Monday, November 30, 2009

well rounded

Quick, easy, DELICIOUS lunch that also got in a ludicrous amount of food groups!

Part 1:


Wrapsie. Throw some cauliflower on a baking sheet with cooking spray and a sprinkling of curry powder and roast at 375 for, say, the length of a thorough but speedy post-gym shower :D. Put that on a TJ’s flax wrap with hummus.

SO GOOD! I love roasted cauliflower.

Part 2:


TJ’s Euro yogurt, semi-thawed frozen mango (heh), and cinnamon.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

casual eggs

Ahhh home. Ahh leisurely Sunday brunch. Ahh mother who doesn’t mind my slightly ugly omelets (they still taste good!).

Well rounded and delicious as ever. Brunch is the perfect meal. I say this every time I make brunch, which is as OFTEN AS POSSIBLE.

Honeycrisp apple, more homemade focaccia  (seriously Astra, you deserve to be on some kind of walk of fame for this recipe), and a tasty if unorthodox mushroom, cheese, and avocado omelet.


Finally, ahh Costco membership, which means my house always has avocado (so much cheaper in bulk!) and, my <3, Chobs.


And now I’m back at school, for a (frighteningly!) brief three weeks and then I will be a COLLEGE GRADUATE.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

gratitude and gratin

You know what makes for a nice feeling of accomplishment? Pulling this out of the oven:


But let’s rewind, shall we? It all started with this butternut squash, leek, and apple gratin. Slight problem? No butternut squash.

In a fit of genius, I thought “Hey, Thanksgiving is a pretty WASP-y holiday. Perhaps the Asian grocery store will be less hectic the day before Thanksgiving. Plus they have GORGEOUS produce!”

Well, gorgeous produce was true, lack of insanity was decidedly not. However, I toughed it through and ended up with this:


Kabocha squash! Darling of the blog world! I eagerly embarked on a gratin-ating mission.

Before going into the oven:


And after, with nutty breadcrumbs on top: 


I cannot endorse this recipe enthusiastically enough. The oniony bite of the leeks with the substantialness of the squash and the sweetness of the apples and apple juice- HEAVEN! With a little crunchy breadcrumb topping for good measure!

Crummy texture shot:


There were oodles of other goodies at my dad’s sister’s house.

My cousin’s mashed sweet potatoes, with a healthy hit of butter and cream as well as ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and other yummies:


My aunt’s simply roasted carrots and onions, which were SUBLIME:


Arugula salad with pomegranate seeds and cornbread croutons (!)


And more, including mashed potatoes and stuffing, that I failed to capture :D

My (first) plate:


I did it! I pulled off a meat free (delicious!) Advent-approved Thanksgiving! My question was going to be whether I’d look conspicuous/rude foregoing the turkey, but I didn’t!

I went back for more gratin (seriously, the stuff was HEAVEN), and a few more nibbles.

And then, obvi, DESSERT!

My contribution, hinted at earlier:


Rustic apple crostada. Oh. em. gee. Along with being LUDICROUSLY easy (the crust comes together in seconds in a food processor) this recipe was DELISH! My family was going crazy on the crust. It tasted like shortbread! I hate hate hate hate when pies have awesome fillings and leathery crusts. This had lovely crispy spiced apples and crumbly buttery lustrous crust. SO GOOD!

Along with:


Pumpkin and pecan, obvi! I had some of everything. Sooooo gooood! The pecan in particular- my cousin “kind of followed the Karo recipe” but threw in a variety of additions, including RUM, and it was sooooooo goooooooood!

So a nice Thanksgiving. Followed by Scrabble with my dad’s ridiculously competitive family. Fairly early in the point my cousin got 72 points in one round, and at that point I was able to relax, since I knew I’d lose! Hahahahaha.

I have to say Thanksgiving is not a HUGE holiday for me, but obviously I have a lot to be thankful for (I just try to remember that more than once a year!).

