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Friday, October 30, 2009

Quick Cookin'

I'm currently broke. I mean BROKE. In an attempt to save money yet still eat well, I've been making my own meals at home. Peanut butter and jelly is a classic, favorite stand-by (for all three meals and a late-night snack), however, one can only eat so much peanut butter. I recently picked up a tub of quick-cook oatmeal. My sister serves this to her sons every morning, so I figured it was good enough for me too. I was sort-of right. Plain oatmeal is bland, boring and slightly gross so I started looking for ways to dress-it up. I tried jelly, peanut butter,(leftover from the abandoned pb&js), brown sugar, applesauce and various other combinations, but I just couldn't get excited about my morning oatmeal. Then, during one of my daily perusals of the Allrecipes website, I can across this recipe for Pumpkin Oatmeal and I thought, okay, I like walnuts and honey and maybe I can get on board with pumpkin in my oatmeal, so I decided to give it a try. Unfortunately, I discovered that pumpkin puree is near impossible to find this time of year. Instead, I picked up some walnuts and frozen blueberries and created a super delicious oatmeal recipe of my own! I call it Blueberry Cobbler Oatmeal and it has restored my love for a morning bowl of warm oatmeal!

Blueberry Cobbler Oatmeal
3/4 cup quick-cook oatmeal
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1-1 1/4 cup water

Mix together in a microwaveable bowl. Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes. Stir and enjoy!
(I'm sure milk could be used in this recipe, but I've never been a fan of milk in my oatmeal and so I use water)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Trash Talkin'

I loathe those so-called tall kitchen garbage bags. You know the ones, right? The 13-gallon white bags with the fabulous tie-handles? Despite their claim, they’re never quite tall enough to sit securely over the rim of the waste can. These tall kitchen bags could never live up to their name, something that’s quite obvious the first time you try to use one. Sure, you can get the bag to sit around the rim, but you’re going to notice a good six inches of space between the bottom of the bag and the bottom of the can. Never fails, the first armload of McDonald’s trash causes that darn garbage bag to slip off the rim and right down the inside of the can. Try to get that bag around the rim again and you’ll involve yourself in a never ending battle between person and plastic.

I’ve lived in many different kitchens, with many different housemates, and while I’m not sure what kind of trash goes into the waste can of the genius who came up with these bags, I guarantee it’s nothing like the trash that has gone into mine over the years. From pizza boxes and leftover containers to milk jugs and beer cans, my kitchen waste can has seen a variety of occupants (yes, we recycle here in the mountains of NY, but that’s a battle I temporarily gave up on while I lived with four male housemates). And if you’ve ever had housemates like mine, then you know that nine times out of ten you’ll find that darn bag sitting underneath a pile of refuse, swimming around like a lost little sock in the toes of your favorite winter boot.

I once had a housemate suggest we put a rubber band around the rim of the can to hold the garbage bag securely in place. Yeah, it worked, but only until the weight of the trash pulled on the bag so much that it created rips, thus making it impossible to tie up the darn thing. My solution? Buy those clear bags made for recycling or yard clippings. Their size is excessive, but hey, at least you no longer have to waste your time trying to shove pizza boxes into sandwich bags. And those leftover tall kitchen bags you have lying around? Banish them to the home office, or better yet, the bathroom and give those grocery bags a rest- you should have switched to reusable by now anyway.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

An enjoyable snack

On this cold, humdrum Saturday, I decided to experiment with a recipe I recently discovered on, a website I frequent daily on my quest to find interesting and healthy meal options.

Vegetarian Chickpea Sandwich Filling (a.k.a. hummus) was quite enjoyable but required a bit of tweaking. Because of my egg allergy (oh, how I love you, the incredible, edible egg, but oh, what horrible things you to do me) I substituted the mayo with plain, lowfat yogurt (Stoneyfield Farm is my fave). Lacking celery and onion, I added some finely diced cucumber. I found the recipe to be bland and added a tad bit of celery salt and a healthy dose of garlic powder. I smeared a couple of tablespoons onto a whole wheat pita, tossed on some artichoke hearts, rolled it all up and served it with some grapes and cukes, and viola! A tasty, healthy snack.
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