Sweet and Hot Sesame Cucumbers

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I mean, I should just give up.

Actually, I have thought about giving up blogging several times.  It takes a lot, A LOT, of time, energy, planning… all things that I have very little of.  And I don’t like to do things half-way; if I’m not automatically great at something, I like to quit while I’m ahead.  Or behind.

At any rate, I really don’t want to quit. I’d rather give excuses. I have a few good ones for my major blogging deficiencies that have been eating all of my time:

  • I’ve been taking a dance class,
  • I’ve been traveling for work,
  • I started tutoring at this AMAZING volunteer after-school program, and
  • I. MOVED. AGAIN.

Yes. I moved again. You know what? Continue reading

3-Ingredient Easy Roasted Cauliflower

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Oh, hey.  It’s just about Easter time?  What the what?  I am all out of sorts.  I still have shamrock shakes from St. Patty’s Day in my freezer.  Seriously, is ANYONE a fan of Eater in freakin’ March?  This is ridiculous.  Why does it hop around like that?  (Get it, hop?)  Other holidays are either a set date (like Valentine’s Day), or the first ____ of a month (like Mother’s Day).  This Easter business is a crap-shoot, and I’m over it.  No one even gets Good Friday off anymore, so why even do this in the cold?

Don’t worry, I have a solution:  let’s move Easter to the summer, when we can enjoy the egg hunt without our winter coats.  The calendar may say spring, but it just snowed this week, so who’s with me?

Also, with Easter in March, we are still (well, I am anyway) trying to work off all of the weight we packed on from indulging over the winter holidays.  Desserts, libations, and hibernating (via Netflix) magically make my clothes tighter, and the last thing I want to do is chow down on a spongy, fatty roasted pig and potatoes.

If you’re in my boat, or if you’re cooking for someone who is carb-conscious, you GOTTA try this super-simple recipe:  roasted cauliflower.  3 ingredients, a few minutes, and you’re done.  It’s healthy, tasty, and won’t weigh you down.  And, if we can move this holiday to the summer, it’s good year-round!  Enjoy 🙂

 


Materials:

  • cutting board and knife
  •  1 gallon-sized Ziploc bag
  • non-stick pan

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 T minced garlic
  • 2 T olive oil
  • optional:  salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut cauliflower into bite-sized florets.IMG_7082[1]
  3. Place cauliflower, garlic, and oil into Ziploc bag.  Shake to mix well.IMG_7085[1]
  4. Pour bag contents onto a nonstick pan.FullSizeRender_2[1]
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden-brown and tender.IMG_7087[1]
  6. Enjoy!FullSizeRender_1[1]

 


 

Easy Roasted Cauliflower

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 25 min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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Materials:

  • cutting board and knife
  •  1 gallon-sized Ziploc bag
  • non-stick pan

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 T minced garlic
  • 2 T olive oil
  • optional:  salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut cauliflower into bite-sized florets.
  3. Place cauliflower, garlic, and oil into Ziploc bag.  Shake to mix well.
  4. Pour bag contents onto a nonstick pan.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden-brown and tender.
  6. Enjoy!

Parmesan Squash Ribbons

It’s times like this when I wonder why. WHY. Why am I living up north?  I mean seriously, who am I kidding with this bitter-cold misery?

But I like the seasons, I say.  We all say to justify this crazy thing called winter.  Let me tell you something.  I don’t ski or snowboard Snow-shoeing is out of the question and ice-skating is not for me.  I would be all up in the curling business if they brought that to Boston, but alas, we aren’t with it yet.

Do you want to know what my winter sport is?  It’s bundling up with layers upon layers until every inch of skin is covered thrice over, finding the shortest distance to my destination, and making it there without slipping on ice.  I could go pro.

I say all of this, but it’s not all dismal.  Winter is beautiful, and better yet, it’s a chance to cook hot foods 🙂  Soups, stews, boils, bakes… I love it all.  One of my favorite new cooking ventures that warmed my insides both physically and emotionally ironically featured a an out-of-season star:  the summer squash.  Okay, before you rain hate for me buying out of season, let me be clear:  I don’t care.  I buy what I want.  You should too.

