Posted in Breakfast!, Meals/Sides, Product Recommendations

If Katie Squeals in Excitement…

…and no one is there to hear it…well, I think you know the rest.

I found myself pondering this age-old philosophical question over the past few weeks as I’ve adapted to an interesting aspect of living alone: lack of someone with whom to share my various (usually very excited) reactions to life. As you might have determined by now, I tend to approach life with a great deal of enthusiasm, which often manifests itself in overenthusiastic reactions which those who have been lucky enough to live with me grew to know and love. Just kidding, I’ve really been the lucky one with roommates over the past few years.

I left my ACE family of 5 for a year with “The Leading Lady of Lacrosse”. Really. She’s a director of events for U.S. Lacrosse (HUGE here in Baltimore my non-Charm-City friends) and she travels all over the country running tournaments. When she was home from her various road trips, she graciously listened to my endless ramblings about my new school, my new city, etc. Then I moved closer to my school in the cutest apartment with a wonderful person I’ll call “Beautiful B”…because she is truly one of the most beautiful people I’ve ever known. Partially because she has a seemingly effortless beauty and grace about her, but mostly because of who she is on the inside. She has a heart of pure gold, an infectious laugh that is simply contagious, and our life chats across our little dining room table remain among my favorite Baltimore moments. Plus she was there for the dreaded “gluten adjustment”. That alone earns her a gold star for patience. Then there was “the Caring Counselor”. Her day job requires that she counsel people…but she was gracious enough to do the same for me each night as we sat on our respective couches and caught up on our days. So for all my years, I’ve been richly blessed with people who at least tolerated my enthusiasm for life..even if they didn’t quite love it πŸ™‚

B and Me! πŸ™‚

So imagine the shift over the past few months as I’ve adjusted to life on my own. Now I will say, full disclosure, I do actually LOVE living alone. Mostly because everything in every cabinet and drawer is completely safe; I can eat off the counter if I drop something; best of all, I only need one sponge and my orange sticker system is simply an artifact of my past life. However, there are moments when I desperately miss the smiling faces, listening ears, and infectious laughs of the people I was blessed to call my roommates over the years. Case en pointe: Monday night. For those who might be living under a rock, “How I Met Your Mother” is in its final weeks. I LOVE this show. Two Mondays ago we met the mother and it was just about the most precious thing I’ve ever seen. Then this past Monday, Ted gave the most moving speech on what love means that I’ve heard in a long time (I know, I know…Year of Love!!). Through it all, I’m sitting on my couch hugging a pillow, wanting to squeal or aww or jump up and down…but it still feels odd to do that with no one around. Same thing on Friday night when I finally caught up on “Big Bang Theory”. I’m pretty sure I let out a squeal on that one. And of course now there’s the Olympics. How do you watch the drama unfold on the ice without voicing your emotions?? I don’t know.

Now before I get too much farther down my tangent, this is supposed to be about food not television, so I promise I’m back. Last night, I decided to whip up one of my favorites to enjoy as I watched the Olympics: breakfast for dinner. I settled on pancakes, took out my new griddle, and set off on my adventure to recreate pancakes that would taste like their gluten-filled/soy-filled relatives. If gluten alone is your issue, get Gluten-Free Bisquick. It’s amazing and your pancakes will be too!! Unfortunately for my soy-free buddies, it’s emblazoned across the side : CONTAINS SOY. And corn. Sigh…

Thankfully, I stumbled across a book recently which has quickly become one of my top 10 life resources: Cooking for Isaiah. It’s written by a mom who wanted to cook great meals for her son who was diagnosed with food sensitivities to both gluten and dairy. There are few cookbooks I recommend (since most recipes can be found on blogs or pinterest these days) but this one I would absolutely order if you have gluten and dairy issues. I decided to adapt her recipe for chocolate chip pancakes…OH MY GOODNESS. I’m not kidding, these were some of the best pancakes I’ve had in my life. Gluten-filled ones included! If you have food allergies, do yourself a favor: make these, enjoy them, freeze some, love them again. It will, for a brief moment anyway, make you forget that you can’t partake in typical Sunday brunches anymore. If you don’t have food allergies, I’d still recommend them…but the ingredients required are not likely to be ones you have on hand in an average kitchen. In which case, I suggest you just need to come visit me for breakfast sometime. Seriously, I had visions of my own allergen-free bed-and-breakfast in my head all night.  The recipe is as follows:

 Olympic-Worthy Pancakes
2/3 cup white rice flour
1/3 cup tapioca flour (or starch)
1/8 cup potato starch
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. guar guam (or xanthan gum)
1 tsp. baking soda/cream of tartar mix (or baking powder for corn-friendly folks)
4 Tbsp. coconut sugar
3/4 cup almond milk (or whatever kind you can drink)
1 egg (or I used 1 Tbsp. flaxseed w/ 3 Tbsp. water as egg replacement)
1/2 Tbsp. molasses
1/2 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. grapeseed oil
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Mix it all together. Add a little more milk or oil if the batter is too thick. Otherwise pour on the griddle… 
…cook, and enjoy!!

 






Then just when I thought my weekend had contained enough excitement, tonight I did something I’ve been dreaming about for two years now: I ate a dinner roll. A warm one, fresh out of the oven. See, I went on a shopping adventure today to prepare for our school’s upcoming service project which led me to a place I haven’t visited in years now: the bread aisle. I strategically avoid it on my shopping trips, so much so that I forget it even exists anymore, but today I made my triumphant return. And it smells as amazing as I remember. So as I loaded my cart with 16 packages of rolls, cans of soup, and pounds of American cheese, all I could do was laugh at the irony that is my life. I’m not exaggerating when I say that my car was filled with more gluten and dairy today than it probably has ever been before. And all of that left me craving one thing I never crave anymore: warm bread. So after a stop at my school to drop off my purchases (seriously, you didn’t think I’d let all that in my house did you??), I came home and got to work. And I did it. As the snow fell outside my window once again, I made dinner rolls. And while it was still steaming, I bit into it. I’ll be honest, the taste is slightly odd in the sense that it’s coconut-y so it seems more appropriate for dessert…but the texture and the temperature were perfect!
Again, I wanted to shout it out to the world: I just ate bread!!! But as you can imagine, I don’t think my neighbors here would understand or appreciate the enthusiasm of that sentiment. So instead, I’m sharing it with you. And here is the recipe…so you can have your own “I’m beyond excited about life right now” moment wherever you are.
Katie-Safe Dinner Rolls
1 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1 Tbsp. flaxseed w/ 3 Tbsp. water

Mix and form into rolls. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes…or until brown.
They may not look amazing…but they are! 
A perfect dinner…complete with a fresh, warm dinner roll πŸ™‚
So now I’ve digested my delicious roll, I’ve packed some away in the freezer for future enjoyment, and I’m settling in with a hot cup of tea and a coconut-rolled date snack to watch figure skating. Seriously, it’s amazing what I can accomplish with 2 weekend days in a row of no work shifts! Now just imagine what I could accomplish if this were my all-day, everyday in my bakery!? I need to start hunting for those capital investors…

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