A Buffet of Thoughts


I don’t even know where to start.  It’s one of those days where I feel like I could take this blog anywhere.

I don’t know about you, but I’m still feeling convicted about yesterday’s discussion on loving our husbands.  I had started writing that post understanding the word “respect” to mean something totally different (I think I’ve even heard it preached as the wrong definition!) but when I did more research and discovered the correct Greek word, I was convicted about the true meaning and what that should look like in my life.  God is teaching me through my own writing.

God is at work in Adam’s life as well, and we’ve adjusted our lives starting this past week to re-prioritize and re-focus.  We have adjusted our priorities so that we have time to read part of a book together every night (We’re reading The Language of Love and Respect right now.) and time in the morning for breakfast, Bible reading, and prayer together.  How cool is that?!  I’m pretty excited to be doing this together.  I really believe that putting Christ first together in our marriage relationship will grow us in Christ as well as grow us closer together as a couple.  I’m pretty excited. :)

So, yesterday morning, I made gluten-free bread.  I had mixed up the flour mixture the night before, but I ended up cleaning a lot longer than expected, so I didn’t think I’d be up long enough for the bread to rise, cook, and cool so I could slice it up and freeze most of it.  Anyway, I mixed it all up, stuck it in the oven, and was stupid enough not to set the timer.  Fail.

Well, about 40 minutes later, Watson

"Watsonian"

was at the door meowing like crazy, and after a few minutes, I got up from my spot at the computer to let him in. As I turned back from the door, I noticed the bread in the oven.  Thankfully, it wasn’t burned or destroyed—thank God!!!  It was just slightly darker on the top than it’s supposed to (we normally cover it with foil halfway through to keep the top from getting dark).  It was fine, tasted wonderful (always best warm and topped with butter..mmm).  Thank God for silly cats that want to come inside. :)  The recipe for this glorious gluten-free bread is posted below.

For dinner last night, I experimented (my favorite) and made a jalapeño pot roast with a beef chuck roast I had pulled from the freezer.  I got the recipe online and with a few modifications (partly because I like changing things up and partly because I didn’t have exact ingredients), I set it up to cook for the day.  As a whole, we really liked it, although we felt that it needed more hot peppers —maybe whole next time?— because there was an overall lack of spice.

On the side, I made cheesy twice-baked potatoes.  Amazing!!!  They were super-easy to make, and Adam ate them all! (Don’t worry; I had made up a side of my butternut squash.)… Are you drooling yet?

Adam and our friend Charlie had planned to play X-box last night at the fire station, so I went with them.  Did I play Call of Duty? lol…yeah, right. (Couldn’t beat them and make them feel bad ;) ) I decided to make a peanut butter pie!!!  Yum yum!  It still sits in the fridge right now, but let me just say, this pie will be repeated in our home!  How do I know? Shhh….I snagged a taste as I made it. (Yes; recipe is posted below!)

Do I bother mentioning that tonight’s dinner would be qualified as an experiment as well? lol

I’m beginning to realize an interesting fact about my cooking.  I love trying new foods. Thankfully I have a husband, who likes to as well, because in the last few weeks, I feel like I’ve tried a half-dozen new recipes for either dinner or dessert.  It’s been a blast for sure, but, lol, in a weird way, I think a few “normal” meals might be good this upcoming week or so.

Don’t worry; these recipes are still amazing. :) I’ll still post lots of food news. (Ashley and not posting about food doesn’t even seem possible.)

So, I’ve also realized something in the past few days… something about my blog.  For the number of readers I have each day, I have virtually no response.  How can I amp that up?  Prizes?  Give-aways?  Commercials?  Different topics (Yes, I can write about something other than food!…Gasp!)?

You as the reader  can help me by responding and letting me know what you want more of, want less of, or what would make you respond a little more openly.  Thanks ahead of time to all you who read this and respond. :)

Now for those recipes:

Gluten-Free Rice Bread

(From the kitchen of Bonnie Bowman–taken from Gluten-free Gourmet)

**Flour Mix (Makes two batches of bread, which equals 4 loaves)**

Gluten-free Flour Mixture

Rice Flour – 4 c.

Tapioca Flour – 4 c.

Cornstarch – 4 c.

Potato Starch – 4 Tbsp.

Dry Ingredients: (mix first)

6 c. flour mix

1 1/2 Tbsp. xanthan gum

1 Tbsp. unflavored gelatin

1 1/2 tsp salt

3/8 c. sugar

Fresh bread is the best!

3/4 c. dry milk powder

3 12 tsp. dry yeast

Wet Ingredients:

2 eggs and 4 egg whites

1/2 c. (1 stick) soft butter

1 1/2 tsp. vinegar

2 Tbsp honey or molasses (I use honey)

2 1/4 c. water at 110°

Combine dry ingredients and set aside.  Beat eggs, egg whites, butter, vinegar, and honey together.  Then, add water. (This is important; otherwise the ingredients don’t mix well.)  On low, beat in dry ingredients until mixed.  Beat on high for 2-3 minutes.

Yum!

Grease and flour pans.  Spoon dough into pans and smooth tops.  Cover with same type of pan (I use four metal bread pans) to avoid cloth sticking to dough as it rises.  Let rise 45 minutes.

