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So while I’m on bedrest, I’m trying to keep my calories between 12oo and 1500 a day… it’s pretty easy, since I’m rarely hungry except for dinnertime. But… this week, I want brownies. I keep thinking about them. Just look at this amazing shot from Annie’s Eats:

Annie's Eats Caramel Brownies

I don’t think there is a single greater substance on this earth than caramel. Plus, this totally beats my craving last week for an entire can of cold peas. (Side note: I only eat one type of peas, typically. It’s the one thing I’m picky about, aside from raw tomatoes. That craving grossed me out…)

So… the list of Amazing Brownies!

Well, these brownie recipes would make Cookie Monster a convert… so I’m dying to know if you’ve got any to add! 🙂 If you try any of these, let me (and the authors) know… I think the Bacon ones, the Cookies and Creme, the Caramel cheesecake and Bourbon Pecan Pie ones are all on my short list!
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So, I made muffins a month ago, took pics to blog, edited the pics… and then tasted the muffins. The recipe sucked, but the pics weren’t too bad considering it was raining buckets. Also, because muffins make you feel warm inside and I want to inspire you to make some soon, here’s a few pics.

Well, K told me to write more since I’m going off the train as far as gchat goes. In fact, I finally switched to using my married name email because I didn’t want the temptation to go back.

So this is the post where I want to talk a little bit about what my thanksgiving week looks like. In fact, I conveniently made a fake calendar to show you:

I know, it looks a little halloween-esque down there at the bottom. Oh well. But, my real point is that I get three thanksgivings and one of them is with my Clemson family – my best friends. I am so, so excited.

You see, my Clemson thanksgiving usually has way too much food and way too many people crammed into way too small of an apartment. We all cook for hours usually (one year Chad made a ham that we bought at Kroger here in Athens since we were visiting – that’s kind of a cool connection right? yeah.. i know, it’s not really) and it took about 5 hours to slow cook to perfection. Another year, we went to my mom’s family pre-thanksgiving thanksgiving and ended up late to Clemson thanksgiving… so Mandy made tea and pumpkin pie for us to all take. It’s usually cold, rainy and there’s college football playing in the background. Basically, it’s thanksgiving with the family that you choose – the happy, non-awkward thanksgiving.

I love my Clemson thanksgiving and knowing that everyone will truly be gone from Clemson next year means that this is it, the last one. It’s bittersweet but, since Adele and Chad will be off starting the friday before thanksgiving, we are all cooking up a massive feast to celebrate and inviting “home” some people who have moved away. Since I started finally considering the fact that we won’t end up in Atlanta after this year, it’s getting easier to cherish the memories and harder to truly say goodbye. I can (and do) drive to Clemson, run errands and drive home [side note: this is for a bank that does not exist in Georgia. I am not actually THAT attached to doing errands], but even that will be gone soon enough.

Do you have any friend-based holiday traditions? Have they changed? I’m curious to see how we will all celebrate next year. Since we’re currently looking at three and four bedroom houses with large finished basements in Cincy – my Clemson family is all welcome to come to my house. In fact, I’d like to take this opportunity to tell them to please do. 🙂

 

That’s right. Those falafels were damn tasty. (Of course, I had to come back and tell you.)

Today’s menu:

figs stuffed with mascarpone, wrapped in prosciutto (mildly smoked)

honey mustard and fage pork chops (pork was braised in the liquid)

garlic and herb barley

beet and chevre salad

Not posting recipes for these tonight, too much to do. But if you want them, email me.

More importantly… what am I going to do with my MLK day?? Three day weekend and no plans yet… 🙂

When did this turn into a cooking blog? I feel like it was sometime last year. I don’t mean for it to be, but usually, the cool recipes I try are my most favorite part of my day!

I do a lot of cooking. I’m really, really sick right now and I’m still crazy cooking. (What is wrong with me?! That seems to be another story) Today’s recipe isssss….. yep, you guessed it, Greek yogurt based! I bought a big container of it and occasionally I like to play the game “What can I make for dinner tonight?” based around an ingredient. I also picked up a can of chickpeas and somehow, the seasoning gods smiled upon me and while I was searching for my big ol’ container of cumin, I found a bunch of coriander seeds!

So yep. Falafels it is. Mandy’s never had it, but I know she’s going to love it. What is it, you may ask? It’s a chickpea patty that is amazingly delicious from Pita Pit, something I had thought of trying soon but hadn’t yet gotten around to trying.

I can’t report on how it is yet, as I’m still waiting to make them (in about 20 minutes, that is!) but you  may be asking, where does the greek yogurt, or Fage (“fa-yeh”) come in? Tzatziki sauce, of course. I’m making a standard one (i.e., with cucumber) but you can use other ingredients–the NYT made one with beets–and even make a bunch of Naan if you want. [The link is already almost two years old, so if it’s gone in the next couple of months, I wouldn’t be surprised.]

Here’s a quick recipe–and it’s onion and food-processor free!

