November 6th, 2008

What I should have been doing: packing.
What I did instead: made an apple pie and a vegan loaf

If you haven’t seen it before, check out The Magical Loaf Studio, where you can “Design Your Own Adventist-Style Vegan Dinner Loaf!”
Don’t be skeptical! I’ve made a few different loaves and they’ve all been pretty delicious. It’s a great way to use up odds and ends in your pantry, too. Today’s loaf included black beans, carrots, shallot, garlic, wheat germ, cooked oatmeal, soy sauce, tomato paste, mustard, and a variety of spices. The neat thing about throwing the vegan loaf together is that you can taste it before you bake it, unlike meat or egg-based loaves.

Moving on to dessert. I rolled out the crust and put it in the pie dish. So pretty before baking!

Apple Pie

How was that for foreshadowing? Imagine my dismay when I opened the oven after 8 minutes and found that the pie crust had slipped down from the rim in some sections. Goodbye pretty crimps! Oh well. I forged ahead with apples (a mix of Mutsu, Cameo, and Fuji apples from last week’s CSA share) brown sugar, and a crumble topping.

Apple Pie

The pie baked for about an hour at 350. I did not manage to take a picture before some of the pie went missing.

Apple Pie

Was this the prettiest pie ever? No.
Was it a tasty pie? Yes.
Would it have been better if I’d followed an actual recipe? Hmm. Maybe?
Was it good enough for a Thursday night? Yes!

Mom, I promise I’ll pack tomorrow.


November 5th, 2008

I have a lot of cookbooks.

I enjoy reading cookbooks. I don’t often follow a recipe when I’m cooking, but I love reading recipes and paging through books for inspiration. I follow recipes much more closely when I’m baking and it’s always a joy to find a book where the recipes consistently *work*. I think I’ve mentioned it before, but Secrets of a Jewish Baker: Recipes for 125 Breads from Around the World is one of those books. After following 3 very different recipes (challah, pita, cracked wheat bread) and finding success each time, I feel confident that anything else I try from this book will turn out well. Tomorrow I’ll post pictures and my adaptation of the Cracked Wheat Bread recipe.

In the meantime, I thought I’d start to document my bookshelf. I think it will take me a few days to get everything listed.

Pumpkin Pie, Part 2

November 4th, 2008

One can of pumpkin? Check.
One can of evaporated milk? Oh. Well, no.

I had a can of sweetened condensed milk in my pantry and I didn’t want to go to the store, so I poked around until I found a pumpkin pie recipe that called for sweetened condensed milk.
Here is my adaptation of the recipe. You can find the original recipe here.
Pumpkin Pie Filling
1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup sour cream
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs

*if you’re using the crust recipe from the previous post*
Preheat oven to 400°F. Roll out the pie crust and fit into a 9 inch pie plate. You definitely want to use a deep dish pie plate, but my Emile Henry pie plate was almost *too* deep. Pierce crust all over with a fork. Bake the crust until lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Cool crust on rack. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.

Whisk pumpkin, condensed milk, sour cream, and spices in large bowl to blend. (I used the whisk attachment on my mixer.) Whisk in eggs.

Pour filling in to crust. Bake pie until filling is puffed around sides and set in the center, about 55 minutes. Cool pie on rack. Let stand at room temperature 2 hours, or if you’re impatient, eat a piece when the pie is still warm and then another piece later when it’s cool. It really does change when you let it cool and set.

Pumpkin Pie

November 3rd, 2008

I don’t make pie very often, because I don’t often feel like dealing with homemade pie crust and I haven’t come across a store-bought crust that I thought was worth it. This might be the pie crust recipe that changes everything. Oy, like I really need to be baking pie on a regular basis.

pumpkin pie

Easy Food Processor Pie Crust
makes 2 crusts
2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chilled butter, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup frozen solid vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
(I like Spectrum Organic Shortening)
6 tablespoons ice water

Blend flour, sugar, and salt in processor. Add butter and shortening; and blend until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 6 tablespoons ice water and continue to mix until dough begins to clump together, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if it’s too dry. Divide dough in half, flatten each half into a disk, and wrap each disk in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

On the edge of your seat? Tomorrow I’ll post the pumpkin filling part of the recipe. I’m heading to the polls at 6am so I must skedaddle off to bed. Happy voting!

November, November.

November 2nd, 2008

November is the month for NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, and NaBloPoMo, National Blog Posting Month. Why did they have to concentrate these activities in November? Is it the N? November is such a busy month. What about March? There’s nothing major going on in March.

I had every intention of doing NaNoWriMo this time around, but with my travel schedule this month it seems unlikely that I’d be able to write 50,000 words by the end. Maybe NaBloPoMo is more realistic. Sadly, that means I should have posted yesterday. We’ll see how much progress I make on either one of these projects. I’m also getting back in to running. Maybe November *is* the month for ambitions or ambitious projects after all.

This morning I woke up early (thanks, fall back day!), went running at the gym, and spent the rest of the day cooking and baking, rather than writing. Here’s what I made today: socca, two loaves of cracked wheat bread, five dozen chocolate chip cookies, one pumpkin pie, and pressure cooker brown rice “breakfast pudding”. Photos and recipes to come this week. I will say that while everything is delicious, I’m particularly proud of the bread and the pumpkin pie. I tried a new pie crust recipe (easy, will share) and a new filling recipe (also easy) and it was definitely a success. I accidentally left an ingredient out of the filling and it was still delicious (no, it wasn’t the pumpkin).

2008 CSA Week 12

September 8th, 2008

The photo this week is a little different than most weeks. I was out of town at a conference and Jeremie picked up the share. He was very nice and took a picture of the booty with his cameraphone.

