So I’m back at school now (horror of horrors) and am trying to work out a schedule that will keep me sane. (i.e. a minimum of bar courses this semester is an absolute must!) Since returning to Minnesota I’ve been busy with lots of things–mostly unrelated to school, but closely related to my sanity and happiness. Lots of time in the kitchen experimenting with new foods and new ideas. Like ginger brownies (inspired by the chocolate bar you see in the photo). This batch came out super fudgy and faintly gingery with a nice bite of ginger when you hit those little chunks of candied australian ginger. (Thank you Penzy’s Spices…where would I be without you??) I think for the next round I’ll shoot for something more cake-like and maybe with a little more black pepper. (Yes, you read that right, a smidge of black pepper brings out the taste of the ginger).
Speaking of dessert, this was a little a splurge the other day at Lunds. A delicious frog (white cake topped with maraschino cream and covered in chocolate). He was almost too cute to eat…no gruesome pictures here of the aftermath, but you can use your imagination.
Friday I purchased a lovely 4 qt stainless steel crockpot from Target, thus making me a full-fledged Midwesterner. Of course, I had to try it out immediately, so I invited Stacey and Dan over for pot roast on Saturday. It was delicious! (Sorry no pictures). We followed the meal up with the brownies (see above) and the Constant Gardener–an excellent movie. Afterwards I was left with a lot of dishes and even more leftover meat. I am one who tires of leftovers quickly so it’s a bit of a game with me to find ways to reinvent my leftovers. Here is one iteration–meat empanadas. (I mixed in some potatoes and peas to make a lovely meat filling). I’ve also enjoyed the meat shredded in corn tortillas with a little roasted tomato salsa (another culinary experiment) and queso fresco. Mmmmmm…meat.
Last night I needed a break from my meat-intensive diet so I breaked for a little Thai inspired dinner, mixing up some coconut ginger soup mix with broccoli, red cabbage, and baked tofu. I had to fiddle with the seasoning a little but it turned out to be quite tastey in the end and lovely in presentation. (I’m finding that artful presentation is another way to keep me interested in my food).