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!


Way Too Hot To Cook

The past few days have been HOT HOT HOT and not in a good way.   That doesn’t mean I haven’t done fun things

The past few days I’ve:

  • Gone on a trail run in a wild flower preserve.
  • Swam in a creek with a waterfall with a dog here:

This photo is not mine and I don’t know those, but that’s where we swam and it was great 🙂

  • Failed at making black and white cookies

  • Got 3 huge bunches of kale, 1 bunch of lettuce, 1 bok choy and strawberries in my CSA.
  • Enjoyed a salad made with my goodies

  • Started making some dresses

  • Made sangria

On the Agenda for Today:
-Work/Internship Stuff
– Play with ice cream maker my neighbor let me borrow. Interested in beer and wine?  Check out his blog!
-Check the mail every 10 minutes to see if the exciting thing I ordered online arrives!
-and realistically I’ll probably watch a soccer game at some point…

Have a great day!

Splurging at the Grocery Store

It’s the weekend!!!! Woo!  Too bad I have a ton to do this weekend!  Oh well! It’ll all get done!

Today I was in desperate need of going to the grocery store.  Luckily, I was provided with lunch on campus today (delish veggie pizza and salad!) because I literally had no fresh produce, which is a deal breaker for me.

So I went to the grocery store and spent tons of $$.  I’ve realized I buy expensive things.  I go through about 1 large container of greek yogurt per week which costs about $7.99.  About 2 bags of spinach and 1 bag of romaine hearts and then I usually choose a few “exciting splurges.”  For me, exciting splurges are fruits of vegetables that aren’t cheap (usually over $3/lb).

Last week’s exciting splurge was a cantaloupe.  This week’s exciting splurge is a bag of colorful pepper and some mushrooms!

Do you splurge on expensive produce?  Do you consider it a splurge even since it’s healthy?

So delicious!  I had some dinner!

Broccoli and Yellow Pepper Stir Fry

Along with a can of soup since it was a cold day (we had a high of 45degrees! Yesterday the high was 80 degrees! What’s up with the weather??)

I also baked the most disappointing muffins ever tonight.

Bob’s Red Mill… you let me down.  I made these: Ruthie’s 8 Grain Muffins

Omm… why were they salty?  Not expected.  They would probably taste good with chili but I was expecting something sweet. I’m a little disappointed…

Hitting ‘Publish’ Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution just started! Are you watching?

African Recipe Semi-Fail but Still Delicious

Yesterday my schedule got all turned around!  I intended to go to class then work for an hour, go to an another class and stay on campus to study til 4 then come home a cook.  However, the second class that is usually at 12:20 got moved to 3:00 and went almost til 5:00!  I still managed to get a lot done in between but I was not prepared to stay on campus til past 5!

Anyway, when we last spoke, I was soaking black eyed peas…

Here’s why:  Rhoda, my friend who pops up around here all the time, is moving to Africa!  She threw a Rhoda is going to Africa party, where we all made recipes from her future home, Burkina Faso!

So I made Savory Bean Cakes! Not the healthiest but these could definitely be made healthier while still tasting delicious!

Burkinese Savory Bean Cakes

adapted from Savoury Beancakes

200g dried black eyed peas (I actually ended up using about 220g… not a big deal)
1 carrot, chopped
1/3 onion, chopped
salt to taste
1 egg, beaten
oil for frying

Cook and peel the black eyed peas.  Allow to cool.

Put all ingredients in the food processor and process until smooth.

At this point, I would allow your dough to cool.  I think this is where mine went wrong.  Form them into ball and flatten, essentially into patties.

Fry for about 10 minutes.

I guess I should also say that I’ve never fried anything before, so I don’t really know how to.  I think of myself as a pretty able cook for the most part but when it comes to frying… oh jeez!

Some were burn (oil too hot).  Some broke apart (should have let the dough cool… I think).

But they tasted great!  Beany and delicious!

Even though they weren’t fabulous looking, I took them to Rhoda’s for our Rhoda is going to Africa celebration.

There was a ton of tasty Burkinese food! Check out the spread:

Rhoda made this DELICIOUS Stew!

Served with cous cous

This stuff was dense!  I was full the entire night! (My two helping of dessert probably had something to do with that too!)

She also made a millet porridge for us to try!  I thought it was tasty!  Rhoda was apprehensive but she’s going to be eating it a lot in the next couple years apparently!

Julie made the same recipe as me!  Coincidence!  Guess there aren’t too many recipes from Burkina Faso out there.  She made hers with black beans.  They were delicious!  Amazing how two different beans can taste so different!

