Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Mini Cake Doughnut Muffins
1/2 cup milk (OR buttermilk)
1/3 cup butter, melted (can use margarine, but why, oh, why would you do such a thing?)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I use 3/4 cup white and 3/4 cup whole wheat)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 T butter, melted
Cinnamon Sugar (1/3 granulated sugar + 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
Preheat oven to 350F. In large bowl, beat egg, buttermilk, 1/3 cup melted butter, sugar and vanilla. Stir in flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg; mix until just blended. Spoon into greased mini muffin cups. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden. While warm, brush tops with melted butter and roll in cinnamon sugar. Devour. (But they're good cold too.)
Makes 24 mini muffins.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Yes, he's tall, dark and handsome. He's sweet and spicy and his scent drives me wild. He adds depth to every dish he meets. He warms up my winter soups and stews. And, yes, for those of you who are still wondering, I am simply mad about my bay tree. ;)
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
4 – 5 fist-sized red potatoes, peeled and cut into 2- inch chunks
¾ cup milk, or more to desired consistency
½ tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
1 medium onion, diced (about 2 cups)
1 pound package ground turkey*
1 tablespoon dried basil
½ tablespoon dried oregano
½ tablespoon dried thyme
1 cup chopped carrots, about 3- 4 medium carrots
1 cup chopped green bell pepper, about one medium pepper
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup frozen green peas
2½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or to taste)
¼ cup wheat germ
1½ cup finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
2 -3 steamed baby carrots, for garnish (optional)
sprigs of parsley, for garnish (optional)
Directions: Preheat oven to 350oF. Spray a 2-quart deep casserole lightly with cooking spray and set aside.
Make your Mashed Potatoes: Peel and quarter potatoes, place in saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook potatoes until tender, about 12 minutes or until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Drain potatoes and place in bowl of stand mixer or other mixing bowl for mashing. Cut butter into cubes and drop into potatoes. Start mixer on medium speed and add parmesan cheese. Drizzle in milk until potatoes are uniformly mashed, stiff and fluffy. Reduce speed and add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Make your hash while the potatoes are cooking: Dice onion and add to pan over medium-high heat. Cover and cook for 2 -3 minutes or until onion is sweating. Add ground turkey*, cover and cook until thoroughly browned, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally with a spatula to break up turkey. When onions and turkey are browned, reduce heat to medium and stir in basil, oregano and thyme. Stir in carrots, cover and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in chopped green peppers, cover and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, or until carrots and green peppers are tender-crisp. Add peas and corn, cover and cook about 3 minutes until warmed through. Remove pan from heat and stir in cider vinegar and wheat germ. Stir in 1 cup of finely-shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste and adjust vinegar to taste. Pour turkey mixture into casserole dish and spread evenly. Spread mashed potatoes to completely cover turkey mixture. Sprinkle remaining ½ cup of finely-shredded sharp cheddar cheese over top of potatoes. Sprinkle paprika lightly over top of cheese. Bake uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes, or until turkey mixture is bubbling and potatoes are lightly browned and cheese is melted. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes before devouring madly. If serving a crowd, garnish with steamed whole baby carrots and a little parsley, arranged to look like a little bunch of carrots. However, the lightly-browned potatoes, melted cheese and paprika on top of a lovely casserole dish also makes for a simple yet elegant presentation and no further garnish is necessary.
*Since this dish started out vegetarian, I thought I should add that peeling and cubing (1/2" to 3/4") a good-sized eggplant and substituting it for the turkey will work just fine. In fact, the eggplant takes up all of the flavors so beautifully, I sometimes wonder why I started using turkey at all!
Servings: Makes 8 hearty servings.
Finished, but not baked. Isn't it lovely???
Thursday, September 17, 2009
It's the first cool rainy day of the Fall season and I've not been motivated to do much today. I did, however, find a bit of inspiration in looking out my window: The last of my fresh basil, and I know just the recipe to use some of it up. A nice, hot bowl of Pasta e Fagioli with some crusty bread is just perfect for days like today.
1 cup ditalini pasta
2 T. olive oil
1 onion, minced
1 celery stalk, minced
1 carrot, minced
1/2 lb smoked ham, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes, including liquid
2 (15-oz) cans cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups beef stock
1 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
dash ground black pepper
rind from a piece of Parmesan cheese
Fresh basil (optional)
Parmesan cheese (optional)
In a large stockpot, heat the oil. Add the onion, celery, and carrot and saute for 5 minutes. Add ham and garlic and cook, stirring, for one minute. Add tomatoes, beans, beef stock, thyme, bay leafand parmesan rind. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Add ditalini pasta and simmer until pasta is tender, about 9 minutes. Serve with a garnish of fresh basil* and parmesan cheese.
*Recommended technique: Chiffonade the basil leaves just before garnishing the soup. Lay several basil leaves one on top of the other. Roll into a cylinder. With a sharp knife, make thin slices of basil. Unroll slices and use them for garnish. If making this soup for a crowd, or if basil is out of season, sprinkle the top of the soup with a bit of dried basil just before serving.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Still not sure what this blog is going to be about, but Joe turning one tomorrow got me thinking it might just be time to lose some more of this baby weight. And, because I have no shame:
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Yes, in fact, we DO need a public option in any healthcare reform bill. Contact your representatives and tell 'em about it.
1. Your crystal ball says that you're going to just drop dead and you really won't need any end-of-life care or all of that silly stuff you might need when you get old and have health problems.
2. You've been oh-so-careful and scrimped and saved and there is NO WAY anything could happen to you that might make you unable to afford good health insurance. Not ever.
3. You plan to leave for Planet Claire on Monday, so you won't be using your current coverage anyway.
4. You are certain you will never get cancer, Alzheimer's or any other illness that might create a need for prolonged care. Because, you know, you're YOU.
So, if you don't fall into one of those categories, please contact your representatives and tell them that you would like to see a public option included in reforming our oh-so-fucked-up healthcare system.
To make it easy, if you live in NC:
An online form to send comments to Senator DICK Burr. *ahem* I mean, Richard Burr:
An online form to send comments to Senator Kay Hagan:
If you're not sure who your congressfolks are:
And if you live in Durham:
Email contact form for our most awesome Rep. David Price:
(Sorry for those who live in the NC 5th District. Since Virginia Foxx probably can't read, she probably doesn't have email either!)
And what might you say? Keep it simple:
We need a public option in any healthcare reform bill. The private sector has had decades to show they can do this right and they haven't, all the while raking in obscene profits while people are denied care and are dying. If they can't compete, too bad. We need a public option, one that gives American citizens access to affordable healthcare.
Write your own letter about the MANY MANY reasons we need a public option.
Thanks so much. Do contact your representatives as soon as possible if you don't want to see the public option eliminated from the health care reform bill. Or, worse, if you want to see a "new and improved" healthcare reform bill written by big insurance companies, errr, I mean, Republicans.