Category Archives: Baking

Gloomy Sunday Cooking

Yesterday was the definition of gloomy.  It was thundering all day and really dark out.  After having a really busy couple of days, it was actually pretty awesome to almost be forced to stay in the house all day yesterday.  I took a nap, did some laundry and was generally lazy.  I am big fan of lazy days on the weekend.

I managed to pry myself off the couch for long enough to make a decent dinner.  It helped that for some reason, Kroger had a huge amount of organic kale on sale.  This is not the norm at my Kroger, especially the organic part, but it made me happy.  I guess kale is trendy.

Kale on sale

Ginger garlic shrimp

Kale olives red peppers

This was Ginger, Garlic and Chili Shrimp with Kale with Red Peppers and Olives.  I forgot to put the sugar into the oil, garlic and ginger for the shrimp dish and I wish I hadn’t because it was on the salty side because of my omission.  However, I used low-salt olives (which I would not normally recommend, but bought them on a whim) so the salty shrimp went well with the lower salted kale dish.  I mixed everything together and all was good.

And then there was dessert.

BWV Round2 May Chocolate2

For the D week of Meatless Mondays from A-Z, the ingredient was dark chocolate.  To let you in on a secret, I actually much prefer milk chocolate to dark, but did buy some dark chocolate chips to bake with.

Blondies

Blondie3

These were Flourless Chocolate Chip Chickpea Blondies with Sea Salt.  And now Jason knows the secret ingredient!  I put them in the fridge so I wouldn’t eat half the pan and then I realized that I like them even better cold.  Uh oh!

Three Five

Birthdays are funny.  The next age always seems SO much older until you turn it.  I distinctly remember when I turned 20 and I just couldn’t believe it and now, at age 35, 20-year olds seem like little kids.  I look younger, I know this and it’s good, I guess, until I tell people how old I am and they say something like, “You don’t look THAT old!”  Umm, thanks?  That was a very long-winded way of saying that, even though I feel like I’ve been celebrating all month, my birthday was yesterday.

I woke up early, hangover free, and got down to business: muffins.  Maybe I am old.

Better With Veggies

For the B cook round of Meatless Mondays A-Z, the item was blueberries, so I made these Vegan Blueberry Coconut Muffins that had been hanging out on one of my Pinterest boards.

Coconut blueberry muffins

And then I tried to be all artsy with them.

Coconut blueberry muffins flowers

You can’t beat a classic blueberry muffin.  Though they had coconut (in the form of oil and milk, as well as shredded), I couldn’t really taste it.   The only thing about eating a muffin for breakfast (okay fine, two) is that they didn’t have the same staying power as my usual egg sandwich does.  So by the time noon came around, I was starving.

Jason wanted me to choose a special lunch place and after going back and forth in my mind about whether or not I really wanted to go to Whole Foods for my birthday lunch, we ended up at Sushi Avenue.

Sushi avenue

Good, but Whole Foods has good sushi too.  Just saying.  After stuffing our faces with California rolls, we headed down to Candler Park to the Sweetwater 420 Festival.

Sweetwater 420 festival

Now, if you’re not from Georgia, a 420 festival probably has a totally different connotation (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, look it up, or if you’re my mother – don’t), but Sweetwater 420 is actually a super popular locally brewed beer and this is just a regular, family-friendly even, festival.

Sweetwater blue

We sat around for a while, listening to music and people watching…

Sweetwater music

Sweetwater music2

before heading back home where I promptly fell asleep on the couch for an hour.  Happy birthday indeed.

Happy Thanksgiving!

My family lives in Maryland (though my father lives in Florida half the time and my stepmother lives there all the time – don’t ask) and Jason’s is in South Carolina.  It just so happened that we saw my family two weeks ago and Jason’s last weekend.  With Jason’s work schedule the way it is, he actually had to work overnight on both the mornings of Thanksgiving and Black Friday and did not have the time off.  So, instead of going to Maryland (or Florida) by myself, which I’ve done in previous years, we decided to have a quiet Thanksgiving just the two of us in Atlanta.

I do miss being with my family during the holidays, but it’s sort of nice to just relax and not have to deal with traveling.  One year in a row is enough though and I’m already thinking that I need to spend a more family-filled Thanksgiving next year.  Anyway, just because it was just me and Jason here, didn’t stop me from making a traditional Thanksgiving meal.  We decided to have lunch instead of dinner, because Jason needed to go to sleep.

I woke up around 7 and got started on the cranberry sauce.  I decided to make this first because I wanted to incorporate it into my breakfast.  I don’t even normally really like cranberry sauce, but it sounded good to me this year and it was.  I used this recipe and omitted the orange zest (side note: I always type organic when I am trying to type orange – I just did it again!).

Cranberry sauce cooking

As an early Thanksgiving meal, I spooned some over some frozen chia seed waffles (Nature’s Path brand – they are pretty good.)

Waffles with cranberry sauce

After I got some food in my stomach, I waited for Jason to get home from work and then prepared the rest of the food.  He had purchased some turkey for himself.  I’m not exactly sure what he bought, but he said it wasn’t that good.  It made a good prop though.

Turkey legs

In addition to the cranberry sauce, I made caramelized onion mashed potatoes with vegan gravy

Mashed potatoes

Vegan gravy

and a crustless pumpkin pie.

Pumpkin pie

We also had dinner rolls and, in an effort to put something green on the table, leftover kale salad.  Cooking a meal for just two people with lots of different options is hard and in this case, the veggies definitely got left out.

Rolls

Kale

We sat down at the dining room table and ate.  In hindsight, cloth napkins would have made this picture a lot nicer.

Table

My plate…

Thanksgiving meal

Jason’s plate…

Jasons plate

I spy someone else who wants a plate.

Murphy begging

How can you say no to this face?

Murphy

Murphy’s plate…

Murphy tgiving

Everything turned out really good.  I was nervous about the gravy because the recipe said you really had to whisk and whisk and whisk and, as it turns out, I don’t even own a whisk, so I had to do it with a fork.  Still turned out great though as did the pototoes.  I’m not normally a big gravy person because it’s usually meat-based, but this was great on the potatoes.  I liked the cranberry sauce, but I wasn’t sure exactly what to do with it.  Do you eat it straight up?  I ended up using it as a jelly and putting it on my roll and it was good.  We actually got too full to try the pie, but I’ll let you know!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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