Thursday, December 21, 2006

Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake

Recently, my children were introduced to the concept of "dessert for breakfast" in the form of coffee cake. While we were visiting my husband's relatives for Thanksgiving, my Mother-in-Law made us a coffee cake on the morning we left to drive home. My daughter, Hannah, was so excited, she giggled to her sister: "Its like dessert! For breakfast!!" She really thought we were getting away with something! Can you tell that she doesn't like oatmeal for breakfast? As far as she is concerned, this is a dream come true.

So, shortly after our return, the children begged me to make a coffee cake for breakfast. I had been eyeing a recipe in a recent issue of Cuisine at Home. It looked so good but so...high calorie. Oh well, I made it anyway.

Oh my it was wonderful!!! I have to say that it is too rich for every day fare, but Sean has now declared it our official Christmas Morning breakfast, thus displacing our typical Christmas breakfast of Blueberry Muffins. I think it is a good idea to only associate this particular recipe with a once-a-year tradition. That many butter, nuts and eggs on a regular basis could result in the onset of premature death!

"Cinnamon Roll" Coffee Cake

Makes one 9" cake
Total time: About 1 1/2 hours
Only about a million calories!

For the Caramel-
Stir Together:
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
Pinch of salt
1 cup chopped pecans

For The Streusel-

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/4 tablespoons salt

For The Cake-
Whisk Together:
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup lowfat vanilla yogurt (I used plain)
2 eggs
Sift Together:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees; coat a 9" cake pan with nonstick spray. [It should be a pan with rather high sides; my pan was a bit short and the caramel dripped out the sides a bit. I just used a regular 9 inch round pan.]

together brown sugar, cream, and salt for the caramel. Pour into prepared pan and spread to coat the bottom. Sprinkle pecans over the caramel.

brown sugar, flour, butter, cinnamon, and salt for the streusel in a food processor. Pulse until small clumps form; set aside

Whisk buttermilk, yogurt, and eggs together for the cake in a measuring cup with a pour spout.
Sift flour, baking powder, soda, and salt onto a paper plate.

Cream butter and sugar with a mixer just until combined. Alternately add dry and wet ingredients, starting and ending with the dry. Blend each addition just until incorporated.

Spread half the batter over the caramel, then sprinkle with half the streusel. Carefully spread remaining batter over that and top with remaining steusel. Bake 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool cake for 5 minutes on a rack, then run a paring knife around the sides to loosen. Invert onto a serving platter while hot, then let cool slightly before slicing. Due to the sticky top, an electric knife is best for cutting, but a sharp, thin bladed knife is fine too.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Low Calorie Chickpea Stew

I've just been downright lazy lately. I have things to post, but what I apparently lack at the moment is the motivation. I'm not going to promise to post more often or anything, but I just wanted all 3 of my readers out there to know that I'm alive and posting occasionally...

This was an adaptation of a recipe from a WW cookbook. I really liked it and it filled me up nicely. It has chicken in it, but I think it would be good without the chicken too.

Chickpea Stew

In a large dutch oven or sauce pan, melt and brown (but do not burn):

2 teaspoons butter

Add, saute for several minutes:
1 frozen chicken breast half (mine was huge, so I used only one, feel free to use as much as you want), thawed and cut into chunks
1 med onion, chopped
1 annehiem chili, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped big
1 turnip, peeled and chopped
1 cup diced eggplant
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon tumeric

Add, simmer until vegetables are soft, and liquid has cooked down (about 20 minutes):

1 1/4 cups chicken broth (I opened a can and used the other 1/2 cup in the Harissa sauce)
1 can diced tomatoes

Add, simmer 2 minutes more:
1 zucchini, chopped big
1 cup cooked chickpeas
2 tablespoons raisins

Serve with:

Red Pepper (Harissa) Sauce

1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 jarred roasted red peppers, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

Blend in a food processor until smooth

Friday, December 01, 2006


So, I made sushi a few weeks ago! Looks beautiful, doesn't it! There are many tutorials online about making sushi. Take a look!

