baking · comfort food · cupcakes · dinner · easy · gluten free · healthy · lunch · mushrooms · pasta · potluck food · vegetarian · veggies · Yummy

Mushroom and Oat “Meat”balls

The snow situation has been out of control lately. Last weekend Harriet (my cat) and I decided to hibernate at the boyfriend’s place while a blizzard raged outside. Is there anything better than eating comfort food, snuggling inside, and watching Netflix for hours while it snows like mad outside? Yeah, actually… it gets better when you add booze. I drank nearly an entire bottle of vodka over the course of the weekend, mixing it with grapefruit juice and laziness. We spent our time in various reclined positions on the couch, watching anything we could find on Netflix or HBO Go, only getting up to refill our drinks or play a rousing game of Super Mario Brothers. We also got up once to give all three cats “meowtinis” for the fluffy one’s birthday, which was really just tuna and tuna juice in a martini glass.

This is the only photo of these two getting along. Not pictured: The birthday boy (he doesn’t give a fuck about tuna, and just wanted his crunchy treats)

The plan was to stay Friday and Saturday night, then get the hell out of his way on Sunday morning. He and I walked out to my car Sunday morning, and found it under a mound of snow. It took 30+ minutes, lots of pushing, the help from a bobcat (that didn’t help AND scratched my car, me almost crying, then my BF finally maneuvering it that last few inches out of the snow. I was trying to get to Acro, but wanted to stop home first to shower. I wasn’t going to have time for a shower, but would still have time to clean up at home and change cloths. WRONG. There were two snow storms back to back, and this was the second one. That means that there were tons of open parking spots on my street, but they were filled with so much snow that my car wouldn’t be able to get into them (much less out again).

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ARE YOU SEEING THIS?

I would not be stopping at my apartment due to lack of parking, so I had an extra 20 minutes to kill. Filled with rage, I drove over to the fancy grocery store for a latte and a cupcake. I walked into the store, past the bouquets of flowers, $40 teddy bears, gourmet cheese, fresh baked bread, and made a beeline for the bakery counter. There were perfect little cupcakes lined up behind the glass, and I wanted one. There was no one at the counter, so I took my time making my decision. After circling the display several times, I made a choice. Chocolate cake with salted caramel buttercream. But where the fuck is the bakery clerk to help me? What the fuck is happening right now? While the individual cupcakes are behind glass, there are 4 packs of cupcakes sitting out for anyone to grab. Since my rage level was already at capacity, I ripped a 4 pack from it’s stack, and stomped to the register. When I got to the car, I decided to share the other 3 cupcakes with my acro friends.

When I got to acro, I decided I wanted to eat another cupcake after class. Seems silly to share 2 cupcakes with a group of people. So I decided to leave them in my car for whenever I had a cupcake craving next (they would obviously be gone within a day). I referred to them as my car cupcakes, and stand by that as one of my best ideas to date.

I wish upon you all the joy of car cupcakes.

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Mushroom Oat “Meat”balls

24oz mushrooms, finely chopped (if you have a food processor – use it!)

1/2 to 1 onion, finely chopped

1 cup breadcrumbs

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup quick oats (or regular oats pulsed in the blender a couple of times)

1/4 cup parsley

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons parmesan

2 eggs

Olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Chop the fuck out of those mushrooms (and onions). This shit took me nearly an hour. Twenty-four ounces is a LOT when you’re chopping. So maybe invest in that food processor before embarking on this journey. Or just cut the recipe in half like a normal human. When you’re done chopping, throw the onions into a large skillet along with a drizzle of olive oil and crank the heat to medium-high. You ever play that Wii game Cooking Mama? It’s like that right now… you gotta time it right otherwise everything gets fucked up. The original recipe says to cook the mushrooms first. Well, that’s bullshit. The onions take longer to cook, so get those rolling first. Stir ’em around a bit and let ’em cook for a few minutes. They’ll start to soften and become slightly translucent. That’s when you want to add the mushrooms. Let everything cook down. Once it’s all starting to brown slightly, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Now it’s time for the garlic. Once you’ve added the garlic, you’ve only got maybe 3-4 minutes before it burns. I suggested cooking for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently, and then removing from heat. Scoop everything into a large bowl and add all the other dry ingredients (wait to add the eggs!). Stir it all together. Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl, then mix into everything else. Grab a spoonful of the mixture and roll around in your palms until it forms a ball. Line up as many balls (lol) as you can onto a greased baking sheet.

