What'd You Eat Yesterday??

Here's my answer

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My Food Blog Has Moved!

Hey everyone!  I’ve stepped up in the world and got a new website for this blog!

Please visit from now on:

whatdidyoueatyesterday.wordpress.com

I’ll be posting more photos and more delicious recipes!!  Check it out and let me know what you think!

-Beth

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Well, I have a good handful of posts to catch up on this week and since I don’t work tomorrow and we’re still waiting to see if Brad has his softball game tonight… there will probably be a massive amount of new posts.  Let’s hope that’s the case anyway.  I mean, I have Glee, Biggest Loser and New Girl to watch tomorrow, so I think I’ll be able to knock a couple posts out.
For the record:  I am working on a new website.  Yea, I’m super excited about it.  I’m still working out all the kinks because I am soooo not tech-savvy so it could take a little while.  I’ve been so preoccupied with that and work and baby showers, that I haven’t been thinking about my posts lately.  Which is silly because I’ve been working on this new site… for this blog… that I write posts for…  Whatever.  I grabbed my camera a few minutes ago and was looking at photos I took of tonight’s dinner and realized I’m so behind!
Last week we tried something that I was a tiny bit nervous about.  Two Bean Sloppy Joes.  Here’s something you should know about me.  I am very particular about my Sloppy Joes.  I grew up on a very specific type of Sloppy Joe and I don’t handle different ones very well.  It’s not that I don’t liiiiike others, it’s just that, to me, they don’t taste like a Sloppy Joe. 
Enter this recipe.  It’s not bad by any means.  But to me, it wasn’t a Sloppy Joe.  It was more of a cross between a chili and… uuhhhh… something with Worcestershire sauce.  We’ve been on this whole “let’s not eat a lot of red meat anymore” thing lately.  Well, at leastIhave been.  I’m starting to feel kind of bad for eating cows and pigs and I know it’s not that healthy to eat frequently.  So it’s been my mission to eat as little of it as possible.  So far we’ve been doing well, but you know what?  Sometimes there are just recipes that are best with some meat in there. 
Example: Sloppy Joes.  I found this recipe from A Couple Cooks (http://www.acouplecooks.com/2012/03/two-bean-sloppy-joes/) a few weeks ago and my initial reaction was “uhh no way”.  But after a few days of pondering it, I finally decided we should give it a try.  As I said, it’s not bad by any means.  It’s just not a Sloppy Joe to me.  I am fairly certain that if I added meat instead of the beans, I would still feel the same way.  I just like my Sloppy Joes with tomato soup and Open Pit BBQ sauce.  That’s all there is to it.
If you’re looking for something different for dinner and want to skip the red meat, you really should consider trying this.  It makes for a messy sandwich, but there’s lots of flavor in all that spillage.  Cook up some sweet potato fries to go along with it and you’ll have yourself quite a tasty, meatless meal!
Two Bean Sloppy JoesAdapted from A Couple Cooks (with some quantity changes)
1/2 yellow onion chopped1-2 celery stalks chopped1 tablespoon olive oil1-15oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed1-15oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed1-15oz can tomato sauce1/3 cup ketchup2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (maybe add less, I thought this was a little overpowering)1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (again, maybe add less)2 teaspoons chili powder1 teaspoon garlic powder1 teaspoon dried oreganoSalt and Pepper to tasteCouple dashes of hot sauce
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.  Add the onion and celery and saute until tender.  Add the rest of the ingredients in order of how they are in the list above.  Mix and heat for a good 5-7 minutes until the mixture is nice and hot. 
Serve on a bun (I toasted mine) and top with cheese if that floats your boat.
Sweet Potato FriesFeeds 2-4 people depending on the size of the potatoes you buy
1-2 large sweet potatoes, cut Salt and Pepper to tasteOlive Oil
Line a baking sheet with foil (clean up is faster this way).  Spray the foil with cooking spray (This is very important.  These fries stick so easily!).  Toss the cut up sweet potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper and lay on baking sheet in a single layer.  Bake at 425 for a good 30-40 minutes, tossing them frequently.  You will need to adjust the cook time based on the size of your fries. 
*Note:  These fries do not get crispy at all.  In fact, they are quite mushy.  Just a warning!
***Oh, another note:  I started writing this post last night but had to stop halfway through to go to Brad’s softball game, which they won by the way!  I didn’t want to go back and change everything I wrote, so I just left it.  I’m lazy that way.

Well, I have a good handful of posts to catch up on this week and since I don’t work tomorrow and we’re still waiting to see if Brad has his softball game tonight… there will probably be a massive amount of new posts.  Let’s hope that’s the case anyway.  I mean, I have Glee, Biggest Loser and New Girl to watch tomorrow, so I think I’ll be able to knock a couple posts out.

For the record:  I am working on a new website.  Yea, I’m super excited about it.  I’m still working out all the kinks because I am soooo not tech-savvy so it could take a little while.  I’ve been so preoccupied with that and work and baby showers, that I haven’t been thinking about my posts lately.  Which is silly because I’ve been working on this new site… for this blog… that I write posts for…  Whatever.  I grabbed my camera a few minutes ago and was looking at photos I took of tonight’s dinner and realized I’m so behind!

Last week we tried something that I was a tiny bit nervous about.  Two Bean Sloppy Joes.  Here’s something you should know about me.  I am very particular about my Sloppy Joes.  I grew up on a very specific type of Sloppy Joe and I don’t handle different ones very well.  It’s not that I don’t liiiiike others, it’s just that, to me, they don’t taste like a Sloppy Joe. 

Enter this recipe.  It’s not bad by any means.  But to me, it wasn’t a Sloppy Joe.  It was more of a cross between a chili and… uuhhhh… something with Worcestershire sauce.  We’ve been on this whole “let’s not eat a lot of red meat anymore” thing lately.  Well, at leastIhave been.  I’m starting to feel kind of bad for eating cows and pigs and I know it’s not that healthy to eat frequently.  So it’s been my mission to eat as little of it as possible.  So far we’ve been doing well, but you know what?  Sometimes there are just recipes that are best with some meat in there. 

Example: Sloppy Joes.  I found this recipe from A Couple Cooks (http://www.acouplecooks.com/2012/03/two-bean-sloppy-joes/) a few weeks ago and my initial reaction was “uhh no way”.  But after a few days of pondering it, I finally decided we should give it a try.  As I said, it’s not bad by any means.  It’s just not a Sloppy Joe to me.  I am fairly certain that if I added meat instead of the beans, I would still feel the same way.  I just like my Sloppy Joes with tomato soup and Open Pit BBQ sauce.  That’s all there is to it.

