Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

A few recipes to remember

January 6, 2016

I’ll try to properly post something at some point, but saving these so I don’t forget them..

Gingerbread cake: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2015/12/gingerbread-layer-cake/
So so much messier than she made it, but so so tasty. And I had leftover candied cranberries, so made these for New Years:

Cranberry Moscow Mule: http://girlinthelittleredkitchen.com/2014/12/cranberry-moscow-mule/

 

Antipasto Mushrooms: http://www.food.com/recipe/antipasto-mushrooms-275693
Simple, tasty, easy. A keeper!

 

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Traditional Lasagna

July 22, 2015

A recipe from my dad – – he made this at our family Chrismas last year, and we immediately asked for the recipe. It freezes well, so we’ve made it in double or triple batches. Need to get a photo next time we make it, but wanted to put it up here so we don’t have to search through emails every time we want to make it!

Traditional Lasagna:
Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 3/4 lb Bulk Pork Sausage
  • 24 oz tomato sauce
  • 12 oz Tomato Paste
  • 2 pieces Cloves Garlic (Minced)
  • 2 tsp white sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 3 Eggs
  • 3 Tbsp Minced parsley
  • 24 oz Small curd cottage cheese
  • 8 oz Ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 9 pieces Lasagna noodles cooked and drained (or buy the ready-to-bake kind, like we always do)
  • 6 pieces Slices provolone cheese
  • 3 Cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions

  1. In large skillet, cook beef and sausage over medium heat until no longer pink: drain.
  2. add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, garlic, sugar, seasonings, salt-and-pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for one hour stirring occasionally.
  3. In large bowl combine the eggs and the parsley. Stir in the cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, and Parmesan cheese
  4. Spread 1 cup meat sauce in ungreased 13″ x 9″ baking dish. Layer with three noodles, provolone cheese, 2 cups cottage, 1 cup mozzarella, three noodles, 2 cups meat sauce, remaining cheese mixture and one cup mozzarella. Top with the remaining noodles meat sauce and mozzarella.
  5. Cover and bake at 375° for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 20 minutes longer or until heated through. Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting.

Pad Kee Mao

January 14, 2015

I had my suspicions when Mark Bittman claimed this would “give Pad Thai a serious run for the money,” but I’m sold. This is super delicious, super quick and easy, and satisfied even our somewhat picky almost-4-year-old. We did omit the chilies to keep it kid-friendly, and next time we’ll have sriracha on the side! I’m sure chicken or turkey would sub in fine.

Blogging it so I don’t forget!

Pad Kee Mae (source)

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dark sweet soy sauce(kecap manis)
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 5 bird’s eye chiles
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ cup sliced onion
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • ½ cup sliced bell peppers
  • 12 ounces fresh rice noodles
  • 2 handfuls of holy basil leaves (or Thai basil, in a pinch). [Okay, Mark Bittman… regular basil works fine here!]

PREPARATION

  1. Whisk together the fish sauce, soy sauce and vinegar, and set aside. Roughly chop the garlic and 3 of the chilies together. Smash the other two chilies with the flat of a knife, and set aside.
  2. Put a wok (or a large frying pan) over medium-high heat; when it’s hot, add the oil, the garlic-and-chile mixture and the onion. Cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the pork and a splash of the sauce. Cook, stirring to break up the meat, until the pork is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the peppers and noodles. Turn the heat to high, and add almost all of the sauce (save a spoonful or two to add later if needed). Cook, tossing everything together and separating the noodles if necessary, until the noodles are coated in sauce and take on a slightly charred flavor from the wok. Taste, and add more sauce if needed. Toss in the basil and the smashed chiles, and serve immediately.

Spaghetti Pomodoro

August 14, 2013

pomodoro

It’s tomato season, which means you really have no excuse to turn to canned or jarred tomato sauce when you can create something much fresher and tastier out of your garden or local fruit & vegetable market.

This recipe is one of several that Cari and I have stolen from a cookbook my mother-in-law has at home.  Its greatness lies in its simplicity… fresh tomatoes, garlic, basil, a little bit of seasoning and that’s it.  We’ve made it with spaghetti and linguini, both of which are immensely satisfying.  Generally Cari and I both prefer tomato sauces that are chunky and resemble real tomatoes, rather than the liquefied form.

