May
23
4

Baba Ganoush

Sounds like gibberish, right? I promise it doesn’t taste like gibberish!


Actually, I’m not entirely sure what gibberish tastes like, but I can guarantee you that if it tastes like this, you’ll eat the whole bowl. What is it, you ask? Well, let me tell you. It’s a roasted eggplant dip that is so creamy and roasty you’ll think it’s unhealthy for you. It’s that good.

I can very clearly remember the first time I had baba ganoush. But the story isn’t all that interesting, so let me tell you about the first time I had greek food on the fair little island we call home. It was on my 21st birthday, a whopping three years ago, and my boyfriend took me to this little place he said was super delish and in a great location. So we went, and as it turned out, this little place wasn’t exactly a normal restaurant; you had to fight for your table and it was BYOB. Which would have been fine, except there were no tables and it was drizzling and we didn’t B-our-own-B. So we took it to go and ate it at the beach park nearby under a mostly-waterproof canopy with sparkling lemonade and tiny cockroaches crawling across our feet. It was really a great birthday, actually.

But it wasn’t until a couple years later that we went to a different Greek restaurant closer to home and with available tables and wine, that we tried Baba Ganoush. I may or may not have eaten the entire bowl.. and used my fingers when the pita bread ran out. I just can’t say for sure. No judgement, k? You know you’ve all done the same thing.

So. This recipe is for all of you who, like me, can’t always make it to a restaurant when you’re craving something gloppy and dippable.

Baba Ganoush

(from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook) 

Ingredients

  1. one large eggplant
  2. one very large clove of garlic extremely thinly sliced (or two if you’re feelin crazy. or if you only have baby cloves)
  3. 2 tbsp tahini (roasted sesame paste; you can get this at most any grocery store if you look hard or ask nicely, it is an essential flavor in both baba ganoush and hummus)
  4. 1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  5. 2 tbsp olive oil
  6. 1 tbsp water
  7. 1/2 tsp salt (or more to taste)
  8. pinch of cayenne pepper and tiny pinch of cumin (seriously, tiny)
  9. small bunch of parsley, leaves only

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. make small slits in the skin of the eggplant all over, and insert the garlic slices into the slits. Place on a baking sheet and roast in oven until eggplant is completely dilapidated and soft.
  2. Scoop out the flesh (discard the skins) and place into your bullet cup. add all the other ingredients and blend, baby blend.
  3. Serve with pita chips, pita wedges, or veggies. Eat and Enjoy!
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We eat a lot of pizza here in our little house. Sometimes we buy it from the place down the street that makes pizzas so big they put Costco’s to shame. But most of the time we make it. Why? because in the time it takes to heat up your oven you can have ooey gooey cheesy saucy goodness dribbling down your face hot and fresh and made with whatever you want to eat. Or in our case, whatever we happen to have in the fridge at the mo’.

And a lot of times, we don’t have any sauce. I started making pasta sauce instead of buying it, because did you know that’s the easiest thing ever?? And a giant can of tomatoes costs waaay less than a moderately-sized jar of pre-sauced tomatoes. Anyways. I make sauce. But you have to cook it and it takes some time. Not work, just time. And sometimes you don’t want to wait to make sauce for your pizza. And sometimes your impatience will lead you to this: a 10 second pizza sauce that tastes oh-my-gaaahhhhdd so good. Seriously. Read More

Apr
26
8

Green Berry Smoothie

Hey everyone! Erin here. Smoothies are, well, delicious. They also happen to be nutritious, or at least, they can be. Sure, Juice it up has the best white peach smoothie I’ve ever had in my life. But that’s because it’s made with ice cream. Duh. And even though we’re “grown ups” now and we technically can eat ice cream for breakfast, because y’know what, ma, I do what I want! ahem. We really have become our parents and “know better now” or at least, have to make it through 8 to 12 to 14 hour work days (plus school and studying and oi vey), so ice cream generally isn’t going to cut it for breakfast. 

But smoothies still can. Especially when paired with something like an english muffin or an egg-inside-tortilla, which is my personal favorite thing to pair a smoothie or juice with. And smoothies actually can do a very good job of not only keeping you a bit fuller and keeping your energy up, but you can sneak in a whole bunch of good stuff that you otherwise might not want to eat all that much. Which is what we do. Green powder, which I’m pretty sure you can buy anywhere they sell strange health-food items, is one of my boyfriend’s obsessions and we put a couple scoops in every smoothie we make. And I don’t even complain because I can’t taste it. But the nutrition label says I am being nice to my body when I eat it. go fig.

