Thursday, August 29, 2013

zucchini zucchini zucchini

I've been a bad blogger... But the truth is, not too much has been going on. I've been working, reading, exercising and mostly just keeping my head down, I suppose. We're planning a labor day trip to Washington for some bouldering (and eating out... maybe some hiking. MAYBE some Sound of Music watching ...if I'm lucky) -- we're leaving TOMORROW!

One interesting thing that has been going on is, well, zucchini. Our awesome next door neighbor was in Canada for awhile and told us to raid his garden while he was gone. We did, and this was our haul:

The eggplant was used up pretty quickly on some delicious pizza last week, leaving me with three GIANT zucchini. The largest one weighs 8.5 pounds and still hasn't been touched. The smallest one is gone, and we're well on our way to finishing up the second smaller one.

Everyone told me that when zucchini gets so big, it gets tough, but I haven't found that to be true of these guys. They're still pretty delicious. Here's what I've made so far.

•zucchini bread
My first time! I'm unimaginative with my quickbreads, and all I usually make is banana bread.

•zucchini pizzas
AKA: roasted zucchini topped with tomato sauce, cheese, Italian cheese blend and fresh tomatoes & basil from our garden

•zucchini potato soup
yup... Pretty self-explanatory

•zucchini & other veggie pasta
Probably my favorite thing with the zucchini so far. Was originally gonna be zucchini-mushroom with an alfredo-y sauce, but I just kept throwing veggies in: red pepper, tomato, onion ...and it turned out awesome topped with some goat cheese!

•roasted zucchini
A nice side dish for all of your fixins.

I imagine I'll make at least another loaf or two of zucchini bread ... zucchini fries ... planning some zucchini tostadas for when we're camping, but I'm running out of ideas! I'm also getting tired of zucchini in general, but it is perfectly good, delicious zucchini, so it seems like a shame not to use it up. I'm determined! One thing I'm considering is trying to recreate the most amazing vegan breakfast I had in Eugene awhile back...We'll see. Let me know if you have ideas. I'll see you next week. Hopefully with a lot of awesome photos!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

New homemades

nutella cheesecake minus the chopped hazelnuts because I'm apparently insane (according to everyone else), and don't like nuts in my chocolate.

Crock pot chicken tikka masala with thighs and wings from our Afton Farms chicken. I'm kind of passed using a recipe for this now. Basically, I marinate the chicken in spices (garam masala, cayenne, etc) & yogurt overnight, & make a tomato-paste-based sauce with tons of spices (garam masala, turmeric, chili powder, etc.) and throw it all in the crock pot for 8 hours on low. Finish it off with some heavy cream, a couple of teaspoons of spices to freshen it up, cilantro & some rice! Bam. I make a ton. It keeps & reheats really well, for which I'm glad because I always want more than one serving of this!

Homemade salsa with tomatoes from our garden, 2 serrano peppers (roasted), 1 hot green chili (roasted), 1/4 of a jalapeno, seeded & chopped, 2 cloves of garlic, a hand full of red+yellow onion & cilantro. It's super spicy & super delicious! Our tomatoes are starting to go crazy. I'm excited to figure out what else to do with them - besides share them!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Friday Five

•Early bedtimes
•My running schedule
•Greek yogurt ...again.
•Charles Wright & Charles Simic ...the Charleses

Thursday, August 8, 2013

TBT: Mark Twain Hall

My college friends and I have been a buzz this week about the renovation of the dorm we all lived in.

I moved into Mark Twain Hall my second semester freshman year. I initially lived in a much "nicer" dorm on the other side of campus, but I found friends in Mark Twain, and I wanted to be closer to them. Closer to the journalism school. Closer to downtown. Closer to life.

Here's what my room looked like back then.

Nice. Bright. Happy. Plenty of stuffed animals. Plenty of posters.

I stayed for another year in another room with another friend next door to girls who became my best friends...

It makes me a little sad that it doesn't look like this anymore. That the bathrooms aren't as crappy and ridiculous. That the dining hall isn't small and humble: a well-kept secret, just for those of us that lived on that secluded side of campus.

