Monday, May 21, 2012

Salad for those who don't eat salad.

How do you pass for 18? That's absolutely ridic...
What were we talking about?
Hello friends and internet friends! I apologize for the lack of posting, but the end of the semester hit us pretty hard....but that's all over with and school is out for summer! Thank you, Glee for putting that song in my head. It's been there for a week now. It helps that Puck is singing it...rawr.

What was the point of this? It certainly wasn't  me fantasizing about a 30 year old pretending to be a college student....

Oh right. Salad.

So I hate salad. Like...really hate it. The problem is that I don't like salad dressing. I hate vinegar. I hate ranch. I hate 1000 islands and any other possible dressing you could come up with. The only dressing that I can possibly eat around is the ginger dressing at Asian restaurants, and after a couple pieces of lettuce, I'm done.

For me, salad is just a bowl of lettuce and that's lame as hell. If I am feeling particularly unhealthy, I might make a salad, but it will have fruit and nuts in it for some flavor and crunch. Truthfully though, I rarely eat salad. I'd just rather eat something with a lot of vegetables, like vegetable lasagna or vegetable curry.

Tonight though, I am eating salad for dinner. 


What? I just said that I rarely eat salad. Either this is one of those rare occasions, or something big is happening. Just so you know, it's the later.

Kale Salad

Kale and bread crumbs...who knew?
a lemon
some kale (washed, of course!)
a clove or two of garlic
parmesan cheese
bread crumbs

Slice out the big stem that runs down the middle of the kale. That shit is good in stir fry, but not when you're eating it raw. Slice up about 4 leaves of kale per serving of salad that you want to make. Chop it up into small, bite size pieces and throw them in a bowl.

Slice open the lemon. I used about 1/3 of the lemon for my single serving of salad. Squeeze the lemon over the kale leaves. You can use a juicer if you are a wimp, otherwise, just do it by hand. Let this sit while you crush the shit out of a clove of garlic.

 I used about half a medium sized clove for my single serving and it's pretty strong on the garlic, which I like. When I say crush the garlic, I mean peel it and mince it, then crush it with the flat side of the knife you are using to mince it, then mince it again. You want those pieces nice and small.

Toss the garlic in with the kale, sprinkle on some bread crumbs and parmesan and VOILA! I used maybe 1.5 tablespoons of bread crumbs and 2 tablespoons of parmesan. It's all to taste.
Kale is EVERYWHERE! my mouth.
If you want a little something extra with the salad, try dicing up some roasted chicken breast and throwing that on top. You could even do some breaded chicken if you were so inclined.

I might start eating salad a lot more often. Especially because kale is EVERYWHERE right now.

Spelling Fail: Week of 5/21 - Starbucks, Annapolis

My coworker has a knack for finding amazing spelling errors. She finds the almost every time she leaves the house, which is infrequent because she has an irrational fear of being viciously attacked by ducklings. 

She sends them to me because she knows they fill my heart with joy. Butter also fills my heart with joy, but apparently that’s just the feeling that indicates the onset of a heart attack. It's cool, though. I'm cutting back to two sticks a day. Just don't expect me to be happy about it. 

Anyway! This week’s Spelling Fail Award goes to the maintenance crew for the Starbucks/apartment complex parking lot on West Street in Annapolis, Maryland.

They get an A+ at tracing!

This was just an example of cheeky shenanigans performed by a
disgruntled employee. You might say he was
against the man. 
Too much?

You win at everything. Forever!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Recipe: Feta Couscous With Mushrooms And Red Peppers

Oh hey, so I heard this was this thing called summer coming. Apparently in this season, you have to do things like, oh, I don’t know. . .wear a swimsuit. 

In public. In the DAYLIGHT.  

Fuck that shit, man!

Anyway, I decided that since people are going to see a lot more of my exposed flesh than I’m really prepared for, I should probably change up my lifestyle or something. Mainly, I need to stop eating such crap and going out all the time. A girl can only consume so many lamb kebobs cooked in boiled 45-year-old virgin fat.
LOOK! I'm even providing nutrition facts
 for this recipe I made myself.
Anyway, this is a recipe post, so I’ll get on with the recipe part. Yay!

Feta Couscous With Mushrooms And Red Peppers

Makes 4 servings (or 3 if you’re me, and a glutton.)
·         3 servings israeli couscous (1/3 cup per serving)
·         1 1/2 tsps olive oil
·         1 oz feta (this is the equivalent to ¼ cup)
·         1 tiny piece of butter, like the thickness of a slightly obese quarter
·         1/2 oz dill (or basically as much as you want because it has almost no caloric value)
·         1 cup chopped mushrooms
·         1 cup chopped red pepper

In medium sauce pot, cook the couscous according to the packaging. Add salt and butter to the boiling water.

In a separate pan, heat olive oil in pan. You should use a stainless steel pan so you don’t get cancer later in life. Swirl around mushrooms and peppers until mushrooms brown slightly. Add minced garlic and finely chopped dill near the end of cooking. If you add them too early, you’ll dull the flavor. You want things to have flavor, don’t you!?

Add contents of pan to couscous, along with feta. Stir on medium heat for 1 minute to combine ingredients. Serve and enjoy!

