Thursday, March 31, 2011

2 Things

Today I stumbled (ok not really stumbled, a mutual friend showed me McKenzie's and then it was sort of a domino effect from there --  regardless, I'm so glad!) onto three of my cousins' family blogs.  I don't see them enough, but I hope they know that I love them!  If you want to look, here they are:

Looking at their blogs sort of made me a little tiny big jealous of having my own family.  Don't worry!  Not for a few years!  Jon is a great start I think.  Seriously, this is cheesy, but I really like him.  (Note:  Massive understatement).  We got to take some more photos on Monday with my friend/brother-in-law, Seth.  He had a fabulous idea to take some photos down at the Salt Lake (less stinky right now) and the shoot went pretty well.  It sort of looked like a scene from a sci-fi movie, luckily we don't look like aliens.  Photos soon.

I also ran into Trent's design blog. Trent is a great friend of mine.  That linked me to a site dedicated to helping the people of Japan.  I even bought something because it's pretty great and a great cause no less.  It's called Cause for Design - check it out.  Designers have submitted their designs that center around Japan and you can purchase the electronic files for a minimal cost, the proceeds go to Japan.  

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Doublebatch Chickpea Cutlets - the best

Maybe these don't look good to you... maybe I'm just weird... but I made these last night and they were shockingly delicous -- and they took me all but 10 minutes to make.  Thanks to my friend, Collin for sending me the link.

The texture we’re looking for is firm and a bit crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. I find that for the best texture you should let the cutlets rest after cooking for 10 minutes or so before digging in.
1 16 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup vital wheat gluten
1 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/2 cup vegetable broth or water
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
Olive oil for pan frying

Optional ingredients:
4 cloves garlic, pressed or grated with a Microplane grater
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

In a mixing bowl, mash the chickpeas together with the oil until no whole chickpeas are left. Use an avocado masher or a strong fork. Alternately, you can pulse the chickpeas in a food processor. We’re not making hummus here, so be careful not to puree them, just get them mashed up. You can also sneak the garlic cloves in here instead of grating them, just pulse them up before adding the chickpeas. If using a food processor, transfer to a mixing bowl when done.
Preheat a large heavy-bottomed skillet over low-medium heat. Cast iron works best. If you have two pans and want to cook all the cutlets at once then go for it, otherwise you’ll be making them in two batches.
Divide the cutlet dough into 2 equal pieces. Then divide each of those pieces into 4 separate pieces (so you’ll have 8 all together). To form cutlets, knead each piece in your hand for a few moments and then flatten and stretch each one into a roughly 6 by 4 inch rectangular cutlet shape. The easiest way to do this is to form a rectangle shape in your hands and then place the cutlets on a clean surface to flatten and stretch them. (OK, maybe my surface wasn’t that clean.)
Add a moderately thin layer of olive oil to the bottom of the pan. Place the cutlets in the pan and cook on each side for 6 to 7 minutes. Add more oil, if needed, when you flip the cutlets. They’re ready when lightly browned and firm to the touch. I’ve found that they cook more thoroughly if I cover the pan in between flips. I also use my spatula to press down on them while they’re cooking, that way they cook more evenly.
Now let them rest for a bit and you’re done!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Thank you Bethany!!!

My soon-to-be sister-in-law, Bethany, made dinner on Sunday and it changed my life. Here is the recipe:

For Falafel Pockets
2 1/2 whole-wheat or high-fiber pitas
One 15-oz. can chickpeas, well drained
1 onion, very finely chopped
1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
3 tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 tbsp. chopped garlic
1 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tbsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. lemon juice
1/8 tsp. paprika, or more to taste
black pepper, to taste
Two 2-second sprays olive oil nonstick spray

For Dip
6 oz. plain fat-free yogurt
1 Persian cucumber, peeled and chopped (or another small cucumber, peeled, deseeded, and chopped)
1 tsp. dried dill
3/4 tsp. crushed garlic
1/4 tsp. salt
black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place all ingredients for falafel (except for the pitas and nonstick spray) in a large bowl, and give them a good stir. Using a potato masher, mash well. Mixture should remain slightly chunky, not smooth.

Spray a baking sheet thoroughly with a 2-second spray of olive oil nonstick spray.

One at a time, take spoonfuls of mixture in your hands and form 15 balls, each about the size of a ping pong ball, and gently place them on the baking sheet. Spray the top of each ball with olive oil nonstick spray, for a total of about a 2-second spray.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine all ingredients for dip in a blender or food processor, and pulse until just blended. Season to taste with black pepper and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Remove baking sheet from the oven, and carefully turn each ball over, gently reshaping if the bottoms have flattened. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 10 - 15 minutes, until golden brown and slightly crispy. Allow to cool and set for at least 5 minutes.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Dear Folks,

This is long overdue, and I'm sorry for the lack of posts, but I have some newwwwws.  This guy is going to be my husband: