Friday, October 14, 2016

What's in Your Kitchen?

A few days ago, a friend of mine said that she and her husband were planning to go vegetarian for a week and that she was prepping meals. One of the items she made was black bean burgers. That sounded delicious and the hubs was at work on Sunday, so that was a perfect time to get all up in some veggie foodstuffs making, right?

I found this recipe for Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers from the Minimalist Baker and it looked GLORIOUS! So I said, "Well duh, I'm totally making this!" But I didn't have black beans. Or nut meal. Or green onions. That's fine. I'll just improvise with what's in my cupboard (because, you know, I'm funemployed. Gotta use what I have!)

In my mind, black beans= chickpeas and kidney beans. Nut meal=coconut flour (from an ill-fated and totally unnecessary attempt at gluten free-ness). Green onions=yellow diced onions.

Cool. Let's do this.

Bake the sweet potatoes and cook the rice. Baked the sweet potatoes. Didn't see the last part of that instruction...
Okay, so the recipe says to lightly hand mash the potatoes and half the beans. I'll do them in the food processor. It'll be faster.

Next, add the rest of the beans whole in the recipe. Well, I guess I should break those up a little bit, because those kidney beans are ginormous!

All right, all right, all right! Add the nut meal and adjust as needed to make sure the mixture isn't too moist. Huh. This kinda has the consistency of pumpkin pie filling. And adding more coconut flour is DEFINITELY not unmoistening it... That's okay. When I add the rice, it'll firm right on up.

Oh. I was supposed to cook the rice while roasting the sweet potatoes. Well shit. Definitely didn't do that. Guess everything is on hold until the rice finishes cooking. And of course it's brown rice (healthy and shit) so it takes FOREVER.

Make the patties! Measure them out with a 1/4 cup measure. 1/4 cup definitely isn't enough. I'm HONGRY, so I'm making 1 cup burgers! Oh Jesus, the 1 cup is too much! TOO MUCH! Finish with 1/2 cup. Still big but not unmanageable.

Mega 1 cup burgers
Cooking time! Bake at 375 for 30-45 minutes. That's going to take far too long and I'm starving. So here's what I'll do...I'll bake one and fry one, just to see how they turn out each way.

Baked=Mad Max Fury Road Dry
Fried=Disaster Zone
Final result: Frying was a terrible shitshow. The whole thing totally fell apart, but tasted really good. Baking took almost an hour, held its shape much better but looked a little scorched earthy. Also, not having the fat in it took a little something away from the flavor.


I probably had enough mix (dough? batter? filling?) to make 14 patties but because I made a few big ass monster patties, I ended up with 10. Cooked 2 that first day and froze the rest. I did end up making a couple for dinner 2 nights ago and I figured that because they were frozen, they wouldn't fall apart as badly if I fried them (because of course again I was STARVING and didn't want to wait to bake them). They actually held shape pretty well, but soaked up SO MUCH oil they were almost inedible. Don't worry, I powered through.

Verdict: I'd make them again, but actually follow the recipe a little more closely. Until then, I have to figure out what to do with my remaining 6 sweet potato pucks...Maybe I'll bake them for a shorter period so they're softer and use as the protein on a salad?

Monday, October 3, 2016

35 by 35

Well, it's been quite a while, huh? A lot has changed over the past couple years, but no need to get into all that. Let's look forward...

Soooo, I just turned 34! I am now solidly in my mid 30s and this is kinda stressing me out. As I look toward the big 3-5, I have some things I want to do with my life. By the time I turn 35, I want to be stronger, feel better and live more. Over the past few years, I feel like I've lost myself a bit. I'm more nervous, not as adventurous, less extroverted, not as connected with the people who mean the most to me and I want to get out of that. This is the year for me to get stronger, feel better, live more and get back to me. Old Amber is pretty rad, and this shell of myself that I feel like is not the business.

So, without any further ado, here's my 35 by 35. All sorts of things that I want to accomplish over the next 360 days. And friends, I'm definitely going to need some help to get through them all! Some are out of my comfort zone, some I have no idea how to do, and others are specifically built to do with people.

Let's do this!
  1. Shouldermount (This has been my nemesis move for all my poledancing life. It will happen this year)
  2. Deadlift handstand (Another nemesis)
  3. Milk a cow
  4. Make booze (We tried to make hard cider a couple years ago. Epic fail but we've got some ideas to make it better this time around.)
  5. Perform in front of at least 50 people (A play? Pole dance? Pechakucha? SO MANY OPTIONS!)
  6. Write something that gets published (I think this is the year of He Said/She Said...)
  7. Make clothes to sell
  8. Design and sew a sweet ass party dress for my 35th birthday (This means I'm going to have to throw a sweet ass 35th birthday party. Get ready)
  9. Hot air balloon ride
  10. Plan an event for at least 5000 people
  11. Complete a triathlon
  12. Complete a half marathon (I started training for this yesterday AND ran a full mile without stopping. What??!!)
  13. Visit another country
  14. Be in a play (If at least 50 people attend, that's 2 birds with one stone!)
  15. Drop social media for a month 
  16. Get back to once a week
  17. Girls' weekend road trip
  18. Make cheese
  19. Visit 5 national parks
  20. Go rustic camping
  21. Go glamping
  22. SPLITS! Right, left and box
  23. Learn a new skill...blacksmithing, maybe? (Columbus Idea Foundry, here I come!)
  24. Tough Mudder
  25. Go on a cruise (I'm terrified of cruises. The idea of being stuck on a boat that may have mechanical failures, or norovirus outbreaks, or sink in the ocean gives me anxiety. But I could maybe manage a river cruise...)
  26. Give back to the community and join a board
  27. Put together a business plan for my own event space!
  28. Waters Family Vacay!
  29. Get my CMP
  30. Take a fangirl picture with a celebrity
  31. Go to a fancy schmancy gala
  32. Attend a professional sports game
  33. Present at PechaKucha
  34. Do at least 1 random act of kindness a month
  35. Hold crow pose for at least 15 seconds (This one has been my yoga nemesis for years! I can kind of almost get it occasionally, but I'm so scared I'm going to break my face open!)
So there you have it. It's ambitious, but why not live that life??

Happy Monday, lovebugs!