I filled my sushi with cucumbers, radishes, avocado, and tofu. I didn't have any fake crabmeat on hand, but I did have some tofu. So I sliced it into strips and marinated it in some teriyaki sauce for a while. To be on the safe side, bacterially speaking, I cooked the tofu in a fry pan before using it in my sushi. Everyone loved it, so I guess it worked out fine, lol.

If you and your family love sushi, you really need to give this a try. We also bought some wasabi and pickled ginger to go with it, although I think I'll try pickling my own ginger next time.

Lastly, I also made some absolutely wonderful miso soup to go with it. Alas, I have yet to actually get a decent picture of it, so you will have to forgive me for this picture. Here it is:

Miso soup really deserves its own entry, and I'll do just that some day. Until then, read about it at Maki's blog: I Was Really Just Very Hungry.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thanksgiving Highlights

Because we don't like traveling for Christmas, we usually go to Atlanta to visit Sean's family at Thanksgiving. Being a family of foodies, they LOVE Thanksgiving and it is fun to visit during this time. Also, my youngest was born right around Thanskgiving and so far, we have celebrated all of his birthdays at his grandparent's house in Atlanta. Since I was visiting, I didn't have to do much cooking. I did make Greek Meatballs for them on Sunday for Wade's birthday, though.

The following pictures are some of the highlights from the meal and Wade's birthday.

My Father in Law prepping the cooked turkey.

An Orange Roll Tradition

It just wouldn't be Thanksgiving without them!

Orange Rolls

1 cup milk

1 yeast cake (how quaint! I would guess about 1 1/2 tsp instant yeast or 1 packet of active dry yeast)
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup flour
let rise for 2 1/2 hours

3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
let rise til double (will be sticky)

In a separate bowl, make a paste with:
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
Zest from one orange

When dough is doubled, divide in 2 parts and roll to 1/4 inch thickness. Spread each with orange paste. Roll as jelly roll. Cut into 1 inch thickness. Place in greased muffin tins. Rise til center cones. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.

Sweet Potato Casserole


Wade's Birthday

Wade's birthday is Nov. 26, always close to Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

More Eggs!

Oh the thrill of having chickens! We now have several of them laying! Every day, the children come home from school and dash to the hen house to see if there are any new eggs. We have averaging one a day, and lately now, its been 2 a day. On Sunday we got our first green egg! Many of the chickens are called Easter Egg Chickens, and they are supposed to lay eggs of various colors. They are a mix of a couple of different breeds, bred specifically for colorful eggs.

Once all of the hens (we have 17 hens) start laying, we'll have more eggs than we will know what to do with!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Baked Chili Relleno and Brazillian Black Bean Stew

These were both based on the Brazillian national dish called Feijoada. I made these over a month ago. I guess I should at least post the pictures, lol! They were pretty good, but I don't think I'll ever make them again because they both had polish sausage in them and I really have a hard time enjoying food that is so closely related to a hotdog. I'm just not able to enjoy sausage much anymore. As I eat, I picture all the mixed meat and fat going into it and I get a little grossed out, lol. So if I do anything like this again, I'm leaving out the sausages. Lesson learned!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Greek Meatballs with Lemon Couscous and Feta Yogurt Dressing

I think this is my son's favorite meal now. It has become the standard by which all other meals are now judged, as far as he is concerned. You should hear it: "Mmmm...Mom this is really good! I almost like it as much as the Greek Meatballs!"

This recipe comes to you curtesy of our subscription to Cuisine at Home. It is a great magazine, but alas, I may let the subscription go, because I'm trying to eat healthier. Sigh.

I made this with ground turkey instead of ground chuck. I used green olives instead of Kalamata olives. Not that I prefer green to kalamatas, but I can't get kalamatas around here without going to a specialty store. Yeah, we ain't too cultured 'round these here parts.

I served the meal along with a salad of diced cucumber, parsley, and green onion.

