Saturday, June 16, 2012

Simple Cracker Dip

To make a short story long...
The other day I was at work and, as I didn't have any work to do, I was reading The Journals of Sylvia Plath (so good!). At one point she happened to mention cream cheese. So, of course, my mind started wandering...I started daydreaming about that wonderful, smooth, deliciousness. It occurred to me that it could be really delicious to take cream cheese, add fresh chopped herbs, and make a dip out of it (I know, I'm soo creative and original!).
So, when I got home, that's what I did.
The first time, I just added thyme, and I ate it right away, so it wasn't very strong. The second time I added thyme and basil and then let it sit for 15 ish minutes before eating it (I had to walk away to maintain my self control), and it was delicious! But I will warn you - that basil stuff is strong. Don't add too much, or it could be overwhelming. Unless you really like which case, you might like a ton.

Cream Cheese and Herb Cracker Dip

  • Cream cheese 
  • Fresh herbs
  • Crackers - I recommend Wheat Thins

Cut a chunk of cream cheese (I used about 1/4 of a cube for myself ). If you wanted to take the lazy way out (or if you were in a hurry), you could microwave the cream cheese for a few seconds to soften it up some. Chop up your herbs and stir them into the cream cheese. Let sit for 10 minutes, and enjoy. Chill leftovers in the refrigerator. 


Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Today we make aubergines! Also known as eggplant, which is a lot less exciting sounding. Someone else told me that they think "aubergine" sounds very pretentious, and they are right. However, I grew up thinking that eggplants would be revolting because...I mean, really. Eggplant? Gross. It's a terrible name. If, when I was growing up, my mom had told me we were having aubergines for dinner, I would have been okay with it. Instead, she said eggplants, so I never liked them until this year. I was missing out on so much! Anyway, I intend to call them aubergines so people won't get grossed out and will be more willing to try them when I cook them.

Moving on.

I found this recipe from My New Roots - an amazing site if you haven't checked it out yet.

Obviously, I didn't follow the recipe exactly - I never do. I will tell you what I did, but you should definitely look at her recipe, though, and follow it as closely as you can.

Cut your aubergine/eggplant in half. Cut diagonal lines in the fruity part - MNR says this helps to let out the steam, but if you cut it deep enough, it will make eating easier later on. Place the slices on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and bake for about 40 minutes at 400.

1/3 C. tahini,
Red pepper flakes/ceyenne - to taste
1 1/2 Tbs. lemon juice
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. honey
Water to thin - Don't forget this! I did at first and it made it much more difficult to make.

Mix all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. If you don't have a food processor - which I don't ('s a really tiny/sucky one, so it hardly counts), just stir it. You'll live. Add as much water as you want - I didn't add too much because I didn't want super thin sauce, and I was afraid of losing the flavor of the sauce that I had already tasted and liked :)
Once I did all of this, I added some leftover almond pulp (from when I made this almond milk) to my tahini to add extra nut flavor.

The finishing touches
Once your aubergine halves are done roasting, toss on some feta cheese (MNR says use goat or cow feta...I don't even know what cow feta is. I just used regular feta...unless that's cow feta...whatever), and toss it back in the oven for a few more minutes. When the cheese is melted, pull out your aubergines and drizzle on some honey and some tahini sauce.

MNR adds a lot more to her aubergines, but I didn't have all of the stuff she added, so if you want to know all the extra stuff, check it out here.

Anyway, I loved this stuff so much that I had to eat the whole eggplant. Er...aubergine. I felt kind of gluttonous, was so good that I didn't care. If you try it, let me know what you think!


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Kale Chips

This is basically the easiest snack ever. It takes about ten minutes total - that's my kind of food!

Found here. I think this is the original. 

They're so delicious! Here's what I learned from making them:

  • Use small leaves of kale, or cut up the big leaves into smaller pieces - it's kind of difficult to eat them without stuffing the whole thing into your mouth, because they crumble, so you want pieces that you can stuff into your mouth without looking barbaric. 
  • Personally, I don't like sea salt - I've had some bad experiences. I just used the tiniest bit of regular salt and it was plenty. 
  • Check your teeth when you're done eating. Kale chips are much more clingy than other kinds of kale, and you probably don't want to be walking around with green teeth. You are welcome.

