Manhattan Clam Chowder Recipe

Last night I posted a picture of the delicious clam chowder I made. I’ve had a couple of requests for the recipe, which is from a magazine that I bought two years ago:

 
I love this magazine and have enjoyed a couple of recipes from it.

Here’s the recipe for the clam chowder. It can be modified to suit different diets as well. I omitted the flour and clam juice this time, and it turned out awesome. I served ours with a side of hers & hers cheese bread (glutened and gluten-free). The clams give it a lot of protein, and the potatoes add some carbs so you feel a bit more full. 

   
  

 

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Juno the Dog’s Adventure in Chocolateland

Juno, our husky/lab/retriever mix is an exceptionally beautiful dog.

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Gorgeous right?

However, being part ravenous food monster Labrador retriever, she is also a gluttonous pig that is fixated on food, despite pretending not to be looking. She has her favourites, of course:

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These items should never be left on the table within reach of the dog!

But generally, she doesn’t go after our food. We can set a plate of dinner on the ottoman in front of the couch (knee height), and leave the room, confident that neither dog will touch it. We can drop food accidentally on the ground, and neither dog will approach it (unless given the “okay” command). Overall, we have very good dogs who we can leave unattended, and come home to nothing missing or destroyed.

That is, until yesterday….

When I came home after a long day of appointments and grocery shopping, and NO DOGS CAME TO GREET ME AT THE DOOR. This is highly unusual, so I knew something was up. (Juno experiences copious amounts of self-inflicted shame when she does something bad, and her guilt causes her to hide and not make eye contact with us.) I looked around, and found a crumpled sheet of used parchment paper, and then I remembered.

I had made a tray of very scrumptious gluten-free fudgy brownies two days before, and because they’re so decadent, DW and I had been chipping away at them slowly.

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You can find the recipe here.

Normally, we place things like this out of reach, but because I was in such a rush yesterday (slept in remember?), I left the remaining brownies on the kitchen table.

Well, she must’ve gotten into them, because not a crumb remained. Even the knife used to cut them was completely cleaned off.

Of course you all know that chocolate is very toxic to dogs, so after the initial shock and disappointment, I started to worry- how much had she eaten? Is she going to be sick? How toxic is chocolate really? And then I found this dog-chocolate-toxicity-meter. And not knowing how much Juno weighs, or how much brownie actually remained, I kind of guessed a bunch of parameters, and input those values. I subsequently called DW, freaking out.

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But while talking to DW, got more accurate values, and got this:

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The dog looked fine. She wasn’t panting, or acting weird at all. Actually, her and her little sister started begging for their dinner… At 3:30pm!

So we left it at that, and took them for a nice off-leash hike at the conservation area. Juno was fine, but no fudge poops to be seen yet.

And then this morning at 6am, she barked at the door desperately (unusual, as she usually sleeps in until we get up). I let her into the backyard, and hoping she had a nice big chocolately poop. I haven’t checked yet though.

So far she seems fine. I think the cocoa threat has passed. She is sleeping like a tipped cow in the living room, still getting up every 30 minutes to bark at someone on the street.

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I’m extremely pleased that Juno doesn’t share her steals with her little sister Clementine. The last thing I need is to try to induce vomiting in a chihuahua-pug with very sharp teeth!

Lesson learned: Don’t leave food on the kitchen counter, especially when in a rush to leave the house! That dog can’t be trusted!

Recipe Trade Off: Thai Red Curry

This lovely blogger , Ms. Bosmalife nominated me for a recipe trade off that she started.

Here are the Rules:
*Once you are nominated by someone for the recipe trade off*

-link the person who nominated you
-then upload your recipe.
-include a picture if possible.
-than link other bloggers (let’s aim for 5-10)

Recipe: Thai Red Curry
The recipe I’m sharing is what I made for dinner tonight. It’s a really easy recipe, that I use whenever I have a bunch of vegetables that I need to use up. I usually have my pantry stocked with a couple of cans of coconut milk, as well as a few jars of this red curry paste.

This recipe is gluten-free and dairy-free. It can also be made to be vegetarian and vegan by omitting the chicken and fish sauce.

You will notice that I cook my chicken separately from my curry (some people cook it in their curry). This is because I don’t like overcooked chicken, and I have more control over it if I pan fry it separately.