Greek Meatballs with Lemon Couscous and Feta Yogurt Dressing

Greek Meatballs
Makes 12 meatballs; total time: 1 hour

1 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup milk (whole or 2%)
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbles
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons scallions minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 lb ground chuck
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted, halved
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
6 cups tomatoes, quartered, or 2 cans whole tamatoes (28 oz each)
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine crumbs, milk, feta, parsley, scallions, salt, oregano, and egg in a mixing bowl.
Stir in the ground chuck and mix lightly but well. Shape the mixture into balls about 2" in diameter.
Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high. Add meatballs and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and keep warm.
Add olives, garlic, and pepper flakes to the pan and saute 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes and cook 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, return meatballs to the pan, and simmer 5 minutes, or until cooked through.
Serve over couscous, topped with feta dressing and garnished with cucmber and lemon zest.

Lemon Couscous
Makes 2 cups; total time: 10 minutes

3/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon salted butter
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup dry plain couscous

Bring broth, lemon juice, butter, and salt to a boil in a saucepan. Remove from heat, add couscous, stir and cover. Let stand 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

Feta Yogurt Dressing
Makes about 1/2 cup; total time: 5 minutes

1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir well. Cover and chill until ready to use.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Cheese Fondue

This is seriously one of my family's favorite all time recipes. They beg for it, they plead for it, they cheer when I make it. Even my pickiest eater loves it! I'm sure that part of it is the fun of dipping the food into the fondue. But they love the flavor too!

When I make it, I often can't find the right cheeses, so I substitute whatever looks closest. The recipe calls for 2 main cheeses: a strong swiss (Gruyére), and a bleu (Roquefort). I keep that in mind when I substitute. If I can't find Gruyére, I use Emmentaller. But if I can't find either, I don't make it. Without a strong Swiss, the fondue just wouldn't taste right.

So far, I have never used Roquefort. Last time I made it I used Danish Bleu Cheese. I have also substituted non-bleu cheeses with great success. I'll just pick a fancy cheese that seems good and use that instead.

I always make a nice chewy french bread for dipping. I have found that we also like a variety of other dippers, with carrots and apples being our favorite.

This recipe came from an old Bon Apetit magazine (from probably 15 years ago). It was in my mother-in-law's collection.

Gruyére, White Wine and Mustard Fondue

5 cups lighly packed grated Gruyére Cheese (about 13 ounces)
2 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 3/4 cups white wine (or apple juice)
2 medium garlic cloves, pressed
1/4 cup crumbled Roquefort cheese
1/4 cup Dijon mustard

Combine Gruyére cheese and flour in large bowl. Simmer wine and garlic in heavy medium saucepan or fundue pot 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add Gruyére cheese mixture to saucepan 1 handful at a time, stirring constantly until cheese melts before adding another handful. Whisk in Roquefort cheese (mixture will look grainy). Whisk in mustard. Boil until smooth and thick, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Place pot over canned heat burner to keep warm.

We always serve with: bread cubes, diced carrots, and apple slices.
The recipe recommends to serve with: bread cubes, steamed red potatoes, and grilled sausages.

Thursday, November 09, 2006



I don't make this bread too often, but it is dense, chewy, and perfect!

Its just a basic homemade french bread, allowed to rise long, cool, and slow, for a total of 3 rises. It was just flour (with some vital wheat gluten added to make it a bit chewier), yeast, salt, and water. I also spritzed it with water a few times while it was baking in the oven.

Simply the best.

A picture of the underside. It was pretty too, lol! I baked it on a pizza stone and used polenta to keep it from sticking.

This is warm, out of the oven, with a bit of melting butter on it. I've started eating healthier, so I didn't really eat much of this bread. This was my daughter's piece.

I made it to go with my next post...

Monday, November 06, 2006

Update on me

I know I haven't been updating as often as I used to. I'm still lovin' the blog thang, but there are a few things that are slowing me down.

1. In the summer when I started the blog, the sun was pouring into our dining room window between 5 and 7 pm every night. It was so easy to get good lighting for my photos. Now, its dark at 5 and it has really made it hard to take a good photo. I keep planning on making a light box to take pictures in, but of course, I haven't gotten around to it.

