must. use. basil

We have this giant Basil growing in the garden and haven’t really used it. Yesterday we had a picnic on the beach and wanted something delicious to pack. What better way to use the basil then Caprese sandwiches with homemade pesto!

wanted: love and use

Homemade Caprese Sandwich

Ingredients for Pesto: 1/2 tsp olive oil, 2 tbsp chopped basil, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 and 1/3 tbsp pine nuts

Sandwich: beef steak tomato, fresh mozzarella, ciabatta or baguette ( we used a salt twist bread), sun dried tomatoes (not in oil), arugula

Directions:

Place all pesto ingredients in food processor. Chop until blended and smooth. Once pesto is made spread on bread. Top pesto with ingredients and viola! Easy peesy delicious sandwich.

easy and delicious

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tag team back again.. whoop there it is.

Yes friends, the thyme cooking continues! This week Stephen and I tag teamed dinners and ended up with super flavorful dishes!

Tuesday: Orange Scented Couscous with Vegetables

Couscous

Wednesday: Caribbean Jerk Seitan with Mango Salsa and New Potato Salad

Salsa: Mango, Jalapeno, Onion/ New Potatoes: Potatoes, Green Onion

Seitan seasoned in jerk

Boil potatoes but serve cold.

Finished product!

Well done Stephen!

For complete instructions email and I can send you the link. Weight Watchers is weird about sharing but its easy to email from the site.

Stephen completed the last meal because I was busy cooking  chocolate peanut butter cupcakes for his birthday. I think they were a success at this dinner ( so they say). I definitely recommend this recipe.

Baking

Thyme, Thyme, Thyme

The thyme cooking continues! This past Friday I prepared a balsamic and thyme chicken dish for Stephen and Stephanie. It did not look super nice so I did not take any pictures. However, they both said it was fantastic. Last evening we BBQed at Morgan and Derek’s new apartment. I used thyme on the vegetable marinade and it was delicious! I simply combined some rosemary, thyme and balsamic, coated the veggies and viola!

Tonight we did tag team cooking and made a delicious meal. This is not completely vegetarian, however I did not participate in the consumption of fish. Although I am vegetarian and am creeped out by animal product, I do cook some meats for Stephen once in a while. I do have parameters for the products purchased and luckily so does Stephen. The salmon he buys is caught in the wild, not farmed. We also would like to boast about the affordable price of this fish. You can get a wild salmon filet from Whole Foods for approx. $3.50. If you are going to eat fish or meat, please do so responsibly 🙂

The menu for tonight included: Dijon Crusted Salmon, Honey Dijon Potatoes and Lemon Herb Broccoli with Shallots. Each meal included thyme… of course! If you would like the exact measurements for any recipe shoot me a message and Ill email them to you.

Wild Salmon Filet

I have been working on SLR skills 🙂

seared for a few minutes before baking and adding coating

Mix bread crumbs, 1 tbsp of butter and Parsley in one bowl. Mix 1 tbsp of mustard and thyme in another. Coat Salmon with mustard then coat with crumb mixture. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes.

Cut shallots and broccoli and bowl. When softened add lemon zest, thyme, butter, salt, and pepper.

Mix 2 tbsp of honey dijon, thyme, paprika, pepper, and salt together in a bowl. Toss potatoes into bowl and coat. Bake for 15 minutes, turn, then 15 additional minutes.

Finished filet!

crispy and delicious

squeeze some lemon for extra flavor

Portobello Zucchini Sandwiches: Thyme (1)

Tonight I tried a new recipe that requires the use of thyme. The actual recipe was rather vague and I had to make up a bit of it on my own. Despite the gaps in the recipe it was pretty tasty. So heres to thyme, the ingredient of the week! Also, this is about 6 WW points.

Ingredients

minus shallots

Serves 2:

baget, 1 zuchinni (thinly sliced), 1 mushroom cap (sliced), 2 oz. goat cheese, 1tbsp red wine vinegar, 2 tbsp olive oil, cracked pepper, salt, 1 medium shallot (sliced), 2 tsp of thyme, 1 beef steak tomato

Directions

Preheat oven to 450. Slice zucchini and mushrooms. Place zucchini in a baking dish and place the mushrooms in a separate dish. Make sure to spray the mushroom baking dish before placing in.

Once zucchini is in the baking dish, brush olive oil on both sides. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then, place both baking dishes in the oven. The mushrooms will cook faster. Keep an eye on both dishes and turn veggies so both sides cook evenly.

you don't need much to moisten the zucchini

While veggies are cooking prep the red wine vinegar marinade. Put red wine vinegar in small bowl. Then, slice shallots and place them in bowl. Add some salt and pepper and set aside.

Take veggies out when they begin to brown. Place mushrooms in red wine vinegar mix. Stir mushrooms and then cover.

if there is a lot of extra water, drain some from bowl

set aside until ready to build the sandwich

After veggies are out of the oven, place the bread into the broiler for less than a minute (make sure it doesn’t burn). You want the bread to be lightly toasted. Slice tomato into thin slices. After bread is finished, begin to build! Spread goat cheese on one side of bread and sprinkle with thyme.

you can spread quite a bit of cheese, don't be cheap!

