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Monday, March 19, 2012

Short Break followed by Short Bread

I am officially moved in...

Potentially worse for the ware,

Definitely bruised head to toe,

With new incredible tinkering and carpentry skills,

But still, all of my necessary belongings have been moved from my parents' home to my new oh-so-loverly apartment with B (for her name and 'best'...direct quote, mind you), my many atimes aforementioned cousin.

In honor of our new found roommate-ness, we decided to celebrate with some serious bonding time because clearly the past 24 years of it haven't been enough.

We talked, and dinnered, and patio-ed, and movied, and perhaps most successfully and definitely most blog-relevant, we baked.

We baked almond shortbread.

And it was glorious.
seriously rogue pictures but I didn't want to miss the movie

New Apartment Shortbread
Servings: 6 healthy-sized cookies

Ingredients

1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 stick/8 tablespoons cool but not hard butter, cut into 8 pieces
* optional - slivered almonds

To Do

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

combine flour, sugar, and salt.

You may use a number of methods to add in the butter - food process until marble and rice sized clumps form, cut with pastry cutter, use two forks, etc. Whatever floats your boat and doesn't overwork your pastry.

Pour crumbs into baking dish - pyrex, bread pan, springform that is very well lubricated with oil, butter, or spray.

Gently press down evenly and sprinkle with slivered almonds.

Cook in oven for anywhere between 40 minutes and an hour. This is heavily dependent on the size of your baking dish, the thickness of the shortbread and the humidity in the air. Just be sure to check it out at 40 minutes and look for an almond brown color.

Take out of oven and immediately slice and remove from dish.

Enjoy!

Taste Notes

This shortbread is crumbly and incredibly moist.

It's a great basic to put your own spin on too. Feel free to add chocolate chips, dried fruit, or substitute any nut as well.

Stream of Thought

What was the first thing you baked or cooked in your new digs?

What were you thoughts on Friends With Benefits? I wasn't a fan although I adore the reemergence of Miss Jenna Elfman. Made my day...

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I Like to Move it Move it

Except for not...

That's right my lovelies! Today I continue onward with my moving quest.

I require mass amounts of gum, decaf cappuccinos and a rockin' Pandora station. My favorite currently is the Nat King Cole station courtesy of a Miss Blair's Headband.

How do you cope with packing up your life and movin' onwards?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Roasted Veggies - Kitchen Sink Style

I love organization and planning.

There is a certain sweet success that comes along with deciding what you're going to make for dinner, going to the store, gathering ingredients, making it, and patting yourself on the back for the glory that is your homemade meal.

Sometimes, though, you've worked out way too hard, it's raining and your car needs gas and you're just really not in need of a pat on the back.

Or at least that's me...

On days such as these, I'm glad I have the below in my repertoire.

Roasted Veggies and Quinoa
Servings: 3

Veggie Ingredients:

1 sweet potato, skinned and diced into cubes
any other veggies you need to get rid of - I used around 8 brussel sprouts, 1 head of broccoli, 2 carrots, a handful of plum tomatoes, 6 garlic cloves, and 1 shallot diced small

Spice Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon
1 teaspoon agave (or maple syrup)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 tablespoon oregano
1/2 tablespoon basil
1 teaspoon chili powder

To Do:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Mix spice ingredients together in a bowl

Add the vegetables and mix again

Spread evenly on baking sheet

Cook in oven for approximately 35-45 minutes, depending on how crispy you like your veggies

Be sure to stir them with a spatula or wooden spoon at least once

If they look too dry, add a spray or two of olive oil or spray oil/butter

In the meantime, make quinoa according to package instructions

Vogueing:

Alterations:

It doesn't get more versatile.

Feel free to utilize any and or all of your favorite veggies.

You can also swap out any spices for favorites of your own.

Regarding serving, I served it with 2 tablespoons of flavored hummus and quinoa.

Get creative.

Serve mixed with pasta and a bit of parmesan and tomato sauce.

Put it together with brown rice and a splash of soy.

Served as a side to any meat dish, it is delicious.

Make it your own.

But most importantly, enjoy.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Hummus, Day 4 - Dessert (Yes, Dessert)

Last night I was entirely unmotivated to put together any sort of hummus for you.

I bargained with myself. Fail.

My sister asked me nicely. Fail.

My sister asked me demandingly. Big fail.

It didn't happen.

This morning, however, I was hit by some sort of virus.