Read More

Many things happened to get me to this here recipe that I’m about to share with you. And they happened in such a way as to make me say, oh, jeez, it seems like fate that I must make this. NOW. So I did. Boy, howdy am I glad I did.

Firstly, I love pumpkin, and do not understand why it is relegated only to the time between Halloween and Christmas. That’s just not fair. Plus, you can do more with pumpkin than just pie, right? Secondly, I saw this recipe on Frugal Feeding’s blog and it made me drool. Thirdly, we went vegetable shopping in Chinatown and the pumpkins were ridiculously cheap. And finally, I got a nifty new gadget inthe mail  last Saturday. Boom. Kismet. (right? is that what kismet means?) So, with my pumpkin in my hand, my inspiration in my mind, and my Magic Bullet on the counter, I set to work in making my own pumpkin risotto.

Now, I don’t generally make up recipes by myself. Firstly because I am a baker. Not because I’m particularly adept at it, but because I love a recipe. I love directions. I crave them. And baking absolutely requires a well-honed recipe. With cooking, people always say you don’t need a recipe, but I beg to differ. If you have a good recipe, and you follow it, you will make a good meal. Almost every time. But I want so badly to be one of those people who can make a good meal by looking in their fridge and throwing things together seemingly haphazardly but with a clear idea of what tastes good with what and generally how to cook things. So I’ve been working on following recipes exactly and trying to work my way up to the point where I change a bunch of stuff to make the recipe my own, in the hopes that someday I’ll be making up my own (whole) recipes.

And this time, I did it (mostly). I got the inspiration (and the basic measurements) from the delicious looking butternut squash and sage risotto, but I’m proud to say this curried pumpkin risotto is a creation of my very own. And It turned out so well, that I have a feeling I’ll be auditioning some more of my own creations soon enough.

Curried Pumpkin Risotto 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 c arborio rice (300g)
  • 3 shallots, chopped (or one onion if you prefer)
  • about 1/2 medium size kabocha pumpkin (that’s the only kind of pumpkins we have around here.. but I’m sure whatever kind of pumpkin or squash you have would work just fine. It ended up being about 4 1/2 cups of pumpkin, chopped into cubes, or 350g)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • about 1 cup white wine (exactness of measure isn’t that important)
  • ~3 cups vegetable or chicken stock (eek! fail. the original measure was 700ml, and I didn’t write down how many cups that was!)
  • big hunk of parmesan (between 1/4 and 1/2 cup shredded, 60g if you have a scale)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (less if you don’t want it spicy at all, but 1/2 tsp isn’t very spicy)
  • a 1″ cube of fresh ginger, grated (or 3/4 tsp ground ginger powder)
  • salt and pepper and olive oil, no measurements!

Instructions

  1. Peel and chop all of your pumpkin into about 1 inch or so cubes. (you will puree a little over half of the pumpkin, so you could cut half of it roughly and the other half a little smaller). Toss pumpkin pieces with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast in 400F oven for 15-30 minutes or until mostly tender. They don’t have to be completely cooked at this point, just poke-able with a knife.
  2. Puree a little over half of the pumpkin with a bit of water until very smooth. set aside.
  3. In a 3-5 quart pot, heat a good splash of olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and cook for 5 minutes or until shallots are soft. Then add curry powder, turmeric, cayenne pepper and ginger and cook for another minute until your house smells delicious.
  4. Add in all your rice and cook for another minute or so, until it picks up all the color of the spices. Turn the heat down to medium-low at this point.
  5. Add in the wine and cook, stirring, until all liquid is absorbed. Then begin adding your stock, about 1/4-1/2 cup at a time, and cook until liquid is absorbed in between additions. When you have half of your stock left, throw in your pumpkin puree and the rest of your chopped pumpkin. Continue adding stock until you have none left and your rice is soft enough to eat (but not mush) and liquid is mostly all absorbed. Stir frequently, but you don’t have to stir literally the entire time. It will take between and hour and an hour and a half or so for this whole process
  6. Remove from heat and stir in butter and parmesan cheese. Taste, then add salt and pepper as needed.
  7. Eat and enjoy!!