May 23, 2014

Family Dinner Friday: Goat Cheese and Walnut Hors D'oeuvres & Spring Quinoa Salad

Good morning, everyone. Have you had a good week? Not so much? Well I've got the perfect thing to start your weekend off right, a simple dinner that is healthy, light, and flavorful. I got the salad recipe from here, though I decided to take out the olives because this salad really does not need them. That and I absolutely hate olives. This salad has so many complex and delicious flavors, the saltiness of the olives would definitely detract, in my opinion. The hors d'oeuvres are an original recipe that is the product of my girlfriend experimenting in the kitchen. She first tried them with a drizzle of honey, but since this particular brand of goat-cheese already had honey in it, that was a no-go. 
I realized after I had taken the pictures of the salad that I had forgotten to add the chickpeas! Silly me, but luckily it just took a quick stir and they were fully incorporated. 

Walnut H'ors D'ovures:
Roasted Vegetable Ritz Crackers
Honey Goat Cheese

1. Smear as much or as little goat cheese on a Ritz Cracker as you would like
2. Stick a walnut on top
3. Enjoy - these are delicious, easy, with priceless presentation value

Quinoa Salad:
1 1/3 Cup Uncooked Quinoa
2 2/3 Cup Water
1/4 Cup Red Onion
1 Cucumber
3 Medium Tomatoes
1 Can Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas)
2 Ripe Avocados

For the Dressing:
1 Lemon
Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic

1. Wash the quinoa, and boil it in the water until cooked
2. Chop the cucumber, tomato, and red onion

3. Combine with the Garbanzo beans and Feta

4. Stir in the cooked quinoa
5. Add the juice of one lemon to a separate bowl. Add an equal amount of Olive Oil to the juice. Press the garlic into the same bowl, add a dash of salt, a crack of pepper, and a few shakes of Oregano. Whisk until fully combined.

6. Drizzle over the entire salad and stir to combine. 
7. Cut up the avocado whichever way you see fit, I find it easiest to make a grid pattern across the avocado with a knife, and scoop out the rectangles with a spoon.
8. Disperse the avocado around the bowl, or incorporate it with the rest of the salad.   

May 12, 2014

642 Things- Whittemore (actually) Writes!

This blog is titled Whittemore Writes not just because I believe it rolls off the tongue and I'm a fan of alliteration, but because it was originally meant to be a blog to showcase my writing! However, for the past eight months I haven't wanted to write at all. I always admired Flannery O'Connor because she would get up early every morning and sit at her typewriter for a set number of hours, or all day if she was on to something good. Writing is about habit, not inspiration as so many think, and I'm finding that to be more true every single day. I don't think my lack of writing had to do with a lack of inspiration. I find inspiration in even the smallest things: an off-handed comment, small notebooks, unexpectedly good conversations with friends, to name a few.

I was shopping with my girlfriend a few weeks ago when I picked up this book. 642 things to write about. 642 things. 642! That's a whole heck of a lot. My goal: to completely fill up this book, cover to cover, in a year. I'll be posting one or two things a week depending on length, and for the first time, really opening myself to critique. I'm apprehensive because I know the internet can be often times a mean place. However, I want to hear it all. Everything you've got to throw at me, I'm ready to hear it! If you think something sucks, tell me! But also, tell me why you think it sucks. Also understand I am very rusty as far as putting pen to paper, and hopefully these segments will improve over time. Without further ado, here is the first one!

Prompt: Write from this quote from Claude Levi-Strauss, "I am the place in which something has occurred."

My response: I am the place where this love happened. You touched the valley of my waist, kissed the basin of my collar bones, traversed my spine with your fingertips. You jumped ship after one night, you are climbing someone else's mountains. I am a place- my body a battleground of medication and my own corrupt chemistry. There is no "favorite" -money is not being exchanged on the sidelines. Soon my body will be memorialized with a plaque, dates and a name over useless earth. How does it feel to have razed a city, exploited an ecosystem, and carried on seeking your own ends? How does it feel to have had someone who drank your poison disguised as love, so you could exploit their resources?
What do you guys think? What could I have done better? Differently? How would you have answered the prompt? Leave me comments!

May 6, 2014

Treat Yo-Self Tuesday: Breakfast in Bed Muffins

My girlfriend came up with this recipe one morning in February. She likes to call them "Aunt Jemima and Haphazard Decisions Muffins" because these were made originally out of everything in the kitchen we needed to use up! Milk about to expire? This recipe uses a full cup! Have extra walnuts from that salad you never ate? Toss 'em in! Have those golden raisins been sitting in your fridge for longer than you would like to admit? Well thankfully, those get thrown into the mix too. Surprisingly, this mix of strange ingredients comes out to make a delicious muffin. 

Breakfast in Bed Muffins:
1 Cup Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix
1 Cup Flour
1/3 Cup Sugar
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 Cup Milk
1/3 Cup Oil
1 Egg
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Apple
Golden Raisins
Maple Syrup 
(Use as much as you see fit of the above three ingredients)

1. Set oven to 400 degrees
2. Combine all dry ingredients (pancake mix, flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon)
3. Whisk together wet ingredients (milk, oil, egg, vanilla)
4. Chop apples into small, but chunky bits. Combine with walnuts (I used the jumbo pieces and crushed them in my hand before putting them into the mix), and raisins. 
5. Mix all of it together, and put in a lined muffin tin.
6. Sprinkle with sugar (I used Sugar in the Raw) and bake for 14 minutes, or until cooked throughout.

Do any of you all have breakfast in bed traditions? Comment below and share!