sarahmichigan: (baking)
granola3 by sarahmichigan
granola3, a photo by sarahmichigan on Flickr.

I recently read this article about "Five packaged foods you never need to buy again," which advocates making your own soup, bread and granola, among other things, and then I ran across a recipe for granola while browsing an old, hippy vegetarian cookbook, Wings of Life, by Julie Jordan. So, it seemed like something was telling me it was time to try making my own granola.

I know the woman who wrote the article was advocating that making these things at home was healthier, not necessarily faster or easier or cheaper, and that's certainly my experience. I gradually bought a few packages here and there of things I thought would be good in the granola, and the dried fruit is definitely the most expensive of all the ingredients. The nut-chopping was pretty tedious, so if I want to do this again, I need a nut chopper type kitchen tool like my mom had. Also, the baking, stirring, baking some more took some time, and you have to check every 15 minutes, so its good to have other projects around the kitchen you can do while you're stuck in the kitchen for a couple hours.

It turned out well, if just a *tad* overbaked in a few places. I like Julie's attitude that you should feel free to mix-and-match ingredients and not be held back by the exact recipe - mainly, you need to get the ratio of wet ingredients to dry ingredients right, and stir frequently so it doesn't burn - those seem to be the main two considerations for having it turn out well. However, I thought the recipe was too complicated overall and made way too much granola. I halved it and tweaked it, but in the future, I'll probably riff off another recipe, like the Mark Bittman or the Alton Brown versions that were suggested to me by friends.

A few things I really liked about my version that I will be repeating:
a) dried apricots in place of raisins! I don't hate raisins in granola, but the ratio is always off for me in commercially-bought granola, so I only put in a handful of raisins and bulked it up with chopped dried mango and apricots. Delicious!
b) I also liked the idea of using sesame oil/tahini in this. I used about half sesame oil and half canola, because I thought using all sesame might be a little overpowering. I think I'd stick to that ratio, since it had a nice nuttiness from the sesame but wasn't too overpowering.
c) Lots more nuts that I find in most granola, and exactly the kinds that I like (walnuts, pecans & almonds).
d) This version of granola is less sweet than other recipes I've seen, and it lets the fruit do the heavy lifting in terms of adding sweetness. I used honey but am curious about using maple syrup, as I've seen in a couple recipes.

My verdict: It's worth making your own granola at least once as an experiment, and as a way to get the ingredients and ratios JUST the way you like it. But pick a weekend day with not much planned, because this will take some time.

sarahmichigan: (Default)
pesto-july-2011 by sarahmichigan
pesto-july-2011, a photo by sarahmichigan on Flickr.

You make pesto! My basil plants were going gonzo and needed to be harvested before it flowered, and the farm share has given us a ton of lovely small, purple garlic bulbs, so naturally I knew what I had to do...

I didn't have pine nuts, so I used toasted walnuts in the recipe and blended the nuts, basil, garlic, really good parmesan and extra virgin olive oil into the food processor. I don't usually use lemon but tried it this time, and it added a nice bright, sparkling note to the pesto, I thought.

I spooned it into a cupcake pan and froze it. Later, I thawed the pan in warm water in the sink, and then put the "hockey pucks" of pesto into freezer bags for later. (Each hockey puck is enough to season about 3-4 servings worth of pasta.) There was enough pesto stuck to the pan to make a couple servings, so I scraped that out and immediately made cheese raviolis with pesto. Yum!

sarahmichigan: (cooking)

Went to a wine & cheese party on Friday, and we arrived late enough that people were fairly sated, and my cheeses were barely touched, so I brought them back home. I have to say that all three were fantastic in their very different ways.

The winner of the night, to me, was "Ewephoria," a sheep's milk gouda. It was mellow-but-not-bland like a quality gouda should be, and while it did have a little bit of that "wang" that turns some people off to cheese made from goat's or sheep's milk, it was very, very  subtle and mostly appeared toward the back end, not the front end.

