Showing posts with label carrot. Show all posts
Showing posts with label carrot. Show all posts

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Thai Chicken with Peanuts

Don't want to spend a ton of time in the kitchen, prepping dinner and sweating over the oven? Make a stir fry! At least once a week during the summer you can find me tossing ingredients into a big pan and pouring on different sauces. Stir fry isn't really a science. I usually don't follow a recipe and cook up whatever we have in the fridge.


Yes, the stir fry is the ultimate pre-vacation meal. You can clean out the fridge and use up any meats and vegetables. For this stir fry, had a bunch of sweet peppers and carrots, as well as a pack of chicken sitting in the fridge. With a business trip coming up on Thursday, I decided to use up the stuff in the house, rather than buy groceries this week. Also, since I tend to make a lot of stir frys, I had all the ingredients for my sauce already. My pantry is a well-stocked stir fry zone!


What is your go to "Use it up" recipe? With so many business and personal trips this year, I find that I've been tossing way more food than I would like. Resorting to eating out each night is not the best plan either, for the wallet or the waistline!

Two Years Ago: Milky Way Cake
Three Years Ago: Peanut Chicken with Asian Slaw
Four Years Ago: Banana Coconut Muffins
Five Years Ago: Indian Chicken Curry

Friday, May 1, 2015

Thai Chicken Pizza

It's Friday, so I think that means we need some pizza.  Though let me give you some insight on my usual Friday night. It has been the same for almost three years...


Every Friday night, the boyfriend and I go to the same restaurant. Only occasionally do we stray from this restaurant, mostly because we aren't in the mood for burgers. The restaurant is a ten minute was from our place and we only drive in cases of extreme cold or rain.


Each week we order almost the same thing. It's gotten to a point that the wait staff knows us, not by name, but by order. We sit down with our food and play trivia. Specifically, Sporcle trivia on the iPad. It's so much fun. I know so many random facts now, I would probably be really useful in a trivial pursuit game.


Do you and your favorite person have any weekly or monthly traditions? The boyfriend and I have been trying to branch out and eat at different restaurants, but how many places will let you just sit there for an hour playing trivia and taking up a table?


One Year Ago: Peanut Butter Macaroon Brownies
Two Years Ago: White Chocolate - Raspberry Cheesecake
Three Years Ago: Peanut Butter Cup Blondies
Four Years Ago: Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Spring Risotto

I know that it is supposed to be spring, but the weather in the Northeast isn't cooperating. The weatherman tells us lies that it will be in the 60's by the weekend. When the weekend comes, the temperatures barely rise above 40.

I'm trying to bring a little bit of that warm weather feeling into my life by wearing bright colors and florals, taking bundled-up evening walks and sourcing spring vegetables for dinner.


If you are still waiting for the warm spring days to visit your part of the world, try making something light and fresh for dinner. You can start with this spring risotto and hope that the temperatures rise soon!

Two Years Ago: Coconut Key Lime Bars
Three Years Ago: Lemon and Honey Chicken
Four Years Ago: Sponge Cupcakes with Swiss meringue chocolate frosting

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Over the Top Carrot Cake

Every once and a while, you have to make something a little extra special. Any Milk bar recipe qualifies as just that, over the top, but it requires a little preparation. 


Okay, a lot of preparation. This recipe asks you to make a cake, graham cracker crust, frosting, liquid cheesecake and crumb. I would recommend making this recipe over the course of two days. Or one long snow day. That's what I did!


While it took several hours to complete this cake, the end result is worth the effort. The cake is soft and tender. The frosting is rich with graham cracker and butter. My only complaint? The original recipe is a bit too salty, which is a common issue with Milk bar recipes. The recipe below has the salt content tweaked a little, but is otherwise true to the original.


Be sure to share this little cake with friends and family, there is no way you will be able to (or should) eat the entire thing on your own. A small slice will do you, don't let your eyes be bigger than your appetite!



Dig in!