Bake in preheated 400° oven for 15 minutes.  Then, cover with foil and bake for another 25 minutes.  Cool on rack for 10-15 minutes and slice thin. (I can get 21 slices from a loaf.)  Best if frozen and defrosted as needed.

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Jalapeño Pot Roast

(Originally taken from a blog called A Year of Slow Cooking)

4 lb. beef chuck roast

1 can of a cream-based soup

–If you are making this gluten-free, I used 3/4 c. milk, 1/4 c. potato starch, and about 1/2 c. beef bouillon

2 jalapeño peppers, chopped

1 medium onion, sliced

1 can of black beans, drained

salt and pepper, to taste

Pour it all into the crock pot.  The original directions said to cook on low for 10 hours.  I accidentally set it on high ’til about 1pm, then put it on low ’til about 3:30, after which time I just kept the crockpot on low.  The meat fell apart! :)

The recipe also called for sour cream to be mixed in at the end to help cool the spice if it was too much for those eating it.  We didn’t find this necessary at all.

I can’t believe I didn’t take a picture of this recipe!!! :( Next time!

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Cheesy Twice-Baked Potatoes

(Taken from AllRecipes.com)

Since I was having a different side, I only used 2 potatoes. Therefore, this recipe is for that amount. Feel free to double, triple, etc. for more!

2 large baking potatoes

Delicious!

4 slices bacon
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, divided in half
*Optional: 4 green onions, sliced, divided in half

Cook the potatoes in a preheated, 350° oven for 1 hour.  Meanwhile, cook up your bacon, drain, cool, and crumble.

Once the potatoes are cooked, let them cool for about 10 minutes. I recommend leaving the oven on; you’re going to need it later.  Then, slice in half (lengthwise) and scrape out the potato from the skin.  Set aside skins.

In a bowl, mix together the potato insides and the sour cream, milk, butter, salt, pepper, and half of the cheese.  Spoon the potato mixture back into skins (you’ll have to fill them to almost overflowing), top with remaining cheese and the crumbled bacon.

Cook for a good 25 minutes longer.

This recipe is super-good!!! :)

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Peanut-Butter Heavenly Dreams Pie

(Originally taken then modified from Blisstree.com)

Crust:

The original recipe called for graham crackers, but since I was making this gluten-free, I had to improvise.  We did have some *** gluten-free graham crackers in the pantry (and they weren’t half-bad), so I crumbled them up. I crumbled mine by hand because I was at the fire station, but I would definitely recommend using a chopper or something to make them smaller.

It’s hard to know how many graham crackers I used. I would say 10 or so.

1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, soft

— Side note: 17 minutes in the microwave works as the best way to soften butter quickly.

5 or 6 snacksize Snicker bars

1/3 c. smooth peanut butter

I kinda made up the crust for this recipe, combining the original recipe I found online and a few others that I researched.

Grind up/cut up the Snickers bars as small as possible.  Do the same with your graham crackers.  Mix all ingredients together, line on bottom and sides of pie dish (this might take some work).  Set in fridge to cool and set.

Cream Ingredients:

1 c. creamy peanut butter

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 c. sugar

6 oz. whipped topping

1 jar (about 12 oz.) of chocolate sundae topping

– ** Set aside 2 Tbsp of the topping in a small, plastic bag for use later. **

Mix all the ingredients EXCEPT the chocolate topping together.  My ingredients (like my cream cheese) were relatively cold, so I actually put my bowl of ingredients in the microwave for a minute to soften my peanut butter and cream cheese. It mixed well… and tasted amazing.

Pour the cream mixture into the pie crust.  Then, warm up the chocolate topping and pour over peanut butter cream layer in pie.  Let set for about 2 hours or overnight.

Topping:

Peanut Butter Heavenly Dreams Pie

2 Tbsp. chocolate topping

2 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter

When you’re ready to serve, top with 6 more ounces of whipped topping.  Then, after cutting a tiny corner of the chocolate-topping-filled plastic bag of chocolate topping you had set aside, drizzle topping across pie.  Do the same thing with the peanut butter.

Yum yum!

Refrigerate leftovers….if there is any…. :)

That’s all for now!  Have a great night!!

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8 Responses to A Buffet of Thoughts

  1. People don’t respond to my blog, either, but I know I have a lot of readers…very annoying… ;)

  2. Bonnie says:

    The pie sounds wonderful and I’m not even a peanut butter fan – but your father-in-law is :)

  3. Cindy Laudig says:

    Always enjoy reading your post!

  4. Bethany Bull says:

    Thanks for sharing these awesome recipes! Hey, I noticed you cut the bread on a paper towel…do you need a cutting board for Christmas? :P

    • Ashley says:

      Oh, I had one…. I had put the bread on the towel at first, but then put the cutting board under that…and just never moved the towel. :)

      Guess what?? I’m going to start doing Pampered Chef!!!! :)

  5. tori winn says:

    ok, so I WISH i lived closer to you, because we would be BAKING BUDDIES!!! Man, I love to bake and love reading your blog, b/c I wish I had more time to do it! Working full time and support raising full time–baking has to go on the back burner :( :(

    HOW ARE YOU?!

  6. Amie P says:

    Thank you SOO much for sharing the GF bread recipe…this is the best GF bread recipe we’ve tasted and it is really easy to make!

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