Wednesday, April 28, 2010

FNCCC - Sandra Lee

I know, Sandra Lee! So many people dislike her. Myself, possibly because her shows do not air on the food channel in Canada, I am of really no opinion. I have cooked a few of her recipes successfully (her pumpkin pancakes from Semi Homemade Cooking are super), but I have also seen clips of her show online (shudder).

But she's the next in line over at Sarah's for Food Network Chefs Cooking Challenge, so here we are.

I found a recipe on her website for Swedish Meatballs, which I quite like.

Surprisingly this recipe is pretty much a "real" Swedish Meatball recipe. The only premade ingredient she uses is frozen meatballs, and that was perfect for me as I had half a bag in the freezer I wanted to use up.

I served the meatballs over steamed potatos instead of noodles. This was good, quick and easy to make, and I would make it again.

Recipe: Speedy Swedish Meatballs.

Please go visit Sarah at I Thank My Mother to see what else was whipped up this week.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I am a completely embarrassed Babe - Potato Bread with Chives

It's my month to be Kitchen of the Month in Babeland! I chose a bread that says "Spring" to me - Potato Bread with Chives, from Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson.

The bread is vegan and uses soy (or another non dairy milk of your choice) milk and maple syrup instead of sugar.

I've made this bread twice - once to make sure it was a good choice for my Babes, and then again for this post. It is delicious! I love it. The chives don't really do a ton for the bread (as some other Babes may mention in their own posts) but they don't detract from it. And the best part is, it's not an overly complicated recipe, easily completed in a morning or afternoon.

And guess what?

Both times I made it BOTH TIMES I forgot to take photos. Can you believe it?

(To distract you!)

Potato Bread with Chives
from Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson

"The addition of mashed potatos gives this bread a moist, dense texture and delicate flavor that is accented by that of the chives. This bread is best eaten slightly warm from the oven on the day it is made. It is also good toasted."

2 1/4 tsp (1 packet) active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar or pure maple syrup
2 Tb corn oil
2 tsp salt
1 cup cold mashed potatos
1 cup soy milk or other dairy free milk
5 cups unbleached all purpose flour, plus more for kneading
2 Tb minced fresh chives

In a large bowl, combine the yeast and 1/4 cup of the water. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes, then stir in the remaining 3/4 cup of water, the corn oil and the salt. Mix in the potatos, then stir in the soy milk. Add about half the flour, stirring to combine, then work in the remaining flour to form a stiff dough. Transfer to a lightly floured board.

Lightly flour your hands and work surface. Knead the dough well until it is smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes, using more flour as necessary so the dough does not stick. Place in a large lightly oiled bowl and turn over once to coat with oil. Cover with a clean kitchen towel or lightly oiled piece of plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours.

Meanwhile, lightly oil a large baking sheet and set aside. Punch the dough down and knead lightly. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface, sprinkle with the chives, and knead until the dough is elastic and the chives are well distributed, 3 to 5 minutes. Shape the dough into one large or two small round loaves and place on the prepared baking sheet. Flatten slightly and cover with a clean damp towel or lightly oiled plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place and let rise again until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400'F. Use a sharp knife to cut an X into the top of the loaf or loaves. Bake on the center oven rack until golden brown, 35 to 45 minutes, depending on size. Tap on the bottom of the loaf or loaves - if they sound hollow, the bread is done. Remove from the sheet and let cool slightly on a wire rack before slicing.

Please visit the other Babes (listed over on the right) to see how their breads turned out. I bet they might even have pictures! Can you imagine?

If you'd like to join us as a Bread Baking Buddy, please email me a link to your post by Friday April 30. I'll have a round up posted a few days after that. My email is iliketocook AT shaw DOT ca.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wedge Salad

When I was young, my favorite salad was a slab of iceberg lettuce with salad dressing on it. (Who knew I was such a connoisseur in my early years?) I had no idea that a wedge of iceberg was a classic salad. I have in one of my notebooks for a Martha Stewart iceberg salad recipe - a wedge of lettuce drizzled with homemade buttermilk dressing. The photo looks so refreshing and inviting. Perfect for a warm spring or summer day.

It hit me the other night that now is the perfect time to try this, as I bought too much lettuce on my last shopping trip. I cut a nice slab of lettuce (and washed and dried it), placed it on a plate, then sprinkled it with diced tomato and snipped chives. Then I pulled out the blue cheese dressing and voila:

Delicious, and open to endless possibilities!

I'm thinking avocado, tomato and bacon with blue cheese or ranch dressing
diced bell pepper, cheddar cheese and salsa
or maybe a take on one of my favorite salads -
slivered almonds, shredded jack cheese, dill dressing

Mmmm mmm mmmmmmm!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Megan at Not Martha is giving away 5 of the iphone How to Cook Everything apps. I am a fan of Mark Bittmans, but I never win things, so I took her advice and headed over to the app store where HTCE is currently available for the ridiculously low price of $1.99.

I love LOVE it. This is the first food app I've downloaded that I've actually used. (Well, I haven't cooked from it yet, but I've favorited a jillion recipes).

Visit Not Martha at this post for details on how to enter to win.

Contest ends at noon PST Wednesday April 21.

Monday, April 19, 2010

vietnamese food

I made this a couple of months ago, and it was the BEST Vietnamese food I've ever made. Not that I've made that much yet. But it was damn good.

Unfortunately, I have NO IDEA how I made this. My notes are gone.


Friday, April 16, 2010

If I Were...

