Friday, July 27, 2012

Bon Voyage

Hey peeps!  I've been home for a mere 2 full days and I'm off again, this time for wedding festivities and quality family time.

No, I'm not going to Paris, but there will be an airplane and fabulous clothes involved. 

See you next week!

image via

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Cauliflower Cakes

My hatred (and the F's love) of potatoes is well-known to my regular readers (examples one, two, and three), so I decided to play some food tricks to please myself and stupefy the tater-lover.

This recipe (inspired by this post and discovered and pinned here) prompted my bit of mischief.  First, I boiled one head of cauliflower for about 10 minutes, then drained and mashed it up as I would potatoes.

In a bowl, I combined 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup Mexican blend cheese, three green onions, three cloves of garlic, 1 teaspoon cayenne, salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup bread crumbs.  I added that, along with the two eggs the original recipe called for, to my mashed cauliflower.

I pan-fried them, with a spritz of canola oil, over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes per side (then put them in the oven to stay warm).  I quickly discovered that oiling the pan in between each batch is ESSENTIAL to the success of these cakes, as they are quite sticky.

We enjoyed them topped with light sour cream and jalapenos (and accompanying grilled chicken).  The F did NOT realize these were cauliflower, until I slipped up and told him.  And, in the later days when he wolfed down the leftover cakes, he continuously referred to them as potato pancakes!  That, peeps, is a success.

These shoes are also, I think, a little tricky.

Rachel Zoe via Neiman Marcus

From the front they look like your standard, work-appropriate t-strap, and from the back they're a wedge-y party!  Tricky like cauliflower cakes!  Confusing like a mullet!  Get yours today!!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Chicken and Black Bean Grilled "Burritos"

As I sat down to write this post, I began to think about what makes a burrito just that . . . is it a sauce?  Is it the composition?  Is it just an arbitrary moniker given to delicious, meat (or cheese!)-filled tortillas? 

I don't think it really matters, but I'm curious for your input, peeps.  On an unrelated note - these are the VERY LAST of my crappy pictures from cooking in my crappy apartment!  HOORAY!

The filling for these tortilla treats consisted of sour cream, onion, black beans, shredded chicken, and a variety of spices (cayenne, cumin, garlic, oregano, white pepper, salt, etc.).  I simply rolled the filling in a whole wheat tortilla, threw it in my grill pan to crisp up, and served!

A little salsa and avocado on top (not shown) and this made a perfectly filling and easy meal!  The leftovers would be great on tortilla chips or in a pita, too.

This weekend marks the first big wedding event since we got engaged:  my bridal shower!  I'm flying home to ND, and thanks to the F I have these fabulous shoes to wear all over town (and I'll be over-shoed.  Obviously.  While not always overdressed in ND, I am always over-shoed).  If I wanted to take it up another notch, I think these would be great:

Jimmy Choo via Neiman Marcus

Perhaps I'll but these out for my next trip north.  They're the most logical choice, after all.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Quickie Friday: Chickpea and Tomato Salad

Do you ever find yourself lazing about the house (or floating about the pool) and realize that you need to eat, you need a salad, and all you have in the fridge is tomatoes, chickpeas, and mozzarella?  No?  Well I recently whipped up this salad, and it did not disappoint (or take much time away from my floating!).

I combined a pint and a half of cherry tomatoes (sliced in half), 10 oz. of buffalo mozzarella, cut into small cubes, one can of chickpeas (rinsed and shelled), some basil (about 30 leaves), garlic (4 cloves), salt, pepper, olive oil, and balsamic (one tablespoon each of the oil and vinegar) and that was it!  Good and good for ya (aside from the cheese, I suppose).

These are also good for me:

Love the color-blocking and, more importantly, love the price.  Thank you, H&M, for existing (and for opening a store near me!).

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Zucchini "Pizzas"

In an effort to get the F and myself to eat more vegetables, I will try and make anything taste like pizza.  I decided to give zucchini a go, awhile back, and it worked out wonderfully!

Obviously I failed to remove my mandolin from the cabinet when I sliced the zucchini - no matter . . .

