Postpartum Eating

The first month after Fae was born I was HUNGRY. So hungry. Famished. Not as bad as when I was pregnant when I felt like I was going to vomit or die if I didn’t eat, but almost there. There was never a time when I felt like “oh no, I’m fine, no thanks.” I was always like “FOOD? YES PLEASE.” It was distracting, honestly. And a little stressful when, especially in the first TWO months, my hands were full of baby and not food on its way to my maw.

I needed to find ways to eat well, complete, and in a way that satisfied me. My drive by chip/cracker/chocolate lunches while I walked the baby to and fro were not cutting it and leaving me feeling gross… and still hungry.

Maybe you are feeling this way? Maybe you will in the future. In case you need some eating tips while nursing a million times a day and also trying to lose 50 lbs/fit back into clothes/eat more vitamins than what live in tortilla chips – I have some thoughts.

For breakfast: Oatmeal with brown sugar and the Trader Joes mixed fruit and nuts. I like this combo the best because the nuts are unsalted and there are a variety of almonds, walnuts, cashews, etc. Plus! dried blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, and the like. Oatmeal is also is good for milk production, so perks!

When I don’t have time for oatmeal I have peanut butter toast and then around 10 I’ll have a fiber one granola bar.

Lunch: Avocado with sea salt and crackers or toast (depending on how much time I have to sit and eat or how many hands I have… toast = more hands and more time).

Vanilla yogurt and frozen raspberries.

Carrots with lime and chili for snacks.

Pasta with parm and walnuts.

And by the end of the week when our fridge is nearly empty: half a sandwich with salami and cheese. Drive by crackers still happen, but way less often and I don’t finish half a box in a day. So: WIN!

Dinners: We try and have vegetables as the main part of our dinners (vs greens or meat) and only have meat maybe twice a week at max. That’s not really a moral choice, mostly a time and health choice. For me, including so many veggies in our meals has made a huge difference on maintaining weight, staying full, and reducing our grocery budget. So our most common dinners for the end of summer/beginning of fall are …

Veggie quesadillas, open face style with corn, acorn squash (or asparagus when they were in season), bell peppers, onion, garlic, carrots. A little cheese on a smaller corn tortilla. (Plus lots of salsa and some guac.)

Polenta with roasted broccoli/carrots/cauliflower/brussel sprouts/sauted green beans (one or all depending on our meal plans for the weeks).

Roasted spaghetti squash with parm and walnuts, onions and garlic.

Homemade burgers with lean ground beef, and cabbage slaw.

Chicken sandwiches with corn salsa, swish cheese, and aioli.

…other things as well, but they are less on my list lately as we cycle through seasons and my level of food boredom.

I’m always trying to eat smarter, not eat less. With breastfeeding this time around battling hunger and doing it efficiently. Lunches are my biggest hurdle no that I don’t have as much prep time. If I was at work and able to eat sitting, quietly, with a fork every day things would be way easier.

What do you eat for lunch? All snack/meal suggestions welcome! Help a hunger sister out.

Food-ing With Flo: The Bundt Is Back

The book reviews are winding down (2 more to go!), birchbox is almost over (1 more post to go!), the rains have come (and with it early nights) and so we revisit the beauty of… BUNDT CAKES!!

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A Black and White Pound Cake you say? I say pour me a glass of wine and let’s get started! I’ve never done any swirl action and I have never made a pound cake, though with 2.5 sticks of butter there is no reason to not!

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It was the usual set up with sifted dry ingredients, mixed room-temp butter and sugar (the best smell in the world), eggs, vanilla, etc.

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Oh hey girl, hey! I haven’t used Miss Flo since March for Gabe’s birthday cupcakes! She was happy to be out of the closet and I was happy to have an afternoon open for baking.

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This was honestly the greatest batter to sneak licks from. I worried about the raw eggs, but the goodness of sweet buttery batter won over. Thankfully there were a variety of spoons and stirring contraptions to clean… yum.

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Nothing about this was difficult. I feel like I could make a hundred pound cakes. The swirling of the chocolate and vanilla was really fun. Kind of like tie-dye, you just don’t quite know how it will all look until the end, and I love that!

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Perfectly golden brown! This is so exciting!!