How did I feel about it?
It was pretty good. One serving is enough for a meal, so I was full enough that I didn’t start eyeing my neighbors. I’d make it again, for myself and maybe for Kristen. It’s not on the “I’ll make this meal for my hot date” list yet.

Next time I experiment with couscous, I’ll probably make it with curry, almonds and chicken. Oh, and I'll include a picture of the actual dish. Hopefully that picture won't be from my phone which makes even delicious things look practically inedible! 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Chocolate Caramel Cookies..with beer of course.

I've basically decided that beer needs to be in everything that I bake. I struggled to figure out HOW to include it in these cookies and it's not really noticeable in the final product. I think I'll have to tweak cutting out more butter and/or eggs to make room for more beer.

Be warned that these cookies expand a lot, so a little bit of dough goes a long way. Potentially, these cookies could be really good with other stuff in them...more caramel, chocolate chunks...bacon....whatever.

Chocolate Caramel Cookies (Makes about 50 cookies)
Seriously, this recipe makes 50+ cookies.
What? I live with two dudes who can put away a lot of cookies.
I might have eaten a few too.
½ cup butter (1 stick)
10 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips (or other, fancier chocolate of your choosing)
¼ cup beer (preferably something dark, like a porter) I used Evolution’s Lucky 7 Porter
1 ½ cup flour
1 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
3 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 package caramels for topping

Dough, a beer, chocolate and beer.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt.

Melt butter, chocolate over low heat until completely melted. Add beer and remove from heat. Allow to cool.

Mix eggs, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Slowly add in chocolate mixture and mix completely. Begin adding flour mixture in thirds. Make sure to mix completely before adding more flour mixture.

Drop by small spoonfuls onto baking sheet. Unwrap caramels and slice in half. Place one half on top of each mound of cookie dough.

Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool. Eat and enjoy!
If I had a candy thermometer,
I would make caramel all the time.
And be really fat.

I can't lie...I bought a 12 oz. bag of chocolate chips...and proceeded to munch on the other 2 oz. while baking these cookies...hence the odd amount. I did manage to save a few for the last batch of cookies, which got mixed in to the dough. They chocolate chunks definitely added to the overall deliciousness.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Vegetables: steamed vs. boiled.

What happened to the food pyramid?
 I consider myself a fairly well-informed, health conscious eater. I try to get lots of fruits and veggies, focus on lean proteins and whole grain carbohydrates and occasionally try to read up on the latest trends in healthy this crap about grains not being healthy for you.

As a scientist, I am always confused by the SCIENCE behind WHY something is good for me vs. bad for me. When it comes to vegetables...I am tired of being confused. I have heard that steamed veggies are better than raw veggies, that either of those are better than overcooked, blah blah blah.

So why, exactly, is steamed the best way to eat certain veggies and why is overcooked so bad?

According to The Learning Network(that's TLC, by the way), heat can degrade if you cook vegetables too hot, you can lose nutrients. HOW THE FUCK DOES THIS HAPPEN? Ok, so some things break down when you heat them. That’s fine....but where do they go? If I cook something, the nutrients magically disappear? If that’s what happens to nutrients, how the fuck do we ingest anything healthy EVER? And why does no one bother to actually say this when they say to eat steamed vegetables? Why do they use scare tactics, without backing their claims up with science??

Oh, you wanted to be healthy? That’s too bad because all this vitamin A just EVAPORATED INTO THIN AIR.

According to, steaming veggies to a certain point actually makes them healthier, because the heat breaks down the cellulose that is inherent in plant cells. Cellulose is really hard to digest...that’s why cows have like, four stomachs. Are you a cow? No, so cooking your vegetables helps your poor, overworked stomach out. Because your stomach is clearly working overtime to process all those McDonald’s cheeseburgers and doesn’t have time to deal with all that cellulose from your iceburg lettuce salad....

Ok, so steamed veggies are better than raw veggies in many cases..I mean, people do research and stuff on this.
Wait, what do you mean this doesn't count as a fruit?

So why are steamed veggies better than boiled veggies? What happens at the magic point when steaming becomes boiling? And yes, I am aware that there are some inherent differences in steaming vs. boiling, like when you steam stuff it’s not actually sitting in the water....but whatever. If you’re like me and you don’t have a steamer, you just boil stuff in a small amount of water until it turns bright green and pretend that you steamed it. Hey man, if it’s bright green, I assume it’s healthy....(hello, Midori!)

But still...why is steamed better than boiled? Apparently, it’s because some nutrients are water soluble. What does that even mean? Well, when you cook vegetables in water, these nutrients leak out, and become dissolved in the water. Unless you are drinking your broccoli’s bath water, you’re out of luck with that whole eating healthy thing. So those inherent differences in steaming vs. boiling actually DO matter. The more water you use, and the more contact between the vegetables and the water, the fewer nutrients you get in the end.

So basically, steam your veggies...and avoid boiling them until they are limp and grey....because that just sounds disgusting and you don't get as much out of your veggies. Really though, if I am bothering to eat vegetables, I want them to be as nutrient-rich as possible. Something has to counteract all that booze I drink on the weekends...