Monthly Archives: October 2012

Two Ingredient Dessert

We’re having a Halloween party at work tomorrow.  Everyone was asked to bring some sort of candy or treat.  I’m always kind of conflicted with this type of thing, especially when it comes to desserts.  Do I try to make something semi-healthy or do I say eff it and make something that I’m sure people will like?  Though I’ve made bean brownies before (my friend Tanya would disagree, but they were good), usually I opt for the unhealthy treat.  I’m much more confident to in my ability to find a good tasting healthy dish than a good tasting healthy dessert.  My go-to is Oreo Truffles.  Everyone loves these and they’re fairly easy to make with only three ingredients.  However, it’s kind of time consuming to make them, so I went with something easy that I found on Pinterest.  Easy and only two ingredients!

Cupcake ingredients

Well three if you count the powdered sugar on top.

My biggest concern making this recipe was that I didn’t really know what a jelly roll pan was.  I google imaged it and it looked like a cookie sheet, so I put it on a cookie sheet.

Lemon bars uncut

I ran into a little bit of trouble, however, when I tried to remove them from the cookie sheet, oh I mean jelly roll pan.  For whatever reason, the recipe specified an ungreased pan, and of course they stuck.

Pan

I managed to rescue most of them though and aside from being very sticky, they tasted pretty good.  Ignore the awful picture.  Don’t shoot with an f-stop of 1.8 even if it’s really dark or this is what happens.

Lemon bars

The original recipe said it made ten bars at 363 calories each.  I cut mine into 28 bars, so they’re significantly lower in calorie.  Oh, except that I ate three that couldn’t be rescued.  Maybe those don’t count.

I hope everyone is safe from the hurricane.  I was worried about my family in the DC area, but they are all fine.

 

Halloween Boiled Peanuts in the Crockpot

Though I’ve lived in Atlanta for ten years, I’m not a huge fan of Southern food.  But there is one thing that I’d never had before moving to the South and really like: boiled peanuts!  My friends Joan and Sean had a Halloween party last night and I offered to bring some boiled peanuts, since they’re big fans too.

I remembered that Carol had made them before, so I emailed her and asked if she had a recipe.  She told me that she just puts them in her crockpot overnight with lots of salt.

To start, you need raw peanuts.  Preferably raw green peanuts, but we couldn’t find them.  It actually took going to three grocery stores (a crappy Kroger, a nicer Kroger and finally Publix, where we had success.) to find raw peanuts.

Raw peanuts

From what I read, these dried raw peanuts would work fine, the cook time would just be longer than if we’d used the raw green ones.  It did take a long time to cook, but the results were worth it.  For those who haven’t had them, boiled peanuts sit in brine and they’re kind of mushy, but in a good way.

Boiled peanuts

Boiled peanuts closeup

Boiled Peanuts in the Crockpot

Ingredients:

1 pound dried raw peanuts
1/4-1/2 cup salt
3 tbsp cajun seasoning or more to taste
liberal dose of Texas Pete Hot Sauce

1.  Wash the peanuts and put them in the crockpot and cover with water.  The peanuts will float.
2.  Mix salt, cajun seasoning and Texas Pete into the water.
3.  Heat on low for 8 hours.
4.  Turn heat up to high for 12 more hours.

I don’t think it’s possible to overcook these, but you do need to check on the water level from time to time and add more water if necessary.  Happy Halloween!

Halloween costumes

 

Midweek Sushi Date

Is it Wednesday night already?  This week has been flying by.  Not that I’m complaining.  I have had a lot on my plate at work for the past week, mostly due to being behind from taking three vacation days, but also just because.  I finally think that I see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Although, I was in a meeting with some executives this afternoon and I told them that I’d have a project done by Friday.  A project that I didn’t know about until about 3:30 pm.  I work best under pressure, so it’s all good and plus, it makes the week fly by.

Though I like being busy at work, sometimes it’s fun to have a mid-week fun break and tonight I had a little sushi dinner date.

