Are you one of the many who will be going meatless on Fridays for a few weeks? It's not impossible to come up with meals that don't involve meat, but sometimes it can be tough when it's not your lifestyle. Here are a few ideas to fill the gap.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
She's at it again! Attack of the Cheez-Its recipes! In all honesty, I have had a surplus of Cheez-it crackers around the house. My mom knows how much I loooooove those cheesy crackers, so she bought me an economy size box of them. I love snacking on them, but I needed to get creative with ways to get my fix. There were snack bags stashed all over my kitchen. It was like "The Trouble with Tribbles" episode of Star Trek! (Yes, I'm also a big fan of Star Trek.)
These burgers are a perfect solution for the upcoming meatless Fridays my Catholic friends will have, but honestly, they're just good. I put some mayo, onion jam, dill pickle, lettuce, and tomato on top and I have a great meal. They are also good with a side of Vegan Friendly Thai Cauliflower Bites from last Thursday's post!
1 1/2 c Cheez-It crackers
1 ( oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 ( oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/4 c almond milk
1 T tomato paste
1 T cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
pinch ground chipotle
1/4 tsp liquid hickory smoke
Pulse the Cheez-Its in a food processor until they are fine crumbs. Add the eggs, both beans, and the milk. Pulse until somewhat smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse in.
Heat a skillet with oil over medium-high heat. Use an ice cream scoop to drop 1/3 c portions of the mixture onto the skillet. Flatten each scoop with the back of an oiled spatula. Brown on both sides. Serve on a toasted bun with condiments and toppings.
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Today is the first of several updates I plan to do about the process I am going through to get my new tattoo. I have been working out the particulars with Natalie at Voodoo Monkey Tattoo in Ohio City. She is an amazing artist with fantastic skills. As soon as I saw her portfolio, I knew she was the artist for me. Her precision line work and attention to symmetry and detail is just what I need for such a complicated tattoo.
Last Friday night, I went for my first session. Natalie used gray ink to make a delicate outline of every shape of my design. The gray will fade and be unnoticeable once the colors are filled in. Before you ask, yes, the process hurts. It felt like a burn, but it healed quickly. I can't wait to go back for some color!
Sunday, March 2, 2014
Laissez les bons temps rouler! Mardi Gras is almost here! Everyone is making beignets, and king cakes. This year I thought I would focus on the less celebrated culinary feature of New Orleans and Mardi Gras, the café au lait at Café du Monde. This French Quarter staple is usually served with beignets, but the pie version is plenty sweet on it's own.
This one is for my coworkers, but I did get a chance to try the leftover filling in the pot. It is oh so good. Coffee lovers will adore it, and coffee skeptics will be converted.
3/4 c sugar
1/4 c cornstarch
1 T espresso powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 c milk
3 egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla
1 T butter
1 pie crust, prebaked
whipped cream or powdered sugar
In a bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, espresso powder, and salt. In a large saucepan, whisk the milk, eggs and vanilla together. Slowly whisk in the dry ingredients. Add the butter. Cook the mixture over medium high heat. Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 2 more minutes and thicken. Pour the mixture into a prebaked pie crust and refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight. Serve with whipped cream or powdered sugar.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
It finally got me. I've had a cold the last few days. I was hoping I could make it through just one cold and flu season without one of those silly head colds. Better luck next year I guess. In an effort to clean out my sinuses, I tried to make some spicy but still healthy snacks. While these didn't open up my stuffy nose, they did taste great!
They are based on this recipe for buffalo cauliflower bites. I wanted these to be fully baked without the sticky sauce on the outside. These bites are great as a side, or just for snacking. Plus, it's baked cauliflower rather than deep fried chicken, so this is a much healthier recipe.
1 c almond milk
1 c whole wheat flour
1 tsp curry
1 tsp ginger, ground
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 - 1/2 c sriracha sauce
6 c cauliflower florets
Preheat the oven to 425ºF. In a large mixing bowl, combine the almond milk and flour until smooth. Stir in the curry, ginger, and garlic powder. Stir in the sriracha sauce to taste. Gently toss the cauliflower in the batter until fully coated. Transfer the cauliflower to a baking sheet with a nonstick mat or one that has been greased. Spread the florets so they aren't touching. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
We hit so many antique stores around the west side of Cleveland, and we had a lot of fun. There were so many we couldn't get to them all, but we had some great finds. Sweet Lorain was a goldmine! If you like vintage clothing and housewares, this is your place. They had absolutely everything! We decided we have to come back and do all of Lorain Avenue. There were so many more stores to check out. I'll be sure to tell you all about it on our next outing.
Sunday, February 23, 2014
A couple weeks ago, I decided to splurge on a 2 lb box of dates. I love dates and decided I just couldn't go on without them. I have been indulging on dates stuffed with cheese, wrapped in bacon, or just plain old out of the box.
Recipes for chess pie have floated across my path before, and they always sounded good. I thought the tangy vinegar and textural cornmeal sounded like it would balance nicely with the sweet and soft dates. Oh what a good decision that was. Now that my dates are all gone, I think I need to make more variations on chess pie.
1 pie crust, prebaked
1 c sugar
2 T yellow cornmeal
1/4 tsp salt
4 eggs, room temperature
1/2 c half and half
1/4 c unsalted butter, melted
3 T apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 lb medjool dates, pitted, halved
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, cornmeal, and salt. Whisk in the eggs. Whisk in the milk, butter, vinegar, and vanilla. Set aside.
Arrange the dates on the bottom of the pie crust. Pour the filling over the dates. Bake for 45 minutes or until the center is jiggly but not wavy when shaken. Cool the pie on a rack until it is room temperature. Serve and store leftovers (if there is any) covered in the refrigerator.