Jun 25, 2012

dreaming and meatless meals

Do you ever think about what you want to be when you grow up? Even though you've graduated from college and found a grown up job? Well, the problem is I'm so not grown up yet. If I am expected to live to 100 and I'm not even 25... then how am I considered grown up? Of course I have wisdom and some life experience by now, but I dream more about my potential now than I did when I was younger. Maybe the difference is the things I dream about now could be made possible like opening a restaurant or moving to NYC. The dreams you have when you are younger like flying or becoming a princess are just not reality. I still ask young adults my age what they want to be when they grow up and I get flashed a really silly look. I'm telling you it's not silly, it's the truth. I know some adults that are still lost at the age of 40 and that is okay. We are constantly changing beings who learn to adapt to new situations. Those situations can sometimes inspire new goals or dreams.

The point is we never stop dreaming about the person we could become or the places we will go. I just hope that in the 75 years when I am grey and wrinkly that I'm proud of what I accomplished in life. Even the things I regret should be part of my story. Like the time I decided that this would be a good idea to post on my blog. Or the time I accidentally put double the amount of water in my pizza dough because I was too distracted to read the recipe correctly. Which also caused me to have to run to the grocery store because I didn't have enough flour. Sometimes the regret can be small but I'm the type of person that holds onto regrets with a tight grip and a heavy heart. I'm working on it, but no one is perfect.

One thing I will never regret is creating these delicious little guys. A meatless meatball for everyone to share and love.

I always get excited when I find a full proof vegetarian dish for the days that meat just doesn't appeal to me. When searching for a meatless meal I still want to make sure that I'm getting a ton of nutrients and find something that will keep me full for a while.

These may look like real meatballs, but they are totally lentils! And they are totally filling and delicious and the lemon pesto really is the icing on the cake (or the sauce on the meatball).

I found this recipe after I stumbled upon the blog Sprouted Kitchen. My gosh is this lady fantastic. All of her recipes are fresh and whole foods that are good for your body and filling.

The original recipe called for Parmesan cheese in the meatballs, but I accidentally used all of mine in the pesto and Goat's Milk Gouda was all I had in the fridge. It was still a hard cheese so I think it worked pretty darn well.

Lentil Meatballs in Lemon Pesto
Adapted by: Sprouted Kitchen


2 cups cooked lentils
2 lightly beaten eggs
3/4 cup whole milk ricotta 
1/4 cup grated Goats Milk Gouda
1 large minced clove of garlic
1/2 t crushed fennel seed
2 T finely chopped fresh parsley
2 t fresh thyme1 t Each Sea Salt and Pepper
2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs

Lemon Pesto:

2 cloves of rough chopped garlic
1/2 cup of toasted pine nuts
1 lemon zested and juiced 
2 cups of packed basil
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 t salt
pinch of black pepper
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

1. Start by cooking the lentils. I normally do 1 cup lentils to 2 scant cups of water. (1 cup of dried lentils will make 2 cups of cooked lentils). Pour 1 cup of lentils onto a baking sheet and sort through them. Make sure you throw away any rocks or shriveled ones. Wash in a strainer and then put in a pot with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes - 1 hour depending on how old your lentils are. I simmered mine for about 30 minutes. 

2. While the lentils are cooking let's make the pesto. In a food processor put the garlic, pine nuts, lemon zest and juice. Pulse until smooth. Add in basil, cheese, salt and pepper. Pulse until the basil starts to break up. Keep the food processor running and slowly drizzle oil in until everything is fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides a few times and pulse until you have the correct consistency. 

3. When the lentils are done let them cool off for a few minutes before placing them into the food processor. (I washed my food processor from the pesto while they cooled a bit) Once cooled off pulse the lentils in the food processor until the turn into mush and set in a large mixing bowl.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

4. You might need to let the lentils cool for a bit more before adding in the egg (we don't want scrambled eggs in our meatballs!) So incorporate the remaining ingredients for the meatballs aside from the bread crumbs into the lentil mush. After all ingredients are fully incorporated add in the panko and let stand for 20-30 minutes. If the mixture seems too mushy add a tablespoon or two of breadcrumbs at a time (letting rest in between) until you can roll the lentil mixture into a 1" ball and it doesn't fall apart.

