Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Best Ever Leg of Lamb

Seriously. Best ever. Also the easiest! You gotta know that I'd never choose ease over taste, so really the easiest is more of a bonus than an actual feature.

Here's what I do.

1. Remove leg of lamb (bone in/bone out, whole/half...whatever you've got) from the freezer.

2. Make a paste of crushed garlic, salt (kosher works great, but not necessary), pepper and rosemary (I use dried because that's all I've ever got).

3. Rub the paste on the lamb.

4. Put the lamb in your crock pot.

5. Mix 3 parts water with 1 part balsamic vinegar.

6. Pour this into the crock pot.

7. Turn crock pot on high.

8. Come back 5-6 hours later and eat the delicious lamb!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Child psychology

Tonight Liel and I were listening to the Maccabeats sing Matisyahu's "Miracle".

She noticed that one of the lyrics was "look so down, look so puzzled" and told me that she knew that "puzzled" meant "confused" in the context of the song. We thought about other synonyms for confused and then I asked her if she knew what another one of the lyrics meant: "my strength comes not from man at all". She said she didn't, and I said, "I think he means that his strength comes from G-d". I glanced at her to see how she might react to this.

"Mommy", she said thoughtfully, "I don't think there is an opposite of bush".

"What??", I said. I was, um, puzzled. To say the least.

Liel nodded. "Unless it's NOT bush!"

Isn't that what *you* took away from that conversation?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Gluten free, egg free scones

My kids love scones. I used to bake them regularly- in fact, I baked a batch when I was in heavy labor with my daughter, to try to distract myself. I had to pause every 2 min and grip the counter and breath deeply, but after she was born Robert, the midwives and I all enjoyed fresh scones!

Anyway, since we've become mostly gluten free I've stopped making scones. The recipes I've seen (and admittedly I didn't look too deeply) relied heavily on eggs or egg whites, which won't do for us. Every so often the kids would ask me to bake scones and I'd say no. Lately these requests have been more frequent, and I started thinking about recipes in a vague, back of my mind kind of way. Today I decided to try out the one that seemed most promising. So when the kids finished their school work I told them I was going to make scones, and Zion announced that that he was so happy he, "almost cried". Not that that translated into him wanting to help *make* scones. Liel came into the kitchen to help (and nearly broke my liquid measuring cup in the process) and Zion ran around the house playing imaginary football.

Here's what I did.

Preheat the oven to 400.

Mix the following dry ingredients in a bowl:

2 c gluten free flour (I used a blend of brown rice flour, potato starch and tapioca starch)
1/4 c sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum

blend in 5 T butter (vegan sub: coconut oil. I haven't tested this, but it would be my first try. I don't like that vegan margarine stuff. If you do use it, cut down on the salt). I use my hands for this, but you can use whatever method you prefer. If you're using unsalted butter (which I generally recommend for baking, but I didn't have much around this afternoon) you might up the salt a bit.

Then add raisins, or dried cranberries or whatever you want. About 1/2 a cup. We were out of raisins, forcing me to pick through trail mix Robert had made last weekend. Toss them in the flour to coat them lightly.

Next add 1 1/2 c milk (I used rice milk) mixed with 2T of plain yogurt. If you're vegan you can add another tablespoon of milk and a 1/2 tsp of a mild flavored vinegar. Mix that all in with the dry ingredients. It's a fairly wet dough, but should hold together enough for you to gently scoop it out and place lumps of it on a greased cookie sheet. I got 8 scones of out of this recipe, to give you a sense of the size I was making them. Then sprinkle them with a bit of sugar, and bake about 16 minutes. They'll only be slightly browned on the top, but they should be done. you can open one up to check and bake a little longer if you like.

That's it! Cool them on a rack. Two minutes is sufficient; even children can eat them at that point (if they are careful and very eager for scones).

I have to say, I'm really pleased with this recipe. Really pleased. They're delicious! And nearly identical to the gluten version I used to bake :)