Category Archives: cooking

Skinny Brownies and Graham Cracker Pie

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Please excuse the iPhone picture. I’ve been baking! Monday night I made dinner for my grandpa and he LOVES graham cracker pie, which is just a basic vanilla custard, graham cracker crust, and meringue topping. Here’s the pie, pre-meringue. I did not make the crust, however, and grandpa says it’s not the same…. so next time I’ll just make it. I used this recipe for the pie, but I used 1/2 cup sugar, because I remember my mom’s recipe only used that much. Also ran out of sugar for the meringue, so I used honey.

Those brownies are the best brownies I’ve ever made. I’ll share the recipe when I can take more pictures of the process but they’re part of my recent realization that not cooking or baking at all was leading to me eating worse foods for me then baking and cooking! I stopped baking in December – my doctor told me I have high cholesterol. I’m young and I know I have a family history and genetic pre-disposition to it, but still butter has lots of saturated fats, which is what I was told to stay away from. Easiest way to cut fats in my diet was to stop baking.

These brownies have no fat or gluten, I made them with things I had readily available, and they’re tasty. Finally. Something to satisfy the sweet tooth without 40 grams of fat.

I’m probably going to go home right now and eat some!

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Graze

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I think I heard about graze.com through Tumblr. It’s invite only in the US right now (I think I still have two invites, comment if you’d like one!) and I thought it was a very neat and afforable idea. They send you a weekly box of snacks, four little compartments and you can choose if you like them or not. What’s nice is that real people make this real, delicious food and send it to real people. I like how much “real” there is involved here. I loved mostly everything I got, and what’s nice is it’s all relatively low-calorie snacks. I was sad about the amount that was in the box, I’m hoping as they expand I can maybe have an option to order a “full sized” version of some of the more delicious snacks.

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I loved, loved,loved the oatcakes and caramelized onion dip. I want so many of them. I also was pleasantly surprised that I loved the tutti-frutti mix of dried fruits, it was very flavorful. I can’t wait for the next one. Also, if you’d like an invite, your first box is FREE (comment below!). They cost $5 after that including shipping, which is so cheap! And all the packaging is recyclable!

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You are what you eat

 

Recently, I’ve been noticing that since I don’t cook often for grandpa (about 99% of the time, I’m just eating and making my own food), I eat strange things. I eat pretty much what I want and I try to buy only things I will eat and quickly too. I feel like too much stuff goes moldy if I try to buy things I don’t love. So this has made up a lot of my meals recently:

 

Hot chocolate (with soy milk), hummus, cucumbers, cheese (lactose free) and crackers. Oh and a gluten free cookie!

I love allllllll of those things and it’s been nice to only eat what I love recently!

I will try to do a knitting and life update post – psst. I got a real, full time job with benefits, at a small company. Very happy so far!

 

 

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My boyfriend told me the other day that he thinks he would not get sick as often if we ate generally vegetarian. So, I looked up tons of recipes on Tastespotting, and picked out the one that used ingredigents that I mostly had and made it the other night.

It was a soup of kale, sweet potatoes and chickpeas with broth, and you can find the recipe here. I was a bit nervous at first about making a recipe with no meat – with meat, you always know you have flavor somewhere, but I had underestimated the veggies. I also did use chicken broth instead of water because I was worried about the flavor of the soup. I used wine instead of beer, which I will not replace again because I feel like it was central to the dish, because my sweet potatoes and substituted wine did not get syrupy like the recipe said the beer would.

Overall though, it came out pretty good.

With toasted bread it was very tasty.

Once again, more later about various food adventures.

Moving Towards Vegetarian: Kale, Sweet Potato and Chickpea Soup

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The Trials of French Onion Soup

One of the families I work for, the mother is a really good cook. She doesn’t cook for me regularly, but when she offers me leftovers, I take them. The first time, she heated up some frozen butternut squash soup she had. It was so tasty, filling and really good for you that I made my own at home (and I have the ingredients to do it again soon!). I do have to give her a lot of credit, because of just talking to her and absorbing information from her cooking, I’ve learned to cook more effectively (I am a better baker, and she appreciates me because of that).

A month ago she made french onion stew with beef in the slow cooker, raved about it and had me prepare it for slow cooker one afternoon. She told me the majority of the recipe as I went, and then the next day, she gave me some of the leftovers. Again, all I could think about was making it for myself! I looked up recipes and most only used onions and beef stock which I was fine with.

Then that weekend, when I do most of my cooking, I was very sick but still wanted this soup and got some from panera which was multiple levels below her soup, but still so good. I tried making it a couple days later, because I had also apparently bought two bags of onions two weeks in a row! Way too many onions.

