Birthday Dinner!

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Crab and artichoke crusted filet mignon with sautéed broccolini. Delish guys!!

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Fresh Fruit and Veggies!

This week I got my baskets of produce from Bountiful Baskets!

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That’s all the veggies (plus the pineapple) from my standard basket and an asian basket. I didn’t even know what one of the items was from the asian basket!

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After some debate about it being a jicama, I found out it’s a water chestnut!

Also, here’s all of the fruit I got in the standard basket.

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Visit their website and see if you can get this great deal on fruits and veggies!

Quinoa Salad

I was craving some healthy food for dinner tonight after I cooked the frozen cinnamon rolls from my cinnamon rolling post.  I’ll just say that I may have had more than two…

…with cream cheese icing this time.

Anyways, this quinoa salad is something I made a couple of times in the hostel kitchens in South America because it’s super simple!  The only cooking involved is boiling the quinoa and chopping the vegetables!

The portions I used in this salad are:

1/4 of a yellow bell pepper
2 scallions
1 roma tomato
1/2 of a cucumber
1 clove of garlic
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/3 cup quinoa, uncooked

Here are the diced vegetables.

While I was dicing the veggies, the quinoa was simmering. 

The water to quinoa ratio is 2:1. Sometimes I have to add a little bit more water, but 2:1 will work 95% of the time.  It should take about 15 minutes to cook.  Make sure to add a dash of salt to the quinoa while it is cooking!

Toss the veggies with the lemon juice and once the quinoa is done and cooled, add it to the vegetables.  I had to add a touch more lemon juice after I added the quinoa.

You can serve this salad with anything!  Tonight I made a falafel pattie.  You can get great falafel mixes in the store or make them yourself from scratch with cooked chickpeas!

Quick tip about cooking falafel patties.  Typically they’re deep fried but you can get away with pan frying them if you use enough oil.  this 2-inch patty took about a tablespoon.  I know oil is scary and fatty, but just pick a healthy one and embrace it!

This dinner made me feel great after a slightly indulgent day ;).

One Skillet Dinner

Ingredients.

Plus garlic.

And white wine. I forgot those two, but I was hungry…

Ingredients in the pan.

Ingedrients cooked up and served!

This dinner was crazy simple. 

Ingredients:
1/4 cup white wine
6 oz. mushrooms
1 roma tomato
1 chicken breast
1/2 of a lemon
herbs of choice
1 tbsp butter
olive oil

I coarse chopped the mushrooms, garlic, and tomato and mixed them in a skillet with a drizzle of olive oil, dried rosemary (fresh would’ve been way better, but you work with what you’ve got), the juice of one half of one lemon, said juiced lemon, and some diced chicken breast.  I also put some pieces of butter on top.

Then I preheated the oven to 450 degrees. I never remember to do that beforehand…

Of course, you can adjust this recipe to your taste.  Instead of chicken, I was going to make some mini meatballs, but I decided cutting up a chicken breast was easier.  If you don’t like tomatoes, don’t use tomatoes.  If you only have red wine on hand, give it a whirl.  If you want pasta, toss it with your favorite shape instead of spinach.  Honestly, in hind sight, I would have wilted the spinach in the pan.  You get the point.

Anyways, glad to post a savory dish for a change where flour wasn’t the main ingredient ;).  Enjoy!

Gnocchi Day

Potato skins and hashbrowns aren’t the only thing you can do with leftover baked potatoes people!  Little did you know, you could be making gnocchi!! 

The restaurant I work in always has a lot of leftover baked potatoes at the end of the night, so I grabbed some and took them home the other day! Usually I just use them to make hashbrowns in the morning, but I’ve never tried to make gnocchi before and I thought it would be a fun way to spend a cloudy, cold Saturday. 

 

The ingredient list is super simple:

2 pounds of baked potatoes

1 1/2 cups of flour

1 egg

salt and pepper

That’s it!  First, I used a food processor to mash the potatoes (because I don’t have a potato ricer) and then I dumped the processed potatoes onto a cookie sheet, but you can use any clean surface. 

An important note about this picture: these potatoes were not processed enough :P.  My first batch of gnocchi was still grainy.  But let’s just go with the flow and pretend I did this right…

Next whisk your egg and mix it just slightly into the potatoes.  Add salt and pepper and 1 cup of the flour.  Mix with your hands by folding it in half repeatedly without kneading or overworking the dough.  When the flour starts to incorporate add the last 1/2 cup of flour, and keep working the dough until it is smooth.  Just don’t go too crazy and or your gnocchi will come out tough!

That was my first batch.  Like I said, after I shaped these gnocchi and boiled them I realized the potatoes had not been mashed enough, so the gnocchis were grainy.  Since the dough was already a loss at this point, I went for broke and took a big risk by putting the dough into the food processor!  Normally, making gnocchi in a food processor would result in tough gnocchis, however, I had been super cautious and afraid of overworking the dough earlier, so I got this nice dough ball out of it!

When I rolled this out, the dough was much smoother.

Once you roll out a portion of the dough to a 1/2 inch, cut them into ~3/4 inch sections. 

At first I was trying to wing it, marking the gnocchi with a fork (yeah, that’s those little retarded guys directly above….), but then I looked up a video on YouTube and saw the real way to do it.  Here’s a helpful link.

I boiled these up and they were great!  I had a leftover pesto that I tossed them with. 

 Then I took these made over potatoes back to work for my dinner!

Sandwich Success

Leftover turkey and pesto cream cheese sandwich made with the bread from last night. Yes!!

Post Holidays Cheer

So a wave of motivation hit me this morning and I decided to write my first blog post in over a year!  I’ll start out with my favorite picture I took over the holidays.

I know you just giggled.  And if you’re wondering how I got this hilarious shot, I was throwing food at her.  Guess she’s as obsessed with food as I am :P.

And here is the recipe that got me all excited about writing this post. 

Any guesses??  They’re gingerbread pancakes of course!

Here’s the link to the recipe I used: Gingerbread Pancakes

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 heaping Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 eggs
2 Tbsp molasses
2 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

I also added a 1/4 teaspoon of ginger powder, because it just seemed wrong to make gingerbread anything without ginger powder!  I didn’t have buttermilk on hand, so I added lemon juice to milk at a ratio of 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to 1 cup of milk and I let it sit while I mixed all of the dry ingredients.  To make the batter, just add mixed wet ingredients to mixed dry gredients and throw onto a greased hot skillet. 

Hope you guys can get motivated enough to pull all of these spices out of your cabinet to make these delightful treats too!