Thursday, October 30, 2008

Bites from other blogs

I've made a bunch of unaltered recipes from fellow bloggies, so I thought I'd share the goods.

I made Super Soft Pumpkin Cookies (complete w/PB Choc Chips) for work, but somehow they all got eaten before i managed to remember a picture! Well received for my first treat :)

With the other half of my jicama, I made Grilled Corn, Mango & Jicama Salad. Anything with avocado and mango wins in my book, the constrast of the crunchy jicama made for an awesome salad! ps- i used frozen roasted corn and mango, just defrosted them before tossing the salad.

Another new ingredient for me this week (i might need a break-- it takes alot of work to use new ingredients!!), Maple-Grilled Tempeh. I used the marinade on the tofu posted the other night. I paired the tempeh with some roasted sweet potato, spinach sauteed with garlic, and goat cheese. It was quite tasty, and I'm glad I tried it! (I used a 3-grain tempeh)

Back in my cranberry sauce, I mentioned I used some maple sugar discovered at the farmers market. Maple sugar is what's left after all the water is boiled off of maple syrup. I bought it in a block that I could grate to get more bang for the buck, but here's what the package looked like. It can be used 1:1 for regular sugar in recipes to impart a slight maple flavor (w/o worrying about throwing off the dry-wet balance with maple syrup).

I bring this up, as I thought it would be an excellent pairing in the Apple Cinnamon Muffins I was planning on making. Delish!!!

I'm off to Philly for the weekend to try and finish up some experiments for a paper I'm trying to publish, so we'll have to wait and see what culinary non-adventures happen next week!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pears, Pears, Pears

Anybody get that? (motley crue. not sure why songs always pop into my head when coming up with titles. we'll just go with it!) This week's BSI (Pears) was chosen by Erica over at Itzy's Kitchen. While I've made some things recently with pears (Sausage w/Lentils and Sauteed Pears and Fall Harvest Butter), I picked up another one at the store last night to make something different. I also incorporated another first for me...


I can't say for certain whether I had ever tried this, but knew I wanted to :) I have no idea whether it's "in season", or if it even grows around here, but... for the sake of experimentation and my health, I picked it up. Jicama, or yam bean (bean, really???), is the edible root of a poisonous plant!

With this in hand, I decided to spend my night cutting away while I watched the Phils... until it was way past my bedtime and then they decided to CALL THE GAME. ~sigh~ I enjoyed it for dinner tonight, so the flavors had some time to meld which was nice. Great slaw, so crunchy, full of fall flavors (but i still miss summer!). Look at those colors!!!

Jicama Fall Slaw
slaw by Shannon, dressing from Pinch My Salt

1/2 jicama, peeled and cut into matchsticks (i have no idea how much it weighed... sorry folks)
1 honeycrisp apple, cut into matchsticks
1 bartlett pear, cut into matchsticks (any pear would work, this one was just the cheapest!)
1 large carrot, grated
1/4 red cabbage, thinly sliced (i think mine was ~1/2 lb)
pomegranate arils, for garnish

Honey Vinaigrette

(I doubt I used the amount of olive oil called for, but I whisked until it came together)

Since I was preparing this the night before, I put the cut jicama, apple and pear into water spiked with lemon juice for a bit until everything else was ready to roll. Then I just mixed it all together (except arils) and let it sit in the fridge until dinnertime tonight, adding the arils just before serving!

ps- my hands were all sorts of colored after all this cutting... maybe you want to use gloves?

Somebody wanted a closeup...

What's the other addition to my plate? Another trial for me--tofu! I've done the silken tofu in various desserts, but this is the first time I've used the firm tofu, pressed, marinated, and baked! Came out pretty good (the marinade was from something else I'll post about later), but even with more slaw this did not fill me up... although I wasn't hungry, I was just left feeling like something was missing. I often feel like this when I don't include meat, even when I have alternate forms of protein (tofu, legumes...). I think it's all in my head. I'll have to work on that, since I'm thinking it'd save me some of my heard-earned-too-quickly-disappearing $$.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pumpkin Surprise Cupcakes

This week's BSI chosen by Gina was cranberries! I thought about making the Cranberry Chicken my mom makes, but that didn't happen, so I had to put my thinking cap on. I wanted a departure from muffins, so I decided on cupcakes--Pumpkin Cupcakes w/Cranberry Cheesecake Filling!!

