Thursday, April 19, 2012

Avocado Pesto

Sometime last year, Austin and I made a bucket list.  Not a full on bucket list with things like: "travel the world" or "skydive" but this one was more focused.  Just a Washington DC bucket list.  About 20 things that we wanted to do in the city before we moved back to the mountains.

Well, now that we are moving in a little over a month to Colorado, this bucket list feels more like a daunting task hanging over our heads and less like a fun way of site seeing.  Now we have a mission.

We still have to visit the White House, the Pentagon, the Capitol, and all the Smithsonian museums that we've missed.
Last weekend, we crossed one item off the list though.  We took a duck tour of the city.  You ride around a World War II amphibious vehicle through the Mall and then into the Potomac and back around the city for 90 minutes.  Captain Wayne pointed out all sorts of interesting stuff that we never would have noticed even though we've walked by them a million times.  Austin even got to drive it!  Sure, you look goofy doing it, but don't let that deter you from having a good time.  Best part?  The captain gives you a "quacker" halfway through :)

I've got no good way to tie that story together with this recipe for Avocado Pesto Pasta.  Sorry, I've got nothing for you.  Well, that's not exactly true, I have a delicious, easy, weeknight meal for you :)
Recipe slightly adapted from A Cozy Kitchen
1 handful fresh basil
2 cloves garlic
1 avocado
juice of one lemon
1 T olive oil
1/4 c. parmesan (I used a parm/asiago mix) + more for on top
1/2 box linguine
salt & pepper to taste

1.  Bring water to a boil and cook noodles according to package directions.

2.  While pasta is cooking, place all other ingredients in food processor.  Blend until well combined and smooth.

3.  Mix avocado mixture with drained, hot pasta.  Top with parmesan, salt and pepper.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Purple "Green" Smoothie

I spotted the space shuttle this morning as it flew over DC!  I ran out of work (it's my last week of work anyway, what do you expect?!) and walked down to the bridge to watch it fly over.  Granted, I probably would have gotten a better view looking out the CEO's office like everyone else in my office did, but oh well.

I didn't think I would care so much about the space shuttle but watching it fly over today to be decommissioned, knowing this could be the last time in a long time that the US goes into space on its own vehicle, was really sad.  It's like saying goodbye to an era.

I'd like to bring back the space age (minus the duck-and-cover drills).  And let's bring back the Jetsons while we're at it!  In the second space age, all of our food will come in liquid form probably.  Better start getting used to it now.
This smoothie has spinach in it.  Before you turn up your nose just hear me out.  This smoothie has spinach that you cannot taste at all.  This is definitely a whole meal, blended together, and slurped through a straw.  Total space food.

1 big handful of washed spinach
1 1/2 c. peaches*
1 c. strawberries*
1/2 c. blackberries*
1/2 c. milk
*Use fresh or frozen fruit.  If all fruit is fresh, add some ice to your smoothie.

1.  Place all your ingredients into the blender (put the spinach in first so it will blend it up better).  Add extra milk as necessary to make it the desired consistency.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Blue Plate Omelette

I've discovered a few things in my years of cooking.

1. Cake for breakfast is the best idea you will have all day.  Every time.
2. Pie for breakfast is the second best idea you will have.  
3. Eggs are a much more accepted breakfast item.

But you know what?  No one says, "That was a piece of egg" or "Easy as eggs."  It's because eggs are kind of hard.  Especially when you want them to come in omelette form.  I would say that 90% of the time I try to make an omelette, I end up with a "scramble."  
But sometimes it works out.  And sometimes it works out really well.  Like when you put fresh asparagus, squash, tomatoes, and hollandaise sauce inside them.  

2 or 3 eggs
2-3 asparagus, cut in 1 inch pieces
1/4 c. chopped squash
1/4 c. chopped tomato
1/4 c. shredded cheddar
1-2 Tbsp. hollandaise sauce (I bought mine pre-made from Trader Joe's but you could make your own.)
salt and pepper to taste

1.  In saucepan, quickly saute squash and asparagus in a little bit of olive oil.  Set aside.

2.  Beat eggs.  Pour into skillet over medium low heat lined with olive oil or butter.

3.  Cook eggs in even layer until bottom is done, but top is still runny then add your cheese and veggies.  
4.  Fold omelette in half.  Once the eggs are cooked through, remove from pan.  Pour hollandaise sauce over the top.  (I added mine to the middle of the omelette and it melted - kind of messy!)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Cinnamon Banana Pancakes

I woke up this morning and completely, 100% wanted to stay in bed.   Obviously, most days when my alarm goes off at 5:30a.m., I want to stay in bed, but today I really really wanted to keep sleeping.

