Monday, January 25, 2010

Egg in the...

Here are a couple of the new ways I have been trying to make egg in the middle (toad in the hole, egg in the bread, birds nest, etc...). I love love love the egg in the waffle with a bit of syrup and hot sauce. I dash the hot sauce on with a little salt and pepper before I flip it over. The bagel is delicious with the hot sauce as well, and I also generally add some additional spices before turning that one (garlic powder, onion powder...).

I'm usually rushing around when making these guys, but given the time, I think I would get pretty elaborate with them. Maybe sauteing a bit of garlic and green onion and throwing that on before flipping. Some diced bacon or shredded cheese. The possibilities are obviously endless.

I do still use the hole from the waffle to toast and dip in the yolk, and usually cut out a bit more of the bagel to make the hole big enough for the egg. It's not as pretty to toast and present the cut out bits of bagel, but it's just as delicious!

I have plenty more photos of this, my favorite breakfast treat, but will have to get on that later when time permits!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Holiday Spritz Cookies (are not just for holidays)

Here's a lovely little recipe I've used time and time again out of my grandmother Helen Blood's Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook. She's the one that taught me how to make them, back in the late 1980's, around the same time that she taught me to cut meat against the grain and how to get just enough dry breadcrumbs in a good meatball. The recipe is just as easy today as it was back then:

1 1/2 cups margarine or butter

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional but highly recommended)

-Beat margarine with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.

-Add 1 cup of the flour, the sugar, egg, baking powder, vanilla and almond extract.

-Beat till thoroughly combined.

-Beat in remaining flour.

-Force dough through cookie press onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

-Bake in a 375 degree oven for 7-9 minutes...edges should be slightly firm, if they're golden, get 'em out!

Years ago I misplaced the cookie press from my grandmother (hopefully to be found again someday in a box in Wisconsin...), and I was so so happy to find a new tiny one at an antique mall in Carlsbad, CA. Here's a plate of some yums that I made for Christmas. I separated the batter into three bowls and mixed in red, yellow and green food coloring....then sprinkled some cute stuff on top and popped them in the oven. Delicious.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Update: More Roasted Veg Soup!

I thought it would be nice to show some pictures from my most recent venture into the roasted red pepper soup. This time I added a few more beets, which made the soup even more rich in color, and used leeks instead of green onions. The other proportions remained mainly the same to the recipe I described here. I was making a meal for about 25 people, and the soup would be one of a few side dishes.

Below you can view the pics in chronological order and see the process.

First, the fresh veggies go in the roasting pan.
Done roasting!Ready for blending...All blended up...A delicious looking pile of veggie liquid...Adding the maple syrup, buttermilk, veggie broth and skim milk.All done!This meal was a collaboration with my sister, Laurel (who assisted me in the kitchen and made some delicious breads) and was created for a party in my stepfather's honor. He just received his masters, in addition to starting an amazing new job. We did out best to make the meal reflect what a great person he is!
Congratulations, Jim!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Tofu Veggie Yellow Curry with Basmati Rice

This was a delicious meal of convenience. We had most of the items at home already, just had to pick up the tofu and salt (I have been out of salt since Christmas! Can you believe it?)

1 Green Bell Pepper
1 Yellow Onion
a few cloves Garlic (I like a lot, personally)
1 block Extra Firm Tofu
1 can Coconut Milk
1-2 tsp honey
1-2 tsp Yellow Curry (I had a little ziploc of some sweet yellow curry from a friend )
dash Turmeric
Salt (to taste)
Basmati Rice (or any other rice that you enjoy, this is what was in the cupboard)

I started off by slicing up the onion, green pepper, cutting the tofu into long thin strips, mincing the garlic, and tossed the onion and pepper in the pan with some olive oil on medium-high heat. After a few minutes I added the garlic and the tofu, a dash of salt and some cumin, and poured in a couple of tablespoons water to help the veg cook evenly. Stir occasionally, and work on the curry sauce and rice while the veggies get nice and tender.

In a small saucepan, combine the coconut milk, honey, curry, turmeric, a bit of salt (or a dash of soy), and whisk together over low-medium heat until well combined. Taste a few times as it heats up and add more spice or sweet as needed. Cover and let sit warm until the veggies and rice are ready.

With the veggies going and the sauce nearly ready, I put the rice on, covered it and let it go til it seemed like it wanted to be ready (I rarely set a timer, but it usually seems to work out alright anyway somewhere around 15 minutes...). I also added a little bit of the curry sauce to the veggies at this point as well, to make sure the flavors were getting in all the crevices.

Right about when the rice was done, the veggies were as soft as I like them, and the sauce was still hot, and I put all of the ingredients together for a couple of bowls of PURE JOY.

Sadly, I have no pictures to share from this meal, we were too hungry, it was too late, and I was too tired. But here is a picture of some beautiful heirloom tomatoes from the farmers market to give your eyes some excitement.