Sunday, July 31, 2011

Have you ever roasted a radish?


Hello All,

Check out my latest guest blog post at themightyrib to learn about an incredibly easy tip for roasting radishes.   

Yes, roasting radishes! Have you ever roasted a radish before?

You should.  You’ll be the envy of all your friends.

Click, here.

Pssst... There’s a shout-out included to Kelly over at mylittlepinkbicyle, who was sweet enough to find this little gem of a recipe for me to share with you.  Thanks Kelly!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What would you do if everything changed?


Life just changed for Dennis and me.

I’ve been stunned.  In a good way.  But stunned.

I am ready to talk about it. 

No, No, don’t worry. Don’t worry. 

I am fine. 

I am actually better than fine.

All my lab results are in. 

This is what I found out.

1)     I can eat gluten.
2)     I can eat dairy.

Seriously. 

And I pretty much have been stymied by this for several weeks.

Yes, several weeks. 

Is it wrong that I waited so long to tell you? 

You see it’s like this.  I have lived fifteen years without diary and five years without gluten. 

That’s a long time of “withouts.”

I learned so much because of it.  I learned how to actually TASTE my food without smothering everything with cheese, as so many do (the American way).  I learned how to NOT rely on processed wheat that is so prevalent in so many of our standard American meals.

And most importantly…

I learned that I could help others. 

Do you realize how many people are out there that have undiagnosed digestion disorders?  If I had a dime for every time someone said to me “maybe I should go off wheat, too (or dairy)?”  It’s the same story.  So many are hurting. 

That was my story, too.  Always hurting.  I’ve always said that it just kept me humble.

Have I told you my story? 

I’ll be brief but complete. 

Basically, my stomach began “killing me” in eighth grade.  I was an athlete so I kept trucking along, grasping my tummy, but dealing with it.  I left the private college in Southern California where I worked so hard to get into after my first year.  It’s hard to go to class when you’re doubled over in pain.  The remainder of my twenties was spent in out of the hospital, surgery after surgery.  Ectopic, endometriosis, ectopic, endometriosis, rinse, lather, and repeat.

During all those years I read, researched, guessed, tested and retested.  Everything pointed to two simple culprits:  gluten and dairy.  For all of my celiac friends who painfully know the futility of pregnancy with that disease, you know what I am talking about.  For everyone else, to me it seemed easy enough to give up those foods to simply feel better.

So I did.  I gave up gluten and dairy.  I felt better with only the occasional flare-up here and there.  At least it wasn’t a constant anymore. 

Then, the flare-ups became more and more frequent.  And confusing.  They stopped following a pattern.  I finally found a doctor who really wanted to figure it out (he’s like that doctor on the TV show, House).

That’s when I reached out to you.  Remember my glorious gluttonous weekend?

After almost a month of testing the results came back.

The answer is so simple it’s brilliant.

Here’s what’s wrong:

1)     I’m deficient in essential amino acids that break down proteins in foods
2)     I’m deficient in hydrochloric acid that aids in digestive power
3)     I’m deficient in gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) that breaks down fat food cells in foods


That’s it.  I am supplementing my system and everything is working well.

Stunningly well!

So, what would you do if everything changed?

Here’s my answer.  I call it my five new realities:

1)   I firmly believe in the major lessons I learned from all of this:  Enjoy food in its most simple, unprocessed state.  Just because I can eat dairy does not mean that won’t feel lousy eating EZCheez.

2)   I am re-introducing foods back into my life that I never thought I would see again.  It is a trip.

3)   To assist in digestion, portion control reigns supreme.  I am relearning this.

4)   I firmly believe we all are what we eat (in addition to our genetics).  We live in a fascinating age than has the ability to research and uncover deficiencies that can often be corrected through diet and supplementation.

5)   I am still dedicated to sharing gluten-free and diary-free resources.  I will continue to call out gluten-free alternatives whenever I can.  I can’t and won’t erase fifteen years of experience.  Please continue to reach out to me and I will help where I can.

What about you?

My wish is to encourage every one of you who is hurting, bloated, doubled-over, or achy to really take the time to get it figured out.  Life is precious and a gift.  Feeling well is an excellent state of being. It may very well be that you have celiac disease and may have a future of monitoring gluten contamination for you or your loved ones.  But I know you can do it. I know you can.  The first step is to find out why you hurt and get better.

You deserve it.

I was a bit long-winded today. 

Thank you for listening.  I appreciate you.

