Books & Yarn

Yarn Alond 11/21/2012
Yarn Along 11/21/2012

I am still working on the cowl, but I had to sneak in another project that I will hopefully have pictures of next week. The weather suddenly turned cold, and while pulling out the winter hats, we couldn't find one that was the right size for our little guy. I quick knit up a hat for him, and if he can manage to stand still for a second, I will hopefully get a photo.

I am still reading El Rancho de Las Golondrinas: Living History in New Mexico's La Cienega Valley and I thought I would share a few photos with you.

But before I do, I want to wish everyone a blessed Thanksgiving. Rest, be thankful, and give everyone in your family and your friends a hearty squeeze.







Red Chile Sauce

Red Chile Sauce
Red Chile Sauce

How time flies and things change!

I promise there will be a recipe for Red Chile Sauce made from the Chile Caribe Concentrate, but I thought I'd ramble on a bit about our "food changes" in recent weeks.

About 12 weeks ago we decided to go gluten free for health reasons (one of my family members maybe allergic or severely intolerant, or have a carbohydrate intolerance) and that has me side tracked! Mainly, just how to adapt our staple recipes to be gluten free. Honestly, it's not that hard when you are an adult, but for kids, who at every turn, have gluten products offered to them, it's been, challenging to say the least.

And I had been aware of all the different ways people had been altering their food (ie gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, soy-free, or a combo - this is a short list) I've been broadening my knowledge base, sharing ideas and thoughts with friends that are also on their food journeys for many different reasons.

Making it even more interesting, 2 people in my family are lactose-intolerant, 2 are allergic to tree nuts, and 1 is allergic to peanuts and melons. So far this is what we have identified.

So yup, we are gluten-free. That has led us to eating more corn products than usual (and yes, we try very hard to not buy GMO corn, and I don't think we do, but buying at the health food store does not automatically mean its non-GMO unless it has "the seal"). Interestingly, paleo way of eating frowns on corn products, but I have to be honest, I live in a part of the country where 4 foods are a way of life here, and those would be BEANS, SQUASH, CORN, & GREEN/RED CHILE. I don't know if I could give corn up. In fact, since moving back here close to 4 years ago and eating these foods again, I am healthy, don't have as many energy spikes/lows, and have lost weight, without trying.

The only reason I bring paleo up is for many of the recipes are gluten free, but the use a lot of almond products, and unfortunately, we can't do that! So corn must stay!

The good news is I am lucky to not be allergic to anything! Although, since cutting gluten I have felt extremely better, a 80% reduction in headaches and I don't feel tired all the time. Maybe I have a mild intolerance, who knows, or maybe it's a lesson that everything should be in moderation (except for good ole veggies) and we REALLY need to think about how our food has gotten to where it has.

Wheat now is not what it was 50 years ago, or 100 years ago, and we did not eat it the way we do now - these were the words of our GI doctor, interesting. I didn't need the GI doctor to tell me this, but it was sure great hearing him say it!

All these changes also meant we were not eating out, and consuming very little processed foods. Ironically, my DH decided to go get some fast food he was craving. The next morning he asked me to remind him to never do it again. He felt awful, upset stomach, etc. Interesting indeed!

Red Chile Sauce (from concentrate)

1 tbsp shortening/oil
1 tbsp flour
1 cup chile caribe concentrate
2 cups water
1/2 tsp ground Mexican oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Heat oil over medium heat, add flour, stir and cook for 1 minute.

Add chile concentrate and water, stirring well to avoid lumps.

Add seasonings and simmer at low heat for 20 to 30 minutes to desired thin/thickness. Add more water if you feel necessary depending on your concentrate.

From here you can freeze it if you decide to make a double or triple batch, but.... 

You can make it gluten free by using a GF flour substitute blend or cornstarch, but it will not freeze well. Something about the starches in these blends tend to separate, so you will have to make it fresh each time.

You can also substitute broth for the water, but honestly, it is perfect with just water.

We add Red Chile Sauce to lots of things, such as beef stew, over steak, and it is used in traditional New Mexican dishes like Enchiladas, Posole, and Carne Adovada.



Books & Yarn

Yarn Along 11/07/2012
Yarn Along

I decided to join the yarn along today over at Small Things. Lately, when I have tiny moments of time, I usually weave on my inkle loom. With the change in temperature, my thoughts are shifting to the cooler weather ahead and I needed to get out those knitting needles!

On my needles is the Lovely Ribbed Cowl at the Purl Bee. I am using yarn that I spun a few years back, a super soft, single, baby llama in a light worsted weight. I am hoping the cowl will come out okay, for the yarn used in their pattern is definately worsted weight.

The book I am reading has been on my wish list for ages, but I decided again to see if the library had a copy available, they did. El Rancho de Las Golondrinas: Living History in New Mexico's La Cienega Valley is a coffee table type book filled with the history of this amazing place. We've visited there often, and someday, when the kiddos are older, I hope to volunter (maybe they will want to also). I am sure I will be still reading this next week, so perhaps I'll also share a few photos of our journeys there!
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