Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Slow Cooker Chili

I've been trying to incorporate more soups and stews into my regular diet.  It hasn't been working.  I'm slightly disappointed that this is my first real chili of the season, but at least I finally got around to making it!'s here just in time for the Superbowl!  This year, the big game is being held in my backyard.  Sorta.  The Broncos and Seahawks are coming to play at MetLife Stadium this weekend, which is about a 20 minute train ride from me.  This should be awesome.  It's not.  First of all, my team, the Steelers (the best team, really), isn't playing.  However, more importantly, I live right next to the train station which will take people from Hoboken to NYC and also from Hoboken to the stadium.  This town is going to be a drunken mess and I'm going to have a front row seat.  I won't want to leave my apartment for the rest of the week.

Now that I have this chili, I really won't have to.  I can kick back and relax at home with a comforting bowl of food.  I can invite friends over to partake in this, or I can try to escape the crowds and take my chili on the road to a friend's place.  I'm not sure yet what's going to end up happening this Sunday, but I can assure you that I will be taking cover and avoiding all the Superbowl madness outside.  I will be nice and toasty and filled with chili no matter where I am.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Toffee Squares

These bars have no toffee in them.

Yes, I know what they're called, but I didn't name them.  However, I didn't feel the urge to change the name either.  Hear me out.  If you have ever savored the wonder of a Heath candy bar, you would definitely recognize the flavor of these gorgeous desserts.

These dessert bars were the business!  I loved these so much that I eventually had to get them out of my apartment or I would have eaten them all.  One thing to note is that the crust can be a bit crumbly.  That didn't bother me one bit.  In fact, I took one for the team and "disposed" of any broken bars so that no one else had to worry about them.

In the end, I packed up the majority of the bars (the unbroken ones) and took them over to a friend's place so I could salvage my dignity.  Or at least attempt to.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sweet Potato & Onion Quiche

I've been working from home for a few weeks now and I'm trying to figure out a few things, such as 1) exactly how does one grocery shop for an entire week at a time?, 2) How does one plan out meals for oneself for more than 2-3 days in a row?, and 3) How does one organize the refrigerator so that I can use up all this fresh food I seem to be purchasing?

As you can see, I have questions.  I think this quiche is the answer.  OK, it's not really going to answer any of the questions I have above, but while I am (still) pondering these questions, I can make this quiche and eat it too.

I really felt the need to rekindle my love affair with the quiche.  Recently, my attention has been diverted by pumpkin-flavored things and unnecessarily sweet desserts, aka "the Holidays".  Clearly, I need to refocus.  Quiches are the perfect easy meal: breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  I also eat it quite often as a snack.  Love doesn't discriminate.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Cappuccino Cookies with White Chocolate

I had an internal struggle going on for a while and I've decided which side has won.  On one hand, I really wanted to publish some healthy recipes to kick off 2014, because no one really goes into the new year thinking you're going to stuff your face with tons of calories.  We already spent all of December doing that.  And if I'm being completely honest with myself, I also spent the tail end of November doing that as well (hello, Thanksgiving!).

Now, if there's anything I'm good at, it's getting you to break your diet.  I'm not proud of it, but I am that girl who is going to eat what I want and then figure out how much time I have to spend working out to counteract that decision.  OK, I'm only like this 95% of the time, but you get the idea.

I also couldn't live with myself if I wasn't able to post the recipe for this cookies asap!  These cookies could seriously be called life-changing.  I would say that I never want to be without these again but the problem with that desire is that I tend to eat at least three in a row.  Let's be clear that this is not me sitting down with three cookies on a plate eating them.  It's me sitting down with one cookie in hand, then getting up to get another one, and sitting back down.  And let's repeat that one more time because I needed to get a cup of water and the cookies were RIGHT THERE...butreallyIjustwantedanothercookie.

To help me help myself, I gave away about a dozen of these cookies, but somehow, within two days, the other dozen disappeared.  I don't know what happened!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Roasted Carrots with Thyme

I will advise you that I do have more decadent desserts coming up in the next few posts.  I just can't help myself.  I love to bake after the holidays.  You know, that time when everyone is totally done with sweets and treats?  Yep, that's when I'm hitting my stride.  Whatever.  More for me!

But right now, I'm back on the healthy bandwagon once again.  I couldn't resist once I spotted purple and white carrots in the Union Square Greenmarket.  I was with my mom and nephew and the three of us were immediately intrigued.  Two minutes later, 2 lbs of carrots were purchased.  And I had no idea what I was going to do with them.

I soon decided to roast the vegetables with herbs and seasonings since roasting veggies is the easiest, yet tastiest thing ever.  It doesn't necessarily leave you with pretty-looking vegetables, but the taste will make up for that.  In the future, I would probably sprinkle a little sugar on top of the carrots as well since I like my carrots sort of sweet, but I loved the outcome based on the recipe below all the same!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Iced Champagne Pound Cake

Remember when I told you I was going to give you healthy recipes?  Well, I lied.  Sorry 'bout that.  

I ended up making this amazing cake for a New Year's Eve party last week and I just about died over it.  Let me tell you a secret: I don't like pound cake.  It's just one of those things.  However, I figured this pound cake had champagne in it, so it wasn't really the same as a regular pound cake, right?  Well, when I made this and finally got to taste it, I discovered that it was amazing!

But hey, can you guess what is NOT amazing?  Not using real butter and flour to coat the inside of your bundt pan, then turning out your cake onto a plate and leaving parts of it in the pan...Not cool.  Not cool.  So the next logical step was to patch things together, and then pour icing over the cake in an effort to hide the evidence.  I believe this step worked out favorably for everyone.

Truth be told, I was thinking of drizzling an icing on this cake anyhow.  This iced pound cake reminds me of the iced lemon loaf at Starbucks.  I actually do like that Starbucks dessert (I know, I know! I'm only slightly ashamed) and once I tasted my own iced cake, I realized that Starbucks had already tricked me into liking pound cake.  Sneaky!  I see what you did there 'bucks.

Note: Since I had some eggnog in my refrigerator, I made use of it in this icing.  However, if you don't have eggnog (especially since it's a seasonal drink) you can use heavy cream or milk.  While it seems as if this cake would be best suited to a special celebration, I would also recommend making this cake for no reason at all.  Treat yo'self.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Curried Chickpeas with Spinach

Happy New Year!  I hope you all had a safe and festive entrance to 2014.

You all knew I was going to fall victim to the peer pressure, didn't you?  It's time to crank out the healthy recipes for all those folks heading to the gym.  January is the standard month for everyone to descend up any gym within sight.  I am just cringing thinking of signing up for my workouts for the next few weeks.

Oh well, since I'm sure all of the classes I want to take will be full, I'm going to focus on eating better.  Here I am bringing you more vegetables.  I can't seem to stop myself, so I'm just embracing this.

My love of hummus extends from my love of garbanzo beans, which is...interesting, considering that I hate most beans.  The only beans I care to eat are these and edamame.  Everything else can just back it up.  These beans happen to be curried, though.  That is a new phase I'm entering as well.  I love curry.  I think I get that from my momma.  Oh, and there's spinach and tomato sauce.

Wow, I'm sure you're excited to see what I'm going to bring you in 2014!  We're kicking it off with garbanzo beans and I'm talking about spinach and curry...  I'm pretty sure I'm losing followers as I type this.  Yup yup.  I promise I'm going to make it up to you with some decadent goodies soon, but for right now I've thrown together some curry, chickpeas, and spinach juuuuust for you.

By the way, this recipe is super quick, so you can get back to working on your fitness in no time!