Saturday, December 12, 2009

Adventures in Leftover Land: Mashed Potatoes

MO's contribution to our Thanksgiving meal this year was 20 lbs of mashed potatoes! No, that is not a typo - he did, in fact, make 20 lbs of potatoes. Needless to say, there were lots and lots of leftovers...and our weekend was full of mashed potato jokes and creative leftovers: Sparky and CK made us Mashed Potato Cakes with Poached Eggs and Smoked Salmon, then I made Potato Croquettes with Mozarella (delicious but definitely a once-in-a-while kind of treat). Then we got tired of mashed potatoes so I froze the rest. It will be fun to see what the rest of them become. I'm thinking...soup, pierogies, gnocchi...anyone have any other ideas?

Potato Croquettes
(made with leftover Mashed Potatoes)

cold leftover mashed potatoes
cubed mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup panko breadcrumbs, seasoned with S&P

Use a tablespoon to scoop out rounds of mashed potatoes. Press each around a small piece of mozzarella cheese. Place on a cookie sheet and repeat until all potatoes are used (or until you have enough). Place in refrigerator or freezer until firm. Prepare fryer or pan. Dip each ball in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs. Fry until golden brown and serve with dipping sauces (marinara, aoli, ranch dressing are some ideas).

Mashed Potato Cakes with Poached Eggs and Smoked Salmon:

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Thank goodness for Thanksgiving

I haven't been posting a lot lately, but I sure have been cooking a lot. MO and I hosted our first Thanksgiving (with lots of help from LoPo). We had a fun and delicious celebration with family and friends complete with a late-night bonfire and stargazing. Any day centered around cooking, eating and drinking together with loved ones is my kind of day. Everything was delicious, but my personal favorite parts of the meal were Cousin S's homemade creamed spinach (made with fresh spinach and mushrooms!) and LoPo's cranberry chutney (and of course, the desserts)!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Fish is easy

We just finished this fabulous home-cooked meal that was better than I've had in some really nice restaurants. Halibut is not cheap, but it is my favorite fish and well worth a splurge once in a while for a nice dinner. We had our halibut and greens from the garden with some amazing roasted potatoes that MO made following the lengthy but accurate method outlined in the latest Cooks Illustrated.

Seared fish is delicious, healthy and quick (fish itself takes less than 10 minutes from fridge to plate) and this dish is a great reminder that I should make fish more often.

Pan-Seared Halibut with Sauteed Greens

Serves 2

2 halibut fillets, 6-8 ounces each (with or without skin)
olive oil

1 bunch greens (spinach, chard, beet greens or whatever you have), cut and torn into 1-inch strips
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes

First prepare greens. Saute garlic and tomatoes in olive oil until tomatoes begin to burst. Add greens and cook for 4-5 minutes. Season with S&P, cover and remove from heat.

Pat halibut fillets dry with paper towel. Season liberally with S&P on both sides. Heat oil in large sautee pan (be sure to use enough to coat bottom of pan). When oil ripples put filets in pan, skin side down. Cook for approximately 4 minutes (tip: don't move fish around in pan until well seared). Turn fish over and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, until golden brown and flaky. (I know this sounds like a short time, but it's really easy to overcook fish and halibut is so delicious and delicate when cooked perfectly, so don't overcook it).

Put half of spinach tomato mixture on each plate, and top with halibut filet. Serve with a wedge of lemon.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cupcakes are fabulous

Cupcakes are festive, cute, and the perfect amount of cake. And they just dissappear. LoPo and I made over 70 cupcakes last weekend for a joint birthday celebration Sparky and I had on Saturday.

I have to admit that there was nothing even close to organic, local, or healthy about this adventure (we used boxed cake mix and store-bought frosting), but everyone loved them and they were so pretty I had to share. Happy Birthday, Sparky!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tomatoes (yes, again)

I know, I're probably tired of hearing about our garden tomatoes. But they're not gonna last too much longer, so here's another post on the tomato theme.

