Let me explain...

| Sunday, November 28, 2010 | 0 comments |
So I realized that I boast about Quorn products alot...but never have a I really explained what they're made out of. I suppose I have not done so because sometimes when you explain what something is made of people will turn their noses up at it before they've even tried it (*cough* Chris *cough*cough*). Okay, so Quorn products, as I've mentioned before, are not made of soy. They are actually made of....wait for it....a type of fungi (mmmm, appetizing right?). Yes, that is correct. Gross to think about, but there are things we already eat that are a type of fungus, like mushrooms or even the coveted truffles.  From their website:



Okay, so lets see...it's a high quality protein that contains nine essential amino acids and actually has a higher Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS) than beef. It also has more fiber per serving than a baked potato, brown rice, or bread. Hmmm...sounds pretty good to me. It's also low fat and calories? I can handle that.

The downside to Quorn products is that they aren't vegan. They do contain egg and are processed in a facility that handles dairy. Some of their products also contain wheat, so if you have a gluten allergy you should read the label carefully (which you probably have to do with all foods anyway).

So yeah...it's made from fungus grown in a lab. Just thought I'd throw it out there so people would know what they're eating. I've never gotten sick from from it, it's still pretty damn tasty, and really...who cares where it comes from if it's that good for you? I would still it eat it over beef treated with rBGH (that would be the bovine growth hormone) or I guess beef in general...or any other of the genetically modified foodstuff that's out there (really how would we know though, its not like they're having to label it as such - ain't that a bitch?)

Bottom line...it's tasty. Try it...you may just be surprised.

Cranberry & Goat Cheese Chick'n Cutlets

| Saturday, November 27, 2010 | 0 comments |
Okay...so today I tried Quorn's Cranberry & Goat Cheese Chick'n Cutlets and they were....delicious! Two come to a package and they bake for 18 minutes in a 425º oven. When they came out they looked great...nice and golden brown. Upon first cut you could hear the breading crunch, which carried over into the first bite. The crunchiness of the breading then gave way to the soft, creaminess that is melted goat cheese. There was the slight saltiness of the cheese followed by the taste of the chick'n (which actually kinda tastes like real chicken)...the only thing that was missing? The cranberries! They were in there, I saw them...but they didn't provide any real flavor. I'm not sure why though. The tartness of the cranberries would have done well to cut the creaminess of the cheese. I suppose there was an ever so slightly sweet flavor to the cutlets...maybe that was the cranberry hard at work? Either way...these were really tasty. I am definitely going to buy these again. I just wish that there were more than two to a package!

A Veggie Thanksgiving

| Friday, November 26, 2010 | 0 comments |
I ALMOST forgot...(which I happen to do quite often...it's a weakness)...I finally tried that Quorn Turk'y Roast for Thanksgiving. I figured it was a perfect opportunity since the boys would be with their father for Thanksgiving and I would be by myself (sad isn't it?)

My Thanksgiving meal (mostly)


Upon opening the box I see a log o' turk'y (I guess?) wrapped in plastic with metal tied ends...similar to that of a giant sausage....only stumpier. I cooked it according to the main package directions because I didn't have one of those plastic turkey bags on hand...okay and I won't lie...also because I'm lazy.  To cook it the lazy man (er, person?) way you leave it in the plastic, poke a few holes in it, throw it in an oven safe dish, and cook it in the oven for 45 minutes from frozen. Sooo...I kinda followed directions, as I usually do...and dissolved a chick'n bouillon cube in water with a little seasoning and poured it over top of the roast. When it was done I took it out, carefully (as the package instructs) cut the metal ends off and peeled off the plastic. I cut into the turk'y, a feat that was surprisingly easy, and produced four small medallions of fake turkey deliciousness (I mean, it has to be tasty right?) I would like to say that the clouds parted and the heavens shown down up upon me as soon as I took that first magnificent bite...but alas...they did not. It turned out okay. I mean...it had that meaty texture...but didn't quite taste like turkey (at least how I remember turkey tasting). It wasn't bad really...but not stellar. Think about it as being slightly softer than a hot dog in texture...and tastes a little like dry, slightly bland turkey. A tad flavorful...but not an over the top wow. I guess that's good because it didn't overpower the gravy (the real star) and meshed well with everything on my plate. Not something you would eat alone, but as background to something better (like...the gravy). I think if you used option two of the cooking directions (remove roast from package, baste in herbs & olive oil, place in plastic turkey bag, and bake for something like 75 minutes) it would turn out much better. I think sliced thin it could still go on sandwiches well...you never really taste the turkey as much as the accompaniments anyway.


