Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pizza, again...

 JW can always eat an entire pizza himself.  Today, he really wanted a pizza.  The dough I had in the fridge had an expiration date from 2 weeks ago, so I tossed it, and grabbed the Pilsbury baking book.

1 1/2 cups flour
1 t salt
1 t sugar
1 packet quick yeast
garlic powder, oregano
add 1 cup of 120 degree hot water and 2 T olive oil and mix in another 1/2 cup of flour

mix until it starts pulling away from the bowl. knead with another 1/4 cup of flour

put it in a warm space (80 degree) for 30 minutes, under saran wrap and cotton towel

then punch out the bubbles and spread on a greased pan (or split into two pies).

Bake for 15 minutes. Then spread on sauce and toppings and cheese and bake for 20 minutes more.

Today, I used chopped onion and green pepper from the CSA. After adding the shredded mozzarella and ricotta, I added some fresh basil.
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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The best brussels sprouts and a pretty great salad

So, I bought a Brussels Sprout stalk at WF, and now will be eating a million sprouts for the next month.

No problem.

So, this time, I didn't feel like I did much different then normal, but they just tasted so nice!  I sliced them in half and added them to the saute pan.  I added two pats of butter, and warmed them with salt and pepper.  They began to brown nicely, and I continued to turn them.

Like I said, just like normal.  I think having them be so fresh was the difference.

Along with the sprouts, we got a huge box of veggies from the CSA, and I wanted to take advantage while they were fresh.  I ended up making another soup, because, it's just fast!

Onion, garlic, tomato, carrots, fennel, green beans, chard... I also added some of the chicken left over from roasting on Sunday and some brown rice, and lots of broth and a bay leaf.  It tasted very fresh, and I liked that about it. JW wasnt impressed. Fine by me, I call leftovers!

He did like the salad I made though.  I like to use the CSA lettuce within the first day or two because it wilts quickly!  I sliced and washed the red leaf lettuce, diced an apple from the farm, and some red onion and mozzarella.  I layered it in a bowl, and by then, the apple was already start to brown, so I sprayed lemon juice over it.  Drizzled on some Ken's lite Caesar dressing that JW LOVES and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

I also took some of the mashed squash, and attempted to make squash cakes, but it was more like browned squash... it was still tasty.

I have real pictures of all the dishes, but my internet is being SLOW, so another day. I had to take them with a camera instead of my phone this time, because it died... check back soon!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Potato Leek Soup take two

We had so many leftovers in the house, that I couldn't make any more stuff! But then again, I was sick of eating all the leftovers!

So, I made something new from the leftovers.  I took the potato leek soup, and turned it into corn chowder.

I added frozen corn and butter to the pan, and sauteed it.  I sprinkled in some red pepper flakes, and then poured in the leftover potato leek soup.  It thickened in storage, so I poured in some milk.

It was really tasty, and new!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Garlic, it's what's for dinner: pork, potato leek soup, and kale

Garlic. The start to any good meal. Wine. The end of any good meal. Oh, wait. That could also be dessert, but I'm drinking my dessert tonight.

Tonight's meal, started with a pork tenderloin I mentioned in another post.  A simple, premarindaded garlic and herb tenderloin, cooked at 425 for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a pot somewhere north of the pork, I added 1/2 a stick of butter, garlic, and chopped one leek (from the CSA).   I added 4 or 5 washed but not peeled, chunked potatoes, and 4 cups of chicken stock to cover it all. I boiled it and then simmered for 20 minutes or so, until the pork was done.

While the soup was simmering, I blanched some kale in water. (I heard that takes bitterness out of greens. The kale didnt taste bitter, but why not?) I drained it, added a bit of butter, garlic (and then added more to the soup too), and a splash of vinegar.  Sauteed the greens a bit more.

I took the pork out of the oven, and let it stand a few, while I added the potato to the blender and pureed it.  I added it back to the pot with about 2 cups of milk, rinsing out the blender with it.  I also added a scoop of ricotta cheese, for some reason, and a sprinkling of mozzarella cheese. I added S&P and some parsley.

I scooped up the soup, sliced the pork, and dished up the greens. What a great meal!

Vegetarians come for Chili and Phillie...s.

Since we have corny cable and only get certain channels in HD, we can't have people over to watch the Phillies except for certain postseason games. ie terrible Joe Buck and Fox.

So, we hosted our friends on Wednesday to watch a nerve-racking game against the Giants.  Since many of our friends are vegetarian, I always opt for veggie chili!

