Tag Archives: cooking

2011 Goals – An Update

Picture I made for my goals article

Image via Wikipedia

Oy.

That’s the update.

Half the year done, and I haven’t done JACK.

Let’s go over the list, shall we?

Work on being a better photographer.  I’ve barely taken any pictures, those I have taken have been on my cell phone, and I haven’t charged my digital camera in months.

Strive to write every day.  I wasn’t doing well with this one previously, but in the last three or four weeks I’ve been doing better.  I have been writing every day.  And I feel much better.

Delightfully Happy blog – now defunct.  I really wanted to succeed with this one, but I just couldn’t keep it up.  Not because I couldn’t find something to be happy about every day, but because I had so much going on I didn’t have time to post.  I kept a list in MS Word for a while, hoping to post as I had time, but I got so far behind I finally gave up.

Do not keep Netflix movies longer than 2 weeks.  Miserable fail.  I’ve had one for at least two months, I swear.  But now, with Netflix’s new pricing, I soon won’t have any DVDs from Netflix to keep, so…Win?

Use new veggies.  Um, yeah.  I did Baby Eggplant.  And I think I did another veggie.  But yet another massive fail.

Watch more hockey.  Fail.

Visit 5 places in the 1000 Places to See Before You Die list.  Nada.  Yet.  I plan on going to Charleston in a couple of months.  I looked into the Spoleto Festival, and it wasn’t quite what I expected (or was interested in, to be honest).

Watch movies from the AFI list.  Count:  0

Read 12 books from the BBC 100 List.  Now, I did try, I swear.  I read Wuthering Heights, and hated every second of it.  Then I tried reading Love in the time of Cholera, and I wanted to dig my eyeballs out so I couldn’t read it anymore.  I didn’t finish.  And that’s when I gave up.  (Although, I have started reading Pride and Prejudice, and am so far enjoying it.)

Overall, as you can tell, massive fail.  But I did so well last year – do I get credit for that?

How are you doing on your 2001 resolutions and goals?

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Time

Time has been in serious short supply lately.  I am very happily sitting my butt down tonight for the first time in…a while.

Most of it, of course, is of my own making.  I’m spending all kinds of time with The New Beau (future blog post note).  I’ve been working out quite a bit (future blog post note).  I’ve had to work late one night a week with The Job.  Outside of Sleep, I’ve literally spent less than eight hours a week at home doing stuff.  My Tivo is near to bursting, I’ve forgotten what my couch feels like under my butt, and my cat is pissed.

Just another day in the life…

I’m tired.  But I’m happy.  Funny how that works, huh?

In the last week, I have learned how to use a pastry bag (by making these awesome brandy snaps) and sewn an eyemask:

In the last 36 hours I have finished my first pillow and made salted caramels:

I am currently looking forward to a trip to Charleston (sometime in the next two months) and a surfing lesson, and to  visit from the maternal unit.

And a possible move to Finland?

Doubtful, but not outside of the realm of possibility.

Because you really never know…

Life is fun, i’n’it?

Roasted Veggie Quinoa Salad

The theme for this month’s Cooking Club was salad.  Hmm….what to make, what to make.

I like to at least attempt originality for Cooking Club.  I enjoy a salad my friend makes, but it’s not necessarily original.  I also like that “oriental” salad with ramen noodles, but again, not all that original.  I called my mom, as she always has a load of interesting recipes she’s never tried.  She came up with a recipe for a roasted vegetable salad, but it had beets and stuff in it, and I’m more of a squash/zucchini kind of girl.  I wanted to do something with quinoa, since I had bought a huge bag from Costco recently.

Then I found this recipe online:  Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad.  It fit the bill perfectly.  But I found the recipe slightly confusing, and I noticed that the guy had gotten the recipe idea from another blog – Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Feta.  Hmmm….

