Jan 31, 2012

general tso tofu

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I used to crave restaurant food...a lot.  But, slowly but surely these new recipes are taking care of the various weird cravings (You know...the "I need a Chipotle burrito right now", the "Let's just order a pizza for dinner", and the "It may be 9 pm on a Wednesday but I'm pretty sure it's time for some frozen yogurt" cravings).

Well, recently it's been the "General Tso tofu would make my day" craving.  So, rather than eat out again we decided to just make it at home.

Jan 29, 2012

light strawberry-covered chocolate cupcakes

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Have I got a Valentine's Day treat for you!  Or a January 29th treat.  Whatever the case may be, you need these cupcakes in your life.

They're chocolate-covered strawberries...turned upside down and magically converted into a cupcake!

These little cakes are lower in fat and calories than most.  They're light in terms of nutrition, but they're also just light and fluffy.  So, they're pretty much double-light.

Jan 28, 2012

olive oil popcorn

Friday nights sometimes call for simple, comfortable classics.  Yep, worn in jeans, old running t-shirts, a movie, your husband, the dog, a comfy loveseat, and popcorn.  Nothing fancy, but all comfort.

This is a favorite recipe in our house.  It's super-simple and is often just what we need.  Especially on comfy movie night Fridays.

Jan 26, 2012

healthy peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough dip

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I love cookie dough.  It's sweet, creamy, and often speckled with chocolate chips or other tasty surprises. 

(I know, I know, you're not supposed to eat the uncooked dough.  But really when it comes down to it, who hasn't?  I may have eaten more in my lifetime than I'd care to talk about.  Forgive and forget, right?)

Jan 24, 2012

chimichurri sauce

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After several weeks of winter (no matter how unseasonably mild the winter may be) I always seem to crave fresh foods.  I suddenly can't wait for asparagus, peaches, watermelons, and strawberries.  Not a good thing, considering the look and price of these items in Ohio at the moment.

So, to take care of my freshness craving, I went a different, easier route...parsley and cilantro.  Yum yum yum!  It tastes so clean and spring-y.  It's just what the doctor ordered.

Jan 22, 2012

homemade bagels

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I'm a little bit obsessed with Pinterest, as you may be able to tell by all the "Pin It" buttons on my blog.  (For those of you living under a rock of some sort, Pinterest is website were people can pin pretty pictures of their interests, hence P(interest).  It's incredibly addicting.)

So, I was checking out all of the pretty pictures on there yesterday evening and came across a picture of homemade bagels.  Could it be??

Oh yes, it was.  It was a food blog that had a recipe for homemade bagels!

Jan 21, 2012

upside down coffee cake

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There's nothing quite like a snowy Saturday morning with nothing to do.  The only thing that could make it better would be some warm, sweet cake.  Especially when the cake is disguised as breakfast.

This coffee cake turned out to be quite a surprise.  First, the batter was really like cake batter; it wasn't nearly as thick as I had learned to expect from coffee cake.

Jan 19, 2012

cheesy twice baked cauliflower

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I adore potatoes.  So does my sister.  We used to call her the Potato Queen.  Pretty much what Forrest Gump is to shrimp she is to potatoes.  She can name about 20 different ways to prepare potatoes off the top of her head.  It's seriously impressive.

Anyways, a couple of years ago my family started cutting out a lot of white starches from our diet (white flour, white rice, white bread, and yes, potatoes).  Since then, we've gone back to some white flour for baking, but for some reason haven't really gone back to potatoes.

Jan 18, 2012

healthy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

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I love oats.  They're pretty much my favorite grain.

(I know.  Most people don't have favorite grains. Or if they do, they don't talk about it, because people think they're crazy.  But it's true.  I'm unashamed to say that I, indeed, have a favorite grain.)

As warm oatmeal, cool overnight oats, in smoothies, in bars, in cookies...you can't go wrong with oats.  If you haven't learned to love them, you probably just haven't found the right recipes yet.  (Luckily, this streak is about to end.)

Jan 16, 2012

cuban black beans

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There are perks to teaching.  You get off from work on days like today for MLK Day.   You get to hope for snow days like an 8 year old.  And, you're the one making the assignments.  So, you can do fun things like food days with your Spanish class, where the students bring food to class for everyone to try.  (It can be considered academic, right??) 

A couple semesters ago, a student brought Cuban black beans.  I fell in love.  Immediately.

Jan 15, 2012

5 minute hummus

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The men in my life love hummus.  This one's for you.

