gour·mand 1: one who is excessively fond of eating

2: one who is heartily interested in good food and drink

Green Chile Mac ‘n Cheese

Posted by on Aug 15, 2014 in Gluten-Free, On the Side, Recipes, Vegetarian | 0 comments

Green Chile Mac 'n Cheese

With the languid days of summer dwindling down to hours, I am set on savoring every last morsel of solitude. For me, this means a few more healthy doses of sun and sleep, losing myself in embarrassingly too many abandoned novels, and long afternoons spent flipping through cookbooks and creating in the kitchen. Did you know that creating, in whatever capacity, is the highest form of self-expression and intelligence? (Bloom’s taxonomy)  We can only learn and retain so much information, repeat so many ideas. At some point, we have to make something that is truly ours (even if it is influenced by lots of somethings that aren’t “ours”). If you really think about it, one of the purest forms of satisfaction stems from creation. Think about the satisfaction the Creator of our universe felt upon completion! “God saw all that he made and it was very good.” Genesis 1:31

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Sweet Potato Muffins with Pistachio

Posted by on Aug 7, 2014 in Breakfast, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian | 0 comments

Guess what, foodie friends? It’s Gouramanda’s 2 year blogiversiary! (Ok, actually it was yesterday, but who’s counting??) I was thinking of celebrating with an over-the-top, homemade, triple layer yellow cake with chocolate buttercream frosting and colorful sprinkles, but you know, I  just felt like making muffins instead. And I’m so glad I wasn’t in the overacheiving mood today, because these muffins in particular are freakin’ delicious, unbelievably easy to make,  AND they’re vegan/super healthy. What what. Yeah, I’m not sure I’d be able to veganize the aforementioned cake (though I bet it’s too much work totally feasible.) Also, I have an unjustifiable fear of cake-baking (they put it in a box for a reason, people!) and don’t feel in the  mood to conquer that particular fear today. It’s just one of those days, y’all!

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Watermelon Agua Fresca

Posted by on Aug 3, 2014 in Libations, Recipes | 0 comments

watermelon agua fresca

It’s another beautiful Sunday in Austin, Texas!  Typically during this time of year, I relinquish the oven from its faithful service and my cooking domain switches over to the counter top OR I kindly coax my chivalrous husband to man the grill.  But it’s August 3rd and we’ve hardly hit the triple digits. My body is so seasoned in terms of the August + Austin = Melting equation when I temporarily become a “no” person in regards to any and all outdoor activities sans cool body of water, that I’m a bit at odds with what to do! The options are so bizarrely ubiquitous. Picnic in the park? Don’t mind if I do. Leisurely jog around the lake, sure! Watch in reverie as the glowing sun plunges beneath golden horizon from my back porch? Absolutely.  I’m just in awe that I can walk outside and not immediately start to “glisten” (that’s a Southern euphemism for sweating your face off). I [don't] apologize if you are reading this and live in a more temperate climate. We ramble on about the weather around here not because we are simpleminded, but rather because its capriciousness equally captivates and bewilders us (and our wardrobe!)

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Rosemary and Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Posted by on Jul 29, 2014 in Gluten-Free, Main Course, Vegetarian | 0 comments

rosemary and cauliflower crust pizza

Happy Tuesday everyone!  I am really jazzed about today’s post.  I don’t think I’ve ever been so quick to write a post about food that has literally just come out of the oven, but hey, when you’re enthusiastic about something, why wait to share? Ok, so maybe it’s not just a unique pizza recipe that I am enthusiastic about. Let’s get real; has that ever been the case? I think this blog would be a little too focused vapid if it were.

So, have y’all  heard about the peculiar “cauliflower pizza crust” phenomenon? I’m sure you have. I’m always a little tardy for the trend-train. I used to think it was because I was this cool, rebellious, nonconformist who refused to succumb to the latest trends and fads because, well, I’m so wonderful and unique, and  that’s middle school, and we can talk about it another day (I’m okay with never, too.) If I’m really honest with myself, a big little part of me is still like that, though. But now I get it. I understand the desire to stand out from the crowd and to be original because we live in an age where it can be increasingly difficult to feel or think for ourselves. Oftentimes, I have to make a concerted effort to completely unplug  from virtual “reality” just to clear my mind and think on my own terms for a while (which is a lot easier said than done for me….my husband is a different story. I admire him more than he knows for this.)

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Greeña Colada Smoothie

Posted by on Jul 22, 2014 in Breakfast, Gluten-Free, Libations, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian | 0 comments

greeña colada smoothie

Right now, as I await my connecting flight back to Texas in the frigid, stale airport air, I can’t help but reminisce on warm memories of the fun-filled, long weekend I just spent with my best friend in sunny Florida. The past five days were a little slice of heaven to my soul. We took long walks down the powder-white sand beaches, swam in the cool azure waters, tasted our way through some fantastic restaurants and just enjoyed one another’s company.

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Green Bean, Tomato, and Turkey Sausage Orzo Salad

Posted by on Jul 15, 2014 in Main Course, Salads and Soups | 0 comments

Green Bean, Tomato, and Turkey Sausage Farro Salad

I don’t know about you, but I am a big fan of one dish meals when cooking at home. They are fuss-free, require minimal preparation, and can easily feed a crowd (or a family of 2 for a few meals.) When you have seasonal, jewel-toned produce like these crisp green beans, succulent red tomatoes, and vibrant purple basil, you don’t need much else; the ingredients do the work for you. The cook’s job is to accentuate their natural beauty, so to speak. No need to break your back over a soufflé or distort lovely ingredients into crazy gastronomical experiments (unless that’s what you want!) Keep it simple. You won’t sacrifice any of the flavor; I guarantee it.

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Lavender, Honey, and Goat Cheese Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Posted by on Jul 10, 2014 in Appetizers, Main Course, Recipes | 0 comments

lavender honey and goat cheese stuffed zucchini blossoms Holy crispy-sweet-savory-tangy-fried goodness, y’all. Sometimes, there is really no way to avoid frying something. I racked my brain and used up every last drop of creative juice I had in efforts to create a healthy, yet delicious recipe with these delicate, amber flowers. While I came up with some decent recipes, I came to realize that squash blossoms are one of those ingredients that are simply meant to be stuffed and fried. I would be doing them a disservice if I tried to cut them up and disguise them in some salad or pasta. So why mess with a good thing? Especially a good thing that only graces our farmer’s markets (or neighbors garden!)  for a short window in the summertime. So go ahead.  Fry some of these up, pop open a bottle of crisp, cold rose, and savor a warm, summer evening with someone you love.  ¡Buen provecho!

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