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Category Archives: Off-label uses for things

How to make an edible salad tote

Picnic idea: transform a pita into an edible salad tote

Edible containers are the next big trend.  Jelloware glasses, edible paper muffin liners, and now . . . pita used as a tote that you can really sink your teeth into.  It’s a fusion of bread, fashion, green chic, and more than a little boredom.

Using any bread recipe, spread or roll dough out into circles about 6 inches round and not more than 1/4 inch thick.  Or make your pita in any shape you want.  Why do things always have to be round?  When you bake pita bread, use a hot oven, say 400 to 425 degrees.  Makes for puffier pitas.  Bake time varies, but my gluten free pitas spend between 8-12 minutes in the oven.  After letting pita cool completely, carve out a handle and fill as desired.  Wonder if I should discuss pita totes at the next bread class on July 8 . . .

Side salad coin purse to go with pita tote

Nothing says stuff it like pita, of course.  NO IDEA why the tote above is empty. Obviously, it should have been filled with Chicken Tinga Chili.  Am I right?!

Today’s Let’s Lunch on twitter features fusion dishes to celebrate the release of Ellise Pierce’s book Cowgirl Chef: Texas Cooking with a French Accent, y’all.  Take a look at the delicious posts rounded up by host Cheryl Tan from A  Tiger in the Kitchen.

Anastasia‘s Miso Salmon with Mango Salsa at In Foodie Fashion

Cathy‘s Bacon-Studded Polenta With Tomato Gravy at ShowFood Chef

Charissa‘s Gluten-Free Azuki Bean Bundt Cake at Zest Bakery

Eleanor‘s Wok Picadillo at Wok Star

Ellise‘s Salty Lime Sablés (Margarita Cookies) at Cowgirl Chef

Emma‘s Kimchi Bulgogi Nachos at Dreaming of Pots And Pans

Felicia‘s Mexican-Lebanese Hummus at Burnt-Out Baker

Grace‘s Taiwanese Fried Chicken at HapaMama

Jill‘s Southern Pimento-Stuffed Knishes at Eating My Words

Joe‘s Grilled KimCheese Sandwich at Joe Yonan

Karen‘s Ukrainian-German Cabbage Rolls at GeoFooding

Leigh‘s Venezuelan-Italian Cachapas Con Queso at Leigh Nannini

Linda‘s Project Runway Pelau: Rice & Beans Trinidad-Style at Spicebox Travels

Lisa‘s Sunday Night Jewish-Chinese Brisket at Monday Morning Cooking Club

Lucy‘s Coconut Rice Pudding with Mango at A Cook And Her Books

Maria‘s Spanish Shrimp with Bacon, Cheddar & Chive Grits at Maria’s Good Things

Nancie‘s Chili-Cheese Biscuits with Avocado Butter at Nancie McDermott

Patricia‘s Buttery Tofu, Pasta & Peas at The Asian Grandmother’s Cookbook

Patrick‘s Kimchi Jigae and British Mash at Patrick G. Lee

Rashda‘s Mango Cobbler at Hot Curries & Cold Beer

Renee‘s Asian-Spiced Quick Pickles at My Kitchen And I

Steff‘s Chicken Fried Steak at The Kitchen Trials

Vivian‘s Funky Fusion Linguini at Vivian Pei

– Linda  Bookmark and Share

Green vs. blue: which color makes a better St. Patrick’s Day beer?

Paint the town green for St. Patrick's Day

What would St. Patrick’s Day be without green beer?

More appealing is my guess.  But if you plan on having a green Bard’s today, there are a couple of different ways to do it.

Adding green food coloring to your beer is one way.  Since beer is basically light yellow and since blue + yellow = green, I decided to try a little experiment.

A few drops of green food coloring added to the cup on the left makes a beautiful emerald green while blue food coloring added to the cup on the right is a truer green.  After taking this photo, I added a few more unnecessary drops to each cup.  The green food colored beer stayed green (just more intense), while the blue food colored beer turned olive green.

When you’re drinking beer, it’s good to have a snack nearby like chex mix.  If baking with beer is more your thing, check out this gluten free beer bread recipe.  No time for baking?  Stop by Free Range Cookies in Ferguson on Saturday from noon until 3pm to purchase a variety of baked goods for any celebration.  Focaccia bread (best bread for sandwiches), pita bread, brownies, cookies,  pumpkin scones, carrot cake scones and many more delights are ready for purchase.  Enjoy your breads and sweets any time by storing frozen and defrosting in the microwave.

