Saturday, December 29, 2012

Cast Iron Cheese

     Looking for an easy entertaining recipe with a wow factor?  This delicious modernized cheese spread is very simple, yet elegant and fun.  My husband has always been a huge fan of cheese and in more recent years I find myself expanding my love for one of America's favorite foods.  Recently, Serious Eats posted a poll to determine which cheese is the most loved.   I voted for Gruyere, but Brie was a close second.  To be honest it was difficult to rule a bunch out of my list of faves.  

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween Mashed Potatoes
     This was actually a totally unexpected surprise.  I was boiling potatoes to make pierogies and had a couple of extra carrots in the fridge.  I decided to throw them in the water too.  It was a mash potato melting pot that started with many purple potatoes.  A couple of days later when I pulled the potatoes out of the fridge and began mashing them I immediately thought of halloween when I saw the color.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Apple Puff Pancake
       This was a delicious way to start the day with my hubby, though I really ate most of it.  I was never a big fan of puffed pancakes until now.  One time I made a large dutch baby for my sister and hubby.  Lets just say it put a damper on our weekend  home cookin :(  The sliced apples added nice texture to balance out this very soft pancake, and perhaps it was more successful simply because of the size.  Great use for the apple.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Vanilla Cinnamon Applesauce
     I've probably eaten more apples this season than I have in any other.  The fresh pickings at the farmers' market have been hitting the spot.  In the kitchen we have been whipping up some fun stuff, like this easy applesauce, which I plan on pairing with some pork and pierogies.  The scent that fills the house..........

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Apples - THE fall fruit

Baked Apples
   I have great memories of working with apples as a kid.  My grandmother had a few apple trees on her property.  I was often called on to help my father pick them, pack them in bushels, and tractor them up to the house.  And yes, I loved driving the tractor.  The apple juice we got from those apples is something I really miss - maybe I'll try to make that next!  

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Eggplant Made Rich

     I turned to the greeks for inspiration in trying to come up with my next eggplant recipe.  And boy did they deliver!  My sister always loved moussaka, but I always stuck to eggplant parmigiana.....until now!  It is a labor of love - I will forewarn you.  When you smell the aroma of nutmeg scented eggplant in the house on a crisp fall day you will be yearning to sink your teeth into this bubbling golden casserole.  

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Fancy Schmancy Beets

Cheesy Beet Dip
I had two golden beets left over and a bunch of cheeses in the fridge.  I wanted to have something savory to snack on hanging around in the fridge.  More importantly, I just spent a couple of hours cooking in the kitchen and did not want to stay much longer!  The mini food processor came out and the result was amazing.  Cool and creamy flavors from the cheese melded well with the beet and a touch of fresh oregano.  If you do not like oregano leave it out and it will still be scrumptious.  Mmmmm.....My hubby loved it too!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Golden Beets

I am super happy about discovering golden beets.  For some reason they do not bother me as much as red ones do.  Wonder why.  I did find out that red beets give our body vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, and fiber.  Now, I know I can not be the only one curious about whether our bodies change every seven years or not.  Would it not be great to think that some part of our body is just going through a phase?  What would I want to change?  Definitely some bad habits such as the streak of perfectionism that often pushes me to think and care too much about what I do.  Primary though would be the late nights where I try to wrestle my neurons from firing nonstop about random nonsense.  
The fact of the matter is that many cells do change, but the blanket statement that we we get "new" bodies every 7 years has yet to be solidified with scientific evidence.  Different cells change at different times and contrary to what used to viewed as fact, we do not only have the neurons we are born with.  There is evidence that we can re-train our brains to quiet circuitry signaling depression for example. So don't give up on breaking habits that make you feel like shit!  An excellent book on the matter is "Train your mind, change your brain" if you care to read more. 

Golden Beet and Zucchini Fritters
I'll admit it took 3 tries to get this recipe right.  The zucchini is very moist and I do not know how it is that flour works in this recipe for anyone. The bread crumbs bind perfectly - no flour needed! The beets contain pectin which substitutes well for egg.  The result is a crispy, warm cheesy and slightly sweet fritter.  Cool golden beet on top is the perfect contrast.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Shades of Purple Eggplant

     Eggplants are one of the very attractive vegetables alongside beets.  For the first time I tried the long skinny kind and they are delicious.  To my surprise they were quite sweet and not so bitter like the larger ones.  I do not recall eggplants in the family gardens as a kid and am not sure why.  One things for sure, they will find a place in my kitchen, if not the garden.  
     Eggplants are actually a fruit and are in season now.  They are valuable for many antioxidant properties that are said to be anti-cancer and preventative of high cholesterol.  Fiber and some other vitamins are an added bonus.  An interesting factoid is that eggplants contain nicotine.  That's right, the nasty stuff from cigarettes!  They (unlike cancer sticks) do not need to come with the warning that they pose a risk to your health, however.  You would have to eat 20lbs of eggplant to get the same amount of nicotine you would from one cigarette.

Chickpeas, Zucchini, Feta and Garlic & Basil scented Eggplant  
     This turned out to be a very nice vegetarian dinner.  My husband usually prefers meat but said he would have no problem if I made this for dinner again.  It was really easy and most suited for a lazy summer day, though I have a feeling I will be looking it up when in need of a quick weeknight meal. 

Beautiful Beets

     Where do beets come from? Can I come up with some good recipes with this ingredient? Beets are not just amazing in their deep rich purple or golden hue, but they emit a sweet refreshing flavor burst in your mouth.  Their firm texture stands up well in a simple salad of beets and goat cheese, which is absolutely delicious if you have not yet had it.  Turns out beets date back to ancient times - before Christ to be exact!  Its magenta stems and heart shaped leaves make me wonder why I never thought they could be related to chard.