Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pecans (from Real Simple magazine)
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Kosher salt & black pepper
(I used one little bucket full of brussells sprouts, since thats how they come in my market. As a result, I halved all of the ingredients, including buying a smaller bag of pecans).
Prepare and Cook the Brussels Sprouts
Heat oven to 400° F. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the Brussels sprouts, pecans, oil, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Turn the Brussels sprouts cut-side down.
Roast until golden and tender, 20 to 25 minutes. (17 min. worked for us)
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Balsamic Roasted Vegetables
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (you don't need this much - go for less)
3 garlic cloves, pressed (finely chopped)
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme*
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh basil* *these fresh herbs make the dish. Don't skip.
Veggies (see notes below)
Coarse kosher salt
Chop Veggies: Instead of following the recipe, use what veggies you have or that look good at the market. Squash, zucchini, always include onions (red onions work well), red/yellow/green peppers, once we even used carrots...I don't use eggplant b/c neither Chris or I are a fan when it's roasted. Cut the veggies into 1/2 in. strips (peppers) or 1/3 in. thick rounds (squash) and leave the onions in big chunks (*not sliced or diced - they'll burn to a crisp).
Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss onions and veggies in large bowl; sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper. Add dressing; toss to coat. Lay out in a large rimmed baking sheets (I lightly spray the tray first). Roast until vegetables are tender and slightly brown around edges, about 35 minutes (move them around on the tray 20 min. in).
Monday, October 27, 2008
The closest I've gotten is putting together the Halloween book we were given on last week's bus tour. Mom & I assembled them the day after, and I've started to fill mine with childhood Halloween photos. I only have 1976, '78, and '79 at this point (it'll take a while to dig up the oldies). But...so fun.
The page below is a clear, acrylic page. I was Casper, 5 years old. Above, Raggedy Ann, 4 years old.
To be filled in later...
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
But even better, Sunday night, we celebrated my mom's birthday at Don Jose Tequilas. Great paella, homemade margaritas, super sweet flan, & the classic birthday tequila shot! At one point she was given a giant sombrero, as well (yes, the picture is most appropriately fuzzy). Overall a perfect visit. Happy birthday mom, thanks for flying up!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Pumpkin Cheesecake (from Real Simple)
1 .25 oz. envelope unflavored gelatin
1 8 oz. bar cream cheese
1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
1 C sour cream
3/4 C granulated sugar
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (I made my own: cinnamon + nutmeg + ground cloves)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1. Dissolve gelatin in 1/4 C boiling water. Let stand, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
2. Using an electric mixer (I used a whisk), beat the cream cheese until smooth. Mix in the pumpkin, sour cream, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla. Mix in the gelatin mixture until incorporated.
3. Pour mixture into the crust and refrigerate, covered, until firm, at least 2 hrs. and up to 2 days.
The Jolly Roger skulls, I downloaded from ReadyMade magazine & printed them on striped vellum. We didn't have wooden skewers in the house, so I thread the sails through angel hair pasta & used Gloo for the triangle sails.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Sadly, I cannot include the precise proportions in Chris' dad's sofrito (shown above), since it's due to the hand of the master. But I do know that it includes a combination of recao (also known as culantro), green bell peppers, white onion, garlic, olive oil, and cilantro. I also know that while it resembles Goya's Recaito in appearance (as a green base/paste), nothing compares to this family recipe.
[sidenote: If you're looking for mild or subtle flavor (or, if you're my father & your favorite condiment is ketchup - love you, dad), don't bother investigating further. ]Basically, the black beans are cooked up with the sofrito (Chris' recommendation: don't be shy with it) until the beans have reduced a bit. Then load them into tortillas with cheese & avocado. We normally use shredded cheddar, but sometimes it's a use-what-you-got day. They're ready to eat, but you can also fill a casserole dish & bake them with cheese on top. The sofrito goes with everything, including soups & our favorite, beans & rice.