Posts tagged ‘compromise’

April 24, 2012

Sunday morning breakfast

I may have mentioned before that on Sunday mornings, I almost always make breakfast. Jim sleeps while I rustle around in the kitchen, throwing things together (unless somehow I have the foresight to PLAN….which rarely happens). This past Sunday, I had a vision…for Jim’s breakfast. Since I’m not doing eggs, I needed another vision for my own, but more on that later. But he thoroughly enjoyed the little concoction I created for him.

Please excuse the crappy cell phone pictures. I had to snap this one before he dug in!

Baked Egg Biscuits

Makes approx 6 biscuits

For the biscuit

1 cup Bisquick

1/3 cup milk

1 egg

seasoning (I used Jim’s stepdad’s special mix….you can include salt, pepper, garlic powder, rosemary…really its up to you)

2 veggie sausage links, chopped (or, you know, real meat sausage links if you have them…I didn’t, so Jim went veggie)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Throw all the ingredients in your handy-dandy mixer and mix until combined. Scoop dough into about 6 biscuits on a greased baking sheet. Bake for approx 7 minutes, or until edges just start to brown. Poke an indent into the biscuits and crack an egg into each. Continue baking for another 5 minutes or until eggs are just set. Season with salt and pepper and serve!

While Jim was eating his egg biscuits, I was eating the delicious vegan pancakes I whipped up for myself.

Vegan cranberry almond pancakes

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp flaxseed meal

1/2 tbsp baking powder

1/2 cup almond milk (if your batter seems a little thick, feel free to add a splash or two more)

splash of almond extract

handful of dried cranberries (if you have patience, which I didn’t, you can soak them in warm water beforehand so they’re softer)

handful of slivered almonds

Whisk together the dry ingredients. Slowly stir in the wet ingredients. Fold in cranberries and almonds. Cook on a nonstick skillet with a little olive oil. This recipe made the two pancakes you see above. It’s perfect for one hungry person (I left about 1/4 of one of those on my plate. They were filling!) or two not so hungry people with a few things (like the grapes and veggie sausage shown here) on the side.

What do you usually have for Sunday morning breakfast? Do you cook or do you go out or  just munch on whatever is around?

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March 19, 2012

Ten things to be happy about 3/19

I have a lot to be happy about at this point. The last few weeks…last week especially….were hellacious! I am so glad to be on the other side of them.

1. My to-do list at work is empty! Well, not entirely empty, but the four  major projects I HAD to get done ASAP are done. Check!

2. I got to wake up to this view this morning!Sure, we were snowed in all weekend. But we were at the vineyard, so we were in good company and we should be able to get the car out and go home tonight.

3. I get to sleep in my own bed tonight! I totally take that for granted when I don’t have it. And it’s not that I don’t LOVE mini-vacations, but there’s nothing quite like the feeling of falling asleep in your own bed.

4. I tried a few recipes from my new cookbook! I know, I’m lame for forgetting to take a photo, but I made the coconut orange bread pudding from my Blissful Bites cookbook. I also made the sweet polenta porridge and Jim made the hearty lentil soup. All of them were fabulous, but my favorite had to be the bread pudding. It was such a unique take on a classic dessert. I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone contemplating going vegan.

the book

5. I got the cutest new shoes! I haven’t bought anything for myself in a long time. And in the shoe department, I am seriously lacking. I have no shoes to trompse around in the rain in, nor did I have any cute shoes for spring. So, like any girl would probably do, I went for cute over function. Winter is almost over, afterall! I’m not so sure I love the bottoms of them…they’re kind of weird, but I’ll wear them around the house a bit and see what I think. Aren’t they adorable?!

6. My husband is at work with me today! Part of being snowbound all weekend was that he was stuck with me, which means he is still stuck with me. He’s just sitting there watching YouTube videos while I work, but it’s still kind of nice to have him here.

7. I get to see my sister-in-law tonight! She doesn’t know it yet, I don’t think, but her husband is cutting Jim’s hair tonight (before his job interview tomorrow!), so we’ll be over there for a little bit tonight. I’m excited. We have a good time together. 🙂

8. As a result of #1, my office is getting very clean. It’s so much nicer to work in a clean office, and having nothing else to do, I have time to CLEAN!!

9. I think there’s a delicious slice of pumpkin pie on its way for me! I made chicken pot pie for dinner last night, and Ashley made the crust. Well she used her grandmother’s recipe, which is one of those that can’t be cut down in size, so with an extra 6 crusts, she made a pumpkin pie for dessert. And I’m not sure anyone makes better pumpkin pie than Ash does!

10. I have a massage tomorrow!I haven’t had once since, I believe, the last time I included it in my ten things post. I’m so excited! I need this like crazy!

I hope everyone is having a lovely Monday. What are you happy about today?

November 9, 2011

One month married + Veggie Sausage & Edamame Pasta

As of yesterday (boy, I wish I’d had the energy to post this yesterday!), Jim and I have been married for exactly a month.

