Gluten-Free Carb Fix

Recently, I was given a new recipe to try, by a sweet friend who works at my boys’ preschool.  It was for a garbanzo bean pancake, which, (sorry, sweet friend), sounded completely unappealing to me.  However, sweet friend has a very Frenchy last name, and she told me that the recipe is from France.  This tidbit caused me to do a complete 180, as I am a total food snob (not proud of this).

Sweet friend/French schoolmistress explained that the garbanzo bean pancake is called “socca” by her French peeps, and her family particularly loves it because she and one of her children suffer from multiple food intolerances.  “Socca” is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and vegan.

The recipe she offered me was blessedly simple and left a lot open for creativity.  I’m not sure if I prepared it the same way French schoolmistress does it for her family, but my socca was delicious; crisp and golden around the edges with a fluffy-creamy, warm interior.

Garbanzo-Bean Pancake/Socca
(serves one, doubles easily)

1/2 cup garbanzo bean (chickpea) flour
1/2 cup water
Spices/Herbs to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Whisk the water into the bean-flour and add in the seasonings.  French schoolmistress advised me to use garlic, onion powder, rosemary, salt, and pepper.  I did not have any rosemary on hand, so I used what I had and improvised, to delicious result, in the herb department.  More on that later…

The batter will be the consistency of heavy cream.  It needs to sit and meld for about 30 minutes, so, after about ten, turn the oven to 425 degrees to preheat.  Once the oven is hot, drizzle some olive oil into a heat-safe skillet.  I used cast iron.  Put that in the oven for about ten minutes so it can get smoking hot.  This will help your socca to get nice and crisp on the bottom.

Pour the batter into the hot pan and swirl.  Bake for 12 minutes, brush a little more oil on top, and then broil for one more minute.

Now back to my herb issue.  I figured the herbs were probably an important part of the recipe, but all I had was parsley and I didn’t think it would add much flavor if I cooked it into the pancake.  So I decided to make a little herb salad with it and serve it as an accompaniment.

I started by making a little vinaigrette, and I tried to do something Frenchy, to stay with the overall theme.  Two teaspoons of white wine vinegar…

…a quarter teaspoon of dijon mustard, a pinch of salt and a twist of freshly ground black pepper, into the bottom of a bowl.

Drizzle in about a tablespoon and a half of extra-virgin olive oil, while whisking.

A nice handful of whole, fresh parsley leaves into the bowl, and toss.

When the socca came out of the oven, I wasn’t really sure what to do with it, but it looked a lot like a pita bread, so I decided to cut it into wedges.

Guess what?  It was a lot like a pita bread!  Only better!  It was a like the perfect marriage of soft, fresh, warm pita with a creamy, garlicky, satisfying hummus.  The parsley salad offered a nice counterbalance of fresh, bright, herbal flavor.  It makes for a perfect little light lunch or snack.

Merci; le meilleur professeur de francais!

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Kids Love Fat

You know what?  I know you know this… kids love fat.  They think it’s awesome.  They love to play with it like it’s Play Doh.  While I wish I didn’t have the flab, it does kind of crack me up how much they like it.

To each their own.

With Abandon

I recently read a book that profoundly affected me.  It’s called Dying To Be Me, and was written by a woman named Anita Moorjani.  She had a near death experience, and remembers it so vividly that she is able to tell her story in a way that I found to be completely real and believable.

This is a woman who was dying of lymphoma.  She had several tumors the size of lemons throughout her body.  Her organs were failing and she was given hours to live.  While this happened, she remembers leaving her body and visiting the other side.  She was given the opportunity to return to her body, and chose to do so.  Within days her tumors began to shrink, and within months she was declared cancer free by her doctors.  She experienced a true miracle!

She explains a lot of mind-bending things in this book, such as time is not linear as we perceive it, but rather everything is happening at once.  Every moment, at once.  So time isn’t passing, but we’re moving through time.  I’m still trying to wrap my head around that.

But the message that spoke to me so clearly is that illness is not caused by anything we’re doing wrong in the physical sense.  It’s caused by our fears.  Our ego can stand in our way of living a healthy life.  I believe this fully. I’ve been a very fearful person all my life.  I was terrified of going to school every day as a child.  I’ve always been so afraid of failure, which many times over has resulted in just that.  Last year, when I got fired, it was perhaps one of the scariest moments of my entire life.  I had let my bosses, my husband, and myself down so completely.  I was practically paralyzed with fear.  Two weeks later, I came down with thyroiditis.

