Beer for Dinner?

So this week from the mystery dinner theme jar we drew ‘cooked with beer.’  This is especially a challenge since only 1/3 of us actually DRINK beer. I can do lambic beers and shandies and that’s about it. But I do cook with Guiness fairly often and we have a premixed beer bread mix my mom made for Christmas. So that’s a start.

Also we have Anime Mid Atlantic this weekend and we’re leaving Thursday and are having sushi for dinner that day so we only need to eat through Wednesday!

So alot of the recipes I’m seeing right now are either for friend foods or large quantities of meat. Or cheese dip. I like cheese dip but not enough to eat just that for dinner. We never eat large quantities of meat, especially if we only have a few days to eat it. Also Jessi doesn’t eat red meat and that’s been proving a little difficult lately to be diverse and not eat just chicken or fish or shrimp in a week.

Drunken Shrimpies

I like shrimpeeeesssss ~The disembodied head of Robert Mitchum from ‘The Cloak’

I run around trilling that like a crazy person every time we have shrimp and even more so when they’re drunk.

Gonna try this Spicy Beer Shrimp recipe because it doesn’t look too spicy for Jess. It suggests serving with sweet potato or rice but I’m thinking Beer soaked french fries because yes.

 

Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos with Drunken Beans

Both the chicken and the beans being cooked with beer means BEER OVERLOAD. Tehe I started typing that as ‘bear overload.’ Overload of bears. Rawr. I’m thinking I will cut down the portions on this recipe because we don’t need anywhere near that much. Graham can drink the rest of the beer or it can go in the chicken. I’m also going to cut down the amount of chicken in the chicken recipe because that’s a bit much for just the three of us. We could totally use leftover chicken for lunch tacos but sometimes we suck at packing lunch. I’ve been trying to do better but some days I’m just sooooo lazy.

Back to the tacos tho…. We can top the chicken tacos with queso fresco and some shredded cabbage/lettuce and red onion. Yummoes.

All Things Delicious

So I started off wanting to make a nice all-day sauce that would cook down with zucchini and stuff in it. Then I wanted something that would go with these Beer Caramelized Onions that wasn’t a beer cheese soup. Then I found this Mushroom Gorgonzola Ale Soup and I think that sounds the best. We can serve it over rice maybe with the onions and possibly some chicken or meat thing and feel fancy and hopefully our tongues will feel happy.

Oooorrrr we could use this Pumpkin Beer Cheese Soup with Bacon Popcorn. All things about this sound great. Including the fact that the Bacon is only on the topping so it’s Jessi friendly. She should really start eating bacon. I can’t pick which soup now. Maybe tomorrow when I make the grocery list.

Dessert

A fellow wordpress user talks about her easy Craft Beer Cupcakes using white cake mix and beer and This might be a thing that happens.

Fancy Dinner Week

So as part of our new life of excitement we have a new system for how we’re going to decide what’s for dinner. We wrote a whole bunch of different food theme ideas on pieces of paper and put them in the cookie jar and we’re going to chose one every week. Surprise! Some of them are normal (like Italian) and some are weird (like ‘vegetarian food made to look like nonvegetarian food’).  This week we drew ‘Fancy.’

So the things we have decided to eat are!

Shrimp Scampi

Using this recipe from the NY Times this will definitely be one of our lazy day recipes since it’s pretty quick. I love shrimps and pasta and nom nom nom.

This was a good recipe. yes.

Wedge Salad w/ Chicken Piccata

With an Outback Steakhouse Copycat recipe I’m hoping to use up all the leftover lettuce we have from our Memorial Day chicken sandwiches last weekend. Paired with this fancy sounding chicken dish here hopefully it will make something that feels like a full meal.

Wedge salad is so awkward to eat. It’s sooooo….big? We all made a mess trying. Other than that this meal went well :). The Chicken Piccata was nice and was flavorful enough to stand up to the bleu cheese on the wedge salad. The wedge salad did call for a bit much red onion and we didn’t eat all of it.

Ratatouille

Not ‘Ratatouille’s ratatouille’ from the movie, this recipe will hopefully turn out better than my last attempt at ratatouille. It can also be prepped ahead of time which is nice.

Other than the fact that we couldn’t figure out what size zucchini to get and what type of eggplant (3 options, none of them japanese) this was great! I was worried it wouldn’t be filling but we served it with rice and it was perfect. I was also worried about the veggies cooking properly because I’ve done this before and it didn’t work out but this time we triumphed!

