Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Let Me Eat Cake!

I have to make a cake this weekend for my sister-in-law's bachelorette party, so I did a trial run today.  It came out pretty good.  And by pretty good, I mean amazingly delicious.  Considering I didn't use a mix.
But what even goes into a cake?  Because if you had asked me this morning, I would have said, "cake mix, eggs, oil."  But instead, I would now tell you, "butter, sugar, flour, salt, baking powder, eggs, milk, vanilla".  In that order.  All into the kitchenaid.  Proper recipe is here. I baked my cupcakes for about 25-30 minutes, and my cake for about 40, and the tops were crispy-crunchy and the insides were fantastic.  

I would like to try making my own cake mix to have handy (probably using powdered milk), but this recipe was so easy that I'm sure I will turn to it in the future.  I also might give it a try with applesauce instead of half the butter, but 1/2 stick of butter for an entire cake was one of the lowest amounts I could find in the recipes - but if anybody has seen any other ideas, please share!  

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Eggplant Parmesean

I am a sucker for cooked eggplant.  Especially with tomato sauce and pasta.  So a few weeks ago, we had some extra eggplant and I turned to How to Cook Everything Vegetarian for a quick eggplant parm recipe.  I was surprised that Bittman recommended using flour, since in the past I've just coated the eggplant with breadcrumbs.

Eggplant, sliced into 1/4 inch slices and dried out for at least an hour or so
Vegetable Oil
Spaghetti sauce
Parmesean cheese

1. Dredge eggplant slices in flour to coat both sides
2. Heat oil in skillet, heat oven to 350
3. Toss eggplant slices into skillet, allow them to get crispy brown on both sides.
4. Drain eggplant onto paper towels.
5. Pour spaghetti sauce into pan; place eggplant on top, top with Parmesan cheese.
6. Cook at 350 for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and browned.

Enjoy with pasta and more spaghetti sauce.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

CSA Routine

Sorry for being so MIA lately, I got a new job and it comes with a commute and a somewhat more harried lifestyle than the last job.  Also we've been throwing together meals at the last minute, rather than really planning, and then I'm too tired to remember what goes in them.

But, after a couple weeks of this, we are finally making the CSA work with our hectic lifestyle.   We get our CSA share on Tuesday nights, and the routine is to immediately come home and prep the food.  This includes:
-chop onions - I do them into strips and into a dice, for different recipes
-tear up Kale leaves into bite sized pieces for making kale chips; wash and put away (I store them in tupperwares lined with paper towels)
-green beans/snap peas get washed and trimmed so they are ready to use
-lettuce gets cut up, washed, and stored in the salad spinner, so handfuls can be grabbed and put into salads
-beets get washed and if time permits, roasted and cut into slices or cubes
-cucumbers get sliced for easy snacking (although this week's cucumbers are a little bitter)
-everything gets cataloged and we talk meals for the rest of the week, even if we don't make a formal meal plan (last week, we said, "okay, let's do stir fry, eggplant pasta, and tacos for weeknights"; this week it's "lets try this weird zucchini thing and maybe do a risotto and tacos")

We still hit the farmer's market on weekends for the things we know aren't coming in our CSA share, or the things that we know we'll need more of than is coming in the share.  That gets us through Sunday/Monday meals, and gives us veggies to supplement our meals.  We still haven't perfected it though, like I really wish I had bought eggplant when I saw it on Sunday at the Farmer's market, but we're getting closer.  I suspect by next year, we will be old hats at this and have our routine perfected.

Even if we don't continue to have a CSA, it makes sense to be doing this after we get back from the farmer's market, but usually on Sunday we are rushing off to one place or another and don't have the time.

Anyone else like to pre-prep their food? Any tips to share re: washing, storing, or pre-cooking?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Honey Mustard Flounder

I really don't care for mustard.  I think it's pretty disgusting, really.  However, on fish?  It's delicious.  Especially when mixed with honey.  I made this last night, and both Mr. Barefoot and I thought it was really tasty.  The best part was, the whole thing took about 15 minutes.  Served with a side of garlic mashed potatoes and steamed green beans.

Honey Mustard Flounder

  • 2 (or more) flounder fillets, thawed if using frozen.
  • some mustard (I would guess I used about 2 tbsp)
  • some honey (I would guess I used about 1 tbsp)
  • Cooking spray
  1. Mix honey and mustard together.  Preheat oven to 425.  
  2. Spray pan. Put fillets on pan.  Put honey mustard mixture on top of fillets.  
  3. Bake for 15 minutes.  
Actually, it's embarrassing to type that and call it a recipe, but I'm working and commuting these days, so we've been doing a lot of quick, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants cooking and this will probably be a meal we turn to more and more (as long as we remember to thaw the fish.)