Sunday, February 28, 2010

Get Well Soon (Berry Banana Smoothie)

So Blake has unfortunately come down with mono. . . and that is all I will say. So before going with him to get his haircut I thought it would be a nice gesture to make a smoothie for the sick throat. This was my very first smoothie that I can recall from ever making from scratch out of the blue... I didn't really have a recipe nor know exactly what to put in a smoothie. But of course I knew fruit was needed and a little bit of ice. I took whatever I could find already in my refrigerator and made a berry banana smoothie! I loved it just as much as Blake and my mom did, so I'm thinking I can now call myself a successful smoothie maker who will definitely be making more in the future. . .
1.5 bananas
10 raspberries
1/2 cup blackberry yogurt
10-20 pieces ice (depending on how thick you would like)
2 tablespoons orange juice
Chop up bananas and add to a blender. Add raspberries, ice, yogurt, and orange juice. Blend together until smooth and a smoothie is made. Serve, and enjoy!!! (WOW! how simple?! I mean it probably took me five or less minutes to make!)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Poor, Poor Plants

Times have been grim and dull here at the Brown household. Feet sulk past one another dragging with zero posture as the monotone days begin to blend into each other and the calendar is no longer a necessity. Before long, it can be sure that the Grim Reaper will appear any moment now, and a big, stretched limo will arrive shortly after to escort the bodies into a deep, blue pit.
Okay, maybe I am being a bit dramatic, but seriously, I think I have recently gone into a short term depression. My once lovely little parsleys, basils, and chives, have been murdered by the plant devil; Vinegar Water! Everyday before I leave for school, I make sure to check on my little herbs that I have nurtured from seedlings to now (or shall I say once?) strong and full growing plants. According to all environmental greenhouse growers, the beginning stages of a plant must be carefully observed and well taken care of. Therefore, I always made sure to give at least six hours of "sunlight" to my little plants, and I always made sure to water them just enough to quench their thirst. However, on one specific day that will no longer pass by without being forgotten, I noticed a clear, purple spray bottle nestled silently beside my herbs. To my joy I came to think that my mother had decided to help me out by putting a spray bottle near my plants so I could easily spray them versus occasionally (and on accident at that) drench them with an over sized water jug. Ten minutes after I sprayed the herbs and. . . poof. They were gone. The once tall, and strongly growing herbs had now become sickly skinny drooping over the sides of my pot.
Panic arose within! I had no idea what I could have possibly done to hurt such a precious little plant. And that is when I noticed the label on the side of the spray bottle. . . Vinegar Water. My life was now over. I was doomed forever. I had murdered my own plants that have only lived a short two months! How could this be? How could I have been so stupid as to not read a label?
When it finally came to me. . . some one who is so strongly against fresh herbs and healthy eating must have set me up! But who could it be? This is a mystery that has yet to be solved, and the culprit still roams my house silently. I can picture the culprit laughing instinctively with their evil cackle ringing through their ears as they read my blog and smile over the fact they have beat me and my herbs out. Well this part is to you, my evil vinegar water plotter:  The games are not over, and I will succeed on with new herbs yet again! Mua ha ha ha!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Cheerful Lunches (Citrus Garden Salad)

Today I stayed home from school for unexplainable reasons, but that is far besides the point. The point is I was able to prepare a fabulous lunch for my most fabulous mother while she was away gaining another victory for her tennis team. She was delighted to see I have been somewhat productive on my day off as I folded the laundry, unloaded the dishwasher, ran a few errands, and now indulged in a little something for my self as well as her; in which I made a deelishis citrusy salad with these new extra citrus oranges that my mother had recently found at our grocery store.
It is very hard for me to explain these oranges, because they are not typical oranges. They are way better! Yesterday my mother came home from the local grocery store, and inside our go-green bags I was delighted to see loads and loads of colorful fruit. It made me smile at the fact she was thinking about me and made me smile even more to see she had bought oranges, life's happy little fruit. However, when I cut one open the other day, I noticed they looked more like grapefruits. But when I bit into one, it tasted quite like an orange but juicier, fresher, and all around better! Therefore, it was settled that I must add this fruit to my next salad to spruce up a typical garden salad. The salad was fresh, tangy, and looked so much happier, for it was now mixed with a sweetly sensational fruit.
Mixed baby greens and baby spinach lettuce
One Orange (Or any citrus fruit)
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
basil herb salad dressing
Place lettuce in a bowl and grate cheese over lettuce. Pour dressing and toss. Add salad to plates and sprinkle almonds on top. Place orange on top of salad, serve and enjoy! (How simple and easy was that?!)

