Smorgasbord of Information

I love that word…smorgasboard! When I was a child, my grandparents (Dad’s side) used to take my sister and I to a “smorgasbord” to eat dinner. It was called The Main Street Smorgasbord.

From Wikipedia: Smörgåsbord [ˌsmœrɡɔsˈbuːɖ] is a Swedish word which refers to a type of Scandinavian meal served buffet-style in Swedish cuisine. In Norway it is called a koldtbord and in Denmark it is called a kolde bord. It is typically a holiday or celebratory feast at which the family and guests can help themselves to whatever takes their fancy from a range of dishes laid out for their choice. In a restaurant, the term refers to a buffet-style table laid out with many small dishes from which, for a fixed amount of money, one is allowed to choose as many as one wishes.

A traditional Swedish smörgåsbord consists of both hot and cold dishes. It is customary to begin with the cold fish dishes which are generally various form of herring, salmon, eel and so forth. After eating the dishes, people usually continue with other cold dishes, and round off with hot dishes such as Swedish meatballs (köttbullar), and other specialties like Janssons frestelse. Dessert may or may not be included in a smörgåsbord.

Etymology

A plate from a smörgåsbordThe Swedish word “smörgåsbord” is a combination word consisting of the words smörgås (translated “sandwich”) and bord (translated “table”). “Smörgås” (sandwich) in turn consists of the words smör (literally “butter”) and gås (literally “goose”, but in its old meaning, it’s the churned butter floating on the skimmed milk).

According to a Swedish linguist, Catharina Grünbaum[3], gås referred to pieces of butter that formed and floated to the surface of cream when it was churned; these pieces resembled fat geese swimming to the surface. Such pieces were just the right size to be placed and flattened out on bread. Smörgås came to mean butter and bread together. In Sweden, the term bredda smörgåsar (buttered sandwiches) has been used since at least the 16th century, and nowadays refers not only to buttered bread but also buttered bread with foodstuffs between sandwiches.

Julbord

Julbord is a compound word consisting of the elements jul, meaning Yule (today synonymous with Christmas) and bord, literally table. The classic Swedish julbord is the traditional smörgåsbord served from the beginning of December until just before Christmas in homes and at restaurants. A traditional julbord is typically eaten in three courses. The first course consists of the cured salmon, pickled herring and eel served in a variety of sauces. It is customary to eat particular foods together to ensure the appropriate combination of taste and textures. For example, herring is typically eaten with boiled potatoes and hard-boiled eggs and is frequently accompanied by a snaps of vodka with or without spice.

The second course of a selection consists of cold sliced meats, such as roast beef, and julskinka (Christmas ham). Sliced Cheese, cucumbers and liver pate are often eaten on top of hard bread.

The third course of hot dishes include köttbullar (Swedish meatballs), prinskorv (small sausages), kåldolmar (meat stuffed cabbage rolls), jellied pigs’ feet, lutfisk (a reconstituted dried cod served with thick white sauce), revbenspjäll (oven-roasted pork ribs), and Janssons frestelse (literally “Jansson’s Temptation”, a baked dish of matchstick potatoes layered with cream, onion and sprats). Side dishes include beetroot salad and warm stewed red cabbage.

Julbord desserts include risgrynsgröt, rice porridge sprinkled with cinnamon powder.photo Traditionally, an almond is hidden in the bowl of rice pudding and whoever finds it receives a small prize or is recognized for having good luck. There is also a traditional saying that the one who gets the almond will get married within a year.

Use of the term in English

In English, the word smörgåsbord (or often smorgasbord) refers loosely to any buffet with a variety of dishes — not necessarily with any connection to the Swedish traditions discussed in this article. In an extended sense, the word is used to refer to any situation which invites patrons to select whatever they wish among several pleasant things, such as the smorgasbord of university courses, books in a bookstore, etc. It is also used as a metaphor to indicate any diverse group, synonymous with hodge-podge.