Chicken Florentine w/ Potatoes

Not sure whether to serve this with mashed potatoes or baked potatoes-will decide later.

Baked Potatoes. 

Salmon w/ Asparagus and Caprese Bread

This will be an oven heavy night I guess. I’m hoping to use this salmon recipe along with some roasted asparagus and Caprese Garlic Bread. Looking up ‘fancy food’ on Pinterest yielded quite a few caprese options and this one looked the easiest and most promising.

THE CAPRESE BREAD IS AMAZING. The salmon was okay but I just finished off the caprese bread and it was one of the best things I’ve had in awhile. We used the leftover balsalmic-honey reduction from the wedge salad on top. Mmmmm.

Spaghetti w/ Squid in Tomato Sauce (maybe w/ garlic bread?)

In an upstairs restaraunt in Richmond, VA called Edo’s Squid I had some super delicious tomatoish squid over pasta and I’ve been trying to recreate it ever since. Hence this meal plan. It might kill the fanciness if we use leftover hamburger buns to make garlic bread but we might can disguise it as not that.

We did not do garlic bread because I forgot. Also it didn’t taste like Edo’s squid. But it was good. I dipped the last of the caprese bread in the leftover sauce and was happy about that all over again. Still good when reheated. 

Packing Lunch as an ADULT

As anyone who knows me should have heard (which is really only one of you), I am absolutely stumped by this whole ‘becoming an adult’ thing. I’ve been suffering through The Job Search, Making Friends in a New Place, and (lately) Packing an Adult Lunch.

Now some of you might wonder: what is this Adult Lunch I speak of? How is it fundamentally different from a Child Lunch or a Teen Lunch? More food maybe? Better food hopefully? Well I ask myself the same questions. Constantly. Like every week day when I’m trying to decide what to take for lunch.  Some of you may even have the same take on this some of my friends do. You may think that I shouldn’t obsess over lunch this much. It doesn’t matter what people pack for lunch. NOBODY EVEN SEES ME EAT LUNCH MOST OF THE TIME ANYWAYS SO I’M LITERALLY JUST PACKING FOR MYSELF.

So yeah, this whole mission slash worrying thing makes absolutely no sense. I fully realize that. I do. Nonetheless, I have made it my current mission in life to conquer this challenge, to figure out how to pack an Adult Lunch that I can be proud of and eat and be full afterwards (but not too full cuz I still have to work and if I’m too full I’ll get sleepy and nothing will be accomplished). Those of you who read this blog may embark on this journey with me!

 

Full disclosure: I often forget to post things or take pictures. Sometimes when I take pictures it’s just too much work for me to post them online so I procrastinate blogging at all. You may miss much of this adventure. But I will do my best to bring you with me on this venture!!!!

Topics I will attempt to cover and master:

  • Lunchboxes
  • Sandwiches and Things Like Sandwiches
  • Salads and Things Like Salads
  • Pasta and Things Like Pasta
  • Snacky Foods
  • Dessert
  • Why don’t they make adult juiceboxes?
  • Sushi and Sushi-esque creations
  • Bentos and how I often wish I was Japanese
  • Rice Bowls (sometimes using Things Like Rice)
  • Prepping and staying excited enough about lunch to actually remember to pack lunch and not just eating 2 packs of peanut butter crackers like I did today
  • What if I don’t have a fridge or microwave or I’m too lazy to walk all the way over there and use them?
  • Other topics I haven’t thought of yet but I’m sure I will eventually

 

Also the work printer is possessed. It keeps printing like two pages at a time and then stopping and then starting again and I should really go check on it cuz I’m not sure why it’s doing that.

 

I will proceed to spend some time researching my next post instead of checking on the printer. We’ll see how this voyage goes. Ta-ta for now!

 

 

Breakfast Game Cont.

So I’m still really into smoothie bowls, but I kept forgetting for awhile there to post about them!

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The Strawberries and Cream bowl is still my favorite atm. If you haven’t read my previous posts the recipe can be found here.  I like that this one holds the weight of the toppings really well and also it has the best flavor. This one is topped with strawberries, almonds, chia seeds, coconut, and golden grahams.

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This is also from Buzzfeed.  I believe this is the Tropical Mango and Pineapple Smoothie Bowl.  I used almond milk instead of coconut water (because I still think coconut water is gross and also I don’t have any) and it turned out okay. I topped mine with kiwis, strawberries, mango, rice chex cereal, coconut, and chia seeds. I really like chia seeds. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the chex cereal with this one, it ended up tasting a bit bland. I’ve been searching for new cereals which might go well with smoothie bowls this week.

