Yum-OH!

Dec. 11th, 2009 05:50 pm
bluesilverkdg: (Veggies)
I've not shared a recipe that I invented in a while, so I'll give y'all one. It's good if you like spicy vegetarian-type soups. And, as with all my make-believe recipes, you can totally modify it to fit your needs and taste.

3-4 potatoes, diced
3-4 stalks of celery, cut into bite-sized slices
One can Rotel tomatoes and chilis
Tomato juice (as much or little as you like)
Can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans, drained and washed)

Spices: I use the following, because I have and like them, but feel free to use whatever you like. Garlic powder, no-salt seasoning, cayenne pepper powder, powdered ginger, oregano, cumin, curry powder, turmeric. From the Indian grocery store, I use Garam Masala, but chances are good you may not have that one on hand unless you do a lot of Indian cooking.

I make a "broth" of the spices and boiling water, and cook the potatoes and celery until they're tender. At that point, add in the Rotel tomatoes, tomato juice (I use my mom's tomato juice that she cans from the garden, but store-bought would be fine, I'm sure), and chickpeas. Add a dash more seasoning if you like and let it simmer an hour or so.


That's it! It's pretty spicy, with the Rotels, the ginger, cayenne, etc. But if you had a stuffy nose or cold, this stuff would totally rock and I'm sure, cure what ails'ya.
bluesilverkdg: (Default)
I haven't done a food post in a while, so let's have some fresh veggies, shall we?

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These lovelies came out of our garden. Just picked them on Saturday. Mom and I canned marinara, salsa and tomato juice allllll day long. The gorgeous green tomato on the lefthand side is not your typical green tomato! It's called a Granny Smith, and much like the apple it's named after, it's mostly tart with just a touch of sweetness. They do not ripen, but will eventually get sort of a yellowish tinge, and are specifically for frying and grilling. We tried some on the grill Saturday and Oh. My. God. mouthgasm! Brush a little olive oil on them, salt and pepper...good eatin'! They're very firm, but soften nicely when grilled or cooked.
The yellow tomatoes are called Limmony and they're very good for canning and sauces, as they're meaty and don't have a lot of seeds or juice, but I think they're perfectly fine for just eating straight up.
The pink tomatoes are my absolute favorites ever, German Johnsons. They're sweet, juicy and positively melt in your mouth. I've never found a better tomato for just eating by themselves, although I'm sure they'd be great on a sandwich, too. Plus everyone always kids me about the name, so bonus!

I had a few leftover Romas, after the marinara-making excursion, so decided to make some homemade Pomodoro sauce for lunch. It was ubersimple. I heated some olive oil, added one clove of finely diced fresh garlic, and when that was starting to brown, put in about 1/4 cup of Balsamic vinegar. I reduced that down until it was glossy and thick, then added in two big, diced Roma tomatoes and just let that simmer with some oregano and basil while my pasta was cooking. Top with a few grates of Parmesan and...

**Voila!!**

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We grew something this year that I've not had since I was a kid, but I was oh-so-happy to have them again. I used to just peel these and eat them with a little salt when I was younger, and the other day, I got to do so again. It was just like childhood. Click the cut to play Guess the Mutant Veggie. -----> )
bluesilverkdg: (Doughboy)
One of my favorite soups at Tomato Head is the artichoke and bleu cheese bisque. They make all their soups from scratch, and rotate the soup of the day continuously. It's been forever since I had this soup, but I've just had a craving for it. Since I don't have easy access to Tomato Head (that's my favorite restaurant in Knoxville, by the way) anymore, and heaven knows when they'd have this on the menu again, I thought I'd give it a whirl myself.

I found this recipe on Epicurious: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/ARTICHOKE-BLUE-CHEESE-BISQUE-107061
It looks easy enough, and I think might be fairly close to what I've gotten at Tomato Head. The one ingredient that concerns me is the vermouth. I don't have any, nor do I care to buy a bottle just to get one cup for a soup recipe. I can't see that I'd ever use it in any other recipes or just to drink. So my question is, do any of you know of substitutes for vermouth? I tried googling to see if I could get any information, but I didn't know if it was trustworthy (I got recommendations to use a dry white wine, white wine vinegar or..white grape juice? Thinking I don't want grape juice in my bleu cheese soup, but I was hoping someone might have actual experience with the other two options to let me know how well they would work.)

Any assistance would be much appreciated. (Also, [livejournal.com profile] nonspecific, if it's good, and you think you'd like it, I'd obviously make you a modified batch to suit your needs.)
bluesilverkdg: (Default)
I wanted to share a super easy, yet yummy recipe that I've been making a lot lately. I got the idea from [livejournal.com profile] nonspecific and...I don't know where she got it.

