Category Archives: Food

Asian Food? Give It A Thai

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Asian Food? Give It A Thai

Did you know that the average household uses a range of five or six main ingredients in their diet. This doesn’t include seasoning and herbs but focuses on the main features such as one or two types of meat, a source of carbohydrate such as potatoes or rice, and three main vegetables. That’s about it.

With busy lives we tend to scale down how adventurous we are in the kitchen and spend less time creating exciting meals than we do sitting down to eat. It’s kind of sad. There are so many great recipes out there that are quick, easy, and above all tasty so if your taste buds need a little treat at home, try including one, out of the safety zone, meal every week (and try to enjoy the cooking as much as the eating!).

Asia is the largest continent in the world and has such a diverse range of cuisine. There are flavors that will suit every palette, from Freekeh which is a gentle, smoked grain from Palestine to the complicated layers of spice and herbs that you would find in India. Asian food, on the whole, is healthy and boosts longevity which makes it a great addition to any household that is trying to get healthy but doesn’t want to spend their weeks eating salad and poached chicken. There are loads of recipes that are based around quick cooking and high flavor, which you can recreate at home.

When was the last time you bought any shellfish?  If it has been a while then you are really missing out. Steamed crabs offer a delicious meat and because of the delicate flavor, they only get better with a little bit of creativity. So check out this brilliant Thai Crab Cake recipe and see if you can add a little spice to your life:

Place about a half pound of crab meat, onion, lime zest (or kaffir lime leaf), chili powder, fish sauce, oyster sauce, 1 egg, and ¾ of a cup of panko (or polenta) into a food processor and blitz to combine all of the ingredients. Add another ¼ cup of panko (or polenta) and stir to combine. The mixture should be moist enough for you to create a cake but not so moist that it sticks to your hands and falls apart. You are better off if you find yourself in a situation where you need to add more panko, than trying to moisten things down.

Create your cakes, which should be about 3 inches in diameter, then place aside.  Add garlic salt into ¾ cup of your panko or polenta and set into a bowl. In another bowl whisk 2 small eggs. Dip your cakes into the egg first, then roll in the panko/polenta mix until completely coated.

In a sizzling hot pan, drop your cakes into the oil and cook for 2 minutes on each side.  Serve with a squeeze of lime, a little coriander salad, and some Thai sweet chili sauce. Simple as that – a delicious meal in under twenty minutes!

Featured Image By: Pexels

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Hodge Podge Weekend Dinner

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Hodge Podge Weekend Dinner

Hey everyone and happy weekend! So yesterday I slaved away for the afternoon creating a hodge podge feast for dinner. We had a lot of odds and ends in the fridge and pantries that needed rid of so our meal consisted of a Minestrone soup compliments of our beloved Moosewood cookbook and then, I freestyled an avocado and black bean salad and a mozzarella ciabatta sandwich. Take a look at the finished products and then I will share my secret recipe for the avocado salad:

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In the fridge, I had a leftover avocado and lime from when I made guacamole last week. I wasn’t quite sure what to do with these, so I Googled avocado recipes to see if I could get some inspiration. I saw a recipe for an avocado and black bean salad but it looked incredibly lackluster, so I decided to just whip together something from my imagination and came up with the first picture seen above.

I was so pleased with the final result of my salad that, for once in my life, I actually wrote down how I made it so that I could share it with all of you. In my opinion, it looks like something that you could buy from the store and I was incredibly impressed with both its taste and overall appearance. This salad is perfect for eating plain, scooped up with tortilla chips, wrapped in a tortilla, or as a filling for fish tacos. Here is the recipe for my avocado and black bean salad creation:

  • 1/2 of a large avocado (if you go for a huge avocado like what was in my fridge, 1/2 is really all you need)
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup cooked corn kernels (so happy to be rid of a leftover in my fridge!)
  • 1/2 of a tomato, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup red pepper, finely chopped
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • A few shakes of Morton Kosher salt
  • A few shakes of cayenne pepper
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Now, bear in mind that all of the above amounts are approximations and you can really add as much or as little of an ingredient as you want. Love tomato? Use the whole thing! Want it spicier? Add some chili powder and cumin. It’s totally up to you to personalize the salad and turn it into something that you and your whole family enjoys!

