Monday, February 16, 2015

Death by Chocolate

This post is grossly overdue (it was supposed to be written on Superbowl Sunday). But hey, better late than never right?

Truth be told, my mind has been restricted to legal analysis and existential thoughts. I have been focusing on getting back into law-school mode--believe me, it's easier said than done after a month of enjoyable holidays--while at the same time planning for my first summer as a "lawyer." On the one hand, at the end of the day I'm still hungry and inclined to share my thoughts; on the other, I'm still a first-year law student anxious to reach that time of the day/night when I can slump on my couch and watch Netflix. And let me tell you, that time seldom comes as soon as planned for.

That is my lame excuse for disappearing from the blogosphere.

Now moving onto something more cheerful...

I've been thinking (seriously) about getting a dog.

I know what you're going to say, If you don't have time to cook dinner and write about it, how are you going to have time to care for a dog? There's a lot of merit to that question--probably more than I'd like to admit--but at the same time, a dog will bring me something that not even the most delicious piece of my favorite dish can bring me. Yes, I'll probably be extremely stressed and tired for the first few weeks (or months). And yes I'll likely regret my decision once or twice (or thrice). But I'll also have a happy and cheerful companion; I'll have the company of a charming, cute, cuddly friend; and most importantly, I'll have a perfect roommate (provided I pick the right breed!).

Anyways... something to think about.

And now the food. Here is the recipe to quick, yet delicious, chocolate peanut butter chip cookies.  The recipe is very simple and you'll likely have all ingredients--maybe not the peanut butter chips--at home. So they are the perfect chocolate (and PB) fix.

Chocolate Nut Butter Cookies (adapted from King Arthur Flour)
Active time: 20 minutes; total time: 30 minutes + cooling.
Makes about 3 dozen.

  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened,
  • 1/4 cup smooth nut butter (I used almond butter)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 cups peanut butter chips (and a few chocolate chips!)

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. 
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the sugars, butter, and nut butter until well combined and mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla, egg, and water. 
  4. Stir dry ingredients into wet mixture and blend well. Fold in the peanut butter chips. 
  5. Scoop tablespoonfuls of dough onto the prepared sheets and flatten each cookie into a 1/2-inch thick round.
  6. Bake cookies for 7-9 minutes, or until set. Remove from oven and let cool. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Cauliflower Risotto

It's a new year. Happy New Year.

Yeah, I know I'm a bit late with the whole "Happy New Year," but I'm still amazed at the fact that it is 2015 and I'm twenty five years old. Woah.

Anyways, I'm happy to be back on the blog and anxious to start cooking/baking again. I'll admit it was hard to get started today--I'm nursing a cold, so the only thing I'm  inspired to do is watch Gilmore Girls--but now that my belly is full I'm grateful I cooked. I apologize for the short post. But not really because, isn't it really just the food that counts?!

A little bit about why I made this dish. The other day, I was talking to someone about the great variety of cauliflower uses. We talked about cauliflower pizza (of course), cauliflower rice, cauliflower mashed "potatoes," and even  plain old oven-roasted cauliflower. Then I realized I couldn't attest to the deliciousness of cauliflower rice, because I hadn't actually tried it. And obviously I needed to remedy that ASAP. So, here it is, cauliflower risotto--yeah I know I still have to make cauliflower (regular) rice and fried rice. Enjoy!

Beet Asparagus Cauliflower Rice (Adapted from Mind Body Green)
Active time: 25 minutes; total time 75 minutes.
Makes about 4 servings.

  • 4 small beets, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 asparagus bunch, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cauliflower head
  • 1/3 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese (or vegan alternative; I used Go Veggie)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 400F. 
  2. Place beets in a small baking pan and drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Bake beets for 20 minutes. Add asparagus strips to beets and return to oven for another 15-20 minutes, or until beets are tender.
  3. Cut cauliflower into 2-inch pieces and transfer to a food processor (I used a Ninja Blender; pulse until rice-sized. Transfer cauliflower to a triple layered cheese cloth (or paper towels) and squeeze any excess moisture out.
  4. In a large saucepan, heat remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally for about 7 minutes. Add wine and bring to a boil Aed cauliflower and 1/2 cup broth; cover and cook stirring occasionally. Once liquid is absorbed, add 1/2 more cup and cook until liquid is absorbed again. Repeat with remaining broth. 
  5. Remove from heat and add beets and asparagus. Mix to combine. Add parmesan and walnuts, and toss before serving. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Longing for Winter

I Skyped my parents today and they told me that they've already turned on the heat at home. What!?

Oh, right, forgot we're in October (almost November) and other places--outside of Austin--start getting chilly this time of the year.

I know there are plenty of people who can't deal with cold weather; plenty of people that prefer endless sunny (and warm) days. However, I'm not one of them. I actually enjoy the change of seasons and I certainly don't mind cold weather--I actually like it to a certain extent. And I love snow. Don't get me wrong, I won't spend my years in Austin complaining about the sunny days, because that would just be preposterous. But, every now and again, I'll express my longing for temperatures in the lower digits accompanied by flurries (an inches on the ground) of snow. I'll even take the occasional slush-storm if it means I can have a snow day later on!

In other news, this weeks marks the last of the so-called fun days of my first semester in law school. Apparently I'm about to embark towards the scary depths no-fun November and then the utterly feared finals period in December. I'll try not to fret it too much just yet, but this might be one of the last posts you see this year. But let's hope not.

Here's my dinner from tonight.

Cauliflower pizza! This is a dish I've been wanting to add to my repertoire for quite some time, and tonight I finally got to do so. Yes, it is as odd as it seems (at least to all of us who were oblivious to the wonders of alternative cauliflower uses); and yes it is as delicious as it sounds (at least to all of us veggie-loving-health-freaks). I subbed some ingredients with what I had at home, but I'm sure any pizza topping would taste delicious.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust (adapted from iFOODreal)
Active time: 30 minutes; total time: 1hr15mins.
Makes about 6 servings.

  • 1 head cauliflower (about 7" wide)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup parmesan or mozzarella cheese, grated or shredded
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350F and spray a large cooking sheet with cooking spray. 
  2. Rinse cauliflower, remove leaves and cut into florets. Place florets in a food processor (Ninja Blender in my case) and process until it resembles a fine rice mixture; some chunks are fine. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and cook for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove cauliflower mixture from oven and transfer to a bowl lined with 3 layers of cheese cloth. Using your hands, squeeze out as much liquid as you can, patiently squeezing about 15-20 times. 
  4. Bring oven temperature to 450F. Line a pizza baking sheet (or regular baking sheet) with parchment paper.
  5. Transfer dry cauliflower mixture to a large bowl and mix in egg, cheese, spices, salt and pepper. Transfer dough to prepared baking sheet and press with fingers until about 1/2-inch thin. Cook for 20-25 minutes, or until golden .
  6. Remove crust from oven and top with desired toppings. Return to oven and cook for about 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and toppings are cooked.