Thursday, December 31, 2015

Hannahford Swedish Apple Pie

5 apples, peeled, cored, halved, and cut into 1/2"-thick wedges
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon plus 1 cup sugar
12 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon salt

into the 350 oven for 45 minutes to an hour.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Chocolate Stout Birthday Cake

Once again, I made:
Chocolate Stout Cake
from this excellent recipe Epicurious has.

I substituted a porter this year.  That was a good.
I substituted brown sugar and didn't pack it.  I would have preferred the cake to be a little sweeter.

For fun, instead of the ganache frosting that comes with the recipe, I did an alternative of bittersweet chocolate with sour cream.  Mistake for us.  Not just too tangy, but actually sour in the context.  Next year, back to the given chocolate and whipping cream that epicurious specs out.

Thank you, that is all.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Morning Plan

Skillet Frittatas
Cinnamon Rolls

Frittatas were:
3 roasted red pepper, chopped
8 ounces mushrooms
Herbes de Provence
Remember Salt!
12 eggs
mozzarella cheese
4 ounces goat cheese

saute spinach with red pepper, move to bowl
saute mushroom with herbs and salt
preheat single-serving cast iron skillets
slice goat cheese
put spinach/pepper back in pan with mushrooms
mix shredded mozzerella with eggs.

into each pan:
spoonful of vegetables (1/6 of pan)
egg cheese mixture
   (Teenage son put the above in the pans--it felt so good to share the work!  Do that again!)
top with goat cheese
into 350 degree oven for 30 minutes
Eggs stay tasty for hours after finished cooking.  So don't worry.

   (one kid missed having potatoes in it.  But those two kids didn't eat much anyway)

Then put the cinnamon rolls in, unless you cooked them earlier.

Cinnamon Rolls--Alton Brown
Next year: mix up cinnamon rolls and shape on Christmas Eve.
     Teenage son was awesome rolling rolls, slicing, making filling.  Help felt good!  Do that again!
Reminder: rolls need 3 hours for first rise.  Can fridge up to 16 hours.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Eve Dinner Plan

Easy Mint Chutney for Samosas
Spicy Dried Red Pepper Chutney for Samosas
Beginner Samosas Recipe
Spicy Chickpeas Snack/Appetizer

My Favorite Palak Paneer Recipe and Picture Directions
Makhani Sauce
Pulao Rice
Roast Chicken
Green salad with vinagreite.

what actually happened:
--Store ran out of mint Christmas Eve, and I was shopping at last minute.  Scratch Mint Chutney.
--Got behind schedule as dinner hour approached.  Scratch Samosas after dough and filling made.
--Scratched green salad.
--Snacked on chickpeas made earlier in the afternoon--which saved us as dinner was an hour late.
--Roasted an eggplant on whim and put it in the mahkani sauce.  Baingan Makhani?

Spicy Chickpeas Snack
Roast Chicken
Palak Paneer
Makhani with Roasted Eggplant
Christmas Cookies (sugar cookies frosted with buttercream and sprinkles) for dessert.
 and 'twas perfect.
 Next year:
-----make the makhani sauce hotter.
-----buy fresh mint a couple days beforehand.  Recipe requires one cup chopped.
-----The chickpeas were great both as a snack to tide to late dinner, and as added protein to vegetarian dishes.
-----If you do samosas, make them months before Christmas for practice, and make them the December 23rd for Christmas Eve appetizer.

Edited to add:
Made the samosas a couple days later.  They came out delicious.  Also referred to the Jaimie Oliver recipe and Veg recipes of India.  Next time, I'd like to roll larger wrappers larger than the five inch circles the recipe gives, and make samosas that are more like handful size than wonton size.
   Also, I sprayed the samosas with oil several times during the baking process.  I think next time I won't do that, or only do it with half.  I think the extra oil makes the dough dense and heavy, instead of flaky and bubbly.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Vegetable Pot Pies

Here's the recipe for the pot pie filling. Makes 8.5 cups.
1/2 pound lentils dry
2 medium potato
one vidalia onion
one fennel bulb
one leek
one red pepper
one pound mushrooms
two ribs celery

gravy recipe
pie crust recipe

Cook 1/2 pound of lentils (I boil them for ~30 minutes and drain).
Dice and cook two medium potatoes (I boil them ~12 minutes). 

