The apex of my life: where law and cooking collide

good food, life, and my ramblings.

Leftover Day #1 & Day #2 December 10, 2009

to continue with my 12 Days of Grains, I baked with oatmeal.

As we’ve already discussed, I love grains! And one of the reasons I love them is that you can use them to cook or bake. They are versatile for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and are found in things that we don’t even realize. I mean, the bread for your sandwich is full of grains (hello…flour), your morning bowl of cereal, that cookie you are holding sheepishly. Oats are a great example of grain flexibility:

Take two with Grain #1: Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Bars!

so I tried to make these into cookies but they just got sooo hard. So bars it was, and I baked it in a water bath so the outside wouldn’t get so hard and dried out. Lesson though is that I should have only cooked it in a water bath for half of its cooking time.

Here’s how I made it:

1/2 cup butter

1 cup each of white and brown sugar

2 eggs

2 T milk

2 t vanilla

2 cups flour

2.5 cups oats

2 cups chocolate chips

1 t each: baking soda, baking powder, salt

Instructions:

cream butter and sugars, add in eggs, milk and vanilla. You are supposed to stir all dry ingredients together first, but i just add them in one at a time, then slowly stir in oats and chocolate chips. Line a pan with parchment paper or wax paper (all i had). Bake at 350 for about 30-35 minutes, maybe longer (test with toothpick). I used a 9×13 pan.

So onto Day #2 of 12 Days of Grains which was technically yesterday. And the mystery grain is…

RICE…arborio rice more specifically.

So in case you aren’t a rice enthusiast, a little bit of education for us all (all info from the very reliable Wikipedia). Rice is the second most popular grain (next only to corn…maybe grain #3?). Rice is cooked in many cultures in many different dishes, and can be ground up into flour, used in rice milk, can be made into desserts (aka rice pudding), layered under curry, or chinese, or stirred constantly with broth and made into risotto.

Cue picture…NOW:

Introducing Shrimp Risotto! wanna know how I made it? Here’s how:

1 cup arborio rice

4 cups chicken broth

3/4 cup pinot grigio wine

6 T butter

t minced garlic

1/2 chopped onion

1/2 t red pepper flakes

1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp

1/4 of parmesan cheese

salt & pepper to taste

Start by put the broth and 1/2 cup of wine in a sauce pan on medium heat to simmer. Prep your shrimp (if you are like me and bought them before they were peeled and deveined), onions and garlic (or use a jar like me). Put 2 T of butter down in a deep wide pan, and stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes. Toss in the shrimp and cook for about 2 minutes until almost completely cooked. dump on cutting board. Put remaining butter and chopped onion in pan to soften. Add rice and coat in the melted butter. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of wine and begin stirring. As the liquid gets absorbed by the rice add a ladle full or two of the broth, making sure to stir and allow time for  the rice to absorb all the liquid before adding more. While you wait for the rice to cook you can roughly chop shrimp (so each bite has a piece of shrimp). You may not need all the broth, I had about 3/4 leftover. Make sure the rice cooks to your likeness. Once done toss in shrimp and cheese, stir and serve! YUM!

So what is today’s grain do you ask?

Well….Grain #4 is….

did you think I was going to spoil the fun? I’m not telling until later!

 

OATS! aka Day 1 of 12 Days of Grains! December 8, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawvecooking @ 9:26 am

for breakfast today I enjoyed a wonderful bowl of OATS! rolled oats to be specific, I like to keep them around when I make homemade granola, but this morning I wanted something warm, filling and satisfying as IT IS SNOWING!!!

So I meant last night to soak my oats in some milk so I wouldn’t have to cook them this morning, but I forgot. However I brought them to work this morning and nuked them and they turned out just lovely. Here is my recipe:

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup plus a smidge of milk

Then I nuked that for a few minutes, stirring once to loose up the starches and make it creamier!