I ate them way too fast to take any amazing pictures. 


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Southwestern Style Lunch with Sweet Cornbread

I saw this recipe on Bleubird the other day and was so excited to try it. Today when I finally got to it, though, I decided not to follow the recipe and just use the same ingredients. I think what I did is probably pretty similar to Miss James' recipe. The one thing I definitely did differently was the sour cream - I just left mine plain. Don't be frightened by the huge ingredients list - it looks like a complicated recipe, but it was really easy. Except for the beans, it only took about half an hour, and that's because I was still making it up. Anyway, here's how it goes. 


  • Bell peppers 
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Cumin powder - 1 tsp. 
  • Curry powder - 1/2 tsp.
  • Salsa - I used about 1/2 cup for two servings. 
  • Black beans - if you're using fresh beans, be sure to start these in advance!
  • Avocado
  • Lemon juice 
  • Shredded cheese - I recommend cheddar or pepperjack for an extra kick
  • Sour cream 
  • Corn bread - I used this recipe for sweet corn bread, and it's my favorite so far. 

First, chop up the peppers, onion, and garlic (or get a spoonful from the jar, if it's not fresh - that's what I did). Toss them in a pan with some olive oil, cumin, and curry powder, cover, and let steam. 

While your veggies are sauteeing, cut up your avocado and toss it in a bowl with some lemon juice to keep it from browning.
Once your veggies are tender, toss in salsa and black beans. Let them sit over the heat for a little while longer to soak in the flavor. 

To put together your meal: Place your [preferably hot] cornbread in a bowl. Toss in your bean/veggie mixture,   top with shredded cheese and let it melt for a minute or two. Then add some chopped avocados and sour cream. Enjoy! 


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Caprese Salad

The first time I had caprese salad was when my uncle made it for our family last year. I didn't think it'd be much - I mean, it's tomatoes and vinegar. Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised when I tasted it. I love caprese salad because it's a simple, summery dish that's delicious and guilt free - not that I usually feel guilty about anything I eat.

  • Tomatoes
  • Balsamic vinegar/vinaigrette 
  • Cheese (mozzarella or feta) 
  • Fresh basil 

1. Dice the tomatoes.
2. Chop up the basil.
3. Toss tomatoes, basil, and preferred amount of cheese together in a bowl.
4. Top with balsamic vinaigrette.

I had five diced tomatoes and half a cup of balsamic vinegar and I know there will be a lot left over. Less is more when it comes to vinegar! If the vinegar is too tangy, feel free to add some sugar.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sweet Potato Fries - Remix

For the past...two months? my go-to snack has been sweet potato fries. They're super easy, plus I've always loved sweet potatoes. Today I tried to mix it up some. I'm really fond of contrasting flavors, so I normally put red pepper flakes on my sweet potato fries. But today I made them sweet, instead.

I was definitely thinking of this Pioneer Woman recipe (here) when I made them. I didn't go too in depth, though. I sliced my sweet potato, tossed the pieces in olive oil, laid them on the pan (lined with foil so I wouldn't have to wash it later), and sprinkled on rosemary and brown sugar. I baked them at 400 for 20 minutes. 

I hope to come up with several ways to serve (and eat) sweet potato fries this summer - an easy and healthy snack!


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Fancy Salad

For my mom's birthday she wanted spinach salad. So I made spinach salad. I had my doubts about it - I mean, it has lemon poppyseed dressing, which, frankly, sounds gross. However, I tried it, and it's pretty freaking amazing. 

First, make this lemon poppyseed dressing. Recipe here

Next, chop up delicious things like cucumbers and strawberries to put in your fresh spinach. 

I highly recommend being a dork and making your little sister take pictures of you with cucumbers on your eyes. All the cool kids are doing it. 

Mix up your spinach, strawberries, and cucumbers. If you want to be extra fancy, add things like walnuts, craisins, or Salad Toppings (my personal favorite). 

Pour in some lemon poppy seed dressing and devour.