Sweet Red Corn09.19.10

Camping Summer 2010 We’ve got a whole bunch of posts piled up over here, and I’m determined to get them posted this week!  This summer, we took our annual family camping trip to the Sonoma County coast.  We always bring along easy to cook and eat foods for our meals, and divide up the days – my parents plan for one entire day’s worth of meals, and I usually do the other day.  This year, my mom picked up some sweet red corn, something we hadn’t tried before.  We’re all corn fans, so it wasn’t a real challenge-worthy choice, but certainly, it was novel.

There was some discussion over how to cook it – we could have grilled it over the fire, but we were hungry and didn’t want to mess with trying to time it right, so we opted to remove the husks and steam them in large pot over the cookstove.

Camping Summer 2010 (more…)

Posted in Side Dish, Summer, Sweet, Uncategorized, Vegetable, Vegetarianwith No Comments →

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 →

Cabbage and Ramen Noodle Salad05.13.10

032First of all, let me just get the obvious out of the way.  My child is not wearing a shirt in the photo.  This is fairly common dinner attire around here in warmer weather, and while I’m not exactly proud of the fact that he’s not wearing a shirt while eating, it doesn’t trouble me much.  This year, produce.  Next year, manners.

Anyhoo… the salad wars rage on here at the Circus.  One of my favorites, precisely because it is complete trash, is a salad made from shredded cabbage and some other stuff, topped with crunched up ramen noodles and almonds that have been sauteed in butter and then sprinkled with that packet of death that comes with it. Ramen isn’t so bad you say?  Let Maki over at Just Hungry give you the rundown on why ramen is very, very bad for you.  I could top the salad with Doritos for the same nutritional effect.

Let it never be said that I’m high-brow over here.  Here’s what we started with:

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Posted in Salad, Savory, Side Dish, Uncategorized, Vegetablewith 3 Comments →

Rice Paper Salad Rolls04.07.10

Salad Rolls.  Sorta. Do you see what I see? That is lettuce on The Boy’s plate, and he’s not making the barf face.  How did this happen?  Is my campaign for Pleasant Salad Eating paying off?  Or is it all about novelty?

It was The Chef’s 11th birthday, and she requested barbecued pork ribs and salad rolls.  I don’t think she’s actually ever eaten anything wrapped in the translucent rice paper spring roll wrappers, but I had picked up a package a few weeks back, and she was intrigued.

We decided to get basic, and stick with some of my favorite salad components.  Here’s a look at what we started with:

  • sliced cucumber
  • sliced carrot
  • sliced avocado
  • sliced mint leaves
  • sliced green onion
  • mixed, washed salad greens
  • rice paper wrappers

Salad Rolls.  Sorta.

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Posted in Exotic, Salad, Side Dish, Spring, Uncategorized, Vegetable, Vegetarianwith 4 Comments →

Spinach Salad with Bacon, Red Onion and Egg03.22.10

Spinach SaladThe Salad Wars rage on here at headquarters and I’ve struck a blow for the side of leafy greens by wielding one of my favorite weapons:  bacon. As Buffi says: “Jenny, bacon is ALWAYS the answer.” One of the things The Boy has complained about with regards to salad is he doesn’t like the crunchy pieces. I don’t even get that, considering he’ll eat croutons until his palate is shredded. Being that this is the case (for now, bwahahaha) I figured a nice, tender, baby spinach would be a good starting point.

And then I remembered this salad that my mom and her girlfriends used to have when they’d gather to catch up on life while the kids ran around half-naked in the backyard. Granted the ladies never served theirs with boxed stuffing mix, but they also weren’t trying to appease The Boy.

Spinach Salad

I don’t know if this is the classic spinach salad or not, but it is always delicious and filling. I have seen a lot of recipes that include button mushrooms, but I’m not a fan. What I am a fan of is garnishing with mandarin orange segments. Mmmm. Here’s what we started with:
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Posted in Bacon, Main Course, Salad, Side Dish, Spring, Uncategorized, Vegetablewith 9 Comments →

Quince with honey and Greek yogurt03.19.10

036Well, hello, honey!

