Category Archives: Food

Egg Frittata with Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Roasted Red Peppers


Today has been a good day (besides the storms this morning!). I woke up to a very clean house apartment. Micah woke up extra early this morning to clean. I have no idea why – he’s such a great guy! I made breakfast for lunch today for all of us when Micah returned from classes. This is such an easy recipe, and when used with egg whites instead of whole eggs, it’s actually pretty healthy. It was definitely a hit here! 🙂

Egg White Frittata with Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Roasted Red Peppers

Ingredients:

1-1/4 C. Egg Whites
2 TBSP Milk
1 C. Asparagus, chopped
1 C. Mushrooms, Chopped
1/2 C. Roasted Red Peppers, chopped
1 TBSP Olive Oil

Procedures:

1. In a skillet, saute the vegetables in olive oil.

2. Mix egg whites and milk together. Add s & p if desired. I also added some fresh basil – love that stuff!
3. When vegetables are done, add egg/milk mixture and cover with tight lid.

4. Set timer for 6 minutes – DO NOT remove lid until 6 minutes is up!!!
5. Enjoy!!!

My sister and I have been having lots of fun! So glad she is here! This afternoon, Kayle and I took a little trip to Borders, and it was awesome. I sipped some lovely herbal tea and read up on veganism. And, made this small purchase:


I immediately added the book to my collection:

Oh, and the best part of the purchase was this:

I would really like to purchase Veganomicon, but we shall see about that…

Dinner was something quite similar to this (Kayle’s request!). We are relaxing for the rest of the evening, and who knows about tomorrow. 🙂

I’ll leave you with this thought from my tea the other night:

Enchiladas


I made these enchiladas last night. They were so fast and easy to make!

Ingredients:
2 cups rice
1 medium red onion
1 medium red pepper
1 can tomatoes
1 can green chilies
1 can enchilada sauce
6 tortillas
Cheese (if desired)

Step 1:
Prepare rice. I used a pre-made rice since I did not have enough time. However, in the ideal situation, I would have made my own. Next time.


Step 2:
Saute red onion and red pepper. When onions are browned, add in tomatoes and green chilies.

Step 3:
Preheat oven to 375. In a 9 x 13 baking dish, pour 1/2 of the enchilada sauce. Then, fill tortillas with rice, tomato mix, and cheese (if desired). Top enchiladas with the remaining enchilada sauce, remaining tomato mixture (if any), and cheese.

Step 4:
Cover with foil and bake in oven for 20 minutes. Top with jalapeños, hot sauce, or any toppings of your choice!


I had some great suggestions on sleep a few days ago! Off I went to the store in hopes of finding something worth trying. Success! Many of you know that I do not drink coffee. Here is just part of the tea stash (I have over 15 tea varieties – most of which come from Tea Forte, and I HIGHLY recommend their teas):

I drank 1 cup of this tea 30 minutes before I headed to bed. And, it really worked! I was asleep within about 10-15 minutes of going to bed. I’m going to continue drinking this each night for now.


Kayle and I had a great time today! We purchased just a few things, and were able to scope out downtown Ames. And now, I have the PERFECT idea for our anniversary! I’ll be sure to let you know what it is when the time comes. Our plans tonight may include a walk around the ISU campus. Kayle is also doing a campus visit early next week at ISU – it’s the only school so far that she’s found where you can double major in Physics AND German (and she’s pretty picky about her college choices). We’ll see!

Have a great night! 🙂

Veganism


I’m finally back – after what seemed like a week away from Micah! I also headed to St. Louis on Monday to pick up one of my sisters. She is staying here for a week – yay! We have some exciting things planned….stay tuned!

Last night I met up with blogger Lindsey from Candy to Carrots. She lives in Ames and was able to tell me more about the town, places to go, etc. Awesome! We met up at Cafe Diem for some tea and talk. 🙂 She also made some donut holes for me to take home. You can find her recipe here. These are so yummy, and I am definitely going to try to make these myself. Check these out:


Lindsey is vegan, so I was able to ask her some of my questions regarding veganism. I’ve been considering the option (health reasons), but do have some reservations about it. We shall see what happens. I may try it for a week, then evaluate. #1 thing I would miss: CHEESE!

My sister and I are off to do some thrift shopping (she is the BEST thrift shopper I’ve ever known!). I’ll be back later with a recipe! 🙂

Do you have any thoughts about veganism? Please share!

And, I’m off!


Quick post here! I’m leaving for Burlington for a short trip (am meeting with a bride for a music consultation and the father-in-law is doing some work on a car).

Dinner last night: Veggie burritos with homemade guac & salsa. YUM.

Here is how I made the taco filling:

1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes, drained (I like the canned mexican tomatoes – at least for this recipe)
1 can black beans
2 TB homemade taco seasoning

Saute the red onion and red pepper until brown-ish (of course that’s the proper term – ha!). Then, add in the tomatoes, black beans, and taco seasoning.

I also made up some brown rice and then topped the burritos with jalapeños and hot sauce. YUM.

You can find my recipe for guacamole here and my salsa recipe here.

