Saturday, August 31, 2013

Two Awesome Things

Dear Turkey,

Here are two awesome things from my life:

My yard.

A table full of tostada ingredients. And it happens to be my table.

I moss you,

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Vintage Muffins

Dear Turkey,

Have you ever wondered how to make a vintage cookbook? First, your mom has to get it from her mom. And it has to have vintage quotes like "this is the perfect thing to make while your laundry is drying and you're waiting for your husband to come home from work." Then, you and your mom have to spill things all over your favorite pages:

As you could probably guess, we always make "Sweet Muffins."This was a double batch with blueberries and frozen cherries, since we already finished the double batch of PCCB Muffins:

I moss you,

Monday, August 26, 2013

PCCB Muffins

Dear Turkey,

As you know, I make two kinds of Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread (PCCB): "healthy" and "unhealthy." According to some of my relations, they are both unhealthy. According to me, they are both healthy.

School has started and it's time to send a little extra love (aka sugar and fat) to class and work in the backpacks of my constituents. So I made PCCB muffins (PCCBM...or is that what happens after you eat the muffins?). They are a hybrid of the "healthy" and "unhealthy" kind, and they are so fluffy (but not too chewy) and delicious that even self-proclaimed haters of the "healthy" kind could not resist them:

PCCB Muffins:

3.5 c flour
1/4 c sesame seeds
2 T baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
1 t nutmeg
1 t salt
1 t vanilla
1 c sugar
1 c oil
1 c whole milk
2/3 c water
1 can pumpkin
1 bag mini chocolate chips

You can tell that I invented this recipe because the uniformity of the measurements leads to very little cup and spoon washing. Bake at 350 for 15-25 mins, depending on the size of the muffins, or until they pass the knife test (meaning that it comes out clean).

I made two batches so that they would last the whole week. At the time of this posting there are seven left. And I haven't had breakfast yet.

I moss you,

Saturday, August 24, 2013

I Got An iPhone

Dear Turkey,

Now it will be even easier for you to skip over my words and just feast your eyes on my big huge pictures instead:

Don't worry; it cost 99 cents.

I moss you,

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Can You Please Use Up This Apple?


Can you make this apple disappear?

It's been sitting on our countertop for a month because we never made that second batch of beans and barley

Just chop it up and put it in a bowl with:

2/3 c sourdough starter (optional)
3 c whole wheat flour
1 1/3 c water
2 T yeast
1 T salt
3 T honey
3 T canola oil
1/2 c raisins
2 T cinnamon

Knead until a ball forms (about 2 mins). Let it rise for a few hours. Then bake it on a parchment-covered stone at 475 degrees for five minutes, then at 450 degrees for 28 minutes:


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

How To Make More Room In The Fridge

Dear Turkey,

Are you plagued by the follow summer problem:

You finally cleared your counters of those menacing heaps of zucchini when you realize that you can't see the back of your fridge because you mom keeps giving you bags of greens that
1) are taking over her garden, and,
2) she can't even remember their names?

First of all, blanch them (don't tell the Nutrition Police that you got that tip from me); they will shrink to amazing proportions!

Stuff them into the food processor (no, not the blender, not even the Vitamix [gasp]) along with (for about 2 c wilted greens) 3/4 c unsalted sunflower seeds, 3/4 c raw slivered almonds, 1 T salt, 2 T olive oil, juice of 1 lemon, a handful of cilantro (or whatever else you need to use up), 3 cloves garlic, and 2 shallots. 

Serving suggestions: freeze it for later, spread it on bread, toss it with pasta, or just stand over the sink and spoon it into your mouth even though it's only 9:00 in the morning.

I moss you,

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Criminal Pasta

Dear Turkey,

Here is my blog resolution for today: take pictures of the pasta BEFORE covering it with cheese:

Since you can't actually see what this looks like, I will just tell you that it's so good, it's criminal. That's why it's hiding. And now you will never see it again because it's all in my belly.

I've been trying to make a scampi-like pasta sauce for a while. Lessons learned so far: butter, garlic, lemon, wine, salt, more butter.

Today I used a secret ingredient (man is this stuff good -- but it also has like 20 ingredients, and I could make it myself for like 50 cents). I sauteed some minced garlic in the secret ingredient, added some splashes of lemon juice, red wine, and dried basil. I cut up some small tomatoes and cooked them in there just until they got a little soft.

Funny story: I was going to add white wine. I took the bottle out of my mom's fridge, and, thank goodness, I glanced at the label before splashing it into the pot: Mojito Mix. That was close.

