Saturday, January 31, 2004

Roasted Shiitake Mushrooms with Garlic

(Originally posted on Saturday, January 31, 2004 by Tim)

We are way behind on getting new recipes up here. I blame Sam. He spent most of yesterday typing in his Haiku. I don't think it took him that long to compose, but the keys are a little small for him to hit individually with his paws.

Last night we had our friends Natalie and Bruce over for dinner and made three very good courses which have yet to make it here. We started off with the shiitake mushroom appetizer mentioned in the title. This one comes from "Passionate Vegetarian" as most of our new recipes have. We have made this appetizer three times now and it's a very simple, very delicious recipe.

Roasted Shiitake Mushrooms with Garlic
1/2 lb shiitake mushrooms (washed and stems removed)
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 tbs crushed garlic
1/2 tsp salt (medium gain sea salt is nice, but not critical)

1. Spray a baking sheet with Pam. Preheat the oven to 400 F.

2. Mix garlic, oil and salt. Toss mushrooms in mixture until they are well coated.

3. Place the mushrooms on the baking sheet and bake in the oven for roughly 10 minutes. Flip mushrooms and bake another 10 minutes. Time isn't really important here. Bake the mushrooms until they start looking a bit crispy and golden on the undersides.

Serve these hot or cold. When picking out the mushrooms, try to get smaller ones. These tend to get a bit crispier in the oven which adds to the flavor.

1/2 lb is about 16 mushroom caps. Scale this recipe up if you have a big party or if you just want to eat a bunch of mushrooms.

Friday, January 30, 2004

A Haiku

(Originally posted on Friday, January 30, 2004 by Sam)

sounding the alarm
through squeaks, wines, and by loud barks
cats taunt in my yard

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Gin and Tonic

(Originally posted on Wednesday, January 28, 2004 by Tim)

Ok, I know this is a pretty lame recipe. We have made three new meals this week, but we've been real busy applying me for jobs and setting up my class web site,

We made an interesting kale, onions, raisins and olive dish tonight. I might post it at some point. It's not an amazing recipe, but I enjoyed it. Here's an oldie but goodie.

Gin and Tonic
Bombay Sapphire Gin (thanks Mom and Dad) or Tanqueray Ten Gin
Tonic water
Lime Juice
4 ice cubes

Add ice cubes to 8 ounce glass. Fill glass 1/4 high with gin. Fill glass the rest of the way with tonic water. Add a squirt of lime juice (about 1/2 tsp). Mix and enjoy.

For me, the the most important thing in a Gin and Tonic is the lime juice. I don't like to use organic limes because the quality is variable. My favorite type of lime is the plastic kind that you squeeze and the lime juice just squirts right out. I've had some very expensive Gin and Tonics in restaurants that were ruined by bad limes.

In my opinion, the quality of the gin in these is not critical. Just plain old Tanqueray makes a good G&T as long as you have decent lime juice to back it up. As for the rest, any old ice cubes or tonic water will do. I actually use the cheapest tonic water I can find in the supermarket.

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Dinner: goldfish, apricots, and a trip to the airport

(Originally posted on Sunday, January 25, 2004 by Cathy)

Picking up my ticket for Jessica's wedding and getting a must-have postmark. Whee.

(edit: That's gold fish crackers. Ewww to those of you who thought we'd stooped that low in eating.)

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Anal Retentive Pancakes

(Originally posted on Saturday, January 24, 2004 by Tim)

We've gone out for Mexican and for American food over the last few days so we haven't tried anything new at home. This recipe comes from a wonderful little hand printed book that Cathy's Mom made for her for Christmas a few years back. I suppose I should clarify that the basic recipe comes from Cat's Mom, all the anal retentive adaptations are a creation of my psyche. If you have stayed at our house, and we have made pancakes, this is it.

