Thursday, January 31, 2008

deja vu

If I was smart enough (or less lazy, maybe?) I'd figure out how to put the accents in the proper places in the title. Oh well. Use your imagination!

Funny what I've found as "comfort food" lately . . .

Cucumber, red pepper, and avocado sushi! Yum, yum, yum, extra yum.

A Greek-inspired pasta salad including whole-wheat spirals, mushroom, red onion, grape tomatoes, cucumber, artichoke hearts, red onion, red pepper, chickpeas, kalamata olives, and crumbled feta. I made a simple vinaigrette from some lemon juice, roasted garlic, olive oil, pepper, and oregano. Again with the extra yum. (I've been taking this for lunch all week long and have not yet grown sick of it!)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

speedy, speedy!

Life has been a little crazy lately . . . thus, meals have been quick, simple, and not necessarily photo-worthy! I did manage to snap a couple of pics this week, though:

I haven't had my lunchbox out in ages, I think largely because I've been preparing a lot of one-pot dinners, which have transitioned well to lunches in leftover form. However, I did manage to pack a dinner for my busy Wednesday this week -- ants on a log, pink lady apple slices, a corn muffin, and a small piece of leftover brownie (no, I didn't bake -- leftover from dinner out the previous week,) which I enjoyed during the Haiti partnership committee meeting, before choir practice.

Oh yeah . . . did I mention Dan and I are going on a mission trip to Haiti this spring? Considering I've never left the country, I figure, Haiti would be quite the first adventure! I'll tell more about the trip when we have more details.

Breakfast this morning was mysteriously similar to last Saturday's breakfast . . . can't get enough waffles! The recipe's so easy and so delicious, I can't help it. :) This time, I decided to top them in the manner in which my friend Ann taught me -- peanut butter and maple syrup. (Hey, it's protein, right?)

Speaking of Ann, she was kind enough to help me with my taxes last night, and I'm looking at a whopping refund again this year! Wahoo! Most of my refund will be earmarked for travel expenses, but I may treat myself to a new cookbook, too.

Dinner tonight was simple: hash browns, (which get better and better each time I make them -- this time I tried a higher smoke point oil, with excellent results!), and scrambled eggs with mushroom, onion, garlic, spinach, and feta. YUM.

I may bake later tonight . . . until then!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

breakfast and supper

Breakfast this morning:
I'm finally, slowly, starting to explore my new cookbooks, starting with Mollie Katzen's "Overnight Waffles" from Sunlight Cafe. First yeasted waffle I've ever made, and I will keep making them! The overnight batter is incredibly easy to prepare, and the waffles are crisp on the outside, fluffy and chewy and heavenly on the inside. They need nothing more than a teensie dab of butter and a drizzle of pure maple syrup. Mmmm. (P.S. I used whole-wheat pastry flour.)

Dinner tonight:
Collard Green & Black-Eyed Pea Soup, (the vegetarian version,) from a recent edition of Eating Well magazine. Very simple to prepare, very healthful, and very tasty! The vegetables are bright and present, the peas are creamy, and there's just a slight amount of heat underlying from some chili flakes. Yum.

I also made cornbread muffins to go with my soup, which I did not take a picture of, but I have to say, since I've started using yogurt instead of milk in my cornbread, the quality has improved significantly! It has been named "the best" by Dan, (my most important critic, obviously,) because, I think, the extra acid in the yogurt causes the cornbread to bake up fluffy and tender, even when using whole-wheat pastry flour. Bonus!

Otherwise, it's been a quiet weekend here -- the high temps are in the negative degrees this weekend, so it's a good time to hole up with a book, a cup of tea, and some more soup! (Well, and the laundry, later this evening. Those chores always seem to get in the way, don't they?)

Stay warm, everybody!

Monday, January 14, 2008

risotto = yum

Dinner tonight:
"Risi e Bisi" (i.e., rice and peas,) made risotto-style. I only make risotto like, once a year, but I'm not quite sure why -- it tastes so darn spectacular!

Has anybody had any luck making a brown rice risotto?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Sesame-Maple Roasted Tofu!

Dinner tonight:
A recipe from Eating Well, with udon noodles hiding underneath. Other than stringing the peas, which seemed to take an eternity at the time, this was a relatively simple recipe to prepare! I guess that's what I like so much about roasting -- you just chuck everything in the oven and forget about it for a (short) while, and then dinner is ready!

I tried out a new variety of tofu in this recipe -- Wildwood has started making a super-firm tofu that is just like water-packed tofu, only not packed in water, so there's no pressing/draining needed. It's awesome! I think that one 10-ounce pack of the Wildwood tofu has about the same tofu as a 14-ounce water-packed block, once the water has been pressed out.

I may be a convert, and never go back to the other types of water-packed tofu I've bought in the past! Way to go, Wildwood! (They also make an excellent soy yogurt, in my opinion!)

Monday, January 07, 2008

500th post!

Wow! I just noticed that this is my 500th post! Very cool.

Anyhow, I apologize for my absence from blogdom -- as many of you can relate, the holidays were BUSY! Between travelling for two family Christmases, visiting with lots of friends who were in town, and still having to work, I felt like I did nothing but run in circles for two weeks straight! It was wonderful to see everyone, but boy am I glad I have almost nothing to do this week! We all need a little rest -- Dan's been under the weather, and we had to take Ollie to the vet on Friday (urinary tract infection.) Kitty's been very good about letting me give him his antibiotics, and he's definitely on the mend.

We've still been eating and cooking some! Photos:

I had a cold the week between Christmas and New Year's, and Dan surprised me one night by buying me some pho soup from the Vietnamese restaurant up the block:
I love the freshness and clean taste of pho soup. I should try making my own, eh?

Homemade pizza:
We stayed in on New Year's Eve and constructed this loaded veggie pizza deluxe. Yum.

Pull-N-Peel Twizzler silliness:
Dan had a little too much fun with dessert on New Year's Eve!

Wholegrain Banana-Coconut-Almond! Yum!

Oliver thought these looked good, too:
Does anybody else's cat sneak bites of freshly baked goods? He never eats them, though -- always spits them back out. Grumble, grumble.

New cookbooks!
Mollie Katzen was a gift from my parents, Anna Thomas was a gift from Dan's parents, and I bought the middle one (from The Cheese Factory Restaurant) on our way back from Wisconsin -- there is this incredible vegetarian and vegan restaurant in the middle of nowhere in Central Wisconsin! Our meals were excellent, and I can't wait to try out their recipes in my kitchen!

New books!
Dan gave me "Millions of Cats" (a children's picture book) as part of my Christmas present -- I wasn't terribly familiar with this story, but it is funny and a little dark and very witty and charming. It was also written by a Minnesotan! My parents gave me "The Omnivore's Dilemma," which I can't wait to start reading. My friend Marie gave me "The Alchemist," which I'm not familiar with, but will add to the stack of stuff to read!

That's all, for now. Hopefully we'll get to the grocery store tomorrow, and I'll have a chance to cook something wonderful later this week! Until then . . . .