After reading this book I’ve decided to take steps toward eliminating fear from my life, and enjoy life with abandon. I’m pretty sure I can do this.  I highly recommend this book if you suffer from any kind of stress. Let’s go easy on ourselves!

Meal planning – Food Bliss Week

I’m a little late in the game this week due to a very busy Thursday and Friday.  But, the plan goes on!  I’m really looking forward to the food I’m planning to make this coming week.  I’m still going strong on my dairy-free diet, and I really don’t miss it at all.  It’s funny how that happens.  Once in a while I’ll think I miss gobs of melted cheese, but then I remember how it makes me look like I’m 5 months pregnant, and poof, craving gone!

This week I’m making three recipes from pins on Pinterest, so I’m pretty psyched for that.  The zuchinni fritters look awesome, and I am going to have them with goat cheese, so that’s kind of a treat.  Then the Korean Kongnamul Bap, I mean, kim chee, rice, korean spices, you just can’t go wrong.  Jared and I love to eat Bi Bam Bap at Korean restaurants, so I’m curious to see how this compares.  The grilled shrimp with cilantro, lime and peanuts just looks so delicious, I can’t wait to try it.  Next week is going to be an awesome week.

And, as usual, you probably can’t see/click on my calendar if you’re viewing from an iPhone or from your email.  Check it out in a regular browser when you can.

Labels, god love them.

I’d be a failed opinionated-mom-blogger if I didn’t address the attachment parenting wave of scandal that Time Magazine created.  I consider myself an attachment mom overall, but I say that knowing that there are many facets of the jewel of parenting theory. I tend to hide my boob when I nurse my 3 year old.  I don’t judge anyone who just whips that bad girl out wherever she may be, in fact, I applaud her!  She should, dammit, and so should I!  But, I don’t want to, and that’s my choice.

But I digress, I just read this lovely, lovely blog post and would encourage anyone to read it.  When we were in Florida, we spent 12 days living with our extremely generous friends who do not have children.  They really deserve to be sainted.  By the end of the trip, they did not look like they wanted to murder us all, even though our kids screamed and/or whined almost the entire trip.  I can’t for the life of me understand such patient people, god bless them.  BUT, throughout our trip our host was commenting that it’s difficult to know if you’re doing the right things as a parent.  It really is baffling, and who really knows? We’re all just doing the best we can, and it’s very confusing to know what’s right or wrong. This blogger helped me to see the pros of the whole thing, and gave me a little boost of hope for my own children: Confessions of an Attachment Parented Child.

As to whether I think Time’s article was good or bad for the attachment parent?  Only time will tell, and no publicity is bad publicity.

Confession – Parenting is Hard.

My sister and I each have our reasons for starting this blog, and one of mine is that I want to be very honest about the challenges of parenting, so we parents can realize that no one’s alone.  It’s the hardest job there is in this world, with surprises around every bend.

I tend to be a bit of an extrovert with a big mouth.  I also live in an area where people tend to be a little more on the reserved side, where they don’t just blab every little thing that’s going on in their lives.  I’ve noticed that sometimes when I’m talking to people, they start to look at me as though they think I might be slightly crazy.  I am OK with this.  I just think of it as though I might be helping people feel a little better about themselves.  It’s my contribution.

So, that being said, here’s my current beef with parenting.  My kids are 2 years apart.  My son just turned 3 and my daughter is about to turn 5.  They whine a lot.  They cry a lot.  My daughter is going through a phase where she can’t be alone in any room.  She’s worried about monsters.  She won’t poop alone.  We have to stand in the bathroom and keep her company while she poops.

My son is going through the major tantrum phase.  He’s miserable about 75% of the day.  I’ve been tiptoeing around him a lot, and recently realized I might just be feeding the beast, so I’ve started using time outs more consistently when he’s being unreasonable.

After an 8 hour day of jumping through hoops for my clients, this is generally the last thing I feel like dealing with (it’s the last thing I feel like dealing with on days off as well).  I just want to sit down, put my feet up, have some wine, watch the Real Housewives, read a book, and go to bed.  Being a mom means serving a very demanding, unappreciative boss 24-7, and I’m just tired.

This is the part where people start looking at me blankly, like, yeah, duh.  They’re right, this isn’t a surprise, I’ve been living this life for 5 years, but it still never fails to shock me.  I just can’t believe how freaking hard this shit is!

If I don’t say it, I’ll stew about it, so here it is, I’m burned out on kids.  I love them, appreciate them for making me a mommy, and wouldn’t trade my life for any other, but they drive me crazy, and I dream of ways to get revenge on them when they’re teenagers.