Find Free Range Cookies at 425 S. Florissant Road in Ferguson, a northern suburb of St. Louis, MO that’s near the airport.  If you need directions, you’re in luck.  This map on Google works like a charm.

-Linda  Bookmark and Share

How to make cool and cheap business cards

Recycle old game cards into business cards

Attach the back of old Monopoly cards to a piece of paper with removable tape (or use an old label sheet) and start printing.

-Linda  Bookmark and Share

Baked Grilled Sandwiches

Cashew butter and caramelized bananas made this sandwich absolutely fabulous!

Why use an oven for grilled cheese?  Because I’m always around a warm oven, not usually a stove.

Here’s how to bake your grilled cheese –

  • Split focaccia bread horizontally and brush cut sides with olive or canola oil.
  • Place bread oiled side down on pan. Layer fillings, then top with other slice, oiled side up.
  • Put another pan on top of sandwich.  This way both sides will get toasty in the oven.
  • Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees.

How can I work something cookie-related into this post?

But wait –

I was done with the sandwich fling when I saw this tweet from Organic Authority.  Crunchy Elvis Sandwich?  Did someone say cheese?

I expected to hate it, but I loved the nut butter and banana together in a sandwich.  Especially since I caramelized the bananas first.

This sandwich was new to me, but I just googled Elvis  Sandwich and apparently I’m the last person on earth to hear of it.  Clueless, your table is ready.

 But is Elvis cheesy enough to belong in this post?

Enough said.

Still here?  Today’s Let’s Lunch on twitter features creative grilled cheese.  Take a look at the delicious posts rounded up by Cheryl Tan from A  Tiger in the Kitchen.

Cathy‘s Breadless Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Bacon & Apples at Show Food Chef

Chris‘s Grilled Colby Jack, Black Forest Ham & Pickles Sandwich at Blog Well Done

Chris‘s Second Grilled Cheese Entry: Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese with Confit Chicken at Blog Well Done

Danielle‘s “Mousetrap” — Grilled Cheese with Tomatoes, Onions, Peppers & Bacon at Bon Vivant

Ellise‘s Grilled Brie, Pear & Prosciutto Sandwich at Cowgirl Chef

Emma‘s Grilled Cheese on Nine-Grain with Provolone, Smoked Gouda & Truffle Oil at Dreaming of Pots And Pans

Oven grilled cheese cat and pumpkin sandwiches


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How to make ice cream in the dryer

This recipe started out as a really simple, 3 ingredient dairy-free ice cream. 

Bananas, coconut milk, and vanilla are great but cocoa makes this ice cream even better!

It was tasty, but like most things, is even better with chocolate.  If you have an ice cream maker, use it.  But I like to play.  With food.  With appliances.  I couldn’t stop thinking about using the dryer to make ice cream . . . so I just had to do it. 

Chocolate banana ice cream

1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3 very ripe bananas, mashed

1/4 cup agave nectar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Whisk cocoa powder into coconut milk.  Add mashed bananas, agave nectar, and pure vanilla extract.  Pour into a sturdy 1-gallon plastic bag (or 2 quart-sized bags) and seal.  Place bag with ice cream mixture inside another 1-gallon bag with ice cubes.  Use fluff setting on dryer to spin for 10 minutes.

Use the fluff setting!

Just a warning – it’s kind of noisy with the ice cubes banging around in the dryer.

So wrong, but I couldn't resist making an ice cream sandwich with a chocolate cake donut.

I entered the chocolate cake donut recipe in a contest sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill.  Find the donut recipe here.  The contest ends Saturday, August 14 so there’s still time to vote!

Want to see more cool desserts?  Check out #letslunch on twitter Friday the 13th hosted by A Tiger in the Kitchen.


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How to make a star tipped pastry bag

Make a star tipped pastry bag by snipping zigzag cuts in one corner of a ziploc bag

To make a star tipped pastry bag in a pinch, snip tiny Vs in one corner of a ziploc bag.  Fill with icing, squeeze out extra air, and start decorating your favorite gluten free goodies. 

That’s the Free Range Cookies’ tip of the day!


Using a scanner as a camera

Cupcake wrapper

Instead of copying a paper document, did you ever put a used cupcake wrapper directly on the glass and then scan it since you didn’t have a camera?

The photo above was taken by my scanner.  I think it looks pretty good because I have no standards.  But it can be kind of messy.

I won’t be playing with my scanner so much when I learn how to use a new camera.   It’s a challenge for me.   Because quite frankly, I’d rather just  play with the scanner and clean up the mess.   I located the ON button today.  More news on the camera progress as it develops.

-Linda  Bookmark and Share

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