These are recipes for simple, easy, homemade dishes. I make no promises about portion size or fat content, etc., but they are dishes that I have prepared and liked. I don't post pictures because I don't have fabulous lighting, nor a great camera. I can promise that I haven't just made things up without trying the recipe and this is all stuff other people have tried and no one spit anything out in disgust. Not yet, anyway! I don't take cool supporting photos of the steps along the way (but wait, are you telling me you are going to cook those nuts in the microwave in that METAL bowl?) but these are real recipes that a regular cook/baker should be able to figure out. I love the work of Deb at Smitten Kitchen - she provides the whole package!!! Good food, witty comments and lovely photos. If you want to see a REAL food blog, check her out.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Winter salad

This works best with a mild, sweet vinegar like Raspberry Wine (or balsamic, if you can afford it!)  If you don't have that then add a tiny sprinkle of sugar to the vinegar.  I would also plop two poached eggs on top, so start those first if you're adding them.
In a ridiculously large bowl, put about one tablespoon of vinegar and about one-half tablespoon of Penzey's dried shallots.  Dice several dried tomatoes into 1/4 inch pieces and drop on top (don't stir yet.) Add 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper and a teaspoon of dijon.  Add about 3 tablespoons of oil and stir.  Add salad greens and toss.  Plate.  On top, sprinkle raisins, craisins, roast pepitas and chow mein noodles.  Shave a mild American parmesan on top and enjoy.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Microwave Brownies

I can't believe I forgot to add these here.  I cannot eat an entire "batch" of these, but maybe you can try.  I tried having only one bowl to mix and bake, but I thought it made too much mess, so this mixes in one bowl and cooks in a Corning rice bowl.  I've also tried putting bits of things in the batter, but they are decadent enough without the additions.  You should also eat them as soon as they have cooled a bit - like most "breads" baked in the microwave, they get a little rubbery after they cool.

3T butter, melted
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c cocoa
1/4 c flour
1 egg
1/2 t vanilla

Melt the butter in a Corning rice bowl in the microwave for 20 seconds.  Swirl to coat the bowl sides, then set aside.  Mix the dry ingredients well in a small mixing bowl.  Add the egg, vanilla and butter, and stir just until mixed well.  Pour into the rice bowl and microwave for 1:35 in a 110-watt microwave with rotating platter.  (If your microwave is different, you will probably have to adjust the cooking time.)  Cool slightly and eat.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Pasta Cheese Soup

Any pasta shape will work, although the original called for macaroni.  This is about enough for two.

2 oz pasta
1 T olive oil
1 small onion, minced
1 small celery stalk, minced
1 medium carrot, minced
2 T flour
2 c broth
3 oz shredded cheddar
2 T Parmesan
1 c milk

Cook pasta, drain and put into bowl.  Put oil and three veggies into pot and saute until soft but not brown.  Add flour and cook a minute or so further.  Add broth and bring to a boil, stirring well.  Remove from heat.  Stir in cheeses until melted.  Add milk and pasta, then serve.

Cranberry Streusel Muffins (8)

This recipe isn't quite right yet, because it still makes eight muffins.  Granted they are regular-sized muffins, unlike the monsters they sell at the grocery store, but in this case, eight is more than enough!  You could decrease the amount of cranberries, but they are the highlight.  I want to get it smaller, but in the meantime...

1/4 c butter
1/3 c sugar
1 egg
1/2 t vanilla
1 c flour
1 t b powder
1/4 t salt
1/4 c milk
1 c whole cranberries
3 T flour
2 t b sugar
1/4 t cinnamon
2 t butter

Heat oven to 375-degrees.  Cream the first two ingredients - it helps if the butter is room temperature or warmed for about 10 seconds in the microwave.  Add the egg and vanilla and mix well.  In a separate bowl, mix the flour b powder and salt.  Add all at once to the egg mixture and measure the milk on top.  Gently stir until just barely mixed, then stir in the berries.  Spoon into grease muffin cups.  Mix the last four ingredients into crumbs and sprinkle even over the tops of the muffins.  Bake 25-30 minutes or until nicely golden brown.  Let them cool a minute or two, then remove from the tin onto a wire rack to cool so that they don't get soggy bottoms.  I think they are much better warm or the same day, as they lose texture as they age.  (Another reason to get the quantity down, yes?)

Microwave Custard for two

I'm still working on this one.  I think the time/power is the biggest hurdle I haven't worked out correctly yet.  Plus, microwaving custard makes for lumpy custard in most cases.  You can also substitute 2 T maple syrup for the sugar.  Oh - and you won't be able to get these clean in the dishwasher, so be prepared to wash the ramekins by hand (the egg protein, I think).

3/4 c milk (I use 2%)
2 T b sugar
pinch salt
1 egg, well beaten

Heat the milk in microwave for 1 minute on high.  Add sugar and salt, mixing well until dissolved.  Add egg and mix well.  (A custard purist would now strain the mixture to get weird egg lumpiness out.)  Pour into two 6-oz microwave-safe ramekins.  Microwave for (approximately) five minutes at 20% power (I have an 1,100-watt microwave).  Let sit in for a while in the microwave, then cool on the counter a while.  Refrigerate for complete creaminess.

Apple Bacon "Burger"

My son does not care for Boca Burgers, but I think that is beacuse he tries them plain with just katsup, and to me that is just not fair.  I found this hamburger recipe and knew it would be perfect with a Boca because there's just so much going on, flavor-wise.  You'll never notice it isn't ground beef.  If you want it truly vegetarian, you'll have to leave out the bacon.  I also suggest the regular ole Boca - no need for any Southwest flavored "burger" or whatever. As for apple, I love a crisp apple with a tart profile, so Granny Smith or a Jonacrisp would be my choice.

whole grain hamburger bun
1 t Dijon
thin layer of sharp cheddar
1 cooked Boca pattie
2 slices bacon
1 not-thin slice of apple
1 T mayo
heavy sprinkle of Chipotle powder (Penzey's, of course!)