Lee tina

A few months ago, Tina and I were trying to decide on a sushi restaurant that was in-between her house and my office and settled on Sushi House.  It’s like this random little hole in the wall in a strip mall with a Goodwill store and not much else.  The sushi is really good though.  We started out with some edamame and then moved on to the main course.

Sushi

We sat around chatting about anything and everything for about an hour and a half.  It was a fun little dinner date in the middle of the week.  On my drive home, I started thinking that I really wanted something sweet and remembered that I had some No Bake Energy Balls in my freezer.  Okay, I’m totally lying, I was thinking about these during dinner.

Energy balls

While they are absolutely delicious, they don’t really stick together well.  You can’t tell from the picture, but there are a lot of crumbs at the bottom.  I think it’s because I used unsweetened coconut flakes which are much drier than the sweetened variety.

Completely unrelated to sushi or balls, I need new music to download.  Any suggestions?  Preferably not pop.

An Old Favorite

Yesterday I thought I was being all domestic and making something in my crockpot.  I found a recipe for some sort of crockpot stew and had all the ingredients on hand.  Perfect.  Except not really.  The only thing that I didn’t have was raw cauliflower, so I used frozen broccoli instead.  Umm, not the same thing in a stew that simmers for 4 hours in the crockpot.  When it was done, the broccoli was like brown, mushy and disgusting.  I tried to pick it out, but to no avail.  It was one of those meals that I maybe could have tolerated once, but this made a lot and I knew it was doomed to many weeks in the fridge before I finally just threw it out.  So I took the bull by the horns and just pitched it.  Food waster extraordinare.

So, there were no leftovers waiting for me when I got home from work.  I was still kind of in the mood for something warm, even though it was almost 80 degrees today, so I went with an old standby: veggie chili.

I’m such a recipe/cookbook/pinterest addict that I don’t often repeat recipes because there’s so many new things to try.  However, this chili recipe was one of the first recipes that I ever actually made, when I first starting getting more interested in cooking, maybe like 7-8 years ago.  It comes from vegweb.com, but I just have it written down in a text doc and can’t find the original link.  It’s basically just 2 peppers, 1 onion, 2 cans of beans, 1 can of tomatoes, 1 small can of green chiles, 1 can tomato paste, soy crumbles, cumin and chili powder.

Veggie chili

My mom and my grandmother are both big fans of this chili too.  It comes together easily and makes a lot.  If you want the full recipe, I wrote it in a blog post a couple years ago.  Don’t sue me if it’s your recipe.  Don’t sue me because I had awful photography editing skills back then either.

Off to relax and watch the debate.  I think that’s an oxymoron.

Little 5 Halloween Parade

Yesterday, Jason and I went to one of Atlanta’s biggest Halloween events – the Little 5 Points Halloween Parade – with our friends Joan and Sean.  Little 5 Points is the Atlanta neighborhood best described as eclectic.  Lots of interesting shops and bars and phenomenal people watching.  Luckily, Joan and Sean live walking distance from there, so we just drove to their apt and we able to easily park (and play with their cute new puppy!)

The parade started at 4 and we headed over there around 3:15-3:30.

Halloween1

Halloween2

Jason and I were decked out in our South Carolina Gamecocks gear (I have adopted them as my team since UVM, where I went, didn’t have a football team) even though they lost.

Lee jason gamecocks

We decided to just sit on a hill along the parade route and wait for it to start.  Plenty of other people had the same idea.

Halloween5

Fortunately, we were able to see.  Sort of.  Okay, not really.

Halloween3

Halloween7

Though it was already 5, none of us had lunch and we made the smart idea to walk in the opposite direction of the parade while it was still going on and got to a local bar, the Albert, before it got crowded.  We were very proud of ourselves.  Joan and Sean had tickets to see Passion Pit, but we opted to take it easy and rented a movie from Redbox (Wanderlust, it was okay) instead.

Do you dress up for Halloween?  We went to a thrift store today and found part of our costumes.

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