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My struggle with bundt cakes is always, always the flip. With this one in particular the bundt cake pan was SO FREAKING HOT that I let it sit longer than the recommended 10 minutes because I just couldn’t get a good grip on it. My dad later suggested to put the cooling rack on top of the bundt cake and flip it that way, which makes a million times more sense than trying to wrangle a scalding round pan in big oven mits.

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Because, ya know… then that happened. Can we all just mourn this photo for a moment….

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It didn’t stop us from eating it.

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Unfortunately, leaving the bundt in the pan too long also kept it cooking for longer than it should have. I also should have probably taken it out 5 minutes before I did, it just seemed to be browning a little more than I would have liked, so ultimately the cake (with all of that butter and eggs and milk) turned out on the dry side. Womp. Womp womp womp.

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Nothing some milk can’t fix.

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Mmmm so good.

**Fun fact: there are 5 Gabriels in this post. Find them all!

Fooding: Baby Style Part 2

I am going to be super bummed when Gabe leaves the world of purees and starts eating normal people food. Booooring. Since I last talked about baby food making I really tired to turn up the volume on the savory options I was giving Gabe.

Roasted Zucchini

More spices were used, and flavors like roasted garlic, leeks, and cayenne were all included. Making sure I used low sodium veggie stock also helped make the purees smooth enough for Gabe’s intense gag reflex and kept the savory-ness instead of watering it down with… water.

steamed cauliflower

Some of the savory options this time around:

  • Roasted Zucchini/Cauliflower/Roasted Garlic
  • Sweet Pea Hummus (sweet peas – frozen, garbanzos, olive oil, and full fat greek yogurt)
  • Peas and Carrots and Leeks
  • Wild Rice and Acorn Squash – this was the only option that didn’t go so well. The texture of the wild rice wasn’t blended enough and Gabe continued to gag on it until he just started to refuse it. Whoops!

Zucchini/Cauliflower/garlic baby food

Along with more interesting savory flavors, I also wanted to up the texture a little bit… the wild rice was a flop, but I experimented with apples and walnuts and cinnamon which was a total win. I also began including Greek yogurt more in items and ended up with an amazing blueberry/raspberry fro-yo that Kamel also thoroughly enjoyed. (Haha.)

Organic raspberry and blueberry frozen yogurt

Blueberry and raspberry frozen yogurt

Have you been experimenting with any interesting foodstuffs lately? And fun holiday creations?

We are about to transition into finger foods… messy, messy finger foods. I’ll keep you posted.

grocery shopping with baby

Fooding: Baby Style

Baby food! It is something I’m a little bit… passionate … about? That sounds kind of crazy when I type it out loud, but I am big on saving money when it comes to food, and we are always striving to keep it healthy. I think if we all ate like a baby a lot of our current epidemics in America would probably be cured.

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So far I have made:

  • Sweet potato and cinnamon (Tasted like pie filling)
  • Broccoli, cauliflower, pear (pictured above)
  • Butternut squash and apple
  • Green beans and pear
  • Apple, pear, and carrots

Initially I made my own pureed apple to add a little sweetness to the savory options (peel apple, chop into bits, steam), but then I bought some unsweetened apple sauce (ingredients: apples, water) for the apple cake I made previously, so I started adding it to things willy nilly so it wouldn’t go to waste.

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For items with thick skins, I peel and then steam and then puree. I add in a little olive oil, a little salt, and some of the water the item(s) was steamed in. In order to get the baby food into a thin good consistency (esp for early food introduction) water is key. The fun thing about making my own baby food as been the variety. Sometimes I make a batch of dense food (like the quinoa/kale/apple or the sweet potato), sometimes I make some with more texture (pear/green beans definitely had a texture – partly because I kept the skin of the pear on), sometimes I purposefully make something sweet (butternut squash/apple or carrot/pear/apple), but I am always mindful to keep things as savory as possible.

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I want to keep a variety of tastes and textures coming at Gabe so that he is always exploring and developing his chewing/swallowing skills along with his taste buds.

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As far as the economical aspect – I will buy a bag of pears (for example) and they will make their way into 3 different batches of flavor combos, each beach lasting me about 2 weeks when paired with another flavor set. One bag of broccoli florets may cost me $3.99 but it will make me 2 weeks of lunches where as each pack of baby food costs .99 – 1.29 and lasts 1 meal.

