March 14, 2009

Recipe Thief

We had some yummy (and simple) dinners this week...pasta + grilled veggies, veggie burger +  grilled veggies and pesto tofu + couscous + grilled veggies were some of the highlights. Have you noticed our new obsession with grilled veggies? It's usually a mix of whatever we have around but for some reason it is tasting extra delicious lately.



The pesto tofu was especially's just a little recipe I came up with ALL BY MYSELF. Okay, that's a lie. The truth is, my brother came up with the pesto tofu recipe...but a while ago he totally stole my macaroni & cheese recipe and now claims that it's his. So to get him back, I stole his pesto tofu recipe. But I will give him credit for it's super easy and totally delicious. 
Brat's Pesto Tofu Recipe
1 block extra firm tofu 
Oil for frying (I like olive oil) 
~Press the tofu for 30 minutes if you are feeling extra motivated, otherwise just use as is (although you might have to cook it a bit longer to get rid of all the excess moisture). Cut the tofu into 3/4 - 1 in cubes. Heat up your oil in a skillet and fry the tofu (on all sides) until crispy and the moisture has evaporated from the pan (this usually takes me anywhere from 10-20 min). Toss the tofu and pesto (as much or as little as you want) together long enough to heat the pesto and voila- pesto tofu! I think Brat sautes up some red peppers to go along with it and also tosses those with the pesto but I go for straight up tofu & pesto. 
As for the couscous, I caramelized some onions and toasted up some pine nuts then tossed it with whole wheat couscous I cooked in mushroom flavored "Better Than Bouillion". Yum!

March 08, 2009

Happy Birthday To Me!

We had some yummy dinners this week...baked spaghetti and grilled veggies, tortellini salad (that Chris made and it was delicious!), refried bean and avocado tacos with grilled veggies and masala burgers (from Trader Joes- yum!) covered in a kidney bean/lentil curry and saag paneer with some steamed veggies on the side (not the most photogenic dinner but it tasted great.









My birthday was this past Wednesday- Chris and I ate at our favorite Thai restaurant and then came home and ate this beautiful cake Chris made me: 





This is actually my Dad's "signature" cake so we have to give credit to him for the recipe. It's yellow cake with raspberry jam in between the layers and is covered in fresh whipped cream, berries and almonds. It was insanely delicious and didn't last very long in our house! Note the hideious pink candles- I hate all things pink so Chris thought I should have bright pink birthday candles :(

February 22, 2009

My life is complete!

It was a bit of the usual at the beginning of the week, pizza one night (with grilled broccoli, beans & onion on the side- my new favorite mixture):

Then another night a veggie casserole with roasted potatoes, onions, garlic, green beans, broccoli, carrots, cannelini beans...all baked with some cheddar cheese sprinkled on top.


A few months ago I had a very very very exciting day...Nanny (Chris's Grandmother) gave us a KitchenAid mixer as an engagement gift! I have been wanting one for years so I was (and still am) super happy and excited. Unfortunately, she passed away recently but we will think of her every time we use this baby. It is awesome! Here's Chris getting it ready for some baguette making:


We ate the baguette with fondue- yum! Along with the baguette we had roasted potatoes, steamed broccoli and grilled asparagus. 


 Have a great week!

February 15, 2009

Things have finally slowed down a bit here...Chris and I were finally able to make some decent dinners this week- woo hoo! One night we had huevos rancheros (or something like it) except I went without the I guess I really just had tacos? We filled corn tortillas with a veggie/bean mixture (smashed kidney beans, onions, peppers, mushrooms and spices), salsa from Trader Joe's, cheese and plain yogurt on top. On the side Chris grilled up a mixture of potatoes, peppers and onions (this pic is obviously of his plate because of the ridiculous amount of hot sauce on top of the potatoes).


Another night I marinated some tofu in the hot sauce marinade (I know it has another name but I can't think of it) from Veganomicon. I sauteed the tofu and topped it with some mushrooms...along side it are steamed broccoli and couscous cooked in Better than Bouillion veggie stock combined with sauteed peppers, onions and some toasted pine nuts. Yum!


Of course a week couldn't go by without me making pizza...this one is topped with mushrooms, onions and peppers (3 veggies I obviously ate a lot of last week).


Saturday Chris made some fresh pasta. After cooking it we tossed it wish some frozen CSA pesto and had some steamed green beans on the side. It was amazing...fresh pasta is so delicious. Unfortunately I drank too much wine so I forgot to take a picture before we gobbled everything up so all you have to look at is a boring picture of fresh pasta after it has dried for a few hours.

There is a restaurant/bar across the street from our apartment (Bamboo Cafe) that we love. We are very frequent customers- they have great drinks, food and pies. All their pies are homemade by a lady who lives across the street...our favorite (of the moment) is a coconut chocolate chess pie. I guess it is a southern thing because I had never heard of this pie before I ate it at Bamboo. I found a recipe yesterday for it that sounded about right so I gave it whirl and it was pretty damn close. I used the recipe here except I increased the coconut to 1.5 cups (it didn't look coconut-y enough with 1 cup) and added 3/4 cup of chocolate chips. I think next time I might reduce the amount of chocolate chips to 1/2 cup. It was delicious and decadent (you don't need to eat much).


Have a great week! 