The ingredients are canned tomatoes, chickpeas, olives (I like Kalamata, but whatever), lemon juice (real lemon juice, not that crap in a plastic lemon), feta cheese, olive oil and spices.

Heat the olive oil in a pan, then add whatever spices you like to it. I enjoy toasting spices to release the flavors and oils, and black ground pepper takes on a whole new dimension when it's been heated. I usually add some garlic powder, oregano, thyme...just whatever I feel like throwing in.

When the spices are combined and heated, add some fresh lemon juice, however much you like. I prefer it tangy, so I tend to use a good bit. Let that get sizzly, then throw in the chickpeas (drained and rinsed) and olives (drained.) I like to mix them all around in the olive oil/lemon juice/spice mixture until all the flavors mesh and the chickpeas start to soften a bit. Add the tomatoes last and stir well. Right before serving, put in some crumbles of feta cheese. It will melt a little, but still holds up very well in the heat.

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Nom nom nom. If I'm feeling saucy, I'll put it over some couscous or brown rice, but honestly, I like to just eat it like this. It's a vegetarian dish, obviously, but if you just HAD to put some dead animal in there, you probably could. But I mean, honestly...why would you want to?

All righty...I'm off to eat my concoction now. It smells SO GOOD.

(Oh..[livejournal.com profile] angline, you can see my potholder to the righthand side. It's the same style as the cute towel you sent me as a housewarming gift!)
bluesilverkdg: (Doughboy)
Last weekend I went to a housewarming party at [livejournal.com profile] tnrkitect's house. His wife had made these amazing peanut butter sandwich cookies, and I meant to get the recipe for them. She'd told me that the filling was cream cheese, powdered sugar and peanut butter, but I wasn't sure of increments. So when I got home, I just googled until I found something that looked similar. This is what I came up with:

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup cream cheese
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 to 6 tbsps milk

In a large mixing bowl, beat peanut butter, cream cheese, confectioner’s sugar, vanilla and milk. Add more milk as needed to achieve spreading consistency.

Spread on half of the cookies and top each with another cookie.


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Holy cow, soooo good. I made peanut butter cookies yesterday, and tried this filling. (I'll put the recipe for the cookies under the cut, but it's just pretty basic) I can't quit eating them, they're so amazing. I took some over to my dad yesterday, who promptly devoured them.

I'm definitely making these the next time we have a cookout or family dinner. And if you're a fan of peanut butter, you should make them, too! I'm just trying now to figure out how to incorporate chocolate into the mix, because that's the one thing I can think of that would actually make this recipe even better. Peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips? Or chocolate cookies with peanut butter chips. The possibilities are endless...
Next time I make them, I think I will leave out the vanilla extract. I may have added a bit too much, but I'm normally a fan of vanilla. In this case though, it didn't quite mesh with the other ingredients. I also had to add more milk, because the filling is THICK, and my mixer kept stalling when I was trying to blend the ingredients. Otherwise, I've gotta say, these cookies are darned near perfection. Oh, another hint, they tend to get a bit soggy if left at room temperature or warmer (they practically melted in the car yesterday on the way to see my parents.) Refrigerating them gives them a better texture, and I think, makes them taste better.

Here's the recipe for the cookies, if you like..

Feed your head. )
bluesilverkdg: (Default)
My mom had gotten me a new food processor some time back, but I'd never used it until I moved. I hadn't used a food processor, um..wow, since I was married I guess. That was a long time ago. I'd forgotten how much fun they are!

So, for the last few weeks, I've been processing my little heart out. I have made hummus of all sorts (I tried some last week with kalamata olives. Good, but needs more olives.) I'm also in the process of tweaking my salsa verde recipe. That would be that yummy green salsa made from tomatillas (which, contrary to popular belief are NOT actually green tomatoes.) I'm having a lot of fun eating my "mistakes." Once I get to the point where I feel that it's right..and I am oh-so-close to perfection..I'm going to can some. My mom and I are going to hole up in the cabin like a couple of pioneer women and can salsa. My heavens, how perfectly June Cleaveresque is that? I will not, however, be wearing pearls and heels to do my canning. Once the tomatoes start coming into the garden (hopefully very soon!), I intend to tackle homemade marinara sauce. If you can think of anything else that I could process and/or can, please let me know. I am a food processing fool.

I also have a new Mexican-type dish that I'm concocting in my head (that involves the aforementioned salsa verde) if any of you would like to be guinea pigs for me? It sounds good in my mind. If it's half as good on the plate, you might just have a foodgasm all over my kitchen.

