Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Kitchen Explosion!

What a day!
We started this morning with an oatmeal pancake for Brian (he cannot stop raving about these) and some yogurt and fruit salad for me. It was a rest day for me, so I rested and read lots of your blogs! So many exciting things going on in the food and fitness world - you all inspire me! The morning went by quickly though, and we raced out of the house to pick up my father-in-law at the airport and headed to Mountain View to watch the Holland/Uruguay match.

I have to say, I didn't really want either team to win. Pair that with a totally packed Irish pub and mediocre food, and I was just feeling kind of meh when I finally made it back home (Don't get me wrong, watching a soccer match in a pub full of cheering, crying, table-banging fans is serious entertainment, I am just more excited about the Spain/Germany match tomorrow).
¡Viva España!
[image source]

So, as I usually do when feeling a bit meh, I headed into the kitchen to see what kind of trouble I could get into. Have you ever had one of those days when you are in the kitchen making one thing and then you think, Oh! I can make that other thing! and then that reminds you of another thing and before you know it you have like 15 different recipes going at once? Yeah, that was me this afternoon.

It started innocently enough, with Hawaiian popsicles. Once my molds were full though, I had a little bit of the puree leftover and thought, This would go really well with that mango sorbet recipe, so I started peeling and pureeing mangos. Once the ice cream maker was whirring away, I thought, I guess I should start making dinner!

Whew! Here's a more organized approach to my kitchen madness, with some pictures and recipes thrown in for good measure!

Hawaiian Popscicles
adapted from Catherine McCord

1 can (13.5oz) lite Coconut Milk
2 cups fresh pineapple (or 1 14oz can drained)
1 banana
Shredded coconut
Agave nectar, to taste

1. Pour ingredients into a blender/food processor and puree.
2. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze for at least 4 hours.
3. Imagine you are on a tropical island.

You can get super cute silicone popsicle molds all over the place (like these or these or these or these) but I got my popsicle molds in the $1 bin at Michael's last summer and they work just fine for me.

Run them under warm water for about 30 seconds before you try to extract them. Yum!

Like I said, I had about 3/4 cup of coconut milk/pineapple puree left and I thought, Mango sorbet! So, here ya go:

Mango Sorbet
adapted from Our Best Bites

3-4 mangoes
2T lime juice
1/3 cup agave nectar
More shredded cocount (maybe 1/3 cup? I didn't measure)
leftover Hawaiian Popsicle puree (or not! This is totally delicious with just mango and lime juice or with pineapple chunks)

1. Pour ingredients into a blender/food processor and puree.
2. Pour into ice cream maker and freeze per manufacturer's instructions.
3. Imagine you are still on that tropical island. Can't you feel the warm breeze?

This is seriously my absolute favorite thing to make with my ice cream maker. I have to hide it from my husband. Then, when he finds it, he hides it from me. Keeps the marriage fresh, folks.

As I was concocting these frozen delicacies, it occurred to me that maybe I should get some actual dinner going. When I made Emily's vegan black bean burgers last week, I froze half of the recipe. The patties had been defrosting all day, so I popped them in the oven for about 30 minutes to heat through while I chopped up some sweet potatoes.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries
adapted from Our Best Bites

1lb sweet potatoes, cut into 1/4" matchsticks
2T extra virgin olive oil
1/2t cumin
1/2t oregano
1t salt
1t parsley
1/8t black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Toss potatoes, olive oil, and seasoning in a small bowl until potatoes are completely coated.
3. Arrange sweet potatoes in a single layer so that pieces are not touching each other. Place pan in oven and cook for 10 minutes. Use a spatula to gently flip fries and return to oven. Cook for an additional 10-15 minutes or until fries are starting to lightly brown and crisp.
4. Remove pan from oven and cool 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

I thought these were just OK, but Brian thought they were great. Our oven cooks a bit hot, so I think they were a little overcooked, but the flavors were really nice so I will definitely be doing these again (that pic is from before they went in the oven).

I dirtied pretty much every dish in the kitchen, but Brian was a trooper and cleaned everything up for me! I sometimes feel bad when he does the dishes, but he always reminds me, You cook every night! I might as well help with the dishes! He is very meticulous.


Yep, he's a keeper!

Do you and your partner have a cooking/cleaning agreement?

In our house, whoever cooks get out of cleaning duty (this is me about 95% of the time). If we cook together, we both clean together. And about maybe about 50% of the time, I either do a lot of cleaning as I go, or I help clean up anyway (especially if I made a super-huge mess)!

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