Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Broccoli Salad

1 lb broccoli, chopped (*tastes better if you sing the Dana Carvy "Choppin' Broccoli song while you're doing this)
1/2 cup red onion
1 cup dried cranberry (raisins work too, but cranberry is more festive, if you're making this for Xmas)
5 slices crumbled bacon
1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds (optional, but highly recommended)

1 cup mayonnaise (we used fat free & it tasted fine!)
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tbs white vinegar

1. Combine salad ingredients.

2. Whisk dressing ingredients in a small bowl

3. Toss salad with dressing

*Note: Even though this tasted great when we made it, it tasted even better the next day, so it's probably a good idea to make the dressing a little ahead and let the flavors all meld together.

Roasted Figs

Even though we ate this with Christmas dinner, it was really supposed to be an appetizer. I made it from a recipe, but you really don't need one, because it's very simple to put them together. Here is what you need:

figs (as many as you think will be eaten)
blue cheese (enough so you have a small piece to go with each fig)

Cut a slit in each fig and stuff with a small piece of blue cheese. Wrap each fig in a slice of prosciutto, then place the figs on a baking sheet.

Roast figs in a 400 degree oven (a toaster oven works too) until the prosciutto melts slightly and forms a skin around thee figs (about 12-15 minutes). Transfer to a serving plate, drizzle with honey and season with freshly ground pepper.

Blue Cheese Potatoes au Gratin

5 lbs. russet potatoes
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1-1/2 tsp. fresh rosemary, minced
3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup sour cream
2 cups cream
1 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

1. Butter a 9- by 13-inch glass baking dish. Peel and slice the potatoes into 1/4-inch slices. Toss them in a large bowl with the 2 teaspoons salt, pepper and rosemary.

2. In a small bowl toss together cheeses.

3. Layer half the potatoes in the buttered baking dish. Sprinkle with half the cheese mixture and top with remaining potatoes.

4. In a bowl, whisk together sauce ingredients and pour over potatoes. Tap the baking dish on the counter to spread out the sauce and help release any air bubbles. Sprinkle with remaining cheese mixture.

5. Bake potatoes for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until browned and completely tender all the way through when poked with a knife.

Note: You can also make these in advance and store, covered and refrigerated, for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature and reheat in a 350 degree F oven until hot.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Black & White Soup

Black & White Soup
Originally uploaded by lesliegardner.
Decided to make this soup for Christmas dinner and had every crucial ingredient but milk and of course no stores open so Jen, in all her Holiday spirit, drove me over a baggie of milk and just look at the payoff! So cool an effect! Thanks Jen!
The recipe is here. For the black bean soup, I used this recipe.

After I made the soup but before making the rest of the menu, there was a power failure so when Dag showed up for dinner, everything was cold and dark so we slogged the soup a few blocks away to his place and heated it back up. If only everything were done and hot when he showed up we could have eaten by candlelight and then played some cards while listening to the radio but I also could not locate 2 batteries I needed for that to happen. Power outages and thunderstorms and snowstorms are way too few and far between these days/around these parts.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

cranberry, cherry, & walnut chutney

I made this cranberry dish for thanksgiving, but I think it is too good to only have once a year!

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup port or other sweet red wine
1/2 cup dried tart cherries
1 (12 oz) package fresh cranberries
2/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Orange rind strips (optional)

Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Add cherries, and cook 1 minute. Stir in cranberries; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until cranberries pop. Remove from heat. Stir in walnuts, grated rind, and extract. Garnish with orange rind strips, if desired. Cover and chill.
Yield 16 servings (serving size 1/4 cup)

This is excellent on turkey sandwiches, too.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

5 lbs potatoes, peeled & quartered (about 15 medium sized potatoes)
6 oz. cream cheese
1 c. sour cream
2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 egg whites, slightly beaten
1 Tbs margarine or butter

Cook potatoes in a large pot of boiling water until tender (about 20 minutes).

Drain & mash until there are no lumps. Add cream cheese, sour cream, onion powder, salt, pepper & egg whites. Blend well.

Spray a 9x13" casserole with nonstick cooking spray. Add potato mixture. Dot with margarine. cool slightly, cover & refrigerate up to 7 days.

Take out of refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake, covered for 40 minutes or until steaming hot in the center.

Note: Alternately potatoes can be reheated in a crock pot. Take potatoes out of fridge about 3 1/2 hours before you plan to serve them. Place in slow-cooker. Dot with margarine or butter. Cook on low heat for 3 hours, stirring once or twice. They can be held an additional 30 minutes or more.

Note 2: We didn't do this, but I think these would be really awesome with some roasted garlic mashed in with the potatoes

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Butternut Squash Enchiladas

I have made this a lot in the past - it is so dang good. Now it's the main dish of my vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner.

1 small butternut squash (1#)
1 med carrot, peeled, quartered & sliced
1/4# fresh mushrooms, diced (about 1-1/4C)
1/2C diced onion
2T vegetable oil
1/2C diced jicama
1 small granny smith apple
1/4C shelled sunflower seeds, chopped
1T white vinegar
1/2t salt
2T chopped fresh cilantro

Spicy Peanut Sauce:
2C water
1T vegetable bouillon
1/2t salt
1/2t ground cumin
1/2t minced garlic
2 canned chipotle chiles, chopped
3T New Mexican chile pwd
1T vegetable oil
1/2t dried oregano
1T minced onion
1T flour
3/4C creamy peanut butter

8-10 corn tortillas
1C grated cheddar cheese (4oz)
1C grated Monterey jack cheese (4oz)

Preheat oven to 400
To make filling:
cut squash in half & scoop out seeds. Place cut side down on a baking pan w/a little water; bake 1hr or until tender. (or microwave 6 min, turning once or until tender)
When cool enough to handle, scoop squash out of shell and set aside
in a large skillet, saute carrot, mushrooms and onion in the oil until the carrot is tender-crisp. Add the cooked squash, jicama, apple, sunflower seeds, vinegar, salt and cilantro; mix well and set aside while preparing sauce.

