Sunday, December 27, 2009

Breakfast on Dec. 25th: Lemon Curd French Toast with Raspberry Maple syrup

Holy shit this was delicious.  Rich and big enough that one slice is plenty for the average person.  It's really pretty simple to make, too.   You mix together some french toast batter and place slices of bread in a container, cover with batter and place in fridge overnight.  In the morning you just put the bread in the oven for 10-15, cover with syrup and toppings and you're good to go.  We ended up making our own raspberry maple syrup by heating up some raspberry jam w/ some maple syrup and water.  We also fried up a few patties of Gimme Lean "sausage" to go on the side.  [yummy deliciousness satisfaction noise]

1/2 loaf Challah or Brioche bread sliced into 4 thick slices
4 eggs
1/4 cup milk or cream
1 tbsp vanilla
1/2 cup and 1 tbsp maple syrup
4 tbsp of lemon curd
1 pack of fresh raspberries
4 tbsp raspberry jam
1/4 cup water
about 6 tbsp vanilla yogurt

Mix together eggs, vanilla, 1 tbsp maple syrup and milk in a bowl.  Slice bread into 4  1 inch slices.  Spread approximately 1 tbsp lemon curd on 1 side of each slice of bread.  Place bread in a large baking dish large enough to hold each piece of bread in one layer, lemon curd side UP.  Pour a little bit of the batter on the bottom of the baking dish--enough to cover the bottom pan with a thin layer.  Place the bread in the pan and pour the rest of the batter on top, covering each slice.  Cover and place in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 F and cook the french toast for 12-15 minutes.  Start making the syrup, heat raspberry jam, water and the rest of the maple syrup in a saucepan and heat on medium to medium-high heat for ~15 minutes.  Stir occasionally.  Take this opportunity to fry up some sausage (real, fake, whatever your fancy) in a pan.  When the French Toast is complete, plate the toast, pour syrup on top, sprinkle some fresh raspberries on top and then add a dollop of vanilla yogurt.  Eat it up.  Your tummy will thank you.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hot Chocolate & Bailey's Irish Cream

And marshmallows!  It's cold.  Which means it's time to grab a mug and cozy up.  I noticed my cupboards were barren of hot chocolate, so I went by the new EarthFare (store #420!!) and picked up some Equal Exchange drinking chocolate and 'mallows.  I mixed the cocoa with H20 leaving plenty of 'room for cream' so that I could add an ample amount of delicious Bailey's to make the hot chocolate creamy and keep me toasted!

1 serving powdered Hot Chocolate
1 cup boiled water
1-2 shots Bailey's Irish Cream

Place 1 serving powdered hot cooca in your mug.  Boil water and pour in mug, leaving 1-2 inches for the Irish Cream.   Top off with Irish Cream and Marshmallows!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

CREATIVE LEFTOVERS!! Maple Pecan Sweet Potato Pancakes and Cranberry-Orange Sauce

Every year for Thanksgiving I make Sweet Potato casserole sweetened with  maple syrup and a pecan brown sugar topping.  Given the chance, I also make homemade cranberry sauce with orange juice and zest.  This year was no different and after most of the leftovers had been eaten for lunch the next day, there were still a few scoops left.  While I was laying in bed this morning, I was thinking about how I wanted pancakes for breakfast and the idea for this recipe popped into my head.

Leftover Maple-Pecan Sweet Potato Casserole Pancakes
makes 3 large pancakes 

           (or any ol' smashed sweet taters)
1 cup flour
2 tbsp melted butter
1/2 tbsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
2 tbsp maple syrup

Mix dry and wet ingredients separately and then mix together.  Poor 1/4-1/2 cup batter into pan.  When bubbles start appearing in the center of the pancake and the edges look cook, it's ready to patient or you'll make a mess!

Heat up (or not) leftover cranberry sauce and plop on top of your stack of flapjacks.  Top with extra syrup if you like.

Homemade cranberry sauce is easy and quick to make...

Cranberry Sauce
1 bag fresh cranberries
1 tbsp orange zest
1 cup orange juice
1/3 cup brown sugar

This year, I added a shot of rum and a few chopped-up cubes of crystallized ginger I had lying around the kitchen.

