February 15, 2010
I got up yesterday wanting to make a special breakfast for Brandon on Valentine’s Day, but I didn’t have to look to hard find something I wanted to make: my new favorite waffle recipe practically called out to me from the page in my cookbook and I couldn’t resist. In the past waffles were reserved only for special days because despite how yummy they are, they aren’t the most healthy breakfast in the world. Since Brandon and I are both dieting, waffles would normally be out the question. But now that I’ve found this recipe I can make waffles every weekend and we don’t have to feel guilty about eating them!
These waffles are half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour, wheat germ and ground flaxseed (which is especially heart healthy). But despite sounding very…well…wheat-y, they don’t taste like it all. They taste like normal waffles, except that the whole wheat adds another dimension to them. These are sweeter, lighter and fluffier than my normal waffle recipe. I usually drown my waffles in syrup, but I’ve found with these I don’t want to. …
February 9, 2010
Also calling out to me? Bacon! Put some bacon in anything and I’m there. There’s not a lot of bacon, though, so this is still a relatively healthy soup. And if you took out the bacon it would still be hearty and filling thanks to the lentils and the vegetables.
With the exception of the lentils, which I personally had never eaten or bought before I made this recipe, it doesn’t have any other specialized ingredients. I had everything already sitting in my kitchen and I definitely prefer recipes where I can use ingredients I already have. I hate, hate, hate, buying a special ingredient for a recipe and then having the leftovers go bad or sit in my pantry collecting dust. (And now that I know I like lentils, I’m finding new recipes to make with them so they’re becoming a pantry staple along with kidney beans and black beans.)
February 4, 2010
I’m doing Project 365 this year, which is a challenge to take a picture every single day for a full year. It’s a month in and I’m already starting to run out of ideas of what to take pictures of. Last week I was sitting in my kitchen trying to come up with something, but my mind kept wandering to dessert (this is not unusual). Then I realized: I should take a picture of dessert! Perfect.
This is my favorite go-to snack. I always have all the ingredients in my pantry and when I’m having a chocolate craving I can make a couple of these in 5 minutes, which is much faster (and healthier) than making up a batch of cookies or brownies. It’s not a mind-blowing dessert or anything, but when I posted this picture on flickr a lot of people commented saying how good it looked, so I decided I should share it with all my wonderful foodblog readers as well! Because maybe you guys have never thought to add peanut butter to s’mores? Seriously, peanut butter makes everything better.
January 25, 2010
The main reason this recipe caught my eye is because it’s a one pot meal that you can make in your Dutch oven. I’ve been wanting a Dutch oven for years and finally got one for Christmas so anytime I see a recipe that mentions a dutch oven, I’ll almost always give it a try. I couldn’t afford one of those uber expensive Le Creuset’s, so I wound up getting one from Lodge that looks almost exactly the same and is well made, but costs about a quarter less. So far I love it and use it as much as possible: soup, spaghetti sauce, chili, oatmeal, whole chicken. And now I have this new recipe to make in it.
January 19, 2010
I didn’t used to be a fan of soup. I don’t know if that was one of those things that I turned my nose up at when I was a kid or if my mom just wasn’t a soup person and so she never made it. Regardless, the only soup I ate for years and years and years was Campbell’s chicken noodle or tomato. But when I started cooking for myself, I figured out two important things about soup: It’s generally healthy (even the creamier ones still have vegetables) and it’s really easy to make. Throw some stuff in a pot and you just made soup! I realize that making soup probably isn’t a big deal for some people, but for me, who only ate soup from a can for 20 plus years? Making homemade soup is something I feel proud of, the same way I feel about making homemade bread.
This winter I’ve been craving lots of soup since we finally live in a place that gets cold, so I’ve been expanding my soup repertoire. I usually make it once a week but I’ve …
January 6, 2010
Well, it’s January and you know what that means. It’s time for my annual “I’m going to completely change my lifestyle this year…I swear…for real this time.” Sigh. Honestly, I wasn’t really going to bother until Lori at RecipeGirl.com started her “Ten in 10″ Challenge. What I like about it is that it’s not about weightloss, it’s just about trying to become more healthy in whatever way you define that.
