Friday, February 19, 2010

StOrmY CoOkInG

Coconut curry with mushrooms, broccoli, yam, potato, carrot, onion and garlic rocked our world tonight. Paired with a giant organic salad with fresh greens, pea shoots, avocado and pears! I don't feel in the mood for writing recipes, I didn't pay all that close of attention when I added the goods to my cauldron.
Brian and I were talking about cooking fears the other day, perhaps not fear but just general aversion to cooking. I think that when people start to look at food as something that they have to do, another chore, it really takes something out of the experience. It's also a task that very often gets placed on one person in a home, thus causing a bit of resentment I imagine. It would be different if someones passion for cooking overruled any resentment or if one person worked full time and the other stayed home. But in a dynamic like ours, and like so many households it just doesn't make sense for one person to have the responsibility of feeding. Brian and I both work, we both are gone most of the day and when we get ready for dinner it's a shared desire. The fact that both of us put the energy and thought into creating meals and nourishing ourselves makes us happy and makes our mealtime a thing to look forward to, not another chore to be completed with grumpy faces.
That is my rant for the night, thank you.
p.s I am maybe getting a little tired of the snow.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

WilL You bE My VaLenTine?

It's Valentine's Day, and I have slacked in updating the past weeks fabulous meals. We had a noteworthy improv chili one night, and Brian made a fabulous baba ganoush on Thursday evening, fresh eggplant, tahini and garlic, sooooo good! Anyhow, I'll let you in on the amazing Valentines dinner we just had, really so good, so much love. We paired chickpea pancakes with a split pea dahl dish that we borrowed and altered from Flying Apron's cookbook, a true party of flavors.

Valentine's Day Dahl

5 c. organic vegetable broth
1 and 1/2 c. split peas
1 yellow onion diced
1 yam diced
1 russet potato diced
1 carrot diced
2 garlic cloves minced
1 14.5 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 and 1/2 tsp brown mustard seeds
3 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp curry powder
2 tsp turmeric powder
1/8 tsp cayenne
1 and 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger root
sea salt to taste

In a large soup pot heat veggie broth and split peas. Bring to boil, then simmer for 30 minutes. Add yam, potato, onion, garlic, carrot and can of tomatoes, return to boil. Reduce to simmer for 15 minutes. While dahl is simmering, in a skillet on medium heat, heat oil and add mustard seeds, cumin, coriander, ginger, curry powder, cayenne and turmeric. When seeds begin to pop remove from heat and add to dahl, stir. Let simmer for 3-5 more minutes.

Meanwhile, have your partner in kitchen crime start the chickpea flat breads.

Heavenly flat bread

2 Cups chickpea flour
1 + 1/4 to 2 cups H2o
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cumin seeds
a little olive oil for frying

Sift flour, salt, baking powder and cumin seeds in large bowl. Pour the water in the mixture and stir while pouring. Stir to remove any lumps and continue adding water until you have a consistency similar to chocolate syrup. (err on the thick side)
Heat oil in skillet, medium heat, add a healthy Tbs of the batter to the pan. When small holes start appearing on top it's time to flip! Once the other side is cooked place in a warm oven. Serve warm with any soup or bean dish. I can't begin to tell you how awesome this dinner was! Brian ranked it in our top 6 meals we've made yet, and that is something, we've made some mouth watering meals.
For dessert we will have a very special Diana DeLuca chocolate cake, with some of my own modifications, as usual. With a frosting that has yet to be determined.
Dancing in the kitchen, tonight it was to groovy blues jams playing on my lap top. Brian is sporting a vintage sheer cream colored apron that Candi bought me when I was home for Christmas!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

We have been snowed in for two days now, we are trying to entertain ourselves indoors, which means, internet, cooking, movies, and cleaning. Yesterday we played outside a bit, but with over a foot of snow and snow still falling it didn't make for the best play day. I really wish we had a hill that was good for sledding. A giant tree fell over onto our neighbors back porch yesterday. It took out the whole porch and part of the roof. It was pretty scary.
Anyhow, I baked ginger cookies, and they were awesome.