To make sauce:
In a med saucepan, combine water, veg. bouillon, salt, cumin, garlic, chiles and chili pwd. bring to a boil.
meanwhile, in a small saute pan, heat oil over low heat. Add oregano and onion; saute until onion is soft. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 1 min.
Stir the onion mixture into the chile mixture. Bring to a boil and cook about 2 min; remove from heat and strain. Add peanut butter and stir until well-combined; set aside.

To assemble:
Heat a small amount of oil in a shallow skillet. Dip each tortilla in the oil for a few seconds to soften. lay softened tortillas on paper towels to drain. If you prefer, tortillas may be softened in the microwave; place 4-5 between two damp paper towels. Heat 45 sec. Fill these and repeat with the remaining tortillas.
Place a spoonful of squash mixture down the center of each tortilla. Roll up and place seam side down in a lightly oiled 9x13" baking pan. pour sauce over the tortillas and sprinkle w/cheese.
Bake at 350 for 15-20 min, or until cheese is melted and enchiladas are hot in the center.

Now my list of "how I do it"s:
I add more squash
I double the sauce but reserve a small bowl for my saucier guests
I've used both New Mexican chile powder and the regular kind and I may be able to tell the difference side by side, but I think they both work fine.
Last time I tried microwaving the tortillas to soften and it's not only WAY easier and less messy, but of course adds fewer calories and fat to the recipe and I didn't notice a difference in taste or texture at all.
This year I had a request for sour cream, which had never occured to me, but everybody loved it.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Vegetarian Enchiladas

Olive Oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
2 cups tomatoes
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch cayenne pepper
3 drops hot sauce
1/2 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. honey
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp. gound cumin
1/4 lb. black, pitted olives, sliced (one of the little cans works)
1 1/2 cups cooked pinto beans, mashed
8 soft corn tortillas
1/4 lb. Monterery Jack or cheddar chesse, grated

Heat oil and saute 2/3 of onions until translucent. Add tomatoes, sauce, 1/2 each of garlic, cayenne, hot sauce, chili powder, honey, salt and cumin. Simmer all uncovered for 30 minutes. Heat olive oil and saute remaing onion, garlic and olives until onions are translucent. Add remaining salt and beans (add sauce if mix is too sticky); stir will. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill each tortilla with 2 to 3 tablespoons filling and 1 tablespoon grated cheese. Roll up and put in baking pan. (You can also make layers with the filling, cheese and tortillas since the corn tortillas are so hard to roll). Cover with sauce, sprinkle with remaining cheese and garnish with reserved olvies. bake until bubbling hot, about 30 minutes.

Friday, November 25, 2005

a small measure of organization

Hello lovely recipe people. I made a low-rent index for us so it will be easier to find a particular kind of recipe. For example, if one was having a cookie emergency (as one does), one could just look on the sidebar, click on desserts, and go to the list of all dessert recipes that have been uploaded. I apologize for the non-centeredness of the index on the sidebar, but I could not make it work. I'll keep trying, but I make no promises about my success.

edit:I forgot to say we'll keep updating the indexes as new recipes are added!

desserts (index)

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever
Sauteed Pear Parfaits
Silken Tofu Cheesecake

entrees (index)

French Toast Casserole
Sausage Egg Casserole
Chicken Sate Wraps
Green Chicken Curry
Pan Glazed Tofu with Thai Red Curry
Piquant Meatballs
Quick Tagine Style Chicken
Curried Chicken Penne with Fresh Mango
Butternut Squash Enchiladas
Vegetarian Enchiladas
Chicken and Potato Bake
Buckwheat Noodles with Peanut Lime Sauce

salads (index)

Banana Lentil Salad
Killer Noodle Salad
Taco Salad
5 Vegetable Slaw
Pomegranate Pear Salad
Broccoli Salad
Avocado With Salmon Salsa
Buckwheat Noodles with Peanut Lime Sauce

side dishes (index)

Chili Roasted Potatoes
Potatoes Vinaigrette
Crazy Apple Beans
Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes
Bleu Cheese Potatoes Au Gratin
Buckwheat Noodles with Peanut Lime Sauce

appetizers (index)

Eggplant Caponata
Roasted Figs
Avocado With Salmon Salsa

soups (index)

West African Chicken Peanut Soup
Galangal Chicken Soup
Vegan Soup Stock
White Bean Chili
Black & White Soup
Mediterranean Red Lentil and Spinach Stew
Apple and Parsnip Soup

condiments (index)

Peach Butter with Cardamom
Coconut Yogurt Dressing
Cranberry, Cherry, & Walnut Chutney

baked and bready (index)

Honey Orange Scones
Easy Moist Cornbread


In the spirit of the holiday baking (and to torture myself, since I'm on a diet), what are your favorite Christmas treats? Do you have recipes for them?

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies EVER!

After a lifetime of searching for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe, I finally found it a few years ago.

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 egg (or egg substitute)
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
12 oz. chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 cup powdered sugar

Mix cream, brown sugar, egg and vanilla in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, ginger, salt and cinnamon. Gradually blend into the butter mixture. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Chill until firm. (It works ok too, if you are impatient and choose not to do this. The dough is just a bit stickier. Alternately, you can also refrigerate the dough overnight, if you're a masochist who can live with the promise delicious cookies so close, but unfulfilled for 12 hours.)

Roll dough into 1" balls between your palms. Dredge in powdered sugar. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Remove from oven & cool cookies on a rack.