Then for the stir-ins. I have noticed lots of people make oats for breakfast in some sort of fashion. I don’t usually go for oatmeal, I prefer crispier breakfast foods (aka toast). Today my stir ins were: half a partially mushy banana (it was time to get rid of it!), a squirt of agave nectar (which embarrassingly enough I keep a bottle on my desk at job #1), a spoon of almond butter and a spoon of chocolate hazelnut spread. YUM YUM! And voila:

ok so it might look like poo in the middle, but i promise it tasted fantastic. My favorite combo is banana, peanut butter, and chocolate, so this was amazing!

Now for a few fun facts about oats. Oats are obviously a type of grain. They can be consumed cooked or raw, they can be ground up, chopped, baked with, cooked with, even used to make beverages with. There is even evidence that oats are good at relieving itchy skin, hello Aveeno!

The oat bran, aka the outer shell of the oat is believed to lower bad cholesterol and fight against heart disease, due to its higher amount of soluble fiber.  Hence why you see all those Quaker Oat commercials.

I also like to look for food that is gluten free because I know celiacs and its always nice to learn which foods I can serve them. Oats do not contain the gluten protein, however, it does contain a minor protein called avenin which can trigger a reaction due to it being toxic to the intestine, but not all Celiac’s will react.

So oats are healthy, have multiple uses and are super yummy and filling!

Maybe tonight I’ll find another way to use oats…oatmeal chocolate cookies anyone? or maybe some homemade granola? hmmm….or maybe i’ll make my homemade honey oat bread!

and i owed you a picture of my peppermint bark:

how do you make you ask?

1 package of white almond bark (24 oz)

1 teaspoon of peppermint extract

red food coloring

6 crushed candy canes

Melt the bark in a sauce pan over med-low heat, add in the peppermint extract. Pour into a pan covered in wax paper. drop food coloring over the top randomly and swirl with a toothpick. Sprinkle with candy cane pieces and let to set. You can refrigerate, but I didn’t. Roughly chop so pieces are different sizes. Enjoy!

honeymoon pic anyone:

and how about a sad puppy pic because poppa left for work:

ok that is all for now. We are expecting anywhere from 6-12 inches of SNOW today, so I might be cooking

 

for extra cuteness: December 7, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawvecooking @ 11:58 am

Kyan and Daisy cuddling on the bed! Life is so rough for our animals!

 

12 days of grains

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawvecooking @ 11:55 am
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So I didn’t really know what to write about because my weekend wasn’t exactly a cooking extravaganza. Everything was pretty normal and not all too thrilling, though I did manage to cook some.

I made homemade skillet hashbrowns on Saturday morning, though they kinda ended up like mashed potato pancakes because we over cooked the potatoes before shredding. Note to self, leave a little cooking to be done!

Then Saturday night we had tacos, well tostadas…with seasoned shredded chicken..yum. and mom had me make my guacamole. I make the BEST guacamole. there is only one other place where I will actually order guacamole…and that is Chipotle. I LOVE CHIPOTLE! a veggie fajita burrito bowl with black beans and corn salsa, guac, cheese, sour cream, and lettuce….oh god i’m in heaven. and i want one…NOW!!! seriously the guacamole takes my breath away everytime. though their chips are a little too salty. sorry but i have to have just one complaint.

anyway here is my best take on guacamole:

3 avocados (mashed but still a little chunky)

~1 cup pico de gallo (i used to chop of onions, tomato, jalapeno, and cilantro…but this is wayyyy easier)

a splash or two of lime juice (fresh is fine, but sometimes bottled is all i got)

sea salt to taste

a large-ish dallop of sour cream (for creaminess)

and that’s it! but it tastes like a million bucks, and people who aren’t guac fans love it. I have a friend who is allergic to tomatos so sometimes i’ll leave those out. But pretty much its the same everytime! and we seriously eat the entire bowl worth in one sitting! yeah i know…chub alert!

