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On an un-food-related note, my dogs just cornered a groundhog in our yard. Groundhogs on my side of Frederick are about as numerous as dogs, and are approximately the size of a small horse. The rabbits dig under the fence into our yard and every once in a while a groundhog will get in there too. The rabbits turn on a dime and it’s almost a game when we let the dogs out the back door…they take a couple leaps just to taunt them and then dart under the fence. We have several times commented on the fact that our dogs would probably never catch a rabbit because they are so fast, but those groundhogs better look out. Thankfully, I don’t think either of our dogs got bitten by the groundhog’s long disgusting teeth even though she was trying to defend herself with them. I had to grab them both by the collar and drag them inside, while Sadie cried like I was a horrible animal abuser. My neighbors will probably report me.
After my morning animal abuse I decided to finally post some more.
Giant Eagle had mangos (mangoes?) on sale last week. I bought two. Then they just sat there, because I have yet to figure out a way to cut a mango up that is not a huge mess, and every time I wanted to eat one I decided it wasn’t worth the mess of peeling it. Mangos on their own are a little too sweet for me. Mango salsa, on the other hand, is delicious.
It was a beautiful day, so I also wanted an excuse to grill something, because I always get jealous when I smell other people’s grills on nice days. The smell of seared flesh wafting down the street is one of those summer things that you miss in the dreary winter.
My normal MO for pork tenderloin (also commonly referred to as “pork schlong” in my household, for obvious reasons) is to brush it with melted butter, sprinkle it with salt, pepper, garlic salt, and onion powder, and grill it on mediumhigh-ish (around 400 degrees) for about 20-25 minutes, until it gets a nice crispy outside and is cooked through. Then slice it crosswise into little medallions.
If someone has a good method for slicing mangos, please tell me. Do those mango pitter things actually work? Mine were kind of overripe so they were a little mushy. I just peeled them, sliced what flesh I could from all the sides while making my hands completely covered in mango mush, and cut up what I got off of it into chunks. I seeded and diced up a fresh jalapeno (they usually aren’t as hot raw), and added a little salt, cilantro, and lime juice. Raw onions diced finely would make it good too, but raw onions make my esophagus feel like I am dying, so I leave those out.
Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Mango Salsa and Spinach Salad with Feta and Blueberries
I am indescribably excited about the farmer’s markets starting back up. I got a big bag of that very tasty spinach there over the weekend. We also found more gluten free bread that doesn’t suck! It was pretty expensive for bread, but it was homemade by a lady there, and knowing how labor intensive regular bread is, and knowing (only secondhand so far) how much more difficult gluten free flours are to rise into bread, it was worth it. Not that we’ll buy it and eat it every day, but GOOD gluten free bread is worth the money every now and then. I also got some rhubarb which I plan on making into my first gluten free pie later today. (One good rhubarb pie a year is worth any pounds gained, in my opinion.)
MEANWHILE, IN THE OVEN
I try to make muffins every weekend so I have something to take in the car for breakfast when I invariably wake up too late on Monday. I have experimented with lots of different kinds of gluten free muffins. I have learned so much from glutenfreegirl.com about gluten and baking and substitution. I’ve learned that things like muffins, quickbreads, and pancakes don’t require gluten, so substitution is pretty easy. When they tell you only to stir something until it’s just combined and no more, it’s because they don’t want you to activate the gluten in the flour, because that recipe doesn’t need it. Bread requires kneading to activate the gluten. Muffins don’t need it. She has also taught me about baking by weight, and I’m a total convert now. Now I wish all recipes were written in weight instead of volume. It’s so much easier. Using her tips, I have been mostly successful in converting gluten recipes to gluten free flours and not having them taste like crap.
As she recommends, I keep a giant carafe of whole grain gluten free flour blend in my cupboard. You can see her post about that here if you’re interested. For the 70% whole grain, I use a mix of equal parts buckwheat, millet, teff, brown rice, and sorghum flours. For the 30% starch, I use equalish parts arrowroot, tapioca starch, potato starch, white rice, sweet white rice, and sometimes cornstarch. I keep it mixed up so I just weigh out 140 grams per cup of all purpose flour for which the recipe calls. For muffins at least, it has worked perfectly every single time. I use the buttermilk muffin recipe on that link a lot, with lots of variations. But I used all my buttermilk on the blueberry pancakes I made Sunday morning, so I tried converting something different.
Gluten Free Whole Grain Peanut Butter Banana Muffins (converted from BigOven.com)
In a large bowl, mix together 280 grams of gluten free whole grain flour mix, 1/2 cup of dark brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of baking powder, and 1/4 tsp salt. Set aside.
In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 cup peanut butter (I used chunky), 2 1/2 tbsp grapeseed oil, 2 eggs, 1/3 cup milk, and 2 overripe mashed bananas.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Spoon into well-greased muffin pan and bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
For a gluteny version use 2 cups of all purpose flour or a mix of white and whole wheat flour instead of the GF flour blend. I was really impressed with these…I made some sweet potato muffins recently that were ok but had almost no sweet potato flavor, so I was sure that 1/2 cup wasn’t going to be enough PB to taste it. But both the peanut butter flavor and the banana flavor both come through perfectly. They aren’t very sweet, which I liked, but the sugar can be tweaked to taste, I’m sure. And sure enough, Monday morning even though I didn’t get out of bed late, the pager went off an hour and a half before work so I was REALLLLLLY glad I made them. I ate two in the car on the way.
Hopefully I will be posting a delicious looking rhubarb pie later and not a sandy-crusted waste of rhubarb.
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