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Showing posts from 2012

Stuffed Warty Pumpkin

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I was gifted a couple winter squashes a few weeks ago. However, since it was the end of the semester and I was insanely busy with seminar papers, I hadn't had a chance to do anything with them. The one of greatest interest to me was the warty pumpkin , because it's really neat looking. I wanted to stuff it because I'm into stuffed squashes, as y'all probably know already. I think I've done two or three stuffed squashes before on here, but since I never make the fillings the same way, I figure one more can't hurt. You could, of course, do this on any squash roughly the size of a sugar pie pumpkin. But this is the one I used. Hope you enjoy! 1 warty pumpkin 3/4 cup brown rice 1 1/2 cup water teaspoon salt 1/2 cup each: frozen corn, frozen black eyed peas 1 stalk celery, sliced, with leaves 1 carrot, diced 1 shallot, sliced into half moons 2 tablespoons lemon juice salt and pepper to taste 3 cubanelle peppers, sliced 3 tablespoons each: feta, goat ch

Loquat Muffins

I have some loquat preserves in the fridge from the last season, and I always forget I have it so I never use it. When I woke up excessively early today, I decided it might be nice to make some jam muffins, and the loquats were open so I went with that. Y'all could use any sort of jam (or fruit) you wanted, though. Hope you enjoy! Whisk together: 1 3/4 cups flour 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 3/4 teaspoon salt In a separate container, whisk together: 1 egg 1/4 cup each: oil, yogurt 1/2 cup milk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Preheat oven to 400F. Mix wet ingredients into dry. Put into a greased (or lined) muffin pan, then top with a dollop of jam or preserves. If your preserves are very thick like mine are, you may wish to push them down a little into the batter with your thumb. If they're thinner, they should disburse a bit on their own. Bake for 20 minutes. Makes 10-ish regular sized muffins.

Simple Chicken Soup

I've been sick the last few days, with some awesome combination viral and bacterial upper respiratory infection. So, while I didn't particularly wish to cook today, I figured I would toss together a quick chicken soup for dinner while I strained some more yogurt. This went in the crock pot, since I figured I ought not miss three days of school in a row and I wanted it to be ready for when we got home. It was, again, very simple, but quite satisfying to both of us. If you're looking for more pizazz, you can easily modify this by adding other veggies or spices. Hope you enjoy! 2 large chicken thighs, deboned and skinned*, then cut into bite sized pieces 1 large carrot, sliced thickly 1 large celery stalk, sliced thickly 1 onion, roughly chopped 1 litre vegetable broth 1 handful wheat berries salt to taste 1 14-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, smashed a little with your spoon or ladle most of that 14-ounce can of water Combine all in a small crock pot and let simme

Mixed Fruit Cobbler

Along with the penne from yesterday, we also made a big cobbler. The dough I used is a modified pie crust recipe, with increased fat because I wanted to have a crust type that could work for either pie or cobbler. I used it initially for blackberry pie and pineapple-cranberry pie over Thanksgiving to test it, and it did seem to be great for pie and perfect for cobbler. For pie, it makes a soft crust, but not ultra-flaky like many prefer. For cobbler, it's pretty much the ideal texture. Soft insides, but crisp outer portion. You could use any kind of fruit for this dessert, though. Originally we'd planned to do peaches, but instead went with a mixture of pineapple, mango, strawberry and grape. If you don't need a gigantic dessert, you can easily cut this in half and still feed 4-6 people dessert. Hope you enjoy! Crust: 3 cups flour 1 tablespoon kosher salt (1 teaspoon iodized salt) 3-4 tablespoons of sugar, plus more for sprinkling 1 1/2 sticks cold butter 2/3 cup co

