Archive for the ‘Tales from the Kitchen’ Category

Nom Nom Boom

Sunday, October 7th, 2012

I need another cake pan like I need another hole in my head, I know. But when I saw this one, I couldn’t resist. Mostly because when I saw it, my first thought was, “Oh, how cute…pumpkins, leaves and…grenades?”

Cake pan with shapes for pumpkins, leaves, and grenades. I mean acorns. Definitely acorns.

I Don’t Know What It Is, But I Want To Try It

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

A recipe for shawarma, given to me by one is a prince among men, if not the SCA. Our gaming group devoured most of a batch last night (we had to save room for cake).

This recipe is scaled for a total of  5 lbs ground meat.

3 parts ground beef

2 parts ground lamb

1/2 large onion

most of a bunch of parsley

most of a bunch of cilantro

most of a bunch of green onions

2-4 T Penzey’s Turkish seasoning

1-2 t Aleppo pepper

1-2 T salt

1 C dry couscous

4 eggs

1-2 t ground pepper

Combine all of the above, form into oval patties that will fit into half of a round of pita bread, and fry in olive oil. Serve with pita bread and yogurt sauce (below).

More yogurt than you think you need

To taste, add salt, minced cucumber, minced onion, pepper, and garlic

This Photo Has Not Been Altered

Friday, March 9th, 2012

I’m not good at keeping the refrigerator clean or well organized. But every now and again, Spouse asks me to do something about it. The thing is, we have different definitions of what it means to clean out the fridge.

Spouse’s definition is to throw out the expired stuff.

When I clean out the fridge, I take everything out, clean the inside, clean the shelves, and get rid of everything that is expired, unrecognizable, or developed its own civilization. The fact that we did not discover this difference until we had been married for over three years should be an indicator of how often I do my version of cleaning out the fridge.

So by some miracle, we recently had a day with no time-dependent plans, no headaches, and a reasonable amount of energy. And we cleaned out the fridge (my definition) together. Et voila!

My fridge, only clean and organized

My fridge, only better

I was so proud of myself I sent the picture to a friend who is also a frequent visitor and has had to contend with my fridge on more than one occasion.

Me: You would never guess this was my fridge.

A: Anything is possible with Photoshop.

Cheater’s Cheddar Cheese Sauce

Friday, February 10th, 2012

A person cannot live on juice and protein powder alone. That’s the only explanation I have for the recipe I came up with for tonight’s supper, ham and cheese pot pie—high fat, high sodium, and highly delicious.

But first, a little exposition. Cheese sauce is my nemesis. This has always frustrated me, because I do love a good homemade macaroni and cheese, and I have never been able to pull one off.  So I was absolutely thrilled when I accidentally discovered that you can stir shredded cheddar cheese into jarred alfredo sauce and come up with a perfectly lovely cheese sauce.

Anyway, it was already after 8:00 PM by the time I started cooking, and because I forgot that Spouse had for lunch the leftovers I was planning to make for dinner, I was at a loss for planning. I defrosted a premade pie crust in the microwave, opened up a bag of mixed vegetables in butter and herb sauce, and warmed them in the microwave. While that was going on, I cubed some leftover ham. I stirred the ham and a tablespoon or so of parsley into the vegetables, added about a cup of alfredo sauce and  a cup of cheddar cheese shreds, topped it off with pie crust, and baked for about 20 minutes at 450 degrees. Spouse commented that a) it as more like something he would make (meaning a Southern-style casserole), and b) the downwind neighbors were probably wondering why their cholesterol was shooting up.

Recent Smoothies and Juices

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Smoothies
apricot-pineapple-mixed berry
pineapple-banana-berry
banana-raspberry
watermelon-blueberry-strawberry

Juices
1 beet/1 lime/3 tomatoes/3 carrots/3 stalks celery/1 cucumber
3 tomatoes/2 apples/1 beet/3 carrots/3 stalks celery
6 apricots/2 tomatoes/1 grapefruit/3 minneolas/12 large strawberries
lots of kale/one-quarter head of red cabbage/ 3 tomatoes/3 carrots/4 stalks celery/1 parsnip/1 lime/1″ piece of ginger/1 cucumber/1 yellow bell pepper
–this one tasted fine, but the pigments in the red cabbage oxidized almost instantly resulting a muddy-brown, swamp-juice color.
8 oz watermelon/6 oz blueberries/12 oz blackberries/3 apples/3 minneolas/1 grapefruit

Two for the Post of One

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Today’s Juice:

1 lime
2 minneolas
3 tomatoes
16 oz pineapple spears
4 carrots
1 parsnip (yes, you can get juice from a parsnip)

Yesterday’s Juice:

1 beet plus greens from 3 beets
3 carrots
3 stalks celery
1/2 bulb fennel
1 apple
1 lime
1 yellow bell pepper
1 cucumber

Today’s Juice: A Little of Everything

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

3 carrots

6 oz raspberries

1 mango

1 grapefruit

2 minneolas

2 pears

6 apricots

3″ knob of fresh ginger, which made the juice a little zippy

Recent Juices and Smoothies

Monday, January 16th, 2012

Note: Unless specified otherwise, all smoothies contain protein powder, nonfat yogurt, and orange juice.

Today’s Smoothie: Note to Self, Buy Frozen Mango Chunks
4 fresh kiwis
1/2 package of frozen mango chunks

Hiatus whilst out of town

Last Friday’s Smoothie: The Bananas Must Be Used!
3 bananas
1/2 package of frozen mango chunks

Last Thursday’s Juice: Sweet Beet
1 beet
2 small apples
4 pears
2 minneolas
20 oz red grapes
12 oz blackberries

Last Wednesday’s Juice: The Pink Stuff
(actually kind of salmon-colored, but close enough)
2 tomatoes
1 grapefruit
16 oz strawberries
24 oz pineapple chunks
3 carrots

There. I believe I am caught up. And need to restock the fruits and veggies.

Today’s Juice – Grassy Green

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

Well, perhaps more vegetal than grassy, but still…

1 bunch of kale
8 oz broccoli florets
3 pears
2 small Granny Smith apples
1 red bell pepper
1 parsnip
1/2 bulb fennel
1 celery heart

Today’s Juice – Orangeless Yet Orange

Monday, January 9th, 2012

Six increasingly small apricots
Three largish tomatoes
Two Minneolas
One lemon (peeled)
Three small carrots
One mango
One yellow bell pepper

I think this juice had one of the best sweet-savory balances I have yet managed.