The original plan last night was to make these lamb meatballs. Quick, easy…sticky sweet and decadent…You guys, when the holiday season comes along I don’t mess around. It’s one month a year to cram as much good food into my facehole and I’ve never been one to accept mediocrity.
Except I don’t live in either Texas of Colorado anymore and I can’t get meat anywhere. Well, meat that isn’t beef covered in red goop or extra lean turkey. Even my local Whole Foods…I’m fine with the Vegan agenda and everything but DAMN. At least you could grudgingly restock the butcher’s counter once in a while.
So…I kinda went free-style on this one and what I thought would be a turkey-based version of the dish took a few detours after I a) relized I had no pine nuts and b) didn’t feel like busting out the food processor to shop the apricots. That’s OK, though, because my end-result was amazing and, especially after Thanksgiving, I KNOW you’ve got all the ingredients on hand. Or at least you can most certainly get them at even the most understocked Safeway.
You can also call it “Satsumaimo Pie” if you want to sound cultured or something.
So I had my appendix out on Monday and that kinda ruined my week off. There’s only so much time you can spend on the couch high on Percocet and creeping through the bowels of Netflix before you start getting a little stir crazy. Then you try to get up and remember why that was not a good idea. I seriously look like I got gutted like a trout. Moving on.
I was and still am, however, determined to make it to Thanksgiving tonight since it’s the first year I’ve lives where my family does in…a long time. My aunt asked me to bring a dessert, so yesterday I made this pie. Nothing crazy but I thought the Japanese sweet potatoes (aka Birthday Cake potatoes) would be a fun twist on my favorite pie ever and something a little more creative than plain old pumpkin pie).
After I was done, I slept for 4 1/2 hours. Clearly still feeling amazing. Then I ate some pie. Felt better. Went back to sleep. It was a good day.
*If you can’t find Japanese sweet potatoes, regular orange ones are fine.
*For 100% dairy free, full-fat coconut milk can sub for the cream.
Look, you put pumpkin in anything and it takes it to a whole new level. I love pumpkin season. Unnaturally so. Some people move to the islands to find eternal summer…I’m still searching for that spot on Earth that will give me Eternal Fall. Open to suggestions.
Funny story…I’m a lot like most people in that when I get a general recipe template for a cake/bread/muffin/whatever I kinda run with it. Why mess with what works? Uh…well maybe when you’re so out of touch with what’s actually in the pantry before you start a mega batch of cupcakes for a family gathering that starts in 2 hours. Like, when everything is mixed up and the last thing you need to add is 1/2 cup of coconut flour and…you only have 1/4 cup but it’s not like you can just add almond meal instead because the fat-to-egg-ratio is already WAY off. Oh geez. Solution? Add some random stuff until the batter LOOKS normal. Then bake. And pray.
And wouldntcha know it…every last one was gone within the hour. Cue the happy dance.
I eat a lot of pancakes. Like….a whooooollllleeeee heck of a lot. And I’m always searching for that something special, and for the longest time, I thought I had it. Yeah, well…I guess you could say I left my old flame for a younger, fresher, fluffier batch.
I owe 99.99999% of the credit for this recipe to Rose–a hell of a lady who happens to be training for another figure competition this fall. I mean, I did make a few changes that may or may not have been unintentional. Whatevs.
Even though I’ve hung up my heels (for now…) to focus on school, I like to live vicariously through her. She’s got some great recipes (try the taco salad…NOW) and workouts that make me want to cry. You know, the good kind of crying that we gym sadists live for.
Anyhoo, these pancakes make a great, filling breakfast and seriously taste like birthday cake. Lovelovelove them.
**You can use any kind of protein you want (I prefer whey), but just add another 1/4 cup of almond or coconut milk if you use casein or rice protein or any kind that tends to get super thick.
Fun Fact: Going on 8 weeks now, there have been paper towels in our upstairs bathroom instead of toilet paper. I’ll let you think about that for a sec. So. How was your day? Yes, that was toilet humor. My mind goes to weird places this early in the morning while I’m writing up a physics lab. Except I’m clearly not working on that anymore. Gotta space it out with other stuff, ya know?
Like takeout. Except you know me way too well–I’m too finicky about my food to get takeout anymore. And too cheap. I find myself Jones-ing for it all the time, though, and most especially Chinese food. Greasy, so-bad-for-you, no-way-in-hell-it’s-authentic-but-who-the-hell-cares Chinese food.
In college I had a thing for the local Chinese place. No shiz, it was called Dong Fong. So wrong…on Friday night in the area you could always hear someone yell, “I want the DONG!” Ew. Except it was reallyreally good. The General Tso’s was famous. Someone even made an ironic T-shirt about it. After class ended Friday I’d go for a run, call down and place my order, shower, put on some clean PT’s, pick it up at Grant Circle with all the other Cadoodles, then come back to my room and chow down. Went down like a rock, lemme tell ya. Ah, memories.
Anyone get the Animorphs reference? Please? Am I seriously that uncool?
With Fall in full swing, I need warm, gooey, cinnamon-y things in my life. Pumpkin obviously came first but I gotta show some love to other Fall flavors, too, ya know? And thanks to my friend Brittany–who ALWAYS asks me to make her cinnamon rolls and I promise to do it and then never do–I made cinnamon roll…cupcakes. Same thing. Except you can put an obnoxious amount of frosting on a cupcake. Then spoon more frosting into your face-hole right out of the bowl. Alone. At 2 am.