I only have 9 days left of work and they could NOT be going by any slower!  Only 9 days between me and campfires, climbing ropes, fresh air, and mountains!

To say that I'm losing my motivation, would be an understatement.  

So tomorrow, can we "make banana pancakes and pretend like it's the weekend, now?"  (Remember that Jack Johnson song!)  Pretty please?
2 eggs, well beaten
1 1/2 c. milk, scant
2 T. shortening, melted
2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 T. sugar
1 T. cinnamon
2 medium bananas
1.  Mix together eggs, milk, shortening, and vanilla.

2.  Add dry ingredients and mix until just smooth.

3.  Pour onto a greased (or even better, buttered) skillet.  Add slices of banana on top of the pancake.
4.  Once bubbly, flip pancake over and cook until both sides are lightly browned and cake is cooked all the way through.

5.  Serve it up with butter or peanut butter and syrup.  
Feels like the weekend already, right?!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Pecan Butter

Once upon a time, my sisters, Austin and I went to Las Vegas.

We got to stay in a hotel room for cheap because of our sweet connections.

We got to go behind the scenes and watch the surveillance cameras.

We even got free tickets to see Donny and Marie live!
I had been to Vegas a couple of times before, but this was the first time I went when I was old enough to gamble.

I gambled.  A whole $7 I gambled away.  Then I clutched onto the rest of my money and went running outside into the 115 degree heat because I just couldn't part with my money like that!

Last Friday, I thought I'd give it another go though.  I gave into the madness.  The Mega Millions madness!  In Utah, you can't gamble, so I had never played the lottery before.  So, with a chance at $640 million, I thought I might as well try.  "You can't win if you don't try" or something like that.
I picked my numbers.  I gave them my one dollar.  AND I WON!!!  

I won 3 dollars!  Better than nothing right?

But from now on, I'm going back to spending money on more important things like cake, and cookies, and really good nuts that I can make into my own nut butter.
Back to sanity.  Back to pecan butter.


2 c. unsalted raw pecans (that's it!)

1.  Put pecans in a food processor and blend until creamy.  Done and done!  
*I added a little bit of sea salt to mine, but you can leave it out too.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Hot Chocolate

Do you make crazy amounts of to-do lists and keep yourself organized?

Do you write things down that you've already done just so you can cross them off and feel like you're accomplishing something?

Have taxes been on your list since way back in January and yet you still haven't mailed them off?

Me too.
Part of the reason I have procrastinated this long (which if you know me, this is definitely not my style) is because they make it so hard.  No wonder people don't file and end up having to call one of those sketchy lawyers on the commercials while you're just trying to watch some Law & Order SVU.

I had a couple of jobs this year so naturally I got paid from 3 different states.  I worked all of $93 worth in Utah before moving.  I worked in Virginia, got paid in Maryland, and lived in Washington DC.  That means 4 state filings.  That means confusion.  At 11:00 p.m., when you're still doing taxes, that means even more confusion!

So I have stacks of paper.  Thick stacks of paper.  All that needs to happen is sorting and putting into envelopes.  Bring to the post office.  Doesn't sound like that big of a deal right?  You're right, I should be able to do this.  I can do this.  

Tomorrow, I will do it.  Tonight, I'm going to yoga :)

Sometimes procrastination is all that feels right.  Sometimes what you need to do most is add another item to your to-do list.  It should say, "make a cup of hot cocoa (w/coffee)."  You can do that.  Then you can cross it off!  

HOT CHOCOLATE (Makes 2 Servings)
Recipe from the Joy the Baker Cookbook
1/4 c. semisweet chocolate chips
2 heaping Tablespoons white chocolate chips
2 c. milk
1/2 tsp. instant coffee (optional)
pinch salt
1.  Make a double boiler on your stove.  Melt chocolate over simmering water.  Add pinch of salt.

2.  Meanwhile, heat milk in medium saucepan.  Stir in melted chocolate and instant coffee.

3.  Serve with marshmallows!

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