Yield: 6 dozen

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Sauteed Pear Parfaits

Serves 4

Buy pears that are ripe but still firm so they don't get too soft while cooking.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 large Anjou or Bartlett pears, peeled, cored, quartered, and cut into 1/4" thick slices
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
8 ounces sour cream or creme fraiche
1 teaspoon amber crystal sugar, for garnish, (optional)

1. Melt butter and granulated sugar in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently until the sugar begins to caramelize, about 2 minutes. Add the pears and rosemary; raise heat to high; cook, stirring occasionally, until pears are browned and caramelized all over, about 5 minutes. (If pears begin to burn, reduce heat to medium.) Remove the pears, and spread out on a plate to cool.

2. return skillet to high heat, stir 1/4 cup water into the browned sugar and butter. Cook, stirring and swirling the pan, until reduced to a thick syrup.

3. Arrange a layer of pears in four glasses. Spoon sour cream over each. Repeat with reamining pears and sour cream. Drizzle with syrup, sprinkle and crystal sugar, if using and serve.

** The Jen review: I made this tonight and it sure did TASTE good, but I am sure it didn't look as good it could. next time the syrup will maybe be syrupy and not hard pieces of sugar floating in not-syrup.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


I just went over to the Penzey's Spice store on 82nd. They've only been there about 3 months, and it is their first west-coast store. It is so nice! They have a lot of really wonderful things. I'd been reading about them as a good mail-order resource for spices, but now they are just a trip up beautiful 82nd Avenue away. Anyway, I thought you guys might like to check it out.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

chili roasted potatoes

1 1/2 pounds small red skinned potatoes quartered
extra-virgin olive oil, to coat
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Drizzle potatoes with a generous pour of olive oil. Toss potatoes with seasoning and course salt and pepper. Place potatoes on nonstick baking sheet and roast 20 minutes or until just tender. Give the baking sheet a good shake after 10 minutes to avoid sticking.

** I use any old kind of potato and it works just fine!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Peach Butter with Cardamom

By popular demand (aka to appease the one person who asked for it) here is a recipe for peach butter. I have not tried it yet, but I think it looks really good.

Peach Butter with Cardamom

2 1/2 cups ripe peaches, peeled,pitted and sliced (about 1 pound)
To Remove Peach Skins: Dip peaches in boiling water and then in cold water; peel.
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or ground nutmeg

Stovetop instructions: Cook all ingredients in a heavy saucepan over medium heat until peach butter thickens, about 20 minutes. Store, tightly covered, in refrigerator.

Microwave Instructions: Cook all ingredients on High, uncovered for 10 minutes or until peach butter thickens.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Potatoes Vinaigrette

1 1/2 lbs round red potatoes
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 tsp chopped, fresh tarragon (or 1/4 tsp dried)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 c. white wine vinegar
1/3 c. olive oil
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
1/4 c. finely chopped onion

1. Boil potatoes until tender
2. Mix mustard, salt, pepper, tarragon, garlic and vinegar until blended. Beat in oil until mixture is combined.
3. Remove potatoes from heat . Let stand until cool enough to handle. Cut potatoes into bit-size slices. In a large bowl, combine potatoes, parsley, onion and dressing. Mix.
4. Cover and let stand at room temperature 1-2 hours or refrigerate up to a day.

Makes 4 servings

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Banana Lentil Salad

This was served in the cafeteria at work and I just loved it. Before the head chef moved on, I asked if I could have the recipe. I don't fully understand what it means to "par cook" lentils, but I just boiled them until they were done and it seemed to work fine.

2 cups lentils par cook with salt and pepper until just done. Cool rapidly
3 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 ea. Red onion slightly sauté your vegetables
1 ea. Red bell pepper combine with the rest and chill
1 Tbsp. Garlic minced
2 Tbsp. Chopped Parsley
3 Tbsp. Chopped cilantro
3 ea. Ripe bananas chopped
¼ c. Balsamic Vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1 ea. Roasted jalapeno (peeled and seeded)

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Coconut-Yogurt Dressing

This is the dressing we ate on the melon. This is modified from the original recipe, which uses regular old milk and says to use it on a salad of various types of melon cubes with brown sugar sprinkled on top and lime wedges for squeezing over the fruit. Personally, I thought it was just fine without the extra sugar. A little lime might be a nice addition to the dressing, though again, I think it tastes fine just as it is. I also thought it might be good to sprinkle some fresh mint leaves into the salad. I suspect the sauce would probably work for most kinds of fruit salad.

1/2 coconut milk
1 cup plain yogurt
1 T honey

Whisk the above together. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

French Toast Casserole

1 loaf (about 16 oz) Cinnamon bread, cut into cubes (about 8 cups)
6 eggs
3 cups milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Confectioners' sugar

1. Grease a 3-quart shallow baking dish. Arrange bread cubes in the bottom.

2. Mix eggs, milk and vanilla in a bowl. Pour over bread.

3. Cover and refrigerate for an hour (or overnight)

4. Bake uncovered at 350 Fahrenheit for 50 minutes or until golden.

5. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar and serve.

Serves 8

Sausage & Egg Casserole

8 oz. bulk pork sausage or Morningstar Farms veggie "sausage" patties
6 cups white bread cut in cubes (about 8 slices)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar
1 cup salsa
4 eggs
3/4 cups milk

1. Brown sausage (or bake the veggie patties).

2. Crumble sausage and arrange in a 2-qt shallow baking dish. Top with bread cubes and cheese.

3. Mix salsa, eggs and milk. Pour over bread and cheese, making sure all the bread is moistened.

4. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours or even overnight.