Bring OJ and sugar to boil in a medium saucepan. Stir until the sugar dissolves.  Add the cranberries (and ginger and rum) to the pan. Return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer on the stove for about 10 minutes-20 minutes. Cranberries will pop!  It's super-cool.  Stir in the orange zest and take off of the heat.  I enjoy it warm, but many like it cold.   

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sprinkle Some Fries on those Cupcakes.

This post is dedicated to the brilliant and hilarious Patton Oswalt.  

For those of you familiar with the comedian, Patton Oswalt, you may have heard a bit on his CD Werewolves and Lollipops where he describes this recipe when he concurs with Brian Dennehy at a party that nobody cares if character actors get fat.

One day, when I was contemplating some salty-sweet combos, Patton's voice rang in my head and I thought, "It's sounds crazy, but I gotta try it".   The result?  Something incredibly rich.  Perhaps almost too rich for one person.

With all of the trendy cupcake shops opening up, I figured I'd skip the baking step (like a typical stoner) and try out a few fancy pants cakes from a local cupcake, uh, boutique??  I grabbed a White Chocolate Chocolate and a Strawberry cupcake and toasted up some shoestring fries from my freezer.  These cupcakes had TONS of frosting on them (as you can see) and it was delicious cream cheese frosting.  However, the icing mixed with the greasy fries made it so that I was unable to take more then a few bites before having my fill.  These are definitely for sharing!


Make your favorite cupcake recipe or go to a hip cupcake shop and pick up a few 'cakes.
Obtain fries from your favorite restaurant/fry vendor, or bake up a few of the frozen variety.  Pretend you're doing Japanese flower arranging and place the fries atop the cupcakes.  Eat in a straight forward manor or remove the fries and lick off the ridiculous amount of icing (like birthday candles!)  Invite a few friends over, fire up the pipe, pop in one Patton's albums and pass the cupcakes to the left.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sweet Potato Samosa Pot Pie

I have been dreaming about making this dish ever since the thought of it popped into my brain.  Originally the idea was just for a Samosa Pot Pie: all of the ingredients of a Samosa in a Pot Pie form; which I've learned from Google is not an original idea.  The recipe changed at the last minute after I harvested a bunch of sweet potatoes from my garden and thought "What if instead of
regular white potatoes...."  I must say that the experiment was a success in flavor and form (although the crust definitely looks stoner-constructed).

If you're not a fan of sweet potatoes, this may be the recipe to change you over.  The curry flavor transforms the sweet potatoes into a very different taste bud experience.  If you're still not convinced, you can substitute the recipe with regular white potatoes.  

Having never made traditional somosas before in my life (see Cheeseburger Samosas), I found this Samosa Recipe website very helpful in my endeavor.

1 pie crust
1 sheet puff pastry
5  sweet potatoes, medium-large
2 cup vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups sweet peas, frozen or fresh
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp ghee or butter
1 cup cashews, roasted
2 tbsp Madras Curry Powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper

First, pierce sweet potatoes with a fork and place in an oven @ 375 F for approx 45 minutes, or until thoroughly cooked.  Remove sweet potatoes from oven (but leave the oven'll need it later!)  Let the potatoes cool ~10 minutes and then mash them in a medium bowl.  Place vegetable broth in a sauce pan and heat to medium heat.  Melt ghee or butter in a large skillet or pot.  Sauté onions and garlic in melted ghee/butter for 5 minutes.  Add mashed sweet potatoes and 1 cup of vegetable broth to the onions and garlic.  Stir.  Add curry powder and cayenne pepper to mixture and continue to stir.  When all of the liquid is absorbed, add the rest of the broth and the sweet peas, raisins and cashews.  Continue to stir until broth has been absorbed.  Taste and add salt if you need to.  For me the saltiness of the vegetable broth I used was plenty, but everyone's different.

Ok.  Now you can place the mixture in your pie crust.  If you wanna, you can make your own, but I used a frozen pre-made crust to simplify the procedure.  Load it up high.  The mixture should rise above the sides of the crust.   Next, roll out your puff pastry and cut into a circle and plop on top of the pie.  Pinch it to the edge if you can or just let it ride on top if you want.  Place in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until crust turns a golden brown and you can't stand the enticing aroma any longer.  Let sit for about 5 minutes before slicing and serving.  Leftover pie tastes awesome too and there should be plenty unless you're feeding an army.

