Monday, October 27, 2008

More Apple Products

With all these apples we collected, I made a couple other apple dishes.

Apples & Chicken in the slow cooker
This turned into more of a stew, what with the broth, soup, and apples that got nice and soft. It was pretty good - chicken and apples and rosemary are a good combo.

Apple Pie - I made a couple of these! I always use frozen pie crust because I'm lazy and I think it tastes good.
Then I used the filling from this recipe.
And the crumb topping from here.
I picked those mainly because they were simple and used ingredients I had. But the combination of them worked out very well and were a hit with the eaters.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes

So, I had made some veggie chili recently and was going to post that, but Brianna and I both ended up feeling a little bit yucky after we ate it, definitely ghetto, not so fabulous.

But last night I made a really easy and tasty side dish, honey roasted sweet potatoes.

It's a recipe by Ellie Krieger who you may know from the Food Network. (My brother actually interned for her. I recall him having to clean all the pots and pans in the men's room!)


  • 2 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into 1-inch pieces and put in a 9 by 13 baking dish. In a small bowl whisk together olive oil, honey and lemon juice. Pour mixture over potatoes and toss to coat. Sprinkle with the salt, and bake, stirring occasionally, for about 1 hour, until potatoes are tender.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Slice-and-Dice Ham and Vegetable Soup

When I graduated from college and moved to an apt for the first time, my aunt gave me this book. I used to make things from it all the time, but overtime, especially since I started getting EDF I don't turn there often for recipes. It's a great book though! Basically the premise is a 20-something guy learning to cook for the first time with recipes from his mom. Every recipe comes with his own commentary on making the recipe including odd pieces of advice, plus when necessary you get "Mom Tips" from his mom. Always helpful.

Today I wanted to make another soup recipe so flipped through the book and found Slice-and-Dice Ham and Vegetable Soup. It was good. I recommend it to others. Here's how (paraphrased by me)

  • 1 medium celery stalk (I didn't bother b/c as I've said before I hate buying celery for 1 stalk)
  • 1 medium carrot (I used a handful of baby carrots instead), cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped (I had this ready to go and forgot to add it. Oops.)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • dash salt
  • 1 cup bite sized pieces ham (Mom Tip: Buy ham steak and cut it up, but the recipe was originally for leftover ham. The concept of buying ham steak totally baffled me, but there it was in the lunch meat section. Who knew...)
  • 15 oz diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups water (I used 1 cup water and 1 cup chicken broth b/c I had some to use up)
  • 1/4 cup small pasta shapes, uncooked couscous or bulgar (I used orzo since that's what I have at home right now)
  • Grated parmesan cheese (I had this all ready and forgot. Oops.)
  1. Heat oil in medium pot over medium heat. Add celery, carrot, onion and garlic. Cook for 5 mins, stirring occasionally until veggies start to soften
  2. Add basil, thyme, black pepper, salt, ham, tomatoes and their liquid, water, and pasta. Stir.
  3. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  4. Turn down to medium-low and cook, covered, for 15 mins, or until the pasta is soft.
  5. If soup is too thick add 1/2 more water. (I didn't need to do this.)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pork & Apples

The other day we went apple picking and came back with an insane amount of apples. So I realized I had to find some new apple recipes, before I get around to making the pie. I found this recipe for Pork tenderloin with apples. I had never made pork tenderloin before, but it didn't seem too hard. I used my Penzey's spices and it goes great with the apples. It really wasn't hard either, the hardest part was slicing all the apples. It looked really ugly though and I didn't have a pretty plate for it, so I'm jumping on the bandwagon and using the internet photo. :-)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fab muffins, ghetto lasagna

These are light and delicious oatmeal chocolate chip muffins which are exactly like the cookie, but light, fluffy and muffinesque (which is good since they are muffins after all.) The key to these light, airy piles of deliciousness is letting the oatmeal soak with the milk for awhile. I also think that you could very easily sub the chocolate chips for something more nutritional like ripe raspberries (it is fall, after all) or apples or even dried cranberries or cherries. They are delicious!