If you’re looking for something different for dinner and want to skip the red meat, you really should consider trying this.  It makes for a messy sandwich, but there’s lots of flavor in all that spillage.  Cook up some sweet potato fries to go along with it and you’ll have yourself quite a tasty, meatless meal!

Two Bean Sloppy Joes
Adapted from A Couple Cooks (with some quantity changes)

1/2 yellow onion chopped
1-2 celery stalks chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-15oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1-15oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1-15oz can tomato sauce
1/3 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (maybe add less, I thought this was a little overpowering)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (again, maybe add less)
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and Pepper to taste
Couple dashes of hot sauce

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.  Add the onion and celery and saute until tender.  Add the rest of the ingredients in order of how they are in the list above.  Mix and heat for a good 5-7 minutes until the mixture is nice and hot. 

Serve on a bun (I toasted mine) and top with cheese if that floats your boat.

Sweet Potato Fries
Feeds 2-4 people depending on the size of the potatoes you buy

1-2 large sweet potatoes, cut
Salt and Pepper to taste
Olive Oil

Line a baking sheet with foil (clean up is faster this way).  Spray the foil with cooking spray (This is very important.  These fries stick so easily!).  Toss the cut up sweet potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper and lay on baking sheet in a single layer.  Bake at 425 for a good 30-40 minutes, tossing them frequently.  You will need to adjust the cook time based on the size of your fries. 

*Note:  These fries do not get crispy at all.  In fact, they are quite mushy.  Just a warning!

***Oh, another note:  I started writing this post last night but had to stop halfway through to go to Brad’s softball game, which they won by the way!  I didn’t want to go back and change everything I wrote, so I just left it.  I’m lazy that way.

Filed under Meatless Monday sloppy joes

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So in case you wanted to know…

$14.75 at a Dollar Menu Monday Indianapolis Indian’s Baseball Game will get you:

6 Hot Dogs (yes, 6.  And each $1)
1 Box of Popcorn ($1)
1 Bag of Peanuts ($1)
1 Giant Glass of McAllister’s Sweet Tea ($4…yea, $4)
1 Vanilla and Chocolate Twist Cone ($2.75)

Yea.  Dollar Menu Mondays are the BEST nights to go to baseball games.  But so is every other day, so I guess it’s a win-win situation. We’ve already been to 2 games and they’ve only been playing for a week. 

All I can say is… Thank God for BASEBALL

Filed under Hot Dogs Baseball

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This was actually our lunch last week before we went to a Sun King Brewery Tap Takeover at Chatam Tap downtown.  Which turned into an extremely accidental drunkfest for this girl.  *Note to self (and everyone reading): when you drink 3.5 beers with much higher alcohol content, you will get a bit loopy and… well… drunk.  For some reason I didn’t process that information very well.  I knew that the beer I was drinking had more alcohol than normal beer, but yet, it didn’t even cross my mind that it would affect me differently.  Which led to me passing out on the bed at 8 at night (we arrived at the bar at 4) with all my clothes on that I wore to the bar.  Ooooops.  Needless to say Friday (yes, all this took place on aThursdayafternoon) wasn’t my best day.
Anyway… I made us a hearty meal for lunch, which one would think would help eliminate the drunken problem I had, but it didn’t.  I guess tilapia sandwiches with cole slaw isn’t exactly “hearty” but it was better than a snack.  Whatever.  For the record, I did eat every crumb of my turkey BLT and fries at the bar, so honestly… I don’t know how I got so intoxicated.
Ok, I’ll drop it now. 
This was originally going to be for dinner that night, but since we decided to take part in testing a bunch of Sun King beers, we opted to have this for lunch instead!  Which worked out quite nicely!  I found the recipe for this cole slaw a few weeks ago on A Couple Cooks Blog and thought it would be worth trying.  Typically when I make cole slaw it involves the bagged cabbage mix, mayo, some kind of vinegar, pepper and a dash of salt and sugar.  But I thought we could mix it up a bit.
It was quite delicious and really not that hard.  Actually, that goes for the whole meal.  All you have to do for the sandwiches is places a couple of fish fillets (we used tilapia) on some greased foil on a cookie sheet and bake for like 15 minutes in like a 400 degree oven.  I sprinkled mine with lots of Cajun seasoning while Brad just put seasoned salt on his.  Once they’re done, just stick them on a toasted (or untoasted) bun and slop on some mayo if you want and eat like that!  You can even put cole slaw on there too!  MMmmmm!
As for the cole slaw, really all you have to do is cut up two kinds of cabbage, celery and red onion and then make your dressing that consists of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, dill, chili powder and salt and pepper!  See!?  Not so hard!
I made a few changes though to the recipe as I didn’t want a bunch of red onion, but I wanted more celery and so on.  So here’s what I did:
Cole SlawAdapted from A Couple Cooks (http://www.acouplecooks.com/2012/03/fresh-cabbage-slaw/ )
1/2 head red cabbage1/2 head green cabbage4 celery stalks1/3 red onion (I still felt it was onion-y though)
For the Dressing:4 tablespoons olive oil2 tablespoons rice vinegar2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar1/2-1 teaspoon fresh chopped dill1/4 teaspoon chili powderSalt and Pepper to taste
Thinly slice the cabbage, celery and red onion and place in a bowl.  In a jar, throw in all the dressing ingredients and shake what yo mama gave you (sorry, I got excited).  Pour over the cabbage mixture and toss!
They said this doesn’t really keep well… that’s very accurate.  Also, this makes a TON so if you’re making it for 2 people, half the recipe and find another recipe that uses all that cabbage you’ll have leftover.  That’s my advice anyway.
It’s a great cole slaw if you don’t like the creamy cole slaw thing.  I think we’ll make this again for sure this summer.  I really enjoyed it!  Plus, it’s really pretty too!

This was actually our lunch last week before we went to a Sun King Brewery Tap Takeover at Chatam Tap downtown.  Which turned into an extremely accidental drunkfest for this girl.  *Note to self (and everyone reading): when you drink 3.5 beers with much higher alcohol content, you will get a bit loopy and… well… drunk.  For some reason I didn’t process that information very well.  I knew that the beer I was drinking had more alcohol than normal beer, but yet, it didn’t even cross my mind that it would affect me differently.  Which led to me passing out on the bed at 8 at night (we arrived at the bar at 4) with all my clothes on that I wore to the bar.  Ooooops.  Needless to say Friday (yes, all this took place on aThursdayafternoon) wasn’t my best day.

Anyway… I made us a hearty meal for lunch, which one would think would help eliminate the drunken problem I had, but it didn’t.  I guess tilapia sandwiches with cole slaw isn’t exactly “hearty” but it was better than a snack.  Whatever.  For the record, I did eat every crumb of my turkey BLT and fries at the bar, so honestly… I don’t know how I got so intoxicated.

