Breakfasts, Birthdays, and Beyond

Yesterday was the BF’s birthday and while I gave him his present, we had to spend the whole day at my graduation. We had a lot of fun–including family, friends, beer, wine, sun, and snacks. Plus, we brought the pup and he is always good company. However, we didn’t have much time to celebrate his birthday and so this morning I thought a birthday breakfast was in order. I really like birthdays (not my own but everyone else’s) and I love making fun special meals, especially since I rarely actually make breakfast (I’m more of a lunch person).

In celebration of the BF’s birthday then, I made scrambled eggs, turkey bacon, and socca. All gluten free and all wound up being pretty delicious. The eggs were scrambled and had stir-fried onion, basil, and nutritional yeast. I cooked the turkey bacon in a little olive oil and salt and the socca was plenty oily and salty (which is how I love it).

It was pretty fun to eat breakfast together and hang out on a beautiful Portland morning. Plus, since school is out for the summer (for both of us), a big and celebratory breakfast was the perfect prelude to a relaxing and lazy afternoon after a hectic couple days (or year for that matter). I think I had forgotten how fun making breakfast is or even how nice it is to kick off a day with brunch. But there is something so lovely about starting the day with a meal, chatting, and having coffee.

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Dessert for Dinner: Chocolate Coconut Mousse

I’ve long felt that one of the best parts (maybe even then best part) of being a grown-up is having dessert for dinner. I realized this perk near the end of college when I was living with my best friend in Washington D.C. While we ate a lot of soup and rice and I imagine stir fry that summer, I have a distinct memory of eating many dessert-filled meals. It was my childhood dream come true–as much as I love vegetables, although I’m not sure that I loved veggies as much back then–where I wouldn’t have to finish my dinner before dessert.

Strangely in the last few years, my sweet tooth has–shall we say–lessoned, swung more towards salt (although, I’ve always loved salt) and all things salty. However, on occasion–and often on somewhat rough days–I still celebrate adulthood by having dessert for dinner. Today, was one of those days and so I decided to make a chocolate coconut mousse.

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Yesterday defense, Today Soup

Yesterday, I defended my dissertation (successfully!). It was a stressful but exciting two hours, which marked the culmination of six years of graduate work. Today, I was alternately exhausted, elated, confused, and sleepy. And so in the wake of my defense, we made soup. Specifically, the BF and I made tomato-basil soup and it was easy, delicious, and so very refreshing. Here’s the recipe: Quick and Easy Tomato Basil Soup.

Update: Socca + Salad

So the socca turned out to be AMAZING and so very delicious and light and just good. The first pic is the Socca (which I am now going to make ALL the time) sprinkled with sea salt. The second pic is my dinner: salad with the slow roasted tomatoes and socca.

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Catching Up On Cooking: Falafel, Socca, Roasted Tomatoes, etc.

Recently, I’ve mostly just been posting recipes in order to remind myself of things I cooked and liked and will want to make again (like falafel and bacon chocolate chip cookies). In truth, I haven’t had much time or energy for cooking in the last year–save for regular things like stir fry (with tofu coated in nutritional yeast to make it fry up crispy) and salads–as I have been working non-stop on finishing my dissertation and grad school for that matter. Then, a few weeks ago after months of non-stop writing, I turned in my dissertation (which I defend later this week) and Oregon got sunny and I suddenly had more time and knew not what to do with it. Plus, summer always brings out the desire to cook in me.

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Chicken Salad with Homemade Mayo

This afternoon I am making chicken salad for the first time. Step one = broil the chicken and I used a super simple recipe from Martha Stewart:

Toss sea salt, pepper, lemon juice, thyme, and oregano in a pan. Then put a1/2 inch of water over the ingredients and bring to a boil. Drop the chicken in (I used two boneless breasts) and bring back to a boil. Then cook for 3 minutes and remove the pan from the heat. Leave it for 10 minutes, flip, and leave for another 5 or so. Make sure it is cooked all the way through.

In the meantime, make the homemade mayonaise (recipe here) and prep the rest of the ingredients in a big bowl: 1 leak chopped, 1 celery stalk chopped, and a handful of chopped onion (I used this recipe as a basis). Toss the mixture with a little oil, salt, and mustard powder.

Once the chicken is done pull it into pieces and mix it into the mixture. Lastly, toss everything mayo!

And done (took about an hour of prep time total). Easy and good and lovely for a summer evening.

Fried Chicken (Gluten, Dairy, and Nut free!)

My dissertation is on the South and so I spend a lot of time watching TV shows full of Southern cooking. And, given all my food allergies and such, Southern cooking usually seems off the menu for me. But today I made fried chicken for the first time! I started with a recipe from Go Dairy Free and then made it my own. Plus I served it with sauteed kale, and roasted potatoes. So good!

Here’s what I did:

1 bowl of garbanzo bean flour (I added salt and garlic powder to it)

1 bowl eggs with a dash of sunflower oil (2 egg whites and 1 egg)

2 chicken breasts chopped into pieces

First, coat the the chicken in flour, then dip in the eggs and oil, then back in the flour. Make sure the chicken is completely coated.

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