5. Bake for 20 minutes flipping the balls halfway through. 

6. Top with pesto and enjoy :) I put a bed of arugula under mine and it seemed like the perfect peppery addition to these little guys.

Apr 24, 2012

So. Here I go again taking another hiatus. So many things have been happening lately it's hard to have the time to sit down and document my culinary adventures. It's going to get even harder to do so when I start my three day a week class for a month. Now three days a week doesn't seem like much but when you work 40 hours a week plus freelance... m/t/w 5:30-9:55 can be a lot. I am going to have to meal plan like crazy because there is no time to go home and eat dinner before class which means bringing double the amount of food to work!

I am trying to devise a plan to cook a few meals on Sundays, enough for three days... which doesn't seem like a lot, but I am trying to eat a lot healthier. Cut down on some carbs, fats, sodium, calories... that whole bit. I mean it's almost summer and I plan on being on the lake a lot so it's time to kick it into high gear and get that beach bod I've always dreamed of.

I started mission beach bod yesterday. My mother lent me her Jillian Michaels ripped in 30 dvd, plus I am still going to be doing my regular work outs: yoga 3-4 days a week, zumba once a week, rollerblading 2-3 times a week. This means two-a-days! So as you can see all of the above mentioned, work, freelance, class, and two-a-day work outs?! I think I might be insane. Let's hope I don't push myself too far! And luckily for me the gym is right across the street from my work, lunch time is always utilized.

The first meal I decided to make for my healthier diet were these quick and easy chicken flautas from spoon fork bacon.

I swapped regular sour cream for lite sour cream, and didn't use any extra after the flautas were baked. I also swapped white flour tortillas for a honey wheat tortilla. This gave the flautas an extra bit of sweetness that was just absolutely delicious. I highly recommend using an ear of corn for this and not canned corn. By using canned corn you are adding extra calories and sodium that you don't really need.

Next time I make these I will most likely add a couple more veggies in here like bell pepper, maybe some black beans. I enjoyed them as they are but I love packing in more veggies where ever I can.

I had 2 of these for dinner plus a 60 calorie cup of dark hot chocolate from my keruig.

Wait for these to cool a lot before you start eating them, I kind of burnt my tongue... okay not just kind of, I really burnt my tongue!

Makes 6

2 cups roasted chicken, shredded or chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 ear yellow corn, kernels and milk removed from husk
1/3 cup prepared salsa
2 tablespoons lite sour cream
2 ounces Mexican Blend cheese
salt and pepper to taste

6, 8 inch whole wheat tortillas

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Shred or chop chicken and place into a medium sized bowl and set aside. Make sure your bowl is big enough to mix all of the ingredients in.
3. Pour oil into a medium sauté pan and place over medium-high heat.
4. Saute onion, and corn for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for an additional 2 minutes.
5. Pour onion mixture over chicken and toss together. Add remaining filling ingredients to chicken and onion mixture and stir together until mixed together. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Place a heaping 1/3 cup of the filling into one of the tortillas and spread into a log.
7. Tightly roll tortilla and place onto a parchment lined baking sheet, seam side down.
8. Repeat until all of the tortillas and filling have been used.
9. Bake flautas for 20 to 25 minutes or until the tortillas have crisped up and turned golden brown. Slice each in half and enjoy!

Apr 17, 2012

goat cheese drop biscuits

Most of the time on Saturday or Sunday I wake up craving biscuits and eggs. There is something about slowly waking up on your own, without an alarm, and wanting a good hearty home made breakfast that just makes you feel all fuzzy inside.

Since my days to sleep in past 7:30am are far and few between I think about biscuits and eggs a lot less.

