Friday, December 25, 2009
Today for lunch we're having cranberry brie en croute.
I've posted the recipe before, but now, with pictures! You need crescent roll dough, a round of brie, and a bag of Craisins. (for 13oz of brie or less, use one pkg of crescent roll dough, for 16oz round, use 2pkgs).
1.) Cut brie in half. Fill with cranberries. 2.) Roll out crescent roll dough. I do this in two halves, and put one half on top and the other half on the bottom. I try to roll the bottom half out thinner so it cooks more evenly.
3.) Wrap brie in dough and put on a baking sheet. Stick in oven at 375 for 20-30 minutes (until crescent roll is cooked through - you'll want to flip it over and check that the bottom is thoroughly cooked.)
Enjoy! Things will be pretty quiet on the Barefoot homefront because we are off to Bonaire with my family. Have good, safe holidays and a happy New Year! See you in 2010! If you have a resolution related to cooking, please share in the comments!
Monday, December 21, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Oh wait, and it looks like this outside:
You make Snow Day Fondue! Sister Barefoot, who lives up the street, came down and brought her husband and a big block of swiss cheese, old and slightly moldy. I've gotten less squemish about moldy cheese and just chopped off the moldy bits. Then we cut it all up and made fondue.
Oh wait, for fondue, you need bread. French bread. Well, fortunately, on a snow day, you can't go anywhere, so it's the perfect time to make bread! I used the french bread recipe from the Joy of Cooking (I will repost shortly) and let it rise all afternoon. It made 3 loaves of delicious, crusty french bread.
As you can see, Sister Barefoot also brought some apples, and Mr. Barefoot did some last minute online Christmas shopping as we got dinner ready.
Snow Day Fondue:
1 cup dry white cooking wine
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
Approx 20 oz cheese, cut up into cubes or shredded, depending on level of laziness. We used Gouda, Swiss, and Parmesean, plus a tiny bit of cheddar. I would say the swiss is the most important, and then add whatever you want.
1.) Bring wine to a boil in a small pot.
2.) At the same time, melt butter over LOW heat. Add flour, and blend together until smooth and slightly cooked. You'll want to use a whisk for this.
3.) Whisk in dry white wine, a little at a time, keeping the mixture extremely smooth. This should take you about 2-4 minutes to accomplish. Whisk muchly.
4.) Add some cheese. Let it melt. Wisk. Add more cheese.
5.) Transfer to a fondue pot, or put on very low heat and have everybody stand around the stove.
6.) Dip delicious foodstuffs in melty cheese. Mmmmm. Fel warm and fuzzy.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
- 3 black plantains
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 1 can of black beans, drained
- 1/4 cup diced onion
- minced garlic
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
- 4 medium yellow onions (sweet ones are fine)
- 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 tbsp evoo
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary or 1/2 tsp dried
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Wash the onions, paying special attention to the root ends. Peel them, then trim the pointed, but not root, end.
- Place onions in slow cooker with the cut end up. Drizzle in vinegar and olive oil. Tuck fresh rosemary in among the onions, or sprinkle on dried rosemary. Sprinkle very lightly with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on High until tender and easily pierced - about 2 - 2 1/2 hours.
- Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer onions to plates or serving platter. Pour the liquid from the crock over the onions.
Verdict: These were pretty good, but a little weird. It's a whole onion, so it's just kinda odd, and bulky to eat, but the onion itself was pretty good. I probably won't make this again though.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
- 1/2 medium onion
- 2 tbs butter (actually, right now, we're using vegan margarine)
- 1 tsp sugar
- feta cheese, to taste (would also be good with goat cheese)
- fresh rosemary (if your awesome older sister bought you a rosemary tree)
- 1 small pita
- Melt 1 tbsp butter in skillet over medium heat. Slice onion thinly into strips.
- Toss onion in melted butter and allow to saute until soft.
- Add sugar, salt, pepper, and remaining butter. (May need more butter if the onions start to burn).
- Continue stirring frequently for approx. 6-10 minutes, then add rosemary and saute a little more.
- Add feta, stir until softened.
- Spoon into pita and marvel at how such a simple sandwich could be so delicious.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
Go forth and enjoy!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
1 egg (optional)
1) Dump everything dry into slow cooker, mix well.
2) Add liquid, mix more.
3) Cook on high for 2-4 hours, or low for 4-6 hours, depending on how broken your slow cooker is. (Ours cooks too fast, so it takes 2 on high or 4 on low.)
Enjoy! Hope you had a good Thanksgiving.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Some foods are good foods. Some foods are fantastic. And some foods are proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy, to paraphrase Ben Franklin. Since Franklin said that about beer, then the same must hold true for beer macaroni and cheese.
I hate beer but I love to cook with it - so awhile ago, I thought about making beer macaroni and cheese, but I hadn't gotten around to it. I'm making mac & cheese for thanksgiving, so I thought for my friend's thanksgiving last night, I would do a different variation, and decided to try this out.
I looked around for recipes but a lot involved bacon. I found this one from Scrumptini and altered it a little.
- 1 lb penne pasta
- 3 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp flour
- 2 leeks, chopped up (just the white and light green parts)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 12 oz bottle of beer (I used yuengling but Mr. Barefoot recommends a stout)
- 3 cups cheddar cheese
- 1 cup parmesean
- 1/2 cup parm (for topping)
- salt & pepper
- Tabasco sauce
- Saute leeks and garlic over medium-low heat in just a little bit of butter until soft and delicious smelling. Add 3 tbsp butter and stir until melted.
- Add in 3 tbsp flour slowly, allow to cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Pour in milk, allow to cook until thickened and bubbly.
- Add beer. Beer will bubble at first, and then calm down. Cook until entire mixture is thick, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta in a separate pot. Drain and put in a greased pyrex dish.
- Once beer - milk mixture is thickened, add cheese slowly. Once cheese is all melted in, add salt and pepper and a little bit of tabasco sauce (to taste - you can try it and see what you like).
- Pour sauce over pasta, stir to combine.
- Mix breadcrumbs, parmesean cheese, and some salt and pepper together, sprinkle on top.
- Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes until top is brown and cheese bubbles.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
- Mushrooms - we didn't use enough, because Mr. Barefoot always forgets how much they cook down. I would use about 20 next time, or really, the entire box.
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 1/2 cups red wine (or just pour until they are covered. You can also add some water.)
- Slice and prep mushrooms.
- Melt butter in skillet over medium heat.
- Saute mushrooms in butter until soft and cooked. Add garlic and cook for until garlic is slightly cooked.
- Pour in red wine. Allow to come to a boil, then simmer.
- Simmer until wine becomes a thick sauce (5-10 minutes).
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Leek Mac & Cheese
Monday, November 9, 2009
We used this recipe, and it was good. (Plus, no bake lasagna noodles may be the greatest invention ever.) It was a little mild for my taste, and I like my lasagna to have the ricotta and sauce mixed together. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but maybe something a little more like my sweet potato mac & cheese. Like I said yesterday, I currently have 3 pumpkins, plus another 2 cups of pumpkin puree in my freezer, so there's a lot of room for experiment. I want to try a pumpkin mac & cheese, and also these.
We also had a pumpkin soup at the wedding over the weekend, and that was amazing.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
I'm not sure, honestly, how well everything is going to keep. But for right now, we have four meals in tupperware containers. Plus, we are trying two new recipes this week! Hopefully, I can remember to write about them on time, and to offer pictures.
What's on the menu?
Salmon with CousCous
Seitan Chili (which Mr. Barefoot is going to make, and has named "devilishly hot seitan chili")
New Potato Curry
Sweet Potato Tacos
Additionally, my cousin got married over the weekend and the decor from the wedding included several small pumpkins, which were given to guests at the end of the night. I took three. (In my defense, there were 9 leftover...it's not like I was taking them from other people.) I want to try making this, but we are with Mr. Barefoot's family this weekend and everything I ever cook at their house ends up being an unmitigated disaster. So this brings my next question - how long do pumpkins keep for?
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Today I'm trying to make this using this recipe. Reader C. sent me the recipe as a possible thing to do with a pumpkin, but since I already mashed my pumpkin up, I decided to just buy butternut squash.
Have you ever tried peeling a butternut squash by the way? It's very very hard. So I totally took the easy, cheating way out. I bought 2lbs of pre-cubed butternut squash at Costco. I used about a quarter of it for this, meaning I have plenty left for Moroccan spice butternut squash and butternut squash soup.
Yeah, it's cheating and it's not local and it's probably kind of expensive (I think I see BNS for $3 at the farmer's market, but arguably, this is two squashes worth and so $6 is pretty reasonable.) But I just made risotto in 5 minutes. It probably won't taste like transcendance in a bowl, but it probably will taste pretty darn good. I'll let you know.
Monday, October 26, 2009
But just this morning, loyal reader and high school friend C. has turned me onto Cheap Healthy Good. And within 5 minutes of perusing it, I found like, 12 new recipes I Must Try.
Mr. Barefoot reads food blogs. Then he sends me links to things he, or I, or we, should make. Then we don't. He turned me on to Crockpot 365, which is great. But I simply do not have the energy to peruse a dozen food blogs. I read blogs written by people who like to cook (i.e. That Wife) but I don't really have a good store of food blogs.
So share your link love! What are your favorite food blogs? Are any of them vegetarian or pescatarian or vegetarian allies (i.e. make some meat free meals?)
Saturday, October 24, 2009
We picked up a cheese pumpkin, because Mr. Barefoot is making pumpkin beer today, and I get to use the other half to do as I would like.
I was thinking pumpkin lasagna, so I went off in search of a recipe.
I found this and this, but both require canned pumpkin.
Omg. Also requires canned pumpkin. But omg.
This looks interesting, but I only have a half a pumpkin. You can bet I'll be trying it sometime soon though. How long are pumpkins in season for?
Ooooooh....want! I'm going to need to try this as well.
I think the answer for today is to cook the pumpkin, scrape out the meat, and then mash up the meat and refrigerate/freeze it.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Last week, Moose and Squirrel (my future sister-in-law and her boyfriend) came to stay with us, and I decided to throw together a slow cooker breakfast casserole and some pancakes (I had leftover buttermilk from an ill-fated cake I tried to make. I'm not posting the recipe because it was not good.)
If you don't own "I'm Just Here For More food"...you might want to, but only if you have enough time to cook. I've tried making some of the stuff in it, and I'm sorry, but some of AB's recipes are just. too. complicated. This one was pretty simple. The only thing it asked of me that I couldn't give it was a food processor for sifting. I sift with a strainer, which works okay. The key to great pancakes, apparently, lies in not overstirring, and in letting the batter rest.
So here is the pancake recipe. (Make ahead version here. Which I'm sorry, will save you about 5 seconds. But if you really need that time, go for it.)
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 tblsp sugar
2 L. eggs
2 cups buttermilk
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled.
1.) Sift dry goods together.
2.) Mix wet goods together in a separate bowl.
3.) Pour wet goods into dry goods. Mix gently. You should not make more than 5 circles around the bowl. I think AB actually wants you to stick to 3. Batter will be lumpy. Do not break up the lumps! Do make sure you have scraped all the flour off the bottom and there are no massive clumps of flour.
4.) Set the batter aside to rest for 5 minutes. This is key. I know you are hungry, but wait.
5.) Heat a frying pan to medium-low, or an electric griddle to 350.