1 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 egg
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbs canola oil
1/2 tsp salt
frozen fruit (we use wild blackberries that we pick here in the summer)

Turn on griddle or heat skillet over medium heat. I love our griddle. It takes up the space of two burners which we sorely need. Still, it's just trying to be the best griddle it can so I forgive it.

Mix dry ingredients. Beat the heck out of the egg in measuring cup you used for the flour. Add egg to dry ingredients. Measure out milk in same measuring cup (3 ingredients and only one dirty cup produced!). Add oil and milk and mix well with wisk or fork (you can use the same fork you used for the egg here for bonus points!).

Use a paper towel to wipe some oil over the griddle. Place 1/8 to 1/4 cup batter on griddle for each pancake. After you have a full griddle of pancakes, individually place 4 to 5 pieces of frozen fruit in each pancake. I'm sure you rolled your eyes there, but thats how I apply the fruit. Otherwise, I get half the pancakes with double fruit and half with no fruit. Plus, how can you get a perfectly even distribution of fruit on each pancake if you don't place each one? If you don't really care about fruit distribution, feel free to put the fruit in the batter. I won't care. Really, I won't!

Cook pancakes until tops look solid. Flip with spatula. Bottoms should be golden brown to brown depending on your taste. Cook a minute or so on other side until a golden brown color is achieved.

We serve these warm with pure, Vermont, maple syrup that my Grandmother sends us every year (thanks Grandma). The syrup is also very good in maple nut ice cream, but that's a different recipe.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Nothing to do with food - CBS censorship

(Originally posted on Wednesday, January 21, 2004 by Cathy)

CBS is refusing to play's anti-Bush advertisement during the Super Bowl. Always nice to see the big networks playing fair and impartial, isn't it.

I think I'll retaliate by not watching the Super Bowl. Oh, wait...

Really fast pasta #1

(Originally posted on Wednesday, January 21, 2004 by Cathy)

Some days in the grocery store, I think we're freaks. The people in front of us have cases of soda and frozen dinners and chips. The people behind us have cases of beer, frozen dinners, and chips. We've got the cashier trying desperately to identify Swiss chard, which is accompanied on the conveyer belt by bag after bag of other produce, a gallon of organic milk, two packs of tofu, and a couple other things she thought no one actually bought.

On that note, here's tonight's (very easy) dinner:

8 oz pasta
1 bunch chard, sliced, with tough stems removed
1 T olive oil
1 can cannellini beans
3 gloves garlic, pressed
salt and pepper
lemon juice

Start cooking the noodles.

Saute the chard in the oil for 2-3 minutes, then cover and let steam a few more minutes.

Combine beans, garlic, salt and pepper (to taste) in a bowl. Stir in the cooked noodles and chard. Squeeze on lemon juice. Spend more time taking the photo of dinner than cooking dinner.

Really fast pasta #1 - alternate photo

(Originally posted on Wednesday, January 21, 2004 by Cathy)

Here's the photo Tim wants with this one. Yes, he eats rotini with chopsticks.

Monday, January 19, 2004

Stuffing (for squash or otherwise)

(Originally posted on Monday, January 19, 2004 by Cathy)

I'm typing this with only 7 fingers (and two thumbs) since Modi and Sam had a fight this afternoon, and I broke it up by putting my hands in the middle. Yes, again. Pretty good chomp (thanks Modi) on my left index finger. :( Everyone else came out unscathed.

Anyway, this is an awesome stuffing, out of Moosewood. She calls for putting it in acorn squash (where it is very good - makes enough for about 3 mid-sized squashes), but it's also good just baked in a casserole dish. I suppose it would also be good inside turkey even, or perhaps filet of dog?

Melt two Tbs butter in a large frying pan. Saute 1 c chopped onion until translucent. Add 1/2 pound mushrooms, 1 pressed clove garlic, 1 stalk of celery (chopped) and saute about 10 minutes. Add black pepper and 1/2 tsp each sage and thyme.

