Wednesday, February 25, 2009

In the Kitchen with Caroline

Recently, when reading Erica's post about her new home, she asked her readers, "What is your favorite part of your home/apartment/room, etc.?" Without a doubt, the answer to this question, as applied to my on-campus apartment, is my kitchen--my very red kitchen. Although my preference for this area of the apartment may be due to its inherent relation to another one of my favorite things--food!--my kitchen brings me joy beyond the cuisine it helps me produce. All of my contributions to the kitchen decor are of a scarlet hue: the dishes, the gadgets, the measuring cups, the dish towels, and, yes, my beloved blender. Here is a glimpse into my culinary world:
Right side. Where creativity happens.
Left side. Where...dishwashing happens.
Oh-so-glamorous stove (with cherry towels!).
Assorted utensils. Uniformly red and white, save for my Foodbuzz spatula.
OK, so I like colorful dishes.
A selection from my ever-growing cookbook collection.
Where the (blending) magic happens. Although I lust after my fellow bloggers' VitaMix and BlendTec machines, I'm not sure they make them in red:)

Clearly my kitchen is not a high-tech or spacious destination, but I have fun in here, nonetheless.
What does your kitchen look like? What do you love about it?

Take a look at the latest kitchen creations:

The on-campus grocery store was out of garbanzo beans last week, so I chose a different variety that I had never tried before, aduki beans. Although they are traditionally used in sweet Asian dishes, I opted to use them in a stir-fry with my bunch of bok choy. I simply cooked them in teriyaki sauce along with a few asparagus spears and topped the mixture with toasted cashews. Couscous and a few grapes rounded it all out.
Dinner was a momentous event--I finally tried Jenn's Humbecue Pizza! Although I substituted a sliced mozzarella stick for the feta, I think I achieved the same general flavor experience. Fabulous! I will be using this combination in the future, for sure. Just think, humbecue wraps, salads, quesadillas, potatoes...oh the possibilities. I also had some greens with a few chopped dates on top, plus peaches with almonds.
In the evening I slurped on a triple berry smoothie: raspberry Spirutein, strawberries, and blueberries mixed with soymilk. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Breakfast was a big ol' bowl of oat bran. I made this creamy delight with rice milk, vanilla, agave nectar, ground flax, and mashed banana. I topped it off with some chopped apricots. YUM.
For lunch, I reverted back to my childhood a bit. Ever since kindergarten, I was always responsible for packing my own lunch (which made for some pretty interesting combinations early on). I soon developed a favorite: fat-free bologna on white bread with mayo, mustard, and pickles. Not exactly health food. Nonetheless, I still crave it occasionally, so I made a veganized, healthier version yesterday: Smart Deli meatless bologna slices, whole grain mustard, vegan mayo, sweet relish, and a few mixed greens piled on whole wheat bread. I love taking trips down memory lane with food. Anyway, I used to eat these deli slices all the time when I first became a vegetarian but have since shied away from meat analogs. This one is still pretty darn tasty to me though:) To complete the "lunchbox" theme, I had an apple with PB and raw veggies with salsa.
Dinner was an attempt to revamp leftovers: butternut squash pasta with assorted veggies. I've pulled this before, using soup to make a pasta sauce, and it is still quite tasty. I wished there more saltiness to this soup though--that's what I get for buying the low-sodium variety. Anyway, in the veggie mix, you see red onion, squash, and asparagus. On the side, I had greens with Woodstock dressing, plus a nectarine.
The shake last night was pretty awesome: strawberries, banana, chocolate rice protein, special dark cocoa powder, soymilk, and a few dairy-free chocolate chips.
This morning, I decided on another banana dog with Sunbutter and apple butter, plus a Greek yogurt on the side. Of this entire package of hot dog buns, I've only used them once for their intended purpose, hot dogs. Go figure.
As I sit here typing, I am in awe of how dry and nasty my hands have become. The cold weather and dishwashing certainly have taken their toll. How do you keep your hands silky and supple?

Be back soon! Happy (Ash) Wednesday!


Courtney (The Hungry Yogini) said...

LOVE your little kitchen!! TOO cute! I'm kind of jealous!

VeggieGirl said...

Cute digs!!

Mmm, BBQ sauce.