Ok, I’ll drop it now. 

This was originally going to be for dinner that night, but since we decided to take part in testing a bunch of Sun King beers, we opted to have this for lunch instead!  Which worked out quite nicely!  I found the recipe for this cole slaw a few weeks ago on A Couple Cooks Blog and thought it would be worth trying.  Typically when I make cole slaw it involves the bagged cabbage mix, mayo, some kind of vinegar, pepper and a dash of salt and sugar.  But I thought we could mix it up a bit.

It was quite delicious and really not that hard.  Actually, that goes for the whole meal.  All you have to do for the sandwiches is places a couple of fish fillets (we used tilapia) on some greased foil on a cookie sheet and bake for like 15 minutes in like a 400 degree oven.  I sprinkled mine with lots of Cajun seasoning while Brad just put seasoned salt on his.  Once they’re done, just stick them on a toasted (or untoasted) bun and slop on some mayo if you want and eat like that!  You can even put cole slaw on there too!  MMmmmm!

As for the cole slaw, really all you have to do is cut up two kinds of cabbage, celery and red onion and then make your dressing that consists of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, dill, chili powder and salt and pepper!  See!?  Not so hard!

I made a few changes though to the recipe as I didn’t want a bunch of red onion, but I wanted more celery and so on.  So here’s what I did:

Cole Slaw
Adapted from A Couple Cooks (http://www.acouplecooks.com/2012/03/fresh-cabbage-slaw/ )

1/2 head red cabbage
1/2 head green cabbage
4 celery stalks
1/3 red onion (I still felt it was onion-y though)

For the Dressing:
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2-1 teaspoon fresh chopped dill
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
Salt and Pepper to taste

Thinly slice the cabbage, celery and red onion and place in a bowl.  In a jar, throw in all the dressing ingredients and shake what yo mama gave you (sorry, I got excited).  Pour over the cabbage mixture and toss!

They said this doesn’t really keep well… that’s very accurate.  Also, this makes a TON so if you’re making it for 2 people, half the recipe and find another recipe that uses all that cabbage you’ll have leftover.  That’s my advice anyway.

It’s a great cole slaw if you don’t like the creamy cole slaw thing.  I think we’ll make this again for sure this summer.  I really enjoyed it!  Plus, it’s really pretty too!

Filed under tilapia cole slaw fish

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I’ve been contemplating posting about this pizza for the past couple days and while I sit here waiting for the clock to strike 6 so we can leave for the Indian’s game… I figured, why not just post it?

For those of you who live in Indy, I stole this idea for a pizza from Bazbeaux’s.  Yep.  But I learned a slight lesson while trying to recreate this pizza.  Don’t try to copy Bazbeaux’s.  Just don’t.  Because somehow, it’s always far better when they make it than when you try to make it at home.  Well, wait.  It’s not that you shouldn’t try it, it’s just that you shouldn’t expect your homemade pizza to taste just how Bazbeaux’s does.  It’s a fact that I have to come to terms with.

This is their Garden Pizza.  It consists of artichokes, avocados, spinach, green pepper, red onion, black olives (which we skipped) and ricotta.  All under a pile of mozzarella.  It’s a different pizza, but wow is it good.  However, like I said, it just wasn’t as good homemade as it was at the restaurant.  But… keep in mind, I’m really picky about things that I try to recreate.  If they aren’texactlylike the restaurant, I have a negative attitude about it.  Maybe I should work on that…

It was a really easy pizza to make though!  The only thing was that I felt it was dry.  Without sauce, it needed something else.  I’m not sure how I’ll fix that in the future though, that’s the problem.  I also didn’t put any salt on it, which it definitely need and as we were eating our slices, I realized I should have put garlic on there. 

So here’s what I did and at the end I’ll give some pointers on what you can do so you’ll be happy with the pizza!

For the dough, I used a package of pizza yeast that my mom got us for Christmas.  I just followed the directions.  It was very quick as it needed no time to rise, so it was perfect for a night that required a quicker meal.  You can definitely use any pizza dough recipe you would like, or any store-bought pizza dough will suffice.

For the toppings you’ll need:
1 can of quartered artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
1 avocado, diced
1 small green pepper, diced or sliced, whichever you prefer
1/4 a small red onion, diced or finely sliced, again, whichever you prefer
About a cup of fresh spinach leaves, or more.  We put a lot on our pizza
A small can of chopped black olives if that’s the route you want to take
Ricotta cheese (quantity really depends on how much you want on your pizza, we used about 1/2 a container)
Mozzarella (again, however much you want)

Ok, roll out your pizza crust.  Bake it a little before hand so it’s sturdy enough to put toppings on, or press it into a pizza pan.  Spread a good amount of ricotta cheese right on the crust.  Then top with spinach, artichokes, avocado, red onion and green pepper (and the olives too).  Top with shredded mozzarella cheese.  Bake in oven at the temperature that your pizza dough recipe recommends until cheese is melty and starting to brown.  Seriously, that’s it.

Ok… now here’s what I suggest:

Run a few cloves of garlic through a garlic press and either just before you put the ricotta on the crust, or after, spread the garlic on there. 

Maybe try fresh mozzarella, rather than shredded.  I feel like fresh mozzarella sometimes is gooey-er and moister than the shredded stuff.  But keep in mind, it melts pretty much where you put it, so you could have some empty spots.

They covered the pizza with spoonfuls of ricotta, I decided to spread it out so I didn’t get a huge chunk of ricotta in random bites.  Not sure if this could help or not.

Maybe before you top the pizza with the mozzarella, drizzle a little olive oil over all the veggies.  I usually like to do that anyway.

Definitely sprinkle the pizza with some salt before you add the mozzarella.  I was shocked at how bland it tasted.

So there you have it.  My if-y pizza with some maybe fixes!  This is truly a delicious pizza, I just have to get the recipe perfected.  It’s definitely a pizza I will make again.  The artichoke is so good on it (artichokes are becoming our new favorite veggie) and the ricotta, avocadoes and green peppers really add flavor.  I also love spinach on my pizza too.  MMmmm  so good!

Now I really want to go to Bazbeaux’s.  HHmmmm…. we are going to a baseball game tonight… Downtown …

Oh wait.  It’s Dollar Menu Monday at the ballpark.  $1 hot dogs totally beat out Bazbeaux’s tonight!!

