Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Another Pinterest Adventure

Another day, another adventure in Pinterest recipe attempts.

I recently pinned a recipe that guaranteed the creamiest, most delicious ice cream made from nothing but frozen bananas.  I have to admit, I sort of called BS, but I can't resist a recipe that sounds too good to be true in the ratio of nutrition-deliciousness.

This started with 2 slightly over-ripe bananas (frozen), about 2 teaspoons of all natural peanut butter, about a teaspoon of honey, and about a teaspoon of cocoa powder.
Puree it all together in a blender.
I found out that my blender sucks, so after some choice words and punching the thing like an ape, I added a few splashes of vanilla soy milk to get the bananas broken up.  Use your own judgement on whether you need to add that step.

And, this is what it looked like.
 I added some chocolate chips in at the very end and pulsed it a few times just to break them up slightly.

Guys, I have to admit, this stuff is amaze.
It had the texture of creamy soft serve, and the flavor of the richest ice cream-I literally loved it.
The only thing I will say is that it is the best right when it's made.  I froze what I didn't eat and it wasn't nearly as tasty the second day around.  
So, damn it, I guess you'll just have to eat it all!


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ya Know, Food.

I have to say, this healthy eating thing is really not so bad.  I've had so much fun experimenting with different ingredients and cooking techniques.

I saw a variation of this one on Pinterest, but made it my own.
I started by making a handmade whole wheat fettucini.
Next, I pureed 2 avocados with lemon juice, fresh basil, a handful of arugula leaves, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
I sauteed some peppers and onions and added them to the cooked pasta and avocado cream.
 Seriously, if you're looking for a legit foodgasm without the guilt--EAT THIS SAUCE IMMEDIATELY.

I also made these cake pops and cupcakes for a women's networking luncheon I attended on Monday, so that was fun :)

 Last night for dinner we had broiled tilapia.  To spruce it up, I made a mixture of shredded Parm, lemon zest, salt, and pepper and added it to the top of the fish.

I broiled it for approximately 8 minutes, or until the cheese was golden brown and bubbly and the fish was just cooked through.

Next, I blanched some asparagus.
For those who do not know what "blanch" means: Add fresh asparagus to boiling, salted water for about 2 minutes-not allowing them to get too soft.  Next, put the asparagus into ice water to instantly stop the cooking-sealing the green color and crispy texture.

Next, I put the asparagus into a baking dish coated with olive oil, salt and pepper and grated some more parm over the top.  I then put this under the broiler for just a few minutes until, again, the cheese was golden and melted.

I also squeezed some fresh lemon juice over the whole plate.
Just because I'm eating healthy doesn't mean a girl doesn't need some cheese every so often, darn it.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Facts.

Whitney over at I Wore Yoga Pants decided to do a one-day only "about me" link-up so I thought I'd hop on the bandwagon :)

I physically cannot go to movies
Not sure when this mental block began, but I literally can't handle it.  The second my seat gets kicked, a couple starts to whisper, or the mouth breather to my right starts chewing his popcorn, I lose it.  I've never considered myself a person with anxiety, but this is as close to an anxiety attack as I can imagine.  I know, I need therapy.
I do not go out in public without a shower/makeup
I am pretty confident in the way I look, but I have a seriously case of "fat-girl brain."  It stems from, you guessed it, a less than attractive childhood.  I seriously assume everyone I come across judges me instantly.  Again, kind of a nut job.
My dog is my best friend
Okay, not literally.  I do have a human best friend and my husband is of course my best friend, but she's definitely 3rd on the list.  I'm obsessed with her.

And she likes to spoon me, so I guess that means the feeling is mutual.  She also knows about my issues with not wearing makeup, which clearly describes why she blocked my face from the camera view.  Thanks, girl.

I have an alcoholic beverage mostly every day

No, I am most certainly not an alcoholic.  I just really enjoy a glass of wine or three at the end of the day.  Who's with me?

My dream job is to be Giada de Laurentiis
Ask my husband- it's a full-blown girl crush.  I adore this woman.  A cute female chef with a cooking show, a retail line, and multiple cookbook deals.  And a beautiful home on the ocean.  I might be getting borderline creepy with this one.

I mean, come on, home girl has got it made.
I believe in soul mates
I always kind of have.  Being with my husband has 100% confirmed this for me personally.