Chop (I use a food processor) and SAUTE in butter or olive oil: one vidalia onion, one fennel bulb, one leek, one red bell pepper, pound of mushrooms, two ribs of celery.
The sauce is has a roux base: 2TB of butter (or olive oil) melted over heat, then 2TB of flour whisked in. I cook the paste less than a minute. Before or when it starts browning, I start gradually whisking in my mix of 4 cups of hot vegetable broth (better than boullion is great for this) with 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast.
—the nutritional yeast is NOT bread yeast or yucky brewer’s yeast, and it is the secret ingredient!—
Once all the broth/yeast is incorporated into the sauce, into whatever pot or pan will hold it all, I combine the cooked potatoes, cooked lentils, sautéed vegetables and sauce. I like to simmer it together ten minutes or more. If you want to add cream, this is when you do it. Then put the filling into whatever casserole dish, pie pans or ramekins (when I use cast Iron I like to heat it up first.) Top with pie crust. Bake at 400F for 25 minutes to brown the crust.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Apple-cheddar Pie

I wanted to make a cheddar apple pie that wasn't just an apple pie with a cheese-enhanced crust.

I found this apple cheddar pie recipe from One Perfect Bite, and it baked up fantastic!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Post Game

Fish--prep the fish topping ahead of time.
Set table earlier
Make people wake up by ten
Impose schedule on roll maker
Don't make food other people signed up for.
People stressing out about kitchen crowding.
There's tons of handwashing to do in the final push  That's a job for someone.
Sign up kitchen shift in advance?
Wine needs chilled.
Think about appetizer schedule.  He was making them while we were cooking, but that didn't really work.
take shower earlier
went for a walk in the morning (to Hannahford and back with L to get veggie sausage.  Walk was good.
go to the other

Do in advance:
cornbread stuffing--one recipe of Fanny Cornbread more than enough
yams--3 yams more than enought

Steelhead trout

Sunday, November 1, 2015

October, second half

The kids have been wanting more meat.  And I've been feeling stressed about the time to cook.

So for one week this was my strategy:

So I bought a 2.15 lb tray of chicken thighs, cooked them in the oven along the lines of Budget Bytes' Easy Oven Fajitas

I bought a double pack of Vindaloo/Coconut curry sauce from Costco.

I cut up and roasted a whole eggplant in the oven.  

I cooked rice and quinoa.

Whenever it was dinnertime, everyone assembled their own chicken-eggplant-starch-sauce combo.   I left out the chicken and sauce.

For Halloween, we had tuna melts.  It was lovely and low-key.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Planning for October

Leftover Thai Curry with leftover rice and quinoa
Box Pad Thai that came with sauce packet (so terrible.  But the kids liked it?!!)

Friday Night:
mushrooms on egg noodles with Dragon Crescentwagon's gravy.
roasted brussel sprouts

Saturday Night:
bean soup with tortilla chips

Sunday Night
pizza made of frozen bread dough.  Pepperoni or sun dried tomato, with canned pineapple hit the spot.
(note: but thawing dough in oven not so successful for me.)

Monday Night
spicy chicken with bell pepper
lo mein

vegetable pot pies in individual cast iron skillets

spaghetti squash with goat cheese sauce, diced tomato and sauteed greens. was terrible.  just BLAH.

Pork Chops, roasted brussel sprouts, pumpkin pancakes.  I needed a win after last night.
mini pot pies.

Mejada (from the Jerusalem cookbook--it's everywhere)


fettucine alfredo with multicolored vegetables

make an apple pie or apple something.

Since I don't feel like cooking, anything I can make ahead, and that people can just grab, would be good.

