Thursday, December 29, 2011

Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake

Yesterday afternoon I was having a mad craving for a milkshake. A really good milkshake. We didn't have any ice cream in the house and I had already downed a giant smoothie so I did what I always do when I am craving something i can't have: searched it on Pinterest. Cos I love to torture myself with beautiful images of things I can't have. And apparently I am not the only one who does this, cos let's face it, there would be no Pinterest if there weren't hundreds or thousands of us. Anyways, I searched "milkshake"and so many beautiful photos came into view, but one really stuckout: The Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake. So i immidiately repinned it and then went to the original post in order to gawk at a larger image.It took me here. I stared and I nearly drooled. Today we went grocery shopping and made sure we got vanilla ice cream. And it was so worth it. You can go to the original blog to see her creation with much better pictures and more detailed measurements. I tend to ingnore details in recipes and I don't have the patience to figure out how to edit bad photos to make them amazing, but this is what I did.

Put a bunch of marshmallows on a cookiesheet. I used foil to prevent having to clean a sticky sheet. Then i ran out of big ones so I added a bunch of minis.

Broil those babies for a minute or so.

Put 2 parts vanilla bean ice cream and 1 part milk in the blender.

Add the toasted/charred marshmallows and blend.

This is the finished product, which I wish looked better but the lighting was bad and blah blah blah, here it is.

And it was divine. Seriously, I could have easily drank the whole thing by myself. And probably a second one as well.
Go ahead, make know you want to...

Monday, December 5, 2011

Pregnancy Tears

I am 27 weeks pregnant and it is beginning to be obvious in all aspects of my life: my size, my aches and pains, my poor sleep, my eating habits, etc. Today, it has made itself especially clear with my emotions. I tend to cry easily, but when I am pregnant, wow. Hot mess doesn't even begin to describe it. I am feeling really good and positive about life in general these days and nothing that I cried about was sad. Nothing. They were all tears of joy and/or hope and I am glad for that.

This morning I cried thinking about the fact that my beautiful sister is about to give birth to her third child. Mike and I have her 2 kids here with us for the week so she and her husband may have a break before the baby comes and/or so we will already have the kids should she go into labor this week. I woke up thinking about how amazing and precious this time in our lives is and how I love that we are going through it together. Tears.

A few hours later I got a some texts from a dear friend. She and her husband have been in the adoption process for years and finally things are coming together to bring their sweet girl home from Ethiopia. Seeing the face of their baby in picture form really got the tears flowing. Tears of nothing but joy. So, so beautiful.

Then it got ridiculous.

I cried while watching a Ron Paul video.

I cried hanging an ornament on the tree of my best friend back home and her son.

I cried while watching videos of Peter Paul and Mary performing at civil rights movements.

I cried an hour later when Peter Paul and Mary were still performing on PBS but this time for little kids and at each others wedding.

Right now I kind of want to cry because it is 5 minutes 'til midnight and im hungry. Really, really hungry. But, instead of crying, I shall be proactive and close the computer to find something to eat.

What makes you cry?

*edit* I went on to cry about something that actually is sad that is going on in someones life. But then i regressed back and started to cry at the end of last weeks episode of Community.
Yikes. Time for bed...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

In the beginning...

I have been planning on starting a blog for the past... year? More for my own benefit than anything else. I like to keep track of things I do for "school time", which is my version of barely structured pre school for my 4 year old son, as well as food I make and things that inspire me. I had planned on starting it with my last birthday, hence the name, so I opened the blog and then never posted. Then I thought I would start when we moved to a new town. Nothing. Maybe we should announce our second pregnancy on here? Nah. So, here I am closer to age 27 than to age 26, 7 months pregnant, and starting with a post about food!

I have been all about using our Thanksgiving leftovers more creatively this year and of all the lunches and dinners we have gotten out of them (we had a lot since we had two Thanksgiving dinners with LOTS of leftovers) my very favorite is what I made for dinner tonight.

Lentil Shepherd's Pie. Honestly, I generally prefer it to have ground beef, but I have been wanting to attempt to recreate the vegetarian pie at The Family Wash in East Nashville. If you live in the area and haven't been there, you should! It is charming and quirky and I have never been disappointed in what I ordered. Even Gwyneth Paltrow mentioned this local treasure and their vegetarian shepherds pie in her blog.
I didn't see any recipes that looked appealing/called for my random leftover ingredients so I took ideas from different recipes and this is what I got... Enjoy!

Lentil Shepherd's Pie

Ingredients I used:
1.5 cups chicken broth (could easily use water or vegetable broth to make it safe for vegetarians)
about 1 cup dried lentils, rinsed and sorted

1 carrot, chopped
1/2 white onion, chopped
1/4 green bell pepper, chopped
about a teaspoon of minced garlic
butter or oil or more broth for the veggies

3 or 4 cups leftover mashed potatoes
about 4 or 5 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
salt and pepper to taste

Do it:
preheat oven to 350degrees
Simmer broth and lentils in sauce pan for about 25 or 30 minutes or until nearly tender
while lentils are simmering, gently cook the chopped vegetables and garlic over medium heat. I used a little butter then added about 1/4 cup broth into the mix after a few minutes just because i had enough left over. When the colors are still bright and they are not too soft, remove from heat and add salt and pepper if you like. mix lentils and veggie blend together and put them in the bottom of a baking dish ( I used a 2qt dish I think). Cover the mix with mashed potatoes and top with shredded cheese.
Bake covered for 20 minutes then uncover and broil for 10 minutes. Voila!

It wasn't exactly like the version at The Family Wash, but it was really satisfying and used up random ingredients i had hanging out in my fridge and pantry. And for the best part? My recently picky 4 year old ate it all! His only complaint was that the "crust" gave him "spice" in his mouth... whatever that means. I am no photographer, but am posting these more to give you an idea of what it looks like. Also because I never even read a recipe if I don't get to see a picture of the finished product.

If any one has ideas or suggestions for variations of shepherd's pie, either vegetarian or not, I would love to see them!