6.) Ladle pancakes into griddle and cook until bubbles have formed. Pay attention: Some of you may be inclined to flip your pancakes when they start to bubble - but you want to wait until they look like this.
See how the edges are cooked and the batter is looking like it set? You should be cooking your pancakes for about 3 minutes on one side, so adjust the heat lower and just be patient!
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
The sauce looks good - creamy, red, thick, and tomato-smelling (it smelled like beans and tomatoes when I got in, but once I blended it, just tomatoes.)
It tasted a little too bean-y though - so next time, probably half a can of beans, and maybe some tomato paste. It's a good way to sneak in some protein though. (I might try silken tofu sometime.)
The pizza crust is good. Mark complains about my pizza crust, so I tried a new dough - from The New Best Recipe Cookbook. I'm not going to post it here because well, you should buy it.
It doesn't taste like restaurant pizza, but its less doughy than my usual pizza crust. I also cooked it at 525 and not 425 (I didn't know our oven went up to 525.) I didn't precook the crust and that was my only mistake. Always precook!
The dough makes 3 pizzas, so I'm gonna freeze it and do some kind of pesto pizza next week, and maybe a white pizza sometime soon. Or another brie pizza. Brie pizza is delicious. It's like heaven in a crust.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
What did we make? Chocolate covered pretzels, chocolate covered oreos, these, and these:
Look how much we made!
So recipe for chocolate covered stuff?
Take a one pound bag of melting chocolate and melt in a stainless steel or glass mixing bowl over boiling water. (Makeshift double boiler.) Add pretzels or oreos and stir gently. Quickly transfer to a nonstick baking rack. (Otherwise chocolate will harden.) Package and/or eat.
For rice crispies, buy pre-made rice crispy treats and add a stick, then dip in chocolate. Yum.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
I did it in the slow cooker as my friend does not yet have a stove (but she has a gorgeous kitchen.) The recipe isn't perfect yet, but it was delicious and Mr. Barefoot has spent the evening eating the leftovers I brought home and there are none left.
- 3 boxes cream cheese (you can use 1/3 less fat kind)
- 1 box pasta (I used elbow macaroni, but I think next time I'll use penne)
- cheese (I used 2 cups of yellow cheddar, but it actually wasn't that cheesy, so I would add some white cheddar as well)
- 1 1/2 cups half and half (try it with milk and let me know how that goes)
- 1 lb crab meat (buy it at Costco - the Phillips lump crab meat)
- old bay
- Pour pasta into slowcooker (uncooked).
- Add half and half or other dairy liquid. Add old bay.
- Add cheese. And more old bay.
- Add crab meat. And some more old bay.
- Cook on high for 4 hours (our slow-cooker cooks so fast I actually cooked it on high for an hour and then I switched it to low for 3 while we went tubing.)
Try it. Play with the recipe. Get back to me on how you made it and whether that worked for you.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
- 1 lb macaroni
- 2 cups shredded cheese
- 1 12oz can evaporated milk
- 1 1/2 cups 1% milk (can probably use skim as well)
- 1 egg
- Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 bottle barbecue sauce (I used whatever Mark bought me, use whatever type suits your fancy - I'm not sure how vinegar based sauce will come out though)
- salt and pepper
- 6 qt slow cooker (for smaller, halve or quarter recipe)
- small bowl
- pot, colander, slotted spoon
- not-slotted spoon
- 2 dishtowels (clean!)
- Cook macaroni until al dente. Drain. Grease slow cooker. Pour macaroni into slow cooker.
- In a separate bowl, mix evaporated milk, milk, and egg.
- Pour milk mixture over macaroni, stir to distribute evenly. Add red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Add one cup of cheese.
- Place 2 dishtowels over slow cooker, then put on lid (this absorbs condensation so the macaroni does not get all soggy.)
- Allow to cook for 30-40 minutes, until most of the liquid has boiled off. Add another cup of cheese and half a bottle of barbecue sauce. Stir to combine.
- Allow to cook for another 30-40 minutes. It should start looking pretty mac and cheesy at this point. Add the rest of the cheese, more barbecue sauce, and taste test. Do not stand over the crockpot eating out of it because its just too delicious.
- Once the sauce is a flavor and consistency of your liking, add breadcrumbs to the top and spray with vegetable oil or dot with butter if you want them to really brown.
- You now have two options - allow the slow cooker to cook for another hour to crisp up the breadcrumbs, or throw the whole thing under the broiler. I picked option 2 because people were here and dinner needed to be on the table. It's done when the breadcrumbs are brown.
Friday, August 14, 2009
- 3 lbs onions
- 3 tbsp melted butter
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cracked black peppercorns
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 16 crostini
- 2 cups shredded Swiss or Gruyere cheese
- Slice onions really thin.
- Cook onions and melted butter in crockpot for 30-60 minutes until onions are softened.
- Add sugar, salt, and peppercorns. Put a towel or two under the crockpot lid to absorb moisture.
- Cook on high for 4 hours, stirring a few times.
- Stir in thyme and balsamic vinegar.
- Preheat broiler.
- Spread onions evenly over crostini and sprinkle cheese on top. Place on baking sheet and broil until cheese is melty - about 3 minutes. 5 results in charcoal.
I came home to an apartment missing all signs of Ms. Barefoot. With an emptied freezer, evidence of what life without a Costco membership could be; very little produce in the fridge; and a dishwasher filled with every single one of our bowls and three plates. The oven had some kind of spill on the bottom which may very well have been there since May which made it smoke when I tried to use it.
Nonetheless, I've been cooking. Today I broke out the big crockpot and the mandoline slicer. I'm also making bread because I have the counter space to really knead.
I've been shopping. I went to costco and stocked up on everything missing from the pantry. We still don't have enough vegetables in the house, but on Sunday we'll sit down and menu plan.