In Australia, the word smorgasbord is often used for any form of buffet, including the noted Australian Buffet. Smorgasbords are very popular at privately hosted parties.

In Canada, Chinese smorgasbord is a buffet style used for Canadian Chinese cuisine. This tradition dates back to Gastown, British Columbia, which later became Vancouver, when Scandinavian-immigrant mill workers and loggers encouraged their Chinese cooks to arrange Chinese food as it was done in their homelands.

Back to real life. So, The Main Street Smorgasbord was not exactly like that, but you get the idea. It was the precursor to Ryan’s Steakhouse, Home Country Buffet, Hometown Buffet, etc. It was all you could eat for one price. Kids were all they could eat for their weight! The last time I remember going there I weighed 85 pounds. That was $.85!! I could eat a ton of food; I think I was 11 or 12 years old.

Anywho, this post is not about a GF smorgasbord, don’t get your hopes up. Just a collection of different information that I wanted to share and didn’t want to make several different entries. Though, I could be bribed to cook enough food for a GF smorgasboard! LOL!

First, I baked one of Joan’s GF Great Bakes Bagels this morning for Jon. WOW!! It was very easy to make, just turned on my toaster oven and put the bagel in after defrosting in the microwave. The bagel came out beautifully!

Here is a picture of it cut and buttered:

Kudos to Joan…this bagel had the texture of a gluten-filled bagel. The taste was amazing. I literally went on a trip back to my pre-gluten-free days. Jon said it was really, really, good, but a little chewy. I told him that that was how a bagel was supposed to be!!!! He wasn’t old enough to appreciate a good bagel (especially if you have had NYC bagels) by the time he was diagnosed with Celiac. He maybe had 1 or 2 Lender’s Bagels and those don’t count, in my opinion. I can’t wait to get into the remaining 4. I may have to make Jon some buttermilk pancakes or french toast to distract him from those remaining bagels. Then when they are all gone, oh well!

Next, I just wanted to share my first real fall meal of the season. Nothing spectacular, just pot roast, potatoes and carrots cooked in my crockpot all day long. I think that I have to say that fall is my favorite season. As I have posted before, I love pumpkin and I can’t wait to get into my pumpking baking. I already did the Chocolate Chip Banana Pumpkin Bread earlier this week (gone in 2 days, BTW). I have Pumpkin Cookies, a recipe from my dear Grandmother up next. So, without any further babbling, my first fall meal: (oh, had to have my spinach salad, though it was missing tomatoes b/c some critter is stealing my tomatoes out of my garden!)

Breast Cancer Awareness

Also, I believe October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Get your Mammogram Reminder HERE. I am going for my digital mammogram early tomorrow AM. Yes, it is a Saturday, but they had early appointments and Aaron will be home to stay with the kids. I don’t think that they need to witness a mammogram at ages 6 and 12. ;)

Now I Have Seen It All

Chocolate Covered Potato Chips! OMG! I was surfing the blogs that I frequently read and this wonderful woman over at Vanilla Sugar has posted a recipe and pictures of chocolate covered potato chips! Being gluten-free, I can’t exactly go down to the store or candy shop and buy chocolate covered pretzels, which I use to love in my pre-GF days. I know that I can make chocolate covered GF pretzels, but those pretzels are pretty darn pricey ($8 for a “family” size bag, which is the size of a typical chip bag). So, the potato chips really caught my eye. She even used Ruffles, one of my favs. (Hey, did you know they have ridges?? LOL). I also love the PB & cracker dipped in chocolate idea. I bet those Glutino crackers would work well for that, though they are kinda pricey too. Maybe as a nice treat for the Holidays. I browsed through some of her other recipes too and one that stuck out that I am going to have to try is the Peanut Butter & Jelly Crumb Cake. That should be relatively easy to convert to GF and super yummy too.

Now, I must get busy with my baking project of the day/week. I will be back later with pictures and results. YUM!

I won!!!! WOOHOOO!!!

