31 January 2009

Instant Class

Instant Class

Minimum Effort---Maximum Result---Satisfaction guaranteed

The Situation: Folks just showed up with something to celebrate and you haven’t any chilled champagne. Not to fret just follow the instructions below.

(PS I wish this wasn’t a photo from my i-phone, the presentation is last, but just give it a whirl.)

Prep Time: 1 minute
Serves: 4-6 (or 3 if your friends are anything like my friends)

• 1 bottle of champagne
• 1 bag frozen red berries (strawberries or raspberries, you could even use frozen peaches)

1.Pour champagne in a glass
2. Add a few frozen berries (slowly so it doenst bubble over)
3. Serve

Voila you are now the hostess with the mostess

30 January 2009

Bean Salad

One of my favorite dishes to make is bean salad. It works in all seasons, it is easy, and it is affordable. It is also a great dish to bring to a party since it can be served chilled or at room temperature, it is portable, and vegetarian!

To make this bean salad, use even portions of your favorite beans (I chose a can of chickpeas, black beans, and red beans). Sometimes I like to use more chickpeas than the other beans but that is up to personal taste.

Rinse them off and mix them in a bowl. Next, I add chopped olives and tomatoes. Neither is necessary but I love them both so I add olives and tomatoes to anything whenever possible.

Add herbs and spices to taste. Fresh are best but dried work just as well. I often use basil, rosemary, thyme, and oregano. Toss with a touch of salad dressing or olive oil and you are good to go! I love to make this at the beginning of the week and use it for lunches in the coming work week.

29 January 2009

Leek Biscut Bake with Herb Butter Baked Tuna

Leek Biscut Bake with Herb Butter Baked Tuna

Leek Biscut Bake

  • 3 bunches of Leeks
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • Bisquick Biscuit dough (one batch with 1/3cup more water to the recipe)
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup jack cheese
  • 2 tsp garlic salt/pepper
Directions Leek Bake:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 deg
  2. Chop leeks into bight sized pieces and THROUGHLY CLEAN!!! Leeks are VERY dirty so dont get lazy!
  3. Heat large skillet and melt 1/4 cup butter and season with 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper
  4. Saute leeks until they are all are a darker green then they started.
  5. Heat sauce pan on medium and add remaining butter and flour (making a roux) add more butter if is too dry
  6. When flour starts to golden slowly mix in milk
  7. Once mix is creamy add cheese and remaining spices
  8. Grease medium oven safe dish and layer leeks on the bottom
  9. Roll biscuit dough on greased waxed paper to the size of your dish
  10. Cover leeks with your cheese sauce and then cover with biscuit
  11. Bake until biscuit top is golden brown

Herb Butter Bakes Tuna
  • 1 stick butter at room temp (soft butter)
  • 1 bunch of chives
  • 1 tsp garlic salt/pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 lbs tuna (any kind)
  1. Finely chop chives
  2. Mix ALL ingredients in a bowl
  3. Place fish in foil in a baking dish with enough foil to seal fish inside
  4. Cover fish with butter mixture and seal fish in foil and let sit until oven is heated
  5. Heat over to 450 deg
  6. Add fish and bake for 10 minutes
  7. Unwrap fish and turn oven to broil and cook for 1-2 minutes (butter should be popping)
  8. Remove and serve (fish should be a bit raw inside mmmm......)
Plate both and enjoy with a classic [dave] salad.

Gosh darn this post took forever to write! The leek bake is awesome. I have since made one filled with mussels and it was BANGIN!! Try it and let me know what you liked and didn't like.  Enjoy!

28 January 2009


I flew across the country for a drink that one would assume had gone out of fashion fifteen years ago. That dimly lit thing is a martini served in a glass made of ice—hoisted up by a glass base that prevents it from melting all over the table—and the first and only place I have encountered it at Barbacoa in Boise, Idaho. An ice-tini is like drinking salty nectar encased in anesthesia. The booze just sort of appears in your mouth without you having ever felt it pass your lips. I highly recommend it, but what I'd really like is to figure out how to make one at home . . .

