Stuck in a Rut

All fall and all winter, I had an intense, perpetual craving for fats. Good fats, bad fats, I was all over it. And it seemed that a meal (or snack) wasn't satisfying without a heaping dose of fat.

Eating in the dining hall, this was a blessing in disguise. The green beans they serve are generally shiny with oil. Sauces are generally laden with fats and buttered bread is sometimes the only thing that looks appetizing (especially when it's basil butter.) Did I mention that ice cream is available three meals a day?

As a result, I weaned myself off of sugar. Manufacturers tend to compensate for the lack of fat with an increase in sugar (e.g. froyo vs. ice cream), so by eating more fat, I ended up eating less sugar. Even my sugar intake from fruit was somewhat limited (mostly due to a lack of acceptable fruit).

Then, a few weeks ago, summer fruits and vegetables began to arrive--blueberries with lunch, vegetables other than cauliflower, and a glimmer of hope for tomatoes. It was glorious.

{Image source}
Kind of.


Summer is here!

This week is my last week of classes! We have a 12-week semester, with an additional 3-week finals period at the end. Starting next week, classes are over but I'll be preparing several projects, essays and presentations as well as studying for final exams.

The end of classes also means we're nearing the end of racing season, and championship season! Our last league race is this weekend, and we're hoping to round out an undefeated series of league races. Two weeks after that, we'll be headed to the regional championships.

In preparation, we've stepped our training up a notch.

Today's Workout(s)

Weight lifting in the morning:
I got up early and did a 15-minute warm-up on the elliptical and a fairly hard weight circuit. It's been a while since we lifted, due to travel last weekend, so it was a little bit rusty. I still got in some good reps and even increased my weight on the last set of squats. Dan came with me to the gym, which is always fun!

Rowing in the afternoon:
Before practice I spent about 20-30 minutes warming up on land and stretching. I was a bit stiff from the lifting and from double practice yesterday, so it felt good to get the blood flowing.
It was super windy today, so we did a lot of skill and drill work to improve in the wind. We were out for about 1.75 hours, and ended up going about 9 miles. It wasn't a lot of distance, but it was good focused work.

Tomorrow, we have a hard workout, so I need to rest up tonight! I'm also looking forward to watching some video of our boat that the coach took yesterday.

Do you ever work out twice a day? How do you manage your time and energy so each workout is high quality still? Let me know by leaving a comment or emailing me at piquantprose [at] gmail [dot] com.

Like what you read? Share it on Facebook, Twitter or GoogleBuzz using the buttons below!


Updated: The Yogurt Parfait

Dan and I like to eat yogurt with breakfast. This summer, we ate a lot of yogurt with granola and fresh berries. It's kind of difficult to get fresh berries in the Jersey winter, so we've had to adapt. It's also somewhat time consuming to make homemade granola, and nuts are expensive.

Piquant Parfait = yogurt + frozen blueberries + cereal

We like two kinds of cereal in particular. I prefer Kashi GoLean Original, while Dan prefers Honey Nut Cheerios. It's kind of like eating milk and cereal with some berries thrown in, except it takes a lot longer for your cereal to get soggy. I also like plain yogurt more than milk, so this is especially delicious for me!

What's your favorite breakfast food? Let me know by leaving a comment or emailing me at piquantprose [at] gmail [dot] com. 

Like what you read? Share it on Facebook, Twitter or GoogleBuzz using the buttons below!


Happy Easter: A Lent Recap

Today marks the end of Lent, which is the most important part of Easter for me. Although I'm not religious, I chose to observe Lent this year by giving up meat.

I made the decision somewhat on a whim, but also under the impression that I didn't eat much meat anyways, so it wouldn't be much trouble. Boy, was I wrong!

The hardest part about giving up meat was finding food to eat. Our dining halls are very veg friendly and almost always have a main entree for vegetarians or vegans beyond just the salad bar. Unfortunately, if you don't like that one option, you're out of luck! What I didn't realize before was that those were the days I would end up eating meat. Since I could no longer eat meat when I didn't like the veg entree, I had to get creative.

