Archive for cooking

Food: Lemon crinkle cookies

I’m a sucker for anything lemon. I’m especially a sucker for lemon recipes with less than 5 ingredients.

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I first discovered this crazy easy recipe on Pinterest, via Kitchen Meets Girl. And since the only thing I didn’t have in my pantry was lemon cake mix, the decision to make this cookie wasn’t even really a decision at all. It just had to be done and I couldn’t wait to share it with you.

Go ahead, gather your ingredients. It’ll take you 5 minutes. Here’s what you need:

    1 box of lemon cake mix
    8 oz cool whip (thawed)
    1 egg
    1 cup of powder sugar

Preheat your oven to 350 and then mix your cake mix, cool whip, and egg together in large bowl.

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Your batter will be sticky and awkward. Don’t worry, powder sugar will come to your rescue. Put your powder sugar in a small bowl and then place a dollop of batter in the bowl. Note: the original recipe recommended a tablespoon size dollop and that’s what you see below; however, I’d recommend smaller. Smaller cookies means more cookies.

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Cover your batter in sugar completely. Move from hand to hand to shake off excess sugar.

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Place your cookie on a greased cookie sheet.

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Bake for about 8-10 minutes until golden brown on edges. Because my cookies were probably larger than intended, my cooking time was probably closer to 12-13 minutes. Remove from oven and allow them to cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute, then move to wire rack to cool completely.

Now, the hard part – try to resist eating all of them. They are so perfectly soft and moist, I couldn’t believe it.

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I’ll be making these again soon and might even try other cake mix flavors!

Food: Tofu potato scramble

I love subscription boxes. They are definitely a guilty pleasure, but recently I’ve been trying to save every last penny so I cancelled all of them (All them being 3. Told you, guilty pleasure!). However, my mom passed on a $40 gift card to HelloFresh¬†and I couldn’t resist, especially when there was a no commitment policy to their subscription service. Meaning, I could buy as many or as few boxes as I wanted before cancelling.

So, I signed up and bought their vegetarian box that contained 3 meals for 2 people for $59, but with my gift card it was only $19 (all shipping included)! To put it simply, the box I chose was the cheapest of all the options available, but you can choose boxes with meat, more meals, and for more people. The price is magically adjusted for you.

My first box arrived yesterday and I was excited to cook up a storm. The ingredients themselves are high quality and were packaged nicely with reusable cool packs and with a thermal wrapping. The meals are also broken down into different bags and each had a detailed picture recipe card. At one point, I actually laughed to myself as I felt like I was in a Ratatouille reality TV show as I said, ‘So simple, anyone can cook!

I think what I loved most is that the meals were different to what I’d make/dream up myself AND the nutrition value was listed right on the recipe card. Good for people like me who like to count their daily intake.

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So I started my HelloFresh journey with their tofu potato scramble recipe and I definitely had a happy belly at the end of the night.

To get started, you’ll need:

  • 8 oz firm tofu
  • 2 small white potatoes
  • 3 scallions
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 10 grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup lettuce
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 2 wheat tortillas (not pictured)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (not pictured)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (no pictured)

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1. Prepare your veggies & tofu: cut potato into 1/2 inch pieces, shred the lettuce, chop the garlic, halve the tomatoes, cut pepper into strips, slice the scallions, and finally drain & crumble the tofu in a bowl. It all pretty much looked like this after:

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2. Next, put your potatoes in a pot & cover with water. Bring them to a boil and then let them simmer for 8 minutes. Wait at least 5 minutes before you continue with the skillet portion of the meal. You’ll need your potatoes there.

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3. When your potatoes are nearly done, start your skillet and add the olive oil, scallions, garlic, and chili powder and cook/stir for 2 minutes. Next add your peppers and potatoes, cook/stir for another 5-7 minutes.

Note: when you drain & add your potatoes, save 1 tablespoon of the starchy water for later.

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4. Next, add the tofu & that 1 tablespoon of water you saved. Cook/stir for about 3 minutes. Season with salt & pepper.

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5. Heat your tortillas (I used the microwave) and then divide your mixture in 1/2 since this recipe is for 2 people. Place your mixture on the tortilla.

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And then top it with the cheese, tomatoes, and lettuce.

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6. Finally, hone your inner Chipotle burrito wrapping skillz and roll that puppy up. My burrito looked terrible, but it still tasted great.

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One final note: If you don’t like heat/spice, then consider less chili powder, because the chili powder is added early on and it gives everything a nice deep heat flavor; the kind that sneaks up on you after a few bites. It was amazing!

I’ll definitely be making this recipe again!