After class Saturday morning I was dying for biscuits. I decided it was time to try a recipe that had been sitting in my binder for far too long. Goat cheese drop biscuits. And guess what? I had an unopened pack of goat cheese just screaming to be digested in someone's stomach... in biscuit form of course.

Goat Cheese Drop Biscuits
a marriage between Joy The Baker and Art Smith

yields 9 Biscuits

2 cups of all-purpose flour
3 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes (I cut this into cubes and stick in the freezer while I measure out the other ingredients)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, for your skillet
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, for the top of your biscuits
4 tablespoons goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese 
1 cup buttermilk

1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F, and place your rack in the upper third. Take your cast iron skillet, I didn't have a 10in so I just used my 12in, no big deal, and place it in the oven to preheat.

2. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. With a pastry blender, two forks, or your fingers blend the butter and goat cheese into the flour mixture until it is a pebbly mixture. Make a well in the center of the mixture and pour in the buttermilk. With a fork, mix together the ingredients until all of the dry spots disappear.

3. Remove your skillet from the oven and place the tablespoon of butter and move around to cover the entire surface of the skillet. Drop biscuits by 1/4 cup fulls into the skillet. If they touch it is okay.

4. Brush with two tablespoons of melted butter and bake for 14-16 minutes. When they come out of the oven let them rest for a quick few.

Serve with lovely jam or butter. I used strawberry/raspberry jam and it was the perfect combination! 


Apr 13, 2012

tans and yellows

tans and yellows

So this is my first go at polyvore and their amazing boards you can create! love, love, love it. Totally obsessed... and still totally not studying.. okay for reals now.. I'm getting off the internet... I'm getting my flashcards out! I promise. 

belated easter cupcakes

So remember how Easter was last weekend? Yeah, me too... Some how my life was so crazy busy this week that I had zero time to post anything. So now, nearly a week after I made these delightful cupcakes I am now showing you. I could always just rename these to springy cupcakes. There are no bunnies or any specific Easter symbol on them. They are just grassy little cupcakes with some eggs that may or may not hatch chocolate.

I found this awesome yellow cake recipe from King Arthur Flour, why do they have the best recipes? They are full proof I swear... and a simple butter cream via William Sonoma. Yes I am being lazy and not writing out the entire recipe because to be honest I have a test tomorrow morning and I should really be studying and not typing non sense on here! Hopefully there will be something super delicious to look at next week. I've been working on a new scone recipe that should be out of this world! I hope!

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Big and exciting news coming from me to you very soon!

Apr 5, 2012

deep dark mocha cupcakes

I finally got around to using my Enjoy! gift from Miss Joy over at Joy the Baker. I seriously love her, she is amazing. Her Enjoy! gifts are amazing, especially when they make these cupcakes. Better yet especially because I made them with my friend Amanda at apenderful.

We had a lovely little afternoon chatting with Amanda's mom, and making these tasty treats.

Decorating these was the best part because immediately after meant we could try them out!

Deep Dark Mocha Cupcakes
via Joy The Baker

makes one dozen!

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup double-dutch cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon instant espresso
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Coffee Buttercream:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoon hot water
1 teaspoon instant espresso

1. Preheat oven to 350 degreen
2. Line cupcake pan with paper liners and set asie
3. In a large bowl sift the dry ingredients together and set aside
4. in a medium bowl whisk together the oil, buttermilk, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients being careful not to over-mix.
5. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups and place in the oven for 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cup comes out clean.
6. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then place on a wire rack until completely cool before topping with espresso buttercream.

7. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or just a regular bowl with a hand mixer, beat butter and one third of the sugar. Beat until thick and incorporated.
8. In a tiny bowl stir together vanilla, hot water, and espresso powder. Stir until the powder is dissolved.
9. Add the remaining sugar and espresso mixture to the bowl. Beat on medium speed until smooth and slightly fluffy
10. Spread on cooled cupcakes and top with goodies! (sprinkles and such)


Apr 4, 2012

wish list wednesday

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

This round of wish list Wednesday has some awesome typographic goodies. I am constantly inspired by the things I hang up on my walls, or the accents I set up around my house. I love a lot of bright color, lettering, and patterns. There are a few items shown above that I would die to have! Those large zinc letter from Anthropologie would look amazing on my walls!


