Rice Pudding

image

How old were you when you realized that if you pretended to be sick, you didn’t have to go to school? I was seven. There was a math test. Two bullying boys. And I hated my uniform.

I rubbed my face so it got hot and red and splashed it with water so it looked like I had “the sweats”.
Then I made understated yet tragically pathetic groans while clutching my stomach.

The trick was trying to act tough. That way, Mon thought it was HER idea that I should stay home. Sneeeaakkkyyy…  Haha
I faked it all on my own. I hadn’t even seen Ferris Buellers Day Off yet. I didn’t even know what that was.

Fake sick days were always a let down. You’d spend the morning watching cartoons and eating cereal. Which was awesome. But then noon would bring with it all the trashy soap opera and court t.v dramas which weren’t funny yet to a seven year old. ( at seventeen they are HILARIOUS).

So that left snooping around the yard, doing crafts, eating exorbitant amounts of peanut butter. Then everyone would be home and you’d have to be in bed for reals and THEN do all the make up work.

That was the worst lesson at seven. Learning that Math tests still had to be taken whether I had been sick or not. Drat!

Real Life sick days aren’t fun either. You really stay in bed, use too many Kleenex, chaf your nose, try to read but watch trashy soap operas instead, and wander around looking all “hot messy”.

One shining light is this Rice Pudding. I made it  and ate it warm, while I was sick. It was like a snuggie for my heart. As you can imagine.
Cinnamon, raisins, almonds. Ooooo yeah.

image

I blanched the almonds myself. It’s easy, and cheaper to peel yourself than buying them that way. Stick it to the almond man! Also, peeling almond skins might have been the most productive thing I did while I was sick. No biggie.

Feel Better Soon!

Xxoo Megs

Rice Pudding

4. Cups whole milk
1 cup basmati rice
Dash cinnamon
Dash cardamom
1/2 a vanilla bean (you could use a tsp. of extract)
1 cup raisins
1cup blanched almonds
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
2 cups water
1 tsp lemon zest
1/4 tsp salt.

In a pot, combine water, salt, rice, and lemon zest. Bring to a boil. Turn heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes. Until all the water is absorbed. Transfer to a bowl. Rinse pot.

Combine milk, vanilla, and honey/syrup. Bring to a low boil. Turn down heat. Be sure to stir continually so milk doesn’t burn. Add rice. Cook and stir for about 20 minutes until rice is tender.

Add raisins. Stir so they plump up. Add spices and almonds.

Transfer pudding to a bowl. Let cool slightly. Eat with a tiny spoon and old movies.

Can be kept.in the fridge and eaten cold or reheated for up to 4 days.

Advertisements

Spicy Peanut Udon Noodles

image

Siracha should be shortlisted as one of the greatest triumphs of man. Along with fire, SPF 30, and Meryl Streep. (My God, that woman is a national treasure!)

Is it wrong to believe in the goodness of Siracha? No.
“Goodness” equals “hot pepper sauce”.  Obvi.

Let’s keep it going. Do some good. Pass it on. Hold open doors! Dog sit for free! Make this cold udon noodle salad!

Homemade peanut sauce? What?

Lime, cilantro, veggie explosion? Say yes!

And, its vegan. Can you imagine? Something this tasty, this crunchy, this miraculous, is actually healthy! Mushaboom.

You can add water chestnuts. Broccoli. Bean sprouts. Baby corn. Edamame. See what’s happening here?

Endless possibilities, absolute heaven.

We all deserve humanitarian awards for this.

Be well!
M
Xxoo

 

Spicy Thai Udon Salad

 

1 cucumber peeled, deseeded, and cut in half moons

 

1 pequillo pepper diced (you can also use a Red Bell)

 

1 bunch scallions diced

 

handful of cilantro (minced)

 

¼ red cabbage thinly sliced

 

1 package udon noodles

 

1 package fresh bean sprouts (you can blanch these to make then throw in and ice bath. it makes them more tender)

 

 

 

For the peanut sauce:

 

2 tsp olive oil

 

1 tsp. sesame oil

 

2 cloves minced garlic

 

2 tbsp minced ginger

 

1 cup water

 

2 tbsp soy sauce

 

2/3 cup peanut butter

 

2 tbsp pure maple syrup

 

3 tbsp rice vinegar

 

2 tsp Asian chile sauce or hot sauce

 


 

Prepare an ice bath. Boil water in a sauce pan, cook the udon noodles until done. Drain and throw in ice bath (this shocks them, stops the cooking). In a small saucepan, add olive oil. saute garlic and ginger until aromatic. add water, peanut butter, syrup, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and hot sauce. bring to a simmer, stir well to combine. turn off heat.