I'm going to call it the virus of unusual morning motivation.

I am not a morning person. Never have been. Never will be.

Except for today.

I woke up, bounded out of bed, went for a jog, and actually found myself grinning the whole way.

Dangerous, dangerous disease, I tell you.

Somewhere around mile 1, I was hit with the motivation to do something extraordinary, a dessert hummus.

It's definitely different, and you may find it slightly controversial, but on a pile of pancakes or belgian waffles, it's divine.

Cinnamon Walnut Hummus
Servings: 6- 1/4 cup servings

Ingredients

1 15 ounce can of chickpeas
1.5-2 tablespoons nut butter (I used peanut butter)
3 tablespoons liquid sugar (I used maple syrup but I bet agave would be delicious)
2 tablespoons Greek yogurt (regular, custard yogurt would do as well)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1.5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup walnuts

To Do

Put all ingredients except the walnuts in the food processor and run until smooth.

Put in walnuts and run until desired texture. I liked the bit of crunch, but you're more than welcome to pulverize them into oblivion.

Put on pancakes, waffles, toast, or any other breakfast starch in need of a little sugar, sugar and some sneaky protein.

Taste and Texture Notes

This recipe is entirely versatile.

You may use any nut butter you'd like. I'd even suggest getting creative and using flavored nut butters.

Again, I used maple syrup but different agaves would be delectable.

With the yogurt, I can't help but wonder what a flavored Greek yogurt would do to the dish. Probably make it off the charts awesome.

Finally, with the nuts, you may substitute in your favorite. I bet almond or cashew would rock your socks off.

Up Next

What do you want to see next? Be loud. Be proud. Be vocal.

I'm off to finish enjoying my endorphin high but wouldn't dream of leaving you without much love, affection, and best wishes for a very happy weekend.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Hummus, Day 3 - Black Bean

For seven years, I filled, and rather enjoyed, the role of "Texas girl".

It was certainly a tough job busting through stereotypes, confirming a few here and there, and representing the largest* (and best, whoop) state in the union, but I suppose someone had to do it.

Now that I've moved back to the Lonestar State, I've experienced quite an interesting phenomenon.

I've developed an outsider's view.

This isn't to say I've lost my Mexican food snobbery or adoration for a good pair of boots.

But, when you go to the rodeo for the first time in five years and your jaw hits the floor and doesn't come back up again for a good hour or so, you (or at least I) know something has changed.

This is entirely bittersweet.

To take this blog to an entirely new level of personal, my primary reason for leaving Texas for school and staying away as long as I did was precisely to develop a more worldly view.

Not because I don't love, adore, and proudly claim Texas as my own.

Quite the contrary.

I saw myself living what I identified as a one-note life, never leaving and thought that would be simply way too boring to be acceptable.

I'm a masochist at heart, and heaven forbid I stick with what and where makes me happy.

So, off I went.

And I loved it. Adored it. Couldn't get enough of it. Until I did.

And now I'm back, having achieved, at least to some degree, my initial goal.

To be entirely and thoroughly open about it (Why not? It's a Thursday...), I'm not quite sure how I feel about the whole thing.

"Where is this soul-baring taking us today?", you may wonder. Or even, "Seriously, Lindsey, quit word vomiting and get on with the new hummus recipe. I want to ogle."

Well, in honor of my soul-searching, and most definite love of my home state, allow me to debut a black bean hummus recipe.

It's a conglomeration of a bunch of different cultures and it's fabulous all in its own right. (please note shoddy attempt at metaphor.)

Ode to Texas - black bean hummus
Servings - 6- 1/4 cup servings

Ingredients

1- 15 ounce can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup fresh parsley or cilantro (I loathe cilantro)
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt (more if you'd prefer of course)
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon jalapeno slices or 1 small jalapeno sliced and deseeded

To Do

Put garlic in food processor and run until chopped fine

Add all remaining ingredients and process until smooth consistency

Devour
Just checkin' out the herb garden from whence it came

Notes on Taste and Texture

I would best describe this as a super jazzed up hummus disguised as a more refreshing black bean dip.

It doesn't have the heavy, brick in your stomach feel, of typical black bean dips at all, which I love.

The jalapeno does add some nice, back of your palate fire, but feel free to neglect it if you're not a spice lover.

It's smoky, refreshing, and oh so very creamy.

Up Next

I'm feeling an Indian inspiration coming on...

*sorry Alaska...