Baked Penne

This is a pretty big recipe, making enough food for two 9x13" pans. We were making a batch of penne for ourselves, but also for a friend. It's a vegetarian version of baked penne (I think I have a couple meat versions in here somewhere already), and very, very cheesy. If you make this, my recommendation is to make the full amount of sauce and simply freeze what you don't need yet, so you can use the leftover sauce at a later time. Hope you enjoy! Marinara Sauce: 1 28-ounce can tomato sauce maybe 1/3 of the tomato sauce can of water 1 15-ounce can stewed tomatoes 1 15-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes 2 tablespoons lemon juice 3 big glugs of olive oil salt and pepper to taste 1 large onion, diced 6-8 cloves of garlic, chopped 1 13-ounce can mushrooms 1 1/2 tablespoons each: dried basil, dried marjoram (of course you could use fresh) 2 1/2 tablespoons dried parsley (likewise, fresh is fine) Heat onions, lemon juice, salt, pepper and olive oil in a large saucep

Almond-Date Granola

I figure since y'all have fresh yogurt now, you might want some granola to go with it. This is a pretty simple way to make granola, and it's tasty without being overly sweet. Hope you enjoy! 3 cups rolled oats 1/2 cup wheat germ (optional, but I like it this way) 2 teaspoons salt 1 cup chopped or sliced almonds 1/4-1/3 cup each: vegetable oil, honey 1 cup chopped dates Heat oven to 250F. Mix together the oats, germ, almonds and salt. Whisk together the honey and vegetable oil, then pour it into the oat mixture and stir until well incorporated. Put on a sheet pan (cookie sheet, whatever) and put in the oven. Give it an hour and a half or so in the oven, but stir it every 15 or so minutes so it doesn't burn. Once you take it out of the oven, let it cool a bit then add the dates. Cool completely and store in an airtight container. Makes about 5 cups.

Yogurt and Labneh

We go through a pretty shocking amount of yogurt in this house. I eat it sometimes with honey (and occasionally a sprinkle of black pepper), or sometimes with jam. Of course, I also use it for baking and mashed potatoes and lots of other things. We also make a lot of labneh, because Ross will eat about a pound a week of that while he's at work. And since a good quality yogurt (for a pound or so) is around $4, I've tired of spending the money on it and have chosen to just make my yogurt. Consequently, I'm sharing the method I use with you, so you can do this as well if you like. This is more methodology based than recipe based, so just be aware of that since my writing format will be more prose than standard recipe. Hope you enjoy! Making yogurt is pretty easy. It's easier if you use a crock pot, but it's easy even if you use a pot/double boiler. Basically, however much milk you use is how much American-style yogurt you'll get (you have to drain the whey for

Alex's White Chili - For Daniel

Several years ago, I was a judge in a chili competition. This was pretty awesome for me, since I love chili to no ends. One of the entries in the non-traditional category was a white chili, made by a guy named Alex. When I first saw it, I admit I thought I would NOT like this chili (as I lean more toward traditional takes on chili), but after tasting it I thought it was fabulous. So I asked Alex for his recipe. As often happens when you ask someone for a recipe that the person makes generally by feel or memory, the recipe you get mostly is a list of ingredients and you have to extrapolate what is meant by this list. So I extrapolated (and made some "changes" where a required ingredient wasn't really clear or where I thought another ingredient might be tasty too), when it came time for our Second Annual Chili Day (in which we also had our housewarming party, since we moved to a bigger place to accommodate the kid that's on its way). It was really interesting, since t

Cactus Fruit (Tuna) Sorbet

Kroger had some gigantic tunas for sale that already had all the fine barbs removed (so you can handle them with bare hands), so I picked up a couple. While I was tempted to just plow through them raw, I've been on a sorbet-making kick, and Ross has been on a sorbet-eating kick. So I figured I'd make another frozen treat to enjoy after our Tuesday risotto (for some reason, we eat risotto ever Tuesday). This is much more labor-intensive process than the other sorbets I've posted lately, because the cactus pears require more work to eradicate the seeds. However, once you strain them, there's always a good amount of pulp leftover that's still attached to the seeds., which I really am loathe to see go to waste. I deal with this by incorporating it into the syrup, giving the finished sorbet the flavor of both cooked and raw pears. It's a nice, refreshing treat that uses less sugar than my normal base does, because the fruits are already so sweet. Hope you enjoy! 8-

