Brent’s Buckwheat Breakfast

You have to love a man who cooks…and cleans and does the hundreds of things Brent does! All this work along with his high metabolism produces an ever present appetite!  A couple of Sundays ago, Brent decided to make gluten free pancakes for breakfast to have along with bacon from the whole foods applewood bacon bar.

We used a boxed mix that called for two eggs and a bit of oil, but no other liquids to make about ten small pancakes.

Notice Tahoe hopes something will drop on the floor.  It is not going to happen this pancake morning. After a quick mix….a few added blueberries, and a super quick cook time…

Voila!  An irresistible breakfast, even for me, the coffee only gal.

Afterwords Brent said he thought the gluten free buckwheat pancakes were better than any pancakes he had ever eaten and I have to admit they were very good. Afterwards, the carbohydrate high nearly put me right back in bed!

This is what I felt like doing…

Or maybe it was like something more like this….

Going gluten free may make it difficult to go out for a weekend pancake breakfast at IHOP, but you can make your own IHOP (In Home Out-of-this-world Pancakes) and you won’t have to nap in the parking lot!

A ‘Corny’ Gift for Brent’s Birthday

Yesterday was my love’s birthday.

My husband it amazing.  People may not understand at a glance how unselfish, loving and giving he is.   He ‘speaks when it matters’ and gives thought and weight to his words and actions.  He is a generous, emotionally steady, wise man, and I love him more each day.

I still can’t believe he married me. He took on a lot of responsibility and gave up a measure of freedom that most people wouldn’t ever ‘choose’.  He chose me. Wow!  Who knew that someone like Brent would love me and marry me? Thank you Lord for the gift of my husband who exhibits Christ-like love.  The last eleven years of marriage have been a blessing, and I’m delighted to be his wife and partner and to celebrate his birthday with him!

This year I planned a special snack for him in place of a cake. He loves treats, in fact, for a few years I made sure he had a homemade plain pound cake for his birthday. Our friends found out about his pound cake fetish and began delivering them for him.  One birthday we had four! This year he was destined for a ‘pound cake break’ and would get a variety of high quality popcorn from the wonderful Costco website as a creative substitute.

Last week a box arrived – it had to be popcorn!  YES, it was beloved popcorn….. but NOT from me….it was from Brent’s thoughtful sister, Linda!  Generously, she sent two big tubs of his favorite world famous Fisher’s popcorn in Maryland.  Each piece is perfectly coated with caramel.  My heart sank a bit as I realized my great idea was the new ‘pound cake’! Concerns were short-lived because a couple days later we had a roaring laugh when the second round of popcorn arrived!

We already had a bag of kettle corn in the pantry to add to our collection!

Oh, I didn’t mention the purchase of forty mini popcorn cones to give as small Christmas gifts!  Our popcorn cup runneth over.

Look at all the flavors!

Jalapeno and Cupcake flavors?  Really?

What IS the difference between Kettle Corn and Caramel Corn? I see a taste test in my future.  By the way, I highly recommend the Zebra flavor with white and dark chocolate!

Guess what our friends and family may get from us for Christmas?

My Bacon Secret

Bacon is bad.

Bacon is very bad.

I like bacon.

I like bacon crispy.

I like bacon almost burned.

Bacon makes things better.

We don’t eat much bacon at our house. Actually, I don’t eat much of anything even though I like to cook and talk about food. Eating is something I need to work on since my handsome and  fit 6’6″ husband loves food and is frequently thinking about his next meal.  He’d appreciate it if I expressed more excitement for food.  Before my spinal cord injury I used to be obsessed with food. Even though I wasn’t fat or even heavyset, my thoughts focused too much on food and I’d pray, ‘Dear God, please help me not care so much about food and my weight!’  My fervent prayers about a food and weight obsession when I was a teenager gives me an appreciation for eating issues and disorders so many have today. Strangely and thankfully, since my injury, food has not been an obsession for me. Now, I’m free – free to enjoy a few slices of bacon without guilt and without wanting more. Well, sometimes I want more.

Bacon is nice to have on hand for a quick BLT sandwich or an occasional topper for salads and potatoes. What I don’t like about bacon the is the mess it makes when you cook it on the stove or griddle. Yes, the oven is a cleaner option, but it takes a long time, and the microwave is not the same, right?  I used to be convinced that the easiest and most practical way to get bacon was to cook it in the oven. There’s no splatter and it’s easy to clean the pan if you line it with foil and use a rack with non-stick spray. Then you can refrigerate it in ziploc bags and use it as needed – don’t eat it all at once or you’ll pray, ‘Dear God, help me stop’.