Better than Ramen: Thai Noodles with Spinach and Quorn Chicken

I love going to the Big Lots closeout store.  Especially the one about 20 minutes outside of town in the "boonies" where several of my friends share a house.  I almost always find tons of organic and natural non-perishable food items out there for CHEAP...untouched by the traditional country shopper.  Thai Kitchen's Instant Rice Noodle Soup varieties are already cheap (about 70-90 cents/pack), but I recently found every variety marked at $.50 and so I stocked up on about $10 worth for the winter.

I was visiting with my friends after my shopping trip, enjoying the unseasonably beautiful November weather with great company, good beer and a little smoke.  Before long I had to put something in my belly and my little soup packet came to the rescue!!  They make great quick meals (take about 5-7 minutes to cook).  Sometimes I'll drop and egg in at the end of cooking the soup to make and Egg Drop Noodle soup, but on this particular day I added a few nuggets of Quorn "Chicken" and some cooked spinach that my friend was making in another pot.  These little guys travel well and taste great on their own, but it's always fun to try adding different varieties of veggies and protein. 

1 packet Thai Kitchen Roasted Garlic and Vegetable Noodle Soup
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup cooked spinach
5-8 nuggets of Quorn "chicken" (or real chicken)
Hot sauce

Follow directions on package of Thai Kitchen soup.   Add Chicken when you add the noodles into the soup.  Add cooked spinach (I usually use frozen spinach, but you can steam some fresh spinach).  Pour into a bowl and let it sit for a few minutes before will be HOT!!!  Then dig in and slurp some noodles.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Pizza Eggs


So I'm a huge fan of the Showtime series Weeds.  Somewhere in the 1st season there is mention of Pizza Eggs, with no further explanation.  It is a reoccurring meal mentioned on the show.  Ever since I heard those two words put together, my mind has raced with many interpretations of the actual dish.  This will be one of several Pizza Egg recipes that will be posted in this blog, both to pay homage to the fine writers at Weeds and because this first experiment was DELICIOUS!

  Lucky for me and this recipe, my boyfriend works at a pizza restaurant, and I received a beautiful gift of leftover slice-pie pizzas and bread loaves the other night.  Although this pizza was just plain cheese, ANY pizza topping combos that you fancy would be excellent in this dish.  I chose to simply add some capers to my new favorite pizza topping.  After trying to explain where capers came from to a friend and consulting this killer book:  Food Plants of the World , I discovered that not only are capers flowers, but they are one of the most popular pizza toppings in the world!?!?  I tried it and fell in love.  Of course, you can order or make whatever kind of pizza you want. 

Leftovers on Huevos, Part II

1 slice leftover pizza (any and all toppings optional)
2 eggs
1 tbsp goat cheese or cream cheese
1/2 tbsp butter
Red Pepper flakes
Hot sauce
Salt and Pepper

Reheat leftover pizza slice in oven.  Remove and let cool for 5 minutes.  Cut off the bone (crust) with a knife, and nibble on it while you cook-like an appetizer.  Cut the cool, but still warm pizza into 1-2" chunks and set aside.  Heat butter in a frying pan on Medium-High heat.  When the butter has melted, begin making the scrambled eggs.  I personally like to crack the eggs in the pan and then take a wooden spoon and start scrambling.  I add a little goat cheese (if it's not already on the pizza) straight into the pan instead of milk to add some cream and fluff to the eggs.  You may also find it helpful to occasionally lift the frying pan off of the eye while scrambling to prevent overcooking the eggs.  About halfway through cooking the eggs (~3 minutes), add the pizza chunks in.  Continue to scramble another 3-5 minutes until eggs are cooked and the pizza has assimilated.  Garnish like you would pizza and/or eggs:  add any combination of parmesan, red pepper flakes, oregano, salt, pepper, hot sauce or whatever else you throw on your Pizza Eggs, and feast on this stoner breakfast of champs!  


