July goals

My goals for July include eating so many ‘mater sammiches.
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Real goals post shortly!

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A homemade dinner

It’s my first week not working. I’m not sure how long it will last. I’ve had a few referrals for freelance work, so I think that my relaxation will end in the next couple of weeks.

In the meantime, though, I find myself filling my time with what I enjoy. Josh often says that my family (meaning my father and myself) will take two hours extra of our time to do something if it saves us a quarter. For instance, my dad makes his own cornbread for the base of his cornbread stuffing.

Wednesday’s dinner was kind of on this principal:

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That’s falafel with tzatziki and pita.

Everything in the picture except the lettuce is homemade. Including the yogurt I used as the base for the tzatziki. I made it in a crockpot overnight and strained it yesterday to thicken it up to Greek status.

All the recipes came from Budget Bytes. Honestly, I just really love the site. It was the best/worst day when Tasha introduced me.

Tzatziki

Pitas

Falafel

Again, I felt this combo was a bit bland. A dash more of salt made me happier… Josh thinks the massive amounts of water I’m drinking every day are making me crave more sodium than usual. It was also SO garlicky. I’d probably work on adjusting that in the future.

Quinoa and Kale Patties

As part of the Pinterest Challenge I’m doing, I tapped this recipe for quinoa and kale patties as one of my six pins to accomplish in six weeks.

I made them last night for dinner.

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Now, I am a fool for a quinoa patty. I’ve tried four other recipes already, and every time I come across a new one, I opt to try it. That said, this one isn’t my favorite. Josh deemed it yummy, but I thought it was lacking something.

It also makes a lot of patties for two people. Given my previous experiences with quinoa patties, I decided to only cook what we were going to eat for dinner last night and save the rest as raw “dough” to be cooked on demand for leftovers. (Microwave reheated patties don’t taste the greatest.) Today, I cooked some up and sprinkled pepper on them while they cooked in the pan. MUCH tastier.

The next time I make these, I’ll probably add a teaspoon of pepper and probably about 1/2 teaspoon of cumin. Everything tastes better with cumin.

 

A Pinterest Challenge

I came across a Pinterest challenge over at Merrick’s Art today.

Basically, you have six weeks to make/do six things you’ve pinned. As of this moment, I have 1,672 pins. That’s a lot of pins, you guys. (In my defense, I joined Pinterest EARLY. Like, way before it was the phenomenon that it is now.) The majority of them I’ve never looked at once since I pinned them. Others I’ve done.

So here are my picks:

Pinterest Challenge

1. Hair clips. These are no-sew, but I might sew mine. At least partly.

2. A moon mani. I pinned this more than a year ago.

3. Embroidery-wrapped hoops. I saw these on a Haute Look sale one day, but I’d like to DIY them.

4. Quinoa and kale patties. I love a quinoa patty.

5. Two-tone dip dye. I pinned this shirt as inspiration for a white dress I have that needs a little perk.

6. Button-up refashion. I have a button-up that I bought in Ohio last fall that would be perfect. It’s green plaid. I think I’m going to do pre-bought bias tape around the neck and do the sleeves a bit different.

So there you go. Six pins to add to the “done” list before six weeks are over! I think it’s going to be helpful that I’m only going to be employed full time for one more week!

Sisters Share It All: Pinterest Challenge

Recipe 1: Potato soup

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I’ve been wanting potato soup for a couple of weeks. The problem, as always, is that I’m a vegetarian, so I can’t just buy it. The store-bought and deli soups are made with chicken stock and/or bacon. It’s nice in a way because it forces me to make it and I prefer homemade to everything else out there because I know what’s in it.

I started with this recipe from All Recipes. I omitted the dill because I didn’t have it, swapped veggie broth for chicken broth, upped the amount of pepper and omitted the bacon. We added soy bacon and cheese as a garnish.

It was a hit! Josh deemed it “tasty.” Totally hit that potato soup craving.

King of cukes

 

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I found this monster cucumber lurking in the garden. I think it had nefarious intentions; good thing I got to it first. (The spoon in the background should give you a sense of scale. These are supposed to be pickling cukes!)

What is this?

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This veggie came in our CSA box this week. Josh was digging through the box to see if we got bok choy (we HATE bok choy, so he was going to take it to work), when he came up with this.

I’d taken a peak a few days before to see what was coming, so I knew it was specialty cauliflower. But he decided it’s alien cauliflower.

Stockpiling with a new recipe

I have a bunch of food-related goals on my list for 2012. So far I’ve been failing on stockpiling food in my freezer. I’m just so tired during the week and that carries over to the weekend. It just doesn’t get done!

Tasha got me hooked on recipes from Budget Bytes. If you haven’t browsed cooked devoured everything on her site yet, YOU MUST. One thing I really love about the recipes is that they’re practical for people who work. She gives recipes for burritos to keep in your freezer. Vegetarian like me? She’s got one for you. (And others, too. With a nifty label.) Lots of the recipes are quick with simple ingredients. Translation: Easy for a weeknight when you’ve got no time to cook.

So when I saw this recipe for Hearty Black Bean Quesadillas, and read that she froze her leftovers, a light went on. It’s easy AND freezable? Weeknight stockpiling, ahoy.

Josh works late, so I eat without him about half the time. I’m sorry, but I am HUNGRY at 6:30 and don’t want to wait until 8. I start cooking and if he’s home, we eat together. Otherwise, the TV is my friend.

This was so easy that I started cooking the one I was going to eat and stuffed the other ones and dumped them in the freezer before it was done. Twelve delicious quesadillas in the freezer to eat later. Josh and I each ate one the first day and one the second day. So, 16 total. I call that a win.

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I doubled the recipe. I used packaged taco mix. I used three cans (instead of two) of black beans. I would have used less cheese, though you do need cheese as the glue to hold a quesadilla together. I omitted cilantro because Josh doesn’t like it. I added an extra half cup of corn.

Pickled.

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I made pickled onions with this recipe. It’s so easy — it takes maybe 10 minutes, including time to find the jars. Chop, dump, stuff in some cilantro, wait a day, and you’ve got a topping for tacos, soup or salad!