Start with the zucchini, then place mushrooms, shallots, and tomatoes.

Put top of bread on and your sandwich is complete!

not the prettiest sandwich, but sure tastes good

suzanne

Some of you may know, I love 1960s french pop music. One of my favorite artists was introduced to me by my dearest friend Frankie. Shout out Frank! Francoise Hardy is so very talented and absolutely stunning. Her music is calm and her tone is ethereal. I personally love her version of Leonard Cohen’s, Suzanne.

note the fantastic Herman Miller she is sitting on!

those clothes, perfect!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Last night I made chocolate chip peanut butter cookies! I am pretty proud because I changed the original recipe and added a few of my own tricks. They came out fantastic and are relatively healthy. This bater makes about 40 cookies (they are small) and each bite has plenty of flavor.

milk for the boy, cookies for all!

Ingredients

2 tbsp butter

2 tsp canola oil

1/2 c brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1/8 tsp salt

1 large egg white (1/4 c of egg whites)

3/4 c flour

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 c of semi sweet mini chocolate chips

2 tsp peanut butter

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  • *If you have a hand mixer use it! In a medium bowl, cream together butter, oil and sugar. Add vanilla, salt and egg white; mix thoroughly to combine. Add peanut butter and blend until smooth.
  • In a small bowl, mix together flour and baking soda; stir into batter. Add chocolate chips to batter; stir to distribute evenly throughout.
  • Drop 40 half-teaspoons of dough onto one or two large nonstick baking sheets, leaving a small amount of space between each cookie. Bake cookies until golden around edges, about 4 to 6 minutes; cool on a wire rack.

delightful!

Simon & Garfunkel: Thyme

At the start of summer Stephen and I planted a very small and humble garden on our back porch. Unfortunately where our apartment lands, the sun is not very friendly. Unlike our lucky neighbors, our tiny spot is shaded and only sees the sun at the very end of the day. Some of our plants have made it, while sadly, some have not. Fortunately though our garden is not a complete bust! We have two pepper plants that are thriving in addition to our new basils. The plant that has planted its roots and flourished is our little thyme bush. This little shrub has taken over the garden and made its presence known!

out of control

A few days ago Stephen took the shears to this beast and cut many of its pieces. We brought them inside and its fragrance was magnificent!

waiting to be used!

Since I am extremely neurotic and feel a sense of urgency in EVERYTHING, I wanted to use the thyme before it went bad. I know this would take a while, but like I said, Im neurotic. So consider this week an ode to one of my favorite movies and bands, our menu for each night will feature an item that uses thyme. I am looking forward to cooking every meal and will update as I go.

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme.

Making your morning better part (2): Apple- Cinnamon Pancakes

Straight up: this is a weight watchers recipe. With that being said, it is AMAZING. When you eat these delightful pancakes it is if you are sneaking dessert for breakfast. But no worries here, these healthy treats can be consumed at any time of the day! Also another huge perk, they are super easy to make. Try them with cool whip, syrup, or sugar free caramel!

Note: these can easily be made vegan. Sub the egg whites for egg replacer powder. Also, sub milk for soy. This will prob change the texture so I would not add the full amount.

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients: 1 1/4 c of flour, 2 tbsp sugar, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 baking soda, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 c of apple

Wet Ingredients: 1 c of low fat buttermilk, 1/2 c applesauce (cinnamon flavor), 1 tbsp  veg oil, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 large egg lightly beaten ( I subbed 1/4 c of egg whites)

Directions   

Place griddle on burner and place on low heat. Spray with cooking spray. Prep apples by dicing into small pieces. These apple are going in the batter, make sure they are small. Set apples aside, you won’t need them for a while.

In a large bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients together. Set aside.

dry ingredients

In a separate bowl mix all wet ingredients together. Stir throughly.

Combine the wet mixture with the dry ingredients. Stir until blended. Once the mixtures are combined, add the apples.

mix the apples evenly into the batter

 Spoon batter on griddle. This recipe should make about 10 pancakes. If you are into weight watchers that means each pancake is 3 points.

wait until griddle is heated evenly

flip when pancake begins to bubble

 Remove pancakes when both sides are a light brown and serve! We added a little bit of walnuts this time for extra flavor. You can fancy these up in many ways, be creative!

fancy flap jacks

Congrats Poehler!

Yesterday the emmy nominations were released and feminism is having a very good year! Mad Men took 19 noms which isn’t really a surprise. Perhaps the attention they recieve will get them to film already so I can see season 5!! I am so excited with the choices for best lead female! Amy Poehler was nominated for her character Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation. Parks and Rec is one of my favorite shows because its comedic timing tricks people into thinking they are not watching a feminist show. Genius! Below is one of my favorite scenes by Poehler.

I love Amy Poehler because she is in entertainment to change the way people understand gender.  I showed my students this past year her series Smart Girls at the Party many times. They loved it, both boys and girls.

So hears to Amy Poehler for making change and being hilarious.

balls to the wall

If we are going to be literal about the bible and homosexuality… lets at least make it count right??!?! Sounds like a blast ( Insert sarcastic tone to the max)