Foodie Friday

January 17, 2014 at 5:40 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

Hey look!  I remembered this was a thing (at least on my blog)!

What with the whole still not working thing, I’ve been doing a lot of cooking.  And it’s not like I’m not TRYING to find work – duh.  I’ve had three interviews in the last three days and I have another scheduled for Monday, so that’s something.  I’ve also been contracted out to do some content writing for a former client of mine, all of which is at least keeping me busy.  As is the cooking, since it’s not exactly like I’m eating out every night of the week these days.

Soup's On!

Soup’s On!

Soups have been a big hit due to the cold weather and this meal was no exception.  This particular soup was made in the crock pot and featured garbanzo beans, lima beans, kale, red and yellow peppers, tomatoes and onions.  The salad was a simple combination of arugula, spinach and romaine lettuce with onions, cranberries, feta cheese and a dark Italian dressing.  The bread shows off my homemade pesto, which I created by putting a cup of basil, half a cup of olive oil, crushed garlic and sunflower seeds into a food processor.  Most pesto recipes call for pine nuts or even walnuts but hey, I was working with what was on hand and trying to avoid going to the grocery.  The sunflower seeds worked and the pesto was a perfect touch to some toasted bread.

As for the spaghetti, to tell the truth that was leftover from I don’t even know when and I found it in my fridge as I was making the pesto.  When I originally made it I mixed kale and peppers in the sauce and then added some vegetarian meatballs.  When I reheated it for this meal I put it all in the oven with a generous layer of cheese on top and it tasted almost as good as new.

My shoestring budget may not allow many trips to restaurants right now but with some creativity and a whole internet’s worth of recipe choices, I can still eat like a queen!

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Breaking Bread

January 16, 2013 at 3:55 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

One of the gifts my lovely mother gave Scott and me for Christmas was a box full of new baking pans.  Since the baking sheet I had was from like 1974, this was a welcome present.  Included in this package was a bread loaf pan, something I’ve never had before.  That meant I could actually make banana bread, as opposed to banana muffins (which are still good but sometimes a pain to peel from the little muffin liner).  Anyway, I put the pan to good use on Monday night:

So good!

Voila!

Here’s what I did:

Ingredients: 3 ripe bananas, 1/3 melted butter, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla, sprinkling of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon baking soda, pinch of salt and 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour.  I used non-dairy butter and a Splenda-like sugar substitute so I can pretend this is somewhat healthier.

After preheating the oven to 350 degrees, I mixed the butter into the mashed bananas while doing a little dance to The Monster Mash in my head.  Then I mixed in the egg, sugar and spices.  After that came the baking soda and salt, then finally the flour.  I poured it all into my brand new (and newly washed) loaf pan and stuck it in the oven.  It said to let it bake for an hour but after 45 minutes I got impatient and nosy so I took a peek.  It’s a good thing I did because it was already cooked to perfection (as you can clearly see above).  It tasted as good as it looked!  And I couldn’t have done it without my awesome new bread pan.  Maybe I’ll experiment with zucchini bread next time?  I’m crazy like that!

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One Potato Two

March 22, 2012 at 12:13 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

This week is flying by!  A girl’s always gotta eat though, so here’s the latest from my kitchen:

Look what I can do!

So this was my first attempt at twice baked potatoes and while it could’ve turned out better, at least it was edible.  I used a recipe I found on allrecipes.com only I substituted yogurt for sour cream and diced broccoli for chives.  I think where I went wrong was in scooping out the potato innards after baking it as I was very hungry and impatient at that point and left some still inside.  Had I been more careful with that they would’ve turned out better but since I have a whole damn bag of spuds in my kitchen I’ll just keep on trying.  They weren’t too bad though and, of course, Scott and I ate them.

We also made some shells and cheese (tossing spinach in with the cheese) and I took some asparagus and mushrooms, rolled them around in olive oil, garlic salt and pepper and broiled that for about 15 minutes.  Then I heated up my vegetarian ribs in the microwave (I can hear you all saying yum now…you can pretend it’s the real thing if you must) and I was good to go.  Relatively quick (if you discount the hour potato baking time) and fairly simple, even for me.  Which is good because I’ve been so busy that simple is a must!

 

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More Food!

July 27, 2011 at 12:30 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , )

I love breakfast food.  Seriously love it.  Like, I would eat breakfast for every meal of the day if I could and sometimes I actually do.  The weekends are a great time for me because the wonderful invention of brunch is so prevalent and I certainly know how to make the most of it.  While I always enjoy going out to eat for my breakfast urges (such as recently going to The Chicago Diner and stuffing myself with vegetarian biscuits and gravy….SO GOOD), I’m also fond of cooking in my new and spacious kitchen.  Sunday was one of the days where I felt like cooking so I whipped up the delight below:

Rachel Ray has nothing on me

Yes, I’m aware this looks amazing.  I’m also pleased that the photo turned out a bit better than the last meal I posted.  I know I’m no whiz with the foodie pics – I actually have a friend who I think still reads this blog and she’s a serious food blogger.  Her meals always look fantastic and her pictures are professional quality so I like to imagine her cringing every time I post one of these from my phone.  No matter, you still get the idea.