Orange Sherbet

Okay, so this isn't a true sherbet. But it's basically the same flavor. Ross seemed to particularly enjoy this one, given that he ate the entire container in about 15 minutes flat. For some reason, we have a ton of orange juice concentrate in the freezer, but we don't use it to make orange juice (we buy a different, not from concentrate, brand, or squeeze it fresh). So, it needs to be used but not by being thrown or given away. Hope you enjoy! 1 cup sugar 2 cups water 6 ounces frozen orange juice concentrate or 1 cup fresh juice 2-4 tablespoons Arabic-style yogurt (or Greek, or whatever you buy) Boil the sugar and the water for 5 minutes after the sugar dissolves. Add in the orange juice immediately, and let cool for about 10 minutes. Whisk in the yogurt (this takes some time, so be patient). Refrigerate overnight, then process in ice cream maker. Makes a bit less than a quart.

Mango-Orange Sorbet

We are definitely taking advantage of the ice cream maker loan. With lots of sorbets, mostly. Here's another one - hope you enjoy! 1 overripe mango (I realize how difficult it is to leave it in the fridge until it's overripe) or 1 cup of frozen and thawed mango, mashed with a potato masher 1 6-ounce container frozen orange juice (or fresh orange juice) 1 cup sugar 2 cups water Once your mango is mashed, mix it with the orange juice. I like to only mash the mango most of the way, so you get little bits of flesh. Boil the sugar and water, and let it boil for about 5 minutes. After that, let it cool for 10 minutes or so, and add the orange and mango mixture. Let cool in fridge until cold, then process for 15-20 minutes in your ice cream maker. Makes a bit less than a quart.

Minestrone (Round Two)

I have a sick friend, and so I wanted to make her some food to eat. Nothing in the world is worse than trying to feed yourself when you're ill (to me, anyway). This makes A LOT, so be prepared. It freezes fine though, so even if you feel like it's too much, you'll have meals for rainy or sick days. I think I already have a minestrone recipe up here, but this also was redesigned, as with the holishkes). Hope you enjoy! 1/2 pound white beans, soaked and cooked (include some of the cooking liquid) 1 parmesan rind 1 large onion, diced 2 tablespoons olive oil salt as desired 1/2 gallon vegetable stock 5 cloves garlic, roughly minced 1 large bunch of kale, stems removed and roughly chopped 1 cup frozen spinach 1 zucchini, cut into large dice 3 carrots, thickly sliced 4 stalks celery, thickly sliced 1 head broccoli, cut up 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes (with juices) 1 tablespoon each: dried basil, dried marjoram 1/4 cup lemon juice 1 cup ditalini or shells Hea

Italian Lemon Ice

I love this stuff, but since I don't live in Chicago I don't know where to get it. So I decided to make it myself. It's very, very simple. Hope you enjoy! 1 cup sugar 2 cups water 1 cup lemon juice 1/4 lemon, deseeded and VERY thinly sliced (rind and all) Bring to a boil the sugar and water. When it's boiling and almost thick, remove from heat, let cool 20 minutes then add the lemon juice and lemon slices. Cool overnight (on the counter or in the fridge; my fridge is overstuffed so I did it on the counter). Put in an ice cream maker and process for 20-30 minutes. Taste, a lot, then put the rest in a container and stick it in the freezer. Serves 1-4, depending on how greedy you are.

Holishkes, Round Two

I decided to rework my entire system of making holishkes (stuffed cabbage), and I came up with something that blows my old methodologies out of the water. So I figured y'all might like to know about it. :) Hope you enjoy! 2 pounds ground beef (or lamb) 1 teaspoon each: allspice berries, peppercorns, coriander seeds 2 tablespoons salt (or whatever you like) 1 teaspoon dried mint and dried sumac 1/4 teaspoon celery salt, lemon pepper 1 cup basamati rice 1 1/2 cups water 1 teaspoon salt 1 large onion, diced 1/4 cup lemon juice, divided 1/4 cup lemon juice 20 ounces water 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce 1 large cabbage Bring a large pot of water to a boil (salted or not, as you wish). While it's coming to a boil, core your cabbage. Then put it in the boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain and cool until you can handle it with your hands. Crush up the allspice, pepper and coriander (in a spice mill, or like me with a mortar and pestle; this takes longer w/ a mortar a

