Saturday, June 16, 2012


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I have previously admitted (I think) to my love of cooking/baking. However, that doesn't mean I like deciding on meal plans. Tomorrow is a perfect example. My older brother decided that he and I would be responsible for Sunday lunch for the entire family. If you've read my previous posts you know that that is A LOT of people. He decided on burgers, nice and simple right? Yes! Here's the catch, I'm in charge of anything that we decide we want on the 3/4 of our lunch plate that is not covered with burger.
Of course, me being me, I see this as an opportunity to create something yummy, visually amazing and healthy for my family but oh! what to make!!? It is now 7:00 and I still have a big fat list filled with ZERO ideas. I'm definitely one for procrastination. :) I work well under pressure most of the time so I'm sure I'll have some pictures to share of our Sunday lunch.
Dinner tonight was courtesy of my mom. A stir-fry style dish with London broil, snow peas and bell peppers. Image
I was lazy and didn't feel like waiting for brown rice to cook so we used some cooked white rice we had in the fridge. Easy is best on Sat nights. I topped mine off with a fresh peach that we picked up from the local Farmer's market last night.
Don't worry, I normally don't eat such small helpings but I had quite a large lunch out today with a good friend so I was holding back :).Image
I got a little experimental with my iced tea and added some cranberry juice. It was... different. Not bad but definitely needs tweaking before making it a staple.
I have accomplished more procrastination while posting this blog and my planning/shopping time is now nearly non-existent.
We'll see how it all turns out tomorrow :) Lunch for 18... bring it on!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Who are you reading?

Just a little bit more about who I am.
While I realize that the title of this blog is neither original nor highly creative, it is a somewhat accurate description of who I am. In 5th grade I was 4"7 and when I graduated college I was still... 4"7. Both my parents are quite short so I didn't have much of a chance in the height department. I am number six in a family of seven children. Yes... 7! While all my siblings are on the short side of the measuring stick, I have the grand privilege of being the shortest. (Yay me!) Even though short and sweet  are often paired, I felt that savory was a better description of my personality and my food preferences. It should also be noted that shortnsweet was already taken as a blog name :).  My 6 siblings have now resulted in 9 awesome nieces and nephews and some very beautiful sibling→parent transitions. While this is often chaos, and bedlam when we're all together, I love each and every one of them more that I can express.
My wonderful siblings who love to tease, have tapped me as the food drill sergeant in the family. While this is wildly untrue and inaccurate as a description, I will admit to the following attributes:
1. An immensely strong hatred of mayonnaise.
2. A love of fresh, savory, delicious ingredients (basil, arugula, hummus, quinoa, garlic, mozarella etc etc etc)
3.  Giving Dad the stink eye when he piles butter on his vegetables/bread, or my brother when he eats the entire T-bone steak.
4. Attempting to discretely take over the cooking when Mom starts to boil vegetables. (grill or steam!!!)
However, I am also one to make desserts or baked goods that are waaaay too high in fat and sugar for anyone's good (see my cake pops?), eat one too many pieces of a delicious pizza, and fill my plate fuller than one person my size ever should just because it all looks SO good! My point is, I'm not a food nazi as many in the nutrition field are believed to be. I can't tell you how many times I've told people at a party, potluck that I am in the nutrition field and the immediate response is one of two things:
1. Don't look at my plate!
2. So what would you suggest for _____ (fill in blank with some diagnosis, height/weight ratio, diet recommendation etc)
Ever done that? Don't lie! :) We all do it to everyone. Don't assume that I'm judging you, I'm probably envying what you have on your plate instead! It is usually the case that those in the nutrition field are not food snobs. Quite the contrary! We're usually foodies. In the future, if you forget why I may be posting an awful lot about food, you can come back to this post and remember why. =D Expect to hear about my students and my family as well. All of which are great blessings in my life.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Apples and... Strawberries?

