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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Boo! Cake

Happy Halloween! Goombah and I made a cake to celebrate the fabulous season. Originally , the plan was to make a dark-chocolate chip and pumpkin spice cake with cream cheese frosting....which I will make someday because that sounds delicious. BUT we  had no ride to the grocery store, and didn't feel like taking a trip to Downtown Minneapolis to Target to get cooking supplies. We settled for CVS and came up with an on-the-spot recipe to celebrate the spooky holiday.

BOO! Cake. 
So easy, a child could do it.
....or two college students.

(aka ingredients)
1 box chocolate cake mix.
1 bag pumpkin-spice Hershey's Kisses
3 Eggs (Or whatever it says on the box)
1 cup applesauce
(because we were too cheap to purchase vegetable oil and I had some in my cabinet.
PLUS its healthier than vegetable oil. Its a Win-Win situation)
Vanilla Frosting 
Candy Corn 

Preheat oven to what it says on the box (350 degrees probably)
1. Make the box cake mix. Follow the directions on the box. Substitute a cup of applesauce for vegetable oil. Put the made-up cake mix into a greased 9x11 cake pan.
2. If you want to be FANCY, like Goombah and I, you can double-boiler melt the kisses. (I think that is what it is called, its pictured over there-->) But you could probably just break the kisses into pieces and mix it in the cake mix. FUN FACT: In case you didn't already figure it out, you are going to have to unwrap all the kisses. Unless you really like the taste of the judgement.
3. If you fancy double-boiled the chocolate, marble it into the cake mix. As in plop it on top of the mix, and then swirl it around with a knife. Its pretty simple, I think.
4. BAKE IT. According to the box. It should be around 35 minutes I believe.
<---it should look awesome like this after you bake it. SO PRETTY!
6. Frost it. Decorate with candy corn.
7. EAT IT UP! Share the holiday spirit with your friends.

8. Have the happiest of  Halloweens :)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Six Months!

Last week Thursday I celebrated my half-way point in my year of veggie-hood. So far, I am still undecided on whether or not my veggie ways will conclude at the end of the year or not. Part of me really likes being a vegetarian, because I feel like it forces me to make healthier choices, like eating more veggies and fruit. The other part of me, really hates the restrictiveness of a vegetarian diet. I LOVE trying new things and too many times I have been disappointed by repeating another meal at a restaurant or have had to make myself a veggie sandwich at the dining center in my res. hall. I really do not crave meat anymore, but I find myself craving meals that have had meat in them. For example, I miss chicken noodle soup. It is completely possible for me to make myself a vegetarian knock-off of chicken noodle soup, and I am sure if I looked hard enough, I could probably find one as well. But why should eating healthy be this hard?
ANYWAYS! to celebrate my 6 months of veggies, I made a scrumptious veggie-casserole, a knock-off of one my mom had made for me growing up at home!

Serves 8. (or four with leftovers for the weekend!)

1/2 box of whole wheat rotini noodles
1/2 bag frozen peas
1 can of your fav. pasta sauce
 (or just condensed tomato soup)
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped onions 
(which I didn't have but would have liked)
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
[as far as the chopped veggies go, I really just eye-balled it]
3/4 small bag of Parmesan or Mozzarella Shredded Cheese
(I used a mixture of the two)
2 slices of bread, crumbed.
(I used the butts[ends] of the bread, because they make lousy toast.)

the sneaky vegetarian ingredient:
1 bag Morning Star "ground beef"

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
1. Cook the noodles. I hope you know how. Drain them, put them in a large mixing bowl.
2. Saute celery, peppers, and onions (what my mom refers to as the holy trio) in a large frying pan.
3. Add the "ground beef" to the sauteing veggies. Mix until the "beef" is no longer frozen. This is mainly just to mix the flavors of the sauteing veggies with the "beef".
4. Add the sauteed mixture into the mixing bowl with the noodles. 
5. Add the can of sauce to the mixing bowl, fold into the delightful mixture until everything is covered in sauce.
6. Add most of the 3/4 bag of cheese to the mixture, but not all! Leave some for the crusty top!
7. Grease a casserole dish (or in my case, a 9"-11" cake pan.)
8. Pour the casserole mixture into the pan. Spread Evenly.
9. Mix the bread crumbs with the leftover cheese, sprinkle on top of the casserole. 
10. Put tinfoil on top of the pan, making sure the casserole doesn't touch the tin foil. This will make sure your crusty topping doesn't get burnt while your casserole insides are baking.
10. Cook for approx. 35 minutes. Take the tin foil off and cook for another 10 minutes.
11. Try your best to let the casserole cool a bit, or get a burnt tongue. 
12. EAT IT ALL UP! It also makes yummy leftovers.

I enjoyed this meal with my lovely roomie, Goombah, and Jay. Goombah and Jay brought instant mash-potatoes and pudding. We had quite a lovely home-made(ish) meal and enjoyed an episode of Glee. It was a spectacular conclusion to my first 6 months of veggieness. Six more to go until the year is up. My continuance of these veggie ways after this year is still in question! 

Monday, October 1, 2012

So Busy! AH!

I realized I haven't blogged in a few days, or maybe even in the last month. And I realized it was about time for a veggie-update. I haven't done any amazing awesome baking/cooking lately. A few weeks ago I repeated the banana bread recipe but with chocolate cake mix in place of vanilla. It was delish! The frozen bananas worked out fine, the only thing that was a little disturbing was how dark the peel of the banana was. It was a very dark brown and I was a bit nervous the bananas would be gross as well. Thankfully the bananas were kept perfectly over-ripe in the freezer.
Also, I went on an advegture to the Mill City Farmers Market  this past Saturday with Goombah and one of our fab. friends, G.R. It was a GREAT DAY. First off, on our walk to the market, we merged with the Big Gay Race. The race was part of the Minnesotans United for All Familes and the VOTE NO campaign for Minnesota gov. ban on same-sex marriages. We joined in the fun and cheered on the runners, giving high-five's to those who passed by (side note: No one actually physically high-fived me because they kept missing my hand. True story. So sad). When we made out way out of the 6,000 people crowd, we headed to the farmers market. Goombah and friend got breakfast, which I tasted, except for G.R.'s because it was a meaty breakfast sandwhich. I got some absolutely divine sunflower seed multi-grain bread, a bag of honeycrisp apples, and a few green peppers. Honestly one of the best day's I have had in a long, long while. It was scrumptious, I am devouring the bread, and apples. And will be using the peppers in my 6-months-of-veggieness feast this Thursday. Don't worry, I will make a solid effort to blog about my meal, because I plan on it being a veggielicious event.
ON a vegetarian related note, I am really digging being a vegetarian, and I am thinking about sticking with it beyond this year. ALSO, my goals for October include being optimistic about life and not eating cookies. (I may or may not have had at least 30 cookies last week. I wish that was an over-exaggeration, but it's not. I have a problem. It will be solved this month. NO COOKIES FOR ME.) Hopefully I accomplish these goals. I have faith in myself! WOOT!
ALSO! My main reason for not blogging has been that for one of my classes I am doing a blog about the news, so blogging has become homework, so finding the time to do this blog has been a struggle. I will find time readers, I will find time! If you are interested in looking at my other blog, look HERE. I am not 100% sure you can see it if you aren't a UMN student. But, I hope you can! :) SHINE ON!