Wednesday, January 30, 2013

homemade falafel

This last weekend I made homemade falafel alongside a pomegranate spinach salad.  It was delicious.  Austin made homemade pomegranate vinaigrette dressing, so I can't give you the recipe for that.  But regular balsamic dressing tastes just as good with it.  

Homemade Falafel
adapted from Cooking Light magazine

1 15 ounce can no-salt-added chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
*note: I soaked dried chickpeas 8 hours and they worked fine.  
If using a bag of dried chickpeas, only use approximately 2/3 of the bag for this recipe.
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons chopped red onion
1 tsp garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
2-4 tablespoons olive oil

Drain chickpeas and reserve liquid in a bowl.  Place chickpeas, 3 tablespoons liquid, breadcrumbs, parsley, onion, and spices in a food processor.  Process until minced.  Divide chickpea mixture into balls and flatten to about 1/2" thick.  Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add small patties to the pan and cook about 2-3 minutes each side, until golden brown.  Repeat with remaining batches of patties.  Place on paper towels to soak up extraneous oil.  Serve with Tzaziki sauce or cucumber-dill sauce.

Pomegranate Spinach Salad

4 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
1/2 a pomegranate's arils
1/4 cup slivered almonds
balsamic vinaigrette, as desired
feta cheese, optional
grape tomatoes, optional

Friday, January 25, 2013

kid president

best inspirational video I've seen in a while.
wanted to cry and laugh :)

~ enjoy your weekend ~

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

recipes update

My parents got me this cookbook for Christmas: La Mia Cucina by Mary Anne Potter.  She lives in my home town of Ponca City, Oklahoma.  It's a small world, huh?  Anyway, it has some great recipes in it - many I still haven't tried out quite yet.  The recipe for "the best biscuits ever" has proven a success.   

Ms. Potter's Biscuits 

4 cups Bisquick
2/3 cup club soda
8 ounces sour cream (1 Cup)
1/2 stick butter (1/8 Cup)
Flour, for dusting

Mix together the first 3 ingredients.  Melt butter in the microwave but do not put into the biscuit mixture.  Roll out dough on a floured surface until it is about 1/2" thick. Cut out biscuits with a biscuit cutter.  Place on a greased sheet and bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees, or until browning.  Brush the tops of the biscuits with melted butter.  Warning: This recipe makes up to 2 dozen biscuits, depending on how small or large you cut the biscuits.  I cut the recipe in half usually.  

I also received this cookbook for Christmas from my aunt & uncle: Hershey's Recipe Collection. It has over 475 chocolate recipes - yikes!  I just tried out the "chocolate bar cake" over the weekend while my mother-in-law was visiting.  It was delicious.  

Chocolate Bar Cake

5 Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bars, in pieces
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup boiling water
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Stir together chocolate bar pieces, butter, and boiling water in a medium bowl until melted completely.  In a separate bowl, stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.  Gradually add chocolate mixture until well blended.Add the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla extract.  Beat for 1 minute and pour into a greased standard bundt pan.  Bake about 50 minutes at 350 degrees.  Mine only took about 46 minutes (but perhaps my oven temperature is off).  A toothpick inserted should come out clean when the cake is finished.  Let cool at least 10 minutes - I suggest longer so that your frosting will not melt all over.  

Vanilla Glaze for Chocolate Bar Cake:

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons hot water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Microwave the butter until melted, about 30 seconds on half power.  Gradually stir in the remaining ingredients and beat until smooth and slightly thickened.  Add additional hot water 1 teaspoon at a time if needed.  (Mine did need an extra teaspoon.)  Spoon glaze over a cooled cake. Top with extra Hershey's bar pieces for decoration, if desired.  EAT!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

baby name blog

I created a new blog for baby names.  I'll be posting one name per day.  I've been obsessed recently with collecting baby names, both traditional and unique.  It began as a quest to find my own future children's names... but it ended up as a huge compendium of baby names.  I wanted to share the many names with others - maybe it'll bring some one to their future child's name!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

mum's the word

Mumford and sons always make my drives exciting.
Yesterday I drove 3 hours from Oklahoma to Texas and listened to their latest album, Sigh No More, the entire way.  And I'm still not sick of it - it just keeps getting better.  Their lyrics are incredibly engaging and the music is so subtly awesome and touching all at once.  If you haven't listened to this album you need to.  

Some of my favorite lyrics lately:

all images via Pinterest

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

welcome to 2013

Happy New Year, folks!
Seeing as how all of my 2012 resolutions were met with failure (ouch that seems harsh!) I decided to make 2013 a year for mini resolutions that give me time to accomplish tasks I've been intending to work on anyhow.  In the midst of grad school insanity I don't think I can make major diet or exercise changes  even if they would make me healthier and happier.  I really just need to bake something sometimes! (And by that I mean when I have a crappy day at school/work I need some home made sweets.)  So this year's resolutions are:

01.  Write in my journal every evening. This gets tough if I have a late night of work, but if I postpone it until the next day I forget certain things of the day before!
02.  Replenish our savings account.  I have a particular dollar amount written down, but I feel that is a little too personal to drift around on the internets.  We'd like to have less so we can travel more in the future!
03.  Revamp this blog by July 2013.  I've been meaning to for a while, so hopefully posting it on here will make me more accountable.  I have some ideas but need to get some help (any ideas for help please let me know)!  I also plan to post more frequently, despite grad school insanity.

image via here

Sound good?  I think so.  
~ Have a fantastic new year ~
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