May 31, 2012

texas toast


Let's talk bread.  Thanks.  I didn't think you'd object.

It's pretty much a staple.  Very rarely can you call anything a "meal" without it.  (Or maybe that's just me?  Are you so enamored with the yeasty, floury deliciousness?  Never mind...don't answer that.  I prefer to happily continue to live in my dream world of rolls and loaves.)

May 30, 2012

strawberry dark chocolate new york cheesecake


What better way to finish an amazing meal than with New York Cheesecake?   If you quickly replied, "Nothing," we should be friends. 

Cheesecake with strawberry sauce and dark chocolate chips might be one of the best foods ever made.  It's healthy, too.  Really.  I've got the math to prove it.

May 29, 2012

new england clam chowder


As I was applying for May's 24x24, I decided to plan a meal around regional dishes that are popular around the country.  I wanted a soup course for the meal, so I thought of New England Clam Chowder.

I have no idea why.  I've definitely never made it before and had barely even tasted it.  I wasn't even completely convinced that I liked clams.  But, I'd committed to it and had to figure out how to make it and make it well.

May 28, 2012

asian-style salmon



For this weekend's 24x24 meal, the main dish was Alaskan salmon prepared Asian-style.  It turned out much better than I'd expected.  I love smoked salmon, but am very much a salmon-newbie.  I definitely had never made it myself before this past weekend.

My sister and husband (who generally aren't salmon fans, because it usually is a pretty strong-tasting fish) really enjoyed it and my dad, mom and grandma loved it.  My parents both said that it was some of the best salmon that they've ever had.

May 27, 2012

amber waves of grain: a culinary tour of the usa



I was super-excited to hear that I was selected to be one of the May 24x24 participants, hosted by Foodbuzz.  So, with the help of their stipend, I was able to host one of the 24 amazing meals that took place within the same 24 hours on May 26th.  It was so much fun and really delicous!

Luckily, I'm still between semesters this week, so I was able to spend the necessary time planning and preparing for this dinner party.  My husband and I invited my mom, dad, sister, and Chookie Chookie grandma over to our apartment for a theme dinner--Amber Waves of Grain: A Culinary Tour of the USA.

May 25, 2012

avocado pineapple cucumber salsa


Last week at the marathon expo, there was...an avocado truck!  It's kind of like a food truck or ice cream truck, but it carries avocados (pretty much, the best food on the planet!).  I'm pretty sure my dream job would be to drive it.

Well, the avocado ladies had samples of something avocado.  I had to try it.  It involved a tiny little container with a baby fork.  It was so cute--I wish I had my camera.  

It was avocado pineapple cucumber salsa.  Each item in its name just made it sound better and better.  It's a genius combo of sweet, spicy, savory, and salty.

May 23, 2012

healthy fried rice


Chinese food is one of my favorites, but it's usually not as healthy as I would like.  Chinese food tends to be pretty vegetarian-friendly, so it's an easy option, but it also tends to be filled with salt and piles of white rice.  So, rather than going out to eat, I decided to try a healthier version of the Chinese classic, fried rice.

May 21, 2012

healthy zesty ranch dip


My husband finished his first marathon yesterday.  I'm so proud of him!  He did great in some unbearably warm weather.   My parents and I got really sunburned just from cheering.  I don't know how he (and all the other runners) did it.

May 18, 2012

variety of homemade pasta


My husband's running the Cleveland Marathon in two days!  We went to the big race expo this morning and he's been in race-training mode ever since.

(I'm quite jealous.  I ran it 9 years ago with Baking Serendipity, but now I have old woman knees and couldn't even make it a mile.  But, that's a story for another day.)

May 15, 2012

healthy chocolate banana "ice cream"


Have I got a secret for you...I can barely contain myself!

You can easily make ice cream without the guilt, the added sugar, any funky fake sugars, Lactaid (for my fellow lactose-intolerants), and without even using an ice cream maker!  Plus, it's completely vegetarian- and vegan-friendly.

It's true!  My sister and her apartment-mates found this recipe on Pinterest and tried it.  They loved the result and my sister helped me make my first batch this past weekend.

May 13, 2012

chocolate buttercream frosting


Happy Mother's Day!  And Happy (early) Birthday, Mom!  My mom's birthday is on Tuesday, so this weekend is kind of a dual celebration.

We're pretty sure we have the best mom in the world, so we always try to do something special for her.  Last year we celebrated her birthday and Mother's Day the first day we arrived at Disney World for a vacation.  Needless to say, this year needed to be good.

May 10, 2012

raw asparagus salad


As I was continuing my quest for different fruits and vegetable recipes, I came across some recipes with raw asparagus.  I love asparagus, but had no idea it could be enjoyed without first being grilled, baked, boiled or sauteed.

This opened up a new world of possibilities for me. 

May 9, 2012

sauteed fresh corn with avocado


Lately, we've been trying to eat more fruits and veggies, especially with all of the amazing fresh produce that's showing up more and more (and cheaper and cheaper) each week at the grocery.  This week, fresh sweet corn was on sale so I bought a few ears.

I was planning on boiling it and serving it as I usually do, as plain old corn on the cob.  But, I decided to see if I could find a different kind of corn recipe.  I found a recipe for sauteed corn.  Why hadn't I thought of that?  It's so simple and faster than the tried-and-true boiling method.

May 6, 2012

no-bake summer berry cheesecake jars


At this point, I can say with confidence that summer has officially begun.  In the course of just a couple weeks, my life has transformed from cold, slushy, and super busy to being sunny, warm, and free.

Suddenly, I'm craving strawberries and looking forward to the long summer days to come.  I'm also getting more and more excited every day about the fresh fruits and veggies that soon will be coming our way.  I've been taking the pup for long walks outside while enjoying the beautiful weather--I didn't think it could happen, but I think I may actually be wearing him out!

May 4, 2012

frozen mocha


This is what I woke up to this morning: birds chirping, the cool morning air, a frozen mocha, and a graded pile of final exams.  It's about the best way to start your morning.  It may have been so exciting, in fact, that I couldn't sleep past about 6:15 am.

These frozen mochas are the lower-calorie, vegan cousin of the Starbucks Frappuccino.  Each serving is only about 100 calories and it doesn't even have any fake sugar.  Plus, they're a fraction of the cost of a fancy coffeehouse drink.

May 3, 2012

rustic fried potatoes


I gave final exams on Tuesday, and now I've got nothing left but grading them and turning in final grades.  I'm getting through the tests, slowly but surely.  (I'm hoping to be done by the end of the day today...yay!!)

At this crazy point in the semester, life calls for quick, fail-safe foods.  Like potatoes.  I don't think I've ever had a bad potato in my life.