Archive | November, 2011

Don’t Like Brussels Sprouts? Try This Recipe.

29 Nov

The perfect winter side dish!

I’ve always been a fan of Brussels sprouts, even when my sisters weren’t. They’re like little cabbages! What’s not to like? Well, it seems that sprouts of the Brussels variety are still much maligned, and I was happy when The Pater requested them for my contribution to our Thanksgiving meal (held unconventionally on Saturday this year). The Husband was doubly excited—it’s possibly his favorite vegetable dish I make.

Since there was only going to be one vegetarian in the group this year, I decided to add bacon to the original recipe that I cobbled together from a 101cookbooks.com recipe. Hers called for tofu and a different nut, but I like this one best. For vegetarians/vegans, omit the bacon (natch!) and just start with the garlic step. You won’t be disappointed, and if you are, please comment below so I can apologize directly. Continue reading

And Now For Something Not Made From Thanksgiving Turkey. Maybe.

25 Nov

We’re going down to The Husband’s family’s house in San Diego this year, as I mentioned. Since we don’t cook for the big day (besides the pie, and The Husband has requested one for himself, so we’re fine for apple-pie leftovers), we won’t have a lot of turkey that will last for days. I’m writing this to post post-Thanksgiving so there’s an anti-turkey recipe out there for people to use, if they feel so inclined.

We used to have turkey for days after T-Day when I was a kid, and we’d have turkey sandwiches for the whole next week, creamed turkey on toast, and some weird thing my Mom called “turkey tetrazini”. I think. I just remember something strange with spaghetti and a cream sauce. Wasn’t one of Mom’s more gourmet moments. I miss The Twilight Zone marathons that they used to play on Thanksgiving, but I don’t miss that dish. Or—sorry Mom, the candied yams.

Again, I digress. This is also a pasta dish, but it’s nothing like what I described above. It was a nice combination of some fridge standards that we always try to keep in the door, capers and kalamata olives, and some fresh items, like Swiss chard. I can’t help myself when I get to the pasta area in Whole Foods—that quinoa linguine is just so tasty. I keep buying it because I still can’t believe it’s gluten free.

And to all my vegans and vegetarians out there—this one’s for you. Play around with the recipe; it’s pretty easy to change up and still be delicious. We served with homemade garlic bread and a little salad, But, come to think of it, you could probably throw some shredded turkey into this and it would work very well. It probably wouldn’t even taste like Thanksgiving leftovers. And that’s something to be thankful for.

Oh, and sorry for the lack of photos! I’ll add some later.

Continue reading

The Best Apple Pie Ever.

22 Nov

Okay, I’m not being immodest here. I have many satisfied customers if you want a real testimonial. This is the only one The

This pie recipe is Dad tested, Husband approved.

Husband will eat—he believes that a pie has as much to do with the crust as it does with the filling. The filling is taken (but not exactly) from a Better Homes & Gardens cookbook that has been in our family for years, and every year my dad requests it instead of cake for his birthday.

We had a tree in our backyard growing up that had some of the most sour apples on the planet. It seemed to be a Granny Smith, but you couldn’t eat them plain, only bake with them, adding lots of sugar. The peach tree was the same—not sure what was up with the soil, but it meant there was a lot of baking in our house when I was young. Continue reading

Is It a Day for Soup, or What?

20 Nov

This is NOT my photo. This is by Heidi Swanson, who also created the recipe.

I cannot take any credit for this recipe at all—it’s all down to one of my absolute favorite recipe sources, 101cookbooks.com. Basically, I want Heidi Swanson’s life. She lives in San Francisco, has had two wildly successful cookbooks, travels all over the world, is a rock-star food photographer. NO, I’m not jealous. NOT ONE LITTLE BIT. Continue reading

Tis the Weather for Braising

19 Nov

Get your braise on. You won't be disappointed.

There’s nothing like a cloudy, nippy day for braising some meat—or veggies—in the oven. It’s a perfect time to use the Le Creuset cast-iron pots (seriously, are they ever going to contact me? I mention them every other blog, at least!), load them up with goodness and let them do their thing in the oven.

And what a lovely “thing” that is. I wasn’t sure about posting this one, but after just making it again for The Mother-In-Law’s birthday dinner, I changed my mind. Plus, the first time I made it, The Husband had not only finished his meal first, he ate all his lamb. All of it. And he never does that, so I felt that perhaps the dish would make the blog after all. Continue reading

I Can’t Believe I Stuffed Zucchini Flowers

16 Nov

I still can't believe they came out this good!

Now that we’ve found the farmers market in Laguna Hills, sometimes James stops by after the acupuncturist. Unfortunately, on Friday our bubble was burst, as we thought that all stands were selling organic produce. Not so! Very sad. But there are some organic stalls there and we try to support them.

I have no idea if these zucchini flowers were from an organic source, or not, but they were beautiful. I’ve already mentioned our friend Troy, and I’d helped him stuff some zucchini flowers before, but he had a deep-fat fryer, which I don’t. I decided to go for it anyway.

I found some herbed chevre and a recipe for the batter and went to town. I must admit, they turned out awesome for my first try, and I can’t wait to do them again! We served them as a side dish alongside one of our many chickens-under-a-brick, but these would be an awesome vegetarian main dish. Vegans, use a tofu ricotta and I’m sure it will turn out super delicious. Here’s my favorite recipe from my favorite vegan chef, Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Continue reading

¡Viva Pollo Mexicana!

13 Nov

Perfectly roasted, perfectly seasoned. Really, this is a must try.

Okay, pretty soon this blog will need to be called “Tiny Chicken Stories” instead of “Kitchen” if I keep getting a chicken at the farmers market every week. But I must admit, I really did outdo myself this time, and it wasn’t even on the time-consuming pepita-cilantro sauce that accompanied the chicken. Sadly, we didn’t even need it, even though it was delicious. I will have to make some (chicken) enchiladas soon and use the sauce then.

So what did I do that was so amazing? I’m not sure if it was the spice mixture or the butter. Since I have been responding well to the sheep and goat milk products recently, I found some goat-milk butter at Whole Foods and decided to try it. It has a delicious flavor, not sour at all, as I expected. It also melts quicker too. But it tastes like the smooth, unsalted butter of Europe, and I’m hooked.

Last night as I’m cooking the sauce, I decide to take about half a stick of the goat butter and mix in some ground cumin. I went to toast some cumin seeds up to grind them, then found a mixture that I’d already made that had ground cumin, coriander and brown mustard seeds. What the heck? I thought, and mixed in about a teaspoon of it into the butter. Continue reading