Running with kitchen shears.

breakfast, lunch, dinner, cupcakes, tastiness.

Cheap and quick-just like you like it. June 24, 2009

Filed under: food,recipes — Mox. @ 5:52 am
Tags: , , , ,

So I FINALLY got all registered for school for this semester-I’m going to be doing full time (12 credit hours) for Fall 2009, starting in August, and with working full time, it should be interesting. I promise I’ll try my best to not abandon you, oh loyal reader! In the meantime, I’m also going to try to keep cooking tasty meals even though I’m going to be exhausted. This one is definitely one that fits the bill-plus, it’s approximately $1.91 per serving, according to the calculation by Woman’s Day (where this recipe is adapted from).

Bow Ties with Spinach & Cherry Tomatoes

-12 oz bow-tie (farfalle) pasta (I used 16 oz because I couldn’t see the sense in keeping back 4 oz of the box I found, and I knew J would eat it)
-3 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
-1 Tbs minced garlic (about 2 to 3 medium-sized cloves)
-1 (9 or 10 oz) bag spinach, tough stems removed if still attached and leaves torn bite size (in the 9 oz bag I purchased, they were already bite size-not much bigger than baby spinach)
-1/2 tsp each salt and pepper, divided
-1 pt cherry or grape (which I used) tomatoes, halved

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl; set aside.
2. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbs of the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add half the garlic; cook 30 seconds. Add half the spinach and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper; saute 1 minute, or until spinach wilts. Add remaining spinach and cook until wilted.
3. Add remaining 2 Tbs oil and rest of garlic to skillet. Cook 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and remaining 1/4 tsp salt and pepper. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until tomatoes release their juices. Add to bowl with pasta. Toss to combine.

This is the way I made it, at least. In the original recipe, after you are done cooking the spinach (after “cook until wilted”), you are supposed to add it to the bowl with the pasta. I did not do this-I left it in there while I was cooking the tomatoes. I also did not “transfer to a large bowl”-I put the pasta back in the emptied pot it had cooked in-what’s the point of dirtying up an extra dish when J won’t care about presentation as long as it tastes good? This was SO delicious and garlicy and tomatoey and really a wonderful summer dish. You should go make it-NOW! Or, you know, later.

 

Everyone loves balls for dinner. January 4, 2009

Filed under: recipes — Mox. @ 11:07 am
Tags: , , , ,

Don’t they? They’re round and fun for the whole family. What balls am I talking about? Why, Vegetable Balls, of course! These really ended up being kind of like vegetarian crab cakes, except, obviously, ball-shaped.

Vegetable Balls

-1/2 c grated green cabbage

-1/2 c grated carrot

-1/2 c grated cauliflower

-1/2 c finely chopped green onions

-1/2 c finely chopped green bell pepper

-1 tsp salt

-1 1/2 Tbs unbleached all-purpose flour

-1 1/2 Tbs plus 1/4 c corn meal

-2 tsp hot sauce (I used Dia de los Muertos Scotch Bonnet)

-oil for deep frying

1. In a large bowl, mix all the vegetables with the salt. Set aside for 30 minutes.

2. Using your hands, squeeze the moisture out of the vegetables.

3. Mix the remaining ingredients, except the 1/4 c cornmeal and the oil for deep-frying, with the vegetables and form into 6 balls. Roll in cornmeal to coat.

4. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat (or heat your fryer to 375 degrees F). Fry the balls for 5 to 8 minutes, until golden brown.

For the sauce (ball sauce!)

-1 Tbs oil

-2 garlic gloves, finely chopped

-1 tsp minced ginger

-1 tsp minced green chile

-1 Tbs soy sauce

-1 Tbs vinegar (I used rice wine vinegar)

-1 Tbs hot sauce

-1 Tbs cornstarch, whisked into 1/4 c water

-1 Tbs minced green onion

5. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the garlic, ginger, and green chile and saute for 1 minute.

6. Add the remaining ingredients, except the green onions, mixing well. Bring to a boil.

7. Remove from the heat and stir in the spring onions.

8. Serve balls and sauce hot with steamed rice.

Makes 2 servings of 3 balls each.

Adapted from a recipe at vegcooking.com .

———————————————–

I think this would be a really great vegetarian party food,  substituted for the usual crab cakes. Make sure to really squeeze all the water out, or your balls will crumble and fall apart very easily. Not something you want. Even J, Mr. If It Doesn’t Have Meat It’s Not Dinner, loved these-he was especially pleased with the sauce. I don’t think I’ve said “balls” enough. BALLS.

