Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cooking Challenge

Two things. 1. I am in a cooking funk. I've not made real food in a long long time. 2. I need to invent more recipes for my Project Life List #3.

I may have mentioned my love for all things food on this blog before. I love food. Grocery shopping, meal planning, chopping, cooking, going out to restaurants, food styling (yes, that's a real thing) and eating. Obviously. Eating and cooking are stress relievers for me and I'm trying to break the eating as a stress reliever thing... so cooking it is! And one thing I absolutely love is inventing new recipes.

We had a band (Abandon Kansas... check them out; they're really good!) staying with us for a few days a while back, and one night I decided to invent some sort of stuffed jalepeno, and make a jicama salad on a whim (I had never even tried jicama before.) Luckily both inventions turned out well... I've had my fair share of food disasters now that I've become more gutsy in the kitchen.

I've put a few quick and easy recipes on here before. You can find them by going to the bottom right side of the blog and clicking "recipes" under the "categories" heading. I would LOVE to beef up that category.

(I really did not intend that beef pun, it just happened. It's in my genes. My dad walked around all day at Sea World when we were younger saying, "I see the manatees... but where are the womanatees?" You see? I've just been conditioned to ooze pun.)

So I'm trying to think of some new recipes to post. I cook mostly in the fall and winter for some reason and need a little August cooking boost. I eat out nearly every meal in the summer. All cheap food, which normally means all kind of terrible food. Thankfully there's a Mexican hole-in-the-wall place just up the road from us where Dave and I can both eat for $9. How do you say, "WIN" in Spanish?

So, I'm looking to you, internet friends. What recipes do you want to see? Is there an ingredient you're dying to use but you don't know how? Did your doctor tell you to eat more greens, but you really REALLY hate greens and now you need to find recipes that hide them (not that I know anything about that...)? Have you tried 100 times to make cheesecake or omelets and it just isn't working? I'm trying to eat better for myself, so healthy-ish, but still tasty recipes are what you will get most likely.

Disclaimer: I'm not an expert. I thought frozen chicken patties and instant mashed potatoes made a nice sit-down-dinner through the first year of being married. But I do watch a lot of food network, and I do have kind of a knack for cooking and recipe inventing now, in my opinion.

Here's a GREAT healthy summer popsicle recipe to try before you start commenting with your food questions and ideas.

Blackberry Orange Pops

- 1 package of blackberries
- 2 oranges, zest and juice. (the zest is the outer bright part of the peel. here's more info if you need it.)
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract. I have really strong vanilla - you may want to add more if yours isn't strong.
- about 1/4 cup of cranberry juice. I used cranberry-pomegranate because cranberry is a bit too strong for me. Get the juice with no sugar added if you can find it like that. (I admit it is harder to find and a bit more expensive, but the fruit has enough sugar and the zest of the orange really gives it some sweetness.) You can leave the juice out completely from this recipe if you want.

Puree all the ingredients and pour it into popsicle molds or little plastic cups if you don't have molds (free plastic shot glasses from a friend who works at a restuarant work really well if you cut the bottom off of one and tape it to the top of another, as pictured above.) Or put it in ice cube trays and use the cubes in some lemonade! I just thought of that and will be trying it as soon as I get home.

Ok - comment below if you have a recipe question, or if you just want to challenge me. Or, comment on the facebook or twitter link that sent you here. I can't wait to see what you come up with!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So I have been trying to get more creative in the kitchen as well... Poor Clayton is/was probably getting tired of the same kind of things over and over again. But I have started having him pic one recipie a week for me to cook and I pick one too. Thats helped a lot but the rest of the time its the sam ol same ol. But we have really gotten into the asian food lately, and comfort food I guess you would call it... So if you have anything kinda different, that doesn't call for too many unusual ingredients, let me know! :) Summer