If you know me, or have ever seen my “recipes,” I don’t really follow directions very well.  My brand of cooking involves a little of this, some of that, throw a few of these in, depending on taste….  So, it’s no big surprise that I ended up taking both of the recipes, blending, omitting, adding, and coming up with my own special twist.

  • 2 zucchini, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 1/2 yellow squash, cut into bite size pieces
  • a little more than half a large eggplant, cut into bite size pieces
  • jar of marinated artichoke hearts, quartered
  • a pint of grape tomatoes, halved
  • 8 oz mushrooms, cut into bite size pieces
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • herbs (Italian, basil, thyme…dill might be good…whatever you want)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 bag baby spinach
  • feta, however much you want (I used tomato basil feta)
  1. Place quinoa in fine mesh strainer and rinse until water runs clear.  Put in pan, add broth, and turn on high until it boils. Reduce heat to low, cover, cook for 10 minutes, until water is absorbed.  Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes.  Allow quinoa to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Put zucchini, squash, eggplant, and artichokes on baking sheet (actually, two large baking sheets).  Drizzle liberally with olive oil.  Bake for about 15 minutes.  After the first 15 minutes, add the tomatoes and mushrooms, drizzle with more olive oil, add salt and pepper.  Toss around on the baking sheet, bake for another 15 minutes.
  3. Mix vegetables with quinoa. 
  4. Place spinach in large bowl.  Add vegetables and quinoa.  Toss.  Add feta. 
  5. Make a dressing using the olive oil from the baking sheet (about 2-3 Tbsp), Balsamic Vinegar (about 2 Tbsp), and whatever herbs you want.  Drizzle over salad. 

Quinoa is one of those “superfoods.”  High protein, amino acid, fiber, magnesium, iron. Plus, it’s gluten-free.  You MUST rinse it, or it’s not very good.  You can buy it rinsed, but if in doubt, go ahead and rinse.  It’s a great substitute for rice, pasta, bulger wheat…it makes a fabulous tabouleh!

Everything at cooking club was fabulous.  I had seconds of everything, and at least one of us had thirds.  I won’t name names to protect the innocent.  But, hey, it was salad!  Seriously, I think the unhealthiest thing there was avocado, so think of it that way!

Pasta with roasted veggies

This has become my favorite dinner.

Preheat oven to 400.  Take some squash and zucchini, about 1 oz each, cut into half-inch slices and halved.

Take some asparagus, about 3 oz, stems cut into two (or three, depending on how long they are).

Take 2-4 cloves garlic, depending on taste (I use about 5!), coarsely chopped.  Throw all that onto a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper.  Add rosemary, or other spices, if you’re so inclined.  Put in oven and set timer for 10 minutes.

Put water on to boil to make Pasta-Roni.

Slice grape tomatoes in half, about 3 oz. 

Slice mushrooms, about 1 oz, into large chunks (4-6 chunks per mushroom).

Make pasta-roni per instructions. 

After the first ten minutes, add tomatoes and mushrooms to baking sheet, toss, add more olive oil, salt, pepper as necessary.  Cook for another 15-20 minutes. 

Take half of the pasta.  Add the veggies on top. 

Enjoy the hell out of it.  Lick the plate afterwards.

Garlic-Lemon Mahi

This is so good.  So very, very good.  Lick your plate clean good.

Found on Food Network

  • Vegetable oil, for sauteing
  • 1 (6-8 oz) mahi mahi fillet
  • 1 Tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 oz unsalted butter, melted or cubed
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large saute pan, heat the oil.  Add the mahi and cook until the underside is golden brown.  Turn the fish over and add the garlic, lemon juice, and white wine.  Once the wine and lemon juice have cooked down, add the butter.  Finish cooking and season with salt and pepper.

Now, I’m not entirely sure I made this correctly, but it was excellent.  I used about a tbsp oil, in a small saute pan, and I don’t think I cooked the liquid down as much as I should have…but I don’t care, because my end result was phenomenal.