Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Happy Chili Time!

Veggie chili win! As mentioned last week, I've made it a goal to whip up something healthy and delicious each week and post it on the blog; this past week was veggie chili, originally planned to have a cornbread side. When it came down to it, however, I opted out of baking the cornbread and went for a healthy "summer" salad instead: mixed greens, avocado, corn, tomato, homemade strawberry vinaigrette and homemade garlic croutons.

The chili came out well - not as thick as I would have liked (I underestimated how many cans of beans I actually had) but Cara had some fun with hers and added rice, cheese and sea salt to pump up the flavor and the density.

Now, on to the next one - stay tuned!

No need to click "Read More" - there's nothing else.
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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

New Happy: The Art of Fooood!

I've always enjoyed cooking - especially by taste, using only my senses to decide what spices will work, what won't. My younger brother, now 23-year-old Jake, can attest to having tried some of my gnarly concoctions as a kid. I remember trying to make gourmet english muffin pizzas with any type of cheese I could find in the fridge, including cream cheese. Then, as we got older, the EMP's graduated to homemade fettuccine alfredo, with lots of parmesan and garlic, which turned into a rich, strangely delicious paste rather than a sauce - but my brother loved it.

I would learn of the pots and pans from my parents, from tangerine chicken, to simple fritatas, handmade egg rolls. Baking, however, was a different story. I was never actually equipped with the art of patience, and you have to do all that awful...waiting. Pretty much everything I've baked, I've burned, including the horrific double chocolate cake I attempted to make for a boyfriend in my college years, who ate it smugly despite the crisp edges. Needless to say, that was the last cake I made - and next time the secret ingredient will be tears.

Click "Read More" for the rest - and to find out what NOM NOMs await me this week...

Now that I've been a vegetarian for a couple of years, I've found it necessary to get a bit more creative with my meals; there's only so many tofu and vegetable stir-fries and Gardenburgers you can make without wanting to gnaw off your hand at the thought of braving another.

And cooking is an art. Every flavor, every spice is like its own color of paint, and the meal itself is the final painted masterpiece. And it makes me happy, especially when paired with jazz and a good glass of wine.

This week? I'm trying out the vegetarian version of my favorite chili, which I previously would make with ground turkey, and a side of homemade cornbread. This is happening on Wednesday, people, and I'll post pictures if you like. Paired with a Malbec, it's gonna be one hell of a classy chili.

Vegetarian Chili Ingredients:

Black Beans
Kidney Beans
Fresh Garlic
Bell Peppers
Crushed Tomatoes with juice (as base)
Yves Ground Meatless Meat
Chili powder
Maybe mushrooms...
Maybe celery...

And cornbread...ain't nothin' wrong with that.

And for those of you that are still in shock over the fact that I actually have some sort of maternal/nurturing instinct, please do not be alarmed. It's all a front. Gotta go watch some Batman cartoons now.

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