Two Years Ago: That Chicken Lettuce Cups
Three Years Ago: Asparagus Lasagna
Four Years Ago: Apple Marshmallows & Apple-Cinnamon Krispy Treats

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Gingered Chicken Stir Fry

If you live on the East Coast, you are probably in the midst of "Snowstorm Juno." If you are in the New Jersey area, then you might be a bit underwhelmed by the amount of snow that has actually fallen. I was told to expect thirty inches of snow at one point, we'll be lucky if more than a foot of the white stuff comes down here. I'm calling shenanigans on this snowstorm. I'm also calling out The Weather Channel on this whole named winter storms thing. Stop trying to make it happen! We don't like it!


Thirty inches of snow or not, I still get to have a snow day from work today! To celebrate a random Tuesday off, I made this stir fry for dinner last night. And I made enough of it so that there was lunch for my snow day. Now, I have major plans for a few hours of work and a bit of baking.


If you are in Massachusetts, stay safe and warm! You guys are supposed to get a whole bunch of snow!

One Year Ago: Chocolate Heart Sandwich Cookies
Two Years Ago: Yogurt with Raspberries and Mint
Three Years Ago: Soft Pretzels
Four Years Ago: Chocolate Marshmallows

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Moroccan Vegetable M'Hancha

Let the Moroccan food parade begin!  Today we're starting off with an appetizer, the M'hancha, or vegetable pastilla.  During our time in Marrakech, boyfriend and I signed up for a Moroccan cooking class, to learn the ways of tagine and couscous.  First we had to locate the riad within the twisting maze of the medina.  Located just off the main place, at the end of a small alley, Riad Monceau boasts a heavy door with multiple locks and a beautiful central pool.


 We were joined at the riad by two couples from the Netherlands and eight Parisian women.  There was a lot of gabbing in multiple languages going on.  I even got to practice my french a bit!  Luckily everyone spoke impeccable english while helping to teach me a little bit of culinary french and dutch.


We were in for a long day of chopping, shredding, cooking, sauteing and tangining.  Is that a word?  Maybe not an english word.  One of the most dangerous thing we cooked all day was the m'hancha, because of all the shredding involved and those dangerous box graters!  (When making this at home, the food processor is much more finger friendly.)


The m'hancha came together pretty quickly, probably because all we had to do was shred vegetables, then roll up the coils.  Our chef/instructor took care of sauteing the vegetables and baking the finished m'hanchas. It may be a whole other story when I go to make these again in my own kitchen!  Give these a try, they were deilcious!


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Asian Chicken Salad

Hello everyone!  I'm back from vacation and recovered, I think.  I know, it sounds strange to be "recovered from vacation" but it's totally the truth.  Whenever Boyfriend and I come back from vacation, I feel like I need another few days off just to recuperate!  The reason is - we aren't you traditional vacation-type people.


Most people look forwards to vacation because it involves an umbrella drink (or five), a beach umbrella and some new paperbacks.  I could handle doing that too, for about two hours.  Then I want to get up and DO SOMETHING!  I either have restless leg disorder (is that still a thing??) or Adult ADHD, because I don't want to just sit around on vacation and relax.  Ask anyone, I'm not really the relaxing type.

Our trip to Morocco was anything but relaxing.  In ten days we managed to jam in all of the following...  A day in Oukaimeden rock climbing, two days in Zagora riding camels, a three-day trip to the beach for surfing lessons.  We toured the medinas of Marrakech and Casablanca and traveled on the highways, rails and tramlines of Morocco.  We ate tagines and couscous by the pound and enjoyed liters of mint tea.


Thankfully we had a direct flight home from Casablanca, I don't think I could have mustered up the energy to get on another plane after seven and a half hours sitting in coach.  Once we got home, all I wanted to eat was a big salad.  And I've been making lots of them since I managed the necessary energy to head to the grocery store!

Maybe our next vacation will be a quiet, relaxing, beach vacation...  More likely I'll plan something like that and BF will find a volcano to hike up and coral reefs to scuba dive through.


