Showing posts from August, 2012

Black Bean and Pumpkin Chili

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

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

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

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

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

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?