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Showing posts from 2008

Leblebi

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Leblebi are the Turkish snack of spiced, roasted chick peas (garbanzo beans). I had made some beans the other day to make hummus but then decided that since I feel too lazy to make more flat bread (I think there's only one loaf I tucked away in the freezer, and that's just not enough). So I went with this instead. Please feel free to use canned beans if you like. It makes it more convenient for those who don't love cooking their own beans. Enjoy! 2 cups cooked chick peas (drain and rinse if canned) spice mixture* 2 tablespoons olive oil Heat oven to 450F. Blot peas, then toss with oil and spices. Spread over a baking sheet and roast for 15-30 minutes or until dry and crispy and delicious. Spice Mixture: 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon cumin seeds 1 tablespoon aleppo pepper 1 tablespoon sumac Grind together in mortar and pestle or spice grinder (coffee grinder; whatever you use). *There are a lot of different options for how to spice these little guys, so play ar

Latkes (Potato Pancakes)

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I remember these always having carrots grated into them when I was a kid, but today I didn't want them that way. I wanted it to mainly scream of potato and olive oil. And that's what they did. Happy Chanukah guys. 1 1/2 pounds peeled, scrubbed and grated potato 1/2 onion, finely diced 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon sumac 1/2 cup bread crumbs (or matzo meal) 2 eggs 1/2 cup or so olive oil Mix everything except the oil together. Heat the oil in the pan until water dances on it. Scoop out large handfuls of the potato mixture and squeeze it to remove as much of the starchy liquid as you can. Drop each handful into the oil and press it with a spatula to flatten it out (I use a 10" pan and do 2 at a time). Fry until the bottom is golden, then flip over and fry until the other side is golden. Serve with sour cream and apple sauce. Serves 2 (makes 6).

Sweet Potato and Rosemary Penne

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Sorry to have been absent so long. Between a pile of pears I've been canning, a touch of nausea and several botched meals (bad kitchen juju these days!), I've had nothing to say, really. But tonight I did not fail in the kitchen, and that makes me smile. I hope you enjoy it! 2-3 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary 1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed 1/2 onion, diced salt to taste 8 ounces penne, cooked according to package directions 1-1 1/2 cups white beans, cooked with a sprig of rosemary (if using canned, ignore the rosemary sprig, of course) 2 cups finely grated parmesan 2 tablespoons lemon juice Infuse the rosemary in the oil over very low heat for 15 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes (and season it) and increase the heat to medium low. Cook for 15-20 minutes, then add the onions (season again) and cook another 15-20 minutes (until the sweet potato is cooked through). Add the beans and penne and toss lightly, then stir in the lemon and parmesan

Eggplant, Lentil and Chick Pea Stew

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I had this huge eggplant calling to me, saying, "Eat me before I go bad!" and I didn't really have any specific sort of anything I wanted to do with it. I do like stew, though, so I decided to make another winter-type stew that would keep me full all evening while I finish preparing for my last final. Hope you enjoy! 1 globe eggplant, peeled and cut into 1" cubes ($1) 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes ($0.50) 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce ($0.20) 4 cups chicken broth (free, I made it) 1/4 teaspoon each: ground cinnamon, ground mace, aleppo pepper, tumeric (~$0.20) 1/2 teaspoon each: ground coriander seed, salt ($0.10) 1 teaspoon each: ground black pepper, pomegranate molasses, crushed omani (if you don't have the omani, you can sub dried lemon peel. I don't know a sub for the molasses, so just leave it out) ($0.30) 1 cup-ish (it might've been a little more) cooked chick peas ($0.10) 1/2 pound beef sausage, cooked ($3.00) 1/3 cup puy lentils ($0.15)

