Category Archives: Lunch

Processing

After my recent scone misfortune, I luckily had some kitchen success today…starting with this morning’s omelet.

I figured out a better omelet making plan, because normally mine suck.  They taste just fine but they look horrendous (broken, gooey messes).  This morning I sauteed diced onion in some olive oil for a minute or two, then added some orange pepper for another minute, then finally added diced tomato and some mixed greens.  Then in a bigger pan I poured an egg and two whites (whisked with some milk and a grind of salt) and threw a cover on it until it looked crepe like.  This could be an extremely wrong way of omelet making, but it worked for me.  I will say that it wasn’t big and fluffy, and really did turn out a bit crepe like since there wasn’t a whole lot of scrambling.  I also melted some cheddar in there too.

Thank goodness this turned out well, because before breakfast, I spent five minutes scraping chewed gum out of a machine at the gym  to realize the tv on it didn’t work.  Lesson learned: bring an ipod.  Speaking of ipods…  there was a girl at the gym today that blasted her music (awful song choices to boot) from her phone so the entire gym had to listen to it.  Why. no. headphones.?

I hadn’t used the food processor in a while, so I went crazy with it today.

For lunch I made an entirely processed meal.  We’ll call it preparation for when I get my tonsils out next month.

I topped some greens with a couple of lemon wedges, some edamame hummus, carrots, celery and a red bean hummusy dressing (really technical lingo here) that consisted of red beans, greek yogurt, dijon, parsley, salt, pepper and lemon juice.  No real dressing needed.

Later I had an artichoke.  Artichokes are super bizarre.  I don’t care what anyone says.

When we were little, Dad used to cook us up artichokes with lemon butter … there was something so fun about the process of eating them.  Now it seems like a pain in the arse.

THEN… more processing.

My mom’s cousin Rhonda dropped off 3 sugar pumpkins the other night, and I decided to bake them up and make my own puree.  It proved to be a lot easier than I thought it would.  I chopped the pumpkins in half and put them in a 400 degree oven for about an hour in an inch of water (face down).

Make sure to scrape out the goo! Then process away.

Maybe I’ll put it under Anna’s pillow.

While Anna was at work doing real people things, Liz and I did tandem laundry and baking.

Liz made her classic chocolate chip cookies.

And I made pumpkin oat bars… with chocolate!

Wooo. Wooo. Success!  It even got the coveted Liz seal of approval.

Thankfully, I got this baking endeavor right.

Here’s the rough (seriously estimating) recipe:

-2 Tsp. vanilla

-1 egg

-1 cup sugar

-3/4 cup pumpkin puree (fresh!)

-1/4 promise

-1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

-3/4 cup steel cut oats (any oats would do)

-2 Tsp. baking powder

-1 Tsp. cinnamon

-1 Tsp. Pumpkin pie spice

-1/8 Tsp. salt

Topped with processed almonds (probably 1/2 cup?) and dark chocolate kisses (12 of them?)

Baked for who even knows how long at about 350.  Sorry I don’t do precise.

Cakey, sweet, remotely healthy.  I would definitely make this one again.

 

So excited for all of our visitors this weekend!

 

Here’s the latest signature: Siena’s Chicken Riggies

Tomorrow morning: interview at a fish market.  This should be interesting.

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Full Fridge

There’s nothing better than those first few meals post grocery store visit.  Except I generally don’t know where to start.

Here’s one.

Cheddar, Turkey, Apple Samich.

And another.

Sick of frozen veggies, I piled as many fresh ones on a plate as possible last night.

Mixed greens with funny little mini squash and zucchini, tomato, very roughly chopped almonds, lemon wedges (like Gram does), parsley, edamame hummus, and goat cheese.  I used to hate goat cheese and now I can’t get enough of it.  All topped with raspberry walnut dressing.

This morning I scrambled up an egg and some whites, topped toast with strawberry jam and threw a few red potatoes in a skillet with tomatoes, peppers, s&p, chili powder and red hot.  I wilted some greens, too.