Shoveling snow ginger cookies

2 1/8 c brown rice flour
3/4 c garbanzo bean flour
1/2 Ts baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 Tbs cocoa powder
3/4 c. coconut oil melted
3/4 c organic sugar
1/2 c. molasses
1/2 Tbs fresh grated ginger root
1/2 c. hemp milk
1/2 c. chopped candied ginger plus whole pieces for garnishing

preheat oven to 360 degrees. Combine dry ingredients, minus sugar in a large bowl. Combine wet ingredients including sugar in a medium bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, mix thoroughly. Place pingpong sized balls on cookie sheet, press down slightly and top with a chunk of crystallized ginger. Bake about 15 minutes... so yummy. Enjoy with loved ones, or even by yourself.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I wish we lived in the tropics mango salsa/tacos

Special guest blogger tonight, Mr. Brian Eberly!

Hi everybody, if you were all thinking that I do not do any cooking, you're mistaken. Tonight, Nat worked late and she wasn't feeling all that great, so I took it upon myself to create a marvelous meal. Since we had a mango in the house, I decided to make one of my salsa.

I-wish-we-lived-in-the-tropics mango salsa.

1 Mango (I used a direct trade organic mango)
1 kiwi
half clove of garlic
half a lime
sea salt

Sqeeze the lime juice into a bowl, mince the garlic and let it soak in the lime juice while you move on to chopping. Dice the mango and kiwi into tiny pieces. Mix with the lime juice/garlic and salt to taste. Your are all set to enjoy. You can add chopped onions, cilantro or papaya, you can also use a blender if you like smoother salsa(i did tonight).

Try it with chips or fish tacos.

You can't exactly eat just salsa, so for the rest of the meal, we had refried bean from scratch, arborio rice, sprouted corn tortillas and homemade guacamole. Pile it high.

You CaN't Go wRonG With nuTmEg

Last night I attempted my first quiche. Being that I made up the recipe, I was pretty pleased with the results. I used a blue cornmeal, pine nut pie crust recipe that I didn't follow close enough, the crust ended up.... too crumbly. It had amazing flavor, but I don't think I'll share that recipe until its perfected on our part. As far as the quiche itself goes, I'll tell you what I did.

The Final Five Quiche

4 local eggs
1/2 c. hemp milk
1 c. loosely chopped water cress
1 small red onion diced
2 cloves garlic minced
3 small red potatoes sliced
2/3 c. crumbled chevre
1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
1 tsp sea salt
olive oil for sauteeing
Prepared pie shell of some sort

Sautee onion, garlic, and potatoes in olive oil. 10 or so minutes until softened. In large bowl scramble eggs, add the remainder of the ingredients. Pour into prepared pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes, ours took around 60, but I would check it at 45. Just make sure the center doesn't jiggle when you wiggle the pan. When you wiggle it shouldn't jiggle! I like that!

As both Brian and I were home yesterday and snow makes me want hot cocoa, I made us a couple of mugs. I really love the size and shape of the Campbell's soup mugs for cocoa, and I guess they are cute even though Campbell's soup is gross. So here's the way I do it...

Fit for Adama Cocoa

Enough hemp milk to fill both mugs
1 heaping Tbs 100% cocoa powder
1 and 1/2 Tbs Agave nectar or maple syrup
1/8 tsp ground chipotle pepper
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp sea salt
Fresh ground nutmeg to sprinkle on top

Whisk all ingredients (minus the nutmeg) in a pot on med heat, whisk frequently, until hot. Pour into mugs, add nutmeg, and savor!!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

ApRicot cOokies, aNd EggpLant PiZzA

That was the most salivating dinner ever! Really, you have to try it! It all starts with a homemade pizza crust of your choice, we used the plain Chebe, surprised? We shall call it...