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I buy everything organic, because… why not? And the whole process for a batch takes maybe 45 minutes? I’ll usually take a Saturday afternoon and make a few different flavors of things and then not worry about it for a few weeks. When I see that I am running out of a frozen bag of food ice cubes, I’ll check out what fruit/veggie we have in our fridge and pick up a few more things while grocery shopping and start the process again. Bada bing, bada boom. Baby food! And, I have yet to find something that Gabe will not eat. I can tell when he thinks something is more delicious than something else, but he’ll still eat even the things he is not so very pumped for.

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For those making baby food or for those who know things about food – do you know of good combos? I’ll probably do a few straight flavors as well, but combos create interesting dynamics and I want to continue challenging my little guy. I’m hoping that introducing him to all of these veggies now will make him more adventurous as a kid… but who knows, he could decide he only wants to live on a diet of pizza and eggo waffles when he turns 3. Wouldn’t that just be the way?

Brunching and Bundt-ing

We have been a-hustlin’ and a-bustlin’ around these parts that last few weeks, so I’m still playing catch up with blog posts. Last weekend we had some friends over for brunch. I am mostly hesitant about having people over to our place now that we have a kid. There is something about hosting people that feels overwhelming to me at times. I always want people to feel comfortable in our house, I want them to feel at ease, and not like they are intruding on a semi-hurricane. Mostly that means I have to tame the reality of the hurricane that is our little world. And it means not over-doing it when it comes to food/activity expectations (for myself and for others).

But brunch! I was pretty sure I could do brunch. I started off by taking the opportunity to make another bundt cake from the bundt cake book. I’m kind of over the swell of chocolate cakes, so I flipped ahead to more breakfast-friendly options. Low-fat apple bundt cake it was!

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It was super easy and turned out really, really well. I will definitely be making this for future work events or something lite to have on Christmas morning.

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Aside from the apple cake I also made build your own BLTs. Such a delicious brunch-y sandwich (bacon!), and yet not enjoyed nearly enough.

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I had a platter of hearts of romaine, sliced tomato, and avocado on the table. The toast was ready on little plates on two sides of our little round table (barely large enough to seat us all with all of the food laid out, to be honest), mayo at the ready, and crispy bacon.

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I used whole wheat sourdough for the toast, which ended up being a little hard due to my misjudgement of time (totally fixable for round 2!) and I think I would make twice the bacon because …. no one should run out of bacon at brunch! But other than that – mimosas were great, our friends brought fruit salad (I still owe you your bowl back Kaitlyn and Dave!!), and I didn’t lose any hair. It felt complete and inventive.

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Next time we could also maybe do for a bigger table…

Do you have people over for brunch? What are your go to menu items? Anything to stay away from?

Happy weekend! May the french toast be plentiful and the bacon be crunchy.

Fooding With Flo: Mexican Chocolate Bundt

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I have been slacking in my book-o-bundts project with the move and blahblah (no one wants to hear about the fucking move anymore, Lauren!). But I am back in bundt action!! This recipe called for some stuff that I didn’t do and some stuff that I modified. First, it called for espresso, but we are not coffee-flavored-things people. So I opted out of that one. Also this recipe was for mini-bundts and who has mini bundt pans just lying around? So I barreled forth with my 1 giant, normal-sized bundt pan and readied myself for the deliciousness.

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First, this recipe was NOT AT ALL healthy. Like… wtf chocolate cake?! Two sticks of butter? Really? And butter milk too? Ps. Buttermilk is disgusting and I could only find it in a giant carton instead of one of those little ones heavy whipping cream usually comes in. So now I have a lot of buttermilk that I will eventually just have to throw out. But if it goes bad, who could freaking tell anyways? It’s gross regardless.

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Remember how I mentioned 2 sticks of butter? Behold.

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And because that’s not enticing enough:

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I’ll give you a minute to wipe the drool off your keyboard. Om nom nom nom. I could have stopped right there and been a happy camper. Hi, I’ll just have the giant bowl of dark chocolate mixed with 2 sticks of butter, please. And can you rub it all over my body for me? KThanksBye.

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To make this a “Mexican” chocolate cake, the recipe called for cinnamon and cayenne. The amount of cayenne was miniscule for my taste, so I doubled it (it still wasn’t like, a ton… I’m talking tsps here). There was also almond and vanilla extract. I ran out of vanilla so I added in more almond to cover it. A little a this, a little a that, badda bing, badda boom.

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Add in a little baby, to taste.

