Friday, September 9, 2016

Hurricane Spaghetti

Hermine came and went earlier this week, with little effect on Northern NJ.  I consider it very lucky that she turned out to sea - and hope we can get through the rest of the season with that kind of luck! 
But, that doesn't mean I wasn't ready. After living through Irene and Super Storm Sandy - I do not take hurricane threats lightly.  Best to be prepared with essentials, because we know what bad can be.

So I stocked up on bottled water, batteries, did a little baking, brewed just-in-case coffee, filled the gas tank, had cash on hand, and kept all electronics fully charged.  
And food. 
Gluten-free food that could be eaten as is, or cooked on the stove. We have a gas stove, which has been a lifesaver when we have been without power. (I will always choose a house - and stove - with gas!)

One of the warmest memories I have of Super Storm Sandy is cooking 'Hurricane Spaghetti' by candlelight, while my husband was getting a fire going in the livingroom. We ate dinner that night at the coffee table warmed by the roaring fire, and it is one of the loveliest memories I have. So while I was gathering essentials for Hermine's arrival, spaghetti was at the top of my list.
 Illustration from Simply Gluten Free Magazine, Sept/Oct 2016

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Summer treats - Naturally gluten free

Summer is here and all the juicy, fun - and some of my favorite foods that go with it. SO happy that there are plenty of fresh naturally gluten-free options at the local farmer's markets in the area.
my all-time favorite fruit
I have been happily creating a watercolor illustration a day for my 100 Days Project, and just passed the mid-point this week. An excellent excuse to draw and paint food!
New Jersey sweet corn

You can also see more of my art in my online store Erin Go Paint

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Easy Gluten Free Mulled Wine

An easy mulled wine to brew at home, creating a fragrant brew that warms the heart and soul. Filling your home with a lovely aroma of cinnamon and cloves. This really chases away the winter chill!

 I combined a few mulled wine recipes that I found, based on what we had in the spice rack and refrigerator.  Many of the recipes had something that we didn't already have. And since I had braved the stores to stock up before the storm - I wasn't going back.  Emphasis on easy!
This was SO lovely to have waiting when we came in from our recent all-of-winter-in-one-snowstorm!  It was very much deserved and appreciated after shoveling through 28" of snow.

Enjoy responsibly!

My illustrated recipe can also be found on They Draw and Cook
If you enjoy my work and want to see more visit Erin Go Paint

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Fall Squash Harvest

I absolutely love the colors of Fall. The colors, the smells, the produce, the chill in the air, hot cider, pumpkin anything... and, more recently... experimenting with squash.

I adore spaghetti squash and it's similarity to noodles.  And zucchini for it's versatility - it's amazing what can be done with zucchini... makes very tender juicy meatballs when used in place of breadcrumbs, to muffins, breads, grilled pizza bites, the list doesn't end.

As seen in Simply Gluten Free Magazine, Sept Oct 2015
After doing my research for this Simply Gluten Free magazine piece I found a variety of squashes to explore, cook and bake with.
Let the GF Fall cooking, roasting, baking begin!

If you enjoy my work and want to see more visit Erin Go Paint

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

'Reluctant' Cook

Reluctant. I used this to describe myself here but though I chose that word, it doesn't feel comfortable. And it has remained uncomfortable to me since I wrote it last week

It doesn't tell the whole story...  or give an accurate picture.  

Granted I don't have a passion for cooking, but I DO have a passion for eating healthy, eating fresh and most of all... eating safe!  

Cooking gives me that   So I am quite happy to cook.  It gives me peace of mind to know it's safe, to choose what goes in, to know what I am putting in my body - and into my family.  
And sometimes - it is fun!
So why 'reluctant'?  

Because pretty much any day of the week I would rather be making art... drawing, painting, sketching. Or playing with daughter.  Or painting,  crafting and sketching with her! 

My solution.... keeping a small sketchbook handy in the kitchen. So I can sketch between chopping, or while I am waiting between food prep steps.  Ideas come while I handle the vegetables, herbs and spices... or while I daydream looking out the kitchen window.   

Dinner gets made, and dinner gets drawn. All of the art in this post was conceived in my kitchen sketchbook.  

In fact, this piece became this page in Simply Gluten Free Magazine's Sept/Oct 2015 issue.

So it is a win-win situation.

And it is why I have started working on a kitchen coloring book for adults... more to come on that!

If you enjoy my work you can see more at Erin Go Paint

Friday, September 18, 2015

Measuring Up - Kitchen Confessions

I don't like to measure when I cook. Even when I bake, which requires a balance of ingredients to make the magic happen, I still tend to approximate wherever I can.  Not really sure why, but I definitely avoid it.

Maybe it feels to confining.  Too much like rules.

Somehow it feels like it stifles my flow and creativity. Guess I like to imagine I am conjuring up and magically creating something new every time.

The fact that I am a reluctant (for lack of a better word) cook may explain it.  I cook for necessity not for the passion of it.   I know people who touch heaven when they are in the kitchen. 
And based on the exquisite foods they create I am pretty sure heaven comes down and touches them in the process.
Again, Seriously.
I touch heaven when I draw, paint and run. Those activities fill me up - even when they are difficult.  That is passion.
So in my daily cooking time I try to spice it up. (pun intended)  Looking to make the process more exciting, adventurous...  more of a game. So I wing it. A lot.  
I approximate. 
And guesstimate.  Makes the doing more interesting.
And makes the results more of... an adventure.  Nothing ever tastes exactly the same as it did last time. I know, there are pros and cons in that.
But the meals are there, hot, healthy and ready when everyone is hungry. And the cook is happy because she enjoyed the process.

If you enjoy my work you can see more in my shop Erin Go Paint and my online portfolio.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Gloriously Gluten Free Hot Artichoke Dip

Our car limped into the car repair shop as they were closing up on Friday afternoon.  And, so it sits there for the weekend, grounding us.  Not that it flies or anything, but grounding us in the sense of sticking close to home, and taking care of things on foot.

Now as luck would have it, we actually have all the necessities within walking distance of our new home including 2 pharmacies, 2 grocery stores, our bank, a liquor store (yes, all the necessities!) a playground, and a butcher.  So though it may be more convenient to drive here and there on a whim... it is actually nice to plan and walk, and go out and about on foot as a family.

Our 9 year old was less than pleased with the plan for the weekend and it took some getting used to. Yesterday when I suggested a snack she said "but what I really want is the cheesy hot artichoke dip and we don't have the stuff for it."  But, again as luck would have it I was able to pull out of fridge and pantry all that we needed.  Well, we improvised a bit and used shredded cheddar instead of Monterey jack - but it was just as awesome.  As she was grated the Parmesan she said she was so very happy at that moment.
That is the best comment ever.

All you have to do is combine all ingredients above in a dish that can go in the oven leaving some of the grated Parm to sprinkle on top right before it goes in the oven.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
Let set for 5 minutes before eating.
We used tortillas to dip.
Our hot creamy cheesy artichoke dip made out day!
If you enjoy my art and would like to see more visit Erin Go Paint