Archive for the ‘Comfort Foods’

Okonomiyaki (Cabbage Pizza)06.12.10

055I spent a few weeks in Japan when I was 15. I stayed in the suburbs of Osaka with a lovely host family, who introduced me to Okonomiyaki. In train stations and little restaurants all over the place, you can point to a bowl of ingredients displayed in a glass case, and then take your seat around a table with a frying surface embedded in the top. Servers bring your ingredients to the table and add an egg, and then you fry up your own and top it as you like with sauces and cheese.

While my host mom insisted that this was a form of pizza, the actual base of this treat is cabbage and other veggies, in a thin batter. There are some traditional Japanese ingredients that give real okonomiyaki a distinct flavor. For my family, I tend to just clean out the produce drawer, adding whatever leftover meats or cheeses we have on hand.

Around here, it’s called Garbage Pizza. And it is delish.

Here’s what we started with:
Okonomiyaki veggies
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Posted in Comfort Foods, Exotic, Main Course, Spring, Uncategorized, Vegetablewith 6 Comments →

Cauliflower & Cheddar Soup05.04.10

052 I have found them.  I found the lost photographic evidence of our foray into cooking like Pioneer Woman!  On a cold, dreary night in February, back when I was still on my soup bender, I realized I had all the ingredients on hand to attempt Pioneer Woman’s Cauliflower Soup.

None of the kids were excited, and thinking back on the soups I’ve put in front of them over the last couple of months, I get it.  I really do.  But Ree is An Expert.  So I figured this had a shot at pleasing them, even if I’ve failed over and over previously.

Right away, I knew I was going to be making a few modifications to the recipe, based on my hope that the addition of cheddar cheese would make this soup more Boy-friendly.  And we typically replace sour cream with plain Greek yogurt – and my kids haven’t been big fans of tangy recently, so I figured I’d just top my bowl with it and let everyone else get a pass.

Here’s the cast of characters:

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Posted in Comfort Foods, Local Eats, Main Course, Savory, Soup, Spring, Uncategorized, Vegetable, Winterwith 1 Comment →

Ivy Manning’s Maple-Glazed Baby Turnips and Carrot Coins03.15.10

We took the kids to the Farmer’s Market on Saturday, and had ourselves a rip-roaring good time.  One of the items we pick up was a bunch of Golden Globe turnips that the farmer assured us were tender and sweet and delicious.  She was absolutely adorable, with her hair in two golden braids and she didn’t mock me when I prodded her wares and looked suspicious.  The Boy actually suggested we get these, since he had fond memories of the last turnip trial we did.

Back at the Brat Cave, we decided to poke around for some recipes online.  At Culinate, we turned up what looked very much like a winner: Maple-Glazed Baby Turnips and Carrot Coins.  Maple and butter – what could be better?

The only problem?  The recipe called for Hickory Bacon Salt, and I don’t have any of that.  Granted, it sounds like a fabulous product, but we’re trying to really keep our sodium to a minimum.  We just omitted it, and moved ahead with the recipe.

My camera has been acting up lately – I think I need to clean it after using it so frequently in the kitchen.  The focus is sort of hit-or-miss.  Anyhoo:  Here’s the cast of characters:

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Posted in Comfort Foods, Farmer's Market, Local Eats, Side Dish, Spring, Sweet, Vegetable, Winterwith 1 Comment →

Steamed Artichokes02.24.10

004 Artichokes. They aren’t the most reasonable vegetable to approach a produce-averse child with, but I figured it was time. I love artichokes. And although the Chef and my husband will eat them as well, The Boy has never willingly eaten a plain, steamed artichoke before. (He’s had them in that spinach pie I made, and I’ve sneaked them into casseroles.) I figured this would be a one-biter before he ran screaming into the night.

