It was cold and blustery out this evening when we came in. I put Ellis to bed and made some hot chocolate.
I measure out the milk in the mugs I'll use. Add a few tablespoons of cocoa powder. (Get a really good kind like Cadbury's) A dash of cinnamon, a dram of Kahlua or Bailey's. And foam it up well with a $1.99 milk frother from Ikea.
to the Menu (if you don't blog, feel free to email me ideas, and I'll post them):
Here are two favorites and they both involve tortillas. And are Easy. One is Tortilla Pie
Grease a pie pan and put one tortilla on the bottom and spread with refried beans. Another tortilla and guacamole, another tortilla and salsa, another tortilla and cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 1/2 hour. voila! You can economize by making your own guacamole and salsa, but this is something between regular meal expense and eating out.
This week I have been employing a Southern Livng recipe (These are both from SL)
Spread a tortilla with cream cheese ( I have been using a spinach and herb tortilla) Lightly layer with chopped spinach, tomatoes, sliced olives, avocado and feta cheese. Roll up and cut in half diagonally. I used medium sized torts, but bigger ones would have been better. I don't like all that stuyff as much as Joel does, so I substituted a couple of foreign foods for shredded chicken, which I had in my refrigerator.
I just made the best margarita ever. I mean, this margarita is not for pansies. I make it mean and green. Fresh squeezed lime and all. *Smack* Nothing like liquor soaked lime pulp and my cute salt in sombrero shaped container. Some of you know that I've not always had good experiences with margaritas; we don't need to repeat that in public. Tonight's was good, though. Just felt like sharing.
I'm glad a few people have expressed interest in sharing menus.
To find other menus look at these blogs (I'll add as they get posted):
MrsCrumley at crumleydotorg.
Joanna at In Search of Lost Time
menu exchange is as follows (sorry, my extended entry option doesn't work):
For breakfast, we keep it simple. Cereal, toast, yogurt. That kind of thing. Cereal is expensive, though. So in the winter, I eat oatmeal everyday. I like it, so I eat it. It's simple, yummy (to me), and cheap. In the summer, I make my mom's granola recipe.
6 c oatmeal (rolled oats, I buy in bulk at Whole Foods)
2/3 c. oil
2/3 c. sugar (I use white, because I think it's less clumpy, but my mom said brown)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon (I throw in a dash of nutmeg, too)
1 c shredded coconut (we usually get unsweetened shredded coconut)
1/2 c. chopped nuts (optional) (like walnuts or almonds)
you can throw in other fun things, too, like dried fruit, sunflower seeds, etc. or top with fresh fruit.
Mix ingredients together in a bowl, bake on 350 for 15-20 min or so, until golden around the edges.
Egg salad: boiled eggs mashed with enough mayo to make it stick, a dash of mustard, salt, pepper, paprika, dill, finely chopped celery.
I'm eager to try chickpea sandwiches, too. Like egg salad above, but with mushed chickpeas instead of eggs, and paprika and cumin (instead of dill).
When I was growing up a favorite summer lunch was fresh tomato slices, canteloupe, and corn on the cob. Depends on if you have good produce handy.
1. Mustard baked chicken.
Make a marinade of about 1/4 c. mustard, a couple TBS of olive oil, minced fresh thyme leaves, and crushed garlic cloves. This works for about 4-ish pieces of chicken (i actually just sort of guess every time). Marinate, then bake chicken accordingly.
Serve with a ratatouille. My simplified version ends up being chopped zuchini, yellow summer squash, eggplant, diced tomatoes, onions, garlic, sage, thyme, and basil. Sauteeing onions and garlic first, then add zuchini, squash, and eggplant until tender, then add tomatoes and herbs, and simmer all together 'til like a stew.
Or, non-cook option, serve with tabbouleh (which I make with couscous or quinoa instead of bulgar as this recipe indicates).
2. Taco Salad!
(It wouldn't be a week here without taco salad, summer or winter)
For the sauce:
Brown ground beef with onions, garlic, green bell pepper (optional), jalapeno pepper (optional).
Add drained black beans. (I'm scared of cooking beans, so I always buy canned)
Add can of diced tomatoes (or fresh if in season) with juice. (may need a little tomato sauce if use fresh tomatoes)
Add about sprinkle each of cumin, paprika, chili powder, and perhaps a (small!) dash of cayenne pepper, depending on how hot you like it. Salt and pepper to taste.
finely chopped fresh cilantro if on hand.
