Tag: cooking

a gluten-free dinner? yes!

fresh scratch, gluten free, asian short ribs

fresh scratch, gluten-free, dinner, asian ribs

We have dear, dear friends who can’t have gluten, so I am always on the look out for a really good {and I mean really good as in it shatters the misconception that g-f means grody and blah} gluten-free recipe to turn into a dinner for them the next time we have them over {which is never often enough!}.

Since Matt gives music lessons in our living room every Wednesday until just about dinner time, the crock pot has become my best friend on Wednesdays. I’m busy, he’s busy, and the crock pot allows me the option of taking the girls and getting the heck out of my house until dinner time. I mean, have you ever heard the same chords played week in and week out? Remember when Journey said lovin’ a music man ain’t always what it’s supposed to be?

They had no idea how right they were.

I have an entire Pinterest board related to crock pot things, and I’ve been slowly working my way through it, one week at a time. I’m not even going to try to say I’ve adapted this recipe for Asian Short Ribs by 100 Days of Real Food, because it’s practically perfect in every way. The Chinese 5-spice powder is becoming one of my pantry staples – don’t skip it in the recipe! Also, the prep before you turn the crock pot on is incredibly minimal.

fresh scratch, gluten free, asian short ribs

About 45 minutes before dinner time, I rinse some rice (brown or white), using my trusty-stove-top method to cook it. It makes a perfect bed for the ribs. I also set a pot of water to boil and steam some broccoli. Other firm veggies would be nice, or even a batch of fried rice.  

The secret to what makes this amazing is the soy sauce glaze. Soy sauce can be purchased g-f, so holla’! Double the batch. Trust me. You will want to bathe your broccoli in this, too.

Whip up a cocktail, throw it all on the table, and wow your guests. Let them think it was a lot harder than it was ;).

You’re welcome!

PS: Need some more crock pot ideas? Here’s a post where I rounded up some of my favorites.



pumpkin bread & giving thanks.

Fresh Scratch, Pumpkin Bread

It’s hard to believe that at this time last year, I was watching the sunrise over the Grand Canyon {still one of the best moments of my life}. This Thanksgiving season looks a little different {okay, a lot different} – for one, we are staying put in the great old pnw, visiting my parents for part of the break.

Fresh Scratch, Arizona, Grand Canyon, South Rim, Hopi PointAnd, for two, well…dang. I am just in such a different place than last year. Last year I was writing up a storm, teaching just three classes, but struggling with a lot of turmoil in my personal life. While I’m glad that last part has done a 180, I sure miss the writing load and the sleep and the just-three-classes part.

Five classes is proving to sort of kick my arse.

But it’s a season of life. I’m figuring it out. Those five classes mean that my blog got a makeover and Matt got a new car {which I backed into my brother’s car this weekend, but let’s just grimace and move on, shall we?}. And though I tend to look for the ways to be happy in any situation, I am learning that I need to just lean in to all the seasons of life and listen to what they have to teach me. They are each meant to be lived, even if they are kicking your arse. Even if you have to let some things you love go for a while, it doesn’t mean they’re gone for good. Sometimes figuring crap out takes time and quiet.

Fresh Scratch, Pumpkin BreadTake this pumpkin bread, for example. I’ve issued this pumpkin bar recipe out to you each fall these last few years, but it only dawned on me this very month that, hey, this could be made into bread instead of cake with icing. Because, duh, I am slow sometimes. But generally your patience is rewarded.

I got up early this morning and baked two of these smell-a-rific loaves to serve to our brunch guests, Marie and Patrick, whom we manage to see every week in the summer but sometimes go long distances between those visits in the school year. There, too, our patience is always rewarded with tight hugs and long chats and kids putting on plays for us.

And, so, here it is: the recipe for pumpkin bread, the less wild and crazy cousin of pumpkin bars.

Pumpkin Bread

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: approx. 16 slices

Pumpkin Bread

The perfect companion to all of your autumn moments, unless you are married to George Clooney. Because then George would be your perfect companion.


  • 2 c. flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 c. oil of your choice (I use safflower)
  • 15 oz. can of pumpkin
  • 4 eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Whisk together dry ingredients.
  3. Blend wet ingredients until combined.
  4. Add dry ingredients and mix until smooth and combined.
  5. Pour into 2 buttered bread pans.
  6. Bake until toothpick test is clean, 50-55 mins.
  7. Cool in pans for 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and release them.
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And, while I’m at it with this Thanksgiving vibe, if you’re in need of some tasty ideas for this long holiday weekend, please enjoy some of my favorite Thanksgiving-ish foods and beverages: Apple Pie Martini, The Fresh Scratch Cocktail, The Spiced Cider Cocktail, Cranberry Sauce, and Flat Apple Pie.

This year, I am particularly thankful for the enjoyment of solitude {there’s just not enough, though}; for finally getting my daughters’ bathroom painted since putting off for for nearly six months; for red wine; for being five episodes away from finishing “Revenge” – my true guilty pleasure; for the fact that I am now caught up on the Undisclosed Podcast and will, therefore, no longer be listening to spooky murder case details while walking to work through the dark  woods each morning…

…and for you. Thank so much for standing by so patiently as my writing schedule has slowed down to a crawl. It won’t always be so. In fact, I have recently put my freelance writing on hold until summer and am looking forward to spending my writing time exclusively here for a while. Why? Because I have the best readers on earth.

xo & gobble-gobble,

mrs. fresh scratch