Thursday, November 29, 2007

Baked Wonton Chips

I made a stir fry tonight, and Cooking Light suggested baking wonton wrappers to make chips.....It was great! This is what I did:

1/2 package round wontons
olive oil spray (I use a misto sprayer)
garlic salt

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a baking sheet with olive oil. Place wonton wrappers on the tray and spray with olive oil. Shake garlic salt on top and bake for about 8 minutes until golden.

Yum, yum, yum!!

Monday, November 26, 2007

One Year Anniversary!

I can hardly believe that it's already been a year since I started this blog. Reflecting back on this year, I can see that my blog ended up not being what I thought it would be and that it has offered what I didn't imagine.

I envisioned this blog to be a resource for Ayurvedic recipes and that each recipe would contain nutritional information. Instead, it has become a log of the meals created throughout the year, through the seasons, and my cravings, whims, and successes and failures. I have to say that I am the opposite of many people when it comes to cooking. Rather than getting bored with the same dishes, I tend to make different meals all the time. Because of this, my husband and I can't remember what dishes I made that were better than others, and I don't give myself a chance to perfect anything. Now that I have a year's worth of seasonal dishes, I have proof of recipes I can come back to and try again to make better the next time around.

I found that my most vocal audience are my friends and other friendly pescetarians out there. Thank you to everyone for your comments and to my husband and friends at work for photography tips. I never thought I would like taking shots so much, and it wasn't until I started taking the pictures that I realized how difficult it can be to make a nice image. I also never realized that food photos are so different from other kinds of shots.

So here's to another year of recipes, photos, stories, and ideas. Hope to see you there!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving!! I want to post what we had this year, because it was a bit untraditional and fed 5 people for dinner and lunch perfectly. There's no need to find creative and alternate ways to eat your turkey this year.

My parents drove up here from Santa Barbara and brought with them a pork roast marinated in a chipotle sauce. They also brought wine, a potato-sweet potato hash, and orange cranberry sauce. My brother brought a pumpkin and apple pie, and we made:

Baked Brussel Sprouts - I will post this family recipe later and soon.
Spinach and Apple Salad with Crispy Almonds
Pumpkin Pie (with no eggs or evaporated milk, the best pumpkin pie I've had yet) - this pie will be posted soon and will probably become my dish for our holiday potluck at work.
Bourbon Pecan Pie with chocolate drizzles - As most of the reviewers suggested, I also increased the amount of chocolate from 1/2 ounce to 1 ounce and would increase the pecans to a full cup or more. I hate store-bought crusts, so I made a homemade butter and shortening crust. The bourbon flavor was good, but make sure you buy good bourbon. I used Knob Creek Small Batch Bourbon. Next year, I will probably try an egg-less and corn syrup-less pecan pie from Heaven's Banquet and may try to incorporate the bourbon and chocolate into that recipe. We'll see!

Chocolate-Bourbon Pecan Pie

Alternative Thanksgiving Vegetarian Main Dishes
Personally, I am not a fan of fake meat. I think you should either eat meat or not, and this is probably because I'm not a fan of processed foods. The fewer ingredients an ingredient contains, the better, in my opinion. So, when choosing a Thanksgiving main dish, I want to nourish my family and guests with food I've made from scratch with single, stable ingredients. For all the vegetarians out there, here are some vegetarian main courses we've had a lot of luck with in the past. Most Thanksgiving side dishes don't contain meat and are perfect as they are. Posts will come soon:

Wild Rice and Mushroom Brioche with Buttered Shallot and Wine Sauce
Mushroom and Caramelized-Shallot Strudel
Lasagna with Fall Vegetables, Gruyère, and Sage Béchamel

Other ideas can be found here:
Cooking Light and Southern Living Vegetarian Thanksgiving Menus - Full menus if you want it all laid out for you in advance.
In a Vegetarian Kitchen with Nava Atlas - Some great mix and match ideas with recipes included.
Fabulous Foods Thanksgiving - There are some great looking main dishes here.