So, this dish.  Oh, this dish.  Full disclosure, I ate the entire pot, by myself.  It was that good.  AND, so easy AND FUN to make, that I am actually excited to make it again 🙂  Enjoy, and stay warm!FullSizeRender_1


 

Materials:

  • mixing bowl
  • veggie peeler (horizontal)
  • knife and cutting board
  • large pot
  • spoon

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • two large summer squash
  • 1/4 c Parmesan cheese
  • minced garlic to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Chop onion and set aside.
  2. Heat a small amount of oil (about a tablespoon) in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  3. Place onion into pot, stirring occasionally. IMG_6750
  4. While onion is cooking, create thin ribbons out of your squash by peeling long strands the  length of your squash.  You may need to rotate around your squash.IMG_6748FullSizeRender_2
  5. Place ribbons and garlic into pot and stir.  Cook for about 5 minutes, or until squash is tender.  NOTE:  ADD WATER TO POT IF NEEDED (about 1/4 c).IMG_6751
  6. Remove from heat.  Add parmesan cheese, alt and pepper to taste and stir.IMG_6752
  7. Serve with parmesan cheese.  Enjoy!IMG_6754

 


 

Parmesan Squash Ribbons

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Time: 15 min
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Materials:

  • mixing bowl
  • veggie peeler (horizontal)
  • knife and cutting board
  • large pot
  • spoon

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • two large summer squash
  • 1/4 c Parmesan cheese
  • minced garlic to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Chop onion and set aside.
  2. Heat a small amount of oil (about a tablespoon) in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  3. Place onion into pot, stirring occasionally.
  4. While onion is cooking, create thin ribbons out of your squash by peeling long strands the  length of your squash.  You may need to rotate around your squash.
  5. Place ribbons and garlic into pot and stir.  Cook for about 5 minutes, or until squash is tender.  NOTE:  ADD WATER TO POT IF NEEDED (about 1/4 c).
  6. Remove from heat.  Add parmesan cheese, alt and pepper to taste and stir.

Superbowl Sliders!

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You know those moments when you are so proud of yourself it’s a little embarrassing? Example: bringing in the groceries last night, I spotted my umbrella in the back of the car. Remembered that it’s going to rain like whoa today, I grabbed it, and then was SO PROUD of myself for having the forethought of grabbing my umbrella to shield my from tomorrow’s rain, rather than cursing it in my groggy morning haze.  I was soon dethroned after climbing my 4 flights of stairs and realizing I left my purse on my front seat of my car.  Way to win, Jenni.

Hey, the SUPERBOWL is this weekend!  Who do you want to win?  The New York Trumps, or the Vermont Sanders?  Oops, wrong sport.  I get those two confused:  they are both blood-bath sports that involve head-bashing all the time, and everyone is trying to figure out if they are that way because they have a concussion or not.

I love football so I will definitely watch, but don’t care who wins.  I will probably hedge a funny bet with my friends on who wins, and I will most certainly P-I-G out.  That’s the best part of the day, right? Well, that and the commercials.

So, what are we going to eat?  Pulled.  Pork.  Sliders.  Yaaaaaaaas.

I made this fool-proof recipe twice in December for large audiences, and it was a huge crowd pleaser.  Ladies and gents, I am about to unleash one of my best recipes I own:  my slow-cooker pulled pork.  This pork is simple, yet so good you will over eat.  I warned you.  I had two different people say it was the best pulled pork they’ve ever had, and I don’t take their opinions lightly.  The secret is to cook on HIGH for at least 6 to 8 hours.  Please, please trust me on this.  Well worth it.  MVP.


Materials:

  • mixing bowl
  • slow cooker
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • tongs and forks, for shredding

Ingredients:

  • 1 5-7-lb pork shoulder (aka pork butt, aka picnic cut, aka boston pork)
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 2 T cinnamon
  • 2 T paprika
  • 3 T liquid smoke
  • 1 c chicken broth (or water)
  • garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Pat-dry the pork after removing it from its wrapping.
  2. Mix all spices in a mixing bowl.
  3. Rub liberally all over the surface of the pork.FullSizeRender (7)
  4. Place pork in slow cooker.
  5. Pour broth in over pork and close the lid.FullSizeRender (5)
  6. Cook on HIGH for at least 8 hours.
  7. Shred using a fork and tongs.FullSizeRender (4)FullSizeRender (8)
  8. Serve on buns, with favorite BBQ sauce, or mustard.FullSizeRender (2)
  9. Enjoy!

 

Superbowl Pulled Pork Sliders

  • Servings: 6-10
  • Time: 10 min plus 8 hours cooking
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Materials:

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  • mixing bowl
  • slow cooker
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • tongs and forks, for shredding

Ingredients:

  • 1 5-7-lb pork shoulder (aka pork butt, aka picnic cut, aka boston pork)
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 2 T cinnamon
  • 2 T paprika
  • 3 T liquid smoke
  • 1 c chicken broth (or water)
  • garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Pat-dry the pork after removing it from its wrapping.
  2. Mix all spices in a mixing bowl.
  3. Rub liberally all over the surface of the pork.
  4. Place pork in slow cooker.
  5. Pour broth in over pork and close the lid.
  6. Cook on HIGH for at least 8 hours.
  7. Shred using a fork and tongs.
  8. Serve on buns, with favorite BBQ sauce, or mustard.
  9. Enjoy!