Apr 2, 2012

black bean & sweet potato soup and quinoa corn bread

This is a super food meal.

The kind of super food meal that contains every single vitamin, protein, and nutrient packed all into one bowl and one piece of corn bread.

How, you may ask?

red quinoa, chia seeds, sweet potatoes, black beans, celery root, cilantro, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, leeks, tomatoes, onions, carrots, and more!

AND the best part?

Gluten AND dairy free. Well except for the fact that I only had regular skim milk in my fridge and not almond milk (for the corn bread).

I super highly recommend each of these separately and together. So many flavors! A healthy meal that is far from bland.

So on this monday, the start of the week, I suggest you make something that makes you feel good. Something that doesn't affect your waist line, and will still make you feel super full.

So give it a try! and while you're at it read this super awesome blog I found the recipes from. I just found My New Roots on Friday and I'm already in love. Check it out!

black bean & sweet potato soup, here.
quinoa corn bread, here.

Mar 30, 2012

little parfaits

For the past couple of years I have had yogurt for breakfast. I have experimented with different cereals, flavors of yogurt, and fruits; but I always come back to this one combination. 

low fat vanilla yogurt + strawberries & blueberries + kashi go lean cereal = the best parfait combination ever. 

So there are a couple things you'll want to get... obviously the ingredients listed above, and some cleaned & sanitized canning jars, or any other jar of your choice. I made five of these for each work morning. On the weekends I may splurge and make some pancakes or eggs, toast, and bacon. Yogurt parfaits are just so easy to prep ahead of time and just grab from the fridge and go. I don't know about you all, but there is no way I can fit eating breakfast into my morning routine so I always end up eating right when I arrive at work at my desk. It's full proof for me, it's a routine, it's habit, it's wonderful!

So after you grab all of your ingredients just assemble. Some people like to put their fruit on the bottom, some on the top... just make sure to leave out the cereal so it doesn't get soggy. GROSS.

Then just top em' off with lids and stick in the fridge. Easy as pie ladies and gents!

Yogurt also has some really good benefits like jump starting your metabolism for the day!

And when I just typed metabolism someone was trying to talk to me and said the word establishment and I totally made up the word metablishment. Sometimes I think I can only write in quiet places for fear of not being able to concentrate fully.

Have happy Friday!

Mar 28, 2012

wish list wednesday!

I have been wondering for months why my pictures wouldn't be large and in charge. Come to find out I have been using an old blogger posting thing-a-ma-bob. Now that I've updated that my photos can be in your face, you can read my text without opening up a picture, and that makes me SO excited.

Today on wishlist wednesday I am showing you three excellent examples of why I am obsessed with west elm. I want that parons desk for my office, that lighting in my backyard, and that table in my kitchen. The Emmerson dining table has a metal top for a secondary prep surface! YES! I have limited counter space in my kitchen and something like this would be excellent, as long as my cats stay far far away in another room.

Enjoy my new large and in charge photos, happy Wednesday!

Mar 25, 2012

savory scones

I have fallen in love with a delightful blank canvas that is a scone.

The first time I had a scone was back in high school. It was dry, gross, and flavorless. I had no idea that I just had a poorly made one. I thought all scones were terrible because of that one instance that occurred a million years ago. Okay, not a million, more like 7.

The reason why I like these babies so much is because they can be any shape, and you can add any ingredients you'd like. My favorite sweet scones to make are orange and dark chocolate with an orange glaze. These are my first savory scone and probably my favorite. I cannot judge other savory scones because I have not yet had one. BUT putting bacon, cheddar cheese, and chives into one treat has me falling in love at first glance... and smell.

