Monthly Archives: March 2011

I’ll be back…

I have a bunch of photos waiting to be uploaded and organized into posts, but for now, I have to study. So in the meantime, please dream up what kind of fun things I might be posting in a week or so.


Funny Eater


Happy St. Patrick’s Day

I am obligated to wish everyone a Happy St. Paddy’s Day being from an Irish town and all, so Happy St. Patrick’s Day.  I hope you all had some fun merriment and remembered to wear green today.  🙂

Friday Night!

So I decided to celebrate Friday with some time to myself.  Once classes let out, I started off with a burrito from Chipotle with a friend.  I know that the calories in a burrito from Chipotle are out of control, but I have been pretty hungry all week.  I don’t know if it’s the extra challenging workouts lately or the fact that I upped the number of training sessions the last few weeks.  Or maybe it’s because spring is coming.  Whatever the case, I’ve been eating and eating and eating.  Hopefully, I’m not undoing all my efforts at the gym.

So after enjoying a nice and tasty burrito – I even added guacamole (I love guacamole!!) – I headed off the grocery store.  I love the grocery store here.  There is always fun things to discover.  I just have to be careful not to let my spending get out of control.

The real fun began when I got home from the gym.

I started off with a Salmon Florentine (see earlier post here) for dinner.  Then, still hungry, I made a pizza.  I haven’t had much luck with breads lately, so I bought a pizza crust from the grocery store:

I topped the pizza crust with a glaze of olive oil and leftover jarred pasta sauce from my fridge:



Frozen mix made my life so much easier!

Got me this:

And into the oven it goes.  After 10 minutes or so, I added some chopped cilantro which was wilting away in my fridge and some freshly ground black pepper:

After another 5 minutes, I wasn’t happy with the meltiness of the cheese, so I left the pizza in a little bit longer.  Only problem is that I forgot to set the timer again and the pizza came out a little bit browner that I wanted.  Oh well.  Still tasty.  Here is the final result:

And a close up:

I ate half the pizza throughout the evening.

So round three of cooking this evening involved making this: Maple Walnut Apple Cake from eggs on sunday.  I was hoping to use more than one apple, but the apples I have are so big that it took only one apple.  Oh well.  I had to cook mine in a square baking dish because I don’t own a cake pan and I left the skin on my apple for some extra fiber.  Here are the photos.

Before baking:

And a shot from the side:

And after a trip to the oven:

Fresh from the oven!

After some cooling and negotiating…the cake is out and upside down!

And plated just right with a glass of Bully Hill wine.


Don't forget the wine!

By the way, that wine, was surprisingly good.  A mellow, light, red wine.  I usually like my red wine dark, deep, and rich, but this one is good in its own very light way.

That concludes my friday evening.  Of course there is now a ridiculous amount of dishes to wash.

Salmon Florentine

So I’ve been really grumpy lately and cooking oddly enough makes me feel better.  I think it’s really the eating more than the cooking, but nonetheless, I’ve been cooking.  I really never thought I’d ever say that.  My sister used to say that cooking was her way of coping with stress and she always felt better afterwards – I used to think that was a quirk of hers.

I should be studying, but I had already defrosted the salmon for this recipe from Salmon Florentine.  Notice a new theme.  I went from 101cookbooks to  I guess I cook in phases.

So here are the before cooking photos:

Spinach topping before cooking

And now from the side:

And after some oven time:

The final plating with some black rice:

What a great way to start off Lent.

Mardi Gras! – Happy Fat Tuesday

I should have suspected that Mardi Gras was coming, but I didn’t give it much thought.  Not even after I saw recipes for king cakes on multiple food blogs, not even after mardi gras posts on various non-food blogs that I read.

So what woke me up.  What woke me up to today was when two classmates walked in a little late with bright pink wigs with shiny decorations and feathers in the wig and beads around their necks.  Of course, the moment they walked in, the lecturer promptly stopped and said, “What are you wearing?”  Everyone turns and stares and the girls announce that it’s Mardi Gras.  A fun moment in the morning.  I’m sure everyone was fully awake by then.

I didn’t get nostalgic for the trip that I took to New Orleans during Mardi Gras (it was an accidental trip…we didn’t mean to visit during Mardi Gras) until I saw this: Oven Baked Beignets (on  The moment I saw the word beignets, I instantly craved the beignets of Cafe du Monde.