Simmer until sauce-like.
Assemble salad thus. Tortilla chips on bottom (we love blue corn tortilla chips), then lettuce, sauce, grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, salsa, whatever you like...
Vegetarian option: Skip the ground beef, add more black beans and some white corn.
3. Baked Zucchini Stuffed with Couscous
This is a new favorite of this summer, adapted from the Joy of Cooking recipe.
Preheat oven to 400. Lightly oil a baking dish. Trim stems and halve lengthwise however many zucchini you are cooking. (About one zucchini per person). Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place zucchini cut side down in the baking dish. Bake until cut side is lightly browned (10-15 mins), then reduce oven heat to 350.
Take zucchini out and let cool slightly. Turn over zucchini and scoop out pulp leaving about 1/4 inch thick shells. Finely chop pulp.
In skillet, sautee finely chopped onion and garlic. Add chopped zucchini along with couscous (about 1/3 c couscous per 2 zucchini). Stir, then add chicken broth (about 3/4 brother per 1/3 c couscous), use vegetable broth if making the dish vegetarian. (I also added finely chopped fresh parsely)
Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for about 5 min. Uncover, stir, and let cool a bit.
Stir in toasted pine nuts.
Scoop mixture back into zucchini shells. Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Bake until heat through (about 15-20 mins).
Meaty option: Add some ground turkey in the mixture. A bit of leftover filling makes a yummy lunch tomorrow.
Serve with fruit salad.
4. Gazpacho. (recipe from Cook's Encyclopedia of Soup, which I love and use all the time, no matter the season)
One of my summer faves, because...no cooking!!!
1 green bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
1/2 cucumber, roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 fresh red chili, seeded and roughly chopped
2 c roughly chopped ripe plum tomatoes
3 3/4 c. tomato juice
2 TB red-wine vinegar
2 TB olive oil
1 TB sugar (which i usually leave out)
Throw it all in the blender or food processer and process. Or use my favorite kitchen appliance ever, the hand-held blender. Garnish with crushed ice or reserved finely chopped peppers, or a little cilantro or lime. whatever.
Serve with quesadillas.
5. Basil, red pepper, zucchini chicken Pasta
Sautee onion and plenty of garlic.
Add diced chicken breast. And sautee until chicken is cooked.
Add red pepper cut into thin slices.
Add grated zucchini and chopped fresh basil.
Simmer until water cooked out of zucchini. (but don't overcook)
Serve over angel hair pasta with freshly grated parmesan.
Vegetarian option: add more zucchini? use chick peas instead of chicken? Haven't tried either, but perhaps I may...
Seafood option: use shrimp instead of chicken.
A nice lettuce salad is a nice accompaniment.
Anybody interested in participating in a menu exchange? Call it a functional meme. I'm sick of trying to dream up a week's meals when I can barely think ahead to my second cup of coffee.
So if you're interested:
post meal ideas for 5 days (breakfast and lunch optional) with recipes included (or links to the recipes if you got them off the internet). Keep it simple, nutritious, and summer friendly.
Let me know, and I'll link to you from here.
The more people participating the more weeks we can get killed with one stone.
Any takers? C'mon don't leave me hanging here in Meal Purgatory!
If you don't have a blog, but you read mine, feel free to email me, and I'll post yours.
It's vegetarian/seafood week at our house. I'm really liking it. Tonight I made quinoa for the first time following this recipe. I served it as a side to salmon. It was very tasty.
Zesty Quinoa with Broccoli & Cashews (except i used asparagus and roasted pine nuts, because that's what i had; i also added more broth in order to get the asparagus to cook) This is a great recipe to have on hand for vegetarian/vegan cooking.
Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is a high-protein, gluten-free ancient grain that cooks much like rice and has a texture similar to couscous.
* 1 TB extra virgin olive oil
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1/2 medium red onion, finely diced
* 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, julienned or chopped
* 1/2 cup vegetable broth
* 1/2 cup dry white wine
* 2 TB lemon juice
* 1/2 cup quinoa
* 1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
* 1 cup broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces Fresh ground black pepper to taste
* 1/2 cup roasted cashew pieces
* 2 scallions, thinly sliced
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a saucepan and sauté the onion and garlic for 3 minutes. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, vegetable stock, wine and lemon juice and bring to a boil.
Stir in the quinoa and salt. Reduce heat, and simmer covered about 20 minutes. Add the broccoli on top and simmer an additional 5 to 6 minutes.
