Thursday, July 02, 2009


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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Baby Greens and POM-tini's


That was a tough week for me. Serious blogger withdrawals occurred but I've made it though. Since my camera wasn't in commission, I forgot to take pictures of the banana pecan muffins I made. This means I MUST make them again (oh darn). Saturday morning I had to assist in a class for school and the assistants have to be at school around 8am. It seemed like a great idea to bring muffins to reward ourselves for being up that early. I ended up having about 4 people ask me for the recipe and then argue over the leftovers. Be proud, because this is a baking adventure where I ACTUALLY wrote the recipe down as I made it up. That's something new for everyone to look forward to!
For the post at hand:

Baby Greens opened a new location in downtown Austin. When I first moved to here, I remember hearing about a drive thru eatery that served impressive salads to go & while I always thought "I should try that place out" I never did. Now I work a few blocks from the new location and I HAD to try it.

I chose the South western wrap with tofu and chile lime dressing. Boy the dressing had an unexpected kick to it that I loved. This is only half of the wrap (I already gobbled the 1st half). My favorite part of my short trip to Baby Greens was the service. The staff was extremely attentive and wanted to be sure that every customer was satisfied. I'll definitely be having lunch there again. 6 bucks and great service? Who could say no to that? The tofu in the wrap wasn't fantastic, not bad either, but I think I'll order without tofu next time because it wasn't needed.

Today Baby Greens announced on their twitter that they are switching to biodegradable containers. Just one more reason for me to stop by again!

For some reason the only other thing I took a lot of pictures of were my POM-tini's. HA. I received a sampling from POM and have been enjoying making these. It's my "semi-healthy" alcoholic beverage. There's antioxidants mixed in there hence my feeling that it's "semi-healthy" :)

I have a few more bottles left and I want to make something exciting with it. Any POM recipe suggestions? I was thinking of a glaze or something involving baking.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Technical Difficulties

We have a problem.

I've misplaced the cord for my camera and haven't been able to down load pictures for far too long. Picture-less posts are not my forte. I'd like to think it's my wit and dry sense of humor that keep all you coming back for more but I know... it's just the food porn. A card reader is on the way. Next time I post there will be hundreds, maybe thousands of glorious pictures for you to drool over. Please have patience because I have none.

The past weekend we had another food blogger potluck. My contribution?

Penne Pasta with a Goat Cheese Sauce, blackberries and pecans

1 box penne
1 cup goat cheese sauce
1 pint blackberries
1/4-1/2 cup pecans

I also sprinkled some chives on top and used a herbed goat cheese to add more flavor.
Yes, I have beautiful pictures. No, I'm not at all upset that I can't download them, why do you ask? haha

I'll be back! (with pictures)


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Simple Salad

Blackberries are still super cheap everywhere here so I'm finding different ways to use them. When they're this cheap I have to buy them.
It's been in the 90's all week and for a girl from the coast of California, that's pretty warm. So warm, in fact, that cooking is just difficult. Thanks to my trusty rice maker I can make quick quinoa salads that involve zero stove cooking. However, last night I was craving green. Do you ever get that? You just feel like there hasn't been enough green in your life lately. (too many pbj bites perhaps?? haha)

I assembled a simple salad instead:

Spring greens
Herbed goat cheese (I cannot resist this stuff)
Sliced pecans

There's not much of a recipe per se but I like to hear what people put in their salads to give me new ideas for mine. Oh and I don't really use dressing unless I make it myself. I think that some dressings just overwhelm the flavors of all the goodies in the salad. Some call this a "naked salad".

I guess I'm a naked salad lover! HA

Well enough of all that. See ya'll later.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Homemade Vanilla Granola

Over the weekend I went to a class on how to make yogurt. Now that I have two jars of yogurt, granola experiments are in order. I like my granola with chunks and clumps of goodness. Unfortunately this did not turn out as clumpy has I prefer but it still tastes great and it's far too easy to make.

Since this was my first shot at granola, I made a small batch. I tend to start off with small batches when I'm winging a recipe. That way if it's HORRID I haven't really wasted much. To clarify, this is NOT HORRID :)

If anyone has tips on how to make granola more chunky, I'd love to hear them!

Vanilla, Cherry, Almond Granola

1 Cup rolled oats
1/4-1/2 Cup of almonds (and a few pistachios)
2 Tablespoons of sesame seeds
1/4 Cup coconut (shredded)

3 Tablespoons Oil (I used safflower)
1/4 Cup Sweetener ( I used 1/2 agave and 1/2 maple)
2 Teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 Cup dried fruit

Preheat oven to 300

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. In a separate bowl mix all wet ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until everything is moist. If the mixture seems dry you can add a splash of water.
Press the mixture onto a cookie sheet with a lip and bake for about 30 minutes. Be sure to check the mixture about once every 10 minutes and give it a stir so everything browns evenly.