We finally got to the theater to see Julie and Julia. It's a movie all about food, blogging and Julia Child, so it's right up my alley. There were many gorgeous dishes in the movie, but there was one that I was still thinking about after leaving the theater. It was a simple bruschetta that the character Julie made but made with - you guessed it - fresh garden tomatoes and a little butter. I tossed together fresh chopped tomatoes, garden basil, a little garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper and loaded it onto thick slices of french bread that had been toasted in pan with a little melted butter. I think this is my new favorite tomato preparation. Seriously, I could eat this every day.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Cherry Tomatoes Galore!

Normally I eat all of the cherry tomatoes in our garden before they have a chance to be brought inside. This year, however, we have so many I am being forced to get creative. The odd thing is, this year, all our cherry tomatoes are an orange variety. MO insisted he bought 5 different kinds of plants, but apparently they are all the same sweet orange variety. There is one that is different - a juliet tomato plant - but that one is orange, too!

So, here are some of the ways I've used our abundance of orange cherry tomatoes:
- cherry tomato, green bean, and potato salad with basil vinaigrette (from Annie Sommerville's Fields of Greens cookbook)
- chunky cherry tomato salsa with garden green onions and cilantro
- simple cucumber and cherry tomato salad with dill and red wine vinegar
- quick cherry tomato sauce

This last one deserves a special mention because it was so delicious and beautiful. MO was the original creator of this one, but I've made it again since. It's great on pasta with some fresh Parmesan cheese and basil, or on pizza like we made:.Quick Cherry Tomato Sauce
for pizza, pasta, or whatever!

1-2 tsp. olive oil
2 pints cherry tomatoes (it's fine to leave them whole)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup water
S&P to taste
fresh herbs (basil, parsley, oregano)

Heat oil in pan, then add cherry tomatoes and garlic. Add water and bring to a simmer. Simmer over low-medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until tomatoes are soft and broken up. Add S&P and fresh chopped herbs and remove from heat.

Catching Up and Apple Pie

Ok, so I have a little catching up to do. Or a lot of catching up to do. So, here goes...

My last post was about apples and although the yummy Gravenstein apples are long gone now, I do have to catch you up on the piece de resistance of Apple Week: Apple Pie. I used the recipe from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook (my go-to for tried and true baking recipes).

The verdict: This pie took a very long time to make from making and chilling the dough to baking it. The crust could've been a little more golden brown on the bottom and I prefer my apples a little firmer, but all in all this pie was delicious and we happily shared it with the Cousin Crew at a lovely dinner (thanks, Cousin S for the delicious dinner! Maybe if we're lucky, she'll share her recipe for delicious Curried Egg Salad...

Monday, August 17, 2009

An Apple Recipe a Day...

This past weekend, MO and I checked out the Gravenstein Apple Fair in Sebastopol. It is my kind of festival - old farmers showing off their tractors meet church ladies selling apple pies meet young hippie homesteaders talking about growing organic veggies. It's actually a really well-done event with music, craft vendors, exhibits, chef demos, and of course lots of apples!

The Gravenstein apple apparently grows in only 3 places in the world and the little town of Sebastopol in Sonoma County is one of them. Gravensteins have a really nice sweet tart flavor, but don't keep well so you can't find them in many commercial markets. We couldn't leave the Fair without buying some apples - in fact we bought 8 pounds - so I'll be experimenting with some different ways to use them this week.

I wanted to use some of the apples in a non-dessert dish (don't worry - there will defninitely be a apple pie sometime this week) and I've made a cabbage and apple saute before, so here's what I made tonight. It is a beautiful simple dish (although it cooks for a long time) that would be great with any kind of meat or sausage I am sure. I served it with a German specialty I've been wanting to try my hand at for a long time: Spätzle. (I'll give you the play-by-play on that adventure another time!)

Braised Red Cabbage with Onions and Gravenstein Apples

1 Tbs. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium to large onion, chopped
1 medium head red cabbage, chopped into 1 to 1 1/2 inch pieces
3 Gravenstein apples, peeled, cored, and chopped into small pieces (any tart apple would work fine)
2 tsp salt
2 bay leaves
dash each of ground cloves, ginger
3 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup apple cider, apple juice or red wine

Heat oil in a large pot or saucepan. Saute garlic and onion until soft. Add reamining ingredients, stir and simmer over low-medium heat, covered, for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour. The longer you let it cook, the softer and tastier it will be.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Is there anything better than a homegrown tomato?