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Now here is where this delicious story takes a turn. So the mini-bundts, remember? The cooking time on them said “Exactly 20 minutes!!” (Exclamation points added for emphasis.) And I was all “fuck it! a big bundt is where it is AT!” Except… that when I cooked it for 20 minutes, the cake was clearly not done. So I put it back in for 10 more minutes. The “EXACTLY” 20 minutes thing was stressing me out though. What if it was supposed to have a gooey center? What if once it sat for 10 minutes after cooking it hardened up? I didn’t want to overcook it! Ahh! The stress of not following a recipe to its exact specification!

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But look-it! So pretty! (And with new baking soda it rose beautifully FYI – so thank you for the tip on that!) And it smelled so good. Buttery chocolatey spicy goodness. Om nom nom. And it felt firm? Ya know? So I thought all would be well. Except…

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… ker-splunk. Except, I probably should have cooked it for an hour. The middle was totally not cooked, which was ok as Kamel and I ate it with our fingers from the cooling rack. It was sort of like a lava cake. A delicious delicious fudgy lava cake. A lava cake that spilled all over our white tiled counters and got gooey chocolate in the grout. Weeeeee! A spicy chocolate cake of awesome that we basically just threw out. Womp.

I think this is my first true baking failure. Like, hi, I’m Lauren, and I didn’t follow the directions and then my cake didn’t cook and look at the big sad chocolate mess I made! But A for effort! And next time I’ll definitely cook it for an hour. I think that will fix all of my problems.

**If you would like the recipe to this (if you dig cinnamon and cayenne in your chocolate), email me!! It really was probably the best chocolate cake I have ever eaten and definitely the best I have ever made. Even while it slowly oozed through the slats and onto the tile.

Fooding: The Food Processor

I have been wanting a food processor for a really long time, but it was one of those items that should have probably been on our wedding registry and then I don’t even think I put it on… but I for sure didn’t get it. I finally got a hand mixer last year for Christmas but that is a different story. For the last few weeks we had been trying to figure out if a food processor or a blender would be best for making homemade babyfood. I wanted a high end one, but I didn’t want to spend bajillions of dollars. We were thinking ordering on amazon would be best, but then during one of our many…. many many many many many Target runs, we saw one. We bought it. And then we brought it home.

I first tried to make salsa, but it turned out meh. Not enough flavor. We had not prepared at all for the making of blended foods. We hadn’t even gone grocery shopping yet, so it wasn’t until this last weekend where I really got to experiment. First I made our first batch of homemade babyfood!

Kale and Apple baby food

On the menu: Kale, Apple, and Quinoa. First I cut up and peeled the apple, steamed the apple bits, then steamed the kale leaves. Then I added the Quinoa and I BLENDED IT ALL! Mwahaha magic.

Kale Apple Babyfood

And then, of course, I had Kamel give it a taste. He gave it 2 thumbs up for deliciousness so I was pretty pleased with my concoction. I also added a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt.

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Into the silicone ice cube trays! And then out popped store-able, portioned baby food cubes!

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The quinoa added a new texture and Gabe was sort of confused by it and really worked at it in his mouth, so I think it’s a little beyond our current food eating abilities. So, They will chill in the freezer (ha, get it?) for a while long before we’re totally ready for them. This weekend I’ll be making more purees with new and different flavor combos. Are people interested in hearing about homemade babyfood recipes and experiments? If you are, please leave a comment letting me know. If I get enough interest I’ll create a tag for it and continue with the updates.

After I babyfooded it up, I moved on to round 2 of salsa making! This time I added twice the garlic (5 cloves), 2 serano chilis with seeds and 1 jalepeno without seeds for extra flavor and spice, lime (1 entire lime, squeezed), salt, a bunch of cilantro (but not too much because I am not particularly a fan), 2 vine-ripened tomatoes, and half an onion. Then… BLEND!

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Outcome: Amazing spicy salsa success that I could drink with a spoon. Oh so good!!

Next up on my food processing journey: Green salsa and homemade pesto. Weeeee!!

Do you have any food processing recipes? Tips? Tricks? Do share!! I am a blending maniac!!

Fooding With Flo: Bundt Cake – The “You Put What In The What?!” Edition

Flo is back from maternity leave! (And the crowd goes wild!!)

