Hype

Trader Joes Cookie Butter.
People love that stuff, like really love it. I’m a fan of Fall and Holiday season flavors; I love all the pumpkin, gingerbread, maple conceptions that appear. So it wasn’t difficult for a Trader Joes employee to talk me into a jar of Cookie Butter.

That was a year ago and I finally finished that stupid jar this morning. I know Trader Joes has a great return policy, but I just kept thinking I just hadn’t figured out what to do with the stuff yet. I put it on toast, pancakes, with jelly, etc.

This stuff is thick. With an almost gritty texture that always reminds me of lard.

IMG_4872.JPG

Several types of sugar and margarine seem to be the basis for this off conception. While its marketed similar to peanut butter, it should really be sold as more of an actual butter. Except it doesn’t melt.

IMG_4870.JPG

This morning I finally used up the last of the stupid jar by making my morning oatmeal in it. I microwaved the oats with almond milk right on the jar. The cookie butter didn’t even mix with the oatmeal after a stir. But it’s settling nicely in every artery and pore of my body. I feel lethargic and greasy, from a mere two-ish tablespoons of this awful stuff. But I’m a stubborn, determined person and felt some sick satisfaction in finishing off the jar that has been lingering for way too long.

Advertisements

Vacation Vacation

This past weekend Mister and I traveled to Boston, followed by two nights in Salem, Massachusetts.

We ate.

IMG_4702.JPG

IMG_4700.JPG

And walked. And ate.

IMG_4694.JPG

IMG_4725.JPG

Thankfully we were walking off all of this sugar, butter, and deliciously carb laden goodness. But after five days I’m left feeling relaxed, bloated, and greasy.

At the supermarket last night upon arriving home, I picked up loads of fresh vegetables. Spinach, kale, peppers, green beans, carrots, broccoli. A bag of dried chick peas. Some vegetable broth. These are the things I’m craving to reset.

I’ve also decided to attempt a no-meat diet for a week or so. I’ll keep eggs and dairy, but skipping over the pork, chicken, beef, turkey for a bit. On our drive home we passed two trucks full of live chickens. They looked cold, and terrified; clearly chicken is off the menu.

Any veggie recipe recommendations? I’m treating this as a new cooking adventure, new combinations and spices to explore.

Pot Roast Perfected

The crock pot is a wonderful thing. But there is the occasion where I just don’t want to use it. Pot roast tends to be that occasion.

It’s very name implies it should be cooked in a pot. I obliged the dishes title and followed Ree Drummond’s recipe.

IMG_4578.JPG

Heat up oil in your lovely Creuset. Brown the halved onions.

IMG_4579.JPG

Brown the carrots.

IMG_4580.JPG

Liberally salt and pepper the roast, then sear on all sides. Reserve it to the plate waiting on the stove already holding the onions and carrots. Add beef broth to deglaze the pot. Whisk that good stuff around, then return the onions, carrots, and beef to the pot. Top with fresh herbs.

IMG_4581.JPG

Cover and put in the oven at about 275°.

IMG_4582.JPG

Searing the meat is key. The deglazing is key. But even better is cooking it until perfectly tender but just barely holds it form. This doesn’t happen when using solely the crock pot.

IMG_4585.JPG

IMG_4584.JPG

I plated it up with some steamed red potatoes and topped it all with a perfect mushroom gravy. (Frozen seasoned mushrooms from Trader Joes, mixed with butter, flour, and beef broth)

It was so incredibly perfect. Mister and I ate in silence, pausing between bites to agree how good it was. We had to pack up the leftovers to prevent ourselves from having seconds. I wanted another plate to savour, though I knew there was absolutely no room for it in my stomach. I can’t wait to eat the leftovers, this dish needing absolutely no improvement.

New Classic

The changing leaves, the crisp mornings. Fall makes me want to cook; the urge hit hard and hasn’t waned in two weeks.

It seemed like a good time to make a batch of chili, to be eaten throughout the week. But I wasn’t really craving the typical tomato base, so I looked around at a few different recipes and figured it out from there.

IMG_4572.JPG

I started with lean ground turkey, browning it and then draining the fat. The turkey was set on reserve in a dish while I sautéed diced onion with minced garlic.

IMG_4571.JPG

The turkey went back in the pot. With canned white beans, canned pumpkin, and a small can of diced chilis.

IMG_4576.JPG

IMG_4574-0.JPG

About two cups of chicken broth, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and a few other spontaneously chosen spices all went into the pot.

Ideally this would be made in a crockpot for convenience I’m sure, but I have the day off and the lid to my crockpot is a little damaged.

IMG_4577.JPG

I’m going to let it simmer for a bit longer, but I’ve already tasted a few spoonfuls. It’s great texturally, creamy and filling. But I’m tempted to add some carrots for crunch, or maybe corn for a bit of contrast. The flavor profile is perfection, spicy and sweet without the acidity or burn of tomatoes. It doesn’t have a strong pumpkin flavor, if any at all.

Suggestions or similar recipes?