Your friend,

Lyndi

Eat well, my friends.  Eat well.

Dennis and I at the Colosseum in Rome last fall.  It expresses exactly how we feel!

Friday, July 22, 2011

(Free) Williams-Sonoma technique cooking class Sunday: Farmers’ Market Meals



The Williams-Sonoma store in the Pinnacle Hills Promenade in Rogers will be hosting a complimentary technique class this Sunday. 

It looks to be a great one… so read on! 

Sunday, July 24th at 12:00 p.m. (lasts approximately 45 minutes)

Class description:  Farmers’ Market Meals
Farmers’ markets across the country are in full swing, providing the perfect inspiration for the home cook.  We’ll discuss fruits and vegetables commonly found at the market, how to select and store them, plus creative ways to transform the season’s bounty into simple yet delicious summer meals.

Sounds necessary, right?

Class size is limited so call them at 479-636-0153 to reserve your place!   

Each class includes a cooking demonstration, generous samples of featured dishes and printed recipes to take home.  

Enjoy!

Lyndi

Eat well, my friends.  Eat well.

3rd annual tomato tasting event is this Sunday!

Photo courtesy of ozarkslowfood.org
**** UPDATE: 8/1/2011 I never made it to this event, did you? I'd love to hear what you thought, if you did. ~Lyndi ****


Are you a tomato worshipper?   

Does the mere mention of “heirloom tomatoes” increase your heartbeat? 

Are you super-duper obsessive about NEVER letting your tomatoes accidently find their way into the refrigerator so they won’t get mealy?

Artists my have their inspirational, yet very human, muses. 

Mine is the tomato.

Don’t judge me.

I mean, c'mon... look at this luscious beauty!  

Something special is happening on Sunday.

The Ozark Slow Food and the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks host the 2011 Tomato Tasting event on Sunday, July 24th from 11am-1pm.

This event will be held inside the building near the entrance to the garden.  If you haven’t been there, it’s pretty cool with vaulted ceiling and dramatic beams.

This third annual event  will feature more than 25 varieties of tomatoes to taste, including heirlooms (yesssss!) and unusual varieties (oh boy-oh boy-oh boy!).

Wait, there’s more…

There will be master gardeners to answer your tomato growing questions AND a chef presentation by Johnny Phillips.

Who is Chef Johnny Phillips?

According to Teresa from Ozark Slow Food, Chef Johnny Phillips currently lives in Northwest Arkansas and is a Slow Food volunteer. In his 30 years of experience around the US and the world, Johnny has developed restaurants and catering services, marketed specialty foods, hosted a Food and Travel concept show and written many food and wine articles. He has eaten and cooked in many parts of the world including France, Spain, Italy, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, China and Mexico as well top US destinations such as Santa Barbara, Sonoma, Boston and Key West.   His presentation at the Tomato Fest will feature some easy to prepare dishes featuring tomatoes and international flavors.

See?  You HAVE to go to this!

Admission is pay-at-the door.  Cost is $5 per person and $2.50 for those who are ten years and under.  As a bonus, this also gets you admission to the gardens (score!).

Click here for directions.

Now, all I have to do is rearrange my schedule on Sunday!  Hope to see you all there!

(Thanks Teresa, for letting me know about this event!)


Lyndi

Eat well, my friends.  Eat well.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ever wondered how to “muddle” your drink?



Muddling made a comeback in 2002.  At least it did for me.

I still remember that magical moment.  The seducer was the famed and alluring Cuban mojito

And boy, was I smitten.

I was travelling with my husband on business in New York City, somewhere in the lower West End, and someone suggested mojitos.  It was new to me.  A pitcher arrived with a heavenly scent of mint and a gorgeous scene of swirling pieces of the green herb as it was neatly poured into our awaiting glasses.

Freshness, newness and rum.  What more could I want (besides a taxi after it was over)?  This was NYC, and every block introduced new savory sensations and possibilities.

For the past eight or so years, muddling has come in and out of my life.  Mainly in cocktails, other times when adding a garnish to a dish.

Because of the commonness of muddling in my life, I must apologize for assuming.  I’ve assumed that everyone knows how to muddle! 

But I screwed up.  I mentioned muddling (twice!) in my recent lemonade post.  I assumed everyone knew how to muddle.  

Thank you, Heidi, for asking me how to muddle!

First, why should you muddle?

Muddling gently releases the essence of the herb, fruit or ingredient so you can incorporate the full flavor into your drink.  Think of it as a pestle and mortar for soft ingredients.

