25 April 2010

Grad Student Lent

I'm back to menu planning, but with an altogether different purpose. I've let myself off the hook for cooking, cleaning, and laundry. Colby is great at all of those things, except for *what* to make in the cooking department. He made the observation that we hadn't been eating very healthy, so I decided to take a stand. Also, I'm still *trying* to diet.

Sunday - Grilled steak, grilled corn, grilled mushrooms, salad
Monday - Baked ziti with sausage and peppers
Tuesday - Chicken "enchiladas", grilled corn
Wednesday - leftovers
Thursday - Marinated grilled chicken, grilled green beans, salad
Friday - leftovers. I hope.
Saturday - grilled salmon, grilled asparagus
Sunday - spaghetti
Monday - Lentils with couscous
Tuesday - shrimp
Wednesday - sausage
Thursday - tilapia
Friday - going out to eat somewhere because the semester will be over.

24 April 2010

Nutella Cookies

I keep telling myself that I'm going to give up XXX until after I've defended for my masters. It seems that I never stay true to my word. Of the many XXXs that I've claimed to give up until June 3rd have been cooking, blogging, going out to lunch, and exercising. Oh wait, I think that I've made good on my promise not to exercise for 2 months. ;)

The other day I made nutella. Later that evening, i realized that I don't really eat nutella all that often so I decided to make cookies with it. Basically I made peanutbutter cookies - peanutbutter + nutella.

Nutella cookies (adapted from the peanutbutter cookies from Baked)

1 3/4 c AP Flour
2 tsp baking soda
1T powdered sugar
1T cocoa powder

1 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 c granulated sugar
1 c firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 c nutella
3/4 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 c or so of demerara sugar

whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder in a large bowl. Set aside. In a separate bowl, cream butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar. Mix in eggs and then the nutella. Add in the flour mix a bit at a time until it's all incorporated. Add in the chocolate chips and then cover and refrigerate for 3ish hours. After 3 hours, preheat the oven to 375 F. Take rounded tablespoons of the dough and press down gently with your hand to make a very thick disk. Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with the demerara sugar. Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating the pan half way from top to bottom and front to back.

17 April 2010


Do you have five minutes? Great. If not, you should take the time to make 5 minutes for yourself because if you don't, you'll never have homemade Nutella.

I've been following cookbook on twitter for years. In fact, it was probably the first account that I followed. They had a recipe up for homemade nutella. I modified it a bit for what I had on hand.

2 c nuts, roasted (I used dry roasted macadamia nuts with sea salt)
1 1/4 c powdered sugar
1/2 c cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-3 T peanut oil

Add nuts, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract in a food processor and process until the nuts are small and the powdered sugar + cocoa powder are well mixed. Add in the oil 1 Tbsp at a time. I made the mistake of adding 3 T of oil right away when it looked like the mix was too dry, but if you process long enough, the nuts will release their own oils. Process for ~2-3 minutes and enjoy.

Holy crap, it's a blog post about food and not science. Amazing. :)

16 April 2010


Today is my mom's 58th birthday. Or rather, it would be if she weren't, you know, dead. This is the ninth unbirthday that she's had and in June, it'll be 10 years since she passed. I often wonder what she'd think of my life choices in the past decade. I don't wonder whether or not she'd be proud of me, because I know that she would be; I've attained a fair amount of personal and professional success and the future looks bright, albeit momless. I think that the hardest part about this unbirthday is not that it's the ninth, but that there are (countably) infinitely many more. The past ten years have been turbulent from the largest scales down to the smallest, but in the past two years things have begun to settle. I just wish that I could have known her as an adult.

14 April 2010


I've been working my butt off, trying to get stuff done so I don't get kicked out of grad school and it totally sucks. By the first week of March, I had lost ~17 lbs and it was great. I was looking forward to losing more weight just as quickly, but then there was this conference. Conferences are hell on diets, especially this one. It was ridiculously good and catered by Tejas Grill. Not only were there buffet lunches, but also a couple coffee breaks with pastries thrown in for good measure. I ended up gaining ~4 lbs back that week, I swear, but I tried my hardest and lost the weight again... until Easter came around and my friends came and I gained that ~4 lbs back.

I was just going to try to maintain my weight for the time being (until June 3rd) and hope for the best, but now I've decided that I shouldn't prioritize school over health. Also, my reward for passing the second year defense (if that is to happen) is a pair of these:

The heel is 5 1/4 inches and they look like they should be paired with something cute. My new motivation between now and my second year defense is to pass, lose weight, and get into these shoes to party it up (read: get so drunk that I don't recognize myself in the mirror) and RELAX.

07 April 2010

Pan-fried Puppy

I probably shouldn't be writing this now, seeing as I have a homework assignment due in 1.5 hours that's only about 3/4 finished, but my poor attention span needs a bit of a break. Last Thursday Chris, Kyle, and LeeAnne came out to Austin from Hawaii, Arizona, and Michigan to celebrate Easter and generally hang out. It was pretty awesome and we had a really nice Easter brunch, which included spinach and artichoke quiche, french toast, and chicken & waffles. I'm a bit sad now because they left early yesterday morning signifying the fact that it's really crunch time. I'm presenting my second year defense talk on May 5 and I'm doing the oral examination on June 23. It's good that those dates are spread out, but I can't wait until June 4.

And now (be warned, I'm committing an act of TMI) my pee smells like coffee because I'm fueled by caffeine and more caffeine.

Also, since this is a food blog, here's a picture of my puppy in a frying pan (courtesy of LeeAnne):

See? She's just so cute you want to eat her up!