Week 12 CSA Share

Bolero Carrots-1 bunch
Walla Wall Onions-2
Tomatoes-3 pounds
Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes-1 basket
Summer Squash-2 pounds
Black Bell Eggplant-1
Oregano-1 bunch
Sweet Peppers-3
Bright Lights Swiss Chard-1 bunch
Tomatillos – 1 pound

Fruit Share-Seckle Pears and Nectarines, blackberries

I did a bunch of baking and cooking yesterday. I made pita again and they turned out even better this time. I think the oven might have been a little hotter? Not sure. I also made black eyed pea hummus, tomato and feta salad, two batches of Chocolate Chip Zucchini bread, a triple batch of gazpacho for freezing, two chard and onion quiches, and tomatillo salsa. I followed this recipe from Epicurious, but I left out the serrano chili since I didn’t have one on hand. When the salsa finished cooking I thought it was delicious as-is, so I didn’t add the lime juice or cilantro.

2008 CSA Week 11 (catching up)

September 8th, 2008

This was the week of the Onion Incident.

2008 CSA Week 11 - Veg

Summer Squash-2 pounds
Walla Walla Onions-2 **
Edamame-1 bunch-the beans are much larger this week and look perfect
Peppers-3 each-this is a mix of peppers, all sweet varieties.
Chiogga Beets-1 bunch
Tomatoes-3 pounds
Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes-1 basket
Summer Spinach-1 bunch
Sage-1 bunch

** note. This was supposed to be 2 onions. Whoever typed up the share list for the distribution site listed the onion quantity as 2 pounds. Since 2 onions weigh much, much less than two pounds of onions, the onions ran out rather quickly. Since we don’t get to the distribution site until about an hour after the pickup hours begin, no onions for us.

2008 CSA Week 11 - Fruit

donut peaches, red clapp pears, yellow peaches

We ate the spinach steamed with sweet sesame/soy sauce. The zucchinis went in to a batch of Chocolate Chip Zucchini bread, one loaf of which I traded with Eric for an Acela upgrade coupon. The edamame went in to the freezer and most of the tomatoes… we just ate. They’re delicious. We took the sungold cherry tomatoes along for a snack on the plane to Minneapolis.

2008 CSA Week 10

August 27th, 2008

I might be a slacker when it comes to posting, but I was no slouch in the cooking department this week! Everything is all used up, save one bunch of beets, thanks to a little bit of work this morning.

Here’s what we got last Wednesday:

2008 CSA Week 10 - Veg

Slicing Tomatoes-3 pounds
Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes-1 basket
Walla Wall Onions-2
Early Jersey Wakefield Cabbage-1 head
Black Bell Eggplant-1
Summer Squash-2 pounds
Edamame-1 bunch
Bright Lights Swiss Chard-1 bunch
Basil-1 bunch

2008 CSA Week 10 - Veg


During the past week we’ve had toasts with chopped tomato, basil, and olive oil, pasta with swiss chard and pine nuts and Cherry tomato & feta salad (from Barefoot Contessa at Home, also Food Network).

Of course we went to the farmers market this weekend, where I was compelled to buy six beautiful eggplant, a bunch of carrots, and some sweet corn.

I used cabbage from the share along with some carrots from the market in a batch of Asian Slaw for a bbq at our neighbor’s house.
I made a couple of batches of eggplant caponata (Everyday Food, April) for the freezer with most of the eggplant. The two remaining eggplant were on my mind this morning, along with the entire two pounds of summer squash from last week. I’m just tired of summer squash. I had enough of the right odds and ends around so I made a batch of ratatouille before work this morning.


diced yellow onion, whole red pearl onions, eggplant, summer squash, and fresh tomatoes

2008 CSA Week 10 - Fruit

donut peaches, apricots, yellow peaches, and blackberries

I love donut peaches. I’m so glad we’re getting them again this week.


August 20th, 2008

I’ve wanted to make these ever since I saw this post/recipe for whole grain pancakes on Bakers’ Banter a couple of weeks ago. I bought the buttermilk almost two weeks ago (thankfully it’s still good) but it took me awhile to get up enough morning motivation and organization to make them. It was quite easy and now I have a batch of mix in my freezer.

whole grain pancakes whole grain pancakes
whole grain pancakes whole grain pancakes

whole grain pancakes

I followed the King Arthur Whole-Grain Pancake Mix recipe almost exactly. I only had 60g of White Whole Wheat flour so used that, plus 420g of their 100% Organic Whole Wheat. My pancakes were a little darker than theirs but the taste shouldn’t be any different. Use what you have. These pancakes are delicious.

2008 CSA Week 9

August 14th, 2008


I picked eleven pounds of cucumber from my garden last night. My refrigerator is a wee bit ridiculous right now.

Here’s what we got in the share yesterday.

2008 CSA Week 9 - Veg

Orient Express Eggplant-2
*Walla Walla Onions-2
Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes-1 basket
Slicing Tomatoes-1 1/2 pounds
Gold Beets-1 bunch
Lilac Peppers-2
Cilantro-1 bunch
*Fennel-1 head
Summer Squash-2 pounds

Someone had put their onions in the swap box so I swapped out my fennel. Excellent trade in my book.

2008 CSA Week 9 - Fruit

donut peaches
shiro plums

Last night I made chocolate chip zucchini bread with the zucchini. I made four mini loaves and two of them are definitely prettier than the other. I was not in a great mood. The kitchen was hot, it was late, and I should have been paying more attention. I tested one loaf and when it was done I pulled all the loaves out. The others could have used a few more minutes but it was too late by the time I noticed. Totally careless mistake.

For dinner we had chopped tomatoes with fresh mozzarella, Maldon salt (it’s large and crispy), a drizzle of olive oil, and fresh ground pepper. Delicious.