Cahill's Porter Cheddar was really pretty to look at, and flavorful. It's Irish cheese laced with dark Irish beer - great combo! I could see layering this on a sandwich made with lots of veggies and a hearty multi-grain bread.

Just today, I sampled the Lemon Stilton that I picked up. It's a slightly stinky, mildly sharp white cheese with bits of candied lemon peel in it. I was advised by the cheese guy that it'd be well paired with a sweet white dessert wine to bring out the lemon, but I find it a little too strong/strange to serve as a snacking cheese. I am currently enjoying it as part of a salad made of mixed baby greens, slivered radishes and a light drizzle of bleu cheese dressing, and it's divine!

Have any of my readers run across any interesting cheeses lately? Feel free to leave a mini-review in the comments!

sarahmichigan: (cooking)
Because someone said she'd appreciate it...

Note: Adding in the white potatoes allows the soup to become "creamier" in texture without adding a lot of fat to it.

1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into approx. 1-inch chunks
2 small or one medium white potato (any kind, but high starch is good) peeled and chopped into 1-inch chunks
2 cups of chicken stock, veggie stock or water (if you use water instead of stock, bump up the other spices)
1 TBSP reduced-fat cream cheese
1 TBSP half and half or whole milk
2 tsp crushed rosemary (or to taste)
salt and pepper to taste

1. Bring the water or stock to a boil, add the sweet potatoes, potatoes and rosemary to the stock.
2. Turn down the heat and simmer with the top on for 10 minutes or until potatoes can easily be pierced with a fork and almost crumble apart.
3. Carefully poor the broth and potato/rosemary mix into a blender. Blend on low-medium until smooth.
4. Return to the pan, with the stove on low heat. Do NOT allow the soup to boil, because it will curdle the dairy ingredients. Slowly stir in milk and cream cheese and add salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 2 large or 3 medium servings.
sarahmichigan: (cooking)
1. Our green pole beans have finally come in! I was waiting and waiting, and then I looked, and they were there! They hide under the leaves, so it wasn't obvious to me that we had green beans! They're delicious in a stir-fry, and they're also good steamed and tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh chopped dill from my yard.

2. J. accidentally bought white whole wheat instead of regular white all-purpose flour. I usually have both whole wheat and white on hand. I tend to bake with a lot of whole wheat, but there are recipes that I do use white flour for- or use half and half white and whole wheat. One of the things I normally use white flour for is brownies. However, I used all white whole wheat in my latest batch of brownies, and they were just fine. Slightly denser, just a tad dryer. But my brownies are typically super moist and fudgy, so slightly dryer wasn't a big deal. On this page, they say that you can swap white whole wheat in for all-purpose flour for cookies and many kind of baked goods, but for something light and fluffy like angel food cake, you might still want to use the refined flour. So, just an FYI if you were thinking about experimenting with white whole wheat.
sarahmichigan: (cooking)
I know I'm not the only one on my friends list who feels inundated with produce right now, so I wanted to share some favorite recipes that are great for using it up before it goes bad!

It's almost cliche to feel drowned in squash at this time of year. Here's one good way to use it up as well as another use for basil beside making pesto. It's especially nice because many squash soups call for winter squash, and this one is made for summer squash like zucchini, crooknecks and pattypan:

Summer Squash Soup with Basil

And this may be obvious, but two other dishes that can use a lot of produce include

a) homemade veggie-heavy chili (vegetarian or with meat) with peppers, corn, tomato, fresh cilantro and oregano, onions/green onions/chives. Super easy in the crockpot and doesn't heat up your kitchen too much when it's hot out.

b) omelets! Use up your herbs, kale, zucchini, etc.

