Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Oatmeal Cookies (with a lil somethin' extra)

Have you ever found yourself in the kitchen, wanting to whip something up but unsure of what, exactly, you're in the mood for?  How about some oatmeal?  I could really go for some coconut . . . or chocolate . . . or raisins . . . or something.  It happens to me.  And then I bake.

That is the perfect storm, peeps.  Brown sugar.  White sugar.  Cinnamon.  A smidgen of cocoa powder.  Salt.  Baking powder.  Whole wheat flower.  Wheat germ.  Battery acid.

Just checkin' to see if you're actually reading.  I left the acid out this time.

Then, you know, mix it up and why NOT add some coconut, and some chocolate chips, and some raisins?  WHY NOT?

If you chose not to go this route, to choose a different direction entirely, you wouldn't end up with these cookies.  And you wouldn't have cleaned out all of the random baking supplies from your pantry.  As somebody who is moving in the next couple of weeks, I can tell you that a cleaned-out pantry is a huge weight off one's shoulders.

To compensate for the weight off my shoulders, perhaps I should add some wings to my feet.

Balenciaga via Barneys

Because without the weight, surely I'll be able to fly.  Surely.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Quickie Friday: Pan-Roasted Garbanzos

I could say "chickpea" instead of "garbanzo bean," but I think we all know which of those is the funnier term.

This recipe couldn't be easier.  I added extra cayenne and they were the perfect side dish for my standard tomato soup lunch.

And the perfect side dish for my standard, all-black ensembles:

That's right.  Tropical.  Lime.  Ankle strap.  Party on my feet.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sausage and Zucchini Pile-up

I have recently started incorporating more turkey sausage into my cooking repertoire (one delicious example can be found here).  You may be wondering why, and so I will tell you:  sausage is almost always on sale AND there are coupons in the paper every single Sunday.  It's a struggling librarian's dream protein.

Don't worry, peeps, I'm not struggling.  But if I were, I'd eat even more sausage.  You can bet on it.

This recipe came from Cooking Light Fresh Food Fast: Over 280 Incredibly Flavorful 5-Ingredient 15-Minute Recipes (these people should pay me for this, really . . .) and consists of smoked turkey sausage, green peppers, onions, corn, and zucchini, all sauteed together in a spritz of oil and piled on top of potatoes (for the F) or biscuits (for me).  Delish!

I also think that I should get paid for all of the shoes I promote:

 Gucci via Saks

Said payment would, of course, need to be made in fabulous footwear instead of cash, but I think I can handle that.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Are you guys on pinterest?  My foodie finds is, I think, a blessing and a curse.  I love having intriguing and tasty-sounding recipes all in one place, but I feel like there aren't enough days for me to try them all!  When I saw this recipe/pin, though, I knew I had to try it (after a few tweaks, of course).

I used whole wheat flour in my recipe, as well as almost a half cup of wheat germ.  I also substituted regular chocolate chips with dark, and they turned out perfectly . . .

. . . as evidenced by the fact that I had one lonely muffin left to photograph.  I brought these muffins into work and they were a huge hit!  And the F loved them, too.

I officially have summer sandal fever:

I love the freshness of the white and the pop of green.  Perfect for sipping summer cocktails on the patio!!!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Quickie Friday: Kale Chips

Is it just me, or is everybody talking about kale these days?  Throw it in a smoothie!  Make it into chips!  You won't miss potato chips, I SWEAR!!!  It's wearing me out (although the new thing seems to be chia seeds?  Maybe kale is slipping into the background?).  Either way, I jumped on the bandwagon (as I am known to do, when it comes to food) and made some kale chips.

Were they easy to make?  Yes.  Were they tasty?  Yes (I spritzed them with olive oil spray, sprinkled them with sea salt, and baked them for about half an hour).  Did they keep well?  HELL NO.  Apparently, peeps, to enjoy kale chips you have to be committed to eating them as soon as they're out of the oven and cooled.  Lesson learned, but I will make them again, with that in mind.

Another lesson I learned, recently, is how to take care of a pool.  Why is that, you may ask?  BECAUSE THE F AND I BOUGHT A HOUSE!  WITH A POOL!  So now I have to buy shoes to wear while I clean said pool (because I hear those chemicals can cause serious burns).

Too much?!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Favorite Things Thursday: Top Cookbooks

Today I was thinking that I'm in a bit of a recipe shlump (if that's even a word).  I have enough recipes to make one a day for the rest of my life, and not repeat any, but none of them seem right.  It's times like these when I know I need to return to my favorite cookbooks to make it through.

This cookbook is seriously awesome.  Especially for those who love food and fashion - it has recipes from the likes of Zac Posen, DVF, Derek Lam, and Isaac Mizrahi.  What's not to love?

Ever since I got my stand mixer, this cookbook has been in regular rotation.   My beloved waffle recipe is from this cookbook, and I won't even consider another.

And finally, The Joy of Cooking.  No kitchen is complete without it.  

Check them out, peeps!  You, your kitchen, and the mouths that you feed won't regret it!!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Crockpot French Dip Sandwiches

Even before I got back into eating beef, I loved a French Dip sandwich.  It was for the bread, really, and the gooey, stringy cheese.  And the sauteed onions.  The beef was always secondary.  This crockpot version, though, made me change my mind.