I also have to report that I made Uma's Spinach and Prosciutto Lasagna. I was totally inspired by the recipe and excited by Trader Joe's No Boil Lasagna Noodles (insert product placement jingle right here because they are a-mazing). I even made my own sauce and had fresh spinach. I had high expectations.

Unfortunately, I put in too many anchovies to the sauce (3), and too much sauce into the lasagna. (Apparently, you can use it pretty sparingly.) It turned out ok despite being a little runny and having a flavor that J tactfully described as "clam juice." I know, however, the next batch will be better.

But despite the taste, it did look exactly like the picture =)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Oatmeal Blondies

While waiting for the spinach for Spinach and Prosciutto Lasagna to defrost, I decided to entertain myself making these Oatmeal Blondies, because while flipping through old issues of EDF I realized I had all of the ingredients at home already.    Don't be scared by their use of "Everyday Baking Mix".  I almost didn't bother making them because it seemed silly to make 9 cups of the stuff, but if you dig to back of your brain for 3rd grade math, I bet you can do the math to get just enough for what you need.  :)  

Again their picture, and this time mine did NOT look the same.  I completely forgot to sprinkle more oats on top and didn't even realize till just now when looking at their pic.  Oops.

Spinach and Prosciutto Lasagna

This month's issue of EDF mag is about "One-Pot Meals" and one of the recipes is for Spinach and Prosciutto Lasagna.  I tried it Monday night (after I knew my roomies would be home to help me eat!) and liked it.  I will say this - the spinach took a lifetime to defrost, so plan ahead.  (Which I promise I tried to do - Rajeev's apt must be warmer than mine, b/c things defrost faster there.)  Other than that, it was super easy to make, fed 3 of us for dinner, and I have a portion or 2 left over (dinner tonight!).   Here's their pic, but I promise mine looked the same.

(Classic?) Minestrone

On Sunday, for lunch I decided to make this soup from this months EDF mag.   While it calls the soup "classic" minestrone, I'm not so sure mine was very classic.  I made several ingredient swaps / additions / estimations, because when I started cooking I was making it just for me and hoping to have a portion or 2 left over for lunch this week, but then mid-making it Rajeev called to say he was on his way over, so I suddenly felt a desire to make more (despite not really having the ingredients for more).  My changes:

  • I used 3/4 of a small red onion instead of 1 medium onion.  It felt like a lot.
  • I had baby carrots in the house, so I just cut up a handful of them to look like enough when compared to the other veggies.
  • I refused to buy celery to use just 1 stalk in this soup, so I skipped it.
  • I used 1/2 to 1/3 of a can of diced tomatoes.  Basically, I used what I had left over from the last time I made soup.
  • I used 1 small potato instead of a large one, because when i went shopping I was only going to make a half recipe.
  • I didn't use any cabbage b/c I hate the stuff.
  • I used the whole can of beans, even though when I went shopping I had only intended to use half the can.  Part of my last minute decision to add more to the soup.
  • I have no idea how many green beans I used, I just sorta guessed based on what looked like enough compared to everything else, and probably thru in a few extra b/c you come across them at the end (aka - well after I knew that I was no longer making a half recipe)
  • I completely forgot out the basil and parmesan.  Oops.
  • I added the kernels from 1 ear of corn b/c I had it left-over and on the verge of going bad
  • And as for water, by the time I needed to add it I had completely lost track of whether I thought I had enough veggies to warrant a full recipe or not, so I split the difference and added 4 cups of water.  
The end result?  Not bad.  Probably not "classic" and quite honesty, I didn't love the rosemary in there, but it was fine.  Maybe someone else should make it actually following the real recipe and see if you like it.  :)

Hershey's Kiss Cookies

There was an ad for the "Peanut Butter Blossom" cookies in this months EDF mag so I of course had to make them (and - as the makers of Hershey would be happy to hear - run out and buy Hershey's Kisses).  Ridiculously easy - and yummy, so go ahead and make them if you have Kisses lying around (notice I'm not advocating you fall into the marketing trap I fell in and just buy the kisses for no other reason!) 