Original recipe says to refrigerate for 2-12 hours. I did not do that. It turned out fine. This recipe also makes an obscene number of balls. I believe it was about 32 total, which is great if you have a large family or a potluck to attend. I do not, so I shared with my boyfriend and only baked a few at a time (keeping the mixture in the fridge for a few days). You could also just cut the recipe in half.

Bake at 375 for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. Throw ’em on top of some pasta,  maybe stuff ’em into some French bread for a meatless meatball sub, or crumble some up onto a pizza. Get creative! Then shove as many balls into your mouth as you can!

baking · breakfast · brunch · cake · Christmas · comfort food · dessert · easy · Holiday recipes · potluck food · quick · snacks · vegetarian · Yummy

Cranberry Orange Bread for Christmas

I struggle hard with gift giving. There are very rare occasions that I really nail it… but it’s almost never on someone’s birthday or around Christmas. This year I agonized over presents for my family. My mom always tells me not to get her anything (classic). So I’m left guessing. I know she genuinely doesn’t care what I get her, but I have to get her something. I mean, she gave me life.

I have to be very honest here… I literally almost got her nothing. This is not a proud statement for me. I kind of just threw my hands in the air on Christmas Eve and yelled, “FUCK IT,” startling my cat and probably several neighbors. But then I got to thinking about it, and I remember that not everyone is like me. Some people like knick knacks and nonsensical pretty things. So I went to one of my favorite little shops with a certain someone who was able to finally help me make a decision. I wandered through the whole store bitching and moaning (honestly, I don’t know how he was able to put up with me) that she wouldn’t like any of it. He held up shawls and scarves. I scoffed and pouted as I continually elbowed my way through the crowds of other panicked daughters. We walked into the kitchen area where he suggested a cookbook. Sighhhh. She doesn’t really cook much – not from new recipes anyway. And she’s not a new kitchen gadget kind of person. It just ends up frustrating her, and then she asks what was wrong with the way she was already doing the thing that the gadget is supposed to make easier. “How about this?” he asked, holding up a tea steeper in the shape of an adorable animal. But she doesn’t like tea. Or coffee. I honestly thought about getting her a case of Tab (yes, in fact, it is 1976), but she flies back to Florida next week. Also, seems kind of impersonal. I was about to give up when he said something along the lines of, “She doesn’t care. She’ll love whatever you give her,” while holding a pretty candle holder that had a forest pattern on it when lit, and I was convinced. The madness was over.

My love language is acts of service. I mostly want to feed people to show I care. I want to help them with a problem, support them when they’re struggling, help them paint their new apartment, or move into a new place. That’s how I show love. That’s what comes most naturally to me. Gift giving is hard because I want everything I give to be meaningful – because I really want to be of service. Turns out gift giving doesn’t have to be that serious, and I just need to calm the fuck down sometimes. Shit. Like, what’s the big deal? Buy someone a candle and move the fuck on.

Also, who are those people that purchase the perfect gift whenever they happen to find it and then hoard it until that person’s birthday or Christmas? HOW DO I BECOME YOU?

I made this bread along with some pumpkin bread to give my family as well. Because let’s be real – I’m never going to stop feeding people.

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For the bread:

1 cup cranberries – fresh, frozen, dried (or a combo – I did mostly fresh and a handful of dried)

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg (at room temp… place into a warm cup of water for 5 minutes if you forget to set it out)

1/2 cup brown sugar (light or dark)

1/2 cup white sugar

1 cup buttermilk (Don’t have it? Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to regular milk.)

