Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I want to eat all good, local ingredients. I want to make the sensible financial decisions. I want to make delcious, transcendant meals. But sometimes, you just can't.
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

Link Love

I don't read a lot of cooking blogs. I don't know why I don't, except that a fair number of them are very meat-y. Also, some of them with their obnoxiously good food photography are scary. My food? Does not look like that.
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

What to do with a pumpkin?

This morning we hit up the Waverly Farmer's Market, which was not nearly as large and crazy as advertised.
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.
. 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

Breakfast is Delicious

This is actually a recipe from last week, and I'm sorry to be late with it - but it's so delicious you'll forgive me.
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.)
(Breakfast casserole - I recommend putting everything in the crockpot and actually mixing it together.)
The breakfast casserole was a poor man's version of this - I only had a half a thing of hash browns, and I only used 6 or 7 eggs. And I had to use bacon, because, um, I don't know how to cook sausage. It always goes poorly. So I don't. Bacon? I can cook. I ate around the bacon in this one, and didn't have a lot anyway. Because I was focusing on the deliciousness that is the AB Pancake.
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!

I think this was the best batch of pancakes I've ever made. I'm going to try it again soon with my usual buttermilk substitute of milk + vinegar.

Menu Planning

Menu planning is key to making sure you eat healthy. Even if you sometimes skip what you have menu planned, sitting down and doing the legwork is still key.
Today I hit the farmer's market my way home from Race for the Cure. I hadn't done any research, but we are trying to eat better and eat more vegetables here in the Treadhoffigan house. So I'm now trying to figure out what to do with my finds.
I bought myself a spaghetti squash, because I've heard interesting things about them. I think we will try this recipe sometime this week.
I also grabbed some sweet potatoes, and I think I'm going to try to make some kind of curry with them, but I'm still looking for a good recipe.
I picked up some seitan on the recommendation of a few friends when I was at Whole Foods on Friday, and I'm thinking we'll do a ginger-soy marinade stir fry type of dish. We don't have asparagus, but I think zuchinni might work okay.
We're also going to do unsloppy joes, to use up some of our vegetables and the rolls we have.
What are you eating?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I'm trying out a new pizza recipe today - and what I did that I think is pretty interesting is the sauce. I got sick of buying designated pizza sauce, so I started making my own - can of tomatoes, pot, and immersion blender - mix well, you've got sauce. But it's not very thick or interesting - so today, I tossed 2 cans of tomatoes, a can of white beans, and a whole lotta spices in the crockpot. I cooked it for about 8 hours on low, and when I got home I blended it all up. (I'm trying to use our immersion blender more so I can either convince myself that we should keep it, or convince Mark it's really not that great and we should get rid of it.)
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

Dipping things in chocolate

Mmmmm. Chocolate. My good friend Mama Awesome and I got together and dipped things in chocolate to sell at a bake sale.
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.