Balsamic Mustard Sauce

Perfect on pork chops

Perfect on pork chops

This post is a long time coming. If you paid attention to my travel posts from my vacation last month you’ll recognize the above picture. My friends loved all the food on our plates that night. It was the sauce that had Jerm joking the next morning about taking a raw pork chop sandwich with Balsamic Mustard Sauce to work for lunch. It was also the sauce that had DD messaging me asking me how to make it. I gave her the ratio as I thought I used. However, by the time I made it again myself I realized I was way off. Maybe not way off. But I was off.

By the second time I remade it I got it right.

Use whatever fat you want to use, but you do need to use balsamic vinegar and mustard for this to be Balsamic Mustard Sauce.

This sauce is excellent with pork chops. I think it would be great with a grilled steak, too.

Balsamic Mustard Sauce

4 tablespoons yellow mustard

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon olive oil

Place ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Keep leftovers covered at room temperature.

How Advertising Fails Us

I did a project back in college for my Psychology of Women class that I called, “Hidden Advertising.” I never really intended to take Psychology of Women. Like Existential Psychology, after my first day I really wanted to withdraw but I needed the Psych credits and could not fit any of the other classes in my schedule.

My professor was an ultra- feminist. Most of her lectures were rants. There was not much discussion because if you disagreed with her opinion, she ripped you to shreds in the large, echoing lecture hall.

It was not pleasant.

But it forced us all to think about gender stereotypes, blaming victims, and women’s role in society.

For the project, I pulled out ads from magazines and addressed how each ad was using sex, stereotypes, and low self-esteem to sell their products to the masses. Some of the products may surprise you.

They tell us that we need to use things to feel and look sensual and beautiful as if we cannot be either naturally. They show us we need to be thin and flawless to be beautiful and noticed.

They blindside us with our gullibility and take our money in the process. Our return on investment? Body dysmorphia and eating disorders.

This will make you think like my post, The Scale, if you are not already thinking.

Showering isn't just for cleansing anymore. Thanks to Neutrogena, it's sensual, too.

Showering isn’t just for cleansing anymore. Thanks to Neutrogena, it’s sensual, too.

You can be unforgettable if you wear Revlon products. At least that's what THEY say. I know some pretty unforgettable women who wear no makeup at all.

You can be unforgettable if you wear Revlon products. At least that’s what THEY say. I know some pretty unforgettable women who wear no makeup at all.

Cover Girl redefined beautiful for us. Our beauty has to look natural and our complexion has to be clear. I think society defined it that way long before Cover Girl. So did they really redefine it for us?

Cover Girl redefined beautiful for us. Our beauty has to look natural and our complexion has to be clear. I think society defined it that way long before Cover Girl. So did they really redefine it for us?

Society does not want old, wrinkled women. Thanks to L'Oreal and other companies we freak out at the first sign of wrinkles and look for anything that will take them away. I have wrinkles for a reason. They tell my story.

Society does not want old, wrinkled women. Thanks to L’Oreal and other companies we freak out at the first sign of wrinkles and look for anything that will take them away. I have wrinkles for a reason. They tell my story.

We can never have too much according to Max Factor. Note the use of "2000 Calorie" in the product name. Surely that many calories in a mascara means it is indulgent, too.

We can never have too much according to Max Factor. Note the use of “2000 Calorie” in the product name. Surely that many calories in a mascara means it is indulgent, too.

Maybelline says it's not realistically possible to have good genes. Nope, we're not born with good skin or great eyes. It MUST be the makeup.

Maybelline says it’s not realistically possible to have good genes. Nope, we’re not born with good skin or great eyes. It MUST be the makeup.

We're worth what we pay to put on a facade rather than be real.

We’re worth what we pay to put on a facade rather than be real.

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Women cannot have dry or rough skin. That's for men. And every inch of our skin must be soft.

Women cannot have dry or rough skin. That’s for men. And every inch of our skin must be soft.

We can change our shape just by wearing Hanes Silk Reflections. They figured out the secret to magically changing our shapes once we don their product.

We can change our shape just by wearing Hanes Silk Reflections. They figured out the secret to magically changing our shapes once we don their product.

Do jeans really attract the men? If you Request them, I guess they do.

Do jeans really attract the men? If you Request them, I guess they do.

Why don't women have a perfume called Iron? Because women should be soft and sweet. Never mind the fact that I can pump iron, too.

