march top nine!
OK, so, if you are an Instagrammer, you probably saw every posting their "top nine of 2015" right around last december. Well, I kinda really like this idea, and have taken to compiling my top nine at the end of each month. This month I decided to share this with all y'all, and take the opportunity to talk a little bit about what I've been cooking, eating, and obsessively taking pictures of! It has been such a crazy and hectic month. I've been trying to find time to sit and put together a post for quite a while. I'm finally doing it! Yay!
warning/disclaimer: this post contains camera-phone images. not my best work. please don't judge!
steak nite with sis
I love cooking (duh), especially for others! Last nite I had the chance to pamper my sister. I brought over a couple of steaks, seared them in a hot cast iron pan, and served them up along side asparagus and garlicky potatoes. I baked some red potatoes in the oven, and while they were going I cooked up plenty of garlic cloves in olive oil, tilting the pan to submerge them in the oil until they were just getting golden and soft. Once the pots were done, I pulled them out, quartered them, put them in a bowl and dumped the garlic and olive oil on top along with plenty of salt and pepper. My boyfriend isn't as big of a garlic fan as I am, so when he's not around I take the opportunity to get garlicky! To be honest I could've even gone for more garlic, and next time I will! I sauteed some asparagus with olive oil in a hot cast iron skillet while I seared our steaks in another one. Yumm!
This month I have been on a mad smoothie binge! Smoothie pics could've made up at least half of my march top nine, but I decided to limit it to one. This guy was a delicious mango raspberry smoothie with a greek yogurt base. Basically I've been plopping a generous scoop or two of greek yogurt into the blender, pouring in some frozen fruit, maybe a squeeze of honey, adding water and blitzing my little heart out. Even with water as the liquid they are sooo flavorful and perfect, and never taste watered-down. I'm a huge frozen yogurt fanatic, so this has been a perfect (much healthier) alternative that I can actually eat for breakfast every day without going into a shame spiral. Yumm.
Last week I made a ridiculously large amount of food for myself. I cooked up Diana Henry's Mustard Chicken with Black Beans and Avocado Salsa, a recipe that calls for 12 chicken thighs and serves 6. I thought about half-ing the recipe, but a family pack of thighs was actually cheaper than buying 6 thighs in smaller packages! So I thought what the hey. As a result of cooking a feast for six just for me myself and I, I have had scrumptious leftovers around all week! It worked out quite well. This was a taco-ish bowl I made by heating up leftover black beans and a shredded chicken thigh in a pan, pouring it over lettuce, adding plenty of grated chedder, and piling tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, and onion over the top. A fabulous use of leftovers! I actually think I may have enjoyed this more than the original dish... or at least as much! I ate it two days in a row it was so good.
A lot of great breakfasts this month. Eating breakfast is something I haven't always been good about doing. In the past I've regularly gone until 4pm or so without eating. I mean I do often sleep until noon, but still. This breakfast featured fried eggs along side a mango smoothie. Ok, so I couldn't limit myself to one smoothie pic... but at least this one has eggs too!
Eggs in Kale Puree aka Green Eggs
This was my number one "liked" pic for March. Not hard to see why, as it is gorgeous. If I do say so myself. These eggs were fried in a generous amount of kale puree, a recipe that will be posted here on this very blog super super soon. I got the kale puree recipe from April Bloomfield's A Girl and Her Greens, and as soon as I made it I proceeded to slather it all over everything until it was gone. It's unbelievably delicious, especially for how simple it is. But more on that later. Soon. I promise.
Cowboy steak, recipe from Turntable Kitchen's parings box, this month featuring recipe's from Tracy Shutterbean. If you haven't heard of Turntable Kitchen you should definitely check them out. I've been subscribing to their pairing's box very happily since day one! Their whole thing is music and food pairings, which is so very cool. Every month they send out a box featuring a collection of three original recipe's, a featured dry ingredient, a musical pairing in the form of an exclusive record, as well as a mixtape you can access online. Plus, they recently moved to Seattle, so now they are even cooler and practically my neighbors. Holla at them.
dreams of lentil pasta...
Ok, so. In the beginning of the month, I stayed up all night with my sister, while she was... get this... IN LABOR!!!!!!!! It was the craziest most intense magical experience pretty much ever in my entire life. My sister is an Amazing Warrior Goddess Queeeeeen and she eventually popped out the most beautiful perfect baby girl in the entire universe ever! We didn't know the gender until she came out so the whole thing was so very exciting and exhilarating and exhausting and wonderful and.. and... and then we got thai food takeout and then we all went to sleep. When I finally had a chance to take a short nap that afternoon, I slept on the couch and dreamed of a plate of pasta with a lentil sauce. Later that week I made the dream a reality with this Lentil Lamb pasta sauce. It was soooo perfect and yummy. Just like my cuddly little niece! Heehee. It was a crazy stroke of inspiration and I had so much fun turning into an original recipe! It will definitely be featured here on the blog eventually.
steak salad for a crowd
So, the NEXT day, after the day the little one came to us from my sista's belly, my man and I spent the day with the whole family, crowded around my sister and her teensy little cutie-pie. Eventually we all became ravenous, and my guy and I went to the store, grabbed some supplies, and cooked up a dinner of steak salad for seven. Well, seven and a quarter. :) We seared about 3lbs of flank steak, made a giant green salad, a simple basil-lemon vinaigrette, and lemon and chili roasted potatoes. It was perfect. Everyone gobbled it up and all was right in the world.
I used to be really into making pie. Like, REALLY into making pie. I basically made pie constantly. That era of my life involved a much faster metabolism. The last few years I have rarely baked, since I do sort of try not to eat a ton of sugar, baked goods, and well, you know, pie. But, this year I have started to get back into it. I have made pie as gifts three times now this year, and I just have to say I have really been enjoying it. The practice of making pie is strangely soothing and relaxing for me, and lets be honest, a homemade pie is a GREAT gift. It's a wonderful way to impress and delight your friends. I highly recommend it.
So I guess that's about it! I hope you enjoyed hearing about what I've been up to, what I've been eating, and what I've been shoving down other people's gullets. I'll be back soon with that kale puree recipe, and more adventures. In the mean time, keep in touch!