Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday food

After a LATE night last night, (Dan had a gig,) I woke up pleasantly late this morning, with an urge to bake! I hemmed and hawwed over exactly what to bake for quite a while, and finally settled on whole-wheat blueberry muffins:

I doubled my usual recipe, which yielded 18 standard muffins for breakfasts and snacks for Dan and I, and 24 mini-muffins for the kidlets at work. :) They'll be so happy with a Monday snack surprise! Plus, they'll never know that they are healthfully sweetened with agave nectar, and full of fiber and whole grains!

***** UPDATE: Here's the recipe, since a couple of folks asked for it! *****

Whole-Wheat Blueberry Muffins
(Based on "Blueberry Streusel Muffins" from The Betty Crocker Cookbook)
Yield: 24 standard muffins, or 18 standard and 24 mini-muffins

Whisk together wet ingredients:
2 cups milk (or a combination of milk and plain yogurt)
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs (I've also used egg replacer and flax whip -- both work)
1/2 cup agave nectar

Combine dry ingredients:
4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Fold into dry ingredients:
2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients, just until combined. I would recommend using liners, since these muffins qualify as a little lower in fat than usual. Bake at 400 for 20 to 25 minutes for standard muffins, 10 to 12 minutes for mini muffins.

While the muffins were in the oven, I whipped up a giant batch of beans and rice:

This dish will serve for lunches for both Dan and I nearly all week -- and beans and rice is one of the few things I can eat over and over without getting tired of it.

Next things next . . . lunch!

I had every intention of making breakfast burritos this morning, and chugged right along, prepping all of the individual components . . . until I opened blue, fuzzy tortillas and plans changed! (WAH! I hate wasting food.) So, we had "deconstructed breakfast burritos," with a side of homemade tortilla chips (made last weekend) to scoop up the cheesy beans. Although I really would have preferred chomping my way through an overstuffed tortilla, my plate full of goodies was an acceptable alternative. :)

After a leisurely afternoon enjoying modern art at the Walker and chai at the coffee shop with my "favorite Dan," (yes, one of the kids once described him as such,) I came home and started getting a few things done around the house, including fitting in twenty minutes of yoga. Tonight's yoga made me think I'd probably like to fit in some yoga on Tuesday night, too, so I decided to nearly completely prepare the evening's dinner, so I can come home, press some tofu, and hit my mat!

Bags of pre-chopped stir-fry veggies and pre-mixed sauce will make dinner ready in a snap! Let's hope I remember to start the rice as soon as I get home, too!!

Finally, while I had the knife and cutting board out, I made myself a gigantic salad for dinner:

Mixed baby greens topped with chopped apple, sliced fennel, walnuts, bleu cheese, fig balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. I love salty-sweet salads -- I find them incredibly satisfying.

Still have a few things to check off the list before starting the work week . . . hope you had a nice weekend!

yesterday in food

Dan and I went out for Chinese food on Friday night, so I decided to cook at home yesterday -- and made some fabulous meals!


Cleaning out the freezer at work, I discovered two Boca burgers from . . . um, summer? I think the last time I had one was at National Night Out! Anyhow, even though they were a little freezer burnt, they fried up beautifully in the cast iron, topped with a little monterey jack and served on whole-wheat toast with lettuce, tomato, avocado, and mayo. Mmmmmm! Pickles, Spud Puppies, and coleslaw on the side! (I tossed thinly shaved green and red cabbage, sliced green onion, and julienned jicama and red bell pepper with Liz's dressing recipe -- it's the BEST, and I always have the ingredients on hand for it!)

Quick pause for a "kids say the darndest" -- my students have become quite culinarily curious lately, and have been excited to try new fruits and veggies that either my coteacher or I bring in. Lately, they've loved fresh fennel, grapefruit, and pomegranates! I cut up some of the jicama for them to try on Thursday; as they were munching away, one of the boys said, "what's this called again?" I replied; he continued, "OH -- I thought you said 'hiccups!'" We all thought that was awesome!

OK, back to food. Dinner was per Dan's request -- sushi and miso soup!

Dan picked up a teensie piece of fish for himself from Coastal Seafoods, and I made myself a couple of veggie rolls with cucumber, red bell pepper, and avocado. Even though I didn't add quite enough miso to the soup, the meal was awesome! I left the table stuffed and satisfied, full of veggies, tofu, edamame, and rice. :)

I don't yet know what we're up to today, but I'm sure I'll be back later with more food! I feel like baking, but don't know what I'm going to make. Suggestions? Ideas? I'm thinking either bars or muffins, but don't really have a plan as of yet. Decisions, decisions!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

back in the saddle again!