The beautiful juicy yellow tomato in the photo was lovingly grown in our garden by MO. The cool-looking heirloom was from the farmers market. The one from the farmers market was very pretty (detail in photo below) , but I have to admit ours was much tastier! I made this gorgeous salad last night by simply layering tomato slices with a little bit of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh garden basil and s&p. Scrumptious!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Garden Eggplant

Last night I harvested our first-ever garden eggplant! I wasn't sure what to do with it, so I threw together a summery pasta sauce. I like saucy pasta dishes and this is a thick, chunky delicious sauce that is simple to make, full of healthy vegetables, and would be great on any kind of pasta.
Spicy Summer Pasta Sauce
Enough for a very saucy 1 lb. of pasta.

1 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium eggplant
1 bell pepper
1 medium onion
1 small zucchini or summer squash
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small can stewed tomatoes or tomato sauce
1/4 cup water
splash (or glug) red wine
dried red pepper flakes (to taste)
1/4 cup chopped herbs (I used Italian parsley and basil from the garden)
s&p to taste
parmesan cheese

Chop vegetables into small chunks (whatever size you prefer).
Heat oil in large saucepan and add eggplant. Saute and stir eggplant over medium-high heat until browned and soft. Add pepper, onion, zucchini and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes more.
Add tomatoes/sauce, water, wine and red pepper flakes and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
When ready to serve, season with s&p and stir in herbs.
Toss sauce with pasta and parmesan cheese and serve.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I was in Panama!

Well, I have to apologize for being MIA, but I have a good excuse - I was in Panama! Sister and I went on a whirlwind adventure which included (in no particular order): exploring Panama City, snorkeling in a thunderstorm, eating coconuts on the beach, 2 earthquakes, sunbathing, and lots of good old sisterly bonding time.
I must say I wasn't impressed by the culinary offerings in Panama, especially for non meat-eaters like me and Sister. I will say that we enjoyed some fabulous fresh fruit (mangoes, pineapple, coconut), awesome habanero hot sauces, and best of all we were introduced to the amazing raspado.

Raspados (shaved ice) sellers abound throughout Panama City, especially in Casco Viejo, the old city. Ice is hand-shaved and topped with fruit syrup and either malted milk powder or sweetened condensed milk. The passion fruit version Sister and I enjoyed on a hot sticky day was heavenly (as evidenced by the photo below).

Friday, June 19, 2009

Summer Salad #1

In my attempts to eat a little healthier and with summer finally hitting Northern California, I've been making a lot of salads. This one was a definite winner - easy, delicious and quite beautiful (plus, there's alliteration!).

Southwest Shrimp Salad with Cilantro-Lime Dressing
This salad barely needs a recipe, but here goes...

For the shrimp: Fresh or frozen would both work fine. Peel thawed shrimp and pat dry with towel. Season (I used Adobo, but simple S&P would work) and saute them with some chopped garlic for 2-3 minutes on each side. Set shrimp aside while you prepare salad ingredients.

For the salad: Basically you put together a green salad (I used romaine and butter lettuce from the garden) and top it with whatever veggies and "southwest" ingredients you have on hand. I used red peppers, avocado, red onions, carrots, cucumbers, black beans (canned), corn (frozen this time), cilantro, etc. Things I might add next time: jicama, cherry tomatoes, roasted corn, scallions...

For the dressing: In a small blender or food processor (this is where my Magic Bullet comes in handy!), combine juice of one lime, handful cilantro leaves, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. cumin. Add 2-4 Tbs. vegetable oil to taste.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Pizza, pizza and more pizza!

Well, I've started a "eating better" regiment (aka diet) to prepare for the upcoming Sisters Adventure where I'll be spending a week on the beach in Panama (exciting, huh?!?!), so stay tuned for some healthier recipes for the next few weeks. However, I have to report on the fabulous pizza party we had a few weekends ago with the crew on S. Lane. MO made a triple batch of FatBoy's pizza dough recipe and we made more pizzas than we could eat...
tomato, basil and mozzarella
sliced potato, mozarella, red onion and rosemary
spinach, artichoke hearts and feta
leftover shrimp, spinach, mozzarella

Friday, June 5, 2009

DIY Noodles

Last weekend MO and I made our (now) annual trip to the Maker Faire. The event is an amazing one-of-a-kind gathering of "DIY Makers, Progressive Techies, Old-Fashioned and Indie Crafters, Mad Scientists, Quirky Musicians and Myriad Innovators" (according to their website).