A couple of packets of french onion soup mix, LOTS of garlic, and enough beef broth to cover the roast of your choosing is all it takes.  And eight hours on a low setting.  Your kitchen will smell magical, I guarantee it.

I went ahead and caramelized some onions to go with the beef (which I was able to shred in the crockpot after about 5 hours), toasted some hoagie rolls, and added provolone (melted in the oven before adding the toppings, naturally).  The caramelized onions provided a sweet contrast to the garlic and onion in the beef broth.  These sandwiches were not lacking in flavor in any way, shape, or form.  And they were easy!  It doesn't get much better than that!

Now that I have found (and purchased) the most perfect pair of shoes, ever for my wedding, it's time to focus on the rehearsal.  I have no idea what I'm going to wear, but planning my ensemble around the shoes seems like a good idea.  I welcome any and all suggestions, starting with these:

Yves Saint Laurent via Barneys

I would not feel at all bad spending some cold, hard cash on these bad boys, as I know I'd wear them again and again.  And it's possible that I could find tons of dresses to go with them.  It's a starting point, if nothing else.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Quickie Friday: Spanish Rice Cakes

I'm starting to worry that the time has come where I'm running out of healthy recipes.  Sure, there are recipes all over the internet that are low-calorie, but a lot of those that I've tried just aren't good.  That's a problem for me.  So when I tried an as-yet untested recipe from my favorite cookbook, Cooking Light Fresh Food Fast: Over 280 Incredibly Flavorful 5-Ingredient 15-Minute Recipes, I was thrilled.

I made the rice cakes out of a package of Spanish rice, egg, and some cheese.  The key to getting them to stay together is using enough cheese and egg and applying cooking spray LIBERALLY to your pan.  Seriously.  Served with a chicken breast, some sauteed peppers, and a sauce of sour cream and lime juice, this was delicious, light, and a keeper in my book of "light" recipes.

 I am also worrying that my taste level, in the shoe department, is on a downward spiral.

Could I possibly like these?  Or am I just absolutely losing my marbles.  I'm not sure that they have enough black to be a suitable addition to my wardrobe, but they're certainly unlike anything else in my closet.  (Literally, anything.)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Pizza Muffins

I feel like this week's posts are all about the F.  He claims that I only cook for the blog, but the peanut butter and pepperoni recipes beg to differ.

In the past, I've put pepperoni in all manner of things, from my pizza bread to pasta.  So when I saw this recipe for pizza muffins on pinterest, I figured I'd better add it to the repertoire.

(You can tell by the background that there was a LOT of cookin' go on the day I made these (which was the day of the Oscars).  These muffins were definitely keepers.  They were good on their own, and even more delicious dipped in pizza sauce.  A great, easy snack for weekends or whenever!  And I'd venture to guess that they'd freeze well, too.

I need your opinion, peeps:

Dolce Vita via Nordstrom

Do we think it would be difficult to walk in these beauties?  I love the neon pop against the neutrals.  I love the architectural feel.  But I'm not sure I'd love falling on my ass behind in front of coworkers.  Thoughts?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Peanut Butter Truffle Brownies

There is nothing the F loves more than things that involve peanut butter and chocolate.  In the last six months alone, he has purchased a half pound peanut butter cup and a peanut butter egg the size of my fist.  His love for the combo knows no bounds.

Because of this fact, I set out to make these peanut butter truffle brownies.  I used a dark chocolate brownie mix, because that is what I like (and this has to be about me just a little bit), but otherwise followed the recipe exactly.

The brownies were, of course, well-received.  The F informed me that he would have preferred the base to be milk chocolate, but beggars can't be choosers!

Speaking of begging:

B Brian Atwood via Saks

I would beg for those shoes.  I'm not even sure that they would be comfortable or stay on my feet, but they'd be mighty nice to glance down at whilst sitting comfortably in a bar or restaurant.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Knockoff Chicken Nuggets

Not until I moved south (and by south I mean south of the arctic tundra where I grew up), to Ohio, did I have the pleasure of experience the GREATNESS that is Chick-fil-A.  How do people live in a world without it?  The chicken is divine.  Waffle fries?  Glorious.  And I don't even like potatoes.

In a quest to recreate greatness, I thought I'd make some magical, Chick-fil-A nugget knockoffs.  And they were pretty spot on.  Marinate the chicken (cut into bite size pieces) for at LEAST 4 hours in a mixture of eggs and buttermilk.  Then toss the chicken in a mixture of powdered sugar (2 Tablespoons) and flour (about two cups) with some salt and pepper, and deep fry.

Seriously.  Magical.  They taste JUST LIKE THE REAL THING.  I'm not kidding.  I'm getting pretty good at this knockoff business.

I know I'm not supposed to support fashion knockoff's because it's bad for the market and designers don't get enough copyright protection in the U.S.A. and blah blah blah, but . . .

Burberry via Saks

I really wish Burberry would either (a) send these to me because I'm a good cook or (b) lower the price for a day so that I could afford them because I would hate to ask (c) somebody to knock them off.  *sigh*

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Stepping Back to Step Forward

Peeps!  I know I've been beyond MIA lately, and for that I apologize.  But sometimes we have to take a step back to take a step forward, ya know?

Regular posting returns tomorrow!  Arnie and I thank you for being such patient and loyal readers!