The Thought Process of the Laziest Day Ever

I woke up and looked at the clock. 7:09am.  That’s a reasonable hour to be awake on a Saturday morning.   Sat up and looked out the window and wondered what I’m going to do today. Hmm I can go to the gym, it opens at 10am on Saturdays.

In the meantime, I’ll have breakfast. I hop out of bed, make coffee and waffles.  Blog a bit.

10am comes around.  Hm I’m still full.  I’ll wait it out a bit.  Oh wait, maybe I should go to the farmer’s market real quick to pick up my CSA share since they recommend going before 12:00pm.

So I go to the farmer’s market, pick up my share and I’m home by 11:30.  As I put away my CSA veggies, I have a bright idea to make something with some of last week’s veggies. They’re going to go bad, obviously they can’t sit in the fridge an hour longer while I go to the gym.

I made some Cilantro Lime Slaw.

Cilantro Lime Slaw

adapted from Epicurious

1/4 cup greek yogurt
zest + juice of 1 lime
few shakes of cayenne
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt (more or less to taste)
black pepper
3 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
1 small head of cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 an onion, thinly sliced

Combine all the ingredients together and mix well.  Refrigerate for a few hours before serving.

Then since it was sitting in front of me, I ate some Cilantro Lime Slaw.  Who else is going to eat that plate I just photographed?  I mean it can’t go back in the bowl that’s going in the fridge! I thought it was delicious!  When I was little my mom used to make cabbage with lime and salt, nothing else.  This tastes like a spicier, better version of that.  What can I say, I’m easy to please (…not true at all).

While I was at it I had some chips that my old roommate who moved out left behind.  Hmm now I’m too full to go to the gym.

Guess I’ll clean up a bit in the meantime.  As I clean, I see a bag of bread flour and have a bright idea!  Oatmeal bread!

Oatmeal Bread

adapted from King Arthur Flour

3 cups bread flour
1 cup oats
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp molasses (or honey or sugar)
2 tsp dry active yeast
1 1/4 cup milk, warm (microwaved it 30 seconds)
extra flour for dusting kneading surface

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.  In a small bowl combine butter, milk, yeast, and molasses.  Let sit for a few minutes until it gets foamy.  Then add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix together.  Once you can’t mix it any more, turn onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes.  Place dough in a greased bowl and put in a warm place to rise for an hour.  After the dough has risen, put it in a loaf pan and let it rise for another hour.  Once it has risen about an inch or so over the rim of the pan, bake at 350F for about 40 minutes.  Allow to cool completely before slicing.

So I started making that.  As the dough rises, I peruse the internet and look at the clock.  It’s about 1:30.  Oh the Germany vs Uruguay game is at 2:30, this gym doesn’t have a TV.  I better not go now, plus I’m still full.

Instead I took a nap while my bread was rising.  At 2:20, I woke up repositioned my bread into a bread pan and let it proof one more time.  Perfect timing the game is going to start!

At the half time, I put my bread in the oven.

45 minutes later.  Germany wins.  I’m bummed but life goes on.  My bread is ready.  I should probably take pictures of it.  In that process I ate two pieces (the rest is now in the freezer).  Again too full to exercise. And damn the gym closes at 5:30pm.

Around 6:00pm, I finally gave up.  Forget this, I’m not exercising today. Instead I took a shower and went to the mall for two reasons.

To watch this by myself:

and to buy this:

I’m a lonely, midwestern housewife. Don’t tell.

Eclipse was terrible.  No two ways around it.

Sure, Taylor Lautner was pretty, but the movie was horrible.  I laughed out loud a few times (not always at intentionally funny parts).  I’m glad I went alone, I think I would have been terribly embarrassed if I made someone go see that with me, especially a boy (not that I have one to go with).  There were a fair number of men in the theatre surprisingly.  You know I’ll still see the next one anyway…

So it looks like I have a date with my bed and the above mentioned book (10th Sookie Stackhouse book, I can’t say no).

