Friday, December 30, 2011

Getting back in the swing...hit me one more time!

Computer died. Blogging stopped. Better now.

So, new challenge. This would have been a great one for December, but we will just do it for January. Take any challenge from the last year and submit one more recipe from it. I found that I kept making recipes that would have been perfect for "last months challenge" and still wanted to share.

Monday, December 5, 2011

If I may suggest a challenge...

I don't know what the protocol is for who gets to choose the monthly challenge, but I have a dilemma and a challenge for the rest of you.

We got back from Thanksgiving to find out that the control panel on our glorious built-in double oven was fried. Meaning: my Christmas present this year is getting the oven fixed. And since it's a discontinued model, it's also a very expensive and back-ordered Christmas present.

I'm lucky that we're traveling for Christmas so no entertaining responsibilities fall to me, but I have to make it through the next month with no oven.

Enter my challenge: Make something seasonal without the use of an oven.(For extra points, no stove either.) Inspire me. It's going to be a long month of crockpot suppers.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cranberry sauce

This one is totally a cop out. It is barely a recipe and I didn't take a picture. However, it reminded me that I meant for this challenge to be cranberries. I always buy a couple of bag and don't use them. This time, my husband requested "homemade cranberry sauce". We didn't do a formal thanksgiving dinner at home, so this was made the sunday after with a new turkey.

Cranberry sauce

1 bag cranberries
1/2 cup sugar
zest from one orange
juice from one orange

Combine all ingredients and simmer for about 20 minutes until "done".

That is all!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Spiced Apple Pear Butter

Long time, no post. sorry...
I made this recipe from the Whole Foods flier for Spiced Apple Pear Butter. It turned out really good and I've been enjoying it on toast all week. It would also be really good on oatmeal.
My toast fixings:

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pumpkin Waffles

Have I mentioned my son Andy? He doesn't really eat anything, especially anything healthy. He likes the P foods: pizza, puffins, and pancakes. Saturday is our pancake day, but we do vary it with waffles. We had an open can of pumpkin one time, so I have been throwing some pumpkin in every now and then. Andy is against the pumpkin, but James and I like it, so we just don't tell him.

I used a recipe from Vegan with a vengence that is similar to this one, but without the yogurt. It make a ton which is good. Andy will eat these for the rest of the week. We did snow waffles, which is a sprinkle of powdered sugar instead of syrup. Andy eats it top down:


James likes it, but not as much as Andy!


This is Mark's plate, not mine. There are 2 major differences between this picture and one that I would take for me. Can you tell what they are?


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Pecan Maple Breakfast Cookies

Or, Honey Sunshine Snack Time Cookies

I had to bring snack for BOTH KIDS last week. The director apologized as I lugged both snack bags out the day before. However, I do think it was better this way. I made one thing for both kids. I had made this recipe before using honey for my sweetner and sunflower seeds as my nut. The schools are nut free, so gotta use the seeds. Honestly, the honey just wasn't sweet enough, so I would either use more or something else. I used maple syrup this time. Much better. Also, the last time I made them, I attempted a vegan version using flaxseed and water egg substitute and well, they turned green in 24 hours. So, yes, sometimes eggs are better. The fruit is apple sauce, which I admit, barely counts for this challenge, but I think this would be a great one with pumpkin.


Oh, and I think the yield is way off. I double the recipe and got exactly 24 cookies.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Fruit for November

Sorry this has taken so long. I had a great idea for a challenge, but now can't remember. Instead, post recipes involving fruit. Can be sweet or savory.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ragu alll Bolognese Nov/Dec2011 pg 15


You know me, I am a sucker for a good Ragu, and I haven't bought or cooked meat at home in ages. Decided regardless I had to try this recipe. I am pretty sure that CI had a Ragu before and I am pretty sure I made it and pretty sure it is on this blog some where, but yet, here is another "ultimate" Ragu. This one has 6 meats. It took about 45 minutes to set up and then it had to simmer, although to be honest, I boiled it a bit, then turned the stove off and went to the heritage festival. Turned out pretty good. Very meat. Had a very "dark" flavor. I actually added 1 tsp of agave nectar to brighten it up.

I have like 14 oz of chicken livers leftover if anyone wants some!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Chocolate Pudding Sept/Oct 2011 pg 23

I made this for supper club the night before. It is gluten free, but not vegan. Never made this recipe, doubled it up, and yes, was worried, but still confident in my abilities. Checked it the next morning, and it appeared to have set. Whew! Pulled it out to bring it to supper had NOT set. Oh, woe is me, woe is me. What to do, what to do? Did some quick google searches and decided that I perhaps had not cooked it long enough. I cooked it for longer than it said, as I always to, but maybe it wasn't enough. Dumped it back in a pot and heated it up again. I cooked it for I kid you not, 1 more minuted than originally and bam, thick pudding.


