…due to some extra long days at work/stressful situations–aka I’ve been out enjoying NYC nightlife too much. Please instead view this post from one of my favorite blogs, and let me know how quickly you would come over to enjoy the incredible indulgence this recipe is with me….
Archive for June, 2009
Rico was out late the other night (party time!), so I had my friend, Joanna, over for a thrilling night of dinner and Pilates DVDs. After we sufficiently embarrassed ourselves by no longer having the energy to complete a simple DVD which we were doing on advanced 6 months ago, we needed a reward.
Every girl has an eternal love for the starchy goodness of potatoes, but not how they look hanging over the top of her jeans. The first time I met Rico’s parents, his mom made a classic dish of cauliflower salad. My family NEVER served cauliflower. I don’t think I knew it was actually considered edible until that day. After describing my amazement to Momma Suave, she explained to me her personal favorite, mashed cauliflower. Below is my interpretation, and I hope I did her proud. And if I didn’t, please no one tell her. Thanks.
I found this picture on a website call The Happiest People Ever (http://happiestpeopleever.tumblr.com/). I promise you my recipe will not only make you this happy, but maybe even a little more.
- around 7-8 cups of raw cauliflower florets, this is about 753 grams or 27 ounces
- 2 tablespoons light butter
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder, or to taste
- 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
- Pinch fresh rosemary, optional
Steam cauliflower until pretty tender, using whatever method you prefer (I use Ziploc Zip’n Steam Bags ). Mash in bowl and mix in butter, garlic powder and salt. Enjoy! I suggest adding a pinch of fresh rosemary if you are feeling fancy. The whole bowl is only around 260 calories, but I promise, you will probably want to share!
We tried to put a sprig of greens on this bowl to make it look pretty. Joanna told me it still doesn’t look pretty and I agree. So instead, please view a pretty picture of Joanna and me below:
I might have been giving her bunny ears. I might also be trying to smush her head. Whoops.
On our first calm night of living together, Rico and I decided to throw together some burgers on the new fangled, in-home grill my parents gave us. Since we are much fancier than the straight cheeseburger type, we decided we had to do some type of gourmet hamburger. The result of my man’s bovine genius? Shallot and Baby Portobello Mushroom Burgers, which I’ve aptly named Living in Sin Burgers .
Mmmm. Raw Meat. Ground beef with shallots is like winning the lottery on Christmas, while meeting Hannah Montana.
- 1 lb ground beef (We used 90/10.)
- Half shallot, chopped/minced
- 1/4 cup chopped baby portobello mushrooms
- 2 tablespoon Port
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 4 English muffins
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix. Rico used a spoon, but I personally suggest getting in there with your hands to really mix it well (wash them first, please). Form into 4 burgers. Place on grill surface, whether grill pan, double sided grill (basically a fancy George Foreman like we have), or a real grill and cook for 4 minutes on each side. If you have a fancy grill like us, cooking time is 4 minutes all together, because it cooks both sides at once. Start toasting English muffins once you flip the burgers, plate and serve!
The burgers end up around 350 cal each, including the English muffin bun. I personally eat mine bunless, so I can have two burgers. We all know that I prefer my meat sans fluff–see cupcake recipe.
I forgot to take a picture of the completed burgers, so here is my apology. My appearance as the “Tap Dancing Zebra” in my high school’s rendition of “Children of Eden.” Remember that awkward stage? This didn’t help.
I’m sorry to say this for whomever’s feelings I hurt, but I hate baking from mixes. They never turn out right and barely ever taste edible. I’d much rather slave in the kitchen and earn my praises, than know Betty Crocker did the work for me.
I feel the same way about boxed mixes as I feel about this tattoo. I don’t think I need to explain further.
However, I made an exception for the Barefoot Contessa’s boxed mixes. She has one type, a chocolate white chocolate chunk cookie, that looks to die for. I decided to purchase the mix, and let me tell you this was the best experiment ever. I made the cookies from scratch, as well as using the mix. And surprise, the batch from scratch was incredibly better. The Barefoot Contessa is a genius. I’m still not sure why she would try to pre-package such greatness. Well here is the recipe, directly stolen from the queen herself. I take no credit, other than for my crappy pictures.
Biggest plus of moving into Rico’s place? The awesome counter tops. This is not even a counter, it’s a sweet island with stools all around it. Its a baker’s heaven worth of counter tops, minus everything that Rico keeps on this counter. And by everything, I mean everything he owns usually gets unloaded on this counter. Boys!
