Thursday, April 7, 2011


the end of 30x30x30 week one! our miami dwelling bachelorette has successfully completed six meals in seven days! you've done me proud, mon! from zero to sixty in no time.

but if you'll notice, there's a pattern here. you see, i send her a recipe every day to base a meal off of. and she takes these sneaky little shortcuts but still ends up with pretty healthy results! monica's own version of semi homemade. more power to her, i say! if you're even trying to make more meals at home, i support you and so should the rest of the world.

day 7 subject of the day!??!!? BEETS! a fresh salad.

enough chatter; here's the recipe. i'm off to retrieve my eldest sister from the airport! and tomorrow both my parents and gregory's parents fly in for my recital! i feel so special! not going to lie, the entire weekend may be posts about food i haven't made that i like in austin or reception food. hope you don't mind the 30x hiatus because we just might have to take one.

Beet Salad with Candied Maple Walnuts

adjust proportions according to how much salad you would like to be eating!

2 medium beets, scrubbed
2 tbs olive oil

-heat oven to 425 and drizzle olive oil and salt over beets. roast for 45 minutes or until tender when punctured with a fork. peel skins off under running water when cool and slice! OR just used canned beets like monica!

1/2 cup walnuts
2 tbs maple syrup

-toast walnuts and syrup over medium high for about 5 minutes then allow to cool.

-create a nice little bed of spinach, toss on the beets and walnuts and add a few dollops of goat cheese. drizzle with dressing of your choice OR:

Orange Vinaigrette

2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs fresh orange juice and zest
1 tbs balsamic

monica suggests skipping the roasting if you're busy and using canned beets.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


we're not even a week into this 30x30x30 and we're already stressed and eating comfort food. today's assignment : sweet potato pancakes. two ways, this time. i took the southern approach with chard and bacon and good grief i've missed my mom's cooking. this meal reminded me of home. and monica took a little quicker route with a pancake mix and canned sweet potato. in the end, everyone was happy. wish i could have shared it with you, mon!

Sweet Potato Pancakes (adapted from all recipes Louisiana SP cakes)

a big sweet potato, baked, boiled, whatever it takes to soften that thing up
1.5 cups flour
3.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 eggs, beaten
1.5 cups milk
1/4 cup butter, melted

- combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- in a smaller bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, sweet potato and butter
- pour into bigger bowl.
- COOK. (on medium high in a skillet. hey mom! are you reading this? i need a skillet like yours!)

monica sends me her thoughts every day. too tired to summarize tonight. you're getting the whole SHEBANG :

"Ok. So here's the deal: I had to work a concert today. I was asked to turn pages at the last moment. I had to make an emergency trip home for a change of clothes. I finally made it to the grocery store around 9pm with pretty low blood sugar (no time for dinner).

So i picked up a can of sweet potatoes and some bacon. I wanted turkey bacon but they don't sell that in small packages so I had to go with regular.
Instead of baking my own sweet potatoes from scratch with special spices I added water to some bisquick insta-pancake mix and threw in a few hefty spoon fulls of canned SP. CALL IT A DAY.

This is my life. Sorry I fail at this! But you can't say I'm not trying."

Monica, you're not failing! i'm proud! keep up the good work.

she's not failing, is she, readers? readers?

end day 6 at the 30x30x30 headquarters.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


day five and the project comes to a screeching halt. our new computer took a dive for the worst and has been flashing BSODs for days (Blue Screen of Death) AND monica gave up on me today. you know what went down with the compy? food pictures. FROWN. totally lost the pictures of our scrumptious lemon rosemary chicken. blergh.

so here is one of my favorite desserts. seriously simple. you can let it sit in the fridge for an hour if you want or you can eat it as soon as you take the two minutes to mix it up. that is what i did. because i was sad.

but this made me happy. there is something so fulfilling about fruit-only desserts. you don't feel like a beached whale. and you don't even need to run 5 miles. but you could if you wanted because you feel light and healthy! i started seeing dessert this way after a trip to china. i like china. and i like fruit. especially fresh strawberries. look how pretty they are!

Balsamic Strawberries

As many sliced strawberries as you like
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tbs honey

-mix honey and balsamic with strawberries. let sit for flavors to combine. or not!

Monday, April 4, 2011


true confessions time. my recital is in five COUNT EM! FIVE! days and i am trying to finalize my reception menu. no, this is not taking over my practicing. after all, this is my LAST school recital. and if you'd like to come, you can try this new creation! but i promise it isn't all about the food! (just a little bit.)

anyway, my recital food is hijacking this post. also, monica is struggling in the 30x30x30 department. maybe it's that hot miami weather. maybe it's all of that beach time. just kidding. don't kill me, mon!

but she's hanging in there. our recipes varied slightly today but still taste purdy good either way! come to my recital if you'd like to give me a little critique on this one!! oooh i'd love that!

Whole Wheat Strawberry-Basil Scones with Lime Glaze
makes about 15 mini scones or about 8 big ones.

for the scones:

1.5 cups flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk (remember you can make it with regular milk and lemon juice!)
1 egg
3/4 cup strawberries, chopped into small pieces
1/4 cup finely chopped basil

for the glaze:

zest and juice of one lime
about 1/2 a cup of powdered sugar

-combine the dry ingredients with a fork.
-whisk egg into the milk and slowly drizzle into the dry ingredients.-fold in strawberries and basil. add flour as is necessary to roll out lightly and cut into desired shapes.

bake in a 400 degree oven for 6-7 minutes for minis and 15-16 minutes for the big ones.

-allow to cool then dip in glaze and store in an air tight container.

leave out the basil/lime components for a more simple recipe like monica did!

Sunday, April 3, 2011


and so begins day 3 of 30 recipes and 30 ingredients with monica. teaching people to make more of their meals at home : one girl at a time!

it's 5:51 pm and i am about to go to bed. don't judge me. i have been up since 5:30 am and feel like i have been going non stop for at least a week, maybe a month! I LOST COUNT! but BOY am i tired. don't worry. this recipe is on time. and i am about to eat it before i go to sleep in a little while. NOM.

i'm trying to bring our bachelorette into the world of cooking slowly because she has been out of it for a while now. i don't want to overwhelm her, so we're easing on in with a recipe RachaelRay would be proud of : BURGERS!!!

but this ain't no ordinary burger. THIS burger is fancy without much work and it tastes like summer. yeah i know, some of you are getting snowed on. but i live in texas for at least another two months and i am going to make all i can out of that fact before i go back to the cold, dreary north. it has merits but i have grown to love texas so. and this week, it has already reached above 90! bring on the summer!

Sun Dried Tomato Turkey Burgers with Basil Aioli

makes about 4

for the burgers:

1 pound of ground turkey
2 big cloves of garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1/2 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
1 egg

for the aioli:

1/4 cup mayonnaise
juice of one lemon plus zest
2 tsp garlic, minced 1/2 cup basil finely chopped

-combine aioli ingredients, wrap and sit in fridge while preparing burgers.
-combine burger ingredients and cook as per your preference.
-top with a little onion and tomato and our favorite bread! i used a sprouted grain loaf from whole foods but monica used a nice whole wheat roll.

fire up that grill, y'aaaall!