I could talk about Maker Faire for hours, but basically we love it because it's a great combination of computers/ electronics/ circuit-stuff (MO's world), handmade and recycled arts and crafts/sewing (my world), and local music/homegrown local food/all of the Bay Area's "colorful" people...

And yes, there is a food connection here: I was so excited to stumble upon this demonstration of traditional Chinese handmade noodle-making (see photos below). I'd seen it on TV before, but I was thrilled to see (in person) someone tossing and slapping dough into noodles - it's like magic! Unfortunately, we couldn't sample them, but I am sure they would've been delicious.

Monday, May 25, 2009

BBQ Time

To start off BBQ season, we had some friends and family over Sunday for a gathering and enjoyed many simple and delicious dishes, including simple chicken and veggie skewers, a lovely fruit salad that the East Bay crew brought, and what I think might become my new summer dessert obsession - Ice Cream Sandwiches. I made these ones with cocoa cookies (homemade) and mint chocolate chip ice cream (store-bought). They look pretty darn good, don't they? Maybe I'll try making my own ice cream next time...Recipe to come.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Thai Night

Pineapples were on sale 2-for-1 at Whole Foods last week and I couldn't resist their sweet tropical smell. Then I got home and I had 2 pineapples. The first one was easy to get rid of - I made a lovely fruit salad with mangoes and garden strawberries. With the second one I decided to get a little creative. I found an easy enough sounding recipe online and attempted my first Thai Pineapple Fried Rice. Cousin C came home and offered to make Tom Yum soup from scratch (I was impressed!) and before we knew it we had a Thai dinner fit for a king.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Oooohhh Oysters

Maybe it was the gorgeous weather or the laid-back beach vibe or the great company, but the oysters I enjoyed at Coast Café in Bolinas on Sunday were some of the best I’ve ever had. The Coast Café has a wide variety of yummy food, but on this visit we simply enjoyed oysters on their patio. They get their oysters from Drake’s Bay (they source a lot of local and organic food) and on weekends they bbq them on a large grill in front of the restaurant. I know some of you will insist that the only way to eat oysters is raw, but these warm jewels, with their delicious tangy and tomato-y sauce, were fabulous. (Sorry no photo – I left the camera at home on this adventure).

Friday, May 15, 2009

What's in the Garden this Week??? Peas!!!

This is a MO creation, inspired by the most recent issue of Vegetarian Times. It was delicious, but like most of his creations this one came out a little on the spicy side. However, if you used just a pinch of red pepper flakes this would be an absolutely amazing spring side dish. Quickly stir-frying sugar snap peas really brings out the sweetness, but you still get the fresh crsip texture. This is really easy and more of a technique than a recipe:

Quick Stir Fried Spring Peas
Wash and stem peas. Toss with a little olive oil, juice of one lemon, and a pinch each of salt and dried red pepper flakes. Heat wok or frying pan until hot. Quickly stir fry peas until bright green (they will still be crisp - not browned). Remove from heat, toss with lemon zest and serve.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


For as long as I can remember, I've loved everything about strawberries - their taste, their smell, their color. The first book I could read front to back was a tale of Strawberry Shortcake and her sidekicks Apricot and Hopsalot. To this day I can't think of a better dessert than flaky biscuits with fresh strawberries and real whipped cream.

As usual when I went to the farmers market last week I bought too many strawberries (they were such a good deal!), so I had to come up with some other uses. Here's what I came up with.

Buttermilk Pancakes with Fresh Strawberries:

Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler:

Friday, May 1, 2009

I Grew My Own!

I'm thrilled to be expanding my blogosphere by partcipating in "Grow Your Own Roundup #27", which features dishes using home-grown (or foraged) ingredients. It's great to see so many recipes featuring local food - from all over the world!

