Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Asian Turkey Meatballs, Carrot Rice, & Stir Fried Green Beans

Last night in an attempt to make a meal that was new, is not a casserole and gets through my backlog of EDF issues I made Asian Turkey Meatballs with Carrot Rice as well as Stir-Fried Green Beans. In both cases, I made half recipes (I'm trying to be really good about not having leftovers since we are SO bad about going back to eat them) and it worked out perfectly, except that we probably didn't need 1/2 c. of rice for just 2 people. For the meatballs, I used soy sauce instead of Fish Sauce because I didn't feel like buying another jar of something only have it eventually get buried in the back of my cupboard with only 2 spoons used! It was fine - I have no idea what I missed out on and I didn't mind it. For the green beans, I was too lazy to hunt down red jalapenos so I used the serrano chilis. They were quite spicy and the only downside I could discern was that they didn't give the dish the pop of color in the EDF picture shown here. Lastly I completely forgot to bring out the lime when serving and to add the lemon juice when cooking the beans. Again - it wasn't missed.

What I liked most about this dish was how easy it was to prep everything and then stick it in the oven for the last 10 minutes right before we were ready to eat.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Tuna Noodle Casserole

I definitely want to bookmark this one for myself in addition to sharing it with you guys. Tuna noodle casserole - I used to eat this as a kid and it was basically just noodles, tuna, and cream of mushroom soup (weird stuff), with cornflakes or some such cereal on top. I guess I liked it back then, but it hasn't seemed appealing in years. Except the other day I found myself with extra cooked pasta, and tuna in the cupboard, so I looked up some recipes. I found some from scratch and decided to give it a try. I'm glad I did because it is really good! You make a roux, then add chicken broth and milk, and a tasty mushroom-onion mixture. Then as expected just dump it in with the pasta and bake it. The topping on this is cheese and breadcrumbs which was really good too. Oh and I added peas for some color. I'm proud of myself that I now make things like this from scratch! It wasn't super fast for me but it wasn't too hard, and casseroles always make a ton!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Poached Pears

I'm on a roll here, sharing all my dishes! I bought these really cheap pears at Haymarket and I figured they might not be the best pears ever so I wanted to do something safe with them. I also remembered seeing recipes for poached pears that looked really good. So I looked some up, threw some stuff in a pot, and boiled it for a while. I really wasn't sure how it would come out but it was SO GOOD! I ate them on yogurt for dessert and again for breakfast, but next time I want to put them either on ice cream or on pound cake with chocolate sauce.

I used these instructions from David Lebovitz as a guide. In the broth I put white wine, sugar, water, cloves, allspice, and a cinnamon stick. I think I simmered the pears for about 40 minutes, and I added dried cherries near the end. I highly recommend it!

Roasted Cauliflower

Cauliflower is one of those vegetables I always assumed I didn't like, but lately I've discovered it's actually really good! I got one in my CSA last month and I made this really simple roasted cauliflower - you basically just put olive oil and lemon juice on it, roast it in the oven, and then dump lots of parmesan on top!

Apple Bread

The other apple product I made a few times was apple bread. I got the recipe from a friend so I don't know where it came from originally. The recipe makes two loaves but I only have one loaf pan so I halved it each time I made it. I also didn't take a picture and now the apples are gone, so all I have to show is the recipe. It is really good, with chunks of apple in the batter and cinnamon sugar on top!

3 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

Combine in lg. bowl:
3 eggs
1 c veg oil
2 c sugar
1 T vanilla

Stir flour mixture into wet ingredients.
Fold in 3 c chopped apples.
Pour batter into 2 greased, floured loaf pans.
Combine 2 T sugar and 1 T cinnamon and sprinkle on top as topping.
Bake 60-70 min at 350.

Apple Cake

Fall in New England means apple picking, and every year I end up with more apples than I know what to do with. This year thanks to a groupon we picked a whole bushel, literally, which is two huge bags. So in addition to the usual apple crisps, I looked around for some different apple confections. Smitten Kitchen's apple cake uses 6 apples so making it a couple times definitely helped use up the stash. I put a lot less sugar than it said and it was really good!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Chicken, Lemon, and Dill with Orzo

Fresh off my last post, I was inspired to shared today's dinner with you too. I made Chicken, Lemon, and Dill with Orzo. I made a 3rd of the recipe and it came out pretty good. It looked like the EDF picture, shown here, and tasted fine, but honestly I didn't love it. It was just sorta bland and I think I'm over casseroles for the moment. I want my food separate.

Mushroom & Black Bean Tortilla Casserole

Hi Ladies! I'm back! I've been noticing the resurgence of posts and been meaning to post myself AND I've been trying to cook more - as in trying to cook new recipes more often, rather than just throwing together easy things around the house. I stopped getting EDF back in March, but there are SO many recipes I flagged and never tried. I'm going to try and work my way back through them and I might start my subscription up again, just because I like paging through them for ideas and its SO cheap.

I'm still not in the routine enough to remember to take pictures, but I did make Mushroom & Black Bean Tortilla Casserole last night and it was pretty good! Incredibly easy. I did all of the prep quickly and put it aside. It then just needed to go in the oven for 15 min when we were ready to eat. I also didn't want to make so much so I sorta halved / sorta didn't halve the recipe. I used half the oil, two-thirds the amount of mushrooms, all the beans, a smaller dish, and however much I needed of everything else to make it work. It fed two of us with a smaller third serving leftover.

I'll let you know what I make next!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Squash soup!

It's FALL!!

Tis the season for beautiful soups. Here's the first one (of many) that I will be making this fall. I give you, Alton Brown's Squash Soup.

