Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Gluten Sucks, This Doesn't: WINE IN A CAN

This is a story about a girl and her cans. (No not that kind of story.) 

Here's a hint:


For four years of my life I ate so much pizza and drank so much beer. The pizza was ALWAYS dunked (literally - dunked. swimming.) in ranch dressing, and the beer was.. Well. Let's be honest is anyone picky about beer in college? Natty Light fished out of a murky tub of liquid that maybe possibly used to contain ice? Sure! Ok. I'll take five. #FITLIFE. 


Then, college was over and BAM: Celiac disease. Bye (normal) pizza, bye (normal) beer. 

Bittersweet timing, huh? Even though I was for SURE unknowingly doing some damage to my bod for a while there. (Sorry little villi please still love me!!!) It was really nice not to have to worry about all this gluten junk in college. For those of you experiencing Celiac in your college years (or younger), I want to give you so many hugs and gluten free pancakes. You are doing great. Keep it up.


At this point it's been just over 4 years since being diagnosed, and I'm pretttty used to turning down beer. (And bread. And all good things.) So when I actually get to drink something out of a can in a social setting it's SO EXCITING! Seriously. Put a canned alcoholic beverage in my hand and I'm the world's happiest camper (heh heh). It's the little things. 


Thus began my love affair with Union Wine Company. It started on Instagram after I posted this photo, then blossomed into a sweet, sweet online (but not catfish-y) friendship based on a mutual adoration of wine in cans. Why should beer drinkers get to have all the fun?

(Oh, um. A word to the wise - each can holds roughly two glasses of wine. So if you don't know this, and drink one full can on the train from NYC, you might be a little bit drunk by the time you meet your parents in NJ.)


I've brought these cans everywhere over the past few months - from the beach, to concerts, to the roof of our apartment building. But my favorite place I've kicked back with a can of vino is in the woods. All the photos here are from a most perfect camping weekend in South New Jersey with my fam, boyfriend, and our precious, hopelessly dopey Carl. (Despite the presence of a cheese plate, this was NOT glamping. There was dirt and bugs and peeing outside and stuff. I LOVED EVERY MINUTE.) 


Union Wine Co's Pinot in a can goes great with cheese (as does everything.) It also happens to play very nicely with grilled garlic bread (AH), portable backgammon, live guitar tunes from Jer, gluten free dump cake, and sisters on hammocks. Not once did someone say WHERE IS THE GOD DAMN WINE OPENER AND ALSO MAY I HAVE A FLASHLIGHT. Oh, cans. It's no wonder people drink stuff out of you.


If you're local, I get my wine-in-a-can at Bottlerocket in NYC. (It's a REALLY cool/different wine and spirit store with a super helpful layout, so if you haven't been you should check it out.) Here are some other handy sources for getting your canned wine fix:

Order online here.
Email info@unionwinecompany.com.
Additional info on Pinot in a Can here.

Bottoms up, and #pinkiesdown!


Disclaimer-smishclaimer: Union Wine provided me with some product after I emailed them completely fan-girling. Much of the wine pictured I purchased myself because I'm a grown ass woman.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Recipe: Sweet + Spicy Glazed Squash with Black Sesame Seeds

Maple syrup, I'm so glad you're part of my life. What else can be drizzled on pancakes, AND on vegetables? (Except maybe melted butter and I'll take some of that too please.)


I hate to go all Ina on you here (jk I am LOVING that I squeezed an Ina reference in here), but when it comes to maple syrup I'm talking the good stuff. The stuff that comes in a glass bottle and makes you go 'wtf why would someone pay this much for syrup.' THAT stuff. 


Pure maple syrup is one of those things that I really truly believe is worth paying a little extra for. I pick mine up at the Union Square Greenmarket, which mostly is another excuse to go scout samples of maple candy, lamb sausage, goat cheese and cider. Ooohhhh it's just the best place. Makes me happy just thinking about it.


You can also find squash there! And about everywhere, this time of year. Squash and sprouts are tied for my favorite vegetable right now. The nice thing about smaller squashes like acorn and delicata is that the skin, once roasted, is totally edible. (Butternut or spaghetti squash, not so much.) Also, their size is a bit more manageable which means the odds of cutting them up and keeping all your fingers intact is MUCH much higher. Little easier to enjoy dinner when your appendages are all still attached to your body, dontcha think?


YEA I'M TALKING ABOUT CUTTING OFF APPENDAGES IT'S HALLOWEEN. (Practically.)


Speaking of Halloween - I hope you eat so much damn candy (gluten free, of course) and scare a child or two. This one year my dad rigged up a ghost to swoop down by our front door and a kid peed his pants. In case you need something to aspire to. 

I'll be hibernating (while watching something scary - any recs?) since I have a wedding to go to on Saturday and I'd rather die than be hungover in a gown.

Catch ya in November, dudes! 





Recipe: Sweet + Spicy Glazed Squash with Black Sesame Seeds

Ingredients
1 acorn squash (yellow or green), rinsed and dried 
1 delicata squash, rinsed and dried 
Olive oil, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbsp coconut oil (in liquid form; microwave for 10 secs if it's solid)
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tbsp warm water
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne (reduce to 1/8 tsp if you don't want the heat to be as apparent)
1/4 tsp dried sage
1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
Black sesame seeds (optional)

Instructions
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line two baking sheets with foil and coat lightly with cooking spray. 