And last night when I was avoiding writing a paper, I prepped some slow cooker chicken noodle soup.

May I interrupt your regularly scheduled programing for a snippet of the paper — a personal essay for my magazine class. Made me miss Australia, even though our house got pretty disgusting.

…Sand coated the floating wood floors along with a stratum of glass shards.  The boys blew out a window with a rugby ball just days before — the same rugby ball that left peacock blue and green smudges along the white walls of our bowling-ball-alley of a hallway.  Mike’s Shakeweight and men’s Ugg slippers served as our resident trip hazard in the way of the door.  Onionskin thin rolling paper lay scattered along the coffee table next to a small plastic pouch of pot, pursed open with its contents spilling into a neat little mound.

I gazed at the army of cereal bowls containing small pools of rancid milk and oversaturated puffs, situated between empty metallic wine sacks, and silently prayed the mess concealed the illegal sight that would easily pass for an anti-drug PSA with the slogan, “Pot depletes your cereal supply.”

Our hexagonal 5-gallon fish tank, the one Garrett snatched from the side of the road, sat fish-less on the corner of our clutter-ridden kitchen table.  Directly in front of the tank, our goldfish Skippy hovered along the surface of a murky-water filled jar.  Dead.

And having just traversed the Uggs, the owners of our beachfront home stood inside, taking in the damage of the 8 filthy mongrels that occupied it.

Their eyes darted from my sweaty face to Liz’s beet red one, back to the dead fish, and then across to the busted window.  The Aussie Carmen Sandiego look a like, with her shiny blown out dark hair, black pumps and red lipsticked lips, rattled off a series of questions about the property, while the significantly shorter man kept his eyes glued on Skippy, who had clearly been belly-up for days.

Mr. and Mrs. Homeowner popped by unexpectedly to check on the alleged leaky roof.  They claimed they “were in the area.”   We had no choice but to grace them with our sweaty, smelly post-run bodies, in our smelly, dirty home, that was really theirs.

They asked to see the kitchen.  Above the sink, laden with crusty dishes and stagnant water housing scrambled egg buoys and cooked pasta boats, hung a sign reading “Thank you for keeping this kitchen spotless at all times.”

Artificially colored pre-workout powder dusted the top of the microwave.  Strands of spaghetti that Garrett flung at the wall weeks before dried into the plaster.  Wet grass and mud sat in clumps along the gray tiled floor, tracked in from Marcos’s rugby cleats.

Miss Glamazon and her debonair counterpart scanned the indecent warzone.  “May we see the bedrooms?”….

Back to beach-less Syracuse.

Here’s my funny crock pot I got for free by transporting a friend’s friend’s furniture in my old truck.

Last night I tossed cut up chicken breasts, onion, carrots, celery, parsley, dill, meyer lemon wedges and an insane amount of pepper into some chicken broth and water, and popped the vat in the fridge overnight.  Then this morning I let it sit on the counter while I went to the gym before I put it on heat (I’m always afraid I’ll blow something up or break something if I stick extreme cold next to extreme hot).  It cooked on low for about 6 hours.  Once I got home I cooked up some noodles to toss in.

Panera “you pick two” style, I had a salad with red beans, mustard and goat cheese with a bowl (or two) of soup.

Then for dessert I melted down some hershey’s dark chocolate and almond butter and topped it with cereal.  Odd but fantastic.

Tomorrow I HAVE to eat CAKE for work.  (We’ll pretend I didn’t ask my editor if we could feature a dessert in the paper).  Death by chocolate in mah belly.


Post-Hiatus Weekend-Post

This weekend I drove home to Glastonbury.  A five day stretch of food, family and friends.  This morning I paid for it when my alarm rudely awoke me at 6:30, followed by a haphazard pack job, and a semi traffic-ridden drive back.  At least Starbucks gave me a free venti coffee because the rest of their equipment was out of commission.  Unfortunately the coffee did nothing considering I had to take a 15 minute power nap in my car at a rest stop, then down an Americano, and still end up falling asleep in two of my classes.  Really, Starbucks?  Sarah Short (a nutrition professor here) taught me Bucks magically contains the highest caffeine levels of any major coffee chain.

