1/31/13

1/30/13

Curried Chicken with Apples

Guess what I made??!!

Neon curried chicken!  

Jokes.  It wasn't neon.  It just looks neon in the picture.  Why?  Because that's just the kind of gal I am.  A gal that over edits and turns her curry photos neon.  

So so so.  I recently got the cookbook, Dinner:  A Love Story and I must say, I am in love.  The meals are approachable, simple, cheap (so far); all while being a step up for what is considered regular old supper.  

Looking forward to eating my way through this book!

Tell me, do you have it?  Have you cooked from it?  What did you love?  If you could be anyone for one day, who would you be?     
Curried Chicken with Apples
adapted from Dinner:  A Love Story

2 tbl oil, divided
1/2 a large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 medium green apples, peeled and chopped
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 tbl curry powder
1 1/2 lb chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup light coconut milk
1/4 cup frozen peas

Suggested garnishes:  fat free greek yogurt, cilantro, almonds, flat bread

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add the oniion and saute until it begins to soften.  

Add the garlic, celery, apple, ginger.  Cook for 2-3 minutes and then add the curry powder.  Stir to combine. 

Push the ingredientes to one side of the pan, add a little more oil and brown chicken on all sides.  Stirr all of the ingredients together then add the broth and the coconut milk.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Add the peas, cover, cook 10 more minutes.  

Serving size 1/4 of recipe
Points plus 8        

1/29/13

A Pep Talk

Thanks to Chickey for sharing this.  Happy Tuesday!

Quinoa, Kidney Beans and Avacado

If all has gone according to plan this week, today is Tuesday aka the day that I'm a vegan.  How's it going, you ask?  Smashingly if you don't count that time last week that I accidentally put coffee in my creamer.  Fail. 

According to a past nutrition instructor, ve-gins can easily miss out on important aspects of nutrition; it's important to remain aware of what's what to stay healthy.  Since I'm only doing this one day a week it's a non issue BUT I am trying to explore ways of eating this way more often.  I love the simplicity and the exploration of the new recipes.  

Sooooo it's lots of grains and legumes, peanut butter and avocados for this home girl; not at the same time, mind you, but that could happen at some point. 

This recipe is one that I found in a Real Simple magazine.  It's quite simple, really, but nothing I would have ever thought of.  Of course, as I am much more of a recipe girl than I'd like to admit....   
 
Quinoa, Kidney Beans and Avocado 
adapted from Real Simple

1 cup of uncooked quinoa
1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 avocado, chopped
green onions

Rinse quinoa and cook it according to the package directions.  Meanwhile, combine your avocado, kidney beans and scallions in a bowl.  Add in cooked quinoa and combine.  
 
Serving size 1/2 cup (makes 9)
Points plus 4 

1/28/13

DIY Eye Make-up Remover

There are a few things in this world that I absolutely cannot stand spending money on.  

Dry cleaning.  Parking.  Ice.  Eye make up remover.   
Eye make up remover. 

Lucky for me and you and all of us.  Sarah Barry over at the Spoonful blog has posted an easy as pie eye make up remover.  You just might have all of these ingredients already! 

Mine is hanging out in a mason jar right now but I've already stalked out Brandon's contact lens solution bottle; it's got some snozzle action that will be a perfect receptacle

I wonder if he would miss it?  

We didn't have this conversation.

ANYWAY.  

Here you go!

DIY Make-up Remover
from The Spoonful Blog 

1 cup of water
1 1/2 tbl of tear free shampoo
1/8 tsp baby oil (I used lavendar for a festive kick)

Combine all ingredients in a jar, shake well.  Transfer to something conducive to squirting liquid on a cotton ball.          

1/25/13

A Few on Friday

Heeeeeey!  Happy Friday. 

1.  Guys.  Your fabric suggestions rocked!! I've especially loved getting lost in the ikat section of spoonflower. I'm a-workin' on your poems this weekend.  

2.  You know what else I'm doing this weekend?  Not much. And not driving anywhere for 11 hours.  

3.  Austin.  I loved itLindsey --- it was great.  Look for a what we did, ate, drink, saw, loved post soon. 

4.  So that half marathon is two weeks away from Saturay and I'll be running 14 miles this weekend to get ready for it.  If you'd like, you can donate 14$ to the fundraising site!  And remember, this money goes towards furthering the education of kids in Mississippi and Arkansas and not towards the recovering of my chair.  In fact, the overall goal of $10,000 has been met so that, my friends, is good stuff.      

