Archive for the ‘food’ Category

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ill-natured ribbing

4 May 2010

Two things, since it’s late:

1. Six inches of ribbing is about five inches too many. I’m about to mutiny on my new project at 5 1/2 inches in.

2. I tried a new brownie recipe tonight and it fell short of the mark. Probably my own fault for overbaking, but still annoying.

Better luck tommorrow.

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it wasn’t meant to be

16 March 2010

I could post a mini-diatribe about the plan I had for yesterday, which was to blog using my phone (because we were in St. Louis for the day). I could discuss why that didn’t work, but that would just be frustrating.

So instead I will talk about this lasagna.

I don’t have a picture, because it doesn’t necessarily photograph well, but this is definitely the best new recipe I’ve tried this year. I know, I know: squash is an autumnal veggie. Let’s think outside the box, please? You’ll be glad you did.

Modified from Martha Stewart Oct. 2008

  • 3 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed fresh sage leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
  • no-boil lasagna noodles (I prefer Trader Joe’s brand or Barilla)
  • 4 ounces grated Parmesan cheese (1 1/4 cups)
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss squash, oil, and 1 teaspoon salt on a baking sheet. Season with pepper. Bake until light gold and tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees. Combine ricotta, cream, yolks, mozzarella, and a pinch of nutmeg in a medium bowl (I chop all of these in the food processor as well). Season with salt.
  3. Melt butter in a small saute pan over medium-high heat. As soon as it starts to sizzle, add sage, and cook until light gold and slightly crisp at edges, 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Place squash in a medium bowl, and mash 1/2 of it with the back of a wooden spoon, leaving the other 1/2 in whole pieces (I tend to puree all of it in the processor because I like the smoother texture). Gently stir in sage-butter mixture and stock. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Spread 3/4 cup of ricotta mixture in a 9-cup baking dish. Top with a layer of noodles. Spread 1/2 of the butternut squash mixture over noodles. Top with a layer of noodles. Spread 1 cup of ricotta mixture over noodles. Repeat layering once more (noodles, squash, noodles, ricotta). Sprinkle Parmesan over ricotta mixture.
  6. Place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake until cheese is golden and bubbling, 30 to 35 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
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Geburtstag? Nein, Geburtswoch!

13 March 2010

So, the Professor’s birthday has been properly fĂȘted. The festivities included, but were not limited to: cake (and I realized I forgot to link to the recipe, sorry), a poker game, dinner, chocolate, dinner, a movie, and lunch.

So how did we kick these celebrations off? With dinner, of course.

Menu (and recipes) to be found in the April 2010 issue of Martha Stewart Living (I did look for a link, but couldn’t find one). This may be the perfect early spring dinner: roast chicken with green onions, goat-cheese potato salad, and sugar-snap peas in lemon juice and olive oil. I did simplify the potato salad a bit (no celery), but it was still delicious.

Now, I have a question: does anyone else’s house fill with smoke when they roast a chicken? This doesn’t happen when I cook any other foods, so I know it’s not a dirty oven. Is there something inherently smoky about chicken? I’d love to be able to serve this kind of meal to guests, but I think the fumes would kind of put a damper on the evening. If you have any tips, I’d love to hear them.

Because you know I’m going to be making this again!

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Geburtstag

10 March 2010

Today was a rather significant birthday for the Professor. He is bearing up well and has managed to extend the festivities for over a week. Tonight we went to a new restaurant to celebrate: Pizzology. Not bad. But we are really looking forward to Friday, when we will celebrate at our favorite Indy restaurant.

I hope the Prof. has been enjoying himself. I find that he is improving with age.

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back on the horse

9 March 2010

Well, you know what they say. If you fall off…

Moving on!

Can I recommend a dinner menu? Yes, I can! Mac and cheese, pickles, red wine, and chocolate cake. Do I have a picture? No I do not, because I ate it before it could be photographed.

Oh wait. I did get a shot of the cake.

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spring mix

2 May 2009

dscn1625

Last night, the professor and I went out to First Friday, a gallery walk downtown. We were running late, and we needed a quick supper before we left. This fit the bill.

Goat Cheese Salad with Lemon-Honey Vinaigrettedscn1616

For the dressing:

1/4 cup olive oil

juice of one lemon

1 tablespoon honey

salt and pepper to taste

For the salad:

Mixed greens

Half of a pear, roughly choppeddscn1619

1/3 cup pecan halves

2 oz. goat cheese

1/3 cup dried cherries

Toast the pecans in a dry pan until warm and fragrant. Meanwhile, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Toss the greens with about 1/2 of the dressing mixture (you’ll have enough left over for two more salads). Divide the dressed greens into two bowls and divide the pear, cherries, and goat cheese between the bowls. Add half of the pecans to each bowl. Serves two.

We returned from the gallery walk with a solar etching by Jennifer Li and some chocolates from the shop next door to the gallery. Add some sparkling wine, music, and candlelight…what a lovely night!

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brioche french toast

11 February 2009

dscn1481This is what we ate for breakfast yesterday morning. Utterly delicious, and unlike pancakes or muffins, it took about ten minutes from thought to plate. Want to make your own? Here’s what I did:

Brioche French Toast (serves one or two)

Ingredients:

  • four slices of brioche (I used day-old from this lovely bakery, but you can make your own…)
  • four eggs
  • a splash of vanilla
  • cinnamon-sugar (I mix this myself, but I think you can buy it as well)
  • a bit of butter
  • blackberries for serving, or some other fruit or sauce of your choice

To Make:

  1. Heat a nonstick skillet or frying pan to medium heat, until water droplets sizzle before they evaporate
  2. Beat the eggs and vanilla together in a wide shallow dish.
  3. For each piece of french toast, dredge both sides of the brioche slice in the egg batter and fry in the pan, flipping once, until lightly browned on both sides. Remove to a warm plate, spread one side lightly with butter, and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar.
  4. Continue until you have run out of brioche slices (you can easily increase this recipe; I used one egg for every slice of brioche).
  5. Eat quickly, topped with blackberries or something else delicious!

I suggest coffee with this (as you can see from the photograph).