But here are some weekend highlights:

Thursday night, after popping in to visit Gram and Gramps, I surprised my friend Julie at Uconn for her birthday.  Not that I am some sort of fantastic birthday present or anything, but I went big and got my cousin in on the surprise to make a massive scene.

She cried. She screamed.

Potentially because she was mad she didn’t clean up for me, and even made me sit in the living room while she made her bed.  This is why we’re friends.

image

The following morning we woke up at 6:30 … in the morning.  Then we chatted like fifth grade girls at a slumber party and decided it was more appropriate to go out for breakfast than go back to bed.  So we did.  I obviously scoured menus online (per usual) and then we agreed on Aero Diner.

Being a Friday morning, Aero wasn’t packed at all.  I ordered an egg-white omelet with all sorts of veggies.  The home-fries were just the way I like them — big ‘ole chunks of potato rather than that mushy, charred business.  And it was so clean in there.  The only downside — our table’s jukebox was broken.

I also went to our town’s Apple Fest for the first time in 3 years.  Unfortunately, my sister did not buy this hat.  And even more unfortunately I left the muddy field with destroyed boots.  (Thanks, Dad for surprising me by cleaning and buffing them while I slept like a princess).

But I did purchase this sweater.  Deep pockets, 100% wool, entirely too big, so very warm and only 35 bucks.

Had to have it.  After questioning the sales man about the price for 10 full minutes (I didn’t believe it could be that low), and making friends with an older couple with matching snow-white hair — who adorably bought matching cream sweaters, I bought it.

Then came the main event.  Fair food time.  So let me forewarn you that Jillian is far worse than me when it comes to food related decisions.  Well admittedly she’s awful at making decisions in general, but I’m too compulsive.  If we had a brother maybe he would be the rational one.

Following an extensive perusal of each and every food tent (we did this three or four times), I decided on a falafal pita and J went for a chicken version.  Even though I ate nearly the same lunch at the NY state fair a month ago, I somehow landed on this guy again.  I guess it’s that good.

And then we had the world’s most important decision to make.

Post-Lunch Dessert.

Thankfully we narrowed our choices to a pumpkin doughnut and a red-velvet funnel cake.  Since we planned to share, we posted up by the food tents for easily over 20 minutes, walked back and forth and created a verbal pro and con list for each sweet.  Then Jillian came up with the genius idea of stalking the funnel cake stand to observe fair-goers’ first bites.

Genius until we realized no one ordered the darn thing.  See we decided that pumpkin doughnuts would undoubtedly taste delicious, warm, and autumnal, but we’d never encountered red-velvet funnel cake before.  But would we fall in?? (This is one of my gram’s commonly used terms generally employed when trying a new restaurant and fearing the very worst, rather than sticking with a tried and true favorite).

So after we followed a father and his three small children (a few minutes too long) in attempts to see his very first bite and the facial expression that followed, I told Jillian it was time to resort to a civil coin flipping.

So coin flip we did.  And we shared a pumpkin doughnut.

It was delicious, warm and autumnal, and we certainly did not “fall in.”  The red velvet funnel cake looked like General Tso’s chicken anyway.

The next morning, on our way to check out my Uncle’s new house he’s building, Jillian and I stopped at one of our favorite farm stands, Draghi’s.  They make the world’s most fantastic filled cookies.  I wanted to buy an array of mustards and dressings and sauces, but I narrowed my selection to this hot sauce.

And to keep up with this weekend’s diner quota, Jillian, my cousin Michael and I hit up O’Rourke’s in Middletown– a miniature, aluminum-sided Irish joint with an outrageously extensive menu.  Guy Fieri even visited for an episode of D,D &D.  O’Rourke’s on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives

Ain’t it cute? : O’Rourke’s

I swapped half of my pesto omelet with Mike and he split half of his “omelet of my dreams” which featured caramelized onion pesto (so excellent) and plum tomatoes.  He subbed Mornay sauce for the standard hollandaise.