I love to get creative with food. It's not always beneficial to do so when you're cooking but baking is a different story. =D Since I work for a school district, my office planned their annual "end-of-year" party this last week. It was potluck style and I had no idea what to bring. The list was short on desserts so I signed up for "something sweet". I have played around making cake pops before and had quite a bit of fun. So I thought I would try it out again for my coworkers. Before I explain what I did here's my disclaimer: I see the irony and borderline hypocrisy of my actions.
I work for a program that promotes healthy eating and targets mostly low income areas. We promote fresh fruits and vegetables and nutrition education. I though that it would be cute, although misleading, to make cake pops in the shapes of fruit. (no this doesn't make them healthy :) ) I looked around online to see if it had been done before and of course I found some amazing ideas.
I did scrounged through the pantry and was delighted to realize that I would only need to buy chocolate and some icing (yay!) Here's what I used
  • 1 box cake mix
  • 9 x 13 in pan
  • 1 can/jar of icing (I used cream cheese just because it's so yummy)
  • Spearmint gum and mint for leaves
  • Pretzel sticks cut into thirds
  • lollipop sticks
  • Melted chocolate (red, green, white, & regular dark)
  • Wax paper
  • Styrofoam blocks (I pre-made the holes in mine with an ice pick)
I first baked the cake and made them into the balls. These little things keep pretty well even when they aren't covered in chocolate so I made mine the night before I was decorating and chilled them in the fridge overnight. The next morning, I pulled on my apron and got my assembly line started. If you try cake balls for yourself just be warned that the first 3 (at least) are always trial and error. Make sure you don't overheat your chocolate like I did because the result is often very evident. Other than that, get dipping and have fun!
Because I'm new to blogging I don't think about taking pictures until it is nearly too late to do so. I hope you enjoy the pictures I do have. :)
Other strawberry cake pops I saw in books and online used anything from spearmint gum (which I tried)  to chocolate molds. I have some mint growing around the backyard and thought they would look great. They do, but they aren't as edible (esp for kids) as something like a green fruit roll-up. All in all, the mint was successful though. Also, instead of an edible pen or candy pearls for the seeds I went the easy route and used a plastic baggie as a makeshift pastry bag and filled it with melted white chocolate. I was pleased with the result which was all that counted at that point. :)
You can tell from the lumpy texture that I overheated the chocolate on accident. Oh well, live and learn!
Most of the apples I found in my so-called research were red which made sense to create the green leaf and red apple contrast but... I had to try granny smith too.

I was super excited when I saw the green. I thought they turned out adorable. They really looked like miniature Granny Smith apples on a stick.

Like I said... I get these crazy ideas and I just had to try this one out. It worked out better than I expected. I ran an extremely sharp knife under hot water so that I didn't have to saw through the chocolate. Instead it just sort of melted it's way through so that I could cut a wedge out of the existing cake pop. Then I used the fake pastry bag of white chocolate to fill in the wedge and a small baggie of melted dark chocolate to put in some seeds. Isn't this fun?
The finished product is closest to those created by Bakerellabut my methods definitely need perfecting.  I deviated in small ways but I was pleased with the result.  One tip that I learned from Bakerella that I found priceless was to tap your wrist after dipping rather than tapping the stick against the bowl. Your wrist absorbs the shock so that you don't knock the cake off the stick. I apologize that there are not pictures of the process.
I had a really fun time making these and they were a big hit at the party. Surprisingly they aren't just neat to make and cute to look at, they also taste pretty darn good as well. =D I wish the best of luck and loads of fun to anyone who takes on their own cake pop adventure.

And so it begins...

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I'm not the type who normally shares every detail of her boring life with the world. Nor am I one who believes false pretenses that the world cares. However, in the last year I have stumbled across several blogs that I not only find entertaining and enjoyable to read, I have found them helpful and encouraging as well. It is comforting to know that there are other people who have been there, done that. It's even more encouraging to know that you can be there and do that too!
Last year I graduated from college with my bachelor's degree in dietetics. For some reason I felt that after college there would be a cushion of struggle or aimless floating but eventually it would all work out. Instead, I find myself here a year later, pretty much in the same spot I was last year at this time with seemingly less direction. Although I have the same goals that I did when I started college, for some reason they seem less attainable. So, I thought to myself, instead of a TO DO list (which I love) why not chronicle the journey that is ahead? Write and document what happens so that you can see life unfold before you.
I love food, I love cooking, I love my family and I hope to one day combine all those loves into my career. Teach people and their families to love food and make healthy eats a part of their daily life. Before becoming an RD (registered dietitian), there is a long road and a lot of work ahead. I intend to cook, eat and blog along the way. What better way to enjoy the long trek? So, here begins my published journey. I need all the help I can get so if there are those of you out there who have been there and done that, please share your wisdom! I hope that if there are those who take the time to read, they will find my experiences helpful, encouraging, informative, entertaining and anything else you may be looking for in the life of another.
I'm in for the long haul, won't you join me?