And here's one more versatile recipe for using up lots of veggies that also tastes awesome and is easy to make:

Peanut-Ginger Noodles - just swap in fresh veggies for the suggested frozen ones. Veggies that work well in this include carrots, green beans, spinach, cabbages of all types (Asian and regular), onion, peppers, squash.
sarahmichigan: (cooking)
So I don't talk about it much on LJ, but in addition to my journalistic writings, I also do write fiction and poetry and occasionally submit to literary magazines.

I have a story I particularly like that hasn't found a home, and I sent it to Room magazine in January of 2009. They said on their submissions page that they usually reply in 3-4 months, so after I hadn't heard anything for 7 or 8 months, I sent a follow-up. I got an e-mail back saying (I'm paraphrasing) there'd been an organizational shake-up and some submissions had gotten misplaced in the process and they'd get back to me. So, finally, THIRTEEN months after I submitted the story, I got a rejection letter. But a nice one, at least:

Thank you for submitting your work to Room magazine. While we are unable to accept this particular submission for
publication, we would very much like to see more of your work.

Members of Room?s collective read more than 700 submissions of poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction each year, of which about 10% are accepted for publication... All manuscripts are read for quality, and about 30% are then passed on for further consideration... Your submission was one of the 30% that gets passed on to an issue editor. We really liked it, but were ultimately unable to use it in one of our upcoming issues. Please be sure to send us more of your writing.

In other news, we had a nice weekend. I took almost all of Saturday off (other than about 30-40 minutes worth of copy editing) and I had an awesome workout in the pool that left me feeling really limp and relaxed and mellow.

I also did a fair amount of home cooking. Friday night, we made cheesecake brownies. Saturday, I made vegetarian taco salad for lunch and black-eyed-peas and rice for dinner. I kind of melded two recipes into one for the latter, and I definitely think it's a keeper. On Sunday, I had a hankering to make homemade vegetarian lasagna, so I did. I didn't have my recipe for the version where you don't have to cook the noodles in advance, so I winged it and crossed my fingers. It actually turned out quite good, so I was pleased. Now we have a fridge full of leftovers!

On an unrelated note, J. and I have been enjoying some online point-and-click detective/mystery games (not this weekend, but on previous ones where we didn't have much scheduled.). J. always wants to play video games together, but our taste in games is somewhat different and/or we don't have access to ones we would enjoy doing together. So, the mystery games have been a fun compromise.

Here are a few we particularly liked, but I'm open to suggestion if anyone else out there plays them!

Detective Grimoire

Detective Jack French  We only did the first episode on this ( I refuse to use the word "webisode" which I think is an abomination.)

Nick Bounty: A Case of the Crabs

Nick Bounty: The Goat in the Grey Fedora

Also, we looked at a Shakespeare-themed one,  The Seven Noble Kinsmen. It's really beautifully illustrated and looks intriguing, but it was more complicated than what we were looking for. I think you could spend an entire weekend solving it, and we were just looking for something that'd take an hour or two.
sarahmichigan: (baking)
So, I thought my first attempt at eggplant parmesan kicked ass. It really tasted a lot like the kind you get at the restaurant even though I used a lower-fat recipe for guidelines. I ran out of mozz and parmesan and subbed in some other kinds of cheese, but it was quite tasty. I think it helped a great deal that the quality of the eggplant we've been getting from the farm share has just been exceptional.

I'm also thrilled with the fact that I've been making tomato-based sauces from my garden tomatoes and herbs. A few weeks ago, I'd processed some of my homegrown tomatoes in a blender with store-bought garlic plus homegrown oregano and basil and froze it. I thawed that, added a bit of corn starch to it and used that as the tomato sauce for the eggplant parmesan and thought it worked really well.

I also used tomatoes from my garden to make homemade enchilada sauce for bean and rice enchiladas on Sunday, and that turned out tasty as well.

Since, as usual, I'm being so immodest about my own cooking, I will also brag on a friend's culinary skills. She brought over some homemade bagels last night (made with a mixture of white and whole wheat). I had one for breakfast this morning, and it was phenomenal. Nice wheaty smell to it, good chewy texture, great flavor. Yum!

