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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Taking a Break

Hello, dear readers.

I just wanted to write a quick post to say that I won't be posting as frequently over the next several weeks. Though I know there are only a few of you who read my blog (a few who I appreciate most dearly), life is moving at a pretty swift pace around these parts and blogging cannot be a priority.

On the technological end, my MacBook Air (we've had a rock relationship all along) just recently crashed. Sadly, the Genius Bar could not retrieve any of its data. And poof, three years of law school and personal documents, and photographs, were gone overnight. Fortunately, about 85% was backed up, but not all of it, including my most recent meals. In addition, I'm a bit discouraged with the fact that a large number of stored postings were lost in Blogger's recent issues.

On the personal end, our baby girl Salem was just diagnosed with feline diabetes. She is a very sassy kitty who is not enjoying her twice daily insulin shots. Not to mention, our upcoming move across country. The majority of the next six weeks will be spent packing boxes, working, and finishing up lectures and papers before it's time to move. Truth be told, the next six weeks are going to be crazy. I am hoping I have the time to pass my classes, let alone eat! To make good meals and take pictures simply cannot be a priority.

I greatly appreciate the fact that you would stop by here on occasion to read my weekly musings. I hope that you have enjoyed the recipes and have found yourself inspired to eat good grub! I will be back in a few weeks!


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sloppy Joes

I don't know what happened to my blog, but a lot of my most recent posts have not posted or are missing. The host was having some issues as of late and they claimed that they fixed the issues. But I still see a lot of error on my blog and in my storage. It's kind of scary (and super annoying) to think that all of these recipes could disappear!!
So, it's a quick post today because I need to find out how to get my other posts back or to at least figure out how to cut the time I spent writing them in half! I made these sloppy joes a few weeks ago when Ron mentioned a craving. Everyone loves a good ol' sloppy joe. I wasn't always such a fan, but Ron's obsessed and I'm slowly coming around. It's a very quick preparation and dinner can be ready in no time! Enjoy!
Sloppy Joes
  • 1 lb lean ground beef, preferably grass-fed
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp prepared yellow mustard
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 3 tsp brown sugar
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. In a medium skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef, onion, and green pepper; drain off liquids.
  2. Stir in the garlic powder, mustard, ketchup, and brown sugar; mix thoroughly. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Season with salt and pepper. Serve on buns!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Kerala Style Curry

Yay! Spring is finally here. At least I think it is. I can't really tell if we surpassed spring and entered summer already. Yesterday, we had 80 degree temperatures with high humidity. Around 10:30 a.m., I arrived back at the house after a run, completely soaked, because it was so ridiculously hot outside. It quickly made me remember why I wake up at 4 a.m. in the summer to go out for a run. But after the long winter we had, I'm really not complaining. It's nice to open my car door and not receive a heart-stopping electric shock. The second the weather became nicer, people were flooding the outdoors. The trails were packed with people once again. For a fleeting moment, I was actually quite excited to be surrounded by the folks who don't know what the arrows mean, or the "this trail is for wheels only" signs, but these feelings have passed. It's funny how quickly Minnesotans forgive Mother Nature. But I don't blame them because I'm with them! This winter was sheer brutal.
In keeping with my "flexitarian theme" I've been eating a lot more curries lately; a vegetable biryani recipe is on the menu for tonight's dinner. I absolutely love curry. We did find a decent indian restaurant in Uptown, but I do enjoy the smells that emanate from my own kitchen when it's curry night. This wasn't a traditional curry dish but it sure gave me the flavor I was hoping for. I loved the addition of coconut to make it sweet! I even took it a step further and added some golden raisins. The dish was creamy and delicious. And as always, the leftovers were even better.
Kerala Style Curry
Eats Well with Others
Yield: 5-6 servings
  • 1 Tbsp anise seeds or fennel seeds
  • 1 Tbsp brown mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, half chopped, half sliced, divided
  • 4 cups low sodium-vegetable broth
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 1 large butternut squash, seeded and diced (about 4 lb)
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp ground tumeric
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 2 cups frozen shelled edamame
  • sriracha, to taste
  • 6 Tbsp unsweetened flaked or shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  1. Heat anise/fennel, mustard, and cumin seeds in a dry skillet over medium-low heat. Cover and cook for 2 minutes or until mustard seeds begin to pop, shaking the pan occasionally. Turn off heat and keep skillet covered until popping subsides.
  2. Heat 1 tsp oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped onion and saute 6 minutes. Add 1 cup broth, stirring the bottom of the saucepan to lift off any brown bits, then add remaining 3 cups broth and coconut milk. Stir in squash, cauliflower, ginger, tumeric, salt and toasted spices. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, 25 minutes. Add edamame and cook 10 minutes more. Add sriracha/hot sauce and salt to taste.
  3. Meanwhile, toast coconut in a small skillet over medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until browned and fragrant. Set aside.
  4. Heat remaining 1 tsp oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add sliced onion. Saute 12 minutes or until golden.
  5. To serve, spoon into 6 bowls and garnish each serving with golden onion slices, toasted coconut and cilantro.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I'm guessing that if I took a "what is your favorite cookie?" poll, I'd get a lot of "chocolate chip" or "peanut butters." I personally have no idea what my favorite cookie is -- it depends on the mood. At the holidays, I want my mom's thumbprint cookies or snickerdoodles. During the spring, I want sugar cookies. But my year-round go-to cookie is probably just going to be your regular ol' delicious chocolate chip, or peanut butter, or those little mexican wedding cookies. Ah! I can't decide. Cookies are too awesome to pick just one.
But, I'm guessing it's really hit or miss with oatmeal raisin. I enjoy a good oatmeal raisin cookie but people are pretty finicky with oatmeal in cookies. So I was quite surprised when I made oatmeal raisin cookies for two people in the past six months. Both times, they suggested oatmeal raisin as their favorites. And these were quite delicious. They were buttery. Sugary. Deliciously chewy. And had just enough spice. The link below will take you to the original recipe with a recipe for cream filling. I did not make the cream filling but I totally should have. It would have been like circa elementary school when I was totally hooked on Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies.
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Pennies on a Platter
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups AP flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup walnuts (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs and vanilla with a mixer until blended. 
  3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  4. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture, stirring until just combined.
  5. Fold in rolled oats, raisins, and walnuts (if desired). Drop dough by rounded tablespoons about 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool 2 minutes and remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola

I've discussed my obsession with the Food Network in the past. For those who don't remember, watching shows at 3:00 a.m. became a compulsive habit of mine during my first year of law school. During periods of insomnia, I would enter this strange hazy world where every thing mentioned on the Food Network would appeal to me. So naturally, I would buy the things I saw if they could be shipped. I thought the most I'd ever spend was $36 on 6 brownies from a bakery in Maine but fast forward to 2011.
Several weeks ago, just right before my birthday, Ron and I were watching"The Best I ever Ate" chocolate special. Bad news. Long story short, we spent way too much money on chocolate from New Hampshire and peanut butter from San Francisco. Um, wayyy too much money.
All in all, everything ordered was delicious and enjoyed. But one of the peanut butter spreads that arrived was somewhat dark. Ron had ordered the espresso chocolate kind. It tasted like coffee grinds, so I tried to figure out what to do with it. Peanut butter granola came to mind and this granola was promptly made. Wow, fantastic! It was much more indulgent than my normal granola recipes, but totally worth it. I did use the dark chocolate espresso spread that Ron bought, but any PB will do. What a great way to use a product that we didn't know how to handle! It smelled delightful and tasted delicious with banana. I think this might actually be considered an "Elvis" granola recipe. Enjoy!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce (I use a small individual carton)
  • 1-2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp dark cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 3 1/2 - 4 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
  • 1 cup unsalted, roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 - 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Combine applesauce, honey, and peanut butter. Whisk until smooth and heated throughout. Add cocoa powder and brown sugar; whisk until thoroughly combined (will be slightly thick).
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, wheat germ, flaxseed meal, peanuts, salt, and cinnamon.
  4. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the oats and mix until evenly distributed.
  5. Spread granola mixture onto the baking sheet and sprinkle about 1/4 c of dark chocolate chips over granola.
  6. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally (chocolate will melt).
  7. Remove granola to cool for 15 minutes. Mix in remaining chocolate chips and stir.
  8. Keep granola in an airtight container for up to one week. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Carrot Raisin Wheat Berry Salad

Our bodies tell us when to slow down. They react, they retaliate, and try to force us to breathe deeply and clear our heads. I'm trying to listen to my body more. I've been sick so often during law school that I need to remove something from my plate. I want to live a long, healthy life. And if I stubbornly refuse to rest when I'm told, this is not going to happen. As a result, I made the decision not to participate in the Ironman this summer. It was a a hard decision, but with the upcoming move and summer classes, I could not mentally, or physically, do it without injury or breakdown. It's important that we make positive changes to care for ourselves and those who surround us. So, I'm trying to be better well-rounded. And I continue forward with adding more nutritious foods to my diet.
I made this not too long ago when I was looking for something that was healthy and yummy. I really enjoyed the combination of this wheatberry salad. It was very flavorful, but a unique spin on a salad that could be served at a bbq. Once the wheatberries were done, it took only about 5 minutes to prepare before lunch was served. Check this out next time you are looking for some good grains and veggies.
Carrot Raisin Wheat Berry Salad
Oh She Glows
Yield: 3 cups
  • 1 cup uncooked wheatberries
  • 4 medium sized carrots, peeled and chopped into small 1/4" pieces
  • 1.5 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • cilantro
  1. Place wheatberries in a pot and cook according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, chop your veggies. In a medium sized bowl, stir together the chopped carrots, olive oil, minced garlic cloves, lemon juice, vinegar, cumin, paprika, red pepper flakes and raisins. Stir well and add into a large saucepan. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes or so. (Lightly cook.) Place back in bowl.
  3. Drain and rinse wheatberries. Stir them into the carrot mixture. Stir in salt, pepper, and cilantro to taste, adjusting seasonings as necessary. Serve warm or cold.