I wish I had more to reflect on. In many ways it’s been the same as before the ring. We’ve lived together for almost two years, so most of the day-to-day stuff is just the same. Not to mention, we were on our honeymoon for half of that month, which was of course, amazing as heck.

I do feel different though. I feel like I really want to be “the perfect wife,”
whatever that means. I want to have dinner ready when he comes home from work late and I want to be able to do the laundry and vacuum the floors and keep the place tidy.

The unfortunate part about that is that I just don’t have the energy for it. Period. I try. I really do. And most of the time, I can do most of it. But lately I’ve been feeling worse than normal. I’m actually waiting for a call back from the doctor’s office so I can get in and have some tests done. It’s just not normal.

On to a happier note, I made a delicious “compromise” pasta dish last night. And some brownies that we won’t talk about (I tried a “healthy” recipe and got a piece of chocolate flavored rubber that was made edible only by the application of a big glop of Nutella).

But enough of that, on to the good stuff!

Veggie Sausage and Edamame Pasta

4 cups of your favorite pasta (I used the corkscrew guys)

1 leek, thinly chopped

2 cups frozen, shelled edamame

10 or so cherry tomatoes, quartered

Handful of cauliflower and broccoli, in small pieces

1/4 cup white wine

olive oil

1 1/2 tbsp butter (We happened to have truffle butter, so I used that, but regular old butter will suffice)

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 veggie sausages (My favorite are the tomato basil Tofurkey brand sausages. You can get them at most health food stores. I get mine at Trader Joes)

Queso seco cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Toss broccoli and cauliflower with a little bit of olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and cook on a baking sheet for about 25 minutes or until the veggies start to turn brown.

Meanwhile, boil up a pot of salted water for the pasta. Cook pasta until desired tenderness. Some people like al dente, I do not. Tis up to you. Drain the pasta, saving about 1/3 cup of the water for your sauce.

In a large (and I really do mean large, we’re going to add the pasta to this thing) frying pan, heat enough oil to saute the leeks and garlic. When the leeks have become softish (about 1-2 mins), add the frozen edamame and cook for another approx. 2 mins.

At this point, put your sausage slices in another small frying pan with a little bit of olive oil. I like mine with a bit of brown around the edges. You may just like yours warm and still a bit softer. It should take 2-3 mins either way.

Next add the butter to the leeks and edamame. When the butter has melted, add the pasta water and the white wine. Give that about a minute and then add the drained pasta, cherry tomatoes and the roasted veggies. Give it all a nice toss and plop a portion into a bowl.

Lastly, add the sausage to the top (if you mix it in, it looses that crispy that I like) and sprinkle with the queso seco.

This is another fun “compromise” dish because Jim happens to love that sausage as much as I do. It’s funny to think about how much veggie stuff he eats now. When I met him, he was like “what? you want me to eat that? where’s the meat?!” Now he’s pretty much up for anything.

And you know what I love most? He tells me when he doesn’t like something. Like these meatless meatballs I got from Trader Joes. I happen to think they’re pretty tasty, but he dislike them quite a bit.

Tonight I believe we’re having salmon burgers with sweet potato fries.

What’s on the menu for dinner at your house?

November 7, 2011

Mr and Meatless’ Tortilla Soup

I adore fall! Have I mentioned that before?

I love waking up to cold mornings that eventually heat to just above chilly at the peak of the afternoon. I love the colors: brilliant red leaves, the almost milky orange of pumpkins. And the smells: apple pies in the oven, the damp pavement after the first rain. I love busting out my scarves and sweaters and boots and my belovedly comfy Uggs (cliche, I know, but you can’t argue with their comfort!).

I love all the delicious seaonal food: pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks, making my own applesauce. Okay, pumpkin ANYTHING really.

Saturday I made some pumpkin scones.

 

They’re not much to look at, but they sure were perfect with my earl grey tea.

And later that evening, after I’d caught up on five episodes of “Revenge” (seriously, anyone wanna talk about this show?!) while waiting for the husband to get home, I made one of our favorite fall dishes: tortilla soup.

This happens to be another “compromise” for Jim…so to speak. He LOOOOOVES this soup. In fact, we polished off the whole pot. Of course, he ate about twice as much as I did because he’s bigger than me, but also because even though it’s a “compromise” because it has no meat, he loves it. Further proof that meat is not necessary to have good flavor.

Mr and Meatless’ Tortilla Soup

3 corn tortillas

1/2 large onion

a glug of olive oil (like 1 tbsp or something. I never really measure)

1 garlic clove, chopped

Salt, pepper, paprika (to taste…feel free to add any other spices you may desire)

1/2 cup white wine (you can use more vegetable broth if you’d rather. I like the flavor the wine adds, personally)

2 medium sized tomatoes, pretty finely chopped

4-5 cups vegetable broth

2 cups brown rice, cooked

1 cup (or a whole can if you heart them) black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup (or more if you love it, like me!) frozen corn

2 handfuls of cilantro, chopped

1 avocado, sliced

sour cream

shredded jack cheese

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine your glug of olive oil, chopped onions and garlic in a large sauce pan on medium heat. When onions start to appear opaque, add the spices, one handful of cilantro, the wine (or vegetable broth) and chopped tomatoes. Let that bubble away until the liquid has been reduced by about half.