Crabapple Jelly

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I found some crabapples at the store, and while really they were a bit more expensive than I'd like (particularly since I remember the trees overloaded with fruit as a kid that we could've picked since no one wanted it), at $2.99/pound, but that is still a lot cheaper than you can buy crabapple jelly for. So I got a couple pounds. I looked at yet another billion different recipes, and pretty much everyone seems to make it the same way. I added a bit more lemon than people seem to like (and I might not've used the normal amount of sugar, since I kind of lost track of what I put in. I was thinking about the meat sauce that was cooking so I got distracted), but I'm obsessed with lemon. It's reasonably simple to make, though I really do need to invest in a jar lifter so I can stop turning water bath canning into a terrifying experience. 2 pounds crabapples 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice 6-7 cups water 4 cups sugar, approximately Wash the apples and pull off their st

Hearty Winter Soup

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I was looking for something to really fill me up, and keep me that way. Rustic soups and stews are my favourite for this. Since it's "cold" now (ok... it's not as cold for us as it is for many of you, but it's all about what you're used to), all the better. Also in the job description was something that could cook itself while I was at school. This is really perfect for a slow cooker. I did this in 3 steps, but if you are going to be at work all day it will work equally well using just two steps. If you have leftover turkey, use that instead. It'd be a fine substitute for chicken. Hope you enjoy! 1 onion, cut into large chunks 2 carrots cut into 1" pieces 1 cup wheat berries (I pre-soaked mine but you can just dump them in unsoaked and it'll be fine) 1 tomato cut into large chunks (or a small can of tomatoes) 1/2 bulb garlic, peeled and cloves left whole 5 cups chicken broth (homemade is ideal) 1 large raw boneless and skinless chicken bre

Pear Preserves and Jelly

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P is a little persnickety about his pear preserves. Most people spice them and he doesn't like that so I decided to make my own (okay... more truthfully I decided to make my own because the one he likes is expensive and he's almost out again). I did not use pectin (I don't know why I didn't, since I actually bought some), though you certainly may adjust the recipe for it. Pears are on sale here in Houston for 4/1.19, which is quite a lot cheaper than the $6.25/10.5 ounce jar we spend on the type he normally prefers. 9 cups pear, peeled, cored and sliced (2.38) 42.15 ounces (1200 grams) granulated sugar (1.04) 3/4 lemon, sliced super thin, then cut into quarters (19 cents) Combine the pears and sugar, then refrigerate overnight (ideally. Otherwise, if you're forgetful like me, refrigerate for 24 hours). Stir and add lemon, then slowly cook until it reaches 220F (some people say to do this at a simmer for a couple hours; I just cooked it over low heat until it r

Chili, Potatoes and Tea

Usually when I buy potatoes, I buy red ones. I just really, really love red potatoes. Oh, and I also love the purple fingerlings. I forgot about that until just now, because they're so costly I rarely buy them anymore. This time, though, I bought a russet. A big one. I'm not really sure why I bought it, but it was just there, in the pile of russets, "staring at me." It was like it was saying, "Allie... Come buy me, and bake me, and eat me." And so I did. Buy it, that is. But then it sat on the Cameroonian mortar (they're kind of wide and flat, so they're perfect for holding things), hanging out with the garlic, onions and lemons. Because I didn't know how I wanted to deal with it. But then, when I was peeking at my jars of foods I've preserved this year, I noticed there was a jar of chili I hadn't already promised to someone else remaining. And then I knew what to do with the potato. I was going to make a nice, cheap, yummy dinner for

Spicy Green Beans and Spaghetti

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We got a huge bag of green beans at the farmer's market, and rather than sitting down in front of the tv and scarfing them down, like I normally might be inclined to do (I have this problem with peas, too), I actually cooked some. Mainly because P asked me to. I've been really into the farmer's market lately, you might've noticed. I find the food is better, and ultimately cheaper in most cases (8 billion eggplants for 4 monies, as an example). Anyway, I just wanted to kind of lightly cook these with a minimum of added flavours. A little heat sounded good to P and I, but I was asked not to make it searingly hot like that one time with the shrimp. I agree, since I thought my lips were going to fall off when we had those shrimp. This was nice - just a hint of spice, not quite so little you forget it's there but also not enough that you feel like you have to keep eating to be safe. I hope you enjoy! 1 tablespoon each: sesame oil, vegetable oil 2 pinches chile fl

