Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ugly but Tasty

I am sooo tired. I can't wait until Sunday. I hate moving. I have no picture, as my lunch did not look appetizing, but it did include this:
I just looked on their website to look at what's in it, and it actually claims "you'll not get this secret recipe". :) It's good. All I did was to put some over a chicken breast and bake it, then top it with a little more sauce--nice and easy!

The rest of my lunch was the black bean-corn salad i made the other day, and some ravioli that didn't turn out so well. The flavors were amazing--I'd definately try these pear-gorgonzola ravioli again. What I wouldn't do is to blend the ingredients in the food processor--it gets too liquid-y, making it terribly hard to fill the ravioli! I bet that combo would go well in a salad...

Besides for some breakfast eggs and smoothie, I think I'm done in my kitchen! No more food to cook... good thing, since I've packed up all but a few of my glasses, toaster oven, and stick blender! The big day is Saturday, I'm a little worried about driving the truck myself, usually that's dad's job :) Next time I cook it will be from the parents house--what fun!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ginger-y Cranberry Walnut Scones

I thought I was doing so well with cleaning out my freezer. Then I opened it the other night and found a bag of cranberries. Ooops. It's august--not fall yet. Moving in less than a week. What was I going to make with these?? Luckily, a quick search came up with a recipe for Ginger-y Cranberry Walnut Scones. Made a double batch to use most of the bag, then brought around to quite a few friends of mine :)

Nice crumbly texture and not too sweet. Each bite with a cranberry had a nice tart-ness :) I haven't eaten (or baked) many scones in my life (no real reason), so I'm not sure how they compare to others. The dough was quite crumbly when shaping, but they managed to hold together enough to transfer to the baking sheet! Susan confirmed my suspicion--I should've added a little more liquid. Next time!

More. Red. Meat.

I'm not a huge red meat eater, so I wasn't quite looking forward to dinner last night. I'll take a fantastic burger any day of the week, but I'm not one to *swoon* over steak. This piece of flank steak was already grilled up, I just had to make a sauce.

For the marinade I used: ~1/2 chopped scallion, 1 minced clove garlic, dash red pepper flakes, 1/2t dark sesame oil, juice from 1/2 lime, ~1/4T each: grated fresh ginger and brown sugar. Let it do it's thing in the fridge for ~1.5hrs, turning whenever I remembered.

Now to the sauce. I [heart] peanut butter, so that's what kept me going last night. Now I know everyone's raving about the PB&Co flavors, and i've tried a few, but the only one I think I'd buy again is Crunch Time. Not to say that I wouldn't try making my own, especially to remake those Dark Chocolate Dream Cookies :) But I digress. When I saw this in the store I couldn't help pick it up for pure curiosity sake. And it was in a smaller container, so if I didn't love it, I wouldn't have a ton of it to eat.

Sorry for the blurry picture.... i think it's my camera--does better with people and landscapes than up close and personal images. Alright, back to the sauce. I had searched online and had an idea of what to do, but when I got home I realized my small saucepan was already packed. woops! Hmm, so I improvised: ~1T Heat is on PB, juice of the other half of lime, and some water (I just eye-balled it, probably could've used a little more). Microwaved for 25sec, stirred, then put it back in for another 30sec or so. At the first stir I didn't think it was going to work, but then it came to a boil (i think) and thickened up into a sauce-like consistency! Doesn't look the prettiest, but it actually tasted pretty good on the meat!

Any other ideas on what to do with the rest of this unique flavor? I'm thinking on a turkey sandwhich it would bring some nice flavors to the party... but that's all I got so far :) Oh, it's their all-natural peanut butter blended with chili powder, cayenne and crushed red peppers. On it's on it's got a little heat behind it, but not too bad--although I won't be eating this one out of the container!

What's on the rest of my plate? That's me trying to use up the frozen corn and can of black beans... it was ~2c corn (thawed), 15oz can black beans, pint of grape tomatoes halved, 2 scallions chopped, some parsley, a squeeze of lemon juice (it was sitting in the fridge), and maybe 1/4c of some light italian dressing that had been forgotten about. Another tasty way to eat your veggies!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Battle: Flank Steak, part II

Sorry, no picture this time, but it looked alot like the first, minus the sauce-yness :) The second recipe was for a lime marinade, see below. It was pretty tasty, the meat was nice and juicy as prepared (but not saucy like the first recipe). The lime flavor was present, but not overpowering. I'd definately make it again as it was pretty simple, but I think next time I'd try it in some tacos!

For my 1 serving of flank steak (~1/4lb), I used the following for the lime marinade:
juice of 1 lime
1/2T soy sauce
1/2 scallion, thinly sliced
1/2T fresh ginger (I keep little pieces of peeled ginger in the freezer and just grate it when I need it)
dash of red pepper flakes

marinate in the fridge (i used a plastic bag) for 30min-1hr, turning once or twice. Then get grilling! :)

Phew, I came in to work to, well... work, so now I should get to it!