5. Bake uncovered at 350 Fahrenheit for 45 minutes or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Honey Orange Scones

Originally uploaded by lesliegardner.
2-1/4C all purpose flour (I used whole wheat)
coarsely grated peel of 2 lg oranges
2t baking pwd
1/4t baking soda
1/2t salt
3/4C cold butter, cut into 12pc
1/2C OJ (I squeeze this from the oranges whose peels I'm grating)
1/3C orange-blossom honey (the plastic bear kind works fine too)
2t vanilla

preheat to 400

Food Processor method:
place flour, organge peel, baking pwd, baking soda and salt in bowl fitted w/metal chopping blade, process 5 sec. Add butter. Process in quick pulses until mixture is coarsely chunky - this takes only about 5 or 6 pulses in my machine.
stir together OJ, honey and vanilla. w/machine off, add liquid. process in quick pulses only until dry ing. are moistened. Do not overprocess. Here, I just give it a start and then mix the rest together on the counter. It also works well to dump the dry into a bowl and mix in the wet w/a spoon. It's really important not to overwork the dough or they get tough.
Turn out dough (which will be quite moist) onto a generously floured work surface. flour your hands and gently press dough together, patting into an 8" circle. Use a sharp knife to cut into 8 wedges, flouring knife between cuts if necessary.
Place wedges 2" apart on a greased baking sheet (I use a pizza stone). Bake 12-15 min or until dk golden brown. Lightly brush or drizzle hot scones w/honey.

If you don't have a food processor, the only difference is to cut in the butter with two knives or a pastry cutter.

Never Again!

Originally uploaded by lesliegardner.
So what about the disaster recipes? What would you never make again and why?
This is a terribly delicious Fava bean soup that took me like three hours to make and all it produced was this one little bowl! I was taken in by the fresh favas at the farmer's market but didn't realize one had to remove them from the pods then SKIN EACH BEAN. Not worth it.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

jam JAM jam

this is a jumpstart post! I can't beleive we've gone a month with nothing new. So, I thought I would ask you guys about my newest obsession - you may have guessed it from the title - jam. We went out on a walk to a Glacier Rock in Yamhill county this weekend and saw (in addition to the glacier rock) a bunch of blackberry blossoms, which got me thinking about the blackberries that will inevitably follow, which made me think of JAM. And how I would like to make some, and maybe try some groovy combinations and flavors - like adding ginger or something. Does anyone have any experience making jam? Do we want to maybe get together and try it some weekend this summer? If it turns out tasty, it would make excellent christmas gifts. I'm not feeling tied down to just blackberry either, but I thought it might be an inexpensive way to start. Anyway, if anyone has any jam/jelly thoughts I would love to hear them.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Killer Noodle Salad

My mom asked for this recipe (OK, she asked for a similar one, discovering later that she already had it but I think this one is better) so I'm posting it here since it is most definitely worthy! This is great for summer potlucks - no mayonnaise!

12 to 15 oz chucka soba noodles (two six-oz pk or three five-oz pk; these are dried, also marked chow mein noodles)
1.5t dk sesame oil
.33C rice vinegar
juice and grated peel of 1 fresh lime
.5C soy sauce
2t crushed red pepper flakes or 2t garlic chili sauce
2T granulated sugar
2 cloves garlic
1C grated carrot (about 2 Med)
.75C coarsely chopped dry roasted peanuts
.5C chopped fresh cilantro

Make noodles per pkg. drain, rinse w/cold water and let cool.
Combine everything up to carrots. Mix til sugar is dissolved. Toss in everything else, chopping through noodles if desired to make them more manageable. Let stand at least an hour to mingle flavors & toss again before serving.

leftover cilantro?

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Taco Salad

This is an easy salad that we do a lot for potlucks. We had it recently for a "party" at work too, which was kind of fun, because everyone only had to bring an ingredient or two, and then we dumped it all together. The measurements are pretty loose. As Rachel Ray would say, "Eyeball it!"

1 bag of salad mix
Chopped tomato (1 big one or 1-2 Roma)
Diced avocados (1-2 depending on size and how much you like avocado)
1 small can sliced olives
1 can red beans , drained
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1 lb browned and seasoned taco meat, cooled
2 c shredded cheddar (we usually just buy a bag of it - Monterey Jack would probably also be good...Sometimes we buy the mixed "Mexican cheese" bag)
crumbled tortilla chips (we prefer Lime & Chile Tostitos or Doritos; someone at work also suggested fritos. That would probably work too. All I know is that flavored chips in colors not normally found in nature tend to taste good in this. We tried it once with plain tortilla chips, and it was still crunchy, but kind of bland.)

Get a big bowl. Put everything together in it and add dressing (The Original Taco House's house dressing is good, so is El Torito's Cilantro Pepita dressing. A good salsa mixed with sour cream would probably also work. We us that on Taco Pasta Salad that we really like, but have never tried it on this. I bet it would be fine, though.) Toss.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Too Much Cilantro!

All of you who check notmartha.com have already seen this, but I thought it needed to be right here where we always can find it. How to freeze Cilantro!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

West African Chicken-Peanut Soup

Originally uploaded by lesliegardner.
I've been wanting to make this recipe forever and ever but wasn't sure what to do with the chicken part. Enter "Chick'n" from Whole Foods Market! Ta-Daaaaahhh! One could hardly tell the difference. I'm sure it would be awesome with the Chicken too.

1C diced cooked chicken or 1pk fake chick'n bits
2/3C diced onion
1.5t minced garlic
2T dark sesame oil
1.5t curry powder
.5t salt
.5t black pepper
.5t crushed red pepper flakes
3C chicken (or vegan!) broth
.25C tomato paste
1C chopped stewed tomatoes, drained
3T chunky peanut butter (I used fresh ground from FM but chunky would probably be more fun. Maybe next time I'll add some chopped peanuts for more texture!)

In a large pot, saute the chicken, onion and garlic (if using fake meat, add at the end of this step just to warm) in the sesame oil for about 10 min, until the onion is tender. Add the curry pwd, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes and saute 1 min more.
Add the broth, tomato stuff, and PB, stirring until well combined. Heat until very hot but not boiling. Serve immediately (although I thought it was much more exciting the next day). This soup is spectacular but quite rich. I served it with a Quinoa salad with what ended up being kind of a boring orange dressing and fresh strawberries.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

I am eating this RIGHT NOW - Chicken Sate Wraps

Well kinda... I am actually typing Right Now, but this is ready, sitting beside me, after a fashion. See, I thought I had tortillas, but I did not so instead of a wrap I served it over spring greens (I was going to do the slaw, but this was easier).

