Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Espresso Brownies

I am currently playing hide and seek.

Let me explain.

My roommate's selling our apartment (aka her apartment that I happen to live in as well).  We vacate the place when there are people coming over to check it out.  Since my mobility is currently questionable due to the orthotic boot around my right foot, I've been opting to hide out in the stairwell while prospective buyers peruse the goods.  Once I hear the elevator signaling everyone's departure, I know it's safe to head back into the apartment.  So, I guess it's the hide and seek game where the other people don't actually care to find me.

Over the past week, I think I've spent at least six hours in the stairwell and I've even started bringing a pillow to make the hard stairs a little more comfortable.  Although my iPad keeps me pretty occupied, I also bring drinks and snacks to help pass the time.  You know, coffee, beer, salads, espresso brownies...

Let me tell you about these espresso brownies.  These beasts be fudge-y and cake-y at the same time.  Is that even possible?  Yes.  Why yes, it is.  You don't actually taste the espresso, but in case you don't know, chocolate tastes even more chocolate-y when coffee or espresso gets involved.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Crock Pot Picadillo

Sometimes you sit on the couch all day long and end up buying clothing and workout wear from three different websites.  Have I mentioned that I'm on crutches and probably won't workout for at least another week and a half?  Oh, and have I also mentioned that the main reason I leave the apartment right now is for doctor appointments?  Let's overlook all that.

Ugh.  I do have a reason though!  (My roommate is totally rolling her eyes at that line because I may have used it a few times in the past.)  I went on a no-buy in January, which means that I only purchase essential things.  I was relatively successful with that endeavor.  Then February happened and there were all these President's Day sales staring me in the face (Sidebar: Weren't these sales supposed to end on Monday?  I thought it was safe to go "online window shopping" again.) ... Need I say more?  Now I need to go back on another no-buy.  Especially since the doctor's bills are starting to roll in.  Yikes.

What does this have to do with picadillo?  Nothing.  There's just a lot on my mind and I happen to be writing about it.  So I guess I should bring the focus back to the picadillo.  Fine.

Picadillo is a traditional Latin dish that I would loosely describe as a ground beef taco filling, if you really want a comparison of sorts.  There are several variations out there, but this version is chock full of onions, peppers, garlic, and smoky spices.  Sooo pretty much everything you need to ensure a good meal.  And I made it in a crock pot.  Boom.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Pecan Pie

I've been away from the blog for a few days.  I had another foot surgery y'all (on the other foot), so unfortunately I've been out of commission since Thursday.  But what can you do, other than pop some pills and move it along?

Let's talk about this pecan pie and how I've loved/hated it for the past few months.  I have a deep-seeded love of pecan pie.  This love developed over the past few years and every year I just can't wait for fall weather, pumpkin spice coffee (preferably from Dunkin Donuts, but I can't totally diss Starbucks) and pecan pies to roll around.

However, I somehow got sidetracked this past year.  In the madness that was Thanksgiving and Christmas and pretty much every day in between, I was unable to secure myself even one (one!) slice of pecan pie.  When 2013 rolled around, I refused to believe that things had gone down like that.  Nope.  I would make myself an entire pecan pie to share with friends....aka not share with friends and eat all by myself.  Possibly.


Monday, February 11, 2013

Mustard and Garlic Roasted Potatoes

This is a recipe I didn't know I was waiting for.  But clearly I was waiting for this to come into my life.  I should also mention that if you have a french fry obsession like, um, a friend of mine, then this may also be the potato dish for you.

I think I'm going to need an intervention for these potatoes.  This is somewhat serious.  When these things came out of the oven all crispy and crackle-y and caramelized and junk, I nearly lost it.  And you may lose it as well if you also have a love of mustard and garlic and the like.

While I have been meaning to whip up a variation of this side dish for a while, I got the extra push to create this because of my monthly Secret Recipe Club.  This month, I was assigned to Suzanne's blog, Thru The Bugs On My Windshield.  Although there were other recipes I was quite tempted to indulge in, such as the Blueberry Delight Coffee Cake or this Tortellini Salad, the potatoes really spoke to me and my love of carbs.  Let's be truthful here.  Carbs usually win out every time.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Spinach Tortellini Soup

Currently, I am staring outside my window at the beginnings of Winter Storm Nemo.  I've only seen light rain so far, but that's supposed to change pretty soon to rain showers/sleet/snow/whatever.  Can we please put an end to these apocalyptic storms?  I'm just getting over Sandy, so if Mother Nature could just give us a few more months to take a breath, that would be swell.

If you too are facing Nemo, or if you're just in need of a comforting, warm dish, let me introduce you to my new friend: this spinach tortellini soup.

Now brace yourself.  I'm about to tell you that this soup takes approximately 15 minutes to create, start-to-finish.


Did your mind just get blown?  That's for real.

This soup is more of an assemblage deal than anything else, but you wouldn't be able to tell from the taste of it.  I feel as if I've been into "assemblages" a lot lately.  There's no shame in easy cooking.  In fact, I welcome it with open arms.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Brownie Batter Pancakes

My life has been forever changed by these pancakes.  I seriously thought these Sweet Potato Pancakes were the end game for pancakes forever.  But now I see that they have been trumped.  Just to let you know, this is just my personal opinion because I will always (always!) be swayed by chocolate, so take this as you will.

A few months ago, when I knew I was going to take some time off, I pulled together a list of several recipes that I definitely wanted to try while I was on what I call "vacation".  Last week, I realized the list is only, maybe about 75 recipes long.  Um, I don't even have 75 days off.  Plus, at least 24 of those days were/will be spent on crutches.  Clearly that's not the optimal time to play around in the kitchen right next to open flames and a 350 degree oven.  That is akin to asking for a trip to the ER.  So anyhow, I got real and decided to pare this list down to the things that I really actually wanted to make.

Enter these brownie pancakes.  These were one of the first things I had pulled into my To-Make list and I had forgotten about them.  Um, no.  I needed to make these.  I pulled this recipe to the top of the list and got to work.

And before everyone starts freaking out about eating brownies for breakfast, please note that this can be made into a "skinny" recipe...aka 172 calories per serving, which happens to be the ENTIRE RECIPE.  No joke.  I don't joke about brownies.  Now, I didn't have all the required ingredients on hand, so my recipe will not have this many calories, so if you do want to pare things down a bit, I provided the link to the original recipe for ya.