27 January 2009

His name is Raul...Slow Cooker Turkey Sausage and Kale

For the love of Crock: Crocked Turkey Sausage and Kale

Minimum Effort---Maximum Result---Satisfaction Guaranteed

Nutritious and Delicious

Yes, the summer winter romance continues (that’s what they call it when an old man, my crockpot, hooks up with a young girl right? PS- the young girl would be me)

We’d had a bag of kale in the freeze for probably 3 months and I decided enough is enough so I got together with Raul (this is the pet name for my new love) and made magic ;)

Prep Time: 5 minutes (possibly faster if you an electric can openr)
Cook Time: 6 hours
Serves : 6

• 4 handfuls baby carrots
• 1 half red onion chopped
• 6 Turkey Sausages Chopped into ¼ inch pieces
• 1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
• 1 can diced tomatoes
• 1 bag chopped kale
• 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
• 3 teaspoons cayenne pepper
• 3 teaspoons red pepper flakes
• Salt and Pepper to taste

Place all ingredients into slow cooker. Stir around so tomatoes coat everything and seasoning is thoroughly mixed in.

Let cook, covered, on high 3 hours or low 5-6 hours.

Serve over brown rice or whole-wheat cous cous

Note: I put this together at night prior to going to bed. Then when I woke up it went straight from the Crock-Pot into the to-go containers and soon after my stomach…it was tasty!

Raul has yet to disappoint, it was definitely NOT one of those morning where you wake up thinking what the F did I just do.

26 January 2009

kitchen katastrophe: homemade applesauce

when staying with my friend in paris last fall, she had a bowl full of VERY ripe apples. they had been sitting around for at least 2 weeks while i was there - a few being eaten here and there. after she went to southern france for a weekend and came home with more apples from her mother-in-law, we decided we had to use them. and thus is my story of attempting to make homemade apple compote (apple sauce).

our journey begins with the most basic step. peeling and cutting of the apples.
the picture above looks very nice, mostly because we took out the apples that i turned red after bleeding on them. my friend, living in france, does not have an apple peeler, so she peels all of her apples with a little rounded knife. i am not so adept at this method. in any case, for every one quarter of an apple i peeled, she peeled 2 whole apples. we got through the bowl pretty quickly.

next, we put brown sugar, a fresh vanilla pod, cinammon, lemon juice, and a bit of water into a pot placed on low heat. we stirred the mixture until it was kind of carmelized. i would guess less than half a cup of brown sugar, but it's really dependant upon your own tastes - if you like it sweeter, use more. stir over the heat until the sugar is kind of dissolved.
then the fun part - add the apples! at first, it doesn't look like much. just apples in a pot. continue stirring every few minutes and eventually the apples will soak up the sugar.
you may need to add water as you go. you want to make sure there is always enough liquid over the apples. it should take about 1/2 hour on slow heat for the apples to naturally break down into apple sauce. you could eat it when it looks like this, or continue with the heat and use the wooden spoon to mush (mash?) the apples more. it eventually becomes tbe yummiest applesauce ever! my friend made it look really easy to make; i have yet to recreate it, but once i do, i will let you know how it goes.
i asked my friend, what are the best kind of apples to use? apples good for "eating" work best for her. if using granny smith or "cooking" apples, you might need to add sugar at the end before eating to sweeten it a bit. this is served deliciously warm or after putting in the fridge you can eat it cold. it should keep for a few weeks in the fride. mmmmm.... that's mad tasty.

25 January 2009

DIY salad dressing

So everything I know about salad dressing I learned from Abby. I think its worth stating that I never buy salad dressing unless I'm going to a BBQ or somewhere that there's absolutely no access to kitchen cabinets, because making the perfect salad dressing is so damn easy.