And, I’ll let the pictures do the rest of the talking:

I’m off to Burlington! Not sure when the next post will be…..stay tuned! 🙂

A very bad recipe


Good Afternoon! I had a late start to the morning. Confession: Ever since we moved, I have had a REALLY hard time getting to sleep at night. I don’t know what it is. Last night was the worst yet – I didn’t go to sleep until 12:30. I tossed and turned for what seemed like a few hours!!! How frustrating…

I set off on a ride later in the morning, but I didn’t do well. I had great intentions, but I think the lack of sleep played a big role in my ride that was MAJORLY cut short. I only got in 10 miles. Boo. Check out my riding gear!

I would say that was $25 very well spent – the shoes and jersey are in brand new condition! Happy Micah & Happy Amanda! 😀

Preride snack:

Postride snack:

Last night I started making a lemon tart with blackberries and blueberries. Very yummy, but not healthy AT ALL. I don’t know why, I just had an itch to bake – crazy, I know (I am totally not a baker, if you know me well). Plus, why would I bake something sweet when I don’t even really have a sweet tooth? No clue. But I’m going to give some to some neighbors we haven’t met yet….or something – because we aren’t keeping it. Here is my recipe. Now, I like to keep things pretty healthy around here. Here is your warning: THIS IS NOT HEALTHY!!!! But Micah and I shared a piece this morning, and it was very good. Also, I do not have a tart pan (like I said, not much of a baker), so I just used a 9” round pan, and it turned out fine.

Lemon Tart with Blackberries & Blueberries

Ingredients:

Lemon curd:
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar (I cut this down – I couldn’t put that much sugar in, I just couldn’t do it!)
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces

Topping:
2 6-ounce containers fresh blackberries
1 6-ounce container fresh blueberries

Crust:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour ( I used a combination of ww and ap flour)
1 large pinch of salt

For lemon curd:
Set fine metal strainer over medium bowl and set aside. Whisk eggs, egg yolks, and sugar in another medium metal bowl to blend. Whisk in lemon juice. Set bowl over large saucepan of gently simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water). Whisk constantly until curd thickens and thermometer inserted into curd registers 178°F to 180°F (about 6 minutes). Immediately pour curd through prepared strainer set over bowl. Add butter to warm strained curd; let stand 1 minute, then whisk until blended and smooth. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface of curd, covering completely (this prevents a skin from forming on the top). Refrigerate until cold, about 4 hours. This can be made up to 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.

For crust:
Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in medium bowl until well blended, 1 to 2 minutes. Add egg yolk; beat to blend. Add flour and salt and mix on low speed until mixture resembles large peas. Using hands, knead in bowl just until dough comes together.
Transfer dough to 9” tart pan with removable bottom. Break dough into pieces, then press dough evenly up sides and onto bottom of pan. Cover and chill 1 hour. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Uncover crust and bake until golden brown, about 35 minutes. Cool completely in pan on rack.

For topping:
Remove sides from tart pan and place crust on plate. Spread lemon curd evenly in baked crust. Arrange blackberries and blueberries on top.

Don’t worry, I’ll be back later with something MUCH healthier! And hopefully that tart will no longer be in my home (because I gave it away – NOT because I ate it). 😀

Do you have any suggestions for my sleeping problems? I need help!!!

Eggstatic!


First of all: Shout out to my sister on her birthday today!!!!! 🙂

Wow…I have so much to blog about! Let’s start with something that I got in the mail the other day!!!!

I haven’t tried these out on the bike yet (they came with the clips, but not the pedals – what?!?!?), but as soon as I buy the pedals – which I may just buy a new set of clips/peds depending, I am trying these out! I’ll let you know how they work and such. AND….they fit like a glove! Perfecto! The jersey – same thing, I just didn’t get a picture. Soon, my friends.

This morning I boiled up some eggs for a *healthy* egg salad. What, you say? I know, egg salads are not the healthiest thing around, but I tell you this one is so good – and not as bad as you may think. So, first I’m going to tell you how to PROPERLY boil an egg – to perfection, my friends.

It’s usually the most simple kitchen tasks that get messed up because it’s so easy to ignore the importance of them, but that gray-green ring around the yolk of an over-cooked egg has got to be one of the most unsightly culinary mistakes out there. The reason this occurs is a reaction between the yolk and albumen as the egg cooks at high temperatures for too long, so preventing the ring (and that sulfurous smell that accompanies it) is pretty much as simple as not overcooking the eggs.

Overcooked eggs are harmless to eat, but they’re not particularly tasty – the whites are rubbery and the yolks are chalky. So, to boil an egg and retain a vivid yellow yolk encased in a delicate white, just follow these simple rules:

1. Start and end with cold water
You want to start your eggs covered with at least an inch of cold water and finish them by running under cold water. Gradually increasing the temperature of the water from cold to boiling is key to preventing the whites from becoming rubbery before the yolks have a chance to cook. It also reduces the chance of the shells cracking during cooking, as air trapped inside the shell can be released gradually, rather than as a burst of steam. Running them under cold water afterward halts the cooking process, which also prevents the whites from overcooking and being rubbery, as well as preventing that dreaded ring. Today, I also put some cold water in a bowl to set in the refrigerator while I prepared the other parts of the egg salad.