I must confess: I love cheesy books.  They make me so happy.  Sookie Stackhouse fills that need for me.  For the record, the books really aren’t that much like the show.

This is the perfect example of why I need schedules (activities and meal times) and planning ahead.

I overspent both my monetary entertainment budget and my calorie budget.

Tomorrow will be a better day.

Food Snob

I don’t like to consider myself a food snob.  Some people wear that card proudly.  Not me.  I like fresh, whole foods but would be willing to enjoy some Pillsbury product if someone made me something.

That being said, I’ve had a box of Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancake Mix sitting in the cupboard since August 2009.

Now this pancake mix is supposed to be on the healthier side.

The ingredients are: Whole Wheat Flour, Whole Grain Yellow Corn Meal, Buttermilk solids, Dextrose, Leavening (monocalcium phosphate, baking soda) and salt.

I’ve made pancakes and waffles numerous times, always refusing to use the mix.

Why? I’m not entirely sure.  I guess it was the food snob in me turning my nose up at the box, reassuring myself that my own combination of flour, eggs, milk and baking soda would surely be a million times better.  This morning I decided to get over that silly attitude and use the box mix to make some waffles.

Because I can never keep things simple, I added blueberries to one and a tablespoon each of unsweetened coconut and white chocolate chips to the other.  Obviously they were topped with bananas.

Tasty enough.  I like the grainy texture.

At the risk of sounding like a food snob, I like mine better.  For some reason I always think box mixes taste salty!  When I was little I hated pancakes because my mom used to make them with Bisquick (and it wouldn’t surprise me if that box of Bisquick she used was expired), and they always just tasted REALLY salty.  Then I tasted non-Bisquick pancakes and fell in love.

Oh and I used Wegman’s Butter Flavored Light Syrup.  How’s that for not being a food snob?

What do you think of pancake/waffle/box mix?  Do you use it?  Do you like it?  Is it unhealthy?

Put a Ring on It Blueberry Pancake

Most pancake recipes are meant to feed groups of 4-6.  That means you can cut it in half but it still makes enough to feed 2 or 3.  I don’t know about you but I’m not a fan of leftovers (although they happen a lot).

But a few days ago I stumbled across a pancake that even Beyonce (you knew it was coming!  I’m obsessed) could appreciate

Obviously, as I always do, I changed the recipe.  This one is healthier, pretty darn tasty… and perfect for one.

Really, you shouldn’t need someone else to have a delicious breakfast.  Be I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T

Single ladies like pancakes too, especially blueberry pancakes.

One huge blueberry pancake.

Put a Ring on It Blueberry Pancake

inspired by Joy the Baker’s Single Lady Pancake

1/3 cup + 1 tbsp whole wheat pastry flour
1 tbsp oats
1 tbsp powdered sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp milk (or soymilk or veganify!)
dribble of vanilla
handful of blueberries
1/2 banana, sliced

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl,  add milk and vanilla and stir together.  Heat a greased pan.  Pour in batter, sprinkle with some blueberries then put a lid on it and let it cook for a few minutes.  Flip and cook for an additional minute or two.  Top with more blueberries,  1/2 a sliced banana and syrup of choice.

Because I’m cheap with calories and money, I made my fabulous yogurt syrup concoction: 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt + 1 tbsp real maple syrup + 1 tbsp water.

I feel like my day is already starting off better than yesterday.  Have a wonderful Friday!!

P.S. I just rewatched the Single Ladies video (you probably should too).  How do I get Beyonce’s legs???!?!?!?!?

Vegetable Goat Cheese Risotto

Yesterday was another blazing hot day (and today will probably be the same).

As promised, I got up at 5:55am and got my workout out of the way before it started to get hot.  I think my early morning work out when it was still a reasonable temperature (70 degrees by 6:00am) made me underestimate the heat.  I did 2 things today I probably shouldn’t have done in this temperature.

