Friday, November 30, 2012

Pin It

My addiction to Pinterest is getting more intense the colder the weather gets. Want to look up cool holiday decorating ideas? Pinterest. Need a new recipe for a party? Pinterest. Need help planning an outfit for something? Pinterest. I don't think it's just me... A couple weeks ago I "pinned" (that's Pinterest lingo) buffalo cauliflower. Basically, it's just cauliflower covered in buffalo sauce instead of chicken wings. I needed a way to turn this into a meal though.
So, I picked up some Morningstar Farms Buffalo Chik'n wings (vegetarian) for some protein. 
cut up some cukes, put out some carrots and tossed the cauliflower in buffalo sauce. 
A little (sinful) bleu cheese dressing for dipping.
Delicious, easy, healthful, meal for two!

Special Delivery

Yesterday, I had a lunch date with some cute gals. My friend Kim and her adorbs little girl Mia. We were confined to the house while I waited for our new washer and dryer to be delivered. We waited to make this purchase at Black Friday prices and man was it worth the wait! No we did not wait in a crazy line for it though... While waiting in excitement for the delivery I knew this meant I was getting old... 
Oh hey there two little teeth!
In between chatting and rolling around on the floor with the little one, I put together an impromptu but pretty tasty vegetable soup. Some soups take all day to cook and become more flavorful but some can be quick too! This one was put together in a just a few minutes. I sauteed two cloves of garlic as well as a small onion in a soup pan with a tablespoon of olive oil. Added in some celery, diced potatoes and a carton of low sodium vegetable broth. Brought up to a boil and added in half a bag of frozen broccoli rabe and a can of mixed beans (rinsed). Lots of salt and pepper were added too.
I topped our soup with sriracha sauce and a big sprinkle of feta cheese. Feta is just fabulous on soup. Try it!
Nothing hits the spot quite like a hot bowl of soup on a cold day! 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Mainely Veggie Thanksgiving

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I spent time with my family eating lots of delightful food and sharing in lots of laughs. After work on Wednesday I headed to my parents house with all the ingredients to whip up my fabulous vegetarian stuffing to be cooked the next day, only to find my mom had already made it! 
This stuffing is delicious and is a mix of savory and sweet with the addition of fruit. Stuffing mix (check the ingredients if you are going for vegetarian because sometimes there is chicken flavor in there), vegetable broth, onions, celery, green apples, dried cranberries and spices (Thyme, sage and celery salt). Combined over low heat and then baked until crunchy! 
I lobbied for the inclusion of brussel sprouts (YUM) and halved them before cooking them cut side down in a hot skillet with get this, REAL BUTTER. Salt and peppered and cooked to perfection.
I put the cooked brussels in a baking dish to be reheated later on at my Aunt and Uncles house where we were headed for dinner.
Some pre dinner cribbage!
My grandmother cut this out of the newspaper, it made me laugh. 
In case you were wondering, yes, there was a turkey but no I did not eat it :)
Before dinner was served my cousin Owen surprised us with this DVD. He had taken all of our old VHS home movies and compiled them onto DVD's for all of us! What a wonderful surprise! This year, I am most thankful for this :)
Here's my veggies stuffing (looks mushy but was really very good :)
Homemade buttery rolls, they were so good! 
Here's my mile high veggie pile! I sat and savored it slowly long after everyone had gotten up from the table. I just wanted to enjoy all this goodness I guess!
Lots of desserts to try! Pumpkin and gingerbread trifle, pumpkin and apple pies, peanut butter cookie cups and more! 
After dinner some of us set out for a stroll down the road (complete in our orange vests), another wonderful Thanksgiving with lots to be thankful for, I hope yours was great too. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What a Way to Start the Day

My love of oats is no secret. There is no better way to start a chilly winter day than with a nice warm bowl of oats :) And a cup o' jo with mint chocolate coconut milk stirred in. 
1/3 cup of rolled oats, 1/3 cup vanilla almond milk, and 1/3 cup of water. A pinch of salt and a sprinkle of cinnamon and simmered to perfection. 
Topped with some raisins, a big scoop of greek yogurt and almond butter. For a bit a crunch I added the homemade pumpkin seed granola I made a few weeks back. 
The morning was spent with a nice stroll around the East End. My intention was to jog but ended up just enjoying the walk :) Is everyone excited for Thanksgiving!?? I have all the fixins to make my self proclaimed "World Famous Vegetarian Stuffing." More details on that soon! 