January 25, 2009

It has been an interesting start to my year- lots of ups and downs but overall I am hopeful and am excited (overjoyed!) that we have a new president. The last few months have been busy, in part because of our new furry friend, Dozer. Here he is laying on our dirty laundry:


He is such a wonderful little guy (and so well behaved). Today I baked him some biscuits and he seems to like them. I used this recipe.


There hasn't been too much interesting cooking going on since Christmas time. We did, however, have an awesome Christmas dinner (I know it was a long time ago!). Here's a pic of everything:


We had a Quorn roast, yorkshire puddings, roasted potatoes, roasted parsnips, roasted kale & beets (we're obviously big fans of roasted veggies!), stuffing, macaroni & cheese and cranberry sauce. For dessert we had an awesome bread pudding made with pannetone. I served the roasted kale & beets with a creamy sauce I made from heavy cream, goat cheese, garlic and wine. Yum!

We also tested out the limoncello we've been making over the past few months- here it is with the fun sticker we had made:


I'm hoping that this marks the beginning of normal (timely) blogging again! 

January 14, 2009

Is anyone out there?

Wow I have been missing for a long time. To be honest with you, I haven't been making much of anything that is blog-worthy. Things have been crazy since before Thanksgiving...then came Christmas and since then life has been filled with many unexpected surprises. I have a review paper due at the beginning of next month and after that I am hoping to continue my regular blogging again! See you soon :)

November 02, 2008

Green Tomato Cake?!?

Okay I am definitely making up for lost blogging time. I was planning on blogging about this another day but then I ate it and decided I HAD to post something about it immediately. Chris and I got some green tomatoes from our CSA this week...we had about 8 of them and the only way I know how to cook green tomatoes is to fry them. I decided to try and find something different and along the way found this recipe for green tomato cake. I know it sounds a little strange but that many people can't be wrong, right? So, I made the batter which was definitely the strangest looking batter ever (Chris was definitely not impressed with how it looked):


It came out of the oven looking pretty normal...and after trying it, I have to say it is freaking awesome! Super moist and the perfect sweetness. It is definitely more like a spiced bread than a cake but nonetheless it is delicious. A number of the people who left comments on the recipe said they put a cream cheese frosting on it but I think it is perfect as is. I like how the green parts in the cake are deceiving...they look almost like jalapeno pieces!

So, if you come across any green tomatoes, get them and make this cake! It definitely sounds a little different but I promise you it is super yummy. 

Soupy Sunday



Since it's been getting chillier I have been making a lot of soups. I saw the spice combination in this soup in a Moosewood cookbook so used it to make a clean out my fridge soup. I ended up loving the flavors so today I used it again in a Kale-Seitan Soup.

Kale-Seitan Soup

1 onion, diced

2 cups sweet potato, diced

1 carrot, sliced

4-5 cloves garlic

1 tsp turmeric

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp basil

1 bay leaf 

dash of cinnamon

dash of cayenne

1/2 tsp salt

1 bunch of kale, cut into smallish pieces

2-3 cups sliced seitan

6-8 cups of veggie broth

1 can crushed tomatoes

1/2 cup red lentils

~Sautee onion, sweet potato and carrot in olive oil for about 10 minutes. Add garlic, turmeric, paprika, basil, bay leaf, cinnamon, cayenne and salt. Cook for about 1 minute then add the kale, veggie broth and crushed tomatoes. Cook on high for 5-10 minutes, add the lentils and after 5 minutes add the seitan. Cook until the lentils and sweet potatoes are fully cooked (during this time if it comes to a boil bring it down to a simmer).

Lots O Limoncello

Ever had limoncello? If not click here for a the wikipedia article on it. Chris and I started our first attempt at homemade limoncello 45 days ago. It began with everclear and 40 zested lemons...then today we added a simple syrup and bottled it. Our recipe made A LOT of limoncello- twenty-four 375 mL bottles, one 1750 mL bottle and about another 20 ounces that we had to put in a mason jar. We'll let it sit and allow the flavors to meld until Christmas...I won't post a recipe until I know it's any good!

Here's the everclear and lemon zest after 45 days:


An action photo of Chris during the bottling phase:


And the final product:


Hopefully it is delicious because we have a lot of it to drink! 

Apple Butter

Chris and I got 12 or so pounds of golden delicious apples from our CSA so I decided to try my hand at apple butter. I am so glad I did! Although at first I thought I had added way too much brown sugar (up close it smelled really molasses-y), once it was canned and cooled down it mellowed out and became perfection. Homemade apple butter is much better than anything you could ever buy and super just have to be around to stir it every hour. I made this batch in the oven but I'm sure you could do it (and it'd probably be quicker) on the stove top.

Apple Butter

12-13 lbs golden delicious apples

3 cups apple cider

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon allspice

½ teaspoon cloves

2 cups dark brown sugar

2 cups granulated sugar

~Peel and core apples. Cook on stove top with 3 cups of apple cider until soft. Mash a little with a potato masher. Put in oven at 300 and stir every hour. It’s finished when it is a spreadable paste, about 6-7 hours. Can using usual guidelines

~Makes 7-8 half-pints. 


From Apple Butter...



I also made quince jam...if you have never had a quince you should definitely try one. I don't think you can eat them raw (well, I guess you could but I imagine they would be disgusting) but I think you can pretty much use them anywhere you would cooked apples. The jam has a similar texture to apple butter (without all the cooking time) but has an almost flowery flavor. Quince are also very beautiful and sophisticated looking:


January 2011

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Marc N' Ash


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