Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Productivity: Culinary arts > Engineering

This past week (7 days week, not 'starting Sunday to Saturday' week) has been pretty spectacular in terms of cooking/baking/being culinarily crafty: new broccoli recipe, new cinnamon roll recipe, procurement of a pineapple, making of a pasta dish, and baking of an impromptu cake.

In the spirit of organization, I'll share my adventures with you in chronological order, starting with The Broccoli. This is one recipe where I wouldn't mind being a vegetarian (even though I don't think that the best part of a cow is its moo) and I'd be content to eat broccoli every day for the foreseeable future.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Le sigh...

For the second week in a row now, I have somehow managed to misplace large chunks of my Thursday. Next thing I know, it's almost 10:30, I'm baking cinnamon rolls, I'm still disgusting from my run, and I haven't eaten dinner.

I had two great recipes for y'all today, but it's late and I'm tired and I haven't gotten anything ready to face my Friday (or the weekend, for that matter). I'm waiting on my last load of laundry to finish up so I can throw it in the dryer and throw myself into my cozy bed.

Until I can actually be bothered to post another recipe (with pictures from my new-to-me camera), I'll give you pictures of the Manwich. Now that it's warming up, it's Belly Sprawl Season!

This is my belly. You may rub it, but only until I try to bite your hand off...

If it's horizontal and mostly stationary, I can claim it, right? Right.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Dear Spring, I miss you...

Since Mother Nature seems to have skipped right to June and West Lafayette currently feels more like somewhere Down South (Florida, maybe?), Jambalaya seemed like a delicious option for dinner this evening.

IN OTHER NEWS (relating to cookies, of course, because what other news would I have in my life?): I made yet another batch of the most delicious cookies, this time adding 2 cups of oats instead of just one. Aside from my oven doing wonky things (and a cookie sheet that was unwilling to let go of cookies after the first batch), they turned out even better than the first few batches I've made. I think I'll try dried fruit at some point, possibly white chocolate chips, and maybe (just maybe!) adding those stupid pecans. Maybe.

Read on for an actual recipe!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Om nom nom nom

DID YOU KNOW: Cookie Monster's favorite cookie is the chocolate chip variety (with oatmeal coming in second). Basically, these are Cookie Monster Cookies.

I am glad I didn't give up desserts for Lent. These cookies are the most addictive things I've ever baked. I got back from a 14 mile run yesterday and promptly ate at least 4 of them. I just cannot stop eating them. They're better than normal chocolate chip cookies and way better than oatmeal raisin cookies. Basically, you'll never want to try anything else again because These Are It.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
8 T. unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 c. sugar
1 c. light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 large eggs
1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 c. quick-cooking oats
12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips



REAL BUTTER. No cheating...
Preheat oven to 350.




Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla, and beat until well-mixed, about 3 minutes.






Stir in eggs, one at a time.









This is the perfect time for quality control
Stir together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a separate bowl. Add half the flour mixture to the butter mixture with the mixer on low speed. Once the flour has been incorporated, add the other other half. Hand-stir in remaining ingredients.







Bake 10-12 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet for 5-6 minutes, then transfer to wire cooling rack.

Watch out. They're dangerous.

--

This recipe originally called for 1/4 tsp nutmeg and 1/8 tsp cloves but I don't have cloves (seriously who does?), so they didn't get invited to the cookie party. You also have the option of adding 2 c. of chopped pecans, but since we all know how I feel about nuts in cookies/brownies/cake/bread, they got the cold shoulder as well. AND the (completely optional, according to me) 2 tsp orange zest. But only because I haven't had an orange either time I've made these cookies BUT I really want to zest an orange. Someday...

Friday, March 9, 2012

French, really?

'Casserole' is a French (never would have guessed) word meaning one type of dish for cooking in. I think it just means 'throw all your random leftovers together to create dinner magic'. (Also: 'smorgasboard' comes from the Swedish terms for 'bread and butter table'. Apparently. I learned this at trivia last night, but the guy reading the questions couldn't get Chris Bosch's name out correctly, and he butchered the pronunciation of "aurora borealis" so I could be getting my random trivia info all mixed up...)

Anyhoo...

For my first 'real food' post-surgery meal, I decided a casserole would be a good idea. This one's from way back in my 4H days, so it doesn't really have a name. Then again, you're probably not going to name something that's a mismash of whatever you have hanging around the kitchen, right?

Nameless Casserole
Says it serves 4, but y'all better be hungry...
1 lb. cooked ground meat (beef, turkey, chicken, whatever...leftovers, remember?)
2 c. cooked wide egg noodles (I'm sure you could use any type of small pasta)
2 c. frozen peas, cooked and drained
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese

Combine all ingredients except cheese. Placed in a (greased, if you want to) 2 quart casserole dish and top with cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Pre-baked casserole....mmmm

I promise I'll have better recipes and a really fun how-to coming up soon. Spring Break is next week here at Purdue, so maybe I'll find my motivation and get it together :)