Next, add the vegetable broth (I use 4 cups to start and add the 5th at the end if my rice sucks up too much). Reduce the heat and let this simmer. It needs at least 10 mins, but if you can stand to wait longer, your flavor will be better.

Meanwhile, slice your tortillas into small strips and spread them evenly on a baking sheet. Spray (or brush) with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake for about 8 mins or until they’re crispy and starting to brown.

Next add the rice, black beans and corn. I usually give it another 2-3 minutes at this point to make sure your corn has defrosted and gotten warm in the broth.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with a handful of the tortilla strips, a sprinkle of jack cheese, a glop of sour cream, a few slices of avocado and a sprinkle of the remaining handful of cilantro.

Enjoy to the very last bite!

(I guess that’s more like bites…)

November 4, 2011

Crock Pot applesauce and compromises

I love fall.

I ended up going home from work early yesterday. I had finished everything I NEEDED to get done, and there was no sense in me sitting around waiting for the phone to ring feeling like crap.

So I went home and spent an hour or so on the couch catching up on DVRed episodes of Revenge (anyone seen that? I’m loving it!) before I couldn’t sit on the couch and do nothing any longer.

I went to the kitchen and grabbed my bag of apples, my peeler and two bowls so I could start peeling apples. And then, like a good sickie, I got back on the couch…and peeled apples.

I had a package of approximately 8 gala apples, although most recipes will tell you to use different types of apples. I used what I had on hand, but you could probably use just about any kind.

I put the apples, peeled, cored and roughly sliced into the crock pot with 1 stick of cinnamon, a splash of pure vanilla, a slightly larger splash of 100% apple juice and a good sprinkling of fresh grated nutmeg.  Personally, I would have liked a little more cinnamon flavor, so maybe next time I’d use two sticks…or maybe grate some of the first one in before I put it in the pot.

I set the timer for 5 hours on low heat, but I left them in for an extra half hour because they weren’t quite soft enough for me by then. And we weren’t quite done with dinner either, so it worked out.

When it was time to take them out, I mashed them roughly with a fork because we like our applesauce a little on the chunkier side.

Speaking of dinner, we have now arrived at the compromising part of the program. I have said before that on occasion, I’ll cook meals with imitation meat products or without meat altogether. This would lead one to believe that Jim does all the culinary compromising.

But alas my friends, last night’s dinner:

I made chicken pot pie, which is one of Jim’s favorites (and also, I’ll add 100% NOT healthy…another compromise on my part). The thing about me and my (mostly) vegetarianism is that I’m not picky…well, actually, I guess I am…in the sense that I don’t mind picking meat out or off of my food.

I don’t like to do it because I feel it displays bad manners when at a table with other people, but I do it as discreetly as possible, and at home, I hae no qualms with picking my chicken out of my pie and flicking it onto Jim’s plate.

He polished off about half of the pie all by himself (he’s 6’4, about 235 lbs and he has a job that keeps him moving all day. Feeding him is probably akin to feeding a team of high school football players). I had a decent sized piece myself, having saved room in my day’s caloric intake for the occasion.

And we capped the meal off with a small bowl of delicious applesauce.

Recipe for chicken pot pie (adapted from Pillsbury)

1 packaged pie crust, top and bottom

1/3 cup butter

1/2 cup chopped onions

1/3 cup flour (I use whole wheat)

1/2 cup milk (I use 1% because that’s our compromise milk…I want nonfat, Jim wants whole…)

1 3/4 cups vegetable broth

1 package frozen veggies (the one with carrots, green beans, peas and corn)

1 potato, chopped and boiled

1 package precooked grilled chicken…approx. 2 cups (I get mine at Target, actually, in the lunch meat section. You can also grill your own chicken, but while I may cook meat for my husbands, I have my limitations….)

Salt, pepper, garlic (powder or fresh) and any other spices your little heart may desire

Combine the butter and onions in the bottom of a largish saucepan. Cook until the onions are soft, about 2 mins. Stir in the flour and the spices. Stir in the milk and the broth to the flour and butter paste. Once it’s thickened to a nice sauce (2-3 mins), add the chicken and the vegetables.

Unroll the crust and lie it in a pie dish. Pour the chicken and veggie mixture into the crust. Unroll the top crust and lie it gently on top. I’m no good with pie crust. I’ll admit it. At this point I just sort of squeeze the two crusts together and I’m okay with the messy looking edges it leaves. Do your thing here. Also, cut a few slits in the top to let air escape.

Bake the whole thing (I’d recommend putting it on a baking sheet because sometimes it gets bubbly and oozes over) for about 30 minutes at 425 degrees, covering the edges of the crust with foil for the last ten or so to avoid burning them.

This pot pie tastes a little bit like childhood. It is DEFINITELY a comfort food, which I needed last night, along with the fire I lit in the fireplace (our first of the season), and the pumpkin ale we had with it.

Do you make food compromises in your relationship? What is your favorite thing about fall?