Be on the lookout over the next two weeks for Moroccan dishes and photos from our vacation!  I picked up a few tips from the locals and a beautiful Moroccan cookbook of my own.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ramen Vegetable Soup

I knew it was going to happen, Fall has come and the sun has started to set early.  I came home last night as the sun was going down.  By the time my train made it to my stop the sun had completely gone and I was walking home under the streetlamps.  This means two things.  1. I'm going to have to break out my light box again soon to take after dark pictures of dinner.  2. It's time for more soup!


 I prepped this soup on Sunday and it was ready in no time for dinner.  I chopped all of the vegetables and stored them in a single container, this meant all I had to do last night was heat up the pot and toss the ingredients in.  Dinner was hot and ready in just 30 minutes. 


I hope Fall is treating you well.  Are the leaves changing in your town yet?  Have you broken out an extra layer to wear on your commute in the morning?  Maybe you've been indulging in buying sweaters?  Whatever you've been doing to ring in the season, be sure to stay warm and have some soup!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Why Bother? 2012 - Coconut Milk & Thai Chili Sauce

I have been having pretty good luck with the challenges so far this year.  Most of the items on my list, I would probably make again.  Some of them I already have duplicated.  This time I can say with absolute certainty, I will never make coconut milk again.  I'm going to stock up on cans of coconut milk and coconut cream and never look back.  Why am I so certain?  Let me walk you through the process I went through to get 2 cups of coconut milk.




Since boyfriend and I were going out of town last weekend, I decided to make my coconut milk before we left.  We tried Whole Foods and only were able to locate young coconuts.  The flesh of a young coconut isn't what I needed to make coconut milk.  We stopped at Pathmark and surprisingly came home with two, whole coconuts!




I brought my coconuts home and drained the coconut water out.  It looked a little cloudy, but I've never done this before, so who knows what to expect!  I took out my favorite hammer and pounded on the coconut until it cracked open to reveal...  rotten, moldy coconut flesh.  It was gross.  Luckily I had gotten two coconuts at the grocery store!  I drained the second one, cracked it in two and discovered... a second rotten coconut!  Pathmark must have gotten a bad batch.



This sad turn of events meant that I was going to be making coconut water in Buffalo.  Thankfully, Buffalo is home to Wegmans and Wegmans stocks coconuts.  As a lifelong fan of Wegmans, I knew that they would not disappoint and sell me rotten coconuts.  My parents were a bit confused as to why I was making coconut milk when they sell it in every grocery store.  After three hours, I would be asking myself the same question.


Draining and opening the coconuts was the easy part.  Although my dad wondered what all the noise was about and I scared the dogs out of the kitchen.  When it came to prying the flesh out of the shell, I got a little frustrated.  Videos on youtube suggested keeping the shell whole of prying out the flesh with a knife, while others told me to break the shell into smaller pieces, then remove the flesh.  All I can tell you is, it took me over an hour to remove all of the coconut meat from the shell.


After the meat was freed, I spent the next hour and a half peeling the brown skin from the while flesh.  After spending all this time trying to get clean coconut meat, there was no way I was going to hand grate it.  The food processor was put into action and I finally was able to make my coconut milk.  Once the coconut is freed and grated, it's easy to make the milk.  Just a little boiling water and ten minutes time and it was done.  Took long enough!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Island Sides

The past few days have been feeling more Caribbean-like up here in the northeast. I stepped off the train this morning and was greeted by a hot, humid gust of Long Island wind. Not only is the morning heat very reminiscent of the islands, these afternoon thunderstorms are too!


There is just one big difference between enjoying Caribbean weather while on vacation and suffering through it on a regular day. I try to look presentable when going to work where I don't even bother with mascara on vacation. This humidity is making my hair straightener work overtime! Even after ten minutes with the iron, all of my hard work is undone upon opening the front door!