Liz made a tasty mango chutney to complement it all!  I believe she used this recipe.

My plate (definitely had seconds…)

Dessert were Sara’s brownies with fruit and hazelnuts!  Delicious! And Anna’s apple crisp (which I’m bummed I forgot to take a picture of!)

Sooo good! It was really fun to try out these new recipes!  Even if some of them didn’t turn out as expected… Are you a fan of trying to make things you’ve never heard of or do you prefer to have a point of reference (i.e. you’ve eaten it before) when you make something?

After dinner, we headed to a party at Sara’s house.  I danced it up a bit (Beyonce came on and you better believe I was all over it), but pooped out at about 12:30am.

Today is another sunny day!  Any fun weekend plans?

Have a great day!!!!

No SB for Me

While the majority of Americans watched the Super Bowl, ate wings and drank beer today, I did pretty much the opposite.  I spent the day baking and reading. I think I prefer college football…  Did you watch the Super Bowl?

You’re probably tired of seeing these, but here is my latest granola bar creation!  I can’t thank Kim enough for this recipe and Karin for introducing it to me!  So my latest version:

Tropical Granola Bars

2 cups of oats
20g chia seeds
1/3 cup mixed dried fruit (mango, papaya, cranberries and raisins)
6 tbsp wheat germ
1/4 cup agave
1 oz of whole almonds
2 containers of Mott’s Blueberry Delight Applesauce

All baked for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees!  Delish!  Now they’re all wrapped up and ready for my  enjoyment(and that of others)!

The blueberry applesauce gave it a great new flavor!  I really liked it!  I had a blueberry applesauce on its own too!  Pretty tasty!  They also have peach and strawberry flavors I want to try!  But enough about that…

Baking Adventure #2 of the day was Bagels.  I’ve made bagels a few times (as seen on my former personal blog), but I found whole wheat bread flour at the local grocery co-op so I decided to give them a try again.

I followed this recipe.  But used the whole wheat bread flour instead of regular bread flour and agave nectar instead of sugar.  I halved the recipe and got 8 bagels.  As I mentioned, I’ve made bagels before and today I had the same issue as the very first time I made them!  That time I didn’t knead the dough long enough, this time I think it was the whole wheat flour.  Even if it’s bread flour, it just never seems to work well in bagels.  I should have used half whole wheat bread flour and half regular bread flour.

They turned out a little too flat, but tasted good! Have you successfully made whole wheat bagels?  Or any kind for that matter? Any Tips?

For dinner, I had the remainder of my egg wash (1 egg + a bit of water) with two more egg whites added on a corn tortilla with tapatio! (and 2 bagels… oops!)

Someone asked me what Tapatio is:

Delicious!  But not as good as Cholula but I can’t seem to find that here!

I’m still trying to decide if I want to bake something for my class tomorrow, but I’m still not sure!  I’ll let you know if I do.  Don’t worry I haven’t been baking and eating all day!  I did manage to go to Target, the public library and to the gym for a sweaty 5 miles!

That being said… I should probably go watch Mad Men since I’ve had the last available disc for about a week 😦

Have a great night!!!

December Recipe Challenge: Potato Gnocchi

I should probably preface this with the fact that this was a fail…

About a month ago, I bought a 5lb bag of potatoes for under $2.00.  Since it’s been a month I decided I should probably make use of them.  I also happened to have an open jar of pasta sauce that needs to be used.  Here’s the next addition to the December Recipe Challenge…  it seemed like a few ingredients, a little labor intensive but manageable!

Again I got this recipe from 101 Cookbooks, Heidi calls it How to Make Gnocchi like an Italian Grandmother.  I call it potato gnocchi.  Here’s my version, only 1 change (whole wheat flour for all purpose, which I think was the cause of fail):

Potato Gnocchi

2 lbs of potatoes
1/4 cup egg
1 cup of whole wheat flour

Boil the potatoes with the peel until tender, save the water.  Then lay the potatoes out on a large cutting board, peel and mash with a fork.

Leave it to cool a bit then add the egg and 3/4 of the flour.

Knead it very lightly, add more flour as needed.

Divide the dough into 8 pieces and roll each piece into a long worm shape.  Cut worm into 1/2inch – 3/4 inch pieces.

Shape them on the side of a fork (I can’t show this since I only have two hands).  Reboil the water and put gnocchi in the water until they float to the top.

Enjoy with olive oil and salt or some pasta sauce.

Sadly this wasn’t very delicious.  I didn’t even finish making the batch 😦  Not very delicious… In fact my dinner ended up being this:

Oh well.  We can’t win them all!

What’s your most recent recipe fail?