Add 1/4 c chopped walnuts, 1/4 c sunflower seeds, 1/4 c raisins, 1/4 cup craisins or chopped apricots, 2 cups breadcrumbs, and 2 T lemon juice. Depending on how dry the bread crumbs are, add a few Tbs to 1/2 cup of veggie broth until it looks more like stuffing, less like powder. Salt to taste. (May not need any, if the sunflower seeds were salted.) Stuff previously-baked squash and bake. (20-30 mins at 350 for squash.)

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Cheese filled crepes with strawberry topping or eggs eggs and more eggs

(Originally posted on Sunday, January 18, 2004 by Tim)

I made a batch of crepes yesterday for breakfast. Cat made an apple filling and I made an uncooked sweetened ricotta filling. In addition, I also made a strawberry topping. None of the filling/topping combinations we tried were entirely satisfactory leaving me eagerly awaiting this morning when I could try a cooked variation on the sweetened ricotta. Unfortunately, when I woke up, I wasn't hungry so I had to wait to make them until lunch. It was worth the wait as filling the crepes with the ricotta and then baking them did the trick.

Crepes (makes around 15)
3 eggs
1 cup of flour
1 cup of milk
1 tbs butter, melted then cooled so it doesn't cook the egg when added
1/4 tsp salt
a little bit of canola oil and a clean paper towel

Cat found this recipe in the Passionate Vegetarian. Beat the eggs soundly in a bowl. Add all other ingredients except the butter unless you really have let it cool and mix well. Now drizzle in the butter, which you really haven't let cool enough because you are too impatient to wait, while mixing. Let mixture sit for an hour at room temperature, or overnight in the refrigerator.*

Heat a skillet on the stove over medium heat. Dot a bit of oil on the paper towel and quickly wipe it over the skillet. You will want to do this every two or three crepes. Add 2 1/2 to 3 tbs of crepe batter to the center of the skillet (I use 3/4 of a 1/4 cup for better speed). Roll or shake the skillet to spread out the crepe batter until you have rougly a 6 inch circle (I shake the pan until it starts thickening). Let crepe cook until it starts losing it's gloss on top (1 min?) and then I flip the crepe over. The previous bottom side should be just beginning to be getting some brown spots. Cook the other side of the crepe for about 30 seconds, then remove to a plate and start your next crepe.

* Oh no! I have to wait an hour! All crepe recipes seem to have this resting step which can be frustrating when you haven't planned for it. I generally wait about 45 minutes before continuing on. I did a web search trying to figure out why this is necessary. What I found is that the batter is left to sit so that the flour particles can absorb more liquid.

Sweetened Ricotta Filling (makes enough for 5 crepes**)
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 tbs sugar
1 egg (more eggs!)

We made this one up ourselves. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until smooth.

**Ever wonder why hot dogs come in packs of 10 and hot dog buns come in packs of 8? Please scale this recipe to fit the number of filled crepes you plan on making.

Strawberry Topping (enough for 15 filled crepes)
1 cup fresh or thawed strawberries
2 tbs sugar
2 drops of lemon juice

This one is out of the Moosewood Cookbook. It calls for lemon or lime juice, but lime juice is a sacred substance to be only used in gin and tonics in our house. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

Cheese Filled Crepes with Strawberry Topping
Crepes (see above)
Sweetened Ricotta Filling (see above)
Strawberry Topping (also see above)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spoon 2 tbs of ricotta filling in a thick line down the middle of the crepe. Leave some open space at the end. Fold crepe over ricotta and then "roll" up the rest of the way(roll is a bit generous here, more like fold again). Place crepes fold side down in a baking dish which has been pretreated with PAM. Once pan is full, cover and place in the oven for 20 minutes. When the cooking of filled crepes is nearing completion heat strawberry topping in microwave. Once baked, place crepes in pairs on plates and drizzle strawberry topping over them.

Friday, January 16, 2004

A poem

(Originally posted on Friday, January 16, 2004 by Modi)

Dog food is yummy
When you have it in your tummy,
But when Sam steals your food
It's no good.