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • garlic (ground or minced)
  • lemon juice
  • stoneground mustard
  • horseradish (optional, but highly reccomended)
  • salt & pepper
So you start with the olive oil, and then pour a good sized dollup of balsamic in there. Never be afraid of too much garlic. Even folks who don't like mustard won't say a word if they don't see you put it in there. The horseradish tastes great, but if you don't care to procure the stuff directly I often use a horseradish mustard to kill two birds with one stone. The only part to go slow on is with the salt. Put in too much salt and you'll have to start over.

All the parts will separate, so just keep stirring it as you add your elements and taste frequently. As soon as I get the mixture right I usually dump it right on my signature salad.

24 January 2009

Parmesan and Black Pepper Biscotti

We've been thinking of making biscotti for a while now, but never got around to it as part of our holiday gifts. But a three-day weekend is the perfect time to craft a cookie that you have to bake twice (though these actually don't take that long). In looking for a classic, sweet variety of biscotti, we came across this interesting savory recipe on yumsugar.com (via Gourmet).

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns, ground
    • *if you, like us, aren't blessed with the room to hold a spice grinder, just go with 1 1/4 tbs black pepper
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 1/2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated (2 1/4 cups)
    • *we ran out of parmesan, so we used Pecorino to make up the difference (a bit more than 1/4 cup)
  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk

  1. Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Pulse peppercorns in grinder until coarsely ground.
  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, 2 cups cheese, and 1 tablespoon ground black pepper in a large bowl.
  4. Blend in butter with a pastry blender (if you don't own one of these either, do what we did and use your fingertips) until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  5. Whisk 3 eggs with milk and add to flour mixture, stirring with a fork until a soft dough forms.
  6. Divide dough into four pieces. On a floured surface with well-floured hands, form each piece into a slightly flattened 12-inch-long log (about 2 inches wide and 3/4 inch high). Transfer logs to 2 ungreased large baking sheets, arranging logs about 3 inches apart.
  7. Whisk remaining egg and brush some over logs, then sprinkle tops of logs evenly with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and 1/2 tablespoon ground pepper.

  8. Bake, rotating sheets 180 degrees and switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until logs are pale golden and firm, about 30 minutes total.
  9. Cool logs to warm on sheets on a rack, about 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F.
  10. Carefully transfer 1 warm log to a cutting board and cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices with a serrated knife. Arrange slices, cut sides down, in 1 layer on a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining logs, transferring slices to sheets.
  11. Bake, turning over once, until golden and crisp, 35 to 45 minutes total. Cool biscotti on baking sheets on racks, about 15 minutes.
It's hard to imagine from just four logs, but this recipe makes a ton of biscotti -- 5-6 dozen or so. And you'll be glad you have that many, because these are delicious. The Pecorino we added made these taste pretty strong, but in a really good way. They're not a very hard biscotti, just firm and crumbly, but that means you don't really have to dip them in anything. HOWEVER, these would be really good dipped in pasta sauce. Hmm...

23 January 2009

oh no!

anna at jezebel says its national pie day and we didn't make any! our bad.

Wine and Mushroom Risotto with Seared Scallops

Let me start off by saying that I rarely cook. When I do, I stick to the basics-- pasta, burritos, salads, stir fries, and the occasional ethnic dish. Needless to say, I had never made risotto nor have I seared a scallop in my life.

But man, I love scallops and risotto, so I decided it was finally time to stop spending $25 a plate at restaurants on this stuff, and learn to make it myself. The following recipe is partly made up, partly stolen from the internet, and mostly inspired by a risotto brainstorming session I had with an Epicurean lady friend of mine in a locker room. If I can make this, you definitely can too!

I'll call this "fancy shmancy wine and mushroom risotto with pan seared scallops for people that don't make risotto and scallops." Now say that 5 times fast, and enjoy.