Fried Quinoa for the Twihard

Last nights dinner was based on my fried rice recipe but made with quinoa instead. It was a cinch and super satisfying. The Man-friend had made a large, manly, meaty, crock pot something or other yesterday and was having leftovers for dinner so I was on my own. With Thanksgiving fast approaching I wanted to use up some of the fresh produce that needed to the be eaten. A small cabbage (still left from our farm share which ended a couple weeks ago and I am sadly missing!), celery, onions, baby corn and eggs thrown in with cooked quinoa with garlic and soy sauce. 
Yup, that's my shadow! I've got to figure out this lighting thing...
Delightfully enjoyed on the couch while patiently waiting to see TWILIGHT. Yes, it's true I am a Twihard. It was so good with a crazy twist at the end. I chomped on popcorn and managed to make it through the previews without finishing it. A personally victory for me :) 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Very Veggie Pot Pie

Winter is upon us and so is comfort food. By special request (by my Man-friend), a veggie pot pie was on the menu tonight. It was my first attempt and with a few tips from my mom it came out really great! Potatoes, green beans and carrots were par boiled while a thick sauce was simmering. The sauce was made up of three cups of veggie stock, 2 tablespoons of butter and a 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour was combined on low-medium heat. Stirred often to combine all the flour and cook long enough to get rid of the floury flavor. For spices I added about a teaspoon of dried sage and thyme and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder as well as a tablespoon of celery salt. Lots of salt and pepper too. 
Sauteed garlic, celery and onion were added to the of the boiled veggies when they were fork tender. I used store bought pie crust because why would I make my own when the pre-made stuff is so easy?! Pile all the veggies in and top with the sauce. Cover with a second pie crust. Baked on 375* for about 30 minutes or until the insides are bubbling up and the top is golden.
Yum! This is definitely going to be a winter menu staple! Easy, delicious and so flavorful! I promise you won't even miss the chicken :)

How To's and To Do's

Oh the joys of homeownership... We have the spent the last week doing projects around the house. One task, sanding and polying our wooden countertops left me with VERY minimal use of kitchen including the sink! I was sort of ok with not having the counter space but man was it difficult not using any water. I had to get creative with meals. There was a little bit of takeout...
Sushi from Benkay in Portland, best sushi in Portland in my opinion!
Above is the Benkay Roll which is to-die-for. Tuna tempura topped with wasabi cream sauce. DELISH.
There was some defrosted soups that I had frozen over the past couple weeks. Root vegetable and tomato vegetable and orzo were enjoyed with cheesy garlic bread made from whole wheat naan. 
The vegetable orzo is awesome topped with feta and lots and lots of hot sauce.
There was also a veggie burger with sweet potato fries. Bulky sourdough roll from the Whole Foods bakery grilled to perfection with sweet fries seasoned with salt, pepper and paprika... 
While the Man-friend spear-headed the countertop project I decided to paint our half bathroom on the first floor. We affectionately refer to it as the smallest bathroom in America, because actually may be. I initially thought it would be easy to paint a bathroom so miniature but it's a tight squeeze for a small person in there never mind a person, a ladder, a paint tray and a much too large plastic tarp. After a couple of hours and covered in paint from the top of my bun to the tip of my toes I admired my work. "Mimosa" from Martha Stewart paint was the perfect color for the tiny room. 
oh, and there was a fair amount of vino enjoyed too :)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Throwback Pizza

Another quick and easy pizza night with the help of Rosario's frozen wheat crusts. Tonight, I took one of my mom's ideas. This is one of my favorite meals ever! My college roomates and I used to make this all the time and just loved every bite of it. I used to pretty consistently burn my mouth on this pizza because I could never wait for the ooey gooey deliciousness to cool down...
Last night though I discovered a new advantage to blogging. While I took my photos the pizza cooled just enough that I didn't burn my mouth for the first time...
Stonewall Kitchen's Roasted Garlic and Onion Jam atop a pre-made pizza crust and finished with goat cheese. These jams are great but pretty expensive. This one set me back an astonishing $8.99 at Whole Foods!!! The good news is I rationed it into two portions and have enough for a second pizza some other time. 
Baked at 450* for 8 minutes and voila! 
Simple mixed green salad to balance out the meal. Balsamic, evoo, and s&p.
This pizza is seriously to-die-for! If you can get past the price of the jam it is even better. Hannaford used to make a version that was really good too but stopped making it. I'm on the hunt for a less pricey version or a Stonewall Kitchen sale!