5. Speaking of running, always looking for pump up tunes.  Any suggestions?  I downloaded these two this week and they have both been lovely in their own way. 
 AND:
This is just a sampling of how disorganized my jam list is.  I also lurve Manio, Rye Rye, Robyn and the Talking Heads so there you go. 

6.  Speaking of lurveing things, I read my first Vanity Fair on the drive  home from Texas and dang it if I'm not in love.  Truth:  I am very different from the people that go to le Bal des Debutantes  

7.  Who's up for some learning about controlling those uncomfortable, anxiety provoking and just plain weird thoughts?  Me!  Always!  This collection of articles rocks my socks off.  I've used them this week, both personally and professionally with some success.  Check them out here

8.  While you're at it, have you listened to your self talk lately?   

Happy weekend, guys!  Thanks for reading, keep it klassy. 

Peace.  

1/23/13

The Great Fabric Hunt

What's that old saying?  You always find what you are looking for when you stop looking?  

The perfect relationship.  The perfect job.  

The perfect bedding.  

Yes, folks,  I'm happy to announce it!  After looking feverishly for a few years, I have welcomed new bedding into our home!!

And Brandon.  Brandon has also welcomed new bedding into our home.  Turns out, that Brandon has an opinion on these types of things. 

It all happened when I was wandering the streets of Austin, willing a bus stop to appear.  I got distracted by a West Elm and then double distracted by the sign in the window announcing 20% off all bedding and bath.  Score. 

I drug Brandon back later that afternoon and after a few differences in opinions it was settled...our new bedding was found.
Frayed-Edge Quilt, Twin, Platinum 
There she blows!  Isn't it capitol?  

Sorry.  I'm reading a book set in the 1930s and everything good is "capitol."  Moving on.

In addition to the bed spread and some euro shams, we also picked up these shams:
  Stripe Duvet Cover + Shams- White/Feather Gray 
Of course the bedspread is a size to big and you can see my striped pillows through the shams but who cares, eh?  We got bigger fish to fry...like picking out fabric to recover a chair. 

Now since I'm about as good at decorating as I am at speaking Yiddish...here's where you come in!  What should we do?  I know I want color since there's a lot of gray going on; Brandon has voiced a preference of blues and greens.  I'm also quite cheap so there's always that to consider.  

Give me a suggestion and I'll thank you in poem form.... 

1/21/13

Howdy!

Howdy!  

I'm fresh back into town from a long weekend of excess in Texas; pardon me for a few days whilst I get back into the swing of things.  You know...working and counting points and balancing checkbooks and loving on that sweet Browne hound.  

Hope you are well and fired up for a fresh week!  

See you soon!  

1/18/13

A Few on Friday

Well hi!  Here are a few notes from me to you....
 
 
 both from here 

8x10 / ee cummings quote 
8x10 / ernest hemingway 
ralph waldo emerson thankful print by ohmydeer, $45.00 
all three from here

 energy 
from here 



Fantastic Mr. Fox Quote Printable

Where the Wild Things Are Nursery Printable, I'll Eat You Up I Love You So
  from here
know what is yours to carry and what is not  - feather wisdom series - paint or color your own

single wisdom card : care for your sacred soul.
from here

Dog Inspired Typographic Print No.4 Explore New Paths 
from here 

 
from here 

 from this book

That is all.  Happiest of weekends, turkeys!

1/17/13

What I Ate When I Was a Vegan For That One Day :: Week Two and Cutie Couscous

Breakfast.  Breakfast is hard.  Everything has animal products in it!  Or your bread has something growing on it.  Wait, what?  That didn't happen I swear. 

But breakfast.  Really.  It's hard out there for a 1/7 Vegan.  I had some peanut butter on a wheat bun, might be one of the strangest things I've eaten for breakfast in some time.  

But lunch.  Lunch was a bright spot!  There was tons of vegetable soup and a salad with black beans, avocados and little tomatoes. 
Avocados might be my new best friend.  I wanted to eat the whole thing but I refrained.  Shared it with one of my co workers instead.  Kind of like a friendship bracelet but different.  