For the risotto:
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2/3 cup arborio rice
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 8 oz package of mushrooms (I was lazy and used baby bella, but if you're feeling fancy, try porcini), chopped
  • 1 14 1/2 oz can of low-sodium chicken or veggie stock
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

For the scallops:
  • 1/2 pound jumbo scallops
  • a bit of olive oil
  • a dash of salt and pepper
  • a squirt or two of lemon


Start off by melting the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Then add in the garlic and the onions, and saute for a minute. Add the rice and saute for another minute, fully coating each grain with butter. Now add in the wine. Bring it to a boil, and then turn it down to low heat and let it simmer for several minutes until the wine is nearly completely evaporated, stirring frequently.

Brief interlude: --in fact, what I learned is that the key to risotto is to KEEP STIRRING!-- end interlude

Anyway, then add in about half the can of broth and the chopped mushrooms, stirring and stirring and stirring as it simmers. As the liquid evaporates and the mixture begins to thicken, add the rest of the broth and stir some more. (see, I told you!) Continue to simmer until the rice is fully cooked-- about 15-20 minutes altogether.

Meanwhile, coat a frying pan with olive oil and get it nice and hot. Salt and pepper the scallops, and then drop them into the hot pan. Squeeze some lemon on them. Sear scallops on each side until they are opaque-- about 2-3 minutes per side. Don't overcook!

By now, your risotto should be just about done. (Are you still stirring?!) When the risotto is fully cooked and the mixture is creamy, finish it off by stirring in the Parmesan cheese, and add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve and enjoy! Then brag to your friends. Repeat.

22 January 2009

yeah that's right

whoops no post for two days. please be distracted by this cookie.

20 January 2009

Frosted Angel Food Cake

Does anyone eat this stuff anymore? I can't recall a time that I saw it on a restaurant menu, and honestly I've not ever had the craving for one. Mostly it's the packaged angel food cakes in disposable tube pans I see for sale at Safeway, and even there, it's in places like Sun City West (an old folk's community in Arizona where my grandfather lives) where I see them. Angel Food is my grandfather's favorite cake, and he requests it most years for his birthday. He tells me that his mother used to make it with a dozen egg whites, and then a pound cake with the leftover egg yolks. While angel food cake recipes still call for a dozen egg whites, I've not found a pound cake that calls for so many yolks; we are getting very creative trying to find uses for them.

This year I charged myself with the task, as I came to celebrate my grandfather's birthday with him. It's not a difficult cake, but you must know what you're doing. Beating the egg-white/meringue to the right consistency just takes patience and a careful eye. I would have used this recipe verbatim had I not forgotten the extracts, which I made up for in the frosting.

Did I not mention the frosting? This is Grandpa's other unconventional request. (Ha--and you thought you were getting away with a low-fat cake batter!) Frosted angel food cake is something I have never encountered except at the households of my own family, and perhaps it's just my own conditioning, but I think it's kind of good.

Frosted Angel Food Cake
(Adapted slightly from The Best Recipe and then adapted from “Baking Bites”)

  • 1 1/2-cups egg whites (10-12 large), room temperature (separate the eggs while they’re cold; it’s much easier)
  • 1 1/2-cups superfine sugar (also called “Baker’s Sugar”), divided
  • 1-cup sifted cake flour (measure it after you sift it)
  • 1-tsp cream of tartar

  • 1/4-tsp salt
  • Almond cream cheese frosting (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a small bowl, whisk together 3/4-cup sugar and the cake flour. Set aside.

Using a handheld or countertop mixer with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites until frothy. Add the add cream of tartar and salt, and then beat until fully incorporated. Begin to add the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar in small additions. When sugar has been added, beat egg whites to soft peaks. The soft peaks will look like rolling prairie hills; not stiff jagged mountains. If the batter falls off the beaters in ribbons, it isn’t at the soft peak stage yet. Feel free to turn up the speed on the mixer; it may take a little while, five to seven minutes.