Spinach Borek

I probably could eat nothing but borek all day long and feel entirely okay with it. Typically when I want them, I run down to a bakery and buy a few. But given how easy they are to make (expecially the spinach kind), there's no real reason for me to not make them. There're a bunch of ways to make borek, but I invariably will choose the one that takes the least amount of time. Enter puff pastry. Since I actually had puff pastry in the house, I was excited because I didn't need to make a dough for the borek. These are shockingly simple to make, and have a wonderful, light flavor to them that makes you want to eat more and more. Hope you enjoy! 2 sheets puff pastry flour 1 10-ounce box frozen spinach, thawed 2 small lemons 1/2 teaspoon sumac (optional) 1/2 tablespoon salt, divided 1/2 yellow onion, minced 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 egg  Put oil, onions, sumac and a third of the salt in a saute pan. Cook over medium heat until the onions are starting to turn transluce

Bulghur Stuffed Eggplants

I've been waiting a while to give you my news (which also will explain the oddity of my cooking lately). So here we are, arrived at that time. I am pregnant. I'm at fifteen fetal weeks, and now that the genetic testing has indicated there are no abnormalities with the fetus, I figured it was time to let y'all know. The fetus also was blood tested as female, so her name will be Ilana Alex.  I originally intended to make these using soujouk, but that didn't work out because the smell of the sausage nauseated me. So instead, we decided to make this dish (mostly) vegan and generally preserve the overarching idea for this eggplant dish. I say "we" because a lot of of the cooking at the house lately has been me coming up with ideas and procedural information, and Ross doing the actual cooking while I run away to avoid smells I don't like, or lay down because I'm tired a lot. It works out well for us, since we enjoy working together in the kitchen (or for t

Black Bean and Pumpkin Chili

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I had a little trouble with this one, mentally. Apparently I am quite a bit more rigid in the way(s) I think about chili than I previously realized. It's not that I've never discounted the option of vegetarian chili as acceptable, I just... I don't know. I guess I just never was really on board with eating it. So I decided I would challenge myself and make myself make a vegan chili. It was weird for me, and I spent a lot of its cooking time posting on Facebook about how NOT sure I was about this. Was it really a chili? Or was it a chili flavoured stew? I still really don't know the answer to this question, since I'm still in the middle of my chilistential crisis, but I made it and we ate it and we liked it. So, stew or chili? No idea, but it was still good. We had ours with skillet cornbread, but I think rice would be optimal for this chili. Hope you enjoy! 1-2 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed (I made my from dry and it was somewhere in between this amount)

Bluberry-Nectarine Preserves

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I personally am thinking of this as a jam, but truly it's a preserve. It's got higher density and the nectarine chunks are big, so you can chew your jam by the spoonful if you eat it like I do. It's quite easy to make. I made only a small portion, but you could make it in any quantity you feel best. It's another formula, basically. This particular preserve is pretty heavy in citrus, because I had lime juice and really wanted that flavour to come through. This preserve has no added pectin in it. To be totally honest, I'm not even entirely sure how one uses pectin. I never really saw the point in learning because it seems to me that the fewer ingredients you use, the better the jam will be (and if I think it's a low-pectin thing I'm making, I'll add some citrus pith/peel or some diced apples to add the pectin in naturally). So don't worry about there not being any pectin - it WILL set correctly! Hope you enjoy! 1 nectarine, pitted and cut into 1/2&qu

