Sunday, March 29, 2009


So Mr. Barefoot is anti-salad. He doesn't like it. He doesn't like raw foods, generally speaking. But yesterday was his birthday, and I didn't make him a special dinner but I made him a nice salad. Well, I put the fixings for it in the refrigerator.
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


So if you are at the point in your life, where I am, when everybody is getting married, it might not be surprising if, when you see items like this on sale, you are struck with the urge to buy six and just give them to everybody you know as wedding gifts. Go to Slickdeals to get the activation link for free shipping as well. (Deal is from Sunday the 22nd.)
I'm really tempted to buy one for myself....the green is so pretty!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Vegetarian Wedding Food

Okay, so I contacted a vegetarian caterer in Bethesda to gauge how much food costs if you have it catered to a place like my church.
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
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
Coffee/Tea Service
Cranberry Punch

Does this sound like food that carnivores would eat? I think it sounds amazing.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Instinct Mashed Potatoes

I made mashed potatoes this week, but I couldn't find a recipe that used the ingredients I had on hand, so I figured I would make it up.
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.
-Parmesean cheese
-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

A potless girl in a strange city

So Mark and I moved in together over a year ago, and combined our kitchens. I threw out all of his stuff and replaced it with mine, because I'm a controlling woman and my stuff is nicer. So how do we divide it up again?
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


Okay, so today is a set of instructions, not so much a recipe. How to make a salad. A real salad - not a bag-o-salad dumped into a bowl with some croutons.
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.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Fish in Foil

Today I was inspired by the Crock-Pot Blog, but I didn't want to make a fish recipe that involved a mayonnaise sauce. So I followed the commentors and created my own recipe. Do not overthink this recipe - put a mess of stuff in, and food comes out.
  • 2 fillets of tilapia (its fine if they are still frozen, but you will have some excess water when you take them out)
  • olive oil
  • half a lemon
  • vegetables of your choice (I used green beans and red peppers)
  • 4 potatoes
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Thyme
  • Cutting board & knife
  • Crockpot (I used the 6qt)
  • Aluminum foil
  1. Tear off two pieces of aluminum foil, larger than the fillets.
  2. Chop up the vegetables.
  3. Put half the vegetables and one fillet on each piece of foil.
  4. Drizzle some olive oil and lemon juice on the fish. Add pepper, salt, and spices. Fold foil.
  5. Chop up potatoes. Throw into crockpot with some olive oil and all spices.
  6. Add foil packets on top of potatoes.
  7. Cook on low for 3-4 hours, or, if your crockpot cooks everything on Maximum Hot on low, cook for 2 hours.
This was pretty good, but next time I'll make it with more spices and flavor, and less time - the fish was a little dry, and the veggies were a bit soggy. Definitely recommend for anybody looking for an easy way to cook fish.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


I was talking about something that I cook this weekend and he said, "you make a lot of things that are delicious."
To which the only appropriate response was, "well, I make a lot of stuff that isn't delicious, but I don't like to talk about it."
To which I realized it was true.
I do make things which are disastrous. I'm making a red pepper risotto right now which is not disastrous but it is also not delicious. It is edible. I try not to post those recipes here, because when I make something that is mediocre, I'm not terribly inclined to make it again.