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Memorial Day

27 May

Hello, Dear Readers:

Once again I have been OBE, or “overcome by events,” and it has been another two weeks since I wrote. My apologies. I have one started and in the can (the draft folder) about a foodie adventure I went on recently, and can’t wait to tell you all about it. But today, I have lots to share.

First, let me say that Memorial Day is to honor the fallen soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guard members who work hard to protect our rights and our lives in the US. (It is not about a day off, or great deals on furniture, cars and carpeting.) Because of those who died protecting this country, I can bring you this silly foodie blog, along with countless other folks who blog about a myriad of subjects. Cooking. Sewing. Cats. Cars. Gardening. Ranching. Homesteading. Theater. Traveling. And yes, (gulp) politics. People in the US who blog about their interests utilize their First Amendment right of free speech, which you don’t necessarily get in other countries. Some have died for what they’ve written because they were not allowed the freedom to express it (and not always politics, either.) You name it, there’s a blog for it, and we in the US all owe a debt of gratitude for the men and women who have given all in defense of our country.

Also, people in Oklahoma are suffering, so if you can donate, please do; if not, at least keep them in your prayers. There are a number of organizations helping tornado survivors, including the Salvation Army, Mercy Chefs (they bring mobile kitchens to disaster sites and hand out hot food to affected people) and others. I like that–and when I get to it I’m planning to give Mercy Chefs some funds myself. I’ve done it before, and I know they’re legit; but if you have a preferred charity, by all means, the great state of Oklahoma needs some help now. Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, also lists these organizations that are helping out.

It’s not always about Texas. Even when it is. Anyway. . .

So what have I been doing? Snoozing on the bus when I’m trying to read going either to downtown or home from it. I’m still hacking my way through a book, but while it’s a good book, and I need to re-read it now, I can’t help but doze off. Glad to have my little travel pillow stuffed in my commuter bag.

I’ve had a weekend where I should have been drinking but wasn’t (not for lack of alcohol), but today I’ve done some cooking and planted the HeatCageKitchen garden (that’s another blog post, with pictures.) I’ve done both flower planting in the front and veg/sunflower planting in the back, and I’ve even bought a Meyer lemon tree. Let’s see how that works out. Unfortunately, didn’t realize that Mr. Snail was inside my dirty gardening clogs that I just intended to rinse off (I wore my tennis shoes and socks to protect my feet.) I found him after I’d rinsed them with hot water in the bathtub, so I’m guessing when I tossed him back over the fence, it wasn’t to a new life, but to a burial plot. Sorry about that, but I don’t like snails much anyway, and no, I’ve never eaten escargot. Nor do I intend to, I don’t care if Giada de Laurentiis makes it for me.

This weekend I did some sewing, too, but didn’t get as much done as I wanted. Later in this post, I’ll give you the recipe for the official HeatCageKitchen yeast-free, gluten-free, dairy-free ultimate Breakfast Quiche. It’s got a lot of eggs in it. (And boy, do I need a shower.)

First, an update: I am thoroughly enjoying having a salad when I get home at night. Lettuce sealed in jars is a fantastic idea and I am happy to report that it’s well worth the small amount of trouble. I’m telling you, if salad is your thing like it is mine, you really gotta try sealing lettuce in the jar for yourself. It works perfectly, and the lettuce is totally delicious a week out. Don’t believe me? Check out this pic I took this morning:

The lettuce lasts all week!

The lettuce lasts all week!

Two heads of iceberg lettuce were chopped, rinsed, spun dry, packed into glass jars and sealed up with the Ziploc tool method. However, the two in the front were packed up 8 days ago. No kidding. Today is Monday, and those two front jars were packed a week ago yesterday. I ate one of them today with a huge tomato. Know what? It was STILL GOOD. Fresh and tasty, just like I packed them. I realize that a month down the road the lettuce might be a little funky, but for lettuce to last a week in the fridge like that, and perfectly crisp. . .yeah. I’m enjoying my salads. Heck, even plain iceberg lettuce with a bit of olive oil and salt is good, too–long as it’s not limp and brown.