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And with a big big big challenge ahead of her. This all started a few weeks ago when Kamel became obsessed with bundt/angel food/pandan chiffon cake and spent a weekend making mini disasters in the kitchen. I then unearthed this book:

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I love bundt cakes. Bundt is my favorite cake of all! I am not a huge frosting person, so these are perfect. I used to ask for bundt cake for my brithday when I was a kid. Bundt and german chocolate. Om nom nom.

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But I have never even baked 1 thing from it and that is a damn shame. So guess what I’m going to do for the next many many moons? I’m going to bake every single bundt cake in this book – in order. And guess what is up first?

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That’s right. Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake. Whhhaaaattt? No. But… the rules are, I gotta make every cake starting from page 1 and wimping out right from the beginning is no fun at all. So… let’s do this. We used mayo that we just happened to have in the fridge – a mayo that I am not a fan of because Kamel is always trying to buy weird types of things. Vegan mayo, fancy canola mayo, olive oil mayo… I’m partial to just mayo mayo. The real kind made with real things. But… Canola mayo it was!

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You start off by boiling water and adding in unsweetened cocoa powder. Basically, the entire cooking process went something like this: “Ooo wow, that looks so good. Oh wait, it’s actually gross tasting. Lauren … do not eat.”

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“But look brain! melty chocolate-y goodness! It has to be good!”

“No, it is unsweetened bitter bleck.”

“I don’t believe you. You, brain, know nothing.”

“Fine, go ahead and try it.”

“I will…. ew. Why did you let me do that?”

Sigh. (But at least I listened when it came time to stir in the mayo…. blergh.)

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After stirring the cocoa into boiling water I had to let it cool down to room temp. That’s when I took the time to prep the rest of the ingredients.

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I really don’t like recipes where I have to wait for stuff to cool because I am incredibly impatient. But I was good and didn’t rush it! Once it was cooled enough I added in the mayo (vom) and vanilla extract.

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Then, I combined all of the draw ingredients – including cake flour which I have never used before, but thought “what the hell!”

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The whole process was pretty quick and easy, which was excellent because Kamel and I were taking turns keeping the baby happy. Until we realized he was totally content watching his political commentary shows, so we just peeked at him every once in a while to make sure he wasn’t dead.

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After pouring in the mix (complete with mayo… ew), I gave the pan a little shimmy shake to even things out.

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And into the oven it went for 25 minutes. Yay bundt! Yay yay yay!

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I’m not really sure why my bundt cake has a height problem, but it does. It doesn’t like to talk about it much because it’s kind of self-conscious about the whole thing, but it believes it’s tall on the inside, an that’s really all that matters, right?

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It kind of looks like a giant cookie. I like giant cookies. And yes, because we are grown ups and ate a late lunch on Sunday, we totally skipped dinner and ate Mayonnaise Chocolate Cake instead.

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The recipe notes said that this cake was the cake the writer served her kids so she could “be vindicated when they all eventually end up in therapy together.” At least she could say, “But I made you that chocolate cake!” So I was expecting something pretty amazing.

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At first we tried the cake as is. I could have made a glaze for it or a butter cream frosting but I hadn’t planned on it because in my house bundt cake exists to be sprinkled with powdered sugar and voila. So, after a lacklustre first bite (for me, Kamel liked it), I added some powdered sugar.

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Honestly? I kind of expected it to have a sour-cream cake feel. But… it just sort of fell flat for me. It was OK. If you prefer desserts that are not that sweet, I would suggest this chocolate cake. It is a good base cake and probably works well with cream cheese frosting or something that adds richness. But the Mayo? Meh. I don’t get it. Kamel ate it. He said he would be willing to eat my piece as well, ha. For me, it just wasn’t worth the calories. If I am going to indulge I want it to be REALLY good. And this is probably the first time in Flo’s history that I have really not recommended something. I’m sending it off with Kamel tomorrow to take to his work and I am looking forward to the discussion of, “Guess what’s in this cake… MAYO!” But other than that, it kind of just feels like a party trick.

If you would like the recipe, email me! I’ll send out a group email to those interested at the end of the week.

One bundt down… a lot more to go.

Fooding: Lentil Munchies

We had plans to go away for Thanksgiving and then we worried that all the things we had planned for our weekend getaway wouldn’t really happen because 1) I am not hefting myself up on a bike and 2) I’m not really supposed to be lounging in a hot tub. We were going to go to a spa away from the city, but they didn’t offer prenatal massage and it was in a small town where the only reservation I could get for Thanksgiving dinner was at 2:00pm. I worried we were going to be bored and spending a lot of money to sit around and watch TV in comfy hotel robes, something we could do for free at home.