Interested in my recipe for mozzarella ciabatta sandwiches? Let me know in the comment section and I’ll publish that, too!

Overall, I am so happy with how my Hodge Podge Weekend Dinner turned out and the leftovers for days is definitely going to be nice! What dishes have you cooked or baked recently? Who is going to be making my avocado and black bean salad soon? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Mexican Sunday Dinner

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Mexican Sunday Dinner

Hi everyone and happy Monday! I hope all of you had a wonderful weekend. So during the week at my household, we eat easy to prepare dinners – pasta, pizza, stir fry, and the likes. But over the weekends, my mom and I go hard when it comes to cooking an evening feast – soups, homemade pizzas, pasta salads, bread, frittatas, and oh so much more. This Sunday, I prepared a meal that I was particularly proud of that I just had to share on here. Seriously, it was that delicious.

My family loves Mexican food and as a primarily vegetarian household, it is always something that all of us can eat and enjoy. And enjoy, we did. For Sunday dinner I prepared homemade guacamole paired with vegetarian black bean enchiladas compliments of the fantastic website Cookie + Kate. Kate’s website specializes in vegetarian cuisine while her pup, Cookie, cheers from the sidelines. My mom actually found that website and was instantly drawn in by the delicious recipes but most importantly, that it was in some ways dog related (lol). Anyways, here’s the finished product:

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For the enchiladas, I followed the recipe pretty closely because I had never made it before but I did change a few things up to accommodate my cooking style:

  • I added a healthy amount of chili powder and cayenne pepper to the dish.
  • I added cilantro into the mixture as opposed to just using it to garnish.
  • I lessened the amount of broccoli in the recipe as a family preference.
  • I squirted fresh lime juice into the mixture and topped the finished product with it.
  • I used store bought enchilada sauce instead of making it myself because ain’t nobody got time for that.

* If you’re not hip to vegetarian eating, then I would recommend sauteing stripes of chicken, steak, or shrimp (or all three!) in a mixture of olive oil, cumin, cayenne pepper, and chili powder (you could also go crazy and add in some lime juice and a tablespoon or two of enchilada sauce). Then, you could add it into the enchiladas or just eat it on the side.

I was pleasantly surprised by how much my dish looked like the pictures that Kate posted on her website but most importantly, my entire family loved it. For an additional topping, I free-styled some guacamole and here’s what I used in my makeshift recipe:

  • 1 large avocado
  • 6 cloves of minced garlic
  • About 3 tbsp of super finely chopped red onion
  • Juice from 1/2 of a lime
  • Cilantro!!
  • A couple shakes of cayenne pepper
  • Black pepper
  • Morton Kosher salt
  • 3-4 tbsp of small tomato chunks that I wish I added but forgot to get from the grocery store!

I really really love guac and I thought that the above concoction turned out amazing. It was bold and flavorful and although it turned out chunkier than what I normally like, I think that it just added to the deliciousness considering you could eat it by the forkful – which we did!

My mom described my Mexican Sunday Dinner as “going out to eat in our own house” which I thought was super precious and we will definitely be making the above recipes again! What is your favorite meal for Sunday dinner? What kinds of food do you love to cook? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Taco Bell, Lol

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Taco Bell, Lol

Hiii everyone and TGIF! So I had a super fun night with my sister yesterday. Kristen came with me to watch me coach Special Olympics figure skating, then we went shopping in downtown Kent (the surrounding college town), and decided to top off our night with some delicious Taco Bell. This is the part where you go: But wait, I thought you and your sister have both been vegetarians since childhood. And this is the part where I respond with: You can get beans on everything instead of meat!

So, yes, Taco Bell. After we finished our shopping, I was completely starving. It was after seven at that point which is way later than when I’m normally used to eating and I was getting HANGRY. Lucky for us, there’s a TBell right up the street from where we were, so we decided to go there instead of our usual stomping grounds that is closer to home. After making this decision, which I now wish we didn’t make, I was getting really excited. Fantasizing about eating the entire menu, salivating heavily – the whole nine yards of hungry girl problems.

A few minutes later, we arrived at Taco Bell and hurried inside to begin our order. Because I knew exactly what I wanted, I went first and began my litany of the four items that I wanted. As I mentioned before, because I’m a vegetarian, my order consists of asking them to sub the beef for beans after each item. To a seasoned TBell employee, this is no sweat. But to the fresh out of the hiring process girl working the register, it was the most difficult task in the world.