I know my hollandaise (only because I had the daunting task of making it in my sophomore year food science class.  You wouldn’t believe how terrifying it is to make because the emulsion can break super easily) but I didn’t have a clue what Mornay consisted of.  So I looked it up.  A classic Mornay uses half Gruyere cheese and half Parmesan plus butter, flour, seasoning and a milk or cream base.

Loved this place and I will definitely have to go back.  They even serve a little plate of poppy seed bread and Irish soda bread before your meal arrives.  I’ve never been offered bread before breakfast, but I wish more places caught on to this idea.

The wheat bread I had with my omelet even tasted Irish-soda bready.  Now I want to make Irish soda bread.

The night before O’Rourke’s Mom, Dad, Jillian and I had dinner at Hanafin’s pub in Glastonbury.  We’re all about the Irish spirit, but I’m confused why they played such a plethora of Michael Jackson Hits (but I don’t hate it).

Shock Top pumpkin beer (my new favorite pumpkin brew) and Irish stew over mashed potatoes made a rough day a whole hell of a lot better.

May I mention that my parents sent me back to school with a lifetime supply of salsa?  And freshly laundered, folded clothes and bedding – Thanks, Ma!

Even though this weekend consisted of little sleep, and some rough patches, I’m incredibly lucky to have such a strong family.  And even though the circumstances could have been better, I’m lucky I got to see some of my cousins (missed you Trev and Kev) and friends, and spend time with my Gramps and draw him horrendous pictures of animals (a horse that resembled a dog, and a cow that looked a lot like a pig with spots).

In closing (I feel this necessary after such a lengthy recap), Dad — I’m not even one bit embarrassed that you have a techno Celine Dion CD in your car.  In fact I like it.  And thanks for the clothes I stole and brought back to school with me.


Some Minor Mishaps

This morning I had salad for breakfast.  Sounds weird, right?

Well the French do it.  So there.

When we were in New Zealand a few months ago, we grabbed breakfast at a French restaurant and bakery one morning… and lightly dressed greens accompanied our eggs.  Seems a little odd, but I liked the egg and greens combo, even sans ketchup.  I mean I do throw a fried egg on salads every once in a while, so I guess it’s kind of the same.

But seriously… how stinking cute is this place?  I would die to go back there and order everything on the menu.

For lunch I had a minor mishap.  Just the first of many today.  My sister recently asked me why my baking and cooking experiments tend to fail so rarely.

Not true, Jillian.

Today I hastily mixed up a can of tuna, some red beans, diced onion, and that crazy good chipotle mustard I bought yesterday.  With the kind of pasty quality (that sounds nasty) of the beans, and the high moisture content of the tuna, plus the glue-like effect of the mustard, I thought I could form patties worthy of grilling.

Wrong.

I should have added egg and breadcrumbs.  But I didn’t.  So instead my concoction made for a mess on the grill and two crumbly excuses for tuna burgers.  Well now I know.

Sooooo instead I threw the reject tuna into a pita with some lettuce.  It still tasted good, so at least I have that going for me.

Then I sipped on a massive mug of minty green tea.  Full bodied, yes.  Pleasing, yes.  Comforting… maybe a little.  I just like the minty mouth feel.

And (here is an abridged version) since I was planning on interviewing for a story (due tomorrow) until about 8:30 tonight, I roasted this squash up so I could have it with dinner when I got home.

But, I ran into a major writer’s uh oh.  Long story short, the story fell through (no one’s fault, just an emergency)… So now I’m mildly (very) screwed.  Again, nobody’s fault, but I better have some sort of plan B epiphany sooner rather than later.  Luckily there are far worse things in the world, and it’s one of those little reminders that sometimes deadlines simply can’t be met… or that a plan B,C, or D needs to be employed.