I'm cooking up some chickpeas to add to things.  Too cold for hummus.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Garden recommendations for next year for us

Broccoli was great--do that again, but don't delay harvesting broccoli.  It's fantastic just as it comes ripe/ready.

four zucchini plants, but no spaghetti squash next time.  It's all too much summer squash.

Pumpkin was fun.  Do it far away from the summer squash.

Peppers were fun.  Jalapenos came ready in September.  Mild peppers a few weeks before.

Do cucumbers.  I missed them this year.

Eggplants--I'm still waiting.  They just started to flower.

Kale is delicious but the bugs are eating it so I don't get much.  Lacinato is delicious but very vulnerable.  Russian a little more resistant.  Find a normal curly kale, see how that does?

Tomatoes--right number, but too inaccessible the way we have them planted.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

End of Cilantro

Second day of the kids' school--thought I'd put some fresh cilantro on the fajitas, and discovered that the cilantro is over--all dried out, down to seed pods.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Last of August, going into school start

Sunday: Burritoes with choice of filling: seasoned turkey hamburger, plain refried pintos, or seasoned scarlet runner beans.  Watermelon side.
Monday: Sausage patty burgers on pretzel roll (vegetarian sausage patties where applicable).  French fries.  leftover Watermelon side.
Tuesday: can't remember.
Wednesday: can't remember.
Thursday: Mac and Cheese using whole wheat penne, topped with tomato from garden. french fries again.

Sandwich ideas from Real Simple.
1. Goat cheese with ratatouille.
2, Pan Bagnat:  oil and vinegar dressing with anchovy, tomato,  red onion, artichoke hearts, cured olive, celery leaves (!) and sliced hardboiled egg.
3. Bacon, arugula, and tomato JAM.
4. Ploughman: sliced apple and cheddar with onion jam and spicy mustard
5. Curried chickpea with apple
6. Antipasti (not vegetarian)
7. Mozzarella, BEET and basil
8. Hummus, Feta, and Cucumber (with mint)

Quick lunch soup.
(this was delicious.  Why don't I do this more often??!!)
olive oil
one summer squash from garden
two 14-oz cans diced tomatoes
three vidalia onions
bunch kale
1/2 TB Herbs de Provence
1/2 TB Better than Bouillon Vegetable base

Warm oil in pot.
Cut squash into 8 lengths, cut out seeds, slice in food processor.  Add to pot.
Remove skins from onion and any brown/green parts, slice in foodprocessor.   Add to pot.
Add Herbs de Provence.
Cook on medium until onion is translucent.
Add two cans diced tomato.
remove stems from kale, slice in food processor, add to pot.
Add bouillon paste, salt to taste.  continue until Kale is cooked.
remove from heat.
With an immersion blender, puree about half what's in the pot.

Serve with prepared pesto, grated parmesan cheese, warmed beans, and sandwich fixings.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

A week without kids, and a week with:

Summer camps, trips to visit relatives...there a week here and there in the summer where the younger kids are gone.

With fewer people in the house, we serve more adult food and less of it, eating more leftovers.

Vegetarian Lasagna (kale and garden summer squash)
Scarlet Runner beans, as burritos, and as yummy bean soup.
brittany crepes, all buckwheat, with swiss cheese, garden tomato, mushroom and spinach for brunch.

For the kids' return I'm planning:

bean and ground meat burritos
grilled cheese with tomato soup
salad nicoise
burgers, choice of beef or veggie.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Learning to Grill

Fourth of July: Grilled Food picnic!
We had the most delicious beer-and-cheese brats from the Healthy Living butcher.  Holiday foods runs out at grocery stores on the 4th, so we were lucky to get the last four they had left.
I grilled veggie burgers for those who did not want brats.
We grilled corn and veggie kebabs of mushroom, bell pepper, onion, and summer squash.
Some of the kids turned their brats into Currywurst.
And there was watermelon.

I had the ingredients for strawberry/blueberry shortcakes, and the cake part bought at the store ready to go.  But we were all so full from our evening meal we passed on them.