Happy Mornings With Scrambled Tomato Eggs :)

I love Weekends. Especially this one and not only because my mother was up early in the kitchen arousing the house full of sweet, sweet smells, but because it was simply a  beautiful and sunny day. I can not recall a morning in the past four months where I have woken up and not needed to bundle up in scarves and mittens just to walk down stairs. (Which might I add, is totally and completely not normal for a Texan! Also, this comes to show that even in cold mother continues to keep the heat OFF! But I still love you mom!) Therefor this morning was perfect; the sun was finally shining below my house and everyone was just so happy. The mornings are also so critical for making the entire day a happy one. I believe one's attitude when they wake up will reflect on their perspective of life through out the rest of the day. Therefore, what better way than to start the day off with sunny scrambled eggs with tomatoes and fresh cheddar cheese?
two handfuls of grated cheddar cheese
four eggs
one tomato diced
2 tablespoons milk
pinch of salt and pepper
Crack all four eggs into a small bowl and beat together. Add milk salt and pepper and continue to beat until all mixed together. Turn on medium sized skillet to medium-high heat, and spray with a butter. When warm pour eggs over skillet and move around until 80% cooked through to make the scrambled eggs. Add the tomatoes and then the cheese. When scrambled eggs are soft and not over cooked, and are perfectly done, take immedietly off heat. Serve, and enjoy!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

CCC Challenge: Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cheers to the chocolate chip cookie challenge, for this is my last and final post about chocolate chip cookies for a long, long time. I have just written well over eight pages on chocolate chip cookies and the many varieties that have derived from a simple and classic cookie. So here it goes to my final cookie that underwent the ultimate chocolate chip cookie challenge. And this cookie was saved for last simply because I liked the pictures the best and wanted to have them posted first on my blog as of now. (Hah!) These cookies came from the ol' fashioned Toll House website which is known, well. . . , for their chocolate chip cookies! So to no surprise, these cookies were absolutely delicious!
As I have posted many chocolate chip cookie variation recipes up on my site, this here is a CLASSIC chocolate chip cookie. So all in all as it might not be my absolute favorite out of the bunch, could it be safe to say that technically this cookie should win the challenge due to the regulations that were broken by all the other "chocolate chip" (and so much more) cookies? Well aside from that, they were yummy, chewy, and just all around tasty! These cookies bring back young childhood memories of sitting with neighbors and digging into a fresh-from-the-oven classic toll house cookie. I loved making them and to bring this challenge to a close, I am now satisfied with chocolate chip cookies. And maybe there really is no "perfect chocolate chip cookie" and the search will continue long after my life, for newer and more experienced recipes will be invented towards perfecting the classic chocolate chip cookie. But when it all comes down to the basics, that is all that is needed to make a "perfect" cookie; a little flour, chocolate, soda, sugar, and butter.
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup backed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups Nestle toll house semi sweet chocolate chips
combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Beat butter, sugars and vanilla in a larger bowl and mix until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, and then gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chips. Wrap dough in parchment paper and refrigerate up to one hour and preheat over to 375 F. Cut and roll dough into small rounds and press a tad down on the cent of the round. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for about 8 minutes or until done. Cool, serve, and enjoy!

CCC Challenge: Everything Plus Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Chip Cookies