A few small changes from me:

1. I have no idea what sort of squash I used because in Switzerland, each kind of squash is just called courge. I have identified pattypan, spaghetti and potentially pumpkin, but these slices of "courge" that they sell in the store is still a mystery to me. It was a brilliant orange and baked up beautifully in the oven. It certainly had a sphaghetti squash like stringy consistency (not solid like a Japanese kaboucha or a pumpkin.) Very strange.

2. I used chicken stock that I had made myself. I'm starting to do this more often because a) it's easy and freezes nicely b) chicken stock has a ton of salt and preservatives and c) whole chicken is cheaper and more fun to cook with.

3. I left out the ginger despite having some, and the soup was still great.

I thought this recipe was a good starting place because it's JUST squash and a little cream and butter. Looking forward to seeing what celery, onions, potatoes and other things do to it!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Shrimp Risotto

Another one from the pioneer woman! I'm getting to really like her style of super long posts with step by step photos, it's handy to see what hers looked like at each step. And this one didn't have the recipe written out normally at the end but it was fine because I didn't really need it.

This shrimp risotto was great - creamy and tasty like regular risotto, but no cream or cheese, so it was slightly more healthful (still plenty of butter in there). And I really liked how they cut up the shrimp to go in it so you had more bites with shrimp. Now I have more than one kind of risotto in my repertoire. Yay!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Girls Curry Night

Last week, J was out of town so I invited all the female friends I've made (mostly CERN wives or female physicists) for a Girls Night In. It's pretty expensive to go out to eat in Geneva and without any Olive Garden options, I made three curries and they brought wine.

One of the curries was loosely based on Jamie Oliver's recipe:
Click on the picture for the recipe at http://www.jamieoliver.com

A few change and clarifications to his version:
  1. Frying the mustard seeds at first is important because it makes the flavor better, and it's really fun to hear the little seeds cackle on the frying pan.
  2. I tried grating the onions with large hole cheese grater, and while I had to stop because my eyes were stinging, it actually made for a nice onion paste. I didn't have the patience/stamina to do both onions that way, so I just chopped the second onion which worked just fine. I also used a jalapeno type pepper for the hot pepper.
  3. I used regular potatoes and thai eggplant (eggplant=aubergine) and realized that Jamie did not specify a cooking time. Even at small bite size pieces, it took at least 30 minutes for these items to cook. I made a mistake and boiled the coconut milk which you really shouldn't do. Keep at a simmer if possible.
  4. Having neither okra nor peas, I threw in red and yellow peppers instead. It still turned out lovely.
Really great flexible recipe for a chilly autumn night and hanging with the girls.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bacon Cheddar Scallion Biscuits

Yay, glad you're posting too Sarah! I agree, pictures are ideal but even if we don't take them we shouldn't let that stop us from posting. I actually made these biscuits again this weekend and this time I did take pictures. So here they are!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Recipes from Switzerland

Louisa! All is not lost! I've been thinking about blogging more about the recent cooking I've been doing too, so pictures to come! Recipe links for now!

Since last you all saw me, I got married and moved to Geneva, Switzerland. Most of my friends work at CERN at the Large Hadron Collider (or LHC). There are lots of nice things about Switzerland (cows! cheese! wine!) and downsides too (#3 most expensive city in the world).

So, we end up cooking a LOT instead of going out to eat. In the land of a burger costs $20, my reliance on Julia Child and Joy of Cooking has skyrocketed.

Recently, I've made a lot of scones to entertain my friends who stop by for tea. (I know, it sounds like we're living in the 1940s here.) But tried and true, this recipe for lemon scones actually one of my favs. Don't over knead the dough and if you have european butter, all the better. Did you know the fat content is totally different in butter here? Fascinating!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


No one else seems to be posting here but I'm going to continue, even if it's just for my own records. So, the main thing I've been getting in my CSA that I can't keep up with is scallions! Every week there's another big bunch and most things I make with them just uses a little bit. So I had to find more uses for them.

One thing I found was this scallion pesto. I didn't know if it would be any good but I also just got my first food processor so it was the perfect thing to try. I would say the scallion pesto is not amazing or anything but it's pretty good, definitely gives things a nice oniony tang, and a great use of my scallions!

The other thing I made was really awesome: bacon cheddar scallion biscuits! I used this recipe from the Pioneer Woman and just added scallions (sauteed them briefly in a little of the bacon fat before dumping them in the batter). I brought them to a potluck and they gotten eaten up pretty quickly. They are not healthy in the least but they are really good!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Swiss Chard

I joined a CSA for the first time this year - together with a coworker we're getting a half share, so we each get a quarter share which is working out very well because it's not too hard to use it up. Last week we got some swiss chard, which I think is so much better than spinach, and I found this recipe to use it. It's really simple, just sautee some swiss chard, I added dried cranberries instead of currants, and then put in some feta at the end. I didn't add any water though the recipe says to. The only thing is I'm always amazed at how all that leafiness cooks down into not that much, so my one bunch of chard made a small dish but it was very good!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Baked Parmesan Tomatoes

Hi everyone, we've all been on a long hiatus but I'm trying to revive the blog now! I'll start with these baked cheesy tomatoes I made the other day, which I originally came across on Pinterest. I used a shredded cheddar blend because I had that on hand and I wanted to use it up, but I bet any cheese would be good. I'm trying to eat healthy these days and I like that you can put as much or little cheese as you want. Also I used a tomato I got in my first CSA box! These are so simple and really tasty, I will definitely be making them again.