26 May 2010

Bacon Lollipops

This is a recipe for all of you vegans out there. Just kidding. All though you could probably make it with some Smart Bacon.

I saw this recipe for Bacon Lollipops from The Kitchn on Apartment Therapy about a year ago. They looked pretty crazy, but also, pretty delicious. I hadn't really had a reason to make them, but decided to whip up a batch for a party. They were a hit and definitely something I would make again!

Bacon Lollipops

makes 16-20 pops
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 4 ounces cream cheese (not whipped)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped thyme or basil, divided
  • Cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • Apple slices, to serve
  1. Cut each piece of bacon in half.
  2. Place the bacon in a large skillet without overlapping the slices, and turn the heat on low.
  3. Cook on low for about 15 minutes, turning frequently, until the bacon is quite crispy.
  4. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and pat the slices to remove excess grease.
  5. While the bacon is cooking, place the goat cheese, cream cheese, 1 Tbsp herbs, and a few turns of cracked black pepper in the food processor.
  6. Whiz until creamy and well-mixed, then form small balls.
  7. Place cheese balls on a lined cookie sheet and put them in the freezer for 20 minutes to firm up a little more.
  8. Clean out the food processor and place bacon, remaining Tbsp of herbs, and the pecans in the food processor.
  9. Whiz until very fine and crumbly; it should be as fine as your food processor will make it.
  10. Take the cheese balls out of the freezer and roll them in the bacon mixture, pressing it in with your fingers if it doesn't immediately stick.
  11. Place the balls in a container and refrigerate until serving.
  12. Just before serving stick lollipop sticks into balls.
  13. Serve with apple slices.

22 May 2010

Green Soup, Immersion Blenders, More Boston Organics, and Justin Bieber

First, Justin Bieber, who makes young girls apparently all Beatles-like riotous.

Really? Seriously? Do you get it? Cause I don't. And I actually LIKE pop music. I dunno, maybe I'm too old to understand. I did really like Joey Mac back in the day, so evs.

OK, matter at hand, GREEN SOUP!

Here is my picture of GREEN SOUP. Yes, I drank half of it before photographing, but I just couldn't help it. Soooo good.

This post is a kind of cousin to my last post, which involved a chowder recipe made from vegetables out of the Boston Organics Box. This weeks box contained asparagus, zucchini, and a basil plant. I still had broccoli(yuck) left from my last box and some onions, so I had all of the ingredients available to make Ellie's mom's famed GREEN SOUP that she served them in Mexico. I have been cautioned not to eat too much of this in one week because there apparently is so much chlorophyll in it that too much can affect your liver negatively. I cannot confirm this. Also, if I have to say - "How much is too much?" It's really good, I needed to be cautioned.

So ok, ingredients:
  • 2 small onions or 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • a large handful of asparagus, maybe 12-15 spears, with the tough ends broken off (reserve this for veggie stock later), cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 2 cups of roughly chopped broccoli florets (you can keep the florets whole, just make sure they're off the stalk. Reserve the stalks for stock.)
  • 2 small zucchinis, diced or sliced
  • 1 large handful of swiss chard, about 2 cups, no need to chop
  • salt
  • pepper
  • water as needed
  • garlic powder, optional
  • half a cup of fresh basil leaves, optional
NOTE: No need to precut veggies. Each step allows for time for you to chop the next vegetable before it goes into the pot.

Warm olive oil on low heat in a large pot. Add onions and salt and pepper, I added about a half a teaspoon of each. Stir and let it work itself out for a while. Crush the garlic cloves to remove skin, reserve skins for stock. Add the garlic to pot, no need to chop, mince, etc. Once onions are translucent, add asparagus to pot and stir. Cook for about 3 minutes and then add water to pot to just cover the vegetables. Turn heat up high and cover. Let boil for 4-5 minutes while preparing broccoli florets. Add to the pot and add more water to just cover the vegetables. Add another pinch of salt and pepper to the pot. Cover and let boil for 4-5 minutes while preparing zucchini. Add zuccini and enough water to just cover vegetables. Pinch of salt and pepper and let boil while you prepare the swiss chard and basil or any fresh herb. You can use a comparable amount of fresh parsley or nothing at all.