Coconut milk, curry powder, and peanut butter bring Indonesian flair to a quick fix sandwich.

Cooking spray
1/2 cup matchstick-cut carrots
1/3 cup chopped green onions
2/3 cup light coconut milk (I froze the rest)
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (I used pepper flakes and just put in more)
2 cups shredded skinless, boneless, rotisserie chicken breast (OK I did not have that, I cooked some chicken tenders and just used that, I am sure that tofu would work just as well too)
4 (8-inch) fat-free flour tortillas
1 1/3 cups packaged angel hair slaw

1) Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add carrots and onions; satue 1 minute. Stir in coconut milk and next 5 ingredients (through pepper); cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the chicken; cook 1 minute, stirring to coat. Remove from heat; cool. Warm tortillas according to package directions. Spoon about 1/2 cup chicken mixture down center of each tortilla, and top each with 1/3 cup angel hair slaw. Roll up. Cover and chill. Yeild: 4 servings (serving size: 1 wrap).
From Cooking Light August 2004

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

5 vegetable slaw

5 vegetable slaw
Originally uploaded by jensect.
This is copy pasted straight from the food network website - but it is SO TASTY I had to bring it here. I will also include the chili potatoes in another post. (SO EASY)

Grilled Honey Lime Chicken Sandwiches

1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons honey
1 rounded teaspoon cumin
A handful cilantro, finely chopped, about 1/2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, canola, or corn oil
4 (6 to 8-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breast
1 teaspoon grill seasoning blend or coarse salt and pepper
Five Vegetable Slaw Salad, recipe follows
Toppings: lettuce, tomato, red onion, and sliced avocado
1 cup prepared salsa verde
4 crusty rolls, split

Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Sprinkle chicken with seasoning blend or salt and pepper. Coat chicken in dressing and set aside for 10 minutes.
Grill chicken on an indoor electric grill 6 to 7 minutes on each side or pan fry over medium high heat in a large nonstick skillet uncovered 6 minutes per side.
Slice chicken breasts on an angle and pile meat roll bottoms. Top with lettuce, tomato, red onion and sliced avocado. Spread salsa on roll tops as a condiment. Serve sandwiches with Five Vegetable Slaw Salad and assorted tortilla chips.

Five Vegetable Slaw Salad:
1 pound packaged shredded cabbage
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and cut across into thin slices
1 large green bell pepper, seeded and cut across into thin slices
4 scallions, sliced thinly on an angle (greens and whites)
1/2 European seedless cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 limes, juiced
1 /4 cup (3 healthy drizzles) honey
3 tablespoons (a couple of glugs) vegetable or light colored oil
Salt and pepper

Combine vegetables in a bowl. In another small bowl, whisk lime juice and honey, and drizzle in oil to combine dressing. Pour dressing over slaw and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

When you're too lazy to cook...

Looking at the links from the article in Leslita's last post, I noticed one that is supposed to have great restaurant reviews. That made me think about places I like to go when I am too lazy to cook.

What are your favorite restaurants in the area? Here are a few of mine:

1) The Iron Horse (especially their Chicken Belize Tostada!)
2) That Thai place on 40th & Hawthorne that I can never remember the name of - Tran Thao? I'm not sure. What I do know is that their eggplant in garlic sauce is DE-LIC-IOUS!
3) Flying Pie Pizza on Division
4) Legin on 82nd & Division
5) Wink's in Troutdale (but only when I'm craving huge portions of greasy food that is really bad for me!)
6) The Steak & Chophouse downtown for cheap Happy Hour appetizers
7) Jen, MQ & Nancy's house :-)
8) Mother's
9) The Alameda Brew Pub
10) Kennedy School (though more for the cool building than the actual food - not that it's bad)

Ok. There are some to get us started. I'm sure I'll think of more later. What are your favorite restaurants? Any recommendations? (I'm looking for a good Chinese restaurant.)

Food Blogs

Did everyone see the article in last Tuesday's FOODday about food blogs? Is anyone else experiencing a temporary loss of comprehension of the word "Food" after reading the title of this post and that last sentence? Food Food Food. Hah! What IS that???
Uh, anyway, here's a link to the part of the article that had links to other blogs. I haven't checked them out yet, myself, but I'm sure there's something good in there!

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Easy Moist Cornbread

We tried this tonight for the first time and I thought it came out pretty well, though I think it might have done with a few more minutes in the oven. I'd never made any kind of cornbread before and thought it was done. It is supposed to be a sweet, super moist bread, so maybe it really is just that moist. It reminded more of a cross between the texture of the corn meal stuff that they cook in corn husks in Mexican restaurants and bread, but maybe it was just underbaked. Either way, it is good, fast and easy.

1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 1/2 tsp. dried onion flakes (I used onion powder and it was just fine)
1 egg
1/4 cup oil
1/2 to 1 cup shredded cheddar
1 can cream style corn
1 can diced green chiles

Mix it all together, dump it in a greased 8" pan & bake at 400 until done (about 20 minutes)

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Green Chicken Curry

Green Curry
Originally uploaded by lesliegardner.
Me, I used sauteed tofu instead of chicken. I also added those cute little round green Thai Eggplants because I ran across them at Uwajimaya.

1# boneless chicken breast, cut into small strips
1 14oz can coconut cream
1 8oz can sliced bamboo shoots
2T green curry paste (I find that 1T is plenty of the brand I'm using)
2T vegetable oil
4 fresh or dried kaffir lime leaves
2T sugar
2T fish sauce
1/2C fresh thai basil leaves
1sm green bell pepper, sliced
2 fresh chili peppers (optional)

Saute curry paste in oil on low heat until curry becomes aromatic. (high heat will burn curry paste)
spoon the thick and creamy part of the coconut cream from the can. Add to the curry. Increase heat. Stir and mix well, cooking unitl the coconut cream blends well with the curry (about three min)
Add chicken. Increase heat to high. stir and cook for three more min.
Add kaffir lime leaves, bamboo shoots, and the rest of the coconut cream. Stir and mix will. Cook until the chicken is done.
Add fish sauce and sugar to taste. Add green pepper, chili peppers, and basil leaves, stir and cook to a boil. Continue cooking for one more minute. Remove from heat. serve over steamed rice.

