Happy Friday all! Can you believe it’s almost Christmas? Good thing, I’m dying to share some of the DIY projects I’ve been keeping on lockdown lately. Anyway, food. I’ve been on quite a health-kick lately, if you couldn’t tell by the cheesy bacon-y Tater Tot recipe I posted last week. (Kidding!) But– I’ve definitely been amping up my vegetable and citrus intake to ward off sickness season. Jake’s been feeling ill for the past week. Not only have I been super healthy, I’ve also been doing a little more vegan cooking than usual. Green salads, smoothies, cookies… you name it. But since I’m still (technically) on my slow cooker binge, I’ll share with you what I’m having for lunch today.
I couldn’t possibly fit another word into that recipe’s title, could I? This is a recipe for the Jake, since I’m not partial to chicken, bacon or any once-living animal. My stomach just can’t handle it. I’m back to the slow cooker binge after last week’s pause for my Thanksgiving side dish recipe, and this one was apparently a hit.
Jake’s been on quite a Tater Tot binge lately. And for $2 a bag, who can blame him? Unfortunately, Jake isn’t all too creative with his cooking skills, so his Tater Tots are usually served either a. baked with a side of ketchup, or b. baked with shredded cheese on top. So when I stumbled upon a Tater Tot casserole recipe on Pinterest the other day, it was all too perfect.
I swear, the hardest part of the holidays (aside from not gaining 20 pounds from all the amazing food) is keeping secrets. I’m absolutely dying to tell everyone what I
bought made them for Christmas, and I have a dozen family holiday recipes, but I must remain absolutely hushed about all of it. It’s slowly killing me you guys, seriously.
On that note, my blog’s become a bit more sparse in terms of DIY projects and crafts lately. Everything’s been going on behind the scenes, but I haven’t been blogging in order to keep a lot of these projects top secret. Sorry friends and family! My keyboard is closed. This one’s a spoiler though- take what you can get! These candles are so cute, easy and cheap, and since they’re only a small part of a slew of holiday gift baskets, I figured I could give away a small holiday sneak peek to any friends and family members who read my blog.
I know I said I was on a slow cooker/ Crock Pot recipe binge, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to post this ridiculously easy (and healthy!) side dish I made for my family’s Thanksgiving dinner. As a broke grad student, I’ve always viewed Thanksgiving as a wonderful smorgasbord of free food and leftovers for the next five days. But I decided to do a little less freeloading and a little more contributing this year. I asked my mom what I could bring to my aunt’s house for dinner, and she said that nobody had claimed green beans yet. Either I could take them, she said, or she could. Well, when my mom makes green beans, she cooks them in bacon grease, which is a huge ewwwww from this vegetarian. I told her I’d take over, and here’s what I came up with.
Happy Black Friday! Now that the t(ofu)urkey’s consumed, the Lions have
lost won and the 4 a.m. mall madness is over, it’s time to start celebrating my boyfriend’s favorite holiday: Christmas. If he had it his way, we would actually never take down the decorations, and celebrate year round. However, I’m a firm believer that Christmas celebrations don’t start until after Thanksgiving. If you celebrate too much, the holiday isn’t as special! Right?
Anyway. Jake is so Christmas-obsessed that I was surprised he’d never heard of pomander balls! (History lesson alert.) Back when folks didn’t have such great personal hygiene, they would carry around punctured lockets filled with a scented material, such as herbs and ambergris. This was also thought to fight off infection and disease, according to the oh-so-reliable Wikipedia. In modern day, oranges are studded with cloves instead, and the pomander balls are used as wonderfully-scented Christmas decorations. I’ve made them before as a kid in art class, and when Jake told me he’d never heard of them, of course we had to try them out.
It’s a pretty indisputable fact that one of the best winter meals is a thick bowl of warm stew. But, since I’m a vegetarian, I usually pass on the beef and barley and lean toward hearty vegetable based stews. After a bit of trial and error, I’ve melded a few recipes together to create this dish. Since we’re on a slow cooker binge lately, I figured I’d share it with you guys! Root vegetables are always so flavorful, and by the time late fall or winter hits, my parents are finished with the fresh apples and gourds and there’s an abundance of root vegetables resting in the cellar. It’s a great make-ahead dish, so I’ll usually make it on a Sunday, and bring a huge container of it to work with me to lunch on during the busy work week.
Also, when the furnace at my boyfriend’s apartment broke and I suffered through a 47-degree apartment for a weekend, this root vegetable and lentil stew was an absolutely perfect dish.
Happy random Tuesday, you guys. I’m a little belated with this post because I’ve been a little busy with work. For those of you who don’t know, my newspaper cut three newsroom positions about a month ago, knocking us down to a staff of six full time reporters, editors, photographers, proofreaders and community engagement editors. Yikes. So I’ve been a bit busy with 60-hour work weeks over here while we try to get a lot of the work shifted around and priorities rearranged. However, I still got to take a nice break and enjoy two weekends ago.
Happy anniversary Jake!
If you haven’t noticed lately, I’ve been on a major slow cooker binge. I guess I’ve been inadvertently slowly making the transition from the fall theme of my Food Fridays segment into a Crock Pot/ slow cooker theme? It’s about this time of the year when I start getting really busy. Between work, end of semester finals and the DIY holiday craftiness that suddenly starts taking up a part-time job’s worth of every day, I really don’t want to put the same effort into cooking my meals that I do in the fall. Hence, the slow cooker. It’s pretty great. Unfortunately, most feasible slow cooker recipes are not very vegetarian friendly, which is a bummer. I love a good vegetarian chili or stuffed peppers, but I like a little variety. I found this recipe the other day, and I thought it was actually pretty good. It branded itself as a orange honey tofu, but by the time I finished with it, it ended up more as a slow cooker stir fry, and I’m not too disappointed about it.
Santa, can you hear me? I have been so good this year. Well. Kinda. I’m never really one to be greedy. This year isn’t an exception. I just feel so bad asking for things when I know I’m a grown-up (kind of) with a full-time job, even if it is low paid. My holiday wish list is pretty short this year, but crammed full of cute trinkets and necessary appliances that fit my personality perfectly! At the request of friends and family, my list is below.
I gave you a good three or four week break, but now we’re back to apples! This is a suuuuuper easy slow cooker applesauce recipe, and it’s mildly impressive. It’s freezable and can-able and only needs four ingredients.