For now, I am home. Expect some more recipes coming soon. Sorry for the dearth lately.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
1) Prioritize - the things that you cannot take with you or donate to a food pantry are the most important to eat. This is anything frozen and anything opened. This is why for the next three days, I will be eating a lot of salmon and also a weird pasta salad I made by mixing two boxes of pasta.
2) Perishables - perishables obviously must be consumed before the trip, but see rule 1. Potatoes should be less of a priority to eat than any kind of berries or grapes or other things that require refridgeration. Things like apples and any other eat-on-the-run snack makes a great road trip food, so take those with you and eat those berries.
3) Portability - this has been our biggest problem, not just on long distance moves but on short, half hour moves. Some foods are hard to travel with. Eat all canned beans. They are seriously heavy and tough to transport. Boxed foods can be very bulky and take up a lot of space. Baking supplies are usually fine to transport, and it makes no sense to throw away or donate a half-used can of baking powder.
My menu for the next few days? I dunno. But I'm apparently having salmon for every meal, because the frozen salmon I bought 10 weeks ago was a pack of 10 and not a pack of 4 as I had thought. It's going to be in the nineties, so I'm not sure how to cook it, except that cold salmon with a balsamic reduction is pretty good....also with brie, which I have. I was going to live off the cans of beans in the pantry, but I'm prioritizing the salmon and either taking the beans home or dropping them at a local shelter, space pending.
I have some fruit that I'll be eating down, and I'll be seeing what I can do with the rest of my foodstuffs to make road trip snacks for me and my mom (my mom is flying out to Cleveland and driving home with me). I have a bag of salad that I think I will eat in some kind of salmon with salad and balsamic vinegar.
Truthfully, I don't really want to eat any of these foods. When it is this hot out, all I can actually imagine eating is watermelon and grapes. But my shoulder has been hurting, so I think the increased fish intake will help with muscle repair, and who knows, maybe I can cook the salmon in the crockpot over night and chill it in the fridge during the day to have a nice cool salmon salad....
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Tasted a little too yeasty/beer-tastic. My roommate liked them, I didn't really care for them. Worth the experiment, and is helping lighten my load to go home.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
- 1 pkg Oreos - crushed
- Reese's peanut butter cups (or toffee/heath bar; or Nestle crunch) - crushed
- 1 container ice cream (normal sized), softened slightly so its easy to scoop
- Take a pan you don't care about ruining the bottom of; or a cupcake pan with foil liners
- Fill the bottom with crushed oreos, add crushed reese's peanut butter cups
- Scoop in ice cream and smooth out (my coworker used cookie dough, but use whatever suits your fancy)
- Top with M&Ms
It's been three years since you both died, and I think about you a lot still. I think that you would be quite proud of me, not only because I've gotten really good at ice hockey (6+ points last season) and it turns out I'm pretty good at law school; because I'm nice to my big sister now, and just generally because of who I've turned out to be. But I think you also would be quite proud of me in other ways.
I eat brown rice now. Seriously. Yeah, I still love the white fluffy rice that comes in a bowl at a chinese food restaurant. But at home, I make brown rice. Because I hope you were right and I will live longer.
I try anything now. Seriously. The only thing I still won't eat are pickles, anything with mayonaise, and olives. But I'll try whatever somebody puts in front of me, and I won't make a face.
I eat vegetables. Lots of them. I just finished frying up some kind of weird squash thing.
I eat pepper. And spices. Seriously. Put 'em on everything. Can't live without 'em.
I eat the crusts off my sandwiches. My hair isn't really curly, like you always promised, so I have to conclude that you lied.
I eat mushrooms. Again, really. Marinated and sauted, raw in sandwiches, anything.
I clean my plate. I am almost always a member of the clean plate club. The key is to not put so much on your plate that it's hard to clean it.
I still love chocolate. And ginger snaps. And Opa cookies. Which taste better when you eat them sitting on a rock by a creek. Some things don't change.
I miss you both.
Monday, July 20, 2009
What I do care for though, is brewpub food. I find brewpub food to be comfort food done right; new takes on classic favorites; relatively cheap but nonetheless interesting meals, and more fun than any fancy dinner out. I like brewpub atmospheres - casual tables, dimly lit corners, etc. Some of the places we went had a limited vegetarian selection, but most were delicious. I also quite like beer in food - a beer cheese soup, beer bread, beer glazes, beer batter, etc. It has the taste of the beer, but none of the horrible aftertaste, which is my main problem.
So what did I eat this weekend? I'm so glad you asked.
-Soft pretzels and a beer-cheese fondue
-fancy potato chips with a bleu cheese dipping sauce (I actually don't like bleu cheese much, but this was good)
-3-cheese macaroni and cheese (at a barbeque joint, where I then mixed bbq sauce with the mac & cheese, which was amazing. Keep an eye out for a bbq mac & cheese coming to a barefoot kitchen near you).
-Beer-crust white pizza, with a four cheese sauce, tomato, artichokes? and gorgonzola (it was actually pretty good, even though I forgot to ask them to take out the gorgonzola)
-Spinach and Artichoke dip (which was mostly vegetables, and pretty delicious)
-Goat cheese and vegetable quesadilla - (this was amazing, and my friend's fiance was kind enough to let me keep her leftovers as well as mine.)
Others may have different opinions of their favorite breweries from this weekend, but if you are ever in Michigan, I highly encourage you to check out Blue Tractor BBQ and Brewery (home of amazing mac&cheese and really good barbeque sauce), New Holland Brewery (beer crust pizza), and Arcadia Brewery (goat cheese quesadilla) if you are looking for good beer and good food. If you are just looking for good beer, hop on out to Bell's Brewery, as I heard the beer was good there.
And, while you're at New Holland, try their cider. They had an amazing berry cider that I had a sample of, which was absolutely amazing...it tasted like juice mixed with hard cider...and it had that fresh from the tap crispness of a good cider. (I don't really care for bottled cider, but I love it on tap.)