Galangal Chicken Soup

Originally uploaded by lesliegardner.
This is my favorite Thai soup of all time and this recipe is surprisingly on par with what you get in Thai restaurants. You can buy all the harder to find ingredients at Uwajimaya, although I think if you feel like paying twice the money, you can also get them at Whole Foods downtown. I used sauteed tofu instead of chicken.

1C cut up chicken breast
1 can coconut cream (14oz)
1C chicken broth (I used veggie broth)
1/2C sliced fresh mushrooms
1 fresh tomato cut into 8 wedges
4 kaffir lime leaves
2 stalks lemongrass, cut into sections
1 chunk galangal, sliced
3-4 T fish sauce
juice from 1 lg fresh lime
4 fresh chile peppers (2 if you like less heat)

Heat chicken broth in large saucepan to boiling
add chicken, lime leaves and lemongrass and boil until chicken is cooked
add cocount cream - bring to boil
add mushroom & tomato - boil
add fish sauce, lime juice, chili. remove from heat. serve at once.

Silken Tofu Cheesecake

tofu cheesecake
Originally uploaded by lesliegardner.
I would actually recommend thinking of this as "Tofu Pie" or something. It's not so nice if you're expecting cheesecake. Pretty good otherwise! And not that bad for you as desserts go!

1/4C graham cracker crumbs (to heck with that! I used a storebought Keebler cookie crust)
3/4C egg substitute (equivalent to three whole eggs)
10.5 oz silken firm tofu, drained and cubed
8T granulated sugar
1T lemon juice
1t vanilla
1C nonfat ricotta cheese
fresh berries (as you can see, I went for the chocolate sauce instead)

Preheat oven to 325
Spray bottom of an 8" springform pan or pie pan with nonstick cooking spray. Evenly spread graham cracker crumbs on bottom of pan. (OR - Take lid off of premade crust - discard)
Blend egg substitute, tofu, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and ricotta in a blender until smooth.
Pour into pan and bake 35-40 min. (I needed to leave it in for more like an hour...it just refued to set in the middle). Remove from oven and cool 15 min at room temp. Refrigerate for at least 1 hr. Top with fresh fruit (or chocolate sauce!!)

Per serving:
calories 128
protein 10.2 g
fat 2.1g
sat. fat .4g
cholesterol 4mg
sodium 96mg
carbs 18.3g
fiber .1 g

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Eggplant Caponata?

Originally uploaded by lesliegardner.
Here is what my first attempt at Martina's Eggplant Caponata looks like - does it look right???

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Pan Glazed Tofu with Thai Red Curry Sauce

Pan Glazed Tofu
Originally uploaded by lesliegardner.
This is a very good use of tofu and super easy! I thought it needed more simmering time, but I also made too much sauce. One of those "Oops - I added too much coconut milk. Oh well, I'll just add a little too much of everything else!"
Also, I used my vegan soup stock instead of chicken broth!

2-4 Servings
Time: 20 min (if you don't make too much sauce)

1 one-pound pk firm or extra firm tofu
1/4C coconut milk
1/4C chicken broth or stock
1T fish sauce
1T lime juice
1t thai red curry paste
1t granulated sugar
1T peanut oil
minced fresh cilantro for garnish

Cut tofu widthwise into eight 1/2" thick slices. Blot dry with paper towels.
Mix coconut milk, broth, fish sauce, lime juice, curry paste and sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.
Heat oil in large nonstick skillet until shimmering. Add tofu and cook over med heat until golden brown, 6-7 min. Turn and cook about 5 min more
Add coconut milk mixture to pan and simmer, turning tofu once, until liquid reduces to thick syrup and tofu is glazed, about 2 minutes. Transfer tofu to serving platter and scrape the glaze left in pan over the tofu. Garnish wiht minced cilantro and serve immediately

Monday, February 21, 2005

Piquant Meatballs

Since you asked, Martina. I think we originally got this recipe from someone that Mom worked with in Florida. I remember eating it for the first time while I was reading Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart, and for that reason they are always linked together in my head! Brains are weird! Anyway... I'm not going to post all the recipe since it is basically the sauce that makes it unique. Use whatever recipe you use for meatballs (meat, breadcrumbs, onion, egg, salt, etc.) and make them into small meatballs. The smallness is part of what makes them cool - although we hardly ever take the time to make tiny meatballs anymore.

The sauce -

1 bottle Heinz Chile sauce (if there is a W brand chile sauce, I don't want to know. I can only assume it would taste TERRIBLE and not be good for the recipe)

1 can jellied cranberry sauce (not whole - although I have made that mistake before and it is not tragic)

some brown sugar - say a couple of goodsize spoonfulls

half a chile sauce bottle's worth of water.

I usually heat up the cranberry sauce and the chile sauce together in an electric frying pan (or whatever you call those things that have lids and plug in) - mushing up the cranberry sauce with a fork. I am not such a micromanager that I would insist on this method - I magnanimously grant permission for you to mush up the cranberry sauce any way you see fit. hee hee. After that is combined pretty well I add the sugar and stir it in, and then the water. Give it another good stir then add the meatballs! cook on medium heat until the meatballs are done (about a half hour? I'm not sure on that.. it might be longer) You can cook it on a lower temperature for a longer time and get a nice thick sauce.

We usually have it over rice with home made cole slaw (or green vegetable) and corn bread. Yum!

