July 31, 2014

That Time I Made a Simple Summertime Supper...

It's time for another 20SB Cooking Challenge! This week's assignment:
Simple Summertime Supper
I've chosen to participate in even though I exclusively use the word "dinner."

The rules:
1. Meal must include a protein and a vegetable.
2. No Pasta Dishes. No Sandwiches. *womp womp*
4. Use of the oven is not allowed! Any other kitchen appliance -Foreman grill, toaster oven, etc- is fair game.
3. Limit active time in the kitchen to 30 minutes. “Active time” means any time you are chopping, stirring, or otherwise handling food; this leaves wiggle room for simmering and poaching: ie you can leave for 20 minutes and cool off in front of the fan while a sauce cooks down and it doesn’t count towards the half hour.
4. Post your recipe & pictures by Thursday, July 31

So even though I have a toaster oven that I love using in place of my oven because it's faster to pre-heat and more energy efficient than using a full-size oven when just cooking for one or two people, I wanted to do this challenge on the grill to keep most of the heating outside. So I took a recipe for salmon that prescribes being baked and tried adjusting the process to achieve the same outcome on the grill. Result: came out perfect!

Balsamic-Glazed Salmon with Corn on the Cob
You will need one 5-oz salmon fillet and one ear of corn per serving and one piece of foil for each of those.

Preheat outdoor grill for high heat and spray grate with cooking spray.
Peel back corn husks and remove silk. 
Place or spread one Tbsp butter, salt and pepper on each piece, close husks.
Wrap each tightly with aluminum foil and set on grill. 
Combine 1/2 c balsamic vinegar, 1 Tbsp maple syrup, 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard, and a minced 1/2 garlic clove in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer until thick, about 12 minutes.
While glaze is reducing, spray one piece of foil for each piece of salmon with cooking spray, set salmon in center of the foil, brush both sides of salmon with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Wrap foil tightly around salmon, place on grill, and also turn the corn.
Remove salmon and corn after 10 minutes. Unwrap after glaze has had 5 minutes to cool.
Place corn and salmon on a plate and drizzle glaze on salmon.
 Rinse and recycle the foil, and enjoy!

July 24, 2014

That Time I Made Sour Cream...

What's on your mind right now?
Plastic Free July of course! And today it's sour cream. I believe I already posted that I was going to try making sour cream from coconut milk. Well I think it's my fault, but it was a big fail, and due to how pricy it is I decided to move on rather than try again.

So I did, and instead made regular sour cream! And much more success. The hardest thing is first waiting 24 hours for it to do its thing and then to wait for it to chill in the fridge to further do its thing before using it.
Other than that, it is very easy and very plastic free (if you don't buy the milk for it in a plastic carton and buy vinegar in a glass jar)! It is more expensive than store bought, but I don't use sour cream lot so it's worth it to be plastic free, and also it's less processed.

Also, from other recipes I've found, you can use the last tablespoon or so of your last batch to make the next one. This means you don't have to worry about getting milk and vinegar in paper and glass containers after the first batch and you could alternatively start your first batch with store bought sour cream.

That leaves me with just a couple of things on my plastic-free to do list which are ketchup, pita bread, and graham crackers. I may also try to find a way to make marshmallows without corn syrup (because it comes in a plastic bottle) so that I can make s'mores! Stay tuned, just one week left!

 #blogeverydayinjuly link-up

July 22, 2014

That Time The Doctor Did The Drunk Giraffe...

Today's prompt is "What's the last thing that made you cry?" And I don't cry much. And the last thing that made me cry is a bit too personal for me to blog about here. So instead:

July 21, 2014

That Time I Had 10 Favorite Instagram Feeds...

Today's Blog Everyday in July prompt:
Ten Instagrams you stalk or your ten favorite Instagram feeds.
Let's go to the app!

I chose 9 because 10 would make for not as nice formatting. And I didn't want to choose anyone I know from real life because of reasons. So as you can tell I'm really nerdy. Yes I follow Diet Coke. Yes, I follow Starbucks. It's Instagram. I don't use Instagram that much so my choices were actually pretty limited but I am nonetheless happy with all of them. Greg Behrendt, Kathy Griffin, Grace Helbig, Mary Lynn Rajskub (aka Chloe on 24), Rhett & Link, Felicia Day (aka Penny from Dr. Horrible), and Team Coco.
 #blogeverydayinjuly link-up

July 20, 2014

That Time I Had to Be Plastic Free in a Restaurant...

How to be plastic free in a restaurant:
After carefully insisting on no straw in my water and to have my salad dressing come on the salad instead of in the little plastic cup, I didn't think anything of using the little half & half thingies for my coffee. At first. I was about to open a second one for my refill and realized what I was doing! I asked if I could get creamer in another container and I was successfully brought some in a small glass. However, I'm not sure how well all of this would go if the restaurant was busy and I wasn't friends with my server.

July 19, 2014

That Time I Had a Favorite Local Restaurant...

