Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Potato Chickpea Stew

This is so much more exciting and better than it sounds. It's got potatoes and chickpeas, yes, but also tomatoes and saffron and red peppers and onions and all kinds of delicious things.

I was happy because I haven't made this in a while, but could still remember how it tasted. I didn't have the recipe today, but I made myself stop at the store to get ingredients. I just guessed on the ingredients, and I guessed totally correct! The only thing I didn't get was fresh parsley. I remembered to get:
  • 1 pound potatoes
  • 2 cans chickpeas
  • 3 red peppers
  • 1 large can tomatoes
  • Onions

The rest of the ingredients I just had at home.

I remember when I first moved here, I did not feel competent as a cook at all, and I wondered how one got to be a really good cook. I just started doing it, and got better and better. I'm nowhere near 'great' or anything, but I'd call myself a pretty good cook now. Times like this, when I can guess pretty good at ingredients for a recipe I haven't made in two years, makes me grateful for all my practicing!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A Somewhat Unsuccessful Soup

After last night's success with the Applesauce Bread (mmm, so good), I decided to try another new recipe tonight, this time a soup from my beloved Monastery Soups cookbook. I tried Potato Dumpling soup since it used ingredients I had in the house (pretty much just potatoes, onions, and some celery...).

Well, it needed some help. Basically it's a simple broth: celery, onions, carrots, mushrooms. I didn't have carrots, and all I had was dried shiitake mushrooms. So I added some extra celery and used the shiitakes. Then you make some mashed potatoes and use them to make dumpling dough (very simple, just mashed potatoes with an egg, some flour, some salt). Put the dumplings into the broth, simmer.

I think I needed the carrots. The broth needed quite a bit of 'coaxing' with extra salt and pepper, some beef bouillon. But the dumplings are good. And I had some leftover nice bakery bread, which I reheated and will eat with it. I think it will be okay. Just not quite as wonderful as I was hoping, not quite the success of last night's bread.

Update: I let it simmer a little longer with another bit of bouillon added, and now it's quite nice. The shiitakes needed a stronger broth, I think. Now it's very close to the soup I knew it could be!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Chocolate Applesauce Spice Cake

It's more like a bread, like banana bread or something. Perfect for breakfast and snacking, and actually, not bad at all for you (only 1/4 cup oil per loaf, no eggs, etc.)

It's got:
  • Chunky applesauce
  • Cocoa powder
  • Spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg
  • Raisins (and I put in a handful of dates)

Not much fat, plenty of sugar, and rises nicely to a big loaf. This is from my IBS cookbook. I wanted a dessert tonight but my tummy's been so tricky lately, so I decided to give this recipe a try. I'm sure glad I did.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Healthy Veggie Stew

Tonight I'm making Curried Red Lentil Stew with Swiss Chard and Garbanzo Beans.

Some important things to remember if you're going to make this:
  • Use RED lentils. These are significantly different than the brown or green variety.
  • This is very good over any kind of rice or barley or quinoa
  • Full of protein, low-fat, and no dairy (unless you garnish with yogurt)

Yum. Curried anything is good, but quick and easy is even better.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Oh Wow

It's cold and rainy tonight and I'm all by myself. So I decided to make some comfort food that I normally wouldn't make if Terri were home:
  • Turkey Meatloaf with Ketchup-Brown Sugar Glaze
  • Mashed Potatoes (with buttermilk and Gorgonzola cheese)
  • Steamed Peas

My, oh my. This was a damn good dinner. I don't usually eat much meat, but this meatloaf really hit the spot, especially with these amazing potatoes.

I highly recommend this!

Monday, February 19, 2007

A Poor Cooking Week

Last week was a strange one. I spent most nights either out at friends', or, in an uncharacteristic spree, we either ordered in or ate out. However, I did make a really good Indian Spiced Potatoes and Peas dish, and this morning I'm going to make German Pancakes (Dutch Babies) since we have lots of eggs and some lemon.

Next week will be more interesting, I promise.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Creamy Lasagna

Ok, so I'm going to just write down, for the record, what I cook for myself and my little family. This week, I've made (I guess I consider it something I've 'made' if I have to consult a recipe somewhere along the way, or if it includes more than two or three ingredients):
  • Lemon Rice Pudding (dairy-free, very good for upset tummies)
  • Brown Sugar Cookies (not so good for upset tummies, but very good in general)
  • Pasta Primavera (with green beans, yellow squash and zucchini, with a very light pesto-cream sauce. Yum.)
  • Creamy Lasagna (I didn't feel like buying ricotta cheese, so I made a bechamel sauce instead. Layer red sauce, bechamel, frozen chopped spinach, parmesan cheese. Repeat)

I had an upset tummy this week so I mostly ate that rice pudding. It's not really a dessert. It's got a ton of whipped egg whites, very little sugar, and cooked rice, all cooked together. If you don't like bland things, you wouldn't like it. I happen to like strange bland things (not exclusively!), so I love it.

The brown sugar cookies were damn good. Very sugary. The pasta was good, too. I just made that for myself. We'll see how the lasagna turns out. I think it will be good. I love bechamel sauced (see comment about bland things) and I love lasagna. How bad could it be? It's got red sauce. It's got cheese. It's got noodles. It'll be good.

Monday, February 5, 2007

I Quit!

So, if you haven't heard yet, I quit the cooking gig. I liked it, but I liked my free Sundays better.

Not sure if I'll keep this blog or not. I might use it as a recipe file. Which recipes worked, which didn't, what I make during the week.

Peanut gallery? Thoughts?