Foodie Friday!

September 27, 2013 at 11:02 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Over the weekend, Scott and I had a friend of ours over for dinner (read: to help us finish some vegetables we had sitting around).  I made corn on the cob, green beans with red and yellow peppers, veggie burgers and mashed potatoes cauliflower.  It all turned out really well, especially the cauliflowers which I had never cooked that way before.  Here’s what I did:

Mmm vegetables

Mmm vegetables

The corn was easy enough and was just placed, husks and all, into the oven for about 35 minutes.  Veggie burgers were cooked on the stove top while the buns toasted in the oven and then we dressed them however we saw fit.  Mine included avocado, tomato, and a Chipotle may sauce that tied it all together.  The green beans were steamed with the peppers (which were originally frozen) and then mixed with some butter and garlic salt.  As for the mashed cauliflower, I steamed a whole head of it and then used a hand food processor to mash it all up.  I added 2 tablespoons of milk, garlic, salt, pepper, basil and red pepper flakes along with some butter and that was it!  It didn’t taste exactly liked potatoes but I didn’t really expect it to.  It was a healthy, tasty alternative and I was surprised at how easy and delicious it was.  My only complaint was that the head of cauliflower didn’t produce much of a serving size once all was said and done.  What’s featured in the pic is about the size of what all three of us had and we could’ve all had more.  Regardless, I was glad it worked and will be incorporating it into future meals!  Especially since Scott doesn’t really like cauliflower but he really enjoyed it prepared like this.

I really like making meals but it seems I run out of time during the week.  What did I have last night for dinner? Some veggie chicken nuggets and bean dip with way too many tortilla chips.  Oh well, that was good too!

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Don’t Cry Over Squashed Squash

July 17, 2012 at 12:31 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Okay.  Today is better.

But my weekend was the best.  Besides the adorable calf from my previous post, the Saturday evening I spent at my friend’s old (as in over 100 years) farmhouse was full of pizza, more cows, kittens, barns and vegetable gardens.  My weekend also consisted of a tour through my old campus (complete with a drive-by of one of my favorite apartments); beer at one of my favorite sports bars; bagels from a well-known, local establishment; meeting and greeting other new feline companions; a walk through the state’s largest farmer’s market (where I was reminded just how much I love the hippies in that town); lunch and brews at the brewery of my dreams; a cook-out; tours of the new homes from two of my nearest and dearest and plenty of good, old-fashioned catching-up.  I got to see every person I hoped to and narrowly avoided some of those I didn’t.  I was given some news from one dear friend that wasn’t exactly happy but as she seems good with it, I’m good with it too.  I’m incredibly lucky that I know such strong, intelligent and resourceful women and I’m proud to have them all a part of my life.  I’m also very, very grateful that they took the time to hang out with me as much as they did in the short amount of time that I had.  I made a promise to myself to get back down there (with Scott in tow) sometime this fall so by putting it here in the blogosphere, I’ll be held a little more accountable.  Hear that, ladies?  Hold me to it!

I thought this was somewhat appropriate.