Let me start by saying that I don’t ever win anything. The other night I was surfing the net and reading food blogs, mostly gluten-free, for new recipes and inspriration, when I came across Celiac Chicks running a contest or 2. I entered both of the. One was for free GF Cookies (YUM), the other was for a gift basket from Joan’s GF Great Bakes for bagels, cookies, pizza and rolls. Well, guess what???? I won one of the 5 prizes in the 2nd contest!!! WOOHOOO!!! My GF goodies arrived today. I baked some of the ready-bake cookies right away, but only got a bite as Jon got to them before I did. I didn’t even get a picture of the finished baked cookie! LOL! They were amazing!! Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, buttery…..ooooh….I need to go throw a couple more in the oven before Jon comes back in from playing outside and eat them quickly! ;) Here are some pics of my loot:

I plan on making some bagels and maybe a sandwich roll tomorrow. I will make sure to take pictures and share once I do. I received 5 bagels, a pack of ready-bake cookies, a sicilian pizza and 6 sandwich rolls. What a great prize! Thank you Celiac Chicks and Joan. You guys ROCK!!!!

Remembering 9-11-2001

Just wanted to post a quick note about those who lost their lives on 9-11-2001.

I don’t think I will ever forget where I was that day or at that minute. I was in a computer training class for a new job when Aaron called my cell phone to tell me that a plane had hit the twin towers. I don’t think I really grasped what he was saying at the time. I remember thinking like a 4-seater plane or something like that. He said it was a jet, like a commercial jet. Since I was in a computer class I was able to get online to see what was going on. Needless to say that we didn’t learn a whole lot about the software we were supposed to be learning about that day. All I could think about were the people on the plane, then the 2nd plane, then when the towers fell, all those who couldn’t make it out. The the plane in Pennslyvania. Then the Pentagon. I just wanted to go home and be with my family, hold them close to me and never let them out of my sight again. All I did for the next few days was watch the news, in shock and in horror that something like this could happen in our country. We were so much more vulnerable than I had ever imagined.

So today I am taking some time to remember those who lost their lives and their loved ones. We will never forget you.

OUCH!

The other day after pulling into a parking lot at Outback Steakhouse, I noticed steam spewing out from the front of my car. Not from under the hood, but from the grate area, right above the license plate. Fortunately my Step Dad and Mom were meeting us and were able to help assess the situation. If you know me at all, you know that I am mechanically challenged. I can check the level of oil in my car and the air pressure in my tires and that is about the extent of my knowledge on cars. SD (Step Dad) asks me to pop the hood and he checks things out. Radiator is full, nothing seems amiss. Yet there is still a nice, loud hissing sound coming from the front of my car. We decide to go in and sit down to let the car cool down before doing anything else. When we come back out, Jon gets down on his hands and knees to listen for the sound and notices a dent/hole, about the size of a bullet (which is was not), in what we thought at the time was some kind of filter (turns out to be the condensing unit). I put a paper towel over the hole and the hissing stops. Okay, now we know where it is coming from. I called Aaron and we discuss calling the dealer the next day.

Fast forward to Wednesday (yesterday). I had an appointment to take the van in at 9 PM last night (who knew they made appts. that late?). I brought it in and told the guy what happened. By this point my A/C was no longer working either. BTW, I drive a 2007 Odyssey, so I figured the A/C had something to do with the other issue, as one would think that it should still work after just being 1 year old. I sat around the dealer for about 15 minutes before they came to tell me the bad news. The condensing unit needed replaced. That, combined with labor was going to cost us $800+ tax! OUCH!!!! Aaron talked with the guy and asked why this condensing unit is so exposed that a rock can go through it and cause it to be replaced. All Hondas are like this, the guy said. Nice.

So, this expense, plus my recent dental issues (another whole post to the tune of $3500), well, there goes my deck. We have been wanting to put a deck on the back of the house for a while and have recently gotten some quotes. Well, after these unexpected expenses, I think that will have to wait for a while.