The pumpkin muffins came from have cake, will travel, I halved the recipe to make 6.

For the filling... I mixed homemade cranberry sauce (see below) with smart balance light cream cheese in a 2:1 ratio. I had no idea how much to make, and how much would fit in my cupcakes, so I had extra of both mixtures. It's ok though, because they were both so yummy I can't wait to use it to top off yogurt or stir in oatmeal or top waffles or put on a turkey sandwich or... ok i'll get to the recipe :)

Cranberry Sauce
Yield: 1c

6oz (1/2 bag) fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2c maple sugar (I found this at a farmers market, and we already know i'm a sucker so I couldn't help trying it out! You could sub equal amts regular sugar, or cut back a little and throw in some maple syrup)
1T dried cherries, chopped
1T crystallized ginger, chopped
1oz orange juice (you could just use some zest instead if you have it)
3oz water
some cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom in my just sprinkle some in there fashion

Combine in a medium pot and cook until berries have burst and alot of the liquid has been absorbed. Maybe ~10min?

Back to the cupcakes... I prepared the cupcake mix, and when the cranberry sauce was done added some to cream cheese (1/4c sauce +2T cream cheese would probably be fine for 6 cupcakes if you didn't want any extra). Into the cupcake liners (sprayed with nonstick) went some of the batter, followed by a little spoonfull of the cranberry cheesecake mix, topped off with more batter. Bake in a preheated oven at 350deg for 18-20 min, or until top springs back when lightly touched. Let cool on a wire rack for as long as you can take it before digging in.

How'd they turn out?? Turns out I could've added more filling, but my taste buds are jumping up and down right now!!! I was full from dinner but couldn't help but eat the one that was sacrificed for the photo... Mmmmm :) Thanks for the challenge Fitnessista!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Fall Harvest Butter

MMmmm, my apartment smells divine right now :) The culprit? This spread I've had cooking all day! I had already tried Pumpkin Apple Butter, but figured why not incorporate all the goodness I've got in my kitchen right now! Enter: apple, pear, butternut squash (the pumpkin came from a can)

Fall Harvest Butter
Recipe by Shannon

1 can pumpkin puree
1 apple, peeled and chopped (normally I would've left the skin on, but it looked like an old man... so it wasn't going in!)
1 pear, chopped
bulb end of a butternut squash
1c unsweetened apple juice
1/4c agave nectar
heaping 1T honey
cinnamon stick (or ground cinn)
cardamom, ground ginger, freshly grated nutmeg (I think I used ~1/4t of each)

Cut the bulb end of a butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place on dish and microwave for 5min. Once cooled, scoop out the flesh and roughly chop. Put all ingredients in a slow cooker, and cook until desired consistency. Don't forget to remove the cinnamon stick before digging in!!

I wanted mine a bit chunky, so I kept the apple and pear roughly chopped. For a smoother spread, you could grate the apple, pear, and butternut squash. The spices could also be adjusted for your own tastes, as could the sweetener (I almost used maple syrup instead of the honey). I cooked mine on low for 4.5hrs, then another 1.5hrs on high. Another fantastic addition... dried cranberries!!! I didn't think of this until after, but I might have to incorporate it when I top off an english muffin :)

I couldn't resist making it part of my dinner on top of some yogurt...

Have a great night everyone!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

FYI: Cinnamon Chips

Hey guys, I meant to take a picture of these for the muffins, but somehow I forgot. Since everyone seemed interested, thought I'd post it tonight :) The cinnamon chips are on the right in the photo, with PB-choc swirled chips on the left. They're a bit smaller (although larger than the mini chips), making them even nicer for baking as you get more cinnamon throughout! I wouldn't scruitinize the ingredients list, but for baking they are pretty fun!! I picked these up at a Wegmans, but have seen them at random places since then... keep an eye out ;-)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Cinnamon, Spice & Everything Nice Banana Nut Muffins

Hmm, I was disappointed last night. So excited for this Autumn Veggie Chowda...