Spanish Rice

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It's been a while since I last had Spanish rice, but a friend of mine gifted me her lovely guacamole and her salsas, both roja and verde. She has a bakery , and my dream for her [because, y'know... it's all about me ;)] is to start putting her salsas in there too.  She made my wedding cake and then had to force me to share my piece during the cake cutting (I just did not understand why we couldn't both have a piece). Anyway, since Starr has given me these wonderful foods, I've been eating foods today that honor them and how yummy they are. For breakfast we had leftover rice, plus chips and guac. But for lunch (and likely, dinner, too), we decided to make a pot of Spanish rice, since we had some appaloosa beans cooked we could stir into them on our plates, then top with cheese, salsa and guac. So that's what we did. I wouldn't call this a traditional Spanish rice by any stretch of the imagination, but it fit in with the flavours I wanted to taste in my mou

Poor Man's Clams and Red Sauce

I've posted another clams and red sauce recipe before, but this time I made it differently and I definitely liked this version better, so I thought I'd share. The one I made today was really spicy, so if you're intolerant to chile peppers, DEFINITELY use less. This is also a pantry meal, as I have been avoiding the market lately and so it's comprised of stuff I generally keep in the pantry. Hope you enjoy! 1 tablespoon olive oil 1/4 onion, sliced 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped 2 tablespoons lemon juice, divided 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juices 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce 1 can minced clams, juice and clams 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes 1 teaspoon dried parsley Put oil, salt, pepper and onion in a 2-quart saucepan and turn the heat to medium. Cook ten minutes. Add garlic and 1 tablespoon lemon juice and cook another 5 minutes. Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, the juice from your can of clams, parsley, remaining

Cheese Souffle by Ratio

I had a serious hankering for a cheese souffle yesterday (sorry no picture was taken), so I had to make one. Now, I know a lot about eating souffles, but I'd never actually baked one before. I knew they were easy to make, but not exactly how. So I read about 50 recipes and from them I worked out a ratio system, so you never have to worry about "oh, this recipe is for a 2-qt dish and I only have a 1-qt," or whatever. I really do like to put my cooking into math sometimes! This worked out really well for me, and the souffle turned into a beautiful cloud of egg and cheese happiness. We nearly died from ecstasy. I served it with a very simple salad: romaine, cucumber, celery, carrot and grape tomatoes, so we would have some crunchy food to eat with our cheese pillow. For the dressing was a heavily peppered lemon and vegetable oil dressing. So, although I made a four-egg souffle last night, I'm going to give you the "recipe" for a one-egg souffle, and you may sca

Food Waste Friday

Well, this week was pretty terrible. I wasted some grits that I'd set in a pan to form more solidly, for frying. Basically what happened to them is that I put them in the fridge, then put off cooking them. Then I forgot about them. Then I remembered them, and they weren't good anymore. Then I decided not to make more and made something else for dinner instead. I also wasted 4 figs. I also forgot about those. 2 strawberries in the pound were moldy. It's waste, but it's not waste I blame myself for. And, 1/3 of a green apple got wasted. I put it in acidulated water so I wouldn't forget about it, and then I forgot about it. I'm a little embarrassed by the waste this week, to be honest. I feel like I go a really long time with no waste, and then I guess I just get complacent because I'm so sure I'm not wasting food. And then I waste some food. Normally not this much, but it was a good lesson for me not to grow complacent and to keep paying attention

Breakfast Smoothie

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I can't remember if I had told you guys about this, but I while back (I think it's been two or three months), I had this cantaloupe that I just didn't get around to eating. Finally, I cut it open and it was really, really ripe. So we ate some, and then there was just a whole bunch of really ripe (bordering on too ripe) cantaloupe left. I kind of didn't know what to do with it, so I figured I'd just freeze it and figure it out later. And that's what I did: I cut it up into chunks and froze it in one pint bags. I'd honestly kind of thought that I'd make some sort of cantaloupe jam or something. Mainly because frozen fruit is some of the easiest fruit in the world to turn into preserves, and despite making my own preserves I'm still rather lazy about getting it done. Maybe some day I'll actually make cantaloupe jam, but I sort of doubt it since I discovered that nearly overripe, frozen cantaloupe makes for some pretty awesome smoothies. There

