new blog (kind of) and sunday afternoon salads!

Hey Everyone!

I have been working on some blog updates – I am no way close to being done and I have a lot more to do, but the biggest parts are done! WordPress is easy kind of hard for me, so it will take a little bit of practice! I hope you guys like it and if you have any ideas or suggestions for me I would love to hear them!

On to the food.

Most weekends at home, I rarely make lunch because we usually have a later breakfast and then I just kind of snack during the middle of the day (I usually find that I don’t need as many snacks on the weekends either, I think because I’m not sitting at a desk thinking about my next meal/snack – anyone else???)

I decided that I wanted to make a salad that I came across in September’s Food & Wine called Chickpea Salad with Salami and Giardiniera Dressing. Now they didn’t have Giardiniera at the Co-op so I thought that I could get some nice local, organic kimchee to take its place and use that instead. Note to self: do not get kimchee again. I thought I would like it, I mean, I love sauerkraut, it can’t be that different, right? Well it is and I don’t like it. I know that it is good for me and I haven’t thrown it away yet, so maybe, just maybe I will give it another try.

Sunday Afternoon Salad

After that change I ended up making a bunch of other changes, so here is my version:

Dressing:

1 clove garlic

juice from 1/2 lemon

1/4 cup parsley

1 Tbsp capers

Blend until mixed.

1/4 cup olive oil

Salad:

1/2 cup garbanzo beans

1 tomato, chopped

1/4 cup salami, chopped

1/4 cup provolone, chopped

3/4 cup artichokes, chopped

3 cups romaine, torn into pieces

Mix together first four ingredients with dressing and serve over bed of romaine and artichokes.


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adventures in baking

Since we all know that I’m not much of a baker, I’ve decided that I can no longer use that as an excuse and I’m going to start baking! (At least once a month) Part of the problem that I usually run into is that I always try to make substitutions or make it healthier. So I either need to follow directions exactly or use my Food Science learnings and make sure that the substitution is one that will work.
What did I tackle first???
Montana Whoppers!!! In my quest for a cookie recipe I found these on Caitlin’s blog at Healthy Tipping Point, and then on Meghann’s at The Inner Workings of a College Graduate. They looked SO good and I think are pretty healthy for a cookie! The recipe originally came from Michelle at Taste as You Go.
So with a few changes in the recipe I baked the afternoon away. I used some of Justin’s Maple Almond Butter instead of Peanut Butter and used all brown sugar and some mini chocolate chips because…well that is what I had. Other than those I followed directions exactly! I love the fact that the only ingredients are butter, eggs, sugar, almond butter, oats and chocolate chips!

all mixed together

ready for the oven (i’m terribly embarrassed of that excuse for a pan)

they turned out! miles of cookies

these are delicious! soft and chewy which is my favorite kind of cookie

Not sure what is next on my list so if anyone has any ideas for me, let me know!

weekends in wisconsin look like this:

Now that I’m FINALLY in Minnesota for the weekend (ok, I’m being dramatic, it was really only two weekends away, but it feels like ages) I can reminisce about Wisconsin, my home state where many of my family and friends still live. I spent the last two weekends in Wisconsin, so I have many, many memories! :)
Brewer games are a Milwaukee staple (I’d rather roam around the Milwaukee Public Market), but as they say “compromise is key”. Wait, is that what they say?!? And who says that?!?! Compromise is important, I’ll put it that way. Fun none the less and they serve wine so I can’t really complain.

Ahhh, an old German Beerhall…we actually didn’t go to this exact place but decided the Milwaukee Brat House instead. Since I am 100% German, and yes you read that right, 100%, I feel really “at home”…. well, I guess I feel like I’m being a good German girl by honoring my heritage :) and in Milwaukee this is an easy thing to do.
Fun Fact: A wise person once told me that Milwaukee is home to more Germans than Berlin…but I have no statistical proof of that so don’t hold me to it.

Proof:

Oh wait. That’s more like it ;)


So back to the Brat House – complete with a boot of beer:

Wisconsin Cheese Plate: this classy thing would be aged white cheddar, raw onion slices, salty crackers (not sure why they were not just called saltines but that is besides the point) and house crafted hot mustard, made with Be Gone dark ale. This was the spiciest mustard I have EVER had in my life. It was pretty good, but a little TOO spicy even for me.

Would it be Wisconsin without Beer Cheese Soup?? This healthy soup has aged Wisconsin cheddar, PBR and bacon. (Don’t worry, I was kidding on the healthy)

This meal was actually made in Minnesota, but do you notice the Packer-colored side dish for my favorite Packer fan?!?!

So there you have it…In case anyone was wondering what it would be like to live in Wisconsin ;)

kitchen gadget: the barbeclette

When I see an interesting gadget designed for cheese, it is nearly impossible for me to pass up. I had read about the Barbeclette (a contraption that makes it possible to grill cheese) and was thrilled when I found it at Surdyk’s, a local cheese shop & liquor store.
Imagine….warm, gooey cheese with crusty bread? Basically what I dream of at night….

This was a grilled aged gouda. I loved it. The taster and Michael? Not as impressed as I was.

I need to try it with a non-aged gouda so that it would be even more melty. So I did what anyone else would do and went to go get some new Gouda.

This was perfect. Yes, it is essentially fondue on the grill, but I don’t care. It is delicious and fun and much easier than fondue. This gouda melted much better than the aged, but I think I’ll try a different variety next time!
Is anyone else obsessed with kitchen gadgets like I am?!?!?