Life has been insane. I am in my last year of working on my Masters degree, and it feels like every spare second I have is spent doing scholarly research regarding Universal Design principles of an e-commerce platform. It has really inspired me to NOT keep going for my PhD, I don’t think I can take it. At least at this point in my life. Which means, ask me again in a year, and you’ll get a completely different answer.
In addition to school and work, I also had Sawyer’s fourth birthday to plan. My niece P turned 6 three days after Sawyer; so we always throw one big combined birthday bash every year. This bash beat all expectations; there was a bounce house, a sno kone machine, hay rides (courtesy of my Dad, who is like a big kid himself sometimes), a pinata, and all kinds of other fun activities. As well as food. I whipped up a big batch of Italian beef and Hungry Girl’s slow cooker pulled chicken (see below); along with my pesto pasta salad and a delicious kohlrabi and apple slaw; which I can’t even take credit for- it’s Papa Cucina’s creation. And it’s pretty much the only thing I can think to do with a big kohlrabi. And my lovely mother made some of the most beautiful cakes and cupcakes I think I have ever seen. Her culinary arts degree is serving her well.
The party was a blast, we had over forty people there and everyone left full and happy.
In addition to Sawyer’s birthday, we also had my Dad’s birthday to celebrate. We picked up a whole rack of ribs and five pounds of pulled pork from my favorite Q place ever: Milwaukee Smoked BBQ. These guys work magic with pulled pork, it’s so juicy- it doesn’t even need barbecue sauce. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. In addition to food, I needed to make a cake. My dad is a chocolate fanatic, so I found the following recipe, which sounded like a chocolate lover’s dream come true. It delivered! The cake was so dense and moist- it was the perfect chocolate cake.
So school, birthday parties, work, oh my! I’ve just now caught my breath. It’s a well known fact that when I’m stressed, I cook. Needless to say, my family has had some delicious food in the past few weeks. I DID end up pickling radishes and they turned out delicious. They are insanely good- we’re talking additively craveable on a vegetable omlette. Who would have thought?! If you’re so inclined, here’s the recipe:
It’s been feeling a lot like fall lately, which means it’s time for soup. We made two delicious soup recipes lately; a low-calorie potato soup that’s actually made with cauliflower instead of potatoes, and a black bean soup recipe courtesy of The Biggest Loser.
I thought the potato soup was incredible (Papa Cucina was on the fence), and I couldn’t tell it was cauliflower and not potatoes. The black bean soup was also delicious; we doubled the recipe so we’d have a bigger batch to get us through the week. The heat from the jalapenos was a nice accent to the richness of the black beans.
Fall also means casserole season! We made this stuffed pepper casserole just last night for dinner and it was the most satisfying 540 calories I’ve had in a long time. It has all the elements of stuffed peppers: rice, tomato sauce and beef- without the time consuming process of boiling and stuffing the peppers.
I almost forgot! I promised my dear friend Liz the recipe for salmon florentine. This is one of those easy weeknight meals you’ll make time and time again. The calorie count is low, and it’s delicious.
Phew! So hopefully this gives you an idea of what I’ve been up to in the kitchen. I hope your lives are less hectic than mine at the moment, and I hope you’ve been making some delicious creations of your own.