Today, I went over to a friend's house for lunch and brought some corn and patty pan squash and we drizzled them with olive oil and sprinkled with spices and he put them on the grill. After we took them off the grill, grated some fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano on them and devoured it. yay for fresh summer veg!

sarahmichigan: (cooking)
Yes, I know there are three exclamation points up there.

I am mostly enjoying our farm share, but the one downside is that they give you what is ripe on the farm and what they've chosen to plant that year and not necessarily what you like best. This has been great in many ways. I've gotten to know more about and mostly like a variety of veggies from kohlrabi to beets to napa cabbage and patty pan squash.

But last week's delivery was one little step too far. First of all, they gave me more corn than I could realistically eat in one week, especially since J. is not as much of a corn on the cob fanatic as I am. This was OK, because I gave some away to relatives during a family get-together.

But the straws that broke the camel's back were ground cherries and wheat-free beet cookies. I think I'm a good sport, but this was too much. I was all like, "Why couldn't they just give me some f*cking broccoli for godssake!"

Apparently, the farm we're getting our share from sells produce to a woman who does flour-free baked goods, and in return, the baker gives some of her goodies to the farm to distribute with the CSA baskets. They were oat-based, sweetened with raw beets. The texture was weird and the taste was really odd- it was sweet and spicy but with that earthy dirt-like taste that beets have. I also don't think white flour is Satan like some people, either, and the "white flour is the glue of the gut!"rhetoric that came with the cookies was a turn-off as well.

As for ground cherries- there's only ever been two veggies (green olives and lima beans) that I've found that I don't like, and I've never found a fruit I don't like. Until now. Ground cherries are just weird. I can't abide them raw and plain and haven't figured out what to put them in to make them palatable.

Ah well, new shipment of veggies this Thursday. Maybe there'll be broccoli...

And, tonight, I attempt eggplant parmesan for the first time!
sarahmichigan: (cooking)
So, it's cool today, but I somehow managed to be cooking soup on several of the hottest days we had in August. This is largely because I need to use up the farm share we're getting plus my bumper crop of tomatoes.

I've created a few rules when confronted with veggies that are new to me:

1) If you're not sure how to cook a veggie, most do fine if you steam or blanch and then toss with butter, salt and pepper. Or, alternately, you can toss with olive oil and chopped garlic and roast them.

2) Veggies that aren't amenable to cooking (like cucumbers) can be put into salads or quick pickled. I've been enjoying quick-pickle cucumbers and quick-pickled beets, and we've been eating a lot of cole slaw (homemade is so much better than restaurant cole slaw!).

I'm also discovering that a good way to use up lots of veggies is to make soup.

Some recent things I've made lately have included:
-Omelets with veggies & cheese & herbs from my garden
-Lots of salads
-Vegetarian "reubens" made with garden burger in place of corned beef and cole slaw in place of sauer kraut. This was my first time trying this, and J. and I both really liked it. I'll have to put that in the regular rotation!
-Lots of pasta and veggie dishes to use up my tomatoes and the farm share eggplant
-Variations on homemade salsa

I've also actually been exploring new recipes to figure out how to eat up some things I've had an overabundance of. My mother gave me a recipe for summer squash casserole. You can use crookneck or zucchini or a bunch of other kinds of summer squash. It's not too different than making homemade macaroni and cheese only with using slices of squash in place of noodles and then sprinkling with bread crumbs and baking. I liked it a lot and it helped use up some of my squash.

I also made chile relleno for the first time. My batter tasted right but didn't really stick to the pepper, and I don't think I roasted the pepper long enough, because it was a little tough when I tried to cut it into pieces. But the homemade ranchero sauce turned out well and it was tasty overall. I used this recipe as a starting point and adapted it a little bit, with some ideas from this recipe.