Bread Pudding

Not being a real Southerner (or even a fake one), I really have never used my stale bread for anything but croutons. But recently I've been baking a lot more bread than normal and my eating hasn't kept up (thankfully). So I've been storing all the stale bread in chunks in the freezer. I decided I was going to make bread pudding. I had no real understanding of how to make bread pudding, so I looked at about a billion different recipes to figure out a general concept of how this works exactly. I totally spaced taking a picture of this, and since I actually made it last week but forgot to tell you, it's now too late (until the next time, of course). It appears that most recipes use raisins, but I decided to use more fruit than just that. Anyway, I hope you enjoy! 4 cups bread cubes (I cut mine about 1"x1") 4 eggs 1/4 cup butter, melted 1/3 cup white sugar 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar 1/2 cup heavy cream 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

What's in Your Spice Cabinet?

Over at Chile Chews , they're doing a meme of what people have in their spice cabinets. I thought this seemed like a lot of fun, so I'm participating too. I have some spices that are not on this list, and the instructions say to just add them to the end. So if you want to continue the meme, you can either use the list I have, or refer back to the original post, linked above. I've cut and pasted her list, and put in bold the spices I have. The ingredients I've added to the end have been done in italics . She uses an asterisk for herbs she's grown herself, but I'm not doing that part because I have no herbs I grew myself that I don't also have that I didn't. I've got some duplicates, I guess. 1. Allspice, ground 2. Allspice, whole 3. Anardana, ground (dried pomegranate seeds) 4. Anardana, whole 5. Basil leaves 6. Bay leaf 7. Caraway seeds 8. Cardamom 9. Cayenne pepper 10. Celery seed 11. Chile pepper, New Mexico, ground (note: this is no

Stewed Vegetable with Shrimp

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While I was muscling a second turkey into my freezer (turkey is on sale for 39 cents a pound right now, so... you know how it is), I noticed a half pound of locally... uh...harvested? Caught? Whatever. A half pound of locally obtained shrimps I'd purchased at the farmer's market a month or so ago and stuffed in the freezer for later. Sometimes I don't know what's in my freezer (I also discovered 3 pounds of ground meat I didn't know I had, which is perfect since I need to make more meat sauce soon). Additionally, I had some zucchini left from our last trip to the farmer's market. So I figured I'd stew it. And then eat it, of course. This was really simple to make. I hope you enjoy! shells and tails from 1/2-1 pound of shrimp 2 cups water 6 peppercorns 1 teaspoon salt 1 can stewed tomatoes 1 1/2 zucchinis, cut into 3/8" half-moons 1 teaspoon each: dry basil, sumac 1/2 teaspoon salt 1-2 tablespoons shrimp broth 1 1/2 cups chicken broth 1/2 po

Seasonal Fruit Salad

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Our ginormous box of grapefruits came yesterday (thanks, M!), so I decided to use some of them to make a fruit salad with the fruits we (mostly) got at the farmer's market this weekend. I wanted to lightly dress it, so I decided to use up some of the quince "paste" I made (ok... it's not quite paste; it's more like a thick preserves because I didn't cook it long enough - still tastes great though) and a little bit of parsley from my garden to brighten it up. I hope you enjoy! 3 navel oranges 1 valencia orange 3 grapefruit 2 satsuma mandarin oranges 1 dancy tangerine 1/4 pomegranate 1 apple 2 tablespoons quince paste or preserves 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped 2-3 tablespoons juices from all the citrus 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil Supreme* the citrus and squeeze the juice from the membranes into a bowl. Peel, core and chop the apple. Get all the seeds out of the 1/4 pomegranate. Combine the citrus, apple and pomegranate. In a small bowl, whi