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This one i made on my own. I used frozen blackberry pulp from the asian market, yogurt, almond milk, and a banana. It was entirely too tart! I wish I had used some nut butter to get rid of that like the internet suggests but I thought that sounded really weird until Graham pointed out it’s probably like peanut butter and jelly.  So next time I’m going to try that! I still have half the bag left of the blackberry stuff and also a bag of makey pulp which is supposed to be really really good.

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I actually have no idea what this is. It might be a strawberries and cream bowl again. Or pineapple. No idea.

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And finally, a Chocolatey Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie Bowl. I like the idea of this one but I didn’t like how thin the smoothie base ended up being.  You can see how the bananas sank to the bottom. I also (again) wished for a more flavorful cereal.

I am experimenting with sweeter smoothie bowls this week though. I had a cinnamon roll smoothie bowl today using this recipe as the base. It was a little thin so I think next time I might add another banana and maybe decrease the amount of almond milk. I’ve also started adding protein powder to my smoothie bowls because the first week I started eating these I started feeling really gross and I’m pretty sure it was from lack of protein. I wasn’t really eating any meat and wasn’t accounting for that in any way. I’m trying to figure out what I need to be doing to improve my diet in terms of supplements and multivitamins and all those great things that my friends appear to already know about and be taking.  I’ve been trying to cut back on coffee drinks from starbucks due to budget constraints and health reasons (I really only like the espresso drinks which are full of milk and sugar) and I’m trying to use my diet to give me enough energy to make up for the lack of caffeine.

Breakfast Game Day 2

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So today I went with the second smoothie bowl on the Buzzfeed smoothie bowl list.

Pineapple, Banana, and Peach Smoothie Bowl.

  • 1 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1 banana
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (they used coconut water but I can’t stand the stuff)
  • 1 Tbsp honey

Blend everything together and put in a bowl and you have yourself a smoothie bowl.

Toppings I used

  • Chex rice cereal
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Sliced almonds
  • Chia seeds
  • Sliced nectarine

I wasn’t the hugest fan of the sunflower seeds with the pineapple but overall this smoothie bowl was also delicious. I used chex instead of rice krispies because I wanted to maintain a bit of crunchiness and I thought bigger cereal would keep crispy longer. I also added chia seeds and sliced almonds because those were my favorites from yesterday. I had a few issues getting the frozen pineapple blended and ultimately added more than 1/4 cup liquid and also taking out the chunk that just wouldn’t blend.

 

I really want to go buy a dragonfruit or some acai and make one of those beautiful super bright colored smoothie bowls I see on the food porn sites

Breakfast Game Day 1

So yesterday I went to the store and bought all the fruit I could find! Which sadly didn’t include bananas because Target didn’t have banaynays for some reason. But they did have strawberries and kiwis and mangoes! And I already had a pineapple b/c I’m planning to make pineapple guacamole this week (as soon as I obtain a jalapeno which Target also didn’t have). So today I started with the Strawberries and Cream smoothie bowl from Buzzfeed.

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This is mine! I used the same basic recipe for the smoothie but I switched it up a bit for the toppings

Strawberries and Cream Smoothie Bowl Base

  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used almond)
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla

Blend base ingredients until smooth. Transfer to a bowl. Top with desired toppings

Toppings

They suggest the following

  • 1/2 cup corn flakes cereal
  • 5 strawberries, sliced
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 2 Tbsp almonds
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tsp chia seeds

I used

  • 1/2 cup Golden Grahams (it’s what I had)
  • sliced strawberries
  • 2 Tbsp sliced almonds
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 2 Tbsp pumpkin pie granola (homemade)

 

And after mentioning my initial skepticism of smoothie bowls yesterday I ate my first one

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And this is what’s left now

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IT WAS DELICIOUS

WHY DID I NOT TRY THIS SOONER

IT’S SOOOO GOOD

I was skeptical about why you would eat these instead of just having a smoothie but I’m officially a convert now. Or at least I will be enjoying both from now on rather than just one. I think the cereal made it for me, it was like cereal with smoothie instead of milk and it was awesome. I will officially be investing in more ingredients. I’m just hoping this doesn’t get too expensive since I used a half of a container of strawberries for this one. I’m going to go in search of a peach and some bananas on the way to work today (as well as that jalapeno) if I have time.

