Archive for the ‘Gluten-free (sometimes vegan, sometimes raw) food I ate or want to eat’ Category

Hoo lawd

July 23, 2010

PBS has been rocking my face off…last night I realized that PJ Harvey and Nick Cave as my ideal 3some has been replaced (sorry laydeez) by Tavis Smiley and Charlie Rose. I went looking for some .jpgs, and found Charlie-boy interviewing Mr. Smiley… their damn shows keep me up past my bedtime.

Last night it was “South Carolina A to Z.”  It was fascinating, of course, and fun to guess what the letters would be.

D – Duke’s mayonnaise; my friend who moved to AZ a few years ago says he misses sweet tea (a-no-duh), proper collards and Duke’s.

I have an ever-increasing fondness for this crazy state. The gin might have helped…

I’m trying a new one. I”ve written about gin before, but this one is self-proclaimed “unusual”

and preferred by “1 out of 100 people.”

It’s OK. Sapphire still wins. Hendrick’s is too sweet. I had it with my usual tonic and lemon, and second usual grapefruit juice. Many, many times…wonder what Charlie and Tavis’ quaife of choice would be?


July 15, 2010

I usually don’t dig the mash-ups, too obvious, too boring, etc., but I enjoyed this one alright.

You know what else I enjoy? Friends who live in the country and make their own wine.

On the counter, in the living room, stacked in the bathroom…

In my belly…

Elderberry wine. Good news, the internet can stop now.

The cheeseburger has been had.

I like food

July 3, 2010

that comes with tools.

And doesn’t need much more than a squeeze of fresh limon, and some tequila.

When in Atlanta, eat at BAB’S!

July 1, 2010

There simply is nothing to not like about Bab’s. First of all, it’s named after DIVINE.

This is my table.

The menu is great, the specials are fantastic. How good was the

avacado bisque?


At first you’re like, “Huh. Super creamy guacamole?” But then you’re like,

Everything is always fresh as hell, and crazy delicious – the sweet potato fries? Youdon’tevenknow. The portions are generous

The sandwiches are good too, I see

I like the crabmeat omelette…real crab. Gluten-free.

Though Bab’s is my favourite place in all of Atlanta to eat (I can’t even begin to tell you about the wonderful staff…and good coffee. And sake Bloody Marys! SO GOOD.), nothing beats home-cooking.

Especially Korean home-cooking.

Though I don’t always know what’s in it…

…I know it will be good. Not to mention the prep is easy on the eyes…

We had spinach, sprouts, soybeans and watercress

Amber helped Lovelace tasty up some tofu she’d brought

They were a hit!

L cooked the bulgogi right at the table

It confused some first-timers…

Not really, I just have impeccable timing 😛

I used Korean-style flat-ended chopsticks for the first time.

I liked them quite a bit.

…the rest of it wasn’t so bad, either! Anything is good with good company.

“You can’t just eat good food. You’ve got to talk about it too. And you’ve got to talk about it to somebody who understands that kind of food.” 
— Kurt Vonnegut, Jailbird

June 15, 2010

I bought a dining room table, thinking it’d encourage me to have dinner parties. Make new friends. Reduce my life-loathing canape by canape. So far, fail. The most recent one was an epic fail…but the food was good.

I chopped up some fresh oregano, tarragon and garlic and mixed it with some goat cheese.

Stuffed it into some skrimps:

And, of course, wrapped them in bacon. Leftover goat cheese went into the ol’ dates:

You may remember them (no, you don’t. nobody reads this blog.) from past events.

Chopped fresh basil from the yard et voila:

Since it ended up being only me and one person (out of 20 or so invited, and six-ish confirmations who all bailed post-start time), there was plenty. And it was good. So. Good.

The chocobourbonsicles were also a fail – but since they contain bourbon and chocolate, still a win. Here’s the recipe I used, from Drink of the Week:


    1/2 c sugar
    3 1/2 oz chocolate chips
    2 Tbs cocoa powder
    1/8 tsp salt
    1/8 c or 1 oz bourbon
    2 c water
    2 Tbs finely chopped mint leaves


Combine sugar, chocolate, cocoa powder, salt, and water into a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring all the while. Transfer the mixture to another container, preferably one that lends itself to easy pouring, and let the mixture cool until it is room temperature, about a half hour. Stir in the bourbon and chopped mint leaves. Pour into molds and freeze for 5-8 hours until firm.

Though followed to  a T, there wasn’t anything to “boil.” The chocolate mixture kept the consistency of the granulated sugar.

So, I turned it into a science experiment.

1 – “runny”

2 – “chunky enough to spoon into thing”

3 – “like 1 + mint”

4 – “dregs of 3 and about 1/2 topped off with bourbon”

5 – “almost pudding, only capful of bourbon, cayenne”

6 – “mostly bourbon”

7 – “leftover chunkiness from 6″‘

I don’t really like bourbon, so they’re still in the freezer awaiting further research. The sangria was good, off course. Chopped up the fruits

(grapes, oranges, strawberries, blueberries, apple)

and froze overnight in Triple Sec and a bit of the sangria wine.

