Thursday, December 3, 2009

the acti-fry

i am lucky. seriously. (i mean really, have you met my hubby?!) okay, but really, this post is really about my luck in winning prizes. at the nutrition conference i attended in denver, i entered to win this very cool kitchen appliance called the acti-fry. it makes french fries from 2pounds of potatoes with only 2 tablespoons of oil. and as a rd who happens to enjoy french fries, this is very cool. prize, the acti-fry, arrived at our door a few weeks later...and i was thrilled. seriously. jump up and down thrilled. (i am not kidding...i jumped up and down.) okay, back to the point. with this fabulous appliance, we decided to attempt our own french fries.


then...add 2 tablespoons of oil.

then...let the acti-fry begin.

then...30minutes later.


survey says...they were pretty good. next time: cut smaller fries. try different seasonings. add burgers. (we ate turkey just wasn't the same.) all in all...the acti-fry will see another day.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


things are more adorable when they are mini, right?!

in case you couldn't tell, they are mini pumpkin pies with jack-o-lantern faces. if you want the here. mine may not be quite as cute as the ones featured in the recipes, but was my first attempt. (the faceless ones were for eric...he later admitted that he could barely taste the chocolate.) cute and tasty.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Is it an "attempt" if you're just trying to survive?! Between my thesis and moving...survival has been the main goal for the last 2 weeks.

We're currently moving from survival mode to functional mode...which includes my "attempt" to organize. Our new place is slightly smaller than our last place...that factor on top of the complete chaos that is created by moving has created a disaster area in our 2nd bedroom. My current "attempt" to deal with that situation includes shutting the door and walking away. Maybe next week will be a real "attempt"?!

PS...I should be embarrassed to admit that our "attempts" at eating well have resorted to freezer meals and frozen pizzas, but I'm not. That's just life. And life isn't perfect. And neither are my eating habits. Maybe this blog should be called "confessions" instead of "attempts"...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

more tomatoes

tomatoes. lots of tomatoes. and though i love them, they are a lot of work (especially the little ones).

and since i don't want to invest in canning at this point in life, freezing is the best option. so, because this process was new to me, i thought i'd share it with you.

[to tell the truth, this isn't the first time i attempted this process. i actually completed my first batch, along with several calls to my mom, a few weeks ago. and that process inspired this blog. i figure i'm not the only one who calls my mom frequently during a project and never really knows if i'm doing it right or not. so i figured i'd share all of my attempts with you. back to the tomatoes...]

1. wash well

2. boil water

3. prepare ice bath (note to self: have enough ice on hand for the plethora of tomatoes. second note to self: prepare a bowl large enough for all of your boiling hot tomatoes)

4. dump tomatoes into boiling water. leave them in the boiling waters for...well...not very long (i probably took them out a bit sooner than i needed to but i'd say it's less than a minute)

5. drain tomatoes and transfer them immediately to the ice bath. leave them there for a few minutes while you get your next stations ready

7. peel the tomatoes. flash boiling, as above, cooks them just enough to loosen the skin.

8. cut the tomatoes into large chunks

9. bag and freeze

apparently (according to my mom), you can use these just like diced canned tomatoes after they thaw...we'll see. i have yet to try them yet.

that's all. (that and the 12 pans of cookies i baked this week. but we'll save that for another post.)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

take 2...sundried tomatoes

i'm no quitter. so i tried again.

and because i was determined to make this batch better than the last, i made a few modifications. first, i seeded my tomatoes.

and since with the seeds, comes a whole lot of liquid, i decided to be a bit more vigilant on the time. i checked them at 4 hours and did a bit of rearranging. since the tomatoes varied in size, some were more done than others.

and after about 30-45 minutes for the beefier tomatoes, they were all done...success!

(sorry the picture's kinda weird...i've had all kinds of trouble getting things uploaded. i think it's our internet.)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

how does a garden grow?

so, i've always been a gardener. back in the day, the 4-h days to be exact, i got a blue ribbon in gardening. i had my own plot in my mom's garden. i have no idea what i grew, but i'm sure it was blue-ribbon worthy. i think there may have been a bell pepper involved.

last year, my garden-attempt was limited to a 6" by 18" container. cilantro (that didn't quite make it but provided a few happy salads). sage. dill. basil. the basil was a huge hit. it even made the trip to utah with me. basil = happiness.

so this year, when we found our humble abode, and it had a small garden plot i was beyond thrilled. so thrilled, i moved 72 square feet of rock so i could get to the dirt. thrilled. i sketched out my space and planned what i would plant. i sketched. re-sketched. consulted with the hubby. resketched. and then...i planted.

and watered.

and waited.

and watered. and waited.

(ps...that's my head poking out of the tomatoes. and they aren't giant just because they are taller than me...really, have you ever seen tomatoes that tall?)

it was a joyous process. and i loved every minute of it. i even loved when the giant tomatoes fell over. i even loved when the giant tomatoes fell over again. (i didn't so love when the hubby hurt his hand helping me with the stakes for the giant tomatoes. there may have been more than one can of cream of mushroom soup harmed in the process...sorry, to my hubby, not to the decimated cans.) but i loved it. and's loving me back.

i love my garden.

Monday, September 21, 2009

sun-dried tomatoes

so...i have a plethora of tomatoes (see the future post on the garden...that's a attempt for sure!). and in trying to be domestic/frugal/un-wasteful i decided to make sun-dried tomatoes. easy. right.

actually, not so hard. i...
1. quartered my juliet tomatoes (a cross between a roma and a cherry...according to me)
2. placed them skin down on a piece of foil that was covering my pan
3. interspersed unpeeled garlic cloves
4. salted and peppered liberally
5. drizzled with olive oil

6. put in the oven @ 225F for 6 hours
7. checked them a few times
8. left them in for the full 6 hours (ignoring my intuition to take them out sooner)

9. removed burnt sun-dried tomatoes from the oven
10. curbed my disappointment

so, really it wasn't that hard, and my ingredients were mostly from my garden, so i didn't waste that much. and i learned that you should always follow your intuition. the end.