To up the chances that he’d eat SOMETHING, I decided to pair the artichokes with chicken sausage and quinoa.  Here’s what we started with:

  • Quinoa, prepared according to package directions in my rice steamer, using chicken broth as the liquid.
    • One scrawny carrot
    • A couple cloves of garlic
    • 1/2 a small red onion
    • 1 package of spinach, fontina and roasted garlic chicken sausages (fully cooked)
    • grated Parmesan cheese

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Posted in Comfort Foods, Main Course, Savory, Side Dish, Vegetable, Winterwith 5 Comments →

Apple handpies01.28.10

Yesterday, I posted the first part of this whole filo dough extravaganza.  Basically, what happened is that I had used only 1/2 a box of filo, and I didn’t want to put it away, so I decided to make some apple pies for treats.  Here’s what I started with:

  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • about 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • about 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • three small fuji apples
  • a splash of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 box of raisins (the kid’s snack size box – left over from our Cuban Ground Beef and Plantain meal)

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Posted in Breakfast, Comfort Foods, Fruit, Sweet, Uncategorizedwith 5 Comments →

Broccoli and bacon baked potatoes01.19.10

099 Well, I’ve been swinging for the fences over here, but I’ve been mostly hitting foul balls, if I connect at all.  The Boy has been getting frustrated, and I’ve been getting frustrated, and we’ve been eating a lot of mediocre soup.  What’s a mom to do?

After a bit of discussion, I decided to take it back to familiar foods, and incorporate a lot of things that seem to make everything go down easier.  Namely – butter, bacon and cheese.

After checking the pantry, and getting a gander of Elise Bauer’s gorgeous twice-baked potatoes recipe, I thought we might have a successful night in the kitchen.

Besides, there are few things more enjoyable that a baked potato on a chilly night, especially if you take the proper precautions so your potatoes don’t turn terrorist.  Confused?  Read it and weep, my friends.

With The Boy on board to help assemble, and a big ole bag of russets in the pantry, we assembled our ingredients and got ready to make some twice-baked potatoes stuffed with broccoli, bacon and cheese.

Here’s what we started with:

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Posted in Bacon, Comfort Foods, Main Course, Savory, Side Dish, Uncategorized, Vegetable, Winterwith 2 Comments →

Chicken soup with invisible spaghetti01.18.10

016“You’re a sucker for punishment.”  That’s what my husband said when I announced that it was Chicken Soup Returns:  The Reckoning night.  And I’ll admit, that last go round was tragically off the mark, but this time, I was sticking to classic chicken soup flavors.  And I had little helpers!  It was going to be great!

That’s when the hubs noticed the package of mung-bean noodles on the counter.  His face lit up.  “Invisible Spaghetti!”  I guess growing up, his Korean mom would substitute these clear noodles for wheat-based noodles quite a bit.  With that kind of kid-friendly code name, I figured they’d be a hit in my soup, too.

Here’s what we started with:

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Posted in Comfort Foods, Savory, Soup, Uncategorized, Winterwith No Comments →

Acorn squash with butter and brown sugar01.15.10

040We’ve had a manic week this week. My menu planning went out the window, and I have been whipping dinner out with little or no kid participation, leading to some disgruntled produce challengers wondering why I’m being all control freaky let me just do it myself and you can help later in the kitchen.

I don’t know what it is exactly, but I had a bit of my Painting Mania take over, and I didn’t want to suffer any little helpers this week. This, of course, means that the kids felt perfectly free to diss every. single. offering. because they didn’t have any time or effort invested in its preparation. Lesson learned.

At the heart of this little project of ours is tasting individual fruits and veggies, and appreciating (or not) their flavors. I’ve been making these crazy hodgepodge quiches and stir-fry dishes, and The Boy was greeting each meal with all the enthusiasm of a condemned man heading to the gallows. So enough! Enough, I say! Time to bust out a single vegetable side-dish.
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Posted in Comfort Foods, Fall, Savory, Side Dish, Vegetable, Winterwith No Comments →

Potato and fennel au gratin01.11.10

We’re on a roll with the What The? Foods this week. In fact, this is one of those things I have browsed past in the produce aisle many a time, and have never been curious enough to toss in the cart. Behold – fennel:

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Anyway, you know what they say about curiosity and the cat, right?