Roasted Vegetable Salad with Sherry Vinaigrette

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I have some beets, as per usual, and also some brussels sprouts. P was wanting some of the Anson Mills grits we got, but I didn't really think that was going to be enough for dinner (despite us now both being sick). That being said, I wanted to keep it light (because we're both now sick). So I decided to roast some veggies and make them part of a salad. This is kind of sweet-tart, seasonal, inexpensive and healthful. Hope you enjoy! 1 cup stale bread, cut into cubes 1 tablespoon olive oil salt and pepper to taste 1/2 teaspoon sumac 1 large beet, cut into thin half moons 3 brussels sprouts, cut into quarters 1/2 onion, chopped 1 stalk celery, cut into 1" pieces 1-2 tablespoons oil of your choice (I went olive, but standard vegetable would also be good; I briefly contemplated sesame) 1 teaspoon lemon juice salt and pepper to taste 1/2 teaspoon each: sumac, fennel seeds 3 cups torn green leaf lettuce 3/4 cup assorted cherry and/or grape tomatoes 3 mushrooms

Potato and Egg Scramble

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I like this as a breakfast food. Well, okay. I also love it as a dinner food. Very, very filling and not too expensive. We've also been really into eggs lately, so... yeah. Hope you enjoy! 1 carrot, diced 1/2 onion, diced 1 sliced red potato 1 tablespoon each: sesame oil, vegetable oil 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage pinch each: salt, sumac (optional), nutmeg 1 diced zucchini 1 cup chicken broth (or vegetable) 1/3 cup beet stems (optional) 1/2 cup celery with leaves, sliced salt and pepper to taste 6 eggs salt and pepper to taste pinch nutmeg 2 tablespoons milk or cream 1/2 cup grated cheddar (optional) Heat a pan to low, then add oil and heat. Add onion, carrot and potato and sprinkle with sage, salt, sumac and nutmeg. Slowly cook until the potatoes begin to reach translucency. Add in zucchini, broth, beet stems (yes, stems. I'm on the stems again), celery and S&P. Cook this until the broth is absorbed fully and the beet stems have softened enough to eat (

Spiced Hot Chocolate

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The downside of being sick is that you really can't taste anything, and you don't really want to eat anything. I'm still eating though, because I'm trying to get over this illness as quickly as possible so I can go back to school and work (I went to class Monday and to my morning class Tuesday, but have done nothing else since). Today I have been eating odd foods. One of the things I ate was a version of "chicken soup" that I think only a sick person would want to eat. I dumped some leftover rice in a bowl, poured on some lemon juice and crystal's hot sauce, then threw in a teaspoon of shmaltz, a bunch of leftover roasted veggies and some homemade chicken broth. Then I threw it in the microwave until it was hot. I don't know how it tasted but I think it was okay. It didn't make me sicker, so that's all I care about (P said it looked gross). I also have eaten a lot of dried fruit, and pickled onions. A lot of onions. Nearly a jar. Add that to si

Pumpkin and Chicken Lasagna

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As SJ likes to tell me, when you have a lot of leftovers, make some lasagna. Ok. I think she's less prone to mishaps than I am. Or maybe I should just not be in the kitchen while I'm taking lots of medicine (I'm sick - I think I have a cold but I do not know). I had some misadventures with this one, so I wound up having to make the pasta from scratch. I'll put the recipe for that in here too (it turns out you can make the pasta more simply than I did, with just all-purpose, eggs and salt. But you know me... I like to do things the hard way!), but feel free to buy pre-made or to make them the normal way unless you're just really bored or really in need of a work-out (I lost the clamp to my pasta roller, so I had to roll it by hand, too. My sheets turned out thinner than the store bought though, strangely enough). Pasta: 235 grams fine semolina 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 large eggs 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Mix the flour and salt and make a pile on you

