Today is Fat Tuesday. A day of celebration, over indulgence, parades, and king cake. While this festival has it origins in religion, folks now celebrate Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday just because. The baby is hidden in a king cake, and the person that finds it, has to host the party next year. My coworker told me in Mexican tradition the finder of the baby has to make the tamales.
#365project #photoaday #fattuesday
A couple girlfriends and I threw a mac & cheese dinner party last night. We had 4 different mac & cheese dishes, wine, & punch. It all turned out quite tasty!
And like every successful party, the fire department was peripherally involved. I’m sad to report the lobster mac did not survive. Clearly this means a do-over!
#365project #photoaday #goodfriendsrock
Super simple & tasty cider punch
1/2 gallon fresh apple cider
1-2 cups pear infused vodka (I didn’t measure, but made to taste)
2 bottles prosecco
sliced pears to garnish
Thanks to a couple of wonderful girlfriends I was gifted a few weeks of #BlueApron. This is NOT a paid endorsement. Certainly, if they want to, I wouldn’t say no. This week I made chicken & orange kale salad, steak & roasted broccoli, and tonight was the orange glazed meatballs (sans rice and I forgot the orange). It was all was good and I’d make any of these again. I upped the veggies on the all the dishes with stuff I had in the fridge. Never too many veggies!
Aside from all the good eating, this week has been a roller coaster, so much so that this evening called for a dirty martini. Ginger thought she needed to get in on this action, but her mama cut her off. It’s all mine!
#653project #photoaday #martiniheaven
It was 50 degrees when I got up this morning with a high of 60. Tomorrow evening we are supposed to get back down to the 20’s with another winter storm coming in. My downstairs neighbor keeps their apartment so warm, I had to turn on my air conditioning today! And my office is… I’ve told y’all what a hot mess that place is. I have to dress for summer when I’m in there and the woman next to me has on a space heater!
All I wanted tonight when I got home was a bowl of something comforting. Whole wheat pasta, sauteed chicken with homemade pasta sauce, zucchini, and mixed greens with a dusting of parmesan. Now I can really veg this evening!
#365project #photoaday #alldone
I don’t think I eat anything all that special, strange, or different, but with startling regularity, someone really makes me wonder. My parents were foodies before there was such a thing; going to cooking schools and coming home to experiment on me. I was the last child and they were trying to find something they had in common. I don’t really recall them making anything strange or all that special, but their adventurousness made me a willing accomplice.
While I “grew up” in Mississippi, I really became me in Oregon. Hippy country, full of tree huggers who eat twigs and bugs and cook out in the wilderness just for fun. I’m saying all of this tongue in cheek, but I had a date recently and when I said something about backpacking and cooking on a camp stove, this was beyond his comprehension. Camp cooking taught me to be creative in a bowl. We always ate great while out on the trail. No MRE’s for us. It just requires a little forethought and planning.
There was no planning or forethought for this night’s meal. It was let’s get creative with what I have in the fridge. Truthfully, that’s how I cook most often. I’ve mentioned here how much I enjoy one bowl dinners. Last night I had a friend over and I felt like I dropped a Siberian delicacy in front of her. She asked lots of questions and wanted to know how it was all done. I was flattered and mystified. What did I make that was so amazing, you ask…
Pearl couscous with curry roasted cauliflower. I was so hungry I didn’t get a picture. I added lots of curry powder to the cauliflower before roasting in the oven and a can of diced tomatoes to the finished couscous. It was warm and wonderful, perfect for a cool, foggy night.
Going back through previous posts I’ve found a few bowls to whet your appetite and tempt you into making something new for dinner tonight. Here’s an easy curry bowl (pictured above) and here’s another twist on my pearl couscous bowl. This post is for tofu, but I make roasted cauliflower the exact same way.
I know I’ve talked ad nauseum about the roller coaster of the past year and a half. I’m almost tired of hearing myself talk about it. But the more I get this detritus out of my head the more I heal and the healthier I am.
The past three weeks I have felt better than I have in the last two years. No doubt about it! I am so happy to be getting back to ME!
One of the things I have missed the most is being able to cook. I’m not a great lefty. Coe would disagree because I’ve gotten pretty good at the left handed frisbee and ball toss. I even learned how to use chopsticks with my left hand! What I couldn’t get down was whisking; all I managed to do was make a mess and send food flying.
Almost every weeknight for the past three weeks I’ve been cooking dinner and playing in the kitchen. That process alone has fed my spirit.
Last night’s noodle bowl was almost a work of art and I have to share. As I’ve also mentioned before, I’m not big on measuring, but some things I actually did portion portion out.
1 serving (56g) whole wheat noodles
1 serving (4 ounces) 99% fat free ground turkey
Cauliflower, broken into small florets
1 serving pasta sauce
1 ounce grated Parmesan
In the move, I discovered the joy of a true non-stick skillet, so I did not use any oil in making this dish.