Ross told me these were the best cupcakes I’ve ever made. He says that a lot, but I’ll pretend like they really are. At the very least this is MY favorite frosting EVER…I mean brown butter? And BOURBON? ZOMG. I could get drunk off these cupcakes. Again.
So I made some baked apples this morning for breakfast and then realized I could use the same pan to roast up a bunch of chicken for this week’s lunches. No, I didn’t wash it in between (who does that?) so there was still a little coconut oil, apple goop, and allspice left behind. No big deal or anything, but this is the best damned chicken ever. EVER.
Speaking of chicken…Ross and I are in a roast chicken phase. Like, at least once a week for the last couple months. Whole chickens are super cost effective, even if they’re free range and organic…which they should be because unhappy, drug-induced chickens are no bueno for a lot of reasons. But we all knew that. Anyway, lots of roast chicken means lots of opportunities to make some fresh chicken stock without an ass-ton of added sodium and Goodness knows whatever else goes into the canned stuff. So go roast a chicken and make stock out of its carcass. You know you want to.
And of course, Fall is upon us here in the Mid-Atlantic and so it Soup Season. How convenient! Stock = Soup. I do love a good bowl of soup when the weather gets cooler, and I love soup, too, because it’s so low maintenance. Chop, toss, boil, eat. Boom. This is my latest concoction and it turned out swimmingly. Full of veggies and enough heat to warm you up!
Applying to medical school is hard. Like, really hard you guys. The AMCAS has this whole 15 Things section where you have to come up with 15 experiences in your life that have influenced who you are and then you have to write about them. Um…I can think of a lot of things in the last decade that I WOULDN’T put on an application. Pretty sure my early twenties were nothing but a drunken blur and my late twenties have thus far involved a lot of chocolate, Netflix, and an ever expanding collection of yoga pants for a “fuller” figure (read: way fatter butt) I can attribute to not living off of instant oatmeal, beer, and cigarettes. I guess I shouldn’t understate the role that Pinterest has come to play in my life, either.
On that note, instead of studying for my Orgo test tomorrow I made pancakes. Sweet, sweeeeeeeeeeeeet pancakes…I’ve done a version of these before and I made them for almost 6 straight weeks before I decided I wasn’t going to cook with nuts anymore. It’s a damned shame because carrot cake–and all carrot cake derivatives–are my favorite things ever. EVER. I’ve been meaning to re-work a recipe ever since I tried the carrot cake pancakes at Ellyngton’s in Denver…if you’re ever in the area, it’s totally worth it. No, MORE than worth it. OMG. What made those so different was that lemony cream cheese frosting, which I’d NEVER seen before, not even on the carrot cake pancakes at First Watch. I seriously still have dreams about them. Is that creepy?
Anyhoo…throw on your best yoga pants, put on some 30 Rock re-runs and have yourself some carrotty pancakey goodness.
Orange Kitty decided that the space between the keyboard and the end of the desk was perfect for naptime. Makes typing really hard. But I can’t say no to that face.
Sooooo…another vegetarian dinner! I was craving Mexican food like nothing else and figured I’d give some enchiladas a whirl. No, I’m not a Veg Head…but I will say I have my reasons for incorporating more plant-based meals into my diet. Namely, plants are , like, really good for you. And quality meat is expensive and I’m on a student’s budget…which is hard since I’m not 21 anymore and don’t enjoy living in a dorm eating nothing but instant oatmeal packets. Five years of having disposable income kinda spoiled me, what can I say? And I really don’t enjoy knowing that my steaks from the big box grocery store are probably pumping me full of hormones (like I don’t have enough already) and all the other weird crap that filters into the animal’s body fat stores. Factory farmed meat is creepy, y’all. OMG I sound so paranoid. Please don’t think less of me.
So these enchiladas. They’re a wee bit time consuming only because the tortillas take forever to make. God…first I inundate you with vegetarian meals and then I make them tedious. Cool, real cool. Totally worth it, though. Ross and I killed that entire dish in about an hour. Food coma ensued. But, you know, it had sweet potatoes and kale and fresh peppers and avocados…so basically that means we’ll live forever now.
What do you guys think of this plant-based takeover? Don’t worry…in about a week I’ll start busting out the sweet stuff again, so maybe that’ll win you all back. I’m thinking pumpkin flavored…everything.
I spent like 2 minutes typing and re-typing the title to this post. Not because I didn’t know what to call it, but because I kept writing “TAOST.” Smart. Real smart.
So, I thought I was the last person ever to get on the Avocado Toast Bandwagon because, you know, toast isn’t exactly my thing anymore. Apparently I was wrong…my sweet husband thought guacamole on bread sounded awful. Whatever. Don’t listen. I’m telling you that the act of smashing an avocado and putting it on toast is freaking awesome even if a little vexing…why did this take so long to become a thing? WHY??
Try this with bacon and eggs, goat cheese (YES), or even sliced fruit (this avocado and grapefruit combo is stunningly addictive)…or whatever. There’s a lot that goes well with creamy mashed avocado and so little that doesn’t.