Pear and Cranberry Tart

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Originally, this was going to be just pear. And a crostata. Then it was going to be a pear and cranberry crostata. But then I had an incident with my lasagna noodles that meant I was going to have to make them from scratch since I can't go to the store today, and this very suddenly became a tart. I also actually did one layer too few, so I'm recommending you do 3 pear layers instead of the two I have, so your shell is full. :) I hope you enjoy! 1 pie crust for a 9" pie 2 tablespoons corn starch 3 large pears, cored and cut into thin slices 1 cup cranberries, whole 3/4 cup vanilla sugar, divided 2 tablespoons apricot jam 1 teaspoon water Preheat oven to 400F. Line tart pan with prepared crust. Dust it with the cornstarch. Arrange half the pears in a spiral (or however you want to). Dust with a scant 1/4 cup of the sugar. Top with cranberries, concentrating the cranberries around the edges (but not exempting the middle from them). Use any malformed or small slic

Lo Mein

This is not really a traditional lo mein. This was more of an attempt to use some corn noodles I had in a pseudo-"appropriate" way. Also, I was trying to use up some more of the left-over chicken. It worked out well in the end, though I think I actually prefer a more standard pasta for this preparation. Once again, I forgot to take a picture. I was famished and more-than-a-little cranky (because I was hungry, and also because I've had a headache for a week and a half now, and because I'm in the middle of writing a semester paper that is already looking like it's going to be utter crap), so I just ate it up. I realised I'd spaced the photo when I went back to do the dishes. Either way, I hope you like it. 1 onion, sliced into rounds 6 small ichiban eggplants (2-3 large), diced 1 sliced carrot 2 stalks diced celery 1 small daikon, cut into 1" strips 1 zucchini, sliced into half moons 1 yellow squash, sliced into half moons 8 cloves roughly chopp

Crab Salad

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Ok, it's really krab salad. Normally I would turn my nose at fake crab and refuse to eat it. But we're doing this diet thing, and fake crab has no calories (nearly). Plus, it was only $1.50 for a pound. I can live with some flavoured cod for that price. When you make this, I know you will use real crab instead, to amplify the deliciousness of this salad. This is a dry salad, because I wanted the ingredients to be able to do the talking rather than the dressing as the focus (y'know... for when I make this with crab and not cod). I hope you enjoy! 1 pound crab 1 green onion, thickly cut (except the bulb - cut that thin) 2 cups roughly diced cucumber 1 stalk celery, roughly diced 1/2 large tomato, deseeded and chopped 1/2 cup each: coarsely chopped basil, mint 1/4 cup chopped tarragon Mix, then stir in dressing until everything is lightly coated. Dressing: freshly ground pepper 1 tablespoon honey 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce (I used Crystal

Chicken with Spelt "Risotto"

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After the storm, my mother sent me a bunch of spelt. I thought this was great, since I'd been intending to get some. Of greatest interest to me regarding the spelt was cooking it as though it were risotto. I've noted over the last year a lot of people have been making risotto with grains other than rice, and the thought of the crisp, chewy grains of spelt were particularly appealing to me. To top it off, I also baked a chicken earlier this week. So this was a great opportunity for me to use up some of the leftovers. For one, I saved all the shmaltz (chicken fat) from the chicken, as well as the collagen jelly. I got a lot of jelly out of this chicken (which, happily, was on sale for $2.50 for the entire chicken). So I've been using the jelly as a fat replacement in my cooking. I still add in a little fat here and there, but the jelly is working beautifully to add a bit of meat flavouring to non-meat dishes. And, of course, I got more beets, so I'm using the stems ag

Homemade Soda

Sometimes we like to drink soda, but we don't like the associated price tag, or all the crap that's stuffed in it, removing it from the "food" category. So I have just been making my own. I make an assortment of syrups from the "trash" of my cooking, and then mix it with club soda (which we pay $0.79 for a 3-litre bottle; after I save up, I will be buying this for us instead). You can make your soda as strongly or weakly flavoured as you like, and the varieties achieved are outstanding. You start by making a simple syrup base (1:1 sugar:water, brought to a boil and allowed to boil for another minute). Then you can do it two ways, once the simple syrup is made. One is to simmer the additive in the syrup for a while, such as with orange peels or lemon peels (to make candied peel at the same time, thereby further reducing waste). The other is just to remove the syrup from heat, stir in the additive and let it infuse for a while (I go 30 minutes to 4 hours).