I enjoyed quick-pickle beets but wanted to try something different, so I also made a version of vegetarian borscht in the crockpot. This seemed to be a hit. I used this recipe with a few variations. It also helped with using up all the cabbage we've been getting in a way that that didn't involve making cole slaw.

I also used up a bunch of my tomatoes and a shit-ton of peppers and corn I got from the farm share in veggie chili in the crockpot. Chili is always a hit at our house, usually paired with quesadillas. The variation this time was adding some chopped summer squash to it, just to use the darn squash up. It was pretty good!

After receiving yet more squash last week, I was getting desperate for ways to use it up. J. suggested soup. Most recipes I've run across for squash soup call for winter squash, but I found an interesting recipe that used summer squash and which also called for a bunch of fresh basil. My basil plants are doing well this year, so it seemed like a winner. I used this recipe, almost verbatim, except I used onion powder instead of fresh onion. It didn't thicken up as much as I was expecting, but it was quite good. You'd think with that much basil it'd be overpowering, but it's actually pretty subtle. I think the key to this soup is using a stock you really like, and I LOVE the vegetarian version of "Better than Bullion." I think it has added excellent flavor to every soup I've used it in.
sarahmichigan: (cooking)
Between the farm share we bought into and my own little garden, we've been eating good. And I've been experimenting with newish veggies, too.

I mentioned the kale experiment a while back. In the last 2-3 weeks, I've also made:
-quick-pickled beets (yum)
-Corn on the cob
-green beans a few different ways. I made them stir-fried with ginger and garlic once, and then another time lightly steamed and tossed with olive oil and garlic powder and black pepper and that was good, too.
-homemade coleslaw
-several veggie curries
-noodles with veggies and Thai peanut sauce
-cheese omelet smothered with sauteed mixed veggies
-grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato slices- the first ripe tomato from my own garden
-cucumber raita (i.e. cucumbers in yogurt with toasted cumin seeds and some other spices)
-Loads of salads with various greens, radishes, cucumbers and green onions
-Macaroni and cheese with broccoli
-Baked potatoes with broccoli and cheese and fresh home-grown herbs

We've also been drinking the last of our homemade apple wine, which goes fantastically with fresh produce. We need to start another batch when we can get our hands on some unpasteurized apple cider.

Tonight, I'm going to figure out what to do with the kohlrabi. We have this week's box coming tonight, and I haven't quite finished up the veggies we got last week!
sarahmichigan: (cooking)
We went in with some friends to buy a share from a local farm and got our first delivery on Thursday. I've been reading up on what to do with Kale and bok choy and napa cabbage since I haven't used them much before.

I posted about my adventures with kale here.

I also read up on nutrition- boy, kale is a nutritional superstar! One cup has 13 times your RDA of vitamin K, almost twice your RDA of vitamin A, 88 percent of your vitamin C and almost 10 percent of your RDA for calcium, all for under 40 calories. Pretty good nutritional density!

As a side dish, I made stir-fried green beans with ginger and garlic, and that was really yum, too!

sarahmichigan: (baking)
We had a Night of Unspeakable Horror at our place last night, featuring the movie Cthulhu. Aside from the unspeakable horror of Tori Spelling being in the cast, I thought it was a decent movie. We had fun MST3K-ing it. I think others thought it was a stink-bomb, but I'd actually give it a 3 of 5 stars. The gay sex was definitely not a detractor for me, but I also thought the movie captured some of the heart of Lovecraftian horror- that you never see things full on but out of the corner of your eye, and that the horror is as much from within the heart of mankind than it is from burbling monsters from the deep.

Anyhow, the food was supposed to be horror-themed, too, though J. discouraged people from contributing anthing "actively nauseating." I had all kinds of plans for horror-themed foods but only ended up contributing two dishes: Evil Eye Deviled Eggs and Festering Devil's Food Cake. I wish I'd taken photos before we got started noshing on them, but you can see the leftovers...