Sift the flour/sugar mixture over the egg whites in small additions and, in gentle strokes, fold it in. The idea behind folding is that you preserve all the air bubbles that were just whipped into the batter.

Carefully pour batter into an ungreased nine-inch tube pan with a removable bottom. Smooth the top with a spatula.

Bake for 50-60 minutes, until your finger leaves no indentation when lightly pressed.

Remove from oven and invert the pan over a bottle. (I thought this was strange, but it actually works really well if you can find a bottle with a neck narrow enough for your tube pan. If not, rest the inverted pan over a cooling rack.) Allow to cool completely.

Gently run a thin knife around the sides, then around the bottom, of the pan to release the cake when you are ready to frost it.

This is a difficult cake to frost because the crumb is so light; if your strokes are to broad or if you’re too jabby, you’ll take part of the cake off. The best way, I think, is to start with big dollops of frosting and then just smoosh them down on the cake by making small circles with your spatula, and do this until all the smooshed spots connect. Then lightly touch it up with a pastry knife or your spatula so that the frosting is uniformly spread.

Almond Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/2-pound butter, softened
  • 8-ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3 1/2-cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2-teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2-teaspoons pure almond extract
  • (This would also probably be good with citrus zest and a bit of citrus extract instead of the almond.)

Beat butter and cream cheese together until combined. Add the powdered sugar in three or four portions, beating just until combined after each addition. Add the extracts, and beat for one to two minutes, until light and fluffy.

19 January 2009

kitchen katastrophe: bran muffins

when i got my new mixer for christmas, i was super excited. i kept dreaming of all these things i could make, but i was slightly afraid and didn't know where to start. then i read an article about how bran muffins are good for you and i was instantly taken back to my childhood when we would make homemade bran muffins. i think only my mom and i would eat them, but they were delicious! sometimes we would add blueberries to make them even better, but i didn't have any blueberries to add (being the dead of winter), so i settled for regular bran muffins. also, this recipe (which is from my mom's recipe box, although i doubt she invented it) is super huge and makes a TON of muffins, so feel free to cut in half like i did for these pictures (although the printed recipe is its original version).
Bran Muffins
  • 1 heaping cup of crisco
  • 3 cups of sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups 100% nabisco bran
  • 4 cups kelloggs all bran
  • 5 tsp soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 cups sifted flour
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  1. Pour hot water onto nabisco bran and set aside to cool.
  2. Cream crisco and sugar.
  3. Add eggs
  4. Add buttermilk, cooled nabisco mixture, all bran, soda and salt.
  5. Fold in sifted dry ingredients until all is moistened.
  6. Pour into 1 gallon ice cream pail and keep refrigerated.
  7. Pour into creased muffin tin and bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
  8. Makes 1 gallon and can keep in fridge 6-7 weeks.
the mixing went well enough. i couldn't get my mixer to work properly and it smelt like the engine was on fire. i thought maybe i had a crappy mixer (i don't) and it couldnt handle all the ingredients i was putting in. then i realized that the spinny-things (actual mixers?) weren't pushed in all the way. once i figured that out, everything went pretty smoothly. here is the mixig (after the spinny-things were put in properly).
i was trying to figure out how to make the perfect-sized muffin, and i discovered two things. 1) use an ice cream scoop with the metal bar to push the mixture out to dole out the creamy batter into paper cups. 2) these dont rise a ton, so if you want your cupcake overflowing, you should fill it more than 3/4 full.
in the end, here are the fabulous bran muffins in all their fiber glory. note, these muffins will keep you good and regular.

as always, i have learned something from my cooking experience.
  1. sifting flour is fun. just make sure you sift over another bowl and not onto the counter. if you prefer to sift over a counter, make sure the counter is clean.
  2. make sure that your mixer is set up properly. when you are fixing the spinny-things, make sure that the mixer, along with being turned off, is actually unplugged.
  3. keep bandaids nearby in case of violent mixers.
  4. probably don't want to eat two dozen of these in one setting. but don't let that prevent you from making them - its fun!