Fortunately, I quickly learned some good alternatives that kept me going. One of my favorites was a cheese panini. The grilled cheeses here are usually white bread with American cheese, drenched in oil and grilled. Instead, I order a cheddar cheese sandwich on whole grain bread and put it in the panini machine. That plus a salad is perfect for lunch.

I also found my dessert consumption increased significantly. That may have been partly due to an increase in calorie consumption now that we're in season, but I also think it was often the easiest thing to eat. As a result, though, I have often craved savory foods instead of sweet foods over the past few weeks.

Of course, I wasn't perfect. There were one or two nights where I just didn't have the energy to find something without meat. I also didn't go vegetarian, so I could still eat things like marshmallows, or just pick the meat out of a dish that was otherwise made with chicken or beef stock, for example.

To celebrate Easter and the end of Lent, D and I made pork chops for dinner tonight. Even though he didn't give up meat, he's been eating less. Both of us found our 4oz portions of pork to be overwhelmingly large. I also didn't find it particularly satisfying. Sure, it was moist and flavorful, but it wasn't special or that delicious. I would rather have had twice as much roasted broccoli.

Going forward, I expect that I will only eat meat when it is inconvenient to do otherwise. Although I'm sure many vegetarians probably scoff at this lack of commitment, for me it is about cost, convenience and taste, rather than morality or environmental impact. I also hope to find a way to decrease the amount of sweets I eat, too.

I'm sure this will change as Dan and I begin to cook for ourselves this summer and next year. Fortunately, Dan is super patient and understanding, and willing to experiment with not eating meat while I try to figure out what works for me. I'm sure his needs and wants will influence me, but he's been very open to change so far.

----- ----- -----
45-Minute Dinner: Roasted Veggies with Pork Loin and Rice Pilaf
serves 2


Everyday Vegetables

Since both D and I have finished our senior theses, we have a lot more time on our hands and have been cooking dinner more often. This was our simple creation for dinner last night.

This would be a great dish to serve on a Meatless Monday. Add a can of chickpeas to the roasted veggies along with the bell peppers if you're concerned about getting enough protein.

----- ----- -----
45-Minute Dinner: Cauliflower, Green Beans and Rice
serves 3-4

Baking sheet
Cutting board

1.5c brown rice, uncooked
1 head cauliflower
0.5 lb green beans
0.5 red bell pepper
1 can garbanzo beans (optional)
2 cloves garlic
2t garam masala (optional)
olive oil
salt, pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
2. In your pot, put the 1.5c of brown rice along with 4c of cold tap water. Turn the heat to high. When it boils, turn the heat back down to as low as possible, and set a timer for 40 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, clean and chop your veggies. Toss the cauliflower with olive oil and the garam masala on the baking tray. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. At 20 minutes left in the rice cooking, put the cauliflower in the oven. Toss every 5 minutes to prevent burning and to let any steam escape from the oven.
5. At 10 minutes left in the rice timer, add the green beans and garlic to the cauliflower, tossing to mix. Turn the broiler on and place the veggies back under the broiler.
6. At 5 minutes left on the timer, toss the bell pepper and garbanzo beans with the veggies and return to the broiler.
7. When the timer is done, remove the rice from the stovetop. Check your veggies. If they are golden brown in places, they're done. Otherwise, toss them again and throw them back in for 5 minutes. (The rice will stay hot, I promise.)
----- ----- -----

Note: If you have a separate broiler compartment or your broiler takes a while to heat up, you may want to preheat it. Mine heats in about 30 seconds and can't be used at the same time as the oven, so I just changed it over when the veggies went back in the oven at step 5.

Do you participate in Meatless Mondays? Leave a comment or email me at piquantprose [at] gmail [dot] com. 

 Like what you read? Share it on Facebook, Twitter or GoogleBuzz using the buttons below!


Rotisserie Chicken with Chocolate Glaze

$0.99 for 5 chickens?! Who could pass up that deal?! Certainly not me, so I bought a heap of them, with enough chocolate and graham crackers to make my favorite: rotisserie chicken with chocolate glaze.

The pack leader has a droopy eye. Poor guy.

 But don't worry, it's still meat-free! (Not vegetarian, though. Bummer.) We had a lot of fun roasting marshmallows and peeps to make, you guessed it, s'mores!

