Wednesday, December 31, 2014

the trifecta

Healthy, easy, and delicious:

I have a feeling we'll be eating quite a bit of this over the next month or so.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

a few things

Adapted this lemon marshmallow recipe to make orange marshmallows (gifted with cocoa mix)

I keep meaning to make extra soffritto or mirepoix when I make some for a soup so that I can freeze the remainder. Actually managed to do it once; having it on hand made this lentil soup recipe into a super-fast after work thing. Very tasty.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

shredding chicken

I've had this pulled chicken recipe bookmarked for ages, but hadn't made it because I loathe shredding chicken (or any other meat). Is there a more tedious, thankless kitchen task? I even hate it more than I hate trimming brussels sprouts.  

However. A comment on the recipe mentioned using a Kitchen Aid to shred the breasts. That comment led me to this life-changing blog post. I haven't tried it on other meats yet, but I think pulled pork will be my next experiment - it works astonishingly well on warm chicken breasts, and I suspect freshly-cooked pork will be even easier.

Also the pulled chicken recipe is fantastic (I use this delicious local BBQ sauce instead of making my own).

Sunday, September 14, 2014

putting up (notes)

Beautiful fall day here - mid-60s, sunny - perfect for heading to the farmer's market, picking some grapes from our grapevine, and then spending the rest of the day canning things. Because I always forget what recipes I use (and somehow it usually seems obvious to me, as though OF COURSE the sweet relish recipe I used will clearly be this particular one of the probably hundreds I have bookmarked) here's a list of what we made (some actually finished, some just begun):
- watermelon pickles
- Grape Conserve ("Summer in a Jar")
- Sweet Pickle Relish ("Better Homes and Gardens Special: Canning")
- Tomato Ketchup ("Food in Jars")
- Grape Ketchup ("Food in Jars")

Sunday, August 31, 2014

it's hot, but these noodles aren't the answer

My love of miso & soba noodles led me to this dish, but unfortunately it was a complete "never again" for us. It's possible that our choice of vegetables (there were a lot of radishes) or the previously-frozen ginger were to blame, but the dish was bitter and not very interesting. I could see something similar working, perhaps with some herbs (thai basil and mint?) and with 'sweeter' veggies (carrots and snap peas?).

Sunday, August 24, 2014

so many menus!

Week of June 22:
Su: Lynx game (Siobhan)
M: slivered asparagus pizza (Smitten Kitchen cookbook)
T: potato frittata
W: out
R: pesto pasta
F: out
Sa: out (Steve & Hannah)

Week of July 6:
Su: out
M: chicken with lemon & anchovies
T: out (Ghandi Majal with Dave & co.)
W: lamb sausages; pan-roasted tomatoes
R: pizza with red sauce & pepperoni
F: salad
Sa: out

Week of July 27:
Su: grilled corn & yogurt chicken
M: grilled sausages and raw broccoli salad
T: pasta with red sauce
W: out
R: steak and corn salad
F: pizza with mozzarella and basil
Sa: out
Week of Aug 3:
Su: strawberry gazpacho; grilled corn
M: Unideli ramen (Paul & Paige)
T: 'tandoori' yogurt grilled chicken; corn salad
W: "Nicoise" pasta
R: out (Heather)
F: takout
Sa: pizza with basil, mozzarella, and pepperoni [also made pickled beets and rhubarb chutney from The Joy of Pickling]
Week of Aug 10:
Su: "Korean BBQ" chicken; grilled corn
M: fancy franks 'n' beans
T: chickpea curry
W: pasta with red sauce
R: out (Heather)
F: potato frittata
Sa: Little Mekong Night Market (Andy & Jeanette)

Week of Aug 17:
Su: bulgur salad; tomato salad; grilled corn
M: breakfast for dinner
T: grilled yogurt chicken
W: potato frittata
R: pasta with red sauce
F: goosh buns & salad
Sa: John & Alyssa

Sunday, August 3, 2014

the perfect gazpacho for right now

At least, if your "right now" includes an early-August trip to a Minneapolis farmer's market where you can buy not-quite-overripe strawberries and perfectly ripe tomatoes. (Some really good olive oil helps, too. And we might end up adding a diced jalapeno, not sure yet.)

I'm looking forward to making more of these recipes, but for today the "tomato, strawberry, and basil" one was perfect:

(We'll be eating it for dinner with some grilled corn. Because summer!)

Friday, May 30, 2014


Here are two things we made recently:
This broccoli salad was delicious... but ended up being too watery. I think a spin in the salad spinner after cooking the broccoli would have helped tremendously. The dressing was tasty enough that I'll be trying that pretty soon here. (I love broccoli salad!)
I omitted the mushrooms when I made this (I hate cleaning mushrooms, and they seemed like they'd add extra moisture here w/o contributing a ton of flavor). The sandwiches are great, but they are incredibly soggy (yes, I did squeeze a ton of moisture out of the spinach and also cooked more out). Not sure if that's just the nature of reheated eggs, or what.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

buttermilk scones

This is my sister-in-law's scone recipe, producing what are to me the perfect scones: plain, very slightly sweet, terrific plain with tea. Not having to buy cream is an added bonus (I always have buttermilk powder on hand, which works wonderfully here).