I also made white chocolate and chocolate covered pretzels and graham crackers this weekend. most of which have since been annihilated.

last night’s dinner was boring, leftovers. we needed to clean out the fridge of them. I may or may not have a container of rice leftover from thanksgiving! Oops! but we had bbq pork roast shredded.

and then breakfast today was the usual banana, pumpkin butter, and almond butter on whole wheat toast. with some coffee of course. and now i’m sipping some green and white fusion Stash tea. seriously FAVE! and i just finished munching on some laughing cow swiss with rosemary melba toast! YUM! enough to hold me over until lunch!

so i’ve been reading everyone’s blogs and everyone does some 12 days of something, like 12 days of cookies. Well, I was trying to think of something I could legitimately do…i mean cookies means baking and since I work 2 jobs…that’s just not practical. So i decided to do something to educate myself and others on whole grains. So introducing 12 DAYS OF GRAINS! I’ll try to feature a different grain everyday during one of my meals and educate you about it, its healthy qualities, and other uses for it! Plus recipes of course. I might start this adventure tomorrow since we already have a night out planned with friends for dinner, and I already have my lunch planned too. But maybe I’ll surprise you!

So get ready for 12 DAYS OF GRAINS!

 

I love giveaways December 4, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawvecooking @ 12:08 pm
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…though I can’t say that I’ve ever won one. Somehow….someday…somewhere…(ok sorry about that West Side Story moment).

Anyway, Chocolate-Covered Katie is having an amazing giveaway…find it here. And I wanna win it. I was checking out some coconut oil at the grocery store a few days ago. I almost bought it…but got cold feet. Iwant to try it…but its a pretty big commitment. I mean, I know I’ll fall in love with it and then I won’t be able to stop using it and its not cheap! grrr! story of my life! So I guess if I win it…then I won’t feel so guilty continuing to purchase them after I fall in love! Though I do have to give the hubby props he was trying to convince me to buy it though. he likes me to get what I want.

anyway, sorry about being MIA lately. This week has been busy at job #1, and job #2 was understaffed this week. plus…my car died. we thought it was the battery, but it wasn’t. Its parked in a subway parking lot where I was having lunch with the hubby. i’m hoping its the starter because I’m afraid to know what it’ll cost me to replace the alternator. YIKES!

so anyway, breakfast today was a doughnut (kreuller?) and a banana. I have been completely enjoying Stash’s green and white fusion tea!! YUM!!!

And last night for dinner I made bar-b-que pork in the crock pot. Its a favorite of my husband. We are going to have leftovers today for lunch as we try to get my car started by pounding on it with a hammer. otherwise i’m calling the tow truck. GRRR!

ok, well back to job #1. i’m looking forward to baking this weekend! i’ll try to post at least a little. I still owe you pics and recipes!

 

a weeks worth of food November 30, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawvecooking @ 11:13 am

So its monday, and I haven’t posted in…well a long time! Sorry! The holiday kept me busy, plus the shopping, family, friends, and good food.

For Thanksgiving we went to my aunt and uncle’s place. There was all sorts of goodies from fried turkey, ham, mashed potatoes (aka the usual contenders)…to unexpected goodies like a greek salad, fabulous spinach artichoke dip, and fried potato salad!!! Needless to say, I stuffed my face full of everything and even managed room for dessert which included a pumpkin trifle.

It was a great day with family and friends and lots of dogs…just how i like it! When we finally made it home, the hubby and I booked it back to L-town to head to bed before the big shopping extravaganza!

At the wee hour of 4 am, we took puppy for a walk and put her back to bed before we headed out to face the madness. I only managed to hit up two stores, wally world and bath and body works. the first was crazy and I almost hit a woman who kept trying to butt in line to check out! I have a problem with rule breakers, maybe its my affection with the law…who knows!

i got the hubby a game he’s been wanting called Call of Duty 2 (i don’t recall the subtitle). we were able to price match it for $37.99 (regularly $59.99)!!!! and then picked up some $2 pyrex glass pie dishes and all sorts of goodies at B&BW! all in all, good day. then i worked, both job #1 and job #2. luckily got off early from job #2! and crashed…i was up for 19 hours so hush!

saturday we slept in…until 8! WOOHOO! then the parents came to lawrence to spend the day. we had breakfast at Einstein Bros…yay for everything bagel toasted with veggie shmear! and of course, my very favorite tea, double cinnamon spice from Harney & Sons! It is like sucking on one of those cinnamon hard candies! pure heaven in my mouth! i even convinced mom to try it!

