Friday, November 28, 2008

Eggplant Parm

As I made the recipe for Eggplant Parm from this month's EDF today, I realized that I don't think I've ever cooked eggplant on my own. My mom used to make it, indian style, when I was a kid, but I never helped. This recipe looked like an easy dinner, so we tried it tonight with whole wheat pasta and broccoli. We've had a lot of good food lately, but Rajeev was raving about this, so it must be good. It was pretty easy to make and really nothing that you do to the dish (aside from cover it with cheese) makes it seem too unhealthy.

Chocolate Gingerbread Bars

The Chocolate Gingerbread Bars in this month's EDF looked really tempting so I made them yesterday since I had some extra time in the morning. While they look pretty (yes, I tasted one before remembering to grab the camera) I have to say I was disappointed. From the magazine's picture they look very fudgey - though mine were extremely cakey. They looked very much like brownies but weren't very sweet. I might make them again simply because I now have a jar of molasses...

Cranberry Bread

I celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday at Rajeev's house and while his mom insisted that I need not bring anything I felt compelled to come up with something (plus I really wanted to make something) so I made Cranberry Bread. I was a little nervous since I can't remember the last time I made bread (maybe middle school when I was really into the recipe we used for banana bread in 8th grade home ec?), but it turned out great. The cranberrys were really tart and tangy so I actually personally didn't love the bread, but it had nothing to do with the preparation. I'm making it again tomorrow when we recelebrate thanksgiving!

Pasta with sausage and peppers

The night after 24, Rajeev and I wandered the grocery store trying to decide what to make for ages (I wanted Eggplant Parm or Mac n Cheese. He wanted Chicken Cutlets.) until we came across fresh sausage links. We decided to sautée the sausage with peppers (red and green) and onions, mix it with marinara sauce and put it over pasta. A very simple dinner that was a huge success with Rajeev, his roommate, and me!

Burritos with Squash and Goat Cheese

For the 24 movie last Sunday, Rajeev and I had friends of his over to watch with us. We serve tacos (Rajeev's traditional 24 viewing food) and since one of the people coming over is vegetarian I thought it was the perfect opportunity to try the Burritos with Squash and Goat Cheese in this month's EDF.

They came out really well - though they serve way more than 4 people. We had a TON of leftovers, which was kinda good because when I took them to work for lunch the next day, I think I enjoyed them more reheated.

Here's a pic of mine right before I rolled it up:

Swedish Meatballs

I've done a decent amount of cooking lately (I'm sure everyone has with the holidays -- how were they??), or more, have remember to take pictures of recent meals and finally downloaded the pictures, so I'll make a few posts.

A week or 2 ago, I made Swedish Meatballs (from EDF). They were decent though I can't say I'm dying to make them again soon.

My biggest complaints:

1) I made a half recipe and still felt like there were way too may.
2) If I do ever make them again, I'd reduce the amount of bread crumbs. I felt like they made the meatballs too dry.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Chinese food

So, a few of my co-workers and I have gotten together twice now to cook together. One of them is a great chef with a well stocked pantry and top of the line equipment. We pick something to cook that intimidates us and under her guidance we make it happen. The first time it was roasted chicken, and this week it was Chinese food. We first started out with shrimp and cabbage dumplings. It called for napa cabbage, but we used the purple kind which ended up being kind of strange looking, but they tasted alright. We also had a hard time
getting them unstuck from the bottom of the pan.

We then made an incredible white rice...I think it had to do with butter. We rounded it off with Kung Pao chicken. And we couldn't find a great Chinese dessert recipe, so we made delicious chocolate cupcakes from scratch with a yummy peanut butter frosting...delicious!