Buttermilk Scones

3 c all-purpose flour
1/3 c granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 c (6 oz) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 c buttermilk

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease it lightly and set aside.
2. Into a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt, then lightly whisk. Use a pastry blender, 2 knives, or your fingers to cut or work the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles fine crumbs.
3. Make a well in the center of the flour-butter mixture and add the buttermilk all at once. Stir the mixture until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Using lightly floured hands, gather the dough into a soft ball and turn it out onto a lighltly floured work surface. Divide into 4 parts and pat each one into a 3/4 inch thick circle. Cut each circle into four wedges.
4. Transfer the wedges to the prepared baking sheet, and bake in the center of the oven until the scones rise and are golden brown, 12-15 minutes. Remove and cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a rack. Serve warm, split and spread with jam. The scones are best eaten within several hours of baking.
Notes: Sometimes I chop up dried currants or raisins and mix in the batter after the buttermilk. Sometimes I also sprinkle raw sugar on the top of the scones right before placing in the over.
Yield: 16 scones.
Source: Holiday Baking by Sara Perry

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Garlicky Chicken

Not sure how I missed posting this before, but Melissa Clark's Garlicky Chicken is a new favorite in our house. Delicious and easy, I like to serve it with baked potatoes or oven fries.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Menu: Week of March 16

Su: King Ranch Casserole
M: Tomatoes & Cinnamon Chickpeas (Urban Pantry); steamed barley
T: Pasta with Parsnips
W: out
R: pasta with red sauce
F: [K & Z for dinner] Braised Pork Shoulder; Corn Bread; Chocolate Pudding

Braised Chicken & Shallots

When we were shopping for this recipe, we briefly had a conversation about exactly how many shallots we should get (the recipe has a range, and though it calls for "medium shallots," the ones our co-op had were quite large). There was a woman next to us apparently filling her shopping cart with shallots. She overheard us talking and leaned in to ask whether we were making "the New York Times recipe." "The one with the cherry tomatoes," I said, nodding. She was delighted and told us to get more rather than fewer shallots. One of her friends had recommended the recipe to her and specifically said that the shallots were fabulous. Her friend's advice was solid - the shallots really are excellent here - and I hope that her dinner was as wonderful as ours.

Although the recipe calls for using the shallots whole, because ours were so large I halved them length-wise before cooking. (For the wine, I used Monkey Bay's Sauvignon Blanc - a gift from our lovely neighbors). We had the chicken and sauce over baked potatoes.

Rishia Zimmern's Chicken with Shallots

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Easy Chocolate Pudding

This dessert feels so simple and wholesome, it barely qualifies as as dessert. The menu suggestion on the original recipe says that "no matter how many fancy desserts are in your repertoire, this is most likely the one the kids will remember when they are grown and gone." No kids here, but I would guess that this would be an easy dessert to make frequently enough for it to be a household staple.

Easy Chocolate Pudding
(just barely adapted from Moosewood Low-Fat Favorites)

  • 3 Tbs cornstarch
  • 3 Tbs sugar
  • 2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 C milk (I usually use skim)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
In a saucepan, whisk together the dry ingredients, then stir in the milk. Over medium heat, stir frequently until the mixture comes to a boil. Lower the heat and gently simmer, stirring constantly, until thickened (~4 minutes). Stir in the vanilla. I prefer to heat this pudding warm, but it's also good cold if that's your thing.

A tiny bit of cinnamon or espresso powder, added with the other dry ingredients, are a nice addition. A little almond extract can also be added when you add the vanilla.
makes 4 small servings

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Menu: Week of Mar 9

Su: Sweet Potato & Beef Hash (no recipe; used leftovers from BBQ Brisket)
M: Chickpea & Spinach Curry
T: pasta & red sauce
W: leftover lentil soup
R: out
F: improvised chicken soup

Sunday, March 16, 2014

my first lentil soup

I've been making this soup since I was in college. It's easy, cheap, and filling, thus hitting all my requirements from that period. I still really like it, for those reasons but also because it's healthy and freezes well (and of course, I wouldn't have made it many times if I didn't think it was tasty, too).

Lentil Soup
(adapted from Help! My Apartment Has a Kitchen)

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • olive oil
  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
Saute onion, celery, carrots and garlic in some olive oil in a large pot until soft (5-8 minutes).  Add lentils, tomatoes, broth and other spices.  Bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to low and simmer for at least 25 minutes, until lentils are soft.

As written, this recipe is vegan, but I often add a parmesan rind with the broth (remove when the lentils have finished cooking).

serves 4

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Saturday, February 22, 2014

first post of 2014(!?!)

our menu last week:

Su: roasted sweet potatoes; sauteed chard
M: Glazed Sausage; Sauteed Cabbage
T: out
W: Mac & Cheese
R: left-over Cream of Parsnip soup (from Roots)
F: Mushroom Bourguignon; egg noodles; salad; Apple Sharlotka
Sa: left-over Cream of Celeriac soup; grilled cheese