Wednesday, December 31, 2008
I'm so excited for the festivities planned for ringing in the New Year. Lots of my favorite people, cocktail dresses, cocktails, and some seriously fun appetizer contributions by yours truly. I stayed up way past my bedtime preparing one and hopefully there will be time post work today to throw the others together, get ready, and and some point put away all of the laundry i am making my brother do for me while he's there today and generally get the place in condition to have as many overnight guests as it will have. THEN...... then it's off to the party. WHOOP WHOOP. Not to worry..... I've got my four inch dancing shoes all ready and have of course charged my camera in preparation for the event :)
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
- 1) WAY easier than cutting into butternut squash or acorn squash which completely put up a fight. It could be because this squash was kind of old? eh? what do i know.
- 2) I felt like i was seeding a pumpkin.. which i haven't done since i was little (or so it seems) but the seeds looked exactly the same and the stringy gooey innards looked similar just more yellowish. ew. innards.
In other news it seems I did NOT lose the contents of my refrigerator to the power outage! However I did use the opportunity to go through the fridge and throw out any questionable looking items. It is now clean and ready for new and fabulous homemade dishes to be filling its empty shelves.... juuuuust in time for the weekend :)
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
- 1/2 lb ground lean turkey (browned separately and added to soupy mix)
- 12 ounces tomato juice
- can black beans
- 1/2 white onion
- 1 garlic clove (minced and sauteed with onion)
- corn, sweet peppers (okay they weren't in the first one but i would totally throw them in had i had them in the pantry for texture and extra veggie count)
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- a few slices of cheddar for garnish and/or melty cheesy delicousness
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
- WW bread (local bakery.. heaven)
- cherry tomatoes, sliced
- laughing cow light Swiss cheese wedge
- all natural turkey slices
- spinach leaves
When grilled its all warm and gooey. Amazing. I had it with some tomato soup. I love tomato soup and it has been a wintery staple for me since the dawn of time. I hadn't had it since I made the conversion to healthier foods last spring. (i.e. i always had it with milk, creme, etc.) I tried the V8 carton that everyone seems to love, and truthfully, it wasn't my everything. I thought the seasoning was extremely strong and the soup itself was really thin. The sandwich on the other hand..... that i could day dream about until lunch.
I hope everyone had a FABULOUS weekend and is out playing in the snow if applicable (appropriately bundled up of course). And someone who is home today tell me what happened on All My Children... since that's what snow days are for, right? soaps? :)
Friday, December 12, 2008
And finally for your viewing pleasure is a magnet on my fridge (i heart art, i heart magnets, i heart shoes... be still my heart for a combo of the three of them) There is a super cute saying about shoes on the magnet, but you'll have to use your imagination since I can't read it at the moment nor can I remember what it says. I think it says Lauren: stop being a moron and procrastinating so you can get home and wear fun shoes for the evening.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
There is one thing I thought I would throw out there. I realize the internet is a bathroom wall upon which people write anything and everything imaginable. Though I would love to be many things including a writer, and outstanding cook, an astronaut, cycle 15 America's Next Top Model winner, etc, etc. ... I do not wish to plagiarize or overstep any lines of legality or inpropriety when it comes to internet posting particularly where all things food are concerned.
I had a comment that I didn't give credit to the author of a recipe, which I hope I have corrected in the right way. To my knowledge I've always included a hyperlink or some sort of reference while also not giving a play by play, more a highlight of ingredients. My intention of this blog was not to get a fledgling food career off the ground, particularly under false pretenses. Rather, I am attempting to chronicle my trials and tribulations in the otherwise completely foreign world of healthier cooking and eating --- particularly when trying new vegetables, recipes, and/or products.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Also I made a tuna salad recipe from whole foods online cookbook. It had raisins, carrots, almonds and cottage cheese. Here and I thought I could never love anything without mayo. It was a christmas miracle.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
A little strong for yogurt? That's a little bold for you to insinuate considering you haven't tried it (okay I'm assuming that part). I'm guessing Elizabeth Barret Browning, the author of that sonnet, didn't have access to Greek Yogurt... not because she lived in England in 1800, before whole foods, and that this yogurt is of middle eastern origin... but because she never wrote sweet sweet poetry about this stuff. Oh that's right... it's that good.
Truthfully one of the reasons I enjoy this food (like most foods) is for the texture. It sort of reminds me of thick sour cream.... something i semi gave up when i decided not to inch my way to cardiac arrest, one taco at a time. But anyway, a treat was much needed after I decided to only pick at the lunch I received via work, which sounded amazing on the menu and came back as a big pile of unappetizing disappointment.Normally I get the plain kind (I say normal, but it's more like special occasion since this is about 7 times the price of dannon) but honey looked interesting. I forgot that it already had the sweetener when I picked up this organic Vegan cookie. I'll admit, I was skeptical of a cookie with no eggs or dairy (and of course trans fats, etc.) but SHA ZAM it was good. It was cranberry orange Muffin-top style (and no, not that kind) and it was amazing. Although, admittedly, the honey with the cookie kind of was sweet tooth overboard.
- (the recipe calls for saffron, which according to wikipedia and my mother is the worlds most expensive spice. needless to say this was not included in my version)
- can diced tomatoes
- bell pepper
- can kidney beans
- vegetable broth
Monday, December 1, 2008
- My family: how weird is it that I’d rather spend time with them than anyone else in the world? Apparently to a coworker of mine, and many many holiday movies based on the premise of escaping such situations, it is very weird.
- My family dos: my extended family could wrap around the globe twice if you lined us up (what with my mom having 10 siblings and all…hi aunts!). Somehow the completely chaotic atmosphere of our infrequent gatherings has a buzz of laughter and is so much fun to be around. Not to mention on this thanksgiving we sat around playing games and telling jokes until my cheeks hurt I was laughing so hard. Always worth the excessive car time to get there and then some.