- 1/2 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 extra-large eggs at room temperature
- 2/3 cup good unsweetened cocoa
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 pounds good white chocolate, coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cream the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the vanilla, then the eggs, one at a time, and mix well. Add the cocoa and mix again. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt and add to the chocolate with the mixer on low speed until just combined. Fold in the chopped white chocolate.
Drop the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, using a 1 3/4-inch ice cream scoop or a rounded tablespoon. Dampen your hands and flatten the dough slightly. Bake for exactly 15 minutes (the cookies will seem underdone). Remove from the oven and let cool slightly on the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
P.S. USE GOOD COCOA FOR THIS. I used the Ghirardelli that I use to make my diet hot chocolate. Also, use good white chocolate. Trust me, I am all for the cheap, but when it comes to cooking these delights, don’t skimp or I’ll come and find you.
I’m a volume addict. I would rather eat 40 cups of broccoli with garlic salt as my daily caloric intake than 6 bags of M&Ms–well mostly because I wouldn’t stop at six. But then again, I don’t know what would happen to my body after 40 cups of broccoli…I’m gonna stop talking about that now. So anyways, volume is why I love popcorn. Air popped popcorn is about 25 calories per cup! I eat like 6 cups of it almost every day at work, which leads to me looking about 3 months pregnant every afternoon, but that’s a different story. The following recipe is simple, easy, and can be altered to any favorite spices or powders that you would like all over your cloud filled, hopefully not burned in the microwave, treat.
I’ve now realized that in every picture of me from college, I am either sticking my tongue out, eating, am in some dance pose, or eating…. Did I mention eating? Thank God for Palladium, the NYU gym, which I frequented once a month mostly to stare at the girl (who goes to NYU) who plays a child from Chris Hansen’s How to Catch A Predator.
- One, 100 calorie serving, of air popped popcorn (Either popped and measured or one of those fancy snack packs.)
- Butter Pam
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
- 2 Splenda
- 1 teaspoon salt (optional)
- 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon (optional)
Pour popped popcorn into big bowl. Spray with Pam 3 or 4 times, only for a second, tossing the popcorn after each spray. Add other ingredients and toss to coat. Enjoy! One bowl has around 120 calories.
By the way, it tastes much better out of a giant bowl in bed–how I mostly eat it, until your Mom comes in and yells at you for eating in bed and you realize you shouldn’t have popcorn before your dentist appointment the next day. I love coming home for visits before doctor’s appointments, but remind me not to eat in my bed at home ever again. Cinnamon stains white carpet….
As we all know from my liquor recipes, I am not the person who prefers to get their calories from a drink. I would rather toss back a medium McDonald’s fries than one of those tiny mocha things at Starbucks. After going through about a million boxes of the Nestle’s diet hot chocolate, I started to realize that at like 5 bucks a pop, it was costing way too much. My Google adventures for a diet hot chocolate recipe failed, so I went to my mother’s pantry when I was home for a doctor’s appointment. What did I find? Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa. So what did I do? Pour it into hot water. It tasted like crap. Honest to God, it tasted so bitter and terrible I wanted to smack myself upside the head for not realizing that unsweetened cocoa with 15 calories a tablespoon would be so bitter. I threw in a little fat free half and half along with some Splenda and I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. The quality of the cocoa really matters in this one, so if you go and buy America’s Choice, I will be ashamed.
You really want to make me sad? Look at this face. You DO NOT want this face. Those eyes have melted one too many IRON fathers, bosses, and suitors to fail now!
- 1 tablespoon fat free half and half (10 calories for mine.)
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Ghirardelli.)
- 6 ounces boiling water
- 2 Splenda
Mix the above ingredients, stirring vigorously, and enjoy! This hot chocolate is only 25 calories, and tastes much better than the store bought, diet stuff! Plus, if you add too much water by mistake, it’s really easy to add just a teaspoon more of the cocoa powder for only 5 more calories.
I suck at pictures, and I was thirsty. I took this on my blackberry like the corporate tool that I am. Don’t worry, I hate me too.
Can I tell you how much I love comments? Can I tell you how much I love comments that ask for recipe ideas even more? Come on people, I write a blog, I like attention! Well here’s a request from Nameeta:
Jess, I have a special request for a hummus sandwich recipe. Any ideas on what I can put on the sandwich beside the hummus and/or how to make it interesting? Thanks!