Recently, I discovered life’s  best way to get bacon.  At last!  Drum roll please….Buy it already cooked off the Whole Foods breakfast bar!  For those of you who don’t have a WF near you – so sorry. Maybe there’s another breakfast bar close by, or maybe you’ll have to go to a bar, order a sparkling water, cry, and eat free peanuts and pretzels.

Even though the WF breakfast bar is $8.00/lb you won’t believe how much bacon you can get for $3.00 when it is pre-cooked.  It’s easier and less expensive than buying it uncooked.  Plus, WF has the hearty, thick bacon. Just make sure you skip the ‘heavy’ (expensive) scrambled eggs, cheese grits and oatmeal, and fill your box with ‘light’ bacon. I’m warning you…don’t be tempted by those expensive cheesey grits.  Once you get the bacon home, refrain from eating more than a few pieces or you’ll pray, ‘Dear God, help me stop’. Refrigerate it, and use as needed. You may not get that permeating delish bacon smell throughout your house, but it’s a small price to pay for this almost grease free convenience.

The last time I went to WF to get bacon, the lady that helped me fill my box told me a lot of people buy a box of bacon...and I thought it was my secret!

Bacon on the bar
Thank you Whole Foods for your BACON bar!

Two Odd Refrigerator Staples

Do you have any odd items that you always keep in your refrigerator?  In our household there are a couple of strange staples we added to our meager repertoire this summer.   Oh yes, Brent always needs his milk, and we keep half and half and veggies along with eggs. But what about strange things that cause great remorse if they are absent?

Staple #1
The creamy thick substance is sweet and full of calories. I like to put my finger in the container or double dip the spoon; however, my ‘non double dipping’ husband won’t have it!  He insists that a new spoon be used each time the fluff is removed from its container – something to do with germs? The silky, creamy, smooth texture adds to the sweet’s delectable qualities.  This scrumptious delicacy is homemade cream cheese frosting!

Strawberries are my all time favorite accompaniment with this treat.  I’m not big on desserts, but this frosting is something to crave.  What we like about it, is that unlike ice cream, when you mix the strawberries and frosting, the strawberries can’t freeze.  Don’t get me wrong, we like ice cream and strawberries, but there’s something about the way the strawberries freeze in ice cream that is just wrong.  This wonderful frosting will last in your refrigerator for a few weeks if you don’t eat it all at one time!  You’ll often find me skipping the strawberries and digging a spoon deep down to get a shovel full because I know that the ‘double-dip nazi ‘ might be on the lookout.  I really should try to freeze this frosting on a stick (or spoon), but I won’t put a healthy strawberry in it – just wouldn’t be prudent.

Imagine strawberries and cream cheese frosting on cupcakes….subtract the cupcakes and consume a dozen. Heaven.




Staple #2
The second odd staple we keep (and my current favorite) is balsamic vinegar reduction. Brent is not as keen as I am on this treat, but he is a willing participant in this mouth watering surprise.  If you haven’t ever taken a couple cups of high quality balsamic vinegar and reduced it down by 60 or 70%, you are really missing out.  This thick molasses-like syrup is delicious on salads, fish, vegetables, and believe it or not, it is great on peaches and strawberries.  I don’t always put cream cheese frosting on my strawberries – sometimes I use vinegar!  Peaches are fabulous with this sticky substance drizzled all over them.  My healthy choice of balsamic vinegar reduction is more versatile than the frosting.  It’s getting tough to find good strawberries at reasonable price anyway.

OK, that’s it.  I’m taking frosting off the staple list.  Thanks for the healthy therapy session.

‘…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things’. (Philippians 4).  I’m sure this verse must be referring to icing and balsamic vinegar.  Winter is on the way and I’m looking forward to citrus, and I’m afraid the cream cheese frosting is taking a back seat for awhile.  Maybe my sweet tooth has toned down for the cold weather.  Healthy is better anyway.  Right?  What kind of odd staples do you keep in your refrigerator?  Do you have to run to the store for bread, milk, balsamic vinegar and cream cheese?  I need your easy secrets to bring culinary delight to our winter!