Monday, August 1, 2011

Azuki takes beans and rice Far East
The red azuki beans looked so pretty in a Mason jar in my pantry that I didn’t think about cooking them. Their time had come, so I put them on to boil before researching their origin. I did know there are several ways to spell this bean. Once I realized they were grown in East Asian and the Himalayas, and make up “bean paste” in dishes I love, it was easy to find an Asian bean salad recipe. I didn’t even finish the ingredient list before deciding I’d play with my own, and dress it with fish powder, garlic, red pepper, vinegar and sesame oil.
That did the trick, but then I made the bean salad into a new dish, adding bean sprouts and rice and wrapping in spring roll paper from one of Port Arthur’s Vietnamese markets. Fresh mint growing by my front porch sealed the deal.

Going gluten-free no sacrifice with cupcakes, waffles, pizza
Quit whining if your doctor ordered you to go gluten-free. Just pick up “Gluten-Free Made Simple: Easy Everyday Meals that Everyone Can Enjoy” and it’ll make a believer out of you. A couple of ideas made me drop my jaw. I had my husband flip through amazing food photos and then I had to shut his mouth. We both eyed cupcakes that were split, filled with lemon curd and topped with meringue. We have omelets and fried rice all the time, but not together! With fish in the mix, too! It’s all too much. They made a thin crepe and rolled it up, then sliced the roll into the fried rice for a distinct look. Can you handle sweet potato fries, cookie crunch cheesecake and feta basil bread? I thought so.
Thank Carol Field Dahlstrom, Elizabeth Dahlstrom Burnley and Marcia Schultz Dahlstrom for their know-how.

Candy news
I just slowly, carefully, analytically sampled four distinct candies, discovering their nuances, so as to share the news with readers. Now, I’m going to gobble them up. Not really, I think I’ll be able to portion Natural Vines All Natural Licorice in black and strawberry. They’re intense, and don’t have the shocking artificial flavor that has become the norm. Just one of these 17-calorie twists will get whatever taste you wanted out of your mouth and satisfy with a new, fresh taste. If you think you aren’t a licorice fan, you haven’t had this good stuff.
Goody Good Stuff impressed me just as much in Summer Peaches and Cola Breeze. I agree with the koala bear on the bags who is excited about these “gummy” treats having no fat, gluten, gelatin or dairy. They are also naturally flavored for a more “real” taste than bulk candies. These were in my hot car all day and still stayed intact and refreshing. Again a little dab’ll do you.

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