2. I'm fat. I'm losing weight (you know, that lifestyle change thing) and I'm cooking and eating a little differently and I'm hoping to turn this blog into a little bit of a healthy eating blog. Right now, I'm still posting recipes from a few weeks ago and they are still pretty fattening at times. Actually, I don't intend to completely cut out all the fattening goodies, but I hope to cut down on them.

3. As I previously posted, I'm spending too much time on the computer lately. Since I've never experienced the misery of being a victim of substance abuse, I figure I have to have some sort of habit that ruins my life and turns me into a zombie. I could sit here for hours, unaware of my life slowly ticking by. I can't let that happen. So I've cut down on my time on the internet. The fact is that I don't want to part with the internet (and this blog), but sometimes I feel like living in a house with internet connection is somewhat akin to a recovering alchoholic who lives in a bar. Sometimes I have my son lock up the mouse in his treasure box (I don't know the combination to his lock, lol). That way, I can't get on the computer the whole time the kids are at school! Clever, huh? Or sad...really.

Well, there you go. Not that anyone really cares, lol!

Tortilla Chicken Soup

Ok, so this picture is not so great. It actually looks a little better than the real thing, lol. It was a great recipe, nonetheless.

This one is another from my Cuisine at Home magazine.

I used canned tomatoes instead of fresh in the black bean salsa, and I added some avocado. Overall, it was good, but the tomatoes and the avocado made the texture more gooey instead of like it should have been, if that makes any sense.

Turkey (or Chicken) Tortilla Soup
Makes 8 cups; total time: 45 minutes

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups onions, chopped
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
3 corn tortillas (6"each), cut into 1 inch pieces
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies (10.5 oz.)
4 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
2 cups cooked turkey or chicken, shredded or cubed
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded (I used pepper jack)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Salt and pepper
Black Bean Salsa (recipe follows)
Sour Cream

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high; add onoins and garlic, and saute 3 minutes. Stir in tortilla pieces and saute until they are no longer crisp. Add tomatoes, broth, and spices, and bring to a boil.
Remove from heat; let cool 5 minutes, the puree soup base in batches in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return sup to pot.
Add turkey, corn, and cream. Bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes, or until beginning to theicken. Reduce heat to medium, sprinkle in cheese, and stir until melted. Add lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with salsa and sour cream.

Black Bean Salsa

Makes 3 cups; total time: 10 minutes

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (15 oz)
1 cup tomatoes, seeded, diced (I used canned since fresh is so expensive right now)
1/2 cup red onion, slivered
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
(I also added some avocado)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, tossing well to coat. Chill salsa until ready to serve.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Our First Egg!!

So we had resigned ourselves to not getting eggs until spring or something.

But lookie what Sean found yesterday! It was like Christmas; we were so excited!!

Its small, but its a real live free range chicken egg!

Check out the bright orange yolk! We fried it up and each of us got a little bite. Yummy!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Asian Carmelized Chicken

I'm not going to post the recipe for this because honestly we didn't like it that much.

Basically, you carmelize some sugar in a pan and then add chicken breast and a bunch of asian flavorings and spices. Actually, I didn't have a lot of the things it called for, so maybe if I had made it correctly, it would have tasted better, lol!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Tortilla Casserole

This is just one of those Mexican inspired casserole dishes. Nothin' fancy, but it does taste pretty good!

Tortilla Casserole

1 can cream of chicken soup
yogurt (equivalent to one can, measured with the cream of chicken soup can)
1/3 cup milk
3 green onions, chopped
1 can green chilis
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
8 oz. cheese, grated
tortilla chips

Combine the cream of chicken soup, yogurt, milk, green onions, garlic, and green chilis in a bowl. Stir to mix thoroughly.