This soup should be simple! Once you add the chard and herbs, cover the pot and let boil for about 5 more minutes. You can add more water if it's looking low, but you want to make sure the level of water is always just covering the veggies. Once the 5 minutes are up, uncover and test your veggies. Stick a fork in the asparagus pieces, the asparagus should completely yield to the fork. All the veggies should be completely tender at this point. If not, let it boil for a little while longer. Now for the exciting part. Grab that amazing immersion blender that you gifted yourself prompted by self love...No? Ok, grab the immersion blender you stole from your ex-boyfriend. Evs. Just get yourself an immersion blender. Whatever it takes. Trust me. It will change your life. Like when Boston Organics sends you every root vegetable known to man all autumn and if you eat another fricken turnip mash you will die or kill someone but then you were saved by the immersion blender and now you can make turnip and chive soup, or potato leek soup, or curried sweet potato soup, or anything else wonderful like that because you have an immersion blender and you make your own veggie stock so you always have some on hand and is anyone else's life like this?

Ok, maybe not. So enough of a rant. You can use a regular old blender, but um beware. Wait for the liquid to cool so the blender won't explode and the top of your blender won't pop off and the hot liquid will squirt everywhere and burn you - this has happened to me and to others, please be careful. So when the soup is all blended, taste it. You will need to add salt and pepper and maybe even a few really good shakes of garlic powder like I did. Up to you...I like things with a little kick. Your soup will be creamy without any dairy products at all. It will be delicious and healthy - except for the chlorophyll thing, but I don't know. Internet research suggested that chlorophyll cures everything from cancer to bad breath. Here's a link about this that I cannot confirm the validity of and that Mad Tasty has no affiliation to.

But anyway, back to GREEN SOUP. GREEN! TASTY! SOUP!

You will thank me later.

Until next time,

19 May 2010

Grow Your Own Avocado Tree

I <3 avocados so much. I never really ate them until a few years ago, but I wish I had discovered them earlier. They are such a great snack and go well with pretty much everything. Sometimes I wish I could grow my own avocado tree. Well... the internet says I CAN! Check out this link to learn how to grow your very own avocado tree:

Grow Your Own Avocado Tree

I might not be able to pull it off since a) I live in not-always-sunny New England and b) they can grow to be 20 to 40 feet tall, so it could only stay inside for so long... but perhaps I'll give it a shot anyway!

12 May 2010


There are many recipes out there for blondies, but this one, from Garrett McCord at Simply Recipes, is without a doubt my favorite. These are super chewy and delicious.

Blondies (by Garrett McCord from Simply Recipes)
  • 1/2 cup of butter, melted
  • 1 cup of tightly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup of butterscotch chips (this was not enough for me. I used about 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips and 1/2 cup white chocolate chips instead)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Lightly butter and flour an 8X8 pan.
  3. Whisk together the melted butter and sugar in a bowl.
  4. Add the egg and vanilla extract and whisk.
  5. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, mix it all together.
  6. Add the butterscotch chips or other mix-ins.
  7. Pour into the pan and spread evenly.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Allow to cool.
  10. Cut into squares and serve.

07 May 2010

Curried Vegetable Chowder of Epic Proportions

Live for them. Love them. I have been a customer of theirs on-and-off for years. When I can afford it, I get shipments of organic vegetables DELIVERED to my house and then life is GOOD, people! Now, due to financial constraints, I am on the every-other-week delivery cycle with Boston Organics. Life is still good...BUT sometimes you have to figure out what to do with a bunch of organic vegetables QUICK before they go bad. This is what I did the other night and it was a thing to rejoice!

Curried Vegetable Chowder
(of epic proportions!)

In fridge/freezer/pantry I found:
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/4 head of cabbage
  • 2 red potatoes
  • 1 sweet potato
  • broccoli (yuck)
  • collard greens (yum)
  • 2 onions
  • 1 red chili pepper (not sure what kind, but i think it was this)
  • a few cloves of garlic
  • spices: curry powder, cinammon, cumin, salt, pepper
  • olive oil
I also found a large portion of frozen veggie stock I had the foresight to make earlier that week. For a detailed description of how to make your vegetable ends into usable stock, read the play-by-play here.

A quick thing I will add to that epic is leave the skins of your garlic and onions on and also when you take the skins off in your regular cooking, throw em in your stock bag. EVERYTHING goes in except for lemon rind because that will make your stock bitter and inedible. Everything else, fair game. Im talking potato peels here, folks. Also an addendum to Tony's post is - add a shit ton of salt (Can I say shit on the internet? I dunno. I'm sure Dave will bleep me out if need be). (Ed. note: You sure can say shit on the internet. -dave) Like more than you think you need. Just TRUST me on this.

Anyway, now that you have an awesome veggie stock at your disposal, you can move on with your life and make better career choices :). Also, it cures acne.

Things I bought at the store for the curried chowder: Fresh ginger and organic half and half. Amazing! Let's start cooking.