Even without adding the cherry club soda

there was a LOT. I guess nearly six liters? I also roasted chickpeas and pepitas, but didn’t like them at all. The ceviche takes a lot of prep work (chopping ingredients) but is so simple. And insanely delicious.

Last on the list,

homemade tortillas. I used one of my favourite plates to flatten them and it broke, gouging my thumb.

My first (and only) guest arrove (I make up words) to find me sucking my thumb, blood running down my forearm.

Luckily it stayed out of the food.

…this time.

This is how you drink a Bloody Mary.

April 29, 2010

Needs pickled okra, but skrimp will suffice! Absolut Peppar + some sort of spicy rim job…(!!)  = best Bloody Mary in Columbia

Smoke restaurant review…

April 25, 2010

…let’s just get to the food (I referred to the decor as “…the TGI Friday’s of BBQ.”). 

Nowhere was the catfish, oysters or gumbo they advertise. I asked the cashier what was in the boudin balls besides “pork and rice dressing.” At first, she said it was just pork and rice. “The dressing isn’t like stuffing? It doesn’t have any bread in it?” The confusion was visible on her face. I tried to clarify, with no luck, and ordered the pulled pork taco. “No tortilla,” I requested with a smile. Again,  visible confusion. I explained I am allergic to flour and couldn’t eat the tortilla. She also didn’t understand when S asked if any of the beers in the cooler were local. “…PBR is our house beer?” I opted for water.

We seated ourselves outside and took in the ambience. It entailed a good 10+ children running around, and being yelled at by their parents to stop running. I had the pleasure of informing S that yes, cornhole was a real game – family appropiate. While waiting for our food I sampled the three sauces, labeled “spicy,” “sweet” and unlabeled, but clearly mustard. “Well,”  I arched my eyebrow (not really. I wish I could do that.) “That’s a whole lotta nothing special.” The sweet and spicy tasted the same, except the spicy had pepper flakes in it. “I’d have a hard time believing these were house made – they have that corn syrup sweetness to them.” As my pork “taco” came sauced, I had no further use for them.

Our food arrived and, after I returned from asking for silverware back at the register, we dug in. Some kind soul in the kitchen thought to put my pork taco on a bed of (bagged) salad. The ramekin was full of sour cream, but the “fresh avocado” was the epitome of a dollop.  The pork was completely unremarkable. I just had nothing good, nothing bad, nothing to say about it. I’ve had cold baked beans out of a can that were more interesting than my taco’s side of them. A generically sweet, bland taste. It was almost insulting, the straight-up Sysco flavors we were getting…

S agreed about the abject mediocrity of the pork, further musing it had a “confit” flavor to it. Later in the evening, as we discussed favourite cuts, recipes, etc. I pointed out the meat was probably so greasy because it was reheated leftovers, hence the fatty, greasy “confit”-like flavor. He completely agreed. He said the fried squash was, again, nothing remarkable. On our way out after ordering we’d passed a kitchen worker coming in with a bag of it, frozen – so, also not house/fresh made. It did look more squash than batter, though; points for that.

K had the trio. Salty ribs, chicken and the same pulled pork as S and myself. I liked the collards alright – they, at least, seemed fresh – but K said they hadn’t been salted enough. He had nothing to say about the chicken. Neither ate their cornbread. The boudin balls weren’t spicy at all, more like hash and rice rolled into a ball and deep fried – a little too long. The spicy, stone ground mustard they came with was one of the best flavors of the meal – at least, one of the most flavorful.

We finished just in time to escape the entertainment (a guy with a guitar and amp and classic rock covers) to head back to town and assuage our disappointment with bourbon. End verdict: style over substance, connections over quality and a complete waste of a trip. I could see how families would definitely enjoy a restaurant where the kids can play outside and not fidget at the table, and I think it might be the only BBQ in Blythewood.

If you want BBQ around Columbia, my choice is Lil’ Pig*, S’s is Palmetto Pig and for some reason, K frequents Doc’s – all three of us amicable to Hudson’s.

*Why Lil’ Pig is my top choice:

Good and varied sides: I don’t like over-cooked, over-salted, mushy vegetables such as one usually finds on a buffet (esp. a BBQ buffet). Lil’ Pig has a great variety that never tastes like it was poured out of a 20 gallon can into a heating dish.

The meat: There’s a lot of it. In addition to the BBQ, there’s ribs, fried chicken, pork chops…probably one or two other things I can’t eat, and fried fish. I usually eat the fried fish, as it’s just a nicely-seasoned cornmeal rub (ie, gluten-free). The pork chops are also lightly breaded, as fried chops are wont to be, but the proprietor is pleased to cook you up some gluten-free ones.

Staff is constantly refilling the trays on the buffet, indicating food is cooked near-to “order.” Never had a dry, greasy fish filet cross my plate.

The BBQ: I’m not a sauce person. I think if you’re going to cook meat, cook good meat, cook it properly, and let it speak for itself. Lil’ Pig has vinegar, red and yellow BBQ on the buffet and, if you get there early enough, a whole pig on its buffet, laid out with a pair of tongs. IE, the aforementioned cook meat, cooked properly. You just grab the tongs, pick out what you want, and give it a tug. Gross, no? Also delicious.

