Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mango Salsa

2 diced mangos
1 peeled & diced cucumber
1 diced roma tomato
bunch of basil, finely chopped
dash of salt
dash or onion powder
dash of chili powder
dash of lime juice

yummy on a salmon burger

Friday, February 24, 2012

Banana Cake w/ Dark Chocolate & Kiwi Glaze

Every now and then I attempt to bake a cake.  Most of these attempts result in a mess that is burned on the outside and raw on the inside.  I like to blame my oven for this, but sometimes I'm not entirely sure that it is actually the oven's fault.  Tonight though, I somehow managed to bake a perfect, delicious, cake. 

The Cake

1/4 c butter
1/4 c vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 over-ripe bananas
1/2 c milk
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 c brown sugar
2 c flour

grease and flour a 9x13 baking pan

Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes.  (until toothpick comes out clean)

The Glaze

Cut 2 kiwis in half, scoop out the inside.  I let as much of the juice as possible drip into a glass.  Chop up the kiwi pieces.  Cook them for a few minutes in a saucepan, long enough for more of the juice to come out of the fruit.  Strain out the juice. 

Melt a dark chocolate bar or 2 in a saucepan.  Add the de-juiced kiwi chunks.  Stir well.  Spread on top of the baked cake. 

The Photos

The Notes

1- I used a combo of butter and oil because 1/4 c butter is all I had.  If I had more butter, I would have used just butter.

2- Since I didn't have any butter left after making the cake, I used bacon grease to grease the pan.  A part of me was hoping that I would be able to taste the bacon in the cake.  That part of me was let down.  No bacon taste.

3- I was going to add cream cheese to the glaze, but when I took it out of the fridge I discovered that it was a rather interesting shade of dark turquoise.  Looked like a great science experiment.  Not so great-looking for my cake. 

4- I don't eat dessert.  I had 2 pieces of this cake.  (Okay, I'll rephrase.  I don't eat dessert very often.)

5- The kiwi juice that I saved when I scooped the fruit out of the skin made a delicious cocktail with some strawberry vodka and club soda.  I love strawberry-kiwi flavored stuff.

Salmon Burger

 Hey, look what I found:
Apparently you can get canned salmon that isn't full of bony nastiness.

So I had a delicious salmon burger for dinner. 

1 egg
1 spoonful of sour cream w/ chives
1 can of salmon
some bread crumbs

I ate the burger on 1/2 of a wheat bun, toasted, with sliced avocado and roma tomatos.  Also, some cole slaw and sweet potato & parsnip fries. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Parsnip Fries & Mango Cous Cous

and some chicken

Parsnip Fries
Chop 2 parsnips and 2 carrots into thin strips (think shoestring-fry sized). 

Shake them in a ziploc bag with enough olive oil to coat them, then add seasoning.
 (salt, garlic powder, onion powder, mustard powder)

Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 425 for 20 minutes.

Mango Cous Cous

Chop a mango.

Boil 1/2 c water with some salt. Add garlic powder and olive oil, add 1/2 c cous cous.  Stir, remove from heat, cover, let sit for 5 minutes.  Stir in chopped mango.


Cook chicken breast in a skillet with some olive oil, seasoning, and the lid on. 

The Plating

Chicken on a bed of Mango Cous Cous with Parsnip Fries
(ooooh sounds so fancy)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Bananas, Strawberries, and Dark Chocolate, OH MY!

C and I were watching a show the othe night all about chocolate where Alton Brown demonstrated some ridiculously complicated way to make chocolate dipped stuff.  He went on and on about how this was the only way to make chocolate stick to strawberries.  It took forever, it involved all sorts of fancy things (like laser thermometers), and it was totally UNNECESSARY! 

This evening, we made chocolate covered strawberries and bananas using nothing but a glass measuring cup, a microwave, and a refrigerator.  So quick, so easy. 

Dark chocolate chips go in glass measuring cup.  Microwave for 45 sec - 1 min at a time, stirring in between, until chocolate has turned into melted deliciousness.  Clean and dry the strawberries, slice the bananas into chunks.  Cover a baking pan with a piece of waxed paper.  Dip the fruit in the chocolate, lay it on the wax paper.  The strawberries were still cold from the fridge, so the chocolate actually hardened on them while they were sitting there.  The bananas were warmer, so I stuck the pan in the fridge to harden up all of the chocolate.  15 minutes later, they were ready to eat.  So simple.  So scrumptious. 

Can't let the leftover chocolate go to waste...let's make art!

I can't believe I actually managed to clear out the entire top shelf of my fridge in order to
 make room for this...normally my fridge is full and overflowing.

Pasta Attempt Número Dos: Pierogies

Slightly more successful than Pasta Attempt Número Uno, but still turned out seeming more bread-like than pasta-like.  I let the dough rest for about 20 minutes between kneading and rolling it out, and it was definitely easier to roll out this time.  I got it way thinner than last time. 

I filled the pasta with a mixture of mashed potatos, sour cream, and avocado.  Yummy! 

1 egg, scant 1/3 c wheat flour, 1/2 c white flour, tbsp or 2 of olive oil, garlic powder, salt

2 small potatos, heavy cream, sour cream w/chives, garlic powder, oregano, 1/2 avocado

frying time

I was trying to do too many things at once...some of them burned pretty black.  Oops.

Pork Chop, Pole Beans, Pierogies w/ Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo Sauce.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Chocolate PB&J Cupcake

Decadence or Disaster (in the making)?

I decided it was time to try making something cake-y.  But not an actual cake, they take too long to bake. (ok, maybe they only take 30-35 minutes.  but...I'm impatient.)

I found this recipe online.

Here is my hand-written version.

And here it is post-modifications.

I didn't have any milk...yay heavy cream.

And here are some pictures of the adventure.

clearly, it is not a good idea to attempt to use a 1/2 c measure in a small box of cocoa powder.  it creates explosions
and I have no idea how much cocoa powder ended up in the bowl...probably more than was called for

the cocoa powder is refusing to mix in...grrrrr....

getting there...but there's not much room left for the flour...

oh good, the flour did fit after all

cupcakes step one

1 big spoonful each of crunchy peanut butter and strawberry jam

microwave for 45 sec, then stir well...with a knife

spoon a dollop of pb&j on top of each cupcake

here's the leftover cupcake mix/pbj that didn't fit in my muffin tin

into the oven!

oh, yay.  overflowing cupcakes.  I guess I'll have to clean my oven at some point...
By the one point I noticed that the thermometer said 300 instead of 350.  Hooray for un-cooperative ovens!
Can I blame the oven for this disaster?

this looks kind of successful, much more so than the cupcakes

which are a disaster

I had to use a knife to cut this out of the muffin tin

cake pieces and cupcake pieces.  what a disaster.

cutting the cupcakes out was so. much. fun.

At least they taste good!  Yes, yes they do.

Now I get to go scrub cemented chocolate stuff off of my pans. Joy.