One of the best gifts I’ve ever received is my Belgian waffle maker.  I have used this thing so many times I’m surprised it still works and I plan on using it until it eventually surrenders to waffle batter and old age.  You can see that the waffles feature heavily in this meal and while I was making them I also cooked some vegetarian sausage links in the oven.  I’ve been told by many meat-eaters that the veggie sausage links are actually tastier than real ones but I’ll leave you to test that out for yourself.  I also whipped up some scrambled eggs that included roasted red and yellow peppers, spinach and a myriad of spices.  Also lots and lots of cheese (both goat and cheddar, since those are what I had on hand).  And I didn’t stop there!  I had fresh bananas and strawberries to compliment the orange juice (thought my Hoosier readers would appreciate that glass) and help me pretend this was a healthy meal.  But when I dumped them on the waffles and added chocolate and regular syrup, the jig was up.  Oh well, it was totally worth it.  Also, you may notice the peanut butter in the pic.  This is because my dad trained me long ago to put it on my waffles and I haven’t looked back since.  Don’t automatically shrink back in disgust either; I’ve turned more than a few people onto this in my day.  Once again, I suggest you taste it for yourself.

So you may have noticed that there is additional plate of food in the background.  That belongs to my…wow this weird to say, let alone write…boyfriend.  That’s right, after nearly two years of relative single-dom, I’m officially off the market once again.  I’ll give you a minute to grieve that loss.  But yeah, I’m seeing a pretty great guy and so far he’s been doing a good job of treating me like the supremely awesome woman that I am.  And he’s a vegetarian so he gets to fully appreciate all of the tasty meals I feature here!  If he’s lucky.  Which, by dating me, he clearly is.

Anyway hope this gives you some cookery ideas – and if you ever make brunch and I’m around, please feel free to give me an invite.  I always have time for breakfast food!

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What Kind of Cookery is This?

March 30, 2011 at 1:58 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

Time for another quick and easy recipe that is in no way representative of what would actually be on a respected food blog anywhere on the internet!

This meal was prepared a few weeks ago with a friend of mine.  After another typical Wednesday helping out at the food pantry, it was late and I was tired when I got home.  Luckily I had great company and a little bit of homemade wine (thanks to my uncle!) to help me make it through the rest of the night.

Should've included the wok in the photo...stupid hindsight

As you can see, it was a stir-fry kind of night.

In the interest of full disclosure, the veggies came in a stir-fry “kit” from Aldi’s.  Basically it was a ton of frozen vegetables with a packet of sauce, but for the $2.99 price tag I’d say it more than delivered.  I wound up with 6 helpings of the stir fry (read: leftovers) and luckily the stuff held in the fridge rather well.  The vegetarian pot stickers came from Whole Foods but you could find them just about anywhere too.  The potstickers went in the oven to bake while the veggies were tossed into my wok, and a mere 10 minutes later my dinner was born!  I usually add some noodle to the mix but as the contents of my pantry slowly dwindles, I made do with what I had.

The wok (something I may or may not have blogged about in the past) was a wedding gift to my parents that I got in the divorce.  I love it and when I move into my new apartment with actual counter space I hope to use it much more.  It helped turn a mundane Wednesday night into a party in my mouth but not everyone was invited.  However, you can create your own delectable meal using these tools and ingredients any time you want – and if you’re feeling lazy, just let me know and I’ll whip it up in my wok.

Wok and roll!

Yes, I went there.

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Recipe Time!

October 14, 2010 at 3:33 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

It’s been a while since I posted a meal on here and since I made a truly delicious dinner earlier this week, I figured it was time to share.  Bon appetit!

You will need:

  • Rice.  Any type will do.  Since I am the Queen of Lazy, I chose frozen brown rice from Trader Joe’s that cooks in the microwave in 60 seconds flat.
  • Some source of protein.  My meal featured a vegetarian chicken cutlet covered in a sun-dried tomato sauce.  If you’re among the majority and are carnivorous, feel free to use real chicken, a type of fish or something else.  I don’t really know what I’m talking about in this department so use your own judgment.
  • Vegetables.  I raided my fridge and used whatever I had and if you have more than one type of veggie on hand then you can easily do the same.  Don’t have any vegetables in the house?  Well, then you can’t exactly follow this recipe now can you?  Go eat some potato chips or ice cream because you’ve already ruined your dinner.  And try buying a carrot sometime.
  • Spices – whatever adds a little flavor to your life.
  • An oven (must work).