I mean, look at it--it's got the makings of a fantastic bowl of warmth. And yet, it was waaaayyy too much pepper for this girl's tongue :( Could barely handle it, so sad. Maybe my white pepper was more potent? Oh well, can't win them all!

To try and subdue the burn, I used up some really ripe bananas to make some mini muffins (i like eating 2 or 3!). The secret ingredient, well, not so secret... special, yeah, that's it! Cinnamon chips! They're pretty darn cute and a delicious addition to these buttons of banana-walnut goodness :). Definately ended the night on a good note! Recipe after the picture...

Banana Nut Cinnamini's
adapted from Dani Spies
yield: 18 mini muffins

3/4c whole wheat pastry flour
1/2t baking powder
1/4t baking soda
1/4t salt
1/8t cinnamon (i eyeball-ed all these spices... adjust to your taste!!)
1/4t cardamom
1/4t nutmeg

scant 1/4c brown sugar
1T Smart Balance oil
1 egg white, beaten
1t vanilla
3/4c mashed banana

1/2c oats
1/4c cinnamon chips
1/4c chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350deg.

In medium bowl, combine dry ingredients and mix well. In small bowl, mash banana with brown sugar, oil, and vanilla. Add banana mix to dry ingredients and mix until just combined Fold in oats, cinnamon chips, and walnuts.

Add to mini muffin tin (or other desired size) sprayed with nonstick. Bake for ~12min (different sizes will take longer, so adjust accordingly!). Cool on a wire rack to prevent burning your tongue :) Then enjoy!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A New Root

Turnips, friend or foe?

Gorgeous for sure, I had picked one up at the farmers market to try (I owed it to this root veggie, as I [heart] all its cousins). I took it home, found a recipe to try, and then forgot as it sat in my fridge... oops. Luckily all was not lost when I uncovered it, and I made some Honey-Glazed Turnip Wedges.

Verdict? They were ok, I could definately taste the turnip... not my favorite root, but I think it would have fun playing with the rest. How about you-- anyone have a favorite way they like to use this veggie??

Monday, October 20, 2008

Lentil Roundup

The Recap:
The Fitnessista Gina made the famous Snobby Joes (vegan version of Sloppy Joes with lentils)

Heather over at Hangry Pants made some Lentil Burritos that were bundled in homemade WW wraps!!

Jess stopped running long enough to make some Lentil Dal for dinner! Unfortunately she wasn't too excited by the dal, anyone have any tried and true recipes for her/us??

Jen from Eating Bender highlighted an easily portable Lentil Soup :)

While I'm not sure she realized, Kath had some red lentil dal that certain fits the bill for this week's challenge!

Maggie warmed up with Lentil Leek Soup instead of a salad :) Whaddya know, cinnamon even came to the party!

Krista was Kraving Lentil & Rice Pilaf Stuffed Peppers, and now so am I!!!

Meghann graduated from the traditional preparation and came up with some Crunchy Lentil Cheese Bites.

Sabrina (RhodeyGirlTests), featured a Middle Eastern delight on her blog all week-- Umjaddarah/Mujadarah. Hopefully she hasn't gotten sick of lentils and rice!!

VeggieGirl kicked up her Snobby Joes (click for photo) with spaghetti squash, sauteed broccoli rabe, spinach, and garlic. Holy yum is right!!

And we've got my contribution of Sausage w/Lentils & Sauteed Pears.

The Prize:
What else, but Lentil Cookies! :)

*drum roll please*

The Winner:
Arrgh! (to know me is to know i'm not very good at making decisions...) Ok, ok...

**MEGHANN** I couldn't help but be intrigued by your crunchy lentils!!!
please send me your address so I can send you some cookies!! I'll get them off in the mail tomorrow for optimal fresh-ness :) tri2cook [at] gmail [dot] com

really, i think i'm the winner with some great new recipes to try!

Up Next:
the ever talented Gina will be hosting next week, so check her out to see what's up next... I wonder if it will have something to do with all the raw goodies popping up on her plate recently? we'll see!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Last Call for Lentils

Just a reminder to get your recipes in today! I'll put together the roundup tomorrow morning, so you have until, let's say, 4am monday :) (I hope you're not up then, though!!) I decided on a home-baked treat for this week's prize, which I'll be featuring in the roundup so they're fresh and ready to send out Tuesday.

