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Tag: cooking

I really should stay out of the kitchen

I’m pretty sure I should give up on the idea of cooking. Ever.

I understand that it’s not uncommon to get injured while cooking. People get cuts and burns all the time. Sometimes the injuries are even fairly serious. Thankfully my injuries have stayed out of the, trip to the hospital, variety. They’ve also stayed out of the, oh yeah everyone’s done that, variety. In fact, they’re generally down right embarrassing. Honestly, I’m not sure it’s my fault though.

Kitchen appliances are out to get me.

Remember when the hand mixer tried to take my hand off? Absolutely ridiculous right? I mean, I didn’t even know it was possible to get your hand crushed by a hand mixer. Who knew it’s name could be taken so literally? Seriously, who does that?

Actually, there was one other person on twitter who said the same thing had happened to them. That’s the brilliant thing about twitter. You can always find someone who has had at least a similar, if not the same, experience as you. Makes me feel much less alone.

It does not, however, make me feel any less stupid.

Last night someone ordered one of our hand made sodas. It’s lemon basil flavored and is actually quite good. It’s really refreshing and just a little different. Kind of neat twist on a lemonade. We make our own ingredients at the store and mix it as it’s ordered.

I told them no problem, had them sit down and went to the fridge to grab the ingredients. I found the basil syrup but we were completely out of lemon juice.

Crap.

Thankfully I work at a grocery store so I just had to run to the produce section to get lemons. I thought I’d speed things up (and waste less juice) by grabbing the lemon juicer from the kitchen. I was obviously in a big hurry since the customer was just sitting around waiting for their drink.

We have two lemon juicers at work, one that’s a little hand juicer like you’d by at the grocery store. The other is a heavy, commercial juicer. Which one do you think I chose?

It looks very much like this one.

I rushed back over to my cafe area and started cutting and juicing the lemons. I only needed a few lemons so I was slicing and squeezing at a very rapid pace. I stuck half in the juicing area, pulled down the lever, pushed it back up, tossed the juiceless lemon and cut another. I had a nice little rhythm going.

What I didn’t realize was:

1. That lever is quite heavy.

2. I’m just the right height that the lever is eye level.

3. Gravity likes to bring heavy things down at a rapid pace, especially when you’re in a hurry and aren’t being careful to make sure said heavy thing is locked in an upright position.

Next thing I knew I was reaching to cut a lemon when that stupid heavy lever slammed down right into my nose.

Ugh.

As with any nose injury my eye immediately teared up. Unluckily for me my coworker (who was off work at the time) was sitting at the counter watching the whole thing. He, of course, thought it was hilarious.

That made me less annoyed at the blinding pain in my nose.*

I was in too much of a hurry to really react though so I just said ow and went on with my day. I was a little terrified that I’d end up with two black eyes and a bruised nose. Wouldn’t that have been fun to explain. At least I had a witness?

Thankfully so far I only have a little red mark on my nose. It hasn’t turned into a big ugly bruise yet. It definitely feels like it should be black and blue, especially if I accidentally make any kind of contact with it. But so far it’s nothing that can’t be easily covered up with a little foundation.

If it turns into something uglier I’m not sure how I’ll explain things. I might be tempted to say I got in a fist fight.

That’s way less embarrassing than saying I got beat up by a lemon juicer.

*sarcasm

This is what happens when I’m unemployed

I currently have a lot of free time on my hands. This has led me to taking up hobbies like cutting up magazines, raising a puppy…

and now baking cupcakes for no reason whatsoever.

I actually have always enjoyed baking. When I was younger I would joke about how fat my family would be because that’s the only thing I was good at in the kitchen. I’ve gotten away from baking because I don’t feel like having to buy a bigger pants size every other month but the other day I saw a recipe that I just had to make.

It all started when Martha Stewart followed me on Twitter. Don’t tell Martha (although I’m sure she reads this blog because, you know, we’re totally Twitter BFFs and all.) but I’ve never really been a fan. Not that I disliked her, I didn’t have strong feelings one way or another. Well, she had to go and follow me which led me to checking out her blog and all of the sudden I’m all “Oooh! That’s so cute!” and “Ah! Those look delicious.” When I stumbled upon these cupcakes I just had to make them. I’m a huge sucker for toasted marshmallows in any form.

