Archive for April, 2011

April 29, 2011

Life Lesson: Amor fati.

Amor fati is a Latin phrase coined by Nietzsche loosely translating to

“love of fate” or “love of one’s fate”.

It is used to describe an attitude in which one sees everything that happens in one’s life, including suffering and loss, as good. Moreover, it is characterized by an acceptance of the events or situations that occur in one’s life.

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April 28, 2011

Food: Turkey Meatloaf Muffins with Zucchini: Take 2.

We had some ground turkey in the freezer and I wanted to recreate the meatloaf muffins but change it up a bit.

I might just say that I think I like this version better than the previously posted meatloaf muffins. But you will have to be the judge.

I know the photo is a little boring. This was lunch the next day- I forgot to photograph them the night before with all our gorgeous sides- we were hungry and they smelled good.

Turkey Meatloaf Muffins with Zucchini

  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil or butter
  • 1/2 white/yellow onion, minced
  • 2 cups mushrooms, minced (1 cup when minced)
  • 1 carrot, minced
  • zucchini, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 package ground turkey – 1.5 lbs.
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon medium chili powder
  • 1 cup Ketchup, separated (1/2 cup for turkey mixture, 1/2 cup for topping)
  • 3-4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Siracha hot sauce, more if you like it hot (and more for topping)
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
1. In a small sauce pan, heat oil or butter with medium high heat. Add onion, mushrooms, carrot and zucchini. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and stir to combine. Cook for another 1-2 minutes. The mushrooms and zucchini should be browned but not burnt. Remove from heat.
2. In a medium to large-sized bowl combine all ingredients from turkey through salt and pepper. Using your hands is the best for this. You don’t want to work it too much but make sure that all the ingredients are fully incorporated so that each bite contains everything!
3. Spray muffin pan with cooking spray. With hands, take about 1/2 cup of turkey mixture and make into a ball and push into the muffin molds. I added a little extra to the tops on some to make them a little bigger. They will shrink a little once cooked.
4. To make topping, combine 1/2 cup ketchup, brown sugar, 1-2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce (and more Siracha if you like it hot) into a small cup/bowl. I used a measuring cup and it worked great. Using a spoon, top each ‘muffin’ with about a tablespoon of the ketchup/brown sugar mixture.
5. Place in oven and cook for 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 2 minutes. With a large spoon scoop the muffins out of the muffin forms- they will come out smooth and will stay intact.
*make sure that your vegetables are minced finely. You don’t want huge chunks of them in your ‘muffins’. You can see in the top picture how small the carrot is!


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April 27, 2011

Life Lesson: Permanent Ink.

If you want a tattoo – fine. Just think about it. Think about what you want to put on your body permanently.

April 26, 2011

Food: Garlic Filet of Beef with Mushroom sauce.

Need a gourmet weeknight meal? Look no further. The sauce makes it! I love mushrooms…and wine.

Garlic Filet of Beef with Mushroom Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 beef shoulder, petite filet (this is confusing, but this is what it says on my packaging, I think it meant to say, tenderloin)
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 6 large mushrooms – thick slices
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 2 teaspoons tamari
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 red wine
  • 3/4 cup chicken/vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
*1/4 cup of half and half can be added at the end, if you so desire. I didn’t do that this time.

1. Pat beef with paper towel to ensure that it is dry. Sprinkle salt and pepper on all sides. Rub 2/3 of the minced garlic (the rest is for the sauce) on all sides as well. Place in plastic zip lock bag. If any of the garlic falls off or is still on your cutting board, place it into zip lock bag. Make sure to get as much air out as possible before sealing the bag up. Place in refrigerator for up to 2 days – at least overnight.

Preheat grill on high. Should be between 400 -420 degrees.

2. In a medium-sized pan, melt butter over medium high heat. Once melted, toss in mushrooms. Cook until sides are browned and they have reduced in size – roughly 8 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the rest of the ingredients together in a cup/bowl – from oyster sauce through thyme. Stir to combine. Once mushrooms are done, pour in stock mixture. Stir to combine. Bring to a rapid simmer and turn heat down, bringing it to a light simmer. Cook for 10-12 minutes – stirring occasionally. If it becomes too thick, pour in water, wine or half and half to reach desired consistency.

3. While mushroom sauce is simmering, grill beef – keeping the grill at a high heat. Cook until desired internal temperature is reached. Let rest covered with foil, for at least 5 minutes before cutting and serving. Place sauce on plate and place beef on top.

*Roasted broccoli and grilled potatoes with blue cheese, accompanied our beef.

April 25, 2011

Life Lesson: Make it.

Make your bed. Even if you just throw your blanket on top of the messy sheets; do it. You’ll appreciate it all the more, come bed time.

April 22, 2011

Life Lesson: NYC.