Tomorrow I want to try the second one on the list (Pineapple, banana, and peach)

Upping the Breakfast Game

So it’s no secret on here that I love to cook. Probably at least 3/4 of my blogs are about food I have made, am making, or want to make. Probably more than that actually. Yet here I am, eating cereal for lunch.  There’s no need for that.

It’s really easy to fall into a funk during the week and want to eat nothing but junk food and fast food and specifically asian food which is purchased from somewhere else.  And eating leftovers every day can get kind of old. Right now I have ham salad in the fridge, ham curry, black pepper chicken, and a few other things in the fridge as leftovers but instead I’m eating cereal because I’ve had ham salad for lunch like 7 times in the past week and I had curry yesterday and we ate the black pepper chicken for dinner last night.

So the title of this post is about breakfast and the thing is that I think this is rolling over into breakfast too. I’m all about avocados and eggs for breakfast, and I was really excited when I made a fancy brunch of eggs benedict the other day, but it feels kind of old this week. It’s still yummy, just not super exciting to the palate. So I’m going to try to spice up my breakfast in the next week or so and see how lunch goes from there.  I’m thinking chia pudding or smoothie bowls or some kind of refreshing fruity thing.

Smoothie Bowls

http://www.buzzfeed.com/lindsayhunt/smoothie-bowls#.bce4R6daq

Buzzfeed has some delicious ideas posted for smoothie bowls. I don’t know why I’m feeling so excited about smoothie bowls today because I thought they sounded ridiculous last time I heard about them. It’s a smoothie…in a bowl. I don’t quite get it but I’m willing to try it!

 

Mango Chia Pudding

http://www.ashleyneese.com/mango-chia-pudding/

mango chia pudding

Topped with macadamia nuts. Om nom nom.

Vanilla Almond Chia Breakfast Pudding

http://dailyburn.com/life/recipes/chia-breakfast-pudding/?mtype=7&utm_source=cj&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_campaign=Skimlinks&utm_content=7682639&ref=cj&partner=cj

Photo by Renee Blair

Chia Raspberry Breakfast Smoothie

Chia & Raspberry Breakfast

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This one has nut butter on top which sounds a little weird…but I’m down to try it. They say it balances out the tartness.

Raspberry Sunrise Smoothie

Raspberry Sunrise Smoothie

Raspberry Sunrise Smoothie - 4-ingredient raspberry mango smoothie - so easy and amazingly refreshing!

The layers just look so pretty!

Inner Goddess Raspberry Breakfast Bowl

http://pinchofyum.com/inner-goddess-raspberry-breakfast-bowls

Inner Goddess Raspberry Breakfast Bowls

Mixed Berry Smoothie Bowl

Mixed Berry Smoothie Bowls

Smoothie Bowl with Almond French Vanilla Granola! The perfect healthy breakfast from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

 

The Future

You know that feeling you get, when you’re watching a TV show and you accidentally saw a later episode because you were at someone’s house or you had the TV on in the background and you weren’t really watching that show then so it’s not a big deal. But then you start watching that show. And someone pops up that you recognize. From the future. And you’re like AHHHHOMGIKNOWTHINGSIKNOWTHINGSABOUTYOURFUTURE but that’s all in your head because you can’t say anything because nobody else knows about this yet.

I know about your future Leslie Knope.

I know.

Bake All The Things!!!

So due to the crraaazzzyyyy amount of snow outside from Winter Storm Jonas, I’ve been having to get up super early (6:30ish) and ride into work with Graham.  This is due to the bus not running because of the bus stop being a giant pile of snow. So I haven’t been very pioneering in the kitchen this week. Instead I’ve read books and lived in Starbucks.

So on my day off today I went wild and made all sorts of stuff.

I made… drum roll please…

Crockpot Ham and Potato Soup It’s in the crockpot right now cooking itself. I should check on it soonish and mash them taters. Om nom nom.

A Roll Cake! I used the cake recipe from Wilton which is reachable from the ‘supply list’ for that recipe. The cake was not the best thing I’ve succeeded in making, potentially because I don’t have an electric mixer and was beating everything by hand. On the other hand the icing came from this recipe. I halved the recipe and it was DElishus.

Yes I do know that’s spelled wrong.

Curry Bread using leftover battleship curry from earlier this week. I had accidentally made the curry too spicy and therefore it’s hard to eat straight, but excellent with this bread. I let the bread rise longer than it was supposed to and I think it maybe didn’t actually rise enough but the bread tastes really good. I’m actually surprised it ended up as good as it is because I sucked hardcore at rolling the curry into the dough balls.