We have a weekly meeting at work and we rotate bringing in treats, last tuesday was my turn. This is what I brought in. There were no casualties.

See the recipe here at King Arthur Flour, and watch for other amazing scone recipes in the future. I've been working on my own creation that hopefully will be perfected in the coming weeks!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Mar 20, 2012

wish list wednesday!

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

On this fine Wednesday I have gathered a random assortment of items for your viewing pleasure. I couldn't decide on a theme this week because there were so many things I found that I just wanted for my closet, kitchen, and house. I went spring clothes shopping last week and when I walked into anthropologie the first thing I saw were those polkadot jeggings. If there is one thing you need to know about me it's the fact that I am obsessed with polkadots. I have a problem, I should probably find a polkadot AA of some sort. The funny part about these pants is the fact that target made a similar pair for young children that I cried over every time I saw them. I wanted them to be in a big girl size!! Last week I got my wish, a beautiful pair of polkadot mixed with jean jeggings. Although they are a little out of my price range, at least I have tried them on and know they exist.

Have a great Wednesday everyone!

Mar 16, 2012


Is spring here? Or did we jump right to summer? It's been quite hot in the mitten lately, 80 degrees yesterday! There are no complaints on my end because opening the windows and turning off the furnace is quite a treat.

What else is a treat? Being back in school. Saying... Sorry I can't make it, I have homework. Even though it's been just over a year without any classes, teachers, or homework I really missed being forced to learn things I might not find on my own.

This is a whole new journey for me. I'm not sure where culinary school is going to take me but I am super excited to find out. I'm also super excited for my herbs to start growing up. Look at my beautiful baby thyme up there! And it's green for St. Patty's day, which I totally forgot was tomorrow.

Kiss me, I'm Irish!

Mar 13, 2012

Wish List Wednesday

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

The more I am in the kitchen the greater my needs become for more specialized items that really put a dent in my wallet. Is there a reason why I can't get married and put all of these wonderful things on my registry? Oh wait, you have to find a man first! Until then, I will continue to lighten my wallet on beautiful products for my kitchen. That gorgeous Martha Stewart kitchaid mixer will be mine soon! I have been saving up.

Have a good Wednesday everyone!

Mar 11, 2012

marvelous martha

Martha tends to think of simple solutions to already simplistic products. How in the world does she do it? A team of highly skilled and creative professionals of course, but still. She is amazing.

So... Chalkboard paint... all the rage!! I know I'm obsessed with it. Who would have thought that chalkboard labels were actually something that could exist? Martha did. She always does. Love that lady!

So a couple weeks back I was looking for a couple of bins to fit this little bench at the end of the guest bed. I found these cuties at target! I wanted some sort of label for the front but didn't rush out trying to find something.

While I was at staples yesterday picking up some supplies for class (more about that later!) I saw that the marvelous Martha Stewart had done it again. Home office supplies! I seriously suggest that you get your butt to staples and check it all out.

There are quite a few different sizes of these labels, I chose these because they seemed like they would fit a bigger bin and maybe a slightly smaller one.

^ look at Chester up there thinking he is kind of the castle, what a silly fluffy man cat.

So in conclusion... go to staples.... find the Martha Stewart section... buy lables, and tags, and folders, and pencil cups... all of that fancy stuff!

Mar 6, 2012

wishlist wednesday

1 2 3 4 5

All new! Wishlist Wednesday. Every Wednesday I plan on showing you all some of the things I totally wish I had in my kitchen, or maybe even my closet. Today's wishlist includes all kitchen things I've been keeping my eye on for a while now. How adorbs are those anthropologie plates!?

Feb 26, 2012

butter, peanut butter.

Last night I went to see one of my favorite bands in concert. It was honestly the most amazing concert I have ever been to. Even though it was an amazing experience I still cannot hear properly and my throat is upset with all of the screaming I did last night.