1.   I thought it was cool enough to bake.

Surprisingly, my apartment was fairly cool.  Sadly, my creation didn’t turn out that great.  I thought I would make Peanut Butter Banana Blondies, but really they just turned out to be like Peanut Butter Banana Bread. Not bad, but not what I had in mind and definitely not worth the calories.    I hate wasting food but most of them went in the trash.

Usually I give my baked goods away, but if it’s not good enough then I won’t give it away.  Is that terrible?

2.  I made risotto for dinner with my roommate.

Delicious but stirring this thing for 20 minutes over a medium/high flame while my apartment was almost 90 degrees was probably a bad idea. Please make this on a cool day if you (like me) do not have air conditioning in your house!  But if it’s below 70F (or you can make your house that cool), then by all means make it ASAP!

Vegetable Goat Cheese Risotto

4 cup vegetable broth
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion (or two small), thinly sliced
2 tsp minced garlic
1 cup arborio rice
1 cup peas, frozen
1 tomato, seeded and diced
4 oz goat cheese
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil (plus more for garnish)

Bring broth to a boil, turn flame on occasionally to keep warm until ready to be used.

In a pot or deep sauce pan, heat oil, add onions, garlic and arborio rice.  Cook for about 5 minutes or until rice is golden brown, about 5-10 minutes.  Add broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until it is all absorbed, about 20 minutes.  Lastly, stir in peas, cheese, tomato and basil and cook for an additional 2 minutes.  Top with extra basil and serve!  Serves 4-6.

We enjoyed our risotto on the back porch with cold drinks.

Diet Wegman’s brand soda with blueberries in it, because we’re classy…

Looks kind of fun, right?  Not to mention you have instant dessert (blueberries) when you finish your drink!

Feel free to do this with other adult beverages (gin and tonic?).  I’m pretty sure I will at some point.

Have a great day!

Edamame Hummus

I have about a million things I want to bake.  But it’s not happening.

It’s 90 degree out, 50% humidity.  I walked to and from the farmer’s market and was basically a sweaty mess.

So instead of baking, I made…

Edamame Hummus

1 1/2 cups shelled edamame (I thawed the frozen kind)
zest and juice of 1 1/2 limes
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic
2 tbsp tahini
1/4- 1/2 cup water (enough to reach a consistency you like)

Throw it all in the food processor.  Start with only 1/4 cup of water stream more in if you want it smoother and not as thick.  I used about half a cup.

Then came a cucumber, edamame hummus and cheese sandwich.

Not bad.

A few hours later, I was going stir crazy from sitting around all day working on my computer.  For some reason, I thought a run would be a good idea.  I made it maybe a little more than a mile before I stopped and walked home.  Way too hottttttt.  Honestly, I probably could have kept going but I just plain wimped out.

Note to self: early morning gym sessions will resume tomorrow morning due to the heat.

Have a great (sweaty) night!

4th of July Weekend

Happy Birthday, America! (A day late)

I spent last 4th of July partially on a plane flying home from India, the other portion of it was spent asleep.  Thanks, jet lag.

This year was a million times better.

It was spent in Vermont,

mostly on a boat with great people.

Friday, Sara

Matt

and I drove to Vermont (as evident from Matt’s face, it was a great drive).

We stayed with his Aunt, Uncle and Cousin (friendly and amazing folks!).

We walked around Burlington and the waterfront of Lake Champlain (where I got terribly sunburnt, only the first of crazy things that happened to me… I won’t get into it but it involved a jalapeno…)

Went sailing

Sat for 5 hours at a restaurant (that hung fishing line to keep the sea gulls out)

waiting for fireworks to start (and having a great time doing so)

Plenty of fun all around!  I should also note, I was not very diligent with my photo taking.  Most of these photos were taken by Sara.  (Thanks, Lady!)

Now I’m back in Ithaca where it’s blazing hot and I have a ton of work to do!

Hope your weekend was as fun as mine!

Lentil Chili over Sun Dried Tomato Cornmeal Waffles

Ever since my friend Liz left me her waffle iron for the summer, I’ve had waffles on the brain.

It sits in the living room next to my basil plant and mini rose bush, because there’s no where in the kitchen to put it.