A drizzle of olive oil, garlic, and dried basil, some grape tomatoes, and a smattering of mozzarella (and a good roast in a 400 degree oven) later, and we had pizza-adjacent veggies.  Much to the F's chagrin, I did not put pepperoni on these "pizzas," since I was going for a more margherita style.  He got over it.

On a totally unrelated note, my most-beloved coworker and I were discussing the noble business of stripping this evening, at which point I declared that it is not a profession to which I could ever consider . . .

. . . And then I saw these.

Brian Atwood via Saks

Only Mr. Atwood could make a stripper shoe look this good, and make me actually think that if I was a stripper, I would be a stripper in $970 shoes, and maybe that wouldn't be so bad.

But who am I kidding, I was born to cook, love books, and be a librarian, and being a stripper has nothing to do with any of those things and I would be awful at it.  Perhaps stripper shoes in a library wouldn't be so bad, either?  What say you, peeps?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Veggie Pasta Salad

Who doesn't love whipping up a vegetable-laden pasta salad to enjoy in the heat of the summer?  This holds particularly true when you can enjoy said salad whilst lounging lazily beside your backyard pool.

Sadly, I made this pasta salad while the F and I were still living in our shitty apartment, so no pool lounging happened with this particular pasta salad.

I do, however, have high hopes for the futures of myself, this salad, and our backyard oasis.  We will meet again.

Oh, right . . . the salad . . . cook one package (16 oz.) of vegetable pasta according to the package directions.  During the last 3 minutes, add one half head of broccoli (cut into small florets) to blanch.  At the end of the cooking period, remove the broccoli with a slotted spoon and put it in a bowl of ice water, then drain the pasta.  Throw both in a bowl with a pint of halved cherry tomatoes and some feta, and top it all off with a delicious vinaigrette of your choosing (I used a low-cal garlic and balsamic, here).  That's it!  Blah blah.  I wish I was at the pool.

Wearing these:

Rachel Zoe via Bloomingdale's

Impractical for the pool?  Obviously.  Chic on my feet?  Absolutely.  But if I can wear them while eating pasta salad, I'm sold.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Quickie Friday: Baked Flatbread

There is no easier side dish than this baked flatbread.  I'm not kidding.

Spread store-bought pizza dough into a 9x13 baking dish, then top it with salt, pepper, oregano, basil, and garlic before baking it according to the package directions.  That's it!  I served this with my tortellini soup and it was a huge hit. 

I'm on a huge neon kick lately, but since I predict the trend will be around for about as long as it took me to make the flatbread, I'm going cheap.

Combining the yellow with my favorite shade of gray (pun intended, for those of you inclined to read those God-awful books [I haven't read more than a few  paragraphs, but the writing was so awful I couldn't stand to continue]) makes these an ideal addition to the "on-trend" portion of my wardrobe!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Tilapia with Black-Eyed Peas and Rice

Welcome back, peeps!  I hope you all had a nice holiday.  The F and I hosted our first guests in our new home, and things are falling into place.  We're getting ready to head out of town (Boston!  Work for me, fun for the F) but don't worry, posting will continue regularly while I'm gone.  I'll try not to leave you hangin' again!

I will be the first person to tell you that I am not a big fish-eater by any means.  Shrimp and crab I eat (and love) but put a filet of salmon or tilapia in front of me and nine times out of ten, I'm going to pass.  This pickiness irked the F so I thought I'd branch out and add tilapia to the repertoire.

This recipe (from Cooking Light Fresh Food Fast: Over 280 Incredibly Flavorful 5-Ingredient 15-Minute Recipes, obviously) sounded ok to me, so I gave it a shot.  The sauce was spicy and the rice and beans were delicious, but the tilapia still didn't float my boat.

The F, however, loved it.  And there's something to be said for cooking meals that other people love, and not thinking only of yourself, right?!  I mean, I don't plan on making it again, but at least I branched out.

Speaking of branching out, the F, who has been buying fun trinkets for himself lately (he has a man room to furnish, after all) branched out and bought a little something for yours truly:

L.A.M.B. via Piperlime

Fab, right?  I may not have a man cave, but my feet look awfully amazing when I strut through the F's "man space!"