*Insert drooling noises here*
I used a yogurt/milk combo instead of buttermilk and double the amount of chives. They are pretty dense but so flavorful. We ate them with a dollop of sour cream, guac, and salsa on top.
The recipe made 4 Belgian waffles. I added some canned black beans to the third and fourth ones which we’ll eat as leftovers tomorrow.
I’m so full of joy and food right now.
I’ve made a few awesome things over the last months that I want to share. In no particular order, here are some kitchen hits:
For Mr.’s birthday, I made cupcakes! Mind you, he did not ask me to make them – he doesn’t much enjoy sweets (weirdo). I saw a picture and decided to get Pinterst-y. Also, it was near Easter and my mom’s birthday and I hadn’t busted out my new cupcake making kit from my Reddit Secret Santa. It was had a blast making these “carrot” cake cupcakes. In typical fashion, I loved the idea but then got bored/impatient on the execution. Oh well, they turned our adorable and they tasted great.
Apple Peach Pie
For Pi Day (3.14), I couldn’t resist making a pie. Apple peach to be exact. After seeing a billion pies at the grocery store and almost buying one, I had a hankering and wanted something homemade. This whole process was last-minute and peaches are not in season but canned peaches worked perfectly. As I often do, I cut the sugar – I believe this gives me full permission to eat pie for breakfast. I did and it was delish.
I like falafel but don’t eat it terribly often. When I have in the past, I used a package mix for the falafel and it is always fine. This time I decided to whip up my own in the food processor and it was totally worth it. I didn’t use a single recipe so I can’t link you anything, but rather I looked at a bunch of different recipes and improvised base on what I had in the fridge/cupboard. Two things I did that I believe made these terrific is that #1: I doubled the amount of cilantro/parsley of almost any recipe I found. And, b) I used 1/2 chickpeas 1/2 lentils. I went with patties instead of balls since I don’t deep fry and this makes them more evenly cooked. I pan fried them to get them brown then baked them till heated through.
Irish Soda Bread
I can’t let St. Patrick’s Day pass without some Irish soda bread. Growing up on the south side of Chicago in a severely Irish neighborhood, soda bread is a staple. I remember making it as a group/class project in elementary school every year. Nowadays, if left to my own devices, I would eat this whole loaf alone. To prevent just such an occurrence, I instead brought it to work and fed others. Several coworkers had never eaten Irish soda bread, so it was fun to share this classic.
Last night, I made mini chocolate chunk cookies. I’ll post about those later…. Until then, Vivian Vance as Ethel Mertz said it best:
After living in the residence hall for a year working as a Resident Director, Mr. and I have returned to the land of adults. I work a mere 40hr/week 8am-5pm job that, so far, is incredibly satisfying and interesting. This is such a delightful change of pace from the 60-80hrs/week 8am-10pm that ruled my life during the last academic year. My new job and apartment mean I have time and energy to re-invest in my marriage, myself, my friends, my family, and my cooking and running!
While I’ve done some baking and basic stuff in the kitchen since we moved in, it has been a busy summer/start of the academic year and I am only now feeling truly settled in. The blustery days and nights of fall have begun and it makes me want to get adventurous in the kitchen. I’m nursing a foot/knee injury that I obtained from running the Bellingham Bay Half Marathon in late September, so I have a few more weeks to wait until I can pick back up on after-work runs. So, my next go-to for burning off the days’ frustration is cooking. I feel the stress and strains of the day melt away as I chop, stir, and learn new techniques and recipes.
In order to get my culinary juices flowing I’ve turned to CookSmarts.com. I recently discovered this site and decided to try out a month subscription. At only $8, I am hoping this will be a jump-start to my return to the kitchen. After dorm food and eating out for most of the last year, my food ideas/planning skills are rusty. This site has lots of great features including meal plans, shopping lists of ingredients, videos, and general cooking resources. So far, some of it seems geared a bit more towards cooking/kitchen novices – but maybe as I explore more that will change. I will continue to update you throughout this first month and let you know what I think. (I’m in no way affiliated with CookSmarts, nor am I being compensated for a review… this is just me tellin’ you what I think).