We'll be doing a similar beer tour at home, I think, because this was just too much fun to only do once a year. It's all a matter of finding somebody with a minivan though.
I'll be trying out new recipes that I got ideas for this weekend sometime soon, so keep an eye out (and if it's September and you haven't seen bbq Mac & Cheese, feel free to hassle me!)
Friday, July 17, 2009
However, on Monday night I cooked myself 2 cups (four servings) of rice to go with the delicious sweet and sour tofu and yellow curry I was planning to make this week. It worked out very nicely - it took a little longer than the internet said it would to cook, but I put 2 cups of brown rice in and washed it thoroughly, and then put in two cups of water. I hit the on switch, and 45 minutes later, I had rice. I would recommend not starting the rice cooker when you have a slow cooker of food all ready to go though, because my sweet and sour tofu got cold.
It makes perfect sticky, fluffy, Chinese food restaurant brown rice. Brown rice is just better when it's fluffier, it's true.
So here I had 4 servings of rice, which it turns out, is a lot. So I actually got most of my meals for the week out of it. Last night I made an amazing risotto with the last of it. Here's the recipe, although feel free to play around. Quantities are not exact. Just pour.
- 2 cups cooked brown (or other type) rice
- 6 small white mushrooms (because I only had six - go ahead, use more)
- chopped garlic
- olive oil
- half and half
- veggies for a side
- parmesean cheese (probably about a cup, shredded)
- Heat olive oil over medium heat, saute garlic until yummy.
- Add mushrooms
- Add half and half (I would say pour in at least a quarter cup)
- Add rice. Mix into half and half until half and half bubbles and is absorbed.
- Add cheese. Stir until melted.
- Add salt, pepper, and other spices if you are lucky enough to have them.
- Serve with veggies (I had brocolli and asparagus.)
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Yesterday was the first time I tried marinating the mushrooms for more than a few minutes, and they were amazing - they had a really sharp garlicky flavor to them, probably because of the entire bulb of garlic that was minced up really tiny. In the future, I will probably cook them longer to tone down the garlic. I might also try roasting the garlic first...mmmm.
Another thing I tried was potatoes in tin foil on the grill - these were amazing. Take potatoes (the white ones with the thin skin, or redskins) and chop them up into small pieces (about an inch) and wrap them in foil with some olive oil and salt and pepper (I also used Montreal steak seasoning.) It is actually best to roll up the foil like a tootsie roll so you can flip it. Toss them on the grill at the beginning, and then flip after about 10 minutes so both sides get crispy.
These were both big hits at the barbeque and makes me wish I had a grill here.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Rule 1: If you care about what your food touches, BYOG. My kosher cousin showed up with his portable kosher grill. He and his wife prepared their own food, kept their grill away from the others, and did not get in anyone's way. Do not demand the grill be scrubbed before your veggie burger touches it. I actually don't care where my food is cooked.
Rule 2: Wait your turn. Veggie burgers cook much faster than meat, so wait to go last. If you don't want to go after the meat, see Rule 1.
Rule 3: Don't tell other people what's in their food. Seriously. Nobody likes you. Shut up and go eat your boca burger. No lectures. Just stop. Nobody cares about methane, you are at a barbecue.
Rule 4: If you have preferences for veggie burgers, be specific or bring your own. I only like one brand of veggie hot dogs, the rest taste like dirt. (Morningstar Farms rocks; Smart Dogs are literally eating trash.)
Rule 5: Marinate your veggies before they go on the grill. Otherwise, they will taste dry.
Rule 6: Consider foil. If you don't want your food touching the grill, wrap your veggies or your burger in foil and toss it on. This also keeps them really moist and juicy.
Rule 7: Don't make other people eat your gross veggies, no matter how unhealthy you think they are.
Rule 8: Don't toss your meat or dairy products on somebody else's kosher or vegetarian or halel grille.
Rule 9: Don't burn anything down. Don't leave anything on the grill. Peppers burn.
Rule 10: Leave your shoes at the door.
I don't feel good. I just feel kinda nauseous. This might be because my run went poorly.
Tomorrow, I'm easing up on the heavy fruits and veggies and returning to some carbs. I'm still trying to keep sodium, gluten, and animal fats to a minimum. I purchased some quinoa pasta and some rice cakes today, for some variety.
The advantage of detoxing has been that I have finally gotten the FDA recommended serving of fruits and vegetables. The disadvantage is that I'm bored eating just fruits and veggies - even though they are different, they all taste a little the same after too much.
I have found that I really like my vanilla yogurt spiked with blueberries - two things I don't like very much on their own. I have found that I miss things, even though I don't eat them daily, I just want them now that I can't have them. I have also found that I'm not totally lacking in willpower - today I engaged in a staring contest with some candy in the breakroom, and let it go.
Today was not a good recipe day, so I'll let you know tomorrow what kind of sauce I put on my pasta....its gotta be low sodium and low in animal fat...
Monday, July 6, 2009
Tonight I made a delicious bean and onion dish. Then I ruined it by putting zucchini on top. Zucchini does not slow cooker right. Just say no.
How is the detox going? Fine, except for the bag of tortilla chips sitting on my floor, staring at me. I'm debating whether popcorn is on the detox menu, as long as I lay off the salt.
I think I'm going to go have some grapes.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Okay, so I know I'm majorly behind here. Truth be told, I haven't been doing a ton of cooking out here, and what I have been cooking isn't new. Without Mr. Barefoot around, I don't really have a lot of incentive to mix it up and try stuff - because I'm usually happy to eat the same thing twice a week.
However, last week was Barefoot Beach Week - myself, Mr. Barefoot, and my sister, and four of our cousins and their families partied it up for a week at the beach. And I saw my weight and physical health make a dramatic shift. I cut down on my gym time and upped my salt and alcohol intake.