From the Quorn website...I suppose you could make it look like this if you TRIED and weren't lazy like me


Also among my Thanksgiving fare was the Tofurkey gravy...and let me tell you...this SAVED Thanksgiving! :) This stuff was delicious. It was a mushroom gravy with "giblets." Really the "giblets" didn't do much, texture or flavor wise...but the gravy was very thick, rich, and bursting with mushroom flavor. I served this over everything. It went very well with the turk'y and my mashed potatoes. I will definitely buy this again, Thanksgiving or not. 


Last, but DEFINITELY not least...the pie...OH the cherry pie!! That had to have been the most delicious cherry pie EVER! It was from Wholly Wholesome and was vegan, which is nice. According to package directions you're supposed to either brush it with milk or egg (both of which I don't have) OR a mixture of sugar dissolved in boiling water...well...I don't use sugar either (damn)...BUT I did have agave syrup, sooooooo that's what I used! I swirled it in some boiling water and brushed it on top of the pie. It cooked for about an hour and when it came out...oh....this is when the clouds parted and the heavens shone down upon my kitchen. Take a look for yourself...it was magical. Although, this isn't something you could have around all the time...1/6 of the pie will cost you 320 calories...but at Thanksgiving (and yes, this will be at Christmas too) it's worth it!!


Yeah...I ate that much...total fat assery I know...


So all in all Thanksgiving wasn't so bad...two out of the three items I would definitely eat again. That's a lie...I will probably try the Quorn product again (I'm a Quorn whore...what can I say) I'll just try a different method of cooking it. 


Hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!!! Now it's on to planning Christmas...with my omni parents coming...who want to fry a turkey...what to do, what to do...maybe fried Turk'y?? (HA, joke) We shall see...

Kiss my ass Red Baron

| | 0 comments |
So I know I've been absent lately...but I've been kinda busy at work and what not...AND I've been getting ready to go to California. I'm getting LASIK in about a week and a half...I'm hella nervous. I saw my bf get it last time he was here and it is creepy. They have this machine that suctions up your eye ball to cut your corneal flap. Ew, ew, ew....and you can supposedly smell your eye burning as they cut it with a laser...yeah.

ANYWAY...Thanksgiving has finally passed and it is back to normal life. Today I'm making a HUGE pot of marinara sauce and decided I'm going to make and freeze pizza (move over DiGiorno). They make really good quick meals for those days you're super busy and/or super lazy...and either don't want to or can't cook.

I found a really good whole wheat pizza dough recipe awhile back and while the taste was always there, the texture was not something I loved. I mean, I figured it was something I would have to live with seeing as this was a whole wheat pizza crust...nothing healthy (or healthier) for you ever tastes good right (say it isn't so!!)? Oh how wrong I was...I actually found out that you should probably pre-bake this crust a little bit prior to adding the toppings so the crust doesn't turn out so dense and/or unappetizing. I stumbled upon this revelation the last time I made pizza. I baked two individual pizzas for my sister and I, and then pre-made two pizzas for my boys..and froze them. I made the pizza for my sister and I as I usually do...uncooked dough layered with sauce and cheese, baked as normal. BUT for the boys, I baked their crust for about 10 minutes in the oven (I figured it would be easier to freeze this way), cooled it, layered marinara and cheese, stuck them in the freezer, and then wrapped them in plastic wrap once they were frozen. Needless to say the pizza my sister and I ate turned out...eh. About 3 days later I was stuck on what to give the boys for lunch...lo and behold, I had those pizzas in the freezer (man, I'm so smart to make these ahead of time just for this type of situation)...so I set the oven to 450º, threw the pizza in and baked it for about 10-15 minutes (well...until the cheese was nice and gooey). It turned out GREAT! So great in fact that I'm doing it again today (duh, that's the whole point of this post right?)...and posting the recipe for the dough. I would post the recipe for the sauce as well, but alas, I don't measure anything. It takes a lot for me to measure...and I only do it so I can post stuff on here. Marinara is one of those things I just can't measure because it's kind of a season as you go type of dish. Maybe one day I'll stop being lazy and actually measure...we'll see....I wouldn't hold my breath.


Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (Breadmaker)
 (And btw, this makes A LOT of dough...so feel free to cut recipe in half if need be)

1.5 c + 2 T water (water temp should be about 80º)
2 T olive or vegetable oil
1 t salt
1 t sugar (I use stevia equivalent)
4 c whole wheat flour
2 t active yeast

1) Add liquid and next three ingredients to breadmaker

2) Add flour, tap pan and spread flour to the edges, making sure to cover the water. Make a small well in the flour and dump your yeast in it.

3) Run the dough cycle. Once the dough cycle is complete dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead one additional minutes. Let it rest for about 30-45 seconds

4) Here's where your decision making process starts. You can either roll the dough into a circle to fit your pizza pan OR you can roll it into a giant rectangle and proceed to cut individual pizza rounds from it (I used an overturned bowl as a stencil). I rolled out my dough pretty thin, about 1/4 of an inch.

5) Sprinkle the bottom of your pan with cornmeal (I used a large baking sheet to bake the individual pizza crusts), add dough on top and leave as is. I know you'll compulsively want to fold over the edges to make a thick crust, but don't do it. Resist those urges...it'll be better this way.

6) Let dough rise about 20 minutes. First pre-heat your oven to 450º and then push down the dough using your fingertips (creating a dimpled look to the dough), or if you would like the crust on the thinner side, with that crunchy texture, pierce the dough multiple times with a fork. Seriously, take out your aggression on that bitch and pierce away. The more holes you have the less likely your dough will puff up.

7) Throw it in the oven for about 3 minutes, take it out, flip it upside down, and return it to the oven for another 3 minutes. Once you take it out, the crust should be pretty crispy on the outside. LET IT COOL!

8) Once the crust has cooled, ladle sauce on top, and top with whatever you want. Plain cheese is always the way to go for me (as I can put whatever I want on them when I actually cook them later).

9) Place pizzas in freezer uncovered until frozen (should only take a couple of hours). Then take them out, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and return to freezer until you're ready to use them.

When you finally decide to bake them you can add any additional toppings prior to cooking. Pre-heat the oven to 450º, then place your pizzas directly on the rack (or a pizza stone of you have one) and cook for approximately 10-15 minutes....or until the cheese is all melty. Enjoy!


OH - and I suppose you could use regular all purpose or bread flour in place of the whole wheat flour...it would have a slightly different texture and taste, but I'm sure it would still taste great...and a lot more like traditional delivery or frozen pizza.

Fluffy Whole Wheat Bread

| Saturday, November 13, 2010 | 0 comments |
So...after a lot of talking about getting a breadmaker my loving bf bought me one as a surprise. I must say that I love it. I've used it to make both bread and pizza dough (with vegan cinnamon rolls next on the list.) Now generally speaking, a lot of people don't actually BAKE their bread in the bread maker. They use it to make the dough and then bake the bread in the oven...creating a much fluffier texture. Yeah, I didn't know that the first time I made bread and holy crap that shit was DENSE!!

WELL - I happened upon a bread recipe, which of course I had to tweak based on what I've read over the internet and what I had in my kitchen. The original recipe calls for sugar, molasses, dry milk powder, and a little less wheat gluten. I don't use regular sugar, I didn't have molasses, and well, I don't drink/use regular milk (I also read that wheat gluten makes bread fluffy...so I added a little extra for good measure.) So anyway, I planned on taking out the dough and baking it in the oven. That ended up not happening - hahaha. I guess I didn't hear the beep before it started to bake. All I smelled was fresh baking bread. I thought to myself "shit, that's gonna be a waste." Well, when I took it out I decided I would cut into it anyway to see how it turned out taste wise...and wow. It was actually REALLY light and fluffy...not something you would expect from a breadmaker. I've made it a few times now to make sure it wasn't a fluke...and since it's been great everytime I decided to post the recipe. Enjoy:

Fluffy Whole Wheat Bread

The settings for this bread was a large loaf (1.5 pounds) with a medium crust, on the whole wheat cycle.

