Saturday, December 24, 2011

xmas eve football spread

 happy day before christmas! i hope everyone is with friends/family.we got homemade nacho cheese, homemade bread and breadsticks (thanks, s4) and some cheese, apples and salami. we also got a malaysian noodle dish that was tasty!
ravens vs. browns worked out perfectly w/ most of the family home. and we got some snazzy food laid out for the game (preparing for tomorrow's feasting...haha). we got lots of different cheeses from costco (the spicy buffalo something made a great nacho dip). the picture above is baked brie, absolutely delicious with some fresh baked bread (stay tuned for more pics of bread baking). take the brie (we cut our large costco size wheel up) and drizzle honey over the cheese. sprinkle with black pepper and nice garlic cloves, wrap up in aluminum foil and bake for about 15-20 minutes at 350 F. Spread onto some bread and enjoy! go ravens!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

what's cooking thursday- salad!

not just any old salad! here's some more "lets use stuff in the kitchen and be healthy when we can" kind of salad :) i had to go to the grocery store for the avocado and the roma tomato but everything else was in the house. each salad includes: a handful of mixed greens, arugula, 1 roma tomato, 1/4 of an onion (sliced), avocado (i tossed the chopped avocado in lemon juice to keep the color, hopefully!), carrots, crumbled blue cheese, and a hardboiled egg for each.
all the pretty salads ready for munching.
gobble gobble! i usually don't like raw onion but it really worked with giving the salad a nice kick. finals start so didn't get a chance to cook anything but some baked sweet potato fries, half a cheesy sandwich or warm soup would have been perfect! next time. happy thursday!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

what's cooking thursday- lentil burgers and glazed carrots

long time no see, i've forgotten a green bean casserole entry and not sure i'll ever put it up since i had to toss most of it as compost (it's hard trying to feed people who like korean food so much)

around the holidays there always seems to be an excess of delicious foods- baked goods and rich creamy warm-you-up and make you feel toasty and happy foods. but there’s something to be said when you just work with what you have. which usually i never do, but watching Chopped has sparked some creative juices for me, so today’s meal includes only ingredients i could find already in the kitchen (which required a lot of adapting of recipes…). happy thursday!

Lentil burger (adapted from Food and Wine)
1 cup uncooked brown lentils
2 ½ cups water
About 1 tsp garlic (mine is already pureed and kept frozen)
1 tsp ground cumin
Sprinkle of red chili flakes
Handful of walnuts (about 8 or 9?)
4 slices of whole wheat bread, toasted and made in bread crumbs
1 Tbl dried parsley
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Ground salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
Splash of olive oil (and more for cooking)
For the dip
1 cup plain non fat yogurt
½ squeezed fresh lemon juice
1/8 tsp garlic
Dash of parsley

Bring lentils and water to a boil in a saucepan, then reduce heat to simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until tender. Drain well. In a food processor, puree lentils, walnuts, garlic, cumin, and red chili pepper flakes (some of the lentils can still be whole).  In a large bowl combine the lentil mix, bread crumbs, parsley, eggs, olive oil, salt and pepper. Line a baking sheet with foil and brush it with olive oil (I pour some on the pan and use a spoon to spread it around). Form ¼ cup size burgers (I got 11 patties total) and place them on the baking pan. Brush the burger with olive oil (it says to brush both sides but I forgot the bottom side). Baked at 425F for 6-7 minutes on each side (make sure the aluminum foil is well coated with oil so the patties don’t stick for the flipping part. You can also broil for about 3 minutes on each side.
For the dip- mix the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic and parsley. Serve the burgers hot with the yogurt sauce on the side.  

*as the recipe had, the onions and such would have probably added a nice moist and flavorful kick, unfortunately there were absolutely no onions in the house (i think i used the last one in the wasted green bean casserole...that'll teach me)

Glazed carrots (adapted from Vegetables by Ann Bonar copyright 1986…this book is older than me!)
1 lb (6-8 medium or 4 very large) carrots, trimmed and peeled
2 Tbls/1 oz butter
½ Tbls brown sugar
Dash of salt
Sprinkle of dried parsley for garnish

Put the carrots whole in a pan of lightly salted boiling water, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until just tender. Drain. Add the butter and sugar to the pan, then the carrots. Cook over gently heat, turning the carrots, until evenly glazed. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, to serve.

*if you want to save some time, cut the fat carrots in half and halve all the carrots to be shorter.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

what's cooking thursday and well, socks

have a cakebite tasting today so no real food cooking, but lots of baking goodness, which to me is much tastier.
cranberry banana walnut bread from joy the baker. here are the changes i made:
- no butter, add another banana (bringing our total to 5 bananas)
- in place of 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour: 1/2 cup all purpose flour, 1/2 cup whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup quick oats to bump up the nutritional value
- didn't have any bourbon (unfortunately)
- handful of chopped walnuts
- i think we only added at most the 3/4 cup of brown sugar as well.

the bread was moist and tart from the fresh cranberries (it's been rather difficult getting rid of the costco bag of fresh cranberries we got for thanksgiving.

pumpkin cheesecake puff pastries
i can't remember where the recipe came from for the cheesecake but it was
8 oz of softened cream cheese
1/4 cup of sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/4-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
blend the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth then mix in the remaining ingredients. we spooned the cheesecake into buttered phyllo dough pressed into a muffin pan and baked in a 350 F oven.

eummm, just looking at this cheesecake makes me want more- kraft 3 step cheesecake with cranberry sauce topping. the recipe was on the box of the kraft cream cheese which was of course unbelievably easy but also tasty. we (s4) and i made the cheesecake in a leftover ready made pie crust which also is easy peasy and yummy. we took leftover cranberry sauce and topped it for a tart and pretty kick.
this is just silliness, can you tell i'm ready for winter break? but really, the paw print hole in her sock was not on purpose