W's Veggie Chili:
1 T olive oil
Veggie crumble (normally like Morning Star, but this time I got Gimme Lean "sausage")- optional
diced carrots
diced celery
diced onion
diced garlic
Added to a pot to cook
cans of beans: 2 cans red kidney and 2 cans black. I also would have liked 2 cans of dark red kidney, but I forgot.
1 large can of tomatoes
1 small can of tomato paste
then add 4 cups of stock, using it to rinse out the tomato cans into the pot

bay leaf, cumin, chili powder, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, garlic powder, cayenne pepper

I cooked a pot of brown rice, and served the chili over the rice with sour cream mixed with greek yogurt and some cheese.

I also made 2 pizzas!  The crust was finally PERFECT on the onion and green pepper.  The toppings were better on the spinach, tomato, ricotta, but the crust was a little raw still :(

So- I monitored the pizzas this time, using TJs dough for around 20 minutes.  I left it out to room temperature for 40  minutes or so and it stretch a LITTLE easier.  Sprinkled cornmeal on the pan, Then laid down the dough.  Spread 1/4c of sauce, garlic powder and oregano.  Then I put on the spinach and 1 chopped tomato.  Then added piles of ricotta and sprinkled on shredded mozzarella.  Sprinkled on some fresh basil.

For the other, I did the same dough and sauce, but added the shredded mozzarella and then chopped green pepper and onion.  Keep checking it so the crust is brown, but not burnt.  Still fluffy on top :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Coconut curried chicken

This recipe is one of my favorites, another I enjoy from @BT.  I find out tonight, however, that JW doesn't really like it.  But, I figured out a way around it. He's weird. Let's just keep that in mind.

So, I started with poaching chicken over the weekend (my new favorite thing, but you can use raw chicken just fine).

Can't you just read the ingredients from the picture?

Add the curry paste to the pan.  (If you don't have it, add some combination of curry powder/turmeric/cumin/cayenne to the meat and potatoes. Or do all of it.) Heat for a minute, and then add in the diced sweet potatoes and chicken.  Cook for several minutes.

Pour in the broth and coconut milk (I go for full fat here, much better- and I enjoy the Thai brand the best).

In another pan (maybe that is why JW hates this meal), boil salted water. Chop the bok choy and add it.  Tonight, I also added spinach from the farm share because I wasn't sure what it was at first. Heck, its green. Dice scallions and add to boiling water, if you have them.

In, yet another pan, sauté sliced shiitake mushrooms in some olive oil.  Meanwhile, drain the greens and add to the curry pot.  Reuse the pan from the greens to boil water for instant brown rice (otherwise you are using ANOTHER pan!).

Add the mushrooms to the pot as you are about to serve.  Ladle rice into a bowl, and serve curry soup on top.

AND THIS IS WHY JW doesn't like the dish.  He hates soup, unless it's served with something. (huh?!) So, to help him enjoy this dish, I don't give him much broth. I eat the broth, no problem. Or I serve a side salad.  The broth is the best part!

My camera makes everything seem orange. I don't like orange. Not during baseball season when the Phillies are playing the Giants.
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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday Scalloped Potatoes for Shane and DSG

For Phillies Sunday night baseball, we were going to CH's house for smoked ribs. Yum!

So, I wanted to make mashed potatoes.  Figured it was savory, and FAST!

JW and I spent the day running errands, hanging out at Lowe's (waiting for someone to give us a new bathroom), hanging hooks, and laying carpet tiles.

I get this text message from DSG, "Yo W! You should make scalloped potatoes :)". Really?! Are you kidding me?!  I don't want to do that.  I waited 3 1/2 hours before replying, "For you.... but they're annoying".  "Yes they are :)"

Great. Now, what was going to take 10 minutes, is now 35 minutes of hard labor and 1.5 hours in the oven. Better get started.  I peeled like 9 potatoes, and thinly sliced them. I layered them in a 13x9 pan, slightly layering.  Then, I realized, I forgot to add butter and spices in between layers.  So I slathered on nutmeg, salt, pepper, and garlic powder and then poured on several cups of milk, drizzle of olive oil and 3 T of butter cubed.  I reapplied the spices, as they (hopefully), slid into the cracks.

I added foil, and baked for an hour and 15 minutes.  I took it out because the bubbling over started burning on the oven floor.  It was soooo liquidy I took a measuring cup and poured of 3/4 of the milk and thought it was still runny, and not very appetizing.  I sprinkled tons of parmesan cheese on top and threw back in the oven.  When JW was ready to go, I took it out and reapplied foil and carted it across town.

We got to the party and LR had brownies that needed to bake, so I threw in the potatoes too.  When they came out, they seemed a lot less runny.  After checking out other online photos, I think other recipes would have been better, this one, was just too boring! Not enough butter, no onion, not enough garlic, no cheese. I mean come on. Stupid Epicurious...

