Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Quick Recipes

Yesterday I took my car to the car wash to get a thorough interior cleaning.  Apparently, this is called detailing.  I was under the impression that this is car detailing......

Needless to say, there was a little bit of confusion when I said I wanted my car cleaned, and the man said, "mam, we do the best detailing in town."  After seeing the sheer panic on my face, the man clarified what the process of detailing actually involves and informed me that he needed at least 2 hours get my car detailed.  Since I only had an hour, I made an appointment to return this morning.

I got there at 9 am.  I dropped my car off and walked to Panera, where I drank coffee and caught up on paperwork for two hours.  Then, I walked back to the car detailing center, where I sat for two and a half MORE hours.  O.M.G.  It took them 4.5 hours to clean my car!!!  And believe me, I know they were working that entire time.  I kept doing that awkward thing that we impatient people know, sticking my head in the detailing garage, checking my watch dramatically, and sighing loudly.

And then I got really embarrassed.  Because clearly, I am a pig and my car is my pigsty.  So, I spent the next hour trying to come up with excuses to explain the state of disaster that my car was in.  Finally, the man came out, drenched in sweat and huffing and puffing, to tell me my car was clean.  And I heard myself blurt out, "oh, my husband is going to be thrilled that his car is so clean!  This was my special birthday gift to him."

(This is sort of like the time my dad flushed a bottle of cologne down the toilet and then called the plumber and told him that his daughter did it.  Or, the time my dad knocked over the peanut butter display in the grocery store and blamed my sister.  So really, this deflection of blame is a learned habit I picked up in childhood.  Clearly, I was a young, sweet, impressionable little girl, so this terrible habit is not my fault either.)

So, why am I telling you all of this?  Well, Wednesdays are my cooking days.  I always set aside some time on Wednesdays to work in the kitchen to try out new recipes to share with you.  By the time I got home, I had 10 minutes to grab carseats and go pick up the minis.  We went to the gym and shared a snack and dropped the oldest mini off at swim practice.  Then, the two little minis came home with me for about an hour before we headed to my middle minis baseball game.  So, I had to get creative with my time and tried out two new quick recipes.

The first dish is a weight watchers recipe.  It's called carrot and apple salad.  I realized once I started making it that I was out of carrots.  So, I call it apple salad.

Apple Salad (or you can get fancy and add the carrots....then call it carrot and apple salad.)

  • 4 apples (I used 1 granny smith and 3 pink lady apples), cut into matchsticks
  • lemon juice
  • 3 cups raw carrots, cut into matchsticks 
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 oz feta cheese, crumbled
1.  Place apples in a large bowl and toss with lemon juice. A
2.  Add carrots, chives, oil, sugar, salt, pepper and cheese; toss to mix thoroughly. 

I had zero expectations for this salad and I have to was fantastic!  We had a dinner of sub sandwiches (garlic cheddar bread from Great Harvest with organic cold cuts), orange slices, cheese slices, and apple salad.  I am certain we will be eating apple salad for lunch all summer long.  

The other dish I tried to make was roasted chickpeas.  Unfortunately, I didn't get these in the oven soon enough, so I had to pull them out to leave for baseball before they were done.  So mine ended up being mushy rather than crunchy.  I am definitely planning on re-trying this dish because the flavor was good, it was just a disaster with texture.  These would be a great snack option, or an alternative to eating nuts.

Roasted Chickpeas
  • 1 can (14 oz) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon or your spice(s) of choice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Place chickpeas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  
  2. Bake at 450 F for 30 minutes.  At this time, check the chickpeas to see if they are crunchy by tasting one of them.  If they are mushy, put them back in for longer.  
  3. Transfer chickpeas to a bowl and mix thoroughly with the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Enjoy hot, or bring to room temperature and store in an air-tight container.  Like popped corn, the chickpeas are never as good the next day.  However, they are still quite enjoyable 3-4 days after making them.   
 Out of the oven....make sure they are CRISPY and CRUNCHY!

Coated with topping.

So, I apologize for the simplicity of today.  Or, perhaps, you prefer simple recipes?  Let me know!  And if your car is messy, please go get it detailed.