Monday, September 27, 2010

Barley and Black Bean Salad

I'm in recovery mode from a wonderful birthday weekend! My two close friends, Kristen and Sarah, from my days at Starbucks took me out on Friday night for drinks and dinner--we started at Oreganos, a fun, vintage themed Italian restaurant. They've got locations across Arizona--make sure to save room for their famous pazookies: warm cookie dough with ice cream on top. They've also got some spectacular drinks, too.

On my actual birthday, my parents and Jesse took me to RA Sushi! I loved it. I think I was the only one that did, though. We all had fun, but I don't think any of them will want to go there for their birthday dinners!

On Sunday the rest of our family came over for cake and ice cream. Actually, we made a kalua chocolate trifle. It was to die for. I'll post the recipe later this week.

For now, it's back on the band wagon with a good lunch salad: barley and black bean salad. This makes a lot, so plan to bring it to work all week. This recipe is from: Real Age.

photo from here

  • 1 cup barley, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 cup black beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup corn (thawed if frozen)
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • cayenne pepper
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
Get Cookin'

Combine cooked barley, beans, corn, cilantro, lime juice, oil, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.

Immediately before eating, slice avocado to put on top.

It's better if you make it the day before to help the flavors mix together. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Let me Eat Cake!

This weekend is my birthday--anticlimactic 22 year birthday. But, I'm still excited. See, I adore celebrating birthdays (not just my own, everyone's)! Have you ever visited Birthday Girl? Her blog has the best of the best birthday parties- I love seeing the beautiful decorations and fun themes featured on her blog.

I'm most excited for birthday cake. JRM loves white on white cake, but I love double chocolate. Can't wait for a beautiful, chocolate cake! This one-bowl chocolate cake recipe from Martha Stewart looks amazing. Saturday can't come soon enough!

Photograph: Dennis Gottlieb/Getty Images/StockFood


Unsalted butter, softened, for pans

3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder, plus more for pans

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk

3/4 cup warm water

3 tablespoons safflower oil

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Get Cookin'
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans and dust with cocoa.
Sift cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of a mixer. Beat on low speed until just combined. Raise speed to medium, and add eggs, buttermilk, water, oil, and vanilla. Beat until smooth, about 3 minutes.

Divide batter between pans. Bake until set and a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes. Turn out from pans. Transfer, faceup, to wire racks. Let cool completely.

Spread 2 cups chocolate frosting onto top of 1 cooled layer. Top with remaining layer; frost top and sides with remaining 2 cups frosting.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mulligatawny Soup

Last semester the dining hall served mulligatawny soup for dinner one day--I was skeptic, but tried it. It was amazing, and I've been looking for a recipe to recreate it. Stephanie O'dea at A Year of Slowcooking has the winning recipe for mulligatawny soup! 

I thought this was fitting for the first day of fall. The leaves don't change color in Arizona, but a girl can live vicariously through NY pictures!
photo from here

The name is weird and the ingredients may sound weird, but it is superb! Give it a try, please!

2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 cup peeled and chopped apple
1 cup chopped carrots
1 (15-ounce) can fire roasted tomatoes
1 tablespoon dried minced onion flake
1/4 cup raisins
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons curry
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup long grain white rice (to add later)

Get Cookin'

Put the chicken thighs into the bottom of the crockpot--add apple, carrots, tomatoes (juice, too), onion flakes, and raisins,lemon juice, spices, and broth.

Stir to mix the spices.

Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours. 
Turn to high and stir in the uncooked rice about an hour before serving. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Chocolate Nutella Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are my favorite, but these must come in a close second--chocolate + nutella = heaven. You must try them, as soon as possible! The cookie dough by itself is even better than the cooked cookies!
After working on my honors prospectus all weekend (plus 3 honors contract proposals and studying for a poli sci exam) I loved relaxing and baking these on Sunday!

photo and recipe from here
  • 1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup of white sugar
  • 1 cup of Nutella
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups, plus 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips
Get Cookin'

1 Preheat oven to 350F. Cream butter in an electric mixer for about 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the sugars and Nutella and mix well.

2 Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 30 seconds between each. Add the vanilla and mix.

3 Sift together the flour, cocoa, salt, and baking soda. Mix into the butter mixture on low speed. Fold in chocolate chips and refrigerate the dough for ten minutes (I refrigerated mine for an hour).

4 Spoon tablespoon-sized drops of dough onto parchment paper lined cookie sheets. Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool on the sheets for a minute or two before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Makes 6 dozen.