So...take a massive pot and heat up some olive oil. I made a huge pot of soup which I have been eating for days and let me tell you, it gets better every day. So, I probably added about 4 tablespoons of oil to the pot, 2 tablespoons of curry powder, two teaspoons of cinnamon, a teaspoon of cumin, 2 teaspoons of kosher salt and a couple of fierce grinds of black pepper and then turn the heat on low. After the oil spice mixture begins to warm (you can tell by the smell), add the onions, sliced and let them sweat on low while other things happen. I grabbed the ginger, broke off about a half inch, peeled it, minced it, threw it in the pot. Sliced the chili pepper, seeds and all, into the pot and give it a stir. Peeled and minced the garlic, about three cloves, into the pot. At this point in time, your house should be smelling so good that you just cant function.

OK, so stir your aromatics that are in the pot and add the 2 red potatoes diced (don't need to peel, just take out any eyes) and the sweet potato, peeled and diced. Turn the heat up to medium, cover and get those potatoes cooking. Peel your carrots and chop them. I sliced them and found the rounds to be a little imposing, you may want to dice them to the same size as your potatoes. Add them to the pot, stir, make sure nothing's burning, move on. Next, grab that quarter of a head of cabbage, take off the outer leaves if the look suspect and cut off any areas that are starting to brown, shreddddd the cabbage by slicing it thin and throw into the pot, stir. Take your broccoli (yuck), about two big stalks, and start slicing at the top of the florets so the little nibs separate individually and make this heinous vegetable palatable. NO bias here. Once all your florets are macerated, chop a little of the soft, upper part of the stem and save the rest to put into the stock bag. Into the pot, stir.

Okay, folks, we're almost ready. Can you feel the excitement building? Grab your collards and slice about a cup's worth (2 inches, how does one measure collards?), into the pot, big stir, life is good, go grab your stock. Add about a quart of the veggie stock into the pot until the vegetables are covered, but just showing underneath the surface. Add another 2 teaspoons of curry powder (yes, really) another dash of cinnamon, a teaspoon of salt a few more fierce grinds of black pepper an cover. Bring up to a boil and let this mixture boil, covered for about 15-20 minutes until potatoes and carrots are tender. Once this happens, turn off heat and add your half-and-half slowly until you achieve the desired creaminess. I didn't use much-maybe about a cup in total. Stir and taste. Mixture should be just creamy, slightly curried, spicy, delicious and totally like whoa. If this is not the case, add more salt and pepper, maybe another shot of the half-and-half and try again. If it's not amazing at this point then I just don't know. Maybe it's karma from a past life...shake your first at the sky, discard and order pizza.

But anyway, our soup was incredible, spicy, organic, delicious, dinner, lunch, lunch, dinner. So good. Also, google the health benefits of turmeric, found in curry powder, and feel pleased with your meal choice and morally superior to others. I kid. Seriously though, this soup is amazing and life is good.

Until next time,

06 May 2010

Homemade fish sandwiches

They have frozen fish fillets, unbreaded and inexpensive in the frozen seafood section at your regular grocer now. The standard price is $3 - 5 for four whole fillets, indvidually wrapped, of tilapia, catfish or cod, which is a great deal. I've found a great use for these to feel like you are eating out a cafe at home:

- Take a fillet out of the bag and put it on a plate / bowl in the sink - run cold water over it for ~5 min until defrosted.
- Meanwhile, prep your slaw: shredded cabbage, carrots and onions, mixed with a few tablespoons of vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Add fresh ginger for an asian flare.
- Make your aioli: a tbl of mayo, minced garlic, tsp of lemon juice and some diced parsley (i've used dried and its been just fine)
- Dry off the fillet well with paper towels, then sprinkle both sides with Cajun Spice and flash fry on both sides in a tbl of oil
- Slice a baguette (or any other heary bread) and slather with aioli, then top with the fish fillet and the slaw.

05 May 2010

Love that dirty water!

In case you didn't hear, much of Greater Boston lost clean water for several days this past week. A catastrophic water main leak in Weston Saturday forced a boil-water order for about 2 million residents in 30 Eastern Massachusetts communities. The boil order was lifted early Tuesday morning after a fix to the leak was made and tests showed clean water flowing to the communities.

As horrible as it was to deal with this problem, it could have been a million times worse and last a whole lot longer. I think this crisis truly made some of the locals think long and hard about how precious water is and hope that this problem will at least help people be more conscious about conserving water.

So take a moment today, let's raise our glasses, or water bottles, to good old H2O! Without water, we could probably not keep this blog going. Or much else going.


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