**I use this for my hands:

Erica said...

Love this post! Thanks for the shout out and the great pictures of your kitchen. I love love the red theme! Your pizza looks super yummy!Jenn has such great creations! I still have that protein powder on my list of to trys!

lauren said...

I love seeing your kitchen...the red is great! I should do a post on my kitchen - needs to be cleaned first...

and my hands are dry, cracking, and bleeding - so I need advice too.

shelby said...

Your kitchen is so adorable, I love the red with the cherries!

Mmm and can that oatbran get any better?!

carolinebee said...

your kitchen is adorable! I love seeing other peoples' living spaces, kitchens are so fun! I'm glad u enjoyed Jenn's creation, isn't it so good! Good call with the string cheese, haha I always string it no matter what!

Anna said...

all your meals look delish! my favorite thing in my kitchen (at home) is my cobalt blue kitchenaid stand mixer!! it's one of my most prized possessions.

orangepop said...

ASHY hands on ASH Wednesday!! I keep a mini-bottle of lotion in my backpack.
Your red kitch is so cute! You should get some chickpeas & broccoli on those hand towels! Mine would be overwhelmed in orange, I'd think. My fave part of my kitchen would be the flat-top stove.
I love getting creative & fiesty with food & I love that you did, too!
The only "fake lunchmeat" I've liked is the cranberry-stuffing Tofurkey, but I am not crazy about them in general. Any good ones, or am I better off without them (besides b-o-l-o-g-n-a)?

eatingbender said...

This post is amazing! I love your red-themed kitchen. Oh, and for future reference (a possible birthday/gift idea?), my Vita-Mix is it is indeed possible!!! Now you have to get one ;o)

I love your version of the humbecue pizza! The little mozzarella stick slices look like almonds to me, lol. I'm glad you enjoyed the combo!

I made a smoothie for lunch today and topped it with Bear Naked granola. I thought of you!

For my hands, I love body butter from The Body Shop or Bath & Body Works! I used to have gloves to put on, too, but I haven't used them in a while.

ksgoodeats said...

Love your kitch! My kitchen is what I like to call "country chic" as in white, dark green, yellow, and black. However, I'm MUCH happier to report that it's slowly being updated to a more Mediterranean theme - dark colors, bronze fixtures.

I used to be a bologna girl back in the early days as well except my condiment of choice was ketchup ;) oooh yeah - carrots and salsa!!

Lotion of choice: Bath and Body Works Black Currant Vanilla lotion. Smells divine!

Maggie said...

That's a college kitchen??? So jealous. My college kitchen was a dump, and my kitchen now isn't much better. I CANNOT wait to move in 2 months.

I love Burt's Bees hand salve - it's kinda oily at first but then it's lovely.

CeciLiA said...

Eh first of my hands are hardly ever soft/silky ... my mum always say I have the 'man hands' :O Ummm, thanks mum! But yea, I just slather on as much hand cream on muh hands to keep it reasonably smooth :)

Oh man, the blog world is going crazy with BBQ pizza atm, totally making me jealous - mean beanz - !!

Hhahaha, hot dog buns OVERLOAD!! Nah I love hot dog buns! I LOVE stuffing them with a (veg) sausage + cooked onions + tomato/mustard sauce >> a 'very Australian' combo!

Rosalie Y said...

Hey :)

Just wanted to let you know that I *do* check back on your posts after I comment because I know you individually reply to everyone who comments on your blog (and that's awesome).

It looks like living on central has really allowed you to cook cook cook and give you more choices in terms of what to eat, huh? I would love having my own kitchen... but don't want to live off campus and don't know anyone who wants to live on central with me. Ha. Guess that doesn't work.

Duke trounced maryland tonight :D


luckytastebuds said...

I LOOOVE your food!! Every meal just looks so delicious and I'm ESPECIALLY super super impressed with the adzuki bean stir-fry. That is super cool (being an Asian, I've only seen it in sweet Asian dishes, like you said!) but it really looks awesome the way you did it. WOOOOW!!

P.s. your comment on my blog cracked me up. We could TOTALLY be a tag team with that piece of cake! hahah you're WAY too cute!

ChickPea said...