It's been sooooooo long since I've really cooked much of anything, and getting back into the kitchen yesterday was AWESOME! I made a couple of wonderful meals for Dan and I, and also cooked up a TON of chickpeas in the Crock Pot, deciding at the last minute to turn half of them into hummus. Yum! Hot beans really do blend up creamier, don't they?

Anyhow, here's the rest of the food I made!

First, while cleaning out the fridge, I discovered a half package of corn tortillas . . . from before Christmas! I figured I better do something with them ASAP, before they dried out too much and/or got moldy. Homemade baked tortilla chips it was!

What better to serve them with, than a little homemade guacamole?

Even though lunch yesterday didn't require much actual "cooking" on my part, it was absolutely delicious!

Having a stash of homemade tamales in the freezer for low-effort meals is awesome! Even though they take an hour plus in the steamer, it frees me up to get other stuff done around the house. Woo!

I had been talking with my friend Christine on Saturday, and somehow, we both got on to the subject of how much we both love olive bread. I had to take care of that craving ASAP!

I used the "Olive Oil Dough" from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and made a deeeeeelicious loaf of olive bread:

Yes, I did add butter at the table, too! :)

To go with the bread? Some wild rice soup!

I follow this recipe from Eating Well, with a few modifications -- I use veggie broth and omit the turkey, increase the celery and carrots to 1 full cup, increase the mushrooms to 3 cups, and cook up 3/4 cup regular dry wild rice to add to the soup. It's sooooooooo good!

Dessert was something special, too!

I. Love. Pie. (Blueberries were from the summer, still in my freezer!) YUM.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

it IS a good day for cocoa!

I had to run a couple of errands BEFORE my yoga class yesterday morning, one of which was stopping at Penzeys -- now, I love the spices in the bulk bin at the co-op just as much as the next person, but I really prefer to do big stock-up trips at the spice store. Why? Their ingredients are just so effing high-quality, I can't say no!

Now, as I was cruising through the store yesterday morning, checking items off my list, I overheard one of the salespeople say to a customer, "it's a good day for cocoa, isn't it?" WHY YES, IT IS A GOOD DAY FOR COCOA! I had a moment of "good consumerism," (i.e., impulse buying,) and picked up a 1-pound bag of their hot cocoa mix. Containing only four ingredients, (cocoa, sugar, ceylon cinnamon, and ground vanilla beans,) I knew it would be a good thing . . . and it was!

I mixed two rounded tablespoons of the mix with two cups of unsweetened coconut milk beverage, warmed the lot in a saucepan, tasted, added a squirt of agave, (I think because the milk was unsweetened,) and voila! Simple, delicious cocoa for a bitter cold night. Both Dan and I LOVED this! Good chocolate flavor, not overly sweet, with gentle hints of cinnamon and vanilla. You can see real vanilla bean seeds swimming at the bottom of your cup . . . that was fun, too. :)

Have you had a moment of "good consumerism" lately? Most of my impulse buys tend to be food-related . . . my previous one was a 5-pound bag of organic grapefruit!

Friday, January 21, 2011

salad, salad, salad

I seem to be on a salad kick lately -- it does make a quick and easy work lunch, after all! Last week it was Greek-style salads, this week, I decided to make "Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Mango," from Veganomicon:

Although this has made for a somewhat light lunch given our sub-zero temperatures, it has been nice having something "already ready," and not having to think much about what to pack in the morning.

Other than grilled cheese sandwiches and breakfast burritos, I haven't done much cooking this week . . . but I've eaten out a couple of times, so that explains it all! :) I'm looking forward to doing a little cooking this weekend, and maybe snitching out of the stash of tamales in my freezer, too! Happy Friday night, all!

Monday, January 17, 2011

cabin culture

It seems as though everyone in Minnesota either has a "cabin," or knows someone who does. (I grew up in Wisconsin . . . while in WI we do go "upnorth," people rarely own cabins -- renting is much more common.) I learned, my first few years living in Minnesota, that "cabin" didn't necessarily mean what I thought it did, (rustic, wood-paneled house in the middle of the woods, totally isolated, possibly on a lake,) but rather, "cabin" could mean a house north of the cities in a small town, a house on a lake, anything! Imagine my disappointment, the first time I went to a friend's "cabin" in college!