Luckily I have an appointment at the salon this weekend, where I will cut several inches off my hair. This will make it lighter and easier to curl. The straight-haired days of winter are over. Time to embrace bouncy curls once again! (Which means its also time to confuse my male coworkers with my ever changing hair.)


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Chicken Francais & Honey-Roasted Root Vegetables

I just finished our shutterfly scrapbook from our trip to Thailand.  That means only one thing, it's time for another vacation!  This is how it usually works out, although not all the time.  We went to Saint Kitts in 2009 and I still haven't finished putting the photos in the album.  I blame myself.  I should have done one of those fancy shutterfly bound books, but I got prints.  I was somehow thinking I had lots of time on my hands and I could scrapbook.  Those photos are still sitting, unbound, inside of the book I plan on putting them into.


Generally, boyfriend and I are pretty terrible at pre-planning our vacations.  We booked out flight to Thailand, exactly one month before we left.  Last year, we planned out cross-Europe adventure a mere ten days before heading to England.  I've been on several "surprise" vacations that I had the evening to pack for.  Our trip to Costa Rica was so close, I did one of the worst jobs packing in my entire life. 


This time is different, I took charge and booked our spring vacation two whole months ahead of time.  In the weeks since, I've bought a new bathing suit, stocked up on sunscreen and looked at excursions.  At the end of April, we're heading to Puerto Rico and setting sail on a week long cruise!  The only problem now, it's so far away!  I have to wait six more weeks before going on vacation?  There is something to be said about last minute planning!


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Light Shepards Pie

We have been living in bonus time for the past few months.  The weather in the northeast has been anything but wintery this year and I was loving it.  The sun shone bright and the winds were calm for the Thanksgiving day parade.  Rather than inches of snow for Christmas, a light rain fell.  We hit fifty-five degrees on New Years Eve in the city and it was pleasant enough to stroll the streets of Manhattan with your coat open. 


Yesterday, it seemed like winter had finally won and we were at last in its grip.  The temperature dropped into the single digits overnight and I was not looking forward to my morning commute.  Waiting for the train in the bitter cold is not my idea of a good time.  I decided to brace myself for the wait with knee-high boots, an extra heavy sweater, thick scarf, hat and gloves.  I decided that crazy hair for the day was worth it, just call me Kramer!

Even our offices weren't immune to the cold.  My chemicals all were cold, those with high freezing points were solid blocks in their bottles.  Space heaters were out in full force under desks, sadly I was without one.  I wrapped myself in my scarf and sweater and drank lots of hot chocolate.  I'm okay with winter being outside, but in the office too?  No fair!


Thankfully I had refuge waiting for me at home.  (No, I didn't run home and dive under the blankets.  I actually came home and went to the gym!)  Our apartment is perpetually warm!  It's a big problem in the summer, with the place heating up to nintey degrees easily.  In the colder months though, it's a fabulous thing.  The temperature went down to nine degrees here in New Jersey, but our apartment only fell to a comfortable seventy-two (that's 25 C for all my foreign friends!).

Monday, April 4, 2011

Tortellini Soup

Spring is starting to creep into the Northeast, at last! I was able to bust out my spring coat this weekend, although I paired it with a scarf. Fifty degrees just isn’t warm enough for me yet. Although, I have known many people who would claim that fifty degrees is shorts weather.


Rainbow chard, it's so pretty!
Living in Wisconsin, I met lots of people from the Midwest. I found that the people of the Midwest are of heartier stock than I. The people of Michigan are particularly hearty. Once the mercury would inch up past freezing, my Midwestern friends would break out their shorts and t-shirts. There could still be snow on the ground, but the streets of Madison would be filled with students wearing shorts. Crazy people, all of them.


My rainbow chard looks alive!
I am a fan of pants. It needs to be at least eighty degrees for me to have the desire to put on shorts. For this reason, I own approximately one pair of shorts. Maybe two, I can’t remember. It’s been that long since I thought to put on a pair of shorts. The second problem with shorts is my work environment. Wearing shorts in the lab is just a bad idea, especially for a girl, they just don’t cover nearly enough leg! Plus, it’s always about two degrees in the lab, I’d freeze to death.