Courtney: Thanks! It's not much, but I have fun in there.
VeggieGirl: Yes, it's been a while since I've had BBQ...and I have fallen in love again!
Thanks for the link--love!
Erica: I have been loving your posts with pictures of your new makes me excited to have a home of my own someday!
Jenn does have amazing ideas--this one was superb.
Let me know when you do give that protein powder a try!
Lauren: Haha--I hope you didn't look too closely at my pics, cuz my kitchen could probably use a little cleaning too.
I hope you find a remedy to dry hands!
Shelby: Thanks! The cherries are my favorite part:)
I really enjoyed that oat bran--the texture of oat bran is so smooth and delicious!
CarolineBee: Haha, I would have used feta, had I had it on hand, but it's not something I have regularity. String cheese, however, that's a different story. I think "Just string it" should be on a bumper sticker or something.
Anna: OOh! I've always wanted a red Kitchen Aid stand mixer, but for now I settle for my mom's white one when I am at home:)
OrangePop: Good idea to keep lotion always on hand. You never know when you'll need it!
You're right--I should look for some decor with broccoli on it--after all, it would only be fitting!
That's my fave variety of Tofurky! One other fave fake meat is Chik patties by Health Is Wealth. So delicious! Perfect with vegan mayo and mustard. It makes me feel like I'm eating Chik Fil A!
EatingBender: Agh! Why did you tell me this?! Now I will be on a mission to find the absolute best price for a red VitaMix. They seem like such wonderful machines!
Haha--nope not almonds. I wish I could have used feta but I had none on hand. The mozz was pretty tasty though!
Love Bear Naked...which reminds me that I have some in the cupboard:)
Thanks for the lotion rec!
K: ooh I like the idea of a Mediterranean kitch--I'd love to see pics when the update is done!
Hmm ketchup does make pretty much anything better...I might have to try that combo. I totally thought of you when I was eating my carrots and salsa!
That lotion sounds tasty--I might want to eat it rather than slather it on my hands.
Maggie: It's not exactly kitchen elegance, but it's pretty good for a university apartment.
Can't go wrong with Burt's Bees--their products are all made here in Durham!
Cecilia: Haha--mothers are always brutally honest!
Yum! I'll try your hot dog suggestion ASAP!
Rosalie: Thanks for checking back--I always wonder if anyone actually reads my responses. I don't want people to think I'm ignoring them though!
I really like having the ability to cook--I think my diet has a lot more variety this year compared to last year as a result. Living on West is SO convenient though, and that's where all the action is!
That b-ball game was pretty awesome. I love Gerald.
LuckyTasteBuds: Thanks! I really enjoyed the adzuki beans--I'd be interested in any preparation suggestions you might have!
Next time you're offered a slice of cake, call me right up;)

Marianne said...

I am all about the BBQ sauce on pizza, as you may have noticed. I haven't yet tried it Humbecue style yet though. Maybe one day.

And bologna totally take me back to childhood and my grandpa, because he was the only one who bought bologna for me. Every once in a while, a sammy made with the stuff, mustard, butter and white bread is so nostalgic! I should try some veggie bologna just for kicks one day.

glidingcalm said...

your kitch is so neat and cute!! love it!! thanks for sharing Caroline!!!

and omg BANANA DOG. haha so good. why are bananas SO GOOD!? seriously.


p.s. I'm wondering if someday you could make a protein powder post with a list in pictures of your TOP 5 fav flavors, since you seem to have tried SO MANY! i'd love to hear your top choices!

luckytastebuds said...

hi you! I'm doing a BB giveaway so you won't have to pay for shipping!!! :)

Sharon said...

Absolutely love your kitchen. And mmmm, I want that sandwich!!!

ChickPea said...

Marianne: BBQ sauce is so versatile, no? I def recommend the humbecue.
Aw sounds like you have food memories with bologna too...I love how food can take you back in years...
GlidingCalm: Thanks! Bananas are endlessly delicious...and they're so cheap!
I would be more than happy to do a protein powder post...look for it in one of my Sunday feature posts.
LuckyTasteBuds: Fabulous! Thanks for letting me know!
Sharon: Thanks! The sandwich was pretty delish.

HangryPants said...

I love your red kitchen! I actually have those cherry towels from Target. I have a lot of colors in my kitchen and red is definitely one of them!