Why don’t women have a perfume called Iron? Because women should be soft and sweet. Never mind the fact that I can pump iron, too.

If I was re-doing this today I simply would have captioned this, *face palm*. Or maybe, *head desk*

If I was re-doing this today I simply would have captioned this, *face palm*. Or maybe, *head desk*

"Shhhh. Don't let anyone know you're hurt." Women aren't supposed to show pain. We're supposed to take it and keep going. Yes, let's reinforce denying feelings and passivity.

“Shhhh. Don’t let anyone know you’re hurt.” Women aren’t supposed to show pain. We’re supposed to take it and keep going. Yes, let’s reinforce denying feelings and passivity.

Again, we cannot take pain. We cannot enjoy anything if we have cramps. I'm pretty sure I can enjoy a lot of chocolate when I have cramps. And a good action flick.

Again, we cannot take pain. We cannot enjoy anything if we have cramps. I’m pretty sure I can enjoy a lot of chocolate when I have cramps. And a good action flick.

Perpetuating the stereotype that men like us more for our bodies and not our minds. We must show cleavage, shoulders, and most of our legs. It's more of a hindrance than an asset.

Perpetuating the stereotype that men like us more for our bodies and not our minds. We must show cleavage, shoulders, and most of our legs. It’s more of a hindrance than an asset.

Women need to be stylish, soft, and slim. If we smoke, our cigarettes should be, too.

Women need to be stylish, soft, and slim. If we smoke, our cigarettes should be, too.

Pumpkin Maple Bacon Pancakes

Pumpkin Maple Bacon PancakesI love pancakes.

Pancakes love me.

We go way back, me and pancakes.

We parted ways for a while after I had to ditch gluten. I needed an adjustment period as I learned different ways of doing things.

I welcomed pancakes back when I started following blogs of people who had been gluten-free longer than I and knew what they were doing. It was the same, but not. Yet I still love pancakes and pancakes love me.

I could have pancakes every day but part of the love affair with pancakes is that I have them every once in a while. You know, absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that.

I started playing around with my own recipe last year and floundered. Then I got sick and stopped.

Pumpkin season started and I realized this was a perfect time to start again. I tossed the old recipe and started from scratch using Michael Ruhlman’s Ratio as a guideline. I don’t use the same ratios as he does for his pancakes, but it still works. They bubble on the griddle, get dry around the edges, and they turn out fluffy. Just like I remember gluten full pancakes to be.

I used quinoa flour for these because rice flour wasn’t working the way I wanted it to. If you’ve worked with quinoa flour and you’re wrinkling your nose un-wrinkle it right now. When I was recipe testing for Brittany Angell and Iris Higgins for their Essential Gluten-Free Baking Guides Part 1 & 2, Brittany developed a clever way to dampen the bitterness of quinoa flour and now she has it on her blog for everyone. I do this whenever I buy a new bag of quinoa flour and I store it in the freezer. It is the only flour I keep in there and it confuses Chaz. He asks what it is every time he sees it. Every. Time.

I use a combination of the pumpkin puree and baking soda plus apple cider vinegar to replace the eggs. Do not try to leave out one or the other or your texture will be completely off. The pumpkin puree makes it moist and the baking soda with apple cider vinegar helps to leaven it.

If you happen to have leftovers, reheat them in a covered pan in the oven at 250°. They will be even fluffier.

Pumpkin Maple Bacon Pancakes – makes about 8 pancakes

4 slices of bacon, fat rendered and reserved, crumbled

2/3 cup quinoa flour

1/3 cup tapioca flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup dairy-free milk

6 tablespoons pure maple syrup (Grade B)

6 tablespoons pumpkin puree

2 tablespoons reserved bacon fat

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Set your griddle over medium heat and allow it to warm up while mixing your batter. Mix together quinoa flour, tapioca flour, baking soda, and salt in a small mixing bowl. Set aside. Mix together dairy-free milk, maple syrup, pumpkin puree, bacon fat (use fat that you reserved from your bacon), and apple cider vinegar in another small bowl. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry and mix well. Add bacon fat to the griddle and coat the surface. Drop batter using 1/4 cup measuring cup (or 1/4 cup ice cream scoop). Add some bacon crumbles to the top. The batter will bubble as it cooks. Flip the pancakes once the edges look dried out. Cook at least 3 more minutes then remove to a plate. Add more bacon fat to the griddle if you feel it needs it before adding more batter to it. Serve with additional bacon crumbles on top and with maple syrup.