On another exciting note...

Natasha from Healthy and Gourmet honored me with an award this week! Thank you so much!! She's got some great recipes over there, so if you've never checked out her site I'd recommend clicking on over.

Now, I have WAY too many blogs in my google reader, and I check it all too often (otherwise i get so behind!). I love seeing everyone's creations, and so many are deserving of this award, it was really hard to pick! (you're all winners in my book, folks :)) Over a year before I started my own blog, there are a few favorites I always looked forward to reading, so I wanted to take this time to show my appreciation, and say thanks for Excellent Blogs!!

1. Eggs on Sunday - The pictures from Amy's CSA box are always tantalizing, and it seems we have very similar tastes (as in, I would eat anything out of her kitchen!!!). Plus, did you see these? A winning recipe, indeed!

2. Diet, Dessert and Dogs - Not only do I get my dog fix here, but good eats and reads abound. I've seen so many things from Ricki that I want to try-- pureed avocado in quickbread and kasha (I bought some more!) are the ones that came to mind first. And let's not forget my favorite way to prepare baby bok choy so far!

3. Alexandra's Kitchen - Another source of fabulous ideas and tantalizing photos, Alexandra's dessert was a hit with the family :) And these would make a fabulous addition to thanksgiving dinner!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Mmmm, peanut butter...

Hey look, I made you some Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Blondies :)

I don't like to go anywhere empty-handed, so I'll be bringing these babies along with me today to a friend's game. Sorry for the crappy photo, I'm in a hurry... oh, and i didn't add the peanuts since I didn't have any handy, but my, my these are absolutely delicious!!!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

This little figgy...

Somehow I happened upon a box of figs for 2.99! While I usually eat them straight up, I saved a few this time to try... a Fig and Wheat Berry Salad, a recipe I spied with my little eyes over at npr. I used spinach instead of arugula, white balsamic instead of raspberry vinegar, and goat cheese instead of feta, as that's what I had in my kitchen-- it was delicious!! Love the chewiness of whole grains, and these wheat berries certainly add a great texture to the salad.

Gotten some great looking ideas for lentils, keep 'em coming!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Lentils and Pears oh my!!!

MMmmmm, I just finished this, and am in love. It's definately a repeater!!! I modified this recipe for Sausage with Lentils and Sauteed Pears a little, just using some cooked chicken sausages I already had on hand. I also cut back on the EVOO, as it really didn't need as much as was called for. Truth be told, I took this picture when I made it on sunday, I had chopped up the pear and reheated it all together tonight when I needed a quick and hearty meal getting home from the gym. Can't wait to have it for lunch tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pear & Zucchini Soup

Hey everyone, don't forget about this week's BSI: Lentils!! I should have some for dinner tomorrow if all goes well, and feel free to post them through Sunday night.

Until then...

In trying to use as many of the ingredients in my fridge in the fewest amount of meals (otherwise i could feed an army), I came across this recipe for pear and zucchini soup that seemed like a unique combination of ingredients. Tempted to eat the roasted pear right out of the oven, I was able to restrain myself long enough until the soup! I don't have a seive, so I didn't remove the peel and just blended and instead of croutons I just topped it off with some goat cheese. See, this is why I love food blogs, I would've paired the pear (ha) with parsnips (say that 3 times fast!!) in a soup--not zucchini! So greatful to have been shown the way :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My First Taste of Boston

* a break from regularly scheduled programming *

I've gotten a few questions about what I do, so I thought I'd address them a bit today--I hope everyone doesn't mind! Plus I have a TON of leftovers, so no new meal tonight... I'm a science geek, and just defended my dissertation in August. Read: I can now add the letters Ph.D. after my name!!!! Woah, hasn't really set in yet. I've been in school all my life, so to no longer be considered a student is even stranger. Hmm, as to exactly what I do everyday, it's research, loosely filed under the heading "biomedical". My graduate work bridged the gap between immunology (a study of the system responsible for dealing with foreign invaders) and cancer. I moved to Boston for my post-doctoral research, which in science-speak is really just a way to get more experience before you get a real job. What I'll be doing here is more along the lines of examining ways T cells (one of cells of our immune system) interact with other cells in their response to various offenders (like the flu). Have I lost you all yet? Hope not!!