15 January 2009

Winter foods and winter booze

After a few weeks of holiday gluttony, we decided to skip the baking this week and go with a soup. Of course, this simple pasta e fagioli from this Rao’s cookbook is probably of questionable health value. But it’s still winter outside, so it’s a start.


½ pound ditalini pasta (we couldn’t find ditalini, even at the Italian deli, so we went with fusilli)2 19-oz cans cannelloni beans, undrained
¼ c olive oil
2 minced garlic cloves½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
½ c reserved pasta water
grated Pecorino Romano cheese
extra virgin olive oil

Cook pasta, as always, in salted water. Meanwhile, puree 1 can of the beans and set aside. Heat the oil in a pot, then add the garlic and sauté until slightly golden. Add the pureed beans, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, add the second can of beans, and let simmer until the pasta is done. Then drain the pasta, but keep ½ cup of the water. Add that water and the pasta to the beans and stir. Serve it up, drizzle with olive oil and top with grated cheese.
This is a pretty basic soup and simple to make, but very filling and can easily be a meal instead of an appetizer. There’s a lot of flavor here, probably because everything is cooked with garlic olive oil. It’s good as-is, but we’re considering adding sausage next time.

Drinkwise, we also wanted something to warm us up after the weekend snowstorm. So we decided to stick with the Italian theme and try Italian Tea a.k.a. the Skier’s Smoothie. It’s a pretty basic drink, just a shot of Galliano, hot tea, and lemon as desired. It doesn’t make sense to call this drink Italian Tea, since our bottle of this Italian-made liqueur bears a label saying “Product of France.” But given that we also used the British tea PG Tips, this is really a multinational brew.

We’ve had Galliano ever since an attempt to try Harvey Wallbangers (about which the less said, the better) about a year ago, and never really found a drink we liked with this herbal liqueur. But it’s perfect when combined with a strong black tea and a slice of lemon. Simple, but the Skier’s Smoothie a good choice when you’re not in the mood for an Irish coffee.

14 January 2009

Delicious Home-made Apple Crisp!!!

THIS is Whitnee's FAVORITE dish, so of course you can assume I've mastered it by making it over and over. I've tried a few different types of apples but as I'm sure you're aware most just use Granny Smith apples for this because of their crisp, sweet, tanginess. Other apples might work but I haven't tried them all, I was always told I could use a mixture of granny smith, johnathons, or pipins.

Topping (Crisp):
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup panko
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup butter, chilled and cut into small pieces

Apple Filling:

  • 3-4 lbs apples, peeled and cut into 1/3″ slices (keep apples in a bowl covered with water and the juice of 1 lemon until needed for the recipe, otherwise the apples will oxidize and start turning brown.)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • juice from 1/2 of a lemon
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9″ glass or ceramic pie dish.

To a mixing bowl, add all the ingredients for the topping except the butter. Stir thoroughly. Add the small pieces of chilled butter to the seasoned oat and flour mixture. Using your fingers, a pastry cutter, or a mixer/processor work the butter into the oat mixture until the larges crumbs are about the size of a pea. (Whitnee has a processor and using a mixer or processor will make quick work of this part but I easily do with my hands.) Once the butter has been incorporated, place the topping back in the fridge to chill until ready to use. This step can be prepared several hours in advance.

To cut the apples I usually use and apple cutter and cut each piece again for a 1/3" slice, that's 16 slices per apple. Drain the apples from the lemon water. Add the drained apples and all of the other ingredients for the filling into a large bowl. Toss to evenly combine all ingredients.

Pour the filling into a 3 quart butter pie dish. Evenly distribute the chilled topping over the filling. Place the crisp into the middle of a preheated 350 degree oven with a sheet pan underneath to catch any juices that may dribble out. Bake at 350 for about 1 hour, or until the topping is golden brown and the apples are tender when pierced with a knife or fork. Remove the crisp from the oven and place on a rack to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream and enjoy!