- Friends: how I ever got so many people to laugh at my jokes and agree to hang out with me is just beyond me. They are fabulous and hilarious in their own right, and are so good to me.
- My education. I hate school right now (p.s. at this very moment I am procrastinating studying for the presentation I will give tonight, woof), but am grateful for higher education and eager for the future. Minus the part about repaying loans.
- O-BA-MA. Sorry, it’s obnoxious, I know.
- Good Health. Though not everyone I care about has been able to dodge illness, in the past year there have been more recoveries and remissions than not, and for that I am eternally grateful.
- Food. I feel I have only recently discovered the world outside Little Debbie and other individually packaged things more or less resembling kid food. It’s a good world, where things like pomegranates and acorn squash have entered into my vocabulary and pantry. Not just healthy food though, indulging in the butter/sour-cream/French-onion russet mashed potatoes, and going back for thirds is amazing and completely worth it.
- Indoor Plumbing. It seems so simple, but we watched a few episodes this weekend of ‘John Adams’ the HBO miniseries which reminds you how all of the comforts of civilized and modern life make things infinitely easier and more sanitary.
- Gainful employment. Everyone’s jobs has their pros and cons. A big ‘pro’ these days is having a paycheck at all. Yikes.
- Sunday Fundays exploring the city and laughing all day (like yesterday at the art gallery).
- The feeling of thawing out when jumping into a heated car, or taking a hot shower after standing in the rain/snow for four hours watching Mizzou lose to the overly obnoxious KU.
- Being mere WEEKS away from the next Holiday when I will be one semester closer to graduation, and will get to have all of this friend, food, and family time all over again.
p.s. more chronicles of my food adventures coming tomorrow, I promise :)
Monday, November 24, 2008
I also got my first christmas present. I wouldn't call myself scrooge-like (except maybe when Susan Lucci did that scrooge movie, she was pretty fabulous)... but I am pretty anti-christmas (decorations, music, etc.) for all things pre-thanksgiving. However the gift of shoes can put anyone in a joyous and festive spirit, no? Behold the reason for the season '08 : my new booties. *dreamy sigh*
But back to the party, we were so prepared for the evening (fully charged camera and all) and I walked away with just a handful of pictures, and zero group shots. dang it. However I did manage to snag one with two of my besties.
- gala apple
- toasted bread
- pinch sea salt
- pinch pepper
- chopped walnuts
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
- one container cream cheese (it was reduced fat, does that count?)
- one container spaghetti sauce
- 3/4 package spaghetti noodles
- 1/2 lb lean turkey meat
- 1/2 cup love (secret ingredient)
cook spaghetti until al dente, drain and mix in 1/2 the bottle of sauce. Brown the turkey meat, drain, and then add 1/4 bottle of sauce. Spread noodle mix into baking pan. Soften cream cheese and spread onto noodle mixture. Top with turkey/spaghetti mix and pour the remaining sauce over the top. My mom usually sprinkles parm on the top before baking, 375 degrees for 35 minutes. Easy peasy and total comfort deliciousness.
sooooo delicious.. doesn't cheese just make everything better? *sigh*
another comfort food basic that i vamped up a bit the other day was the 'ole PB & J. I used almond butter and some all natural berry jelly. The kicker was the pom seeds though. I sprinked them on and each bite had a burst of juicy seeds and tangy juice (that's right.. tangy). Completely amazing.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Lemon and Orange Crisps (SELF mag, 06, epicurious hyperlink above)
- baking powder
- baking soda
- vanilla extract
I also made another stab and the infamous black bean brownies that had terrorized my kitchen on round 1. A few cooking lessons I learned with this one: follow the recipe in the order in which is it listed (it sounds so obvious, and yet i'm cracking eggs here, and whisking there, and can get so mixed up... it can happen to anyone, right?) two: no eyeballing ingredient amounts.. period. three: when a gooeyish brownie batch comes directly from the oven, don't cover it immediately and set it in the fridge overnight to cool... because when you unover it in the morning it is a pile of overly moist mushiness.
Behold the mushiness below (use your imagination as my photography skills cannot adequately capture the chocolate/bean gurgling quicksand substance you could see upon further inspection):
- black beans
- unsweetened chocolate
- unsalted butter
- chopped walnuts
- vanilla extract
- instant coffee
- sea salt
Yes, I hear you. Black bean brownies? Woof. Except that the review had one million people who said this was a baking genius and that they'd been fooling loved ones and taste testers with this hidden ingredient for ages. Apparently the bean flavor doesn't come through and only lends texture and nutrition, supposedly making it more fudge-like... how could that be bad? The result? meh. I blame myself and my self induced accidental mushiness. I feel an accomplished chef could really put one over on someone. My accomplishments do not as of yet, nor does the future look so bright as to include.. baking.
The question then becomes, to serve or not to serve? I wanted to provide from scratch baked goods. However..... the cookies tasted like drinking straight lemon juice and the fall apart not so secret bean brownies were, well, a hot mess. Deciding that it was the thought that counts I gave them away anyway... but made sure to hand them off with a few disclaimers. If the thought really does count I hope they don't take one sniff and decide the gesture is grossness. For dinner last night though I ignored the still over stuffed contents of the refrigerator and whipped up a little something something. Stuffed Portabella.... Yummmmmm :)
- 1 portabella
- 1/2 cup diced carrot
- 1/2 cup diced green pepper
- 1/2 cup diced cherry tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp diced onion
- 2 Tbsp ricotta (oh haaaaaaaaaaay)
- 1 Tbsp bread crumbs
- 1 dallop butter