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Pumpkin spice and everything nice

Published on September 30, 2011, by in Recipes.

While I was at Target the other day and strolled through the Halloween section in search of a pumpkin cookie cutter. They only had packages of multiple cutters that were underwhelming.  There was a package mix of pumpkin spice cookie mix that looked interesting, though. It’s been an extremely busy week at work and I thought making some cookies for my coworkers would be a nice gesture to celebrate it being Friday. Since, I was too exhausted(re: busy week) to make cookies from scratch I pulled out the pumpkin spice package and whipped them up. Brian and I could have probably eaten the entire batch of dough. It was so good and probably extra good because it tasted like fall and last night it was cool and rainy. But since I was making them for my coworkers and the dough had raw egg in it, I would never do that.

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Roasted banana walnut bread

Published on September 28, 2011, by in Recipes.

I’m not a big fan of heating up the oven to cook just one thing. So after making Brian cheesy chili mac with a corn bread crust for dinner, I decided to make a loaf of banana bread. Overripe bananas and a hot oven seemed like the perfect combination. Cheesy chili mac…mmmm… So, I took to the world wide web for a banana bread recipe. I decided upon adapting the recipe for Flour’s Famous Banana Bread from Flour Bakery in Boston. I really wasn’t going to change much. Just roast the bananas and use some wheat flour, but then I made it even more healthy by omitting the oil. No, it wasn’t on purpose. I’ll explain as I go. Ingredients: 1 2/3 cups wheat flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar 2 eggs 1/2 cup oil(yes, you need to add

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Slug bait

Published on September 28, 2011, by in Update.

After getting a late start on my garden, the tomatoes are finally ripening. I’ve been watching the weather everyday to make sure we aren’t going to get a frost at night. Fortunately the temperatures have stayed in the 50s overnight. After 3 straight days of rain, I went out to look at my plants at about 10pm last night. I was shocked and repulsed to discover that they were covered in SLUGS! Oozy goozy slimy slugs. At first I was devastated that my plants and crop were going to be ruined before I got to harvest much, then I decided to read up on slug infestations. The wet and cloudy days were to blame for the slugs. Unfortunately, it’s supposed to continue to rain for the next few days. Being that it was late at night, I couldn’t run to my local Home Depot, so I turned to the internet for a slug fix. It

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Going green

Published on September 25, 2011, by in Recipes.

Yesterday at the Iowa football game, fans were encouraged to wear green in support of Brett Greenwood. Greenwood graduated from Iowa last year and suffered a heart attack on Sept 9 during a work out. He has since been in a medically induced coma.(photo from the AP) Since I wasn’t at the game, I showed my support at home by only consuming green foods during the game. I made kale chips: To make kale chips, preheat oven to 350. Throughly wash and pat dry one bunch kale. Tear kale into bite-sized pieces and place in bowl. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Toss so all kale pieces are evenly coated with oil. Place on baking sheets and bake 10-15 minutes or until edges are starting to brown. I placed cooling racks on the baking sheets and placed the kale pieces on top of the cooling rack so

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Peanut butter hot chocolate

Published on September 25, 2011, by in Recipes.

I saw a similar version on (Never)home maker the other day and couldn’t wait to make it for Brian…and maybe a little for myself. This warm treat is going to make the impending Chicago winter much more bearable. I put in a packet of sugar-free hot chocolate, spoonful of peanut butter and a drizzle of honey in the bottom of a coffee mug. Add hot water or milk(we were out of milk) and stir until peanut butter dissolves. So delicious. I used sugar-free hot chocolate mix because I am watching my carbs, but I plan on making the real deal with milk and cocoa powder as a treat soon after a nice long run.

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Chicken pizziola remake

Published on September 21, 2011, by in Recipes.

A long, long time ago….ok, so when I was in high school, I worked at this place called Subway. A little sandwich shop. Maybe you’ve heard of it. Well, one of the promotional subs that did quite well was called the chicken pizziola. I don’t know why it popped into my head the other day, but I decided that Brian would probably like it, so I tried to recreate it for him. Ingredients: one 4-6 ounce chicken breast, cooked 2 tablespoons marinara sauce 4 small slices pepperoni 2 tablespoons mozzarella cheese 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese bun butter garlic bread sprinkle Preheat your broiler. Place cooked chicken breast on a baking sheet lightly covered with non-stick spray. Top with marinara. Then layer pepperoni on top of marinara. Top with mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Broil for 7 minutes. While chicken is broiling, butter the insides of each half of the bun. Sprinkle

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Around the kitchen

Published on September 19, 2011, by in Recipes, Update.

I recently have also made: Bbq chicken pizza(with quick no-rise crust) for Brian: Another batch of chicken fajitas: And a heartier, but not less healthy, version of my previously posted chicken pot pie:

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Marinated chicken breasts

Published on September 19, 2011, by in Recipes.

We eat a lot of chicken. Mostly chicken breasts and tenderloins. And some times, chicken can get boring. So, I decided for kicks to google “best chicken marinade.” The results came back with this 5-star rated recipe. I decided it was worth a try, slightly changed. Marinated Chicken Breasts Ingredients: 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 2-3 tablespoons of dried herbs(oregano, thyme, crumbled bay leaf) 2 tablespoons mustard 1 teaspoon garlic powder 3 tablespoons olive oil salt and pepper 1 1/2 pounds fresh chicken breast or tenderloin Directions: Put all of the ingredients in a large Ziploc bag and mix together well. Add chicken and toss to make sure chicken is covered on all sides. Seal bag and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375. Once marinated, place chicken on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until cooked through. Brian and I both thought that they

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Butter bean hummus

Published on September 18, 2011, by in Recipes.

I’ve been dreaming of making this and I finally made my dream come true. It’s amazingly smooth, creamy and delicately flavored. It puts regular hummus to shame. Ingredients: 15 oz can butter beans, rinsed and drained juice of 1/3 lemon drizzle olive oil 1 teaspoon tahini 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese 2 tablespoons water sprinkle of cumin(optional) sea salt pepper Combine all ingredients into food processor. Pulse until smooth. Use as dip for vegetables or crackers. I really wanted to smear some on crusty bread and top it off with some freshly sliced tomatoes. That would have been amazing. Or to add fresh basil. Oh, the possibilities.

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Salmon fillets-two ways

Published on September 17, 2011, by in Recipes.

Here are two easy marinades for salmon fillets. Honey-Soy Salmon: slightly sweet with lots of flavor Ingredients(per 4oz of salmon): 1 tsp honey 1 tsp packed brown sugar 1 tsp olive oil 1 tsp soy sauce 1 tsp melted butter 1/4 tsp minced garlic Combine all ingredients in a resealable bag. Mix well. Add salmon and let marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Broil 5-9 minutes(depending on thickness) or until fish flakes easily with a fork.   Lemon-Dill Salmon: zesty lemon with a kick Ingredients(per 4oz salmon): juice of 1/2 lemon 1 tsp olive oil 1/2 tsp dill weed 1/4 tsp tarragon 1/4 tsp minced garlic salt and pepper Combine all ingredients. Mix well. Pour into resealable bag, add salmon, toss to coat. Marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Broil for 5-9 minutes(depending on thickness) or until salmon flakes easily with fork.