we wandered around Mass for an hour or so then hit up the World Market where they were selling pet toys for 50% off so I splurged and got some christmas goodies for Daisy and Kyan. I also got a Dark Chocolate bar with hint of sea salt, which I have seen countless times on EatLiveRun. I have only had one piece thus far but am infatuated! Dad got some of the WM olive oil which was buy one get one free! Excellent deal. I buy ALL of my olive oil at WM. I can usually get it for $6.99 a liter! that’s an amazing deal!!! They also had buy one get one free WM chips so I got the hubby some jalapeno chips and picked up some sweet and spicy flaxseed tortilla chips! I haven’t tried them yet, but expect those to be munched this week!

Then we headed to Michaels to pick up my bro’s gf, Heather and maybe to do a little shopping. ok, $30 later and i finally escaped! But everything I bought was for christmas gifts. Though I still need to finish up some of those!

Lunch was none other than, El Mezcal. El Mez is a Lawrence landmark in my opinion. Everyone I know loves it, though I have heard that haters exist. In my opinion, it is reasonably priced, always tasty food, and although the service usually sucks, I deal! I had the fajita taco salad with chicken. It is served in a taco bowl with sautéed peppers, onions, chicken strips, and tomatoes, then covered in white cheese sauce and topped with lettuce, and a big dallop of both sour cream and guacamole! YUM! I mix it all together until it is roughly the consistency of soup and gobble it all down. Mom had a mexican burrito, dad had enchiladas, heather and michael had nachos, and adam of course had steak fajitas (his favorite)! we pigged out until we could barely stand. and for the record, the 6 of us ate for about $65! That’s pretty great considering we had two bowls of cheese dip and 4 sodas! i call that cheap dining!

After that I took mom and dad to the grocery store to buy some nuts. They always have me bringing them home to them so I just decided to let them pick them out.  Dillions has pounds of nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, and pistachios) for $3.99-$4.99! That’s a great deal, especially if you are nut fans like my parents who bake with them in brownies and cookies all the time. I love eating them raw and I have a bag of each in my cupboard for snacking!

then after a puppy walk we took off again for my uncle’s birthday party at Barleys Brewery. It was pretty great seeing some of my family. My uncle is in town from South Carolina. The hubby and I owned my dad and uncle in shuffleboard, and then I watched as Adam made some awesome shots in pool. I had a gigantic 22oz beer, and played with my little cousin, Max. Who knew babies were such little heaters. He was so warm I was sweating! Finally made it home around 8pm…and literally was exhausted. we ate mac and cheese from a box…i’ll admit it…but nothing else sounded good. after all we ate all day…i think it was justified.

sunday: puppy woke me up at 7:30 (booo!). made pancakes for breakfast. Then ran some errands (WM for a few returns, Old Navy for a return/exchange, Wally World for baking supplies, and GameStop…no need to explain that one). Then I came home and baked to my hearts content. I made puppy dog treats (I’ll post the recipe later), peppermint bark, peppermint mocha cupcakes (i’ll post pic later), broccoli cheese soup (i’ll post recipe later), and chicken salad! YUM!! it was a good day. Today i work both job #1 and job #2, but hopefully I’ll still have time to take pics/prepare recipes for posting tonight! If not…tomorrow it is!

wanna guess what I had for breakfast today?! none other than a toasted everything bagel with veggie shmear from Einstein Brothers! YAY! and now…coffee!

Fin!

 

monday monday November 23, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawvecooking @ 9:43 am
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BREAKFAST was:

and some whole wheat toast with pumpkin butter. I did take a picture but it turned out super blurry for some reason! Sorry about that.

at job #2 I’m going to have leftover green bean casserole and maybe some chicken noodle soup and an orange! YUM YUM! I gotta decide what I’m making for my contribution to Thanksgiving. I’m thinking either a wild rice dish or a wheat berry dish…any suggestions?

 

 
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