P. also contributed the movie Versus, kind of a samurai zombie flick. It was funny-bad, but I couldn't stay awake for the whole thing. Gettin' old...

sarahmichigan: (cooking)
Sandy again has a great post about how programs to fight the so-called "obesity epidemic" through getting kids to eat more fruits and veggies tend to be dismal failures. On the whole, children already know that they should be eating 5 fruits and veggies a day, and the most rigorous studies show that these interventions -at best- get kids eating a whole whopping half a fruit or veggie more per day after months of propaganda. As the article notes, the kids hear this propaganda over and over and eventually just tune it out.

As I was reading, I couldn't help wonder if  hammering home health lessons was the wrong approach. What if they actually taught ways to make cooking and baking with fruits and veggies more fun and flavorful and emphasized how good these foods can taste?

Oh no, we couldn't have kids thinking you ever eat food because it tastes good. You should ONLY eat food that makes you healthy, no matter what it tastes like.

sarahmichigan: (baking)
Go ahead & click the link- it's pretty: "Easy batter blackberry cobbler"

I used this exact recipe in a 9-inch pie plate. The only change I made was using brown sugar instead of white for the final TBSP of sprinkle on top. I used frozen blackberries, and it turned out fine. The recipe calls for 50-60 minutes bake time, and it's sheer torture smelling those lovely berries for the last 15 minutes or so...

sarahmichigan: (cooking)
If you follow my food-related posts at all, you probably know I rarely use recipes, and when I do, I usually modify them a lot. I used this recipe for ginger peanut noodles almost exactly as directed, just with about 1/4 as much for all the ingredients since I was cooking for one. The only substitution was tabasco-like hot sauce in place of the chile-garlic sauce. I also used a lot more grated ginger than they called for. They're not kidding about how easy it is to make, either. SUPER easy, especially with the suggestion of throwing in frozen veggie medley at the end of the noodle cooking (which we do for other dishes at my house a lot), and tasty. My only suggestion: if you think you might want to make it, go ahead and use the full-sodium soy sauce instead of reduced-sodium, as the final result tasted a tad under-salted to me. I ended up shaking just a bit of table salt into it, and it was perfect.

I also baked a loaf of half-whole-wheat bread yesterday, and felt it was one of my most successful breads yet. I've been running ingredients through the "dough" cycle in my bread maker and then transferring to a bread pan because I like the shape of the slices better than when baking them in the bread maker. This time, I stopped it half-way through the knead cycle and started it over, to give the dough extra time to form gluten. I also let it rise for additional time, and the loaf was a superior consistency and shape to other loaves I've made recently, despite the high quantity of whole wheat, which can turn a loaf of bread into a brick if you're not careful.

sarahmichigan: (cooking)
I'm super-intrigued by the idea of no-knead breads. If you click the link, you'll find tips, plus a link to an article about no-knead breads plus recipes.

The only reason I haven't tried one already is that I only have active dry yeast on hand, and supposedly that kind of yeast doesn't work well in these types of breads.

sarahmichigan: (cooking)
Last night, I was really wanting to be served something yummy with fresh ingredients at a restaurant but opted to eat at home instead. I had tempeh and mushrooms and got it into my head that I was going to make the fried rice recipe from Moosewood Cooks at Home. I had to make some substitutions and my ratios of spices and such were a little off, but I mostly followed it. Here's a photo.

My main complaints with restaurant fried rice are that it's overly-greasy and too light on veggies. When I make it at home, I can remedy both of those things.I can tweak it in a way I find much healthier: lower in fat, higher in fiber, and MUCH higher in veggies than most restaurant fried rice. I use instant brown rice, lots of tempeh which was marinated in a ginger-garlic sauce, broccoli, carrots, peas, stoplight pepper strips, and mushrooms. I also scrambled two eggs into it for extra texture and protein. Despite the fact that I grated about two tablespoons of fresh ginger into it and and used about 5 cloves of garlic, it wasn't over-seasoned at all- actually kind of mild. And I used reduced-salt soy sauce for the marinade so it actually needed a bit of salt after it was all done.

