Mauve Cabinets and a Bottle of Red

My two passions–Food and books

Writer’s Block or Life Block? November 2, 2010

Filed under: NaBloWriMo — hmills96 @ 7:43 pm

I’m supposed to write tonight. It’s only Day Two. I almost forgot about it–I was diving into my current book when I realized I haven’t written yet. This is not a good sign. I figure, some of these entries might just be one-sided conversations. Care to join in?

What do I want to talk about tonight? What’s on my mind?

Sushi, for one thing. I might have a serious problem, guys. Is there such a thing as too much sushi? For some reason, whenever I exercise, I CRAVE it immediately after. I don’t know if it’s my body needing to replenish the protein or what. But I mean every single night after working out, I NEED sushi.

The good thing is, I workout in Indy, where there are LOTS of sushi places. The bad thing is, my addiction is getting expensive. Also, it’s not so great going into a restaurant in sweaty gym clothes. It’s just not attractive, gotta tell ya. I did discover that my local Marsh makes pretty decent sushi. Sushi in bed–it’s a wonderful thing. And it was much less expensive than getting it at a restaurant.

Oh, that’s the other thing that’s new in my life. The Gym. I have a love/hate relationship with it. Well, mostly just a hate/hate relationship with it right now. I figured out that if I sign up for a place close to my work, I’ll be a lot more motivated to exercise–instead of waiting until I drive the hour home and then eating dinner and THEN trying to work out. Not such a great plan that one. So far the Indy gym is working out really well.

I also hired a personal trainer to kick my butt two nights a week. He’s definitely doing his job. My butt is TIRED. But he’s very good about knowing what works for me and what doesn’t. He pushes me to my limit, and no further, I don’t feel like I have to tell him to back off or that it’s hurting too much, which I was afraid of. At the same time, he does push me, more than I have ever been pushed.

Oh, and I’ve discovered punching bags. Can I just TELL you how much fun boxing is? Really really fun.

He is changing my diet some, and telling me to count calories (UGH), which makes it even harder for me to want to cook. I went and bought salad and some healthier food choices. This weekend I’m going to try to put some recipes together. We’ll see. I want this to work.

Thanks for listening. Who knows what I’ll come up with tomorrow?

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NaBloWriMo Take Two November 1, 2010

Filed under: NaBloWriMo — hmills96 @ 6:33 pm

Well, it’s that time of year again. November. My favorite month of the year. My birthday is this month, and so is Thanksgiving!

So why was I dreading today so much? Today starts National Blog Writing Month (NaBloWriMo). Every year, bloggers all over set out to write a blog post every single day of the month of November. You might remember me doing it last year. I did pretty well–I made it until the last week before I stumbled.

But this year is going to be tough. I’m barely cooking once a week. If that. It’s pretty pathetic. I’m having a really hard time motivating myself to do anything in the kitchen–I’m eating out a lot, especially because I’m spending more and more time in Indy.

Still, I need to make myself write. I don’t know what I’m going to write about. Some of it might be old recipes that I haven’t posted yet, or maybe this will help get me back in the kitchen. We’ll see. I’m not making any promises. But, we’ll see how far I get. Thanks for sticking with me. I’ll be back full swing sooner or later, I promise.

 

Bad Blogger Lady December 2, 2009

Filed under: Fish,NaBloWriMo,Quick and Easy — hmills96 @ 4:06 am

Well, I failed the NaBloWriMo challenge. I was doing SOOO good! But I have been bringing hours worth of paperwork home at night, and have not been feeling well on top of that. I have not really cooked anything in a long time, just quick easy things, if I cook anything at all. I had a doctor’s appointment today, and some tests over the next two days to see what is going on. Hopefully we can get it all figured out, I really miss cooking.

I did cook tonight, just some quick steamed fish. It was delicious, but I was almost too tired to even do that! I cheated a bit here and used a bottled sauce, so this is more of a “how-to” than a real recipe.
Asian Steamed Fish
2 fillets white fish (I used catfish, use what you have on hand)
1 cup of your favorite stir fry sauce (I used General Tso’s)
Red pepper flakes
Sesame Seeds
Soy Sauce
Heat 2 Tbsp oil over Medium high heat. In a separate dish, coat fish in sauce. Sprinkle red pepper flakes and sesame seeds on both sides. When oil is hot, place fish in pan and cover. Cook for approx. 5 minutes, or until flesh flakes with a fork. Serve over rice.
 

Easy Chicken Casserole November 24, 2009

Filed under: Casserole,Chicken,NaBloWriMo — hmills96 @ 2:59 am

This is definitely not the healthiest dinner ever, but it was so so satisfying. I was craving some serious comfort food and this definitely fit the bill. There’s nothing complicated about this one, this is the kind of casseroley type of dinner that my friends and I grew up on, a kind of half home cooked. (I hesitate to use the term “semi homemade” because that just brings up the horrible image of that god awful drugged blonde host.)

Chicken and Rice Bake
Adapted from Campbells.com
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup (or cream of mushroom, or cream of broccoli or cheddar cheese, play around!)
3/4 cup rice
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp seasoning blend
2 chicken breasts
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Stir the soup with rice, soup, paprika and pepper in 2 quart baking dish. Place chicken on top. Sprinkle your favorite seasoning blend on top of chicken.
Bake for 45 minutes.
Serve with some kind of green veggie (peas are delicious!).
 