Remove from heat, toss gently until combined. Add ground pepper and additional salt, if desired, to taste.
Garnish with cashews and scallions before serving.
Fennel Vegetable Stir Fry with Nut Rice
I'm doing a food overhaul. New recipe search and all that. So I'm going to archive a few here that I want to keep in mind but won't use this moment.
I'm so intrigued by quinoa.
Ellis has been a bit under the weather these past couple of days. Snotty, slightly feverish sometimes. I couldn't put him down at all Thursday night and for most of yesterday. He appeared dead asleep but would cry as soon as I set him down. Usually he goes down pretty easily, so I knew he wasn't himself. I basically slept sitting up holding him all Thursday night. And I watched TV a good bit of yesterday holding him so that he could sleep. (Sometimes it's really nice having a deaf kid.) Because he had a slight fever I gave him a little baby Tylenol. It allowed him to have a good nap yesterday afternoon, and that made all the difference. He woke up so much more himself. And after a slightly better night last night, a good nap this morning, he seems much more himself, though still pretty snotty. He just went down for his nap in his bed, thank goodness!, which is further sign of mend. I swear I feel bumps on his bottom gum. But maybe I have teething radars on too bright. He is drolling lots.
All that to say, I wasn't feeling exactly on top of my game to host a baby shower here last night for a friend at church. I had planned to make a big ol' cheesecake, which is simple and delicious. The drawback being the necessity to make it a day ahead of time in order to have adequate chilling time. Thursday passed and I still hadn't made a cheesecake, so what was I to do with all the cream cheese and needing to have a dessert prepared? Two options: 1. a grocery store cake. I'm not keen on that. 2. make a different dessert, preferably one involving cream cheese.
So I consulted the one and only epicurious.com, my vade mecum for all my culinary needs. I picked a dessert that was simple, involved cream cheese, and very yummy: Cream Cheese Pound Cake. Cream cheese, 6 eggs, no baking soda, and a two-hour bake time transformed a typical bundt cake into a creamy, fluffy, velvety goodness. I was practically lapping up the batter it was so good. Decorated simply with a dusting of powdered sugar, it was perfect for the occasion.
This article in the Times (via 11D) is about teaching kids to eat well. By interviewing what chef's feed their little kids, the author demonstrates that pad Thai is not beyond the 4 yr old's grasp. Though the article hints towards food snobbery a bit--something I don't even apologize for, resonating with the sentiments--it also challenges that notion that kiddies will only eat chewy plastic fashioned as "children's food". The article, recognizing that there are those mac'n'cheese nights even for the best of us, is about the possibility that kids can eat well and enjoy a rich pallette of food.
I'm just beginning the whole food thing with Ellis, and I must admit, I look at this stuff and think that I wouldn't even want to eat it, it looks so bland and yucky. I mostly make his food, except for applesauce, which we get in big jars of the organic, unsweetened variety. It's nice to have that fall back when you're low on the pureed delights. I usually mix applesauce or pears into the rice cereal, because, really, would you want to eat that pasty stuff? A bit ago I fished frozen pumpkin puree out of the freezer and mixed cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom in it. Ellis loved it! And I made a carrot mixed with sweet potato puree with paprika and onion powder in it. He's a good eater, and it's fun to think about shaping his tastes.
Yesterday it was still raining. Raining for a week straight! And more getting around in the rain. I had lunch with Em and Vangie, who was in town for a wedding, driving all around the world to coordinate said function. When I got home after another soggy day of out and about, I was greeted with the happy news that my father-in-law was offered a new job, after being unemployed for over a year. Blessings!! To celebrate, I set about making a pumpkin pie. Besides it was cold and dreary outside, what better day to fill the kitchen with warmth and spices.
You can use an official pie pumpkin, they are slightly richer in texture, but honestly, I can't tell a whole lot of difference between a real pie pumpkin and a typical jack-o-lantern pumpkin, which will be bigger and cheaper, perhaps. Cut up the pumpkin into manageable pieces, piercing the piece with a fork. Bake in a low oven (around 200 degrees) for about two hours, covered with tin foil and a little water in the bottom of the pan. (I've also had success microwaving smaller amounts. Cover with plastic and check every ten minutes until it is tender.) After it has cooled, peel the skin. It may come off easily by just pulling it, but often I have to use a potato peeler to help.
