Consumerism. It’s brought us so many wonderful items. But it’s also made us lazy. Cars now tell us if someone is in our blind spot rather than the simple action of turning our heads. Not turning our heads often enough leads to major problems. It’s so much easier to buy a snack at work without looking. Or perhaps at the grocery store we pick up snacks to munch on for the workweek. We throw things in the cart, say its food and I need that….
Archives for August 2016
Some days you have bad days. The type of day that makes you say “Why did I get out of bed?” Days were everything turns to mush. I mean everything you touch breaks, shatters, curses at you, bites, or just makes you question every decision you’ve ever made in your life. Those are the days I realize I need dessert. Unfortunately, I don’t have many desserts just laying around. A salad is not going to cut it today….
Dinner time. For what a fast food dinner at McDonalds or Chipotle will cost you, perhaps you should instead look in the freezer aisle at Trader Joe’s for something that is far tastier and perhaps even a bit cheaper. Even cheaper than buying individual meals for three people. Now granted, I haven’t included side dishes on this one, but let’s face it. It’s all about the protein. Trader Joe’s Seasoned Rack of Lamb is tasty and with some planning it makes for an elegant dinner….
If you have the time and want a super light recipe for waffles, this is a good one (assuming you know that the next day will be a lazy day). The waffles will not be greasy, but will be super light and crispy and the batter will keep better in the refrigerator. Be sure to keep your waffle iron on its hottest setting. It will recover quicker between batches. If you want waffles that will reheat better in the toaster oven, see the Regular Waffle recipe, or heck freezer waffles will work. It’s the fat content that’s the difference. This is less grease, but won’t be quite as tasty reheated. On the other hand this batter holds better in the refrigerator. Up to you depending upon your needs….
Summertime. If you are a teacher, parent or child, this is the time of year that always seems to get away from us all too quickly. The weather is hopefully great and without natural disaster. Vacation is embraced and flexible. It’s the time of year that encourages people to get together more often in the form of BBQs. By the time Labor Day rolls around, you might have had your fill of burgers and look forward to the pumpkin flavored items of the fall or the soups and stews of the cooler weather….
Popular. That’s what so many of us what to be. Even after we leave school and enter adulthood, many of us still crave it. Even if someone doesn’t know you or even speak to you. You can win the war of ignorance. Food wins the war. Want to bring something quick and easy before a long day of work and win the approval of your coworkers? Give this a whirl. Best of all, if there are leftovers (highly doubtful) you will win their approval by saying “hey, feel free to take it home for a quick breakfast in the morning.”…
If there was ever a foodie Home Depot, it would be called Sur La Table. I confess it is the one store I have a weakness for. Some women struggle with going into Target and walking out with numerous unplanned purchases. I have the same struggle, but it’s at Sur La Table. Yes, it could be so very easy to not walk in. But I have to. You see Sur La Table has Cooking Classes. If you struggle to boil water or just want to learn, they have a calendar set up (and even occasionally offer sales) just with classes. If there were just one class I would recommend everyone to take, it’s the Knife Skills class. After that feel free. You’ll walk away with solid recipes or the knowledge that you should not try this at home (Yes, sushi class I am speaking to you). I’ve taken more than a dozen Sur La Table Classes. They’ve all been excellent….
Carbs. There are few things that bring joy to our lives like carbs. It’s instant gratification. Sometimes it’s later regret. Many diets tell us we should eliminate them when possible, if that’s the case, then we should cherish the carbs we are allowed to have.
English muffins from the classic white and orange package. Yum. Breakfast, lunch or dinner (in pizza form of course) are my favorites no matter how old I get. I recently bought myself a book to which I treasure, Bouchon Bakery. If you are a native New Yorker or Californian, then this place is the stuff of myth and legend. They have a recipe in there for English muffins, but I would have to start a week in advance. Not going to happen. They can do their magic. I’m hungry now….
Macarons (noun) Deriving from the French word meaning “awesome intimidating slice of heaven cookie.” I’m sure some foodies out there will correct me. No, that isn’t actually what the word means, but it’s what it should mean. They are intimidating and notoriously fickle cookies to make. They are beautiful. They are expensive to buy. So why not make them? They are expensive to purchase, but not nearly as expensive to make. They will take practice. Even your cracked, broken “Ugly Bettys” will be worth while. Unpresentable, but tasty….
The holidays are a time when I get my cinnamon fix. Maybe because the weather is cooler, the oven is on more often, and it’s time for the autumn and winter spices that many are so familiar with. I’ve always wondered why Starbucks doesn’t add more cinnamon flavored items rather than just pumpkin. I mean pumpkin everything. Maybe I’m the only white girl who does not want pumpkin everything. Maybe that’s just me….
Damn you Starbucks. Making people all pumpkin crazy. It’s gotten so bad that almost everything in starting Labor Day weekend will start transforming into pumpkin. Again, not all of us have Starbucks budgets, but you do have to admit their stuff is pretty good. This is a great recipe fresh out of the oven, or one to bring to work if you can’t eat all of it at once. I recommend bringing it to work as well. After a day or two, the quality one this one heads downhill fast. It doesn’t have the normal fat content that most scones do, so as long as its warm, you really won’t notice the difference. After 48 hours it will give you the confession of staleness. Be a Betty and please share with your coworkers, friends or whoever is around. They’ll thank you for being a friend….
Breakfast. The time when I have no time to think about much, especially without coffee in my system. While packing lunches for the next day, this is quick to put together in order to have something yummy the next morning that does not come out of a box from the freezer. Although this Betty will not condone that behavior. Totally acceptable from time to time….
There are times I don’t enjoy cooking. Sometimes it’s really nice to just be taken out somewhere. I had a recipe similar to this at my local Japanese restaurant, instead of Thai Sweet Chili, the used an orange liquor.
I, like the author of Skinnytaste, have never had Bone Fish Grill’s Bang Bang shrimp. From what it sounds like its super high calories, fried, mayonnaise and from what people say it’s outstanding. So I gave this recipe a whirl. It goes great with both salad or rice….
If you’ve ever been lazy, perhaps you’ve walked into Costco or some other wholesaler and bought a package of muffins, only to examine them and realize there are enough calories in one muffin to last an entire day. Skinnytaste to the rescue with this quick easy recipe. They are fantastic the first couple days. They freeze well if you are not going to get to them right away. With the milk content, I’d recommend leaving them no more than a couple days….
Right before I got married, a coworker and I took a Croissant making class at Sur la Table. Yes, I had a fluffy white dress that was tailored to my exact frame and I was making buttered treats. Sorry not sorry. When I walked away from that class I realized something important: they are a TON OF WORK (and a lot of butter). Labor of love is fine, but even Betty Crocker acknowledged women have things to do most of the time. Why mess with perfection when you can buy Trader Joe’s Chocolate Croissants in the freezer section….
Some of my cookbooks are ones that will be cherished and unopened on a coffee table in the house. Others look like the have waged kitchen warfare. In addition to the iconic Betty Crocker books that line my bookshelf, this is one book that deserves to also be a “Betty.” A funny story about this one:
One Christmas, I asked my then boyfriend for a series of cookbooks as a gift suggestion. One of which included Gina Homolka’s The Skinnytaste Cookbook. Upon opening the gift it was difficult for my then boyfriend (now husband) to not see the joy in my face. With a big “Thank you” he promptly replied, “I’m glad your happy, just don’t make me any of that crap.”…