March 11, 2012

Thrifting, Cooking & Trails

Happy Weekend!  I had a pretty good one - went out for sushi Friday night and rocked a pretty cute outfit; Saturday I had a very successful Target (when is a Target not successful) and Goodwill shopping trip, nearly passed out during hot iron yoga after running the UAlbany loop and made some pretty awesome things in the kitchen! 

I love thrift store shopping - you never know what you are going to find and it can always be very hit or miss - this weekend was definitely a hit!  Here are some of my finds!
Cute skirt for spring - breaking the bank at $3 - and it fit at two sizes smaller!
I am always on the hunt for cute small plates and I definitely found some!
So last weekend I decided to shatter one of my favorite baking dishes (not on purpose but cold water on a hot glass dish does not mix) so I have been looking for another large sturdy baking dish and I found one!  This one is large, super sturdy and has handles!  Yet another bank breaker at $2!  I also bought a 'new' pink colander - the one I have now lost it's handles which is not good when handling hot pasta or veggies. 
My new baking dish in action!  I decided to make the Skinny Baked Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese again because I once again had a craving for mac and cheese (which seems to happen about once a week) and I wanted something delicious to accompany my 'Justified' and 'True Blood' watching.
As I was laying in bed this morning contemplating what if anything I should make for breakfast I realized that I had some buttermilk left over from making corn bread last weekend and I thought - homemade buttermilk biscuits!  So I looked up a (southern) recipe for buttermilk biscuits and went to work.  Here are some pictures with recipe to follow ...

They don't exactly look like biscuits - the whole shaping without sticking was a little tricky - but the end result was pretty tasty despite not looking perfect.
End result on one of my new plates!

Southern Buttermilk Biscuits
 2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold butter/margarine
1 1/4 cup buttermilk

Mix together the dry ingredients - cut in the butter (tablespoon by tablespoon) and mix on low until the flour resembles a coarse meal - add the buttermilk - place some flour on the counter and transfer the dough - press out the dough and use a cookie cutter some something circular (I used a coffee mug) to 'cut' out the biscuits - place in a greased circular pan and bake on 400 degrees for about 20 minutes!

My cooking creations also led me to make some crock pot jambalaya - yum!

Slow Cooker Jambalaya 
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts - cubed
1 pound sausage (I used turkey kielbasa instead)
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 cup chicken broth
1 large onion - chopped
1 - 2 bell peppers - chopped
1 cup celery - chopped
2 teaspoons died oregano
2 teaspoons died parsley
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning (I used Soul Food Seasoning)
2 teaspoon (or less depending on desired spice) - crushed red pepper or cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Combine chicken, sausage, tomatoes, chicken broth, onion, peppers and celery in slow cooker - then season with all other ingredients.
Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours.
Serve over rice and enjoy!
(It is also possible to add 1 LB of shrimp - if you do add to the last 30 minutes of cooking)

And lastly - today I decided to head up to the Pine Bush Preserve which is just outside of Albany.  I wouldn't exactly call it hiking but there were some nice trails and a couple of good views.  It'll definitely be a good place to go and do some trail running!

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