Apple Salsa (?)

(Originally posted on Friday, January 16, 2004 by Cathy)

Our friends Pokie and Nancy brought this "salsa" to a recent potluck. We actually like it as a side - it was awesome next to some spicy curried chick peas.

2 cups Cameo apples, sliced (actually, I think they were finely chopped)
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1/2 cup (one large) anaheim chili pepper, finely chopped
1 Jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup lime juice
1 T chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 t salt
1/2 t fresh ground pepper

Combine in large bowl, mix well. Refrigerate 30 minute or until ready to

Lots of work but very good baked tofu

(Originally posted on Friday, January 16, 2004 by Tim)

This one comes out of our new cookbook, Passionate Vegetarian by Crescent Dragonwagon, that Cathy received for Christmas from her parents (Thanks Jim and Carol). It's actually billed as "Terrible Delicious Barbecued Tofu" in her book, but I really think it fits more into the baked tofu category. Maybe if we had added more barbecue sauce or made it hotter...

Smokey Onion-Garlic Marinade (enough for a pound of tofu)
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
1 head garlic, peeled
1/4 cp tamari or shoya soy sauce
1 tbs canola oil
2 tbs cider vinegar
3 drops liquid smoke

Put all ingredients in food processor. Chop, blend, puree, dice, whatever until you get a relatively thin mixture with little bits of onion in it.

Alot of the recipes in this cookbook call for tamari or shoya soy sauce. We have been using the tamari. I've taste tested this against the lite soy sauce we have in the house and the tamari has a richer taste to it. However, I'm not too sure that the tamari would be all the different from normal (non-lite) soy sauce.

Orangy Barbecue Sauce (over 2 cups worth)
2 cans tomato paste (12 oz total)
3 to 4 fresh hot peppers (seeds or not as you choose, use responsibily)
grated rind and juice of two oranges
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup Pickapeppa sauce
3 tbs tamari soy sauce
1 tsp black pepper
salt to taste (I used about a half a tsp to a tsp in the end)
2 drops liquid smoke

Put all sauce components into the food processor and blend until smooth.

I didn't have fresh hot peppers for this. Instead I threw in half of this long pepper that was labelled as an Anaheim Chille at the store but I don't really think it was. It was only slightly hotter than a green bell pepper. On top of that I threw in about 5 pickled hot chille peppers. In the end, the sauce was tasty but not that hot. I'll have to try harder next time.

Pickapeppa is Jamacian barbecue sauce. To me, it pretty much tastes like A1 so you should feel free to substitute A1 in any recipe in which Cat or I list Pickapeppa.

Barbecue baked tofu
12 to 16 oz of very firm tofu sliced into half inch thick slabs
a pat of butter for each slice of tofu

1. Fill flat shallow dish with Onion-Garlic Marinade. Place tofu slabs in marinade and spoon the marinade over the top of each slab. Marinade overnight in the refrigerator. If pushed for time, you could sacrifice flavor and do a 40 minute, room temperature marinade. What I like to do here is place the tofu in the marinade the evening before the evening I plan to bake the tofu. I then flip the tofu the next morning.

2. Preheat oven to 500 F. I'm not sure why this is done but I do it anyway. I think the earth might spin out of orbit if you omit this step.

3. Spray a baking dish with Pam. Lift tofu (keeping some of the marinade) into pan and cover liberally with Orangy Barbecue Sauce. Place butter pats in the middle of each tofu slab.

4. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil. Make sure foil does not touch barbecue sauce. Turn oven down to 375 F and put covered dish in oven for 40 minutes.

5. Uncover dish and bake tofu an additional 20 to 40 minutes or until the barbecue sauce has your favorite level of crustiness.

