A dear friend of mine and I were talking about her Christmas vacation, and she told me about teaching her daughter their family’s tradition of making stuffed cabbage rolls.
If a 5 year old could learn, it was about time for me to. Of course, I made a few tweaks, like using brown rice and replacing half the rice with lentils.
Warning: Golabki (“little pigeons” in Polish) take a little time to assemble, so they’re really not a weeknight dish if you don’t have a couple of hours to cook. The good news is that they’re not labor intensive, and you’ll be rewarded by the flavor that develops. Oh, and if you think they’re good out of the oven, wait until you reheat them for a quick lunch.
Golabki (Stuffed Cabbage Rolls)
I recently visited a pub in Newport best known for its cheap beer and burger combo. The place was packed with locals of every stripe, and we could barely find room to squeeze our way up to the bar to order. It was a Wednesday night, and the waiting list for a table was over an hour long.
Once we finally sat down and started looking over the menu, I was beyond excited to find a few GF/DF/EF possibilities to choose from. Then, our waitress recited the specials. She had me at scallops and bacon. I’m not even sure what else she said. I certainly didn’t remember the words “mashed peas,” but now that I think of it, maybe putting an accompaniment generally thought of as “baby food” on the menu was somehow tied to the bar’s name. But, it wasn’t poor judgement after all. The mash was the perfect match for the scallops and bacon.
I’ve tried my own take on that dish here: Seared Scallops with Pancetta and Rustic Spring Pea Mash.
My mom used to love Garfield. I could never get past the incongruity of a cat who loved lasagna. But, maybe I had never had a really good lasagna.
I love the idea of lasagna. Pasta, sausage, cheese, tangy tomato sauce… an easy, filling meal perfect for low fuss entertaining.
Unfortunately, it is an immune system nightmare, with one land mine after another. I see it on menus and secretly pine for a dish with so many things I can’t have.
Then, one cold evening, I came across GF lasagna noodles at my neighborhood organic market, and I knew my lasagna-less days were over. This lasagna is more Italian-American inspired than it is Italian; I’ve never been a huge fan of traditional sugo alla bolognese and béchamel. Like most lasagne, it tastes even better after a day or two. Of course, Garfield would never let it sit that long!
It seems I’m on a bit of a breakfast kick lately. One thing I’ve noticed this last couple of months traveling is that no matter how nice the hotel, they generally don’t have many, if any, options for someone like me. If you have time, you could try to find a non-hotel restaurant open for breakfast, but good luck finding one with options that are gluten free and dairy free and egg free. How am I supposed to fuel up for a busy day on a cup of coffee, glass of OJ, a banana, and if I’m lucky, a rasher of bacon or a sausage link? Finding a tofu scramble on the menu in Philly was a huge win, but it was out of the way and I had to hunt for it.
I guess it bugs me, because I’ve learned how easy it can be to make breakfasts pastries that don’t contain all those off-limits ingredients. So easy, that today we’re taking the humble blueberry muffin up a notch. Ladies and gentleman, may I present the Blueberry Doughnut with Almond Crunch Streusel.
…But only when it comes to my plate.
Generally, I avoid most breakfast pastries. If they don’t have gluten, someone has inevitably snuck in an egg or two for leavening or butter for flakiness.
The freezer aisle options aren’t bad, but I want a real waffle – crisp on the outside and light and airy on the inside, with indentations deep enough for my blueberries to play hide and seek in. Aren’t you worth the extra ten minutes?
I know, it’s been a while… Let’s just say life has been a little crazier than usual this past two months.
Though I did get creative with a hotel room microwave and Lekue steamer, I missed my oven and the stress relief that baking brings.
And, what better way to celebrate my return to the kitchen than a little something chocolate (with a kick)!
Mexican Chocolate Doughnuts