Filed under Pizza Meatless Monday

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Would you like another example of my love for birthdays?  You would?  Well perfect, because I have one right here!
Carrot Cake. 
When it comes to carrot cake, there really isn’t much to say because, in my mind, it speaks for itself.  It’s moist, it’s carrot-y, it’s cake, it’s got raisins, it’s got walnuts, it could be eaten for breakfast because it is like a muffin, it’s got frosting…  I mean, honestly, the photo up there speaks for itself.  But you know damn well that I’m not going to just post a photo and not ramble on for a good 7 paragraphs. 
My dad’s birthday was last Wednesday and so my whole family got together for an “Easter/Dad’s Birthday But Really It’s About Dad’s Birthday, Not Easter” day on Saturday.  It was great!  My dad chose a menu that consisted of steaks, asparagus,lobster mashed potatoes(yea, I might need to post the recipe for that because they were INCREDIBLE), salad and to finish all of that off… carrot cake.
My dad is not a sweet eater.  He never eats candy, rarely eats ice cream, sometimes has a teeny piece of pie and same for cake.  Typically, for his birthday he just prefers banana cream pie and has a slice that’s the size of my pointer finger.  He has never been a fan of sweets.  So we never do crazy birthday cakes (like what I made for Brad’s birthday) for him.  It’s always just banana cream pie.  But this year, he mixed up with carrot cake.  I guess he decided to live on the wild side, I’m not sure.  
My mom asked me if I wanted to make it and as I am sure you can guess, I jumped all over that.  I got super excited and started brainstorming ridiculous ideas for carrot cake.  I could make cupcakes and glaze them like I glazed the raspberry cupcakes, or I could make a 4 layer carrot cake with butter cream in between each layer and a glaze on top… But as I was brainstorming these above and beyond cakes, I reminded myself who this cake is for.  While, I personally, would love a 4 layer butter cream filled carrot cake that had vanilla glaze dripping down the sides, maybe my dad wouldn’t.  After all, he requested the carrot cake that my mom always makes the exact same way (why change it if it’s perfect the way it is??).  So I made up my mind.  The standard carrot cake was exactly what he asked for, so that’s exactly what I was going to make.
And by gollies, it was the best damn carrot cake anyone could have asked for.  It was moist.  It was delicious.  It was carrot-y.  It was amazing.  It was everything I knew it would be.  And it was exactly the cake I can remember eating a million times throughout my life.  I was so thankful that I decided to leave it be and not do anything crazy to it. 
This recipe is a very simple recipe, only slightly time consuming because you have to grate a good 5 carrots.  But other than that, it’s simple.  Now, I’m particular about the frosting that goes on my carrot cake.  It’s normal to put cream cheese frosting on it, but cream cheese frosting grosses me out.  Plus, my mom has put the same vanilla glaze on her carrot cakes for as far back as I can remember.  If you are a fan of cream cheese frosting, that’s fine, give it a try on this cake, but I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND the vanilla glaze.  It just goes so perfectly well with the cake.
Carrot Oil CakeWord for word from Joy of Cooking All-Purpose Cookbook
Have all ingredients about 70 degrees (I didn’t do this and it all turned out fine)Preheat oven to 325Sift before measuring:1 cup all-purpose flourResift with:1 teaspoon baking soda1 teaspoon baking powder1 teaspoon cinnamon1/2 teaspoon saltMix together and add to flour, stirring well:2/3 cup vegetable oil1 cup sugar2 beaten eggsAdd and blend in well:1/2 cup chopped nuts (walnuts are best)1 1/2 cups grated carrots1/2 cup raisinsBake in a well greased and well flour pan (no joke, this cake sticks really well to pans) for about 30 minutes.  
Vanilla Glaze  
1 cup powdered sugar2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted2 tablespoons whole milk1 teaspoon vanilla1-2 teaspoons of water to get desired consistency
Mix all ingredients until smooth and liquidy and drizzle over cake. 
See!?  Not that hard at all!  It may not look like a typical birthday cake, but I’m telling you, it is just as good, if not better, than those fancy multi-layered cakes!  
Happy Birthday Padre!!

Would you like another example of my love for birthdays?  You would?  Well perfect, because I have one right here!

Carrot Cake. 

When it comes to carrot cake, there really isn’t much to say because, in my mind, it speaks for itself.  It’s moist, it’s carrot-y, it’s cake, it’s got raisins, it’s got walnuts, it could be eaten for breakfast because it is like a muffin, it’s got frosting…  I mean, honestly, the photo up there speaks for itself.  But you know damn well that I’m not going to just post a photo and not ramble on for a good 7 paragraphs. 

My dad’s birthday was last Wednesday and so my whole family got together for an “Easter/Dad’s Birthday But Really It’s About Dad’s Birthday, Not Easter” day on Saturday.  It was great!  My dad chose a menu that consisted of steaks, asparagus,lobster mashed potatoes(yea, I might need to post the recipe for that because they were INCREDIBLE), salad and to finish all of that off… carrot cake.

My dad is not a sweet eater.  He never eats candy, rarely eats ice cream, sometimes has a teeny piece of pie and same for cake.  Typically, for his birthday he just prefers banana cream pie and has a slice that’s the size of my pointer finger.  He has never been a fan of sweets.  So we never do crazy birthday cakes (like what I made for Brad’s birthday) for him.  It’s always just banana cream pie.  But this year, he mixed up with carrot cake.  I guess he decided to live on the wild side, I’m not sure.  

My mom asked me if I wanted to make it and as I am sure you can guess, I jumped all over that.  I got super excited and started brainstorming ridiculous ideas for carrot cake.  I could make cupcakes and glaze them like I glazed the raspberry cupcakes, or I could make a 4 layer carrot cake with butter cream in between each layer and a glaze on top… But as I was brainstorming these above and beyond cakes, I reminded myself who this cake is for.  While, I personally, would love a 4 layer butter cream filled carrot cake that had vanilla glaze dripping down the sides, maybe my dad wouldn’t.  After all, he requested the carrot cake that my mom always makes the exact same way (why change it if it’s perfect the way it is??).  So I made up my mind.  The standard carrot cake was exactly what he asked for, so that’s exactly what I was going to make.

And by gollies, it was the best damn carrot cake anyone could have asked for.  It was moist.  It was delicious.  It was carrot-y.  It was amazing.  It was everything I knew it would be.  And it was exactly the cake I can remember eating a million times throughout my life.  I was so thankful that I decided to leave it be and not do anything crazy to it. 

This recipe is a very simple recipe, only slightly time consuming because you have to grate a good 5 carrots.  But other than that, it’s simple.  Now, I’m particular about the frosting that goes on my carrot cake.  It’s normal to put cream cheese frosting on it, but cream cheese frosting grosses me out.  Plus, my mom has put the same vanilla glaze on her carrot cakes for as far back as I can remember.  If you are a fan of cream cheese frosting, that’s fine, give it a try on this cake, but I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND the vanilla glaze.  It just goes so perfectly well with the cake.

