Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

Becoming a Foodie?

I’m on a mission to eat healthier and I think it’s turning me into a foodie. I’m on my 2nd “foodie” book in two weeks. The first was Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver and now I’m on to Julie and Julia (yes, the one the movie is based on).

My first ever whole roasted chicken.

A Paleo breakfast of bacon, eggs, and leftover kale that has been sauteed with shallots and apples.

Oh, I’m currently planning a garden too.

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Homemade Applesauce

We go through a lot of applesauce in our house, especially now that the Monster has it in her oatmeal every day and next to yogurt, it’s her favorite snack. I started thinking about that and realized how ridiculously easy it must be to make, so why am I spending the money to buy it. Plus, this way I can flavor it anyway I want and I know exactly what’s in it.

I browsed through a few different recipes: Martha Stewart, Simply Recipes, allrecipes. They were all pretty much the same so I decided to more or less wing it.

I used Gala apples. Thank goodness for my apple slicer!

One container for the fridge, one for the freezer.

It was really easy to make. I sliced and peeled about 7 apples, added 1/4 cup of lemon juice, and about a cup of water. That simmered until the apples were tender (about 30 minutes), then I mashed them with a potato masher. I left mine a little chunky because I like that. Then, it wasn’t quite sweet enough so I threw in about 3 Tbsp of brown sugar. See, super easy! I think next time I’m going to experiment with some different flavors, like cinnamon or allspice or nutmeg. I also might play around with adding some different fruits too.

All that’s left to say is YUM!

I’m Still Here

I know it’s been a little while since I blogged. Chalk it up to recovering from the holidays. 🙂

There are a few small things that have made me happy over the last couple of weeks, so I thought I’d share.

One.

This recipe from Crepes of Wrath. These S’more Cookie Bars are sooooo (I can’t put enough o’s here!) good. They are super easy and really rich and I see myself making them often. Or at least as often as my blood sugar can take it.

My picture isn't nearly as pretty as the one on the other blog, but I'm going to work on that!

Two.

I read a lot of blogs and I’m discovering new ones everyday that I love. On the suggestion from a post on one of those blogs (This one!) I checked out the site. Bloglovin.com. I’ve only been using it a couple of days and already I love it. All the blogs I follow are in one place. It updates new posts without having to go to every single site. I’ve been wanting to manage my time better, especially online, so this is perfect.

Three.

On a personal note, I have about 15 scenes fleshed out on my novel. My goal is to have the novel ready by DragonCon, since a couple of agents I would love to sign with are going to be there and if they tell me they’re interested I want to be able to send them something complete right away. I am super happy with the direction this rewrite is going. I feel like I finally have gotten a handle on my novel again. I finally have returned it to something that is mine.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

So, I didn’t take any in progress pictures, but the final product is so yummy I thought I’d share my recipe – especially since I made it myself! I couldn’t find the exact recipe I wanted, so I combined, added, and subtracted from about three other recipes to make mine. I made cookie bars, but you could make regular cookies out of this too – I honestly just didn’t want to take the time to do individual cookies!

My recipe

Ingredients:

3/4 cup unsalted butter (softened)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cup flour
10 oz chocolate chips (1 bag)

Preheat oven to 375. In a large mixing bowl – mix together butter and peanut butter with a hand mixer. Add in sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, and baking powder. After mixing those together, blend in the eggs and vanilla – followed by the flour. Mix as much of the flour in with the mixer as possible then switch to a spoon, adding in the chocolate chips.

For cookie bars – press batter into a non-greased baking pan and bake for about 20 minutes. Place pan onto a wire rack to cool before cutting.

For individual cookies – drop batter onto a cookie sheet by the spoonful. Bake each batch about 10 – 15 minutes.

I recommend these for breakfast with a cup of coffee!!

Cuban Red Beans & Rice – One Pot Style

So, it’s not my grandmother’s recipe – and one day I will get it from her and cook it – but I thought it sounded kind of good. It’s a recipe I found in the Sept. 2010 issue of Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food magazine, although I only loosely followed it since I’m not big on exact recipes anyhow – unless I’m baking, of course.
So, I gathered up my ingredients.

We have olive oil, rice (I used jasmine rice, although plain white rice is what you usually should use, but I didn’t have any =o), cumin, fresh oregano, garlic, chicken stock, and chopped onion and bell pepper.

 

First, pretty much all Cuban food begins with a sofrito as a base. This one is bell pepper, onion, and garlic cooked in olive oil. The other usual variation adds tomato.

 

Next goes in the oregano, cumin, and rice. That cooks for a couple of minutes.

 

Then the beans and broth go in. You bring that to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes until all the liquid is gone. It turned out good, for a one-pot vegetarian version. I made garlic bread and we had a salad to go with it. The final approval came from my nearly eight month old daughter. She seemed to really like the beans.

 

Hope you all enjoy my foodie post – I know we enjoyed the food!