Non menu of the week: Raspberries just the same

I guess there is not much reason to post a menu this week as we just returned (Monday eve) from a long 4th of July weekend in NW MI.  We decided we needed something with some flavor, a bit of spice, and are making Jamie Oliver’s South Indian Crab curry.  As for the rest of the week, well, unfortunately, I have meetings Tues, Wed and Thurs evening and of course the days are full too (meaning no prep time)!

Just the same, go check out Gluten Free Goodness who is hosting this week’s menu and see what she and everyone else is cooking!  If I come up with a menu for Friday, I will add it to this post.

Would that I had just once thought about menu planning on our 3.5 hour trip home today.  Then I might have crock pot something for the one night I return home by 8.  At least there is Friday and we still have our friend’s smoker, so I just might have to smoke those ribs from our pig Pancetta.  We did visit our new pigs Speck and Parma just yesterday and they are growing nicely.  We brought them some overwintered apples from the cellar that needed to be eaten.  They loved them and the attention.  Pics coming soon!  Our pigs free range fencing is in the middle of a U-pick raspberry field.  So, I walked by lots of little greenish white unripe raspberries.  Hopefully people will wander over and hand feed our piggies some raspberries when the season is right.

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We also visited my brother’s organic free range chickens, ducks and turkeys.  Pheasants on the way.  We hope to put about 20 chickens away for the winter months.  We got to help schlep haying equipment around.  I almost got to drive the tractor the 5 miles to the hay field, until I reminded my dad that I hadn’t driven one in 20 years.  We were then downgraded to the pickup and haywagon.  I parked next to a wild asparagus stalk, which we fed to Speck and Parma.

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Alright, the crab curry is ready and you have heard enough of the tales of Speck and Parma for now.  Stay tuned for more tales of the North (polka, parades and strawberries on the farm), and maybe a anti pasta pasta salad recipe!

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Update:  Wednesday’s and Thursday’s evening meetings were rescheduled, so here is what we ate/are eating:

Wednesday:  Tex Mex

Unstuffed poblano peppers with grass fed ground beef and cheese

Thursday:  Pork contest

I was at an organic apple farm where they let baby pigs run through the orchard for pest management.  The pigs are Berkshires and our pig is half Berkshire half Yorkshire, so we are grilling some of both to compare.  Also on the menu, baby new potatoes sauteed in butter with garlic scapes and parsley, grilled asparagus and a fabulous appetizer: cornmeal pan fried oysters with corn tomato salsa and horseradish cream sauce.  It is loosely based on this recipe.

Friday:  Indian

I found fresh fenugreek/methi at the Asian store, so something with that, probably methi potatoes and pakora and  tikka chicken on the grill.  Need to use the purple cabbage too…..

i’m out

Triple chocolate brownies with raspberry

Vote for me in the Death by Chocolate contest

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Oh, sometimes the chocolate gods are smiling down on me. Today was such a day. The honest truth is, before I was diagnosed with Celiac (2 years next month) I rarely made brownies that did not come from a package. Those were just so quick and easy and tasted pretty good to me! Since being on a gluten free diet, I still have only used GF brownie mixes (with my alterations of course) and have been somewhat pleased with the results. I mentioned that my boyfriend whipped up a batch the other day and those were tasty, but when I want chocolate, I want it to be gooey and heavy and all out dense. The recipe he used was on the cakey side and (horrors!) I have never been a fan of cake, not ever (ok, maybe when I was two).

I had this idea of raspberries in my head all week and kept asking him when he was going to make the raspberry cake (which didn’t sound cakey to me). I realized that it probably wouldn’t happen until the weekend and there was chocolate sitting around. So, I decided to whip up a batch. I went to go for my Rebecca Riley GF cook book and realized that I loaned out all of my GF cookbooks to some friends with a recently diagnosed Celiac son. So, I reached for the chocolate cook book that my mom gave me a couple of years ago. I hate to say it, but I had not made a single recipe out of that book and it is a book about chocolate! I don’t normally have much of a sweet tooth. The whole 8×8 pan only called for 1/2 of self rising flour – well that was easily replaced with coconut flour, for extra denseness and flavor. In fact, I altered the recipe quite a bit in order to create my chocolate raspberry fantasy brownie.

We happened to have two bags of frozen raspberries in the freezer. I took one out and started cooking it down. Once it had cooked a bit, I strained it and then took the puree and cooked it down some more adding about 1Tbs of sugar. I reduced it to about 1/8 of tart raspberry goodness and then drizzled it over the brownie batter and then ran a knife through it to swirl it a bit.