1/3 cup vegetable/canola/coconut oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons orange zest

 

For the crumble top:

1/4 cup flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into cubes

 

For the glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons orange juice (I used the juice from the orange I “zested” for the bread)

As much orange zest as you like!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan (or several mini loaf pans!) and set aside. You’ll want to make the crumble top first and set it in the fridge, just so it’s all ready to top the batter.

For the crumble top:

Mix all the dry ingredients in a medium to small mixing bowl. Cut the cold butter in with a pastry cutter (for the fancy folks), a couple of forks (I found that to be impossible), or your hands (this is easiest!) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set in the fridge.

For the bread:

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add in the cranberries and set aside. In another bowl, mix the egg with the brown and white sugars until smooth. Whisk in buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and orange zest. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing gently but thoroughly. No lumps allowed! The recipe says to not over-mix… not sure what happens if you do. Try not to fuck it up.

Pour the batter into grease pan(s) and cover with the crumble top, pressing it lightly into the batter. Bake for 45-60 minutes (the smaller pans need less time, so check them after 35 minutes).

For the glaze:

Whisk all ingredients together. Boom. Done. Allow to cool completely before removing from pan(s) and drizzling the glaze over the top.

Give these to everyone for Christmas/Birthdays/etc. Or just eat them all by yourself. Fuck it.

comfort food · easy · Holiday recipes · potluck food · sides · Stuffing · thanksgiving · vegetarian · Yummy

Vegetarian Stuffing

I spent my Thanksgiving watching the parade, drinking champagne, playing Sorry, drinking more champagne, cooking awesome food, eating awesome food, and oh, did I mention drinking champagne? And then we ended it with cake! Best. Day. Ever.

And I fucking cooked Thanksgiving dinner. I mean, minus the turkey, obviously. But still! It was a success. And this recipe from Buzzfeed was shockingly easy and delicious. We were originally planning on making stuffing from a box, but fuck that shit. For some reason, I was under the impression that stuffing is complicated to make. Not the case! It’s basically savory bread pudding. Why didn’t I realize this?

I know that looks like meat, but it’s actually vegan Korean BBQ “ribs.” I was feelin’ fancy, so I picked some up at the Herbivorous Butcher for fucking $12.99/lb. FML.

I am a carb lover at heart. When I was a child, I would routinely eat an entire sleeve of Toasteds crackers and then lie about it (I especially loved them slathered in easy cheese, but try not to judge me). It comes as no surprise that stuffing is my very favorite Thanksgiving food. I usually eat it for breakfast the next day (or several days), which always appalled my sister. Since I love bread so much, and because I didn’t actually know what I was doing, I ripped the bread into somewhat large chunks for this recipe. You don’t have to do that, but you’re missing out if you don’t. The larger chunks held onto SO much flavor without becoming mushy. It was chewy and comforting, just like stuffing should be, but I ended up having to individually spear some of the bread pieces with my fork, having to bite off half of it at a time. This is not a bad problem to have, and I still highly recommend the larger chunks. Especially for dipping them into your eggs in the morning when all you want for breakfast is stuffing, but you figure you better add an egg to it to make it “real” breakfast! I also added cooked spinach and Swiss chard to it, because I figured I needed a vegetable, too. See? You can make stuffing for breakfast seem completely balanced and normal.

Side note: Turns out I hate cranberry sauce. I mean, what is it’s point? To make literally everything on the plate tart and fruity? WHY? I just want to add it to a peanut butter sandwich and move on with my life. Stop trying to taint my food, cranberry sauce. Fuck.

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Vegetarian Stuffing (originally a Buzzfeed recipe, which shocked me)

1 loaf crusty, white bread

4 stalks celery, diced

1 large onion, diced

6 tablespoons butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon rosemary, minced

