Archive | June, 2011

5 second rule

27 Jun

That rule doesn’t apply to liquids, since you cannot pick them up and brush them off.
I was trying to get artistic with my photography for once. The martini glass was poised atop of the upside-down glass, and the black and white background made a nice sort of architectural shot. And of course the shake topples. D’oh.
Normally I believe in germs. People should grow up exposing themselves to as many as possible to build up their immune systems. At least that’s my opinion. I’ve even extended five seconds to a minute or so of floor time. But this seemed like a bit much even to me. I could have made another shake but I’d already cleaned up and did not feel like having to wash the blender again so I did not make another. Fortunately I did have a spoonful before spilling and it was yumminess: a peanut butter and jelly shake! Equal parts PB and J, a scoop or so of vanilla ice cream and milk to the consistency of your liking is all you need. I recommend it. Maybe I’ll try again tonight…

Spicy Hot Pimiento Cheese Spread

23 Jun

Enjoyed on a fork with the company of flowers:

The above picture is to compensate for the gruel-ishness appearance of this spread. But in case you are interested, here it is in the spotlight:

This was from another recipe from my Texas Blossoms cookbook. I have a deep love of pimiento cheese. I’d eat it with a fork, on a tortilla, on bread(make a sandwich of this and put it in your waffle iron-magic!), on a train, on a plane, under a flower, with a whiskey sour…it is soooo good. So far the best recipe I’ve come across for regular pimiento cheese is from The Joy of Cooking. Spicy pimiento cheese spread is a slightly different beast, but, dare I say, equally delish.I changed a few things for this recipe, but not much. My rendition:
Spicy Hot Pimiento Cheese spread adapted from Texas Blossoms
4 cups of finely grated sharp lowfat Cheddar
2/3 cup finely chopped onion, rinsed
1/2 cup seeded, rinsed, minced, jalepeno
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 seven ounce jar diced pimientos
1/4 cup chopped cilantro(TX Blossoms says this is optional but I say it isn’t because it balances the spicy perfectly)
1 cup vegan mayo

Mix all but the mayo. Add mayo, mix. Enjoy in a tree, with a bee, on a boat, in a moat…

Un-texas-afying a recipe aka making it healthier

17 Jun

Brunch Enchiladas? Tortillas filled with spicy cheese and baked in a bath of eggy creamy spicy goodness? Yeah, baby. This recipe from Texas Blossoms was an opportunity for me to use up more of the soy turkey I’d bought, as well as some half and half and cheese that was on its last legs. But like most Tex-mex, it was also a bit in need of lightening up. I subbed in whole wheat tortillas and flour in the sauce, almond milk for some of the half and half, low-fat cheese, and soy ground turkey for ham. This was really good, the only thing I’d do differently would be to roll the tortillas tighter next time. They were loosely rolled and puffed up over the cream/egg mixture and got a bit dry on top. Otherwise I totally dug this:
Brunch Enchiladas(adapted from Texas Blossoms)
1/2 cup meat substitute
1/4 cup diced green chilies(the kind you get in a can)
3 oz. reduced fat sharp cheddar
1/4 cup chopped green onions
Divide this between 4 whole wheat tortillas, roll, and put in a 8×8 baking dish.
3 eggs
1/4 cup almond milk
3/4 cup half and half
1 1/2 tsp. whole wheat flour
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
dash of tabasco
Pour over rolled tortillas, cover and refrigerate about 4-8 hours. Remove about a half hour before baking then bake, covered for about 20-30 minutes then uncovered for 20-30 more at 350 degrees. Use your senses, if it looks done way early, it probably is, if it still seems underdone, cook it longer:)

sinful fruit, i.e., the apple

12 Jun

Forget the biblical references. Doesn’t this apple, this almost heart-shaped beauty bathing in a reduction of red wine and its own natural juices, look downright erotic? At least as erotic as produce can get?
This is another gem of a recipe from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. It’s pretty much just an apple baked with a bit of butter, some wine, cheddar cheese, thyme, and salt and pepper. There are all sorts of variations given for the recipe I’d like to make, like using port wine, blue cheese and sage. SO good. SO simple. SO sexy. Seriously. Sexy food. You know you want it.

Soggy bread:this food looks extra gruel-ish and tastes extra scrumptious

10 Jun

Normally I am not too into the meat substitutes. But I was lured in by the promise of soggy bread. In the form of biscuits and gravy. More specifically this Food and Wine Magazine recipe for Whole Wheat Biscuits with Creamy Sausage Gravy. The fact that the gravy contains chipotles in adobo was reason enough for me to believe I’d like this. Soggy bread AND spicy sauce? YUM. For that, I went out and purchased Yves Veggie Cuisine Meatless Ground Turkey.
And the bicuits, lemme tell you, at first blush the recipe looks like one for fairly standard whole wheat biscuits, but, AHA! is that kosher salt it calls for? Oh yeah. The kosher salt provides some textural intrigue as the grains are large and add random bits of crunch to the biscuit. YUM again. The original recipe is here and this was my half-recipe vegetarian adaptation(single vegetarians of the world rejoice):
1/2 + 2 TB. all purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt(important!)
3 TB. butter
6 TB. buttermilk
Preheat oven to 425. Whisk dry ingredients, cut in butter, stir in buttermilk until dough almost comes together. Dump it out, knead until it is just barely a cohesive mass. Pat out 1/2 inch thick and make biscuits whatever size and shape makes you happy.
Bake about 20 minutes.
1/2 package vegetarian ground turkey substitute
1 tsp. ground sage
1 chipotle in adobo, minced
1/4 tsp. each of salt n pepper(freshly ground)
1 Tbsp. whole wheat flour
1 cup skim milk
1 Tbsp. snipped chives
Cook and break up fake meat in a medium pan over medium high heat. Stir in sage, chipotles, salt, pepper and flour. Cook one minute. Add milk, simmer until thick, about five minutes. Pour on biscuits and enjoy.
If you are odd like me and like to eat foods that are supposed to be hot, cold, save some gravy in the fridge. The next day it is super thick and good. Possibly even better though it won’t make your biscuits soggy…

voluptuous blini

6 Jun

I am on the fence about buckwheat. Used judiciously, for the good of our tastebuds, it can be quite enjoyable. Used poorly, it is harsh and bitter. I had clipped this recipe for Buckwheat-Cheddar Blini from Food and Wine Magazine.
I was intrigued by the recipe because of the magazine article: Sophie Dahl’s Voluptuous Cooking. Sophie is Roald Dahl’s granddaughter. Surely some of his macabre sensibility has rubbed off on her and given her food magical powers. And ironically her recipe is made quite low-fat, made with egg whites and skim milk. No butter in sight. How quirky to call it voluptuous. I sense some Roald-ness!
Plus it was inspired by her Norwegian heritage. That makes me think of Vikings which is kind of hot in a Norse sort of way. Voluptuous, hot, macabre Viking grub? I could not resist.
I thought these were alright, and they became even better garnished with a dollop of cottage cheese. The recipe also specifies garnishing with sour cream and salmon but I skipped that because I don’t eat meat and I don’t really care for sour cream by itself.
Were I to make them again I’d up the cheddar content and add a bit of all purpose flour. The texture of straight-up buckwheat is a bit gruff. And gruff is not voluptuous. Not even sexy. It is, however, undeniably Viking-y.