30 October 2010
24 October 2010
Dad - your family is about to hold an intervention in your honor. Your one-gallon jars of pickles are driving your wife crazy (as if she could get any worse), and in turn she is driving your family crazy. You are addicted - to Costco. It's ok, we understand. The sexy girl behind the counter convinced you to upgrade your membership and now you have to spend more money. Those bags of tortillas are just too good of a deal to pass up. I realize that the 25 pounds of rice you have in your basement will never go bad. And I know you have room in your house for all of the "goodies." But you buy soup that mom never eats and that she suspects you never eat either. Don't get me wrong, I love coming to your house and stocking my own pantry with beans and crackers. But this has to stop. I suggest you wean yourself off. Maybe only buy pickles once you are completely out? Would that be too much to ask? Your neurotic wife can't handle it. Please, for those you love, curb your desire.
18 October 2010
- I find mountains very sexy. And therefore Estes Park has to be one of the sexiest places on earth.
- I've seen about ten elk so far - hurrah!
- I do not have to sit in an office all day and I get out of the house.
- Breathing the lovely mountain air (I'm having a hard time coming up with pros).
- The food is terrible! It is pretty sad when they can make tofu look better than chicken (to a carnivore).
- It is snowing and I have large holes in my shoes, so it's pretty, but pretty damn cold.
- I have to share my room with a mystery roommate. A bad meet-n-greet I can't escape.
- The evening's activities include: a hot chocolate bar, karaoke, roller skating (yes, you read that correctly), a talent show, and a movie. I'm sorry, are we 12? So lame.
- My room has neither a coffee maker nor a t.v. Thank god I brought my friend DELL.
- I can't put my frozen toes on my personal space heater (Gas Monkey), who just had surgery and still "needs" me.
- 1/2 tsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 2 large green onions, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
- 1/4 cup uncooked brown rice
- 4-oz package chopped fresh spinach
- Enough vegetable broth to cover mixture
- salt to taste (after cooking)
17 October 2010
13 October 2010
I woke up to gorgeous bright sunshine and biting cold wind. It was official. Autumn had truly arrived. After a rather unsatisfying, dull breakfast of scrambled eggs I began to imagine what a wholly satisfying and delicately savory meal would taste like. Pumpkin immediately popped into my head and my salivary glands kicked into overdrive.
Yum! To me pumpkin is the quintessential fall food. When I get into these bake or die moods there is only one person I turn to: Martha Stewart. I quickly grabbed my cookbooks and looked up the recipes for pumpkin cookies and pumpkin bread. As my dog stood staring at me with a goofy grin that can only mean one thing, play with me, I Googled a recipe for pumpkin dog treats as well.
A whirlwind pumpkin baking marathon was about to begin! I started with the dog treats, followed them up with pumpkin bread, and ended with the pièce de résistance, pumpkin cookies. Oh, how I do love cookies. Combine the cookie with Martha’s talent and delicious pumpkin and you get one fantastically amazing cookie.
These cookies are so soft they melt in your mouth. Piped delicately from a pastry bag, one feels truly accomplished in the world of chefdom. Add an icing with a little something special and you have this cookie. The best parts about this cookie: 1) Small, light, and thin so a handful only really feels like one or two big cookies. 2) The recipe makes six dozen iced terribly tender cookies so transporting them can be tricky, which means more for you. 3) Pumpkin is healthy, therefore cookies made with pumpkin are healthy too! 4) They will change your life.
Martha Stewart’s Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing
|FOR THE COOKIES|
- Make cookies: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a medium bowl; set aside.
- Put butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in eggs. Reduce speed to low. Add pumpkin, evaporated milk, and vanilla; mix until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add flour mixture; mix until combined.
- Transfer 1 1/2 cups batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip (such as Ateco #806). Pipe 1 1/2-inch rounds onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until tops spring back, about 12 minutes. Cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks; let cool completely.
09 October 2010
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the first 13 ingredients. Mash and mash until the beans have been broken up. Form patties, making special effort to smash the ingredients together. Beware: bean burgers are not meat, and if they are too moist they can fall apart.
- I try to cook these on a George Foreman, because there is no flipping involved, and therefore no breaking apart. You could also cook in a pan. Cook until heated all the way through.
- Before taking burgers off of the grill, add the mozzarella. Once the mozzarella has melted, remove burgers and put on bun.
- Dress with tomatoes, spinach, and spread the pesto on the bun. Serve and enjoy.
07 October 2010
Here's my new problem. I think that it is a very balanced chili - no one flavor or ingredient stands out more than another. I think that may be the way to go. Gas Monkey believes that since each person is only going to taste 1-2 spoonfuls, it needs to have something that jumps out at the taster. So he thinks I should emphasize a particular ingredient.
Please help! Which way to go? A well-balanced chili that is delicious the whole bowl through but may not catch your attention after only one bite, or a chili that is striking and interesting in the first couple of bites but in the end you may not want to eat more than one bowl? Advice please!
06 October 2010
I want to do a pork chili with tomatoes and other secret ingredients. I have to enter one of the following categories: red chili, green chili or other (chili con carne, vegetarian, white bean, etc). I originally thought it would be a red chili (because I fully anticipate it being red in color). But then I see that con carne is a separate thing, so now I'm confused. Which category do I enter?
Another question - bean or no beans? I have always had beans in my chili; I can't imagine chili without beans. But some people have very strong opinions about this. What if I used just a few beans?
Also, any advice from your own family recipes? This is really my first experiment in inventing my own recipe and trying it out on strangers. I'm both excited and nervous. Grand prize is $50! It is the big time! (By the way, as an Americorps*VISTA I am supposed to live solely of the minimal stipend the government gives me - purposely to keep me at poverty level so I can appreciate the people I work for. Therefore I am not allowed to make or accept any money. So either I will refuse the winnings or Gas Monkey will win them since we're entered under his name).
04 October 2010
"Honey I got you a surprise. It's nothing big," he says to me, practically cooing. In the background I hear his friend say, "It's pretty cheesy." I roll my eyes - Gas Monkey can be very cheesy.
This is not one of my shining moments. What kind of cheesy gift could Gas Monkey possibly be bringing me from Wisconsin? I was stumped. Can you guess? I'll give you a clue - Wisconsin is known for what dairy product?
Gas Monkey walks into the house and plops a bag on the counter. In it are four kinds of CHEESE! Duh!
I live in Colorado. I like cheese, all cheese, but I am just as happy with Kraft cheddar as I am with gourmet cheddar. Or so I thought until I made grilled cheese with fresh Wisconsin cheese. I have two strong opinions about grilled cheese. #1 - It is impossible to screw it up unless you burn it. #2 - It is almost impossible to make it amazing. It is what it is. Plain ol' good. But this became a legendary grilled cheese sandwich.
A Cheesy Grilled Cheese and Tomato Sandwich
- 1 layer of Applejack Cheese
- 1 layer of Buttercream Swiss
- A little bit of Sharp Cheddar
- 2-3 garden tomato slices
- 2 pieces of bread
02 October 2010
I dedicate this blog to Raunchy Rhonda who was gave me crap for not "inspiring" her with the Green Monster post.