Nutrition per serving (according to HelloFresh)

  • Calories: 527
  • Carbohydrates: 43g
  • Fat: 29g
  • Protein: 34g

Food: Haystacks

In honor of my upcoming trip home to NC, I decided to call on some of my fave childhood recipes for this week’s baking adventure. As I was digging through the cookbooks, I stumbled across an incredibly easy recipe (ONLY 3 ingredients) for haystacks. I couldn’t believe how much I used to love these and how, dare I say it again, easy these sweet treats are to make.

Fair warning, these are in no way healthy. But they are amazing, so eat in moderation. Or eat all you want and then get to the gym stat!

All you need to get started is:

  • 2 bags of butterscotch morsels
  • 1 can of La Choy chow mein noodles
  • 1/2 can of cashews (mine were lightly salted)
  • Wax paper

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I’m sure you can figure out how to make them based on those 3 ingredients but in case it’s not obvious, here goes:

  1. Roughly chop your cashews into pieces.
  2. Melt your butterscotch morsels in the microwave.
  3. Add your chow mein noodles.
  4. Add your cashews.
  5. Stir, stir, stir.
  6. Mix, mix, mix.
  7. Dollop your haystacks onto wax paper and allow to cool.
  8. Best stored in the fridge after they are cool.

The only trick to haystacks is getting all your goodies in before the butterscotch hardens again. If that happens, put it in the microwave for a hot (er, warm) second and then continue to stir, stir, stir. And mix, mix, mix.

After they’ve cooled – enjoy! On a day like today, I can’t wait to get home and eat at least 3 of these. No judgment, please.

Food: White bean & chicken chili

Sometimes to break up my day a bit in the afternoon, I’ll put the TV on in the background while I’m working. When I’m not picking up design tips or house hunting on HGTV, I’m usually tuning into Giada at home. Her show is definitely a guilty pleasure as I don’t really understand why I like it. Most of her food is heavily Italian and feels far too complicated; but, the other day she made white bean & chicken chili and I instantly decided I was going to make it too.

It did take me a good hour and a half to make (as estimated) and I certainly wasn’t as quick and graceful in the kitchen as Giada, but the chili was amazing and one I’m adding to my cooking repertoire. For added approval, BF loved it too!

I think the reason I’m raving about this recipe is because I’ve always been hesitant to make chili, maybe because I didn’t understand/appreciate it’s nutritional value? I know it’s meaty and all, but it still didn’t seem like a good way to use up my day’s calories. However, this chili just sits well in my own mindset of healthy eating. It’s packed with tons of healthy proteins: chicken, white beans, spinach, and corn. I did top it with Parmesan cheese as Giada suggests, but it’s a small amount and won’t throw you in to the deep end of food regret.

So here it is, my version of Giada’s white bean & chicken chili:

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You can get Giada’s recipe here & try it for yourself! I know she puts in quite a variety of spices, but I saw it as a good investment since I’ll definitely be making this again before spring rolls around!

Friday night noms

I’m not a chef. I’m not even really a decent cook and I hate cooking anything that has more than 5 ingredients. Tonight, I splurged and used 6 ingredients for this tasty roasted chicken & veg. I got the recipe out of my March issue of Real Simple.

So what exactly are you drooling over? That’s roasted red potatoes with broccoli and very thin pieces of chicken with red pepper and feta cheese rolled up inside. I had to brown the chicken in a frying pan before putting it in the oven to roast, but only a minor hassle, really.

I guess I could have really stuck to my 5 ingredient rule, but I’m a big fan of flat parsley. It just gives a really fresh taste to everything.

Happy belly, over and out.

Maggie learns to cook – part 1

It is a well known fact that I am the worst cook in my apartment. If it involves more than 3 ingredients or takes more than 20 minutes, why bother? Salads are exempt, of course, but anything else…not happening.

It is also a well known fact that one of my roommates and I set goals. Lots of them (see 2011 goals), but each month we also set mini goals. In February, Jenna vowed to take the stairs, no matter what. Quite the feat considering we live on the 10th floor. I admired from afar the elevator and thought about a mini goal for myself.

March’s mini goal: be a better cook.

I started this week with the decision to cook a nice meal on Friday evening – a starter & a main…at least. At least! Looking up good recipes isn’t hard. Any bad cook with internet can do that. The hard part is finding recipes that are relatively easy to make, include normal ingredients, and are healthy. So I turned to supercook.com where you can enter the ingredients you have in your kitchen and recipes are pulled accordingly.

Here is the menu that resulted:

Mini caprese salad with a basalmic vinegar & mustard grain sauce

Grilled chicken & peach kabobs with pepper/peach puree sauce

….and without further ado, the final plated meal of kabobs, served with couscous & topped with puree sauce!

Does anyone have any other recipes I can try? If so, let me know! NOM, NOM, NOM…

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