Wednesday, May 28, 2014

When Life Gives You a Vegetarian...

Apologies for a text-only blog post - it's weird taking photos knowing that you can't upload them to Facebook right away. West of Bland, VA I lost cell phone service. MetroPCS does not exist among the ridges of southwestern Virginia. This is at once freeing and limiting. I am simultaneously thrilled and disappointed that I do have internet in the Learning Co-op's building. There are eight episodes of Glee that I could catch up on, but I feel bad binge-watching TV while I'm in what should be the simple country. (By simple I mean quiet and easy, not at all stupid. The folks I've met so far are all very intelligent and absolute experts in what they do; I am humbled by and honored to know them.) But I just had to listen to Unkle and the only way I can do that is streaming on Grooveshark. I also need to, keep up with this blog, of course!  

Life gave me a vegetarian while at this internship with the Fourth World Movement in Appalachia in the form of Ryan, the young Marylandian (Marylander?) who's spending the summer with me and the team. He's super awesome and we get along really well, though he makes me feel old when he tells me that he isn't 21. (I scolded him not to drink my beers in the fridge, but I'm not really worried.) His favorite thing to eat is stir-fried vegetables, mainly chopped cauliflower, broccoli, onions, potatoes, and peppers. He adds lemon pepper, garlic powder, Mrs. Dash spices, soy sauce and hot sauce to make Chinese-food-esque stir-fries that are just awesome. Then he throws some cheese on top and dives in. I already love his cooking style. Next time I suggested he throw in some pineapple or mango chunks to add some tropical sweetness. 

Tonight for dinner I took the leftovers of his stir-fry, blended them with the leftover (boxed) rice pilaf that I'd made and scrambled it with six eggs. When I told Ryan my idea for dinner (as he and I are going to switch off cooking) he raised his eyes to the heavens and said, "YES!" We both agree that cooking is boring without another person in the kitchen, so it's safe to say that we're going to get along just fine. 

My other brilliant idea was the dessert, which I was thrilled to introduce to Ryan: banana "ice cream." He said, "But we don't have any ice cream." "That's what the air quotes are for," I replied. I sliced two frozen bananas into a blender, added the rest of the milk that was in the fridge (probably about a 1/2 cup - I don't have measuring cups in this kitchen, hooray!) and added a heaping tablespoon of carob powder. Ryan had never had that either and said that he couldn't tell the difference between it and chocolate. The result was guilt-free chocolate ice cream. It was so wonderful to have seconds and not feel bad about it! 

I'm really looking forward to cooking yummy veggies with this kid. On my mental menu are roasted cauliflower, baked sweet potatoes, vegetable frittata, and apple cake. I'm hoping to get my diet back in check and I think this will help! 

Hopefully the southwestern-style fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and mountains of cornbread won't set me back too much... 

Happy munching! 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Playing "Ketchup"

Goodness me... I have been a bad blogger. I apologize. After Mardi Gras, I thought that things might slow down enough for me to blog but instead they just got crazy busy. I left New Orleans in April after my yearlong term with AmeriCorps ended and despite being home in CT and having lots of time to laze about, I didn't blog. For weeks I was working and travelling and then when I got home I just wanted to do nothing. But I did make some things that I wanted to share.

Bachelor Pie

I've been eating a lot of toast for breakfast lately, but I never eat anything so boring as buttered toast - it's a full meal. My grandmother, Magy (Ma Gee for Ma Grosslein), has been making Bachelor Pie as long as I can remember and it's always a staple at her house. While spending a few days with her, my grandfather (Pagy) and my dad on Cape Cod, I ate a lot of Bachelor Pie with strawberry jam and fresh sliced strawberries. At home I made my own Bachelor Pie with peanut butter, bananas, and granola homemade by a cousin of mine. It was so delicious and kept me full straight through lunch time. 

Simple and Delicious Bachelor Pie 

Sliced bread, home baked or store bought; whole wheat and white are best but you can use any type
Butter, if desired
Jam or marmalade, any flavor (homemade is best!) 
Sliced fruit

Toast the bread to your liking. The darker you toast the bread, the more toppings it will support. Spread toast with butter if you prefer and follow with jam or marmalade. Arrange slices of fruit on top. Enjoy, especially with tea or coffee. 

Throwing Things Together (3T) Pizza

Yesterday after running errands Mom and I were contemplating stopping by the new wood fire oven pizza cart in town. Apparently it isn't open on Sundays - and thank goodness. We went home and realized that we had a pre-made pizza crust, lots of cheese, sweet potatoes and other miscellaneous ingredients to use up in the fridge. Mom let me choose what toppings I wanted to combine so I came up with the above: half marinara with avocado slices, cheddar jack and Mexican cheese blends and grated carrot with garlic powder and half sweet potato mash, gala apples and feta cheese with cinnamon.

I baked the pizza in a 400 degree oven for 14 minutes or so until the crust (brushed with olive oil) was brown and crispy. The apple half was sweet like a dessert pizza and the avocado half was heavy with garlic and Mexican and Italian flavors. We were thrilled and so glad that we stayed in!

It feels so good to blog again.

Happy munching!