Carrot Oil Cake
Word for word from Joy of Cooking All-Purpose Cookbook

Have all ingredients about 70 degrees (I didn’t do this and it all turned out fine)
Preheat oven to 325
Sift before measuring:
1 cup all-purpose flour
Resift with:
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
Mix together and add to flour, stirring well:
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
2 beaten eggs
Add and blend in well:
1/2 cup chopped nuts (walnuts are best)
1 1/2 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup raisins

Bake in a well greased and well flour pan (no joke, this cake sticks really well to pans) for about 30 minutes.  

Vanilla Glaze 

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 teaspoons of water to get desired consistency

Mix all ingredients until smooth and liquidy and drizzle over cake. 

See!?  Not that hard at all!  It may not look like a typical birthday cake, but I’m telling you, it is just as good, if not better, than those fancy multi-layered cakes! 

Happy Birthday Padre!!

Filed under dessert carrot cake

4 notes

I’ve decided I like birthdays.  Not even my birthdays.  Well, wait, hang on… I love my birthdays.  But, I’m starting to realize that I love other people’s birthdays.  I had a baking mini marathon on Friday afternoon when I home from work.  We celebrated my dad’s birthday on Saturday so I made his cake (post will be coming soon, don’t worry) and we were celebrating our friend, Maddie’s 21st birthday Friday night!  So what did I do for her?  I baked a chocolatey treat.  Which seems to be something I’m pretty good at. 
These are blondies with chocolate drizzled over them.  They look much fancier than they actually are.  Honestly, they were pretty simple to make.  They actually weren’t what I was planning on making either.  At the very last minute I switched from Ina Garten’s Outrageous Brownies to her Blondies instead and I’m super happy I did that.  It was meant to be I suppose.  I still hadn’t finalized what I was going to do with them though.  I threw around the ideas of leaving them plain, but then I cut them in pretty little scallop edged circles and they just looked like they needed something more.  Should I dip them in chocolate?  No… they’d be on chocolate overload.  What if I dipped half of them in chocolate?  That could be fun.  Nah.  What if I wrote 21 on all of them?  No, that’s too cheesy and stupid.  What if I drizzled chocolate on top?  Oh hells yes.  Drizzling chocolate was the answer.
I have to say, I love how they turned out!  But again, I never even tasted one!  We have some scraps that I’ve sampled a couple times, but they don’t have the drizzled chocolate on them.  Call me crazy, but I just love baking things over eating them.  I guess I’m lucky. 
Chocolate Drizzled Blondies(adapted from Ina Garten’s Chocolate Chunk Blondies Recipe which I halvedhttp://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/chocolate-chunk-blondies-recipe/index.html )Makes about 16- 1 1/2” circle blondies
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature1/2 cup light brown sugar lightly packed1/4 cup granulated sugar1 tsp vanilla1 egg at room temp (mine wasn’t really at room temp though and it was fine)1 cup all-purpose flour1/2 tsp baking soda1/2 tsp salt3/4 cup chopped walnuts (pecans would be good too!)About 1/3 of a 10 oz bag of Nestle Dark Chocolate Chips (you don’t want too much chocolate in the blondies if you drizzle them with chocolate, plus these chocolate chips are big.  Which is weird, I don’t know why they changed the size of them)
For the chocolate to drizzle, you’ll use about another 1/3 of the bag of chocolate, maybe a little more. 
Preheat oven to 350.  Grease an 8”x8” square cake pan. 
Cream the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Mix in vanilla and egg.  In a separate bowl, sift (or just use a wisk, that’s what I did) the flour, baking soda and salt together, then add to the butter and egg mixture and mix until just combined.  Fold in the nuts and chocolate.  Spread out evenly in the pan and bake for about 18-20 mins.  Look at it often towards the end because they really brown quickly. 
Once they cool, either cut into squares or use a small circle cookie cutter (or whatever shape you want really) and place on a sheet of parchment paper.
In a microwave safe bowl, pour in another 1/3 of the bag of chocolate.  Place in the microwave and cook only 20 seconds at a time until the chocolate is melted, stirring in between each round of 20 seconds.  Grab a sandwich size Zip-Loc bag and spoon all the melted chocolate into it.  Caution: this will be hot.  You’ll have to suck it up and get over it though, unless you have a pastry bag.  But I don’t, so I just use Zip-Locs.  Cut a teeny tiny piece of one of the corners off and drizzle over the blondies however you choose.  Stick them in the fridge for a bit if you’re in a hurry like I was to get the chocolate to set.  Otherwise, just let them sit out for awhile and eventually the chocolate will set. 
That’s it!  That’s all there is to these cute little chocolatey treats!  I told you they were easy!! 
HAPPY 21ST BIRTHDAY MADDIE!!!

I’ve decided I like birthdays.  Not even my birthdays.  Well, wait, hang on… I love my birthdays.  But, I’m starting to realize that I love other people’s birthdays.  I had a baking mini marathon on Friday afternoon when I home from work.  We celebrated my dad’s birthday on Saturday so I made his cake (post will be coming soon, don’t worry) and we were celebrating our friend, Maddie’s 21st birthday Friday night!  So what did I do for her?  I baked a chocolatey treat.  Which seems to be something I’m pretty good at. 

These are blondies with chocolate drizzled over them.  They look much fancier than they actually are.  Honestly, they were pretty simple to make.  They actually weren’t what I was planning on making either.  At the very last minute I switched from Ina Garten’s Outrageous Brownies to her Blondies instead and I’m super happy I did that.  It was meant to be I suppose.  I still hadn’t finalized what I was going to do with them though.  I threw around the ideas of leaving them plain, but then I cut them in pretty little scallop edged circles and they just looked like they needed something more.  Should I dip them in chocolate?  No… they’d be on chocolate overload.  What if I dipped half of them in chocolate?  That could be fun.  Nah.  What if I wrote 21 on all of them?  No, that’s too cheesy and stupid.  What if I drizzled chocolate on top?  Oh hells yes.  Drizzling chocolate was the answer.

I have to say, I love how they turned out!  But again, I never even tasted one!  We have some scraps that I’ve sampled a couple times, but they don’t have the drizzled chocolate on them.  Call me crazy, but I just love baking things over eating them.  I guess I’m lucky. 