When a Non-Vegetarian Cook Hosts a Vegetarian Guest - A great resource when you're not quite sure what to do when you've invited a vegetarian to your traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

All this information is a bit late for Thanksgiving planning this year, but I hope it will pop up again next year when we're not sure what to do! Again, Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Sweet Italian Sausage, Escarole, and Rice Soup

I'm posting a recipe that can have meat in it, but I think making the usual substitutions will make it yummy, as well. Ever since we got back from Brazil, my husband and I have been eating meat occasionally. So unfortunately, we can no longer say that we are officially pescetarian. Even though we normally eat vegetarian, I feel wrong saying that I'm even pescetarian. But, I will do my best to post only recipes that vegetarians or pescetarians would be interested to try. Let me know if you have recipe suggestions or would like to see more of a certain kind of recipe.

This is a quick and satisfying soup that fit the bill when I wasn't feeling so well. This is actually a soup I made up while in the grocery store, based on my cravings at the moment. I was pleasantly surprised!! Sorry, no picture this time. We ate it too quickly!

Sweet Italian Sausage, Escarole, and Rice Soup
Serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, minced
3 sweet Italian sausages, sliced (Tofurky Italian sausages are a very yummy substitute! If you used Tofurky, I suggest adding a teaspoon of fennel seeds with the sausage for extra flavor)
6 small roma tomatoes, sliced
1 bunch escarole, cleaned and sliced
4 cups chicken or light-colored veggie broth
1/2 cup rice

Heat olive oil in a large pot and add garlic. Saute until fragrant. Add sausage and cook until browned and heated through. Add the tomatoes, and cook until the tomatoes are heated through. Add the escarole and cook until starting to wilt. Add broth and bring to a boil. Add rice. Reduce to a simmer and simmer for 15 minutes. Serve warm with some slices of good bread.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Pink Pearl Apple Sauce

In the beginning of Autumn, Hillview Farm had an abundance of Pink Pearl apples at the farmer's market. These cute, little apples, make a beautifully pink apple sauce that is sweet and tart and melds wonderfully with a little butter and thyme. I used the apple sauce to top my Swedish pancakes, and the sweetness proved to be much healthier and more satisfying than topping the pancakes with syrup!!

This recipe is derived from a generic recipe in a cookbook my friend gave me for my birthday, "The San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market Cookbook."

Swedish Pancakes Topped with Pink Pearl Apple Sauce

Pink Pearl Apple Sauce
Makes as much as you want

Pink Pearl apples, cored, peeled and sliced (I used about 2 pounds)
Apple juice
1-2 tablespoons butter
Fresh thyme

Place apple slices in a heavy post and pour in apple juice to reach halfway up the apples. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until apples are tender about 20 to 30 minutes. Add the butter and any sugar, salt, or thyme to taste. I you want a chunky apple sauce, you can serve it, as is. Or, if you want a smoother apple sauce, blend slightly with a hand blender or with a food mill.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Easy Lime Mousse

The acid in the lime juice makes the cream congeal, so no cooking is necessary. It’s as easy as mixing and refrigerating! This is fantastic as a refreshing dessert.

Lime Mousse

Easy Lime Mousse
2 cups

4 limes, squeezed
1 can condensed milk
1 cup whipping cream

Mix all ingredients in a food processor or blender and refrigerate before serving.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Orange-yogurt muffins

These are eggless muffins that require some sort of acid to raise the bread. Citric acid, buttermilk, or yogurt can do the trick. Here, both the orange juice and low fat yogurt work together to make a chewy muffin with a crispy outside.

Orange-yogurt muffins

Orange-yogurt muffins
Makes 12

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup white, unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest
3/4 cup yogurt (can mix part with water if the yogurt is very thick)
3/4 cup orange juice

Mix together dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not overmix. Spoon batter into a buttered muffin pan. Bake for 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Favorite Banana Bread

This is a derived recipe from the Joy of Cooking. We like to add more bananas, and I mix the ingredients differently to save time. The result is a very moist banana bread that really tastes like fresh bananas!

In this picture, I doubled the recipe to use a whole bunch of bananas. We usually eat this for breakfast with some plain yogurt.


My Favorite Banana Bread
Makes 1 loaf

1 1/3 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
5 1/3 teaspoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
3 bananas, mashed with a fork

Combine butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat until light in color and texture. Add flour, salt, baking soda and powder and beat until the consistency of brown sugar. Beat in eggs. Fold in the mashed banana. Pour batter into a greased loaf pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for one hour. Allow to cool slightly before turning the loaf out of the pan. Store wrapped in foil in the refrigerator.
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