Friday, December 31, 2010

Thursday, December 30, 2010

green drinks

And we aren't even to FL yet...
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Sunday, December 26, 2010

golden eyes

Roshi-sitting while E is away.
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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Recipe Rursday: Goat Cheese Empanadas


Goat Cheese Empanadas

Using a 3-in round cookie cutter, cut out 16 circles from 2 refrigerated rolled piecrusts. Divide 4 oz. of fresh goat cheese among the circles, dot the edges of the dough with water, fold in half, and press with a fork to seal.

Bake at 375F until golden, 20-25 minutes. Serve with corn salsa.

(I made these with my mom when she was in town for Thanksgiving -- crafty, and easy, if you buy the piecrusts.)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Recipe Rursday: Homemade Hot Sauce

We go through a lot of hot sauce in our house. On oven nachos, fish tacos, huevos rancheros, and even rice and beans. And with the number of hot peppers growing in the deck garden, and that came in our CSA farm share, it was only a matter of time before we started making our own hot sauce. We had a number of hot peppers go to waste this year and we will not make that mistake again. The hot chilii-infused oil (recipe here) was a great way to use up peppers, and the oil will last for quite a while. But hot sauce doesn't require that you dry out the chilis, and the process was much simpler.
Garlicky Red Chili Hot Sauce (from The New York Times)
  • 4 hot red or orange chili peppers, such as habañero
  • 2 red bell peppers ( 3/4 pound), roughly chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.

1. Wearing rubber or latex gloves, roughly chop the chilies. Combine all ingredients in a small pot over medium-high heat. Once mixture is simmering, reduce heat to low, cover and continue to simmer until peppers are tender, 7 to 10 minutes. Do not inhale vapors; they will sting.

2. Transfer mixture to a blender and purée. Pour into a medium jar and allow to cool uncovered. Cover tightly and refrigerate for three days. Keep stored in refrigerator; sauce will last for several weeks or months. Yield: 2 cups.


Notes: This was Chris' project (whew), and he bottled our batch in the cleaned-out distilled vinegar bottle because of its screw-on cap. The sauce is bright orange and a little thick/chunky. Only thing I'd change for the next batch is to turn up the heat. It's hot sauce damn it! If it's really really hot, you can hold back and only use a little bit. Since our first batch was on the more mild side, we're almost through the bottle.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Best band name ever

Chris: "what's the name of that group...Jesus and the Rocketships?"

Amy: "You mean Florence and the Machine?"
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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Thanksgiving Visit

Our Thanksgiving weekend involved a lot of cooking -- spinach lasagna (with homemade pasta sauce), pumpkin bread stuffing, goat cheese empanadas (above), spicy cauliflower hash, festive quinoa salad, baked haddock, and mom made her broccoli cheese & rice dish. Since my parents arrived late on Thursday, we had dinner out on the town, and our own Thanksgiving dinner on Friday. Note to self: Almost nothing is open on Thanksgiving in Providence!
We made paper, 3-D ornaments (above), watched John Grisham movies, and spent Saturday with my aunt Sandy, my two cousins, and their kids. On Sunday, we took an early trip to the tree farm, and spent the afternoon decorating the tree. A full, and really great, weekend.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Recipe Rursday: Pumpkin Bread Stuffing

Three years ago, I posted that I wanted to make Pumpkin Bread Stuffing (from a recipe on VegetarianFood We hosted Thanksgiving this year for my parents (and brought food to my aunt's), so I gave it a try...though a few years late.

I didn't have time to make the bread, and picked up this amazing loaf of "Pumpkin Seed Bread" at our local bakery, Seven Stars. The best ingredient in this recipe ended up being the seeds, which became more pronounced as the bread broke down from stirring/pulsing in the food processor. If your bread doesn't have them, it couldn't hurt to add them separately.
My changes: I used butter (and much less), dried herbs (1 Tbsp fresh = 1 tsp. dried), and could have used more broth. I prefer stuffing to be very moist (I was raised on Stove Top) and will add more broth next time. I also put the mixture in the food processor after baking, and I'm convinced that with more broth, the processor would get me the texture I wanted. Regardless, a great success.

Pumpkin Bread Stuffing
  • 1 cup vegan margarine, plus 1 teaspoon (1/2 cup of butter)
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped (or 2 tsp. dried)
  • 2 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped (or 2 tsp. dried)
  • 2 tbsp fresh sage, chopped (or 2 tsp. dried)
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 6 cups pumpkin bread, cubed
  • approx 1/3 cup vegetable broth (1/2 cup or more)
Allow pumpkin bread to dry overnight, or toast in oven at 250 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees and grease a large baking dish with butter. In a large skillet/pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the celery and onions and sautee for 8-10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for a few more minutes until mushrooms are soft.

Turn off heat and add spices, stirring well to combine. Add bread cubes. Add vegetable broth a few tablespoons at a time just until stuffing is moistened.

Transfer mixture to greased baking dish and cover with foil. Bake in oven for 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10 more minutes, or until done.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The tree

It was so good to spend the holiday with my parents and to share our annual tree procurement! While we always have a real tree for Christmas, we hadn't chopped one down since 2007. Henry's Tree Farm in Scituate was good to us again. And as always, the tree is 90% covered in paper/plastic/foam ornaments, made by friends and family. Each year the ornaments are different (see the history, here) and each year the unpacking of ornaments reminds me of the good friends we have (who affectionately allow me to force crafts on them). My parents added fancy paper ornaments this year (blinged up by mom). More pics soon.