Showing posts from March, 2015

What's for lunch? A Refridgerator-Clearer Frittata

Frittatas are a go-to leftover clearer in my house.  Leftovers present a challenge to cooks that have finicky eaters in the house. I happen to love finding things to do with them, but I have run across finicky eaters that don't like leftovers, or anything do to with them.  Frittatas, which are essentially a baked omelet, are a great disguise for anything that you need to rid of in your fridge. 
Last night was a "Wii Kirk" at our little Presbyterian church in Arlington, VA. WE have about one a month in the cooler times of the year.   The pastor's wife, St. Cheryl of Shirlington, and I bake a total of about 20 to 30 pizzas for whoever shows up, we set up a big screen with a Nintendo Wii attached for the kids or whomever to play.  People bring things to share, like salads, dessert, wine, home brewed beer, etc.  It's a grand way to start the weekend!
Anyway, I found myself looking for something to make on Saturday for lunch.  These were the things that fell out of m…

Clark's Knearly Kno-Knead Artisan Boule

Several years ago, the NY Times Mark Bittman, published a  No-Knead artisan bread recipe that launched thousands of youtube and blog posts. It's really simple - flour, water, salt and a lot less yeast than you think you'd need, bake it in a cast-iron dutch oven in a 500 degree oven for 30 minutes with the cover on, 15 minutes with the cover off.  The result is a lovely, round "store bought" appearing loaf.  The crust is crunchy and the inside is moist and chewy.  A long rise time gives it a tangy, sourdough flavor. The magazine Cook's Illustrated, tweaked this recipe a year or so ago, adding beer and a some vinegar - allowing for a shorter rise time and a more pronounced sourdough flavor.

Mark Bittman's recipe never worked right for me, the bottom was always burned.  Also, because it was no-knead, I often found streaks of unincorporated flour in the boule - not cool.  Kneading for just about 2 minutes, will ensure this doesn't happen.  I have made several…

Garden Season is Nigh!!

ZOMG!!!  It's getting near to garden season!!!  I cannot wait!  Are you with me??

Vegetarian "Pizza" Soup

Ok, it's not pizza, but it's really tasty. This is how this soup came about, it's one of the few recipes that I made up all by myself [preens a little :-)],  We do this thing out our Presbyterian Church called Wii Kirk every month or so.  Wii Kirk is on a Friday nights and the pastor's wife, whom I will always refer to as Saint Cheryl of Shirlington, bake an assortment of pizzas from scratch for whomever shows up.  The kids play Wii on the big screen, the parents have a glass of wine or two and have a nice start to their weekend.  It's become a mostly secular tradition at our little church. Saint Cheryl and I have a good time doing it, and it brings people to the church that might not attend a Sunday service.

Last year my spouse and I were doing this 28 day diet called Shred, and a Wii Kirk happened in the middle of this program.  I created this soup so that we wouldn't be tempted by the luscious pizzas- it didn't work, but it's a really amazing soup, …

Spinach-Cannelli Bean Soup

I have made a version of this before with chicken and chicken stock, but this version is vegan and 'fasting-day' friendly.  I think a serving (a heaping cup) would probably be around 150 calories.  The two cups of pureed beans for the 'Bean Broth' add a creaminess to the soup that "almost" makes it seem like there is dairy in it.  I believe that this was adapted from a Lynne Rossetto Kasper (the host of that awesome public radio show, The Splendid Table) recipe, hers had chicken in it, I am pretty sure.

ABOUT THESE BEANS:  I prepared one pound of cannelli beans according to package directions, but they came out mushy. I am not sure what I did wrong.  I boiled them for a minute, then allowed to soak for an hour, then cooked for about 40 minutes (the package said to cook for ONE HOUR(!)).  One pound of dried cannelli beans yeilded between 5 and 6 cups of mushy beans.  They taste fine, it's just the texture.


PUREE in a blender, and se…

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Stew

I am still looking for low fat, vegan soup options for our two 'fasting' days. I combined two different recipes, that I found out on the intertubes and the results were WONDERFUL, you have the black beans with a with savory spices and big chunks of sweet potato that add a subtle nutty, sweetness. It's hearty enough to stick with you for a while.

About The Beans:  this recipe uses one whole pound of black beans.  I made them from dried beans, because I had the time and it's no big deal, they take approximately a couple hours ( pick through for small stones, add a tsp of salt, cover with water, bring them to a boil and remove from heat, soak for an hour, then cook until they are tender - black beans take about 30 - 40 minutes).  You don't don't have to babysit them, which makes it easy if you work-from-home.  One pound of dried beans yields about 6 - 7 cups of cooked beans.  If you don't care to cook your own beans, use three 15-oz cans of canned black beans (…