How was your weekend? Did anything exciting happen?!
I hibernated hung out at home for most of the weekend. Today, the sun came out and the temperature rose up to 37* so I ventured out with Raine to have lunch with some friends.
This is what I wore:
Top: Forever 21, Jeans: Vigoss Studio from Norstrom, Shoes: Sperry
aaaand, check out my sweet ring:
It's blurry..so I'll let you guess- who is on my ring?!
It seems like you all enjoyed my fashion post-thank you! I will definitely keep posting my outfits on here.
Lately, I have gotten so tired of this cold rural east Illinois winter. I'm just over it. I am tired of sweaters and jeans. And coats. And gloves and hats. And wearing two (sometimes 3) pairs of socks at once. I need shorts, sandals, and sundresses. And I miss Mr. Sun.
But--Since I am a poor grad student and cannot fly south for any kind of tropical beach vacation...I brought the tropical here!
In the form of coconut!
My grandmother told me this recipe over the phone (she lives in India)... Coconut Mushroom Curry
1 TBSP olive oil/butter
1 TBSP ginger-garlic paste
slightly less than 1 TBSP garam masala 1/4 tsp chili powder (or more if you prefer more spice)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 white onion, finely minced
6 oz buttom mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 smallish russet potato, boiled, peeled, and diced
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup water
1/2 can coconut milk (I used Thai Kitchen brand)
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute the onions until they begin to turn golden brown. Add the ginger-garlic paste and spices (except salt and pepper). It may seem too dry, but don't worry! Add the mushrooms and they will produce some moisture. Cook the mushrooms until they expel all of their moisture and begin to reabsorb it--about 5-7 minutes. Add the cooked, diced potato and cook for another 5 minutes or so. Add the water and bring to a boil. Add the coconut milk and peas, and return to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
Serves 3, or two with leftovers!
FABulous. This dish was so creamy and had an amazing flavor. The flavor of the mushrooms really popped, too! It is totally worth it to get whole mushrooms and cut them before you use them.
Next up, I made Coconut Lime Crepes
I pretty much googled a bunch of recipes for crepes and made my own:
1/3 cup white flour (all I had, but I bet other types would work, too!)
2/3 cup soy milk
1 Eggland's Best egg
1/2 TBSP Earth Balance
large pinch sugar
tiny pinch salt
Blend all of the ingredients in a blender or with an electric whisk. Heat a skillet to medium heat and lightly spray with olive oil (or any oil, I'm sure). Pour batter into the skillet and turn gently so it spreads. I used about 2 TBSP worth of batter for each crepe.
They flipped really easily and tasted fantastic.
I layered each level of crepes with:
Serves 2 or 1 greedy girl
There is something about the combination of lime juice and powdered sugar that sings to my soul.
Of course, all of this fantastic food calls for an equally fantastic workout. May I present to you:
I found these hilarious images today after reading an article about Franz Kafka (one of my favorite Existential writers!) and his workout routine.
Thanks for the birthday wishes, y'all!
Something new I've been wanting to add to my blog are some fashion related posts. I'm no fashionista, nor am I the most fashionable girl out there...but I do love to dress up and wear cute outfits!
This is what I wore to school today:
Cropped sweater: Silence and Noise at Urban Outfitters, Undershirt and Leggings: Forever 21, Coach Boots: Nordstrom
This was a comfy outfit to wear to class today, and kept me warm under my coat. What do you think? Would you like to see more fashion posts on my blog? Or, do you have any other topics you'd like to see me include?
Hello all! Once again I'm teaming up with the lovely folks at CSN Stores. They're the people that have all sorts of things from modern bar stools, fancy schmancy kitchen appliances (my personal favorite section), and even caskets...
Purple suede backless bar stool? Don't mind if I do...
I got an e-mail to review a product for CSN Stores and jumped at the chance--it's almost as though they knew it was my birthday last week!
Cards from my family; in case you can't tell, I am quite fond of cats.
I turned the big 25 (a quarter century!) and spent the relaxing day at home with Raine. He cooked me breakfast for dinner- biscuits and gravy!! <--I just love Southern food but try not to eat it too often. We also watched one of my favorite movies, Who's Harry Crumb? You've gotta love John Candy.
Over Christmas break when I went home to Dallas, my aunt cooked up some delicious vegetarian enchiladas. I loved them so much that I have already made them twice since then, with my own variations...
Mmm sideways enchilada! As you can see, I was still working with the iPhone's camera...
I served mine up with some corn and black bean salad and guacamole on the side.
I never really knew how simple enchiladas are to make! All you need are a good mix of veggies, tortillas, enchilada sauce, and cheese (optional). In mine, I used:
2 Bell Peppers (1 green, one yellow)
Red and White onion, minced
I sautéd them all up together with a splash of olive oil:
Then, I added some cumin, salt, and hot red chili powder, to taste. My aunt added a small container of cottage cheese to hers at this point, along with cheese, but I skipped that part.
I also used whole wheat tortillas.
I used half a large can of medium enchilada sauce on the bottom of the pan, and half over the top.
I added cheese to Raine's enchiladas and left mine with just veggies.
He also had cheese on top of his, while I topped mine with leftover veggie mix...
And then we covered it with foil and baked for about 15 minutes at 400* then uncovered for 10 more minutes.
Yum! These were filling and flavorful, and I did not miss the cheese at all! These have definitely become a go-to dish at our house, and if we keep changing up the filling, I can't see myself getting tired of these. I am thinking a sweet potato and black bean filled one will be next...
Do you like Mexican food? Mexican/Tex-Mex is my second favorite cuisine- Indian food will always be #1 in my heart!