Anyhow, Dan and I rented a cabin at Wild River State Park this weekend, and had what I would call a "true" cabin experience! Check it out:

VERY rustic, eh? We had heat and electricity, bunk beds with mattresses, and a small table with two benches . . . and that was it! No showers, short walk to the outdoor latrine, and the kitchen?

What kitchen? This just means we had to be resourceful. We had to bring in all of our water, (including water for washing dishes,) and there was no cooking allowed in cabins, except for Crock Pots and "coffee pots," whatever that meant. I figured "coffee pot" included "electric teakettle," right? :) So we had plenty of hot tea and coffee, snacks like fruit, Chile-Lime Peanuts, and brownies:

(Impulsively, I discovered that brownies made with coconut oil instead of butter are FANTASTIC!!!)
And had simple meals, like Smoky Split Pea Soup with Cheese Muffins:

And instant oatmeal with sliced banana:

More importantly, this trip really wasn't about the food. Even though I can rarely pass up the opportunity to prepare a healthy, filling meal for us while on the road, our focus was definitely on doing STUFF, instead of cooking and eating! We read the paper, attempted the crossword puzzle, had a late-night campfire in the bitter cold, played Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit, lost ourselves in our books, and rented cross-country skis for both fantastic exercise and beautiful scenery:

We had so much fun this weekend, we're talking seriously about repeating this trip sometime next month!

If you live in/near MN, I HIGHLY recommend the cabins available for rent at MN State Parks! They are rustic, and do require a (short) cold walk to go potty, but the cabins themselves are gorgeous, well-maintained, affordable, and just what you need for a simple night/weekend away from "real life." :)

I'm so glad we've discovered a way to "camp" in the winter! Wahoo!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

it's pho time!

Really, when isn't it pho time? (I know Emily would agree with me!) :) Dan and I had a laugh when I asked him earlier this week what he was hungry for; his reply was, "ummmmm . . . something Asian . . . with tofu." OK! Only thousands of meals to choose from, and I settled on pho.

I always loosely follow this recipe from Cooking Light, with several modifications to make the soup vegetarian, as well as slightly simpler to prepare. I don't know whether I've posted my modifications before; I apologize if I have and am boring everyone. :) Here are the changes I make:

1. Substitute vegetable stock for turkey stock, low-sodium soy sauce for fish sauce, and 1 package tofu, pressed and cubed, for the turkey. (Sometimes I sub agave for the brown sugar, just because I don't feel like digging out the brown sugar.) :)
2. I prepare all of the fresh herbs, green onions, lime wedges, and jalapenos and pile them up on a big plate (or in a tupperware container,) to be added at the table.
3. I don't bother broiling the onion -- I just slice it thinly, brown it in a little peanut oil, add the tofu, bean sprouts, and broth, and bring everything to a boil. At this point, soup's on! Simpler, and probably just as good.

And one final tip -- unless you want dinner to take you hours and hours, have an "herb assistant." Dan has become very good at this job, and says he actually enjoys it!

So, what would you have made with the suggestion I was given? "Something Asian . . . with tofu!" The possibilities may be endless!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


It's hard to adjust to changes in your routine, isn't it? I've shifted from cooking for both Dan and I practically every single night, and packing leftovers from dinners for lunches every day, to cooking/food planning for just myself, except on Tuesdays and weekends. It's a little strange, but I'm starting to remember how to do this! I planned on making huge Greek salads for most lunches this week, which worked really well -- plus, it's really good for me to eat a huge salad every single day! I did a wee bit of cooking this week, too:

First, a delightful minestrone I made for Dan and I on Tuesday night:

I stumbled upon this recipe from Ellie Krieger in an issue of Food Network Magazine that I was flipping through during my flu-induced stupor over the holidays. (Is it strange that one of the only activities I can tolerate while sick is reading magazines? I swear, I must have gone through 8 or so! After I read through the favorites, hit up Target for a second round, and then went to Walgreens on CHRISTMAS DAY for a supply of the third-stringers, I knew it was going to be a BAD illness. Can you tell I'm still recovering, at least mentally?) :) Anyhow, this recipe sounded simple, quick, and delicious, and it was indeed all three of those things! I made a few small modifications, including adding more beans and more pasta, since I wanted the soup to serve more as a meal, instead of a veggie side/app. This soup was an excellent, nutritious weeknight meal, (accompanied by some sliced baguette and brie . . . hey, we can't be all healthy, all the time, right?), and has served both of us well for several lunches in leftover form, too. Note: if you attempt this recipe, make sure you use at least a 6-quart pot . . . I had to transfer from my 4-quart mid recipe! (I HATE it when that happens!)