Whew. So instead of a cold chocolate pudding, it was warm. Darn. Still delicious. Topped it with whipped cream and everyone seemed to enjoy.


I'd say it took me about 30-45 minutes to set this up and it is good and impressive. I could see myself making this again.

Vegtable Lasanga

Man, I am a little bit behind. This one is from Sept and Oct 2011 pg 21. While I do like the Cooks Illustrated, it really isn't all vegan friendly. This one is vegetarian and it used up some of my continuous CSA produce. YIKES! Like most Cooks Illustrated recipes, this one is a little labor intensive. Here is the set up. It took me about 2 hours to get it ready.


After assembly. Since the recipe called for one 9x13 pan, I immediately split it into two 8x8 pans. One is in my freezer.


Here is the clean up:


After baking:


And on the plate:


I thought this one was fine. Really, this is a lot like my favorite baked ziti, also from CI, and really there is no better. However, I really just didn't like the zucchini and squash in it. Just not a fan.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Lentil Salad pg 18

I also made a Lentil Salad.  I was picking and choosing what I liked from all the choices.  I used the recipe for the Lentil Salad with Olives, Mint and Feta, but I used parley instead of mint and then forgot the feta:(

AC helped of course.

 Lentil salad...without feta!

Weeknight Roast Chicken pg8

Monday was Columbus Day so my husband and the kids had the day off.  I unfortunately had to work. I asked my husband to make dinner and he sure did!!  

Pretty easy too. You cover the chicken with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Put it in the oven at 450 for about 30 minutes and then just turn the oven off and keep the chicken in there for another 30 minutes or so.

AC was helping of course:)

 Here is B working hard!

I even made the Tarragon-Lemon Pan Sauce.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

October Challenge - Cooks Illustrated

For October, try to find a copy of Cooks Illustrated magazine and cook something from it. You can use any month. You can try to find something online, but CI is pretty stingy about allowing their recipes online. Maybe this month can change all that!

Bacon wrapped stuffed jalapenos

Am I too late? We came into some jalapenos and my husband was dying to make these. He herbed up some cream cheese, stuffed the peppers, wrapped them up and grilled them for 25 minutes! Very tasty!!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Cold Peanut Noodle Salad

This is actually the hot version, Noodle Salad with Peanut Mmmm Sauce:


But I put leftovers in the fridge. Later on that week, I was packing for a picnic. Heck, just grabbed the whole contained and was ready to go. Turned out to be a pretty nice picnic lunch. Wish I took pictures of that. I served it with broiled tofu, which was good with the peanut sauce, but really, just tasted like burnt tofu.

Here is a picture of a meal eaten outside.


My husband requested brats for his birthday dinner. I paired them with sweet potato fries and as a special surprise, his favorite red cabbage. Yes, my husband is weird, but that guy really loves his red cabbage.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Pizza sticks- for lack of a better name.

My sister gave me a great recipe for pizza dough made in my bread maker. Here's the recipe for the 2 pound setting:

12 oz flat beer
3 3/4 cups flour
3Tbsp Sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tbsp Butter
1 1/2 tsp yeast

I've used all whole wheat flour and half whole wheat and half bread flour. Either way, it turns out light, slightly sweet and delicious.
The only problem is that it makes a huge batch. So we made one pizza using leftover roasted veggies from our CSA share. Then I had another idea for Henry's lunch. Add a cheese stick and pepperoni.
And roll them up.
The end result is pretty tasty. I didn't seal up the edges very well, so we lost some of the cheese. But I think Henry preferred that. he asked for no cheese next time.
Add some pizza sauce for dipping and you've got a lunch.
Even June ate it, and that's saying a lot.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


This month's theme is great because two weeks in, I'm already packing the same boring lunch for Henry every day- some kind of nut-free butter and jelly sandwich. I'm pretty sure Henry doesn't mind, because my kids would survive on PB&Js alone if we let them. (None of my kids have touched a supper I've made in YEARS.)

Last year, Henry started asking if I would buy him Lunchables, like ALL the other kids had. If there's one thing in life I am against, it's Lunchables. Nothing in those $3 meals even qualify as food. They are just food PRODUCT. Luckily, Ziploc makes these awesome containers that look like a Lunchable, and appeased Henry for the most part. And I only have to wash one container (because plastic baggies are number 2 on my list.)
Here's Day 1. A few of the whole wheat banana oat muffins, applesauce, and ham and cheese on a whole wheat bagel. Eh. At least it's not PB&J.
Day 2: I made kebabs, as they're all the rage on the mommy lunch blogs. Grapes and peaches, and cheese, tomatoes, and ham. Plus muffins, and some gross crackers Henry picked out at the store.