This casserole goes together in layers. First, spray a 9X13 baking dish with cooking spray and crush enough tortilla chips to cover the bottom of the pan. Then layer the cooked chicken over that. Then layer the creamy soup mixture over that, and finally, top with a layer of grated cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 1/2 hour, until bubbly and hot.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Curried Split Pea Soup

I'm posting slowly lately. Its not for lack of things to post, though. At any given time, I have a backlog of 5-10 drafts just waiting to be finished and posted. My problem is that I've been spending too much time in cyberland. Yes, my friends, I am an internet addict. I have had to pull back and only get on the computer just a little here and there. Its hardly given me time to get my posts up! Oh well. Its all about balance, isn't it? I'm working on that balance.

This recipe is a wonderful and unique split pea soup recipe. Its from one of Lorna Sass' cookbooks (I don't remember which one, since I checked it out from the library ages ago). Anyway, she specializes in pressure cooking. Some of her cookbooks are vegan, some are not. This particular recipe is vegan (though I added a dollop non-vegan sour cream on top of mine).

I use the recipe as a guideline and vary it as I need too. For instance, it calls for butternut squash, but if I don't have any on hand, I'll use carrots instead. The picture I took has a little sumac sprinkled on top for color.

Curried Yellow Split Pea Soup

1 tablespoon oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons grated ginger
2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
1 1/2 lbs. butternut squash, crubbed, seeded, and cut into chunks
2 cups yellow split peas, rinsed
1/3 cup raisins
6 cups water, or broth
1 tablepsoon + 1 teaspoon mild curry powder
3/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
bay leaf
1 teaspoon sea salt

1. Heat oil in pressure cooker and saute the onion and ginger for 2 minutes. Stir in all remaining ingredients except salt.
2. Lock the lid into place. Over high heat, bring to high pressure. Lower the heat just ehough to maintain high pressure and cook 6 minutes. Reduce pressure with a quick-release method. Remove the lid, tilting away from you to allow excess steam to escape.
3. Add salt. Remove bay leaf, and simmer a few moments. Stir well, and thin with water if necessary.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Pumpkin Bread

This was originally a pumpkin muffin recipe. I wanted pumpkin bread instead. So instead of putting the batter into muffin pans, I put it into loaf pans.

Actually, I wanted pumpkin bread with a swirl of cream cheese filling in the center. Thinking that I was supercook, I used my creative little mind, and I sort of did my own thing. The cream cheese filling turned out ok, but not fabulous. So I'm going to reccomend that if you want a recipe for pumpkin bread with a cream cheese filling, go find one yourself, 'cause all you're gonna get here is just the pumpkin bread recipe, sans filling.

This recipe has been circulating on a certain attachment parenting forum that I frequent. Everyone was raving about it, so I had to make it too. Mmmm...pumpkin bread...

My family loves banana bread. As soon as it comes out of the oven, they have it sliced and they are slathering butter on it. I gently point out that there is already a stick of butter in the bread, so there is really no need to put any butter on the bread, but they don't pay me no never mind, and they continue to slather away. So, of course, as soon as the pumpkin bread came out of the oven, they were ready to eat it, hot and buttered. Well, my friends, let me tell you that pumpkin bread straight out of the oven is ok. Just ok. But, if you really want to enjoy pumpkin bread at its perfection, you have to let it cool completely, maybe even wait the next day, and then eat it. I don't know why this is, but there you go. It just is.

Pumpkin Bread (or muffins, if you must)

3 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup applesauce
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla

Mix together until combined

3 1/2 C flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp baking soda

sift dry ingredients, then add wet to dry

2/3 cup milk
1 3/4 cups pumpkin (canned - just a regular size can)

Add half the milk, mix, then add half the pumpkin, and mix again. Then add the rest of the milk, mix, then add the rest of the pumpkin, and mix.

Fold in:
1 cup chopped nuts

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Curried White Bean and Kale Soup

Oh, great. I made this a few weeks ago and now that I'm finally getting around to posting about it, I can't remember the recipe.

Usually when I make up a recipe for the blog, I'll make sure I draft a post and record at least what I put into it! That way, when I get around to posting it, I have a guideline for writing out the recipe, even if its been a few weeks. Apparently I didn't do that this time. All I have is a picture.

I do remember that I really liked this soup!

Curried White Bean and Kale Soup

Ok, so this is what I probably did:

I had some white beans on hand that I cooked earlier in the pressure cooker.