Chocolate Drizzled Blondies
(adapted from Ina Garten’s Chocolate Chunk Blondies Recipe which I halved
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/chocolate-chunk-blondies-recipe/index.html )
Makes about 16- 1 1/2” circle blondies

1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar lightly packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg at room temp (mine wasn’t really at room temp though and it was fine)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (pecans would be good too!)
About 1/3 of a 10 oz bag of Nestle Dark Chocolate Chips (you don’t want too much chocolate in the blondies if you drizzle them with chocolate, plus these chocolate chips are big.  Which is weird, I don’t know why they changed the size of them)

For the chocolate to drizzle, you’ll use about another 1/3 of the bag of chocolate, maybe a little more. 

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease an 8”x8” square cake pan. 

Cream the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Mix in vanilla and egg.  In a separate bowl, sift (or just use a wisk, that’s what I did) the flour, baking soda and salt together, then add to the butter and egg mixture and mix until just combined.  Fold in the nuts and chocolate.  Spread out evenly in the pan and bake for about 18-20 mins.  Look at it often towards the end because they really brown quickly. 

Once they cool, either cut into squares or use a small circle cookie cutter (or whatever shape you want really) and place on a sheet of parchment paper.

In a microwave safe bowl, pour in another 1/3 of the bag of chocolate.  Place in the microwave and cook only 20 seconds at a time until the chocolate is melted, stirring in between each round of 20 seconds.  Grab a sandwich size Zip-Loc bag and spoon all the melted chocolate into it.  Caution: this will be hot.  You’ll have to suck it up and get over it though, unless you have a pastry bag.  But I don’t, so I just use Zip-Locs.  Cut a teeny tiny piece of one of the corners off and drizzle over the blondies however you choose.  Stick them in the fridge for a bit if you’re in a hurry like I was to get the chocolate to set.  Otherwise, just let them sit out for awhile and eventually the chocolate will set. 

That’s it!  That’s all there is to these cute little chocolatey treats!  I told you they were easy!! 

HAPPY 21ST BIRTHDAY MADDIE!!!

Filed under Dessert Blondies Chocolate Chocolate Drizzled Blondies

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Quinoa, people.  Keen-wah.  Ever had it?  You should.  It’s pretty tasty. 
We made this dish a couple weeks ago, but I spaced it and never took a photo so I had to make it again.  Darn.  We planned on this being our Meatless Monday meal this week, but it just so happens that when you go to softball practice and don’t get home till 8:45, the last thing you want to do is cook up a pot of quinoa with black beans and other tasty things.  Instead, you might want to just stop and get a pizza.  I’m not sure though, that’s just what I’ve been told…  We ended up making this with our grilled chicken salads on Tuesday night instead. 
I had never had quinoa before.  My mom got a little baggie of it from Whole Foods and when she handed it to me she said “Here, you make something first and tell me how it is.”  Done.  So I got online and started researching all sorts of recipes for Quinoa and felt that this one was the perfect first time quinoa recipe.  It has black beans, cilantro, lime, corn (wait, I think I just realized I forgot to put the corn in, great), lime juice, avocado, red onion (which I also forgot), red peppers and cumin.  Those are all things we love and so to toss in some quinoa would probably be harmless.
And it was!  It was a great dish!  Quinoa tastes a lot like rice and has that same texture for the most part.  I really enjoyed it and so did Brad.  This recipe though, is definitely not enough for a meal, in my opinion.  It’s probably best as a side dish.  The black beans help make it a filling dish, but I am not convinced that I would be satisfied eating just this for dinner.  I think it would go well with some grilled chicken mixed in or as a side dish to a great summer grilled meal of steak, burgers or fish!  Quinoa is for sure going to be a regular in our diet from now on.  It’s not nearly as scary as it sounds!
Here’s the original recipe that I followed.  Note- it calls for grapefruit chunks.  I hate grapefruit so I chose to skip that, I’m not sure how I would feel about it if I had it in there.  I also halved the recipe.  There was plenty for the two of us and enough leftover for lunch the next day.  Oh and lastly… this is much tastier when you remember all the ingredients.  I guess I had a streak of blonde that night.  It happens often.
http://www.eatliverun.com/black-bean-quinoa-and-citrus-salad/

Quinoa, people.  Keen-wah.  Ever had it?  You should.  It’s pretty tasty. 

We made this dish a couple weeks ago, but I spaced it and never took a photo so I had to make it again.  Darn.  We planned on this being our Meatless Monday meal this week, but it just so happens that when you go to softball practice and don’t get home till 8:45, the last thing you want to do is cook up a pot of quinoa with black beans and other tasty things.  Instead, you might want to just stop and get a pizza.  I’m not sure though, that’s just what I’ve been told…  We ended up making this with our grilled chicken salads on Tuesday night instead. 

I had never had quinoa before.  My mom got a little baggie of it from Whole Foods and when she handed it to me she said “Here, you make something first and tell me how it is.”  Done.  So I got online and started researching all sorts of recipes for Quinoa and felt that this one was the perfect first time quinoa recipe.  It has black beans, cilantro, lime, corn (wait, I think I just realized I forgot to put the corn in, great), lime juice, avocado, red onion (which I also forgot), red peppers and cumin.  Those are all things we love and so to toss in some quinoa would probably be harmless.

And it was!  It was a great dish!  Quinoa tastes a lot like rice and has that same texture for the most part.  I really enjoyed it and so did Brad.  This recipe though, is definitely not enough for a meal, in my opinion.  It’s probably best as a side dish.  The black beans help make it a filling dish, but I am not convinced that I would be satisfied eating just this for dinner.  I think it would go well with some grilled chicken mixed in or as a side dish to a great summer grilled meal of steak, burgers or fish!  Quinoa is for sure going to be a regular in our diet from now on.  It’s not nearly as scary as it sounds!

Here’s the original recipe that I followed.  Note- it calls for grapefruit chunks.  I hate grapefruit so I chose to skip that, I’m not sure how I would feel about it if I had it in there.  I also halved the recipe.  There was plenty for the two of us and enough leftover for lunch the next day.  Oh and lastly… this is much tastier when you remember all the ingredients.  I guess I had a streak of blonde that night.  It happens often.