I rate these cookies similar to my favorite oatmeal chocolate chip walnut cookies, but even better! Because these have coconut as well. I found this recipe from one of those health magazines that are always in the check lines of grocery stores, which got me thinking. . . is butter and chocolate good for you? Because if so, I just found my new diet! Hah. I'm definitely kidding, but it did give me a good chuckle reading this recipe in a Health magazine with a flat abbed women posted on the cover with subtitles advertising that you can eat cookies to stay slim? Well regardless and aside from all the questions about this particular magazine, I absolutely loved these cookies!
There were so many ingredients, I at first thought it might be a tad overwhelming. But indeed it was the exact opposite; each ingredient played a key roll in the taste of this cookie, and the cookie just would not have tasted nearly as good if any of the main ingredients went missing. There is something about chocolate and oatmeal that make my mouth water. And don't even get me started about the mix of a nutty chocolate with coconut! The taste of these cookies were just extraordinarily delicious and a new fave of my family's. Anyone is bound to enjoy this scrumptious little thing.
one cup butter softened
one cup light brown sugar packed
one half cup granulated sugar
two teaspoons vanilla extract
two extra large eggs
one teaspoon ground sea salt
one teaspoon fresh baking soda
one and half cup all purpose plain flour
one cup rolled oats
one and half cup sweetened coconut
eight ounces semisweet chocolate chips
one cup finely chopped toasted pecans (have some only coarsely chopped)
preheat over to 375 F. In large bowl beat butter, sugars, and vanilla until light and creamy. Beat in eggs, salt, baking soda and flour until mixture is all combined. stir in rolled oats, coconut, chocolate chips, and pecans. Drop one tablespoon of dough on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 9 to 13 minutes or until brown on bottom and edges. Cool, serve, and enjoy!

CCC Challenge: Smitten Kitchen's Chocoalte Chip Cookies

I just love and adore Smitten Kitchen. She has saved me from tragedy, helped me step by step to create my dream birthday cake, and now has contributed to my chocolate chip cookie challenge. She has yet to disappoint, and this is no exception. I enjoy baking anything and everything from her sweet and innocent website, for she has never let me down and everything I have made from her is recently on my list of faves. I love the stories behind every recipe she has to offer, for they bring character and really bring the food to life. She is inspirational, and I don't even know where I would be right now with out this trusty and delightfully sunny website. Her cookies are one of a kind, simple, and a real, true, chocolate chip cookie.
These cookies are posted under Smitten Kitchen's website as crispy and chewy. Indeed they are crispy in the right spots, as well as chewy in the center. They are the perfect size, and a perfect bite can be found every time. I love these cookies so much because they are simply that; chocolate chip cookies. They are easy to make, easy to store, and don't even take much time away from the day! They are pure and classic and a true definition of a chocolate chip cookie. I love and adore these cookies almost as much as I love and adore Smitten Kitchen as a whole.
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted melted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat over to 325 degrees F. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt and set aside. In separate bowl, cream the melted butter, and sugars until blended. Beat in vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough onto ungreased cookie sheets. and press down the center of the cookies just a little. Bake for about 8 to 12 minutes or until ready. Cool, serve, and enjoy!

CCC Challenge: Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

These chocolate and hazelnut cookies are also in tie for first place for my ultimate chocolate chip cookie challenge. The reason being is simply because I used hazelnuts, which are my absolute very favorite nut. They aren't very well known nor used here in the suburbs of Houston, but to me they are my idol, my super hero, my everything. I can not even imagine a cookie any more without the key ingredient of a simple chopped hazelnut. The taste is just impeccable and takes my breath away. The cookie as well is simply just fascinating with how extremely soft I was able to make the entire cookie, and the chocolate is so rich and creamy it melts instantly in my mouth. Typing this post up, I think it is decided that these truly have won me over and could very well win the gold medal for the first round of my chocolate chip cookie challenge.
So to New York Times; I am sorry to say, but I disagree that the secret to the best chocolate chip cookie is when dough is refrigerated up to thirty six hours, because this dough was not refrigerated for even a minute. Yet, it is my absolute favorite chocolate chip cookie, for I taste buttery goodness, fresh chocolate, coarsely chopped hazelnuts, and a soft yet not too gooey center. In fact, for once, I think I have found perfection towards a simply delectable cookie.
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup butte, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped hazelnuts
heat over to 375 degrees F. Stir flour, baking soda and salt and set aside. In large mixing bowl, beat butter with sugars at until creamy and soft. Add eggs and vanilla, one at a time. Mix until all incorporated. Gradually stir dry mixture into creamed mixture. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips. Drop by tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake for 8 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Serve, and enjoy!