If I were a month I’d be August

If I were a day I’d be Sunday

If I were a time of day I’d be 6 pm

If I were a font I’d be Georgia

If I were a sea animal I’d be a turtle

If I were a direction I’d be West

If I were a piece of furniture I’d be a lounger

If I were a liquid I’d be water

If I were a gemstone I’d be a ruby

If I were a tree I’d be a banyan tree

If I were a tool I’d be an awl

If I were a flower I’d be a gerbera daisy

If I were an element of weather I’d be rain

If I were a musical instrument I’d be a drum

If I were a color I’d be yellow

If I were an emotion I’d be joy

If I were a fruit I’d be a strawberry

If I were a sound I’d be loud

If I were an element I’d be helium

If I were a car I’d be reliable

If I were a food I’d be a sopapilla

If I were a place I’d be Kihei, Hawaii

If I were a material I’d be rock

If I were a taste I’d be lemon

If I were a scent I’d be freshly cut grass

If I were a body part I’d be a hand

If I were a song I’d be an instrumental by Stevie Ray Vaughn

If I were a bird I’d be a chickadee

If I were a gift I’d be blue

If I were a city I’d be near water

If I were a door I’d be open

If I were a pair of shoes I’d be invisible (I hate shoes)

If I were a poem I’d be i carry your heart with me by E. E. Cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

What would you be?

(found at Sizzle Says

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Grocery Shop, April 15

I am a little annoyed with myself. I bought too much lettuce today. A head of iceberg (it was on sale) and a container of organic Italian mix (also on sale). AND I didn't even notice until I looked at the photo just now.

I also bought some chicken, chives (for a certain project), the new food network magazine as a treat, hoisin sauce, buns, tomatos, apples, bananas, yogurt, celery (one of my least favorite vegetables, but I have an idea), salad dressing, milk, clamato and pop.

I've got some bell peppers that my mom gave me, and some additional chicken, beef and frozen veggies that will get us to next week.

Total spent $39.39

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Mighty Life List - Dandelion Greens

As I mentioned in my last post, number 108 on my Mighty Life List is to try 10 foods I've never had before.

I picked up the first one on Sunday, Dandelion Greens. Organic Dandelion Greens.

These have never really appealed to me to be honest because I have heard they are quite bitter. But I saw them and figured why not?

Dandelion greens are really quite good for you. They are high in Vitamins A, C and K and are a source of Calcium and Iron. Suggested uses are as a leaf in salads, or boiled, sauteed or steamed.

Vicki from A Work in Progress kindly shared her recipe for them, and it goes like this:

Boil the greens in salted boiling water for 1-2 minutes (I got interrupted and mine boiled more like 7 minutes). Drain and rinse with cold water. Squeeze with your hands to remove water.

Heat some olive oil over medium heat in a skillet. Add garlic (I used 5 cloves) and a pinch of hot pepper flakes. Cook until the garlic is fragrant. Add the greens, stir and cook until the greens are heated through. Season with salt and pepper.

Vicki suggests topping with some parmesan cheese which I forgot to do. I wish I had. I will next time.

These were pretty good! There was a slight bitterness to them, but I really liked the garlic and peppers. I ate these with some leftover mishmash foods, but I could see this going really well with some pasta (again as suggested by Vicki) or a steak or pork chop.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

FNCCC - Rachael Ray

It's Rachael Ray's week at Sarah's Food Network Chefs Cooking Challenge.

Love her or hate her, you've got to admit that the woman has amassed an incredible amount of recipes. I have made a lot of her recipes the past few years. A good number of them have been pretty tasty too.

But I think that this one might be the best Rachael Ray recipe I've made -

It's a beautifully seasoned turkey patty with a olive, tomato and cucumber salad. There was supposed to be spinach in the salad as well, but I forgot to add it. The problem is, I made this a few weeks ago and I can't find the recipe. I can't remember where I found it, or its name. I do remember that it wasn't made with turkey in the original recipe; I subbed that in because I found some ground turkey in the freezer. Argh.

So I bit the bullet and found another recipe to make for FNCCC. And this time I made sure to mark the magazine page so I could share it with you!

Behold the deliciously wonderful Beef and Bean Burrito Burger. This was so good! Ground beef mixed with black beans, brown rice, cumin, coriander, and served with guacamole. I skipped the bun (cough DIET! cough ha, nice try Sara, who am I kidding) and served it with chopped tomato. and salsa.

I really enjoyed this and it does taste like a burrito. I made 6 patties, not 4 as the recipe calls for. 4 would have been insanely huge. We will have these again for sure.

Recipe: Beef 'n Bean Burrito Burgers

ps - if anyone knows the recipe for that first burger, let me know!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Grocery Shop, April 4

I stopped at the grocery store this morning because I thought I was running low on milk. I picked up some random stuff, no meals planned at all with this bunch of groceries. I got:

whole wheat pita, kale, pineapple, pomegranate apple juice, milk, noodles, hummus, frozen dumplings, sushi, one kosher dill pickle, baby oragel (my baby! is 4 months old! wearing 9-12 month clothes! and may be teething!), and dandelion greens.

The dandelion greens are part of my mighty life list (108 Try 1 new food a week for 10 weeks), and I have no idea what I will do with them. Any suggestions? Email or Twitter me!

The dumplings and sushi are to satisfy my craving for sushi and chinese food I've had for weeks. I can't wait to crack into the sushi for lunch and dinner tomorrow. The rest, I'll just have to make it all fall into place.

Total $44.10