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Black-Eyed Pea and Hummus Quesadilla

Fish Burrito night is our day-off, super colortastic tasty indulgence night that we enjoy 1-2 times a month.  The best part is that there are always leftovers and extra tortillas so that we eat burritos and quesadillas the few days after.  I made this quesadilla one fateful night when our leftovers where on their last legs.  All we had was tortillas, cheese and sour cream.  Raw onions and garlic are a staple in my kitchen, and I just happened to have a beautiful poblano pepper that I picked from my garden.  The night before, my boyfriend had eaten all of the black beans we cooked up in a quesadilla epiphany of his own.  He told me about his successful experiment of adding a smear of spicy hummus  on the inside of his quesadilla and stated that it was delicious.   I searched the cupboards for another can of black or pinto beans, but only found a can of black-eyed peas.  Haha!  Two new flavor possibility and lots of protein!

Blacked-Eyed Pea and Hummus Quesadilla

1 tortilla
1-2 tbsp hummus (I would recommend spicy, jalapeno, roasted red pepper or garlic flavored)
1/2 cup shredded queso
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup  onions, sliced
1/4 cup poblano peppers, sliced
1/2 cup black-eyed peas
1/2 tbsp butter
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cajun seasoning
1/4 tsp coriander
Salt and Pepper

Heat olive oil in pan on med-high heat.  Saute onions and poblano peppers for 5 minutes.  Add garlic and saute for another 5 minutes.  While sauteing, smear hummus on half of the tortilla and sprinkle cheese on the other half.  Take the beans and mix in a bowl with the cajun seasoning, coriander,  chili powder, salt and pepper.  Spread the beans out on the hummus side of the tortilla.   Remove the peppers, onions and garlic from the pan and place on top of the cheese.  Add butter to the skillet and turn down to medium heat.  Place tortilla in skillet once butter has melted.   Cook open-face for 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted.  Fold tortilla and cook on each side for another 5 minutes.  Remove from pan and slice into triangles.  Serve with sour cream and hot sauce.

I will post the Fish Burrito recipe and pictures the next time we make it!  

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Stoner Food Review: QB's Crispy Treat filled with Ice Cream

I stared in amazement and awe when I saw this at the local natural foods store.  We bought one vanilla and one chocolate, but I was only able to try the vanilla flavor before they were all gone.  One is definitely enough.  they also have a strawberry variety.  The squares were very sweet and rich. and unlike most food products, the crispy ice cream treats inside the box were BIGGER then the ones on the box!!   This is a combination that begs to go together to satisfy a sweet, multi-textured, multi-junk food craving.  I haven't seen a conventional version of this, so yay for the natural food industry for coming up with some delicious natural stoner snack!  I would only recommend this for true fans of rice crispy treats because they were a little awkward and sticky to eat by hand... but worth it.   Make sure to eat fresh out of  the freezer!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Frozen Waffle Sandwich

I do have a friend that eats frozen waffles still frozen, but despite the title, these are toasted frozen waffles.  I first came up with this ideas when I really wanted a PB&J sandwich but didn't have any bread, so I used two blueberry waffles instead.  Yumm...

As you can see, with the help of a little bit of induced hunger and creativity, a simple quick fix can evolve into this:

Marshmallow-Nutella-Banana-Bacon Waffle Sandwich
serves 3

1 box frozen waffles (any flavor)
1 banana
6-9 strips of bacon or fakin' bacon
Marshmallows (mini or maxi)
Nutella, about 1/4 of a jar

If you're going to use marshmallows, a toaster oven is almost essential, but an oven would work as well.
 First, start cooking the bacon in a frying pan.  Next, place 1-2 large marshmallows or 7-10 mini marshmallows on every other waffle.  Place waffles, 2-4 at at time, in the toaster oven and toast until marshmallows turn a dark brown.  Remove waffles from toaster oven and spread Nutella on the the waffles without marshmallows.  Slice banana and place evenly on the the Nutella smeared waffles. When bacon is fully cooked, place 2-3 strips on top of the marshmallow sided waffle.  Combine into a sandwich and prepare to have your mind blown.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Cheeseburger Samosas

"This is the greatest food moment of my entire life."- Friend and fellow stoner chef.

So, this idea popped up a few months ago between me and a friend as we  partook of some herb and brainstormed some "What if..." recipes ideas.  Last Friday we piled up the ingredients and set out to create one of the ultimate stoner meals ever made.  Now, we were going to make real cheeseburger samosas and vegetarian cheeseburger samosas, but we couldn't get our hands on any meat  So...we got some fake Gimme Lean veggie sausage instead- a rich and satisfying substitute, although an entirely different creature all together.  This can be oz for oz substituted for ground hamburger meat.    