While you are assembling the veggies in your skillet, boil and cook your pasta, so everything comes together at the same time.
Heat your skillet to medium heat, when hot, toss in onions and cauliflower. Let cauliflower roast a few minutes and onions get soft, then put the lid on to cook cauliflower. Check and stir a few times. After about five or so minutes, add ground turkey and desired spices.
Stir a few times, and as the ground turkey is almost done, add a very generous handful of shredded cabbage. Give a toss and put the lid on for a couple of minutes.
At this time your pasta should be done. I usually scoop it out with a small strainer or spider. Toss pasta into your skillet, add pasta sauce, and mix together. Add a little pasta water to the skillet to make it a little saucier if you want.
Serve up and top with parmesan and fresh basil. This whole dish (per the Loseit app) was only 515 calories.
When the gentleman caller (here forward GC) and I were out the other day, I mentioned how cooking for one gets a little boring. I buy a bunch of veggies and something to go along with said veggies and I make variations on a theme for a week. then I realized I hadn’t posted my dinners in awhile.
With fall-like weather descending on Portland again (yes-in JUNE!), I’ve been oven roasting my veggies and putting them on Asian noodles with a little peanut sauce and one night I got crazy and put them on Israeli couscous.
When I get home, I put my beloved cast iron skillet in the oven at 400*f to preheat.
I then commence to chopping veggies- this week has been cauliflower, eggplant, zucchini, and bell pepper. Chop the veggies in what seem to be big bites, they will cook down. Toss all the veggies in a bowl. I drizzle with a little olive oil and some dried herbs. On noodle night, I added some protein in the form of extra firm tofu, again, cut into bite size pieces and toss in with the veggies. I’ll drizzle with a little sesame oil and sprinkle some curry powder, cumin and a little red pepper flakes.
Give all the veggies, oil, and herbs a good toss and when your oven is preheated, toss in the skillet. You’ll hear a nice sizzle. Every 10 minutes or so, pull out the skillet and give a little toss and shake and put back in the oven. Total cooking time will be about 30 minutes.
Enter google. I love google. google knows everything. All I have to do is ask and google tells me the secrets of the universe. My friend Megan spent an evening in the ER recently having Israeli couscous pulled out of her twins’ nostrils. I shouldn’t laugh, but holy crap! That’s good shit! Good enough to make me want to make Israeli couscous. If it’s good enough to put up your nose, then I want that in my belly! But I had no idea how to cook the stuff and google told me. Well, really, google led me to epicurious, who told me.
The recipe I found, that seemed to fit my need, called for a few things I didn’t have on hand, so I made my usual modifications and dinner was served! I chopped about 1/4- 1/2 cup onion and tossed in a pot with some butter for a few minutes. Then I added 1 cup couscous (I made 1/3 the recipe on epicurious) and let this toast for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. When it had a touch of color, I added 10z chicken broth. I left out the extra salt the recipe called for since broth tends to be a bit salty and I knew I was going to toss in parmesan at the end.
I really made enough for lunch the next day, but this was so yummy, I ate it all the night I made it! Next time I will add some grilled chicken. I don’t think I would have been as inclined to eat it all if it had some protein. But damn, this dish was yummy and so simple! This will definitely go in the make again column. tasty and easy- that’s a win in my book!
Last year for my birthday, I gave myself a cooking class as my gift. We all have those things we fear or are too intimidated to tackle. I had heard so many horror stories about making gnocchi that I certainly wasn’t going to try it without a little hand holding.
Caprial & John offer cooking classes and supper clubs in a small commercial kitchen. One Saturday afternoon about 10 of us gathered around to watch then do. Afterwards we sat down for a lunch of our spoils.
I made gnocchi a few times immediately following my class. Teri, who is of real Italian decent proclaimed I’d done good. It’s been on my list to make again for awhile, but just hadn’t found the time. This weekend I made the time!
This is really a pretty easy preparation so all those horror stories are just to scare you off.
2-3 russet potatoes
1t kosher salt
1 1/2(ish) cup 00 flour*
Bake your potatoes until done and when cool enough to handle, scoop out and mash really well or put through a ricer (the one gadget I don’t have). Add salt and fold in 1 cup of flour. When it all comes together, turn out onto a floured counter and knead in remaining flour until it is the smooth. Do not over work. Divide into 6 equal parts. Roll each part into a snake and cut into bites and toss into a baking sheet sprinkled with semolina.
I tossed these with my homemade sauce and a little parmesan. oh yummm. This is enough for a dinner for 4 with a side salad.
Now that I know I can make the regular recipe, I’ve got some ideas on how I want to mix things up. with butternut squash or sweet potatoes…
*00 flour is an Italian soft wheat flour available online or hidden in your local specialty store.