a) enter my contest for a $50 gift certificate for Earth Shoes here, and
b) make sure you come back TOMORROW to see who won!
I'll need all of you to come check to see if you won and if you are the lucky one, you'll need to send me an email (link on my profile page) with your name and email address so that I can send it to the peeps at Onlineshoes.com and they can get your your gift certificate.
Now that that business is done with, we must talk about food. I'm gonna start with the big Valentine's day eats. Ok, so I have to admit that up until a few days ago, I had completely forgotten about chocolate covered potato chips. Anybody else have these before? I remember in high school or undergrad having gotten a couple boxes of these and LOVING them. There's just something about that sweet/salty combo that really does it for me. So anyway, I was browsing through a Rachey Ray magazine at work the other day and saw a 'recipe' for chocolate covered potato chips. I mean, seriously, leave it to Rachel frigging Ray to remind me of something so terrible for my health and then encourage me to actually make it myself. Well, how could I refuse? That woman. There's something about her that I really love/hate. Mostly, though, I really dislike her. But I also just can't help but like her. What is wrong with me?!
Regardless of my feelings for her, it planted a seed in my mind, and I made chocolate covered potato chips yesterday for us to munch on.
This is ridiculously easy to do. Just melt some dark chocolate with some soymilk (or, I used rice milk because we had it for some reason). Dip in some kettle chips (nonflavored). Let drip on a rack with wax paper underneath. When they're done dripping, put 'em in the fridge. These are pretty good, but the chocolate I used was pretty bitter, so I'd add some sugar next time if I got the same chocolate. Because, you know, the ones that I remember were, of course, made with milk chocolate. Which is way different (and honestly way crappier) than the chocolate we eat now. So what I'm basically saying is that you can't shove these into your mouth like you're popping M&Ms (oh, my old M&M addiction...R.I.P.) because they are richer and more of a....delicacy? Can I call chocolate covered potato chips a delicacy?
For dinner we made a chickn parmesan pizza. This is the ultimate in easy. Crust it up (I used a different crust recipe than the one from VWAV because I wanted a doughier crust), add garlic, onions, spinach and prebake for about 10 minutes at 450F. Then add a layer of pizza sauce, lots of chopped basil, some sliced Boca chicken patties, more sauce, then your fake cheese of choice. We used Teese and somehow, that crap didn't melt.
non-melty, but still delicious
I think I sliced the Teese too thick, because it was melty on the underside, but still solid on the top. It was fine to eat though. Oh, and make sure you use Boca ORIGINAL chicken patties (not the organic ones or whatever) and still check your ingredients because apparently there is some conspiracy out there where some Boca chicken patties have milk in them or eggs or something, and some do not. Inconsistency. But you have to use these kind of breaded patties (if you find another brand, use those then) because chickn parmesan needs to be...breaded. It's part of the deal. This pizza turned out really good, but there was one weird thing about it. Apparently our corner market is selling bags of fresh basil that is thai basil, without being labelled as such. We noticed there was a strange licorice-y taste to our basil (after we put it one the pizza of course) and realized that we were eating some non basic basil. It wasn't bad, but it was definitely different, haha... So go for plain old basil if you make this.
We even tried microwaving our slices to melt that stuff, and it was a no-go. It did, however, make it insanely hot and I burned the crap outta my mouth. C'est la vie, eh?
My mom used to make pudding cake when I was a kid. And I just couldn't resist trying it out myself. Worth it! And really, it was very easy. I even bought ramekins yesterday so that I could make this. That's dedication, baby. Don't they look great? Very intense (make sure to let these cool so that they can be more pudding-ish and less liquid-y) and the cherries and chocolate go together perfectly, of course. A lovely end to a lovely day.
Ok, enough Valentine's day mushiness. Next up? Some tester recipes for the Cookin' with my Craw-Daddy zine! This past weekend, Michael was out of town and I made the Swampy Tofu Scramble for dinner.
I was not really expecting a tofu scramble to knock my socks off, but consider my socks completely knocked. This is honestly the best tofu scramble I've ever eaten in my life (and I've had quite a few). Something about the flavor combo is just...perfection. Plus there's a secret trick that makes it nice and creamy and super wonderful. I liked it so much that I made it for Michael on Monday for dinner again, along with these bad boys:
Yell'er Hush Puppies
The flavor of these was really yummy. They were a tad greasy, but they are hush puppies after all. That's kind of how that goes. Michael made these and we ate them with lots of mustard, and it was good.
ragin' cajun mealtime
Well, I dunno how cajun brussels sprouts are, but we steamed some and they went very nicely with this meal. Made me feel a tad better about the fried-ness of the hush puppies. I also think that the hush puppy batter would work really well as a batter for frying other things, like, oh, say...corn dogs? Mwahahaha...
Next up is just a meal worth mentioning because it was full of mushrooms and I ate all of them. Shocker!
could i be changing my ways?
Michael found a mixed container of wild mushrooms while he was out of town and he sauteed them up quite simply with peppers and onions. They were insanely delicious. I don't know...but...I may be starting to like mushrooms other than oyster mushrooms. Wonders never cease. We made some couscous (that I think just had nutritional yeast in it, honestly) and I sauteed some kale that I had beforehand massaged with lemon juice (kale loves to be massaged with lemon juice, you must try this). I just sauteed some garlic and one shallot, then added the lemony kale. I have to say, it was the best kale I've ever eaten. For such a simple meal, this was crazydelicious.
I also made something with another kind of mushroom for Michael's mom, who came to town this week. It was the faux clam linguine that I've made before, but it turned out a million times better and I'm kicking myself for not taking photos of it.
These babies are something you just have to make. You have to!
relish oat crackers
Celine, of Have Cake, Will Travel, is a genius. She also tested out some of the Zukay Live Foods, and made these amazing crackers out of the garlic relish. Since the garlic relish was my favorite out of the whole product-testing-batch, and also since I've never made my own crackers, and also since they seemed so darned easy...I made them. The day she posted them. And they. Are. Wonderful. And you don't have to have that specific relish. I'm sure there is garlic relish out there besides that brand. GO MAKE THESE! Immediately! Recipe here.
To finish, I will leave you with a sign that spring is close. Don't despair. I had these for lunch last Saturday, when it was sunny and 70F.
a little taste of awesomeness
And while that warm streak was a bit of a fluke (it's much colder now), it gave me hope that it will be warm again. There will be strawberries. There will be fresh tomatoes and peppers and trips to the farmers market. I will be able to go outside without a coat and without shivering and without hating life. I just can't wait.
Now go enter my contest!