I also threw together a few odds and ends and made myself a delicious stir-fry for dinner tonight!

I tossed a 1/4 package of tofu, some garlic, ginger, and onion, and a few miscellaneous veggies into my cast-iron fry pan, and added a simple "sauce" at the very end -- 2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce, 1 tsp rice vinegar, 1 tsp garlic-chile sauce, and 1/2 tsp agave nectar. Served the lot over some leftover Basmati rice, (well, it was already made, ok?!) and called it dinner. Yum!

And appropriately, this treat was probably the most favorite thing I made this week!

I found so many attractive things about this recipe for Lemon Pudding Cakes from Eating Well that I knew I was going to have to make them SOON! I know they don't look like much, but they are light, fluffy, sweet, intensely lemony, and all around fabulous! Dan loves anything citrus, so he was all over these, and I loved how easy they were to throw together. Plus, I'd almost always rather a fruit or lemon dessert. I like chocolate, but just not all that often! :)

I'm so ready for the weekend! Cabin time, here we come!

go win some avocado oil!

Hey . . . if you're interested in trying some avocado oil, go see Ricki, click through, and enter to win some!

I'll be back with more food tonight . . . !

Monday, January 10, 2011

it's tamale time . . . finally!

Remember way back in December when I talked about making tamales? And then we never ate them? (Being sick over the holidays has its disadvantages!) Well, I finally decided to bust a couple out of the double freezer bag, steam 'em up, and smother 'em with mole for my dinner tonight!

These are Eating Well's Squash, Black Bean, and Goat Cheese Tamales, smothered with Three Sisters Black Mole. Yum yum yum! It's kind of fun, having a special Monday night dinner. :) A few things I discovered about these recipes:

1. The mole keeps much longer in the refrigerator than suggested. (Well, at least mine is still fine!) It also freezes well, since the recipe makes practically a GALLON!
2. The tamales froze beautifully. I added an extra ten minutes to the steaming time, and that seemed to work just fine.
3. The tamales swell considerably with steaming. Keep in mind when you are deciding portions! I made myself two tonight, but probably would have been fine just with one.
4. The tamales will come out of the steamer still a little gummy, but will firm up nicely as they start to cool a little bit. Have no fear!

While this wasn't exactly an EASY recipe to make, they sure are fun to eat! It would totally be worth making them ahead again, to have on hand for special occasions . . . like snowy Monday nights! :)

I have been a busy little bee tonight, and still have a few things to check off my list before heading for bed. G'night!

Sunday, January 09, 2011

maybe? maybe not.

Before I forget again, I better talk about the quick stop we made at InfiniTea Tea House yesterday! Stopping at InfiniTea wasn't part of my original plan for "28 Hours of Fun," but while we were running errands, we were on our way by, and Dan doesn't need much convincing to stop for a cup of tea! :) I stumbled upon InfiniTea back in December, and was shocked, amazed, and pleased by their array of teas, made-to-order chai lattes, simple but gorgeous decor, and selection of tea accessories for brewing at home. Dan had a cup of Chinese black tea, (I forget what kind -- sorry -- but it was excellent!) and I had a coconut truffle chai latte . . . hell yes! They make all of their chai lattes to order with almond milk and honey, but I did see a bottle of agave nectar on the counter, too, so it's definitely vegan-friendly. You can purchase loose tea to take home, as well as have a cup of ANYTHING ON THE WALL brewed for you on the spot! They have several Zojirushi tea kettles set at a variety of temperatures along the tea prep area, and I noticed our tea guy using a timer for both Dan's black tea and my latte. Man, do they know their stuff! I was really impressed, and we will definitely be back. They offer a selection of "tea flights" as well, which is something we will certainly have to try on a return visit. :) If you live in the Cities and like tea even a little bit, you definitely have to check out InfiniTea!

On to meals from today . . .

I feel like it's been a while since we've had breakfast burritos, so we were due!

Same as usual -- whole-wheat tortilla stuffed with refried black beans, Monterey Jack cheese, hashbrowns, scrambled egg, salsa, sour cream, and hot sauce. Mmmmmmmmm! A glass of orange juice is the PERFECT accompaniment to this meal -- salty balances sweet, and rich balances acidic. YUM! Plus, all of the protein really holds me over well. Happy brunch!

