Blow, Ill Wind, Blow Away

My schedule this term is slightly crazy. I pretty much felt like this all week:

It's really not so bad, but I'm still not used to teaching as much as I have to this term. I'll admit, I'm having a tough time finding a balance between teaching and working on my dissertation. But it's good practice, since I'm signing up to do this full time, you know, for my career. I love my students (mostly) and I love my dissertation (mostly), but I'm ready for reading week. 

But I'm also not ready for reading week, because I have to submit a draft of my dissertation proposal by then, and it's far from done. 

After a full day of teaching, office hours, a staff meeting, more teaching, and planning for class on Friday, I came home and did this:  

That's no cupcake. That's bubble bath waiting to go in the tub. After a long week of writing and teaching the kiddos, it was a perfect way to end the week. Also, bonus, I planned all of next week's classes, so I should be able to have more quality time with Rameau (aka, the star of my dissertation) next week. Here's to a more balanced week.

John and our friend Ian took over the kitchen two nights in a row to make Alton Brown's recipe for Coq au Vin, and they were not disappointed. 


They paired it with a really buttery, delicious Chardonnay that I hope to find again sometime. 

John has said on occasion that he wants to learn how to cook certain meat dishes, and I've encouraged him to find a meat-eating friend and go to it. Knowing I had to come up with something easy for myself that wouldn't take up a lot of kitchen resources, I made this: 

I call it the Lazy Girl's Pizza for One. It's a pita with melted herbed havarti, sauteed mushrooms, and arugula on top. I got to eat the whole thing while they waited for their coqs (heh) to finish cooking, and they were definitely jealous. Even with coq au vin on the way, melted cheese is still tempting. 

We also made some recipes from Appetite for Reduction.
Living in the age of Twitter means that anyone can randomly get in contact with famous people, or at least bug them more directly on the internet. So I decided to tweet to Isa Chandra that we are using her book. And she replied! Here's the email notification:

**Blush**. You guys, we're friends for life now.

This week we made: 

Red Thai Tofu and Pad Thai Salad.


Y'all, this salad dressing is delightful. It's mostly ground peanuts, a little soy sauce, water, garlic, cilantro, and sriracha. Super easy, lightly spicy, and it really takes the salad up a notch. The rest of it is simple to throw together: grated carrot, red onion, bean sprouts, and cilantro. She suggests bulking it up with the tofu recipe, which was also very straight forward and probably took 30 minutes, start to finish. Ian and John took a break from the first night of coq au vin work to eat this, and they were pretty impressed. That salad will probably become a staple recipe for us.

Mom's Marinara and Tempeh-Bean Balls

Isa Chandra suggests about 10 different variations on the marinara sauce, which is just a simple tomato sauce. We tried the mushroom version, which adds about a pound of sauteed mushrooms to the sauce, once it's mostly done. John and I also added about 1.5 tbs of balsamic vinegar to the sauce and that gave it an amazing flavor. I'm sort of mixed about the bean balls. On the one hand, they are way easier and faster than homemade seitan. But we left them in the oven to stay warm while the rest of the recipe was coming together, and they dried out slightly. Fortunately, that was easy to fix by smothering them in the sauce. This one will make for good leftovers.

Last but hardly least, I made Oh She Glows, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Larabars

If you have a food processor, then the active part of this recipe takes about 10 minutes. Then you freeze the mixture for about 15 minutes, and voila! Larabars. With chocolate in them. Just like the real deal, they have about five ingredients: cashews, dates, chocolate chips, vanilla, and salt. They'll be great little snacks to bring to school. 

And now, I'm off to eat dinner and cheer on the Hoosiers as they play Michigan. Let's go Big Red! 

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