CCC Challenge: Tyler Florence's Fat Chocolate Chip Cookies

For my ultimate chocolate chip cookie challenge, I tried to go to trusted blogs and trusted websites in order to find a trusted and perfect recipe. So it is apparent I went to Smitten Kitchen's blog, the nestle toll house website as well as Ghirardelli's, and a few others that have been known to be very trusted. But I also went to a website that I love and adore simply because I love all of the chefs on it's television station, and that is the food network website. When I opened up this website and typed in chocolate chip cookie, over ten pages worth of recipes popped up immediately. However, I noticed one in particular, and that was Tyler Florence's, because he had well over 400 ratings all of which gave this specific cookie a five star. And if I were to go back to the website and rate this cookie, well, I would also have to give it a five star. (I mean it must be good if my dad loved it just as much!)
The cookie indeed was big and fat and much more at that! I loved this soft and chewy cookie. It tastes just as good warm as it does cool, and I even made sure to make extra dough to freeze for those days that my stomach is begging for the taste of rich and creamy chocolate with a a super fab cookie dough. Now Mr. Florence prefers his cookies to be extremely big and fat, but to me, I believe that they should maybe be just a little chubby and possibly on the large side. My cookies did not turn out as big as Tyler probably would have preferred, but hey, who's to judge? Can't we all make the size of a cookie that we, ourselves, prefer? Because I say, I am the one eating this cookie and not him so I will make them the size my mouth can handle. (As well as those that I know are eating my cookies.)
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted, softened butter
1.2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
8 ounces block dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
preheat over to 350 degrees F. Sift together flour baking soda, and salt into medium bowl and set aside. Place the butter, sugar and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer; cream together on medium speed until light and fluffy, Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat in the vanilla and eggs. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and continue to mix until a smooth batter forms. Turn off the mixer and fold int he chocolate chunks using the spatula. To for the cookies, scoop (your preferable size) of a cookie and roll into a ball. Place on uncreased cookie sheet and press down the tops of the dough slightly and bake until the cookies are light brown. About 11 to 12 minutes for a soft and chew cookie. Cool, serve, and enjoy!

CCC Challenge: Black and White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Now what chocolate chip cookie does not go well with milk? . . . hmm. . . none! Especially these chocolate chunk cookies. The mix between dark chocolate and white chocolate pairs quite well with a glass of cold, refreshing milk. Before I started making the cookie, I was a bit iffy with the fact of using white chocolate, because I am not a fan of chocolate that is pale in color and resembles something more bland and vanilla tasting. However, when paired with the extremely dark chocolate made of 60% cocoa,  the two balance out and create a taste so unexplainable and so spectacular that now I am almost convinced to love white chocolate all on its own!
These chocolate chunk cookies are so wonderful, because the aroma of the different chocolates makes my home melt with happiness and the rigidity, authentic look of the cookies really brings out the trueness in what a home-made chocolate chip cookie should be like. I also believe these cookies are so wonderful, because they are made with real and pure chocolate bars and not with the new and packaged uniformity of a chocolate chip. The chunks create variety as well as a bold texture with the randomly sized chunks through out the moist and gooey dough.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1.2 teaspoon baking soda
170 grams unsalted butter, melted and allowed to cool a litter
one cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1.2 cup granulate sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 ounces chocolate chunks (half dark and half white)
Preheat over to 330 fahrenheit. Sift flour, salt, and baking soda into a medium bowl. Combine melted butter and sugars in a large bowl. Add the eggs, yolk, and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Add the flour and chocolate chunks and stir until just combined. Divide the dough evenly into little rolled balls and space evenly on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for about 15 minutes or until done. The dark the cookies, the crisper they will be. Let cool, serve, and enjoy!