The only downside to the entire weekend happened, appropriately, at the very end of my trip.  Before I go any further, let me just say that every person in Bloomington seems to have their own garden.  Seriously.  Everyone.  Of the four female friends I spent time with, all four have their own personal patches of vegetables growing in their backyard (or at least trying to…Indiana really needs some rain).  At the cook out I attended, gardens were a hot topic of discussion and it seemed everywhere I went, that’s what I heard.  I’m not complaining because I honestly think it’s awesome but I am more than just a little bit jealous.  If I had a garden here, it would consist of a pitiful few seeds in a plastic cup on my balcony and not the rows of awesomeness that I saw all weekend long.  So with lots of gardening comes lots of extra vegetables and I’m never one to turn down free food, although I did try to beg off in this case since I was traveling by bus.  One friend insisted I take a large zucchini though and after loading it up in my purse and making a few penis-related jokes, I forgot all about it before boarding my bus and going on my way.  Toward the end of the ride I put my hand in my bag to search for my wallet and realized there was an unfortunate stench wafting from folds of my favorite purse.  Then I realized I had zucchini mash under my nails and all over my hand.  This was not something I wanted to deal with on a hot, crowded bus while facing another hour train ride home.  Upon inspection, I saw that the zucchini had snapped in half and mush spread over my wallet, journal, book, keys and every other damn thing I had in there.  And it reeked.  I managed to find some unharmed tissues and after getting off the bus I cleaned up as well as I could.  There’s probably still a rotting, smashed zucchini sitting on the steps of the building near the bus stop but that’s not something I think they can link back to me.  Unless the security for that building reads my blog.  Anyway, it was gross and I’m not entirely sure that my favorite purse and wallet are washing machine friendly but I guess I’m going to find out.  I was also bummed at the loss of a giant, delicious zucchini but there was just no saving that bad boy.

If that’s the worst thing that happened, though, I still think I’m super lucky.  And next time I make a visit, I’ll be sure to bring a plastic bag for any produce that comes home with me!


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Dinner Party

August 18, 2011 at 9:04 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , )

Last night, I had two lovely lady friends over for dinner and drinks.  My picture of the meal didn’t turn out how I wanted but I’m going to describe it here anyway because it was quick, easy and delicious.  We had:

That's what I did

  • Pita bread with two types of hummus (pesto/basil and sun-dried tomato for the extremely curious)
  • Vegetables roasted with a balsamic vinaigrette
  • Mashed potatoes with garlic, red pepper, Parmesan cheese, basil and oregano
  • Veggie burgers with spinach and pepper-jack cheese

This dinner was brought to you by Trader Joe’s.  Seriously, everything we wound up with came from there in one way or another.  And while the vegetables was/are amazing and seemingly fancy, I should admit that I simply heated them up out of the frozen bag they came in.  Still totally worth it.  The veggie burgers were tossed on the George Foreman to perfectly toast the bread and melt the cheese and then we sat down to feast.  Paired with a couple of bottles of wine and some entertaining conversation, our dinner was a great way to end a Wednesday night.  I was excited for some leftovers today but sadly, nothing made it out of my kitchen uneaten.  I guess that’s a sign they liked it?

I’ve said this before but I really enjoy this whole having-a-kitchen-with-counter-space thing!

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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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Brunch on a Budget

December 13, 2010 at 1:44 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

There are a ridiculous amount of places to find a great brunch in Chicago but sometimes staying in your own kitchen is the best idea there is.  Yesterday was a certifiable blizzard here in the city and when I woke up hungry, the very last thing I wanted to do was venture outside in blinding snow and wind gusts of up to 50 mph.  Luckily, I went grocery shopping last weekend (thanks again for the ride, Mom!) and so was able to put together a meal of my own.

No cereal for this girl

Looks good, huh?  I took three eggs, mixed it with a tiny bit of milk, some spicy seasoning and red pepper and threw it into a pan.  I also chopped cherry tomatoes, spinach and mushrooms and tossed them into the pan as well.  Once things were cooking, I added a bit of avocado and goat cheese and began toasting my wheat bread.  I then slathered on some Joe Huber Apple Butter (and if you’ve ever lived anywhere near Southern Indiana you know how good that stuff is – obviously, even I couldn’t wait to try it) and peeled a tangerine.  With a glass of orange juice, I had a delicious meal in about 20 minutes and didn’t have to step foot out of my apartment.  I also had a bit of strawberry yogurt with some granola but as I ate that while cooking the rest, it didn’t last long enough to make it into the pic.

Looking at this post, I’m struck by a bit of deja vu and am now wondering if I’ve posted this exact same breakfast before.  I mean, yesterday wasn’t the first time I made it.  Hmm.  Apologies if I have – it’s Monday and I’ll use that as an excuse.

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