Sometimes I fantasize about selling our house, getting on a plane, and just leaving
Not alone, of course.  Scott and I have chatted about this on multiple occasions.  Unfortunately, we have that pesky little thing called responsibility.  And our families, of course.  So, the plan is to get up and go closer to retirement age.

Italian Villa, anyone?

I hate snow
Yup, I've lived in Michigan my whole life.  My disdain has grown for it more every year since I've begun driving.  It's horrifying.  Just give me 6 months of summer and 6 months of fall with maybe a light dusting for a week around Christmas and I'll be one happy little lady.





Friday, January 18, 2013

So Trendy Today!

Trust me, these look a lot more unappetizing than they actually are.
I've been hearing about these crazy black bean brownies for weeks and I finally hopped on the bandwagon.  You literally make the dough by pureeing black beans with chocolate, oats, honey, vanilla, etc and bake them like regular brownies.  They have a different texture, but I actually like them!  A good chocolate fix without undoing your whole day.  They would be easy to make gluten and dairy free if you're motivated.

Incase you missed it, trend #1 is using beans in everything.
I found this idea on Pinterest.  Big shocker there.
I've been in search for a satisfying snack to fill me up between meals and I think these are actually really great!
You just toss garbanzo beans with olive oil and spices like cumin, paprika, cayenne, sugar, and salt and roast them at 425 degrees for about 40 minutes, tossing half way through the bake.  Make sure you bake them completely to make sure they're really crunchy.  They have a very similar texture to corn nuts, but way healthier!

Trend #2 is the quinoa trend.  I liked quinoa before it was cool, which makes me super original, right?
I kind of whipped this recipe up off the top of my head last night.  I combined cooked quinoa with veggies, a little cheese, spices, and an egg and formed little patties.
I baked them at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes just so they'd stay together.
Next, I seared them in hot olive oil until golden brown on both sides.
I served them over lemon dressed arugula leaves and topped with a Greek yogurt sauce with lemon zest and red wine vinegar.
Very light, healthy and delicious!


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Italian Or Bust.

Just thought I'd drop in with a few highlights from the class I taught on Monday night.  We did an Italian theme with wine pairings and it was very fun!  
The menu was an antipasti salad with simple lemon vinaigrette, hand made fettucini with spiced vodka sauce, veal marsala, and a Kahlua tiramisu.



Thanks to my sous chef/marketing manager/Mama for the photos!


Saturday, January 12, 2013

I got myself a new toy

A good, old fashioned, hand-cranking pasta roller.  And I love it.  Feel free to spend hundreds on a fancy mechanical one, but I swear, sticking in the stone ages on this one is the best way to go.
Still trying not to break the Foley pre-Mexico diet, I made a whole wheat-spinach fettuccine.  

I honestly don't use a recipe for this.  I think pasta making is more about feel than science-it just takes a little practice.  I started with a couple of cups of whole wheat flour on my countertop with a well in the center.  I added fresh spinach which I sauteed until wilted and pureed as well as 2 eggs, whisked.

Next, I slowly mixed the flour into the wet ingredients with a fork until it began to come together.  When a lot of the moisture was soaked up, I started using my hands to mix and knead the dough, only adding flour until a ball formed that wasn't overly sticky or dry.  Again, this is just about practice.
I kneaded the dough until a smooth ball formed; about 6 minutes.  And I may or may not have broken a sweat.

Next, I wrapped the dough in plastic and allowed it to rest for 20 minutes--this is a very important step!  If you don't rest the dough, it'll be way too tough and elastic and difficult to work with.  
Can we just take note of how helpful Bella is?  My little sous chef.

Next, I cut the dough in thirds.  I took one of the pieces of dough, flattened it by hand, and lightly floured it and ran it through at the highest setting.  I folded the dough in thirds and ran it through another two times.
Next I changed the roller to the next setting and rolled the dough through at least twice.  Continue this step until your dough reaches the desired thickness.

 Next, cut the pasta in whichever cut you'd like.

FYI: I kept my pasta pretty thick, so I had to go through and separate the noodles by hand.

 I then cooked the noodles in boiling, salted water for 2-3 minutes or until al dente.  Just make sure you taste a noodle to test that it's finished cooking.

I tossed the noodles in a veggie tomato sauce with white wine and Parmesan cheese-yum!  This will work with whatever sauce you choose.

I think I deserved my 3 glasses  glass of wine after all that work :)