The chocolate eyes melt into the marshmallow.
----- ----- -----
Indoor S'mores


Homemade Yogurt: Why You Should Make It Too!

You probably learned at a young age to put the milk away promptly and in the coldest place in the fridge. So if somebody told you to leave the milk out in 100°F weather and actually eat what you got the next day, I can understand why you'd be squeamish. Especially if they told you they'd added bacteria to said milk.

Of course, if you've ever eaten yogurt, that's exactly what you're doing. To make yogurt, you basically add bacteria to milk and then let it incubate at a bacteria friendly 100-110°F. Gross.

Really, though, there's nothing gross about it! The bacteria you add are no more harmful than the yeast you add to bread or the dust mites that sleep in your pillow. (Less harmful if you have allergies!!) Here's what happens:

At around 110°F, the bacteria you add are in full activity--like tourists on a summer beach. They eat up all of the lactose in the milk, a form of sugar that many people can't digest, and produce lactic acid, the same thing that makes your muscles burn when you work out.

Just like lactic acid makes your muscles uncomfortable, it also makes the yogurt uncomfortable--for other bacteria, that is! The high acidity that makes yogurt a little bit tangy discourages the growth of the bacteria that make us sick. It also makes the milk curdle and form a jelly-like matrix of coagulated protein molecules. (The same thing happens if you add vinegar to milk!)

The first yogurts were made by just leaving milk out someplace where it could "catch" good bacteria (much the same way we catch colds!). These days, most people give the milk a push in the right direction by adding some good bacteria (in the form of already-made yogurt) at the start of incubation.

I've already posted on how to make homemade yogurt, but I thought I'd give you a few added benefits of making homemade yogurt:

1. Vitamin D
Lots of research has been done to show the benefits of vitamin D, particularly in aiding absorption of calcium. Unfortunately, most store-bought yogurts don't have vitamin D! Well, when you make your own yogurt, you choose the milk that goes into it, which means you can choose yogurt with vitamin D (and vitamin A) added.

2. Along those lines, you know everything that goes into your yogurt.
A lot of yogurts contain thickeners, like cornstarch or gelatin (watch out vegetarians!), artificial sweeteners and a lot of sugar. You may be okay eating those things, you may not. Personally, many artificial sweeteners give me stomaches and severe bloating so I avoid them. I'd also rather eat a yogurt that was thickened naturally from its wealth of good bacteria, rather than yogurt thickened with gelatin.


Why I love College

6:00AM Wake-up. Eat homemade chocolate-ginger banana bread for breakfast. Read blogs while waking up.
6:45AM Drag my sleepy butt down to the boathouse and warm up for practice.
7:30AM Launch boats.
8:15AM Complete good race piece with great teammates.
9:00AM Eat more homemade banana bread. Shower. Return to dorm.
10:00AM Check updates from the men's and open women's morning races.
10:30AM Nap.
11:30AM Wake up. Eat leftovers for lunch.
12:11PM Catch free bus to grocery store, right on time.
12:30PM Arrive at grocery store, right on time. Frolic amongst the vegetables.
2:30PM Catch free bus home, right on time.
4:00PM Phone"interview" for casual summer job doing what I love to do.
5:30PM Dinner with good friends.
7:00PM Get emergency email requesting aluminum foil. End up baking cheesecake for 3 hours.
10:45PM Practice roasting marshmallows for upcoming s'mores study break. (Yes, it requires practice.)
11:45PM Go buy more marshmallows, chocolate, graham crackers and PEEPS (!) for upcoming s'mores study break.
12:00AM Catch up on blogs.
1:30AM Crawl into bed.

Long. Busy. Delicious. Tiring. Perfect.

Cheesecake bars with fresh raspberries and blueberries. So good even I liked them.

What's your ideal day? Let me know what you think by leaving a comment or emailing me at piquantprose [at] gmail [dot] com.

Like what you read? Share it on Facebook, Twitter or GoogleBuzz using the buttons below!


Low Fat Banana Bread

The other morning, I woke up at 10AM (ah, the life of a college student) with a pile of mushy bananas in my room. I looked at the clock and started some calculating in my head. I need to be at work at 1PM, which left me 3 hours to make banana bread, get dressed, go to brunch and get to work. Definitely enough time.