For well over ten minutes, I repeated my order as she tried to put it into the register and doubled back into the kitchen to ask for help. At first, I was like “Okay, I get it. I remember being new at a register based job before, too” and tried to be as kind as possible. But then, the hangryness started hitting me hard and I knew that if I stood there any longer, I would maybe be not so nice. To avoid this problem after the poor girl was appearing to get no help and she was getting visibly frustrated, I told her not to worry about it because there was a Taco Bell so close to my home.

I was so worried that that was rude but I really didn’t want to let my hangryness get the best of me. I also didn’t want to watch the girl struggle anymore since it looked like no one was coming to her rescue anytime soon. So, Kristen and I went back into the car and headed to the Tbell that we live a mile away from. And I have to tell you, it felt really good to be back in familiar territory.

We ordered our food and was then informed by the lovely employee that if we take a survey and mention her and her coworkers that they would get four extra dollars on their paychecks. We also would get free taco coupons for completing the survey. It seemed like a win win, so while we waited for our food, we each took the survey. Just upon completion, our food arrived which included a super special Taco Bell message from a grateful employee for us taking the survey. Lol, take a look:

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^^^ Lololol

All in all, it was a beautiful evening but I still can’t help feeling kind of bad about the new employee at the Taco Bell that we fled the scene from. I hope she finds that her job gets easier soon!! Anyways, Kristen and I still had a lot of fun and just as our secret Crunchwrap Supreme message says, TBell truly does = life.

What happens when you get hangry? Was there a job that you ever had a really hard time getting the hang of? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

BevRAGE App

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BevRAGE App

Hey everyone and happy Thursday! So yesterday was one of my best friends, Danielle’s, 24th birthday so I spent the day celebrating with her. We went out for drinks and then spent the evening going out to eat with her dad (who coincidentally has the same name as my dad AND they BOTH have a mustache!) for her birthday dinner. It was such fun!

While we were at our favorite bar, Merry Arts, in the afternoon, a friend of hers told us about a super handy app called BevRAGE. This app essentially gives you cash back via check or PayPal when you purchase certain kinds of beer, wine, liquor, or mixers when you’re out at the bar or a restaurant or when you’re doing grocery shopping. When I woke up today, I just had to download it because who doesn’t love free money AND alcohol?!

I think that this app is completely genius, and now if you download it and use my referral code, we both get two dollars FO FREE! Here is the post published on my Facebook with the code for those of you who aren’t friends with me on there:

Get cash with the bevRAGE app when you buy beer, wine and liquor. Sign up using my referral code: HUOXPBBQ
https://www.bevrage.com/promo/HUOXPBBQ
Handy little app! Use my referral code and we’ll both get cash back for buying booze! Who doesn’t love that?!

Download and enjoy! Happy drinking! 🙂

ALSO: My pinup girl themed style swap collaboration post will be up this Saturday and I enjoyed creating it SO MUCH. I’d love to do a style swap collab again so if any fashionistas are interested in participating, shoot me an email at sarah.mush6794@gmail.com !

What are your favorite handy apps? What techniques do you utilize to save cash? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

How To Brew Delicious French Press Coffee

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How To Brew Delicious French Press Coffee

Us coffee drinkers know that there’s nothing quite like that first steaming hot morning cup of coffee to awaken our senses and get us ready for the challenges of a brand new day. Forget standing in long Starbucks queues or missing an important phone call because you were busy at the coffee machine. Or – the worst – instead of having a rich, full bodied brew: drinking plain average coffee because it’s the only choice that you have. In recent years the humble coffee bean has exploded on to the scene, going from being a simple, hot drink at breakfast to a full on lifestyle statement. Read up to see how you can make the perfect cup to kick start your morning:

What Is A French Press? A French press, or a Cafetière, is a coffee brewing product which allows the water to permeate the coffee beans. The plunger separates the beans from the brewed coffee which, if allowed the seep through, can make the coffee astringent and bitter. First designed in Italy by the designer, Attilio Calimani in 1929, today the French press is used all over the world and is said to make a smoother, richer cup of coffee than any other method. French presses are fairly inexpensive and tend to last for a good few years. Depending on what beans you choose to use, you may also want to purchase a grinder as finely ground beans often taste better than rough ground ones. However, at the end of the day, it’s down to the coffee drinker’s personal preference.

