I started my 3rd attempt of P90X on March 29th, 2012 (read here about my last attempts).
30 days into it, I already...
You know how there are how to’s and tutorials pretty much everywhere you look on the internet? Ever feel overwhelmed with this abundance of helpful advice?
Well you’re in luck, because I’m here to tell you how NOT to make eggplant parmesan. Follow my instructions, and you will end up with some sort of weird eggplanty/corndogy/dry patty concoction for dinner - sound remotely appetizing? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
Step 1: Find an awesome Eggplant Parmesan recipe like this one
Step 2: Ignore the aforementioned directions and mix ALL of the ingredients together - and I mean EVERYTHING - into what becomes a cement-like mixture that you’re pretty sure will have to be chiseled out of the bowl
Step 3: Attempt to salvage your breading by packing it around the slices of eggplant you so lovingly cut and let sweat for 30 minutes
Step 4: Put in oven
This is what your results should look like:
Step 6: Serve it to a loved one and watch them try to smile through dinner
Seriously though. How did I mess this up?! It really ended up tasting pretty good, but the texture was completely off. Next time I’ll have to monitor what I’m actually dumping into the dipping and breading mixtures. Oops!
J and I tried a new vegan recipe tonight that I found on Pinterest - Spinach Linguine with Edamame Pesto. I pretty much followed the recipe as is except for a slight variation on the fresh herbs I used. The recipe was quick, easy and DELICIOUS! And guessing by the two big bowls that J ate, he agreed :)
We’ll definitely be making this again! Love finding new recipes on great blogs. If you’ve never checked out Post Punk Kitchen, I’d highly recommend it! Happy cooking - and eating ;)
How perfect would this meal have been for St. Patty’s day?! Ah well, there’s always next year!
Another convenience post about…. you guessed it: food! More specifically, breakfast. And what screams breakfast more like a piping hot bowl of oatmeal? Seriously, oatmeal is the wonder breakfast. It keeps me full through lunch so snacking doesn’t even cross my mind.
It seems like getting going in the morning is a main focus for both J and I. This weekend I took the time to make a GIGANTIC pot of oatmeal to use throughout the coming weeks. I felt like a character straight out of Oliver Twist - no, you may not have some more. And don’t call me sir!
Anyways, back to the huge batch of oatmeal… I divided it between 8 mason jars for use this week and scooped the rest into muffin tins. I popped the tins in the freezer for a few hours, emptied them into a storage container, sent them back to the freezer, and voilà - breakfast on the go! We can grab a couple of these bad boys from the freezer on our way out the door and heat them up at work. Easy peasy - and not to mention yummy!
I whipped up these egg bakes last week. J has been leaving the house by 5:00am most mornings to catch the gym before it gets busy, so he’s been piecing together various breakfast options (none of which were all that healthy or filling). I had seen variations of egg bakes all over Pinterest, so I decided to give it a try! As you can see, I just mixed eggs, turkey sausage, peppers and cheese. I sprayed the muffin tins and baked for ~25 minutes. This batch made 24 “muffins”. I refrigerated some but put most in the freezer. Now J can grab a couple on his way out the door, microwave after his workout, and be fueled and energized for the day ahead! So easy - I’ll definitely be making these again! What variations would you like to try?
For the Creighton alum party this weekend I made a variety of yummy holiday treats. Both endeavors were a bit of an experiment, but all things considered, everything turned out GREAT!
First, Chocolate Graham Cracker Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow (which we renamed Toasty Snowcaps for a seasonal twist). I found the recipe on Martha Stewart’s site, but I got intimidated by the prospect of making the cake batter from scratch (where the heck do I find non-Dutch cocoa powder?!). Instead, I opted for a chocolate cake mix to make the recipe more manageable.
Other than that, I pretty much followed the recipe to a T.
The marshmallow frosting was really fun to make. If you decide to try this recipe, cut the frosting recipe by 1/2. It seriously makes SO much! When I was using the electric mixer, it just kept growing and growing and growing! I bet I had 75% of the mixture leftover! I used a Betty Crocker frosting squeezy thing (my official name for it), to pipe the marshmallow mixture onto the cupcakes. Like this….
Obviously, the best part of the whole process was getting to use my fancy new kitchen torch to toast the marshmallow! I found this one at Bed Bath and Beyond that was a reasonable price and worked really well.