I’m going to have to make these beignets, but I’m going to have to resist until I have the time to make them.  I want to cook all the time instead of study, but I really do need to study.

So while I attempt to study, I’ll be dreaming of warm, puffy beignets with powdered sugar.  I’ll also being dreaming of and simultaneously mourning the lack of coffee in my life.  (New Orleans has interesting coffee that has chicory root in it…go for a visit and try it.)

If you haven’t been to New Orleans during Mardi Gras, it’s something to experience.  I would go.  It can be crazy, but there is a lot of it that is more tame.  I had a fantastic time and I hate crowds of people.  I met a lot of cool people and those beignets…I wish I could just go and eat some beignets.  I’m pretty sure that my day would improve if I could just eat one of those beignets at Cafe du Monde.

Happy Fat Tuesday!  Eat, drink, and be merry.

A Rare Occasion – Cooking Meat

So I made an exception to my “I don’t cook meat” policy and made Beef Stew with Butternut Squash from  I was wasting time as usual, trying to avoid thinking about the looming pile of work that I really should tackle but didn’t feel like doing, and surfing for ideas for dinner.

Lately, with all the working out I’ve been doing, I know I need protein.  Sometimes I even think I want to eat meat.  Note the critical “think” in that sentence.  While I was cooking today, the smell of the meat as I browned it nearly made me gag, but I pressed on and ended up with a pot that looked something like this:

The photo is pre-simmering.  As you probably notice from the photo, I went a little rogue on the recipe.*  These are the changes I made:

  • added in extra garlic in the form of one clove of elephant garlic – I wanted the meaty smell gone in the final product (of course I don’t know how sound this reasoning is…just made sense to me)
  • fresh tomatoes in place of the canned diced tomatoes and tomato sauce – I have a universal rule against using canned tomatoes and canned tomato products for health reasons.  (I’ll have to write a separate post on this.)
  • added a little more broth to make up for the lack of tomato sauce
  • 1 pound, 4 ounces of butternut squash instead of 1 pound –  that was the size of the package I bought
  • added a dash more of spices to compensate for the extra squash

The result was fragrant “stew.”  The final dish was more a soup than stew, probably from the extra broth and the fresh tomatoes.  Also, browning the meat at the beginning resulted in some tough meat chunks at the end.  When I googled how to cook tender stew meat, I found that very, very slow simmering of the stew without the initial browning would have yielded tender meat.  Oh well.  The soup is fragrant and has a good kick to it.

I ate mine over some left over whole wheat pasta (actually it’s a pasta called super pasta from the grocery store brand – I refuse to eat other whole wheat pastas because they taste terrible!).

Dessert was piece of the delectably fudgy and dense cocoa brownies that I made last weekend and stashed in my fridge.

*PS I almost never follow a recipe exactly…sometimes out of impatience or sometimes because I’m trying to up the healthy factor. (Of course upping the healthy factor can sometimes result in inedible disasters – see PS note on this post about my macaroni from scratch)

Tasty, Fast Dish – Bulgur Risotto

I just made a fabulous tasting dish!  It was simple and easy.  This is one dish that you can make on the fly and know that you’re eating well.  Enter the Bulgur Risotto with Corn and Shrimp from  Technically, the dish also has red bell pepper, but I guess that doesn’t roll of the tongue very easily.

Check it out.

Freshly made bulgur risotto!

I had mine with a cup of red wine.  It’s a bottle that was left over from a party.  This wine is not the kind of red wine I’m used to.  I would call it more watery than what I typically drink, but it’s a tasty wine nonetheless.

I think the next time around, I might play around with what I add and the spices, but I love this recipe for it’s utter simplicity.  And the taste factor.  🙂  It’s fantastic right when you’ve made it, all piping hot, but I think it’ll be just as good cold.  I certainly thought it tasted even better at the second helping when it got to sit in the pot for a little bit.

I highly recommend making the bulgur risotto.  I might just go and eat the whole pot right now.  This is definitely a down side to living alone.  You make something fantastic and you don’t have anyone to eat it with you, so you either end up eating it all yourself or resisting that temptation.  I tend to eat it all, but that’s another story for another time.