Whole wheat banana oat muffins.

I've been looking for some good things to pack inside lunches now that school is back in session and refrigeration is not an option. I found this recipe for whole wheat banana oat muffins. Halfway through the recipe I realized I didn't have any eggs, so I substituted about 2 tablespoons of applesauce and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder. Despite my last minute change-up, they turned out great.

Whole wheat banana oat muffins

1 c. oats
3 tbsp. sugar
1 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 c. mashed bananas
1/4 c. milk
2 tbsp. oil

Mix well and bake at 350°F for about 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean. Makes 12 muffins. I used a mini muffin pan and ended up with about 36 little muffins.

Finally, I had to post the photo of my version of Kerri's roasted veggie wraps. If you haven't made it yet, Yum Sauce is awesome! Of course, we had to add feta to our wraps.
You'll notice a bunch of cookie cutters in the above photo of the wrap. I guess sugar cookies count as a take-along food, too?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Black Bean Salad

So, thanks to some of Kerri's posts, I've started checking out this blog and found lots of yummy things. I was intrigued by the barbecue tofu since it has been a looooong time since I've had anything barbecued. Corn on the cob seemed like a natural companion, but I was stumped for what else to serve with it. After raiding the pantry and fridge, I came up with this black bean salad. I must admit that though the tofu was yummy, it was the salad that everyone wanted seconds of--no leftovers! This salad would also be good with frozen or fresh corn off-the-cob mixed in. As I was eating it, I occurred to me that a little Cotija or mild feta would have been a nice addition.

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4-1/3 cup red onion, finely diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 avocado, diced
1/4 cup minced cilantro
2-3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2-3 Tbsp live oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients. Serve cold or at room temp.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Corndog Muffins

I was snooping around on another blog the earlier in the week looking for "freezer recipes". (This is my new thing to do. And so far, so good...I've found two keepers!) Anyway, I scored some on-sale-AND-I-had-a-coupon Butterball Premium Turkey Franks at the grocery store, and remembered that I had seen corndog muffins on the other blog. Hmmmm....seemed easy enough.

I know there are multiple (and probably much healthier) ways of doing this, but mine was the quick-n-dirty way. I had 4 boxes of Jiffy cornbread mix on hand, so I mixed them up and poured the mix into the (sprayed) muffin tins (two 12-count). I took the dogs and cut 8 of them into thirds (it was a 10 pack, so munchkin got the others for lunch), and then placed one in each muffin.

I covered the dogs up (extra step that's not necessary, I just wanted to) and popped them in the pre-heated oven at 400* for 15 min, as per the box instructions.

They're not bad! I think I'd prefer them with beef franks, and the cornbread was pretty crumbly, but that may have just been the type of cornbread I used. (Again, it was what I had on hand at the moment.) Will be freezing the rest for later :)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Stuffed Banana Peppers


With my CSA, I have gotten a ton of banana peppers. I am about to call uncle on the banana peppers and cucumbers. If you would like any of either and live in the area, please let me know. Ms Jenny. Please call. Or Text. So finally broke down and googled banana peppers. I mean, after you pickle them (check) what do you do? Well, I ran across a lot of suggestions of just stuffing with them with sausage. Seems easy enough. I got some mild pork sausage and put them in the peppers. It seemed a little naked, so I drizzled some Mmmm Sauce on some of them. Not bad. I think this would be a good one for a tailgate. I served them with homemade pizza and intended on eating it (outside) in the screen in porch, but the kids had a pre-dinner bath and I didn't want them to get dirty again.

Really the purpose of this post is not so much about the stuffed banana peppers, but to bring up the that I have posted before. I made these again and followed the recipe a little better. I made 15 of them (30 halves) and brought them to supper club. Gone. Made another batch for a Labor Day dinner. Gone.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Roasted Veggie Wrap

Our first outing To Eat Outside was last week. We were going to watch the parade. We means, me and the two kids. My husband was actually in the parade. The parade started at 6pm, and my plan was to get there at 5:15 and eat dinner. For me I made one of my recent favs, a roasted veggie wrap. To make, I simple take all my veggies from my CSA, cut them up, and roast at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. I usually add a sliced onion, but I get that from the grocery store.