I sauteed some onion, garlic, and maybe celery. After the vegetables were soft and fragrant, I added some curry powder, maybe a teaspoon or so. At this point, I pureed the sauteed veggies with a can of chicken broth (or vegetable broth) and beans in the food processor. I wanted a thick soup with pureed beans and whole beans, so I only pureed about half of the beans. I returned everything to the pan. Then I added about 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin (I had made pumpkin bread earlier and I had some left over), and the rest of the beans. I probably used about 2 cups of beans.

After all this, I added a cup or so of chopped kale and simmered gently for a few minutes to soften and lightly cook the kale.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Apple Crisp

As the cool fall weather hits, we all start dreaming of those wonderful comfort foods... crisp! Its like a pie, but easier!

Sean makes me double the topping.

The recipe calls for quick oats, and I never buy quick oats. So I use old fashioned oats that have been given a quick whir in the food processor. Actually, I only whir about half of the oats, and I keep the other half old fashion-y.

Apple Crisp
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

and peel enough apples to fill an 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish about 3/4ths full.

For the topping:

1/2 cup quick oats
1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter

Combine oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and dash salt. Cut in butter till mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle crumb mixture over all. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes. Serve with ice cream. Serves 6.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Roasted Garlic Alfredo Sauce

Mmmm...this tastes a lot like Olive Garden's Alfredo Sauce. It is very tasty!

I made it again today and I forgot to add the butter. It tasted just as good, so if you want to cut out some of the fat, then leave out the butter.

If you don't have any roasted garlic, then just mince up a few cloves and add it instead.

The side dish is a mixture of vegetables (onion, zucchini, yellow peppers, broccoli, and mushrooms) sauteed in olive oil and a splash of balsalmic vinegar.

Roasted Garlic Alfredo Sauce

1 bulb of Roasted Garlic
2 cups milk (or 1 1/2 cups milk and 1/2 cup cream)
1/3 of an 8oz pkg of cream cheese
3 tablespoons butter (optional)
1/2 to 3/4 cups grated parmesan (I just used the cheap-o kind)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried mustard powder (optional)
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch (you decide how thick you want it)

In a small saucepan, combine the cream cheese, 1 1/2 cups milk and butter together, stirring frequently until smooth and heated through.

In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, dry mustard, and reserved 1/2 cup milk. Stir slowly into the sauce and heat until thickened. Remove from heat.

Mash as much roasted garlic as you want and stir it into the sauce. Stir in the parmesan.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

I used a thickener because I used milk. If I had used all cream (holy calories, batman!), I don't think I would have needed to thicken the sauce.

Serve hot, over noodles, and garnish with chopped parsley.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Teriyaki Beans and Rice

I was all "eh, what am I making for I really have to cook???" Apparently the family expected it or something.

This is what I came up with, and it was actually quite good! I should have made more.

Teriyaki Beans and Rice

This was a throw together meal, and I didn't measure. So keep in mind that all measurements are approximate and can be adjusted as you please.

1/2 lb mushrooms, chopped
stalk broccoli, chopped
1 1/2 cups navy beans (probably equivalent to 1 can)
2 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
1/4 cup Soy Vay Teriyaki Sauce
tablespoon rice vinegar
2 stalks green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

Saute the mushrooms and broccoli in the teriyaki sauce. Add the garlic and ginger. Saute for a few minutes more. Add beans, rice vinegar, green onions and cilantro and cook until heated through.

Serve with rice.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Ok, I'll have to admit that I was very nervous about trying falafel again. I had made it before, and never met with any success. It always just fell apart when fried. It was a complete failure!

So, I decided to give it a try again, this time with the help of internet research (yeah, the last time I tried was probably 10 years ago, pre-internet).

So, prepared with what seemed to be an authentic recipe, I gave it a try, and was I ever happy!! It was a beautiful sight to behold!

See for yourself!

Ain't she purty?