http://www.eatliverun.com/black-bean-quinoa-and-citrus-salad/

Filed under meatless monday quinoa black beans

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Is it seriously only Tuesday night right now?  I feel like it should be at least Thursday night.  I have a feeling this is going to be a looooong week.  
We’re making big moves this week with our Tough Mudder training (yep, we’re still doing that).  We’ve been doing their training program which includes lots of crazy push-ups, squats, lunges, shoulder presses, back rows, planks (oh god, the planks), chin ups (oh god, the chin ups too) and lots more.  It’s something like 18 exercises that take a good half hour to do.  Well, now we’re doing it twice.  So now we do 2 rounds of crazy push-ups, squats, lunges, shoulder presses, back rows and planks (even worse the 2nd time around).  It’s hard.  And then we’ve been steadily adding more and more to our runs, which puts us at like 2 3/4.  Yea, yea… all you people that run 6+ miles a day, go ahead and laugh, I don’t care.  I’m 5’ 2”… my legs aren’t meant for running.  I’m proud of every foot of that 2 3/4 miles.  Yesterday was our first day of doubling the workout and today we added even more to our run… so I’ve been more exhausted than ever.  So exhausted that there’s a very good chance I’ll be going to bed when I finish this (which will hopefully be around 9:30, thank goodness).
Anyway, so that’s my story for you all to feel bad about how tired I am and how hard I’m working, but also for you to be impressed by how seriously awesome we are for our cool training we’re doing. 
I’ll stop now.
Sunday night we had salmon and rice.  Salmon and rice became a pretty common meal for us last summer and I have a feeling it will pop up quite a bit this summer since we aren’t big on eating red meat more than once or twice a week.  Usually when we eat salmon and rice, we throw some teriyaki sauce on the salmon and cook up some store bought rice in a box.  Nice and easy (see people?  We don’t eat fancy, made from scratch foodallthe time).  Oh wait, but this time I did make fancy, from scratch food.  Whatever.  I found a recipe for a salmon rub from Eat, Live, Run.  It was actually for a sandwich, but I had a hunch that it’d be good just on the salmon and eaten like that.  Then I got the genius idea to make homemade rice pilaf that my mom makes every once and awhile that is AMAZING.  And so there you have it.  Our simple summery salmon and rice meal turned into something a little more difficult. 
This salmon rub isn’t for everyone.  I’ll tell you that.  It has paprika, chili powder, cumin and cayenne in it.  Yea… not for everyone.  It was quite delicious though!  Here’s what you do:
Mix together 2 teaspoons paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 2 teaspoons chili powder and 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.  Rub that all over your pieces of salmon (this covered 2 decent sized pieces of salmon really well).  Drizzle a little honey over each piece.  Grill the salmon until flaky and squirt with lemon juice.  That’s it!  (here’s the link for the actual recipe: http://www.eatliverun.com/sweet-and-spicy-glazed-salmon-sandwiches/ )
As for the rice… You’ll thank me when you make this rice.  Ooohhhh you’ll thank me.  It’s amazing.  I love rice pilaf and have had lots of different rice pilafs, but none of them ever compare to this recipe.  I think my mom got the recipe from some PTO meeting at my high school back in the day.  Or something like that.  I can’t remember.  Here’s the recipe for it though:
The Only Rice Pilaf Recipe You’ll Ever Need(Serves 4)
1 cup sliced mushrooms (I hate mushrooms, so I didn’t use them)1/4 cup sliced green onions (I only had a yellow onion, still worked great)1 T butter15 ounce chicken broth1/3 cup wild rice1/2 cup brown rice1/4 cup shredded carrot (I just diced the carrots really small)1/2 tsp t dried basil, crushed1/8 t pepper1/2 cup frozen peas In saucepan, saute mushrooms and onions in butter until tender.  Add chicken broth and bring to boil.  Stir in brown and wild rice, carrots, basil and pepper.  Return to boil, then reduce heat.  Simmer, covered for about 40 minutes or until rice is tender and most of the broth is absorbed.  Stir in peas, simmer 3-5 minutes more.  Serve.
Make this rice for any people you have over for any occasion and they will think you are the best cook ever.  They’ll be so impressed.  Trust me.
So that’s what we ate on Sunday!  It was awesome.  I’m done now before I fall asleep on my laptop.  
Hey!  It’s only 9:10!  I’m ahead of schedule!  YESSSSSS!

Is it seriously only Tuesday night right now?  I feel like it should be at least Thursday night.  I have a feeling this is going to be a looooong week. 

We’re making big moves this week with our Tough Mudder training (yep, we’re still doing that).  We’ve been doing their training program which includes lots of crazy push-ups, squats, lunges, shoulder presses, back rows, planks (oh god, the planks), chin ups (oh god, the chin ups too) and lots more.  It’s something like 18 exercises that take a good half hour to do.  Well, now we’re doing it twice.  So now we do 2 rounds of crazy push-ups, squats, lunges, shoulder presses, back rows and planks (even worse the 2nd time around).  It’s hard.  And then we’ve been steadily adding more and more to our runs, which puts us at like 2 3/4.  Yea, yea… all you people that run 6+ miles a day, go ahead and laugh, I don’t care.  I’m 5’ 2”… my legs aren’t meant for running.  I’m proud of every foot of that 2 3/4 miles.  Yesterday was our first day of doubling the workout and today we added even more to our run… so I’ve been more exhausted than ever.  So exhausted that there’s a very good chance I’ll be going to bed when I finish this (which will hopefully be around 9:30, thank goodness).

Anyway, so that’s my story for you all to feel bad about how tired I am and how hard I’m working, but also for you to be impressed by how seriously awesome we are for our cool training we’re doing. 

I’ll stop now.

Sunday night we had salmon and rice.  Salmon and rice became a pretty common meal for us last summer and I have a feeling it will pop up quite a bit this summer since we aren’t big on eating red meat more than once or twice a week.  Usually when we eat salmon and rice, we throw some teriyaki sauce on the salmon and cook up some store bought rice in a box.  Nice and easy (see people?  We don’t eat fancy, made from scratch foodallthe time).  Oh wait, but this time I did make fancy, from scratch food.  Whatever.  I found a recipe for a salmon rub from Eat, Live, Run.  It was actually for a sandwich, but I had a hunch that it’d be good just on the salmon and eaten like that.  Then I got the genius idea to make homemade rice pilaf that my mom makes every once and awhile that is AMAZING.  And so there you have it.  Our simple summery salmon and rice meal turned into something a little more difficult. 