 


 

In a large bowl, throw all the veggies (cutting/prepping them takes the longest. but so worth it). Drain Udon noodles and throw on top. Add sauce and bean sprouts and cilantro. Combine well.

 

you can serve this warm or (my favorite) cold. 

 

extra toasted peanuts, siracha, water chestnuts, cilantro, lime juice. 

 

it last in the fridge well-covered for 4 days.

 

say hello to awesome work lunches, afternoon snacks, and late night munchy town. 

 



Hearty Golden Muffins

Certain things are better because they happen on Road Trips. Things like, wearing no shoes. Eating pistachios. Singing loudly to the same song on repeat. Making fun of tiny towns. Eating sandwiches out of a cooler. And sunrises.

Things like sunrises make me happy. Make me pause, consider, and breathe deep. Sunrises on road trips are just amazing. I remember as a kid we would always be in the red Desert by the time the sun would rise. There was something so lovely about the coolness of the day, the breaking light on the mountains, the glow of the sand.  We’d make the routine refill/stretch/bathroom stop and my mom would pour us cups of Orange Juice and we’d eat hand pies. Or chocolate donuts. and We’d sit on a picnic table, still in our pajamas, watching the rest of the world come alive.

I made something a little heartier, a little healthier. ya know, New Year and all. That are like sunrises…for your mouth. Best Believe. These muffins have golden raisins, and carrots, and molasses. So ya… their pretty great.

Make these and share. Then have a road adventure. or watch Thelma and Louise. Simulation, i’m all for it.

Cheers,

M xxoo

 

Hearty Golden Carrot Muffins: makes one dozen

2 c. carrots grated

½ c. walnuts toasted

½ c. golden raisins (soaked in hot water to soften)

2 cups flour

2/3 c. wheat bran

¾ tsp. baking soda

1 ½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

1 ½ tsp. cinnamon

¾ tsp ginger

½ tsp nutmeg

1/3 c. brown sugar

¼ c. molasses

¼ c. canola oil

½ c. milk

2 eggs

1 ½ tsp vanilla

 

1. Preheat oven to 350°F and place rack in center of oven. Line an (18-cup) muffin tin with paper cupcake liners and set aside.

2. Toast the walnuts about 10 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool and then chop coarsely.

3. Combine carrots and raisins in a large bowl and set aside. In a second large bowl whisk together flour, bran, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon. Stir in walnuts. Set aside.

4. In a separate bowl whisk together eggs, oil, milk, molasses and vanilla extract. Fold egg mixture and parsnip mixture into flour mixture, stirring just until moistened and combined.

5. Divide batter among the muffin cups and bake until deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

Cool muffins on a wire rack.

 

 

Toad in a Hole

image

Hello. Also, I love you.

image

See? I made breakfast.

Call it Toad in a hole. Eggy in a basket. Bunny in a hat. What have you, this is my favorite multi-christened breakfast food.

To make, heat a skillet on medium heat.

Using a water glass (or biscuit cutter if you’re fancy) cut a hole in the bread. Melt pat of butter in the pan. Break egg in center of toast and cook “breaking the whites” with a spatula a couple times to let the heat through. Cook to desired done-ness then flip. Be sure to butter the extra bread and fry.

image

Serve with hot sauce and grapefuit and coffee.

Dawning of a New Age

image

 

I love making resolutions.  Despite my terrible follow through.

Unfortunately, I have not been known for Keeping many. Which seems to be a critical element in the Making of them.  As soon as I make a resolution, either my tragic lack of will power or a loss of interest gets me. I am a weak creature.

image

It’s a habit I seem to have perfected. Anytime I promise myself that “I’ll work out!” or “Won’t drink anymore caffeine” or “I WILL EAT ALL THIS KALE!” I fall off the wagon. Usually in a big tiramisu induced, espresso driven, Pride and Prejudice marathon kind of way. I know that these “standard go to’s” are the silly, clichéd, and empty promises that everyone (at some time or another) makes to him or herself.

Okokokokok. This we know.

But the cores of these resolutions are true. They are aimed at healing one’s relationship to food, to health, to happiness. Which is a relationship I would very much like to improve. Right? This is good talk.

So why am I giving it another go around? Same old song and dance, right? EVERYONE and their Great Aunt Susan’s are writing about resolutions, and empowerment and quinoa salad. But just gimme a second to work this out…

This year is a big year for me. It’s the first year I get to meet the world Head On, not as a “student” or as a “kid” or as a blissful floater in between responsibilities, but as a Young Woman. Oh, how Life got real. Student loan repayments, moving plans, words like “career”, “publishing houses”, and “high residency MFA programs” are serious things I say, not just the quotables I played with while sitting in a coffee shop at 3 in the morning with my friends, safely shrouded under the protection of “Undergrad”.

image

I guess my intrigue with this season of resolution concerns “the importance of conviction”, of self-induced empowerment. Harnessing the qualities in ourselves, that make us better folk.

My Challenges on this (most auspicious) New Year are these:

1.)  Financial Frugality. Know where my money is going and why. I found in doing this, that I waste and AWFUL lot of money. And waste is not acceptable. In any capacity.

2.)  Transfer/Relocation Plan of Action. Boston 2012, or BUST! (hopefully it will be the former and not the later that comes true)

3.)  Treat Myself like a Friend. My sister gave me the idea for this one, and I thank her for it. Think about how harsh and mean and cruel we are to ourselves. We say things in our heads that we would never say to our friends. We discourage ourselves in ways that we would NEVER discourage our friends. I want to love myself like I love my friends—unconditionally. I want to show my body I love it with the food I nourish it with, the places I take it, and the things I do with it. It is my happiness.

4.)  Feed my mind. I am proud of this goal because I have kept it for some time. It started right before Graduation. I was worried that after I left school I wouldn’t read anymore, I won’t inquire, that all my curiosities would be dulled or worse, they’d be lost. But I am happy to say that my curiosity has sharpened considerably. I have come to find that education doesn’t stop after leaving the classroom. A commencement ceremony is just that, “a journeying out into the world at large to seek and to find, and to grow and enrich your mind and the minds of others”.

 

It’s pleasing to see goals written down. It’s far easier to manage the thoughts of sabotage when you feel, in your heart, a kind of affection for the truths you’ve written.

image

 

I wish you all time to listen to the echoing depths. It is an indecipherable conversation, but as Gertrude Stein said “We can only know ourselves knowing the truth”. Which relieves the pressure for articulation.

 

At least I hope it does.

All my love these final days of the year and far into the next,

M

xxoo

Major Micro Awesomeness.

My siblings are here. They are present and accounted for. It’s been awesome. We’ve karaoke’d our little hearts out. We’ve eaten, laughed, and watched embarrassing throwback movies.

So what’s left?  What do 3/4 of an “of age” family  do the days after all the holiday festivus?

Let’s play a game.

Do they:

A.) Start Washing the piles and piles of laundry in the basement, Eat leftover Christmas cookies and play extreme PingPong?

B.) Shovel the driveway, eat candy canes, slip on driveway, choke on candy canes, curse at driveway, curse at candycanes, abandon driveway, finish candycanes, lie about wounded pride?

C.) Throw away our dead tree. Vacuum up the needles, put the ornaments and garland and tinsel away. Binge on the major stash of homemade toffee?

Or…

D.) Go on one epic Micro-brewery tasting room tour?

image

Did you answer D.)? Good idea. I agree.

For those who don’t know what’s up, Colorado is the Napa Valley of local beers. Total Truth Town. 

O’Dells, New Belgium, and the new FunkWerks brewery were on the Fort Collins Docket. Avery and Asher and Lefthand Brewing company for the Boulder lineup.

We had it all- Belgians, ales, lagers, IPA’s, bourbon barrel stouts,

But the favorites were these:

1. Funk Werks- Saison
                        – Mon Tresor

2. O’Dells- Three Sheets Trippel
                 – Myrcenary IPA
                  – Nitro Oil Can Stout

3. New Belgium- lips of faith Old Cherry
                           – Prickly Passion Saison
                            – Abbey Ale

image

All so good. All so fine. So much beer. So little time.