... Eggplant, Chevre, and Garlic Dream Pizza

1 homemade crust of your choice
2 tsp tarragon, mixed into pizza dough

1/2 large eggplant, sliced thinly
3 cloves garlic minced
3 small leaves red chard, sliced thinly
3 Tbs goat cheese chevre
3 Tbs olive oil

Make pizza dough. Your baking time and temperature may very depending on what dough you use. Brush the dough with olive oil, and bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, grill the eggplant slices in olive oil. When dough is ready, add eggplant, garlic and chard. Bake 10 more minutes. Sprinkle with chevre, bake 3 more minutes. Remove from the oven, slice and serve!!
The best pizza ever! If you are like my mama and despise goat cheese, just sub it with some soft lightly flavored cheese. So yummy, we ate the whole thing..... Brian's mom helped.

So for dessert, we made the Flying Apron Apricot Thumb print Cookies. I alter the recipe, as always, and will give you my altered version. I also usually cut this recipe in half.

2 and 3/4 cups brown rice flour
1 and 1/2 cups plus 1 Tbs garbanzo bean flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp blood orange zest
1 cup melted coconut oil
1 cup organic sucanat sugar
1 cup hemp milk
Apricot puree (recipe follows)

Apricot Puree
1 and 1/2 cups dried apricots
1 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp sucanat sugar

To make the puree. Steam the apricots for 5-10 minutes, till soft. put in blender with vanilla, lemon juice, sucanat and 1/4 cup of the water from steaming. Blend till a thick jam like paste.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt and zest in large bowl. In a small bowl blend sugar and coconut oil. Add sugar mix, small amounts at a time to flour mix, alternate adding with hemp milk, till well blended. I put the dough in the fridge for 5 minutes so it firms up. Take dough out of fridge, form into 1" balls, lightly flatten. Let someone you love place the thumb prints into the balls. Fill the thumb prints with the apricots puree. Bake about 14 minutes. Yummy!

Monday, February 1, 2010

I love soup!

It's a tolerable 33 degrees tonight! Still chilly, and definitely a cozy stay at home evening. I almost blogged earlier this morning about a fabulous gluten free, vegan pancake breakfast, the pancakes were rich with protein and omegas from hemp seed and flax seed. With coconut oil in place of butter and real grade B, West Virginia maple syrup, oh my, delectable! But alas I did not, next time. This evening I will share with you a fabulous creation called....

Honey's Working on the Ghia, Carrot, Apple and Celery Soup

2 large carrots
1/2 red onion
3 apples peeled,cored, and sliced(I used Fuji, we'll see how it turns out)
6 stalks celery, + a bit of the green tops for garnish
1 tsp minced ginger
3 pieces crystallized ginger, about 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch cubes
1/4 tsp cumin
salt to taste
dash of pepper
1 cube vegetarian bouillon
about 4 cups of water
1/2 Tbs olive oil, optional

In a large soup pot, dissolve the bouillon cube in 4 cups water on medium heat. Add the celery, onion, carrots, fresh and crystallized ginger, salt, cumin and pepper. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Add the apple, let simmer 10 minutes. Blend entire soup in blender or food processor. Place soup back in the pot, and you can add a dash of olive oil if you like. Let simmer 5 more minutes. O.K, soup's on, I've got to holler at Brian in the garage and we shall see how this turned out!

It turned out very good, I do say so myself! Brian was pleased as well, it's so rewarding making up recipes and having them turn out. The bowls and plates (from more chebe bread sticks) were licked clean and as we gathered up the dishes to clean Brian asked me, "What's for dessert?" He's such a little bugger, though it is a good question. Dessert.... we can have left over coconut milk pumpkin pie, ooh so yummy, or make something new. My buddy Misha just started a cooking blog, she's been doing chef stuff for years and her skills far surpass mine. Anyways she made these beautiful apple tart thingys, that I may have to try. There is a beautiful black kitten craving my attention and I must go pet her little back. Ciao!!