapper in each muffin tin. This is where you have a decision to make, you can either use a glass, cut circles out, and place them in the tins OR you can say screw that, and put in the entire wrapper, which is MUCH more fun!

By the time you’ve decided between circles or squares, your meat has probably finished cooking and now all you have to do is layer in the sauce, meat, and cheese.

Once again, we implemented the assembly line, meat, sauce, cheese, repeat. I will say, we didn’t heat the sauce, it went right from can to tin. It will cook during the 18-20 minutes spent in the oven, but it is your call.

The last decision you have to make for this dish comes between the first and second layer of meat,sauce,cheese, (when using the mini muffin tins) and that is whether you want to fold the corners back in and cover them with the mixture (Thanks to Josh Lyons for the suggestion, its a great one!) or leave them exposed to the elements (see what I did there?).

So these go in, as I said, @ 375 for 18-20 minutes, and come out looking like they do above.

Next on the docket is a little gem called Make Ahead Potatoes, reason being you can make it ahead of time and simply toss it in the oven before your meal. When I got IBS, I also managed to become lactose intolerant, which meant I couldn’t eat this one anymore, which SUCKED. But recently, I’ve found dairy free cream cheese, and sour cream and I was off to the races!

The original recipe is HUGE and feeds roughly all the players in the NFL, so I knocked it down a few pegs.

The Innards

  • 8×8 pan
  • 4-5 good sized potatoes, peeled and roughly cut
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 6 tbsp margarine
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 yellow pepper
  • cheese for the top

This will be cooked @ 350 so, once again, preheat accordingly. Fry the onion and yellow pepper in a pan with a bit of olive oil. Boil the the potatoes, drain, and put in a large bowl. Put a little bit of margarine in with them and give them a rough mash, then switch to a hand held mixer, this will make the potatoes extra smooth. Mix in the other ingredients as they appear. Once the veggies have been added, transfer to your 8×8 pan. The potato WILL  go above the edge, that’s fine and half the fun. Just smooth out the top and generously apply a layer of cheese and that sucker is ready to go into the oven @ 350 for 40 minutes.

Let it be said that you can add any extras you would like to this dish, I think the next time we do it I’ll add chicken bacon for good measure.

These are the dairy free alternatives I used for this recipe:

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Making use of all of these still make it taste great and the three other people who were eating it said that they wouldn’t know that it was made with dairy free anything. This was the end result.

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If you want a bit more of a crust, you can leave it in a bit longer, or after the 40 minutes, switch it to broil. But be advised that if you choose the broil method, keep a VERY close eye on it as it can go from crust to crisp without notice.

That brings everyone up to date on the culinary goings on up until yesterday morning, but rather than bog one post down with a boatload of recipes and such. I’d hate for you to get too excited and try and lick/eat your screen.

To close this out, here is my step-kitten, Molly

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“If I’m Not Back In Five Minutes, Just Wait Longer!” – Ace Ventura

I apologize right off the top, I’ve got a massive head cold so this post may become a bit loopy.

keeping up with Canadian content, another apology, this time for a lag in updates. Two friends from Vancouver arrived on Tuesday and as such I haven’t had much spare time to fill everyone in.

Yesterday my cousin Tim decided to take a trip up to visit, so we all spent the day sitting around, shooting the breeze. I tend to post photos of the things I cook, as they tend to be somewhat out of the ordinary, and Tim was looking forward to finally being able to TRY some of it. So, when it came time for Supper, I decided to step it up a notch and make Cordon Bleu Roll-Ups, but with a bit of a twist.

This is the recipe as I found it:

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As I said before there are were deviations from the recipe, but I wanted to make sure everyone had the same starting points to allow you all to make your own tweaks.

Being lactose intolerant, I switched the milk for almond milk, and no one knew any different, just make sure that it’s unsweetened. The cheese was also switched out for the Daiya Dairy Free cheese I mentioned in the previous post.

