Thursday, January 26, 2012

Barefoot, Pregnant, and in the Kitchen

... well, not the barefoot part. I much prefer socks or slippers in the house myself. My pregnant behind has definitely been in the kitchen a lot lately, however! I really love finding new creations to try out and it happens to be an excellent distraction from thinking about gestating like I do for the rest of the minutes in the day. Also, pregnant women (like myself, for example) quite enjoy gorging ourselves with food. It's definitely my pregnant prerogative and I'm quite good at the task.

A couple weeks ago we hosted some friends from our Monday night group and had Brinner. Coined by my lovely friend Alli, it's breakfast-dinner. I think she said Urban Dictionary also had a hand in naming our feast. We had just finished reading a marriage book called Men are Like Waffles and Women are Like Spaghetti  and figured what better way to celebrate then to have a spaghetti dinner (done months ago) and a waffle feast! Here are the crappiest of iPhone photos for your viewing pleasure.
A random plate of food I snapped a photo of. Clearly not mine as I don't eat the sausage.
Regular waffles made by my lovely friend, Kathy.
Fancy-pants waffles made by Williams Sonoma myself. Go ahead... oh and ah about my mad Nikon skills.
They don't look all that sexy, but at least they look edible! I thought they were pretty tasty myself.
Breakfast potatoes also made by yours truly. My recipe is as follows: wash/dice potatoes and cook covered on medium with a small amount of olive oil (just to coat the bottom as the water from the potatoes will be sufficient for the rest of the cooking), seasoned salt, and cracked pepper. Cook covered until soft.
Alternate view of the kitchen island. Others brought over various syrups, whipped cream, fruits, chocolate chips, peanut butter, and sausage.
I mentioned in a recent Pinterest post about my interest to try the 7-Up biscuits. Well, let me just say that they were a big, fat fail. Not only did I only have one of the four ingredients in my house (butter) and had to visit multiple stores to purchase the rest of the items because I forgot them on my normal shopping trip (Bisquick, 7-Up, sour cream), but they didn't cook throughout and were more expensive than buying refrigerated biscuits at full price! And the good kind! Never making these again. Boo. We did salvage the tops and thought they were good, but not worth the effort again.
I made up a batch of veggie burgers the other day to freeze. I like to have these on hand, especially in the summer when everyone seems to be grilling. These are old photos from a previous time when I made them, but the same idea stands. I add different ingredients each time and this was no different. I start by mashing up some black beans, adding diced veggies, bread crumbs, nuts, flaxseed, spices, forming them into patties, and grilling over my stovetop skillet. I haven't mastered the consistency quite yet as they tend to fall apart easily and are a bit mushy rather than firm, but they are super high in protein and hearty. I'll keep working on things.

General ingredients I used this time:
2 cans black beans (smashed-- maybe I should smash them less and they will be less mushy?)
1 finely chopped onion
A few garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped-- can add anything you want. Carrots, zucchini...
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
A variation of spices you like: spicy mustard, cumin, chili powder, pepper, Sriracha, etc.
A dash or two, or five of Worcestershire (I eat fish, so this doesn't bother me)
Bread crumbs to firm them out (I used about 1 1/2 cups I think)
Flaxseed meal with a few tablespoons of water or an egg to bind.
Again, these were not from this go-around. I finely chopped the peppers and onions this time around and prefer it better that way. I let them cool on a baking rack once done and wrapped them in wax paper and threw them in a Ziploc for the freezer. I've had a few now and I should've added more spices. They're a bit bland. Note: always taste the mix before you start cooking. Hah.
We're headed over to a birthday party tomorrow night for a friend who is turning 30 and his wife requested we bring ice cream or attempt making it. Because they were so wonderful at making brownies for Ray's 30th birthday, we I decided to make two different recipes for ice cream. I pinned this recipe here and made it this afternoon. It's currently in the freeze process. I was going for a chocolate with peanut butter swirl... we'll see if it turns out. I had a hard time figuring out how much chocolate to use. The peanut butter strips were frozen on wax paper and pushed into the mix just before freezing. Had I not frozen them separately, I was afraid the PB would just blend into the ice cream and not remain strips of PB like I was hoping for. We'll see.
This recipe is a bit more complex as it requires freezing, hand blending, freezing, hand blending, and freezing again (quite the process!) but we'll see! I don't have a photo, but I plan to make a simple chocolate chip with this one. I bought a dark chocolate bar and chopped it up in my food processor. I just finished my second hand blending effort and plan to hand blend one more time before adding the chocolate pieces and leaving it to freeze firm. I'm not too confident in either recipe, honestly. Breyer's is so much cheaper and likely just as good. Hah. But... I've never tried this before and I'm always up for a time-consuming distraction, especially when it comes to food.

To throw in a random ending for ya (but related to the kitchen), I was at a friend's house the other night and saw this on their fridge:


Danielle said... [Reply to comment]

Hey! Don't be doggin the tupperware box! don't we all have mis-matched pieces!? like that sock without its mate... ok maybe, just me...

e Liz said... [Reply to comment]

I knew was PH in the background. subtle, yet fantastic debut shot.

Ben and Katie said... [Reply to comment]

Umm I know you're prego and all but I think that you should also come cook for me! Pretty please! I will buy you a new pair of slippers too! Ha!
I actually sat down and wrote out my menu for about the next few weeks and I'm actually trying some new recipes!
Got a juicer this week ever done that??
Ok see you on your way here soon! :)

Shell said... [Reply to comment]

Okay, you've inspired me to make some waffles or pancakes over this weekend. I have had a waffle maker but it probably hasn't been used in 4+ years. I've never been the big breakfast type...might have to make a brinner...:)

Tiffany said... [Reply to comment]

lol, i love that unwed tupperware box. that is funny.

i'm surprised you have so much energy to make so much while pg. i wanted to, but i was completely zapped of my enery and will to do anything. it's NOW that i am going on a major baking phase with recipes i got from pinterest. and my tastebuds have gone back to normal, so that also helps that i can eat what i make. :)

Renel said... [Reply to comment]

I think I'm coming for dinner or something... Snack? Yum

LauraJane said... [Reply to comment]

yum. stop cooking/baking, I'm getting fatter just looking at the photos. :)

Ps. I love the unwed tupperware. I end up tossing things and re-buying new sets since they drive me bonkers rolling around in my cupboard all unmarried and such... ha.

LookItsJessica said... [Reply to comment]

OMG. This post popped up as a reco when I was reading your most recent and I must have inadvertently copied the title (minus the pregnant part) to my latest entry. Sorry! Didn't mean to be a title-thief!