This weekend I also put half a pork roast in the crock pot with some homemade BBQ sauce, (I bought a three pounder and cut it in half, froze the other part) and roasted two turkey thighs. I love turkey thighs; they taste so much better than breast meat, they’re available in most bigger grocery stores, and they’re usually a lot cheaper. Also made a batch of Five Minute Hummus. Just ’cause I could.

So. . .drum roll. . .I think I have created the perfect breakfast dish. The HeatCageKitchen Supreme Breakfast Quiche. It’s a hit! (It’s really good.) But first, a little background: I realized that my previous attempts were missing something: MEAT! I love sausage, but conventional sausage usually has sugar in it, so I leave it alone.

I was thumbing through Dr. Hotze’s Optimal Eating Plan looking for something else when I came across a recipe for homemade breakfast sausage. It calls for ground turkey, but I had some ground chicken I wanted to use for something, and it fit the bill. A little salt, a little pepper, a little fresh sage, and it’s pretty darn good. (I bought some fresh sage and planted some organic sage seeds so I’ll have it all year long. I hope it grows.) I cooked it like ground beef, crumbled in a big cast-iron skillet with all the ingredients, and then put it in the greased pie plate:

IMG_1993Topped that with a jar of chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil, oh, yeah:

IMG_1995

I didn’t lose any this time.

Then beat the heck out of ten eggs with some almond milk poured in (maybe a quarter cup?) and a few shakes of Chipotle Tabasco. This type of Tabasco has some heat but doesn’t burn you; when you add a couple of shakes to eggs in this fashion, it gives a smoky flavor but no heat to speak of.

IMG_2000

I like this shot best because you don’t see the cat’s homeopathic allergy drops, which are sitting right behind the mixer. I did not add them, despite the formula’s alleged “bacon flavor.” That’s for the cat.

I beat the eggs to a nice little froth with my Suzy Homemak. . I mean, Suzanne Somers super-duper hand mixer. No, there is no milk, cream, cheese or other milk-based foods in this dish (and no tofu, either, forget that.)

My regular 4 cup measure was in the dishwasher (round 1 of 2) so I grabbed the seldom-used 8 cup, which I have for occasions that I need more room. Good choice, ’cause I could beat them eggs but good!

So then you just pour it over the sausage and tomato mixture and bake it at 350F until it’s done.

IMG_2001

I don’t know, you bake it until the knife comes out clean. I wasn’t paying attention. I had dishes to wash, you know. You time it and get back to me on it, OK?

I used the countertop oven. Why? Well, think about it–110v vs. 220v. In Houston. In summer. I use the countertop much more than the regular stove anyway. Because it works. I still have to clean it, though.

So after it’s baked, this is what you get:

IMG_2006

Oh, yeah. . .that’s what I’m talkin’ about. Not too rich, not too light, meaty but not heavy, with the wonderful tomato taste tossed in. Yeah. Oh, and I skipped that crust part. Got sick of it, actually, but I do like the golden flaxseed meal for other things, like that gluten-free sandwich wrap you make in the microwave. I need to make those again soon, they’re so delish.

So, there you have it–the perfect breakfast quiche. No gluten, no soy, no breading, no milk, and all real food. (Yes, sun-dried tomatoes in oil are real food. I can eat a whole jar.)

The recipes are as follows:

Breakfast Turkey Sausage (from The Yeast Connection Cookbook by Crook & Jones)

1 lb ground turkey (ground chicken also works well)

3/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 to 1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 to 1 tsp dried sage or 10-12 fresh sage leaves, minced.

Mix all ingredients using a fork or food processor for less than a minute.

You can turn this mixture into patties, cook and freeze, or freeze raw.

For this quiche, however, after you mix the ingredients, put it into a large pan and brown as you would ground beef:

IMG_1990

HeatCageKitchen Breakfast quiche

One recipe Breakfast Turkey Sausage (above), browned

One jar sun-dried tomatoes in oil (chopped)

10 eggs, beaten with 2 shakes Chipotle Tabasco and 1/4 cup almond milk (if not doing yeast-free, milk of your choice.)

Layer the sausage in a greased pie plate, covering the bottom.

Layer the chopped sun-dried tomatoes on top

Pour the beaten eggs over the top and allow to settle. Bake in a 350F oven until a knife inserted into the quiche comes out without liquid eggs.

Enjoy!

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