2 tablespoons fresh sage, minced

2 eggs

2 1/2 cups veggie broth

Salt and pepper

Tear the bread up into smallish (bite-sized) chunks and spread out on a baking sheet. Let it sit out for at least 6 hours (or overnight) until it becomes stale (this way it won’t turn to mush when we add all the other good stuff). If it’s time to start cooking, and you realize you forgot to dry out the bread, that’s okay! Just throw it in the oven at 325 degrees for about 30 minutes, tossing occasionally.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Throw in the celery and onion (plus a little salt and pepper) and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic, sage, and rosemary and continue to cook for an additional few minutes, stirring frequently. In another bowl, whisk the eggs with a big splash of the broth. We need to slowly bring the eggs up to the correct temperature, so they don’t scramble when added to the mixture. Whisk them well with a bit of broth, then add a bit more, eventually adding all of the broth little by little. If your broth is low sodium, add a little salt and pepper here. If not, just add a little black pepper. Place the dried bread into a large mixing bowl, and pour all other ingredients over the top. Mix well, making sure all the bread gets coated. Buzzfeed says to be “gentle but firm,” which is fucking perfect. Isn’t that just great advice for everything in life?

Throw all that shit into a 9×13 baking dish. Cover with foil. Bake for 30ish minutes at 425 before uncovering. Then bake for another 15 minutes until it gets golden brown. This serves about 6, but is super fucking delicious, so maybe only 4. If you didn’t share it with anyone, and made it on a random Wednesday in May, I would 100% understand.

corn · easy · gluten free · potluck food · quick · sides · snacks · Vegetables · vegetarian · veggies

Mexican Corn Dip

You ever drink so much that you end up knee deep in mud?

No? Just me? Fantastic.

Apparently you’re supposed to pay attention to where you’re walking in the woods when coming upon a river. I mean, I thought I was paying attention. Clearly, that was false. My boss had to pull me out of the mud, breaking my flip flop in the process. Since those were the only shoes I brought with me for the weekend trip, I had to wear his shoes home.

I’m not good with moderation (or boundaries). I am, however, working on it.

Most companies host a tasteful party once a year, and maybe throw in a few team building exercises. At my work, we like to get hammered and wander through the woods together. It’s how we bond.

I was actually planning on not drinking much this year. But then I showed up to my boss’s house and immediately starting downing pineapple mojitos (thanks, Stacy!). Before I knew what was happening, I was sinking into mud, running around in the river, trying bear meat for the first time, voicing any little thought that crossed my mind, and being an all-around obnoxious drunk person. Suddenly it was early morning, and I was waking up to the sound of dogs walking around, the taste of death on my tongue, and a feeling of regret in the pit of my stomach. #storyofmylife

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But I did make this fucking scrumptious Mexican corn dip to share. I discovered the stuff at a dog’s birthday party the week before. Yes, a dog’s birthday party. He was turning 15 and spent the afternoon getting table scraps and eating ice cream straight out of the container (sounds like every single night I’ve spent white girl wasted). There were cupcakes with frosted swirls of poop on them. It was amazing. I got a little drunk there as well, and went to town on this corn dip that someone brought, after yelling at him for topping it with cilantro (I mean, how dare he? Didn’t he know I was the only one that mattered at this party?). Drunk Kelsey can be kind of a bitch.

After berating him for using cilantro, I also chimed in with, “Have you ever had Mexican style corn with the mayo and cheese? You know, they sell it on the street sometimes? This tastes just like that!” as if this was a revolutionary idea he couldn’t possibly understand. He responded with, “Yeah, that was the idea,” and proceeded to graciously give me the recipe. (He was actually really nice and patient with me.)

OMG, is this what it feels like to mansplain something? I’ve never been on the other end of it before.

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Mexican Corn Dip

4 cups corn kernels (fresh, frozen, or canned)

1 or 2 jalapenos, diced

3 tablespoons mayo

2 tablespoons shredded parmesan, plus extra to sprinkle on top

Juice from 1/2 lime

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Drizzle some olive oil into a skillet and put it at medium-high heat. Throw in the corn and jalapenos. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cooked threw and slightly browned. Pour the corn/jalapeno mixture into a mixing bowl with all the other ingredients. Scoop into a shallow serving dish and top with a little extra parmesan and chili powder. Serve with tortilla chips.

If you made it ahead of time and are just pulling it out of the fridge, bake it at 350 degree for 20 minutes, then top with cheese and chili powder before serving.

Side note: These pictures are shitty because I was drunk. *insert shrugging emoji*