This recipe would have been better:

Or why didn't I stick to All

Oh well, all my friends thought it was ok. I ate three servings. Yay Phils!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Black Bean Soup... con pollo

It's probably not a good sign that I attached these photos many days before the text, and MK asked if this was soup or dessert.  These pictures make it look super gross if you ask me, but I love this soup!

This recipe, originally, comes from a cookbook called "Not Your Mother's Weeknight Cooking." I pretty much enjoy all in this book (except for that crap dijon yogurt marinade I talked about before...).  Making the recipe this time, I decided to add some shredded chicken I had lying around.  It was fine, but the recipe is soooooo good without it, that I wished I hadn't.

Black Bean Soup (without my mess ups):
3 T olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 1/2 t curry powder
1/2 t ground coriander
2 cans (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
3 c broth
pepper, cilantro, juice of a lemon/lime (that's what I forgot!)

Heat oil and onion, carrot, and celery for 6 minutes. Add in curry powder and coriander. Add beans, broth, pepper, and cilantro.  Bring to boil.  Reduce to simmer, let cook 20 minutes.  Then, take half the chunky mixture and add to blender.  Puree and add back to the pot.  Stir in the lemon juice (that I still can't believe I forgot) and serve with Greek yogurt or sour cream!

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Popovers on the Fly

I went to Chestertown this weekend to spend sometime at Washington College, and with my grandmother, and (of course) for my father's birthday!

I decided to spend the night with my grandmother, to keep her company, and to have my own space.

After a late night of chatting, I woke up to discuss the schedule for the day, and the meals for the day!  As we decided on scrambled eggs (which she offered to make, but I realized that would be painful to watch), my mother called the house.  She told me that my grandmother had been asking everyone if they knew how to make popovers.  My grandfather, the southern man that he was, had made them every Sunday since they had been married, and she was lost without them (the popovers, mind you...).

So, it was up to me, and the Joy of Cooking, to get this to be another Sunday of popovers.  I was a little nervous, since I know a few times I made them they turned out great, and others were classified as "non-pop overs."

I knew that the oven temperature and the ingredient temperatures were always the trick.

I got out the cookbook, which lectured me on just those facts. Great. It called for ingredients all to be 75 degrees. Yeah. Not going to happen.

I melted 1 T of butter in the microwave and attempted to find a mixing bowl and muffin tins.  I buttered up the tins, about 10 cups.  I added 1 cup of milk to a bowl along with the hot butter (which I probably shouldn't have done since it curdled, but I didn't care...).  I realized, in my family, there is NO WAY there is only 1 T of butter in popovers, so I added another 1/2T, but didn't melt it.

I added 1 cup of flour and 1/4t (not measured) of salt.  Then, individually mixing, I added 2 eggs.  Immediately, "Joy" said add these to the muffin pan and throw into a 450 degree oven.  I poured the tins 3/4 of the way full, and added 1 T of water to each of the empty tins on my set of 12.

We baked the popovers for 20 minutes at 450, turned the oven down (WITHOUT OPENING IT, EVER!) to 350 to finish cooking them for 15 minutes.

I pulled them out and layered on the butter to serve.  I actually like turning them upside down and layering the butter on the inside, like a cup.

My grandmother still thought there wasn't enough butter.  And imagined that my grandfather had always used 1/2 a stick!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dad! Wilson Family Ice Box Cake

Tomorrow is my Dad's birthday, so to wish him the happiest, I'm making him the Wilson family birthday cake!

Ice Box Cake: (make 24 hours in advance)
  • Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafer Cookies (1 box should be enough for 8 people, and be prepared for $5/tiny box!)
  • Heavy Whipping Cream (1 qt)
  • sugar
  • vanilla
Beat 1 t vanilla, 1 T sugar, and 2 c heavy cream in stand mixer. (Or beat it by hand, or buy Cool Whip (like my mom).)

Spread a dollup of whipped cream on top of a cookie.  Begin to stack the cookies together and repeat layering cream and cookies.  When the pile gets high, lay it down flat in a pan.  Continue to add little stacks together. (be sure to be generous with cream, because cookies will absorb moisture and you want it to stay creamy.)

Re-whip more cream as needed.  When done, spread remaining whipped cream around top and sides.

Refrigerate over night to allow cookies to absorb moisture from cookies.

If you want to be like my friend K, shape you cake into a W, or any other initial.

Credit for idea of post goes to the other Wilson, ESW.

Apple Crisp

To start fall off right, I decided to make an apple crisp tonight.  I had some apples that I needed to use up, and I think I was looking for an excuse to turn on the oven (which is free instead of paying for electric heat). 