These bananas were perfect for banana bread.
Well, it turns out I'm not super efficient in the mornings, and 3 hours is really 2 hours when the banana bread takes an hour to bake (and you have to watch it the whole time). Fortunately, everything worked out.

This banana bread is moist, tender and full of banana flavor. Great for when you have a lot of mushy bananas (and who ever has just one brown banana?). Use whole wheat flour for extra nutrition, white flour for extra convenience; spread with Nutella for extra delicious.

----- ----- -----
Low Fat High Banana Bread
makes 1 loaf


How to: Purge your Pantry

In two months, I'm going to graduate from college. Great news indeed! However, it also means I'm going to be moving across the country. That means in the next two months, I need to whittle my pantry down to bare bones.

There are some things that I don't expect to finish (like my 25-pound bag of flour) but most of them were cost-effective nonetheless. (That 25-pound bag of flour cost the same as 2 5-lb bags of flour, and I've certainly used more than 10 pounds of it. Same goes for the 16 fl oz bottle of vanilla extract.)

There are a lot of other things that are odds and ends from care packages and study breaks, which were of no cost to me, but that I would still like to finish off.

There are also the odds and ends from various recipes, experiments and impulse shopping buys that I really ought to finish off, as well as some staple pantry items that I bought too much of.

The goal is to eliminate as many of these ingredients as possible without purchasing many new ingredients. I did something similar when I lived in my parents house this summer--to minimize our food budget, we tried to use as many of the things they had left in the pantry or freezer. Fortunately, the collection I have here is slightly less eclectic and should be a little bit easier to eliminate.

How to clean out your pantry:
1. Take stock of what you have.
This means getting out a clipboard, paper and pen and writing down what you have and how much of it you have. Include everything, even ketchup and mustard. While you're at it, toss anything that's expired. (Make mental note of what you've tossed and next time it's on sale, don't buy it.)
This is probably the most laborious step. Expect to spend 1-2 hours on it, 3 if you want to clean out the fridge and cabinets while you're at it.

2. Prioritize and sort.
This step is easiest to do on a computer in a program like Excel. That way, you can sort your list in a bunch of different ways.
First, as you type up your list, try to organize your list into sections. For example: spices, baking items, grains+starches, snacks, nuts+dried fruit, etc. Some things won't fit into categories, but do your best.
Second, you need to rank the items you have left. You should have two scales: difficulty to use and quantity remaining.
Some things are harder to get rid of: barley malt and cream of tartar for instance. Other things disappear remarkably quickly: butter, chocolate, cinnamon graham crackers. Rate things from 1 to 5 where 1 is really easy to use and 5 is very difficult to use. Consider things like cooking time, versatility and how much you like eating it. Don't consider how much you have or how much is left.
Your second ranking should be about quantity remaining. Of course, a tablespoon of cinnamon is very different than a tablespoon of flour or a tablespoon of butter. So try to think about how many 'servings' you have left of a given item. Rank things from 1 to 5, where 1 is very few servings and 5 is more servings that you think you can use.

3. Decide where you want to start.
I recommend starting with the most difficult things, because you may end up using some of the easy ingredients in the process. Order your list by difficulty to use and then by the amount you have left. (Excel will do this for you!!)

4. Plan recipes.
There are two types of recipes you need. First, you need some good "disposal" recipes, like oatmeal cookies or this pasta formula from goodLife{eats}. These are the types of recipes where you can just throw in a bunch of stuff from your pantry to get rid of it. To make this most effective, think ahead of time about ingredient combinations. For example, I know that chocolate and cranberry is a favorite.

Second, you need some ingredient specific recipes, especially for the stuff that's hard to get rid of. I have a lot of sesame seeds and malt, so I'm planning on making bagels (to use both) and sesame seed candies. Preferably, these are recipes that star some of your more difficult-to-use ingredients and don't use too many new ingredients. Try searching by ingredient on allrecipes.com, searching Google with a list of ingredients, or looking in the index of your favorite cookbooks for inspiration.

