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Monthly Archives: November 2012

Zucchini Rice Casserole

ZucchiniRiceCasserole-11

So, with the rain and the overeating that’s going on lately, last night I thought I’d make up a nice healthy casserole to last me a few days. Like most one-dish meals (though this takes a number of pots and pans to cook), you can throw in plenty of extra vegetables. I added in spinach this time, personally. For those of you who are vegetarian, you can also easily skip the turkey in this recipe, or use a soy sausage substitute.

Ok, preheat the oven to 375. Then, cut up all of your veggies. In this case, we have zucchini, bell peppers, onions, frozen (but thawed) spinach, ditto that on corn, and some red jalapenos. I ran them all through the julienne attachment on the food processor, but you can cut them however you like.

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Ok, now that your vegetables are all cut, bring the chicken stock to a simmer in a small stockpot, and put your rice, zucchini, bell peppers, onions, and salt in a 9×13 baking dish. Stir the hot broth into it all, making sure to mix the rice up good.

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Posted by on November 30, 2012 in Entree, Healthy

 

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The best soup for a cold

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I don’t like calling a dish the ‘best’ unless it’s truly amazing. After having this soup last night, though, both a fellow sick friend and I felt much, much better. It’s spicy, has a rich broth, and plenty of vegetables and turkey. You could also use any other vegetables you feel like throwing in there, like diced cucumbers, onions, mushrooms, snow peas, or bean sprouts. It’s absolutely fantastic, and I highly recommend it for all those who are sick out there right now.

You start by dicing up a bunch of bok choy (or cabbage if you can’t find any) and scallions, grating some carrots, and mincing a few cloves of garlic and some ginger.

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Pour some sesame oil into a saucepan or stockpot on medium heat, and once the oil is hot, cook the turkey, most of the scallions, the ginger, and the garlic until the turkey is no longer pink.

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Posted by on November 26, 2012 in Healthy, Soup

 

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Incredibly lazy chocolate bliss

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This is, sadly, not the sort of chocolate that you can put together in 5 minutes in the middle of the night when you have a chocolate craving. They need at least two hours to chill, which is really the only thing that detracts from how amazing they are. If you’ve already planned to much for a dinner party and have no dessert, though, these would be amazing. Or because it’s… oh, Tuesday, say.

You’ll need some chocolate chips, a few eggs, a flavored liqueur like grand mariner (I went with a nice minty rumplemize here for a mint/chocolate thing), and hot coffee or cocoa. Whipped cream is optional, but a nice addition.

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I only have two eggs instead of 4, and smaller amounts of everything else, because I’m only doing a batch for two people. Scale as necessary for the number of chocolate fiends you have. Then put the chocolate chips, eggs, booze, and salt in a blender. Pulse for a few seconds until it’s all combined.

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Then pour the coffee in a thin stream through a hole in the lid while the blender’s on. Personally I didn’t do that this time, because it was late, but I should have. Don’t make my mistake, it works out better if you follow the recipe in this case.

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Posted by on November 24, 2012 in Dessert

 

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The darker side of tarts

The darker side of tarts

Here we are on Thanksgiving, the biggest cooking day of the year, and I’m not cooking! If you are, though, and want something dark and chocolate, might I recommend this wonderfully simple little treat? The hardest part is pressing the crust into the tart pan.. ok, that’s not true. The waiting 5 hours for it to set is. But that’s what we have dinner for, as a distraction from the setting chocolate.

Start by preheating an oven to 350 degrees, and buttering either an 8×8 baking pan (as in the recipe) or tart pan (like I did). Then roast some almonds to a nice darker brown color, and put them along with gingersnap cookies into a food processor and pulse to a fine crumb. Add softened butter, and pulse until well combined. Press this nice crumb crust into the pan of your choosing. Bake for 12 minutes then remove from oven and cool for 20 more minutes.

Put a bag of dark chocolate chips into a medium sized mixing bowl and set aside. Then take the heavy cream and honey and heat in a small saucepan over low heat until the honey has dissolved into the cream. Increase heat to medium and bring the mixture almost to a boil, until the edges start to bubble.

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Posted by on November 22, 2012 in Dessert

 

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Creamiest Mac and Cheese ever

Creamiest Mac and Cheese ever

So a few months ago, I saw a post claiming to be a macaroni and cheese revolution on Pinterest. Yes, I know that app/site is an evil addiction and will eventually swallow my soul and turn me to the dark side of pinning photos of cute knitwear and dream houses. At that point, you may all revoke my access to the internet and I will be justly chastised. Until then, it brings me recipes like this, which ARE a macaroni and cheese revolution. The greatest thing about it is that it’s actually reasonably healthy, though it involves a lot of cheese. You can definitely use whole wheat pasta, it already uses skim milk, and you COULD cut down on the cheese, or use low fat, though I claim no responsibility for whatever may occur if you go THAT far.

So, you start by washing your macaroni and draining it in a colander, then put it in a saucepan along with a little butter, some lowfat milk, nutmeg, mustard powder, and salt.

Turn on the heat to medium, and stir frequently while it comes to a simmer. Once to a simmer, reduce heat to low and stir often (as the recipe says, don’t leave the stove, frequent stirring is essential), until the macaroni has absorbed most of the liquid, about 15 minutes.

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Posted by on November 21, 2012 in Entree

 

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A spicy sweet holiday snack

A spicy sweet holiday snack

With Thanksgiving nearly upon us, most of us will be spending a lot of time with those we love most. For everyone else, who is spending a lot of time going insane with people who drive them nuts, I give you a better kind of nuts. So at least you can have some spicy sweet snack to take your mind off of things. Might I also suggest a lot of booze?

Anyway, regardless of your familial circumstances, I highly recommend snacking on these with great frequency. And if you try any, I can almost guarantee you will, because there’s just something addictive about them.

This recipe is really quite simple: First, preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with foil, to save yourself a lot of cleanup (unlike me). Place all the nuts, spices, liquids, etc. in the pan except for the salt and rosemary.

Mix them thoroughly, add half the salt and rosemary, and mix again.

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Posted by on November 20, 2012 in Appetizer/Snack

 

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A hearty, healthy soup

With cold weather setting in, I thought I’d post a nice hearty soup recipe today. I’ll admit right up front that this isn’t the tastiest soup ever, but it’s hearty and healthy and still pretty darn good. Given that I’ll be posting about spiced nuts, chocolate pots de creme, turkey pot pies, and other indulgent Thanksgiving foods this week, I thought I’d at least throw in something good for you to start. And you might want to scale this down… I made it to be pressure canned, so you can see that it makes a ton of soup. For normal cooking, I’d suggest cutting it all in half or so.

So, choose a bunch of your favorite vegetables, and chop them all up. I used onions, garlic, celery, cucumbers, carrots, corn, and cabbage. Then once that’s all done, start browning some sausage.

When that’s cooked, remove it from the pot and cook your vegetables.

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Posted by on November 19, 2012 in Soup

 

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