Hangover Remedy November 22, 2009

Filed under: eggs,NaBloWriMo — hmills96 @ 3:37 pm

Ok guys, seriously, ya’ll should take away the computer when I’m drinking. Sorry about that. But hey, I got a post up!

This morning, yeah, not feeling so great, as expected. Luckily, I don’t have a headache but my stomach is pretty queasy. I always find I need some protein the day after a bender, I don’t know the science but it seems to quiet my nausea.
Lately I’ve been craving eggs like nothing else, which is really odd because I’ve never been much of an egg person. It’s a texture thing. I love the runny yolk but the whites freak me out. My animal friends LOVE it when I make eggs because they usually get the left over whites. I always feel so wasteful when I do that though.
So this morning, I tried something new and oh my goodness, you need to make this now. It took a little bit longer than your normal eggs over easy, but the result just melted in my mouth. The recipe takes your standard breakfast ingredients and fancies them up a little bit. You can easily serve this for a wedding shower brunch, just make them in muffin tins instead of ramekins. I didn’t do it this morning, but you could saute some veggies–mushrooms, tomatoes, asparagus –in butter and garlic and put them in the bottom, under the egg. It’s a recipe you can play around with quite a bit.
Baked Eggs in Ham Cups
Adapted from YumSugar!

2 slices shaved ham (see note at bottom)
Asiago cheese, grated
1 Egg
Splash of milk (or cream if you have it)

Preheat oven to 375.
Grease a ramekin (or muffin tin). Line the cup with ham. Sprinkle cheese in bottom. Crack egg into cup. Pour just a touch of milk/cream on top of egg, this will keep egg from setting too hard.
Bake for 20 minutes, no more, or the yolk will not be runny.
Note: You need to use shaved ham for this, not the really thick sliced ham. However, you need shaved ham with a little bit of body to it. If you can see through the ham, it will work for eating, but won’t be pretty if you’re serving for a party. I used prepacked “deli-style” shaved ham, and because it’s done by a machine, the ham comes out of the package torn. My recommendation is to go to your store’s deli and have them shave it for you. You might tell them what you’re using it for and see if they can adjust the settings on their machine so it is a little thicker. See the two pictures below and you’ll see what I’m talking about.


Photo by me: See how my ham didn’t really hold up? You can’t see the sides, but the egg white soaked through the torn holes in the ham. It was yummy, but not pretty enough to serve at a party.

Photo by Yumsugar: Done by a Food Photographer of course, but, gorgeous nonetheless. You see the difference? If you’re going to serve this for a party, use a higher quality ham, something that has some thickness to it so it holds the egg in.

 

A Non-Eggy Egg Casserole November 20, 2009

Filed under: cheese,eggs,Family,NaBloWriMo — hmills96 @ 2:08 pm

There’s something about me you should know. I am a little bit of a freak of nature. (You might have figured that out already.) I rarely do anything the way everyone else does it. Or if a food is really super popular, I probably don’t like it. Take mayonnaise for example. Who doesn’t like mayo? Me. That’s who. Blech. Or Deviled Eggs. Or Egg Casserole.

So when my “other moms” (aka my mother’s long time best friends) threw my wedding shower brunch, they had a dilemma. What in the world were they going to serve? Egg Casserole is the norm at these sorts of functions. And of course, Haley doesn’t eat them (seriously, who doesn’t like egg casserole, that’s just weird)! Have no fear! TO brought this lovely concoction. I had tried it once before at some other get together right before the shower, and loved it. It was the perfect solution. She was kind enough to include the recipe in my shower book too :).
Sweet Girl’s Shower Casserole
(Well, I had to give it a proper name didn’t I, T??? :-P)
From T.O.

16 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup Evaporated milk
1/4 cup butter
6 slices of bacon, browned
4.5 oz jar of dried beef
2 cans cream of chicken soup
3 cups milk
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 cups shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Scramble first 4 ingredients and set aside.

Mix flour and onion powder with soup. Add milk and cook in skillet for about 5-10 minutes, or until bubbling. Cut up meat and crumble into mixture.

Spray 9×13 pan with cooking spray. Pour in scrambled eggs. Sprinkle with 1 cup shredded cheese. Pour gravy mixture over eggs and cheese. Top with 1 more cup cheese. Bake for 45-50 minutes.
 

Uh oh!

Filed under: Fall/Winter,holiday,NaBloWriMo,pie,Pumpkin — hmills96 @ 1:56 pm

Well, it finally happened. I forgot to do a post. I was not in the best of moods last night and I just gave up and went to bed. I didn’t remember until about 3 am that I hadn’t written a blog!

So to make up for it, you get two posts today.
The first recipe is going to be a pretty standard pumpkin pie recipe, but I know everyone is looking for the best one right now, so I thought I’d help you out with your search. I made this one last year and it went over pretty well.
Pate Brisee (Short Crust Pastry)

1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp white sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1″ pieces
1/4 cup ice water

In food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter and process until it resembles coarse meal. Slowly add water and process until dough balls. Flatten to disk, wrap in plastic. Store in fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Roll out dough for pate brisee. Place in pie pans. Wrap in plastic and chill again for 30 minutes.

Pumpkin Pie

3 large eggs
2 cups fresh pumpkin puree
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/8 ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375.
Lightly whisk eggs. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Pour into prepared pie shell. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until filling is set and crust has browned.