Let's get back to my new digs :) What have I learned so far?

The Charles

1. Boston drivers are CRAZY. I will not ride my bike in the city (boo).
2. The Charles is much prettier than the Schuykill (although I hear it's not any cleaner!)
3. I love walking everywhere. (much better than driving from place to place)
4. Fall is my favorite season. (but i already knew that!! :))

Jamaica Pond

Despite all my craziness in my new kitchen, the second night here I discovered there's an awesome Thai place right around the corner!! Still sooo many things to explore, so any of you Beantown readers in the know... please dish :)

Monday, October 13, 2008


After coming in from a brisk walk along the Charles, a nice hearty dish of moussaka was just what I needed to warm me up :) I had prepared this ahead of time using a regular eggplant from the farmers market, so it reheats well. Instead of serving it over couscous, just used some spaghetti squash that was already cooked up. It was my first time trying this dish, but I really enjoyed it, so it won't be the last ;-)

BSI: Lentils

Hi everyone!! So exciting to choose this week's BSI ingredient... but then what to pick?!? I had so many ideas (most revolving around the ingredients in my fridge--I was a little overzealous at the farmers market and store), but decided to take a little different path.

I don't remember eating lentils as a kid. This was no fault of my parents (i think i recall dad liking lentil soup), more of my picky eating-- I highly doubt I would've considered the notion of consuming lentils :) I've tried them all of 3 times the past year or two, so I thought this would be a fantastic way to learn some fun new ways to prepare them!! So BRING IT!!! Link back to this post, or leave me a comment so I can pull all of your fantastical recipes together. And I'll come up with some sort of *prize* for my fav ;-)

Lentils seem pretty big around the blog world, but in case you aren't in the know (don't worry, I wasn't!), they are especially good sources of soluble and insoluble fiber, folate and magnesium (both good for your heart), iron, and protein! (I did discover that red lentils have less protein than other types... hmmm)

Just another quick note... please bear with me as I begin my new job this week!! I'll be adjusting to a new schedule and will have lots to do to in order to get started... I'll probably do some reading from trusty Google Reader, but I don't know how much time for comments there will be. I'll still be posting, as I mentioned above I got a bit excited shopping last week...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Caramel Apple Muffins

It's still fall, and I've still got apples, so here's another one for you... and since I didn't have it in me to risk another disaster, I made Apple Oat Muffins, mini style. To kick them up a notch, I threw in some Kraft mini caramels (forgot to take a picture of those, sorry! they were a Walmart find).

If you're wondering about those caramels, well, they're perfect to use in baking. But beware, they also have a tendency to jump right into your mouth. Even when they aren't adorned by apple and flour goodness. I swear. I can't buy them again...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Leftover Salmon?

This post was supposed to be about some rockin' salmon cakes/burgers... but this one needs some work. Great flavor profile (salmon, spinach, red pepper, scallion, dijon), sorry execution! All was not lost, I was really craving a burger, but all I had were mini pitas...

I don't think that would've worked, unless mini got really hungry. The pictured pattie was the only one that held it's shape. The others I made? Well... they'll make an awesome scramble tomorrow morning for breakfast :)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Butternut Spinach Rolls

Yup, more butternut squash!! The one i cooked up Sunday was HUGE, so I still had ~3c of puree left. I also had an open package of whole wheat lasagna noodles that I moved from Philly, so I decided it was about time they got used. I've probably seen this many different ways (almost threw in an "oodles of noodles" there), but I just flew by the seat of my pants on this one.

butternut-spinach-ricotta filling

Butternut Spinach Rolls (my creation)
with a Goat Cheese Sauce from Cooking Light

For the filling:
3c butternut squash flesh
1c fat-free ricotta
cinnamon, nutmeg, s/p to taste
1 pkg baby spinach (mine was 6oz), sauteed in ~1T EVOO and 1-2 cloves of garlic
(next time i'd add some shallots or other onions to the spinach mix)

1 pkg whole wheat lasagna noodles (or desired noodles)

For the sauce: (might want to do 1.5 batch if you like alot of sauce)
1T butter
2T flour
1 1/2c FF milk
1/4c water or chicken broth
2oz goat cheese
2T parm
1/4t salt
1/8t pepper
1/8t nutmeg

Mix together squash, ricotta, spinach, and spices. Taste and adjust seasonings, then set aside. (Can be done ahead of time)

Preheat oven to 350deg. Cook lasagna noodles al dente, rinse with warm water to prevent sticking.