Ingredients:
– a 400mL can of coconut milk
– 2 tbsps of Thai Red Curry Paste
– 2 tbsps of fish sauce
– 2 tbsps of maple syrup (or brown sugar)
– 1/3 cup of chicken or vegetable broth
– a large handful of cilantro, chopped and separated into stems and into leaves
– Any veggies that you have on hand (I used cauliflower, carrot, zucchini, red pepper), cut up into bite sized pieces.
Nice veggies to use are: red peppers, eggplant, mushrooms, broccoli, and onions.
– 6 ounces of chicken (serves two), can substitute tofu or tempeh if vegetarian

Instructions:
1. Cut up your veggies into bite-sized pieces.

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2. Melt the solid portion of the coconut milk in a medium sized pot. After it is melted, add the remainder of the can.
3. Stir in the two tablespoons of the curry paste.

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4. Add cilantro stems into the pot and let simmer for a minute.
5. Add 2 tbsps fish sauce, 2 tbsp maple syrup, and 1/3 of a cup of chicken broth (could be vegetable broth). Stir.
6. Different vegetables require different cooking durations, so add in your heartier vegetables now, cover, and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.

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While you wait, grease a frying pan and cook your chicken. If using tofu or tempeh, you can add it into the curry pot now. When the chicken is done, set it aside on a plate.

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6. Add the less hearty veggies (red pepper, zucchini) into the curry, and simmer for another two to five minutes, or until tender.
7. Dish out a bowl of white rice, add the cooked chicken to the serving plate, and a generous ladle of red curry. Top with a sprinkle of cilantro leaves.

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Nominations:
My Perfect Breakdown
Reciprocal Love
Solo Mama
Expecting to Be Expecting
Her Egg My Nest

Sorry if things don’t look quite right, I typed this up on my iPhone.

Happiness Cycle Days 17 & 18: Yard Work

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My wife juggling clementines (the fruit, not the dog) yesterday morning.

Today has been unseasonably warm (10 degrees Celsius), so we spent the majority of the day outside cleaning up our yard and putting up our exterior Christmas lights. By “cleaning up” I mean bringing things in for the winter, taking down trellises, pulling up dead summer vegetable plants, sucking up leaves, draining our four rain barrels, and my favourite, harvesting some fall veggies.

Right now, our lacinato and curly green kale, brussel sprouts, Jerusalem artichoke, and leeks are still doing great. Everything else is dead or wilted, and needs to be pulled out of the ground.

I had fun harvesting some baby brussel sprouts which we just had with our dinner. I sauté them with some butter, garlic, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and broth.

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I also dug up some Jerusalem artichoke (or sun choke) tubers, kind of archaeological dig style. They were washed, peeled, and chopped up, then roasted with some bacon crumbs, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

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Sun chokes are very high in inulin, which is a type of insoluble fibre, and is less likely to spike insulin than potatoes.

Speaking of potatoes, I also harvested a bunch of our giant leeks to make bacon potato leek soup.

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These leeks are from seeds from last year’s crop, and DW did a wonderful job getting them started this year. They are super thick, and have gorgeous long blanched stems.

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Bacon potato leek soup- super tasty!

Today has been a high carb day for me, as we started off our day with some gluten-free pancakes. Tomorrow, I’m back to my regular diet, but for now, I’m enjoying the sugar high.

3 more days until embryo transfer!

Grain-Free (and Low-Carb) Almond Shortbread Cookies

These cookies turned out great. The texture is different from traditional shortbread, but if you bake them until they’re golden brown, they have a similar crunch. The dough is very crumbly to work with, so you really do need to chill the dough for a good amount of time. The cookies are very crumbly, so eat them over a plate with a nice cup of tea!

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The original recipe was for a lemon shortbread, and can be found here.