To sum it up, the thing I’ve been most thankful for lately is unexpectedly good surprises. It’s been kind of a weird/sad year for me and my family, but I have to remember that sometimes the universe sends good new things our way too!

And, on a cheesy note, I am grateful for all of you who read my blog and leave me adorable comments despite the fact that you have never met me and my camera sucks!

Finally, apparently it’s been an apple-y day. My morning oats were too gorgeous not to post.  


I was feeling topping-y! Apple cinnamon oats with PB, wheat germ, and flax.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

hot and hearty

My stovetop was lookin’ fly tonight.DSCF2909

On the right, homemade lentil soup.


November is lentil soup time, fo sho. I made this vair simply- just sauteed celery, onion, and carrots in olive oil, added lentils, cumin, and garam masala, added veggie broth, and boiled for awhile.

On the left… ohhhhhhhhhh mannnnnnnn.


Yeastless whole wheat focaccia, another INCREDIBLE recipe from the AMAZING Astra. Seriously, she can do no wrong. Every recipe of hers I’ve made has been ridiculously delicious.


Despite having no yeast, it tastes… YEASTY!   Ah, the miracle of beer in baked goods. I don’t like drinking it on its own but in baking it’s the bestest! And the whole wheat flour, along with making it healthy, makes for an incredibly hearty flavor. SO GOOD. And it took seriously five minutes to throw together- no kneading, no fuss, just toss it in the oven. Amazing!


The combination of the two simple dishes was utterly comforting and delicious. Again, YAY HOME!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

bosom of my family

I’m homey home home! Homey McHomerson! Homity home!

It is so, so, so, miraculous, to go home, and HAVE YOUR MOTHER MAKE YOU DINNER.

Oh the joy!

And yknow, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.


So we have a gorgey sweet potato, oven baked (microwaving them is soooooooo much faster but oven baking them just tastes soooooooo much better), along with


Spinach salad dressed with


My mama’s dressing that I was craving so much the other day- seriously, just oil, vinegar, and HANDFULS of whatever fresh herbs we have on hand- on this particular occasion, the usual parsley and the last of the chives and oregano from the deck.

Finally, tilapia:


My mom was all “Arrgh, the food blogger’s back, I have to make this look pretty!”

I am exhausting.

I love home so much!

Monday, November 23, 2009

holiday cheer

Tomorrow I’m going home for Thanksgiving break! Yaaaaaaaaaay! My train is BRIGHT and early at 6:20 a.m. Good times x_x

I got a head start on the holiday goodness when my aunt and uncle passed through town and took me out to dinner in the NORTH END. Heavenly pasta and eggplant followed by, of course, Mike’s pastry.


Oh. Em. Gee. The one on the left was a layer of pastry, a layer of marzipan, a layer of apricot jam, and nuts on top. HEAVEN. On the right was a chocolate-dipped Florentine.

I always fail to properly convey delicious pastries…


Cause yknow, my camera sucks…


Oh well, use your imaginations!

Also had a marker of the holiday season:


My first red cup. A one-pump peppermint mocha. Seriously, I’m so glad I got it cause it was PLENTY chocolatey and minty. Any more I think would frankly have been kind of gross.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

souped up

You may want to take your computer to a more private place, because there is FOOD PORN AHEAD:


Heeeeeck yessssssssssss velvety goodness!

Okay back story: my December is going to be LOCO. I am graduating in December, so I’ll be dealing with finals and papers for FIVE classes (because I’m CRAZY and OVERLOADED in my LAST SEMESTER!) as well as packing up everything I own.

My last December was also on the loco side, due to a rather gruesome car crash carpooling on the way home from Thanksgiving break.

My solution to all of this? Soup. Big batches of it. Take gorgey veggies (there was a method to my farmer’s market madness!), make a big batch o’ soup out of them, and freeze in individual serving containers. Et voila, meal in a hurry with a minimum of fuss.