Spinach and Tomato Soup

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This is a little weird. I took out some spinach from the freezer a while back, and then I got distracted by a total lack of desire to cook, and the spinach hung out in the fridge for ages. Miraculously, without going bad. I thought I was going to do something completely different with the spinach, but ended up making this soup to serve with the salad from yesterday. New comfort food, perhaps. This is now kind of my soup version of V8 for while I'm tired and eating a lot of chick pea salad. 1 10-ounce package spinach, thawed 3/4 cup grape tomatoes, halved 1/4 cup chopped carrot 1/8 cup celery leaves 1/8 cup sliced celery 1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes that same 14-ounce can, of water or stock (I used water) 3 tablespoons lime juice 1/2 tablespoon salt (you can put pepper in here, but Ross isn't a huge fan so I try to limit my pepper use these days) 1/4 cup bulghur (optional) Put everything but the bulghur in a pot and simmer until the carrots are very soft. Blend (

Chick Pea Salad

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Y'all don't really hear from me a lot these days, I guess. Partly that's because I haven't felt like cooking lately. Partly it's because when I do feel like cooking, I mostly feel like cooking comfort food staples, which leaves me nothing to tell you about what I'm eating. Comfort food meals are pretty much the most awesome thing to me lately, since I've been spending the brunt of my summer doing advanced reading for my way-too-many classes in the upcoming semester. Sometimes, though, I want something... else. Today is one of those days. I'm a little bummed I didn't have any bell peppers in the house, because that would have made this salad a lot more awesome than it is already. You guys can add some when you make it. This salad is pretty adaptable, and shows up all over the Mediterranean region in myriad forms that are alike and not alike. One of my favourite versions is the Italian one with tons of cucumbers. My version (today, at least), utilize

Saturday Spending

I did finally make it to the store. Not for what you'd think, though. Apparently summer is getting the best of me, and it's fruit all the way for me. HEB: $3.57 - half gallon kosher dills $1.38 - 2 cans stewed tomatoes $0.79 - 1 can tomato puree $1.00 - 3 cans tomato sauce $0.55 - 1 can generic Ro-tell tomatoes $2.59 - apricots $1.56 - sugar plums (yep, these really exist) $1.76 - nectarines $0.89 - can soup for tuna casserole (yes, I know. This is my one processed indulgence) $2.61 - grapes $2.24 - cherries $2.88 - plums, black $2.56 - green apples $1.77 - strawberries $3.98 - mandarin oranges, fresh $1.97 - blueberries $1.78 - crackers $1.98 - grape tomatoes $1.48 - celery $2.98 - fresh peas $1.78 - carrots $1.72 - spaghetti $1.00 - penne $4.99 - large watermelon total: $49.81 And I would just like to say, that is a lot of money to spend on mostly fruit. But well worth it.

Saturday Spending (Stuck in the Queue

Well, this is weird. I wrote this post somewhere in the 4-5 weeks ago range. How it got lost is beyond me. But here's the post I wrote on shopping a while back for you, even though it's old: Alright, so I haven't done a big shopping trip like I'd intended, but I did pick up a few incidentals. Here's what happened: Fiesta: $3.29 - orange juice total: $3.29 Kroger: $0.77 - tomatoes $0.59 - scallions $1.63 - peaches $1.36 - celery $0.88 - carrots $3.99 - oranges $1.99 - capers (how did I let myself run completely out?) $0.99 - 18 eggs $2.00 - lettuces (spring mix, basically, except I bought 5 mini heads to make my own mix for the $2) total: $14.20 HEB: $1.98 - creamer $0.88 - crystal's hot sauce $2.98 - hard salami total: $5.64 Phoenicia: $4.99 - 1 lb figs (fresh) $3.58 - feta, 1/2 pound $2.19 - labne total: $12.05 grand total: $35.18

Food Waste Friday

I've still been doing pretty well on waste. This week I wasted two grape tomatoes. I bought a bunch of them, and these two were just ick so they had to be spit out. Otherwise, no waste. How's waste reduction going for y'all?

