Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Letter of the Day is P

Well really it should be the letter of the week.

Why Grover, you look quite

roductivity was surely the theme of last weekend, it was one of those times where you look back more in confusion rather then awe of that which you've accomplished. The confusion stemmed from the fact that both Ryan & I did all of the things that we have been putting off for at least 6-8 months, and I don't think either of us function normally when we don't have at least a few things we are procrastinating. Luckily for us, a whole new slew of "to do's" have been added in just the last few days, so we'll be busy not doing any of it for a while.
Our next word was inspired by my coworker, who so appropriately categorized me as having a Pioneering approach to cooking. This of course was a response to my disastrous cooking tale of the night before. I tried making a [hopefully] original breakfast creation. Forgetting that my muffin tin had suffered its demise, prognosis: "death by cornbread", I thought I was fully prepared to revolutionize the way in which we all view breakfast. Upon the realization that my muffin tin was now a rain receptacle on our porch, I decided that this creation would be made anyway, and my muffin cups would suffice.
Sidebar: Please reread the last 2 sentences, but each time you see "muffin ______", say it in your head like it means something else.

...... it cracked me up.

Without going into too much detail as I do plan on recreating this recipe properly and making it functional, hence the pioneering spirit, the muffin cups did not provide adequate support and I ended up making a pan of baked egg substitute. During the cooking adventure gone awry, my newly re-found camera started displaying error messages and intermittently shutting off. Upon reflection, I realize that this was my camera's way of saying, "Trust me, you do not want a picture of that".
And finally our last word is Patience, because that it what I have been trying to practice all week. On Friday I will be joining a large combination of many of my favorite people to relax in Santa Barbara at what I will now refer to as Our February Vacation House (my parent's house while they are out of town). A weekend of wine + friends + poker - dog walking = A Very Happy Evan. The reunion of the terrible tripod will final take place, in which Ms. Brit, Angelina Ballerina, and Myself finally will be in the same place, at the same time, for the same purpose. I cannot wait, and I am so happy to hear that my lady-zies are just as excited as I am for this wonderful weekend. In addition, all of our boyfriends will, for the first time, be together with the tripod together, and I truly do not think they know what they are in store for.

So here's a little taste.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cauliflower Overload

So ultimately the purpose of creating a blog for myself was for recipe maintenance and distribution amongst my more "kitchen challenged" friends (you know who you are) asking for some of my stolen or slightly original creations. By no means do I consider myself an expert when it comes to culinary stylings, but I will try anything once and tend to have unique taste pairings. On more than one occasion by more than one person, my appetite has been compared to that of a pregnant woman's. Since I vehemently deny that pregnancy could ever be the culprit, I instead attribute it to an early penchant for original combinations. Though far from classy, my early classics were Cold Hot Dogs dipped in Apple Sauce, Mustard on Oreos, and Tortilla Chips dipped in Vanilla Yogurt. The salty-sweet combination matured into a love of Peanut Butter Burgers, Hawaiian Pizza, and Chocolate Dipped Bacon.
But anyway, I'm getting entirely off track here as my latest meal has absolutely nothing to do with the above. Last week, after what seemed like an eternity of busy schedules and take out food, I finally was able to cook. My initial idea though had grown simply from steak and cauliflower (in my attempt to cook on a budget and use what's currently in my fridge)to an entirely new concept. I had four days of meal planning as my schedule kept being pushed back, so once I finally found the time and motivation to cook, I really went for the cauliflower overkill. Ryan and I both agreed that they meal together was good, but each separate piece was great. So I will implore any that decide to try the following to learn from my mistakes as you might in a choose your own adventure book & turn to Page 26 instead of Page 14, which thinking of it, I really need to get because those things rock.

First, I had a SIRLOIN strip type steak (eh, I'm so not good on remembering the cuts of meat, particularly steak) in the fridge since it was on sale at my Ralph's.
Since it was on sale, I figured it would be best to do some sort of marinade to avoid the potential toughness of the meat, plus I wanted extra sauce for the next part of my meal. Using a few I found online as a point of reference I made the following
1/4 c. honey
3 tbsp. soy sauce

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. balsamic vinaigrette

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 flank sirloin steak

Mix all the ingredients through garlic powder well. Po
ur over meat in small casserole or pan and spoon extra juices on top of steak. Cover and refrigerate for about an hour or more to marinate. Broil Steak for about 4-5 minutes on each side in casserole dish in oven, or until desired doneness.

