Biscuits and gravy and a license to post less frequently

I’ve decided to ditch the post a day agenda. I’ve been prepping posts in advance and trying to do what I can to help myself meet the goal of posting every day with little to no stress but even so, there have been a few days that I’ve felt pressed to get something posted when I’ve just been a little too busy with other things. I don’t really like the added stress. So I’ve decided to let that go and just post when I want to post and when I’ve really got something to say. There may be times when that means I’m still posting every day, because let’s face it, sometimes I do have a lot to share, but there may also be days that I don’t post and I think I’m ok with that now. I have a sneaky suspicion that my subscribers will be more than ok with that too. ūüėõ

That said, I made biscuits and gravy this morning and it was A-mazing! I know biscuits and gravy are not 100% primal, but we aren’t going for 100% all the time anyway. I tried to keep our carbs down by using Pillsbury’s new Simply Buttermilk Biscuits – 15 carbs per biscuit – and we each only had one and 1/2 biscuit. The gravy I adapted from a recipe I found here.

I used:

  • about 3 oz¬† cream cheese
  • about 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • salt and pepper to taste

Similar to my fellow blogger, I browned my sausage (about a pound of homemade sausage) and then added the coconut flour which immediately dried up the pan. I then added the cream cheese but it wasn’t melting well and my pan was crusting over at the bottom because it was so dry. So I added a bit of water to de-glaze the pan. The water eventually cooked down and I added the almond milk.

I simmered it for about 10-15 minutes with a lid. Then I took the lid off and let it continue to simmer while the biscuits baked for 14 minutes. The cream cheese took a long time to really break down and be fully incorporated but in the end it all came together really well.

It was awesome. I really couldn’t taste a difference in this gravy from any traditional gravy, it was just as good if not better. I wish I could show you how we made the sausage because it’s got all sorts of herbs and spices as well as jalapeno in it and it is really what packs some amazing flavor into the dish. But the last time we made a batch I must have been doing other things because I didn’t document our process. I’ll get it next time around.

Savory seasonings stimulate the appetite.
~ Latin Proverb

Buried, The Lincoln Lawyer, Sucker Punch

I know it’s not Monday but I¬†forgot to include my review of Buried¬†so I’m diverging from form and talking about movies today. We watched this little jewel last week. If I had known how “Blair Witch Project-esque”¬†Buried was, I would not have put it on our netflix queue. This movie was an entire 90 minutes of one man trapped inside a box. I’m not kidding you. Admittedly, it kept our interest and it was somewhat thrilling, getting our hopes up that he might escape. But sadly, it is not a movie I would recommend to anyone. Don however went to work the next day and told¬†folks, “I saw this awesome movie last night! You’ve got to see it, it’s called Buried.” I’m waiting for one of the guys to come back to Don and say, “You thought that was great?” Don will laugh and say, “No, but tricking you into watching it was.” lol¬† He’s such a troublemaker.

This week we watched The Lincoln Lawyer. I don’t like the title but I liked this movie. The story makes me thankful that I’m not a lawyer. Matthew McConaughey plays a sleazy defense attorney who seems to have no morals but as the story progresses the depth of his character is revealed.¬†I saw in the opening credits that it was based on a book and I couldn’t help but think that it would probably be a really good read. The inner turmoil of a character is hard to convey on the screen. Not wanting to give anything away I would just say that if you like¬†court room drama, or just to look at Matthew McConaughey, then this movie will be worth your while. There are also A LOT of other¬†familiar faces¬†in this movie and it makes for an interesting ensemble.

Last night we watched Sucker Punch.¬†Weird movie. It is a dark story of a young girl institutionalized by her abusive stepfather. She is scheduled for a lobotomy¬†and in the few days before the procedure, she¬†creates¬†an alternative reality in an attempt to escape, both mentally and physically. It is a story of empowerment and it is sad and hopeful at the same time. The action dream sequences are over the top and were less appealing to me than I thought they would be but I still enjoyed the movie overall. I’ve seen the story criticized as formulaic and I don’t disagree. Despite that, the ending surprised me so¬†even though¬†the plot might seem too driven by formula, it wasn’t predictable. I’ll admit it was losing me somewhere in the middle because I wasn’t sure how it was all going to tie together (or maybe¬†it¬†was¬†the repeated interruptions we had last night that made us have to pause and start again a number of times)¬†but I hung in there hoping it would come together sensibly and it did. If you like fantasy and/or action,¬†you just might like this movie.

I shall call him squishy and he shall be mine. He shall be my squishy. Come here squishy!
~ Dory (Finding Nemo)

Creative Connection Event

Today is the last day to enter to win tickets to attend the Creative Connection Event! This HUGE event will be held in St. Paul, MN in September 15-17, 2011. It is a 3-day conference packed with creative sessions and workshops designed to help women to capture their creative interests and turn them in to a business, or to grow their existing business.