A Request for Help - Book Drive Challenge

A woman I know from my grad program just got a job as the department head for the English department of the Houston CAN! Academy. This school caters primarily to kids in high needs demographics. This school, unfortunately, neither has a library nor can afford to fund one in any capacity other than by providing space. So she's reached out to those of us in the English department at UH to help her put together one for these kids. As I'm sure you know, easy access to books on a variety of topics is often one of the main keys to success for kids, in terms of education, socialisation, personal development, reasoning/critical thinking development, and simply to keep them out of trouble and on track (similar to after school programs). This topic is really important to me, since books were the thing that kept me (mostly) out of trouble as a kid. Thus, I've decided to take on her cause to get these kids a good library, and I'm coordinating efforts with her to get word of the b

Food Waste Friday

Somehow, I missed that today was Friday until I was writing up tomorrow's grocery post. This week has been chaotic and has flown by entirely too quickly. Fortunately, it flew by really, really quickly without me actually throwing any food away. So that's a bonus. I'm really enjoying the new method of letting my fridge get bare (of course, that will NEVER happen to my pantry) before go buy the whole store. For a while there, we were buying the whole store every week or two, and I felt like it was a lot harder to manage things. So, another good week in the food waste department. How'd y'all do?

Food Waste Friday

Well, it's just been ages since I've made this kind of a post, isn't it? I think we can all be honest here and acknowledge that at this point in my life, sporadic posting is about all I have in me. Hope y'all are okay with that. This last week, there's been no food waste. This makes me happy. I will admit that there've been a few weeks where I've tossed away something (like the cup of grapes I threw away a week or two ago because I made the really unfortunate discovery that no, in fact, we had NOT eaten all the grapes as I'd thought we had). For the most part, however, we've still been doing really well on the waste front, despite the lack of posting-that-creates-accountability. One thing I've noticed us doing lately that I feel has really been helping with the food waste is simply not going to the store. I know that sounds weird, but hear me out. Y'all know I keep a good amount of staples in the house (even though my Cave is now offici

Warm Parsnip and Walnut Salad

Turns out my LDL is a bit high, so I've been eating more walnuts to help bring it down. Mostly I've just been eating them plain and of course my normal, baked goods doses. But I thought I ought to step it up a notch, and start cooking more with walnuts. And thus, this recipe happened. I was feeling lazy so I made Italian dressing chicken with red rice, but I wanted some real food too. There were some parsnips in the fridge I'd totally forgotten about, and one of Ross' coworkers gave him some garden tomatoes, and it sort of went from there. Hope you enjoy! 5 parsnips, peeled and diced 1 large red onion, diced 1/4 cup olive oil salt and grains of paradise (or pepper) to taste 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed 2 tablespoons tangy pickle juice or lemon juice (I used pickle juice from farmer's market pickles) 2 tomatoes, diced 2 sprigs thai basil, chopped 10 pickled cubanelle peppers, diced 1/2 cup walnut halves, chopped or not as you see fit Heat oven to 400F.
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Saturday Spending

Alright, I finished everything of importance on my shopping list. Woo hoo! Of course, I've started a new list (mostly containing lots of benadryl, since if I don't get the allergies under control soon it'll be steroid shot in the arm time, and that's just not fun for anybody), but now I feel like there's food in the house. You probably would've thought that I'd post more given this whole last week was spring break, but this is where we were all wrong. I thought I'd post more too. But then my white board got in the way. I've finished every piece of reading for two of my classes, plus gotten ahead in the homework for them both. I'm marginally (and by marginally, I mean one day) ahead in one of my other classes, and I'm exactly even in French, which is where I actually want to be in there. I'm still trying to get all my reading done for the class I'm marginally ahead in, but I just don't see myself getting through Purgatorio , Para

Food Waste Friday

This week, we didn't waste anything. YAY!!!! How'd y'all do?

