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Author Archives: Emily

About Emily

Cook and music fan.

Oven Dried Cherry Tomatoes

At the end of the season, I had a bunch of tomatoes I didn’t think would be that great raw. So I decided to dry them. It’s actually not that hard to make your own dried tomatoes. Just use your oven!

When I took them to my parents’ for a dinner, we ate them all with the nibbles before dinner. The salty-sourness of them were addictive. Try it sometime!

  1. Remove all stems from tomatoes and cut them in half length-wise.
  2. Place the cut tomatoes on some sort of cake or cookie rack that can be placed on top of another flat pan in the oven. This will allow the hot air to circulate all around the tomatoes and help them to dry out evenly.
  3. Sprinkle the tomatoes with Kosher salt.
  4. Place in the oven at 200 degrees F for about four hours, checking to see if the tomatoes have dried out. It may take more time. It may take less time. It will depend on the size of the tomatoes.

–Recipe courtesy Mother Nature Network.

Before the oven:

Tomatoes Ready for the Oven

 

After the oven:

 

Oven Dried Tomatoes

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Blueberry-Pineapple Pie

I had a bag of frozen Trader Joe’s blueberries and a bag of frozen Trader Joe’s pineapple bits in our freezer for probably a year and I wanted to think of something to do with them. After googling, I found this recipe. I didn’t bother making a crust; I just used pre-made. That meant I didn’t get to lattice it and it didn’t end up looking very pretty, but it made a nice-tasting pie, anyway!

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 Tbs cornstarch
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks, about the same size as the blueberries
  • 1 Tbs of fresh pineapple juice or lime juice

Instructions

  1. Mix the cornstarch and the sugar. Add the berries and stir to coat. Stir in the pineapple and pineapple juice and let stand for 15 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  3. Roll out the pie dough and make the top and bottom crusts. Fill the pie. Add the top crust and brush with an egg white beaten with a little water.
  4. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.
  5. Reduce the heat to 375 degrees for 40-50 minutes. The pie will be bubbly and golden brown.
  6. Let cool on a wire rack. Serve warm with your favorite ice cream.

Recipe courtesy thisisdairyfree.blogspot.com.

Naked pie:

Blueberry-Pineapple Pie

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Spinach Gunge

I came across this very Britishly named recipe while listening to one of my faves, the Spilled Milk podcast. When I made it, I don’t think I used enough spinach though, because it sort of turned into a spinach flavored cheese sauce rather than the spinach side dish it was supposed to be. Wasn’t too bad though!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds fresh spinach, stemmed
  • 1 1/2 cups (lightly packed) grated Pecorino, Parmesan, or Manchego cheese (about 3 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup crème fraîche
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

  • Melt butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Working in 4 batches, add spinach to pot, tossing to wilt between batches. Stir in cheese, crème fraîche, and mustard. Using an immersion blender, regular blender, or food processor, purée spinach mixture until very smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

–Recipe courtesy Spilled Milk/Bon Appetit.

Spinach Gunge

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Hearty Beef Stew

My dad gave us some tri-tip pieces from a dinner at their place, and I didn’t want them to sit in the freezer forever, so when I came across this recipe in Everyday Food, it seemed like a good idea to make it (even though I’m sure we used the “wrong” cut of meat to do it). I turned out pretty well, especially when we sprinkled some French fried onions over the top!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • Coarse salt and pepper
  • 3/4 pound small potatoes, halved
  • 1/2 pound frozen peas and carrots, thawed

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large heavy pot, toss beef with flour. Stir in tomatoes, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium-high, transfer to oven, and cook 1 hour. Stir in potatoes and cook until beef and potatoes are tender, about 1 hour more. Stir in peas and carrots and let sit 5 minutes before serving.

–Recipe courtesy Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food magazine, December 2012.

Yummay stew with French fried onions sprinkled over the top:

Hearty Beef Stew

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Chicken-and-Artichoke Lasagna

I’m not much of a lasagna maker. Maybe I’ve just had too much bad lasagna; I’m not a fan. This recipe was pretty tasty though I’m not really sure I’d call it lasagna.. It was a nice casserole.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 yellow onion, diced medium
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken [I harvested meat from a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store]
  • 1 1/2 cups roughly chopped marinated artichoke hearts, divided, plus 1 tablespoon marinade
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 6 no-boil lasagna noodles

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium. Add celery and onion; cook until translucent, 5 minutes. Stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Increase heat and slowly stir in broth. Bring to a boil, stirring, and cook until liquid thickens, 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in chicken and 1/2 cup artichokes; season with salt and pepper. Mix breadcrumbs with marinade; season with salt and pepper.
  2. Spread 1/2 cup chicken mixture in a 2-quart baking dish. Top with 2 noodles and 1 1/2 cups chicken mixture; repeat. Top with remaining 2 noodles, chicken mixture, and 1 cup artichokes, then scatter breadcrumbs on top. Bake until top is deep golden brown, 30 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes.

–Recipe courtesy Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food magazine, December 2012.

“Lasagna”:

Chicken and Artichoke Lasagna

 
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Posted by on January 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Cranberry Cobbler

I bought some fresh bagged cranberries at Safeway with the plan of making something with them, but the next day I got a box of them in the FFTY box. Fresh organic cranberries win every time. This cake had a great mixture of sweet brown cake and sour squishy cranberries. The cranberries from the supermarket are in the freezer now; I’ll need to break some out to make this again!