Hummus Hummus Hummus. I love hummus. My old roommate, Will, and I (Yes, that’s mister muscles from the Life is Peachy post.) and I tried to go vegan for a week, just to see if we could do it. This led to a new appreciation for hummus in all its glory and especially how it can be paired sans and con carne. I’m going to provide a recipe for both, since I like the attention that much and I hope it will lead to bribes for more!
The idea for this recipe came from one of the dancers in my high school senior play. I was the assistant choreographer and to reward me, they decided to give me the lead dance part of “the hooker”–Sally– for all of ya’ll who have seen “Oliver.” My parents were extremely proud and needless to say, I was nothing but grateful as well….
Roast Veggie and Hummus Pita Pocket
- 1/2 zucchini
- Olive oil Pam
- Half an apple, sliced about 1/4-1/8 inch thick
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder or to taste
- 4 tablespoons hummus (Mine is 40 calories for 2 tablespoons, so that’s what the calorie intake is based upon.)
- 1 Weight Watchers pita, sliced into two halves
- Three 1/4 inch thick slices of cucumber, chopped
- 1 tablespoon of honey
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice up the zucchini and place on pan sprayed with Pam. If you don’t have a grill pan or a grill, place the sliced apple on the pan as well. Sprinkle garlic powder ONLY on the zucchini. Cook for 15 minutes. If you have a grill or grill pan, put the apple slices on the hot grill (pan) and cook until they begin to turn tender, around 3 minutes on each side. Chop the sliced apples into cubes. Spread 2 tablespoons of hummus onto each pita half, and fill each with half of the apples, cucumber and zucchini. Drizzle with a little honey, and serve! This recipe makes two pockets. Each pocket is around 150 calories, or 300 for both!
Hummus “Lettuce Wraps”
- 3 lettuce leaves, I suggest large romaine leaves, washed and dried
- 3 ounces deli turkey or chicken, whichever you prefer
- Roasted zucchini (Cooked as described above.)
Open a lettuce leaf and plop on the desired amount of hummus. Place a a slice of turkey or chicken on the lettuce and cover with a slice of zucchini. Sprinkle with some paprika and enjoy! This make three wraps, which in total sum to 160 calories! You can double the filling and overfill the sammiches for a more filling meal, or leave this at a snack!
Oh, and if you’re curious, we did successfully go vegan for a week. I only cried about 45% of the time, Will for about 90%.
I am continuously on a search to find alcoholic drinks that are not only low calorie, but tasty. I try to allow my only alcoholic caloric intake to come from the alcohol itself, not the mixers. I was walking home from work the other day (because yes, I actually enjoy the 2 mile walk to 14th street from my job) and stumbled–actually, not stumbled, almost fell–on a homeless man aboding on 15th and 3rd. He was palming Absolute Apeach and obviously enjoying the bottle. Ever since I saw him in Peachy Bliss, I had to get my hands on this vodka. Rico loves martinis and this love has imparted itself upon me. I first thought this vodka would be great in a girly, knock your socks off martini, but since I wanted to wake up the next morning on time for work, my Apeach found it’s home at the bottom of my new drink, Life is Peachy.
Be careful how many of these you throw back. Drunk munchies may force you into “Meat Overload” at Wendy’s with your old roommate, Will, who can eat whatever he wants and never get fat because it just migrates to his huge muscles.
- Two shots of Absolute Apeach
- Seltzer to taste (I use about 8 ounces.)
- 1 Splenda
Combine ingredients, adding splenda last. Pour over ice and serve! I suggest drinking it with a straw, mostly because I love straws.
If anyone really loves me, they would buy me these. I love Hannah Montana and I would love to enjoy my drink with these straws. I think 21 year old Hannah would be proud.
Like every other young child in Westchester, I did more community service than I was physically capable of because I was told it was the only way to get into a good college. Now, don’t get me wrong, I definitely enjoyed getting involved in the community, but it’s amazing how hard we would try to show diversity in our services, as well as “continuity” between our hobbies, extra-curricular activities, and community service. Since I taught chocolate classes, it was pretty simple to make some chocolates every holiday for food pantries around the area–check out that continuity.