Go to New York City. Experience the liveliness that this city can bring to your soul. Go to a Broadway show, walk through Central Park and stand in the middle of Times Square.

April 21, 2011

Food: White Bean Chicken Chili.

When it’s rainy and dark outside on a Spring day in Colorado, what do you make for lunch? White Bean Chicken Chili. WBCC for short. It is light and packed full of flavors. This takes 35 minutes to cook. And in that amount of time your house is full of aromas that usually take all day to create. My slow cooker isn’t liking me these days.

Wait, it just started to snow. Yep, Colorado weather keeps you on your toes.

Now I’m warm and craving more. Oh, what to have for dinner?

White Bean Chicken Chili

*makes 2 quarts

Ingredients:

  • 3 boneless chicken breast
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus more for chili
  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 1/2 white/yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt (plus more if desired)
  • freshly ground pepper (1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1 4oz. can diced fire roasted green chilies
  • 2-3 tablespoons masa (depending on how thick you want your chili)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon medium chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3 cups water (with 2 bouillon cubes) or 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 14.5oz can of petite diced Tomatoes with garlic and olive oil
  • 1 15oz can navy beans
  • Cilantro, sour cream, white cheddar cheese, sliced green onions, hot sauce – any and all can be added on top!

1. To poach chicken breast, cover with water. Add 1 teaspoon chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper to water. Bring to a boil and turn down to simmer for 20 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove from water and let rest. Water can be discarded.

2. Meanwhile, heat large pot on medium heat. Toss in onion and green pepper. Saute for 3-4 minutes. Add garlic, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and cook for 1 more minute. Add green chilies, masa, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and water/broth. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and lower heat so that it is barely bubbling.

3. Dice chicken into bit sized pieces or smaller. You could shred the chicken as well. Combine into pot. Cook for 5 minutes.

4. Pour in tomatoes and beans. Cook an additional 3-5 minutes. Add more cayenne pepper now, if desired.

5. Serve hot. Adding cilantro, sour cream, cheese to the top is always nice.

April 20, 2011

Life Lesson: Quality.

Buy good kitchen knives. It’s a good investment and will make your life easier when preparing meals.

April 19, 2011

Life Lessons: It is a process.

Relationships are a process, not a destination.

April 18, 2011

Food: Quick Homemade Salsa.

Mexican is on my mind. We have two jars of store bought salsa in our ‘pantry’. But I eyed the can of Fire Roasted Tomatoes with garlic and thought of Sandra Lee. Semi-homemade salsa coming right up.

The cilantro makes it taste and smell so fresh. Off to make another batch so I can share.

Quick Homemade Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) of Fire Roasted Tomatoes with garlic
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of garlic
  • handful of cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 scallion, rough chop
  • 4-6 shakes of hot sauce

1. Put everything into food processor. Pulse until desired consistency. I like salsa a little bit chunky.

2. Serve with corn chips.

*Pantry is in quotations…well, because we don’t have a pantry. It is more like a cabinet where all the pantry items reside.


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April 15, 2011

Life Lesson: Listen.

If you don’t know what to say, just listen. Or give them a hug.

April 14, 2011

Food: Vegetarian Fried Rice.

Fried rice isn’t actually deep fat fried rice. I think I may have thought that in my younger years. A light stir fry does the trick. In this recipe the ginger is the key ingredient. The bright and unique flavor of ginger is powerful but doesn’t over power your palate. I don’t know if that makes sense. You will have to make this to find it out for yourself.

What to do with left over cilantro lime rice?  Or any left over rice for that matter?

Vegetarian Fried Rice

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup broccoli, chopped into small bite size pieces
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into sticks or into slivers with peeler
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tamari
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1/3 vegetable stock
  • 2 -2 1/2 cups left over rice
  • 2 eggs, whisked together
  • 1 scallion, diced
  • cilantro, chopped

1. Heat peanut oil in medium to large skillet on medium heat. Add onions and saute for 4 minutes, until softened. Add broccoli and carrots. Mix to combine and cook for 2-3 minutes. You want the broccoli to remind crisp and bright green.

2. Mix together Soy sauce, Tamari, ginger, Oyster Sauce and stock. Add half to skillet with vegetables and mix to combine. Bring to a rapid simmer (lots of bubbles but not out of control boiling) – sauce should reduce by 1/3.

3. Turn heat up to medium high heat. Pour rice into skillet. Stir to combine and warm through – 1-2 minutes. Make a ‘well’ in the middle of the rice mixture so that you can see the bottom of the pan. Pour eggs into ‘well’. Let sit for about 1 minute, then stir like you would when you make scrambled eggs. When the eggs are almost done but still a little moist, mix in the rice and vegetables. Remove from heat.

4. Stir in desired amount of cilantro and scallions.

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