March 30th, 2009

sunday morning breakfast

breakfast

most weekdays, i skip breakfast. it’s bad, i know, but the best i usually do is a bowl of honey bunches of oats at my desk. on weekends though, i crave giant hearty breakfasts. i want pancakes and omelets and bacon and muffins – like the “complete breakfast” you’d see at the end of a cereal commercial, where we’re expected to have a glass of orange juice and a glass of milk. above is my go-to breakfast for sunday morning, with a fresh mug of coffee (i’ve converted from instant to brewed!). eggs, sunny-side up, italian sausage, asparagus sauteed in butter and whole wheat toast – there’s nothing better. plus, it makes me feel like a line-order cook, if only for the 15 minutes it talkes to pull everything together -  it’s a fun game to see if i can it all ready at the same time so it’s still hot when i eat.

breakfast

if you ignore the fact that i completely overcooked the eggs, this was an incredible meal. until recently, i never knew what to call sunny-side up eggs, because growing up we just called them “dippy eggs” (because you poke the yolk and dip the bread into it). and asparagus for breakfast? i’ve always loved it, but i was skeptical of the “asparagus and eggs with parmesan” craze until i tried it myself. there was actually another entire plate of asparagus that i wolfed down. that’s right, i ate an entire bushel of asparagus for breakfast. and it was worth it. what’s your favorite breakfast for a lazy weekend?

breakfast




March 26th, 2009

chocolate cupcakes with banana cream cheese frosting

chocolate cupcakes with banana icing

i’m right in the lion’s den of cupcakes. i’m not sure why the nation’s capital has adopted cupcakes as its “thing,” but it’s not exactly as awesome as you might think. for one thing, the city has not become a magical candyland where queen frostine decrees from her gumdrop throne which flavor we should all be wearing each day. in fact, it’s more like waiting 45 minutes in the cold for a tiny cake with too-sweet icing. also, it’s become acceptable to charge between 3 and 4 dollars per cupcake. let that sink in.

chocolate cupcakes with banana icing

i’m not going to keep hating on cupcakes, because, well, it’s been done more cogently elsewhere, but when i can make an entire batch in the time it takes to wait in line for one, i’m sticking with homemade. and now to get back to the point of the post, when i’m looking for quality homemade chocolate baked goods, i go straight to ina garten. you just know you’re getting something good when there’s butter, buttermilk and sour cream involved.

chocolate cupcakes with banana icing

this recipe marked the first official use of my new kitchenaid mixer (courtesy of a pioneerwoman contest – ridiculous, i know), and i hate to admit it, but it actually made a difference. pretty much everything i’ve made so far was mixed with my favorite wooden spoon and sheer willpower, but the convenience of a standing mixer is, duh, a pretty sweet convenience. that said, i definitely don’t think mixers are a necessity, and anyone that tells you that you must use one for a particular recipe is straight up lying.

chocolate cupcakes with banana icing

chocolate cupcakes with banana icing

the frosting looks pretty…interesting, no? it turns out that when you mash up bananas and add them to cream cheese and butter, you get something that looks uncannily like oatmeal. i had to add copious amounts of food coloring to really get the yellow to come out, but i think it looks pretty cool, especially against the chocolaty cake. why banana? i love bananas, and bananas and chocolate are a perfect combo (the bluths got it right). seriously, these taste awesome.

chocolate cupcakes with banana icing

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March 23rd, 2009

curried chicken salad

curried chicken salad

as much as i’d love for it to be true, i don’t get to just sit around eating cupcakes and pies all day. despite the name of the site, i also cook regular old meals – meals that aren’t slathered in frosting, and some even without *gasp* bacon. so to give you all a better idea of what i eat for dinner on a typical night, i’m excited to share some of my favorite non-dessert meals!

curried chicken salad

i actually started making this chicken salad after i tackled the mighty bastilla - and came out victorious. whole foods is a little above my means, but one of my favorite things to grab for lunch there is a container of the curried chicken salad. after i cooked the chicken for the bastilla, the flavors were so similar to the chicken salad from the store that i decided that i could make it for myself from now on to save a bit of money.

curried chicken salad

the flavors are, in a word, perfect. the combination of spicy and sweet will make you smile, and the peppers and grapes keep the chicken salad (which is too often dry) moist and refreshing. it’s such an easy and flavorful dish, there’s really no excuse to make up a big ‘ole batch for your friends, or better yet, to bring along for a picnic as the days (thank god) get warmer. and for anyone still craving something sweet, don’t worry, i’ve got some treats coming up this week. stay tuned! i’m not through with sugar and bacon (and combination thereof) yet!

curried chicken salad

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