Hope your holiday was lovely! And

      Happiest of New Years!!!!
Xxoo M

Chocolate Peppermint Party Pretzels

image

It’s game night. You need foods.

You need sweet foods. You need salty foods. And what the hell, its festive, you need pepperminty foods too.

Three birds, one totally easy and affordable stone.

One bag Pretzel RoDS

4 Chocolate bars ( I did half dark half milk)

4 candy canes, pulverized.

In a double boiler, slowly melt chocolate bars. Dip pretzels in chocolate shaking off any excess. Sprinkle candy canes on top. Set on parchment paper to cool and set.

image

Serve in mason jars with Juniper ales and board game madness!

Merry Christmas PARTYING!!!!

Xxoo

Megs

Mini Cheesecakes with Lemon Curd

I’m a girl who listens to Public Radio…

image

Oh Lord, I LOVE me some public radio.

I want “NPR” to be my first tattoo. At least in my fictional tattoo planning brain.  Committ.

But I just learned that apparently talking back to Public radio at a stop light with your Windows down gives your fellow commuters cause for alarm. Who knew.

So sue me, I Lol hard to ” Wait, Wait don’t tell me!” Ugh, so hilarious. Get into it.

People of the world, don’t ruffle your brow at the girl in the 1997 Ford escort who’s jammin to some “World Cafe” or gasping at the BBC World News. Or taking notes during All Things Considered. It totally ok. She’s stopped at a light. She wouldn’t take notes and drive…. Right…. That’s crazy….

I made some mini cheesecakes for you. And some lemon curd for you. Courtesy of my sister and her cheesecake makin tomfoolery.

image

Why? Because we love you.
And public radio. Obvi.

MIni Cheesecakes:

For Crust-

1 package Graham Crackers

1 c. Walnuts

1 stick melted butter

dash of cinnamon (optional)

For Filling-

3 packages of cream cheese (room temperature)

3 eggs

3/4 c. of sugar

3 to 4 T. of Flour

milk (for consistency)

1/2 T.  Vanilla

Zest of One Lemon

Juice of Half a Lemon

Preheat oven to 410 degrees.

In a standing mixer, cream the cream cheese and add eggs one at a time. Add sugar and vanilla. Mix for a couple minutes until softened and relatively combined. add the flour, zest, and lemon juice. combine. While on medium low speed, add milk in slow stream until the batter falls down off a spoon in a slow but continuous ribbon.

In a food Processor, add walnuts and pulse until the texture of coarse sand. Remove and set aside in separate bowl. Then add grahams. Pulse until it is the same texture. Add to walnuts. Pour in melted butter and combine.

In two muffin tins, line with baking cups. Put enough crust in the bottom and using a measuring cup, press to cover the bottom. (*to prevent the crust from sticking to the bottom of the measuring cup, press with one hand and twist. Hold the baking cup with the other. success!)

Then add thin layer of Lemon Curd. Spoon batter on top. The cheesecakes don’t “rise” so make sure you put enough in each cup so no one feels Gypped.

Put in the middle rack and set the timer for ten minutes.

Check, if the centers jiggle put them in for another minute or two. You want them to be “set” but not terribly firm. or burned.

 

Let cool completely and then top with another layer of Lemon Curd and Fresh Raspberries.

 

Eat for dinner with a glass of wine and Ira Glass.

xxoo

 

 

 

 

the Gin #4

I have recently discovered Pinterest and it has taken over my life. This digital cork board has consumed me so much so that I am now in a constant state of hunger and craftiness and all i can think about are cutsie DIY projects and fish tail braids. Dear Me.

But as they say, “first world problems”.

this Gin cocktail is called “the Number Four” and i found it (wait for it!) on Pinterest.

I’m not sure why its called the Number Four. Don’t ask questions. Just keep your head down and drink.

and Merry December 10th.

Cheers and Love

M xxoo

 

the Gin #4:

2 oz. Gin

1 T. Honey

1 crushed Cardamom Pod

3-4 crushed black Peppercorns

crushed ice

Sparkling Water (optional)

 

Mix Honey and Gin. In a shaker, put Pod and Pepper and Ice-shake vigorously, serve immediately. Cut with sparkling water (if need be).