Last night I made salmon en papillote with a puree sweet potato soup. SO freakin’ easy and tasty. The recipe said it would take 40 mins to make and that was spot on. We were sitting down to eat in about 37 minutes. First, I started the sweet potato soup. A very simple, but delicious, dish. Saute onions and garlic in a sauce pan. Peel and chop up sweet potato – add to the sauce pan. Add chicken stock to cover potatoes, then boil till soft. Use immersion blender, or regular blender to puree it all then put back in pan and salt/pepper to taste. I used my food processor to puree which can get messy.. so start with the actual chunks then slowly add in the broth. It turned out like this:
While the potatoes were boiling and softening I prepped the fish and threw it in the oven. This process was relatively easy but making the papillote packet for the first time meant I had to pay attention. Cooking en papillote is a technique where you wrap up the food in a little packet bake it. This lets the food steam cook with whatever natural juices and/or added marinade/fats you add in… plus it is adorable for unwrapping. I did not take pics of the whole process but, shit, you folks know how to use google!
My salmon fillets were apx .75lbs each. I prepared the marinade as per the recipe (dijon, maple syrup, balsamic, oil) and laid lemon slices along the top, then folded the papillote as directed. It looked like a little calzone. And, since it was salmon in there, I was technically in the low-cal calzone zone.
Baked at 400 for apx 12 mins (adjust as necessary for thickness of fillets) they turned out like this:
Add some sparkling water and a warmed mini sourdough loaf and we ate like kings and queens last night:
It was a sunny beautiful weekend. We wanted to grill but had no buns so instead of hitting the store, I made some! The recipe made 8 buns but we only needed 4 so I loafed the extra dough and made French toast with it this morning. Delish!
The buns were a bit flat because I smooshed them too much but they were great. I cut the sugar in half because I just couldn’t wrap my mind around 1/4c sugar. Yuck! Who wants sweet burger buns! I will most certainly make these again. So easy and wonderful.
If you’ve haven’t tried lavash yet, you should. But if you have you know it is a tasty flat bread falling somewhere between a tortilla and naan (or a pita). It is delicious and very versatile. Great for wraps of any kind, it gets really crispy when baked, and it isn’t all that bad for you! Trader Joe’s has great whole wheat lavash that I like and it is what I used to make a quick dinner last night.
These are our pre-cooked lavash pizzas! We both used zucchini, yellow pepper, onion, and mushrooms along with mozzarella. The egg pizza is Mr.’s creation.
About 10 minutes at 375F and these beauties came out ready for grubbin. I used a regular baking sheet and it inhibited the middle of the crust from getting nice and crispy. This was a reminder that I need to get an new baking stone. My last one broke in December and I haven’t replaced it yet. Even though the middle wasn’t totally crispy, the pizzas were delicious!
Another awesome thing about using lavash for pizza is the square pieces! I know not everyone is a fan of the square cut, but having grown up on Milano’s (the best pizza on this planet – south side Chicago deep dish spinach and thin crust veggie would be my death row meal) I love the corners the best! Also, no slice of pizza is complete without Sriracha. Just saying the name Sriracha makes my mouth water.
While weekday lunch time aqua jogs are a bit hurried, a Sunday afternoon trip to the pool with MT allowed for a very thorough workout and some serious hot tub action which my body appreciated. I’ve recommitted to rehabbing my ankle. My next race is in two weeks (I swear I signed up for all these races before hurting myself!) so I’ve got a nice little chunk of time to rest and take care.
I was starving when I got home from the pool workout, but managed to get my lawn mowed and a hedge trimmed before I started dinner. I realized I only had one chicken breast (time to run to Costco) but managed to stretch one breast into a meal for two by adding red pepper, onion, and mushrooms to a saute. A little cumin and chili powder, salsa and sour cream sides, and Mr. and I had ourselves some delicious chicken fajitas!
In an attempt to use what’s in the fridge, I pulled out a bag of brussel sprouts that badly needed to be used and steamed them up as a side. Maybe not the most conventional side for the main dish, but whatevs. If you don’t already know, you’ll quickly find out I eat brussel spouts with anything and all the time.
What food do you like/love that many people dislike? I won’t yuk your yum, I promise!