So! We canceled. And I immediately made a giant list of all of the things I wanted to catch up on during our 4 days off, sans get-togethers, sans family, just us at home. And then! we both got flu shots on Wednesday after work. Cue the entire rest of the weekend with me battling an annoying sore throat/sneezy/mucus-y cold. Grumble. Thankfully (pun intended) we did get to 1 of our little projects.

I have a hard time with prenatal vitamins. If I take them too many days in a row I seem to get upset stomachs for no apparent reason. But! I don’t want my iron and blood levels to suffer, so I’ve been searching out more whole ways to stick iron in my diet. Bring in the lentils! The problem is, I don’t really like lentils. They smell like feet. And I’m not a soup person, especailly with items that get mushy (I wish I was, life would be so much easier).

So instead of steaming or mashing or boiling, Kamel and I found a recipe for roasting! In doing so we created an incredibly high iron, high fiber tasty bar-snack. Zesty and crunchy and noms… at least that was what we were hoping for.

Kamel was in charge of making these, because he found the recipe. But I made sure to annoy him as much as possible with my back-seat cooking and friendly suggestions. Ahem.

This also meant that I was in charge of the photos. Behold a pot of boiling lentils! Do not be alarmed by my photo genius! Except… I think in the future I do better in front of the stove and Kamel does better behind the camera…

Has anyone ever roasted lentils before? The most time consuming part was letting them dry. I took Kamel to Target because he kept wanting to skip ahead to the roasting, but I worried that they were similar to kale and if we coated them in oil and popped them into the oven with wetness they wouldn’t crisp up well. I could be wrong about this, so if you have experience that says we can lighten up on the “laying out to dry” portion of the show – definitely let us know. We are not patient people.

Originally I wanted us to make the whole bag of lentils… because yay more snacks! But this is 1 cup of lentils and it made plenty for our first go around. We made these on Saturday and we still have a small tupperware available for snacking.

The recipe (from food.com) calls for 2 tablespoons of canola oil but that is incredibly unnecessary. One tablespoon was more than enough to coat and crisp all of the beans. We read reviews that said using too much oil made them soggy and made it necessary to pat them dry after roasting. I am really not into pouring on the grease, so… no thanks.

During the 10-15 minute roasting we shook them around twice to make sure one side did not burn. We opted for the full 15 because I prefer crunchy over meh.

We added a bit more cayenne to the seasoning mix because we like things with a little kick, but other than that we followed it exactly. Kamel is big on exacts in cooking…. I’m more in the “just wing it” camp.

After tasting, we both agree you could use about 1/2 as much salt and be fine. I would rather have spice and flavor than salt and this was a little too much for us.

But other than that they were super crunchy, flavorful, and I felt really good about noshing on them! They will come in handy during my after work snack fests while I’m starving to death waiting for dinner to get done. If you’re interested in adding some more veggies into your life in a non-typical way, definitely check out the recipe here.

Food-ing With Flo: Awww (Ginger)Snap! Part II

Last night, after slogging through some major fiction edits with Margaret, I dove back into the snaps of the ginger. Behold my attempt at chilling the dough without plastic wrap:

Some of the top layer of the dough had dried out a bit because it wasn’t exactly air tight. I think that if I would have let it sit in the fridge any longer the cookies may have come out tough. I rolled the dough in my hands making perfect little balls and warming them up a bit (yes yes, balls…) and I think that helped a little.

One of the reasons I love gingersnaps so much is because they are always perfectly round, and they are a smaller cookie … so I can eat even more of them.

Minus the time consuming part, cookies in general are really easy, and these may have been even easier because there wasn’t the extra step of chocolate chips or rolling them in cinnamon and sugar. Lots of spices, mix, chill, roll, bake.

And I was pumped to see that this recipe makes a shit ton of cookies. Like… a surprising surprising amount. And! (Drum roll please) They actually tasted delicious. I would prefer a little more ginger because I like things a little on the spicy side, so if you attempt the smitten recipe and are like me, you can definitely up the spices or follow her suggestions on a gingery-er snap and the cookies will still turn out amazing.

Friday cookie success! Kamel’s workplace will be rolling in cookies today.

On this day 1 year ago I was making something a leeeetle healthier. My first attempt at home-roasted beets! Photos and cooking by me.