Saturday, September 28, 2013

It's Not Too Late

Dear Syracuse-Haters,

You may think that we're already driving to work in the dark and shoveling snow up here. Well, only one of those things is true. However, it's not too late for chard pizza that your mom grew ("I love summer"):

Before baking

After baking, but not over-baking

Or for grilling:

'Cuse me,

Friday, September 27, 2013

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Scones

Dear Turkey,

Since I ran out of muffin papers this week (surprise), I decided to make scones. They are inspired by this cool blog. I redacted the eggs so that I could eat the batter, and I also doubled the recipe because I hate using less than one can of pumpkin. I replaced the white whole wheat flour with regular whole wheat flour because that is more hardcore.

Yes, Mom, I used a cookie sheet WITH EDGES so that I didn't spill butter all over my oven like I do when I use your oven. However, I think that I chopped the butter up small enough (and there wasn't enough of it), and it didn't leak out of the scones at all.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Scones:

Step 1:

First of all, use a bigger bowl than this one. Here is what you put in it: 2 sticks butter (a little warmer than fridge temp), 5.5 c whole wheat flour, 2/3 c sugar, 2 T baking powder, 1.5 t salt, 1.5 t cinnamon, 1/2 t ginger, 1/2 t nutmeg, 1/2 t allspice, 1 can pumpkin, 1 c chocolate chips. Chop everything with the tuna chopper until the dough comes together (it will be crumbly) and make into 18 balls. Place on a parchment-covered COOKIE SHEET (not a baking stone unless you like to live dangerously).

Step 2:

425 degrees, 20 minutes. 

I moss you,

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Autumn Pear and Plum Tart

Dear Turkey,

You're pretending that it's still summer. You bought plums one last time because they were cheap. It was the value pack. That was 2.6 weeks ago and they are still rock hard. In the meantime, your mom broke down and bought pears, but then she didn't take them with her when she went on vacation, and now they are too ripe to eat.

First, ask your mom to cut off all of the sketchy spots (actually, my mom did this without even being asked):

Then, in a bowl, combine 2 sticks butter (fridge temp), 2 c flour, 1/2 c cornmeal, 1 t sugar, 1 t salt, and mash it all together with "the tuna chopper " (no actual tuna required). Press it into the bottom of a greased baking dish. Then slice up all the fruit, arrange it beautifully (optional), and sprinkle with 1 c sugar and 2 T flour: 

400 degrees, 45 mins:

Eat a huge, delicious dinner that your mom made from stuff that she grew in her garden, and then enjoy the tart for dessert:

Problem solved. New problem: how to take the rest of the tart home in your car without scorching the rug.

I moss you,

Friday, September 20, 2013

It's The Muffin Blog!

Dear Turkey,

Yes, I am re-naming this blog The Muffin Blog. But, really, what's not awesome about muffins? You can eat them for any meal. You can take them with you in cute Tupperwares. Your baby likes them. They take less time to bake than banana bread.

So far, my muffins have been fluffy and light. These are more like Healthy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Muffins:

Combine the following (makes 24): 

2 c chopped walnuts and pecans
1 c choc chips
2 c oatmeal
4 T ground flaxseed
1 c brown sugar 
2.5 c whole wheat flour
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
2 t baking powder 
2/3 c canola oil
2 c soymilk

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. 

I've noticed that muffins usually contain baking powder (for that cake-y rise). These have powder and soda, which contributes to the cookie-like texture. Many cookie recipes just have baking soda, but, in my opinion, the best have soda and powder. 

Just sayin,

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

One Pot Couscous Risotto Spinach Gratin Casserole

Dear Turkey,

This book I'm reading makes me think that long, wordy titles are not only okay, they will make a bestseller. For this dish (and it's not muffins, I promise), it takes almost as long to read the title as it does to make it. I invented it on my run yesterday and made it in my PJs after bath time. My PJs smell good now.


Sautee the shallots (if they're growing, it's okay, as you can see), the garlic, and one tablespoon of dried oregano in a few tablespoons of olive oil and a few teaspoons of salt and pepper:

Then add two cups of water, one cup of couscous, and the can of tomatoes, undrained. Keep cooking it until most of the liquid is absorbed. Put a few inches of that in a greased baking dish (you will have extra couscous for later in the week). In the same pot, add some more oil and salt and pepper. Heat it up and add the can of beans (drained and rinsed), one cup frozen spinach, 1/4 c lime juice, and 1/4 cup basil. Sautee until the spinach is thawed:

Pour that on top of the couscous and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Then cheese. Then more bread crumbs (because you couldn't decide which should go on top):

Bake, uncovered, at 425 degrees for 15 or 20 minutes, until it looks like this:

Your constituents will be happy, and your house will smell as good as your PJs. Dessert: muffins.

I moss you,

Monday, September 16, 2013

It's About Time...

...For another guest post from GradStudentCupcakeMomNEIGHBOR!

In order to get you in the mood for her five awesome recipes (at least I can vouch for the ones without chicken), here is a picture of her delicious Red Velvet Beet Cake:

Yes, those are beets. That she grew. And, yes, it is delicious.
Here we go:

Curry Carrot Soup

1 medium onion 
3 stalks celery
At least 6-8 large carrots (depending on desired consistency of soup)
1 Tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup cream or milk
1/2 tsp pepper
3-4 cups chicken OR vegetable broth (depending on desired consistency)
(alternative:  can cream of chicken with one can water)
2 cloves garlic

1.  Cook/steam carrots, celery, onion
2.  Puree in food processor with garlic
3.  Add all ingredients to crock pot on low for 6 hours, or cook on stovetop!

