Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cleaning the Cupboards

Still trying to use up leftovers, I got my bake on as an exam de-stresser.

The first exam week creation was a fruit pizza. After my marine science exam I wanted something to cheer me up, so I used my last tortilla and the JUMBO kiwi I found at Food Lion (serious proof of people messing with foods) along with other leftover berries, grapes, cream cheese and orange marmalade.

This would cheer anyone up!

Then today I spent all day doing physics, and it was rainy and gross and depressing outside, so I made one of my favorite cold winter soups: Avoglemono Soup. This bowl of greek goodness has a chicken broth base with eggs to thicken it and lemon for an intense flavor. The orzo and the chicken add a hearty touch to stick to your ribs. Garnished with cilantro, of course.

Then, while doing French, an intense peanut butter craving hit me and I needed some chocolate too (oh dear), so I made some funky puppy chow out of puffed wheat and crushed shredded wheat. Instead of melting chocolate, I made the black bean brownie batter to mix into the dessert! It was even Allen-approved (and he doesn't like sweets).... Oh, and I made a huge mess while mixing it.

Two exams to go - just French tomorrow morning and physics saturday (worst Saturday of my life, waaaah, boooo, hisssss).

Exploring Oats

I had a week of overnight oatmeal breakfasts for the last week of classes since mornings were rushed but I needed something tasty and something that tasted like it had been nicely prepared!

Three of the creations included chocolate brownie overnight oats, mandarin orange & peach with a hint of tangerine zest, and my favorite so far (besides traditional with cranberry juice and golden raisins) was the peach melba oats - the raspberries added the perfect tang and sweetness!

One morning I had some extra time and I happened to be out of almond milk the night before (which I use as my base for overnight oats), so I made blueberries and cream oats!! It was perfect when I added a touch of vanilla creamer. The trick was first brewing blueberry tea then cooking the oats in the tea with some truvia and adding the creamer and frozen berries last :) - Also pictured is my usual greek yogurt with pepitas -. 

While attempting to use up more of my food before move out week, I noticed I had an avocado that NEEDED to be consumed that day and lemons that also needed to go bye-bye. SO, I made pesto tortillas out of ground oats and pesto mix with olive oil and water as the "crust" to my creative pizza-type crepes. Then, while I cooked the tortillas in the pan, I threw some freshly sliced tomatoes in the oven for roasting with a little pesto on top. I whipped up a spread of goat cheese, avocado, and lemon juice, and the whole thing all together was to DIE for! Yum yum yum.

I ended up making three tortillas total, so I used the leftover one as a snack before dinner with more of the spread and greens, then shaped it like a taco.

I wanted to share my delicious tortilla creations with Allen, so our Thursday night dinner was mexican meatballs from a recipe I found on the paleo website (even homemade sauce) and cheese enchiladas de Allie made out of my oat tortillas (this time I mixed chili mix into the ground oats instead of pesto). Allen begged me to make the enchiladas again and raved about them the next day too! They were so stinking healthy, and I'm glad he loved them. They looked pretty too!

I'm sure this next week will be full of interesting meals as I attempt to clean the cupboards! 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Tacky Christmas parties and broken creamer caps

Dinner with Allen on December first meant a nice big meal (well. duh. we usually do that except this time we had something SUPER yummy). I ended up eating FIVE AND A HALF chicken drumsticks they were so stinkin' good! Man, can Allen cook drum sticks or what!

For some reason I wanted chicken again the next night really badly, except this time I was craving pesto (who does that?). SO, we made pesto chicken to go with the zucchinni parmesan fritters Allen baked for me (not pictured because I ate ALL of the fritters - three zucchinis worth - before Allen could take the picture of dinner). The mushrooms and caprese salad complimented the flavors nicely.

After we were full, we went to Walmart to find the tackiest sweaters on the racks. Unfortunately, although the sweaters were perfectly ugly, they were at least $17. Instead we headed over to the women's section and found these adorable "always believe" santa shirts that were super creepy, hideous, and would be excellent for the party.

 The next morning was a... well it was morning and it came too quickly and I needed coffee. But when I went to snag my coffee creamer from the fridge, I discovered that the cap was molded so terribly that it did not fit the bottle at all and the creamer would go bad as soon as I tried to re-seal it. SO, I got my hot glue gun all heated up and went to work!

This was the result, and although it looks as janky and redneck as could possibly be, it is fully functional and I have fresh coffee creamer for the week that won't spoil thanks to my ingenuity. 

Orange Marmalade and Ketchup? You bet!

Yeah, orange marmalade and ketchup is right! I was craving some baked plantains and had no idea what sauce to dip them in... creamy? No. Spicy? No. Sweet? Kinda. Tangy? YES. I sorted through my fridge and found ketchup which is always a safe dipping sauce. Then I saw orange marmalade on my fridge door and my curiosity won me over. I first tried dipping a piece of the plantain in each separately but it wasn't quite the satisfaction I wanted. THEN, when I accidentally combined the two in a scoop, heavenly angels sang to me. Orange marmalade and ketchup - the newest, bestest plantain dip.

I was in a baking mood that day so I also decided to get some cupcake tins out and try this new chocolate cupcake recipe I found online. It only uses oats as the "flour" so that's why it caught my interest.

They actually turned out to taste like little chocolate lava cakes and I helped myself to one on the way to class... and when I returned... there were only two left :( My roommates love my baking a little too much.

I saved a cupcake for Lauren for a snack while I cooked dinner. I invited her over for a nice meal because she had a stressful week. Her mamma usually makes us salmon, broccoli, quinoa and sweet potatoes when we go home (her house = my second home), so I decided to make something similar but not too similar that it would make her homesick.

The result was Caribbean jerk marinated mahi mahi on a bed of orzo and snap peas cooked in veggie broth and herbs, and a little garnish of course! The orzo hit the spot and reminded me of MY mamma's cooking!

I'm now on an orzo kick and made a dish with it tonight - gettin funky with it!
I marinated salmon in the same jerk spices except added orange marmalade (trying to get rid of that stuff) and soy sauce to go on top of orzo that I stir-fried into chinese veggies with an egg and sesame seeds. Yeah... it was reeeal good.