1 1/2 c + 2T water (make sure it's the temp it needs to be for your yeast. Mine is 100º - 110º)
2 T almond milk
3 T honey
2 T canola oil
1 1/2 t salt
3 3/4 c whole wheat flour
2 T wheat gluten
3 t active yeast

1) Add first 5 ingredients to your breadmaker (water through salt)

2) Add whole wheat flour evenly to pan, then add wheat gluten. Tap pan to make sure water is covered (push flour around to all corners if you have to, you don't want any water showing). Then make a small well in the center of the flour (make sure it is shallow enough that the yeast won't touch the water.) Add yeast to the well.

3) Turn on breadmaker to the aforementioned settings, sit back, relax, and enjoy fresh baked whole wheat bread in a few short hours...okay - so maybe four hours if you go by my breadmaker.


My latest loaf
Another loaf that I made - so you could see the middle





My sister and I enjoyed this with homemade blueberry jam my mom sent me...and it was TASTY!!

Halloween Pics

| | 0 comments |
So here are a couple Halloween pics...I know, I'm hella late...but I've been busy :)

Mario & Luigi...and my Grimm Gables Cemetery

Princess Peach
I will say...kids don't trick or treat anymore! We didn't even go through three bags of candy. I also think only every fourth house was participating and handing out candy. It was really disappointing. Although, the boys enjoyed it...and they got to eat candy for the first time. Riley performed a "Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Dance"...shortly after he was swimming in the candy...


All in all...I can't wait until next Halloween, regardless of the poor turn out. Hopefully it will be better next year.

Hooray for Costumes

| Wednesday, October 6, 2010 | 0 comments |
So my wig for my costume came in today and I'm psyched!! So psyched in fact that I didn't bother changing out of my uniform before I tried it on!! I plan on being Princess Peach this Halloween. My boys will be Mario & Luigi and my boyfriend will be Bowser - well, as good as you can be Bowser without a costume. You know they don't make Bowser costumes? Or Princess Daisy costumes for that matter...go figure. My dog Colby will be Yoshi...I'm gonna use that washable colored hair spray and spray paint him green. Do you think that's animal abuse? I'm pretty sure it'll wash out...although Colby IS mostly white...so may he might stay green for a little while. AH...oh well. I'm still gonna do it. Stay posted for the full ensemble...only 25 more days until Halloween!!

Easy Shepard's Pie

| | 2 comments |
Mmmm...Shepard's pie...I haven't had Shepard's pie in a loooong time, so I decided tonight would be a great night to make it since I got home a little early. This is one of those classic recipes that you generally need to call your mother for, as you can only remember kind of what's in it. Well...I did that and in typical mom fashion I got "oh, you use a little of this, a little of that, a splash of this...taste it and see how you like it." My mom, while a fantastic cook, has the habit of not measuring anything...which I can understand to a point. But really, I once needed to know how to make cornbread dressing for Thanksgiving and the advice I received was "add sage until you smell it." Really? I never knew 'smell' was a form of measuring...but apparently it is. Funny thing about that is...it worked! hahaha...and it turned out great. So while I used my mom's 'some of this, some of that' tactic, I also measured it out a little at a time so I could get an accurate recipe. I can ensure that someone would be able to recreate a dish using actual measurements, especially if they aren't as, um...creative (sure, we can use that word) in the kitchen as my mom.

Easy Shepard's Pie

10 golden potatoes
Sour cream, butter (or the like), & milk (or milk substitute) - to make your mashed potatoes
1/2 T oil
1 pkg Quorn Beef Style Grounds (I like Quorn because it's soy free and mighty tasty)
1 pkg (16 oz) frozen mixed vegetables
1/2 T each basil & oregano
1 15oz can of tomato sauce
1/4 t Whatsthishere sauce (also known as Worcestershire sauce)
1/2 t each garlic & onion powder
Handful of cheddar cheese

1) Start by boiling water and preheating oven to 350º. Quarter potatoes and throw in boiling water. In the meantime put oil in pan and heat it up. Throw in Quorn and start to heat, add basil & oregano and mix. Then add tomato sauce and mix. Let that mixture heat through then add Worcestershire, garlic & onion powder, and mixed veggies. Let that simmer.


