Monday, November 30, 2009

Pods of Joy!

Radishes are my new thing. They are interesting and new and don't taste much like anything else. I have been using this recipe from my new favorite cooking blog. Today I made them a little crispier than last week, and I like them better when I let them saute longer and get a little caramelized. I also tried them with parsley instead of tarragon the first time, and I think I preferred that.
Go forth and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Meatless Monday: Pumpkin Stuffing

I made Pumpkin Mac & Cheese for thanksgiving dinner on Friday at my parent's house, so for Thursday at my grandmother's, I used some of the extra diced pumpkin I had to do a roasted pumpkin cornbread stuffing.
I've taken this recipe from the Food Network, and combined it with slow cooker stuffing techniques from the Authority on Slow Cooking. I started by roasting the pumpkin and mushrooms in the oven on about 325 degrees.
1 bag cornbread stuffing
1 onion, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 box of sliced roasted mushrooms
1 cup sliced roasted pumpkin (cut up into 1/2 inch pieces or smaller)
1 can veggie broth
1 can water (just fill the veggie broth can with water once you're done with it, don't call me from the store telling me you can't find a can of water.
sage, thyme (fresh if possible), salt, pepper to taste
ground up pumpkin seeds
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

Beer Mac & Cheese

This is, I believe, the 6th macaroni and cheese recipe I have posted here.
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)
  • breadcrumbs
  • salt & pepper
  • Tabasco sauce
  1. 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.
  2. Add in 3 tbsp flour slowly, allow to cook for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Pour in milk, allow to cook until thickened and bubbly.
  4. Add beer. Beer will bubble at first, and then calm down. Cook until entire mixture is thick, about 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a separate pot. Drain and put in a greased pyrex dish.
  6. 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).
  7. Pour sauce over pasta, stir to combine.
  8. Mix breadcrumbs, parmesean cheese, and some salt and pepper together, sprinkle on top.
  9. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes until top is brown and cheese bubbles.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Chocolate Walnut Crumb Bars

The holidays are coming up and if you want a delicious treat to take to a party and impress everyone with, these are delicious and easy. This recipe is from my future mother-in-law and was a big hit at a recent party.

*Chocolate Walnut Crumb Bars *

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
1/4tsp salt
2 cups (12 oz) semi-sweet chocolate morsels, divided
14 0z can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts

Beat butter in large bowl until creamy. Beat in flour, sugar and salt until crumbly. With floured fingers, press 2 cups crumb mixture onto bottom of greased 13 x 9 baking pan. Reserve remaining mixture. Bake in preheated 350 oven for 13 – 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

Warm 1 ½ cups morsels and sweetened condensed milk in small saucepan over low heat, stirring until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Spread over hot crust. Stir walnuts and remaining morsels into reserved crumb mixture; sprinkle over chocolate filling. Bake in 350 oven for 25-30 mins or until center is set. Cool before cutting.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Meatless Monday: Red Wine Marinated Mushrooms

We have a few bottles of red wine hanging around the apartment, and it turns out that when you cook mushrooms in red wine, they come out delicious.
  • 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.)
  1. Slice and prep mushrooms.
  2. Melt butter in skillet over medium heat.
  3. Saute mushrooms in butter until soft and cooked. Add garlic and cook for until garlic is slightly cooked.
  4. Pour in red wine. Allow to come to a boil, then simmer.
  5. Simmer until wine becomes a thick sauce (5-10 minutes).
We had ours over salmon, but they would be fantastic with just about anything, or just served over cous cous or rice. Or risotto. Man that would be amazing.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

On the Horizon

It's that time of year - no, not my usual pre-thanksgiving franticity, but pre-finals time. Time to focus on school and not making interesting new meals. So I end up making lists of foods I want to try, and putting them on the back burner for winterbreak. No surprise that a lot of them are types of mac & cheese.
So what's on the list?
Apple Mac & Cheese (omg it's gonna taste like the melting pot. And I'll probably try this sooner because apples are still in season.)
Leek Mac & Cheese
Pesto lasagna
Carmelized onion & feta sandwiches
also a Winter Lager Soup in a cookbook given to me by Z3P.
I also want to work on perfecting my pizza crust recipe. The one I'm using is pretty good, but it doesn't produce quite enough dough.
I would also like to start making myself breakfast burritos. I had one recently that was extremely delicious. They might be a good finals attempt, since they are quick and easy, and a good way to get nutrients, and will hold me over while I sit in the library for 5 hours.
What kind of cooking goals do you have?

Monday, November 9, 2009

More Pumpkinspiration

I posted awhile ago about pumkin lasanga. A few weeks ago, Mr. Barefoot's friend came over and we attempted pumpkin lasagna. Verdict? It was pretty good. Definitely a B+ meal.
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

Menu Planning

This weekend, we did something we haven't done in a long time. We bought groceries, we came home, and we did most of the prep-work for a week's worth of meals. Together. Which was really fun.
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'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

Butternut squash bean bake.

I'm on my own for a few days, as Mr. Barefoot is out of town. I'm eating up the rest of my Costco butternut squash and found this recipe. I've adapted it slightly and added beans, onions, and spices.
1.5 lbs butternut squash, clean and cubed
1 small onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can cannelini beans
1/2 cup parmesean cheese, grated.
Italian spices
Olive oil

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2) Heat olive oil in a small pan, saute garlic and onions until soft/transparent.
3) Combine squash, spices, oil, beans, and onions and garlic in a bowl. Toss until coated.
4) Pour mixture into a bowl and cover with parmesean cheese.
5) Cook for 50 minutes.

This was good, but make sure to cube the squash a lot smaller. The stuff on the bottom was great, but the stuff on the top did not cook well. I also added about a half cup of half and half towards the end (last ten minutes), and that helped a lot. I also tossed on some mozzerella cheese. I would wait to add the parm until the last 10 minutes.