I have the saddest news ever folks – my camera is DEAD. And of course my camera charger is in a different state than I am (meaning it is all the way at home) and thus completely useless to me know when I need it to take pictures of all the wonderful treats I have been experimenting with this week. My camera is simply mocking me now, sitting in a basket on my desk and staring at me uselessly. Oh now I wish I could have showed you my dinner from a few nights ago! And the cookies that I made on the fly with what I have lying around the apartment. But unfortunately you will just have to be entertained by my words and not my amateur photography skills.
My sorority has a philanthropy event coming up with week on campus and I jumped at the opportunity to contribute to our bake sale for the event. We are calling it Band Jam, and have rounded up a few local bands to play an outdoor concert for those that would like to attend. Of course donations will be collected to benefit our philanthropy, Diabetes Research, and it generally is a pretty good time with my sisters and the patrons that come to hear the bands. Last year it was really successful, but unseasonably chilly and all I could think about was how I wished I had worn another pair of socks and had a mug of tea in my hands, but this week is supposed to be warm in the evenings and comfortably fall like.
But what to make for the bake sale? I have been pining for the opportunity to bake or cook for a reason, be it friends over for dinner, hosting my Bible Study group, or a birthday, and finally I have the opportunity! But herein lies the problem with being a full time and fully involved college student who loves to spend ALL her time in the kitchen – I have no time. No time to run to the grocery to get necessary baking ingredients, or actually bake the goodies for the occasion. So last night was an experimenting night for me. I fashioned my family’s chocolate chip cookie recipe to use what I had on hand. Thank goodness for my roommates who keep butter on hand, because this college kid for sure doesn’t. A couple cups of flour and oats and some leftover M&M’s and ta-da! We have M&M oatmeal cookies for the bake sale, all of which are definitely worth 50 cents for the philanthropy.
Second, I just have to tell you about the dinner that I fabricated a few nights ago. I was gifted some beautifully home grown tomatoes last weekend while I was babysitting for a local family – what a gift! Like gold to me, free homegrown tomatoes – heaven! I just had to stuff one of them. I filled it with sautéed veggies (carrots, bell peppers, onions, and garlic) and a heaping pile of julienned spinach leaves, tossed with some brown rice, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil, and I threw the two halves in the oven to warm through and toast on the top. (If I had a food processor I would have made some homemade bread crumbs for the top of the halves to crisp up. I still have one tomato left so maybe next time.) While this stuffed tomato was baking off, I pulled out one of my chicken breasts, seasoned with salt and pepper, and browned in a skillet with olive oil. But how boring is that? What to top it with?
My grandma gifted me with a jar of jalapeno peach jam a few weeks ago, and wonderfully complex it is. The sweetness is what you taste first, and then there is the sneaky spice and heat of the jalapeno that creeps in. I first tried this jam on some homemade whole wheat biscuits (more on that in another post) this weekend and just HAD to find more uses for it. So I melted some down in the microwave with some water, then poured it over my browned chicken and it was dinner time!
Hang in there with me for this week and I promise I will have that charger mailed down soon! And then I will promptly make these recipes again and TAKE PICTURES OF THEM and then share!