Is it hard?

Nope! It’s quite simple really.  You get to use a cool tool and it is quick and easy.

How do you muddle?

1. Place the ingredient (I’ll use mint leaves as an example) in a thick bowl or glass.  A cocktail shaker will do nicely.
2. Add a splash or water and a bit of sugar to the mint leaves.
3. Insert your muddler, give it a few twists.  The goal is to release the aroma of the herb or to have the juices start to flow from your fruit.
4. That’s it.  You’re done.  See, I told you it was e-a-s-y!
  
What is a muddler?  Where can I get one?

Rarely do I go into a store that has kitchen supplies where I don’t come across a muddler nowadays: Target, Williams-Sonoma, Bed Bath & Beyond, liquor stores, ebay, to name a few.  I’m in love with Mountain Top Muddlers.  They even have a “muddler of the month” for the serious lover of muddlers.

Back in 2002, I purchased my first muddler from Crate and Barrel. 



Then my dad gave me one that my Grandpa hand-made and it is my absolute favorite (see photo at top of page).  Isn't it gorgeous?
  
But wait… maybe you really don’t need an actual muddler.  Is there an alternative?

Yes! 

I reached out to my twitter pal and fellow NWA’er, blakeclardy, to get his advice.  If you’re not following Blake, you should.  He’s smart, witty, and wayyyyy knowledgeable about all things liquor.  He makes me think differently and expand my knowledge base. He also makes me crave a drink.  Not a good thing early in the morning.

I digress. 

Here is his muddler-alternative advice:



Thanks, Blake!

That’s it.  

Now you know all about Muddling 101.

What else can I help you with?  

Drop my a comment or email at nwafoodie(at)gmail(dot)com.

Lyndi

Eat well, my friends.  Eat well.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Mango nectarines. Say whaaaat?



Yes, it tastes just like it sounds: the texture of a nectarine and the bite of a mango.

Heavenly!

Good news, these gems are available for a limited time at Allen’s Market in Bella Vista, on 71B.

See, that’s just in your little ole’ backyard here in beautiful Northwest Arkansas.

Curious to know how I cooked with them?

I didn’t. 

I simply ate ‘em.

Slurp!

Deeeelish.

Lyndi

Eat well, my friends.  Eat well.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

“Who are you? And what have you done with my wife?”



Wednesday night is Grocery Night. 

I’m a list-maker and rarely do I sway off the path UNLESS something catches my eye.  And boy oh boy, I love it when that happens because it usually means that there is something NEW being offered.

New intrigues me.

This week was different.  I went solo grocery shopping.

Sans hubby.

Just little ‘ole me.

With my list.

But wait!  I spied something new at Allen’s Market in Bella Vista!  Recently they began stocking Fayetteville’s Stone Mill Bakery breads and rolls.  Okay, that wasn’t new.  But what was new to me was cinnamon rolls.

Oooey-Gooey not-too-big-but-not-too-small cinnamon rolls.  My husband was going to looooooove these, I thought proudly.

In the basket they went.  

Then I promptly forgot about it.

Fast-forward thirty-minutes and I am in my kitchen, putting away groceries and chatting on the phone with my mother-in-law.

There was a commotion in front of me.  Arms waving.  Raised eyebrows in disbelief.  Mouth moving. Saying words without any sound.  I looked up, mid-sentence, startled.

“Who are you?  And what have you done with my wife?”

I should buy him fun foods more often.



If you’re in the Bella Vista area, stop in and check out these babies at Allen’s Market.  Six for $5.99 is hefty, yes, but sometimes life deserves a little treat.  All of their breads, rolls and cinnamon rolls are delivered daily.  Fresh.

In the Fayetteville area?  By all means, pop into Stone Mill Bakery and buy them right where they are baked!

Enjoy!

Lyndi

Eat well, my friends.  Eat well.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

$15 Fish City Grill giveaway to one lucky reader! Is it you?



*** Update: (7/12/2011) Whitney #6!  Apparently your red beans and rice comment DOES count… because you won! Congrats! ~Lyndi ***





Hello there.

Here’s a great giveaway that will accomplish three things: (1) it allows you to perhaps try a restaurant you’ve never been to, (2) it allows you to NOT spend $15 of your own money on that meal, and (3) you get a great reason to eat out!

If you haven’t been to Fish City Grill restaurant in Rogers yet, click here to read my previous post to learn more about them!