CCC Challenge: Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

This here cookie is one of the seven different cookies that underwent my ultimate chocolate chip cookie challenge. And because I am an extreme chocolate addict, I have to say the double chocolate chip cookie is definitely in tie for first place. However, they might loose a few points for irritation. It took almost an hour before I could figure out their baking process and be able to actually bake more than one cookie at a time on the baking sheet. Either the temp was too hot and the bottoms would burn, or the time was not just right and the inside would be completely gooey and undone while the outside would be clearly burnt. This is why I like to refer to these little cookies as something Goldie Locks would like... justtttt right.
These bite size cookies are super rich with the Ghirardelli chocolate and chocolate chips. The nuts add a clean crunch to break your mouth away from all that gooey goodness of chocolate. I love how it is extremely crisp and a tad hard on the outer surface, but as soon as one breaks away into the center, the chocolate will melt in your hands. They are irresistibly delicious and this recipe will definitely being staying by my side for years to come. . .
2 cups ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups bittersweet ghirardelli chocolate chips
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup all purpose-flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chopped walnuts
In double boiler over hot water melt bittersweet chocolate chips and butter. In large bowl with electric mixer or whisk, beat eggs and sugar until thick; stir into chocolate mixture. In small bowl, stir together flour and baking powder; stir into chocolate mixture. Gently mix in semisweet chocolate chips and walnuts. Using a sheet of plastic wrap, form dough into a log. As dough will be VERY VERY soft, use plastic wrap to hold dough in log shape. Wrap tightly; refrigerate as least an hour. Heat over to 350 farenheit. With sharp knife, cut slices of cookie and roll into a ball. Press down the center a little bit and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake about ten minutes or until shiny crust forms on top but interior is still soft. Cool on baking sheet, serve, and enjoy!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

My First Ultimate Challenge: The Search For The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookie

The search for the very best chocolate chip cookie first started last weekend. Well I guess technically you could say that it started the first time I ever bit my mouth into an ooey, gooey, chocolate chip cookie. But really the idea of actually searching, and I mean digging deep into history, was last weekend when Blake and I had just completed a forty mile bike ride in the blistering cold weather and were now snuggled up against my fireplace eating one of Brittany's chocolate chip cookies. I couldn't help but notice that her cookie was buttery, soft, chewy, crispy, moist, and so much more that would describe the perfect cookie. I knew the cookie would be good the moment Blake put it in my hand and it nearly crumbled to pieces; this is how I determine one of the best chocolate chip cookies. So after eating one of Brittany's cookies, Blake and I got to talking and were curious about who could make the best chocolate chip cookie. I mean for decades or even centuries there has been a universal debate over that secret ingredient or that special technique to finding the absolute, very best, and one of a kind, chocolate chip cookie. So that is exactly what I decided to do. . . research a little, compare a few recipes, add some things here and there to make them my own, experiment, and simply have fun in finding my favorite chocolate chip cookie!
So when making a chocolate chip cookie, I came to find that most of the recipes called for flour (that's an obvious) chocolate chips (once again another obvious) brown sugar (some prefer light over dark) granulated sugar, vanilla (some more than others), and ohh lots and lots of butter. Now the New York Times once wrote an article over the perfect chocolate chip cookie, and they said that in order to meet expectations, one must refrigerate the dough for at least 24 hours. So for half of my doughs that I made that is exactly what I did. But I soon came to find not much of a difference, in fact I think my favorite cookie out of all seven that I made was one with the dough that was not refrigerated at all. So I believe that new papers can come across as A. either bias, or B. the writer of this column did not take a big enough survey when proposing his hypothosis. I also came to find that many recipes liked to add more than just chocolate chips to the cookie to make a more dramatic and unique cookie. For instance I made one that also included oatmeal, coconut, and walnuts. Another added hazelnuts, another with double chocolate and walnuts, and another mixing dark with white chocolate. With so many extreme variations, it is difficult to pick out the very BEST chocolate chip cookie.
I think when adding extra ingredients, it is not very fair to the true and simple chocolate chip cookie and it can not be fair to compete against such extravagant added flavors. Therefore I still have yet to find the ultimate and perfect chocolate chip cookie. However, I do believe (and this is my opinion for myself) that when adding a variety of flavors aside from the chocolate chips, and when using real chocolate chunks versus the plasticy taste of a chip, the cookie will not only taste better, but is much more sophisticated and is a great "wow" factor for friends and family. . . as well as pleasing to the taste buds.
So in honor of Brittany, my first Ultimate Challenge in search of the very BEST chocolate chip cookie; this post goes out to her for inspiring me to expand my horizons and look beyond a simple chocolate chip in order to find the very best and perfect cookie.

