Fall means baking! I love summer (salads, garden veggies, tomatoes, sunshine), but fall is my favorite season because I get to start baking again. Turning on the stove in the summer is something I am loathe to do, so come fall, it is baking time!
Using my trusty donut pan, I used this very easy recipe—with modifications (used olive oil and regular dairy). You can really dress these up with just about anything. Get creative! Our toppings included:
- melted chocolate mixed with a bit of bourbon and topped with chopped dried figs
- apple butter with homemade granola sprinkled on top
- cinnamon & sugar
With the temperature rising comes BBQ’s, picnics and easy to prep, cool food. This bow-tie pasta salad is simply the pasta cooked until al dente and tossed with a few tablespoons lemon juice, a big drizzle of olive oil, generous pinches of salt and pepper, chopped up sugar snap peas, thinly sliced red onion and a whole lotta dill – yum! It actually tastes really good the next day as lunch leftovers, which means it will definitely stand up to any traveling if you bring it with you to a picnic.
With the surplus of birthday chocolate and nuts, I thought some delicious matzoh like dessert was in order. Melt some good chocolate in the microwave for about 2o seconds and stir until smooth (you may have to repeat at 10 second intervals for a smooth consistency – don’t overheat!). Pour chocolate over matzoh and sprinkle some nuts and dried fruit and what-have-you on top. Let it cool and munch!
We have been out of town, celebrating birthdays, Passover and soon, Easter – so busy! Here is a lovely little part of our dinner from last night – roasted cauliflower with tahini/lemon sauce.
I roughly chopped a whole head of cauliflower, mixed in some olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice and red pepper flakes and let it roast in a 375F oven for about 35 minutes (or until it gets as roasted as you like it). I think mixed up a few tablespoons of tahini with a few tablespoons of lemon juice to make a quick drizzle/dipping sauce. Pour atop the roasted cauliflower, season with some paprika, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with more sauce on the side to dip the florets in. A deliciously easy side dish.
Achiote tofu and avocado, homemade fennel bread and baked sweet potato slices…doesn’t get any better!
UPDATE ON SPENDING:
$.50 on a sweet potato from the Farmer’s Market
$1.50 on 6 eggs from the Pioneer
$2 on feta cheese from the Pioneer
$2.50 frozen yogurt (it was on sale…it was also 70 degrees on Friday in Brooklyn)
TOTAL LEFT FOR THE WEEK: $20.39 leaving us $9.61 to spend!
It was a rainy Sunday and the thought of a big pot of soup simmering in the crockpot for a few hours was comforting. A smattering of ingredients later resulted in 8 heaping servings of soup! You can simmer this on the stove if you don’t have a crockpot, I just didn’t want to deal with hovering in the kitchen.
Tomato and Garlic Soup
- 2 large onions, chopped finely
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped finely
- 2 28-ounce cans diced or crushed tomatoes
- 4-6 cups vegetable broth or water
- salt and pepper and crushed red pepper flakes to taste
- 1 cup roughly chopped basil
- old bread (optional)
- can of beans, rinsed well (optional)
- Heat up about a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot. Saute the onions in a until they are a nice golden color and add the garlic. Alternatively, stick onions and garlic in a crockpot and let them cook until golden (ours was set on high for 4 hours). Feel free to add some vegetable broth if the onions appear to be sticking to your pot/crockpot.
- Add in the tomatoes and 4 cups of the broth/water and stir everything together. Bring to a boil and let simmer, covered for about an hour. Feel free to add more liquid if you think it’s too chunky. If your using a crockpot, dump everything in there and let it cook.
- Add salt, pepper and crushed red pepper to taste. Add beans if you want some protein.
- Puree soup a bit if you want a smoother consistency – we used a stick blender for just a minute.
- Put stale bread in the bottom of a large bowl. Ladle hot soup over bread. Add lots and lots of chopped basil. Consume!
Realizing that we had quite a bit of money ($11) left over from the previous week, I decided it was OK to get some stuff at the Pioneer for the soup.
- 2 28 ounce cans of diced tomatoes: $3
- 1 head of garlic: $0.35
- bunch of basil: $1.50
- bag of onions: $1.00
- tomato paste: $0.50
TOTAL: $6.35 (still under!)
Phil bought an enormous rutabaga at the Coop a week or two ago and also made a huge batch of stock this past Sunday. Rutabaga + stock sounded like soup to me. Very hearty and easy to make – an excellent weeknight meal!
Super Simple Rutabaga Soup
- olive oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
- potato, peeled and chopped
- 1 huge rutabaga or a few small ones, peeled and chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup red lentils
- 1.5 quarts vegetable stock or a mix of stock and water
- salt and pepper to taste
- sesame seeds to garnish (optional)
- Heat up a splash of olive oil in a large pot and add the onion. Cook the onion until it is very dark – about 10 minutes. Going for a burned onion taste here. Add some water to the pot if it’s getting too smokey.
- Add the garlic and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and cook until rutabaga and potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.
- Puree the soup in batches with a blending machine of your choice. Or don’t puree, this recipe is also lovely as a chunky soup.
- Top with toasted sesame seeds if desired.
- Serve with salad and some True Grit Cornbread Muffins for a meal.
Not at all a healthy way to start the day, but I like looking at this cheerful clump of popcorn while eating my breakfast oatmeal. This popcorn is way too addictive to keep in the house so I brought a bag in to the office yesterday and it is ALL GONE. The recipe is easy, made with ingredients you may have around the kitchen and makes a ton of caramel corn.
I followed this recipe to the letter and thought that the amount of caramel produced was way too much for the popcorn. If you like popcorn completely slathered with caramel, feel free to use all of the caramel. I ended up using half the caramel and stuck the (ovensafe) pot in a 200F oven to keep it warm and quickly popped another batch of popcorn on the stove and poured the rest of the caramel on top.
Sweet and salty with a subtle spice coming in at the end. Dangerous snacking food.
We’ve been invited to an Oscar party where the hostess wanted folks to bring food or beverages inspired by the Best Picture nominees this year. I decided to make “True Grit” Cornbread Muffins and they are spicy, moist and delicious.
I used a basic cornbread recipe and added jalapenos, some grated pepperjack and cheddar cheese we had in the freezer, nutritional yeast flakes (found in the cupboard while cleaning) and chopped sundried tomatoes.
True Grit Cornbread Muffins
(makes about22 muffins)
- 3 cups cornmeal
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1.5 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups buttermilk, soured milk or a mix of milk and yogurt
- 4 sundried tomatoes, finely chopped
- 2 jalapenos, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup shredded cheese (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Mix together all of the dried ingredients from the top of the list in a large bowl.
- Mix up the wet ingredients in another or use a blender.
- Make a well in the dry ingredients and mix in the liquid with a few quick strokes. Don’t over beat!
- Add in the jalapenos, cheese and sundried tomatoes and mix.
- Pour into greased or lined muffin tins and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick comes out cleanly.
- Serve as an appetizer, eat for breakfast with some eggs, crumble over chili or soup or just munch on one as a snack.
Hello Year of the Rabbit! Instead of ordering takeout on Saturday, we made our own whole wheat noodles and made a stir fry with tofu, carrots, cabbage and Brussels sprouts. Delicious, nutritious and relatively easy.