I've had a variation on these that was grape jelly and salsa that wasn't bad. I can only imagine grape jelly and ketchup is horrible. I like the cranberry sauce because it adds that extra layer of tart but rich flavor. Dang. Now I am hungry (again!) and it is totally too late to eat!

Crazy Apple Beans

I know the apple part sounds kinda weird, but it's actually pretty good - similar to BBQ beans, just maybe a little more tangy from the fruit. Also, you don't have to use Goya beans, though I'm sure the Goya people would love it, if you did. They're actually pretty cheap. You can usually find them in those discount, bag-it-yourself-you-mofo grocery places as they seem to carry a lot of South of the Border products

Beans, Apples & Sausage

1 can Goya Small Red Beans, drained

1/2 lb. sausage, crumbled

2 cups apples, peeled and sliced

1/2 cup light brown sugar

2 medium onions, sliced thin

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 cups tomato juice

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1. Sauté sausages until brown.
2. Combine all remaining ingredients with beans and add to sausage.
3. Cover and simmer 30 minutes till apples are soft and tender.

Serves 3-4

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Vegan Soup Stock

Originally uploaded by lesliegardner.

I love this recipe since it appeals to my No Waste leanings. If I were a hunter, I'd have to find something very useful to do with eyeballs and earwax but as it is, I don't even like to waste vegetable parts. Now I just save my onion and garlic skins in the fridge until I feel like making broth! It's also a good use of all those glass jars I save!

Ends and skins, but not roots, of one or two onions, rinsed and chopped coarsely
garlic clove peels
2 teaspoons coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon dried garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground dried chili pepper
water to cover

Place vegetable ingredients in a stock pot and add spices on top. Cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes, stiring occasionally.

Remove from heat. Strain and store in a glass jar or other airtight container (discard what is filtered out). Allow container to cool before storing. Refrigerate and use within a few days, or freeze for long-term storage.

Check out Basic Vegan Soup Stock on Boutell.Com's web site.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Let's Deep Condition!

Ok, this one isn't a food recipe, but recipes using food for deep hair conditioning! They are mega easy, plus I told Martina I would put them here. They are from Rona Berg's book called Beauty: the new basics.

Oil or Nothing

1/4 -3/4 cup olive or almond oil
(depending on the length of your hair)
A few drops of lavender oil

1. Shampoo you hair.
2. Heat the olive or almond oil until it's warm to the touch. Add the lavender oil.
3. Gently massage the oil into your scalp and hiar, from top to tips.
4. Heat with a blow-dryer (using a diffuser attachment) at low speed until dry. (the heat opens the cuticle and helps the oil absorb better.) Then shampoo again.

South of Shanghai Moisturizing Treatment

In Chinese medicine, ginseng is believed to cure impotence. It can also rejuvinate dry, colored hair and scalp. (Transcribers note: what kind of correlation are they making ?!?!?!)

1/2 avacado
2 pinches of ginseng powder
1 egg yolk

1. Mash the avacado and mix in the ginseng powder and egg yolk.
2. Massage the mask into your scalp, wrap a thin towel around your head, and leave on for 10 minutes
3. Rinse, then shampoo.

Tuscan Protein Pack

Egg is rich in protein, and the oil will moisturize your hair. After applying, wrap your head, go into the backyard, and imagine yourself sitting outdoors on a terrazzo in Tuscany.

1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup olive oil
1 egg

1. Mix the honey and olive oil
2. Scramble the egg and mix it in (transcribers note: we discussed this and you do NOT cook the egg like, just mix it up like prior to making an omelette)
3. Massage into the hair, and let it sit for 20 minutes
4. Shampoo out, Rinse.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Quick Tagine-Style Chicken

Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

30 Minute Meals

Supermarket Exotic

Recipe Summary
Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 12 minutes
Cook Time: 23 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

Tidbit: Cubed tender cuts of lamb or diced eggplant or tofu may be substituted for the chicken in this dish. Tidbit: Double or triple the recipe for spices and store in cool dry place.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
4 cloves garlic, smashed beneath the flat of your knife with the heel of your hand, discard skins
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into large bite-size pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons grill seasoning blend (recommended: Montreal Seasoning by McCormick) or coarse salt and coarse pepper
2 medium or 1 large yellow skinned onion, quartered and sliced
10 pitted prunes, coarsely chopped
1-ounce box or 1/4 cup golden raisins
2 cups good quality, low sodium chicken stock, available in paper containers on soup aisle

Spice blend:
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika, eyeball it
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander, eyeball it
1/2 teaspoon tumeric, eyeball it
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon, a couple pinches

1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups couscous
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, eyeball it
2 scallions, finely chopped

Chopped cilantro leaves or flat-leaf parsley
Finely chopped scallions
Mango chutney, any variety and brand -- available on the condiment or International food aisles

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan, in a slow stream, and add smashed garlic. Season the chicken with seasoning blend. Scatter chicken around the pan in an even layer. Cook chicken pieces 2 minutes on each side to brown, then add the onions, prunes, raisins and stock. Mix spices in a small dish and scatter over the pot. Cover and reduce to moderate heat. Cook 7 or 8 minutes, remove the lid and stir.

To prepare the couscous, bring chicken stock to a boil. Add couscous, extra-virgin olive oil and scallions and remove the couscous from the stove immediately. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork.

Uncover chicken and cook another 2 to 3 minutes to thicken slightly. Adjust the seasoning, to taste, and serve chicken on a bed of couscous. Garnish with chopped cilantro and scallions. Serve with chutney.

Other Recipes from this Episode

Smoked Almond Stuffed Dates

Green Pepper and Tomato Salad

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Eggplant Caponata

I think this recipe originally came from The Food Network. Wherever it is from, it is REALLY good. We usually use it as a topping for bruschetta. It tastes best at room temperature (though sometimes we can't wait that long). It is one of those things that tastes even better the next day, so it doesn't hurt to make extra.