068 That’s Kimo inviting herself to dinner. And you know what? She didn’t die from eating a bite of our potato and fennel au gratin. How did The Boy fare?

Let’s do this thing, shall we?
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Posted in Comfort Foods, Savory, Side Dish, Vegetable, What The? Food, Winterwith 1 Comment →

Chicken Pot Pie01.08.10

036The weather around here has been chilly and socked-in with fog, and I’ve been craving comfort foods like crazy. Everyone has their own favorites, but one of mine has always been chicken pot pie. While cruising around the internet looking for possible recipes, I came across a beauty of a pot pie recipe at Nicole Aloni’s inspirational blog A Conscious Feast.

Seriously, go marvel at it.

While I loved the list of ingredients she had put together, I wanted to use the veggies and seasonings we already had on hand. What really made an impression was the glorious photo that accompanied her recipe. Ooh, I thought. I have RAMEKINS. And The Boy loves him some puff pastry. Without further ado, here’s what we started with:

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Posted in Bacon, Comfort Foods, Fall, Main Course, Savory, Winterwith 1 Comment →

  • You Avatar
  • Gnomeo Test

  • You’ll Eat It, and You’ll Like It, Mister.

    A
    Alfalfa Sprouts | Apples | Apricots | Artichokes | Arugula | Asian Pears | Asparagus

    B
    Bananas | Beans | Bean Sprouts | Beets | Belgian Endive | Bitter Melons | Blackberries | Black-eyed Peas | Blood Oranges | Blueberries | Bok Choy | Boniato | Boysenberries | Breadfruit | Broccoli | Brussels Sprouts | Burro Bananas

    C
    Cabbage | Calabaza | Cantaloupe | Carambola/Star Fruit | Carrots | Cauliflower | Celery | Chayote | Cherimoyas | Cherries | Chinese Cabbage | Chinese Long Beans | Collard Greens | Corn | Cranberries | Crane melon | Cucumbers

    D
    Daikon

    E
    Eggplant | English Cucumber | Escarole

    F
    Feijoas | Fennel | Figs | Flowering Kale/Salad Savoy

    G
    Green Garlic | Garlic | Ginger Root | Grapefruit | Grapes | Guavas

    H
    Heirloom tomatoes | Herbs | Honeydew | Horned Melon/Kiwano

    J
    Japanese Cucumbers | Jicama

    K
    Kale | Kiwifruit | Kohlrabi | Kumquats

    L
    Leeks | Lemons | Lettuce, Iceberg | Lettuce, Leaf | Lettuce, Romaine | Limes

    M
    Malanga | Mamey Sapotes | Mango | Melons | Mushrooms | Micro-greens

    N
    Nectarines

    O
    Okra | Onions, Dry | Onions, Green | Oranges

    P
    Papaya | Passion Fruit | Peaches | Pearl Onions | Pears | Pepino Melons | Peppers, Bell | Pepper, Chili | Persian Melons | Persimmons | Pineapple | Plantains | Plums | Pomegranate | Potatoes | Prickly/Cactus Pears | Pumpkins | Pummelos

    R
    Radicchio | Radishes | Rapini/Broccoli Raab | Raspberries | Red Bananas | Rhubarb

    S
    Salsify | Sapotes | Shallots | Snap peas | Snow Peas | Spinach | Squash | Strawberries | Summer Squash | Sunchokes | Sun-Dried Tomatoes | Sweet Potatoes | Swiss Chard

    T
    Tamarillos | Tamarindos | Taro Root | Tomatillos | Tomatoes | Turnips

    W
    Watercress | Watermelon | Winter Squash

    Z
    Zucchini