1 14 oz package Gimme Lean ground sausage  or 14 oz ground beef
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium tomato, diced
3 banana peppers, diced
3 takeaway packets of Krystal's yellow mustard
1/2 cups chow-chow (or relish)
1 sheet puff pastry
8 oz of medium or sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 bottle brown ale (your favorite, or whatever beer you have in your hand)

Curry paste
Tomato chutney
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Place butter in a large frying pan at medium heat.  When the butter melts, add onions and stir for 3 minutes.  Add garlic and banana peppers.  Stir for  5 minutes.   Add tomatoes and continue to stir for 5 minutes.  Then add the sausage.  Break up the sausage and mix in with the veggies. Add mustard, chow chow and beer at this time.

Let simmer until no liquid is left in the pan.  Stir occasionally.  While this is cooking, roll out the defrosted puff pastry (we forgot to defrost it so we had to massage it for about 15 minutes before it was workable), and cut and X into to create 4 triangles.  Each triangle will be one individual samosa.  Place cheddar cheese on the puff pastry in Tetris shapes.

Then lump about 1/2 -3/4 cup of the ground Gimme Lean sausage, veggies and random

 condiments mixture on top of the cheese and add more cheese to the top.  Fold up the 3 corners of the triangle and twist dough at the top.  Pinch together the sides of the dough to enclose the filling as completely as possible.  Place on parchment paper on a flat baking pan and bake in oven for approximately 15-20 minutes or until dough becomes a crispy golden brown.  
While the samosas are cooking, you can whip up some condiments to serve them with.  We mixed 2 parts Mayonaise with 1 part Curry Paste to create a curry mayo, and purchased some tomato chutney from the local Indian food store (ketchup and mayo!)

Serve and eat as you will.  

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Exploded Macaroni Omelet

I told you there would be more Mac n' Cheese recipes.  If you haven't noticed, I tend to sneak veggies like broccoli into my Mac n' Cheeses.  I usually keep frozen spinach, broccoli and a bag of mixed  veggies in the freezer as backup/emergency recipe additives.  Broccoli tastes yummy with cheese and pasta, so it's a natural to throw in with any mac n' cheese.  My favorite is Annie's White Cheddar & Elbows.  The white cheddar is sharp and actually tastes like real cheese.  Plus it actually is real cheese.  If you don't have boxy white cheddar mac lying around, I recommend adding some shredded/pulverized parmesan to any other boxy cheesy mac you have to give it an extra strong cheesy flavor.

Oh, and the egg.  What you see pictured above is actually my breakfast from yesterday morning. I wanted an omelet, but didn't have any cheese.  

White Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese with Fried Egg + Broccoli

1 box of Annie's White Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese
1 egg
1 tsp minced garlic
2 1/2  tbsp butter
1/4 cup milk or milk alternative
1/2 cup broccoli florets (fresh or frozen)
salt and pepper

Cover pasta in a a pot or saucepan with water (about 6 cups).  Bring to a boil and cook at Medium heat.
After about 4 minutes add in broccoli (fresh or frozen).
Cook for another 5 minutes or until done.
Drain pasta.  
Heat 2 tbsp of butter in the pasta pot on low heat.
Place 1/2 tbsp of butter and garlic in a small skillet or frying pan set to Medium-High heat. Crack an egg in the frying pan when the butter melts.  Bust the yolk open if you want to.  I do.
Add 1/4 cup milk and powdered cheese to pasta pot.
Mix cheese, butter and milk together until smooth and creamy.
Add pasta and broccoli back in and mix well.
After about 2 minutes, pile as much pasta as you want in a a bowl.
Salt egg in the frying pan.  Remove egg from frying pan with spatula and place on top of Mac n' Cheese.
Pepper to taste.  Eat with fork and knife. Or just fork.  That's what I did, but it was hard.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Most Perfect Ice Cream

Once upon a time, I went to the store to get some ice cream.  Simple enough.   I didn't want to eat it right away so I put it in the freezer, put on a record, smoked, shared some brilliant thoughts regarding time travel with my cat, etc.