White Turkey Chili

Christmas is in one week!  Can you believe???

Did I just send you into a cold sweat?  Sorry.  Didn’t mean to, honest!  Thankfully, my OCD, which is usually my demise, comes in handy this time of year– my presents bought, wrapped, and stacked for two weeks now.  But don’t worry, it’s not all bubbles and butterflies in Jenni’s kingdom:  I still have about 4 dozen deadlines for work (hence no blogging for, oh, 13 days now?) entwined with 18,000 meetings that are somehow scheduled simultaneously, and around coworkers dealing with the same dilemmas.  And maybe it’s just my perception, but it seems like everyone has been totally on edge lately.  Perhaps it’s the cray cray weather, or maybe it’s just this time of year that brings out the ho-ho-horrible in people.  I don’t know, but I don’t like it.  Hard pass on that. Continue reading

Caprese Salad Skewers

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How was your Thanksgiving?  I know, you’re over it, right?  That was so last week.  Well, I’ve been completely swamped, and sick, and am finally starting to catch up with y’all.  So, I hope it was wonderful, and full of family drama, arguing over the Macy’s parade vs the football game, and of course a food-induced coma.   Or, maybe you skipped all of the nonsense to hit the stores!  I mean, it’s only a matter of time before our Thanksgiving day will be completely replaced by Brown Thursday, or whatever ridiculous name they come up with.  You know what I’m thankful for?  Amazon prime.   Continue reading

Rainbow Quinoa Bowl


So I realize that I haven’t told you what August’s 30 Days project is, but for good reason:  it’s not very exciting.  I know, I’m Jenni, the girl with all of the best ideas.  Your icon.  Your role model.  The world’s next Kevin Spacey…. no.  I will never age that gracefully.

Anyway, I had a really good project lined up for this month, but I decided to hold it until November/December, because I wanted it to be around the holidays.  Also, I didn’t start right away, and already felt that I was behind.  I promise to try to stay alive until late fall so that you’re not kept in too much suspense.

Back to me.  My half-lame 30 Days Project for August is to keep a very accurate and consistent food diary.  The idea itself isn’t lame; in fact, I think it’s a great thing to do for those who are watching their intake.  I’ve just been doing it off and on all year using the MyFitnessPal app on my phone, so I don’t think I am stretching myself all that much.  The only difference here is that I am holding myself accountable to track everything, and track consistently.  I pretty much always take the “weekends off” in every way… work, exercise, diet, feeding the cat.

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only a genius would get her head caught in a shoe.

Don’t worry, I feed the cat.  That fat thing will yell in my face if I don’t feed her every few hours when I’m home.

Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see what my eating habits look like, and if they will change at all when it’s all in front of me.  We shall see!

Anywho, here’s what I made for dinner tonight, and it was AMAZE-balls.  I mean, for a health food, this was so good!  I can’t wait until I’m hungry again so I can eat the left overs.  No wonder why I’ll never be skinny.

Anyway, quinoa is a great high-fiber superfood….combining with the ever-so-perfect, heart-healthy avocado (one of my all-time favorite foods), tomatoes, and black beans for protein, your tummy and your waist line will be happy with this one! Colorful, delicious, nutritious. Enjoy 🙂


Materials:

  • cutting board
  • knife
  • spoon
  • bowl

Ingredients:

  • 1 c cooked quinoa, according to package directions
  • 1/2 avocado, diced
  • 1  tomato, diced
  • 1/4 c black beans, drained
  • 2 T lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional:  feta cheese

Directions:

  1. Cook quinoa (boil and drain) according to package directions.  Thoroughly drain to remove water content.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  IMG_5463
  3. Mix well and season to taste.IMG_5469
  4. Enjoy!FullSizeRender (8)

Rainbow Quinoa Bowl

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 5 min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Materials:

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  • cutting board
  • knife
  • spoon
  • bowl

Ingredients:

  • 1 c cooked quinoa, according to package directions
  • 1/2 avocado, diced
  • 1  tomato, diced
  • 1/4 c black beans, drained
  • 2 T lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional:  feta cheese

Directions:

  1. Cook quinoa (boil and drain) according to package directions.  Thoroughly drain to remove water content.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Mix well and season to taste.
  4. Enjoy!