We didn’t stick around for dessert at Smoke, so I don’t know what they have, but Lil’ Pig has good banana pudding and some sort of chocolate thing I can’t eat, due to the Oreos innit. The pudding also has Nilla wafers innit, as they know what the heck they’re doing, but there’s usually a little bit I can taste, untouched by cookie. I don’t even really like banana pudding, but I like their’s.

Steak is good.

April 9, 2010

I’m pretty much vegetarian in practice (as opposed to belief), 99% of the time, if I eat meat, it’s steak. Or bacon. The best steak, I’ve ever had, my friend makes. Grilled. With butter. This guy claims the slow cook method is best. BrodyQat agrees (hey, what’s your blog link? or anything else you want me to link to? or nothing?),

“…it’s absolutely the most amazing steak I’ve ever had in my life. Better than any I’ve had at fancy steakhouses.”

Looks overdone, to me.

And 45 minutes?? Nuh-uh. A few minutes on a grill = perfection.

We do agree on using butter, and not salting (though he does salt it in the end). I don’t use salt. My theory is get a good piece of meat, and you won’t have to suffocate it in gravy and seasonings. Fresh oysters, sashimi, steak tartare…but I do actually use some seasoning on steak sometimes:

It’s the lone non-single spice/herb thingie in my pantry. Well, I guess there is some Allspice. 😛 I rarely salt my food, as I’m cooking. I prefer to let people season to their own tastes. Somehow, that stuff found its way into my house and it’s pretty tasty on a steak.

Also, I’m sure I’m late to the party, but Matt and Kim are my NFB. I happened to hear a song last week,

because it inspired the new Erykah Badu video. Then I heard something else I liked…and then this morning a song played on WUSC that I dug, and the DJ said, “…Matt and Kim…” and I thought, it’s official. NFB (not just any new band is the NFB, mind you).

This isn’t the song I heard this morning, but I still like it:

I’m always wishing I had cheerier music, so it’s been nice that the hipster scene has gone kinda dance-y.  I’ve had THIS f’ing song STUCK IN MY HEAD for a few days, now

And I’m about to murderize somebody. (side note, the background footage of wings flapping was really gorgeous. I spent half that show not even watching her, there was some brilliant film/photos going on behind her)

OH SHIT! Malcom McLaren DIED.

Amanda Palmer has a new song.

Usual hyper-biographical reflections…bit too singer-songwritey for me, but the end is pretty great:

so if i want to drink alone dressed like a pirate
or look like a dyke
or wear high heels and lipstick
or hide in a convent
or try to be mayor
or marry a writer
smoke crack and slash tires
make jokes you don’t like
or paint ducks and retire


…I do really like to dress like a pirate and drink alone.

Vegan meatloaf

February 28, 2010

Yes yes, how can it be vegan and have meat innit? Well, what is meat, really? The “meat” of something is really just what comprises the most of it, no? The meat of a story, the meat of a…a….ok, so the recipe is called “neatloaf,” I just hate cutesy vegan names for shit.

I couldn’t follow it exactly-exactly, because 1/3 lb of tofu is…how much of this 14 oz standard size available at grocery stores?

But it turned out ok

An hour’s cooking time means it’s definitely not a quick dinner classic. Corn flakes, tofu and ricotta cheese…the thing I’ve always enjoyed about vegan cooking is how often the ingredients make you go “…ah no.” But the end result is quite tasty. The end result looked pretty much look the uncooked version:

The sauce, seemingly the usual BBQ stuff (ketchup, molasses, ACV) was quite tasty. I decided whatever the neatloaf tasted like, the sauce was a definite keeper.

End result? Pretty tasty. I would skip the sauce, it was just too sweet for me – and I was never a meatloaf person (or a ketchup person) to start with.  Here’s the notes I texted myself:

Spongey. eggy like quiche, delicious like awesome, keeping sauce recipe

Good…complicated and ingredienty? Can see how a restaurant might get it more neatloaf, less neatpile…prefer no sauce, too sweet. We’ll see how it improves (or unimproves) after resting overnight, being reheated, etc.

Def has that ground beef dense meatloaf texture, which surprised me when i realized thats what it was…gonna keep it. Might not be a recipe to make on a regular basis, but definitely a good one for vegan friends. Maybe I’ll make one.

Also, should this be your recipe and you find this, and want credit, take it! I printed this out one random “I need to be more raw” afternoon…it’s what I do inbetween dinners with Vic.

Best steak in town.

Best bloody, blurry steak in town.

Oh…apologies to any vegans who might have been all “Yay! Vegan food! I heart animals! Meat is murder!” for the carnivore porn here at the end. 😦

Eating, and it is good

January 10, 2010

Trying my best, between steak and gin, to be raw this spring. Last night I sliced some zucchini and diced some red onion, added….olive oil (yes, not raw), tahini, Bragg’s and…lemon juice. It’s good! Odiferous, but good.