Today's prompt:
Blog about your favorite local restaurant. 
My real answer is my kitchen. For diet and monetary reasons I don't eat out much. But since my kitchen isn't really the answer we were looking for, I'm going to choose the locally owned Greek restaurant. 
I don't want to name it here on the interwebs but we just have the one and the food is great. The first time I went I was worried I wouldn't like anything on the menu because I'm kind of picky but I found a couple of things I thought I could handle and I really liked everything I as willing to try.
#blogeverydayinjuly link-up

July 18, 2014

That Time I Was Bean Boozled...

Today's prompt:
Among these weird flavors of Jellybeans, what five flavors are you willing to taste?
Wow. Well. Um... I'll have to go with Pencil Shavings (even though I don't like banana anyway), Toothpaste, and Moldy Cheese. The other ones are too disgusting and I already saw Rhett and Link try them which did not make them at all appealing.
#blogeverydayinjuly link-up

July 17, 2014

That Time I Did Some Online 'Window' Shopping...

Today's prompt:
Share five websites you like to go online 'window shopping' to.
  1. Amazon. And anything I might want to get sometime in the future I put in my cart and then "save for later" to either buy when I have money or if I need to get my total up to 35$ for the free shipping.
  2. ThinkGeek. ALL the Doctor Who merch!
  3. Old Navy. There may come a day when I no longer have any non-Old Navy clothes in my closet.
  4.  eBay. Whenever I feel it's time to increase the amount of sundresses I own.
  5. Autotrader. One day I will own a Jeep Grand Cherokee. One day.

 #blogeverydayinjuly link-up

July 16, 2014

That Time When There Were 5 Books That Should Be Movies...

Today's Blog Everyday in July prompt:
What are the five books you want to see in movies?

I don't read a lot of books, which is limiting, but here goes:

1) 'Tis... aka Angela's Ashes 2.
2) Hyperbole and a Half... Would love to see the stories animated into one movie.
3) Waiter Rant... Although it would probably be a lot like "Waiting..."
4) MWF Seeking BFF... A book I read because I prefer non-fiction and one of my friends told me about reading it after she moved to a new city. I think it would be a great premise for a movie.
5) Something Blue... The follow up to Something Borrowed which is a movie already. Something Blue features the character played by John Krashinski in Something Borrowed the movie, so if they made the sequel, I'd get to see him the amount that I wanted to in the first one.

July 15, 2014

That Time I Made More Homemade Plastic Free Stuff...

I'm skipping the blog prompt again today for a Plastic Free July post.

Today: More Adventures in Homemade Things!

I went through my list of things I want to make to have plastic free versions and picked a couple that are also fast to make. I chose coconut sour cream (also dairy free if that matters to anyone) and flour tortillas. The coconut sour cream didn't happen because I didn't plan ahead and put my can of coconut milk in the fridge the night before. But flour tortillas did!

Flour Tortillas
I saved all the almond gook from when I made almond milk and ground it into flour.  So since the recipe said it only makes two tortillas, I made two batches. One with all flour and one with half almond flour which, I believe, is lower calorie. 

  • I think that the recipe I used had halved the ingredients but kept the directions because the amount of dough it made would be two very small tortillas or one normal sized one. 
  • The almond flour did not work great. The result was a very brittle tortilla which would be fine to use with a dip but won't fold well.
  • Also instead of rolling them out I used my fingers to smoosh them into circles which made them too thick. I also might have used too much flour. 
  • They were tasty with some of my homemade ranch dip!

July 14, 2014

That Time There Were 5 Things That Make Me Uncomfortable...

Today's prompt:
5 Things That Make You Uncomfortable
1) Grapes
2) Spiders
3) Blueberries
4) Nakedness (in general)
5) Pants when they are too tight (went literal on this one)

 #blogeverydayinjuly link-up

July 13, 2014

That Time I Blogged My Day In Pictures...

Today's prompt:
Your day in pictures:
Brushed my teeth with homemade toothpaste.
It's brown from vanilla extract
Went hiking.
 Stopped by the local art festival
Music, art, sand sculpture, and treats. Oh, my!
 Made dinner at home.
Ginger glazed mahi mahi
 My roommate tried to buy hummus (in a plastic container!!!) but I stopped him and made him buy ingredients instead. Saved $1 and no plastic!
And it was easy!
 Ran the dishwasher with homemade dish detergent.
I promise it works! Recipe.
 And did some laundry with homemade laundry detergent.
This does too! Recipe.
So that was my day. 

A little about my homemade stuff: 

The dish and laundry detergent use two of the same ingredients so when you have to buy a big box of borax and washing soda for one, know that you can use them also for the other product. I ordered all of my ingredients online except for the citric acid for the dish detergent, cause that's what I do, but I think you can get all of them in a super market.

Oh and my toothpaste. After perusing a bunch of recipes that require a bunch of stuff I didn't want to bother with buying I decided to make my own recipe which is about 2 Tbsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp Splenda (or other non-sugar sweetener), and the amount of your-choice-of-flavor extract that will make it paste-y. I was using peppermint, which was good, and only switched to vanilla because I didn't have any peppermint left.

 #blogeverydayinjuly link-up