Lots of chocolate, layering, mixing and beating….

Broil for a couple minutes to get a nice toasted marshmallow look and voilĂ :

It may not be as pretty as Martha’s but it tastes like a little bite of heaven. It’s probably one of the most delicious cupcakes I’ve ever put into my mouth. No joke. Yum.

Eating In: Day Four

Today was a much better food day and I even have a recipe to share. Since I started tracking my calories on SparkPeople I’ve run into some interesting problems. I thought I would have a hard time staying within my recommended calories for the day and I was right, just not in the way I thought. When I eat out I have problems staying under my calories for the day. However, when I eat in I have the opposite problem. I have to yet to follow the meal plan exactly and maybe that’s my problem. I was surprised to find how easy it is not to eat enough calories every day. What I have the most trouble with though is eating enough carbs. I know, whine whine. You probably hate me now. Not getting enough calories every day is just as bad as eating too many so it’s something I have to manage better.

Anyway, the food report: I woke up and was freezing this morning so I had some oatmeal. There’s nothing like oatmeal on a cold morning, love it. For lunch I cooked the rest of the Greek turkey burgers that I made Monday.

Mmmm, it was a really yummy lunch.

Then dinner I made a garden vegetable frittata. It took a decent amount of time to prepare. There was a lot of chopping and mincing vegetables. I also discovered that if I say ah! enough times while using a big knife Joel will offer to buy me a food processor. I wonder how I can make that work for other things… Anyway, it took awhile but it was delicious!

It doesn’t look too bad either, does it?

The recipe calls for it to be served at room temperature but we were hungry (because it took three times as long as it should have to make due to my lack of vegetable chopping skills) so we just let it sit out for 20 minutes or so. If you would like to make this yummy, veggie-full frittata you can get the recipe here.

Eating In: Day Two

I knew eventually eating in all week would probably become more of a challenge but I didn’t know it would happen so soon. I found out today was National Free Pancake Day at Ihop. I love their pancakes, especially when they’re free! In my head I tried justifying it. Ya know, it was supposed to be about saving money and if it’s a free meal then it doesn’t really count. In fact it should be even better because it doesn’t cost me anything at all… right? *sigh* I didn’t give in to temptation though and held out. I can get free pancakes next year.

This morning I didn’t have anywhere to be so I was able to have a normal breakfast. It wasn’t anything fancy, just some cold cereal. For lunch I made Joel and myself spinach and cheese omelets. It was my first time making omelets and I was surprised that it went pretty well. It actually came out looking like an omelet instead of scrambled eggs so I was pleased.

Dinner was another story. I got a recipe for portabella mushroom burgers off Spark People. I love mushrooms and when I looked at the ingredients it seemed like it would be delicious. I didn’t pay close attention to the instructions when I decided to make it though, and that was my big mistake. We bought all the ingredients yesterday and as I was preparing to make the burgers I read the recipe more closely. That’s when I realized this was not going to be a quick and easy meal to make.

The recipe called for garlic, rosemary, thyme, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. When I read the ingredient list I assumed they all would be mixed together and then rubbed on the mushroom cap. Yeeeah, not exactly. What I actually had to do was this:

I cut little slits in the top and had to insert the garlic, rosemary and thyme into the holes one by one. It took for.ever.

Once I finally finished stuffing the four mushroom caps I brushed the oil and balsamic vinegar on them and grilled until they were tender. The looked pretty nice once they were done.

Unfortunately they weren’t as delicious as they sounded and looked. They weren’t awful but they were no where near worth the time it took to prepare them.

So, out of six meals at home I’m only classifying one as a fail so far. Not too bad for a girl who almost never cooks.