Costco run to restock the house after our trip, and Costco had salmon that wasn't farmed.  Sliced the fish into manageable serving-sized pieced.  Grilled it by cooking on high heat skin side UP for at least five minutes, then flipping it skin side down, lower heat, until done.  Goes without saying: clean the grill first.  And, it didn't stick and fall apart!  Well, the skin stuck a little removing it from the grill at the end, but the fish stayed together, so that was a win to repeat.  Grilled summer squash and bell pepper quartered, no kebab.

Grilled again later that week.  Brats from Costco.  Also delicious as leftovers.  Served them with bbq-seasoned yam fries, and the pescatarian had leftover salmon

Thursday the 9th: made veggie chili and took it to party potluck, and found out it's not just my family that likes that chili.  I threw in the leftover summer squash, bell pepper, and bbq yam fries, chopped up.  Our hosts grilled italian sweet sausage patties and we ate them like hamburgers: how fantastic is that?  Very.  Will copy.  Also: balsamic vinegar over watermelon, purple and orange potato salad I wish I'd gotten the recipe for, and the most creamy vegetarian lasagna ever.

Friday the 10th: Our friends came to town!  I grilled brats again (delicious but not as fancy ones from Costco) and chicken, corn, veggie kebabs, and veggie burger.  Had pretzel rolls for the grilled food, that was a hit too.  Then on to the Ben and Jerry's Factory tour.  Ordered pizza for dinner.

Saturday the 11th:  for lunch it was sandwiches, leftovers, and the girls made pasta topped with pesto.  We ate out for dinner: Vermont Tap.  Made beans in the afternoon in anticipation of making more chili.

Sunday morning: divided the muffin batter and made half blueberry muffins, and the other half apple-cheese muffins.   Still feel like the food is running low and I'm not keeping up with the cooking since we got back from vacation over a week ago.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Last of school

June 1: feeling worn out after skype to lawyer meeting for parents.  Grabbed children one by one and fed them tuna melts.  fed husband tuna melt.  I ate thai noodles with leftover peanut sauce, and too much of it.

June 2: Lasagna, leftover green salad.  For young musician I made a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015


I took a couple finals on the last days of April, and then for a week and a half I was really did only the minimum around the house, feeling quite like I needed some time to recover.   Let's see what I can remember of what we had for dinner, during a month where I almost seemed to be avoiding cooking.

I made lots of chili.  It was on hand for lunches, and we had it for dinner once or twice each week.

I made lentil sloppy joes and hamburger sloppy joes for one meal with spaghetti squash as a side.  Everyone else had theirs on a bun, I had lentil sloppy on my squash and it was perfect.

I made hot and sour soup for the first time at the end of May.

I ate a lot of grapefruit.

I made teriyaki salmon for a special dinner.

We had deli chicken.  I made chicken spread sandwiches for a dinner with the leftovers.

We had a picnicky dinner of quorn chicken nuggets, french fries, and homemade pickles.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March 2nd half

Starting out with a full fridge, I've got leftovers: meat lasagna a week old; chopped roast chicken breast, flatbread pizza, banger sausage, tom yum broth.
And vegetables: broccoli, asparagus, green beans. Some packaged salads.

monday: tilapia topped with a sauce of canned diced tomato, sliced olives, capers, and fresh spinach.

tuesday: chili, broccoli, whole wheat mac and cheese.

friday: taco meat with salad and chips.  alternative: homemade cream of chicken soup for those not feeling so great who also don't like spicy.

saturday: people ate leftovers: chili, taco meat with chips, cream of chicken soup

sunday: pulled pork sandwiches for meat eaters, lentil sandwiches for non-meat-eaters of the day

vegetarian alternate filling based on this, but using lentils:

friday: I made homemade char siu bao with the leftover pulled pork using thawed frozen bread dough.  I though they weren't that great and would consider baking instead of steaming--but all the kids loved them and child1 insists the steaming was part of what made them great.