Pillsbury Cookbook that has been blogged earlier is the source of the recipe.  I peeled 6 apples (I like Granny Smith the best, but whatever you have...). I use a veggie peeler.  Then, I use an apple corer and slicer (should be on my gadget blog! ~$7)

Put the apples in the bottom of a 9x9 Pyrex glass dish.  Add 1 T of water, 1 T of lemon juice, and 1 t of cinnamon (but, of course, I don't measure). 
In a bowl, mix 3/4 c flour, 1/2 c softened butter, 1 c rolled oats, and 3/4 c brown sugar.  Stir together until crumbles are formed.  Pour mixture over apples.

Bake, uncovered, for 30 min at 375. Serve warm, with vanilla ice cream.

And you are all very lucky you got a photo. I had to stop myself from eating to take it. It was hard work.

Salmon cakes and the farm share

The dinner, before the apple crisp, consisted of salmon cakes, collard greens, green beans, baked beans, and whole grains.

To make salmon cakes, I keep a can of bubble bee salmon in the cabinet (I know, terrible, but it makes for a pantry meal!)  I drain off the liquids for the cat, and pour the meat into a bowl.  I pull out the bones and put them in the trash.  I feel around in the meat to make sure I got them all (just the big hard ones, the little ones melt away).

I mixed in:
1 egg
2 T mayo
1/4 c bread crumbs (or crushed crackers)
chopped parsley
Oregano, S&P
1/4c chopped onion

I mix it all up, while I heat the grill pan with olive oil spray.  Partisan the mix into 4 parts.  Form each section into a patty.  When the pan is hot, lay the patties into the pan and flatten slightly. Let brown and then flip to do the same.

For the collards, I added olive oil, garlic, and 1/4c onion to a saute pan.  I chopped the greens and sauteed it all together.  Added a lid to help it wilt.  Added butter, S&P, and then some apple cider vinegar.  Took off the lid to let it saute a little longer.  Good.....

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

tired and little time to cook

so its the end of September and 90 in philly. so I don't want to cook and I can't eat any more Chinese or papa johns though I want to... so something quick to beat the heat!
well I had leftover grits in the fridge, and frozen shrimp on standby in the freezer. dumped he shrimp in the sink and defrosted with warm water. meanwhile I chopped broccoli and added it to a pot and chopped beet greens for another. I peeled and made sure the shrimp were devained for jw, and added them to a pan to saute with garlic
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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pizza... just a little closer

I'm still on the search to recreate the best pizza ever that I made the first time I made pizza.

I bought a premade pizza dough from Trader Joe's, and I've decided this is the best way to go.  "Fresh" is better than frozen, that I tend to keep in the house.  It just hasn't worked for me because I never defrost it in time.

So anyway, this time I used the garlic and herb dough (so good). Followed the directions on the package about stretching and such.

For tonight's topics, I opted for this post from Food & Wine:
I poured a little cornmeal on a cookie sheet, while the oven heated to 425.  I placed the dough on the pan, and spread about 1/4 cup of pizza sauce (also from TJs).  Sprinkled plenty of garlic powder and oregano (from MK's trip to Greece).  Layered slices of mozzarella, spinach, and diced tomato.  Sprinkled a little Parmesan cheese.

I put the pizza in the oven, and hoped for the best.

I bought JW some lunch meat at TJs too.  The salami looked so appealing, I started eating it. I was hungry... But then, I decided, let's throw a few on the pizza.  I kind of missed, because I wouldn't take the pizza out of the oven.  So, the side closest to the door was covered.

The pizza would have been perfect, if I had taken it out when the timer went off.  But, instead, I took a shower. Oops.

It was still good, but a little crunchy. A little brown. Still nicer than Papa John's...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Butternut Squash Soup

The CSA gave us a butternut squash last week, so I wanted to make a soup.  I found a recipe on, and with a few modifications, listed below, it was delicious! Rich, tasty, and perfectly fall.We served it with a dollop of Greek yogurt in the middle of the bowl.


  • 6 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 butternut squash (roasted, peeled, and mashed)
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (I didnt have any so I used Red Pepper Flakes)
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese


  1. Roast butternut squash in oven 375 for 45 minutes to an hour. Scoop out seeds and discard.
  2. In a large saucepan, saute onions in butter until tender. Add squash, stock, marjoram, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Bring to boil; cook 20 minutes, or until squash is tender.
  3. Puree squash and cream cheese with a hand masher (or in a blender or food processor in batches until smooth. Return to saucepan, and heat through.) Do not allow to boil.