13 January 2009

anna the red ...

... is amazing. I'd seen her really clever Where the Wild Things Are bento before a few places, but it took the post Moue did to actually click on her link. And she does non-Bento stuff too!

She makes Raving Rabid Cookies:

And Shadow of the Collosus Grilled Cheese:

12 January 2009

kitchen katastrophe: recession-proof salad

my cousin's wife made this recipe for our group christmas a few weeks ago. i instantly fell in love with it and got the recipe from her. it turns out, all the ingredients are really cheap or things you would have around the home. i don't know the name of it, so i have called it the recession-proof salad.
Recession-Proof Salad
  1. one bag of coleslaw (not with the mayo, just the coleslaw-cut lettuce)
  2. almonds
  3. ramen noodles (asian style)
  4. onions
  5. 1/2 c. oil
  6. 1 tsp. vinegar
  7. 3 tbsp. sugar
  8. 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • Mix first four ingredients in bowl.
  • Whisk last four ingredients together.
  • Pour liquid mixture over salad to coat.
  • Mix a few hours before serving.
easy! or so i thought...

the first time i made this, it turned out great! and it was delicious. pictured here.it has a sort of asian-flavor to it, but it's really light and refreshing - great to eat. the only catch is... well, since you basically get the ramen noodles 'wet' they don't last more than a few hours. then they get soggy and mushy and you dont want to eat it. BUT it's so cheap to make - you can just make more!

the other thing is that i made this a second time a few days later and the dressing would not mix. i had decided to halve the recipe since it was just my father and i eating it and it doesn't last well in the fridge. but the ingredients would not whisk together to form a glaze/dressing. i thought it was because the sugar was kind of clumpy and hard. so i started over and decided not to halve the dressing (some bizarre rationale thinking that the "science" behind it must be a certain amount has to mix together or something). it still didn't mix very well and my arm was KILLING me from beating it with a fork, but it was better. but then i forgot that i didn't end up halving the recipe, so i forgot to un-halve the salad part. so i had a full dressing on a half salad. it ended up being very very oily. but still good, of course.

the third time i made it, i had the same issue with the dressing, so i put it in my new mixer. it didn't really help getting the dressing together better. i know there is some sort of explanation that alton brown can give to help clarify why it worked once and then never again. was it the type of oil i was using? type of vinegar? how long i should be whisking? what?? in any case, this recipe is cheap and delicious, even when screwed up a bit...

for full-disclosure, i do not have a source or even a proper name for this recipe, so if this is yours or you know where to find it online, please let us know and we would love to give it proper citing.

06 January 2009

nut roast

So back around Thanksgiving I made a nut roast. It was pretty good but kind of ugly. The combination of eggplant, nuts and bread crumbs made the whole thing this yucky beige and not even the carrot and nut crumble on top could give it visual appeal. Anyone have any advice?

05 January 2009

kitchen katastrophe: easy maple bacon weenies

this recipe has been handed down a long way in my family - my brother's girlfriend to him to me. well, not actually me, i watched my brother make these for our family christmas a few weeks ago. WARNING: not for the faint vegetarian.

these are actually probably the easiest thing to make in the world - the only catch is how long to cook them. my brother calls these OIYM (orgasm in your mouth). for vegetarians or non-pork eating jews, these could be called Easy Maple Bacon Weenies.

Basically just put these three ingredients together:
  • sausage weenies
  • bacon
  • brown sugar
bake in the oven at 350 degrees until done (about 35 minutes).

first, if you buy bacon in long strips, cut them into thirds as below.
oh, be sure your hands are clean. then, wrap the bacon around the weenies and place on a cookie sheet.
this can be a bit time consuming. when finished, dust the tops with brown sugar.
then bake. the final product (again, no camera at the family christmas) is delicious (or so they told me, i dont actually eat red meat) for meat-eaters. they should have a nice honeyed glaze on the top.


i was just thinking, if you are a vegetarian and you have kept reading this, then you just might be thinking these sound good but for some reason dont want to eat them. maybe there is a vegetarian option out there - vegan sausage with fake bacon? anything surrounded in brown sugar is probably good...