I also baked and mashed a sweet potato to add to the kids' cheese quesadillas. Yeah, that didn't go well. My kids are too smart. James ate cantaloupe and Andy ate chips.


A key ingredient of this wrap is Mmmmm sauce from Peas and Thank You. It is like a cheesy curry sauce and is oh, so good! I forgot to take a picture of my wrap, but it was delicious. Later on I took a post-parade picture of Mark's dinner.



And what do you know, later on, the kids managed to choke down their sweet potato and cheese quesadilla:



Thursday, September 1, 2011

Foods to eat outside

First of all, I did make some additional foods for last month challenge, but incase you haven't noticed, my photosharing site, photobucket and I were in a fight. It has now been resolved and if you were wondering...I lost. Which is fine. I really like photobucket, so I will pay for it for a year and see what happens. At any rate, I did make a Cashew Vegetable Korma. I halved the recipe and it still made a ton. This was a very nice little recipe, but I did feel it was missing...SOMETHING. Not sure what, maybe a hot pepper in the puree, but if you want some Indian Food, this was a good starting point.

For the September challenge, I should tell you, I live in a College Town. Now that football season is hear, tailgating season is also here. I need your BEST recipes to eat outside. Picnic versions or any other. Bring it!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Marsala Beef

I made a curry dish earlier this month for another challenge I take part in.  I was so intrigued by the recipes I had found for curry dishes that involved using curry leaf.  Unfortunately, small towns don't carry curry leaves.  During a recent trip, I visited some ethnic markets and found my curry leaves! So for the monthly challenge, I am revisiting curry recipes! This was yummy, but I had to adapt the recipe a bit because I was unable to find coconut oil.  What I did worked out great, but next time I would change the type of chili pepper I used to one with a bit more kick to it.

Marsala Beef With Ginger and Curry Leaf
adapted recipe from
3 bay leaves
1 (1 inch) piece cinnamon stick 
5 cardamom pods
2 whole cloves  (recipe called for 4 but I am not a huge clove fan)
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
10 whole black peppercorns
2 pounds cross rib roast, cubed
3 cups chopped onion, divided
2 pasilla peppers,chopped
1 (1 1/2 inch) piece fresh ginger root, grated
6 cloves garlic,chopped fine
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
4 fresh curry leaves
1/2 cup coconut butter
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. To make the masala powder: Grind the bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, fennel seeds and peppercorns in a spice grinder until mixture is a fine powder. I used a coffee grinder that I set aside for grinding spices only.
2. Place the beef cubes, masala powder, 2 cups chopped onion, green chiles, grated fresh ginger, garlic and turmeric in a large, heavy pot. Add water to cover (about 1 cup) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes until beef is cooked through. Add salt. Stir and continue to simmer about 10 minutes or until mixture is almost dry, but do not allow it to burn (add a bit more water, if necessary). Set aside.
3.  Over a large skillet over medium-high heat, add oil and mustard seeds; cook until they begin to pop. Immediately add remaining 1 cup chopped onion and stir over medium heat until onions soften and begin to brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Add curry leaves and cook until brown, about 3 minutes. Add coconut butter ( used the butter found at the top of an unshaken can of coconut milk)
4.Stir in the beef mixture and black pepper,. Cook until heated through. Top with lemon juice just before serving.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Two Recipeas

Thanks to the heat, my CSA share has dropped off dramatically. I am really not all that upset by it. It is nice to have a break, and to not have tomato guts all over my kitchen. Not only that, but I can make whatever I want, without having to include peppers, eggplant, or tomatoes in every recipe. FREEDOM!!! Finally got to make a few more recipes from my copy of Peas and Thank You. These are, well, Americanize Ethic, but I'll go ahead and count them.


The first one was Thai Veggie Burgers. I am having trouble finding a link to the recipe, but no worries, I was actually kind of disappointed in this recipe. I think there were two faults in this. It suggested using veganase as a condiment. Really, it needed a kick ass peanut dressing. Also, it calls for broccoli slaw. I have this thing about broccoli. I like it, but I don't like it in stuff. To me broccoli overwhelms the taste of any other ingredients, and I felt the same here. The good thing about this recipe was the texture. Michelle posted a similar burger but it was more old fashioned savory. If you are looking for a veggie burger this is a good one. Unfortuately, her "husband approved burgers" were consumed by my husband apparently when he was having a bad digestive day and he blamed it on those burgers. No way. They were great!


Next thing was Chipolte Lime Tacos. You marinade tempeh and then cook. I really liked this one. Tempeh is my new thing! You grate the tempeh and then marinade it. YUM!



The kids love the choices of what to top their tacos with. Well, it is usually cheese.