 

Chicken soup for the…well, for the stomach. Duh. January 1, 2009

Filed under: food,recipes — Mox. @ 8:00 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

One of my resolutions for 2009 was to put more time and attention to this blog. I promise I’m really going to try. I also promise to only post recipes that either myself or my dear husband, J, considers to be amazing (unless J likes it and I think it sucks, in which case he is overruled). I got a couple new cookbooks and a host of new magazines in addition to (drumroll please)…a KITCHENAID PROFESSIONAL STAND MIXER-holy crap-so look forward to many new additions in the way of general deliciousness. J got the mixer for me for Christmas and he’s definately put himself high up in brownie points standings with it. Happy 2009 to all!
Kind of Old-Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup

CHICKEN AND STOCK:

-1 (approximately 5 lb) quartered chicken

-6 c each water and low-sodium chicken broth

-4 large carrots, cut into 1″ pieces

-3 large stalks celery with leaves, cut into 1″ pieces

-1 large onion, cut into 8 wedges

-8 large sprigs flat-leaf parsley

-3 cloves garlic, smashed

SOUP:

-2 c baby carrots, cut into 1 1/2″ pieces

-1 c sliced celery

-1 Tbs kosher salt

-1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

-8 oz dried egg noodles (about 2 2/3 c)

-2 Tbs chopped flat-leaf parsley

1. CHICKEN AND STOCK: Bring chicken and water to a boil in a largeish (6-8 quart) stockpot. Skim off and discard foam from surface of water; add broth and remaining stock ingredients. Bring to a second boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer, partially covered, until chicken is tender, about 50 minutes. Remove chicken to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, remove skin and bones; discard. Shred meat; set aside.

2. SOUP: Strain broth through cheesecloth-lined sieve into a clean pot; press solids to extract liquid. Stir baby carrots, celery, salt, and pepper into broth and bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer 6 minutes. Stir in noodles; continue to simmer 4 minutes. Stir in chicken and parsley. Remove from heat and let soup stand 10 minutes, or until noodles are just tender.

This recipe adapted from Family Circle. 8 servings.

 

I always wondered how buffalo flew with those tiny wings. July 6, 2008

Filed under: food,recipes,win — Mox. @ 11:16 am
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Near my hometown, there is/was a buffalo farm. You know, big pastures and some of the big furry Snuffalumpagus-ish beasties running around. It seemed pretty nifty to me-I heard all about this stuff regarding their endangered status, and there they were, right near my home. When we went to the farm on a field trip, I didn’t see their wings. I assumed it was because they were so small that you couldn’t see them under all that hair.

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

-2 lbs chicken tenders (or boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into tenders-that’s what I did, and I’m awesome)
-1/3 c of your favorite hot sauce (please God don’t confuse this with salsa)
-1/4 c chicken broth
-2 thin pizza crusts, around 10 oz each (Boboli if you prefer)
-2/3 c reduced-fat blue cheese dressing
-1 c shredded part skim mozzarella
-4 celery ribs, sliced lengthwise in half, then in 1-1.5″ pieces

1. Heat your oven for 450 degrees F.
2. Place chicken tenders in a large skillet and add cold water to cover. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently for 8 minutes or until chicken’s internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer (I slice into my chicken to assure full cookedness since my thermometer’s painful death. Never assume that a Pyrex brand thermometer’s face is Pyrex. It’s probably melty, melty plastic. Not sure why Pyrex put their name on it. That’s what I get for buying cheap!) Remove from skillet and slice into long, thin strips.
3. In a large bowl, mix together the hot sauce and broth. Add the chicken strips and toss to coat with the broth mixture, reserving the mixture that is left in the bowl.
4. Place a pizza crust on a baking sheet and spread with 1/3 c of the dressing. Scatter half of the chicken over the dressing and half of the shredded mozzarella cheese. Drizzle some of the reserved remaining broth mixture over top. Repeat with remaining pizza crust, dressing, chicken, mozzarella and broth mixture.
5. Bake pizzas at 450 degrees F for 10 minutes or until crusts are lightly browned and the cheese is bubbly. Remove from oven and scatter celery over pizzas.

This recipe is adapted from Family Circle.

In the original recipe, it recommended Frank’s hot sauce, but I had some fabulous Day of the Dead Habanero Hot Sauce. Sorry Frank’s! My little sister-in-law, ever the picky eater, wasn’t a huge fan of this. She picked off the celery and then ate about 2 bites of one of the 2 pieces she had put on her plate. Her brother (aka Mr. Mox/J), however, was a fan, and ate the pizza that she hadn’t. The only suggestion made was to cut the celery into smaller pieces (into the measurement I have listed here). I absolutely LOVED this. It was easy, tasty and spicy, and I didn’t feel like a total fatass after eating it like I do after going to Hooters. Also, the only breasts I had to look at during the preparation were the chicken breasts, and my own if I so chose.