At the farmer’s market this last weekend, we picked up two quince.  Quinces?  What the heck is the plural of quince?  Anyway, I had never seen a quince before, to my knowledge, although I believe I have had quince jam before.  Maybe.

I asked the farmer how someone with produce-resistant kids would be advised to approach these awkward looking fruits, with their scummy fuzz on the skins and rock-hard texture.  She winked and said “slow bake them with honey.”  That sounded do-able, but when I got home, I just wasn’t all that motivated to get it going.  I’m the same girl who let a cherimoya rot on the counter because I kept forgetting to get to it, and then they were out of season and we missed our big chance.

Am I ever glad I got over that particular hump.  I wish I had bought a dozen. Quince rocks my socks off.

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Posted in Exotic, Farmer's Market, Fruit, Local Eats, Side Dish, Spring, Sweet, Uncategorized, What The? Food, Winterwith 3 Comments →

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 →

Spinach handpies01.27.10

063Oy! I’ve been cooking up a storm, and taking pictures up a storm, but I haven’t had a free minute to scratch my booty let alone write about our produce smackdown.  As a result I’ve got a backlog of posts just waiting for the finishing touches, and I’m going to have to learn how to schedule post so I don’t forget to make them live.

Along with the puff pastry from the Chicken Pot Pie night, I had stashed a box of filo dough in the freezer.  I love filo like nobody’s business, and I invent excuses to use it a few times a year.  You just can’t go wrong with flaky pastry + butter in my universe, and even The Boy has been known to roll his eyes up into his head in ecstasy  when biting into a filo pastry.

It was time for more leafy greens, and after the Greek Quiche reaction (also known as “Meh”)  I wanted to let the spinach flavor stand on its own.

It was time for Spinach Handpies.

Here’s what I started with:

  • About 1/3 a cup of olive oil
  • A big old thing of organic baby spinach, washed and dried in the spinner (vroom!)
  • A handful of garlic cloves
  • Salt, pepper and paprika
  • About 1/4 onion, diced
  • About 1/4 cup of red bell pepper, diced
  • About a tablespoon of fresh oregano
  • About 1/4 cup of feta, crumbled
  • 1/2 a can of water chestnuts, chopped
  • 1 stick of butter, melted (aw yeah)
  • 1/2 box of filo dough.  (I used the other half for apple handpies, which I’ll post later)

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Posted in Main Course, Savory, Side Dish, Uncategorized, Vegetable, Vegetarianwith 1 Comment →

Cuban ground beef with fried plantains01.22.10

035“I’m sorry, you’re doing what with those bananas?”  That’s what everyone wanted to know when I started heating up the oil to fry the plantains.

“These are not bananas.  They are plantains.”  I didn’t have a plan for them when I purchased them, and as they sat on my counter, slow turning from green to yellow, yellow to black and yellow, I figured I’d better get off the stick and come up with a plan.

Of course, since I’ve never cooked with plantains before, I wasn’t sure where to start.  I thought about making muffins or something, but remembered that they are often used in savory dishes.  So I went internet diving to see what I could find.  Good ole Emeril had a recipe for a Pinon, a Cuban-style Beef and Plantain Pie. That sounded pretty darn good to me, but I thought the kids wouldn’t eat it if it was all baked together like that.  And then I found this recipe for Arroz ala Cubana that also sounded amazing.   I decided to riff off of both recipes and make Emeril’s beef mixture, but serve it over rice, and serve the plantains on the side.  Here’s what I started with (cribbed from Emeril’s recipe, sorta):

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Posted in Exotic, Main Course, Savory, Uncategorized, Winterwith 4 Comments →

  • You Avatar
  • Gnomeo Test

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

    A
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    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

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    D
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    H
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    J
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    L
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    M
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    N
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    P
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    R
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    S
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    T
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    W
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    Z
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