My husband eats hummus several times a week with crackers, on celery, or on sandwiches.  I can't really complain because it's healthy, but it's not a cheap addiction.  Little tubs of hummus cost $4-$6 and last less than a week in our house.  (This is one of the main reasons for making my own...it came out to be about half the price!)

Jan 13, 2012

light creole tilapia alfredo

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The night we made this meal was the first night my husband had grad classes this semester and a night I was running late getting home from work.  We didn't have much time to make a big elaborate meal, so we made this--light creole tilapia alfredo.  From beginning to end, it took about 20 minutes to make, but tasted like a much more labor- and time-intensive dish.

Jan 11, 2012

veggie potstickers

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As predicted, the first week back to classes has been rough for reasons both inside and outside the classroom.  I won't get into everything, but a few highlights to make your week look just a little better:

-Teaching a class in a classroom that doesn't have enough chairs.  Definitely a fun surprise the first day of class.
-I now have about 9 hours between breakfast and lunch.  I'm not a happy camper by about hour 8.
-I have seen my husband for an hour or less 3 days this week due to different schedules between work and classes.
-I have 15 minutes between my classes and about a 12 minute walk between them.  Not a good thing when I need to set up a computer beforehand on days like today.

Jan 9, 2012


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I love Indian food, but it's super spicy.  Surprisingly spicy.  To cut the spice, you eat naan.  It's a soft, bubbly, flat bread that is delicious with spicy Indian eggplant or simply on its own.

This is a pretty easy bread to make, but offers so many variations.  I made this naan and tried all sorts of different toppings on it.  No matter what toppings you choose, definitely eat it warm...it's so much better when it's warm and soft.

Jan 8, 2012

cheddar bay biscuits

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I love Red Lobster.  Really, who doesn't?

Mainly I love their biscuits.  I could really just eat the biscuits while there and just take home my fish.  That's allowed, right?

Jan 7, 2012

spaghetti squash

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I've wanted for a long time now to try spaghetti squash.  Recently I've seen it on cooking shows, on food blogs, and in magazines.

It seemed too good to be true: tastes like whatever sauce you put it in, has lots of vitamins and good things in it, is really low calorie, and replaces the mega-carbs you would be eating with regular pasta.

Jan 6, 2012

whole grain brownies

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My winter break is coming to an end.  I was just getting used to this life: sleeping in, visiting out-of-town friends, hanging out with family, having time to bake delicious treats more often than normal, napping with my dog, going to the gym with my husband and just plain relaxing.

Any teacher/instructor/professor knows that the first (and last) couple weeks of a semester are the hardest.  You've got lots of new names to learn.  There's different technology in each classroom to get used to.  There are constantly students adding and dropping your classes that you need to account for.  And, it's just plain crazy.  All that on top of wishing it still were break.

Jan 5, 2012

sodium-free taco seasoning

It has suddenly become winter in Cleveland, Ohio.  A couple of days ago, in less than 24 hours we got about 8 inches of snow.  I was happy with my decision to move back up north.  Until this week.

As I passed my neighbor in the hallway (as I was going out to scrape my car and he was coming in) I said, "So it starts, huh?".  He replied, "At least it's not too bad yet."

Jan 4, 2012

quick banana oat bars

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Alright.  I know it's the beginning of a new year.  I know you're probably trying to watch what you eat.  And, I know that the recent posts of cinnamon french toast, peppermint hot chocolate, and kolachi haven't helped the cause.

So, to make it up to you, here's a really fast and easy snack to make that won't break any resolutions.  In fact, it's healthy.  I know it's been a while since I've posted (or eaten) anything remotely wholesome.  But, trust me and make some of these banana oat bars.  I did.  They make me feel healthy.  

Jan 3, 2012


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As I mentioned before, it can't be the holidays in a Slovak home without kolachi.  My (non-chookie chookie) grandma used to make these with my sister and me every year.  My mom would drop us off at her house before she went to work and we'd spend the day making a double batch of kolachi to last through the season.  Those days are some of the fondest memories I have of grandma.  A few years ago she passed away, but we have continued to keep up the kolachi tradition.

Jan 1, 2012

peppermint hot chocolate (guatemalan-style)

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So it's 2012, huh?  What are your New Years resolutions?   I resolved to give up pop (aka soda or coke for you non-Ohioans out there).  I resolved to keep my work at work (harder than it sounds for an instructor who receives panicked emails about indirect objects and imperfect tense emergencies at all hours of the day and night).  And, perhaps most importantly, I resolved to continue to share my treats with you throughout the coming year.

I've been thinking for weeks about peppermint hot chocolate.  I blame the candy cane cupcakes.