Ingredients

6 Tablespoons of melted butter
2 cups of almond flour
1/3 cup of granulated sweetener (I used Splenda)
1 tsp almond extract
0.5 tsp vanilla extract

How to make them:

1. Mix your almond flour and sweetener in one bowl and melted butter and extracts in another bowl.
2. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until combined.
3. Lay out a large sheet of plastic wrap (Saran Wrap or Cling Wrap) on your work surface, and carefully transfer your mixture onto it. Your “dough” will be very crumbly. This is normal.
4. Using the plastic wrap, roll your dough into a long cylinder, with the diameter you’d like for your cookies. Wrap it fully.
5. Chill your dough in the fridge for at least two hours, until firm. If they are not firm, they will crumble as you try to cut them.
6. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (or bake right on an ungreased cookie sheet), and preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (I have a gas oven so I bake a bit higher at 360 degrees).
7. Remove your dough from the fridge, and cut into the thickness that you want your cookies. I cut mine to a thickness of about 0.5 an inch, which yielded 16 cookies. Lay onto prepared cookie sheet. They don’t really expand, so they can be spaced close together if you need to.
8. Pop them into the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until you achieve a golden brown colour. Mine didn’t get too golden on top, but when the bottom half did, I took them out because I didn’t want the nut flour to burn.
9. Take them out of the oven and let cool completely on the cookie sheet before handling.
10. Eat over a plate, as they are delicious, but crumbly!

Happiness Cycle Day 10- Good Eats

I love love love to bake and cook. One of my favourite things to do is to “healthify” different recipes. Sometimes I try to make gluten-free alternatives, other times completely grain-free, and recently more low-carb/low-sugar. I find that I have a love-hate relationship with sugar. The more I eat, the more I crave. If I don’t eat any sugar, I don’t miss it, but I can’t ever just have one cookie or just one slice of banana bread. Baking and cooking has been fun and therapeutic for me, but I do have to practice some self-restraint when my experiments turn out well.

Today’s eats:

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Grain-free bacon chive and cheddar biscuits (made with almond and coconut flour).

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Sugar and grain-free almond shortbread cookies (made with blanched almond flour and Splenda).

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Rogan josh chicken- one with rice, the other with “riced” cauliflower.

Insomnia Sucks, And Cooking Fails

It has been over a week now, of the worst insomnia that I’ve ever had. I go to bed with DW at a reasonable time, but can’t seem to fall asleep without the help of 3mg of melatonin. If I take the melatonin, I fall asleep only for 3 hours, and then wake up and can’t fall back asleep. If I don’t take the melatonin, I lay in bed, frustrated, only to fall asleep at about 5:30am for 3 hours.

My sleep routine is good. I have a glass of Natural Calm (magnesium) drink after dinner. I am not consuming any caffeine all day. I get in some good exercise in the morning or afternoon. I load my carbs during my evening meal to increase serotonin. I’m putting away my phone an hour before sleeping. Our bedroom is dark, cool, and there are no dogs sleeping with us. I have tried guided meditation, which only sometimes works to get me asleep, but again, I wake up three hours later. I have also done some acupuncture treatments on myself to strengthen my lung meridian, as it is closely related to anxiety when deficient.

But, I’m still not sleeping.

I have also noticed, that I am more prone to insomnia and sleep disturbances when in my follicular phase. The progesterone floating around during my luteal phase makes for better sleeps. Although, there were several nights during my pregnancy when sleep was hard to come by.

Anyhow, if it doesn’t improve this week, I don’t know what I’m going to do. I can’t go on any medication- as most are not pregnancy-friendly. Benedryl and related over-the-counter meds don’t seem to work on me. They actually give me jittery nerves for some reason.

All I can do is wait to ovulate, it seems.

The little dog also doesn’t like mornings. Here we are cuddling with our morning decaf tea:

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I have been craving cheese bread lately, and went on a mission to try out this recipe: http://www.ca.momtastic.com/food/380469-gluten-free-cheddar-bread-recipe/

It baked up real nice:

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And I let it cool for a good twenty minutes before cutting into it, but it had a terrible texture. It was far too gummy and dense, probably due to the tapioca flour.

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After forcing down two slices, I decided that it wasn’t worth it. I toasted it in the oven as crostini, and then as croutons. DW had some crostini with pumpkin soup for lunch today, so the terrible bread is getting eaten.

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It also snowed yesterday. In a panic, we harvested all of our red pepper plants. I have so many, I am thinking of giving some away to our neighbours, or donating them to DW’s school’s hospitality program that cooks for the cafeteria.

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Other than that, nothing really to report. We are still waiting to find out the results of my immune and thrombophilia bloodwork, and for my period, which will probably be in two weeks or so.

There has been a lot of excitement here in the blogosphere. Marriages! Inseminations! BFPs! Heartbeats! I am so happy for all of you. As I anxiously wait for a proper sleep rhythm to return, I will be cheering all of you on!