Lots of collegey things happened to me in Mark Twain. I made friends, played silly games, wrote papers, ate tons of "pokey sticks", drank alcohol behind locked doors (because I'm such a rebel...). Actually, that's honestly probably the most rebellious thing I have ever done. I lead a pretty safe, rule-following life.

I worked at the front desk and had to run to throw up in the mail room during one ill-fated hungover morning. I don't drink like that anymore! I played Tetris and fell asleep on other peoples' beds watching movies. I got written up for being "too loud" during "quiet hours". That write-up was later expunged....

I hope that the changes they've made to the building really do help more Mizzou students to have similar awesome experiences.

In any case, they have the smoke stacks, which we always joked about, but which I'll always remember after waking up every day to the smoke and the fog outside my sixth and seventh-floor windows. They have also probably facilitated future cancer cases for all of us. I have a theory that we'll all get called up in 20 years for some kind of medical study on the affects of living that close to a power plant.

Eh. Worth it.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Garden

It's a secret garden with secret boulders. And, for one day last weekend, a Callie, an Aaron and a Boston terrier.

A v5ish in what I'm calling "the front area". We don't know!

Boone looked on. (See all the ferns?!)

I worked it too!

And then we all got tired and went home. Which was not difficult, because this prime bouldering spot is only an hour from our front door. <3

Friday, August 2, 2013

Friday Five + banana bread

Last night was productive. I finally managed to use up the two cups of rice I cooked on Tuesday when our leftovers from last week finally ran out.

We've had Mujadra, Burrito bowls, and last night: pineapple fried rice. (the Forks over Knives recipe).

Before I started the fried rice I got some banana bread in the oven. It's been randomly cloudy and ...angry-looking outside for the last couple of days, and there's nothing more comforting. I use my momma's recipe.

• 3/4 cup butter or margarine – softened to room temperature
• 2 cups sugar
• 2 eggs
• 2 teaspoons vanilla
• 3 cups mashed very ripe bananas
• 3/4 cup milk
• 5 cups of flour
• 6 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 1/2 cup chopped pecan or walnuts – optional
• Pam

Spray loaf pans liberally with Pam.  Preheat oven to 350*.

Cream margarine and sugar together.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Mix well.  Stir in bananas and milk.

Mix dry ingredients together – and then stir into banana mixture.  Mix only until dry ingredients are mixed in.  Do not over mix or the banana bread will be “tough.”  Stir in nuts if desired.  Pour equal portions into pre-Pammed loaf pans.  Bake for about 1 hour at 350* until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean.

Anyway, here's some stuff I've been enjoying this week:

•English breakfast tea
•greek yogurt & berries
•meal planning, baking
•banana bread
•rewatching Laura Vitale videos...

There's a fat kid inside of me begging to get out...

Thursday, August 1, 2013

TBT: Londontown

If you ever wondered why or how Rebekah and I became the best of friends, it's because of this:

Yes...SIX summers ago now...we were crammed into this bedroom together. This is literally the whole room. The bathroom, which we shared with four other girls was almost half this size on Hogarth Street in Earl's Court.

I was thinking about old London yesterday because it was the birthday of the boy who lived.

I don't think I fully appreciated London while I was there. My focus was on my internship, which I worked 9-5, Monday-Friday in Islington just like a real person! And also on seeing as much of Europe as I could...

•I ate a lot of tortellini in my tiny kitchen (the pre-packaged Sainsbury's kind)
•I saw films in Covent Garden
•I spent Saturdays at Portobello Road and in Hyde Park
•I commuted from the Piccadilly Line and the District Line every day, changing trains at Kings Cross
•I spent my lunch hours in the basement of a Starbucks in Islington - before Starbucks had wifi - with pre-downloaded TV shows on my lap top & a tall hot chocolate.
•I was cold. Until the last week or two I was there, in August.

It's cold here today. But I'm feeling good. I've kept to my schedule all week. All that's really left (besides two work days) is a 10-mile run. I'm already sore from all my other workouts this week. We're climbing tonight in the gym after work and at "the garden" on Saturday. Home projects on Sunday! ...and lots of cooking ...and lots of BAKING! I'm excited about the baking. I wanted to make banana bread light, but I opted for an early bedtime instead. ;)