I basically think about waffle ideas all the time. In the shower.  On runs.  During movies.

Today was no exception.  It was kind of cold out today (low 60s), something warm and tasty was in order.

Lentil Chili

1 onion, diced
1 tsp garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1 can of diced tomatoes
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne
1 cup lentils
2 cups water or vegetable broth
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt (optional)
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
1 smart dog (or real hot dog if you eat meat), diced, optional
1/2 bunch of kale (about 7 leaves), cleaned, stemmed and finely chopped

Heat oil in a pot.  Add onions and cook for a few minutes.  Add garlic and cook for an additional minute.  Add can of  tomatoes, spices, lentils, water and corn.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.  Add kale and smart dog and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until lentils are tender.

Serve over savory sun dried tomato cornmeal waffles

Sun Dried Tomato Cornmeal Waffles

1/4-1/3 sun dried tomatoes (about 10 pieces), rehydrated or packed in oil
1 cup buttermilk (or the old trickeroo 1 tbsp of vinegar + enough milk to fill up 1 cup, let sit for 10 mins)
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 egg white
3 tbsp olive oil

Blend together rehydrated sun dried tomato and milk until smooth.  Add eggs pulse.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking soda, baking powder, salt, parmesan cheese.  Gradually pulse in dry ingredients until just combined and smooth (make sure to scrape the sides of the blender).  Pour into a hot waffle iron, bake for 3 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.  Makes 2 huge belgian waffles and probably a few regular waffles.  Enough for 4 people.

Honestly, this might be one of the best things I’ve ever made.  Sort of like a better version of corn bread and chili, right?

Who knew savory waffles could be so good!

Not only was it ridiculous quick and easy, it’s pretty healthy!  The lentil chili is vegan and all sorts of healthy (because I put kale in everything) and the waffles… well we all need a little bit of carb and fat in our life.  We especially need sun dried tomato!  You could probably blend in some spinach or kale to sneak in some more vegetables.

You can also freeze the waffles if you have leftovers then pop them in the toaster oven when you’re ready to enjoy them again!

Try it.  You won’t regret it.

Well, I’m headed to the middle of nowhere NY to do some stuff for my internship then I’m headed out of town for the weekend!

Have a great 4th of July!!

Challah

I have a really cheesy joke that I’m going to refrain from saying involving a crappy Gwen Stefani song.  I’m sure you can guess what it is.

Instead, I’ll just tell you about this creation.

I’m not really a bread baker.  I don’t really have the patience to wait for dough to rise numerous times.  But yesterday seemed to be that day.  Challah won me over.   I want to try bread making again.

Challah

from Cooking Bread

1/2 cup warm water
1 egg
1 egg yolk (reserve white for egg wash)
1 tbsp oil
1 1/2 tbsp honey
2 1/4 cup bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp yeast
tbsp of milk + egg white for egg wash

Combine water, eggs oil and honey.  Once they’re all whisked well together, add 1 cup of flour, yeast and salt and beat together.  Let it sit for 15 minutes.  After it has sat for 15 minutes, add the rest of the flour, 1/4 cup at a time.  Once you’ve mixed it as much as possible.  Turn it onto a surface and finish incorporating the flour.  Knead for 10 minutes until dough is soft and elastic.

Put dough in a greased bowl.  Place in a warm spot for about an hour to an hour and a half (I turn the oven on for 2 minutes just to warm it up, then put the dough in there).    Once the dough has risen, divide into 3 equal sized pieces.  Roll into long pieces and braid.  (For step by step photos click here).  Once braided, allow to rise another hour or so.

Brush with egg wash and bake at 400F for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350F and bake for another 15 minutes.

I was a little concerned before making this.  The braiding part seemed particularly intimidating but it was surprisingly easy.  I would definitely say it’s worth a try.

Not to mention fresh challah with dijon mustard, asiago, sliced artichoke hearts and spinach is a wonderful combination.

4th of July is this weekend!  Any plans?