2. Season your cooking water
Add a small splash of vinegar and a pinch of salt to the water you are going to boil the eggs in. This has two effects. The first is that, if by chance an egg shell does accidentally crack, the protein will coagulate instead of seeping out and making a mess of the water. The second is that it slightly softens the shell of the egg, making it easier to peel later.

3. Use “old” eggs
This doesn’t actually make a difference as far as the cooking process goes, but eggs that are very fresh are more difficult to peel once cooked, which can affect their appearance if the shells do not come off cleanly. Try to use the older carton of eggs in your refrigerator when making boiled eggs because they will separate easier from their shells. In the case today, I knew I would be making these late last week when I made out my menu plan, so I bought my eggs well in advance.

4. Use a timer
Once you bring the water to a boil over high heat, cover the pan, turn off the heat and start the timer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, drain the water and transfer the eggs to an ice bath or run under cold water until cool, to prevent overcooking.

That’s it. If you start large eggs over high heat, covered with an inch of cold water seasoned with salt and vinegar, and turn off the heat when they come to the boil, cover and let sit for 15 minutes in the hot water, then run the eggs under cold water until cooled, you have perfectly cooked hard boiled eggs every time.

The finished product:
Perfectly boiled eggs. Yumm-o!

I boiled 11 eggs (I know, odd number – I needed to leave 6 for another project). I used 7 eggs in my egg salad recipe. And here is the recipe – this one is so good! I love cold egg salad during those hot summer days.

Ingredients:
7 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1-1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon

*Note* I like less mayonnaise (I don’t like the taste of it very much) and more mustard, so feel free to adapt this recipe if needed to suit your own taste.

Procedures:

Cut eggs lengthwise in half. Remove yolks from 3 eggs and reserve for another use. Cut remaining egg yolks and all whites into 1/2-inch pieces.
Whisk mayonnaise and mustard in medium bowl to blend. Add chopped eggs, celery, green onions, and tarragon. Stir gently to blend. Season egg salad to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Look what I picked up at the store!

I’ve been eating these like candy.

So, for my lunch today I had some leftover salad with balsamic vinegar, cottage cheese, berries, and egg salad on 1 slice of Earthgrains thin bun (toasted – just how I like it!).

Check out this salad (picture is from when I made it yesterday – it was so good!)

My lunch plate:

I normally like a slice of tomato with my egg salad, but just forgot about it – I guess I was too hungry to care! Next time…

Micah got back a while ago from class. We really don’t have many weekend plans, but I’m thinking a picnic is in store! Also going to spend some time on my bike and also some running. Catch you later!

Do you have any fun plans for the weekend?

Quinoa Cakes!!!


See? I told you I would have a unique recipe! 🙂 I originally got this idea a while back from Herbivoracious – LOVE that blog! However, I did change this recipe after having an abundance of spinach that I needed to use up. Plus, I’m all for combining 3 of my absolute favorite foods! You can read about the health benefits of quinoa here. Here you have it:

Quinoa Cakes w/ Spinach and Goat Cheese

Ingredients:
2 cups spinach, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups cooked quinoa
4 ounces goat cheese
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper
olive oil for frying

Procedures:
1. Wash and chop the spinach, pat dry. Mince the garlic. Heat 1 tablespoon
of olive oil in a small skillet. Cook the garlic until lightly browned, about a minute, then add the spinach. Cover, and cook until wilted. Set aside and let cool.

2. In a small saucepan, mix the quinoa and the goat cheese over low heat (to help melt the cheese). Remove from heat when well combined.

3. Chop the cooked spinach finely, mix with the quinoa and goat cheese. Beat the egg and mix in until everything is combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Heat olive oil in a skillet. Form the quinoa into 2″ patties about 1/2 inch thick. Cook until well browned on one side, 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side, then set on paper towels to drain.

I like to eat mine with some hot sauce…..or maybe I like some quinoa cakes with my hot sauce? 😀

My day was much better today. I must say I have a pretty awesome husband and great friends that lift me up when I need encouragement. Thank you so much! I’m now making a list and submitting session proposals to present my thesis research at various conferences around the county. And if I don’t get employment as a teacher, I plan to continue research in music education on my own, because I truly believe in music education. Like I have said to many people – I didn’t go into education for the money (obviously). I wanted to make a difference, and there is no doubt I will no matter if I have my own classroom right away or not. AND, there are still 4 positions that I am waiting to hear from and 1 other bigger position one that is a big secret (it’s nice to wish – right?)!!!!!

One more thought: In 20 days, we will have been married for 3 years! Each year is a milestone, in my opinion. Micah and I have our own anniversary traditions (which you can see here).

I can still remember our wedding like it was yesterday. Yes, even the moment when my phone rang (it was a wrong number). In my defense, I gave my phone to someone else for the day and they left it on the front pew during pictures…and then forgot about it. 🙂 We still laugh about that! And for your viewing pleasure, one of my favorite wedding photos:

Do you have any birthday or anniversary traditions in your family? I’d love to know!