 

Oh Eggplant, I judged you far too soon. June 9, 2008

Filed under: food,recipes — Mox. @ 6:28 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

I …am a bit ashamed of myself. I made my first eggplant dish almost a year ago and swore it off after that odd bitter experience. I was so disappointed-I expected so much better out of such an interesting purple alien vegetable but I just didn’t get it. A couple weeks ago, when I was deciding on meals for the upcoming week, however, I decided to give it a chance to prove its worthiness on my plate. Honestly, if it wasn’t for J begging me to give it one more last chance, I wouldn’t have batted an eyelash while dropping the recipe for Rigatoni with Sauteed Eggplant and Tomatoes into the recycle bin. I do not regret my decision in keeping this-Eggplant, you’re welcome back on the table any time.

– 1 lb dried rigatoni
-3 Tbs olive oil
-1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2″ cubes
-1/2 tsp kosher salt
-1/2 tsp black pepper (freshly ground if at all possible, there’s just no comparing)
-3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced (but I won’t tell the recipe nazis if you put in 4! Yum)
-1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
-1/2 c grated Parmesan (please not the powder schtuff-if that’s all you have, skip it)

1. Cook the rigatoni according to the package directions. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat (my skillet isn’t anywhere near large enough for these types of dishes, so I use a dutch oven-tee hee dutch oven). Add the eggplant, season with the salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 8 minutes.

2. Add the garlic and tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to soften, 3 to 4 minutes (in my case it took closer to 5). Add the drained rigatoni and toss. Divide among individual bowls and top with the Parmesan.

(this recipe is adapted from one in Real Simple magazine-I love it. Oh how I miss my subscription so.)

I realize I post far too many pasta recipes and really, I’m trying to cut down. I’m considering joining Pasta Eaters Anonymous. I just love pasta, and so does J. Maybe I should remind myself that it’s not so pretty to photograph…maybe that’ll help me forget the delicious wonderful starchiness…mmmmm…

 

Yum, death by pasta. Creamy, bacon-y death. April 24, 2008

Filed under: food,recipes — Mox. @ 8:17 pm
Tags: , ,

Pasta Carbonara

-1 lb linguine or spaghetti
-6 strips of bacon, diced
-4 egg yolks
-1 c freshly grated Parmesan
-1/2 tsp kosher salt
-1/4 tsp black pepper

1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, fry the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Transfer to a paper towel and reserve the drippings.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Still whisking constantly, add 2 Tbs of the drippings. Working quickly, add the drained pasta and Parmesan to the yolk mixture and toss to combine.  Add the salt, pepper, parsley and bacon. Garnish with a little more black pepper and shredded Parmesan.
*The heat of the pasta cooks the eggs, but not thoroughly. It may be advisable for young children, the elderly and anyone with a compromised immune system to avoid eating this dish.
——–
Okay, I have to admit it-I took a shortcut to the shortcut. Last time I cooked the bacon in the microwave and crumbled it in my hand instead of dicing and frying. It took so much less time and was so much easier. To substitute for the drippings, I added a little olive oil.

Have you noticed I have a problem with pasta? Well I do. I make WAY too much of it, which might explain my rather large ass. J and I are both trying to lose weight, though, so I promise there will be less in the way of pasta for a while. I made this as a suprise to J, who, upon learning I was making it jumped in the air and said “Yessssss!”. He forgot that I was making it, so the day I was to make it, when reminded, he again said “Yessss!” and I don’t know if he jumped because I was talking on the phone, but I’m pretty sure he did. I added the Parmesan garnish. Also, I cook it for 30 seconds in the microwave at the end of the recipe to freak me out less about food-borne AIDS. Delish (the food not the AIDS)!

 

 

My “high school sweetheart” frequently referred to “the deed” as “porking”. February 20, 2008

Filed under: food,recipes — Mox. @ 12:11 am
Tags: , ,

Honey-Dijon Pork Tenderloin

-2 pork tenderloins (1 lb each)
-2/3 c. honey
-1/2 c. Dijon mustard
-1-2 tsps. chili powder (less if you like sweeter, more if you like spicy, which I do!)
-1/4 tsp. salt
-fresh ground black pepper

1. Place pork tenderloins in a large resealable plastic bag or shallow glass container (I used my lasagna pan). In a bowl, whisk the honey, Dijon mustard, chili powder and salt to combine; set aside 2/3 cup. Pour remaining marinade over pork; turn to coat. Seal or cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably a few extra, turning occasionally.

2. Drain and discard marinade and sprinkle the freshly ground black pepper over the tenderloins. Grill pork, covered, over indirect medium heat for 8-9 minutes on each side or until meat juices run clear and a meat thermometer reads 160-170 F. (I grilled mine at 350 F on the George Foreman for 6-7 minutes on each side, then sliced into about 1″ slices and grilled those flat)

3. In a saucepan, warm the reserved sauce; serve with the pork.

Makes 6 servings. 

————

The sauce was yummy and really made the tenderloin something special. The chili powder didn’t overpower the honey mustard-ness at all, like I had feared-it just added a tiny kick. I promise one day I’ll get a real grill.