End of the month:
weekend: I'm sick.  I roasted a chicken, ran a rice cooker, and ate rice with chicken broth and salsa all weekend.  I bought some frozen prepared foods, so the kids ate leftovers, pizza from frozen, burritos from frozen, hot dogs, and some strange thing they made with canned biscuit dough.

monday: burritos with bean filling or meat filling options, served with cheese and salsa.  Or, cabbage wraps for those of us not wanting a burrito.  Or, cous-cous under beans for those who can't get enough cous-cous.  chips on the side.  Another kid declares to be vegetarian, and I've got most of a roast chicken in the fridge, and most of the taco meat is leftover.  Time to learn how to freeze cooked meat?

Sunday, March 15, 2015

March First Half

Friday: lasagna, did one vegetarian and added leftover pork sausage to other.
This time it was kale, summer squash, sun dried tomato version.  No pesto, and it was fine.

Weekend: visiting friends out of state!

Monday: leftover lasagna

Tuesday: favorite picky eater's vegetarian chili.
Soaked black beans and cattle beans overnight, and cooked them together in pressure cooker 11 minutes natural release.   Skipped the bell pepper for my picky eaters.  Was out of coriander so I doubled the cumin.   (Got out-of-proportion upset about not being able to find spices, and somebody cleaned and straightened out my spice/cans cupboard and gave me a hug and calmed me down.)

Wednesday: Pumpkin peanut butter curry: served over a choice of rice or quinoa.  Potstickers as exciting side dish.

Thursday: Honey-Mustard Pork Chops, Green Beans (Long Bean Style), whole wheat Mac and Cheese, Applesauce.
Honey-Mustard Pork Chops:
actually followed recipe, including finish with broiler.
Green Beans long bean ideal:
what I actually did: left out the mushroom, substituted red miso paste and chopped garlic for the chili-black bean paste, used green beans instead of long beans
Mac and cheese inspiration:
Family favorite Cheese sauce recipe I worked from:
(skipped the cayenne and thyme and any spice.  Just butter, flour, milk, and cheese.

Saturday: Pi Day of the Century:
breakfast: quiche and pumpkin pie
supper: shepherd pie and chicken pot pie
dessert: caramel apple pie

Sunday night leftovers:
chicken pot pie and tastes of this and that
vegetarian flatbread pizza and green salad
quinoa, cheese, and salsa and black bean patty burrito
quinoa and honey-mustard sauce from pork chops with mashed potato
homemade vanilla pudding for dessert

Sunday, March 1, 2015

February 2nd half

Valentine's breakfast: buckwheat pancakes in valentine shapes.

Valentine's treat: Classic heart-shaped sugar cookies.

Vegetable curry.

D. made stir fry, with buckwheat noodles.

Monday: Bean Burrito, with optional turkey meat.
Tuesday: Lentil Vegetable soup with grilled cheese.

Spaghetti with Bove's meatballs.  Big hit.
Classic Meatloaf from Simply Recipes
Spaghetti with leftover meatloaf cut into meatloaf cubes.

kids on vacation week while I had midterms.  A blur.
Kids discovered peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Also, their inexplicable love of ramen for breakfast continues, which I allow if they put an egg in it.

Friday: grocery store pizza.  it was like school cafeteria pizza and all that white flour and cheese made me feel sick the next day.

Monday: Roast chicken for lunch.  Vegetarian chili with cornbread muffins for dinner.
tried making crockpot baked beans, they dried out.

Tuesday.  lots of class to attend.


Thursday?  I had my test.

Friday: costco pizza.  Bought tons of vegetables.

Saturday lunch: made up a peanut coconut curry with kale, potato, and onion.  Was boring.
Saturday: vegetable soup, lazy version of this recipe. Skipped pesto. with grilled cheese sandwiches

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Breakfast Egg Muffins

Makes 12 muffins.  Bake at 350F for 25 minutes.

Into a 4-cup measure:

8 eggs and enough stuff to make 3.5 to 4.5 cups

Starches: bread crumbs, quinoa, baked potato
Vegetables: sauteed kale, spinach, little onion.  broccoli?
Bottled Vegetable: roasted red pepper, salsa, sun-dried tomato, artichoke heart?
dairy: shredded cheese.  a little milk or cream.