If there is a positive to this all or a silver lining, the guy at the Honda dealer didn’t charge us for the rental car I am driving until I get my van back. ;)

Oooh..I love stuff like this! Hundred List.

I saw this on GF Goodness and had to participate! I love this kind of stuff! It excites me almost as much as getting mail (not the bill part of the mail, but the other fun stuff) or getting brand new school supplies! So, here I go….

1) Copy this list into your own blog, including these instructions.

2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.

3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.

4) Post a comment here once you’ve finished and link your post back to this one.

5) Pass it on!

1. Natto
2. Green Smoothie
3. Tofu Scramble (intolerant to lots of soy)
4. Haggis Let’s make that HELL TO THE NO!!
5. Mangosteen Hopefully soon!
6. Creme brulee
7. Fondue
8. Marmite/Vegemite
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Nachos LOVE, LOVE, LOVE
12. Authentic soba noodles
13. PB&J
14. Aloo gobi
15. Taco from a street cart
16. Boba Tea
17. Black truffle just recently and WOW I really need to have more of that and SOON!
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes Apple wine..from Bucks County, PA
19. Gyoza
20. Vanilla ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoesJust last week for the first time! YUM-O
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Ceviche
24. Rice and beans all the time topped with cheese & Frank’s Red Hot
25. Knish
26. Raw scotch bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Caviar
29. Baklava Never and sadly now that I am GF, I want to and can’t! WAH! I don’t know that I could make this GF or that anyone has successfully.
30. Pate
31. Wasabi peas
32. Chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Mango
34. Sauerkraut Love, but none of the peeps in my house do and they hate the smell, so I can’t really have it much
35. Root beer float
36. Mulled cider
37. Scones with buttery spread and jam
38. Vodka jelly
39. Gumbo
40. Fast food french fries – I still occasionally have a few when I can find them GF
41. Raw Brownies
42. Fresh Garbanzo Beans
43. Dahl
44. Homemade Soymilk
45. Wine from a bottle worth £60/$120
46. Stroopwafle
47. Samosas
48. Vegetable Sushi
49. Glazed doughnut
50. Seaweed
51. Prickly pear-
52. Umeboshi
53. Tofurkey
54. Sheese
55. Cotton candy
56. Gnocchi ~ would love to have some GF!!
57. Piña colada
58. Birch beer
59. Scrapple
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores!
62. Soy curls
63 Chickpea cutlets
64. Curry
65. Durian
66. Homemade Sausages
67. Churros, elephant ears, or funnel cake—
68. Smoked tofu-
69. Fried plantain
70. Mochi
71. Gazpacho
72. Warm chocolate chip cookies – LOVE
73. Absinthe
74. Corn on the cob
75. Whipped cream, straight from the can
76. Pomegranate
77. Fauxstess Cupcake
78. Mashed potatoes with gravy
79. Jerky
80. Croissants
81. French onion soup
82. Savory crepes
83. Tings
84. A meal at Candle 79
85. Moussaka
86. Sprouted grains or seeds
87. Macaroni and cheese
88. Flowers Too many allergies, probably shouldn’t eat them
89. Matzoh ball soup
90. White chocolate
91. Seitan
92. Kimchi
93. Butterscotch chips
94. Yellow watermelon
95. Chili with chocolate no, but that sounds AMAZING!
96. Bagel and Tofutti
97. Potato milk
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Raw cookie dough Used to eat this all the time! We kept frozen cookie dough where I used to work and we ate it frozen like that all the time!

See, now wasn’t that fun!

Oh Snap!

That is my daughter’s newest expression. I am sure she learned it from her older brother, who probably learned it from that song on the radio. I am not even sure who sings (or raps) that song as I write this. Anyway, Hannah must have said this 4 times today when I was around. I was literally laughing out loud everytime I heard her. Hearing that out of my 6 year old’s mouth is just too funny!