Sambazon Acai

Look what I found at the bottom of my freezer!! I had completely forgotten about these puppies!! You can read about Acai here, or on Sambazon's website, but it's a great fruit with more antioxidants than pomegrantes and blueberries. I picked up these convenient frozen smoothie packs at whole foods, and it was the perfect addition to my post-run smoothie!! Nice, cold and refreshing. Sambazon's website has other ideas on how to use these, so I'm about to go read and find out :)

More things to love

my view as I walk home over the south st. bridge

Wow where has the day gone? I was going to go for a run early this morning and head into work by noon, but one thing led to another, led to another... here it is much later than expected. Oh well!

Another one of my favorite things about Philadelphia is the path along the Schuylkill River--great for walking, running, biking... just about anything! I took a few pictures yesterday on my long bike ride that I thought I'd share.

From the bridge by the art museum

Center City from West River Drive

There's a path that starts further down the river, but near the Art Museum there's a 8.25mi loop that's especially nice in the summer, as West River Dr. is closed off to car traffic. I recruited a friend for what turned into a 32mi ride, we made it all the way to Conshohocken! It even included a killer hill I can't believe I ever did w/o clipless pedals (why do they call them clipless pedals when you "clip" in???). A little scary at times with the traffic in Manayunk--i'm still getting used to the pedals--but it was a fantastic day!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Battle: Flank Steak

I do feel like it's almost been a battle, using as much of the food occupying my freezer and fridge as I can the past two weeks!!

Last night I cooked up some flank steak, 3 ways (the recipe junkie is already rearing it's ugly head!) to eat over the next few days. The first was a slightly modification of this recipe, based on what I had... and what I forgot :). I used roasted garlic teryaki and left out the garlic and onion. (the onion was the accidental part) Came out pretty delicious, although the picture below doesn't suffice. As I was packing if for lunch, doesn't make for nice presentation. I'll have to work on that!

Also in the tupperware: some beet ravioli I made and stuck in the freezer awhile ago and a large spoonful of Spinach Cannellini dip.

For the ravioli, I used the recipe for the filling but opted for wonton wrappers for a shortcut. The sauce went by the wayside, as I was tired after cooking so much meat! They were pretty good, except I was a bit skimpy on filling them (I'm always afraid of over-filling!) and I'm sure would've been better fresh with the sauce!

To get some veggies and use up the box of spinach in my freezer, I whirred up some of this dip in my trusty food processor before I packed it up. As I made a few adaptations from the Everyday Italian recipe, my version is below. Very yummy!

I'll be back with the other flank steak recipes once I give those a try!

Spinach Cannellini Dip
Adapted from Everyday Italian

1 HUGE garlic clove (prob 2-3 normal sized ones)
1 box frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 can cannellini beans (might've been 20oz can)
1T fresh lemon juice
1T balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)

I just threw everything but the oil into the processor, turned it on, then drizzled in the EVOO until it got a nice creamy consistency (used ~2T). Like I mentioned, it could've used a little more, or maybe some water to moisten a bit more.

It definately reminded me of spinach artichoke dip, and would be fantastic on pita chips! Could also be done with fresh spinach, sauteeing with garlic and some EVOO over medium heat before adding to the food processor.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Philly Eats

One of the things I will miss most about Philadelphia are the amazing restaurants that abound. In case you're ever looking for somewhere to eat in the city, here are some of my favorites...

My favorite meal (aka brunch): Sabrina's, Morning Glory, & Honey's

Bar Food: Good Dog, Ten Stone, Nodding Head, Monks, Bishop's Collar

Polish (think pierogies and kielbasa): Krakus Market

THE best guacamole, made table-side: Xochitl

Some others that I've enjoyed: Marigold Kitchen, Rx, Tiffin, Figs

Sweet Endings: Capogiro, Darling's cheesecake, Rita's

Still on my to-do list: Vetri, Osteria, Standard Tap, Amada, D'Jango, Rae, Zahav, Silk City Diner, Supper, Chloe

oh, cheesesteaks? I'd probably head to Jim's on 4th and South, but that's just me...

Man I'm getting hungry thinking of all the good meals I've had!! Luckily there will be many new things to explore in Boston :)

Edited to add: D'Jango was great, great fresh, local meal! Osteria *swoon* was fantastic, especially the chocolate "flan" (really a molten chocolate cake) with pistachio gelato...

A Work in Progress

...both the blog and me!

I've loved reading so many food blogs over the past year, and have been inspired to start one of my own. Probably not the best time to do so as I should be packing... oh well :)

My goals: First and foremost, I need to get back to having a healthy relationship with food.

What I'll share: I'm a grocery store and recipe junkie. I took up a love of cooking in grad school, and can't believe the things I'm eating now! So while I doubt I'll be sharing everything I eat, I'd love to share fun products and recipes I try out. Maybe some reflections and fun things, too.

What's up with the name? I alluded to my love of cooking, which is the second part of the name. The first comes from another thing I've picked up in grad school--triathlon. I did my first one last summer and was hooked. This summer's been crazy busy, but I can't wait to do some more!

Stay tuned!

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