Falafel:

  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp crushed coriander seeds (don’t need a spice grinder… I used my garlic press, but it’s the kind with a removable basket)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour (can use whole wheat, but throw a pinch of all purpose and a pinch of cumin in there)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • serve with tzatziki sauce (see recipe below)

Mix all the ingredients except flour and oil. Using a fork, crush the beans with a fork. This will mix the spices in at the same time. When you’ve got a paste that sticks together mostly, form into little flat patties about an inch and a half in diameter and dredge in the flour. Let sit ten to twenty minutes to let the flour totally bind to the patties, and then fry in the oil (you may have to add a little more oil as you go along). You should get 10-12 patties from the mix. Serve as you would any meat in a pita pocket.

Tzatziki sauce: Mix 1 cup greek yogurt (I used Fage 0% from TJs) and 1/4 cup minced cucumber. Let sit for 15 minutes at least before serving and stir to keep flavor even throughout.

First a cold, then severe nosebleeds, then kidney stones… OMG! What a freaking week!

I haven’t done much by way of cooking, but I am assembling a colorful version of this beauty… and maybe a bigger scale one, too, if the cricut has a lot of flower cutouts.

I found this beauty on 100LayerCake, one of my favorite wedding blogs ever… and I am pretty sure with the number of flowers I have, there are enough to do a wreath the size of a freeway loop. Haha.

Holla if you know me, because I plan on organizing my craft stuff soon and there’s a lot of stuff left in there that I do not use (I’m talking about YOU, 10 pointless inkpads I have and NEVER use… or all the chipboard cutouts that are now pointless thanks to the cricut)… and it’s free for you if you live in the upstate of SC! (The catch: you must meet me in Clemson to get it.)

Also, Chad has been cooking dinner, and what a great cook he’s been! I’ve only helped a teensy bit. Last night, he made the best baked penne I’ve ever had! It had tons of mushrooms, green onions and spicy italian sausage and a crusty gooey cheese layer on top.  And of course, the night before was tacos… I couldn’t taste those very well. And tonight we just had the most amazing glazed pork chops, blanched asparagus and mashed potatoes from scratch… SOOOO good! I don’t mean to brag, I am just so thankful to have a fiance to take such good care of me when I’m sick. I appreciate him tons!

Finally, I started my LAST SEMESTER AT CLEMSON! This makes me so happy… I am so ready to be out of Clemson. Remember when I talked about getting out early or even transferring to get a degree from elsewhere? I don’t even care anymore, I’m so ready to be done. That reminds me… I should definitely get on that ePortfolio requirement. 🙂

Okay, homework time. And I have a jar of marinated artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, goat cheese and a loaf of french bread… coming up tomorrow, bruschetta recipe!

what’s going on, office lovers? Trouble ahead for jim and pam?

SOOOO GLAD michael asked Holly out!! He needs to be nice to her though… really nice.

And Jan is a WEIRDO still.

SNL Thursday is GREAT!!!!!!! the Weekend Update–FABULOUS!

 

Anyways. Been getting better. Cooking more! Trying to eat less–that way i cook less, we spend less on groceries, etc… with just the three of us (Mandy, me and Chad), it’s not too hard to cook a family sized pack of chicken or pork chops and get enough for two days. And boxes of Rice a Roni and Mac and Cheese are good sized for six decent portions, too. I’ve also found that one of those frozen chicken breasts from the 2-3 lb. bag (walmart, food lion/bloom, bi-lo and ingles all have them) will make this while you’re cooking dinner for two nights…

Chicken Salad:

One frozen boneless skinless chicken breast, two eggs, one stalk of celery, mayo, salt, pepper and garlic powder

Boil the chicken for 5 minutes, add eggs and boil for another 15. Rinse both in cold water for 5 minutes, chop up both and dice celery and add it, mix in mayo and seasonings to taste. Refrigerate overnight.

I mean, that probably cost me $3 with bread.

 

I’m about to make some bread pudding with leftover bread i’ve been freezing to save for such an occasion… I love bread pudding! I’m excited, it’s so custardy and warm. 🙂

it’s funny to imagine that in a few years, i’d want to give up all that i’d worked for (career and education) to have and raise kids. i was thinking about that today–what is it that makes it so irresistable to become everything we can and then all of a sudden, drop it all to stay at home and wash dishes, make meals and spend more time with kids?

i guess i find it difficult because i really don’t aspire to think much about children at this point in my life. i want to see where the next few years go–and i don’t want them at this point to include children.

anyways. I made delish banana bread last night using this recipe, but i added a little apple pie spice (all i had — my cinnamon disappeared on me!) and a little maple syrup and voila! (Oops–I also added a little powdered sugar… just a LITTLE…. on top) I’m trying to get better at baking, it’s kind of one of those life skills. i made stuffed chicken the other day though and i’m def getting better at cooking and making my own sauces. I feel good about that! Moo is trying to eat healthy so i’m cooking a lot more veggies too, looking for new recipes for those, especially winter squash.

I guess that’s all for now. Still thinking about moving up to DC, still thinking about my future career. I’m excited to see what the future holds! 🙂

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