This salmon rub isn’t for everyone.  I’ll tell you that.  It has paprika, chili powder, cumin and cayenne in it.  Yea… not for everyone.  It was quite delicious though!  Here’s what you do:

Mix together 2 teaspoons paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 2 teaspoons chili powder and 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.  Rub that all over your pieces of salmon (this covered 2 decent sized pieces of salmon really well).  Drizzle a little honey over each piece.  Grill the salmon until flaky and squirt with lemon juice.  That’s it!  (here’s the link for the actual recipe: http://www.eatliverun.com/sweet-and-spicy-glazed-salmon-sandwiches/ )

As for the rice… You’ll thank me when you make this rice.  Ooohhhh you’ll thank me.  It’s amazing.  I love rice pilaf and have had lots of different rice pilafs, but none of them ever compare to this recipe.  I think my mom got the recipe from some PTO meeting at my high school back in the day.  Or something like that.  I can’t remember.  Here’s the recipe for it though:

The Only Rice Pilaf Recipe You’ll Ever Need
(Serves 4)

1 cup sliced mushrooms (I hate mushrooms, so I didn’t use them)
1/4 cup sliced green onions (I only had a yellow onion, still worked great)
1 T butter
15 ounce chicken broth
1/3 cup wild rice
1/2 cup brown rice
1/4 cup shredded carrot (I just diced the carrots really small)
1/2 tsp t dried basil, crushed
1/8 t pepper
1/2 cup frozen peas
 
In saucepan, saute mushrooms and onions in butter until tender.  Add chicken broth and bring to boil.  Stir in brown and wild rice, carrots, basil and pepper.  Return to boil, then reduce heat.  Simmer, covered for about 40 minutes or until rice is tender and most of the broth is absorbed.  Stir in peas, simmer 3-5 minutes more.  Serve.

Make this rice for any people you have over for any occasion and they will think you are the best cook ever.  They’ll be so impressed.  Trust me.

So that’s what we ate on Sunday!  It was awesome.  I’m done now before I fall asleep on my laptop. 

Hey!  It’s only 9:10!  I’m ahead of schedule!  YESSSSSS!

Filed under salmon rice rice pilaf

1 note

Sometimes I get really excited when I come up with a meal without a recipe and it turns out so delicious.  This is definitely one of those meals. 
We ate this earlier in the week, I just kept forgetting to post about it.  Oops!  I seem to be doing that a lot lately.  I guess with the weather being nicer, our Tough Mudder workouts and working an extra day, things have been a little bit busier.  I seriously cannot believe it’s April 1st already.  My mind is absolutely blown by how fast this year has gone so far.
Woah.  Anyway… this meal is perfect for a day with warm sunny weather.  All you have to do is pull the grill out and cook some pasta.  I think Brad and I both came up with this one, he suggested some grilled veggies with pasta and I just plugged in the veggies.  Maybe… it was awhile ago so I’m not entirely sure who takes credit for what, but neither of us actually cares.  We love grilled veggies, especially zucchini, and they go so well on pasta.  I planned on putting some basil in this dish, but the grocery store was out of fresh basil (get real) and I didn’t want to use dried, so we ate it plain.  But it was still really tasty!  Here’s the recipe!
Grilled Veggies and Pasta Makes 2 large portions with some leftover, or 4 small portions (it could make a good side dish). 
1 medium zucchini1 pint of cherry tomatoes1 can of quartered artichoke hearts (I didn’t want to mess with fresh ones, they are too much work)Whole grain pasta (I am the WORST at measuring this out, we always end up with way too much or not enough, so you get to figure out the quantity yourself)2-3 tablespoons olive oilSalt and Pepper to taste
Line either a grill pan (pan made to go on the grill) or a grill-safe cookie sheet with foil.  Spray with cooking spray so nothing sticks.  Rinse zucchini and cut off ends.  Cut 1/4”-1/2” thick slices at an angle.  Place on the grill pan.  Rinse and dry the tomatoes and place on the grill pan as well.  Drain and rinse artichoke quarters, let dry for a minute and then place on grill pan.  Drizzle about 1 tablespoon of olive oil on the veggies, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss.  Place pan on the grill and cook until veggies are soft (but not mushy) and have a little char.  While the veggies are cooking, make the pasta.  When it’s done, drain and put back in the pot.  Drizzle with a couple tablespoons of olive oil.  When the veggies are done, spoon them on top of the pasta on your plate.  You’re done!! 
You could put some dried basil, or herbs de provence or even some parmesan cheese on top.  But like I said, we just opted for plain.  That way we really got the flavors of the veggies.  And let me tell you, artichokes are delicious when grilled!  Definitely one of our new favorite vegetables to eat!
This meal has endless options and can have many other veggies added to it.  It’s a very simple meal that can be ready in like 20 minutes.  I absolutely loved it!

Sometimes I get really excited when I come up with a meal without a recipe and it turns out so delicious.  This is definitely one of those meals. 

We ate this earlier in the week, I just kept forgetting to post about it.  Oops!  I seem to be doing that a lot lately.  I guess with the weather being nicer, our Tough Mudder workouts and working an extra day, things have been a little bit busier.  I seriously cannot believe it’s April 1st already.  My mind is absolutely blown by how fast this year has gone so far.

Woah.  Anyway… this meal is perfect for a day with warm sunny weather.  All you have to do is pull the grill out and cook some pasta.  I think Brad and I both came up with this one, he suggested some grilled veggies with pasta and I just plugged in the veggies.  Maybe… it was awhile ago so I’m not entirely sure who takes credit for what, but neither of us actually cares.  We love grilled veggies, especially zucchini, and they go so well on pasta.  I planned on putting some basil in this dish, but the grocery store was out of fresh basil (get real) and I didn’t want to use dried, so we ate it plain.  But it was still really tasty!  Here’s the recipe!

Grilled Veggies and Pasta
Makes 2 large portions with some leftover, or 4 small portions (it could make a good side dish). 

1 medium zucchini
1 pint of cherry tomatoes
1 can of quartered artichoke hearts (I didn’t want to mess with fresh ones, they are too much work)
Whole grain pasta (I am the WORST at measuring this out, we always end up with way too much or not enough, so you get to figure out the quantity yourself)
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Line either a grill pan (pan made to go on the grill) or a grill-safe cookie sheet with foil.  Spray with cooking spray so nothing sticks.  Rinse zucchini and cut off ends.  Cut 1/4”-1/2” thick slices at an angle.  Place on the grill pan.  Rinse and dry the tomatoes and place on the grill pan as well.  Drain and rinse artichoke quarters, let dry for a minute and then place on grill pan.  Drizzle about 1 tablespoon of olive oil on the veggies, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss.  Place pan on the grill and cook until veggies are soft (but not mushy) and have a little char.  While the veggies are cooking, make the pasta.  When it’s done, drain and put back in the pot.  Drizzle with a couple tablespoons of olive oil.  When the veggies are done, spoon them on top of the pasta on your plate.  You’re done!! 

You could put some dried basil, or herbs de provence or even some parmesan cheese on top.  But like I said, we just opted for plain.  That way we really got the flavors of the veggies.  And let me tell you, artichokes are delicious when grilled!  Definitely one of our new favorite vegetables to eat!

This meal has endless options and can have many other veggies added to it.  It’s a very simple meal that can be ready in like 20 minutes.  I absolutely loved it!

Filed under Easy Dinner! artichokes grilled veggies pasta meatless monday


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