I tried making it about a week ago. I was silly and though it was good, I didn’t caramelize the onions enough. You can see that they are still mostly white (With red wine coloring them) but they should have been mostly brown! If I just let go a couple minutes longer, it would have been fine.

It was pretty tasty, but I also made it too thick. Eating it that night was fine but the next day it was too thick, mostly tasted just like onion soup, not the french part!

It was a learning experience though: next time, make sure the onions are fully caramelized and don’t thicken the stock too much! And I want to buy better cheese next time to put in the soup as well as melt over bread. I want to try this again soon though, I love soup and soup weather will soon be over. Does anyone have any yummy soup suggestions? Or ways to better my french onion experience next time?

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Delicious

These cupcakes: (my roommate brought a couple home from a family party)

Led to Josh (boyfriend) asking me to make him cupcakes before he gets home from work tonight at 10. The conversation went like this:

Me: Are you sure? It’s going to be dinner or cupcakes, not both. Are you sure you want cupcakes?

Josh: Yes, unless you can make steak for dinner, I want cupcakes.

(No steak because we have talked repeated about how he wants it but we do not have a grill!)

So I looked up a recipe for the cake and the frosting and, now:

Cupcakes!

And literally the best I’ve ever made. It started with this recipe for the cake part, then this for the frosting. And, really the name for that recipe for the frosting is called “That’s the best I’ve ever had” and it’s true. I also like that it uses regular sugar because honestly, frosting is the only reason I have confectioner’s (powdered) sugar in the house. The cake recipe is really tasty as well, I think the extra yolk helps the recipe stay moist and yellow-y.

The recipe has you whisk flour (I know) and milk on the stove until thickened, then add it (after it cools with vanilla) to a creamed butter and sugar mixture. Beat it until it looks like whipped cream. Then you taste it, and almost eat the whole bowl, pull all your willpower to just FROST the cupcakes without eating ALL the frosting, and then spoon some out of the bowl to eat. Then figure if you don’t put what remains of the frosting on the cupcakes, you will end up just scraping down the bowl with your tongue. After that ordeal, I figured I needed to get rid of some of them before all of the cupcakes were in my stomach, so I gave some to the neighbors. Thank god for them.

To make myself feel a bit better about this frosting and cupcake problem, I made roasted veggies for dinner. Sadly I put too much wine and olive oil on them so they were a bit rich (I know, how in the world did I do that?) but still tasty. I made quick, fake stuffed mushrooms by putting garlic cloves under breadcrumbs and pouring wine and olive oil over them, and they were not bad!

Up next: Yarn, knitting, and LOTS of backlogged cooking adventures!

Happy Valentine’s Day if it is important to you, for me and my loved one, we don’t care so much for it but apparently I made cupcakes anyways?

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Right Now

I’m knitting a sweater currently, as well as several other things. I love knitting it but I keep plugging away for what feels like eternity without much progress! I want to finish it before spring so I can wear it a lot before summer, but I don’t know if I’m going to make it!

Right now I’m in the simple, fun part of the sweater – pretty much straight knitting in the pattern, with a couple waist decreases or increases on the horizon. From reading ahead though, I can tell that soon, it’ll be more of a sit there and scratch my head type of pattern.

I’m also working on a rather complicated pattern from Cookie A.’s book, Knit.Sock.Love. I’m amazed that I was able to somewhat memorize the pattern, but I did. It’s for my grandmother, and I’m trying to finish them soon because I want her to have them before the summer!

Recently, I haven’t been doing a lot of cooking. I’ve been really sick, yesterday I was supposed to go to Northampton to go to Webs (the yarn store), with my good friend mullica and I had to call her in the morning because I was too dizzy to drive. I had had a cold but it hadn’t been that bad, until yesterday, were I fluctuated between dizzy and starving. I had gotten up in the morning and made chili in the slow cooker. Good, but I’m going to try again with a couple tweaks  then post it up here.

Today, however, I did make a couple interesting things.

First for breakfast:

(an omelet with mushrooms and tomatoes, the goal was more veggies that eggs, I will try again soon!)

And also not so interesting, but some granola bars:

Which I don’t have a recipe for, because they were a jar gift that I got from a woman I worked with for Christmas. I don’t know if they will be good, they are still cooling.  Today is the superbowl for football (American football), but I don’t have cable so I doubt I’ll be doing anything special. I might be going to my parents good friend’s house for a bit, but I’m still not feeling well. I’ll update later with more pictures of knitting projects.

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