Overfilled Omelet

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We got some delicious things at the farmer's market this weekend. I bought another 2 weeks worth of eggplant (sorry, to those of you who're tired of it) for 4 dollars, and this time I got zucchini instead of yellow squash. But, since we didn't show up uber-late this time, we actually were able to get some fresh eggs and some beef sausage. I really just wanted to eat the sausage and eggs, but I wanted a good excuse to put some eggplant in, as well as other veggies. Omelet it is, then. I made a huge amount of filling, so this are definitely over-stuffed. This recipe is another one of those that seems like it's got a lot going on, but truly it's quite easy to cook. 1 tablespoon butter 1 teaspoon olive oil 1 teaspoon sesame oil 1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced salt and pepper to taste 4 garlic cloves, sliced 1 large ichiban eggplant, sliced thin (or 2 small) salt and pepper to taste 1 teaspoon lemon juice 4 ounces button mushrooms, sliced salt and pepper

Pumpkin Empanadas (Hand Pies)

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I wanted to make pumpkin empanadas for P on our anniversary (the 28th), but I wanted to minimise the amount of calories in each pie. I was basically successful (each pie works out to ~250 calories). Additionally, this is my entry for October's In The Bag . This recipe has a lot of "parts" but is actually quite simple to make. I made one part here, and one part there, between classes, and just tossed them all together and baked them once we were both home from school. Anise tea: 1-2 tablespoons anise seeds 1 cup water Bring to a boil. Boil down to 2/3 cup. Strain. Chill well (it needs to be COLD!) Dough: 1 stick butter (1/2 cup) 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/3 cup, give or take, anise tea Cut butter into small bits, and freeze. Freeze bowl of food processor (or your mixing bowl and whatever you intend to cut the butter into the flour with). Toss the flour in the freezer too, if you feel like it. I felt like it. Pulse the flour, sa

No-Soup Tuna Casserole

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I'm still paying attention to the diet, but likewise, I have a serious craving for tuna casserole. To me, the brunt of what makes tuna casserole not-diet-friendly is the can of soup that's tossed in. Also, I am still using up all the eggplant I got at the farmer's market (plus I was proving to my cast iron pan I didn't forget it lives here). So I decided to try to make my own version that was a little fresher and less soupy. Here it is. I hope you like it. 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 carrot, diced 1 celery stalk, diced 1/4 onion, diced salt to taste 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar 5 cloves garlic (use less if you're not a garlic freak like I am) 4 ounces button mushrooms, cut into eighths 2 teaspoons lemon juice, divided 2 tablespoons butter 6 ounces grape tomatoes, cut in half 3 tablespoons fresh tarragon, minced 1 tablespoon fresh mint, minced 2 6-ounce (or 5-ounce, if you're buying those now) cans tuna in water 2 ears corn, kernels cut off

Pickled Okra

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As I mentioned before, I made some pickled okra. I can't tell you if it's good, since it'll be a couple weeks before I get to crack open a jar and eat it. It looks yummy, though, and I'm ready to eat it. 1 pound okra 1 cup water 1 cup white vinegar 1/8 cup kosher salt 2 pint jars In each jar: (this is PER jar, not total) 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds 1/2 teaspoon dill weed 1/4 teaspoon dill seed pinch dried chile flakes 1 clove garlic 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns Sterilize your jars. In each jar, put the spice combo listed above (and feel free to add anything to your own tastes too, such as coriander seed, allspice, what-have-you). Pack the okra tightly into each jar, alternating right-side-up and upside-down. Smoosh them on in there, seriously. About a half pound per jar. Bring the salt, vinegar and water to a boil, then pour into the jars, leaving about a half inch of headspace. Process in a water bath for 10-15 minutes (at sea level to 1000 ft). Make

