The Kitchen Maid

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Finally figured out a way to describe my week in that title which probably makes no sense, but I will try…

Here’s a link to an awesome piper playing a famous jig named “The Kitchen Maid” (it starts at 1:19 after he finishes his hornpipe), which is to say I’ve been playing the bagpipes the last few weeks just ridiculous amounts of hours each day, as many as I can squeeze into my day, and past what I can actually take (I play a looooong time, then switch to an easier reed and play longer, then start plugging drones up til I literally can play no more…): The Kitchen Maid

In the midst of this piping smorgasbord extravaganza of “me” time, I’ve even gotten to go for a few fun trail runs and have spent roughly …. oh … let’s say an average of eight hours a day in the kitchen, cooking, making me truly feel like a kitchenmaid.  I say, “on average” because some days last week it was only 4-6 hours and others it was 10-12.  I kid you not.  I am sitting down now with a few things in the works: Maple, Orange, Chipotle Sweet Potato Crisp (from the cookbook Primal Cravings) and the homemade pasta sauce to use in a protein-packed lasagna for Thursday night (in which sliced turkey substitutes for noodles.)  I also made a bunch of mashed “potatoes” (a mixture of real potatoes and two heads of steamed cauliflower) in preparation for a big “Thanksgiving” meal tomorrow night featuring the aforementioned sweet potato awesomeness, a spiral cut ham, cheddar biscuits from the Wheat Belly Cookbook and some (hopefully) killer green beans from a new Indian cookbook along with  Moroccan carrot salad (also from Primal Cravings.)

 

So you get it now – the week was all about piping and cooking.  Oh, and OF COURSE, the eating which naturally follows from all that time in the kitchen.  My parents have been here since last Tuesday, giving me two more guinea pigs for all these great new grain-free recipes.  So without further ado, and so I can get into bed asap, here’s a list of all the stuff I’ve been cooking.  If you see one that interests you, mention it in the comments, and I will link to it. I really don’t have the time to blog all about them, review them, post pictures, etc, but there are a few winners so I wanted to mention them.

Quick picture from last Saturday night – out piping for the “Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day” celebration at Molly Darcy’s with a few other band members:

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Things accomplished in the last seven days – always at least a double recipe was made, and usually triple or quadruple (and in case you are starting to think for one minute that we would all still be alive without my mom and dad here to help with the piles and piles of laundry and dishes, you would be mistaken.  We are barely holding it together here, but at least homeschooling is happening, and we’re all dressed and well fed…):

Paleo Chocolate Zucchini Bread (The kids and I loved this one, but John didn’t really care for it; excellent texture – moist but not spongey.)

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins (yummy, not the “same” as the grain-filled versions, but still good)

Pumpkin Bread (THE BEST YET – comparable to a piece of Starbucks pumpkin loaf in my mind, seconded by my parents.)

Pumpkin Bars (from The Detoxinista’s blog – I’ve made these in the past. Yummy and great for a quick dessert)

Mini Quiches in Muffin tins (weird texture from the coconut flour. wouldn’t make them again.)

Chocolate Chip Cookies (made them before, from Against All Grain, but this time with the Palm Shortening – just as awesome)

Pumpkin Spice Latte Creamer

Chocolate Coconut Scout Cookies (from Primal Cravings. Go make these RIGHT NOW….a big hit with everyone.)

Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream (made with coconut milk, so tasty)

Caramel Corn (from Chocolate Covered Katie’s blog – brought it to Sunday evening church last week and then again to the Charleston Scottish Games)

Hummus

Baba Ghanoush (both made for the Games)

Honey Baked Salmon

Salmon Salad

Sandwich Bread (pretty decent substitute, using homemade Cashew Butter and the recipe from Against All Grain)

N’Oatmeal Bars (with chocolate chips instead of raisins; a bit dry, but still delicious and packed with protein and energy for fast mornings)

Tequila, Lime, and Green Onion Slaw (from Primal Cravings)

Smoked Salmon Hash with Tangy Dill Vinaigrette (also from PC)

Waffles (maybe 40 of them??) from Against All Grain (both her Cashew and Macadamia Nut Recipes)

Saag Paneer (along with homemade Paneer first)

Chicken Korma

Spicy Lamb Curry

Lettuce Wraps (think: PF Changs)

Two second place finishes and one sixth (in my solo contest – Quick March, Piobaireachd, and Slow March, respectively)

Piper of the Day for Grade IV Senior (meaning I’m over 18, not that I’m ancient :)) at the Charleston Games

and….I think that about covers my week.  It felt nice to have my hard work practicing finally pay off in the form of those awards and comments from the judges like, “Enjoyed it!” and “great sounding pipes”; however, as a band we didn’t place well due to a poor “strike-in” and “cut-off” (essentially the beginning and the end of our set) which was due in part to me, so that put a bit of a damper on the day’s results.  I feel I’ve been achieving my goal of improving as much as possible while piping has me in its grips (on average, this super-intense spell of piping only lasts about a year at a time for me) – which is why I’ve entered these solo competitions – but I have a long way to go towards my goal of not letting these contests make me nervous.  Still…listing off all that food (and thinking about how much I loved eating it all…) and recalling the fun day my dad (and my friend Katt) and I had together ALL DAY at the Charleston Games, I feel like it was a week well spent in which few minutes were wasted.  We have squeezed so much into the past seven days and are working on it again this week – soaking up all the grandparent time we can to last until the next visit 🙂  Need to get up early to squeeze in a run…before I start cooking eating again! 🙂

Charleston Police Pipes and Drums on Saturday- I'm the girl just to the left of the drum facing away from the camera.

Charleston Police Pipes and Drums on Saturday- I’m the girl just to the left of the drum facing away from the camera.

 

 

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “The Kitchen Maid

  1. Would love links to the Pumpkin Bread and Sandwich Bread….Dickson really does better if he follows a paleo diet. He isn’t super strict, but I want to learn to feed him better! All my backup meals (esp for winter) are pasta/rice stuff (ie casseroles). Like the idea of using turkey instead of lasagna noodles too… have toyed with using cauliflower instead of noodles for mac n cheese….etc.

    • Hi Abby! The Sandwich Bread is here at Against All Grain (http://www.againstallgrain.com/2012/05/21/grain-free-white-bread-paleo-and-scd/) and the pumpkin bread here at South Beach Primal (http://www.southbeachprimal.com/spiced-pumpkin-bread/) — as far as the rice dishes go – we still use rice in moderation and are just totally wheat-free after reading Wheat Belly. I’ve tried cauliflower for rice and only succeeded in convincing people to eat it from fried rice so far. In our curries, we’re still using white basmati as a base (less for us now, though, in an effort to avoid blood sugar spikes), having left brown rice behind after more research. 🙂 There is so much to learn!! I used cauliflower in mashed potatoes the other night and liked it the first night (they were half and half with regular potatoes) but then the next day they tasted like cauliflower which was unacceptable to the family. 🙂 The one time I tried it in macaroni and cheese it was utter failure except with me and the baby. 🙂 We’re trying to be generally grain-free – meat and potato quiche still fits that description! – and are doing minimal corn and rice. Very minimal. 🙂 Good luck 🙂

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