Check out my recipe for Farro Salad with Green Spring Vegetables highlighted on House of Annie, the host for the Roundup this month. Thanks for the invite, Nate and Annie!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Nothin' Beats Home-baked Bread

I am a baker's daughter, but apparently MO is the baker in our house. Last weekend I came home from a long day working and to my surprise MO had baked a big beautiful loaf of bread! He used the Olive Oil Bread recipe from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook and the result was a flavorful, rich, moist bread that we've been enjoying all week. Actually, I finally had to freeze some because the loaf was so big. I think when we (he) make it again maybe we'll try making little rolls - this recipe would make killer dinner rolls. So, the bread was delicious and I may have to share the kitchen more often!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Asparagus and Peas: Take Two

Since I had a few leftover asparagus spears and a handful of peas from the garden, I tossed them with some homemade gnocchi Matt and I made a few weeks ago, along with some green garlic pesto I made (recipe below).

The pesto was very yummy, but VERY garlicky - I might try blanching the garlic greens next time). This recipe is approximately what I did.

Green Garlic Pesto
4-6 stalks of green garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbs. warm water
1/4 cup graetd shredded parmesan cheese
s & p

Finely chop green garlic (green parts only), rinand rinse and pat dry. In a blender or food processor, pulse pine nuts to chop. Add green garlic and process, until bright green and smooth. With blending, drizzle in olive oil and warm water until desired consistency is reached. Pulse in reserved pine nuts and cheese. Taste and season with salt amd pepper.

Asparagus and Peas: Take One

Asparagus and peas are two of the best offerings Springtime has. We had some peas (and baby spinach) in the garden and I picked up some gorgeous asparagus at the Farmers Market and combined them with farro, my new favorite grain. Simple, delcious, and so springy...

Farro Salad with Green Spring Vegetables

1 cup farro (my new ingredient of the week)
1 cup asparagus spears, cut into 1-inch lengths
1 cup fresh peas (frozen would work, too)
large handful fresh baby spinach
1 bunch scallions, chopped
juice of one lemon
zest of half of the lemon
2 Tablespoons olive oil
s & p

Prepare farro following package instructions. 2 minutes before cooking time ends, add asparagus, peas and baby spinach. Drain all and rinse with cold water. Add remaining ingredients, stir and season with salt and pepper. Chill in refrigerator and serve at room tempature or cold. Great accompaniment to any springtime meal!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Coconut Macaroons

Since we moved to California, we've been celebrating Passover with our "West Coast family". The first time we were invited, I looked all over to find a dessert recipe that would be appropriate for Passover - no flour, no leavening - and I didn't find a lot of options. So, I called Fat Boy to ask for his Coconut Macaroon recipe. The macaroons are delicious and coconut-y and I drizzled some bittersweet chocolate on top for some extra decadence (actually, macaroons are not so bad for you compared to other desserts). Now, my macaroons are a Seder table staple and the plate is cleaned every year.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Give me (balti)MORE crab cakes!

MO and I were recently in Baltimore visiting friends and had some amazing crab cakes. We sampled crab cakes at three different restaurants and they were all much much better than anything we can get here in California. Strange but true. Well, I guess it's nice to know that there are still regional specialties that haven't been McDonald-ized. The Chesapeake-style broiled crab cakes full of big chunks of crab meat (no breadcrumbs!) are one of my favorite foods. I guess I will just have to wait until our next trip back East. Or make some myself...(stay tuned)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Magazine Clippings: Curried Rice with Shrimp

This is one of the many many recipes I had torn out of magazines over the past 6 months, but this one I actually made...and loved! It's easy and quick, but beautiful and is a perfect one-pot meal. It has a mild warm curry flavor - not overwhelming - and a beautiful color.

I pretty much followed the recipe exactly except I added about a half a cup of frozen peas (I love peas and rice!) at the end of the rice simmering, before I added the shrimp. Also, I never have basil on hand this time of year, so I have used both parsley and cilantro in its place (both were great). I'm looking forward to experimenting with some different vegetables.

I originally found the recipe in the magazine Real Simple and you can find the recipe on their website.

