Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas COOKIE Time Is Here!

I feel like I've dipped my toes far enough into the blogging world that it's time for me to take on my first blog project..drum roll please...

25 Days of Christmas Cookies!

Yes my dear friends and faithful followers. For the first 25 days of December I will baking a different kind of cookie. That's right...a different kind of cookie. Everyday. It will be challenging. It will be messy. But more than that, it will be joyful and merry and bright!! I am so excited to share this with you and can't wait to get baking! I will gladly welcome any and all prayers for peace and sanity, because during this time I will also be getting ready to move away from the lovely Moor House, in preparation for my trip to Italy this coming spring (which I will also be blogging about!) Until then, I will be soaking up every last drop of goodness that my darling roommates provide. 

I hope you enjoy this series, and follow along this crazy adventure! Blessings to All!


pizza per favore...

This is it...my first post with meat! Of course you don't have to put the meat on the pizza, but prosciutto is really delicious on it and the saltiness of that and the parmigiana (that's a little Italiano for ya..) really compliment the sweetness of the baked pears...yum...

Triple "P" Pizza

Preheat oven to 450F. Brush the pizza crust with olive oil. Top with mixed greens, cheese, prosciutto, and sliced pear. Drizzle balsamic on top. Lower oven temperature to 425F. Place pizza directly on the rack and bake for about 14 minutes (I recommend placing a cookie sheet under the pizza just in case it drips). This dish is definitely accented with a nice glass of vino, good company, and Christmas lights...Buon Appetito!

Roomie Reactions...
Megan: "Mmmm...it's really good!"

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! It's been awhile since my last post and I thought today was a perfect day to get back in the game...it is a day that has come to evolve around food after all! So, whether you eat meat or not, every Thanksgiving main needs some delicious sides to compliment it. Today, (not including the SPIKED Apple Cider that is currently bubbling on the stove...) I am making sauteed carrots. These carrots are delicious - not so overdone that they are no longer recognizable, but fancied up enough to go beyond rabbit food (no offense to Dwight the Moor Bunny). It is inspired by Sauteed Baby Carrots and Parsnips, but slightly adapted and only using carrots. The first time I made this, I also sauteed tofu with the carrots and it turned out really well too! I hope you have an abundantly blessed Thanksgiving!

Honey and Rosemary Sauteed Carrots
tilt head to right for actual setting...
  • 1lb carrots, cut into coins (the big carrots, not the babies)
  • 1-2TBS olive oil
  • 2 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
  • garlic salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2TBS honey
Heat oil over medium heat. Add carrots in a single layer, allow to cook for about a minute. Add rosemary and salt and pepper. Saute, turning carrots until almost tender. Drizzle honey over the top of the carrots and continue to saute until each side develops a nice caramelized crust. Enjoy!

Roommate Reactions...
Megan: "That's the best carrot I've ever had."

Monday, November 14, 2011

it was a dark and stormy night...

...and Megan and Lauren had just danced their fannies off. With very little sleep the night before and no nap, Megan was in no mood to cook. On the other hand, Lauren had also had very little sleep, but had taken a brief nap and was comforted by cooking anyway, so she set out to make a deliciously, warm meal for the two of them  to share. It was an adventure, and she didn't know what lied around the corner, but she knew it was something she had to do. And so...

Quinoa Stuffed Eggplant and Balsamic Roasted Asparagus
serves 2

For Quinoa Stuffed Eggplant

  • 1 large eggplant, cut in half lengthwise 
  • 1-2 TBS olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 TBS Italian seasoning 
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
Bring 1 cup water to a boil. Add quinoa and reduce heat. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until the grains are translucent (for great quinoa cooking instructions see a quiet morning on the moor front). Meanwhile...

Preheat oven to 350F. Scoop out inner flesh of eggplant so there is about 1/2 inch left around the edge and middle. Set scooped out flesh aside. Drizzle each half with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Set the halves aside. 

Heat 1-2 TBS olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes. Chop onion and the inside of the eggplant halves. Add both of these to the garlic and cook until onion is translucent. Add 1 TBS Italian seasoning and cook for another minute or two. Remove from heat

When quinoa is done, add it to the saucepan with the eggplant and onion. Mix in nutritional yeast until everything is blended. Scoop mixture equally into eggplant halves. Bake on a baking sheet at 350F for 40 minutes.