Puree the pumpkin, which can be done easily with a food processor or a handheld blender (my favorite kitchen appliance). (In a pinch I've used a fork to mash it, but the texture isn't as smooth.) There's a lot of water in the pumpkin, so it's good to drain it a little. I always use a paper towel, because it soaks faster. Then you're ready to make the pie.
2 cups of pureed pumpkin
1 can of evaporated milk (my Joy of Cooking said I could 3/4 c milk if I didn't have evap. milk, and it's just not the same, I'm sticking to the evap. milk)
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp gr. ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
(or if you're like me and are a spice fiend, you can throw spices in with abandon. I also use a little cardamom, too)
Mix ingredients. Pour into pie crust. Bake 35-45 min on 350 (until knife or toothpick comes out clean).
Pie crust is very straightforward. It's not as intimidating as people make it out to be. These are measurements for one crust. (So, like if you were making an apple pie and needed a top and bottom, double these measurements.)
1 c. flour, 1/3 c. shortening, enough COLD water to make it stick (start with about 1/4-1/3 c.)
Cut the shortening into the flour with a pastry cutter (or fork, if you don't have one) until it is crumbly. Add water and stir around with fork, until you can form it into a ball. It's important that your water is cold. I often have an ice cube sitting in some before I use it. Roll dough out on a floured surface. If you roll it out on wax paper then when it is rolled out, you can put your pie plate upside-down in the middle of the dough, slide your hand underneath the wax paper, and flip it. That way you don't have to wiggle around with your pastry. Trim and flute the edges. The key to perfect pie crust is
A decorative bonus. Find a leave from outside (unless you think you can freehand one or someother design yourself)--if you get a sturdy one, you can wash it with soapy water first. Cut out the leaf design on the extra pastry you trimmed off the pie. Bake seperately, for about 15 min on 350. After the pie is baked, lay your decoration on top. Voila!
Just call me Martha!!
(Actually the last idea, my mom saw on Martha years ago.)
Fall is inaugurated. September 21 is the first official day of Autumn, but the day slips by and no one takes notice, taking stock in their own rituals that mark the changing of seasons. My years of living in Louisiana taught to me to throw out the dropping of the thermometer as a harbinger of the year's waning. One thing that has remained constant for me from the frigid temps of the north to the lazy heat of the south is the First Pumpkin. My good friend Em and her husband came for supper last Friday night. (By the way the chickpea stew is fantastic! I totally recommend it.) She brought me the sacred gift of the first pumpkin, bedecked with the perfect gnarly stem. I made two pumpkin pies out of it, delicious, smooth, spicy pumpkin pies.
This recipe on epicurious.com caught my eye. It looks good; I'll have to try it soon. One reviewer subsituted vegetable broth for chicken (good recipe to have when you invite your vegetarian friends over). Another reviewer added carrots, another chicken. Seems flexible. I love flexible recipes. It also looks like a good one for the repertoire, because I'm always trying to find ways of not having meat every night. It gets expensive, and, you know, you don't have to have meat every day.
The cumin really enhances this dish. Cook this spice with the onions to bring out its aroma. Lemon juice brightens the flavors while honey softens them.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup diced (1/4 inch) red onion
2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cans (15 ounces each) chickpeas
(garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1 can (14 ounces) Italian plum tomatoes, chopped, with their juices
4 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 can (14 ounces) chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Cooked couscous for serving (optional)
1. Place the olive oil in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion; stirring occasionally, cook until wilted, about 12 minutes. Add the garlic during the last 2 minutes. Stir in the cumin and cook 2 minutes more to mellow the flavors.
2. Add the chickpeas, the tomatoes with their juices, thyme, honey, lemon juice, broth, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes. Adjust the seasonings and stir in the parsley.
3. To serve, spoon couscous (if desired) into 4 shallow bowls and top with the stew. Serve immediately. Per serving (without couscous): 460 calories, 67g carbohydrates, 22g protein, 12g fat, no cholesterol.
Nutritional Breakdown: New Wellness, Richmond, Va.
Makes 4 servings.
Simply Delicious® by Sheila Lukins
PARADE® and Simply Delicious® are used by CondéNet Inc. under license.
(i liked this reviewer's suggestion.)
Heather from New York, NY on 03/24/04
Based on other reviews I added more spices: doubled the cumin and thyme and added cinnamon, ground corriander, chili powder, and dashes of nutmeg and allspice. I also served it over quinoa which was a nice contrast and something completely different.
While I'm at it with the whole chicken thing, here is the long-promised chicken testimonial for why buying all natural foods is just better.