04 January 2009

Delicious Stuffed Crust Pizza

I love stuff crust Pizza!!! This is an extremely simple recipe. All you need is a store-bought pizza crust, a jar of you favorite thick pasta sauce, mozzerella cheese and a handfull of you favorite veggies quickly sauteed.

First. Grab a prepared store-bought dough and prepare your countertop to roll the dough. Toss the flour on the countertop and roll out the dough to about 13 inches. Add flour generously to prevent sticking.

Second. Arrange rolled pizza dough on a pizza pan, make sure to make a circle as best you can.

Third. Place a generous amount of mozzerella cheese 1/2 inch from the edge of the pizza. Section by section, roll the edges of the dough over the cheese to create a seal over it, press firmly as this will create your stuffed crust.

Fourth. Use a spoon to scoop your desired amount of pasta sauce onto the ready pizza crust. Afterwards add your mozzerella cheese to the pizza and top with the vegetables (I used grilled chicken, mushrooms, bell pepper and onion sauteed for a few minutes.)

Five. Make sure you don't drop any toppings for any eager bystanders to quickly eat off the floor. Besides, it may give him gas.

Six. Place prepared pizza in the oven according to directions on the pizza dough. Usually it goes in the oven for 15 minutes at 375 degrees.

Seven. Remove from oven, allow to cool for a few minutes. Enjoy.

03 January 2009

stuffed acorn squash and sides

Well, to start, I didn't use these Jamaican peppers, although they looked very yummy. I just couldn't figure out where exactly I'd use them.

But anyway. This was an opportunity to make something with these acorn squashes I bought. So I put the acorn squash in the oven to bake after cutting them in half, removing the seeds, and brushing them with butter and garlic. On the sid I used my regular salad and then I put these chickpeas in a frying pan with diced onions and a helluva lot of paprika until they were sort of toasted.
The other thing on the side was this zucchini and spinach dish with cream. I just simmered the veggies in water until the water started to boil off, added some milk and seasoning. The seasoning in this case was cumin and chili flakes, that sort of thing. I cooked down the milk until it was more of a sauce and then turned off the heat.
For stuffing the acorn squash, I cooked rice and red lentils each on their own, and then combined with cheese and red kidney beans and dumped into the squash and served.

brown sugar angel food cake

Mandy changed everything when she brought this beautiful cake into our lives.  JaBootay has since made it about five times (of which four were amazing, perhaps he can share the story of how terrible the other one was another time).  Check out a few recipes here, here or here.  Easy to make, not that unhealthy and a sure crowd pleaser.

May your 2010 be filled with brown sugar angel food cake.

02 January 2009

The best ginger snaps you'll ever have

This recipe is an adaptation of an adaptation. Originally by Nelle Branson in the 1982 edition of the Trinity Episcopal Church Recipe Book, it appeared in the New York Times in 2005, and then joined the repertoire of Shake's inestimable roommate. The version below incorporates her changes to the original recipe. I doubt we could improve on it.

Swedish Ginger Cookies

1 1/2 sticks of butter (original calls for bacon fat, but... gross)

1 cup sugar, plus 14 cups for dusting the cookies

4 tablespoons dark molasses

1 large egg

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine all ingredients. Spin until dough forms.

3. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for a few hours at least. The roommate suggests at least freezing the dough overnight, but more than one night is actually good.

4. Form into (very small) balls, roll in sugar, space 2 inches apart.

5. Bake in the oven for about 6-7 minutes until dark brown. Let cool on baking sheet for a few minutes outside on your fire escape. But watch out for squirrels!


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