2) While 'beef' mix is simmering, check your potatoes as they should be done by now. (If they're easy to pierce with a fork, you're good to go). Drain water from the potatoes and add sour cream, buttery spread, and I used almond milk to make your mashed potatoes. I won't give you exact measurements because it's all to taste (ha, I sound like my mom now huh?) Set aside

3) Grease a 9x13 pan, add 'beef' mixture and layer potatoes on top. Sprinkle cheese over the top and place in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until cheese is all melty.

TA DA! Shepard's Pie...

Looks good right? And deliciously meat free

On a side note: I really like most of Quorn's products. Their 'Naked Chik'n Cutlet', 'Chik'n Tenders', 'Chik'n Nuggets', 'Meatless Meatballs', and 'Beef Style Grounds' are all delicious and taste surprisingly close to the real thing. I actually prefer their taste to Boca or Morningstar. They also have a 'Turk'y Roast' that I want to try but can't find. I think it would be great for Thanksgiving.

Caprese salad...pasta? YES PLEASE!!

| Tuesday, September 28, 2010 | 0 comments |
So I don't really need to tell you how to make a Caprese salad. It's pretty simple, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, and balsamic glaze. I like those things...I now know that I also like all those things mixed into pasta (who doesn't like pasta??)!! I started by putting the balsamic vinegar in a small pan over medium heat, once it began to boil I reduced to the heat to medium low and let it simmer until it started getting thick and could coat the back of a spoon. I set that aside and boiled my pasta. I used the Garden Delight Penne. While that was boiling I cut yellow and red cherry tomatoes in half, cut fresh mozzarella balls in half (I used the small mozzarella balls), and cut my basil. Once the pasta was done I strained it and rinsed it in cold water - not only to stop the cooking process, but to also make sure the pasta wasn't warm (you don't wanna melt the cheese). I then poured a little bit of olive oil onto the pasta so it wouldn't stick together, then I mixed everything together and drizzled with the balsamic glaze...mmmmmm. It was SO good. Not only was it tasty, but it's healthy AND cheap to make! You should really try it...it was like a "party in my tummy. So yummy, so yummy."


Quick, healthy, and delicious

| Monday, September 27, 2010 | 0 comments |
So tonight I needed to throw dinner together fast...and was highly unmotivated to do so. Alas, my children have to eat, so I had no choice right? I ended up making this quinoa dish and it turned out really good so I decided to post it. I served it with a salmon burger patty (yeah, I generally "don't cook fish at home"...I know. I'm seriously a walking contradiction. But I got them at Costco and they looked delicious and easy to make on days like these.) Anyway...here it is:


Lemony Lime Black Bean Quinoa
Serves 4

1 c quinoa
2 c broth of your choice (I used vegetable broth)
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 small avocado, diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced & sauteed in 1/2 T olive oil
1 t buttery spread (I used Earth Balance)
Juice of 1 lemon & 1 lime
Zest of half a lemon (about 1/2 t)


1) Bring broth to a boil, add quinoa, return to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and cook until broth is absorbed (about 12-15 minutes)


2) Add the rest of the ingredients to the quinoa and combine, taking special care not to smash the avocado.


3) Enjoy.



Pretty simple dish, but very tasty and super quick.

Nutritional Info per Serving: Calories: 374, Fat: 14g (remember, good fats from the avocado), Carbs: 55g, Fiber: 13g, Protein: 13g



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Do you know what today is??

| Saturday, September 18, 2010 | 0 comments |
It's exactly 1 month and 13 days from HALLOWEEN!! Yes, I'm counting down. Halloween is by far my most favorite holiday EVER! Chris and I have already planned on a trip to Knott's Scary Farm. Yes, the scary part is right - they have a huge Halloween celebration starting Sept 24th through 31 October. Mazes, scare zones...evil clowns (I HATE clowns - especially the creepy clown doll from Dead Silence - did I mention I hate dolls too?)...it will be glorious.