So what am I doing about it now? Detoxing. I read an article that talked about how stupid detox and cleanse diets are, so I decided to do one. I'm kidding. Sorta. I'm going to attempt to flush all the sodium and crummy food I put in myself last week with normal sized portions of healthy foods this week. I decided to focus on eating food, mostly whole foods, for the next week. I'm trying to cut my sodium down, eat only whole grains and less dairy and less fat. So what does that leave? I went to the grocery store today and bought:
-Pomegranete Green Tea and Stevia in the Raw
I think that's pretty much it. I came home and made no-mayo potato salad, steamed broccoli, and a slow cooker meal for tomorrow night of beans, onions, garlic, and zucchini.
It is entirely possible that by the end of this week I will have fully turned green. I plan to use the carrots and celery to make vegetable broth for soup (although in all fairness I did forget that last time, it wasn't very good.) I'm considering doing some kind of sweet potato black bean chilli, some salmon with green beans, quinoa with zucchini and squash, possibly a whole grain pasta with mushrooms and green beans, and then some kind of soup with the carrots and celery. For snacks, I think I will stick with Wasa Crispbread and peanut butter, for some carbs and protien.
Anybody have any better ideas for detox meals? I will be pairing this with drinking an immense amount of water, taking vitamins, and drinking some kind of sports drink to make sure my electrolytes are in balance.
Monday, June 15, 2009
I don't have a kitchen timer yet, so I actually cooked everything when I got home from work, then tossed it in the crockpot to keep it warm while I collected Mr. Barefoot from the airport. I'm going to try it again soon (I found an Asian grocery store that stocks cheap tofu) without pre-cooking everything. I may still fry up the tofu because I like for it to be a bit crispy - although if I got some sub rolls, a messy barbeque sandwich with slightly soft/shredded tofu might be amazing...
- 1/2 package of tofu, cut into 1-inch chunks. I froze mine and then thawed it out - for stuff like this, the tougher the better.
- BBQ sauce - I used some I bought at Trader Joes. Whatever flavor you prefer.
- 2 ears Corn on the Cob.
- 1.5 quart crockpot
- Stove, frying pan
- Thaw and drain tofu. Saute in a frying pan until crispy on all sides (either kind of yellowish or brownish).
- Pour BBQ sauce in the crockpot until bottom is covered. Add tofu. Pour more BBQ sauce on top and stir tofu until well coated.
- Microwave corn for 4 minutes, in husks. Shuck corn under cold water. (Seriously - try it. It is the most helpful thing my grandpa ever taught me. Well, that and never try to exit a burning building via a revolving door. But I use this tip more.)
- Cut corn cobs in half. Add to crockpot on top of the tofu. Don't worry if it gets a little saucy.
- Cook for 2 hours.
Overall, I hadn't really considered using the crockpot at a good way to keep things warm/finish things off before a dinner party - but it really is excellent for that, and I think it will come in handy at future family parties.
The other night, I decided to make some potato salad for myself and Mr. Barefoot. It came out pretty good - it could probably be spiced up a little bit, and I'll keep tweaking the recipe some. Suggestions for spices are appreciated.
- 4 yellow potatoes (in Ann Arbor, all the potatoes have a really thin skin). Redskins would probably work well as well. I peeled the potatoes and then diced them, but peeling is definitely optional. I diced them into about 3/4 inch squares.
- Olive Oil
- Salt, pepper, Italian seasonings to taste
- Balsamic vinegar
- Boil a large pot of water. Add potatoes. Boil for about 10 minutes, until soft.
- Drain in a colander.
- Put in a bowl with some olive oil (just pour it until it looks wet.) Add some balsamic vinegar, and a lot of spices. I used Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and anything else I could find on the windowsill that looked edible (I miss our spice rack...). Fresh herbs would probably be even better.
- Chill for approximately 2 hours.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
- Yellow Zuchinni
- Green Zuchinni
- 1/2 Onion
- 1/4 cup quinoa
- 1/2 cup water
- Salt & Pepper
- Chop all ingredients. I like to slice the zuchinni really thin. Mince garlic and onions.
- Rinse quinoa. Boil in 1/2 cup of water and reduce to a simmer.
- Saute onions until soft.
- Add garlic and zuchinni.
- Saute until delicious. Add seasonings.
- Add quinoa once water has been absorbed.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
I'm hoping to make and bring soft pretzels (recipe forthcoming) and a cake. (Last year there was a run on cake.)
I can't decide what kind of cake to bring. I'm dying to make a whole cake from scratch. I'm considering this cake, but it does look awfully complicated (and I forgot to buy cornstarch yesterday.) I think a lemon cake would be just summery and light and fluffy enough to go with the crabfeast, but maybe not enough people like lemon cake.
I also considering a carrot cake or spice cake - something with a little more density than a regular cake.
Or a red velvet cake, to be as Maryland as possible.
I'm also trying to avoid having to buy too many only-use-once ingredients for my kitchen here, since it turns out food is expensive.
There is also the option of cupcakes, cheesecake, or cupcake pops, which do look like fun to attempt.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
So for dinner I made myself eggplant topped with sauted onion and cheese.
- eggplant, sliced into half-inch-thick slices
- onions, cut into slices
- cheese (I used cheddar and mozzerella)
- Preheat oven to 425
- Saute onions in frying pan. Set aside.
- Fry eggplant in pan.
- Set eggplant on cookie sheet. Top with onions and cheese.
- Bake in the oven for about 5-7 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and melty.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
To cook bulgar, you can either follow the instructions on the package, or boil 7 oz. of bulgar with 750 mL water (the recipe I used today was metric.) Some recipes will call for cooked bulgar to start with. Some will give you instructions.