It worked. Every bite is loaded with chocolate (almost too much for me, not too much for the dear BF) and a nice tart raspberry punch. Perfect combo and super quick and easy to throw together.

Here’s the recipe:

Triple Chocolate Brownies with Raspberry

5 oz of dark chocolate (bittersweet) chopped into small pieces ( a task that I find is better accomplished by purchasing bars of chocolate instead of blocks of chocolate – those take some muscle!)

1/2 cup oil (just not olive oil) next time I will see if subbing melted butter will work

1 1/4 cups light brown sugar packed down

2 eggs

1 tsp VANILLA (for vanilla week) extract

1/2 coconut flour (you can sub any kind here of your fav GF mix)

1/4 cocoa powder

1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1 bag of frozen raspberries

1 Tbs of sugar (or agave nectar)

Preheat your oven to 350F and grease an 8×8 pan.

Slowly melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler (on a simmer) or I just use a glass bowl over a small pot with water.

Combine oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla in a med/large bowl. Stir in the melted chocolate, mix well until smooth.

Add coconut flour and cocoa powder to the bowl and fold it in, then add your chocolate chips. I used a 1/2 cup, more might be too much I think, but go with what you like. Pour it all into your baking pan.

Raspberry puree: pour the whole bag into a small pot and slowly bring it up to a boil, do not add water. Pour the raspberries into a strainer of some sort (and over a bowl) and rub your spoon around and push all the juices and some pulp, just not the seeds, through. Make sure you get all the raspberry goods that are hanging on the outside of the strainer into that bowl. Pour this back into the pot. Toss the raspberry seed mixture into your compost. Add about 1 tbs of sugar to take the full edge of the tartness away, then cook it down until you have between 1/4 and 1/8th of a cup. This should be pretty thick and almost jammy. In lines, pour/spoon the raspberry mixture over the brownie mixture in the pan, if you have some left, pour in lines the other direction (like a checkerboard). Take a butter knife and go against the lines and drawn the raspberry paste into the brownie mix. Then pop it in the oven, for at least 30 min, maybe 35 (mine was pretty loosey goosey still in the middle – next time I will bake for 35 min). Let them cool as long as you can, cut into 16 squares and then dig in. The flash (I have a very dark house) really makes the brownies look lighter than they are. The flashless photo gives you the true color and chocolatelyness of these brownies.

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Make sure you have some coffee nearby to bring you out of your chocolate coma.

i’m out

Menu of the week: Vanilla; Cocktail of the week: Blood orange and vodka

Gluten Free Menu Swap Monday - Vanilla


Grilled center cut pork loin (from our pig Pancetta) with my fennel coriander rub, lemony (no lemon in the house) lime-y steamed broccoli and sage (sage plant looks a bit weary) thyme and shallot Parmesan polenta with a Hen of the Woods mushroom sauce on the side. I have never used Hen of the woods before and Trader Joe had them priced to try.

Cocktail of the eve: blood orange juice and vodka refreshing and healthy!

blood orange and vodka


Moroccan chicken (just found some preserved lemons at the store) recipe via Elise and GF cous cous (throw basmati rice in your spice grinder and add a dash of turmeric while cooking – pretty close). Still thinking about a Moroccan veg.

Edited to add, that I went to see There will be Blood, so I popped everything in the crock pot, doubled the preserved lemon (and skipped the raisins, not a fan of them) and put the rous cous (rice cous cous ha!) in the rice cooker.  I forgot about a veg.  By the way, the movie was great!


Seared scallops with garlic buerre blanc on a bed of angel hair pasta with broccoli rabe


Argentinian Chimichurri grilled beef (grass fed), marinated grilled asparagus (from Peru – I know, horrible of me, but my boyfriend will eat about three different vegetables – asp, broc and greens – at least it is on South American theme night) and tostones/patacones (twice fried plaintains).


Green chile cheese empanadas, Mexican rice, frijoles (pinto beans) with onion, cucumbers in lime and chile and chile de arbol salsa

Oh yeah, vanilla. BF has planned a very raspberry valentine cake and I will make a vanilla sauce to go with it.

Edited to add:  I just made a batch of very dense chocolately brownies with vanilla, raspberry puree and coconut flour.  It is almost a flourless brownie.  As soon as they have cooled, I will update you.  They look and smell delish!

i’m out