Dinner was, again, miso soup:

Am I growing tired of miso soup yet? Maybe. Maybe not! Things have changed a bit around here lately, which means I'm on my own for a lot more meals, and miso soup is one of those things that is a cinch to make for one . . . though it's been so long since I've been focusing on cooking for one, I've forgotten many of my old standbys! Miso soup is one that I remember, though, and a delicious meal in a bowl!

What are some of your favorite meals for one?

"Fun Time is Over . . ."

. . . for now, at least. :)

Back to life, back to reality!

OK, enough cheesy song lyrics. Dan and I had a GREAT "28 hours of fun!" Friday night, Dan picked me up from work and we went to Saigon on University avenue for excellent, CHEAP banh mi. I ordered vegetarian spring rolls and a fried tofu banh mi (complete with spicy mayo!) and Dan ordered a small chicken pho, a pork banh mi, and an iced tea, and our entire bill came to around $16. CHEAP! It's an amazing thing, being able to go out to eat and gorge yourself silly with your partner for under twenty bucks, including tip!

After dinner, we stopped in at the Wedge and picked up dessert -- Dan had a piece of blood orange mousse cake, and I had a slice of chocolate cake layered with mocha buttercream. (Shout out to my mom, who always had "mocha torte" for her birthday cake. This slice was very similar, but sadly, not topped with chocolate-covered espresso beans.)

After dessert, we bundled up and walked over to First Avenue, where we were luckily on the list to see a friend's band play. They were great! While their music wasn't really my thing, all of the guys looked like they were having a blast, which for me, always trumps the music anyway. Tired people that we were, we left right after their set and were back home (and warm!) by 10 pm.

Yesterday, "fun time" was briefly interrupted by a couple of errands, (picking up meds for the cat at the vet, ordering a book at Magers and Quinn, getting Dan a flu shot,) before we hit the Uptown Diner for brunch. I had a half-order of the "Veggie Tex Mex," which was covered with way too much salsa, but still awesome.

After brunch, we saw the Shaw Collection of Native American Art at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, which was neat! They had the pieces organized in different rooms by region, and had huge, floor-to-ceiling photos of the landscape in each room, which really helped put the art in context. One of my favorite displays was a pair of hand rattles used in dance by the Inuit.

After the art museum, we chilled at home and had leftover black bean burgers for dinner, before heading over to the Theatre in the Round to see "Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean." We had a two-for-one coupon, (I LOVE being on their mailing list!), and the play was excellent. From the description it sounded like it would be sort of goofy and quirky, but it was much more serious and intense than I was expecting. A great play and well-acted, too!

So yes, fun time is over. All sorts of errands and laundry and cleaning and whatnot to get done today . . . blah. But it will be worth it! We had a great time relaxing and doing fun stuff during the last day and a half, and thankfully, this tradition will continue, at least into next weekend!

What are we up to? Well . . . since it's a 3-day weekend, we reserved a camper-cabin at a state park for some skiing, snowshoeing, and relaxation! Wahoo! We're going to take books and board games and maybe even the laptop with speakers, so we can watch a movie. :) The only drawback is that there is no cooking allowed inside the cabins, except for Crock Pots and coffee makers. (I'm thinking an electric teakettle is OK? We can't NOT have hot water!) So, I'm going to be taking instant oatmeal for breakfast and some kind of soup in the Crock Pot for us to eat off over the couple of days that we are there, plus probably Pioneer Woman's Cheese Muffins, since cold weather calls for extra calories, right? :) I don't really feel like making chili again, since I kind of burned myself out on chili over the holidays, and the only other soup that is coming to mind is lentil, for some reason. Anyone have any awesome suggestions for an amazing soup we could take with us that would serve us several meals? (I'm making minestrone this week, so that's out, too, unfortunately.)

Off to flip through Love Soup in hopes of finding some amazing recipe I'm just not thinking of!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

can't get enough

I don't know whether this seems to be a strange thing to crave, but lately, I can't get enough miso soup!

I don't know whether it's the salt, simplicity, or shiitake mushrooms that I crave . . . maybe all three? Anyhow, I feel as though I have been eating gallons of miso soup lately, and have yet to get sick of it! Awesome.

What are some of the foods you can eat again and again without getting sick of them? For me, it's definitely miso soup, breakfast burritos, pretty much anything involving cheese, smoothies, and usually, chili. (Although I totally burned myself out on chili since Christmas . . . I swear, I made the batch of chili that never ends! I FINALLY finished the last serving yesterday! Whew.)