I can use that phrase, “Oh Snap”, to describe my latest baking semi-flop. I set out to make pumpkin muffins today to use up some open pumpkin that I had in the fridge. I used a recipe that I modified, apparently not well enough, and they just didn’t work. They didn’t really set in the middle. Maybe another 5-10 minutes in the oven?? Not sure if they would have been burnt on the top by then, but my suspicion is that they would have been close. Also, I had intended to add in my extra spices (cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg) and just plain didn’t. LOL! So, they look really, really pretty, but, they need some work. I am going to show you them, but I am not going to share the recipe until I get it right and tasting the way it should have tasted today. Fortunatly it only made 7 muffins and I hadn’t doubled the recipe. I did freeze the rest of them. I will either eat them (maybe toasting them will finish up the inside) or use them for something like stuffing or who knows!

Pumpkin Flop Muffins

Onto dinner. Dinner was not a flop. Dinner was glorious! I don’t know the last time I used “glorious” to describe my food, but it just seems to fit. I made homemade lasagna (gluten-free, of course), green beans, spinach salad and Chebe Foccacia bread. The kids inhaled their food. I honestly don’t think I have ever seen Hannah eat that fast! She even said something about my giving her too much lasagna when she sat down; next thing I know it was gone!

Nice, warm, yummy, gooey, italian mess!!

My Plate, with cabernet, of course:

Gluten-Free Lasagna

1 package Tinkyada Lasagna Noodles
1 – 1.5 pounds ground beef or turkey or pork or sausage
2.5 – 3 jars of Prego 3 Cheese Sauce
3 large cloves of garlic
Oregano
Basil
2 small containers of Ricotta Cheese (I used low-fat; you could use cottage cheese)
6 cups of mozzerella/italian cheese (I used 2% low-fat cheese)
Parmesan Cheese (I used a block, so I just kept shredding more when I needed it, I didn’t measure)

1. Brown ground meat; add chopped garlic and saute until meat is done. Add your sauce jars. Add 1-2 tsps basil and oregano. Cook on med-low for 30-40 minutes or so.
3. Cook your lasagna noodles.
4. Mix ricotta cheese with 1 tsp each basil & oregano; add in 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.
5. Preheat oven to 350 – 375 (I baked mine on 350 for the first 30 – 40 minutes, then cranked up the oven to 375 for the remaining time).
6. Layer your sauce, noodles, ricotta, mozzerella and parmesan cheese. Repeat once more. Then add just another layer of sauce, noodles, sauce and cheese on top.
7. Cover and bake for 30-40 minutes. Check after that time. If the lasagna isn’t bubbly, turn up the heat to 375 and cook for another 10 – 20 minutes. Uncover for the last 10 minutes to brown up the top.
8. Let lasagna sit for 10 minutes or so before slicing. Enjoy!

***You need to use 2 small pans or 1 large lasagna pan (I used this). This made 12 good size pieces, probably close to 3 inches by 2.5 or 3 inches. I purposely made this much so that I could freeze half of the casserole in individual servings.

Menu Plan for September 7, 2008 – September 13, 2008

I have been in such a baking mood lately and I can’t seem to stop. It is becoming a problem b/c we can’t eat the stuff fast enough! LOL! I am going to have to slow down or start to freeze at least half of my projects. Jon is not objecting in the least. This week I have Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies on the plan to bake (they have no flour in them!). I found the recipe on the forum at Celiac.com. When I make it and share it here, I will have to go back and look to see who posted it. For breakfast this week Jon will be eating Chocolate Chip Banana Pumpkin Bread and maybe pancakes. I have a few new things I want to try for pancakes, including some pumpkin/oatmeal combos. Onto the plan:

Sunday ~ Outback Steakhouse after seeing the Sound of Music

Monday ~ Homemade Lasagna, steamed green beans, salad & foccacia bread

Tuesday ~ grilled BBQ chicken breast, cheesy chili potatoes, broccoli & salad

Wednesday ~ Cheeseburger in Paradise after ice skating. This is getting a little old. I can’t believe I said that. I need to change up what I am ordering. I usually get salmon. Perhaps a bacon cheeseburger & fries or a grilled skirt steak salad this week.