Here’s the recipe:

Spaghetti Pomodoro

1 lb dried, store-bought spaghetti (though we have also made it from scratch for this recipe)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons thinly sliced garlic
2 lbs fresh ripe plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced lengthwise
salt
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn by hand into 1/2 inch pieces
pinch of red pepper flakes

1. Put all but 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and all the garlic in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook until the garlic begins to sizzle.

2. Add the tomatoes as soon as the garlic begins to change colour.  When the liquid begins to reduce, season with salt.  Continue cooking over a medium-high heat until the tomatoes have reduced and separated from the oil: 10-20 minutes depending on the size of the skillet.

3. While the sauce is cooking, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large saucepan or pot.

4. When the sauce has reduced, add the torn basil leaves and the pinch of red pepper flakes.  Cook for 1-2 minutes, then remove from the heat and set aside.

5. Add 1 tablespoon of salt to the boiling water in the saucepan.  Drop in the pasta, stirring until the strands are submerged.  When cooking al dente, drain and toss with the sauce in the skillet, adding the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.  Taste for salt and serve at once.

Mediterranean Pepper Salad, two ways

July 22, 2013

Mediterranean Pepper Salad

Well, it’s barbecue season and Cari and I are always looking for alternatives to the standard summer salads.  This refreshing take on a Greek Salad comes to us by way of the brilliant Smitten Kitchen.  It uses many of the ingredients common to your everyday Greek salad (feta, red onion, cucumbers, kalamata olives), but because it uses an assortment of bell peppers in place of tomatoes, it won’t get soggy!  The brilliance of this dish is not only it’s deliciousness, but also the fact that you can make a relatively large batch and keep it for several days.  We’ll often make it to have with barbecue and then use it as a side for future dinners, or even as a standalone lunch.

When planning out a barbecue menu for my father’s birthday, we found ourselves in a bit of a conundrum.  We really wanted to serve this, but my Dad keeps kosher.  That means no mixing of meat and dairy.  We felt we needed something to replace the feta, but weren’t sure what.  That’s when we remembered a trick we learned from our collection of Moosewood cookbooks.  A lemon-herb tofu actually pairs quite nicely with the flavours of Greek salad!  So, either make the Smitten Kitchen version or our dairy-free take on the recipe.  Both are delicious.

Mediterranean Pepper Salad (recipe courtesy of Smitten Kitchen)

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup cold water
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 a red onion, diced
3 bell peppers (the more colours you use, the nicer it looks – we once made a double batch and used green, red, orange, yellow and purple.  It looked glorious)
1 english cucumber
1/4-pound firm feta cheese (of lemon-herb tofu, see recipe below)
1/4 to 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives (save yourself the grief and buy them pre-pitted)
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

First, marinate the red onion.  Mix the red wine vinegar, water, kosher salt and sugar in a small bowl until the salt and sugar are dissolved.  Add the red onion and set it aside.

Next, chop the vegetables.  Core and seed your bell peppers and chop them into 1/2-inch pieces. Chop the cucumber and feta (or tofu) into similarly-sized chunks. Put your peppers, cucumber, feta (or tofu) and olives in a large bowl.

By now, your onions will have lightly pickled, which makes for a unique and nice flavour. Drain them and add them to the other vegetables in the large bowl, but reserve the vinegar mixture. Pour a quarter cup of the vinegar mixture over the salad, then drizzle with olive oil. Season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper, or to taste. Toss evenly and serve at once, or let the flavors muddle together in the fridge for a few hours.  Like I said earlier, this salad can even keep for a few days.

Lemon-Herb Tofu (adapted from Moosewood Collective’s Simple Suppers)

1 cake firm tofu
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced (optional)

Preheat the oven 400.  Cube the tofu as you would have the feta, and spread them into a lightly oiled baking pan large enough to hold them in a single layer.

Whisk together the other ingredients and pour over the tofu.  Bake uncovered for about 20-25 minutes, stirring often.  For best results, cool completely before adding to the salad.

S’mores Cake

March 11, 2013

S'mores cake, ready to eat

I’ve been itching to bake lately, and once again Smitten Kitchen has provided the proper inspiration. I put a few tweaks on this recipe and made it a smaller size (well, smaller pans – but it was tall), but generally this is her recipe.

