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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Baked Donuts & Orange Curd ~ Bonheur

Picnik collage

bonheur ~ happiness & good humor.

peanut butter & honey sandwiches.
baking together.
sunday spent in DC & at favoritest museum, holding hands.
a fulfilling Lent season, without the swear words or meat, but WITH contemplation and purpose.
baked donuts, covered in orange dust sugar and a side of orange curd.

donuts should be fried. that's not to say these came out badly, they just came out like bread.
the curd recipe had a slight tweak, 2 naval oranges were used, along with 1 lemon. (thx dw. you equals awesome.)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Roasted Zucchini, Chickpeas & Quinoa ~ Welcome

Quinoa Salad - Zucchini & Chickpeas

Lent is in full swing. to some people it's a time of reflection and sacrifice, 40 days of diligent remembrance of jesus fasting in the desert, enduring temptation from Satan, ending at Easter. in plain terms, it's the time right before Spring, those days where it's warmer than winter but still with a bite of cold. (at least here in these parts of MD)

in recent years i've welcomed Lent, giving something up or donating my time to a good cause. plus, seriously? spring is just around the corner! this year, i gave up swearing (this makes me calmer but trust when i tell you the words are bubbling at the surface) and meat.

Picnik collage

i made this quinoa salad on a monday night, wanting to make a healthy but filling lunch for the week because horror of all horrors, i'm also training for a half marathon. the fact that 1 cup of DRIED quinoa makes a butt-load (fyi: butt is not a bad word. neither is HELLFIRE & DAMNATION, both are in the Bible) of cooked quinoa makes me & my wallet happy. the original recipe calls for grilling the zucchini but i don't have a grill so i roasted them up. this is the most perfect in-between season dish, to say goodbye to winter, hello to spring all while still keeping within the guidelines of my Lent sacrifice AND half marathon training. take that Charlie Sheen! that is WINNING.

Roasted Zucchini, Chickpeas & Quinoa Salad
adapted from Dana Treat: Treat Yourself

*pls refer to original link for exact measurements, in true form, i didn't measure

1 15oz can chickpeas, drained
1 jalapeno pepper (actually i don't know what kind of pepper it was...), cut up
fresh lemon juice
olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
smoked paprika
2 cups water
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well, drained (it is important to rinse away the bitter saponins before you cook with it. thx dw, you & your $5words)
kosher salt
3 good sized zucchini, bite size diced
ground cumin
half an onion, diced

combine chickpeas and lemon juice in a large bowl. add a splash of oil & garlic and stir to combine. allow to marinate at least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours. every so often i would mix it all up with a spoon.

preheat oven to 350F. place zucchini & diced onions on baking sheet. drizzle with a bit of olive oil. sprinkle with ground cumin, turmeric, and paprika, measurements up to you. toss to coat evenly. roast in oven for about 20 minutes.

meanwhile, in a small pot, add 2 cups water, quinoa, and salt; bring to simmer, sirring occasionally. reduce heat to medium-low. cover and simmer until all water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. (i cooked it up like how i would with rice...)

i let the quinoa and zucchini cool to room temp before mixing it all with the lemon-oil chickpeas. season with salt/pepper to taste.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Deep Dark Chocolate Cake ~ Sure Things


March Madness starts this week and unless you're a foreigner like Nuria or don't follow college basketball like dw, or live under a flipping rock, you know what's up. for four weeks i'm actually enthralled with this sport, i follow my brackets closely and i hope for upsets, pray for a repeat year of winning cus mama could use another pair of purple pumas. (never mind that i have a pair of sweet fuchsia ones...)

for this particular event i try to steer clear of sure things... Duke? eff them. in previous years i've had OH (the Big O, hayo...) win it all but they're ranked pretty high this year. then i heard on the news that Charles Barkley thinks the KS Jayhawks are gonna take it. oh, the decisions! do i go for the team with the pretty colors, or the one where i know someone who went there & we're friends or go with the professional opinion... who do you have winning?

with this weighing on my mind lately, i had to turn to a recipe that i knew would be a Sure Thing. i've made this cake half a dozen times already, all with the same sure results. this cake is not like college basketball, no one was upset when i brought it in for a colleague's birthday.

Deep Dark Chocolate Cake
adapted from Marilyn B.

2 cups Sugar
2 Eggs
1 3/4 cup AP flour
1 cup light cream (or buttermilk)
3/4 cup Cocoa
1/2 cup veggie oil
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup hot coffee

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease & flour a round cake pan (9x1 - 1/2)

In a mixing bowl combine dry ingredients.

Gradually add eggs, cream or milk, and oil. Beat on high speed until well incorporated, about 2 minutes.

Remove from mixer; stir in hot coffee. (batter will be thin).

Pour into prepared pan.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool completely.

Ice as you'd like.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Angry Birds Project


for mi amor's birthday this year, i made her a live version of Angry Birds. it took me a week to create. originally, i had made rice crispy treats but when i constructed it, it was not strong enough. so i grabbed Little Debbie's Nutty Bars. success.

hit up the fanpage for deets (and longer video) or the flickr set for more pix.

special thanks goes to:
jesse for building the base & slingshot, as well as hosting the party.
dw for helping me build the thing & keeping me calm.
fernando for coaching nuria, otherwise we'd still be there trying to bring down those pigs.
brent for filming the occasion.