I like food. I like to eat food. I even like to take pictures of the food I eat because I just like it that much. So going on a diet doesn’t appeal to me. Maybe it’s something I can do for a few weeks but eventually I get, you know, hungry. So my goal for the next 10 weeks is not another diet, but just be healthier (more fruits/veg, whole grains, etc.) and more active. I did that this past summer/fall and lost about 15 lbs. But if you’ve been reading my blog since November you know I, uh, indulged a bit …
December 21, 2009
I may have gone a bit cookie crazy. Besides my Peppermint Fudge Pinwheels, I have two more cookie recipes to share. Well, it’s more like one recipe and one technique, but I’ll get to that.
I’ve never been able to find a sugar cookie that I actually like. I’ve tried about a million and they all just taste blah to me. But I think that’s just the kind of person I am. Brandon told me the other day that I have tendency to put too much flavoring in the things I bake and that may be true, but I just want something that tastes like…something. I hate blah food. Even something that has too much flavor is better than something that doesn’t have any. But I think this is just that age old debate of people who like vanilla ice cream and people who like chocolate. Of course I choose chocolate! The only time I’ll eat vanilla ice cream is if it’s covered in fudge or caramel.
Anyway, I’m not sure I even have a point other than to say that this desire for flavor translates into everything I cook and share on this blog. I make a lot of stuff that I don’t share here because it’s boring or basic. I always try to find recipes that are fun (at least to me). Which leads me to these totally adorable Christmas Tree Cookies. They are fun and easy to make and did I mention how adorable they are? But that’s not even the best part of them. The original recipe was for plain ol’ sugar cookies, but of course I modified them! The best part is that they taste just like cinnamon graham crackers, which are my absolute favorite. And my boyfriend, Mr. You-put-too-much flavoring, actually said that these were perfect! And he hates cinnamon, so if he likes these cookies, anyone will.
I bet these cookies would be fun to make if you have kids. You divide the dough into three rolls which you cover in green sugar, then after they’ve chilled for a while, you just sliced them up and bake. I think kids would definitely have fun assembling the little trees; I did and I’m almost 30 years old! These would be really festive and pretty for a party and they keep well in an air-tight container. As with all Betty Crocker cookies I’ve made (or maybe it’s just a personal preference?) I think these taste better the day after you bake them.
The other kind of cookies I made are technically called Stained Glass cookies, but I’m not sure that’s really accurate, especially after I modified them. I have seen recipes for stained glass cookies that actually have a little transparent window of sugar in them and these are not like those at all. These are just your basic sugar cookie recipe, but you divide up the dough and color parts of it with food coloring.
You are supposed to cut out shapes with cookie cutters in the uncolored dough and then cut up the colored doughs into little squares and arrange them on top of the uncolored cut-outs so that it looks like a stained glass window. But OH MY GOD, that is tedious. Seriously, I did about 3 cookies like that and I was done. It took forever and the colored dough kept getting too soft so I had to keep freezing it every 5 minutes. I was about ready to shoot someone and that is not the attitude you should have when making Christmas cookies! It’s supposed to be fun, not mind-numbing. So I pretty much just gave up on the whole “stained glass” thing and just cut out circles and whatever else I wanted. Then I took the colored doughs and cut them with cookie cutters and added more little details. It was much more fun when I could just do what I wanted to.
Despite all that work, the cookies that came out were pretty but they were blah. Just about the blandest sugar cookies I’ve ever tasted: they weren’t even that sweet! So I won’t be posting that recipe, but the technique is still interesting and fun (as long as you do what you want and don’t try to kill yourself being “perfect”), and it should work with your favorite sugar cookie recipe.