Eating In: Day One

Joel and I eat out way too much. This is mostly out of laziness. I have a really bad habit of not thinking about food until I’m ready to eat. I don’t tend to plan ahead and by the time I start thinking about food I’m too hungry to want to cook something. More often than not there’s not much of anything in the house for me to cook even if I wanted to. This is also because of laziness, I really hate grocery shopping. Joel doesn’t mind doing it but his work schedule doesn’t give him a whole lot of time. All this eating out is expensive and it’s been awful on my waistline.

Joel and I have been meaning to eat in more for awhile and so when the Huffington Post announced their Week of Eating In challenge I was excited. It was the perfect excuse to stay in, eat healthier and save money.

Today was day one:

On Mondays Phoebe has obedience class. Of course I stayed up too late the night before and got out of bed later than I should have. Then the shower water wouldn’t get hot (grrrr) so I took too much time fiddling with that before I just gave up and took a cold shower. Anyway, all that meant that I was running out the door at the last minute so my breakfast was a cheese stick. Not exactly gourmet but it kept me from fainting during class.

For lunch I ate some leftover vegetarian chili. I got the recipe off Spark People. It was pretty good and it lasted me three meals so definitely inexpensive. Normally on Mondays I’m so hungry I pick Joel up and we grab some kind of fast food. Today it was nice to eat at home and not spend the money.

For dinner I made my Greek turkey burgers. Those are always delicious and one recipe makes seven or eight burgers so I was able to freeze half and we’ll have them again later this week or next week.

So far we’re off to a good start. We have all the ingredients we need for our meals tomorrow and we’ll go grocery shopping for the rest of the week on Wednesday. I’m looking forward to cooking more this week. If I cook anything extra delicious I’ll be sure to share the recipe. I’ll also share if I have any cooking disasters so you can laugh at along with me.

Greek Turkey Burger Recipe and other things

I had a request for the recipe for the Greek turkey burgers and sweet potato fries that I cooked yesterday and was more than happy to share. The original recipe I found on All Recipes.com (love that site!) and I modified it slightly.

Greek Turkey Burgers

You will need:

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey breast
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1-2 cloves fresh pressed garlic (depending on how much you like garlic)
  • ground black pepper and salt to taste

Directions:

  • Preheat the grill for medium high heat.
  • In a large bowl, combine turkey, feta cheese, olives, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix together, and form into patties.
  • Lightly oil the grate. Place patties on the grill. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, turning halfway through.

I usually serve them on whole wheat hamburger buns with fresh spinach, fresh sliced tomatoes, sliced english cucumber and a sprinkle of any leftover feta cheese. Makes four to six burgers.

The sweet potato fries are the easiest ever! Simply scrub the outside, slice into thin fries and place on a baking sheet. Coat evenly with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake at 400F for 20-30 minutes, turning halfway through. Yum!

Anyway, today was a fun day. We drove up into Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park. I was really excited to see the world’s biggest trees but unfortunately tire chains were required to drive more than 14 miles up into the mountains which is where the biggest sequoias are. *sad face* We drove up as far as they would let up though and then got out and hiked around a little. There were even some young sequoias which were really neat to see. I’ll post pictures when I get home. It was still a really fun day and we saw some beautiful views. I can’t wait until I can go back and see the actual big sequoias. I’m hoping that Joel, Phoebe and I can come back some time when it’s warmer so we can go camping with Liz, Brandon and Hunter. I think that would be a lot of fun.

I Cooked

Since Liz totally shamed me with her awesome cooking skills yesterday I thought I’d try and not seem like a complete slacker by making dinner. There are very few things I actually cook. Most of the time me cooking equals taking something out the freezer and heating it up. There are however a couple things I make that require fresh ingredients and an appliance other than a microwave.

Today I made Greek turkey burgers with sweet potato fries.

They’re not too hard to make, they’re healthy and I think they’re really delicious. Luckily for me everyone else thought so too. I’m pretty sure they were telling the truth about liking them and not just being nice since they all took seconds and the boys even had thirds.

Hunter approves.

So, yay! I feel a little bad because poor Joel is at home with his reheated frozen pizza. This is inspiring me to cook more though so in the end all this time away will be a good thing.

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