I usually can't afford fancy, all-natural meat, as it is already a bit pricey in its grocery mass-produced variety. But I've found a bit of a way around that with chicken. Often I'll get a whole-chicken fryer (wh. Cook's says is the best for all your chicken needs, but I already knew that, too), cook the whole thing in the crock pot, then we'll eat off the easily carvable meat for a couple of meals. When it starts to get annoying picking off the meat, I boil the carcass with some bay leaves and get lovely chicken broth. The remaining meat comes of quite easily. By that time, I feel like I've got my money's worth out of the bird. I divide the picked meat up in equally distributed containers and pour the broth over it, and freeze these containers. Then for a quick meal, thaw the broth/meat cube, add veggies, and you have yummy chicken soup!
To buy a whole chicken fryer at the grocery is pretty cheap, in fact half as cheap as Whole Foods (but it's about the difference between $3 and $6). So one day I though, "Am I just being a snob about this natural food thing, or is it really better?" Well, when I got to final frozen broth stage, I think the proof is in the pudding. In this picture from my freezer (geez, you think I could've wiped it out before photographing the insides of my freezer!), the top one is the Whole Foods chicken, the bottom one is the grocery store chicken, which has so much fat, it couldn't displace the broth, and completely discolored it! Eeewww!!! I think the end result of the upper container is worth the $3 extra.
My mother-in-law got me a subscription to Cook's Illustrated for Christmas, and I'm loving it. It's great because it doesn't try to outdo itself with snazziness in every issue but tries to perfect the basics in order to get to the snazzy--down to techniques, equipment, and ingredients. For example, they'll offer a recipe for baked chicken with balsamic vinegar, then they'll try 10 different balsamic vinegars giving prices, results, and their favorite after testing. (I was pleased to note that the Whole Foods brand of balsamic vinegar that I use came out on top, beating its much more expensive contenders, and I already had the idea of cooking chicken in balsamic vinegar--it's always tendery and tasty.)
My new favorite recipe from this past year's issues is for an Indian dish: "Chicken Biryani". I've altered it some just for the sake of time and the way I particularly use my ingredients for maximum "stretch" value.
This is the fastest, cheapest incarnation of this recipe that I've come up with, and it's SOOO yummy and flavorful. The yogurt really makes come alive.
If you don't like monochromatic food, try using red peppers.
Might I suggest two fabulous pumpkin recipes? They are recipes for loaves of pumpkin bread, but I made them into muffins. Cuts the cooking time in half and is more portable.
Spiced Pumpkin Bread.
It calls for 3 cups of sugar! No way! I made it with 2 1/2 and it's plenty sweet. I'm going to keep adding less and less until I find just the right amount. In fact, I think next time I'll go drastic and cut it back to 1/2 c maybe and add grated carrot and apple. MMmmm. I also threw in a little cardamom and ginger. Bring on the spices!
Also yummy was Curried Pumpkin Bread. It's actually more like a curried, pumpkin corn bread. I'm not a huge fan of corn bread, so I enjoyed this only moderately. Chris, on the other hand, thinks they're wonderful. He said it was like corn bread with zing (I mention this at the risk of sounding like one of those cook books compiled of recipes sent in by rural wives). I didn't have any buttermilk, as the recipe called for, so I just used regular milk.
I also added sunflower seeds (shelled, duh) and sliced almonds to both.
How to Prepare your Pumpkin:
I abhore canned pumpkin. It's disgusting. No need to mince words on this subject. It's very easy to cook down a pumpkin. Take off the top where the stem is and scoop out the innards. Slice it into manageable parts (like about the size of a plate if it were curved). With a fork prick holes into it all over on the flesh side. Place into roasting pan with about an inch of water in the bottom of the pan. Cover the pan with foil and bake for about two hours on 200. After it cools, you should be able to peel the skin off quite easily. To turn it into puree, you can either put it into a food processor or blender or use my favorite little kitchen device...the hand-held blender! woohoo! Freeze it in 2 cup increments in little baggies. 2 cups equal about a can, so when you see recipes for that call for a can of pumpkin, that is how much you use.
This is how I've always cooked pumpkin. However, it's still rather warm here, and I didn't feel like turning on the oven for two hours. So I prepared a couple of pieces of the pumpkin (poking with holes, etc), covered them with plastic wrap, and microwaved them for about 20-25 minutes. This worked just fine. But if you don't have a microwave that rotates, move the pieces around every 10 min or so.