Teaching how to make chocolate covered pretzels at a cooking class. I blanked out the minors to prevent any law suits, because we all know I’m loaded and totally worth suing (yeah right!). The best part about looking back at all the class pictures is that the kids are probably like 17 now, buying beer from the same gas stations that never carded me back then. Go figure.
Chocolate Pretzels, which are quite overpriced in stores, are very easy to make yourself. You can use whatever toppings you want and use candy melts if you are too lazy to temper chocolate. Plus, when there’s extra chocolate and broken pretzels, you get to treat yourself to a few .
- 40 pretzel rods
- 2 pounds dark chocolate, tempered, or chocolate melting wafers, melted
- Assorted toppings, such as chopped nuts, sprinkles, shredded coconut, chopped toffee bits, etc.
Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. Pour chocolate into 2 cup measuring cup. Dip pretzels, one at a time, into melted chocolate, coating pretzel, leaving about 1—2 inches of top of rod uncoated. Shake off excess. Place on cookie sheet. Immediately sprinkle with topping of your choice. Let sit at room temperature about 15 minutes or until coating is set. Store pretzels in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
Makes 40 pretzels.
**If you prefer to not temper the chocolate, you may use chocolate melting wafers instead. The chocolate isn’t as yummy as real chocolate, but the pretzels will still be delicious. Melting wafers, also known as candy melts and confectionery coating, are a very easy to use chocolate substitute. I prefer the Merckens’ brand and it is available in many candy and craft stores.
The sprinkle ones are my favorite. The colors Duke! the colors! Alright, it was worth one last try….
So all, I am officially domesticated. The lease on my apartment with the girlfriend was up and I am moved in with good old Rico. The lady found herself a job at a firm in New Brunswick, and Rico was generous enough to take my bum self in. My parents, who are quite supportive of both the living situation and Rico himself, bought us a wonderful housewarming gift of an in-apartment grill. Not only will this be useful for my bromance steak nights that have been planned for over the summer with a few of my boys, but perfect for throwing together some great grilled veggies to complement any meal. Plus, they fill me up enough so I can resist ordering the new “pasta bread bowls” from Domino’s that have been calling my name while waiting patiently for Fresh Direct to arrive.
I’m sorry, but have you guys seen this things?!! I think I have finally found a reason for throwing back 1200 calories in one meal. Plus, you get to customize!! Rico, hold me back!
So, this veggie recipe is adapted from the way the master griller, my father, usually lays a hand on earth grown undead. You will not be disappointed.
- Yellow squash
- Red, yellow and orange peppers
- Portobello mushroom tops
- Any other vegetables of your choice
- Salad dressings of your choice, or oil and vinegar (We use Wishbone Robusto Italian.)
Every time I see this picture I think of the Popsicle commercial from when I was a kid with the weird looking boy and his dog, Duke, when the kid would yell, “The colors Duke! The colors!” Don’t remember? Guess you’re not cool enough. Or just didn’t like ice pops enough. I’ve been unpacking all day– please just laugh at my terrible jokes and I promise to be much funnier in the next post.
Clean all vegetables and cut, if needed, into appropriate-sized pieces. Lightly steam asparagus for about 3 minutes to precook. Marinate all vegetables, except for mushroom tops, in salad dressing of your choice. Let sit at least 20 minutes or up to 24 hours. Preheat grill to medium-high. Lightly brush mushrooms with dressing. Do not marinate mushrooms or they get too soggy. Arrange all vegetables on grill, or grill in shifts depending upon space. Cook on both sides until cooked through and have the desired amount of char. Peel charred skin off peppers, if desired. Slice mushroom caps into slices and drizzle with additional salad dressing. Arrange vegetables on platter. If veggies seem dry, drizzle with olive oil or salad dressing before serving. Serve warm, room temperature or cold. May be prepared a couple of hours ahead of time and sit at room temperature. Refrigerate any leftovers.
Amazing. This was totally not cooked by me, but the pops for a multi family BBQ with the Suave’s. However, I did a great job of eating all the asparagus with Rico’s father. I also might or might not have been a bottle of wine deep.
These are a great quick and easy side for a dinner party or something to bring to a potluck or party. My dad always scrapes off the peppers that get too black, but I have to admit those are my favorite and I always leave them that way. The colors Duke! The colors!! OK, I thought it deserved one last try. For all of you that don’t know: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwlMHJE82Mk
It’s a nice little montage.