So, while I’m enjoying the warmer days, I will still bundle up until the temperature stays at seventy. My winter coat will stay out until May and my shorts will remain in the dresser until July. And I will eat soup all year long, especially this soup.


Stay tuned later this week for that foccacia recipe!


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Mustard-Glazed Chicken

Sometimes a girl gets a little busy. So busy that she hasn’t had a haircut since July. So busy that her car registration has been expired for a week and she hasn’t been able to go to the DMV and get new plates. So busy that she has to go to the dollar store and buy milk (yes, they sell milk! And boxed brownie mix…). Yes, life tends to pile up around here. Although I consider today a big win, because I put the dishes in the dishwasher, then I turned it on. Boo-yeah, clean dishes.



And even the haircut isn’t that bad. When I moved from Colorado to Connecticut, I spent two fabulous weeks visiting friends, family and boyfriend in Buffalo. I like going to Buffalo in the summer, it’s so nice out. I spent time in the garden with my mom, well, she gardened, I rolled around the lawn with the dog. I went for a long bike ride along the Niagara river with my dad, then we ate our weight in ice cream. I went to my brothers new house and saw all of the work that he’s put into it. Dude knows how to handle a table saw, I was very impressed. I know how to put together Ikea furniture.

The most hilarious time was going to the salon with my mom. When I first got home she mentioned that she had a hair appointment and perhaps I would like to get my hair done too? But why? You don’t like my hair? It’s so pretty. When was my last haircut? Ummm, right before my thesis defense… in August… of 2008. That’s right, two whole years since my last haircut! When I arrived at the salon the stylist asked what I wanted to do with it. I suggested that we cut off enough so that my mom didn’t think I looked like a homeless person anymore. Stylist laughed, but she thought I looked like a homeless person too. At least she complimented my jeans.


So I figure I have at least another year and a half before I really have to get another haircut. In the meantime I’ll try to head to the grocery store. This dinner, while delicious, was made out of necessity. I had a half bag of carrots in my fridge, leftover from making chili. I had some chicken quarters, purchased and frozen three weeks ago while on sale. Everything else you need to make this meal will most likely be located in your pantry. Feel free to use dried herbs, I know I did!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Pineapple Upsidedown Muffins

I’ve finally returned to Connecticut, which means I’m back in my own kitchen. I missed all my tools and ingredients, the ability to throw together a meal in minutes. It’s so hard making dinner in a kitchen without even the simplest necessities, like salt, or a mixing bowl. My return also means the beginning of our month of healthy eating! After a quick run to the grocery store, for the more unusual items, I was able to whip up dinner, lunch and breakfast.

Since it makes the most sense, breakfast is first on the menu. I’m a big breakfast fan, especially when it tastes like dessert. I originally made these muffins back in Colorado. They are full of energy and will keep you going until lunch. I liked to treat myself to them after I convinced myself to get up early and workout. Sometimes it would be an incentive to get out of bed in the morning and get to that 5:30am class. Although I found that teaching the 5:30am class to be a bigger incentive, since there would be no class if I didn’t show up!


This thought beings me to one of my favorite fitness tips – Make a Gym Buddy! Being an instructor I have seen it time and time again. Those people that make friends, or bring friends, to a class were more likely to come back. My 5:30am Bodystep class included a group of 8 women who came every week. If one of them was missing they would have some explaining to do the next week! I’ve met so many wonderful people at the gym, friendships that I still have today, even though I don’t live close anymore. You and your buddy will have more fun in class together and you’ll have each other to motivate, cheer on and challenge.

Be sure to vote on my poll!  What types of healthy recipes are you looking for most?  This will help influence the recipes that I post in the next three weeks.  I might even get boyfriend to lend a hand in the kitchen, that way you'll know it's an easy recipe to follow!
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