Fall Garden Report:
Well, this morning I got out there and cleaned up the garden from the summer. I pulled down the nearly dead tomatoes, and turned over the soil a bit. The peppers are all still doing fabulously, dripping with fruit, so just weeded around them a bit and loosened up the soil. I expect them to go strong through the winter. I found a railroad tie on the side of the road last week, so I created a stronger border on the long side of the garden with that, and used rocks and bricks debris to make a little wall on the short side (the porch and house created the border for the other two sides). I planted seeds for cucumbers and snapgdragons and some other annuals that grow in the summer up north but grow from Sept-Feb down here. Things are looking quite tidy. I felt good to be out in the fresh air.
So, after this moment of epiphany on Sunday afternoon, Sunday evening rolled around and I had to make a lunch to take to school on Monday. We didn't have much lunchable items in the fridge, but we had plenty of eggs. I love egg salad sandwiches, so no problem! However, then I thought, 'what's up with mayonnaise? what IS mayonnaise anyway??' It just seemed lardy and fatty and nothing else could replace this image of mayonnaise in my head. The thought of mayo repulsed me, but it's a key ingredient to making the egg stick together. So I started poking around for alternatives. Tahini! It was a start, and while I was at in I threw in a few chick peas, why not have hummus-y egg salad? I was inspired by potential flavor and added a little minced cilantro and paprika and salt and pepper. This was turning out well. I mixed it all together. But it wasn't sticking together enough, and there's nothing like egg salad with bits of egg falling out. I opened the fridge and stared again. The final solution shone forth: Yogurt!! It worked beautifully. On nine-grain bread, my egg-salad sandwich turned out perfectly. Except next time, I might not put in as much if any cilantro, maybe use minced celery instead, and probably a little less tahini and a little more yogurt. Maybe a touch of cayenne pepper? I don't know. It is pretty yummy though. And I will recount the chicken incident before long....
I love it when I go to the grocery store, and I hit big time sales. Today I totally scored on produce. I even bought avocados, a HUGE luxury, because there were fantastically on sale.
I came home and had a glorious summer lunch found on the table of my youth. Fresh ear of corn with baguette slices to sop up the butter, fresh canteloupe, and a tall glass of barely sweetened mint tea.
Mmmm. Can't wait for supper. I think I'll make gazpacho and canteloupe and bread.
the ravioli di zucca is divine. But I invited a bunch more people over yesterday, so now I have to make more. I'll post the recipe later. Just imagine pumpkin being cooked down in heavy cream, sage, and thyme. How's that to keep you hanging on my every word!? Hahahahaa!!!
I'm really in a flurry. Trying to balance life and Thanksgiving is quite a lot. And my computer is STILL dead, so that means I'm in the library computer lab. (HORRORS!) AND I thought I would add a little extra excitement into my life (as if I needed anymore) by starting up the Collegium here once again. So I'm trying to organize that to start next semester.
All I can think about is cooking. In my other life I would be chef. Yesterday I made a fabuluous cream of carrot/pear/apple soup. Mmmm. SO GOOD!!!!
I've got to leave before I start drooling on the keyboard, which would be bad in a public computer lab. I might give someone latent meningitis or something.
After surveying several recipes off the internet, I settled on this one and tweaked it a bit to my liking:
* 2 green cardamom pods
* 1 black cardamom pod
I only had green, and three green worked fine
* half teaspoon fennel seeds
I used anise seeds
* 2 cloves
I used four cloves
* 1/2" cinnamon stick
* 1 tea spoon tea leaves
* 1 and a 1/2 cup water
* 3/4 cup milk
* fresh black pepper
I also used about a quarter to half teaspoon sized of crystalized ginger.
1. Warm the green cardamom, black cardamom, fennel seeds, cloves and cinnamon stick in a frying pan for 15 to 20 seconds.
2. Take the warmed spices and grind using a mortar and pestle.
3. Bring to a boil the water and ground spices in an open pot. Turn down to simmer and let the spices steep a bit.
4. Add tea leaves and bring water to boil again, and then immediately turn down to simmer again.
5. Add milk.
6. Add a pinch of fresh ground black pepper.
7. Allow to come to a boil again then turn off.
8. Strain tea into cups and add sugar to taste. I don't normally take sugar in tea, but a little bit in this recipe doesn't make it too sweet, rather brings out the taste of the spices.
I tried to make the spices stretch to larger liquid amounts, but it didn't work as well. It seems best to keep the liquid to spice proportions relatively the same as designated here.