Having a list of your spices handy will also help you determine when you can just throw something into one of the recipes you're already planning to make. The other day, I added a bay leaf and chili flakes to my quinoa, beans and peas to add more flavor and help clean out my pantry.

5. Update your list!
This is probably the hardest part. Keep track of what you've used and what you have left. Update your list every time you cook something. You can also bring this list with you to the store so you don't accidentally buy something that you already have. (This is especially good for your spices!)

So far I've gotten rid of my sea salt, half of my quick oats, most of the dried cranberries, half of the shredded coconut, all of the brown short grain rice, and various portions of garlic, soy sauce, sesame seeds, olive oil, chili flakes, bay leaf, quinoa, canned beans and frozen peas.

What's the thing you always buy too much of? How do you plan to get rid of it? Let me know what you think and leave a comment or email me at piquantprose [at] gmail [dot] com. 

 Like what you read? Share it on Facebook, Twitter or GoogleBuzz using the buttons below!



I was gifted the remaining 10 eggs from a dozen, and have been trying to clean out my pantry. What better way to use up dried fruit, chocolate chips and coconut than oatmeal cookies? 

They're definitely not the most incredible cookies I've ever had (I think peanut butter surprises might take that title) but they're really quick and easy, not too terrible for you, and use up all sorts of pantry items.

I'd also like to try these with peanut butter in addition to/instead of butter and filled with banana chunks, peanuts, and almonds. Yum!

----- ----- -----
"Disposal" Cookies
makes 4 dozen small cookies
adapted from Quaker Oats

butter melting device

0.5c butter (1 stick, 110g)
0.75c brown sugar (165g)
0.5c white sugar (100g)

2 eggs
1t vanilla

1.5c AP flour (185g)
1t baking soda (6g)
0.5t salt

2c quick oats (196g)
1c Bob's Red Mill 5-grain hot cereal [or rolled oats] (120g)
0.75c mini chocolate chips (110g)
0.5c unsweetened shredded coconut (40g)
0.75c dried cranberries, chopped (120g)

1. Melt the butter. Mix thoroughly with the sugars.
2. Add the egg and vanilla. Mix together with the fork until it's a light golden brown.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt, fluffing it with a whisk or a clean fork.
4. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until it just comes together.
5. Add the oats, hot cereal, chips, coconut and cranberries mixing until combined. The dough will just barely hold all the add-ins.
6. Divide into tablespoonfuls on parchment lined or greased baking trays. Bake for 12 minutes at 350°F, or until golden brown.
----- ----- -----

What's your favorite kind of oatmeal cookie? Do you prefer oatmeal raisin cookies or oatmeal chocolate chip? Let me know what you think and leave a comment or email me at piquantprose [at] gmail [dot] com. 

 Like what you read? Share it on Facebook, Twitter or GoogleBuzz using the buttons below!


How to: Do Dishes like a College Student

1. Put dirty dishes into a pile, preferably in your bedroom or living room.
2. After 1-2 days, move said dirty dishes to the bathroom.
3. Check facebook. Check your email. Check the weather.
4. Write your essay. Take a nap. Go to class. Do your problem set.
5. Come back and notice that you still have dishes to do.
6. Repeat steps 3-5 until you realize that you are completely out of clean bowls and spoons.
7.  Do your laundry. Fold your laundry.
8. Start to soak the dishes. In the meantime, revert to plastic utensils and paper plates.
9. 24 hours later, the dishes are sufficiently soaked. Proceed to step 10 when ready.
10. Check facebook. Check your email. Check the weather.
11. Get ready to wash dishes.
12. Realize you have no dish soap.
13. Check facebook. Check your email. Check the weather.
14. Do your laundry. Fold your laundry. (Because it's probably been at least 2 weeks since you last did your laundry.)
15. Put on sweatpants and shoes. Go to the student store and shell out $5 for crappy dish soap.
16. Return to your room. Check facebook. Check your email. Check the weather.
17. Eat cereal using your last plastic fork and last paper plate.
18. Wait at least one day to proceed to step 19.
19. Get ready to wash dishes.
20. Wash one dish.
21. Check facebook. Check your email. Watch a YouTube video.
22. Repeat steps 20 and 21 until you have enough dishes to last 24 hours.
23. Wonder why dishes take so long.

