Showing posts with label green bean. Show all posts
Showing posts with label green bean. Show all posts

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!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Lemon and Honey Chicken

It's been just over a month with my shiny new braces and I thought I would update you on how it's going!  Here are some answers to the most popular questions that I have been getting...

Shiny braces?  First, I should say that they aren't shiny at all.  My braces are clear.  They aren't the invisalign, retainer-style braces.  The brackets are actually made of a dense, clear ceramic.  It takes people a few minutes to realize that I actually have a full set of braces on my teeth.  From a few feet away they are completely unnoticeable, it isn't until you are talking face-to-face that you finally see them.  The only bit of metal that you see is the arch wire that connects the brackets together.  I'm very happy with the look of them, I actually kind of like them! 

How does it feel?  Like I told you before, the first few days that the braces were on I was acutely aware of each and every one of my teeth.  It was a strange feeling, but that eventually subsided.  I was really concerned about the pain that the braces would inflict, mostly because of all of the stories my coworkers were telling me.  It seems that 80% of the people that I work with had orthodontia work in the past.  From their tales of pain and woe I was bracing myself (ha!) for the pain and stocking up on Tylenol  It really hasn't been that bad.

The first few days, my mouth was tender and I ate a lot of soup and sipped many smoothies (and lost a few pounds).  Now I feel a whole lot better and even ate those tasty chicken wings last week.  I generally steer away from foods that I consider "hard to eat" (such as sandwiches) or "hard to clean-up" (like anything with seeds!).  Occasionally I'll have one tooth or another that is sore, but I know that means something is working and it's worth it.

What about the dreaded monthly tightening?  I was really concerned about the tightening.  I was picturing the orthodontist with pliers, wrenches and other medieval torture devices, tightening the wires and brackets in my mouth.  Let me tell you that I was nothing like that.  In fact I was in and out of the office in five minutes.  After a quick check of my progress, the orthodontist removed the old bands (the ones that hold the arch wire to the bracket) and replaced them with new ones.  Done, braces tightened.  I was pleasantly surprised.

Have I noticed a difference yet?  Yes!  I have been told that as an adult with braces, I'll be much more aware of the changes happening in my mouth.  This must be because I am used to my teeth and bite, any change will be obvious to me.  It's so true!  Each day my bite feels a little different or I can notice that a tooth isn't in the same place it was before.  Even my crazy tooth (some call it a snaggle tooth!) has begun to line up with the rest of my teeth.  I can see my new smile taking shape, only 17 more months to go!

If you are an adult considering getting braces, you should totally do it!  Join me in my adventure, it will be worth it!  Just buy yourself a good blender first.  Not only because you'll want the occasional easy to eat breakfast, but because smoothies are delicious!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010 - Nutty Green Beans

Let’s keep this one simple! What else do you need for thanksgiving dinner? Sides! A friend of mine posted, just today, how she hates thanksgiving food. Can you believe it? But some things I have to agree with her about. Green bean casserole? I have never had this side dish in all my years of celebrating thanksgiving. And thanksgiving was well celebrated when I was little.

All of my aunts and uncles (my dad’s siblings to be exact), and all of my cousins, would gather in the tiny house with my tiny gram and eat lots of food. Everyone would bring something to share. My Aunt Nancy would bring squash, grown from her own garden. My mom and I would spend the morning making a very fancy jell-o dessert (it’s awesome, I’ll share some day). My Uncle Mike would bring a big pasta dish, full of cheese and deliciousness. Tiny Gram and Aunt Aileen would spend the day roasting the turkey. And some lamb. Gram didn’t like turkey.

Yet no one thought to bring a green bean casserole. I’ve seen the French’s commercials around this time of year but I had to google it to find out exactly what it entailed. And Jolene, I have to agree. Cream of mushroom soup with green beans and cheddar French fried onions? I cannot think of anything else you could do to lovely green beans to make them less healthy! Maybe mix in some cheese? So toss the fried onions and condensed soup. Get ready for some real flavor and all for only 45 calories a serving!

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