I had been waiting to see this concert for months. I bought tickets when they went on pre sale back in November. It was a long wait and I am glad that it exceeded my expectations. Just like this peanut butter is above and beyond delicious. It tastes exactly like the store bought kind!

I've always had an obsession with peanut butter. Always.

I will put peanut butter on just about everything; carrots, crackers, bread (toasted and non toast), cookie dough, ice cream, pretzels... the list is endless.

I knew it would not be too complicated to make, I just never had the food processor to do it with. Let's be honest, a blender just wouldn't of done the trick.

So one day I was watching TV and on one of those wonderful cooking shows I saw someone make peanut butter. I stored the recipe in my brain and decided I would give it a go.

There is no set recipe for this, it's all about what your taste buds want. Mine wanted some honey, a little bit of salt, and a little bit of sugar.

Peanut Butter
adapted from my mind

yields about 8-10oz

2 cups of peanuts (dry roasted and shelled)
2 tablespoons of peanut oil (maybe a little less)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon honey

1. Put the peanuts into the food processor and turn on. When you see your peanuts start to form a paste (less than 5 minutes) stop the food processor.
2. Add the salt, sugar, and honey and start the food processor again.
3. As the food processor is on slowly add your peanut oil. Let 1 tablespoon incorporate and judge to see if you need more.
4. Taste this wonderful creation and adjust the salt/sugar/honey ratio as needed... then, you're done!

Add more or less time depending on the consistency that you like your peanut butter. Also remember that you could also add other things in like chocolate!

Make sure you put the peanut butter on something right when you're done because it will be super warm and delicious :)

Can your peanut butter or put in an air tight container. Stick in your fridge and it will last up to two weeks.


Feb 17, 2012

makin' banana pancakes and spice racks

Two things... spice racks, and pancakes.

These are not just any pancakes, and this isn't just any spice rack. They are special. Partly because I made them, partly because one is delicious and the other is adorable.

The spice rack DIY will be coming soon, up there is a sneak peak of what a little chalk board paint, love, and stick of calk will get you.

For now... let's chat about pancakes... banana cinnamon goodness.... and my obsession with little tiny bowls.

Look at all of those tiny bowls holding spices, getting all ready to mix together. There is an egg drowning in that butter milk in case you were wondering (cracked of course).

I'm not sure where my obsession with tiny bowls came from, but I'm pretty sure it dates back to one of my first shopping experiences at bed, bath, and beyond. I never knew exactly what their purpose was, they seemed meaningless and a waste of money. In the present day I want to go back in time and tell myself how I use them almost everyday. I use them so often because I'm a freak and I like to pre measure everything out before it gets mixed together. I hate stopping in the middle of making a cake and forgetting if I really did put 3 cups of flour in, or if it was more or less. This helps me get organized and ultimately bake/cook faster and more efficiently.

Who really doesn't like being efficient?

Who really doesn't like bananas or cinnamon? You so cray if you don't. Yes I just referenced a Kanye/Jay z song. That will probably never happen again, who am I kidding... cray is becoming part of my daily vocab.

Enough about referencing rap songs. One of my favorite parts about banana cinnamon pancakes are the slices of banana getting all mushy, warm, and semi caramelized. The smell from the pan is also amazing. Warm bananas are the best.

So enough talk. Let's get down to business.

Cinnamon Banana Buttermilk Pancakes
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

yields 8 4" pancakes....?

1 cup of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar
1 egg beaten
1 1/2 cups of buttermilk
4 melted tablespoons of unsalted butter
as much cinnamon as you want
as many banana slices as your pancake sizes call for

1. Get your butter all melty in a sauce pan. Don't let it brown, just melt it all down.
2. Beat together the buttermilk and egg in a small bowl and set aside.
3. In a large bowl whisk together all of the dry ingredients.
4. Whisk in buttermilk & egg mixture... don't whisk too much!! You want your batter to be semi lumpy.
5. Quickly whisk in butter.. again... we want lumps!
6. Heat your pan to medium and pour your first bit of batter in the pan, then line with banana slices. Flip your pancake when it is gold brown on one side. When it is golden brown on the other side... start another! Make sure you check that those little banana slices don't get burnt.