For Balsamic Roasted Asparagus
  • 8-10 stalks of asparagus
  • 1-2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 TBS Italian seasoning
  • 1-2 TBS Balsamic vinegar
Cut white ends off asparagus. Place asparagus stalks in a small baking dish and drizzle with olive oil, seasoning, and Balsamic. When there are about 20 minutes left for the eggplant, add asparagus to the oven. 

Remove everything when finished cooking, top the eggplant with a little drizzle Balsamic and a sprinkle of Parmesan (if desired)...and of course, vino is always welcome...

Roomie Reactions...

Megan: "I really like it! I've never had asparagus before, this is good!"

Thursday, November 10, 2011

curried lentil and yam chistoup...

Yes, you read that right and no, it's not a spelling error...this is a chistoup. It's kind of a mix between a chili, stew, and soup. The recipe is an adaptation of this recipe from Dinner with Julie. It's a rough adaptation - more like, inspired by. I think one of my favorite things about this dish is how low maintenance it is. Put everything in a pot, let it boil, turn it down, and do whatever you need to do (in my case, frantically take a shower and pray that our house gnomes don't turn up the heat and make my chistoup explode). I'm going to remake more tomorrow using carrots instead of yams, but I really recommend yams because..well you all know my love affair with yams...

Curried Lentil and Yam Chistoup
serves 1 as a main dish

  • 1-2 TBS olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1/3 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp. powdered or grated ginger
  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • 2-3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 medium yam, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup dried lentils
  • 1/2 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 tsp. dried bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup feta
  • 1/4 cup raisins
Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add ginger and curry powder, stir over heat for about 1 minute. Pour in vegetable broth, lentils, all vegetables, and bay leaves. Add salt and pepper as desired. Bring to a boil, then lower heat. Let simmer for about 30 minutes, until all veggies and lentils are tender. 

There will be excess broth which you can leave in if you want it more soup-like, but I poured off the excess liquid and saved it (for tomorrow). Pour the whole she-bang into your serving dish of choice and mix in raisins (if using) - they add a nice sweet contrast against the spice from the curry powder and ginger. Sprinkle feta over the top and there you have it...chistoup!!! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

some soup for me...

"Legend has it, when the Santa Ana's blow, all bets are off. Anything can happen." 

I believe it - it's November 2, balmy and warm outside, and all I want is to curl up with some soup and a good movie. So, I did...

Santa Ana Black Bean and Roasted Red Pepper Soup
serves 1 as a main
  • 1-2 TBS olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp. dried (or fresh) parsley
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • about 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • about 1 cup black beans
Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute until lightly browned. Toss in parsley and cumin, let cook for about 2 minutes. Add vegetable broth and bell peppers, let cook for 5-7 minutes. Finally, add black beans and cook for another 5ish minutes. Remove from heat and pour into blender or food processor and blend until smooth...mostly smooth. Top with whatever the wind blows your way, for me it was sliced avocado, green onions, and black olives. Don't blow away!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

warm fall veggie salad..

Fall and yams..these are a few of my favorite things! Roasted yams are so delicious and go so well with fall - and they make the house smell amazing regardless of what you roast them with. So, as the weather cools off (finally...hopefully..) enjoy these roasted veggies for a yummy and nutritious meal!

Warm Fall Veggie Salad
serves 1 as a main or 2 as a side

  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 TBS cinnamon
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 TBS honey
  • 2-3 TBS balsamic vinegar
  • 2-3 TBS olive oil
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1-2 cups spinach leaves, rinsed
  • 1 medium yam
  • half of a red bell pepper
  • 5 medium asparagus stalks
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • sprinkle of feta or goat cheese
  • 1/5 block firm tofu, pressed 
Preheat oven to 400F. Mix all ingredients for dressing in a small bowl and set aside. Wash and cut yam into cubes, toss in dressing, and pour onto baking sheet lined with foil (save excess dressing). Roast at 400F for about 35min. Chop red bell pepper and asparagus and toss in leftover dressing. Add to yams when there are about 20min. left. If adding tofu, save some dressing, toss the tofu in it, and add to the yams with the other veggies - just make sure the tofu is separated from the veggies. 

While waiting for the veggies to roast, place the spinach leaves on a plate. 

When the veggies are done cooking, remove from oven. Allow to cool briefly, then pour on top of the bed of spinach. To finish, sprinkle raisins and cheese (if using) over the salad, and pour any extra dressing over the top...enjoy!