Thursday, March 18, 2010

I Love St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  Yes I am one of those white people who proudly proclaim their minute percentage of Irishness!  I'm not ashamed! :P  As such I enjoy celebrating St. Patrick's Day  and I feel my dog Cocoa should celebrate as well.  This year I decided to make a bit of an Irish feast.  I started with some Irish stew.  It turned out okay.  Not great.  I didn't picture it.  To go with it I made:

I basically followed the recipe except I am not dairy free so I used real milk and real butter.  This stuff was so easy and tasted fabulous!  It didn't have the gluten free bread taste at all! 

Of course I can't go without dessert so I made this Irish Cream Cake.  I used a Betty Crocker gluten free cake mix.  I've heard mixed reviews about whether or not Bailey's is safe for gluten free folks but I decided if I could not have Guinness I was at least having Irish Cream! This cake was so delicious.  Easy too.   I'll be making this one again! 

As an added treat I made Irish Cream Fudge.  I used my basic fudge recipe: simmer fat free sweetened condensed milk, add a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips and stir til melted, remove from heat add a shot of Irish Cream (or other liquor), add 1/2 cup of nuts, and 1/2 cup of coconut.  Pour into an 8x8 pan and put in the fridge til set.  Fool-proof!  
Well the holiday is officially over and I'm heading to bed!  Here's a last shot of Cocoa.  He's super happy about his green shirt! ;)  Hope everyone had a great St. Patrick's Day!  

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Weary of winter but loving chai lattes!

I'm honestly a terrible blogger.  I update this much too rarely.  I need to get more excitement in my life so I'll have more blog-worthy events!  This has been the worst winter I've ever experienced.  I've spent a lot of time indoors and bored.  So my goal for March is to do, see, and eat more exciting stuff!  Wish me luck! 

I did try something new recently.  Chia Goodness.  I first tried it mixed with hot water and it was not so fab.  Then I mixed it with plain yogurt and frozen raspberries.  Viola!  Fantastic!  I got the cranberry ginger flavor because I love anything cranberry or ginger! Plus I really like chia seeds.  

Another thing I'm in love with this month are peanut butter ginger chews.  They are 25 calories a piece and really hit the spot after lunch.  I've got this dessert mentality where I think I must have sweets after every meal.  Strangely as a child I would almost never eat dessert. I just didn't care for sweet stuff.  I'm making up for it now! :) 

I've been eating a lot of comfort foods in this snow.  This is the leftover picture of possibly the best meatloaf ever!  It's BBQ cheddar meatloaf.  Served with Parmesan mashed potatoes. I took a pound of ground bison and mixed it with 1/4 cup Sweet Baby Ray's bbq sauce, 1 egg, and a cup of Minute brown rice.  I patted it in the loaf pan and topped it with more bbq.  Then I baked it for 30 minutes at 350, covered with cheddar and baked 15 more minutes.  OMG yumtastic.  I always improvise with meat loafs and mashed potatoes.  I mix different things in everytime.

Another improv meal for me is chili.  I never make the same chili twice.  Last night I had chicken chili.  I cooked a pound of ground chicken, added 2 cans of tomato sauce, 1 can of diced tomatoes, 1 can of white kidney beans, and 1 can of white corn.  Then I added one cup of  Minute yellow rice. Sprinkled liberally with cayenne and simmered while I did my exercise video. Then I topped with Daisy light sour cream and shredded cheddar.  Very tasty.  I love when my dinner cooks while I exercise!  

I have recently developed a deep love for chai tea mistos at Starbucks.  Of course I don't want to pay $4 every time I crave one.  Lucky for me my super friend Danielle gave me a milk frother for Christmas!  It is so fun!  I can make pretty drinks in like two seconds!  I've developed a method that I think is better than Starbucks!  I heat unsweetened vanilla almond milk to a slight simmer.  I pour it over a Stash Chai tea bag and a spoonful of raw honey and steep for a few minutes.  Meanwhile I heat a bit more almond milk until it's about to simmer, remove from heat and froth.  Then I spoon it on top of my chai and sprinkle with cinnamon.  It's so good.  The almond milk gives it an amazing flavor!  It's so much better than steeping it in water.