Count Chocula Comes to Visit

Breakfast Banana Split:  (Alright I know… it’s not as good as the real thing)

Banana, shcoop of pumpkin, shcoop of yogurt, almonds, maple-flavored agave syrup, dried cherries, and Kashi autumn harvest.

+ Green mountain morning blend with pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice. Pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin.  I want to bathe in pumpkin.

Lunch: Spinach, goat cheese, figs, pecans, pistachios, balsamic, salt and pepp.

By 12:00…. nut quota for the day: check.

And, look!

I saw our lovely neighbor, Abe (or shall I call him our abe-or) at the gym.  And obviously the first thing he asked me was,

“Do you like pancakes?”

 

Duh.  So Abe popped by later to offer up some breakfast goodies that his friends left a few weekends ago. Thanks!

Krusteaz?  Confused.

After a cranky Monday I made an early dinner of pineapple, pumpkin grilled cheese (kind of) and some sort of …. hot… breakfast… salad… side?

The pumpkin business — a pita filled with pumpkin puree, parm, mozz, ricotta, salt and pepper.  So it wouldn’t ooze too much on the grill, I only cut open the top to stuff it, and then cut all the way through after.

The salad business – wilted spinach with salt and pepp, topped with caramelized onions, avocado, and an egg.  Ketchup joined in on the fun, post picture taking.

Then yogurt with crushed gingersnaps, followed by the thickest nap ever.  I woke up and thought it was morning… had no idea where I was… nearly forgot my name.

I’m going to divulge something embarrassing.  Last night I could not get my arse to fall asleep.  So naturally I do what any 21st century 21 year old does — download a sleep hypnosis app.

I listened to it three times.

“Imagine a blue balloon.  On the blue balloon… the words ‘worry’ and ‘stress’…. let go of the balloon.  Watch it drift into the sky.  It’s gone.  Your worries and your stress…. gone.  Look down the sandy beach.  There! Do you see it?  A bed covered in white linens.  You walk down the sandy path to the bed.  You get in.  It is the most comfortable bed you have ever been in.  Ahhh… relax.”

There was a whole lot of this, and a whole lot of jaw relaxing and breathing and listening to waves.  It didn’t work.


Scrabble > Studying

Lunch today: Tuna salad with apple sauce, greek yogurt, honey mustard, and pepper on romaine. And avocado, tomato and pepper.

China White Peony from Ithaca Coffee Company

Instead of using my time wisely and studying…Liz and I went for a walk, grabbed coffee (pumpkin pie latte!) from Recess and played scrabble outside.  Perfect Outing.

For Dinner I made my first lentil burger

-lentils

-an egg white

-a garlic clove

-chopped cashews

-panko bread crumbs

-basil

-blue cheese

-salt & pepp

onions on top, ketchup underneath

all on an Ezekiel English muffin.

….pineapple, jicama and zuke on the side.

half a mashed banana, chocolate chips and peanut butter for dessert.


Weekend Happenings

This weekend consisted of a trip to the new Panera in Carousel Mall, a visit from our friend Maria, a way-too-chicky-flick (What’s Your Number), a couple of birthdays…

Pumpkin mac ‘n cheese (pumpkin puree, mozz, parm, ricotta, salt and pepp, cayenne pepper) stuffed into a pita … will definitely make this again.  And roasted veggies.

Some romantic candle-lit studying with ample amounts of chocolate and coffee.

Grilled veg salad – eggplant, zucchini, avocado, mozz, tomatoes, onion, balsamic.

Now for more studying.

And writing a story on craft spirits which would be much more enjoyable if it weren’t directly after a weekend of spirit consumption.

Also… this is funny.  At the paper on Friday, I spent a chunk of time calling multiple restaurants that serve chicken wings to inquire about chicken wing popularity.  I can’t tell you how weird it is to ask about drummettes vs. flats.  Chicken wing enthusiasts get fancy with their terminology.  More on this when I have to continue heckling people about wings on Wednesday.


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