I cannot get the delicious breakfast I ate out of my mind...so of course I had to share it with you:
Introducing... Gajar Halwa Oatmeal (Sweet Carrot Oatmeal)
This is an amazingly simple (and healthy!) breakfast and I wish I had thought of it earlier...
All you need is:
1 carrot, grated (great arm workout!)
1 cup soymilk
1/2 cup quick oats
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
1-2 tsp agave nectar
sliced almonds and golden raisins to garnish (optional)
Heat the soymilk in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Once it starts to steam, add the carrots and cardamom powder.
Then bring it to a boil (it will take about 3 minutes), and add the oats.
Cook until the oats are done.
Transfer to a bowl and garnish with almonds, raisins, and 1-2 tsp of agave nectar. I'm not a huge fan of very sweet oatmeal, so I just added 1 teaspoon.
All mixed up, it was amazing! I always forget about gajar halwa...it's like the ostracized step-child of Indian desserts- with gulab jamun, rasgulai, and a variety of other more decadent desserts, this sweet carrot dish often gets overlooked. I made the original dessert here, inspired by The Fitnessista.
Finished! Good til the last bite, too. With oatmeal I usually find myself getting too full before I finish, but somehow I didn't feel that way with this dish and I managed to sneak in a veggie with my breakfast!
If you could "oat-ify" any dessert, what would you choose?
Good evening friends!
It made me so happy to see that you are still out there! Thank you for commenting and letting me know- it really made my day today! I enjoyed a relaxing morning at home catching up on my piled up Google Reader and then hit the gym around 1pm. It feels so good to get sweaty after weeks of neglecting my workouts. Then, I did some groceries and came home to prepare something I have been wanting to make for a very long time: Tostones! Tostones are fried plantain slices, and are traditionally eaten in Latin America. Y'all know that I loooove to health-ify fried foods and unhealthier meals, but I really wanted to make these the traditional way, so I did... When in Rome Cuba!
FYI- I lost my camera before Christmas break (it's a long story...) so these are icky Blackberry pictures. Hopefully I'll be able to get a new camera soon!
Promise they taste way better than they look! I served them up with guacamole and they tasted amazing! I didn't follow a particular recipe for these, just sliced a plantain (it was pretty brown- not a totally green one) into 1-2 inch slices, and shallow fried them on each side for 3 minutes. Then, I blotted them with a paper towel, and put the pieces between a brown paper lunch sack (folded in half) and smashed them down to about 1/2 an inch in thickness with the bottom of a glass. Then, I returned them to the oil and fried again for a little less than a minute on each side. I blotted them on paper towels again and salted them. Yummy! I don't often eat fried foods, but I think I will definitely make this as a treat again.
Of course, I didn't just eat plantains for dinner... I had hearty salad as the main course:
Sigh...another Blackberry pic. I may have to start using Raine's iPhone for a while- it has a better camera! This salad was out of this world! It contained....
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 cup of black beans
1 cup sauted veggies (green and yellow bell pepper, mushrooms, red onion) seasoned with salt and cumin
Romaine lettuce and fresh tomato
And a dollop of guacamole mixed in
In the winter I don't usually feel like having salads- I want hot comforting carby food instead. So, this was a great way to get the best of both worlds and it really worked!
After eating this awesome dinner, I am too full for dessert (unheard of!)...but I do want to share that cookie recipe with you:
The recipe for these was adapted from Maple Cinnamon Popcorn Wafers
These are lightly sweet, crispy cookies, and my recipe made about 12 cookies.
2 cups air popped popcorn
1/2 cup dry oats
3/4 tsp cinnamon
generous pinch of sea salt
1/4 tsp baking powder (not sure if this did anything)
4 TBSP olive oil
5 TBSP agave nectar
Preheat oven to 325*
Pulse all dry ingredients in a blender (or food processor, but I don't have one!) until they are crumbly. Remove from blender and transfer to a bowl. Slowly add the olive oil and mix well. Do the same for the agave nectar. If you're using a food processor, you can do this without transferring to a separate bowl.
Lightly spray a tablespoon measure with oil and spray a baking sheet as well.
Firmly pack the cookie "dough" (it is very crumbly" into the tablespoon measure until it is very compressed. Gently tap the tablespoon onto the foil so that the dough pops out and the cookie retains its shape. Repeat with the rest of the mixture and then bake for 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool for about 5 minutes before you remove them from the baking sheet.
These are so good- please try them and tell me what you think! I did make the original recipe before adapting it, and I could not get the cookies to stay together. Nevertheless, the granola-like result I got was still delicious and I ate it up as well!
Okay, after typing this up...I may actually be ready for dessert now... What did you have for dessert today?
Hello friends! Is anyone still out there? I feel like I have abandoned you all... The end of my first semester of grad school has passed and I had a busy holiday break with my family in Texas. Now, I'm back in Illinois and ready for spring semester, ready for winter to end, and ready to get back into blogging! That is...if you'll have me back! (:
As a belated holiday gift from me to you (and a plea for you to return to me!), I have a giveaway from CSN Stores. CSN has all sorts of fun stuff on their site: adjustable bar stools (I wish I had a home bar!), rugs (on clearance now!), kitchen appliances, and much much more. This giveaway is for a $35 gift certificate to use at any of CSN's online stores.
All you have to do is leave a comment to enter! How easy is that? If you want an extra entry, just mention this giveaway on your own blog and let me know you did it in another comment. If you don't have your own blog, tell me what you would most want from CSN for an extra entry.
This contest will end in 10 dayson Thursday, January 13th at midnight (central time). I will announce the winner after that. Good luck!
Aaand if you thought I was posting without mentioning something delicious...think again! I made some delightfully crisp maple cinnamon cookies recently...