Monday, December 27, 2010

'Twas two days after Christmas..

     ..and I have not yet met my Christmas time cooking goals.  But like I said in my last post, there's still time.  Counts 'til New Years.  And guess what- I've got 3 days off before then, which, after the past month or so, seems like a foreign and distant idea.  Also, I made a list last New Years of things I wanted to accomplish in 2010, and one of the things yet to be done is to learn to make good dolmades.  I've never tried. We'll see if there's time before Friday, or whenever 2011 begins.
     Christmas was awesome, whether I had the time or energy to cook or not.  Today I'm making up for it though.  I only worked until about three, and for dinner I had Trader Joe's puff pastry margherita  pizza and this awesome carrot blend they sell frozen (have I mentioned my love affair with a grocery store?), and now occupying the oven are a couple of orange-ricotta pound cakes.  The recipe came from Food Network Magazine, as do so many of the most awesome recipes ever.  This one in particular is from Giada. I'll letcha know how it turns out.
     OH, by the way! I got the "I Heart Trader Joe's Cookbook" for Christmas, and this awesome vegetarian cookbook from my mom, and a tea kettle from my boyfriend, just like I wanted! Can you say "badass?"

Sunday, December 19, 2010

And speaking of Christmas food....

     I haven't had much time yet to make any.  BUT- there's still close to a week left! Plus however long we've got until New Years, which also counts as Christmastime! Cookies and gingerbread and other such simple watch out.  You just watch out.
     Also, anybody who knows me is aware of my sickly devotion to Trader Joe's, and I'm here to tell you all that you should really try their holiday teas.  If anybody's actually reading this, this means YOU. Cinnamon Vanilla Black Tea and Candy Cane Green.  I am serious.  I actually put their Ginger Pear White Tea on my letter to Santa.
     Now I'm going to watch my vegetables slowly shrivel to caramelized excellence and watch "The Santa Clause 2." 

Tis the season of stress and food and joy.

     I love December.  I love Christmas.  I work retail.  This past couple of weeks have been insanity. Tomorrow I finally have a day to breathe and to sleep, my only one until Christmas day.  I. am. drained. I haven't slept properly in days. The lower half of my body is very, very unhappy. So naturally, I'm cooking my brains out. 1,2138721 servings of various roasted vegetables, here I come. Merry Christmas! Best time of the year. Seriously.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

     Last night, I went on a confectionery rampage and churned out cream cheese truffles and cake until 3:30 AM, including the time it took to wrap the candies up all pretty in little tins for mine and my boyfriend's families.  So tell me why this morning I still felt like baking.
     I have some time before I hafta get all clean and ready to go to my Aunt and Uncle's house for dinner (tradition is beautiful), but not TONS of time, so I decided to go for snickerdoodles to bring with me along with the truffles that aren't terribly awesome-tasting, but are very pretty.  My family is probably gonna ask me why I'm trying to set them up on a blind date with diabetes.
     I wasn't gonna use a snickerdoodle recipe that needed shortening.  I hate shortening. I hate cooking it and I hate [knowingly] eating it.  I dunno. So yeah, one batch is cooling, one is still baking. My cookies don't usually turn out very ideal, texturally-speaking. We'll see.

                                                    Happy carb-crashing, everyone! Tell your families I said hi!

UPDATE: The cookies are freaking awesome. That's all. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Apple cakes and tons of qiunoa!

     Okay, yes, it's been awhile. Like..a long while. Sorry. But during these past couple of months I HAVE been doing a whole lot of cooking. And even though I can't remember enough of it to make a huge deal about, one highlight has definitely been this caramel apple cake:
      It doesn't look particularly dashing in the photo, but if it makes a difference, this was taken before the nine gallons of homemade caramel were poured on top.  Plus, it's just not a very photogenic dessert in the first place. Anyhow, I came across the recipe in the October issue of Food Network Magazine.  It's a pretty complicated recipe. Many steps. Sort of intimidating. But I like a culinary challenge, and I thought it'd be perfect for my mom's birthday cake. It came out [almost] perfectly, and it looked pretty much just like its photo in the magazine. (By the way, Food Network Magazine has quickly become my favorite magazine ever.)  I'd never attempted to make real, homemade caramel before, but despite the awful mess it was scrumptious beyond belief.  However, about three weeks ago I made another, and some of the caramel dripped off of the spoon I was using to stir it and seared itself right into the flesh on my hand. Still hasn't healed. Anyway, Complicated Caramel Apple Cake= success.
      Also worth mentioning is the fact that I'm in the midst of a pretty serious quinoa phase. Actually, I feel like this phase might go on forever. I freaking love quinoa. One of my favorite concoctions to throw together so far is a somewhat chaotic mixture (a "pilaf" sort of thing, maybe?) of quinoa (Trader Joe's FTW),  wild rice (I overuse parentheses, I'm aware), and lots of vegetables like roasted red peppers and roasted cauliflower, and sometimes some toasted almonds or something.  I like to mix together extra virgin olive oil and fresh garlic and lemon juice, and drizzle it on top of my...mixture, or whatever it is.  Actually, I've got quinoa cooking right now.  What will it end up mingling with?  Who knows...
     So who's stoked for Thanksgiving, eh?  My mom, my boyfriend and some friends had an early Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday, and it was awesome.  Feast number two 2010 is only three days away! For my family and possibly my boyfriends', I plan on putting together these really, really tasty little truffles I made a couple of years back from a recipe I found in a Girl's Life Magazine, of all places.  Now the only challenge is locating the recipe...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Hummus expiriment = success

      The other day I was bored and hungry, and since I've got about, oh, TOO MANY cans of chickpeas hanging out in the kitchen (all intended for several batches of hummus that I simply hadn't gotten around to making.  I forgot about them, and they piled up), I decided to try something new.  My mom has pretty much an entire bush of basil growing out in our back yard, and I'd never heard of basil hummus, and so I decided to invent it.  Likely not the first person, but who cares.
     I'm still playing around with an ingredients ratio for hummus that I like best, but this one definitely turned out to be one of the best batches I've made. Excited? Oh, was I. I got off work earlier than usual tonight, and since nobody's home and I don't know what to do with myself I think I'm gonna devote a big chunk of the night to playing around with some recipes.

PS- the chips in the photo are lentil chips.  If you haven't seen them in stores, they're sort of a new fad- chips made of lentils, garbanzos and aduki beans.  They're pretty healthy, and actually pretty good! Went perfectly with hummus.  I'll be buying more, fer-sure.

Well hi!

I'm just a girl making my way through college, finding myself, and aspiring to eventually become a food writer. My interests lie heavily in natural foods, along with natural healing, natural...just about everything. Yeah, it can get obnoxious...  
     So, if I'm ever gonna be an official food writer (or any kind of writer for that matter), I figure I'd better get started. That's pretty much why I've decided to dedicate a blog to my perspectives on food- cooking it, eating it, buying it, you name it.  Food is definitely in the top three of my biggest, most important passions.  When food combines with writing, they form an awesome force that is basically the basis of my, ya know...SOUL.  So here goes, I can't wait to start documenting my thoughts/recipes/disasters/photos/whathaveyou, as unremarkable as they may sometimes be :D