Sunday, July 3, 2011

getting ready for the fourth

My almond flour adventure continues, but I've had to slow it down a pace or two. There are only two of us in the house when we don't count Coco, and almond flour, while a healthy alternative to grains, is pretty rich. Since the biscuits were so good fresh from the oven, we ate way too many, making continued baking throughout the day a little less appealing. Still, I want to try those lemon bars! Maybe today.

Of course, today, celebrations are taking center stage. We do something each year for the Fourth of July, though the scope and location sometimes change. The emphasis on food never changes. Though this day seems to call for more casual food, it does not suggest less attention or enjoyment. This year it will just be the two of us plus Coco, who celebrates her fourth birthday this July 4. The heat is just crazy here; earlier this week I needed a sweater, and 108 is the last prediction I heard for the fourth. We are going to stay inside, crank the AC, and have a quiet little feast before the fireworks which are visible from our back yard. Unfortunately, it will probably still be over 100 degrees at 9 or 10 when they start. Maybe we will have to skip the display this year or watch some on TV.

Hot dogs and hamburgers are served here on very rare occasions and never for a group, event, or celebration. As I know I've mentioned, they are WAY too much work with little appreciation.  This year our menu will feature beautiful lox from Vital Choice. It's a fun day at our house when a Vital Choice order arrives, but eating it will be much better. This year we're planning on a full side of pre-sliced salmon, served with capers, diced onions, and for GK horseradish-cream cheese and bagels. I'm as yet undecided about what I'm serving as the dairy-free, gluten-free alternative to the bagels and cream cheese, though several ideas are running through my head. I know I've mentioned that I, personally, don't do too well with grains of any kind. Right now, I'm thinking butter lettuce leaves, but the decision is yet to be finalized.

And for dessert Elana's lemon bars.


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  2. About the lack of recipes in this post, this day's food, aside from the lemon bars, the recipe for which is in Elana Amsterdam's Almond Four Cookbook, is really purchase and assemble rather than recipes.
    For the salmon, simply open the pre-sliced side of cold-smoked salmon (lox) and place it on a large serving platter. Leaf lettuce makes a nice garnish for the platter and can serve as natural bowls for the condiments. We use many of the standards: capers, finely diced red onion, lemon wedges,horseradish as well as horseradish mixed with cream cheese, butter lettuce leaves for me, and sliced bagels for GK. If you can eat them, I can't, gluten-free bagels would be great with this, as would toasted squares of a bread like Udi's white.
    A bowl or two of good olives with a few fresh, organic vegetables like radishes, baby carrots, cucumber, and small heirloom tomatoes served with a small bowl of sea salt will round out the meal or extended snack nicely.
    All that's left is to choose the wine. I'm thinking Pinot Grigio at the moment. Or Champagne. It is Coco's birthday, after all.


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