Feb 11, 2012

cheesy crackers!

Let me start off first by saying it should be illegal to A. ever buy a box of cheez-its again, and B. not own a food processor. I just bought a food processor after Christmas and I honestly don't know how I've ever lived without one. It's like when you realize that your iPhone does pretty much everything for you and if you lost it your life would probably turn upside down. My food processor is slowly becoming just as essential as my iPhone. I make pesto in snap, grate cheese in a flash, and slice up veggies! I don't have the super fancy one with the adjustable slicing thickness or cheese grater, but this works just as well.
These cheese crackers literally took me 15 minutes for two doughs. It is THAT simple. The bulk of your time spent on these little ones is the baking time. (and letting them hang out in the fridge for half an hour)
Look at all of this cheesy goodness. I made two different kinds. The first was the original recipe that a friend found online for me. He posted it on my FB wall earlier this week. There was no hesitation in me saying... that is my weekend recipe.

The original recipe uses cayenne pepper and paprika. YUM! Except I am not a spicy food eater and they turned out a bit too spicy for me, but I am still eating them like crazy even with my mouth on fire.
The second was a version I put together using sharp white cheddar cheese, oregano, basil, and garlic powder. This was more my taste. Both are absolutely delicious and I super suggest you try them out. Just think, making these yourself cuts out all of that processed yuckiness. These are ultimately healthier, and more delicious!
Yellow Cheddar Spicy Crackers

8oz. Cheddar Cheese (I used mild wisconsin cheddar)
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

White Cheddar Garlic & Herb Crackers
adpated from the above.

8oz. White Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/2-1 teaspoon of garlic powder (depends on your palette, I love garlic.. I used 1 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon basil

For Both:
1 cup all purpose flour
4 tablespoons of cold butter cut into cubes
3/4 teaspoon of table salt
2 tablespoon of ice water
Crush sea salt for on top of the crackers

1. Grate your cheese of choosing, and combine all ingredients in your food processor (minus the water, and sea salt).
2. When your mixture starts to stick together in the food processor add 1 tablespoon of water at a time. You will only need to keep the food processor on for a few more seconds after you add the water.
3. Form your dough into a ball and wrap in plastic and flatten a bit into a disk. Keep in the fridge for 30 minutes.
4. When the 30 minutes is up, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
5. Roll out your dough to be 1/8th of an inch thick and then cut into 1" squares. I used my fluted pastry wheel to get nice crinkle edges.
6. Sprinkle sea salt on top of crackers and ever so gently press the salt into the crackers... seriously just a little pat on top.
7. Taking a skewer or a dowel rod lightly press into the center of each cracker.
8. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and load up your crackers. Don't worry about over crowding the sheet because they only puff up, not out. Just keep them at least a 1/2 inch a part at the most.
9. Bake each tray for about 12 minutes. The original recipe says 25 minutes, but honestly... mine would have burnt really bad. Just make sure you keep an eye on the first batch and see where you're at when 12 minutes it up.
10. Let cool on a cooling rack for a few minutes and enjoy!

Feb 7, 2012

roses are red, violets are blue.

That special day is approaching! You know the day with all of the hearts, candy, and roses?


Well sometimes at work I doodle little things when I'm trying to think and today the above picture was the result of that.. a few days ago it was:

and then some time ago I did this:


This is what your ladies might like.. a little note. Something to make them smile. Get creative when asking your Valentine to beeeee yours!

Look at this... I just can't stop!

Anywho... getting back on track... Gentlemen, be kind to your ladies on this Valentine's day. Also ladies, be kind to your gentlemen! Share kisses, share hugs (even if they are of the Hershey brand!) and most importantly share love!

Hope everyone has a fabulous week!