In other news, I signed up for a couple of yoga classes starting over the next couple of weeks! One class is an 8-week series on the philosophy of yoga, and the other is a 6-week series on yoga for back health. I've never taken a yoga class before, and I'm so excited to start! Truthfully, I pretty much can't afford to do this, but sometimes you just gotta spend a little money on yourself for something fun, right? :)

ALSO, Dan and I are starting what I hope to be a new "routine" this weekend -- 28 hours of fun! We are going to take turns planning (and paying for) an evening and a day's worth of activities, starting on Friday night and continuing into Saturday night, since we have been extremely lazy about "dating" lately. This weekend is my turn, and I can't wait! We're going to go out to eat and watch a movie on Friday night, then head to an art museum AND see a play on Saturday! Hooray for fun!

Only one more day until the weekend -- wahoo! Hope you have some fun and/or relaxing plans!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011


We had a funny little dinner last night, joining southwestern and Asian flavors . . . while not really "fusion" cooking, it was still strange -- and good!

I made the "Black Bean Burgers" from Veganomicon, and served them on whole-wheat buns with Vegenaise, lettuce, tomato, and sliced avocado. Sides of sweet potato fries, pickle, and coleslaw -- made with green onions, toasted sesame seeds, and a creamy dressing using some of the honey-ginger white balsamic vinegar we bought over Thanksgiving weekend. The entire meal was amazing, but I think the coleslaw stole the show! :)

What kinds of odd combinations have been hits at your house?

Sunday, January 02, 2011

two favorites

I'd had pizza on the meal plan for so long I ended up shredding the cheese the other day and sticking it in the freezer, for fear my beautiful mozzarella was going to get moldy on me! The cheese thawed beautifully tonight, and contributed to one glorious pizza:

I topped a half whole-wheat Artisan Bread crust with organic pizza sauce, (Muir Glen tends to be my brand of choice these days, since it is thick, rich, and perfectly spiced, in my opinion,) plenty of mozzarella, red onion, green bell pepper, fresh tomatoes, cremini mushrooms, sliced black olives, and a sprinkle of oregano. Cheesy, cheesy goodness! I had a little extra cheese after my usual sprinkling, and rather than save it for some other use, I decided to throw caution to the wind and make an extra-cheesy pizza. Good decision!

And hello, WHY have I never served steamed artichokes with pizza before? Heaven on a plate! Two of my most favorite foods in one meal! (Yes, we do dip our artichoke leaves and then dunk the heart in plenty of peppery lemon-butter. Mmmmmmmmm!) I love artichokes so, so much, and am always a little bit sad at the last bite. Fortunately, it will be spring in warmer parts of the country soon, so I can start indulging my artichoke cravings more often!

I think artichokes are tied with asparagus for title of "my favorite vegetable." What's at the top of your list?


I made spinach and artichoke dip for dinner last night:

It was a delightful, celebratory dinner, and truthfully, not all that horrible for us since I follow a recipe from Cooking Light, and serve it with wholegrain pita and crudites for dipping. Nom nom nom nom!



At least the cat got to enjoy some . . . hum. He managed to eat most of the cheese off the top over the course of the night, so at least ALL of the leftovers didn't go to waste?

Saturday, January 01, 2011

eleven is my favorite number

Happy New Year! Eleven is indeed my favorite number, and I'm hoping 2011 is going to bring some much-needed change to my life. I can't go into great detail here, but things will be revealed as they transpire. I'm thinking I should do something fun on the blog for 11/11/11 -- maybe 11 days of giveaways? Thankfully, that's almost a whole year away, so I have plenty of time to plan. :)

Anyhow, focusing on New Year's festivities. Dan and I were invited to join friends for a small get-together, but because we're both introverts, tired-out from various stressors, and I'm still sick, (but definitely on the mend!), we decided to keep to ourselves last night. We went to the cheap theatre in Hopkins and saw "Fair Game," which we both enjoyed, before coming home to a LATE dinner. We made a couple of mocktails, set on a pot of Basmati rice, warmed the naan and samosas from the freezer, and heated the food I made earlier in the day. Ta-da! Indian feast for two!

I follow the dal recipe from Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant, adding more spices and chiles, tons of fresh spinach, and a can of diced tomatoes (drained,) which is our usual Indian fare; yesterday, I also made Matter Paneer Made Simple, a reader submission from an old issue of Vegetarian Times. The combination of simple stews, prepared earlier in the day, fragrant rice, and a few high-quality convenience items made for a super-fast, easy, and extremely delicious celebration!

Hope your celebration was happy!