PS- the pic is obviously theirs, not mine.

Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas

This recipe came from the
Whole Foods website/contest for best cheap meal. (Check it out, all you have to do is comment on a recipe to be entered into a sweepstakes for whole foods gift cards.) Anyways, it was a pretty yummy recipe.

The thing that really made the enchiladas great was roasting the peppers which I had never done before. It's super easy, just turn on the gas burner (if you have one) and put the pepper over it!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Cream of Wheat?

Do you guys like it? I'm officially over it. Last week, my stomach wasn't feeling great when the October issue of my magazine arrive and one of their suggestions was to add Apple Butter to Cream of Wheat. Having not had the substance in years since I was a kid, I thought it looked like the perfect option and ran out to by Cream of Wheat. I quickly remembered why I hate the stuff. It gets lumpy way too fast! I can sorta fix the situation by adding more milk, but really the substance just loves to absorb fluid and eventually will end up lumpy! Any suggestions for what else I can do with my giant box of Cream of Wheat? And btw - why is the smallest size box enormous when it only takes 3 tablespoons to make a single serving?!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Everyday Food - September 2008

So... as promised here's a re-cap of the things I made out of the September issue of Everyday Food magazine.

One of the first recipes that caught my eye as I flipped through the September issue was Mr. John's Meatloaf. This meatloaf with a sausage laying in the middle looked so amazing, but also looked like a lot of meat, so I wanted to save it to make on a night when I'd be cooking for just me or even just me and Rajeev. Last Monday, I made decided to make dinner for the 2 of us, and his roommate, so I thought it was the perfect time to test out this recipe. If you like meat and meatloaf -- its yum! The sausage in the middle gives it an extra kick too! I made it with the Crispy Garlic Potatoes they mention in this recipe. They were good and easy to make, but nothing special. I also made the Creamy Spinach in this recipe that night, which was pretty good. I only made half the recipe for the 3 of us because I figured boys don't like spinach and 10 oz seemed like a lot, but I always forget that spinach cooks down so much! It came out great, but I should have just made the whole recipe. Or perhaps making half, helped my ego since we ate every last bite of it. :)

Less of a recipe and more of a reminder that I can make fun yummy foods that I normally eat out, I made the Open-Faced Egg and Tomato Sandwich one morning for breakfast. Again, I doubt you need a recipe for this, but the reminder of the idea to make it was welcome.

If you're looking for a healthy and yummy fall salad to eat for dinner, try the Roasted Vegetable Salad with Goat Cheese. The roasted veggies are a nice touch to salad (which I normally find to be the most boring meal ever) and while I've always liked goat cheese - I'm kind of obsessed with it lately, so I was glad to see it in the recipe.

I've already posted about the Late-Summer Veggie soup that I made which was one of the best things I made this past month.

I tried the Herb-Crusted Salmon from this recipe (I didn't bother with the spinach salad. I think I might have made this the same night as the roasted veggie salad instead). It was good - but again I wasn't really blown away and in all honestly it wasn't worth needing to wash the food processor. Maybe I'll try it again some time with regular old breadcrumbs, but probably not.

Rajeev was over for dinner one night and I made these Glazed Pork Chops. I kinda forgot that Rajeev doesn't have much of a sweet tooth and he wasn't really into the glaze, so I made his second pork chop without it (poor guy). I also had recently bought brown sugar made by Splenda (which has worked wonderfully when baking) so I tried it out here -- I wouldn't recommend. Stick to real (and higher calorie) brown sugar when making this recipe.

Lastly, I made the Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (though I think they were actually the first thing I made out of this issue) and they also were yum. No issues using the Splenda versions of granulated and brown sugar here which left me to eat them (a bit) guilt free!

PS - I might have more pics on my camera. If I download any more, I'll add them to the post!

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Tastespotting is a beautiful blog that highlights food, beautiful pictures of food. I thought to share since not only is it delicious, but if you make something from it, you could link with a beautiful picture. =)