Goat Cheese stuffed Chicken

This week Whole Foods had chicken breast on sale so I bought some without knowing what I was buying it for, which is not something I usually do! I was going to just cook it the regular way and have it with stuffing and cranberry sauce, both of which I love. But then I realized I didn't know what the regular way to cook chicken is. So I started looking at recipes and of course got tempted by the fancy ones. Lucky for me I just happened to have goat cheese so I made this: Emeril's Goat Cheese stuffed Chicken! I'd never stuffed chicken with anything before so that part was kind of fun. Although, when it cooks the cheese mixture kind of oozes out the sides, which is fine, but it's not like you bite into it and get a huge pool of cheese in the middle which is what I was imagining. I guess for that you'd have to carve out a hole. Anyways, it was really good and I'm proud of myself!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Pumpkin Sausage Pasta

I found this Pumpkin Pasta Recipe from another blog and thought it sounded good. Plus I keep seeing cans of pumpkin in the store and I really wanted to use some. So I tried it - and except for not finding any fresh sage, it was really easy! Granted, I delegated the cooking of the sausage and the pasta and all I did was the sauce, so that made it easier, but still. It came out sooo tasty! Highly recommended. Not at all healthy though, what with the pasta and the cream. But I'm still having it for lunch tomorrow. Yum! The photo could be of any pasta in the world, but I swear it's the pumpkin one.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


I was asked by my friend Lauren to contribute this recipe to her blog, so I thought I better write it here too. This is our classic guacamole recipe always seems to find fans wherever we go.

2 scallions (green onions), finely chopped
2 plum tomatoes, finely chopped
2 jalapenos, cored and finely chopped
4 avocados
juice of 2 limes (we like ours pretty limey)
a few tablespoons of chopped cilantro (to taste)
salt and pepper

Chop up the scallions, tomatoes and jalapenos first and put them in the bowl. Then, slice and chop up the avocados and put them in the bowl and immediately add the lime juice to prevent browning. Then, mix and mash until you reach your desired consistency, adding the cilantro, salt and pepper along the way. (You don't need to mash it that much; John prefers it to be more of a relish than really smooth). Cover with plastic wrap until you're ready to serve.

Tip: You can keep the avocado pits in the guacamole at the end which also makes the presentation interesting and keeps it from browning, but only one or two pits is really necessary. =)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Chocolate Pecan Pie

If only I had taken pictures of the disaster that was this dessert. I recalled making Pecan Pie as a kid with my cousin and it was nothing but easy. What I made last night was a huge mess.

Basically, I decided I needed an Election Night project for myself while waiting for the early returns to come in. All was going well until it was time to fill the pie crust (I took Louisa's advice and used a frozen crust). As I was pouring the filling in, I thought, "wow, this looks like a lot." Then, when I had filled it to the tippy top, I ignored everything Mr. Wizard taught me about volume and added the pecans on top. But still, I patted myself on the back for getting them in without sloshing any filling over.

So now its time to move the pie from the counter to the oven. I wasn't in denial that this would take some skill, I was just convinced I could do it. So with Rajeev standing by just in case, I moved the thing over without spilling a single drop! I told you I could do it. But then, out of nowhere, filling started dripping out of pie so I grabbed a kitchen towel and thought it would drip a bit and then we'd push it in and be on our way. Well the thing just kept dripping, endlessly, so we finally grabbed a cookie sheet and figured any extra drippings would spill there rather than into the oven. Crisis averted.

So mid-baking I went to peak at the thing (I can never hold out I always have to peak) and all I can say is THANK GOD FOR THE COOKIE SHEET. I swear half the pie dripped out onto the sheet. Clearly, I had way too much filling and -- duh! -- it expanded when heated. (Flash back in my head: WHY DIDN'T I BUY THE DEEP DISH PIE CRUSTS?!!?!?!)

Then, as if that wasn't bad enough, when done I pulled the pie (and cookie sheet of ooze -- I really should have taken pictures) out to cool and only then do I realize its supposed to cool 4 HOURS BEFORE SERVING! Ahhhhhhh....
I cheated and ate a piece 2 hours later. It wasn't even good and we threw the whole thing out.