American Day, plus Shrimp

Today I voted. So that's good, and I'm happy to live in a state where I can vote early. In addition to voting, today I will be canning. It occurred to me that I actually had more stuff to can than just the remainder of that stew I made last night (which we are actually eating again for dinner, and I'll can the rest). I have the leftover pumpkin soup, which is ideal as an appetiser-soup more than it is as a full-meal-soup, so I'm canning the remaining quart in two pint jars (I made the very unpleasant discovery that my canner is not actually large enough to do quart jars. This is mostly disappointing because I just bought quart jars, but it's also sad because I can't spend the money on a 16-quart canner right now). I also have all that okra remaining to can (P actually did like the okra in the stew I made though he typically will only eat it fried or pickled). I intended to cook and can some beans, also, for days I don't feel like cooking them, but I think

Garden Stew

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Or at least, this would be a stew from my garden if I had a garden that grew more than just chives and parsley. From my dream garden, I'd make this. Instead, I bought this stuff from the farmer's market, where it came from someone else's "garden." Mostly, anyway. I've also resigned myself to the inability to make a small pot of soup or stew so I've just gone with it and intent to can the remainder tomorrow or the next day. Enjoy! Oh, by the way, this is awesome with freshly made bread. 1/3 cup wild rice, presoaked in 2 cups of water (or not presoaked, with 2 cups extra water added to the pot) 8 ounces fresh button mushrooms (or 1/3 cup dried of your choice) 3 carrots 2 red potatoes 5 sliced cloves of garlic 2 small turnips 2 cups celery chunks 2 ichiban eggplants 2 yellow squash 3 cups rough chopped turnip greens (or greens of your choice) 1 yellow onion large handful okra 1 bay leaf 2 cups water 1 15-ounce can each: stewed tomatoes, dice

Harvest Roast

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Do you guys ever just roast a bunch of veggies and pig out for dinner? That's the plan we had today after a lovely soujourn to the farmer's market. I wound up getting 10 eggplants and 7 yellow squash for 8 dollars from one vendor, a huge mess of turnips and greens, plus daikon, for 3 dollars, a massive bag of okra for 5 dollars. Etc. So this seemed a good time to just revel in the freshness of the food which was available, and also to clean out a couple other items from the fridge. P wanted this on rice, because he felt rice would fit better in the diet he's made me put him on (he claims to have gained 30 pounds since he met me, which is probably true but which I consider to be a sign of good eating rather than of weighing too much. This is not how he views it) than the simmered spelt, couscous or other type of pasta I'd originally planned to serve it with. I haven't had rice in a while, so really, it's a win. My mother sent me a big 2.5-3 quart ceramic casserol

Beet Stem and Potato Quiche

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This is another recipe I'm using to illustrate the kind of really good food you can feed your family for a tiny amount of money. For this one, I was trying to optimise my usage of the ever-so-lovely beet. Also I am stalling on studying for my biology midterm, and this is a lot more fun. One nice thing about the quiche is that you can eat it cold, so it's perfect for P and I to munch on all day. One meal that makes many. Also, I was craving quiche. For like, the last couple months. I just didn't feel like making it despite the craving until today. Which is, naturally, when I discovered I was out of milk, so I had to use evaporated. If you have real milk, use 1 1/2 cups. I used to only buy bulk beets, but it occurred to me I should stop doing that. So this last time, I bought a bunch of beets with the greens still attached. The peels of the beetroot go in my bag of vegetable leavings for stock. The greens I wilted down with lemon and some other veggies and used them in a