Thursday ~ Blackened salmon, steamed brown jasmine rice, broccoli, salad & french rolls

Friday ~ Crockpot Pot Roast, potatoes & carrots with salad & french rolls.

Saturday ~ Grilled burgers on GF Buns (another new recipe from the Silly Yak group that I am going to try), sweet potato fries (homemade for the first time, usually I buy Alexia frozen), steamed veggies and salad.

I also want to give homemade Pesto a try in the very near future. I love basil and have seen some good recipes lately for Pesto. Not sure anyone in my house will eat it besides me, so I need to either make a small amount or make sure it keeps well in the fridge for at least a little while. I will get some more descriptions and recipes of things up this week as we go along, if they work out, that is. I am due for a flop any day now! LOL!!

Doe a Deer, a Female Deer…….

Ah…The Sound of Music! Today we (the kids and I) went to see The Sound of Music play in a little theater in Grove City called Little Theatre Off Broadway. What a wonderful play! One of the nuns, Sister Margaretta, Mistress of Postulants, was played by someone we know (my step-brother’s wife, to be techinically correct; would that be my step-sister-in-law??). I was worried that Hannah wouldn’t be able to sit through the play, but she did awesome! It was Jon who was a little antsy, but I’ll give him a break, he did have a headache and it was a long play.

After the play we had plans to go eat at Red Robin for dinner. We headed out and since we were on a side of town that I wasn’t very familiar with, I was following my Mom & Step Dad, Joe. As we were driving down the road I saw an Outback Steakhouse that immediately caught my eye! YAY!! We decided to eat there instead. Their GF menu is extensive and some locations in the US are even offering GF breads & pastas (unfortunately, not ours). I don’t get to eat at Outback very often b/c they are very close by, so I was excited to go there. Jon ordered the 1/2 rack of Baby Back ribs and caesar salad. I ordered the grilled salmon, steamed veggies (no seasoning) and salad. Most of their dressing are GF too! I usually get the Alice Springs Chicken, but I was in a salmon mood tonight. Probably better b/c it was much less food and I brought some of the Walnut Cake with Praline Frosting for us all to have for dessert. It was a great meal. :)

Now I am off to do my weekly menu plan that I hope to be back tonight to post, but I am whooped, so it may not be up until tomorrow.

Chicken Fettucine Alfredo

So while I was busy baking today, it dawned on me that I had chicken breasts defrosting in the fridge and no real plan for them. I wanted to do something relatively fast, as I had spent enough time in the kitchen today. So, I decided to make a grilled chicken fettucine alfredo. Actually, to be technically correct, I used spaghetti noodles, not fettucine, b/c I didn’t have enough for everyone. ;) This meal was simple, yummy and quick. An added bonus…I can keep the chicken separate from the noodles & sauce for Miss Picky (that would be Hannah, if you hadn’t guessed).

Grilled Chicken Fettucine Alfredo

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breast
Dry Rub (Garlic Powder, Basil, Salt & Pepper)
1 Jar Classico Alfredo Sauce (It is GF, as are all of Classico’s Sauces)
Brown Rice Pasta (I used Trader Joe’s Spaghetti tonight)

1. Pound chicken to tenderize it. Season both sides with dry rub.
2. Warm Sauce on stove
3. Bring water to a boil for pasta (add a little EVOO to keep pasta from sticking)
4. Grill chicken 6-8 minutes per side
5. Boil pasta & drain when done
6. Top pasta with alfredo sauce & sliced grilled chicken
7. Serve with veggies & salad.

Here is a picture of my plate. I served with Parmesan Broiled Tomatoes and Roasted Brussels Sprouts (which may have been roasted a little too long due to my not paying attention..LOL):

For dessert, see the post right after this….Buckeyes & Baking. YUM!!!

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