Horrible movie, but this was CREEPY, CREEPY, CREEPY

Check out THESE other scary ass, evil clowns of horror

But yeah, so, I've dressed up pretty much every year since I was born (and have the pictures to prove it)...the only time I was unable to dress up was this past year because I was in Iraq (hella LAME.) I love decorating the house...even more so than at Christmas. I already started putting up decorations (is it kinda early??) and have started buying stuff to create a cemetery in my front yard (oh, I will definitely post pics). I even bought costumes for my boys already. They're gonna be Mario and Luigi - hilarious!! Of course I had to try the costumes on them - it was the funniest thing ever in life. A great place to go is Spirit Halloween. They pretty much have everything from costumes to decorations. They even have creepy zombie kids and scary ass, evil clowns (did I mention I hate clowns?) this year. Happy Early Halloween...

Yeah, this was 2 years ago - at 25...sad isn't it? haha

Cheese & Spinach Stuffed Portobellos

| Tuesday, September 14, 2010 | 0 comments |
So I had made this last week and it was BOMB!! But of course I tweaked it and mixed tofu into the cheese mixture. It came out tasty!! The remaining cheese mix that was left over I mixed into pasta with marinara and fed it to my boys (I have twin 2.5 year old boys). They loved it!! (Original recipe here)

Cheese & Spinach Stuffed Portobellos

6 baby portobello mushroom caps (or 4 large caps)
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 c ricotta cheese
1/2 block tofu (I used the Silken kind)
1 10 oz pkg frozen spinach, thawed & water drained
1/3 c Parmesan (plus extra for sprinkling on top of stuffed mushrooms)
1/2 t each of rosemary, oregano, & basil
1 T Nutritional Yeast
3/4 c marinara sauce, warmed


1) Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Place mushroom caps, gill-side up, on the prepared pan. Roast until tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

2) While waiting for mushrooms to be done, mash ricotta, tofu, spinach, Parmesan, herbs, nutritional yeast, salt, & pepper in a medium bowl.

3) When the mushrooms are tender, pour out any liquid accumulated in the caps. Return the caps to the pan gill-side up & season w/ salt & pepper. Spread 1 tablespoon marinara into each cap (2 T if using large caps); cover the remaining sauce to keep warm. Mound a generous 1/4 cup ricotta filling into each cap (1/3 c if using large caps) and sprinkle with Parmesan (or sprinkle mozzarella or use a slice of provolone). Bake until hot, about 10 minutes. Serve with the remaining marinara sauce.


The original recipe is bomb too...although I omitted the olives cause I hate them. I just tweaked the original recipe to add some more protein to the dish so it could be a sufficient main course.

MEAT + DRESS = FAIL!

| Monday, September 13, 2010 | 0 comments |
So I watched the VMAs last night...please tell me why the hell Lady Gaga was wearing a dress made of meat?? I mean...really? Ya know, I thought it was maybe just fabric or something...but no, it was real flesh. I understand she wants to make a "statement" that she (along with others) should not be viewed as a piece of meat...but did you really need to do it like that? And then asking Cher to hold her "meat purse." Foul.

Yep...real meat - no imitations here


This is the site she got the hat from (maybe the dress as well?)

http://www.hatsofmeat.com/
Okay, so this is an actual retailer...wtf? Seriously? So other people "enjoy" wearing hats made of meat too? I just don't get it. What is the allure in wearing greasy, dead animal flesh on you? Even if I was a carnivore, I still wouldn't wear this. It's disgusting. I really don't understand people. You think maybe someone could "enlighten" me??

The Ooiest of the Gooiest

| Sunday, September 12, 2010 | 0 comments |
So tonight I made the fattiest, tastiest, ooey, gooey goodness ever!! A broccoli & cheddar filling and/or topping that was melty deliciousness. I stuffed crepes with it (yeah, I'm on this crepe thing today. Tonight's crepes turned out to be WAY easier to make!!) I got the crepe recipe from Good Housekeeping and then devised the filling after seeing a recipe for savory crepes.

Crepe

3 lg eggs
2/3 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c unsweetened almond milk
2 T Earth Balance
1/2 t salt

1) Blend all ingredients until smooth (I used a hand mixer), scraping down sides of bowl. Cover bowl of batter and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the flour to absorb the liquid. You can also let it refrigerate overnight.