I also found, not having panko crumbs on hand, that the amounts on the dry ingredients were a bit excessive and you really only need the 1/2 cup flour and the 1/2 cup of bread crumbs, panko or otherwise to suit your fancy.

The main difference between mine and the recipe above is that I didn’t use ham. I know what you’re thinking “Chicken cordon bleu is ham and swiss!” “It makes no sense!” “you’re a crazy person!” I look at it this way, my girlfriend doesn’t like ham, so I changed the recipe. Keeping her happy seems like the opposite of crazy, to me.

As an alternative, I fried up roughly 4-5 mushrooms, 1/2 a yellow pepper, & 1 medium onion and used that mixture in place of ham.

Everything else went according to recipe, apart from the fact that we used the BBQ. It was an incredibly hot day yesterday and using the oven would have been very stupid. So we used the pizza pans we have set aside for grilling, put a little bit of olive oil on them and loaded them up with the Roll-Ups (we doubled the recipe).

When all was said and done, this is what we ended up with:

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Everyone seemed to really enjoy it, and we were able to make them to suit everyone’s needs:

Sam doesn’t like ham? CHECK! we used veggies instead

Sara doesn’t like mushrooms? CHECK! we fried onions and peppers separately for her.

Mom can’t eat peppers? CHECK! she gets onions and mushrooms.

We found the best way to do it so that everyone got the most out of it was to do 4 with mushrooms and onion and 4 with pepper and onion. We also kept them together rather than slicing them up, but this is what they look like once they are opened.

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obviously this is one of the mushroom ones.

Tonight we’re going to be making some lasagna cupcakes, which should be up sometime tomorrow.

Be sure to let me know how you like theses/any alterations you make to yours!

In closing, this is my kitten. She’s all tuckered out from being a moron all morning.

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I’m gonna read a book with pictures.

So, my parents left for Greenville, SC yesterday, which means I’m house sitting for the next 10 days. Last night was fairly uneventful, I’ve just been picking away at re-cataloguing my DVDs and Blu-Ray because my database didn’t carry over when I made the switch from PC to Mac. It’s one hell of a process, but I’ve found a very good program that is incredibly user friendly and suits all my needs and beyond.

 

It came time for supper and I wanted to treat myself, do something a bit fancier than usual. This is what I came up with:

One of the many joys of having IBS is that there are things you can’t eat and there is no rhyme or reason to it. I’m not gluten intolerant, I can eat bread just fine, but for one reason or another I can’t eat pasta. I can eat rice, but pasta is a no go. So I’ve come to love rice vermicelli and also this “pasta” which is made from peas and bean sprouts. When uncooked it is white but the noodles cook clear, which is odd when cooking the first time and are unaware.

The sauce is just Hunts mushroom and basil sauce that I put Daiya dairy free cheese in while cooking so it melted all throughout. The meat is extra lean ground chicken with onion, mushroom, and orange pepper and seasoned with cayenne and a chicken seasoning medley. I cooked the chicken on it’s own on low for about 15 minutes, then added the veggies and cooked it for another 15-20, all the juice mixed in the pan and infused the meat, it turned out excellent.

I had a lot leftover so I packed it all up, cleaned the kitchen and retired to the basement for the eve.

Today Sam wanted to know what was for lunch and I didn’t just want to plate the same thing over again, so I took some rice paper out of the cupboard, grabbed the leftovers and ended up with this

we put some of the cold noodles and chicken in the rice paper and then reheated the sauce. Rather than pour the sauce all over everything, we put it in a bowl and used it for dipping. The fact that everything in the rice paper was cold made all the flavours inside come out full force, and it contrasted nicely with the heat of the sauce.

all in all a fairly successful meal since it made two different dishes with enough left over to attempt a third this evening. =)

 

We’re going to make the best of this glorious summer day and go do a mini photo shoot with our newly acquired ShirtPunch shirts.

 

This is my cat in a bag