What's your least favorite chore?

Let me know what you think and leave a comment or email me at piquantprose [at] gmail [dot] com. Like what you read? Share it on Facebook, Twitter or GoogleBuzz using the buttons below!


Earth-Shattering Toblerone Cookies

I saw this recipe in CGCCMiyM Cookies and knew I had to make it, as soon as possible. Unfortunately, we ran out of chocolate chips.. so I delayed, hoping for a care package from parents well-stocked with chocolate chips. But then we ran out of chocolate.. and cocoa powder... and things got desperate.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, so D and I went to the student store in search of something acceptable to tide us over. (The care package did arrive eventually, with chocolate chips, mint chips, butterscotch chips, cappuccino chips, white chocolate chips, peanut butter chips and cocoa powder. Phew!) What we found was more than acceptable--Toblerone!

We got home, and after gobbling up a whole bar of Toblerone all by myself (D gave up non-homemade desserts for lent, poor guy), I set about making these cookies with the remaining two bars.

I didn't have any corn syrup, as the recipe called for, but Toblerone bars have honey in them, so I replaced the corn syrup with honey.

Freeze half of the dough!!! After you split it into chunks of dough, freeze the chunks on an extra baking tray and then throw the frozen chunks into a ziptop bag in the freezer for later. Just label them with the baking time/temperature, the date, and the recipe name. I promise, any cookies you make will get eaten within 24 hours. Your waistline will thank you for using the freezer method of self-control.

----- ----- -----
Earth Shattering Toblerone Cookies
makes 16 big, delicious, crunchy, crispy cookies, plus 1 cookie dough ball for sampling
adapted from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich

baking tray(s)
aluminum foil
kitchen scale (sorry, didn't take volume measurements on this one!)
two bowls
butter melting equipment

6oz all-purpose flour
0.5t baking soda
1.25 sticks unsalted butter
1.5oz quick oats
3.5oz white sugar
1.75oz brown sugar
2oz. honey
2T milk
0.5t salt
2 regular size Toblerone bars

1. Mix the flour and baking soda together in a small bowl, fluffing it lightly with a fork or whisk.
2. Melt the butter completely in a medium bowl, and then add the oats, sugars, honey, milk and salt.
3. Add the dry to the wet and mix until everything is just incorporated.
4. While the dough is cooling, chop your Toblerone bars into small chunks. Mix these into the dough.
5. Break off a chunk of cookie dough to tide you over while the dough rests overnight in the refrigerator. (No raw eggs! Whoohoo!)
6. The following day, line baking trays with aluminum foil and preheat your oven to 325°F. Break the cookie dough into 1.75oz pieces (about the size of a golf ball), placing four cookies on each tray. Flatten the dough slightly before you bake.
7. Bake these for 20-25 minutes at 325°F, until they are dark golden brown. Let them cool completely before eating.
----- ----- -----

When I have access to an ice cream maker, I intend to make these into chocolate chunk cookie dough ice cream.

Do you own a kitchen scale? What's your favorite use for it? Let me know in a comment or by emailing me at piquantprose [at] gmail [dot] com!


How To: Get Honey out of the Jar

A few years back, my dad saw chestnut honey on sale and got a little bit sale-happy. I think he bought about 5 jars. If he actually used honey, that would have been great, but he doesn't use honey. In fact, my dad doesn't really like sweet things. I think he just liked the idea of chestnut honey.

Instead, we ended up with 5 unused jars of honey, which my dad told me not to touch while my mom secretly begged me to use as much as possible. I used a lot of honey. (I'm not sure my dad ever noticed.)

Honey is a pain to get out of the jar, and even worse to get out of the measuring spoon. It also sticks to everything, including the seams on the lid. This is particularly unhelpful when you're trying to be inconspicuous about your honey usage!

Next time a recipe calls for honey, try this instead:
1. To open the jar, run the lid under hot tap water for a few minutes. To prevent it from sticking shut next time, wash the lid with hot soapy water and wipe the threads on the jar down with a damp, hot paper towel before sealing the jar.

