Cornmeal Chive & Cheddar Waffles

 waffle

*Insert drooling noises here*

Delicious dinner brought to our home by The Bright Eyed Baker.

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 can’t help it, eating is my hobby

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:

“Carrot” Cupcakes

carrot cakes

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

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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.

Falafel

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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

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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:

 


Recipes That Add Up

I am often looking for cooking shortcuts. Sometimes I do love to sit down with a Cooks Illustrated three page article and recipe and follow every little scientific step in order to get the best results. But, on weeknights, when I get home from work tired and want to make time for a run also, I want to maximize efficiency and flavor while minimizing the need for brain power.

For the last few months I’ve been using Cook Smarts to help me in that quest. They do such a great job of reusing ingredients or sauces in the next day or two’s meals that is has made me sorta obsessed. Fish for dinner? Make a lemon yogurt sauce to go with it and use the remainder for tomorrow night’s gyros. Had to buy a bag of carrots for a carrot side on Tuesday, use the rest of the bag on Thursday to make carrot soup. I know this isn’t rocket science… I’m not blowing anyone’s mind here, but I am admitting it is not how I’ve always thought about meal planning and I even when I have, I certainly haven’t been great about practicing it.

These days I’m trying to practice it more. More planning leads to less stress, fewer “what do you want? I dunno what do you want” conversions with Mr., more thoughtful balanced meals, and even saves a buck or two of the grocery store. All for the low low price of some weekend time for planning.

What tips or tricks do you have for meal planning, using up ingredients before they spoil, etc? Care to help a human out?


Bonkers for Berries

Bonkers for Berries

My u-pick berry haul from this weekend. Only took an hour to get ~11lbs of fresh, delicious, GIGANTIC berries. Can’t wait to clean and freeze them tonight so I can make jam soon!

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So pretty in their buckets!

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My berry picking partner!

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The blackberries are HUGE! Also, the blackberry and raspberry bushes had no thorns on them! I’d never heard of such a wonderful thing.  They were so easy and pleasant to pick! I’ve always stuck to blueberries and strawberries because I hate the thorns, but a whole new world was opened this weekend. I cannot wait to eat the jam.


Going Nuts

Going Nuts

My first shot at Pecan Sandies as a going away present at the request of my colleague.


Lavash Pizzas

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.

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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.

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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!

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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.


Savory Sunday & Swim

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! 

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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.  

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What food do you like/love that many people dislike? I won’t yuk your yum, I promise!