Choosing my T-Day recipes (+ a reading update).

It’s lunchtime and I’m reading my book and polishing off last night’s leftovers.

Still reading Dracula. Last night was a “reading night” here (as in an evening when S and I read books instead of watching a movie) so I was able to make a good dent.

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Yay, progress! (I really do like this book, I promise; I’m just slow.)

As for the food — I am accentuating my Tofurky sandwich with what remains of this recipe I tried last night for Garlic Parmesan Roasted Brussels Sprouts.

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This was all that was left, so I guess you could say the sprouts went over pretty well :).

I’m still on the fence about making them for T-Day, though. I keep thinking the garlic Parmesan topping would work just as well with broccoli, and I love broccoli (as opposed to just being friends with Brussels sprouts), so I may use that instead.

I WILL be making these Ultimate Dinner Rolls that I tried a couple of weeks ago, though. They were easy and turned out really well! This will be my first Thanksgiving making rolls from scratch. I usually use frozen ones. Here is a tutorial for how to make them:

This nice lady (Tessa at Handle the Heat) seems to have a LOT of helpful videos on her site, actually. This morning I watched this one about making pie crusts.

I have gotten pretty good at making pie crusts over the years (if I do say so myself), however I still picked up some tips here!

I’ve mentioned before that I was not a domestic diva growing up. My mom claims this is because I “never wanted to learn anything.” To which I say, what kid DOES want to learn anything useful? When the choice is between chores or watching TV in your room, I don’t think I’m the only child who would have picked TV (please tell me I’m not the only one). So parents who know how to do cool homemaking stuff, please do me a favor and force your kids to learn those skills, too! Otherwise they will end up clueless like me. When I first moved out I had to try and pick up things from Food Network, HGTV and books. Now it’s the internet, of course.

But this is why I am so grateful to people who post tutorials and instructions online. They really help out “stragglers” like me.

Thankful,
Elizabeth

Recent Lunch Snacks

My husband takes his lunch to work almost every day. Since it’s become a goal of mine to make more of our food from scratch, I’ve bought fewer prepackaged snacks and begun baking more things to pack for him. Here are a few recipes I’ve tried recently.

Egg-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies. Neither of us has egg allergies, but the alternate ingredient in these is cream cheese, and I had half a package (plus an open bag of chocolate chips) in my fridge I wanted to use up,┬áso it worked out nicely. The cheese gives the cookies a unique, almost tangy taste that I really like. It was the second time I’ve made them and I’m sure I will again.

The following week I made two loaves of chocolate chip pumpkin bread, using a can of pumpkin I’d had sitting in my pantry for who knows how long, and some more of the aforementioned chocolate chips.

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023This recipe came from the Betty Crocker Cookbook my MIL gave me when I was first married. I’ve been making serious efforts to downsize my belongings in recent years and have divested myself of many cookbooks, but this one’s a keeper. I use it quite often! The pumpkin bread recipe is tried-and-true, as are so many others. One loaf of this bread went straight into the freezer for later and we ate the other throughout the week.

Last week’s treat was Trail Mix Cookies. I found this recipe on Pinterest (of course :)) and appreciated it both because it was super easy to whip up, and because I already had all of the ingredients for it sitting in my pantry and fridge.

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I love recipes that use up odds and ends! For these, I was able to use up 1/3 cup of raisins, 1/3 cup chocolate chips (eventually I WILL empty that entire bag; I have faith) and for the other third I mixed sunflower seeds, chopped pecans, and sliced almonds. We eat natural peanut butter on our sandwiches, but I had some “regular” PB, too, left over from some Pad Thai experiments, so I used that. Also, I cut the brown sugar down to 2/3 cup. I figured these would probably be plenty sweet, what with the peanut butter, chocolate chips, and raisins, and I was right. They turned out pretty tasty! Honestly, I was a tad skeptical they’d turn out at all when I first saw the super-oily dough, but I was pleased with how pretty and appetizing the finished product turned out. Refrigerating the dough before baking it really is key to helping these keep their shape.

DSCF2787I’m not sure yet what the next treat I bake will be, but I’m hoping to find some more relatively healthy recipes…part of the beauty of making and taking your own lunch is the low cost, of course, but the other is having control over what goes into the food!

Elizabeth