I moss you,

Monday, August 12, 2013

Zucchini Pie

Dear Turkey,

Isn't it so annoying when people keep throwing zucchini at you? No. 

But in case you think it is, here is another awesome recipe. We ate this at my aunt's house and we talked about it the whole way home. Which was two hours. 

Zucchini Pie:

3 c grated zucchini
1 onion diced
1 T parsley minced
1/2 c oil
1/2 c parm grated
1 c cheddar grated
4 eggs
1 c biscuit mix (I actually bought Wegmans' Buttermilk Biscuit Mix -- I am ashamed)

Mix it all up and grease two pie plates. Pour it in and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, or until it's super brown, if you're me. Then spend the rest of the day daydreaming about all the things you can make with the extra biscuit mix. 

I also had bananas and peanuts that needed to be used up (who knew that peanuts can go stale?). So I made my usual banana bread with peanuts, which was really more delicious than even I expected.

5 small, ripe bananas, mashed; 2 c whole wheat flour; 1 c peanuts, chopped up a little; 1/3 c canola oil; 1/2 c sugar; 1 t baking powder; 1 t baking soda; 1/2 t salt; 1/2 bag mini chocolate chips; bake at 350 degrees for an hour

I moss you,

Friday, August 9, 2013

Thumbprint Cookies

Dear Turkey,

Since I am always getting my thumbprints over everyone else's cookie dough, I decided to add a thumbprint cookie recipe to my repertoire. These meet my cookie criteria: not too many ingredients, no mixer required, and they look a lot fancier than they really are (not an official criterion).

For the dough, combine:
1 stick butter, soft or melted
1/3 c brown sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla
1 pinch salt
1 c + one small handful flour
1/3 c mini choc chips

Mix with hands until the dough comes together. Make 24 balls and place them on a baking stone. Then make a thumbprint in each one and fill it with Nutella:

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-13 mins:

Eat them in one sitting:

I moss you,

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Dear Turkey,

Here's another trend on "the blogs" lately: DIY.
So, here is a little DIY for you:

DIY Half Marathon


Shoes (with feet in them), a road
GPS watch (cheap kind okay) [optional]
Aid station
Post-race prizes (money saving tip: invite Lt. Veggie Nugget to run with you. When she gets tired, send her to Starbucks while you finish the run) [elapsed time since purchase: 2.13 minutes] 
When you're done, it will be time for some DIY Mexican Combo Plates:

Rice: brown rice, olive oil, salt, lemon juice
Beans: black, kidney, and big white beans; rinsed, drained and cooked quickly and hot-ly with oil, honey, garlic, cumin, oregano, paprika, lemon juice
Mango Salsa: mango (just makin' sure you're awake), salt, lime juice (from a lime, not a jar), fresh cilantro, fresh mint, fresh chives
Avocado: topped with lemon juice and salt
Cheese & Salsa
Time for a nap,

Saturday, August 3, 2013

What's That Smell?

Dear Turkey,

Here's a sample cooking conversation:

Me: do you want some [insert whatever I'm cooking here]?
Others: oh, no, we're not hungry; we just ate.
Chop, chop, chop, mix, mix, mix, that sweet-yet-scary smell of lighting the gas, etc.
Others: what's that smell? Can we have some?
Me: what you are smelling is...butter.

Ah, butter, you make things tasty and you make people hungry, even though they "just ate." Whether it's baking, grilling, or Pasta Master, you convince my constituents that maybe they could use a few more calories after all.

Classic Example of this Scenario:

Cook a little pasta and drain it. Then sautee Your Friend Butter with some minced garlic (yes, from a jar), lemon juice ( guessed it), salt, and pepper. Put the pasta back into the pot while the heat is still on. Then toss with some basil (from your windowsill) and shredded cheese. Simple and delicious.

Here's a trend on the blogs lately: Money Saving Tips. Some blogs are devoted entirely to saving money and coupon-ing. So I have added Money Saving Tips to this blog. Here's the first one: if your mom has a BJs card, ask her to buy things there for you, like delicious shredded cheese. It's a lot cheaper than in regular stores, especially if you don't pay her back. 

Let's close with another showing of Your Friend Butter on the grill:

Par-boiled potatoes, corn, and tofurky brats -- all delicious candidates for Tofu's Special Helper (okay, maybe not the brats, but the rolls, perhaps, especially if they're that healthy-holier-than-thou whole wheat kind).

I moss you,