Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

What a fantastic Thanksgiving! Between the fellowship, eating, games, cooking, coffee, and watching the adorable little cousins play, a wonderful time was had. Next time we'll have to have a designated photographer. 

Here are the recipes that were requested:

Ina Garten's turkey recipe
The video is superior to the written instructions. They vary slightly. I used the written instructions for the first turkey, which was inferior to the second turkey. 

Center Cut Cook's Green Bean Casserole
I omitted the mushrooms, cheese, and panko crumbs, and included the bacon. 

Roxana's Home Baking's Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake
I didn't include the gingersnap crumbs in the crust, but I imagine such an addition would be delicious! 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

For the Love of Chocolate!

Dairy products (except butter) are completely out of my diet, and sugar has taken a significant hike. Morning coffee has transitioned to morning tea, and there is nary a sign of sweets in the house. Oh, chocolate, thou art missed!

Thankfully, I found this recipe on Sally's Baking Addiction. It was so easy to throw together! Here's the version I went with:

1/2 cup cocoa powder, overflowing 
4 T melted coconut oil
1/4 c honey

-Mix honey and coconut oil well
-Add cocoa powder, stir until mixed thoroughly 
-Place parchment paper in a smallish container
-Spread chocolate onto parchment paper
-Freeze about 30 minutes, store in refrigerator 

Using honey as the sweetener gives the chocolate a smooth consistency, as well as a hint of elasticity. 

If you are a fellow coconut hater, don't fret! There's a slight coconut taste with the first bite, but from there on it seems to diminish. Perhaps oil pulling has softened my heart to coconut flavor a tad. Either way, if you're looking for a dairy and sugar free chocolate, the downside of the slight coconut flavor pales in comparison to the delight of the chocolate indulgence. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Steak, Glorious Steak!

A few weeks ago, I decided to compete with myself to see how little of our grocery budget I could spend. After two weeks of eating ridiculous amounts of beans and rice based meals, I was grumpy. I was easily annoyed. I was (more) impatient. Clearly, going mostly meatless is catastrophic to my sanctification.*

The next grocery excursion, my competition came to a screeching halt with the purchase of meat, meat, and more meat. The most exciting prospect was steak, as we recently added a cast iron pan to our kitchen. The steak and pan both failed to disappoint! 

The marinade:
1/4 c soy sauce
1/2 c olive oil
1/3 c lemon juice
1/4 c Worcestershire sauce
2 T garlic powder
3 T dried basil
2 T dried parsley 
1 t ground white pepper
1/8 t cayenne pepper
1 tsp minced garlic

I like to marinate the steak as soon as I get home from the grocery, and toss it in the freezer until we use it. Make sure the steak is up to room temperature before cooking. 

This method yielded perfectly medium rare steaks (one inch NY strip cuts):

-Preheat oven to 425 degrees
-Heat cast iron pan over medium high heat with 2 T butter, until butter gets foamy
-Sear the steaks for two minutes per side
-Transfer to oven, cook four minutes
-Transfer steaks to a plate, let rest 10 minutes

Oh, so delicious. 

*I don't actually hold food accountable for my actions.