#Marchphotoaday = DELICIOUS today
for dinner: leftover corned beef + cabbage from my Mama!  To celebrate post-St. Patrick’s Day weekend. 

With a side of Asparagus + almonds & stray mushrooms from my fridge that I added. 

I absolutely love corned beef and cabbage, so YUM. 

Mom had a partayy on Saturday and made a special delivery to me of leftovers (plus her dog, Lucy, who has yet to make a blog appearance, but who spent the week with me- Maia loves Lucy’s company since they used to be pals on Cedar Lane)

Post Dinner Pumpkin Bread making

I had some leftover pumpkin from making pumpkin pancakes this weekend, so decided to put it to good use.   I try to stray away from baking, living alone and all, because one slice for dessert easily becomes the whole mini loaf, but I was feeling great after a cross fit work out (recently went back to, more details on this later).  So I treated myself!

Also had a wee bit of brown sugar to use up.  Trying to lower the amount of sugar in my diet so it was good to clean out the pantry! 

Brown sugar was also on the clumpy side which actually turned out marvelously.  I only used about half the amount of sugar that the recipe called for, but left a lot the chunks in the sugar when I mixed it in.  What emerged was yummy sweet little pockets of crystallized sugar dispersed throughout the moist doughy goodness.

I followed something along the lines of this recipe, but like I said used half the amount of sugar and probably didn’t mix the dough as much as I should have.  It was also not as smooth on top, which I actually prefer because the result is a crispy crumb like top, like the crunchy parts of muffin tops!  I also ommitted the nuts and oil because I didn’t have any.  Just added some milk/more oil to make up for the fat.  

Next time I want to try it with pureed bananas and raisins instead of the brown sugar.  What do you think? Maybe a touch of molasses?

Dealing with plastic wrap/aluminum foil tends to stress me out
and it usually ends up all over the place.  Picked these foil sheets up at a
discount store and they make all of the difference. Also easy to fold up and re-use.
I want to try them for making a “Steam-pack” for potatoes/meat/veggies sometime soon!

Since delicious is the theme, here’s two more food recipes I have developed this week in my pantry purge process.

No Bake Millet Bites

LOVE unsweetened dark chocolate.  Yes it is bitter, but it is super versatile and can be chopped/melted/adapted to recipes easily since you can adjust its sweetness. 

I was inspired by my accidental ordering of a dozen bags of puffed millet.  Really, I just wanted to try it.  But when life gives you lemons make lemonade right?

My mom makes these great no-bake cookies with oats, that I figured would be a perfect use of the rest of this chocolate.  But alas, my oats were at the office since I generally eat them during the week for Bfast at work. 

Puffed millet is kind of like oats, right?

Again didn’t have butter, but did have powdered sugar, so just make up my own recipe. 

Simply melted some chocolate over a pot of boiling water, added some vanilla and almond extracts, added some powdered sugar, took off the heat, and stirred millet in until they had a rice crispy like consistency.   Sorry I can’t give you a more scientific recipe, but this is supposed to be a “domestic life as a twenty year old something or another,” not Martha.  At least I am being authentic!

Wasn’t sure how cookie shapes would hold up, so gave them kinda a bark-esque spin and patted them into a sheet pan, and put them in the freezer.

A few hours later, DONE! Little bark/no-bake-cookie/chocolate millet bites. 

I do wish they had ended up a bit more crunchy, so will have to work on them next time.  Maybe add some coconut butter (which is kinda magic-shell like) and some chopped nuts?  

Shirataki Broccoli Cheddar Bake

Weird tid-bit, I actually don’t care for Velveeta.  Give me some Kraft originals Mac ‘N Cheese or some Tostidos brand Queso dip and I will go to town, but just not a Velveeta fan. 

I have been craving some good ‘ole broccoli and cheese casserole, but only had a tiny bit of cheddar left in my fridge, but I did have a can of healthy request cheddar condensed soup.  Not a staple in my pantry because its pretty processed but I must have had a cheese craving at some point and picked it up (OH YEA- coupons make you buy food you didn’t really intend to buy- now I remember having a coupon for Campbell’s soup that excluded tomato soup, wtf?).

Also had a half of a bag of frozen broccoli in the fridge.  Mac ‘N Cheese is so much yummier with broc in it!  Love the combination of crucifery, crunchy blanched broccoli with the creamy cheese and pasta. 
Then it was the pasta question.  Had some Hodgson Mills spinach pasta on hand but I decide that was green food over kill and required further cooking time.

Into the picture walks the always on hand, easy to prep, plate ready Shirataki noodles!

I know these look like super processed diet foods, but they really aren’t.  They are basically made of tofu.  And I swear a lot of their appeal to me is that there is no boiling water necessary.  When I want to eat, I want to eat, and when I crave pasta, I usually want it right then and there.  Boiling pasta takes time and an attention span to make sure it doesn’t get overcooked.  I usually don’t have either of those. 

This bake was about as simple as it gets.  One pot of water on the heat, threw in some frozen broc, tossed in Shirataki noodles when broc was done, drained, mixed with cheddar soup and topped with REAL cheddar.  Under the broiler on HI for 5 min and done.  PRESTO!  Certainly no French Culinary Institute meal, but I think it will pass for domesticity for today.

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