Friday, March 13, 2009

A new obsession

I love condiments. Our fridge door alone is home to at least 50 different sauces, spreads, toppings, and dressings. I have written before about my love for "Rooster Sauce" on my Saucy Sauces post, but I think I have a new favorite: "Goya Adobo All Purpose Seasoning With Pepper". I guess it's not exactly a condiment, but it definitely can be used to season food - both during and after cooking. This particular variety of the Goya staple is made from Salt, Tricalcium Phosphate (whatever that is - eek!), Granulated Garlic, Black Pepper, Oregano, and Turmeric. I have been finding new uses for Adobo everyday...and not just in Latin foods. In the last couple of weeks I have used Adobo:
to season sauteed spinach

to season homemade marinara sauce
in black beans
on pizza
on popcorn (yum!)

Since salt is the main ingredient in Adobo seasoning, you should probably sprinkle with care, but I definitely reccomend trying it out.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I just had to try...

This dessert (yes, dessert!) was called "Chips & Dip" and I had it at a little restaurant I visited with Dani the other day when she was in San Francisco for business. I've been seeing weird desserts on the Food Network made with avocado, so I figured I had to try it when we were offered this avocado ice cream, strawberry salsa, and fortune cookie crisps. It was one of those dishes we had to keep tasting because we weren't sure if we liked it or hated it...but now I can say I tried an avocado dessert.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Dad would be proud

Well, I promised my co-workers I would bring a breakfast treat for a meeting we had this week, so I took the opportunity to try something in a new cookbook, "A New Way to Cook" by Sally Schneider (I really like Schneider's food philosophy, but wasn't all that inspired by the book as a whole).

Anyway, I made Coriander and Orange Scented Scones (p. 375). I had never made scones before (although I am the daughter of a baker: , I frequently fail when it comes to baking things myself), but the recipe seemed pretty simple.

I followed the recipe pretty closely (although I omitted the coriander), but adapted the shaping and baking processes a little. After kneading the dough, I shaped it into a rough rectangle and cut it into 16 triangles (instead of the rounds Schneider suggests) because I wanted "mini" scones. I then placed them on a cookie sheet and put the whole thing in the freezer overnight. Then, I baked them (for about 20-25 minutes at 375 F) in the morning while I was getting ready for work. The freshly baked orange-scented currant-flecked nibbles were a huge hit at work! I can't wait to try some other varieties with this basic recipe - maybe ginger & lemon, cranberry & orange, chocolate chip & almond...any other ideas?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Winter Garden Bounty

Well, actually this is the way it works: MO gardens, I cook, we both eat.

This is a beautiful salad we had over the weekend - with butter lettuce, red oak lettuce, yellow & orange baby carrots, sugar snap peas, and green onions...all from the garden! It's easy to forget that it's February when we have salads like this.

Monday, February 9, 2009


I can't really remember if I ever made quiche before last week, but now that I know how easy it is - I'm sure I'll be making it again very soon. Also, you can serve it at any temperature and for any meal.

Basically, quiche is made up of crust, cheese, filling, and custard. The great thing about making quiche is that you can use whatever kind of cheese, whatever kind of filling you have (a great way to use leftover cooked vegetables) and you can use a store bought crust or homemade (I'll share my new favorite whole wheat-flecked crust recipe soon).

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. (For a crisper crust you can pre-bake the crust for 10-15 minutes while you are preparing the filling)
2. Sprinkle some shredded cheese in the bottom of the crust (I used about one handful)
3. Add filling (I sauteed leeks and mushrooms from the farmers market, then added some fresh baby spinach)
4. Beat together 3 - 4 eggs and 1 - 1 1/4 cups milk and pour over filling (depending on what size your pan is, you may need more or less liquid).
5. Bake 35-40 minutes or until just set.

My leek, mushroom and spinach combo was great, but feel free to use whatever you have on hand. Here are some ideas:

swiss cheese + onions + bacon, cooked and crumbled (this is the classic Quiche Lorraine)
feta cheese + sauteed spinach & garlic
pepper jack + leftover fajita veggies
cheddar + asparagus
mozzarella + sliced tomatoes + sausage, cooked and crumbled
jack cheese + sauteed mushrooms

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Glazed Brussels Sprouts and Carrots

I found this recipe in a Gourmet magazine last year and I make it often during the fall and winter (including Thanksgiving at LoPo and KK's this past year - see photo). I can get brussels sprouts, carrots and shallots all winter at our farmers market and this is an easy and delicious way to get them eaten up! The recipe is good as is, but I usually use a little more cider vinegar (about 2 Tablespoons). You can find the recipe here:

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Pickled Red Onions

Here's another recipe review for the CHOW's Cookbook of the Month, this time for "Red Onion Pickles" from Judy Rodgers' The Zuni Cafe Cookbook (pg. 270).

