Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Hoosier at Heart

Yeah, so we're a tall family. I'm 5'11 and J is 6'2. We're tall, thin and HOOSIERS. And what does that amount to, you say?

It's March Madness and I've got Kansas followin' that yellow brick road to ozzzzzzzz! J, believe it or not, has Purdue (the rookie team). I'd love to see them go far, but I'm not so sure they can beat Duke. But we both simply have a final game that we want to see played: Kansas vs. Pitsburgh and Indiana vs. Purdue.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Egg and Potato Salad with Sweet Relish

My first authentic pregnancy craving was egg salad and sweet pickles. So, I boiled some eggs and potatoes and diced 'em up. Added the dill, mustard and mayo. Sliced up the Blue Dog Cereal loaf. Threw on some mache rosettes and topped it off with lots of sweet sweet pickle relish.

And I think I might do it again right now.

Vegan Beet Burgers

Let me preface this post by admitting that I'm not a fan of the beet. In fact, before a few weeks ago I was known to have ran to the bathroom to spit out the last beet to touch my tongue.

And then Alicia called. I was home alone and they were cookin' so I was a polite guest and ate what was prepared for me...a delicious beet burger! It was Alicia's first attempt at a beet burger and we both agreed that the recipe needed to be mastered and tried again. So, last night the four of us mastered the beet burger. (Erin, only thing not vegan is that cheese on top).

2 beets boiled, skinned and cubed itty bitty (like egg salad cubed)
1 can black beans, drained
1 1/2 cups short grain brown rice, cooked
1 cup (about) panko bread crumbs
1/2 red onion, diced and sauteed
3 cloves garlic, diced and sauteed
1/2 red pepper, diced and sauteed
6 tbsp. ketchup
2 tbsp. spicy mustard
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Saute onion, garlic and red pepper with 3 tbsp of ketchup, salt and pepper. In large bowl, add saute mix, beet cubes, black beans, rice, bread crumbs, mustard and remaining ketchup. Mix it with your hands and get all dirty. (Note: right after the photo below was taken I ran on the porch yelling to my neighbor Shannon that "I'm having my baby". I thought it was hilarious and she lost her appetite.)

Patty them up and grill 'em or pannini press 'em. They are fucking delicious. We ate them with spinach salad and sweet potatoes. Yummmmmmmm.

Blueberry Nectarine Muffins, Finally!

2 sticks organic, unsalted butter (softened at room temperature)
1 cup organic, unbleached granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp organic, pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt (i use kosher)
1 pint of organic blueberries
2 cups organic, unbleached flour (whole wheat flour is even better)
1/2 cup soy milk or dairy milk (i use vanilla soy b/c that is what we always have in the fridge)
1 nectarine, cubed into 1/4 cubes
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 tablespoon sugar in the raw

Preheat oven to 375. In a mixer with a paddle attachment (or handmixer) cream the butter until smooth. Add sugar and mix. Add eggs, vanilla, baking powder, salt and mix just until blended. Smoosh 1/2 the blueberries with in your fists and add to the batter. With mixer running at a low speed add half the flour and half the milk, and mix until just blended. Don't overmix or your muffins will be dense like a loaf...and that's no fun. Repeat with the remaining milk and flour. Add the remaining blueberries and the nectarine. Mix by hand with wooden spoon or spatula.

Butter your muffin pan or line the pan with muffin liners. I prefer to use a pan that makes a larger than traditional muffin, but it only makes 6 muffins. Spoon the batter to fill the cups 3/4 full. Mix the cinnamon with the sugar in the raw and sprinkle over the batter in the cups. Bake about 25-30 minutes. Check them first after 20 minutes. Let the muffins cool in the pan for atleast 30 minutes before turning them out.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

My Life Has Come Full Circle

Remember the wonderful teen adventure movie Adventures in Babysitting? Remember Thor? I love that scene. I secretly loved that blonde, beefy, tough-guy.

And then I found out that my childhood fetish crush = my early 20's law and order fetish crush. Interesting, isn't it.


Herkermer has a face and the face looks like this. I was beating on my stomach like a drum to get him/her to turn around and look at us during the ultrasound. After a few seconds of drumming, he/she finally looked at us and simultaneously put its hands over its ears. Figures.

A shy kid who cant be bothered. Like father, like baby?

C is for Cookie

I totally lied. Those delicious chocolate chips were from Lotsa Pasta. They are like $4.00 a half pint so I only use them for special occasions (like every other batch...hehe). I forgot that I used those when you asked, oops! But, if you are not too biased, lookie lookie what I have here.

Custard Inspired Lasagna

And By Custard, I mean Shannon (previously known as Heller) Custard. Yes Mrs. Jaymi Tharp, your previous staff members are still soul sisters.

When Shan, Matt, Sammy and Gracie came to stay over Christmas, they left me inspired! Not only was I completely awed by the tens of pounds they have shed (Gracie and Sammy not included in this feat) and their avid training for the spring triathalon, but Shannon baked a delicious and healthy lasagna just for us to mow on for the holidays.

Side note: I have quite a few friends who have chosen to prioritize their physical well-being in the past year. I applaud all of you. Not only have I seen complete body reformations, but your energy seems to be flowing out from you and into the lives of others. I thank all of you for being such great inspirations and motivators. Keep up the positivity. I am truly thankful to have such great friends.

Okay, back to lasagna. This was my attempt at a healthy lasagna. Whole wheat noodles, spinach, home made (vegetable intense) red sauce and then I went downhill. Unfortunately, I puts tons of low fat, organic ricotta and low fat mozzarella on this baby. Something was screaming inside of me (maybe that damn baby in there) for more cheese.
Anyhow, it was delicious and moderately healthy?

Stokes is Stoked

I promise that the blueberry muffins are going to be up by Saturday (if not this evening). I just need a good pic. They are going to be blueberry and nectarine. I'm sitting out my butter right now. See...

Butter In Fridge (you can tell this is recent....see the jar of pickles on lower shelf)

Butter On Fridge!

Egg Strada and The Bread Fairy

So, we have a bread fairy ! She strikes about two times a week and leaves us wonderful Levains, Cereals, Puglieses, Baguettes and more. So with all this wonderfuI Blue Dog Bakery bread laying around, I make strada a lot. It is super simple and it is a good use of leftover bread. Basically, strada is a savory bread pudding. I usually put whatever is in my fridge in this breakfast delight. I think my favorite combo is grape tomatoes, red pepper, green onion, sweet corn, jalepeno jack, monterey jack and cilantro (seen below).

Before Oven Insertion.

After 3/4 is eaten.

My Bump, My Bump, My Bump 2.0

Vargo, you asked for a bump update. BAM!

Leap Year in Bloomington, In

For those of you who were sick, cold and broke; here are some shots from the Mperfect/PlopPlop Leap Year event at the Art Hospital . Our friends, The Impossible Shapes , played some songs and it was a delightful evening. The show was received well and we walked out with hella' cash (that was spent on a bloomington b&b and baby shopping spree on the way home)! Oh well oh well oh well oh well.