It's been HOT here the past few days. So hot, we haven't had much of an appetite for food - if you can believe that. Lauren, the person who gives people the "food tour" of Portland to whomever comes to visit, doesn't feel much like cooking or even eating.
Yesterday, around 1:30pm, as I biked perhaps the mile or so to the New Cascadia Traditional Bakery and coffee shop, I realized that I had eaten breakfast around 8am and completely forgot to eat lunch. That never happens to me. Forgetting to eat is against my religion (well, that is, if I had one). Regardless, I had planned on getting a delicious gluten free baked good from my favorite gluten free bakery and enjoying it with a stumptown coffee while I got some work done.
How surreal it was to walk into a coffee shop and to be able to select ANYTHING I wanted from the menu without worrying about gluten. Not even a speck. They are a dedicated gluten free facility. I felt normal again.
(For those of you who don't know, New Cascadia Traditional has opened their own bakery/coffee shop in SE Portland. Check out their website for more details.)
I picked out a delicious-looking berry muffin and an iced coffee. The muffin turned out to be a blackberry muffin with struessel topping, just like the bakery-style muffins I remember from my gluteny days. It was ridiculously good. I realized in that moment, in that first bite, that I had almost forgotten what regular muffins were like. This one jolted me back to gluteny days gone by...and I have to admit I quickly realized the "muffins" I make at home are not really muffins. I'm sure they are more nutritious than what I ate yesterday, but they are indeed something other than muffins.
I already can't wait to go back.
Today all I could think to eat was something cold, like a fruit smoothie. We had just bought a couple of pints of blueberries and I had thrown a couple of uber-ripe bananas into the freezer this week, so I made a banana-blueberry smoothie for Ben and me. It was our lunch, or snack, or something. In any case, it was good. Those of you in Minneapolis might recognize the glass from my old stomping ground...
We're also getting really excited because our plants seem to be doing really well. We have already harvested and re-planted spinach once this summer. We also have an abundant-looking crop of carrots growing expediently and about five figs developing on our fig tree (see picture below). Our blueberries have not done so well this year...partially because of an air-conditioning mistake (long story) and partly because I don't think bees get this high up to pollinate. We just planted our brussels sprout starts in their larger containers today (see picture above, with carrots in background). Think good sprout-thoughts!
When your bananas start to over-ripen, toss them into the freezer, skin and all. To use them in a smoothie, or bake with them, set them out for a few minutes and then peel with a knife. The skin sort of falls off them.
1/2 cup milk (I used hazelnut, but often use coconut in my smoothies)
1/2 cup ice
1 cup blueberries
1 banana, cut into pieces (a great use of frozen bananas, but regular ones are okay too)
2 tablespoons ground flax seed
Dump all the ingredients into your blender and blend until smooth. Yep, it's that easy.
Enjoy! and feel refreshed!
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