LoppCop All Season Bean Salsa
(this recipe makes enough for an appetizer for at least 8 people)

one can white northern beans
one can black beans
one can diced or 3 large fresh tomatoes, diced
one can corn or 2 ears fresh corn
one small red onion chopped
variety of peppers (3-4) chopped
few sprigs of chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp pepper
juice of half lime
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 Tbsp hot sauce (your choice!)

1.  Mix all ingredients in large bowl

Stuffed Zucchini Boats
(I got the idea off of Pinterest and then made it my own)

2 large zucchini
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves
1 sweet red pepper
1 small green pepper
1/2 cup diced mushrooms
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup cheddar cheese
1 cup Italian bread crumbs (or cooked quinoa)
(Parmesan cheese for sprinkling over cooked zucchini)

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2.  Cut ends from zucchini and scrape out middles (dice and save middle)
3.  Sautee vegetables over medium heat for about 5 minutes (including garlic cloves and zucchini middle)
4.  Remove from heat and add other ingredients, including cheddar cheese and bread crumbs
5.  Paint over zucchini boats with olive oil
6. Divide filling between zucchinis and press into middles
7.  Bake for 30 min uncovered
8.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese when finished

Potato Pancakes (served well with either LoppCop Bean Salsa and sour cream, OR homemade applesauce:  dice at least 5 apples (with skins), put in crock pot for 4 hours on high with 3 Tbsp of your favorite honey, and 1 tsp cinnamon)

6 medium sized potatoes (I used yukon golds)
2 large carrots
1 medium onion
2 eggs
4 Tbsp flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup cheddar cheese

1.  Cook potatoes, carrots, and onion (boil or steam)
2.  Puree in food processors, or mash with hand held blender (I used blender)
3.  Mix all ingredients in large bowl
4.  Make small pancakes with your hands, making sure not to make them too thick
5.  Cook over medium heat until golden or brown edges, use olive oil or butter for frying

Marshmallow Roasted Red Beets (for those who hate beets)
3 large red beets
1 tsp cinnamon

1.  thinly slice red beets (mandolin would be perfect if I weren’t afraid of them)
2.  Place in greased 9x13 pan
3.  drizzle honey over beets, and sprinkle cinnamon evenly
4.  Place in oven at 400 for 20-30 min, depending on how thinly sliced the beets are
5.  When beets look about finished, add desired amount of marshmallows and bake for 5 minutes

Thursday, September 12, 2013


Dear Turkey,

Here is another one of my world-famous money-saving tips:

Hummus (aka "ha" in baby-language) is expensive. If you make it yourself, you will save lots of money. Especially if nobody likes your version except you and it takes you many days to eat all of it.

So, I am trying to improve my hummus. Here are my suggestions to myself: more salt and more oil. In the meantime, you can enjoy this healthy version; don't be fooled by the fact that it looks like an ice-cream sundae:

Puree the following in the food processor: 1 big can chickpeas (drained and rinsed), 2/3 c tahini, 1/4 c lemon juice, 2 t minced garlic, 1 T salt, 1 t cumin, 2 T olive oil. For the sauce, stir some paprika into some olive oil. 

Since it looks like ice cream, you will be in the mood for some muffins for dessert: 

Fluffy lemon muffins that my mom hates:

Combine (for 24):
2.5 c flour
1.5 c sugar
5 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1.5 c plain nonfat yogurt
1 c water
1/2 c olive oil
2 T dried orange peel
4 T lemon juice

Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

I moss you,

Sunday, September 8, 2013

More Muffins!

Dear Turkey,

If you are sick of muffins you can either
1) Skip this post
2) Stop being my friend

First of all, we went apple picking:

Naturally, I had to make some muffins: 

Combine 3 apples, diced; 3 c whole wheat flour, 1/2 c ground flax seed; 3 t baking powder; 1.5 t salt; 2 t cinnamon; 2/3 c ricotta; 1.5 c soymilk; 2/3 c canola oil; 1/2 c sugar; 2 T honey. Dust the tops with cornmeal and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes (makes 24).
These taste way less healthy than they are.

I moss you,

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

How To Make Your Car Smell Good

Dear Turkey,

It's 6:00 in the morning. You have a tub of ricotta that's going to expire any minute. Your baby wants a cooking show. Your other constituents want muffins that are baked with love. You want chocolate. 

Get out a big shiny bowl and pour the following into it with abandon:

2 1/3 c flour
1 c sugar
3/4 c choc chips
1/3 c cocoa
2 t baking powder
3/4 t salt
1 c ricotta (whole milk, please)
2 eggs
1 1/3 c soymilk
1 t vanilla
1/4 c canola oil

You will resist the temptation to overmix because cooking shows can't be boring. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes (makes 24). 

Take four hot muffins and put them, uncovered, in your car in a tupperware (handy tip: this car-freshener only works for 30 minutes, or as long as the muffins are not eaten).

After 30 minutes, take them into your office and eat them all, unless your boss reads this first (since you owe her one).

I moss you,

Monday, September 2, 2013

Pretzel Bread

Dear Turkey,

Do you ever get tired of reading about bread? Probably about as tired as I get of baking and eating it.

This was going to be pretzels but it was getting late so I made it into a pretzel bread (adapted from The Bread Bible):

In a bowl, combine the following and knead for five minutes:

2/3 c sourdough starter (optional)
Scant 3 c flour
Scant 1/3 c whole wheat flour
1 T yeast
1 T barley malt
1 T salt
1 c water plus an extra T or so (I would call it a heaping cup but that's tricky)

Let it rise, covered, as for long as you wish (but at least an hour probably, and if it's overnight, put it in the fridge). Make into a ball and let it rise again if you want. Sprinkle with salt. Bake at 475 degrees for 5 minutes and 450 for 25 minutes. 

While you're eating it, check out this cool book that I just started reading.

I moss you,