About 45 minutes later I declared it to be 'Ice Cream Time!'  I grabbed a spoon and went to the freezer to pluck my pint of Ben and Jerry's goodness from its resting place--but it was not to be found!!!  Fuck.  I spaced and misplaced my ice cream somewhere other than the freezer for almost an hour.  I started to panic.
Luckily it wasn't too long before I looked into the refrigerator and found my lost treat.  I tentatively investigated the ice cream and found it was holding a very soft yet solid shape.  I dove in.


You know how sometimes you can barely get your spoon into the ice cream to scoop because it's really frozen and that's really frustrating and sometimes you accidently end up flipping a spoonful of ice cream across the room?  Not only is this a remedy for that, but it becomes this creamy, soft serve-y kind of texture that makes you you close your eyes and make happy food noises when you put it in your mouth.  Also, scientifically speaking,  sweet things taste sweeter at higher temperatures,  so the ice cream actually gains flavor by doing this.  Next time you grab a pint of ice cream try this and I promise it will change your life forever.

The Most Perfect Ice Cream

1 pint of your favorite creamy, frozen treat

Place pint in refrigerator for 30-45 minutes.
Get stoned. 
Remove pint from refrigerator and serve.
Have one the greatest feelings of satisfaction you can possibly have in life.

Place remains of pint back in freezer unless you want ice cream soup.

Tuna Melt with Tartar Sauce and Cholula

One day I was making tuna salad and I went to grab a dollop of my roomies mayo when, to my dismay,  there was none.  However, I did have a jar of some Trader Joe's tartar sauce.  After looking at the ingredients I decided it was basically everything that I would normally put in my tuna salad anyway....emulsified egg (mayo), onions and relish  AND tartar sauce is suppose to go with fish, right?  So I added it in place of mayo and IT WAS A DELICIOUS REVELATION.  Now we don't make tuna salad in my house without it. Here is a recipe for a particularly delicious sandwich that I made one smoky afternoon:

Tuna Melt with Tartar Sauce and Cholula
1 English Muffin
1 can dolphin-friendly Tuna
1-2 tbsp Tartar Sauce
2 tsp Lemon Juice
1/4 cup chopped onion
1-2 slices of sliced Provolone (or your favorite melty cheese)
1 small handful of Mixed Greens
a few dashes of Cholula or your favorite hot sauce
salt and pepper


Mix tuna, lemon juice, onions, tartar sauce and a few dashes of salt and pepper in a small bowl.
Place sliced Provolone on one side of the English Muffin.  
Place a large scoop of the tuna salad on the other half of the English Muffin.  
Place in a toaster oven or conventional oven @ 350 degrees F until the cheese is melted and the Muffin has browned (about 7-10 minutes).  
Remove from oven and place Mixed Greens on the melted cheese and squirt the tuna salad with a healthy dose of Cholula hot sauce.  Press the two sides of the English Muffin together and place in mouth.  Chew, swallow, repeat until no more tuna melt is left.  If you're still hungry go make another one.  

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Leftovers on Huevos, Part I

My good friend Bryan once told me leftover Mexican food is best served over eggs the next morning.  'It may look and sound disgusting', he said, 'but it tastes amazing.  And it's great hangover food'.  He didn't have to convince me.  I was already imagining  what the flavor of this combo might be like.

When I'm hungover, I always treat the symptoms with a healthy dose of bowl hits to make the pains go away.  I also crave food of substance and am usually subject to what I've got in the fridge.  Eggs are a staple for me, and on this one particular day I didn't have any leftover Mexican food, but I did happen to have some leftover soup.  It was this heavy, chunky Tomato Artichoke soup w/ black olives and lot's of seasoning veggies and herbs mixed in.  The soup had the aroma of a Pizza Hut pizza.  I know that sounds weird, but it was delicious (and didn't really taste like pizza).

Cheesy Egg Toast and Leftover Creamy Tomato Artichoke Soup  

1 piece bread, toasted (I used some Hemp Seed Bread from French Meadow Bakery)
1-2 slices of cheese (any will do)
1 egg, fried, scrambled, poached-whatever your fancy
~ 1 cup leftover, heady, creamy tomato based soup
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 banana pepper, chopped (optional)
1/4 cup onions (if not present in soup)
Olive Oil/Butter/Cooking Oil

