Saturday, June 28, 2008

Peanut Pork & Strawberry Salad

Another terrible picture but at least I'm posting! This is peanut-rubbed pork loin or something. I had to bake it way longer than they said, as usual. And some of the peanuts burned. But it was not bad. The strawberry salad was really good though! I got it from a book of just salad recipes. I would have probably thought it was too weird but I remembered Sarah doing the strawberry-balsamic thing one time so I figured it was a good idea. And it was! First you make this dressing with strawberries, balsamic vinegar, oil, lemon juice, etc. and blend it all. Then add more strawberry slices. Then put it on the greens and add goat cheese (I had feta). Voila! Awesome strawberiness I will definitely be making again.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Chocolate-Orange Cupcakes

So, these cupcakes are vegan. Usually I feed people something before I tell them it's vegan, because people think vegan desserts are going to taste like, I don't know, hay and carob? But these taste like cupcakes. My roommate has this incredibly great book, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero, which is where I got the recipe. I made them orange by adding 1 1/2 teaspoons orange extract to the batter, which the book suggests. It also has a recipe for orange buttercream (or "buttercream") frosting, but I was afraid it wasn't going to make enough - I live in fear there won't be enough frosting - so I just substituted orange extract for the vanilla extract and orange juice for the soy milk in the fluffy buttercream frosting recipe. I only used about 1/8 cup orange juice, not 1/4 cup. In conclusion, vegan cupcakes = delicious. Don't be scared by the apple cider vinegar. The cupcakes do not taste like vinegar. They taste like chocolatey-orange delightfulness.

Oh, they could be frosted more delightfully, but I had several mishaps with this mechanical pastry bag my roommate has - including the fact that I broke it - so I just spread the frosting, and added orange sprinkles. All the pictures in the book have these amazingly beautiful frosted tops, but that appears beyond my reach.

Monday, June 16, 2008

June Cooking

I've made a few things lately but not taken pictures or gotten around to posting about them. So here's a quick recap of a few of them:

Rachel Ray's Meatloaf Muffins
Sarah made a meatloaf so I decided to too. I had all the ingredients and I was getting hungry when I found out you have to cook a meatloaf for longer than I was willing to wait. Rachel Ray to the rescue as usual, she had this great idea of just putting scoops of the meat mixture in a muffin pan instead of all together in a loaf. Quick cooking and tasty! I forgot how good meatloaf can be.

Butternut Squash Pasta
I've been on a calorie counting kick lately so I'm looking for recipes at Cooking Light these days. I'm not sure they're particularly light but they tell you how many calories are in it so that's handy. The butternut squash in this came out really good, though of course if you're counting calories you can't have very much pasta with it.

Quinoa Salad
Part of my trying to eat slightly more healthful foods is trying to bring healthful lunches to work. A good way to do it is to make a lot of something on Sunday that I can eat all week. Otherwise I end up eating bread and pasta as usual. So, this quinoa salad was the perfect thing. It made a ton and there's so much stuff in it to keep it interesting. I didn't even end up putting in the black beans because I thought it was already jam packed.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Creamy Lemon Squares

A week ago the CTO invited the whole Technology Team to his house in Brooklyn for a BBQ. I made these creamy lemon squares. I was a bit skeptical, but I figured if they didn't come out well, I'd just leave them at home. Thankfully they were great! My only 2 notes:

1. The recipe is dead on with the estimate of how many lemons makes 3/4 c. lemon juice.

2. Buy extra lemons anyway -- you never know when you'll have an "accident" - a lemon and a half in to my squeezing, I managed to tip the entire measuring cup of juice over and made a big mess to clean up. :)