I basically made 2/3 of her recipe – upping the graham crumbs a bit and reducing the all purpose flour a bit. I kept the chocolate amount the same, and I added some marshmallows… because while a toasted meringue is good, it’s not the same as marshmallows. Next time I think I’ll do a 1/2 a recipe, with her proportions exactly, and see if it would be a bit saner of a size. Of course, a cupcake version may be more realistic…

If you want the original recipe, go buy the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook – every recipe we’ve tried so far has been a winner.

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Stir-Fried Noodles with Chicken

September 30, 2012

Thai-Style Noodles with Chicken

love, love, love Asian noodle dishes.  They are one of my go-to meals for lunch or dinner and something I never tire of.  Unfortunately, Cari and I have never had positive luck with cooking any of these dishes at home.  That is, until now.  Cooks Illustrated recently published this recipe for Thai stir-fried noodles with chicken and it’s absolutely delicious and – despite the many steps involved – not that complicated or time-consuming to make.  We’ve made this dish twice already and will gladly do so again.  The two of us managed to polish off the whole thing both times, so if you want leftovers, make sure you either double it or load up on other dishes.

Oh, and as it turns out the trick to really good stir-fried noodles is to cook it in batches and leave it alone.  That’s right, don’t stir your stir fry!  Who knew!?

Thai-Style Noodles with Chicken

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Lemon Pudding Cake

August 26, 2012

Lemon Pudding Cake

We were looking for a good weeknight dessert. Something not too decadent, but still tasty. A nice end to a weeknight dinner. We pulled out our Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites cookbook (which has sat on the shelf far too long), and found this gem, which exceeded our expectations! Oh man is it full of flavour. It’s got a great lemon punch, and the textures are awesome – pudding on the bottom, sponge-y cake on top. The recipe says you can serve it warm or cold, but we found fresh out of the oven warm to be the best bet (of course), but warming up leftovers is highly recommended… didn’t work quite as well cold for us.

The beautifully puffed-up top did deflate a bit after it sat, but it still was a great treat a few days after baking. It’s fancy looking enough that it would for guests as well, but simple enough for a weeknight as well.

The recipe:

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Tortilla Pie

August 25, 2012

Tortilla Pie

We first had this with some family friends, and after we insisted they email us the recipe. It’s since become one of our staple dinners – make once and we easily get two meals out of it. We haven’t tried, but I bet it would even freeze well.

This is basically a Mexican style lasagna using tortillas instead of pasta and beans instead of meat or ricotta. The original recipe calls for a prepared tomato sauce typically used for pasta, but we’ve actually found we prefer it with just canned tomatoes as most prepared sauces are a bit too seasoned for this.

Tortila Pie
Serves 8

Preheat oven to 350.

Use a springform pan, oiled.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbspn. Oil
  • 2 tspns. Minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onions
  • 1 cup chopped red peppers
  • 1/2 cup chopped green peppers
  • 1.5 cups chopped tomatoes (canned is easy)
  • 1 cup canned corn
  • 1 tspn. Dried basil
  • 1 tspn. Chili powder
  • ½ tspn. Ground cumin
  • 1.5 cups canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1.5 cups canned chick peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1. 5 cup shredded cheese (you pick flavours; feel free to mix 2 or more)
  • 2 tbspn. Grated parmesan
  • 5 x 10 inch tortillas
  1. Heat oil in frypan- medium heat. Cook garlic and onions 4 minutes, stir some. Add peppers and cook for 3 minutes, stir some. Stir in tomato sauce, corn, basil, chili powder and cumin; cover and cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
  2. In bowl combine beans. Mash roughly, stir into veg. mixture.
  3. In small bowl, combine all cheeses.
  4. Place tortilla in pan. Spread with1/3 of sauce. Sprinkle with 1/3 of cheese. Repeat layers twice; top with final tortilla. Cover pan tightly with foil.
  5. Bake 20 minutes or until heated through and cheese has melted. Cut into wedges with sharp knife.

Tortilla Pie
Yum!

The Birthday Cake(s)

April 17, 2012

The cakes!

Our little girl turned one! It’s hard to believe – this year has all of the clichés of new parenthood: It flew by (they grow up so fast!), it dragged (OMG so tired needmoresleep), and we can’t quite remember what life was like before Violet.

In fact – she turned one nearly 3 months ago. And in the trend of my latest blog posts, this one is only now being written. Hopefully we can get caught up and post some of the awesome things we’ve been cooking and baking lately. But for now… the birthday cake(s)!

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