1 eggplant, peeled and cut in medium dice
12 ounces sweet Italian sausage
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small red onion, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh peeled ginger
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 teaspoons chopped capers
1 cup chopped fresh or canned tomatoes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 to 1 cup water
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
2 tablespoons chopped scallions

Place a large non stick pan over a medium heat and when it is hot, add the eggplant. Cook until the eggplant is golden brown on all sides, about 10-15 minutes. Remove the eggplant and set it aside. Reheat the pan, add the sausage and cook over medium high heat until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Discard the fat. When the sausage is cool enough to handle, roughly chop it. Reheat the pan an add the oil. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add the reserved sausage, raisins, ginger root, capers, tomatoes, salt, orange juice, curry powder, pepper flakes, honey, reserved eggplant and 1/4 cup water, stirring well after each addition. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook until the eggplant is soft and the mixture is chunky and saucey, adding more water if necessary, or about 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the vinegar, basil, cilantro, parsley, rosemary and scallions. Serve at room temperature.

White Bean Chili

Originally uploaded by lesliegardner.
I was totally unenthralled with this soup until I completed the final step of adding a whole bunch of cheese! Now I think it's spectacular! OK, good. Do we need a rating system? If we go with the standard iPod five stars, I give this a good solid three. Maybe not really 100% postable, but I was anxious to prove to you all that I intend to post recipes, not just stories and random questions!

8C Vegetable broth
2 chopped onions
2C dried navy beans, soaked overnight
1C dried great Northern beans, soaked overnight
1C cooked or canned garbanzo beans
1/2C canned diced green chiles
1t crushed red pepper flakes (or chopped thai chiles)
2C canned tomatillos, crushed
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1T tabasco sauce
2t ground tumeric
salt and pepper to taste
2C shredded monterey jack cheese (8oz)
shredded pepper jack to garnish
diced red onion to garnish
hot wing sauce to garnish

First let me say "to heck with garnishing". Next let me say "what are great northern beans?" I filled that gap with more garbanzos and more navys. Lastly, "Fred Meyer doesn't carry tomatillos but green salsa seems to have worked fine for me"

In a large stockpot, combine the vegetable broth, onions, navy and great northern beans, garbanzo beans, green chiles, pepper flakes, tomatillos, jalapeno peppers, tabasco and tumeric.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the beans are tender, about 1.5 hr. season to taste w/salt & pepper.
Puree some of the chile to thicken and stir in the cheese.
Serve hot, topping each serving with the garnishes.

Friday, February 04, 2005

It was...it was...Teflon...poisoning!

So Teflon is poisonous, right? So do any of you lovely creative ladies have any ideas for what to do with a heart shaped cake pan whose teflon is peeling and I shouldn't be cooking with anymore? I almost tossed it tonight but thought - if I made soap it could be a great mold for a giant Lush-style block of soap. But I don't like to make soap. Any ideas? In 7 days it goes!

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Curried Chicken Penne with Fresh Mango Chutney

I got this out of Cooking Light, and it is SO GOOD. I think you could reasonably substitute tofu for the chicken. I would try, but I fear the dreaded boob-rash. This is great as left-overs too - the flavors get even more intense. It is a nice combination of spicy and sweet.


2 cups diced peeled ripe mango (about two mangoes)
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chopped peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt


1 teaspoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup light coconut milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons red curry paste
1 to 2 teaspoons thai fish sauce
2 cups broccoli florets
2 cups cauliflower florets
4 cups hot cooked penne rigate (about 2 cups uncooked pasta)
2 tablespoons chopped green onions (Optional)

1. to prepare chutney, combine first 9 ingredients in a medium saucepan; bring to boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until most of the liquid evaporates and mixture is thick, stirring occasionally.
2. To prepare chicken, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and chicken; saute 5 minutes. Combine coconut milk and next 4 ingredients (coconut milk through fish sauce), stirring with a whisk. Add coconut mixture to pan; bring to a simmer. Add broccoli and cauliflower; cover and cook 7 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in chutney and pasta; toss well to combine. Sprinkle with green onions if desired.

Clearly I need brain food!

Today I took a recipe to the store to get ingredients for white bean chile. So I got home and was putting it together and it kept seeming strangely foreign even though I knew I'd made it once before (because I'd written "very good" on it). I kept getting confused with the ingredients, which is not unusual. I normally have to look at the recipe twice for each addition or action. Then I realized I had TWO white bean chile recipes out - one on either side of the stove! I had been looking at whatever one caught my eye first! AUGH! Luckily, they are pretty similar so it was totally salvagable. It is simmering now and if it's good I'll post it. Seems that it will be mighty spicy with a whole teaspoon of crushed red peppers and two fresh jalapenos! Yow!

Monday, January 31, 2005

Pomegranate-Pear Salad

This is so good! I make it all the time, although I can see by revisiting the recipe that I've been leaving the nutmeg out the last few times. It's good without, but better with! (unless you are allergic to nutmeg, of course). Anyway, this is great if it has a couple of hours to sit before you eat it.

3 pears - peeled, cored and cut into wedges

1 pomegranate, skin and light-colored membrane removed

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons finely chopped almonds (optional)

4 sprigs fresh mint leaves for garnish (optional)

Place the sliced pears and pomegranate seeds into a bowl. Toss with lemon juice to coat. Combine the brown sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon in a small cup or bowl, then mix into the fruit. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving to blend the flavors. Serve in individual dishes, and garnish with a sprinkling of chopped almonds and a sprig of mint.

Tip - great tip for peeling pomegranate -- score the skin of the fruit and submerge in a bowl of cool water. Peel underwater - the seeds will fall to the bottom, the peel and that papery membrane stuff will float to the top and can be skimmed off. Easy peasy, and it doesn't look like you've murdered something on the kitchen counter!

That was so good - how did you make it?

A place to share the recipes that you a) want to have access to when you're away from your cookbook (but near a computer), or b) some place easy to share recipes that your friends have been asking about.