Cut the top (stem-end) and the bottom off the acorn squash. Rest the squash on one of the flat ends, and cut it in half. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Place one of the squash halves flat on the cutting board (cut-side down), and slice into half-inch thick half-moons. Repeat with the delicata squash. 

Place all of the squash slices in a bowl, and toss with a big drizzle of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Arrange the squash on the baking sheets. The squash can be touching, but make sure the entire bottom of each slice is touching the pan (to ensure browning). 

Roast the squash for 20 minutes, until the bottoms are browned and caramelized. 

While the squash roasts, whisk together the glaze ingredients: coconut oil, maple syrup, water, cinnamon, cayenne, sage and nutmeg. 

After the squash has roasted for 20 minutes, flip each piece so that the brown sides are facing up. Use a pastry brush or silicone brush to coat each piece of squash with the glaze. 

Return pans to oven and roast for an additional 10 minutes. When finished cooking, arrange the squash on a platter and sprinkle with black sesame seeds. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Recipe: Hearty Turkey & Two-Bean Chili

I just popped a melly so please bear with me if this gets all rambly and incoherent. It probably means my forehead is on the keyboard and kefja;li iw aiaw fjakd zzzzzzz.




KIDDING STILL HERE STILL AWAKE. Oh, and melly = melatonin. Aka these magical little vitamin-like pills that I get at Duane Reade so that I can drift off to sleep like a sweet baby. They're legal and I don't get carded when I buy them. But if you're still worried you can pry them out of my cold, dead sleeping fingers.


So this chili. Before you make this recipe please be advised that you should meet at least one, if not more, of the following requirements:
  • Eating chili for breakfast, lunch and dinner doesn't sound like the worst thing that could happen.
  • There's a moderate amount of room in your freezer. Hellooooo leftovers.
  • Your sister is visiting so you can send her home with a quart, double bagged, that she SWEARS she won't forget on the train.
  • You have a lot of roommates, neighbors, family members, co-workers, boyfriends, girlfriends, tinder-friends, etc. (BTW these people cannot be vegetarians. Them's the rules.)
  • Gosh damnit you JUST LOVE CHILI OKAY!!!
Point being... this makes a whole lotta chili. And I've gotta say, if I'm already going to be measuring and sautéing and can-opening and simmering, I want chili for DAYS. WEEKS. MONTHS. (Months being when I inevitably forget I stashed a small unmarked container of chili in my freezer and have to decipher its contents - fun!)


This is the turkey chili recipe to end all turkey chili recipes. It's PACKED with lean ground turkey, two kinds of beans, and aromatics like onion, bell pepper and garlic. Also, there are not one but TWO secret ingredients in this chili: cocoa powder and cinnamon. They belong in chili. Do not leave them out. I know you have a crusty container of cocoa powder in the back of your cabinet and it's all 'Y U ONLY PUT ME IN BROWNIES???'. Not just for brownies, trust me, even if you don't trust the talking cocoa powder. (Oh hi, melatonin. Feelin' gooooood.)



Welp, goodnight then! My face needs to be on my pillow like ten minutes ago.


Recipe: Hearty Turkey & Two-Bean Chili
[original recipe via Epicurious]

Notes
- Topping ideas: sour cream or plain greek yogurt, shredded cheese, cilantro, chives, diced avocado, tortilla chips, lime wedges, etc.
- A few ways I like to serve this chili: alone (with some of the toppings above), over quinoa or brown rice, on NACHOS (<-- do this), with gluten free bread/rolls for dunking, or over a baked potato or baked sweet potato.   

Ingredients (Makes... A LOT.)
Vegetable or canola oil
1 large yellow or white onion (or 2 medium onions), diced small 
1 large green bell pepper (or 2 small ones), diced small
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 tsp dried oregano
1.5 tsp cumin 
1 to 1.5 lbs lean ground turkey (I used 1.22 lbs 99% fat free ground turkey breast)
3 tbsp chili powder (or 4 tbsp if you like your chili spicier)
2 dried bay leaves
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
Big pinch of ground cinnamon (about 1/8 tsp)
One 28-oz can unsalted, crushed tomatoes 
One 15-oz can tomato sauce 
2.5 cups gluten free beef stock (can sub chicken stock)
Three 15-oz cans beans, drained and rinsed (I use 2 cans white kidney/cannellini beans and 1 can red kidney beans)

Instructions
Place a large, heavy-bottomed pot (like this one, if you have it) over medium heat and drizzle with enough oil to coat the bottom (about 1 tablespoon). 

Add the onions and bell pepper. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, oregano, and cumin. Cook for 1 minute, stirring.

Turn heat to medium-high. Push all of the vegetables to the side of the pot, and add the ground turkey. While breaking up with a wooden spoon, cook until the turkey is no longer pink. (Will take about 5 minutes.) Stir together veggies and cooked turkey. 

Add the remaining spices: chili powder, bay leaves, cocoa powder, salt, smoked paprika, and cinnamon. Stir everything that's in the pot so far. Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Stir to combine. Stir in the beef stock. 

Bring the chili to a boil, then turn heat to low. Simmer chili for 30 to 45 minutes (uncovered), stirring occasionally. 

Add the drained, rinsed beans to the chili, stir to combine, and cook for 10 more minutes. 

Serve warm with your favorite chili garnishes (i.e. chives or cilantro, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, cheese, tortilla chips, etc). Re-heats and freezes well!

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