Thursday, May 20, 2010

A crazy experiment

Yesterday was a lovely day. After I got off work I had lunch with a friend and we had a great time. I made sandwiches and served it with organic blue corn and flax seed tortilla chips. The chips were a recent find at Target and I am in love. The bag has been open for two days and I have eaten at least half the bag. What can I say, I sometimes go crazy when I get the munchies. I definitely prefer salty and crunchy to sweet. Unless it is something salty and crunchy covered in chocolate. That is what I call the best of both worlds.
After lunch we went to a thrift store she told me about. I forget the name of it, but every Wednesday all their clothes are $1.09. How crazy is that!? They had some really cute stuff too. I spend $7.00 and got 2 dresses, 1 skirt, 1 pair shorts, 2 blouses. Thrift stores are the best.

However, none of that has anything to do with my crazy experiment. When I got home at six I felt quite adventurous so I did something I have never done before. I cooked without a recipe. Now I hardly ever follow recipes entirely. I get a general guideline and then modify it to what I have on hand or to make it healthier or just because I feel like it. But yesterday I decided it was time for me to start creating my own recipes.

I knew I wanted to make something with rice noodles and an asian peanut sauce. I decided to make the sauce first and pulled out a bunch of stuff. I wanted to be able to post my first recipe and started writing it down. But then I kept adding so much stuff that I didn't keep track of, and I don't think I could begin to tell you the amounts of what I put in. I know it had peanut butter, coconut aminos (a substitute for soy sauce that is gluten and soy free made out of coconut tree sap), sesame oil, oyster sauce, sriracha sauce, chili paste, rice vinegar, and since I ran out of olive oil I put in a little bit of smart balance. I cooked the brown rice noodles, sauteed some bok choy, heated the beans, and chopped up some peanuts for texture.

Then I mixed it all together and voila. We had dinner :).

Looking back on the experience I definitely want to make it again before I post the recipe. It tasted good but there was too much peanut butter and you got tired of eating it with nothing to break up the heaviness of the sauce. Next time I will put some broccoli and bean sprouts in for more texture, and I will put less peanut butter and add in coconut milk to lighten up the sauce. Then I will do my best to write everything down and post it on here. I am also going to work on measuring things out instead of dumping and dashing and sprinkling. That will also help in trying to document my creations.

All in all it was a wonderful day and I am thankful for the ability to be creative and have fun doing something that I love. Life is good.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Bleat goes the goat

At least that is what Wikipedia says about what goats sound like.
So I have recently found a new food love. I was at Sam's the other day looking through their vast array of cheeses and found goat milk cheese. I have never had it before and I am trying to stay away from cow milk so I thought I would give it a try. I brought it home and tasted a little bite and I was in heaven. I made this discovery last Monday and I think I may have eaten it with at least two of my meals every day since then. Yesterday I ate it all three meals; breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I have eaten it with eggs, falafels, roasted vegetables, salads, and even with a spinach chicken dog (which was another amazingly tasty discovery I made at Sam's). Tomorrow I am going to put it in a quiche and I am super excited.

So around 7:30 tonight when I was contemplating what to eat for dinner guess what first popped into my mind? Something that I could put goat cheese on. I also have a bunch of spring mix in the fridge that I need to use up. So far I have cheese and greens... that's a good start. I thought about it and decided to make a pear and goat cheese salad.

As a side-note I think that one of the most challenging parts about this will be the photography. I know that you can't have a successful food blog without photos of all the food you post about. I currently don't have a camera but my husband does. So tonight after I finished making my salad I spend 15 minutes trying to get a decent picture. I have never been good at taking pictures and so you will have to be patient as I learn how to photograph food. After taking about 20 pictures I think the two I ended up with are pretty good. Next time I will take pictures of cooking as well as the finished plate. I also have to get quicker so the food isn't cold by the time I actually eat it :). Lucky for me I was eating salad tonight so it didn't matter.

Anyway, I sliced up half a pear with some spring mix, thinly sliced red onions, toasted walnuts, crumbled goat cheese, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. It was super tasty and I only wish I would have made it bigger :). That's okay, I can make it again for lunch tomorrow.

For dessert I ate some chocolate pudding I made yesterday. I have been learning about arrowroot and purchased some yesterday morning that I wanted to try out. It is a powder that can be used as a thickener and can be substituted for cornstarch. So I made the pudding out of cocoa powder, arrowroot, coconut milk, and agave. I stirred everything together in a saucepan and brought it to a boil. Once is cooled the consistency was like... hmmm... you know the containers of glop you can get that when you lift it up and push it down it sounds like a fart. That's what it was like. haha But it tasted really good and chocolatey. I garnished it with frozen berries and unsweetened coconut. Yummy, yummy :).

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Start of Something New

Hello world. My name is Noelle and this is my food blog.

I have been thinking about starting one for a while (with encouragement from my husband). I am addicted to reading an excessive number of them on a daily basis. Most are focused towards healthy eating, raw food, food on a budget, sometimes food that breaks the budget, baking, and fitness. They have inspired me with their artistry, creativity, passion and how much love they put into making the food that they prepare. I am inspired and I want to be a part of it.

However, I have a shortcoming I must overcome as I embark on this journey. Consistency and finishing the things I start have always been a struggle for me. Cleaning day is a perfect example. I know that everyone has their own method of doing things. Mine is to start about ten projects at once and finish maybe 60% of them. I need accountability and solidarity in my life and maybe writing in this blog will give me tools to help me become the person I want to be. If that doesn’t work at least it will document the sordid details of all my kitchen disasters, and I will learn some valuable lessons along the way.

I can feel that I am going through a major change. I want you to journey with me as I redefine my relationship with God, the world, food and how I eat it, and myself.