 

Finished product should somewhat resemble this

 

My aforementioned laziness often comes into play during the whole dinner-making process, so I tend to get in and out of the kitchen as quickly as possible.  There are nights that this means I eat cookies for the last meal of my day and I’m okay with that.  Since I was feeling particularly grown up the night I made this dinner (and particularly worried about certain foods going bad before I could eat them), I decided to spend more than five minutes in the kitchen.  I spent 25 and it was totally worth it.

I stuck the pseudo chicken product in a baking dish, covered it with the sauce it came with and stuck some foil on top.  Then I cut up some zucchini, squash, mushrooms, carrots and spinach leaves, drizzled them with a bit of olive oil, sprinkled some garlic salt, crushed black pepper and red pepper on top and put it on a baking pan.  The pan went next to the dish and I stuck it in the oven on 350 to let it do its thing.  Meanwhile, I set my table (I even ate at my table that night!) and heated up the rice.  I also had enough time for an impromptu dance party.  I opened the oven about 10 minutes through to turn the chicken and add some goat cheese to the top of my vegetable medley.  10 minutes after that I was ready to eat!

Easy, tasty and fast – just like I like my dates.  All joking aside, it was a great meal and inspired me to try this whole cooking thing more than a few times a month.  Perhaps my next job will be a chef of some sort…or maybe I’ll just stop eating so much cereal for dinner.

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Recipe Time

March 19, 2010 at 2:17 pm (Uncategorized) (, )

Sorry folks, there will be no WTFs of the week today because I don’t have the time or energy to put into that.  It’s been a long week.  Instead, enjoy this very easy pizza recipe from the very easy dinner I made last night!

One of my train buddies gave me the link to his blog and I was checking it out yesterday.  He had some funny posts and among them were a few recipes (his tutorial on how to make a bowl of cereal was especially entertaining).  It reminded me that I’ve posted perhaps one recipe in my blogging history and I figured I’d remedy that today.

I know the picture isn’t the greatest, but I promise it was a good-looking (and more importantly, a great-tasting) pie.

I’m not one to follow detailed cooking instructions and when it comes to recipes, I usually just throw together a bunch of stuff that I have sitting around.  The meal last night was no different.  I had a hankering for some pizza but no real desire to spend any money so I peeked in the fridge to see what I could come up with.  Here are the ingredients of my dish, in order of what went on first:

marinara sauce

goat cheese (love this stuff – it made the pizza)

spinach

sliced bella mushrooms

mozzarella cheese

So yeah, nothing fancy.  One of my many jobs was working in a pizza place and I learned long ago that the best way to sauce a pie is to ladle a bunch in the middle and smooth it out in a circular movement with a spoon.  I did that, loaded up the toppings and sprinkled some oregano, basil, garlic and crushed red pepper on top.  Then I stuck it in my handy toaster oven for about 15 minutes and it was good to go!

I should probably mention that I used a piece of pita bread as the base of the pizza.  I’ve found that pita works well for such a dish, as do english muffins.  I like the pita and muffin idea mostly because it makes a nice, personal sized pizza and it’s super easy to cook.

Bon Appetit!

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Recipe Time

January 20, 2010 at 3:10 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

I’m short on time today so I figured I would simply post about what I had for dinner last night, as it was damn delicious.  As a relatively single twenty-something living alone, I will admit that I don’t cook too often.  It’s difficult to get into making a huge meal for just one person so I usually keep my dinners quick and easy during the week.  That and I’m also somewhat tired by the time I get home so when my couch is begging me to join it for an evening it’s hard to get motivated to do much else.  I’m not above cereal for dinner.  I pay my bills and I’ve earned the right to eat kid’s breakfast foods anytime I please.

I do eat things besides cereal and cookies (sometimes).  I do most of my grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s and they have lovely frozen options for the frugal and lazy, such as myself.  Case in point – these eggplant cutlets that are conveniently boxed up and ready to go.  I realize that not all of my readers will dig the whole eggplant thing, but as a herbivore I’ve found it to be a nice vegetable that adds flavor and texture to many a meal.  I had some of these in my freezer last night and as I looked around to see what I could create with such an item, inspiration struck.  I already had some fresh mozzarella, pesto and marinara sauce (the sauce already had fresh carrots, zucchini and garlic added to it from a pasta dish last week) and I also had bread, so I was set.  The eggplant cooked in a skillet and as it browned I added slices of mozzarella and the veggie-filled marinara sauce.  I toasted my bread, spread on some pesto and put it all together.  I then cooked the whole thing on the stove top for a few more minutes, to ensure it was all nice, warm and freshly melted.  Voila, a tasty eggplant sandwich that took less than ten minutes to make!

I was going to take a photo of my dish to add to this here post, but the internet I coughstealcough at my apartment has been evasive this week and I don’t know when it will come back.  I’m sure you’re creative enough to imagine a sandwich though, or at least I sincerely hope you are.  Either way, take my word for it that it was a tasty dinner.  If you ever want to try one of my creations just let me know – cooking for two is always more fun and I like to play hostess anyway.  You bring the wine and I’ll cook the eggplant!

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