And tonight, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] albinohognose and his rotorooter, I shall hopefully have a bathtub that will actually drain. That has nothing to do with food, I just wanted to throw that out there. I'm feeling quite happy of late. Life's really pretty good!

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Ouch!

May. 22nd, 2008 07:55 pm
bluesilverkdg: (Default)
Yesterday I filled up my tank at $3.67 a gallon. Today when I went out, it was up to $3.89. That is beyond ridiculous. I guess we're determined to reach that $4 mark in all parts of the country, eh? (Yes, I know some of you are already there, and I feel for you.)

I hope to make that tank of gas last for as long as humanly possible. Working mostly from home is helping this, but I've become much more aware of my travel patterns and try to only go where I need to, not where I want to, and that really, really sucks, because I love driving and going places. Bah. I was just remembering the good old days, when gas was less than a dollar a gallon. Ahh, nostalgia.

So, how much are you being gouged at the pump?

In other (happier) news, my mother had given me a rice cooker for a housewarming present when I moved. I'd never gotten around to trying it out until tonight. I made a lovely curried rice dish with slivered almonds and veggies for dinner. Mmmmmmmmmm! I'm contemplating some homemade rice pudding now. Such a domesticated little thing, she is. And hey, at least rice is still (relatively) cheap, although I hear that's likely to change. I've stocked up, for future use, just in case.

In not so happy news, I fear the onset of a migraine. I just realized, since I've moved the frequency and severity of my migraines have decreased significantly. My sleepwalking has also not been nearly as bad (which is good, as my bedroom is just steps away from the staircase.) But I do feel that nasty creeping headachiness that is moving to the left side of my head, so I'll be sedating myself shortly in hopes of nipping it in the bud (as Barney Fife would say.) After I make some rice pudding, that is.
bluesilverkdg: (Fruit love)
It may amaze and astonish some of you who know me well, to know that I have been eating fruit lately. I have never cared for fruit. I tried to eat it, but I think it was partly a texture thing and...I don't know what other problems I had with it, but I just never, ever ate it. I mean, if someone HAD a grape and offered me one (because that happens all the time), I wouldn't refuse it. But I can't say that I ever liked fruit, and I certainly never kept any in my home. Even when I was a kid, I thought bananas were gross. I found them slimy and nasty. My mom would be all devious and try to slip strawberries into my cereal, but I was having none of that. I've always liked fruit-FLAVORED things. Candy, jello, gum, Kool-Aid...that was acceptable. I enjoy smelling like fruit. And I like fruit juice. I could drink orange juice 'til the cows come home, whenever that is. But I just couldn't bring myself to eat the real thing.

However, I recently decided that I just needed a little more fruit in my world. So, I started off with some basics: apples, bananas and grapes. I've actually still not branched out much beyond this. I dare not try anything too exotic like papaya or starfruit. Oh, I did eat a peach the other day, and I found it stringy and not sweet enough. Oranges are still a no-go. That white crap around them is just disgusting! I cannot find berries of any type that are sweet enough for my liking. (I firmly believe blueberries to be of the devil.) I would like to enjoy cherries (that are not surrounded by creamy syrup and covered in chocolate), but I just can't do it. Grapefruit scares me. Oh, and kiwi = Yuck. My mom told me I might like papaya, however I'm dubious of this notion. I can tolerate watermelon, but I honestly don't see what all the fuss is about. Canteloupe and honeydew and all those other melons can just bite me, though. Blech.
But I have deemed apples, bananas and grapes an acceptable between-meals snack, and I've gotta admit, much to my surprise, I'm actually kind of enjoying them! Maybe I'm just finally growing up.

It's funny, I will eat just about any vegetable under the sun. Seriously. Brussels sprouts? Yum. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, endive, peppers, squash, zucchini? Bring 'em on! I could live on spinach and other greens. And of course potatoes, beans of all sorts, and tomatoes are just about the best things ever (please don't try to tell me how tomatoes are a fruit...lalalalalalala...I can't hear you.) I don't care for turnips or beets. I think those are the only veggies I just don't like at all. And I'm only OK with onions if they're cooked. But otherwise, veggies have always been my friend. Not so with fruit, but I am glad to report that I have now made peace with (some of) them.

Is an avocado a fruit or a vegetable? And do people just eat them by themselves? I mean, I like guacamole a lot. If it IS a fruit, but you eat it with tortilla chips, well, then color me intrigued.

Maybe one of these days I'll live real dangerously and pick up some dragonfruit or guava or something. What does guava taste like, anyway?

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