Monday, February 23, 2009

A Barefoot Wedding?

That's right folks! The Barefoots are getting married! Eventually I will be Mrs. Barefoot. I'm excited about this prospect because I'm not changing my name IRL, but at least I can be Mrs. Barefoot here (and only have one last name...woo!)
The proposal details are simple - we went for a walk, sat on a park bench, and he asked me.
The best part is that as I was making dinner, Mr. Barefoot was telling me he wanted to go for a walk. I was chopping potatoes. They were going to take an hour to cook, but I had a mountain of homework to get done, so I didn't want to go. He talked me into it though, by acting all sad and needy, so I put the potatoes in the oven. Thirty minutes later after he asked me and we were snuggled together on Federal Hill overlooking Baltimore, I was torn between euphoria and fear that the apartment was going to burn down!
Then we headed home and had a delicious dinner of roasted potatoes, fake chicken nuggets and wings, and I think some kind of vegetable.
I will not blog about the wedding here, and am trying to come up with a name for my wedding blog. I may blog about food.
So here are the first questions for the crowd:
1) Is an all vegetarian/pescatarian wedding rude to your carnivorous guests? This will probably not be an option for us, but I like to think about it as a concept.
2) Are tacos or chinese food as catering "tacky" or "cheap"?
3) Design a dream vegetarian wedding menu. Do NOT give me "portabello mushrooms on a bed of pasta with some veggies as a side." I'm looking for substance, with a bit of flair.
4) What about burgers and fries? Tacky? Cheap?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Menu Planning

Menu planning has been going well for the Barefoots lately. Last week we stuck to the menu Mr. Barefoot planned, and so far, all two days of this week, we have stuck to the menu we planned on Monday when we got home from Chicago (and made a spinach-goat-cheese-roasted-red-pepper-sundried-tomato pizza...mmmm). Tonight was Chili and Coconut fish, plus I heated up the leftover Coconut-Sweet Potato bisque, and steamed some brocolli (during which I steamed the pan dry and scorched the bottom, but its okay.)
I guess the key to menu planning is to be realistic. When I menu plan, I try to make 5 new and different slow cooker curries or something fancy. When Mr. Barefoot menu plans, he tends to pick old favorites with a new twist. When we average one new dish a week, and four favorites, we're much more likely to get it right. Tomorrow night is dal. I had dal for the first time last Saturday for Valentine's day dinner in Chicago (Indian Garden - highly recommend.) We are turning to So You've Decided to be a Vegetarian: Now What? a classic culinary tome for those in the under-20 sect for a recipe. Stay tuned.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Healthy Macaroni and Cheese?

It exists! These are some modifications to an allrecipes recipe. I used fresh sweet potatoes which I just mashed up by hand - but you could either use canned, or put em in the slow cooker at the beginning of the day so you don't have to deal with boiling them and everything. If you do that, put the beans in with them. Adjust accordingly to make a two-person serving.
  • 1 (16 ounce) package elbow macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg, or to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can white beans
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups shredded, yellow sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup shredded, white extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter
1. Boil water and cook macaroni. Preheat the oven to 350.
2. Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour, and stir until the mixture becomes paste-like and light golden brown, about 5 minutes. Gradually whisk the evaporated milk and water into the flour mixture, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Season to taste with red pepper flakes, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Cook and stir until the mixture is thick and smooth, 10 or so minutes.
3. Grind white beans into a paste in the food processor, mix with mashed sweet potatoes. Once the sauce has thickened, add the sweet potato mixture to the sauce. Return to a simmer.
4. Add cheddar cheese and melt it. Then mix with pasta.
5. Put everything in a big dish. Cover with breadcrumbs. Cook for 30 minutes.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Good idea/Bad idea.

Okay. So we have some asparagus. So I put in asparagus to allrecipes' search engine, and it came up with a number of suggestions. I thought this one looked particularly horrible. If anyone wants to try making it, take a picture, and then eat at least one bite and report back to me, you will win a prize straight from the Barefoot kitchen to your house.
This one looks more interesting/edible, but we don't have brie right now, so I think its asparagus with garlic and butter for us.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sweet Potato Coconut Bisque

Okay. So if you were on my moot court team, you would find bisque funny. But you aren't, so I'm not gonna bother. This came out a little thin this time, but its pretty good. It's based off of this recipe. I sorta halved it - using only one sad potato that we had left and a half an onion.
4-5 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 sweet yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 c. broth
1 (15 oz.) can Coconut Milk
1 1/2 c. Milk
salt and pepper to taste
1. Saute onion and garlic in frying pan. Add to slow cooker stoneware.
2. Add sweet potatoes to stoneware.
3. Pour in broth.
4. Cook for 6 hours.
5. Use immersion blender to blend sweet potatoes and onions.
6. Add coconut milk and milk. Cook for another hour or two.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I love chinese food.

Yeah. The sweet and sour tofu was delicious.
The vegetables we used were mushrooms, peppers, and carrots. I wanted to use broccoli but somebody hates it. (In case you were wondering why we're not married, that's why.)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Sweet and Sour Tofu

I'm trying out this recipe for dinner - I'll post a review or retraction later. I did want to say that I used the pre-cubed Nasoya tofu that you can buy and it is awesome. There was no chopping the tofu while the water ran everywhere and accidentally crushing it in the process. The cost-per-pound is slightly higher - it costs the same amount as regular tofu but it contains a little less - but I never use a full block anyway, and often it goes bad before I use it. It comes in 1cm square cubes and is really easy to use. I will definitely be buying it again, because I am much more likely to use tofu if I can just dump it in the pan/slow cooker without doing any work. The put everything in a ziploc and coat it with cornstarch method also worked much better than my usual "dredge each individual piece in flour" method.
I used the small slow cooker, so I had some leftover crispy tofu, which will probably go into a curry or stir fry later this week.