Lay out the noodles on a plate or dish, add filling along the noodles, and roll them up. As for the amounts here, I unfortunately didn't measure. It was a good amount of filling, I just kept it towards the center-- it spread when I rolled them up. Place them in a baking dish with the seam either towards the bottom or edge of the dish to prevent unrolling. (This can also be done ahead of time, just refrigerate the rolls until you want to make the sauce and cook. Just make sure to take them out for a bit so the dish isn't too cold when it goes into the oven.)

Now to the sauce. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour, and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly with a whisk. Gradually add 1/4 cup water/broth and milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Cook until mixture thickens (about 4 minutes). Remove from heat. Add the goat cheese, 2 tablespoons Parmesan, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and1/8 teaspoon pepper, and stir until cheese melts.

Pour sauce over assembled rolls (could add some extra grated parm on top) and bake in preheated oven ~20min or so, then dig in!!

assembled rolls

Couple more notes: I did this over a couple of days so it really seemed managable (I noted the steps where it could be done). I made the full amount of the filling, but only had 7 noodles, so I have filling leftover that I'm thinking would be awesome tossed with pasta--nice and creamy!! But I think this would work for a full lasagna-worth of rolls. I felt it needed a little something, maybe a little more kick in the filling? But very tasty :) Sorry for the lack of cross-section photo, I tried, none of themwere in focus...

right from the oven!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

You put polenta in what??

Jeez louise. another oopsie (don't ask...), a cold, and a not quite fabulous attempt at baking... today was a real winner :-P I've had this recipe in my "to-try" pile for quite some time (the page said June 2005), but when Sabrina chose polenta for this week's BSI, I knew just what I was going to make! I haven't cooked much with polenta (tried it for the first time last year), so I didn't come up with one myself. Instead, this one's from Fitness of all places... Chocolate Polenta Cake!! I mean come on, a dessert with 120 calories and 4g protein per serving? Not that i didn't have two... oops :)

looks like someone didn't fold things together all that well!

Ok, so the recipe... a little strange, as it has you beat egg whites and eggs... together... i don't think i did this step long enough, but i was tired (i think this why mine was kinda flat). But it tasted good so that's all that matters! Not too dense or too chocolaty, almost reminded me of a souffle? (I question that b/c i don't think i've had too many of those, either :)) Ok, without further ado:

what a lovely fuzzy picture

Chocolate Polenta Cake
Fitness, June 2005

1c plus 2T skim milk
2 1/2T polenta

2/3c semi-sweet choc chips

3T sugar
2 large eggs
4 large egg whites

1T unsweetened applesauce
1/2t baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In medium saucepan, over hi heat, bring milk to a boil then whisk in polenta (watch this if you really do have it on hi heat milk will boil over quickly!!). Lower heat and whisk constantly for 3-5min, until thickened. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

In med saucepan, melt choclate over very low heat. Stir in polenta mixture, then set aside. (I actually did this in a double broiler b/c of the next step--I just swapped out bowls)

In a bowl over simmering water, whisk together eggs, egg whites, and sugar until warm (you don't want to cook them!) Remove from heat and beat on hi until mixture is 6-8 times original volume.

Stir applesauce into chocolate mixture and mix well. Fold 1/5 of egg mixture into chocolate. Sprinkle with baking powder and gently combine. Slowly fold in remaining egg mixture 1/3 at a time. Pour batter into 8" square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake for 25-30min. Cool on a wire rack.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

When life gives you beans...

... roast them! Really? Yes, really! I'm a huge fan of roasting veggies, but had never thought about beans in the same way until I came across this recipe. It was delicious, and I was sold!

