Not Exactly the Next Food Network Star

OK, so this week was a little less successful in the kitchen than last week. Granted, five straight days of temperatures hotter than the surface of the sun didn’t have me itching to stand over the stove, and season 2 of Coach Taylor, Buddy Garrity and QB1 conspired to keep me in front of the TV and away from the oven.

It probably didn’t help that I burned my eye trying to put my contact in after chopping a jalapeno and cut into my nails with my super-sharp chef’s knife three times in two days. I felt like one of the contestants on Top Chef who you know isn’t making it past week 4 because she sliced her hand open during the first quickfire challenge of the season.

So, most of what I made this week isn’t worth writing much about. Of course, I made a few more loaves of the no-knead bread, and chopped bunches of tomatoes to top the crusty bread with bruschetta, which we may or may not have eaten for at least one meal. A few other highs and lows:

Worthy of a blue ribbon:

  • Black bean and corn salad, from We inhaled this before I remembered to take a picture. I think I used the recipe as a general guide, and added the aforementioned jalapeno and left out the dreaded onions (dreaded at least in this house). I added a little cumin to the dressing, and kept the cilantro, though I know that grosses some people out. I’ll be making this again–just as soon as I buy some latex gloves to cover my hands while I cut up the hot pepper.
  • Strawberry and mixed greens salad, from the LID cookbook. Full disclosure: I didn’t make this one, but benefitted from the goodness of friends who cooked up an LID feast on Wednesday night. Perfect for a summer evening.

Better than rice cakes:

  • Cinnamon bread, from the LID cookbook. I was thinking this would be something like Pepperidge Farm cinnamon bread that I could then toast. It turned out closer to cinnamon coffee cake….not that I’m complaining. A bit of a weird texture without egg yolks, sour cream or yogurt but edible. (Really high standards, there.)

If I can't have the coffee, might as well have the coffee cake

Try again later:

  • Hot fudge pudding cake, from the LID cookbook. The recipe called for cooking the cake for 40 minutes, but when the timer went off, the cake was still sloshing around in the pan. So I left it for another 5 minutes, and then another 5, and then another 3…you see where this is headed. The cake tasted good but was so dry that it really could have used a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Save your oatmeal for the morning:

  • No bake cookies, from the LID cookbook. This recipe had oats, sugar, peanut butter and cocoa–how do you go wrong? Turns out cookies really need butter and eggs. I think I’ll stick to revising the pudding cake as my baked desserts on this diet.

The desserts in France tasted a lot better than these

Cocktail of the week: It’s not original, but when you’re being pummeled by a heat wave, go for the strawberry margarita. No margarita mix or salt allowed, but all the better–fresh simple syrup, lime juice, strawberries and plenty of tequila and triple sec.

And now, a call for more recipes. Who has some good no-cook/no-bake vegetarian or vegan recipes that I could adapt? I know this sounds crazy to some of you, but I’m over all the red meat we’ve been eating, and I don’t trust the solution that most chicken has been treated with (and am still smarting from spending $22 on an organic chicken from the farmer’s market). So send along any and all salad/veggie/bean recipes. As long as their success doesn’t depend on dairy or soy, I’ll find a way to make them work!


2 thoughts on “Not Exactly the Next Food Network Star

  1. Avacodo/Black Bean dip – 2 Avacodos sliced & chopped into small pieces, 1/2 red onion finely chopped, 1 can black beans drained and rinsed (can you have that??), 2-3 tablespoons lime juice. Mix all together.

    It’s not exactly a salad, but I like to eat this straight out of the bowl without putting it on a chip or cracker. Might be a good topping on crusty bread? Note – K does not usually like onions either, but I chop them into tiny pieces for this and he eats it, so maybe B will too.

    xoxo, MMW

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