Saturday Spending

Yep, this week was a big one. I didn't actually have time to get all the shopping done needed. There are just piles and piles of homework. There is no possible way for me to actually finish everything on my reading list for Spring Break, but that's okay. I'll just get as much done as I can, and that'll be the end of it. I only plan on leaving my house twice during spring break, so that'll help. If one of those times involves groceries, I think I can finish restocking the pantry. If not, such is life. Anyway, here's everything I bought. There is an abnormal amount of juice this week, because we had someone over for dinner who only drinks juice. And then we drank the rest, of course. There's also a lot in the way of dried fruits (including tomatoes) since I like to take those to school with nuts. How'd y'all do this week? Fiesta: $1.29 - fresh spinach $0.99 - two cans corn $1.00 - 1 pound frozen corn total:  $3.28 subtotal: $3.28 Phoenicia

Food Waste Friday

A perfect week, despite the fact that we have some food again! How'd y'all do this time?

Bergamot Jutlanders

This comes from page 121 of Martha Stewart's Cookie Book , where the recipe is titled Lime Meltaways. When I first made these, I rolled the dough up and the first roll was dipped into sugar, like the recipe states. But then I was eating them and I saw a Dane who's in one of my classes, and I was reminded that if the extra sugar is taken away, they're very similar to Denmark's Jutlander cookies that are eaten over Christmas. So the next roll did not get the extra sugar. I liked them both ways. Y'all will have to decide for yourselves if you like them better with more sugar or less. But here's the recipe, regardless. Hope you enjoy! "3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature 1 cup confectioners' sugar finely grated zest of 2 limes ( 1 bergamot for me ) 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice ( bergamot ) 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract ( I left this out entirely and replaced it with an extra tablespoon bergamot juice) 1 3/4 cups plus 2 tabl

Rice Noodle Lo Mein

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I still have a fair amount of the rice vermicelli in the house, that mostly I've always used when I want to make spring rolls. But I've been trying to use them in a less work-intensive way, eliminating the need for rolling things. Because right now, I have no time for time consuming foods. Not until after spring break, anyway, when I should be far enough ahead that I have time to sit, to think, and even to sleep sometimes. It'll be exciting. Anyway, this is a pretty easy recipe. I actually cooked the noodles before I went to school, then did the rest when I came home and that's a perfectly fine way to do it although it's not particularly necessary. Hope you enjoy! 1 package rice noodles 2 tablespoons sesame oil 1 tablespoon vinegar (I used osmanthus, you could use whatever you want but rice vinegar is probably the best in terms of flavour profile) 1/2 large red onion, or one regular sized red onion, sliced into half moons 1 carrot, sliced 1 celery stalk, sli

Saturday Spending

And look at this - I actually know what day it is! Saturday, the day of shopping reports. Not much was bought this time either. See, what happened is that I decided I needed to buy a new gun, mainly as a treat because this semester is about to be the death of me, and since Ross can't get time off work for our planned spring break (boo!), and so I took the monies I'd saved for vacation and put them toward a gun. I like to go to the range when I can, and although the semester has kept me too busy to do so lately, I'd like to get back out there again soon. So instead of setting aside some monies to restock the pantry, I paid for my gun, and thusly groceries will have to wait until I get paid next week. I told Ross today that we have no food in the house and he looked at me like I'm a crazy person (which I think at this point I may actually be. But in seriousness I'm out of anchovies and those are my stress food so there really isn't food in my mind) and so I believ

Bergamot Semolina Cake

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Well, this is interesting. Today is Friday. I thought yesterday was Friday. So you got Food Waste Friday yesterday, and today you get the recipe I wanted to post on Thursday. I'm not entirely sure why I thought yesterday was Friday, given that I fully knew I had a class to go to (and I did go). I guess I've been confused a lot lately. What I'm not confused about, however, is this cake. It's really amazing. I think it's the best cake I've ever made. When I first started out, I thought I was going to make a Williamsburg Orange Cake we used to make a lot when I was a kid. Except, y'know, with bergamot. But then I was, once again, laying in bed and I thought about how I'd like semolina in there, and olive oil. So I started thinking about the recipe and changing it all around. I suppose it vaguely resembles the old one, in that it's a citrus cake, but that's where the similarities end. I will probably make this next time with lemon, since I'm ne