17 July 2013

Three-cheese Paleo Croutons

I've been on a low-carb kick again, because I had good success with it before, and for Bob's sake, I could stand to lose a stone or 10...  I slipped up with the carbs over the holidays and during a recent visit to the UK, and boy did I reap what I sowed...re-gained weight, osteoarthritis pain went into overdrive...felt bloody miserable.  So, I decided it was time to bid the carbs adieu again (mostly - I still eat low-glycemic veggies), because I'm getting too old to feel so old...Wait - what?....

Anyway, a few weeks ago, friend (and outstanding artist) Brigid Ashwood recommended Julian Bakery's Paleo Bread (Coconut) on her Facebook Page as a suitable alternative to naughty, carb-y bread, and since I value her opinion on matters of the palate (she's posted several wines that are lovely, and she's a fantastic cook), I decided I'd give it a try.  I did, and I found it to be....meh.  It's a bit too chewy for my liking and has a funny, chemical-y after taste (I tried it as toast, since morning toast drowning in butter is one of the things I miss most about low-carb living).  I got to thinking (because that shit's expensive and I didn't want to waste it) and it occurred to me that making it with something with a strong flavour might help to hide that funny after taste, and that perhaps baking it would make it more toasty.  I LOVE Panera Bread's Asiago croutons (as found in their Chicken Caesar Salad), so I decided to try to make something similar.  I used a Parmesan-Asiago-Romano blend, and I am very pleased with the results.  Here, then, is my recipe:

Three-cheese Paleo Croutons
Prep time: about 5 minutes
Cooking time: about 15 minutes


Paleo Bread (I used Julian Bakery's Paleo Bread-Coconut)
Butter (to taste, but enough to coat bread - I used about 2 tbsps for 3 slices of bread - olive oil would probably work well, too)
Garlic Powder (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
Cheese (I used about 1/4 cup of Parmesan-Asiago-Romano blend)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  In a saucepan, melt butter with garlic powder and pepper.  Cut or tear bread into cubes and place in a medium bowl.  Pour the melted butter mixture over the bread, and toss to evenly coat.  Add cheese and toss again.  Place on a baking sheet (I recommend lining it with a sheet of non-stick aluminium foil for ease of turning, and clean-up) in a single layer, making sure each bit of bread has some cheese attached.  Bake for about 10 minutes (ovens differ, so YMMV).  Paleo bread does not toast quite like regular bread, so after 10 minutes, I recommend flipping the bits over and baking for an additional 3-5 minutes.  Remove from oven, allow to cool, and eat 'em!

(ETA: This is several servings...depending on how you use them.  I had a handful as a snack, and have plenty left over for salads or more snackage!)

12 June 2013

It's an Oliphlump, because of course it is!

Cross-posted from my Facebook Page:

I found this whilst going through some image files today - this was from 2006 - I decided to be experimental, and see if I could create something out of a paint splatter. This was what I managed to come up with. The writing says "Note to self: Don't leave painting things out where the house Elves and their Oliphlumps can get to them."

Now I have the urge to create another Oliphlump. 

09 June 2013

Another Occasional Blog Post...brought to you by the letter "P" (as in "procrastination")

Well, lookit that.  It's only a blog post from me - Queen of the occasional rambles.

While it has been a moderately busy time of late, that's really no excuse.  In any event, here I am, typing at ya.

I most recently was busy preparing for, and then attending, Parisian Promenade in Greensboro, NC.  It turned out to be a really nice day!  Not too hot, although it was a bit humid, and even though we were under threat of thunderstorms, the weather held out and we made it through the afternoon rain-free.  I think this might have been one of the biggest turnouts at Parisian Promenade - at least in the 3 years I've vended there.  It was a busy day, and I had a really good sales day, as well, for which I am very grateful.  It's hard being an artist and making a living at it, and we artists are so thankful for our patrons and fans.  Every print sold means we can pay a portion of a bill, buy a portion of groceries, and can PAINT MORE!

I'm doing more shows this year than ever - after FaerieCon in November, I will have done at least 5 appearances this year (there may be a couple of other opportunities for shows locally between now and the end of the year).  I actually submitted work to DragonCon this year, and was accepted - but, due to the amount of artists applying, and space limitations, I wound up wait-listed.  Still, it was a nice opportunity, and it was good to get feedback from the jurors about what works, and what needs improvement.

The next event is in just a couple of weeks - Greensboro Summer Solstice which is such good fun!  Kids and adults alike come dressed in their faerie finery, and the mood is so light and joyful!  I am really looking forward to it.  If you're in the Greensboro, NC area - you should come check it out - it's free to get in, and a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.  It's on Saturday 22nd June this year, from 3pm until 8pm for the bazaar, and there will be fire dancing and live music afterwards until 9 or 10.

Hope you are all having a lovely late spring!

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