So, I used a recipe from a Syrian website. When I had tried to make falafel before, I used cooked chickpeas and mashed them, adding spices and such. Well, this is a recipe for disaster. The cooked chickpea mass just falls apart when it touches the hot oil. For a perfect falafel mixture, the key is to only soak the chickpeas. No need for cooked ones in this recipe! A food processor is really essential for this recipe. The website says you can also use a meat grinder. I don't think a blender would be able to do the job very well, though.
For the Falafel Mix:
*500 mL (2 cups) dried chick peas (absolutely not canned)
*1 medium onion quartered
*2-3 cloves garlic
*2-3 slices stale bread
*50 mL (1/4 cup) parsley (I also added the same amount of cilantro)
*110 mL (2 tsp) salt
*3 mL (3/4 tsp) black pepper
*10 mL (2 tsp) cumin
*10 mL (2 tsp) oregano
*10 mL (2 tsp) ground coriander
*5 mL (1 tsp) red hot pepper flakes
*20 mL (4 tsp) flour (I used whole wheat)
*10 mL (2 tsp) baking powder
*50 mL (1/4 cup) water


Pick out foreign matter from between the peas. Place in a large bowl, cover generously with water and soak overnight.
Drain peas. Add onion, garlic, bread, parsley, and red sweet pepper. Run through the fine blade of a meat grinder. (You may process in food processor until mealy.) Add spices, flour, 10 mL (2 tsp) baking powder and water. Mix well. It should look like this:

For Forming the Balls:
*5 mL (1 tsp) baking powder
*125 mL (1/2 cup) water
*vegetable oil for deep frying
In a small dish mix the remaining baking powder and water. Use it to moisten the palm of your hands and form balls of the chick peas mixture the size of walnuts, then flatten a bit. It should look like this:

Deep fry in oil at medium high heat until golden brown. Serve piping hot.
Arrange in halved loaves of pita (Arabic bread), topped with salad vegetables and tahina sauce. Some people love it topped with sauerkraut, wedges of tomato and tahina sauce. Hot pepper may also be sprinkled on top.
I made a sauce to accompany the falafel. I chose to do a yogurt based cucumber-tahini sauce. You can also eat it with plain tahini, or hummus. We sprinkled a little Sumac on it also.

Falafel Sauce

1 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons tahini
1/4 cup grated cucumber
1 clove minced garlic
juice of one lemon
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 chopped cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
If you like it richer, more like a whole milk yogurt, add a little cream, or substitute sour cream for all or part of the yogurt.

Mix all ingredients and allow to sit for an hour for flavors to blend.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Oven Crisped Tofu

I didn't grow up eating tofu. Nope. So I'm having to learn the art of eating tofu as I go. It doesn't help that Sean isn't very, well, appreciative of my tofu efforts. So far, I mostly just make it for lunches for myself and leave him out of the equation.

This is a recipe from the Passionate Vegetarian.

I had to return the book to the library, and I didn't write down the recipe. Lets see if I can remember:

Oven Crisped Tofu

Minced garlic
fresh ground pepper

I'm not sure of the quantities. If I check out the book again, I'll update this post.

Anyway, mix all the ingredients and add the tofu and marinate it for at least one hour. Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick spray. Line the slices of tofu on the sheet and bake for 10 minutes, then flip over and bake 10 minutes more. I think it was baked at 500 degrees.

I'm really going to have to update this recipe, aren't I?

I served it on some stir fry vegetables with Soy Vay Teriyaki Sauce.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Spiced Pork Chops

The apples and squash are a nice accompaniment to pork chops. The major flaw in this recipe is that they were all baked together.

Dh took one look at it and said "um, you know I like my pork grilled, right?"

This wasn't so bad, but for it to be perfect, I'd have to grill the pork, and then make a side dish of apples and squash.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Meatloaf and Hashbrown Pie

This was just plain gross!

As I was making it I knew it was all wrong. For some reason, I made myself follow the recipe, even though I was just aching to "fix" it. The meatloaf portion had way too much bread crumbs and not enough liquid for moistening. Ew.

Want the recipe? I'll sell it to you for a dollar.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post. Its gross too.