Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Steff tries her hand at baking...

And it was a SUCCESS! Chocolate pumpkin cupcake glory success to be exact. Good enough to make grown men weep. They were that damn good. Okay, well maybe no one cried over them, but they were super fantastically tasty, no denying it. And it was all thanks to the million year old can of pumpkin that we've had sitting in the pantry at work since November. I'm not sure if everyone was just waiting for someone else to do something with it, but truth of the matter is, no one wanted to make a pie so it was just going to keep on sitting there. So being the clever little workhorse that I am, I decided to rectify that situation and make a treat for everyone. Best part about this little slice of heaven is that it's super super easy. I can't bake worth beans on a good day, and even I didn't manage to ball it up. Devil's Food cake mix? Check. Whipped cream cheese frosting? Check. Ancient can of pumpkin? CHECK! The outcome was nothing short of bliss, and I say this as a non-chocolate lover. The pumpkin really mellows out the flavor of the chocolate and adds a certain "harvesty" flavor to the the profile that makes for a most excellent little dessert.


The frosting was a bit more difficult for me to sell myself on initially. I have a strong dislike for store-bought frosting, but I'm also inherently lazy and had no desire to whip up cream cheese and butter and what not to make it myself. So I bought the whipped cream cheese frosting, dumped a whole bunch of cocoa powder in it (the bitterness of the chocolate really helped tone down that sickly sweet taste of the frosting), some cinnamon and nutmeg and Voila! A frosting that didn't make my teeth want to rot out on the spot, which is always a bonus. So go ahead and try these, and if anyone weeps over the goodness of them by all means, photograph the event and mock them until the end of days. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Midwinter Burger Lovin'

One thing that I love doing is cooking, I could literally spend hours upon hours in a kitchen just creating things. I like to do what makes me happy, and cooking does that for me. So we're starting off this blog post with an epic veggie burger recipe that I whipped up last night in my miniscule kitchen. Believe me when I say that there is NO space in that thing. I have to use the cutting board on the stove, mix things on my dining room table and set up my food processor where the dish-rack ought to be...right next to the sink. Safety First! :)


I'm sick and tired of going to restaurants and getting robbed blind because I want to order a "vegetarian option." Which undoubtedly is always a flavorless veggie burger that tastes like mush and has a suspicious orange color to it, and nobody should want to eat that. If I'm paying out the nose for my dinner, it better not only taste good, but look dazzling WHILE being delicious. So I made my own dazzlingly delicious "burger" that fufills all necessary nom-nomming requirements without even coming close to breaking the bank! Colorful sweet peppers, crunchy onions and corn and delectable black beans and rice make this really hearty and filling, with the extra flavor kick coming in from the fresh cilantro that's blending with the mix.


 You won't need much in the way of making these, just a food processor (or good blender) a saucepan and saute pan and a bowl to mix your ingredients in. This is literally a mix and mash type of recipe; you mix your ingredients together...and you mash 'em into patties! And this recipe makes 10 solid sized patties too, which can be wrapped in wax paper, sealed in a plastic bag and tossed in the freezer for a quick meal for another time. Serve it up on a wrap with some melted cheese, veggies and Sriracha and you can't go wrong!


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Steel-cut Breakfast

Breakfast is pretty basic, you're supposed to eat it, get a nice good ZAP of energy and putter your way throughout the day, chalk full of piss and vinegar. And it's all thanks to that wonderful little meal, breakfast. Right? I mean, that's what they always told us in health class; "Eat breakfast, it's the most important meal of the day. Energy and blah blah blah." Yeah, well when it comes right down to it 98% of the things you genreally eat for breakfast are absolute crap that do nothing for you OR your body. You end up starving by lunch, debating exactly how edible that open bag of crackers you left in your desk two months ago might be. And I don't know about the rest of you, but being bone-gnawingly hungry doesn't really translate into energetic and zesty in my book. It usually means I want to curl up under my desk and nap away the hunger (or cry a little bit).

And it all has to do with the junk we pump our stomachs full of, first thing in the morning. No one is asking you to bust out your juicer and make some green lemonade (although it is freakishly delicious) but you may want to step away from that ice cream bucket sized bowl full of hearts, stars, horseshoes, clovers and blue moons... Your body can't feasibly sustain itself in a healthy manner off of all of that junk. It sees all of that simple sugar and burns through it SO fast, henceforth your late morning crash and gut-wrenching hunger. Try something a little more wholesome, something that's sweet but filling, healthier AND delicious. You know what fits that bill?  Hmmm? Steel-cut oats. Topped off with some milk (or coconut milk...YUM), raspberries and a sprinkle of raw sugar. It tastes so fresh and delicious and it actually sticks with you throughout the morning so you're not ready to die of hunger come lunch time. Plus one of the nice things about steel-cut oats vs. instant oatmeal is that it actually has some texture and flavor to it, not to mention its far less processed and all around better for you than instant oatmeal (or your junky, overpriced breakfast cereals). And look at it, it's just so dang PRETTY!