Don and I are frequently going back and forth about different ideas for our own business and I would love to attend this event together so that we can learn tips on how to launch a business, how to leverage the power of social media to market our business, and just to help inspire our creative energies. (This post earns me five more entries in the contest. Wish me luck!)

You can check out the schedule of events here. In addition to all the general sessions on marketing and business development, there are hands on sessions on knitting, photography (oh yeah!), cooking, baking, screenprinting, painting, writing children’s books, making jewelry, and so many more crafts I can’t even list them all.

Take a few minutes to explore the ways to enter to win two tickets, plus hotel, for this event. What can you lose?

I’ve been lucky. Opportunities don’t often come along. So, when they do, you have to grab them.
~ Audrey Hepburn

Reading Corner – Barefoot, 30 Day Challenge

I finished Barefoot by Elin Hilderbrand last night. I was unimpressed. In fact I was skimming over it for the latter half of the book because at times the descriptions rambled and I just wasn’t interested. I didn’t connect with the characters either. I had read a lot of good reviews so I hung in there, waiting for that moment that it would all come together and wow me, but that never happened. It was ok for light reading and I can see how it might appeal to some, but it just wasn’t for me.

I am so excited to start my next book, A Dance With Dragons, the latest installment of the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin. (The story behind the recent HBO series Game of Thrones.) Thanks to Colynn for loaning me her brand new copy of the book that she hasn’t even read yet!

This book is ginormous people. It weighs 3 pounds! Yes, I weighed it. It is going to be challenging to read while riding the stationary bike. Never fear, I will prevail. ūüėČ

I’m a little uncertain about diving in without refreshing over the previous books. I’m afraid I’ll have forgotten details that would have enriched my reading if I were to go back and re-read the previous books. But, I don’t have the patience to go back through them, nor do I own copies so I’m going to give it a go on this one and hope that Martin included enough past details to help me recall¬†things as I go along.

Can’t wait to start reading!

While we are talking books, I’ll include day 4 on the book reflection challenge.

Day 4: Characters you hate

Offhand I’d say…

Cersei and Jamie Lannister in the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin

Galbatorix in the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini

Elaida do Avriny a’Roihan in the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan

The habit of reading is the only enjoyment in which there is no alloy; it lasts when all other pleasures fade.
~ Anthony Trollope

Spam. The meat, not the junk mail.

Spam has such a bad rap.

You might not know that Spam is made from chopped pork shoulder meat, ham meat, salt, water, sugar, and sodium nitrate. It’s really not a “mystery food” or all the leftover parts of the pig.

Believe it or not, there are entire cookbooks¬†out there, dedicated to recipes using Spam.¬†It’s great for soup, sandwiches, salads, casseroles, omelets, you name it. I think of it this way, if¬†ham could be used, then Spam could be used just as well.

I know. You’re thinking¬†I’ve really¬†lost it.¬†I was much like you and though “eeew” when I heard the word Spam, until a few years ago when I finally gave it a chance. If I’m really honest, I would have to admit that I had no real reason to say “eeew” – it’s not like I had tried it and disliked it. Instead, I was just perpetuating the idea that it was not good, based on hearing that from others (who more than likely had never tried it either.)

I won’t say it’s the best thing I’ve ever tasted. I don’t crave the taste (I think Don does.) But it’s good. We used to make breakfast sandwiches with muffins, a slice of Spam, and an egg.

Since bread is no longer a staple in our house, this weekend¬†the Spam was¬†our “bread.”

Making these little beauties is simple.¬†Cut four slices of Spam (if you’re making two sandwiches.) Use a skillet to fry them till they are brown. Keep an eye on them and be careful of the heat. I’ve overcooked it before, which dries it out a bit.

Whisk your egg with your desired flavors and ingredients (salt, pepper, cayenne, milk, etc.) and pour into a small dish and microwave for one minute. (We use little glass dishes that are the size of an english muffin. They work great for shaping your egg just the right size for a sandwich.)

Don had Hawaii on the brain (some say Spam is Hawaii’s “soul food”) and added these new flavors to our eggs this weekend.

  • One egg
  • 1 tbsp of roughly chopped macadamia nuts
  • 1 tbsp of shredded coconut
  • dash of almond milk
  • salt and pepper

I’m proud to say, this experiment was a success! I could really taste the coconut and the nuts, but they were not overpowering. It was just the right bit flavor to give it something different.

I encourage you to try Spam! In lieu of a cookbook, here are a couple of websites with recipes to get you started.

The other great thing about Spam is its shelf life. It’s great to stock up on for emergency situations. And you can bet that if the zombie apocalypse ever comes, we will be hording our cans of Spam. ūüėČ

Never be afraid to try something new.  Remember, amateurs built the ark; professionals built the Titanic. 
~ Author Unknown