Dolma

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I got this recipe from my good friend and "nephew" Y, who lives in Haifa. This is, hands down, my favourite dolma recipe, and the one that ruins most other dolma for me. They take a couple hours to make if you're doing it solo, so just be sure to reserve enough time for them. Or even better, get a friend to help with the rolling and it'll go more quickly! Enjoy! I use pickled grape leaves, and I've found this recipe makes closer to 100 units than 50, so I just buy the larger jar of leaves. Around 80 young and fresh (pickled is also an option) 5-6 tablespoons of olive/corn/sunflower oil, divided 2 chopped onions 100gr of pine nuts or sunflower seeds 1.5 cups of washed and then dried rice 1 teaspoon of salt 3 tablespoons of chopped mint leaves 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper 1/4 teaspoon of sweet or spicy paprika 1-2 lemons 1.5 cups of water The recipe is for 50 units. If you have used pickled vine leaves, then the leaves should be soak

Pumpkin Ginger Soup

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So here's that soup I mentioned the other day. It's very, very simple. This soup is based off of Dalva's soup (Dalva was the housekeeper where P lived in Brazil), which appears to have used a different variety of pumpkin. Additionally, this is my October entry for No Croutons Required . 2 1/2 cups pumpkin puree 4 cups water 1-2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger pinch salt 1 tablespoon pumpkin skin puree (optional) couple teaspoons olive oil (optional) Mix the above, except oil, in a saucepan. Bring to a slow boil, reducing until it's the thickness of tomato soup. Remove from heat and puree using a blender or immersion blender. Ladle into bowls and drizzle with oil. Serves 2-4.

Pumpkin Stuffed Shells

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One of the things I wanted to illustrate with this dish is how cheaply we can make gourmet-type meals at home. I put the prices for each ingredient in there, as well as the per-meal-breakdown. I feel like it's important to make note of ways we can still feel decadent with our food without increasing the worries our troubling economy has brought. This recipe is one of those, as well as a continuation of my exploration of the joys of pumpkin. I hope you enjoy it. Sauce: 1/4 cup dried mushrooms (I keep several pounds of assorted dried mushrooms, because they're an excellent value in terms of long-term viability and versatility - in this instance I used black trumpets, so this part cost about 30 cents, as I buy dry mushrooms in bulk) 1/8 cup dried shallot (buy a big bag at any Middle Eastern store for a couple bucks; this cost about 10 cents for this recipe's worth) 1 1/2 cup hot water (penny) 1 teaspoon each: oregano, thyme, basil (free since I grew and dried them) 1/4

Pumpkin Bread

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I think that after pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread is probably the second most thought of pumpkin recipe. I developed this recipe to be able to send a wider variety of breads to a friend of mine and SJ's after Katrina. I actually hadn't made it since then, until today. But P asked if I could make pumpkin bread, so I threw some together while I'm working on the pumpkin shells you'll see tomorrow. I figure before I toss a savoury pumpkin dish at you, I should give this one too. Enjoy! In blender or food processor (or whatever you use), mix: 2 large eggs scant 2/3 cup granulated sugar brown sugar to make the granulated a full 2/3 cup (I just like a bit for flavour) 1/3 cup shortening 1 teaspoon vanilla (alright... in reality, I use closer to a tablespoon, but if you're a normal, non-vanilla-freak, go w/ a teaspoon) 1/4 teaspoon each: cinnamon and ginger 1/8 teaspoon each: clove and nutmeg Then mix in: 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon pumpkin mash (yum! I measure a lit

Pumpkin Puree, Juice, Seeds and Butter

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Today is pumpkin day. This means the next couple days will probably be pumpkin days for you all, in terms of reading my blog. Today I will just tell you all about what I did to process the pumpkin. Tomorrow I will make something with the pumpkin. And so on. I have a lot of pumpkin. I think you all probably know how to make the pumpkin mash, but if you don't I'll tell you. Most people buy those little pie pumpkins. I like to just buy one huge pumpkin and be done with it. Some people say there's a significant difference in the quality of the mash but I think they're smoking a little something extra. Or maybe that's just because I just like to do the big pumpkin, and saying they smoke a little something extra is one way of justifying it. Either way, you get what you like. I spent $4 on my huge pumpkin. The little ones cost so much more. The Beginning: So I cut my big pumpkin in half, from top to bottom. Then I scoop out all the seeds and the stringy bits. Most pe