Another gift of the farm, I came home with a VERY large bag of yellow beans. They were pretty hefty in size, so I gave them a quick boil (just a couple of minutes) to make sure they cooked before they burned. You can add anything you'd like; this time I threw in some garlic cloves and shallots (be sure not to slice them like i did the first time, they'll be done much faster than the beans! i used chunks about the size of my garlic cloves). With green beans, definately throw in some red pepper slices if you have them (again, slice them about the same size as your green beans). Season with a little salt and pepper, transfer them to a baking sheet, and roast away! I'm usually not wanting to dirty another bowl, so I just mix it all on the pan. And you can set the oven anywhere from 400-450. I was a bit afraid of setting off the fire alarm in my new place (not the way I want to meet my neighbors!), so I opted to turn it down halfway through cooking. Time it takes will depend on the thickness of your beans... I think mine took ~30min. Delish!! I love the ones that got nice and browned :) They are definately better the night you make them, they lose that little crispy-ness in the fridge. Enjoy!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Greens and Beans

As I sit here RICE-ing my knee, I thought I'd tell you guys about another way I used up that swiss chard from the farm... Garlicky beans and greens, brought to you by Amy over at Eggs on Sunday. I kept the red chard to contrast with the white beans, and it made for a pretty sight :)

I ate these as is, but they'd also be good tossed with some pasta, nice and creamy! Are you ready for winter yet? just kidding, swiss chard just seems more of a winter green... Night all :)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Build me up, Butternut...

It's days like today that i wonder how on earth I've never broken a bone. *knock knock knock* Adding to the battle wounds incurred while moving, last night I dropped a porcelain casserole dish on my big toe. I wasn't wearing any shoes... this morning I realized there's a nice bruise. A bit later I decided to go for a run around the park to see some of my new surroundings. About a mile in, I fell and did a number on my knee. I'll spare the bloody details, but that cut my run short. ~sigh~ Now I'm nursing a swollen and stiff wound as I try and catch up on all the blogs I missed!!

But first, I wanted to get to BSI: Butternut Squash. I wanted to do something besides the risotto and ravioli that first came to mind... but i think my creativity was preoccupied with my knee. I managed one idea while cooking, so maybe that'll make an appearance later in the week-- it was one big squash i cooked up!

So first we have a twist on a butternut squash puree that i found interesting due to its use of medjool dates to sweeten the deal. Found on npr's website here, it was contributed by Susan of Food Blogga.

For my next trick, I tried some butternut snack bites that I had seen over at Mostly Eating. I don't know exactly what was off, but my batter was really dry as written so I ended up adding at least another 1/2c of squash and 1/2c applesauce until moistened. I think it was either my use of whole wheat pastry flour instead of whole wheat flour, and/or a less-moist squash (maybe I should've actually pureed it?). Very tasty though, and I can see them being a good, nutritious snack! Too much batter eating though, I'll have to put them straight into the freezer...

Ok, well hopefully everyone else had a better sunday! I capped mine off by nicking myself with my knife while washing dishes... sheesh! Guess someone over here needs a GOOD night's sleep!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A Coffee Cake of Thanks!

THANK YOU for all the good luck wishes!! Just for all that, I made you an apple coffee cake ;-) See, here's a slice...

A note on the recipe: i loved the cake part, chock full of apples just how i like it. The topping, well... it turned out alright (made it ahead of time so it sat for about a day before consumption), but it looked very dry (due to the lack of fat) coming out of the oven. So I might try another topping next time.

The move? Hmmm, well, there was no elevator like i was told (grrr)... but my dad and i were able to move me in quite quickly. Luckily I am only on the second floor, so I made dad unload the truck and I did most of the running boxes upstairs. Why didn't I know there was no elevator? well... i hadn't seen the apartment (looong story). And even luckier still, everything worked out and i think i am going to love it. tomorrow (so long as my feet are no longer crying out in pain) i'll be exploring the adjacent park (Back Bay Fens)!! It felt soo good to be walking around a city again today as I ran errands :) I picked up a map of running routes in Boston today at Marathon Sports, but please let me know good things to do/see/favorite spots!!!

I'm about to put all my pots and pans on the living room floor to try and figure out how to fit them into my [few] cabinets :) pot rack? lol. ok, hopefully i'll be back tomorrow with a butternut squash recipe for the challenge!
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