Dinner was another bright spot.  A boca burger with lettuce and such and a bowl of Cutie Couscous.  
Cutie couscous?  What?  Yes.  You read right.  Couscous with cuties in it. Here, my friends, is the recipe:

Cutie Couscous
from WW Magazine

2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 cup low sodium vegitable broth
3/4 cup couscous 
3 clementines
1 cup of halved grape tomatos
2 green onions, chopped
1 tbl sliced almonds  

Heat the oil in a medium sauce pan.  Add the ginger and cook 30 seconds.  Add in the broth and bring to a boil.  Stir in couscous, cover, remove from heat, let stand for 10 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.  Fluff with a fork.  Add the juice of one clementine.  Peel the other two clementines and add the slices to the couscous.  Add in the tomatoes, green onions and almonds.     

Serving size 3/4 cup (makes about 4)
Points plus 5  

1/16/13

Pork Ragu

Well, well.  Looks like we've got a crock pot meal on our hands. Not just any crock pot meal, either.  A crock pot meal that can give you multiple dinner options.  

How's that for awesome?!?!

Want a sandwich?  Here you go....
pork ragu + mockingbird bread + jalapenos + pickles + swiss + mayo
  
Oh. Pasta's more your thing?  No problem, dude
pork ragu + wheat pasta + parm

Simple, hearty, able to wear many hats.   Could go in a taco.  Maybe over some rice. That's the beauty of it....this is not a recipe that worries much with labels.
 
Love, love, love a meal like this.   

Pork Ragu
adapted from Real Simple  

1 large carrot, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tbl tomato paste
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper, to taste
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
2 lb boneless pork sirloin

Combine the first 8 ingredients in a crockpot.  Add the pork, turning to coat.  Cook on low for 7-8 hours.  Shred with two forks 30 minutes before serving

Serving size 1/2 cup (makes about 10)
Points plus 4    

1/15/13

Mini Myers Briggs and an Ice Day

Hey there!  Are you home on an ice day?  I am.  So far I've drank lots of coffee, had an egg in a piece of toast, made some trash, waited impatiently to learn the fate of our dryer and taken a mini Myers Briggs personality test.  Thanks, Cup of Joe, for this lovely little time suck.  Visit this site to take it for yourself!  In case you are wondering I'm an INFJ, meaning I'm introverted, idealistic and stubborn.  

Shocking said no one ever.  

So there you go!  Take it and tell me...was it spot on? 

I'm off to watch more TV.  Good thing it's so cold outside or my boredom might have led me to do this.... 

Enjoy your day!  Don't do anything you might regret.  Like an at home ombre hair dye job.   

Cajun Pork Tenderloin with Horseraddish Mustard Sauce

Hiya!  Happy Tuesday!  What are you cooking for supper tonight?  Don't know?  How's about this pork tenderloin? 
Oh, and by the way, we're going 1970s yellow tint on all these pictures.  I was a-hungry and didn't stop to properly photograph it.  

So this little PT was originally made by my buddy Ginny for one of our cookbook club dinners, it was quite the hit!  It's got great flavor, it's easy and it feels super fancy because there's a dipping sauce involved.  What is it about a dipping sauce that just makes stuff better?  I don't know...but it does. 

Dipping sauce makes me think of chicken nuggets.  I love chicken nuggets!

But back to PT.  It does require a little planning as you have to let it marinate for no more that 90 minutes.  Directions like "let marinate for no more than 90 minutes" really flare up my OCD tendencies and cause lots of timer setting.  Probably best that I was at work and Brandon is the one that actually put it together.  So really...who knows how long it marinated or what was actually in it.  Brandon and I are quite different when it comes to following food directions...

Or children should be an interesting mix of lots of conflicting personality traits....
Cajun Pork Tenderloin with Horseradish Mustard Sauce
from Prime Meridian 
  
4 tbl Tabasco sauce
4 tbl teriyaki sauce
2 tbl Worcestershire sauce
1 tbl Cajun seasoning
28 oz pork tenderloin

Combine the seasonings with the pork tenderloin and allow it to marinate for no more than 90 minutes.   
   
Cook using your preferred method, I followed this technique.

Let the pork rest for a bit, slice and serve with the horseradish mustard sauce. 
   