Keeps in refrigerator for four days for quick microwave breakfast.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

February First Half

Saturday night dinner: pureed bean-vegetable soup (leftovers) topped with sliced polenta and a few seasoned beans cooked that night.  Or, sliced polenta topped with pureed roast turkey mayo.

Sunday night dinner: ratatouille lasagna, mashed potatoes, gravy, broccoli in cheese sauce.  Yes, this is really two parallel dinners.  The adults ate lasagna, the kids ate mashed potatoes and broccoli.

To try later:

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Just in time for wisdom teeth recovery

Pumpkin cream of wheat

Easy Vanilla Pudding.  No kidding, you don't have to temper the eggs.

Homemade cream of chicken soup
(I used Better Than Bouillon for the broth and skipped the other seasonings)

Thanksgiving Yams.  (mashed yam with a little butter and brown sugar, marshmallows optional)

Cream of spinach soup.  Like creamed spinach, but thinner and totally pureed.

Mango Lassi; aka mango-yogurt-cardamon smoothie.  And it's cousin: Cherry-Mango Smoothie

Soup of black beans, leeks, kale, celery, and carrots, totally pureed.  It was like the love child of a black bean soup and an italian vegetable soup, and how we loved it.

Scratch Gopher Stew
Usually this is cubed pot roast, condensed mushroom or celery soup, and Lipton's onion into slow cooker for eight hours.
This time I sauteed a pound of sliced mushrooms and a head of chopped celery, dropped it into vegetable broth, and pureed that with a hand blender.  The pureed soup goes into the slow cooker with the meat, lipton dried onion packet.  I was worried the kids would reject it without the condensed soup flavor THEY DIDN'T EVEN NOTICE.   I never did add any milk.  I thought it was tastier than the traditional version.   For the one recovering from surgery, I prepared a bowlful of stew, removing the meat chunks with a slotted spoon.  It was still had a lovely savory meaty gravy taste, which was a nice change for her from sweet smoothies, shakes, and puddings.

Baba Ghanoush.  Last time attempting to make this was a disaster, so I just bought a jar of it.

Haven't yet offered:

  1. Hummus.  
  2. Bacon Jam (seriously, I bought it at grocery store today!  But there's diced onion it in to chew, so no good.)  
  3. Lemon Curd purchased in Jar
  4. Jello instant pistachio pudding.  
  5. Eggs Salad
  6. Processor-pureed chicken salad
  7. Guacamole
  8. Mashed Potatoes with gravy
  9. Refried beans with melted cheese mixed in.

Friday, January 16, 2015

First Half of January

Last Days of Vacation
Pizza for a New Year

First Week Kids Back to School
Cheeseburgers, choice of grass-fed patty or Chipotle Bean.
--with kale vegetable soup as a side
Turkey Breast roasted with Carrots and Potatoes
Tilapia, Quinoa, and Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Weekend Hobbit Feasting
Spinach-Artichoke Quiche
Ham and Swiss Quiche
Grocery Store Chicken
Mashed Potatoes
Sauteed Mushrooms
Blueberry Muffins
Olive Bread, Vermont Brie
Cherry Tomatoes

Finals Week
Monday: Split Vegetarian Taco/Burrito Bar
Leftover seasoned black beans, Ground Beef with Alton Brown Taco Potion #19
White flour tortillas, shredded cheddar, romaine lettuce, Pace picante sauce
fresh pineapple, pomegranate

Tuesday: baked potato.  Toppings broccoli, black beans, cheese sauce
amazing cheese sauce recipe

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Those cookies

2 cups butter (one pound)
2 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 TB grated orange peel
1/2 TB vanilla
3 eggs
1/4 cup milk
6 cups flour
1 1/2 TB baking powder
3/4 tsp salt

1lb powdered sugar
1/4 teas salt
1/4 cup milk
1 teas vanilla
1/3 cup (aka 2/3 stick) butter, or I just put the whole stick in.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Make mole

Delicious. But too sweet on black bean-yam enchiladas.  While I'm vegetarian, I think I'll stick with straight enchilada sauce.