Dave at NWArestaurants.com has graciously provided a $15 penguin bill gift certificate.  Never been to NWArestaurants.com?  Well, you should.  Dave features local restaurants (like Fish City Grill) and has crazy 50% off penguin bill certificates all the time!  Please follow him on twitter, facebook, or his website to catch the deals! They go fast!

Wanna’ know the #2 reason why I love NWArestaurants.com?  It’s because penguin bill proceeds from the restaurants go to wonderful local charities!  To find out more, click here.

Wanna’ know the #1 reason?  It’s because Dave is a genuinely giving and kind dude.  He’s the real deal!

Prize:

1 lucky winner will receive a $15 penguin bill gift certificate to Fish City Grill at the Pinnacle Promenade in Rogers.    Contest ends Monday, July 11th, at midnight (CDT).  I will pick a winner via randomizer on Tuesday the 12th.

Eligibility:

Leave me a comment, preferable with your twitter, blog name, or someway I can easily contact you if you win! That’s it! 


Comment question:  What do you think is the most delicious fish to eat?


No purchase necessary to enter. Contest void where prohibited. Contest open to members who are 18 years or older. Contest open only to US residents only.  

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Grilled Chicken Breast with Fresh Jalapeno-Cilantro Tomato Relish.



*** UPDATE (7/10/2011) This recipe was featured on themightyrib, a Houston food blog.  It was a test kitchen post, so you might be interested in checking out the variations they adapted with this recipe. Read it, here. ~Lyndi ***


Summer means grilling. 

Grilling means chicken breast. 

Chicken breast means… jalapeno-cilantro tomato relish.

Uh, I just drooled a little.

I hijacked this recipe from my favorite-foodie-frenzy-friends, Nathan and Amanda. (Love you guys!)

This is #2 of three recipes that I had the privilege of providing for The Cobblestone Farm Project in Fayetteville.

If you make this recipe, you will have warm-fuzzy feel-good vibes because it was created for a good cause.

See how giving you are?

Enjoy!


Grilled Chicken Breast with Fresh Jalapeno-Cilantro Tomato Relish
Recipe adapted from my friend’s (Nathan Willoughby) lime based hot dog relish

Serves 4

Ingredients

3 chicken breasts
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper

1 jalapeno, minced (seeds removed if you like it mild)
1 tomato, diced small
¼ onion, diced small
½ cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
1 bunch of spring onions (4-5 individual bulbs with stalks), sliced diagonally
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp sugar

Instructions – Grilled Chicken

1.     Preheat grill.
2.     Wash chicken.
3.     Make cutlets by cutting through each breast horizontally.  You will end up with a total of 6 cutlets.
4.     Dredge chicken in olive oil.  Salt and pepper.
5.     Grill chicken for 10 minutes on first side and 5 minutes on flip side.  Keep an eye on since cutlets are thinner than usual and will cook fast and evenly.
6.     Remove from heat and wrap in tin foil.  Put foil package in a warmer oven on low heat.  This will also ensure that chicken is cooked thoroughly by the time you are ready to serve with the relish.

Instructions – Relish

1.     In a bowl, combine jalapeno, cilantro, tomato, and onion in a bowl.
2.     Heat skillet on stove on medium-high heat.
3.     Add butter.  Move to low heat.
4.     Add spring onions to skillet along with sugar.
5.     Stir and let sit until onions begin to caramelize.
6.     Remove from heat and mix with jalapeno-cilantro mixture.
7.     Remove chicken from foil and top with relish.  Serve.

Lyndi

Eat well, my friends.  Eat well.

Monday, July 4, 2011

And the ‘Ziploc VersaGlass’ winners are…


#13 doulacomfort
#8 HillbillyWisdom

Congratulations!  You are both the lucky winners of the Ziploc VersaGlass container variety pack giveaway!  You are going to LOVE these!  I will contact you both to find out where to ship them.

THANK YOU EVERYONE who participated in this giveaway opportunity! 

Stay tuned…
More great giveaways are coming for local area restaurants, parmesan gourmet cheese crisps, Joy Bauer’s Food Cures book and Joy Bauer’s Slim & Scrumptious cookbook to name a few!

Thanks for visiting the nwafoodie site.  It means a lot to me, truly.

Lyndi

Eat well, my friends. Eat well.




(Safely) extend the life of your food.



Hello All,

Check out my latest guest blog post at themightyrib where I explain why I am recently obsessed with glass containers and breathable produce bags.


It’s very interesting.  I promise.


Click, here.
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