Vegan Corn Chowder

t is the peak of 2 AM and somehow I am still awake after a long day of dreadful school, cycling, and baking. I am starting to wonder if I have taken after my mother...Well any who, here I am blogging about corn chowder while eating my lightly sweetened honey nut cheerios with the computer screen being a bit blurred because really I am tired, yet simply can not sleep therefore I am unable to function properly. My mind is quite the buzz as of now, jumping from one thing to the next. I can not stop thinking of the deadly incident during the first day of the Vancouver Olympics with Nodar Kumaritashvili, nor can not help but wonder how I will manage to squeeze by in a core class for school, and all at the same time, keep thinking how giddy I am for within fourteen hours I will be long on my way with Mr. Handsome to see the Stomp Concert in a new little dress from my favorite store, Urban Outfitters. (yay!)
So I don't really know where I am going with this post...and I should be writing about how wonderful this chowder was. But I am not in the mood to write about food, however I have been wanting to post up this recipe for a number of days now. The time is now 2:22 and as I have been flipping through some recent pictures, I found this one of me and Blake to be quite humorous and worth posting on my blog. The weather here in Texas (yes, who would have thought!) has been extremely cold and breath chilling. Yet still, I trudged along with Blake as he video taped an entire soccer game for his Video Tech class. Luckily, we came prepared with my sister's double snuggie! (Thanks sis for leaving your snuggie here, it has come in great use...Mom has even worn it to one of my tennis tournaments! Hah!) Okay.. now I am really beginning to babble on so before this blog becomes more of an essay... I am just going to post the recipe up and say that it was DELISHIS!!
2 tablespoons olive oil 1 small onion, chopped 1 cup celery, chopped 1 cup carrots, chopped 1 clove garlic, minced 2 1/2 cups water 2 cubes vegetable bouillon 2 cups corn 2 cups soy milk 1 tablespoon flour 1 teaspoon dried parsley 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon pepper
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in onions and celery; cook until just slightly golden. Stir in carrots and garlic; cook until garlic is slightly golden. Meanwhile, bring water to a boil over high heat. Stir in bouillon, and reduce heat to medium. When bouillon cubes have dissolved, add corn and the vegetables from the skillet. Cook until vegetables are tender. Add water, if necessary. Also if soup may seem a bit liquidy, add a little flour or some instant mashed potato mix. Reduce heat to low, and pour in 1 cup soy milk. Stir soup well, then stir in remaining 1 cup soy milk. Quickly whisk in flour. Stir in parsley, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until chowder thickens, about 15 to 20 minutes. Take about half of the soup and puree in food processor to thicken and make creamy. Add back to pot of soup and stir all together. Serve, and enjoy!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Poached Egg Garden Salad

Many of you know that I have recently become a vegetarian, therefore I have begun reading and researching about vegetarian recipes through websites and magazines. I came to find that many recipes were quite intricate and required at least an entire circle around the clock in the kitchen. But some days there are not enough hours for me to fulfill what I hope to complete. And letting alone all the strenuous hours of homework and studying, I barley have time during the week to cook a gourmet meal. Therefore I realized salads are easy, quick, and extremely simple to make in a short amount of time, but I was getting tired of the same ol' same ol' house salad with tomatoes and boiled eggs. So I decided to add a bit of a twist to my new and improved favorite salad, known as the Poached Egg Garden Salad.
The reason I absolutely love and adore this salad is because well... the egg is poached!! When my mother first made a poached egg one morning for breakfast, I fell in love right away. The fact that the egg is half boiling yet still gooey and oozy in the middle, fascinates me and still puts me in awe! I never would of thought of adding this soft egg on top of a salad, but when I read about it from a cook book and then saw it on the Food Network station the next day, I knew it must be a success...and indeed it was. The soft, yellow insides of the egg ooze out ever so gently and blend with the salad dressing to create a whole new dressing of its own. This salad is refreshing, mouth watering, and just so good! (I also think it is so wonderfully amazing because who knew someone could put together such a decedent looking dinner in under ten minutes?!)
1/4 bag of baby spinach
handful of small carrots
fresh parmesan cheese
light, oily caesar dressing
one egg
Tear off all stems of spinach and clean spinach before putting into bowl. In a small frying pan, boil about a quarter full of water. Once boiling, slowly add egg to water and bring to a simmer. With a slotted spoon, gently fold the whites of the egg over the top to keep the egg as a whole. Leave alone for a few minutes white thinly and coarsely slicing the carrots and slicing thin, thin slice of cheese. Add too lettuce and toss with dressing. After about 6 or so minutes (will know when egg is ready when the yellow middle has turned a translucent white) add the egg on top of the salad, serve, and enjoy!