Today we had a ton of leftover mushrooms (why, oh why, do I shop at Costco?) so I made a mushroom bulgar pilaf type thing.
- 7 oz. Bulgar
- 750 mL water
- Bunch of mushrooms (I think probably a half pound)
- Olive Oil
- Parmesean cheese
- Sundried tomatoes, chopped/sliced thin.
- Cook bulgar and water together (with some salt). Cook for about 15 minutes. Drain off excess liquid.
- In a separate pan, saute garlic in olive oil and butter on medium heat. Add mushrooms, saute until mushrooms look delicious.
- Add bulgar to mushrooms. Add salt and pepper.
- Add parmesean to mix.
- Serve garnished with sundried tomatoes.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
These are Chocolate Crinkles from the Betty Crocker Cooky Book
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 4 sq. unsweetened chocolate (4oz., melted)
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups Gold Medal Flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup confectioners sugar (yeah, I don't think you actually need this much)
- Mix oil, chocolate, and granulate sugar
- Blend in one egg at a time until well mixed
- Add vanilla
- Add flour
- Add 2 tsp. baking powder, and salt.
- Chill overnight/for a few hours
- Roll in powdered sugar and shape into balls
- Bake at 350
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
I love the way food tastes. But as much as I find McDonald's french fries delicious and love to indulge in the occasional burger or greasy grilled cheese, I find that as I've gotten older, my tastes shift more to whole foods. Foods that offer texture, taste, and flavor at the expense of high amounts of fat and chemical processing.
So I find pictures like these much more appetizing. Even if the food is not necessarily "health" food, it is real food. I wish I could translate this recipe, it looks delicious.
Now I really want a fresh mixed greens salad or a vegetarian panini. Unfortunately, its mystery hot pocket day in the barefoot lunch bag.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
- 3.5/4 cups stone ground cornmeal
- .5(3/4) cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 cups milk (I used milk powder because somebody used up all the milk)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 to 2 teaspoons vegetable oil for the pan or skillet
Preparation:Heat oven to 425°. Put a sturdy 8- or 9-inch iron skillet or square baking pan in the oven.
In a medium bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, salt, and baking powder. Whisk to combine.
In a large glass measuring cup or a bowl, whisk the 1 1/2 cups of milk with the egg and melted butter. Stir into the dry mixture until blended.
Carefully remove the hot pan from the oven and swirl a teaspoon or two of vegetable oil around in it until the bottom is coated. Spread the batter in the pan and bake the cornbread for 22 to 25 minutes, or until lightly browned.I used my Le Cruset Stoneware Baker. It's such a good size for 2 - person dishes.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Recently a friend was telling me about a girl who had heard from somebody (and I feel guilty, as I'm pretty sure it was me) that she could put anything in a crockpot. So she put in some leftover turkey, some rice, some canned tomatoes, and some grape jelly.
People. Let's regroup. I'm almost 2/3rds a lawyer, so I can tell you this: A reasonable person in the reader's position would not have thought that anything meant that turkey and grape jelly would go together. Let's be reasonable here!
Possible crock-pot combos:
Beans, tomatoes, garlic, onions, and rice. Just make sure you have enough liquid that the rice cooks.
Tofu, a marinade, and fresh vegetables.
Tofu, potatoes, peas, green beans, peppers, a helluva lot of curry, and some coconut milk.
Maraschino cherries, pineapple, cake mix, and butter.
Chili beans, chili powder, and a whole hunk of meat.
Salmon in foil packets with lemon juice and olive oil over a bed of potatoes.
All of these things are what I meant by "you put shit in, and food comes out."
I realize that not everyone can cook well - but here's the thing - the crockpot cooks food for you. It is not magically able to transform grape jelly into gravy.
Are we clear?
- Goat cheese
- Black Beans (I used about a half a can, but that was for just me)
- Spinach leaves (fresh.)
- red onion (I happened to have some leftover, you could use regular onion as well, or no onion
- Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste (I was too lazy to mince garlic)
- Saute onions in olive oil.
- Add black beans and warm through. Remove from heat. Season.
- Add goat cheese and melt in with the black beans
- Put tortilla in the microwave (I zap them for about 20 seconds so they are more malleable.
- Spread a thin layer of goat cheese on the tortilla.
- Add some spinach leaves.
- Pile on the black beans.
Friday, April 17, 2009
This morning I wanted something sweet, but not to make a mess (we're having people over for dinner). I made cinnamon scrambled eggs - basically french toast mix, but without bread, which cuts the calories signifigantly, and makes them super easy to make.
I'm not even going to bother with the usual recipe format, they were so easy.
Take two eggs, whisk in two tablespoons of sugar, a dash of cinnamon, and some milk (maybe a tablespoon or two, it should look creamy.) Scramble!
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Because what does a nice salad require, when you are Mr. Barefoot, the anti-salad guy?
Also bleu cheese - but I went with feta for my own.
So I had to start by making bacon - I guess I could have bought those bacon bits, but I didn't. So I bought bacon - lean turkey bacon from Trader Joes - which I put in a pan on the stove, turned it to medium-low, and then let cook, flipped eventually. It looks like bacon, and smells like it. Yum.
My own salad did not have bacon, but was delicious. I used a bag of mixed baby greens, including spinach, and feta cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette. (Plus some croutons.)
We actually each had two salads last week. :)
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
I'm really tempted to buy one for myself....the green is so pretty!
Monday, March 23, 2009
This was the food they/I suggested (I told them it would be fall, which is why there is so much pumpkin on the menu...and does pumpkin lasagna sound fantastic or weird?)