2) Grease a medium size pan. When heated place about 1/4 of batter in the middle of the pan, pick up the pan and tilt/rotate to coat bottom of the pan with the batter. Cook crepe until the top is dry and the bottom is lightly browned. With spatula, flip the crepe and lightly brown the other side (about 30 seconds or so). Grease pan and repeat until all the batter is cooked.

Broccoli & Cheddar Deliciousness

1/2 T oil
1 Red Onion, diced
2 (10 oz) pkgs frozen broccoli, thawed (I actually used the Steamables kind and heated them in the microwave)
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup w/ Roasted Garlic
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 c water
2 T cornstarch
2 c cheddar

1) Mix cornstarch into water and set aside.

2) Heat oil in a nonstick skillet, add onion and cook onion until soft. Add water/cornstarch mix, broccoli, soup, salt, & pepper. Heat to boiling & boil for 1 minute. Turn off heat and add 1.5 c cheese. Mix until gooey.

3) Use in crepes or as a topping for a baked potato


If you're gonna stuff this into crepes, preheat an oven to 400º. Spread about 1/4 of the mix onto one half of the crepe and roll it up, placing it seam side down into a greased baking dish. Spoon any remaining broccoli mix on top on the crepes, sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake for about 15 minutes.

I Love Really Thin Pancakes

| | 0 comments |
"You know, just to put this in there, I had a whole mess of crepes this morning. They're just like pancakes, maybe even better."

So I made crepes for the first time this morning...holy shit what an endeavor that was. I had found two different recipes for them, one sweet and one savory. I went with the sweet one for breakfast this morning. A strawberry filled crepes recipe I got from cooks.com. The crepe itself actually turned out pretty good, but the filling - blech. It was kinda foul, not gonna lie. I'm thinking next time I make these I can fill them with chocolate or Nutella and banana. Healthy, I know...but delicious none the less. If you feel like taking on the task of making crepes, I posted my tweaked version of the original recipe below. Once I try the savory one out (which is a lot less complicated than this one - I mean, I've NEVER beat egg whites to stiff peaks before, perhaps that's the amateur baker in me - check 'em out though...)

I can treat my egg whites just like a "Blizzard"


I will admit that this was an accomplishment for me though...c'mon, french pancakes - awesomeness.

SWEET CREPES

1 1/4 c flour
1/2 t salt
1/4 c sugar
2 c unsweetened almond milk (or soy milk or regular milk)
3 egg yolks
3 egg whites, beaten
1 T Earth Balance (or your choice of buttery spread), melted
1 t lemon juice

1) Beat the egg whites until stiff and set aside.

2) Beat rest of ingredients until smooth. Fold in egg whites (this is a pain in the ass too by the way, but maybe that's just me) It's now ready to cook.

3) Grease a medium size pan. When heated place about 1/4 of batter in the middle of the pan, pick up the pan and tilt/rotate to coat bottom of the pan with the batter. Cook crepe until the top is dry and the bottom is lightly browned. With spatula, flip the crepe and lightly brown the other side (about 30 seconds or so). Grease pan and repeat until all the batter is cooked.

When filling the crepes, add filling to one side of the crepe and roll from the filled side (does that make sense?) and place seam side down on a warm platter until all crepes have been filled.

This is what mine looked like after I filled them and poured strawberry sauce over them...pretty, yet not so yummy.

Who DOESN'T like bananas and chocolate??

| Saturday, September 11, 2010 | 0 comments |
I have lots of recipes I want to start posting...so I'll start with one I made today.
Total time is about 30-35 minutes.

BANANA & CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS

1 3/4 c all purpose flour
3/4 c agave nectar
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 egg
3/4 c vanilla yogurt
3 ripe bananas
Chocolate chips (I'm not designating an amount because these are sprinkled on top, so it's up to you as to how many you want)


1) Preheat oven to 375º & prepare muffin tin (okay, fancy way of saying spray it with an oil - like coconut or canola)

2) Combine flour, baking soda, & salt in a bowl and set aside

3) In another bowl beat the egg, then add the bananas and mash (I used a potato masher and the process went rather quickly). Then stir on yogurt & agave.

4) Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until moistened.

5) Fill muffin tins about 3/4 of the way full (you will probably have some batter left over, I used to to fill some mini muffin tins) and then sprinkle some chocolate chips on top. I used semi-sweet chocolate and you can see from the picture that I didn't add an obscene amount on the top of each muffin. I think putting too many will make these REALLY sweet.

6) Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes. Test for doneness by pushing your finger on the top of the muffin. If the dent you created puffs back up, they're done! (You can also use the toothpick trick to test for doneness as well)




On a side note, these muffins are a little dense compared to commercially bought muffins or muffin mixes (more like a banana bread than a muffin)...but they taste amazing and no pesky fillers or additives. ENJOY!

UPDATE (19 SEP 10): I poured this into a bread pan today. Same ingredients, but I added about a 1/4 c of chocolate chips into the batter, turned down the temp to 350º, and baked for about 60-70 minutes. It turned out great!!!

Numero Uno

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Hello Blog O' Sphere -

 This is the oh so official first post of this blog...super exciting stuff here. I really just created this blog for not only my random musings (which there may be a lot of), but also for recipes and reviews. I love to cook and make mostly vegan/vegetarian fare, but I do warn you - I am a pescatarian. Originally a vegan for quite some time, I took a trip that led me to another part of the world (and by this I mean I was "voluntold" that I was deploying to Iraq), which changed the way I eat. I lived off of kidney beans, rice, and salsa for three months. And I do mean LIVED off of it...because really, that's all there was for me to eat. Yes, there were the occasional canned green beans or corn to choose from...wait, no - not that either, as our DFAC (or dining facility for all you non-military people out there) decidedly put some pork product in pretty much everything (cause bacon makes everything taste better right?) I do mean everything...Christmas and Thanksgiving was a NIGHTMARE for me!! There was pork in things that you wouldn't even think to put pork in. (I even think there was bacon in the pork) "How about a nice salad" you may say...but if you tasted that "fresh" produce we had...you wouldn't eat it either - yuck. Eventually that kind of wore on me (naturally)...so I started slowly by maybe adding sour cream to my bean mix occasionally. It was delicious...oh how I had missed sour cream. There are very few things dairy I missed as a vegan, but sour cream...mmmm, sour cream. I'm sorry, but the Tofutti "Better Than Sour Cream" was not so much better...or really even slightly close. The "Better Than Cream Cheese" IS pretty tasty though. Not quite the same as the regular, but good none-the-less. AH, but I digress...so the sour cream was tasty...yes, a nice change to an otherwise boring meal. Then it happened...I changed bases...and went down to Baghdad. Now I maybe can't tell you where I was located, but I can definitely tell you about the food. OH, the food. SO, SO much better than my previous location. The first night I was there they made a spicy stir fried eggplant dish that was HEAVENLY (I mean, maybe...it's been so long without real food anything would have tasted that delicious.) They served hummus regularly (a major plus in my book) and also had REALLY good fresh fruit. BUT, if they have all this tasty vegan food, why the change in diet you wonder...well, this was only the first night. I came to find out that every Friday was seafood night. ONLY seafood...just like every Saturday was steak night (oh, and fried shrimp). Well...after a month I admit, I broke down. I had those tasty little seafood morsels staring at me, wishing for me to eat them. So...it happened. I gave in to temptation and indulged. I admit, I love seafood. Always have. Even as a vegetarian and then vegan and then back to vegetarian...I always craved seafood. There is just something about sushi that calls to me.
I was back and forth about the whole seafood thing for awhile...I finally gave in to my pescatarian calling when I was convinced that seafood lacks the same nervous system as land dwellers and it would be okay to eat it (Thanks Chris!!). Honestly, while I do consider myself a pescatarian, I still abstain from eating a lot of seafood. Don't get me wrong, I do eat it...but not all the time. You'll notice most of the recipes I'll post are vegetarian, some even vegan. I still don't cook seafood of any type. I'll indulge when I eat out, mainly sushi, but I don't make it at home.
All in all...that's my (psuedo) journey of how I got to where I am. Until next time...peace out bitches!