Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday Eats

I've decided to keep a photo log of everything I eat. It's pretty easy to do with my iPhone, although the pictures aren't the best quality. I really have to learn how to use my digital camera.

For breakfast I ate a bowl of pumpkin oat bran with soy milk, topped with granola and almond butter. 

Mixed nuts for a mid-morning snack.

Pork, applesauce and roasted veggie leftovers for lunch.

Also some cheese and crackers.

After lunch I had two pieces of Halloween candy. Dang. I have to be careful about that stuff!

And an apple. A honey crisp. Tasty!

After work I went for a run around the neighborhood. Very short, about 10/15 minutes. I had a headache, so no music, just the light rain. 

Dinner was butternut squash pizza with spinach, pecans and caramelized onions. This is one of my all time favorite dishes! 

Mr. Z had a slice, but then decided to polish off his leftover pizza from this weekend (he prefers the pepperoni to the squash).

For dessert, Mr. Z made us fruit smoothies. What a treat! This beauty was made of an old strawberry fruit popsicle, strawberries, blueberries, pineapple coconut juice, flax, wheat germ and vanilla yogurt. 

Very, very tasty!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I spent last week in our nation's capital, Washington D.C. It's a beautiful city that encourages lots and lots of walking....which I did. I was in town for a conference, but in my free time I got to see some of the many splendid sites.

Starting with the National Cathedral.

A magnificent feat of architecture and beauty.

The food at the conference wasn't to bad. This is my dessert plate Wednesday night. Dave Barry spoke after the meal. He was fantastic!

On Thursday night, my in-laws (stay with me here - my husband's brother's wife's parents) took me out for some yummy sushi and more site seeing. It was really cool to see the monuments at night.

Then on Friday evening I went to the National Zoo. One of their famous giant pandas was napping. 

There was a recent addition to the zoo!

She was so cute!

As our conference was winding down, another was setting up. See anything wrong with this phrasing? Yikes!

Today I went to visit Pixie. I got to take this little fella for a walk. His name is Munchie and he is a mini. 

It's a peace pumpkin! I love this time of year!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Finished Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake

Picture as promised (taken by neighbor Chris):

And you can see birthday girl Molly in the background!

More Cooking

Yesterday I could not tear myself away from the kitchen!

I made two versions of granola (same base, different add ins).

Dried fruit and nut for me:

And cherry chocolate chip for Mr. Z:

And I also made cashew caramel corn. So delicious! Mr. Z doesn't usually like caramel corn, but he can't keep his hand out of this homemade tastiness. 

I also made roasted sweet potatoes and green beans with caramelized onions to eat with leftovers. Now on to the grind of the week, no hours upon hours of cooking here. Dang.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fire it up!

It snowed today. Craziness huh?! But it turned out to be the perfect fall (winter!) day to cook some yummy comfort food and put in a fire. 

I started the day with a peanut butter, banana, chocolate shake. Really! For some reason I was craving a carnation instant breakfast this morning.  But after a summer of green monsters, I couldn't let it go at just that. So I added a frozen banana, a tablespoon of ground flaxseed, a tablespoon of peanut butter, some milk and some yogurt. It was pretty tasty! 

This is our week to pick up the CSA vegetables. Aren't they beautiful? I'm very excited about the butternut squash and sweet potatoes - two of my favorite veggies. 

I made roasted veggies with the following: parsnips, carrots, eggplant, fennel, red onion and red pepper. Before.

After. SO GOOD!

The roasted veggies paired well with this homemade mac and cheese. 

Then, after dinner, Mr. Z surprised me with a load of wood (notice the carrying case Mom?).

In a blink of an eye we went from this:

To this:

C-O-Z-Y! What a wonderful day for a first snow.

My Brother, the Artist

This past week a piece of my brother's art was auctioned off for charity. His butterfly captured the highest bid of the evening at $7,000. I'm so proud of him I can hardly stand it! 

Here are some pictures I took of it (it was stationed on the river in Green Bay for the summer) with my iPhone:

Isn't it beautiful? 

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sweet Sunday

Today I made curried vegetable soup with romanesco (an Italian cauliflower), cauliflower, leeks and pumpkin. 

Then I made some tasty white bread in the bread maker. 

I ate the soup with sour cream and hot sauce. 

Finally, I made cherry, chocolate chip, oatmeal cookies. 

I love Sundays filled with cooking!

Memory Walk '09

Yesterday, MIL (mother-in-law), AJ (Aunt Judy, MIL's sis) and I participated in the Alzheimer's Memory Walk. It's an annual tradition that we do in honor of their father Donald Dix who suffered from Alzheimer's and passed away almost 10 years ago. 

This is the eighth Memory Walk I've done with the family, and the first one that Mr. Z has had to miss. (He was hard at work at the World Dairy Expo, see picture at bottom.)

Russ Feingold was there to kick off the festivities. Russ started an Alzheimer's program in the state back in 1986, way before many knew of this terrible disease. (p.s. Thanks for trying to protect our civil liberties Russ!)

After the walk I got my picture taken with Bucky Badger! Go Bucky!

Every year after the walk we head over to the Cottage Cafe for breakfast. Yummers!

Even though the weather was a little dreary, a wonderful day was had by all. Later yesterday afternoon I went to visit Eric at the World Dairy Expo. He spent the entire week running camera for the prestigious cow judging. That's almost 75 hours of pure heifer!  

That's him carrying his camera across the arena. It was something to see, I tell you, something to see (not my cute mister working, but rather the cow frenzy).

However, because I was born and raised in Wisconsin, cows are kind of in my blood and I admit I did enjoy parts of the show. You know what else is tattooed into my cheese brain? The Packers. Because even though I haven't watched a full Packer game for years and years, I am very excited for tomorrow's Packer/Viking face-off! What will happen? Who will win? And MOST importantly, how will Brett play? See?! I'm crazy. 

Go Pack!

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake

Here is the delicious Mexican hot chocolate cake I made for neighbor Molly's birthday and dissertation party on Friday night. Of course, I forgot to take a picture of the finished product and I'm hoping I can soon pirate one from her husband's flickr site. 

Moist, chocolate cakes flavored with cinnamon, orange and coffee.

Cinnamon, almond buttercream filling.

Dark chocolate ganache frosting.

Assembled cake, pre-decorating.

I have to say, I'm very proud of this cake. It was deee-lish!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Tis the season...for punkin oats,

It's officially fall and I've been waiting for some chilly autumn weather to try out another food blog favorite - pumpkin oats. 

On Tuesday I made oatmeal and stirred in some canned pumpkin at the end. I think I added a sprinkle of cinnamon and maybe some sugar... (oh yeah and a dollop of almond butter)

... it was TERRIBLE!

Again, I don't like oatmeal! Why don't I remember that? I just really think I should like oatmeal. Well, never fear, my tasty oat bran hot cereal saved the day today.

Very tasty! The difference is not only the type of cereal, but in addition to the pumpkin, I added A LOT of cinnamon, some nutmeg, ginger and cloves, brown sugar and vanilla. It truly did taste like pumpkin pie. Pumpkin pie with a boat-load of fiber. 

Tonight I'm making chili for Mr. and Mrs. Red. And tomorrow I'm making a Mexican chocolate cake (inspired by Kristin's wedding) for a friend's birthday/dissertation party. I'm SO EXCITED! I've been dreaming up the recipe all week and I made a test cake last night. Pretty tasty, but could use some more cinnamon (apparently that's the trick for just about anything!). I'm going to fill it and frost it with almond buttercream and top it with a pourable chocolate ganache. Oh boy, I can't wait! I'll post pictures for sure.