The past couple of months have been weird ones. Teaching has felt really crazy; my partner moved away; stray cats were living in my basement. Sadly, that last one is a totally blog-worthy story that I’ll probably never share.
My life has been fairly preoccupied, until I went to the 2015 Conference on College Composition and Communication.
I love 4Cs. It’s such an invigorating experience to catch up with colleagues from grad school, listen to inspiring and sometimes surprising panels, and feel like a scholar again. I always leave 4Cs feeling positively great about myself. This was certainly true of 4C15, but I also left with something else on my mind. Continue reading →
I hope everyone had a safe, fun New Year’s Eve, however you chose to celebrate.
I just found this picture in my phone.
I can only imagine I took it as the First Selfie of 2014?
Today, I want to say thanks for following, reading, liking, and commenting. To celebrate the first day of the new year, here’s a reflection on some of my top posts from 2014, and a look ahead to the new year.
Lately, I haven’t been doing much cooking, but last night I decided to treat my family to a rare delicious dinner relieve some of the stress I’ve been feeling through cooking. It was not really a strenuous dinner to cook–I just shook some seasonings onto the pork chops and stuck them in the oven. But the real star, I’m proud to say, was my decision to add feta cheese to some sauted green beans and mushrooms.
Pork chops waiting to go in the oven. There may only be five of us, but we usually cook for an army.
Apparently, pork chops are also my brother’s girlfriend’s favorite dinner. She suggested mashed potatoes. These came out perfectly.
Perfect pork chop dinner. PERFECT.
Although a few of the mushrooms started to char a bit, I really think the Feta Green Beans with Mushrooms stole the show. And all I did was saute some mushrooms in a little bit of olive oil. When most of the water was cooked out, I added in the green beans. Since not everyone loves feta as much as me, I served it on the side so the family could take as a little (or as much) as they wanted.
Next time you are hungry for a hearty, fall meal that is also very easy, just turn on the oven, pop in some seasoned pork chops, and saute up some mushrooms and green beans. And think of me when you pour on some feta cheese. YUM!
Yesterday morning, I took my first trip to the farmer’s market, and I have been really, really excited about it. I usually don’t wake up early enough to get there before it closes, but I am going to start making a point to do so. I decided, based on a friend’s suggestion, to get some asparagus.
Now, I’ve only eaten asparagus twice–once I spit it out, and once in macaroni and cheese. But I decided to start with it as a focal point for tonight’s meal because I am trying to eat healthier. This meal was a “crowd-pleaser” in the sense that both my boyfriend and I liked it pretty well, and I would probably make it again (with some slight modifications). The original recipe available at Once Upon a Chef.
Roasted Asparagus Salad
1 bundle of asparagus
3 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided use
1/4 TSP salt
1/4 TSP pepper
1 TSP fresh lemon zest
1 TBS fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Tossasparagus with 2 TBS EVOO, salt, and pepper
3. Roaston a foil-lined baking sheet for 8-10 minutes.
4. Cut asparagus into 1.5 inch pieces
5. Add remaining EVOO, lemon zest and juice, and feta cheese. Toss together. Season with extra salt, pepper, zest, or juice to taste.
6. Serve at room temperature
Even as I was cooking, I was pretty hesitant about this dish. I’m a horribly picky eater, especially when it comes to texture. I wanted the asparagus to still have some “bite” to it, but it seemed pretty limp as I was cutting it up. Luckily, it kept a nice crispness around the outside. I think this dish would probably taste a little better grilled, but apartment living means no such luck. And I didn’t think it would get the same flavor on my George Foreman grill, so I went with baking instead.
The complete meal turned out really good! I served it with some baked tilapia seasoned with Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Seafood Magic and lemon, as well as a slice of this fantastic rosemary-olive oil bread I bought at the farmer’s market, too. This meal is definitely a keeper, and I can’t wait to see what else I can find at the farmer’s market to inspire me to cook and eat better.
I found this recipe Pinterest (of course) from Recipe by Photo, which linked me to Lick the Bowl Good. This is seriously one of the easiest and fastest recipes–kind of like the pretzel-hershey kiss-m&m snacks (that I’m sure I’ll share eventually, once I make them again). If there are two things I have loved my entire life, they are Rolos and Ritz-type crackers. So this recipe had my name written all over it.
Rolo Cracker Cookies
The ingredients are pretty self-explanatory. You only need Rolos and Ritz crackers. All I could find at the store were Rolo minis, but they worked out well! I also bought wheat crackers to pretend like I was being healthy. It counts, right?
1. Preheatoven to 350 degrees F.
2. Place some crackers salty-side down on a foil-lined baking sheet (every time I bake anything like this, I use foil because clean up is so easy!)
3. Put a Rolo in the center of each cracker. If you use the minis, they taste OK with just one, but the flavors are a little better if you use two Rolos. I tried both the first time around, and I think I enjoy eating the fuller ones a bit more. The chocolatey-caramely taste is a little stronger and balances much better with the salty cracker.
4. Bakefor 3-5 minutes.
5. Squish down the Rolo(s) with another cracker, salty-side up.
Try not to eat all of them before they cool. They are seriously so good! The ones in the center have two mini Rolos, while the ones in the outside row have only one. You can see the chocolate starting to ooze out the side of the center ones. This makes them even yummier.