Veggie Platter with Hummus
Warm Artichoke Spinach Dip with Melba & Crusty Baguette Spears
Filo Triangles Stuffed with Pumpkin or your choice
ON THE BUFFET
Roasted Veggie or Pumpkin Lasagna
Ratatouille and Grilled Polenta Moons OR Veggie Chili
Romaine or Spinach Salad with Vinaigrette (chef's suggestion)
Artisan Bread & Butter
Does this sound like food that carnivores would eat? I think it sounds amazing.
Friday, March 13, 2009
We had a giant bag of potatoes and are going to England tonight, so I wanted to use them up. Mr. Barefoot was off at his volleyball game so I had to keep them warm, so I baked them.
-Potatoes. I probably used around 10 small potatoes, scrubbed and chopped up into small pieces - about 1inch cubes.
-Garlic - I used this up too - I think we had like half a bulb.
-Heavy Cream - was using this up too. I used half a container, but I would have preferred to use MUCH less.
-Le Cruset small casserole dish (or, I suppose, an 8x8 pan - although I wouldn't have had enough to fill that; or a loaf pan.)
-Potato masher (the Oxo one is the best!)
-Oven at 350
1. Boil potatoes in water. Dump into colander.
2. Melt butter in same pan used for potatoes, saute garlic until delicious.
3. Add cream. Simmer for about 10 minutes, until reduced.
4. Add potatoes. Allow potatoes to simmer in cream for another 5 minutes.
5. Mash. If the cream is not blended into the potatoes enough, just let it keep cooking. It will reduce. Shred and melt in parmesean.
6. Pour into dish, add breadcrumbs to the top. Bake until bread crumbs are toasty (about 30 minutes).
(salt and pepper to taste)
This was good. A little greasy, because it was so high in fat - in the future, I don't think I would use more than 1/4 cup heavy cream, and then I would have the rest be milk.
Baking gave them a nice crispyness on top.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
I am moving to Michigan for the summer, to work in a job that sounds amazing. To me, this means that I get to use my pineapple sheets and flowered duvet cover and pretend I'm single. It also means that...we have to divide up the kitchen, possibly. Depends on whether the sublet I find comes with pots. It'll be furnished, but furnished does not always mean pots.
I'm pretty sure that I can get by with the basics - my knives, a cutting board, an always (3qt) pot and an always pan (6qt. saute). I guess I need a colander. Oh, and my food processor. Fortunately, I'm currently hoarding two.
I'm planning to borrow some knives from my dad so that Mark and I don't have to be too hard up - and I'm leaving the meat knives with him, as it only seems fair. I get the veggie knife and the (new!) tomato knife. Cuz there is a farmer's market.
If we have to acquire pots, we'll either hit up my sister who just got married and has an excess, or try goodwill, or check Ikea.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
1) Go to Target or Goodwill and spend $3 on a salad spinner. There is a super-cheap one at Target on the dollar shelf - you won't regret it.
2.) Consider what type of salad you want to make. Decide on a dressing first, because a dressing sets the tone of your salad. I alternate between balsamic vinaigrette and Italian. When buying a dressing, consider the fat content. Try to pick a dressing that has 2-6 grams of fat - you need a little bit of fat to reap all of the benefits of salad. Stay away from creamy dressings unless that is the only way you will eat your salad.
3.) Buy some lettuce. Try not to go for iceberg lettuce - go for either a mixed greens that you can buy by-the-pound, or go for two types of lettuce. Since Mr. Barefoot hates salad, I buy one type of lettuce, because it takes me at least two salads to eat it, and it goes bad in a week. I like either romaine or red leaf lettuce - whatever you do, go for a dark lettuce. Also, maybe toss in some spinach or arugula.
4.) Consider what else you would like - tomatoes? red onion? red pepper? I like cucumbers in my salad, if I'm having an Italian dressing salad; sometimes tomatoes, and occasionally red pepper. Some people like thawed/cooked corn in their salads. Beans? Cal Tor has an amazing black bean salad with black beans, tomatoes, corn, and lettuce, but I need to be having a salad with a Mexican type dressing to go for black beans and corn in my salad. If you are doing a ranch salad, go for carrots and Broccoli - yum!
5.) Now that you are done with produce, consider toppings. I require cheese on my salad - parmesean, feta, or goat cheese. Goat and feta are a little lower in fat. Sometimes I like some mozzerella - the little balls - and I cut them up and they are great in a leafy green salad with balsamic dressing. With goat cheese or feta, I like to do the dried cranberries. With parmesean and Ceasar, Italian or balsamic dressing, I like to do croutons. Some people like nuts in their salad, but I'm not one of them.
6.) Protien - I usually don't add any, some people like chicken strips. I keep meaning to try some of the vegetarian salad finishers. Or I could just add some white beans or tofu that has been marinating in italian dressing.
7.) Now that you are done shopping, its time for assembly. Go home and break out your 12" serrated bread knife. If you don't own one, why not? Saw through the lettuce until it is in front of you in 1-1.5 inch strips. Put the salad leaves in the strainer from your salad spinner. Now wash the salad leaves. If you are really afraid of dirt, float the leaves in a bowl of water for 10 minutes, then fish the leaves off the top - the dirt will have sunk to the bottom.
8.) Spin the salad. Let it sit and drain some more while you chop the other vegetables and produce for your salad. Be sure to wash those too.
9.) Dump the leaves into a big mixing bowl. If you have salad scissors, use them now. Add some dressing - probably about half a serving. Using a rubber spatula (a spoonula is even better), toss the leaves with the dressing until each leaf is evenly coated. Add your other produce and toppings and mix them in.
10.) Serve salads into salad bowls. (This is the part where I confess that I skip this set, and sit on the couch, midafternoon, with a giant mixing bowl in my hands and eat straight out of it.) I find that to weigh the salad down enough to fit enough salad in the small salad bowls, I have to coat the leaves in dressing, and I don't like an excess of dressing. So the high walls of the mixing bowl help keep the salad from ending up everywhere.