When I left for college (all those years ago) my mother coped by baking. Now that my sister, Shayna, has moved thousands of miles away, I find myself in front of a mixing bowl, whisk, spatula, and hot oven more and more often. At least I am baking healthier options of goods, otherwise this nesting-like reaction to missing a person would also result in the ultimate transfer of my muffin tops from the pan to my own hips. Let’s not go there.
This past Sunday’s mission was a gluten-free morning glory-like muffin with:
- shredded coconut
- shredded carrot
- mashed sweet potato which I had roasted just prior to beginning this process, along with some cut wedges for tonight’s dinner (sweet potatoes are like my crack)
- golden raisins and dried cranberries (because putting plain raisins, as the recipe suggests, just seems so plain Jane)
- almond flour
- 2 glorious eggs from my parent’s chickens (the more orange the yolk the bigger my smile)
- a generous and un-measured swig of vanilla extract
- a dumping of cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice
- a carefully leveled 1 tsp of baking powder
- the rest of the raw honey from my monster steroid jar (it looks like it should be a container of protein powder in my cupboard)
Boil eggs at the same time, wash dishes as muffins cook, clean apartment, listen to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s “Beat the Devil’s Tattoo” on repeat, and begin-work on-finish paintings.
Ok, I am obsessed. Pork belly is my crack. Good thing it’s legal, good thing it’s cheaper (?…well, I have no idea about that), good thing its probably healthier in the long run (though some may argue against), and good thing it is popping up at eateries more and more.
On Friday, while I attended Burlington, Vermont’s “Art Hop,” I ventured down to the migrating food truck: Misery Loves Co. OK, I did not really go to the Art Hop for the art, at least not this year. As an artist who had a show opening that night at a different location, I can admit the truth that all I really wanted was a thick-ass slab of bacon-tasting pork belly.
Despite maintaining a healthy lifestyle, I find time to indulge in fabulous, local, and addictive gluttony. Life is about balance anyway. Celery sticks need a bit of pork to dance with in my tummy sometimes. My moments of pure blissful guilty pleasure eating usually involve something from a pig. Thank you piggies.
I walked back to my apartment with my “PB & J” sandwich as if it were a prized Christmas present. I was beaming with a smile and my stomach was a growlin.’
Upon opening up the wrapper my kitchen was taken with the scent of freshly grilled pork belly, local house-made heirloom tomato jam, arugula, and some mystery sauce (no, not like Burger King or McDonald’s, or whomever it is who has a sketchy special sauce). This was like small-batch aioli made with love.
And I continued to feel the love. Until. The. Last. Bite. And. Wipe. Of. My. Finger. On. The. Wrapper. (Yes, yes I did that…)
Well…my own version of a baker: a semi-haphazard, whatever goes in will work, I am going to substitute a dash of that with a sprinkle of this, almond flour obsessed, multi-tasking boiling eggs at the same time, I’m going to eat these while they are still hot and love them up even though everyone else thinks I am borderline crazy.
Muffins with almond flour, coconut flour, canned pumpkin puree, a mashed up banana, a cut up peach, 2 eggs, AND almond butter (plus the usual: cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, vanilla sea salt, vanilla extract, baking powder, and raw honey). All of that equals a flavorful and delicious, nutritious morning muffin that you can freeze and re-heat each day of the week.
(I had to top off my 1 cup of almond flour with coconut flour because I ran out of almond flour…that is the kind of baker I am.)
(Note to self: DO NOT try to mix all of that shit with a whisk again…unless you like sticking your fingers inside to pull the giant clump apart.)
Nothing is better than a Paleo-ish gluten free home made muffin after a kick ass Crossfit WOD, accompanied by a hard boiled egg, a spoonful of nut butter, and a fucking dark coffee.
Taking home food from a restaurant is one of those things…
Is it classy? Is it cheap? Is it pointless (do you always eat that soggy salad)? Do you limit who you bring home with (i.e. get a doggy bag with your family or close friends but leave the food on your plate on a date)?
Do yourself a favor and enjoy the food enough to want to take any remainders home with you (or eat that goodness up). Clean plate club, anyone?
There are times when I go to a familiar restaurant with leftovers already on my mind. While dipping those sexy sweet potato wedges into the sweet mustard sauce at Our House, I was day dreaming of putting them into my omelet the next morning.
Add a lil’ buttery avocado, some local sweet corn kernels, sliced mushrooms, and fresh garden diced tomatoes, and you have one love of a meal ahead of you.
I will advise to NOT take home french fries, salads, or breads unless you happen to enjoy wet, soggy, and cold starches. In that case, just stick to refrigerated Wonder Bread.