Soup #1: I found this recipe and was thrilled because it involved using up stuff taking up space in my fridge, like my big box o’ miso!

Mise en place:


Ginger, garlic, onion, tater (I didn’t peel it. I never peel potatoes, cause I generally buy red skinned and their skins are delicious and are the healthiest part!).



So gorgeous.

The final product:


Such unusual ingredients! It was mad filling with the miso!


I will say, actually, that the miso was a bit much. I halved the recipe and rather than using 1/3 of a cup of miso, I used 1/4… and it was still a lot!

Individual containers :D


Soup #2: no recipe, just winged it.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Add a drizzling of olive oil to a pan on low heat, sprinkle in some crushed red pepper flakes, cook til aromatic. Then add butter (you can see it frothing in the lower right hand corner).


I love using a mixture of olive oil and butter- adding olive oil not only helps prevent the butter from burning, it replaces saturated fat with heart-healthy fat. My mother, who, being a proper Greek girl, is an olive-oil-eating-machine, just went for her annual physical at the doctors. He said she had the most spectacular HDL (“good” cholesterol) he had ever seen. Helllll yeah olive oil.

Then add chopped onion and garlic. Cook til golden and tender:


I always save the stems from broccoli. They are the most flavorful part! And in this recipe I pureed them anyway, so who cares about the aesthetics?


Chopped up, added to the onion mixture, and tossed around til golden.


At this point, I added veggie stock, enough to cover the broccoli, and simmered til the broccoli was tender.

Then I pureed it with 3/4 cup ish of milk and a sprinkling of nutmeg:


Broccoli milkshake!

I returned that puree to the pan, and then added:


I oz. sharp white cheddar cheese and


The broccoli florets- PURPLE!-, which I just micro-steamed for 30 seconds (and they probably didn’t even need that).

All together. Add RIDICULOUS quantities of black pepper (seriously, in my opinion broccoli-cheese soup cannot have too much black pepper) and cook on low til cheese melts.


More tupperwares!


My tupperware collection is officially exhausted. I actually was short one, so I took one of the butternut tupperwares (I made that last night) and ran hot water around it so the soup came out in one solid chunk, and then I wrapped the frozen soup chunk in saran wrap and returned it to the freezer and then had the tupperware for the using! I was actually ridiculously pleased with my ingenuity!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

dessert for breakfast

I accidentally had dessert for breakfast. I blame the Pilgrims. Due to the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, I am out of milk and don’t want to buy more because I won’t use it and will come back in a week and it’ll be bad and waste is no good, man!

Okay so dessert:


The ingredients for this dessert included these:

DSCF2862 DSCF2863 

Do we get it now? Fiber One caramel delight (it was on sale plus I had a coupon so I got it for like $2. It tastes like french toast crunch!) plus, due to lack of milk, Yoplait apple turnover yogurt, a current favorite of mine.

I tried to cut through the cloying sweetness with apples and almonds…


But man, I am sugared out for the day!
Actually, if you’re someone who has a problem with a sweet tooth, this might be good… “desensitization therapy”? Is that what they call it?

Yesterday’s apple breakfast was more reasonable:


I love how the quality of the lighting in my blog is a reflection on the spastic Boston weather.

Inspired by Kristin, I made semi apple crisp oats. The night before, I chopped up my apple and tossed it with a little turbinado sugar and cinnamon. Then in the morning, I combined it with my usual 1/2 cup oats, a mini box of raisins, the last of my milk (I only had like 2 tbsp?), and 1 cup water (I went above my usual ratio because of the dried fruit). I topped with mixed nuts which added an AWESOME salty contrast. This bowl was killer!


Okay but actually those breakfasts pale in comparison to lunch because I made… drumroll…


KATH’S RISOTTO QUESADILLA! The woman is a genius. It is SO GOOD! Just LOOK at the oozy creamy veggie-y risotto-y goodness oozing out of my tortilla!



I rounded out my plate with carrots and hummus and a bit of thawed frozen mango.