Is this thing on?

February 19, 2010

Uhhhhh. Okay, I have a prepared statement about my absence that includes overwrought phrasing like “settling into the rhythms of my new life” and has lots of excuses about my health and my fatigue and why I basically stopped cooking. But it boils down to: “we moved and I am lazy.”

I’ve been cooking off and on, really simple things fit for our wee new kitchen.

like this sweet and sour red chard with soba

It was my first attempt at sweet and sour sauce, and it was way more sweet than sour, but it tasted great and held me over for about 2.5 seconds before I cracked into a family sized bag of Kettle Chips.

and this bowl of mush

Which is actually curried red lentils with spinach. The timing of this particular meal is important, as I made it soon after passing out over the credit card bill. So this $1.50 dish was actually priceless – a triumph of willpower when it would have been so easy to call out for another eggplant sub.

And with that, I have shared all of the meals I’ve cooked since early January. The shame! I fully expect someone to come any day now to take my apron, my food processor, my brand new bright green spatula, and my home cook’s badge.

Until next month…


Ahead of the game.

June 25, 2009

This afternoon, one of my co-workers offered to cover my evening shift and I thought about it for about negative point five seconds before I said yes.

That meant that I came home to an already prepared dinner and I got to sit around reading for an hour before the NBA draft, luxuriating in the fact that I didn’t have to cook anything. This must be what it feels like to be prepared.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that I couldn’t handle all that excess time, so I filled it by cooking dinner for tomorrow. It’s kind of a sickness. In my defense, though, I’ll only have about 20 minutes to prepare and consume dinner tomorrow, so it’s good that I got it off my plate. Now I can use that entire time to savor the Corn and Edamame-Sesame Salad from Veganomicon.

Anyway, the Smitten Kitchen-inspired peanut sesame noodles turned out well, except that I forgot to toast the sesame noodles and toss them in. Oh well. I toasted some extra for tomorrow’s dinner, just to make up for it.

soba + veggies + tofu + peanut sauce over spinach

soba + veggies + tofu + peanut sauce over spinach

The love I have for peanut butter cannot be described. I like other nut and seed butters – almond, cashew, pecan, sunflower, what have you – but peanut butter is my desert island food. Still, I was a little nervous about how thick the sauce would get with as much peanut butter as the recipe indicated, so I cut it down a good bit, to about 3T. I’ll have a few spoonfuls from the jar later to make up for the deficit.

the breakdown

8 oz soba noodles = $2.79
1 red bell pepper = $.99
2 carrots = $.15
3T peanut butter = $.32
1T sesame oil = $.40
and some pantry staples (crushed red pepper, rice vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ground ginger)

grand total = $4.65

Four servings at $1.16 a serving. I’m kicking myself for paying $10+ for various versions of this dish at restaurants. Curses! I had mine over spinach again (it’s still really hot out and it was on the verge of wilting. Actually, so am I).

On this side: my new favorite summer treat.

any day over 95 calls for a shandy

any day over 95 calls for a shandy

Our recipe: mix equal parts beer and lemonade in a pitcher. Chill. Enjoy. We used High Life and Country Tyme, but you might not be as classy. That’s fine. Just make sure it’s a beer that’s lighter in color, like a wheat beer or some kind of lager-style beer. I could have the lemonade myself but that’s like 3 extra steps, and I’ve had a long week.

This is a Heidi Swanson fanblog

October 15, 2008

Okay, it’s more than that (edited to add: it’s also an Ellie Krieger fanblog), but we did happen to have two Heidi Swanson meals in a row. I’ve had them both on my radar for a while, but it worked out nicely to make them both this week because we got a huge bunch of chard at the farmer’s market on Saturday, and they both call for it.

Last night was Lively Up Yourself Lentil Soup:

Doesn’t that look lively? Yes. I skipped the saffron yogurt because, well, I don’t believe in saffron. It was still really awesome and filling and perfect for a rainy and cold-ish Tuesday. I used half fire-roasted crushed tomatoes and half regular crushed tomatoes, and I think next time I’ll just stick with the regular ones. The fire-roasted ones tasted a little strange to me.

Tonight was Garlic Soba Noodles:

It as good, but it didn’t rock my face off, like I expected it to. Though, to be fair, I think I did something wrong, because I feel like it looked a lot better when Arielle made it.

Off topic, but this is really exciting – Matt went to the gym with me this morning for the first time ever. It was awesome. I didn’t punk out because it was raining, and I wasn’t afraid of possums while I was walking to the car. I could get used to this. Tomorrow morning, we’re going to play basketball after I get done with my regular workout. Exercise is fun again!

Speaking of tomorrow, I have an event with my class tomorrow night, so I won’t be home to cook. I will, however, be enjoying a delightful home-cooked meal with a few of my teaching colleagues at Donna’s house, and maybe I’ll get to blog that. Friday night is still up in the air. Basically, I’ll be back again at some point.

Now I’m off to celebrate the huge project I finally finished today. Ice cream? Some beer? Hot chocolate and cookies? ALL OF THE ABOVE? The sky is really the limit.

Two great tastes that taste great together

May 20, 2008

Peanut butter and noodles are two of the greatest foods on earth. Tonight I finally took the plunge and married the two. Here’s a really unappetizing picture of soba noodles with chicken and vegetables in peanut sauce.

This was so good. Like, almost barley risotto levels of good. Sometimes I think back to the food I was eating when I was trying lose weight and it makes me want to cry a little bit. Lean Cuisines, ONE CUP of pasta, Special K, carrot sticks. I think I ruined carrot sticks for myself forever. And Special K. Actually, that stuff is good, especially the one with the dehydrated berries? Yeah, maybe I’ll pick some up.

Anyway, enough about me (AS IF!). This doesn’t look super but the peanut sauce was so good and it really made the recipe. It was just 2 tbsp of peanut butter, 2 tbsp hot water, whisked together. Then I added 2 tbsp of rice vinegar and just under 2 tbsp of soy sauce. That was for four servings (8oz of soba noodles and a pan of vegetables that actually overflowed). It went really nicely with the broccoli, green peppers (the recipe called for red, but these are hard times and we don’t have 1.89 to spend on a single red pepper), and bok choy. This was my first time preparing or eating bok choy, and I’m a fan. I was so excited to see it at the farmer’s market last week that I knew I needed to do something with it, stat.

See, Kansas farms are so much more than beef. And other cow things. They even have fancy chinese cabbage!

Okay, it’s almost 10 and that means it’s time for me to take a Benadryl and slip into sweet oblivion. Our bedroom was 89 degrees last night, so I’m really looking forward to that. Hey, people pay dozens of dollars for Bikram yoga classes, right? This is the basically the same thing. Just free.