Add any fruit you'd like after the granola has baked.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Peanut Butter Blackberry Bites

Who doesn't like a PBJ? Honestly, if you don't like PBJ's I may trust you less as a human being because that is just ODD. Well, maybe if you're deathly allergic to peanuts it's acceptable but you can use AB instead. HAHA

Ok, serious business now.

I haven't baked in a few weeks (maybe a month) and, for me, that is a LONG time. I made something similar to these a while ago but this time I miniature-ized them, used fresh fruit, and PB instead of AB. Blackberries seem to be on sale at most grocery stores right now but you can use any fruit you'd like. They also make for a more classic PBJ look.

This is a recipe from school that I've tinkered with so it's not really mine to give per se. Sorry!


Monday, May 04, 2009

Vegan BBQ Sandwich

Ok, so maybe Gardenburger BBQ Riblets aren't the healthiest thing in the world to be munching down on but a couple of times a year I indulge and buy a box of these. I had a friend visiting from out of town this weekend so I ended up eating out quite a bit. When people come to visit I always want to show them my favorite places to eat. The only meal I cooked for us was breakfast and a few snacks (hummus and what not). Before my friend arrived I was digging in the freezer for dinner when I remembered that I bought riblets a month or so back.

This version of my riblet sandwich includes a cracked wheat bun, red dandelion greens and organic sauerkraut. I also had a side of oven baked sweet potato fries.

My ideas for a homemade version of this sandwich will be to grill some tempeh, leave out the bun and have a salad/fries with it.

Does anyone have any tips for grilling tempeh? I got my hands on some local BBQ sauce that I like and I'd like to start using it.


Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mango Cucumber Israeli Couscous

Israeli couscous has to be one of my favorite grains for hotter weather (along with polenta and quinoa). It only takes about 10 minutes to cook. In those 10 minutes I slice up some veggies for a light salad.

Whole Foods is doing an Israeli couscous salad right now and I thought I'd take a stab at making my own version. Feel free to change up the veggies or fruit and have fun with it!

1/2 cup Israeli couscous
1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped mangoes
1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup chopped cucumber
1 chopped scallion

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add your couscous (let simmer for about 10 minutes). Drain water from couscous and combine with all other ingredients

I find that if I let this salad sit over night or the flavors meld together.

Try different fruits or add some protein for a heartier meal!


Monday, April 27, 2009

Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Fair

I mentioned last post that I was invited to the Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Fair. This year festivities were held at The Salt Lick Vineyards. It had been raining the days before the event and there was quite a bit of mud about.

Obviously I could not avoid the mud. It seemed that others were not having the same problems as me. After a few samples of the wines there, I really didn't mind my messy foot. While I tried to take pictures of all my favorite stops, it was near impossible.

Chocolate? Yes please. Chocolate heaven = a sample of dark chocolate mocha bites that this stand handed out.

StandStone was one of my favorite Texas wines that I sampled (I even went back for seconds). McPherson was there as well and they are one of my favorite reasonably priced and easier to find Texas wineries.

Whole Foods provided a whole truckful of goodies for the taking!

I was tempted to take the whole truck!

If you're able to make it next year to any of the THCWFF I suggest this one because it's a whole day of wandering, eating and drinking. It's definitely worth the cost of a ticket.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Black Bean Burgers with Apple Fennel Salad

This weekend was The Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Festival and I was able to attend. I'm still feeling a little run down from all the wine tasting and food samples but I had a marvelous time. More on that later.

Before the shenanigans of THDWFF I cooked myself a healthy meal. It's my way of balancing the damage I knew I'd do with all that food and wine! I've made grain burgers before but this time I was feeling a little south western.

South Western Black Bean Burgers

1 cup leftover grain (I used millet)
1/2 a cup black beans
1/4 cup flour
2-3 Tsp fresh cilantro
1/4 of a medium onion- chopped
1/4 cup blue corn flour
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
Cilantro + Avocado to top

Place all ingredients (except the Blue Corn Flour) in a food processor and pulse until everything is combined. Form small patties using your hands (I've also found a biscuit cutter makes a great sized burger). You can either fry them in a skillet with oil or bake them in the oven at about 350 for 20 mins (depending on how big your burgers are)
I fried these and sprinkled them with salt when they were done.

Apple Fennel Salad

1/2 a tart apple
1/2 a bulb of fennel

Grate the apple and the fennel. Sprinkle with salt to taste and squeeze a little lemon on top. Simple and great for summer. I'd suggest adding cucumber as well