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The Best Beans: Coffee comes in a variety of strengths and flavors. From the milky yet sophisticated cappuccino, dark espresso, and chocolate infused mocha to the simple black coffee, latte, and the sugary sweet cuban cafe con leche there are countless ways of making coffee and just as many beans themselves. Let yourself experiment with different beans or, if you prefer instant coffee, then go online to check out some instant coffee reviews by those who take their morning cup of joe pretty seriously.

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How Much Water? Brewing a cup of coffee is, in theory, relatively simple. However there are a couple of things that, if you get them wrong can ruin the whole batch. First, make sure your beans are ground coarsely enough and if you’re using instant coffee, make sure that it’s a good quality brand with a high richness rating. Boiling water will scorch the grounds instantly which will leave you with a very bitter cup and tepid water won’t fully extract the coffee from the beans.

A good way to achieve the perfect temperature is by letting the water fully boil, then remove it from the heat to sit for a minute before pouring into the French press itself. When it comes to how much water to use consider how much coffee you want to make. One serving will equal one cup of water and two tablespoons of coffee beans; two servings equals two cups of water and a 1/4 cup of coffee beans and so on. A good French press coffee should be brewed for two to four minutes while cold brewed coffee uses a different method and should instead be left for two to four hours.

Featured Image By: Bryan Mills

Tasty Recipes That Can Help You Stick To Your New Year’s Fitness Resolution

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Tasty Recipes That Can Help You Stick To Your New Year’s Fitness Resolution

Are you planning on getting fit and losing some weight as part of your new year’s resolution? If so, you might already be worried about being tempted by some of your favorite foods! So how exactly do you change your diet without feeling so hungry all the time? It’s easy really; you just need to start making homemade versions of your favorite dishes. Here are some super easy recipes that will show you healthy alternatives aren’t too hard at all:

Cauliflower-Topped Shepherd’s Pie: Do you love hearty comfort food during the winter, such as shepherd’s pie? Comfort food is the Achilles heel for many people when it comes to dieting. Thankfully, there is a way that you can enjoy a delicious shepherd’s pie without worrying about piling on lots of extra pounds. You just need to swap the potato topping for one made from cauliflower! That way, you are cutting down on a lot of carbs. This is very easy to do, you just need to boil the cauliflower until it is super soft. Then mash it up with an egg. It should now be the consistency of mashed potato! Top your shepherd’s pie with this, and you will forget that you didn’t make it the original way!

Spiralized Pasta: Spiralizers were a very big deal in 2016 and they are set to be even bigger next year! These cool contraptions allow you to make spaghetti and noodles out of hard vegetables, such as courgettes and sweet potatoes. You simply attach the vegetable to one end of the spiralizer, turn the handle, and watch the noodles and spaghetti form before your very eyes! This is a great low-carb alternative to regular pasta. Then all you need to do is boil the spaghetti or noodles much like you would regular pasta and serve it with your favorite pasta sauce!

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Spelt Bread: Are you thinking of going gluten-free next year? Well, one way to cut out so much gluten from your diet is to start eating spelt bread. This is a lot healthier than bread that is made from wheat. Spelt contains no gluten and is a carbohydrate that our body can easily digest. Unlike wheat! Spelt bread can be very expensive in the supermarket so you may prefer to make your own. This isn’t too difficult to do, even for beginners. If you want to make things even easier for yourself, you could treat yourself to a bread maker: breadmachinemom.com.

Avocado Chocolate Mousse: Did you think that eating healthy meant that you could no longer enjoy some of your favorite foods? Nope, that’s not the case! In fact, you can still tuck into chocolate mousse! Just make sure that it is made from avocado, though. Avocado is packed full of essential minerals, and you won’t be able to taste it once you add all the yummy chocolate!!!! There are plenty of recipes for this quirky dish online, including this one: chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2015/10/15/avocado-chocolate-mousse-vegan-healthy/

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 Looove avocado!

Looks like you will be able to have a delicious 2017 and still lose weight! Here’s to the New Year!

Featured Image By: Pixabay