Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Scraps and Snippets ~ Thanksgiving "Meat"Balls with Mushroom Sage Gravy

Thanksgiving "Meat"balls
1 baked potato, diced
1/2 Cup dried cranberries
1 tsp sage
2 Cups finely chopped mushrooms
1/2 Cup finely diced pecans
1 Cup garbanzo beans crushed

1 Cup oatmeal 
1 Clove garlic finely diced
1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt (if using low sodium broth)
2 TBSP nutritional yeast
2 Cups Vegetable broth
2 Cup gluten flour

Combine all ingredients except gluten flour in a large bowl until mixture combined. Add gluten flour and mush together until gluten strands form. 2-3 minutes. Roll into small (less than golf ball sized) balls. Place in a lightly greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 300 for 30 minutes. Turn "meat" balls over. and bake an additional 30 minutes.

To serve pour gravy over "meat"balls. 

Mushroom Sage Gravy

1 TBSP Earth Balance
2 Cups finely chopped mushrooms
2 Clove finely chopped garlic
1/4 Cup flour
4 Cups vegetable broth

1 teaspoon salt (I used low sodium vegetable broth)

2 teaspoons ground sage

Melt Earth Balance and saute garlic. Add mushrooms and saute until tender. Add flour and stir until vegetables are coated. Add vegetable broth, salt and sage and stir and simmer until it thickens.

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Bubble, Brew, Boil and Trouble

One day. No latte art for me, yet.
I've secretly wanted to be a barista forever. Why? I suppose because I love me a good cup of coffee. Or because a coffee shop SCREAMS pampering, relaxation and melting away of tension. Right? 

On thinking this thru...I LOVE a good pedicure, too. The massaging chair, the foot soak, the forced relaxation....but I've never wanted to become a pedicurist...is that a word? Today, for that non-sentence it is. 

Anyhoo. A few months ago (after the amazing trip to Seattle/Portland/Olympia coffee houses) & stepped up into managing the local coffee shop she works at. Shortly after this move she wondered if I might not like to be trained so I could be a sub, a fill-in barista and a very part-time regular. Uh YEAH, baby. I said. 

Can I tell you how scary fun it is? For starters, this little gig is brain taxing. Three or four milk or non-milk options, cup sizes, 20 or so different syrups and each of these is an important part of a good cup of coffee or tea or frappe. 

And danger, Will Robinson, the water and milk get real hot. REAL hot. And lest you all forget my inability to walk and chew gum, spills on the treated urban cool concrete floor can scream disaster when a barista foot meets spill. Just sayin. 

All the different combos of drinks have a special key on the cash register, too. And if there are extras, there's a key for that. And then the drive thru intercom begins to sqwack while I'm dealing with finding the right key on the register and the right syrup to make a gingerbread spice latte with an extra shot, whip and a squirt of caramel. 

So working at a coffee shop isn't quite as relaxing as hanging in one. 

However, it's fun. I must say I love the challenge and maybe even the stress. It's a whole lot different than the stress in the medical world, that's for sure.

And the things I'm learning. And the people I'm meeting. And the coffee I get to inhale for an hour or two a few days a week. Pretty fun. 

Which would be exactly the reason I don't have a recipe today. I worked an hour before my real job (and made $7.00 in tips....hey, better than a poke in the eye, I say) and then took a shift for a co-worker after my real job. The best part was after the shop was closed, a man walked up to the drive thru window and knocked. He'd come hoping to catch us and get three quarts of ice cream. (You don't turn away a sale like that, ya know.) (And in case I didn't mention it, the shop makes it's own ice cream. & is working  on making non-dairy versions...so far they haven't been stellar but it's getting closer.) So a regular knocking on the window after closing and a pleasant conversation and sale would be one of the best parts of local business in Iowa. That and the smell of coffee, the whoosh of the machines and the whole "Norm!" feel of a local coffee house. 

Not working today. Recipe tomorrow. :  )