Serving size 6 oz (makes about 5 servings)
Points plus 8

Horseraddish Mustard Sauce

1 cup whipping cream
1/4 dijon mustard
1/4 cup horseradish, drained
juice of 1/2 a lemon

Beat the whipping cream until stiff.  Stir in the remaining ingredients.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  
   
Serving size 1/4 cup (makes about 10 servings
Points plus 3
    

1/14/13

Happy BIrthday Chickey + An Ice Cream Cake

Hap Hap Happy Birthday Little Chickey!!!!  She turns 25 today.  In her honor, let's chat about ice cream cake.
A few years ago, Chickey upped the birthday desert game by making these cupcakes for me.  So why not return the favor for an occasion oh so momentous as the big 2-5?
And there was also dinner at Bistro which is another oh so momentous occasion, one worthy of ice cream cakes and the heart effect. 
But I digress.  Back to the ice cream cake.  When I started chatting with Chickey about her birthday dessert, she thought about it for a bit and then asked if it was possible for an ice cream cake to happen.  Me not being one to shy away from a baking challenge said heck yes.

The baking of this cake is not complicated.  In fact it's box cake.  'Tis the building of this cake that gets a little hairy.  But don't worry.  There are pictures.  

The first thing we need for this cake making party is a cake.  I used a boxed cake.   If you're extra ambitious, go on and make one for yourself.  I've found that a box cake tastes better than my homemade cake and creates much less of a mess....so there you go.  
So whip up your cake and pour it into your cake pans.  I went the way of round, you could do whatever.  You do, however, want to make sure that whatever cake direction you go you can have at least layers of cake.  Also, make sure that you spray / flour / grease your pans real well so that you can get your cakes in and out with minimal stress.  
Soooo. Bake them up, let them cool on a baking rack, use a big 'ole knife to make them flat on top if they aren't already.

Once they are completely cooled, return one of the cakes to the cake pan.  My cake had kind of shrunk up and pulled away from the sides so this wasn't to complicated.
So once you get your cake back in that pan it's time to add the ice cream.  Chickey had requested mint chocolate chip and it's a good thing she did.  If she had requested something else, I would have probably just ignored her and done mint chocolate chip anyway.  Because that's how I role. 

So.  Take some ice cream and spread it on that cake.  I use the term "spread" loosely as ice cream doesn't really spread.  I guess I could have let it soften up a little but I figured that would get messy so I just did my best.  And used my hands.  And pulled little chunks of ice cream out of the carton and filled in the holes.  All of this with clean hands, of course.  
OK so up next we are going to put that other layer of cake on that ice cream.  And then we are going to get this guy out of those cake pans.  
What you are going to need is some sort of a surface.  I used the bottom of a spring form pan.  And then I panicked and added an extra layer of support in the form of a dinner plate.
Take a deep breath, set a positive intention and flip.  
Ta dah!  Wrap it up real well with some saran wrap and stick it in the freezer until you are ready to frost it.  
Ok so let's talk frosting (or icing...whatevs).  If you've ever had a Baskin Robbins ice cream cake you might agree that the best part of it is the frosting.  Oh, man.  That frosting.  It's something else.  Imagine how jazzed I was when upon taking a bite of this cake I discovered that is frosting was pretty much exactly like that BR treat.  I'll share that recipe at the end of this post.  You'll be glad you kept reading....

OK so frost this bad boy in a way that causes you the least amount of stress.  I've found that frosting cakes can be an intense/messy/hot mess situation so just make it work.  And remember, it's about how it tastes....not how it looks.  And yes I'm just saying that to make myself feel better about this:
What's that you ask?  That's a 25.  In my mind, it was going to look very different.  Here's how I did it:

But alls well that ends well, right (?), and the hot mess sprinkle situation didn't change the taste. 
So after you've got it all decorated wrap it back up in saran wrap.  Stick it in the freezer for a few hours because apparently freezing this frosting makes magic things happen.  Before, it just tastes like a basic cream cheese frosting.  After, it just tastes like magic.  And since we're talking about it, here's the recipe!

Ice Cream Frosting
from Sweet Tooth Sweet Life 

1/3 cup of butter, softened
4 oz of cream cheese, softened
2 tsp vanilla
5 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
1/4 cup ice cream
2 - 4 tbl milk

Cream together the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.  Mix in the vanilla.  Add in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and combine well.  Mix in the ice cream.  Slowly add in milk until it reaches the desired consistency.  

So there you go!  A kind of homemade ice cream cake!  Make one for the Chickey in your life....  

And have a good Monday.