This is another one of those recipes that makes the house smell wonderful. The odor of the baking marinade and barbecue sauce is just heavenly. You'll notice that you have a fair amount of the barbecue sauce and marinade left over after making this recipe. For the barbecue sauce, I bottled half and put it in the refrigerator and put the other half in the freezer. Next time it will be "Kinda alot of work tofu". For the marinade, I decided to just make another batch the next day. I don't know how well the marinade would keep, I expect it will lose it's flavor over a few days.

We had this baked tofu with rosemary mashed potatoes (I wasn't thrilled with these so you will have to wait until I improve the recipe) and an onion zucchini thing that Cathy likes to make (I'll let her post that one). I think it would go well with a number of vegetable dishes as long as they aren't overwhelmingly strong. I think steamed broccoli or brussels sprouts would go especially well with this recipe.

Modi didn't get a chance to taste this recipe. He was too busy snatching up flying bits of scalding potato that resulted from over-exuberant mashing. Both he and Sam got a number of bits that were too hot for them before I could intervene. This is the first time I have seen the dog reaction to food that is too hot before. It involves a quick shake of the head to remove the offending substance from your mouth. Apparently the experience did not turn Modi and Sam off from mashed potatoes as they nearly knocked me down as I was putting some in their bowls after dinner.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

No recipe today

(Originally posted on Thursday, January 15, 2004 by Cathy)

We headed out to Lanna Thai for lunch, so no recipe today. Thanks to Gail and Walt for the gift certificate! :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Lentil-Bulgur Salad (super protein tabouli)

(Originally posted on Tuesday, January 13, 2004 by Cathy)

We like to take this great tabouli knock-off to potlucks. People have looked at it a little strangely, but only until they've tasted it.


1 cup dry lentils, cooked until just tender (about 20 mins in 2-3 cups of water)
1 cup dry bulgur, cooked according to package directions
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice (or more to taste)
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2-1 tsp salt, to taste
1/2 tsp oregano
2 Tbsp fresh mint (which I haven't gotten Tim to grow - yet!)
3 Tbsp fresh dill
black pepper
1/4 c fresh parsley, minced
1/3 cup red onion, chopped

Some or all of the following (chopped):
1 bell pepper
1 stalk celery
1 cucumber
1/2 c feta cheese
1/2 c black olives (or Kalamata olives, if you're feeling spendy)
big handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 c chopped walnuts
A bit of red wine vinegar or basalmic vinegar, to bring up the flavor, if needed.

(Source: Moosewood Cookbook, Mollie Katzen)

Wednesday, January 7, 2004

Sweet Rosemary White Bread

(Originally posted on Wednesday, January 7, 2004 by Tim)

To facilitate my obsession of growing my own spices, Cat bought me a rosemary tree this X-mas. The tree grows quite fast and required a bit of trimming to get it back to its slim xmas tree figure when I took it out of the box. Of course this resulted in a bunch of rosemary and in my obsession to never waste anything, I started looking for bread recipes that used lots of rosemary. In going through our massive collection of bread books (two of them) I was surprised to find no recipes that required a tablespoon or more of the spice and so I decided to make one up. Both Cat and I have really enjoyed this recipe, we have now made it 3 times in a row. The kitchen smells fantastic while it is baking and the resulting bread is great for sandwiches, garlic bread, or just alone with a little butter (Mmmmmm, butter). Modi has yet to give an opinion on this bread as he's been too busy attacking the vaccuum cleaner to catch any falling off the counter.

1/2 cup water
5/8 cup milk
3 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbs butter
3 tbs sugar
1 tbs fresh rosemary well rinsed (I would guess dry would work as well)
2 tsp active dry yeast

Place all ingredients in the bread maker. Set bread machine to normal cycle and 1 1/2 pound loaf. When finished, place bread on a cake rack to cool a bit before slicing.

Order of ingredients really doesn't matter in my experience. I've tried liquids first and solids first. Right now we do solids first because our bread pan has a small hole in the bottom and putting the solids in first mixes the liquids with the flour before they can leak out.