J. actually did most of the cooking on Sunday. He made blueberry pancakes with blueberry syrup for breakfast and made us tuna sandwiches with a green salad on the side for lunch.
sarahmichigan: (baking)
I don't know why it took so long for me to get around to using Flickr. Very convenient.

Anyway, my brother visited us just before Christmas, and I was under the impression that he'd gone vegan. He hasn't- just vegetarian. So, I could have made a bread that called for butter, but instead I used a recipe that called for just a small amount of butter and swapped in olive oil, held my breath, and hoped for the best. It turned out pretty well. I just kind of twisted it into a loose baguette shape and dusted it with herbs, as you can see here. J. liked this shot of it, because he thinks it looks like a worm monster. It was crusty (but not super crusty) on the outside, and soft and moist, kind of medium density, on the inside. I served it with herbed olive oil for dipping and it went over really well.

I also recently made hazelnut-pear bread. it's a quick bread made with baking soda instead of yeast, from this "Eating Well" recipe. I liked it, but next time, I would up the brown sugar to 3/4 cup instead of 2/3 cup, because I thought it could be a little sweeter. It has nice big chunks of pear inside and additional coarsely chopped hazelnuts on top.

Other things I've cooked or baked lately have included:
-Omelet with swiss cheese and asparagus tips. Aspargus goes really well with eggs, I think.

-Whole wheat rotini tossed with olive oil, lots of fresh garlic, tomato chunks and asparagus tips, topped with parmesan and mozerella cheese. Without the cheese, it's just OK, a little bland.

-A vegetable gratin with potatoes, black beans, peppers and mushrooms. I tried a mix of sharp cheddar and reduced-fat cottage cheese in the cheese sauce, and was a little nervous about the cottage cheese. It stayed chunky in the pot on the stove, but once the whole gratin went into the oven, the cottage cheese pretty much melted into the rest of the casserole. I baked this extra long, and the cheese got really brown and crunchy on top. In terms of taste and cheesiness, I think it's one of the best vegetable gratins I've ever made.

-The aforementioned sweet potato/tomato dish, leftovers which became the filling for enchiladas. The enchiladas actually turned out pretty well, if a little odd.

-An artichoke heart sauce to put over cheese ravioli. It's basically sauteeing a can of artichoke hearts in 3 tablespoons of butter, lots of fresh garlic, and a touch of white wine, add salt and pepper, and serve over pasta instead of a tomato or cream-based sauce. I like this a lot.

-English muffin pizzas, with soy sausage and mushrooms. Yum.

-Regular Mexican-spiced enchiladas stuffed with tempeh and black beans. I think these were better the second day because the tempeh had a longer time to absorb the spices.

-Taco salad. I normally make the "chili" for this with MorningStar Farms burger crumbles. I had tempeh on hand (leftover from the echiladas) and decided to swap this in for the crumbles. It was pretty good.

sarahmichigan: (Default)
1. For those of you who make mashed potatoes- what's your process? I don't mean a recipe, but I mean things like: Do you peel first, then boil, or vice versa? Do you use a hand masher or a food processor? Etc.

2.  For those of you who are interested in frugality, simplicity and/or environmental living, tell me one or two things you know are in line with those values but which you just can't bring yourself to do. For instance, some people who are super frugal just can't give up going out to lunch during the work day because they need to get away from the office. Or maybe you're really environmentally conscious but you just can't live with your thermostat turned any lower than 70 degrees. Mine? I hate throwing away lots of paper facial tissues, but I just cannot bring myself to use a handkerchief. With my allergies, I'd be going through three or four a day, and having snotty rags in my pockets would just totally gross me out. (To compensate, I AM thinking of starting to bring a cloth napkin with me to work in place of the two or three paper towels I typically go through each day at lunch.)

3. Dammit, I had a third question, but it has escaped me...

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