In a frying pan, heat no more then a tbsp of butter or oil to Medium+  heat.  When pan is heated, add garlic, onions and banana peppers.  Cook for 5 minutes.  Crack egg into pan and cook until desired readiness.  While the egg is cooking, place slice of cheese on toast and put in toaster oven and toast (or toast bread in toaster and then add cheese)  AND place soup in microwave (if you choose to heat it on the stove-top, begin this process before anything else.) Try to time it so that the toast will be done around the time the egg and soup are done, then place egg on top of cheese toast and scrape the pan of all the delicious onion, garlic and banana pepper bits on top of the egg.  Next, pour that creamy, chunky tomato-veggie soup over the whole thing.  The way my kitchen plates are shaped, they were able to hold in the soup w/out its spilling everywhere.  You may want to consider making this dish in a small-medium sized bowl if your plates aren't equipped to handle the load.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Skillet Baked Macaroni & Cheese w/ Broccoli & Red Pepper

Macaroni and Cheese is my ultimate favorite food and has been as long as I can remember.  It's rich, warm, cheesy and satisfying.  This will be the first of many Mac & Cheese recipes to be posted on this blog.  I'm starting with the best, in my opinion, and also the more labor intensive. This is recipe that has evolved from a traditional, homemade baked Mac & Cheese recipe that my Aunt made one summer that blew my mind.  I was 13 and already a huge fan of the boxed varieties.  I got the recipe from my Aunt  so I could recreate it at home.  Over the years I experimented with extra ingredients  and cooking methods and this is what I've created today...

Skillet Baked Macaroni & Cheese with Broccoli and Red Peppers

1   8 oz block of Cheddar Cheese
1/2 lb  Macaroni (uncooked)
1   16 oz  tub of Cottage Cheese (low-fat or regular)
4 oz  thinly sliced Alta Badea Cheese (can sub Swiss or Emmentaler)
1 medium Egg
1 1/2 tbsp Butter
1 medium Onion, chopped
1 tbsp chopped Garlic
1/2 cup chopped Broccoli
1 medium Red Pepper, chopped
3/4 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
Salt and Pepper 

Preheat oven to 350 F 
Chop Cheddar Cheese into 1/2 - 1 inch cubes.
Boil Macaroni in a large pot until al-dente.  
Melt butter in large cast iron skillet.
Sauté Onions, Garlic and Red Peppers in skillet, approximately 15 minutes, then take skillet off heat.  
Drain and rinse Macaroni with cold water.  
Mix Cottage Cheese, Cheddar Cheese and Egg in a large bowl.  Add Macaroni.  Add slightly cooled Onion/Garlic/Red Pepper mixture.  Mix well.
Pour mixture back into skillet, shake over with Salt & Pepper and cover with aluminum foil.

Bake for 30 minutes and then remove from oven.  Remove foil and add thinly sliced Alta Badea evenly on top of Macaroni, then evenly distribute Panko Bread Crumbs over dish.  

Place back into the oven uncovered.  Cook for another 30 minutes, or until the top browns. 
This dish is probably best pre-planned for a group of pot-heads.  I recommend waiting to light the pipe until about 15-20 minutes before it comes out of the oven.  Don't worry, the aroma of the dish will prevent you from forgetting to pull it out in time.  

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Toasted Pine Nuts and Dark Chocolate Chips

It's the little things...

I thought that this would be a good introductory post.  Something simple and strange inspired by an ingredient I was using to make dinner and another ingredient that was  hanging out in the fridge.  Found ingredients are where most of the dishes in this blog will come from.  The munchee quest for most of us ends with a combination of what we have close by along with the desire to blow our minds and satiate our bellies with something so comforting or so strange.

I was toasting some pine nuts (just throw some in a small cast iron skillet and put on medium heat, toss until lightly brown and fragrant) to top some pasta I was making. After I ate the savory my craving for sweet crept up.  I went to grab a few dark chocolate chips that I had leftover from the Apple Chocolate Chip Cake that I made for my birthday.  The still warm, leftover pine nuts in the pan were calling out to mingle with the chocolate.  I couldn't refuse their cries and I'm glad I didn't.  The result was delicious and new, but with the familiar comfort of a chocolate-nutty combination with the warm pine nuts helping to melt the chocolate.   Mmmmmmmm.....

If you happen to be the type of stoner cook who keeps pine nuts and any type of chocolate around, this is a quick, easy, rich and satisfying snack.  If not, then any warm nuts and chocolate are delicious.