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
  • 1 1/4 cups cranberries, partially thawed if frozen
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-inch cast-iron skillet. Stir together cranberries and 2 tablespoons sugar. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining 3/4 cup sugar. In a small bowl, whisk together milk and egg, then whisk in butter. Whisk milk mixture into flour mixture until combined.
  2. Pour batter into skillet and scatter cranberries on top. Bake until center springs back when lightly touched, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before serving (or let sit at room temperature, up to 8 hours).
  3. Note: Let cool for 15 minutes before serving (or let sit at room temperature for up to 8 hours).

–Recipe courtesy Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food magazine, November 2012.

Cranberry Cobbler

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Broccoli-Cheese Soup

This soup seems to be a common offering at places like Subway and diner-like restaurants. I hadn’t ever made it myself though. It’s pretty easy, and way better than the commercially made ones. Don’t be shy with the nutmeg. Next time I make it, I’ll be using my new immersion blender!

Ingredients

  • 1 whole Onion, Diced
  • 1 stick 1/2 Cup Butter
  • 1/3 cup Flour
  • 4 cups Whole Milk
  • 2 cups Half-and-half
  • 4 heads Broccoli Cut Into Florets
  • 1 pinch Nutmeg
  • 3 cups Grated Cheese (mild Cheddar, Sharp Cheddar, Jack, Etc.)
  • Small Dash Of Salt (more If Needed)
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • Chicken Broth If Needed For Thinning

Instructions

  1. Melt butter in a pot over medium heat, then add the onions. Cook the onions for 3 to 4 minutes, then sprinkle the flour over the top. Stir to combine and cook for 1 minute or so, then pour in milk and half-and-half. Add nutmeg, then add broccoli, a small dash of salt, and plenty of black pepper.
  2. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender. Stir in cheese and allow to melt.
  3. Taste seasonings and adjust if needed. Then either serve as is, or mash it with a potato masher to break up the broccoli a bit, or transfer to a blender in two batches and puree completely. (If you puree it in a blender, return it to the heat and allow to heat up. Splash in chicken broth if needed for thinning.)

–Recipe courtesy The Pioneer Woman.

Yum!

Broccoli-Cheese Soup

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Prune Cake

I saw this recipe in some SJ Mercury clippings my parents gave me and I had to make it. I enjoy making recipes that no one seems to make anymore and this is that. I used pitted prunes, so no need to pit them per the instructions. I enjoyed the nice prune flavor; it was kind of like coffee cake with raisins, but chewier and more caramelly.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound or 1½ cups dried prunes
  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 1¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼-½ teaspoon cloves
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs

Crumb topping

  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup broken walnut pieces

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover prunes with water and simmer 20 minutes or until tender. Drain, reserving 2/3 cup of the liquid, adding more water if necessary. Pit and chop prunes.
  2. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Add sugar, prune liquid and vegetable oil. Blend vigorously for 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating for a minute each time, then stir in prunes. Pour into greased, floured 13- by 9-inch baking dish.
  3. For the topping, combine sugar and flour, then cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle topping over cake, then top with nuts. Bake 35-45 minutes or until done. Serve warm.

–Recipe courtesy Amber Rice & The San Jose Mercury News.

Prune Cake

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

2012 in review

Weird, my most popular post this year was Black Sesame Panna Cotta!! I never would have guessed.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,200 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 4 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Refried Beans

My favorite thing at a taqueria is the beans. I’m not really that big a fan of the meat (fish/prawn tacos and the occasional carnitas not withstanding); generally my burrito jam is beans, cheese, and onions, drenched in hot sauce or salsa.

I became a huge fan of the Spilled Milk podcast a few months ago (completely randomly, I didn’t realize my fave Molly Wizenberg was one of the hosts), and I devoured all their shows in the course of a week or two of commute time. I highly recommend listening if you love hearing two nerds having fun talking about food and double-entendres. Anyway, they did a whole show on beans, which inspired me to try to cook dried beans myself (I never had before, believe it or not), and specifically refried beans, since I love them so much.

My first attempt turned out OK in terms of bean-cooking, but I burned the onions, which imparted a vaguely nasty flavor. They also were too dry (the recipe I used didn’t use enough broth for my taste). The second time, I didn’t burn my onions, saved more juice, and discovered how much nicer the consistency is if you use a blender (though I think my blender wasn’t all too happy about it, as it smelled like burned motor).

I do highly recommend the boil then bake method though – I had no trouble at all with undercooked beans, and it’s only 90 minutes with no presoaking!

Note: the below is a combined recipe from 2 sources, I’ll cite them at the end.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pinto beans
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 cup of onion, diced [I used more than this]
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 slices of bacon [or what I used – just reserved bacon fat]
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 250
  2. Dump the beans into a large dutch oven or pot with tight-fitting lid.  Pick out any broken pieces. Add the salt.  Top with enough water to cover the beans by an inch and a half.  Bring pot to a boil.
  3. Then cover the pot, and set in the oven.  Cook for 75 minutes, but at about 45 minutes in, check on the beans.  If they look too dry add some boiling water to the pot.
  4. After 75 minutes they should be done. Drain them, reserving 1-2 cups of bean broth (you won’t need all of that, but save more than you need)
  5. Fry the diced onion in the bacon grease for a couple of minutes, and then add the minced garlic and cook for another minute.
  6. Add the drained cooked beans into the skillet, adding 1/4 cup of the bean broth.
  7. Mash the beans with a potato masher, adding more bean broth for desired moisture. Keep stirring the mashed beans in the bacon fat until the texture is a chunky paste.
  8. If you like your beans very homogeneous in consistency, give them a spin in the blender (in batches).

–Recipe mashup courtesy The Paupered Chef and Homesick Texan.

First attempt (a little dry, and burned oniony, but overall a good attempt):

Refried Beans

 
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Posted by on December 24, 2012 in Uncategorized