Side note:I would be lying if I denied the fact that since then I have taken a marshmallow, set it on a plate, torched it, and ate it. Proud moment for sure ;)
I will definitely be making this recipe again. It’s not nearly as hard or time consuming as all the steps make it appear. I might even try to make the cake batter from scratch! YUM!
Second on my list was Pumpkin Angel Food Cake (for Santa’s nice list only!). I got this recipe from my mom and it’s absolutely delicious! It’s like a light, fluffy pumpkin pie - mmmmmmmm! I used a regular 9x13” pan instead of the tube pan it called for (A- because I don’t have one, and B- because I wanted to cut them into “finger food” sized squares). I lined the bottom of the pan with parchment paper to make sure there weren’t any sticking issues, and it turned out beautifully! I frosted the top with whipped cream and used silver sprinkles to decorate.
Here’s the recipe:
Pumpkin Angel Food Cake
1 C cooked or canned pumpkin
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1 16 oz. package one-step angel food cake mix
Optional - Cool Whip and additional ground cinnamon
In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin, vanilla and spices. Set aside.
In another bowl, prepare cake mix according to package directions. Fold 1/4 of the batter into pumpkin mixture. Gently fold in the remaining batter. Spoon into an ungreased 10 - inch tube pan. Cut through the batter with a knife to remove air pockets. Bake on the lowest oven rack at 350 degrees for 38 - 44 minutes or until top is golden born and cake springs back when lightly touched. Immediately invert pan onto a wire rack. Cool completely in pan —- about 1 hour. Run knife around sides of cake and center and remove to a serving plate. Garnish each slice with whipped topping and sprinkle with cinnamon if desired.
I think it’s safe to say that I’ve never willingly eaten lentils. I have a bad habit of assuming I won’t like things that I’ve never had (a bad habit that I am trying very hard to overcome).
My sister was raving about a lentil recipe she had made earlier this week, so I decided to do a little investigating of my own. I found out that lentils are a great source of protein and an overall healthy addition to any diet. True to form, I checked out SkinnyTaste as my trusted source and found this gem. I figured the chicken component would be a safety net if the lentils themselves were a flop.
The ingredients required a bit of a scavenger hunt around the grocery store, but I found everything I needed and got to work. The recipe could not have been easier - super straightforward and simple. I am fairly particular about textures in my food, so I opted to use my food processor for the tomato and onion portion.
I mixed up some quick beer bread to have with the soup and called it a meal! J wasn’t around for dinner last night so we only have one verdict in so far, but I give this tasty soup 2 thumbs up! Delicious! Although next time I might add another tomato and a bit more onion.
This recipe made a HUGE batch (I should have halved it), so J will have ample opportunity to give it a try. In fact, we’ll probably be eating lentils for the next week :)
Do you have any lentil recipes to share? What new dishes have you tried lately?
Sometimes when I’m feeling particularly uninspired and not sure what to make for dinner, I stop by the cooking aisle at the grocery store and see what tasty combinations McCormick has available. They have these handy spice packages that have pre-measured portions of all the spices and herbs you need for a delicious (and easy) meal. The first one I tried was Rosemary Roasted Chicken with Potatoes - it was a big hit at our house, so we’ve moved on to some more adventurous combinations!
Tonight we had Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas and they were awesome! I prepared J and I slightly different variations, but we both agreed that the results were GREAT and should definitely remain in our recipe repertoire!
Besides being foolproof, these recipe inspirations are a great way for young couples like J and I to try new ingredients and slowly build a more robust spice rack. Even if we love the package, I never buy it twice - instead I just grab the container of the spice itself and stock up on the components we know we’ll use most.
It’s a question echoed through households across America, “What’s for dinner?!”
Tonight was an easy decision - with 3 bottles of the hottest BBQ sauce around, I decided it was time for one of our favorites, shredded BBQ chicken. Not only is it super tasty, it’s SO easy. Seriously- chicken breast, BBQ sauce, and a crock pot on low for 7 hours. Throw in some foil wrapped potatoes, and you’ve got a meal!
You may ask, WHY do we have a stockpile of BBQ sauce? J always craves spicy food on grocery trips, so this lovely little bottle magically wound up in our cart 3 times (in a row). Oh well, a great excuse for some BBQ! :)
PS - My mom gave me crock pot liners as a stocking stuffer last year. LIFE. CHANGER. Don’t slow cook without them!