My Mother’s Potatoes

I am my mother’s daughter so when I signed up to take mashed potatoes to Thanksgiving dinner, I did what my mother would do…I attempted to double the recipe that already claimed to make eight servings even though there were only eight people at dinner and obviously there were many other things to eat!

I say attempted to because I made slow cooker garlic mashed red potatoes (yum!) and my crock pot is a mini-me and only fit the ingredients for a single batch.  It’s actually a good thing because my family ate and liked the potatoes AND  took some home, but I took the bulk of the leftovers and just finished them on Friday! Imagine if I had made a double batch. (My sister is also our mother’s daughter and actually did double her sweet potato au gratin casserole recipe and ended up taking the whole second dish home with her!)

But, still, I was left with the extra five pounds of red potatoes I never made.  If you followed along, you’ll see how I blame my mother for those five pounds of potatoes, which is why, when my mother came over for breakfast after the GOTR 5K (she was a running buddy!) yesterday, we had potato breakfast burritos. 

There were no pictures of the food, so I’ll just tell you they were pretty and yummy.  Just sautéed/steamed green peppers and red potatoes, eggs, cheese and salsa verde.  Further proof that I am my mother’s daughter, I used the smoke detector as a kitchen timer.  Twice.  I blame the turkey bacon. 

Since I like cooking and baking so much recently, I should probably just leave this little quick access to smoke detector set up as is.  And yes, that is It’s a Wonderful Lifetime on the TV…I love made-for-TV holiday movies!

Pumpkinpalooza

I don’t go crazy for pumpkin stuff. Well, except a few years ago I had pumpkin cheesecake from CPK that was awesome.

And I usually head to Starbucks for a pumpkin spice latte as soon as they’re out for the season, except this year, I realized I don’t really know how to order the damn thing  – I’m not okay with having to ask a barista to NOT put whipped cream on my coffee because, well, it’s coffee and whipped cream shouldn’t be an option – and what I really want anyway is my regular drink, an Americano, with pumpkin spice flavor.  So now I know.

Anyway, I really don’t think of myself as one of the pookie for pumpkin types, until this happened:

Those are pumpkin scones btw. I made them and drank that last night after this happened:

Staying in won out. When making a training schedule, I think it’s important to know yourself. I know that as my day moves along, my chances of working out get slimmer, which is why morning workouts and straight-from-work workouts work best for me.

My official training for my next race doesn’t start until Christmas Day, but until then, I do have a plan that is meant to keep me sane during the holiday season and on track to be able to start the training without starting from square one.

Based on my recent acceptance that the 7:15 class doesn’t work for me and changing priorities and responsibilities in my life, I’m going to be revising that schedule because it’s way better than being frustrated and disappointed that I’m not following it.

Anyway, back to the scones.  I found this recipe on The Granola Chronicles early in the season:

Ingredients
3/4 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 teaspoons baking soda
4 cups white whole wheat flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup butter
1 egg
additional sugar & cinnamon for sprinkling

Blend the pumpkin, yogurt and baking soda. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cut in the butter, and then stir in the pumpkin mixture and egg until just moistened. 
Place the dough on a floured surface and knead briefly. Split dough into half and shape each half into a circle that is 3/4″ thick. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Cut each evenly into six wedges and place on a lightly greased baking sheet 2″ apart. 
Bake at 350 for 23-25 minutes until the tops are golden brown.

I held on to it until a few weeks ago when I made a quasi-fail half-batch.  They came out somewhere in between muffins and scones because I added extra pumpkin and yogurt because they seemed too dry.  Yes, I know that’s kind of the idea. 

I probably wouldn’t have made them again, except the recipe only calls for part of the can of pumpkin, so I decided to take another shot at the scones to use up what I had left and made a full batch this time. 

Patience is a virtue, so I therapeutically kneaded until it was combined instead of tossing more wet ingredients at it to hurry it along.  And this time, I got scones!  While I don’t necessarily recommend pairing them with pumpkin beer (coffee is really the way to go), don’t knock it until you try it!

When Life Hands You Rice, Make Rice Pancakes

I made rice the other night.  I can’t remember if I’ve ever made rice before, so A. I was intimidated because I’ve heard it’s pretty dang easy to mess up, B. I didn’t realize how long it was going to take and C. I didn’t think about how much cooked rice would result from preparing a cup of uncooked.

A girl can only eat so many burritos. 

I wanted to use what I already had and I LOVE B4D (also known as breakfast for dinner or brinner), so I was thrilled when I came across a recipe for rice pancakes that called for ingredients I already had in my kitchen!

The baker who posted it on AllRecipes.com said she came up with the recipe to accommodate a lot of food allergies.  I guess the pull is that they’re gluten-free and could be made vegan with the substitution of soy or almond milk.*

Rice Pancakes
1 cup cooked rice (mine was brown)
1 cup milk
1 and 1/4 cups rice flour (I didn’t have and used regular, therefore, mine were not gluten-free)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons applesauce
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Combine all ingredients with a hand mixer for 2 minutes and (shocker!) cook them as you would regular pancakes.  Makes six average-sized pancakes.

As a very novice pancake-flipper, I really appreciated that theses pancakes held together pretty well in the pan.  The rice made them dense and moist, but they weren’t too “ricey” (even though my kitchen ended up smelling like a chinese restaurant).  They pretty much just tasted like pancakes! 

Last night I topped with syrup and this morning I’m taking one to work with some jam.  Yum!

I still have a lot more rice left over, so I just might have to make them again.  Such a sacrifice!

*I think.  I don’t follow either of these diets strictly and am not 100% sure of the ins and outs.  Please correct me if I’m wrong!

Ode to Mickey D’s Oatmeal

I’m not a huge fan of fast food.  It kind of confuses me honestly, but I like oatmeal and enjoy something warm in my tummy on a cold (you know, like 58 degrees) day. 

So when I saw McDonald’s new oatmeal offering I kinda wanted to try it. Plus, I snagged a free coupon from a friend’s late night fast food run.  How are you going to say no to free?  Today I passed by a Mickey D’s and remembered that coupon burning a whole in my wallet. 

I’ve heard some not-so favorable things about the oatmeal, not that I expected it to be amazingly healthy coming from a fast food place and all. As quick-serve oatmeal goes, nutritionally, McDonald’s oatmeal is on par with Jamba Juice and Starbucks, who basically have better marketing.

I’m guessing Bittman’s thought about once you’re in McD’s you’re likely to opt for something else anyway is pretty accurate because (A) the staff seemed surprised to be selling one and (B) they weren’t too sure about how to make it.  But, it turned out well and was pretty filling. 

By “passed by” I meant, “on my way home from the gym.”  For shame! 

Next time I’ll remember that I can order it “my way” with no cream, no brown sugar, which, admittedly might make it not as delicious.

In a pinch, worse decisions could be made, but for the most part I’ll stick to homemade.  Currently I’m making my way through my silo of Quaker Quick Oats and then plan on jumping on the Coach’s Oats love train!