Another aspect of this meal was the cauliflower rice. Despite my intense love of all things carb, I also recognize the need to get rid of the "Relationship 10" lbs gained over the last year and a half while blissfully ignoring my ever tightening pants. This was actually a very nice addition to the steak and worked very well with the juices. I think if I ever make this again, I will keep the steak and faux rice and substitute the rest with a salad.
3/4 head of fresh cauliflower

Olive Oil or Cooking Spray to taste

Salt & Pepper to taste

Grated Parmesan (optional) to taste
Lightly pulse the cauliflower in a food processor so that it resemble
s the consistency of rice. When the rest of the meal is almost ready, lightly saute the cauliflower bits with some cooking spray or olive oil, and seasonings. I also put a bit of Parmesan for taste. Serve under the steak, the extra juices from the marinade really complement the faux rice.

Next up is the ham wrapped asparagus and cauliflower steaks. These are not highly complicated so I will spare you the detailed recipes. I will say, that in the future I fully plan on making the ham asparagus in place of one of my favorite sides/appetizers, bacon wrapped asparagus. It provides a similar flavor with very little fat as I just used just half a thin slice of low fat ham to wrap the spear and secured with a toothpick. I did use a little olive oil, salt, and pepper on the asparagus prior to wrapping, but you could spray with pam for less fat. The cauliflower steak was 2 sections cut from the same head used above for the "rice". I essentially seared the cauli-steak to brown the outside. Both the asparagus and steak were baked together at 325 degrees F for about 30 minutes. You could adjust the temperature to whatever your needs are, I wanted to take Sammy-Pants on a walk so that's what I did while it cooked.
In the end it resulted in a reasonably pleased and well fed boyfriend, a "happy to eat the leftovers" Chance, and a lesson in overthinking & overpairing meals.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Ms. Brit blows back into Cali

Per usual, my plans for last night far exceeded the actual results. While gourmet cooking, laundry, and taxes were replaced with pizza, television, and sleeping; I did manage to accomplish some of the original evening's intentions.
Ryzies & I fell asleep quite early the night before, so after work yesterday we rushed home to finish my vocal recordings. [If you are reading this and didn't know me by chance, you may be thinking to yourself "is she a singer?" to which all those reading that do know me will respond with a collective "hell no."] What I lack in singing abilities, I attempted to make up for in whorish phrases and sounds last night.
Backstory: One of our friends created an Ipod App (coming soon: more details on later) in which a woman's voice is required.
The reviews were quite positive. I am still experiencing mixed emotions between the positivity of the ego-boost coupled with the whack-factor of having your boyfriend's friends now know 1. your sexy noises and 2. reviewing them. But, I'm a LEO lady at heart and attention is my thing, so I have just now fully decided that it actually is pretty awesome.
With recording now completed, I was able to devote full attention to the long-awaited return of my soul LEO lady lover.
Backstory: Brit left me to my own devises over a year ago to pursue hopes, dreams, and a career in Chicago. Turns out she cannot live without me and has now returned. Her boyfriend perhaps thinks it is because of him, but we all know the truth.
She brought my third favorite dog in the world Nala to help fill my dog withdrawals as ours are vacationing up in Santa Barbara with skunks and whatnot. Though Nala and I had no time whatsoever to catch up on our tabloids, we did have a blastzies.

Aside from Brit & I catching up on the latest and greatest in our lives, it was a rather uneventful evening in which the duo called it an early night for once. We both get rather sleepy when the vino is absent.

"A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort."

Perhaps that isn't the most applicable quote for my day, but as this post marks the commencement of all to come, I felt it would set the appropriate tone for what the intention of this blog actually is. I assure any of the few that decide to read this, my quest for the "silver lining" will likely be overshadowed by the rather mundane and uncomplicated life I do lead.
The "zies" in my world are all those things I love, and the purpose of this chronicle is to showcase them.



"I liked the new blog but I desperately want to know what Brittany is doing in that photo."




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