2. To get the honey out of the jar, microwave it! Honey is incredibly viscous at room temperature, but as it heats up, it becomes more and more liquid. If you stick the jar in the microwave for about a minute, you'll be able to easily pour it out of the jar. Be careful, though! Hot sugar syrups burn! If you're not a microwave person, just putting the honey in a hot water bath will also help but it's a lot less convenient.

3. To get honey out of a measuring spoon, skip the measuring spoon and use your food scale. Honey weighs about 21g (.75oz) per tablespoon, or 340g (12oz) per cup. Don't have a scale? Hot honey will also come out of a measuring spoon more easily, so microwave it first. You can also use the Alton Brown method, and just eyeball it. D suggests cutting your losses, using a size larger measuring spoon and just licking it clean when you're done.

What are your tricks for getting honey out of the jar? What about peanut butter? Let me know by leaving a comment or emailing me at piquantprose [at] gmail [dot] com!

Want to make something with honey?


I messed up.

So you remember how I gave up meat for lent? Well, I've been doing pretty well, sticking to my on-Sundays-only policy.

Except this week I got to the dining hall after a long, hard practice. I'd already noshed on carrots and hummus in my room (because I didn't think I could make it the 30 yards to the dining hall without nourishment), but I was still starving.

All they had was eggplant and zucchini. Ok, it was ALL they had, but the options were:
salad with a weird raspberry dressing
pasta with really terrible marinara sauce
eggplant+tomato towers (I really don't like eggplant at all)
zucchini (I HATE zucchini)
zucchini (yes, that's right, they had two zucchini dishes)
beef stir fry

I just didn't have the energy to be creative, so I decided to grab some rice and pick the veggies out of the beef stir fry. The veggies looked delightfully oily, crisp, fresh, nutritious and delicious. The beef just looked oily.

But then I just didn't have the energy to pick around the minuscule pieces of beef.. so I decided I'd just pick around them at the table.

But then I started picking them out and realized just how monstrous a task that was.. so I decided to just eat them. They weren't very good, or very satisfying.. I just didn't have the energy to avoid them.

The whole thing was fairly representative of my experience so far. I haven't missed meat much at all, but eating has become just enough more difficult that it can be frustrating. It's especially difficult in a dining hall, where not eating meat eliminates a large number of options. It's trying to have to pass up delicious vegetables because they've been mixed with meat, or to not eat a salad because they've added bacon or chicken.

Do you have any dietary restrictions? How do you deal with them when others are cooking for you?
Let me know by leavin a comment or emailing me at piquantprose [at] gmail [dot] com. 

 Like what you read? Share it on Facebook, Twitter or GoogleBuzz using the buttons below!


Chocolate Coffee Banana Bread

Winter fruit selection is often depressing at best, so imagine my dismay when our dining hall ran out of oranges and decided to make do with mushy bananas. I'm okay with yellow bananas, but mushy is just beyond me.

Except, of course, in banana bread. So I did all of the other eaters a favor, and grabbed as many mushy bananas as I could without seeming too ridiculous. (Honestly, I think the staff are used to me doing ridiculous things at this point, like asking for a veggie omelet without the eggs.)

I made both regular and chocolate coffee banana bread in one morning.
Then, I began the quest for a suitable banana bread recipe. I had my mom's recipe tucked away in my email, but with the amount of butter it called for, it was much closer to cake. I needed something that wouldn't use up D's single dessert quota for the day.

After opening about 30 tabs worth of lowfat banana bread recipes in Safari, almost all of which called for margarine or applesauce, I finally found one. Ok, the original calls for applesauce, but I just used milk. 

Now, this is an incredible banana bread recipe, perfect just on its own. But when you run out of chocolate chips, and chocolate, the only solution is to take perfectly good banana bread, and add cocoa powder... and then eat said chocolate banana bread for breakfast the next day. And what is better than chocolate? Chocolate and coffee.. so I did it.

Once reinforcements arrived in the form of a care package, I realized I had to make this again, but with chocolate chips and cappuccino chips. Yes, I still ate it for breakfast.

----- ----- -----
Chocolate Coffee Banana Bread
makes 1 large loaf

loaf pan
2 mixing bowls + mixing instrument(s)
kitchen scale (optional)
measuring cups
butter melting device
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...