I love all things pickled and these beautiful bright pink onions might quickly become a new favorite. The recipe is a little time consuming (with three repetitions of a simmering and cooling process), but it ended up being easier than I expected...and very delicious! I just made them today, so I have only sampled them on their own. I can only imagine, however, all of the fabulous uses for these gorgeous little rings - sandwhiches, salads, burgers...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Vegetable Potstickers

This was probably the fourth or fifth time MO and I have made homemade potstickers, but evertime we do I am amazed by how delicious they are. We use pre-packed wonton wrappers, so they're simple to make, too. I highly reccomend trying this recipe and adapting it according to your taste and what you have in your fridge...

1 Tbs. oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs. fresh ginger, minced (I've also used chopped sushi ginger in a pinch!)
1/2 head cabbage, shredded (Chinese is nice, but any kind will work. You can also use 2 cups any hearty green, shredded)
2 large carrots, grated
1/2 lb mushrooms, chopped
2 Tbs. soy sauce
2 Tbs. rice vinegar
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 Tbs. Sriracha chili-garlic paste
4-5 scallions, chopped (white and green parts - set aside a few slices for the dipping sauce)
1/2 lb. firm tofu, diced (1/4 inch cubes work well)
1 package dumpling wrappers (like these)

Heat oil in a large frying pan or wok over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, ginger, cabbage, carrots, and mushrooms. Saute, stirring occassionally, for 10 minutes or until wegetables are wilted and tender, but not mushy. Add soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, Sriracha chili-garlic paste, and scallions. Stir well and heat through. Add diced tofu and stir just until combined (be carfeul not to break up tofu).
Remove pan from heat and let mixture cool in colander over sink or bowl to drain excess liquid. While vegetable mixture is cooling grease a large baking sheet and cover with a damp towel for your assembly area.

Take a wrapper from package and place a spoonful (I just use a silverware spoon) of filling in the center. Gently wet the edge of the wrapper with water (fingers work best for this). Fold wrapper over filling and press with to remove air. To seal potstickers, I use a fork and press gently around the edges (I haven't mastered the fancy crimping method yet, but I plan to try it next time). Place potstickers under damp cloth so that they don't dry out. It takes some time to fill and wrap all of the dumplings, so try to get some help (MO is really good at this).

After you've wrapped all of your dumplings, cover the bottom of a flat frying pan with a little oil. Heat over high heat and add dumplings, flat side down. When they have browned on one side, flip them and add 1/4 cup water to the pan. Turn down the heat and cover. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until water has evaporated and browned sides are crispy again. Serve hot or at room temparature as an appetizer or alongside miso soup and fried green beans for a delicious light meal. Mix a little soy sauce, rice vinegar and scallions for a dipping sauce and you're ready to go!

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Twelve Meals of Christmas

Since I was too busy celebrating (read: "eating and drinking") over the holidays to keep the blog up-to-date, I'm a little behind. We had so many fabulous meals over the holidays, but here some memorable edibles:

Kennedy's Irish Pub and Curry House
I've blogged about this place before, but we had to bring the fam.

Homemade English Muffins (a la Fat Boy)
Nothing beats a homemade English Muffin - believe me. Process is a little complicated - helps to have a baker for a father.

Tuesday night at Portelli
We were pleasantly surprised by this Italian spot in Novato. (the Tuesday night special of 1/2 price wine helped!)

Dungeness Crab
We introduced the fam to the delicious West Coast specialty.

and my favorite eating experience of the holidays...

Locally-grown Christmas Dinner
Homemade linguini with summer garden sauce, smashed carrots and parsnips, mixed baby greens salad, and broccoli with meyer lemon. ALL vegetables grown by MO. Pretty impressive, huh? And it was delicious.