Monthly Archives: May 2010

Custard-filled cornbread – dinner or dessert?

When I first read the recipe for custard-filled cornbread in Molly Wizenberg’s book, A Homemade Life, I wondered why it lacked a warning label.  Two cups of whole milk, one cup of heavy cream, corn meal, flour, sugar. The fat warning zoomed straight to red on this one.

But oh, is it worth it. Molly discovered the recipe in Marion Cunningham’s The Breakfast Book.  You can find the recipe here. I was relieved to see that a square is only 213 calories; it tasted to be at least twice as much. Consider reducing the sugar by half if you’re serving it for dinner as I did.  But take Molly’s advice and replace that sweetness with a spoon of maple syrup.  The sweet gooey cake-like bread was the perfect side for the spicy main attraction on a weeknight: Louisiana Greens with Andouille Sausage, a recipe on the package of Trader Joe’s bagged greens of kale, mustard greens and chard.

We enjoyed more of the cornbread the following night with paprika-spiced pork chops and roasted cauliflower with red pepper and caper vinaigrette. Trader Joe’s came to the rescue again, allowing me to substitute the roasted red peppers in the original recipe with a few dollops of its Red Pepper spread.  I love this zesty mash of red peppers, garlic and eggplant on most anything that benefits from a kick just before serving: scrambled eggs; artichoke dip; chicken burgers.

With my husband out of town, I took advantage of short cuts on Wednesday (baked penne with marinara sauce and sausage) and skipped the kitchen altogether on Thursday with teriyaki take-out. No complaints from the guys on this plan!

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Filed under Cookbooks, Quick

Burgers in a pinch

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– Posted using MobyPicture.com

I’m a Costco skeptic. When people rave about the bargains, all I can think about is the horror of finding a parking space.  And then there’s the phenomena of entering with four items on the shopping list and leaving with an overflowing basket and a few more digits than desired on the sales receipt.

Costco came through in a pinch yesterday. I stopped by for coffee and ink.  Left with chicken thighs, bananas, a beach towel and some other things I didn’t expect.  Including AmyLu’s Chicken Burgers with Caramelized Onions and Gouda.

A quick dinner with something for everyone:

Chicken burgers on Orowheat Sandwich Thins, topped with Trader Joe’s red pepper spread; a side of mini farfalle pasta with Cibo Naturals pesto sauce; and arugula salad with pears, pecans and goat cheese. Yum!

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Tempeh stirfry – tofu once removed

Son #1 took a look at the steamed tempeh resting in the strainer. “Is that some sort of cheese?”  Nope, tempeh. “What’s that?” he asked.  “Well, it’s made of soybeans. Sort of a substitute for tofu,” I explained.

YouAteThat photo

Tempeh subs for tofu in this spicy stirfry

“But worse,” he grimaced.

I wasn’t surprised and this time I was prepared. Spicy Thai Tofu with Red Bell Peppers wasn’t exactly kid food. Annie’s mac ‘n cheese was the back-up plan.  The guys were required to eat only two cubes of tempeh  with the veggies and rice before diving into a favorite stand-by.  My husband and I regaled the boys with memories of one of our favorite restaurants in Chicago that served all manner of tofu, tempeh, seitan and more.

“We’ll have to take you there when go back,” I noted.  Fat chance.

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Filed under Vegetarian

Smoked out but worth it

Recipe for setting off the smoke detector:  Bathe chicken breasts  in olive oil, roast in 500-degree oven. Doh!

You too can try this at home.  “New” Chicken Parmesan dipped in Parmesan instead of breadcrumbs, roasted for just 10 minutes and then topped with fresh mozzarella  (just after swinging a towel around the detector and opening the windows ).  The recipe’s roasted cherry tomatoes are a perfect topping for ditalini pasta (quickly mixed with oil and bit more Parmesan).  Add a salad and you’re done!

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Next time we'll swap the grill for the oven with "New" Chicken Parmesan

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Foodie File: Spotlight on Seattle treats

Here’s one for the foodie file: A travel piece in Sunday’s New York Times featuring some of our best treats.

Theo Chocolate, Panama Hotel, Columbia City Bakery, Full Tilt Ice Cream, Cafe Besalu, and Bakery Nouveau are featured.  I’ve only frequented two of these spots so I can see we have a bit of homework to do this summer.

Check it out:

The U.S. Issue | Choice Tables

In the Seattle Area, an Assortment of Treats

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Filed under Foodie, Restaurants to try

Turkey burgers worth repeating

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Turkey burgers get a thumbs up, finally

Ground turkey is slowing gaining respect in my household.

Instead of a guaranteed groan from the guys — all three of them — they’ve become more open-minded when they hear turkey burgers are on the menu.  It took some digging, but I’ve stashed away a few recipes with enough flare to make budget-friendly and bland ground turkey a regular on our weeknight menus.

On Thursday I gave the guys a choice — turkey burgers with zesty Mexican seasonings or curried turkey burgers.  They chose the latter; I was glad.  I had picked up a package of whole wheat Mediterranean flat breads from Trader Joe’s that would be just right with the curried recipe.  Also scored dried cherries and organic chickpeas for a salad featured in this month’s issue of Real Simple.

youatethat photo

Mesclun salad with chickpeas and cherries took t-burgers to new heights

Back to the turkey, it takes a lot of seasoning to make the bird palatable in this form.  In the case of Curried Turkey Burgers, it’s a combination of curry powder, chutney, green onions and mint that gives the burgers a kick, plus a yogurt-based topping. Together with the mesclun salad with dried cherries and chickpeas, the burgers seemed more special than usual.  The boys inhaled the burgers but the salad was snubbed this time around. I understand. I didn’t like chickpeas as a kid either.

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Filed under Quick, Weeknight

What’s with the Coke-in-a-crockpot search?

It’s amazing how many people want to pour Coca-cola into their slow cookers. At least that’s my takeaway from the statistics on You Ate That???

Keyword searches for “cola,” “slow cooker” and “corned beef” — or any combination thereof — appear to be one of the most common paths for random visitors to find this blog. Pulled pork is another commonly searched term. My last endeavor with a pork shoulder in the slow cooker wasn’t so successful. I figure I did something wrong along the way so I’m still seeking salvation on the web.

Good Stuff NW, a food blogger in Oregon, discovered a series of tweets from The Little Red Bike, a cafe in Portland, for an amazing pulled pork. Here is the tweeted recipe:

  • Secrets to our pulled pork revealed! Start with nice, healthy pork butt. Make rub w/ pepper, paprika, mustard, coffee, ginger, sugar, salt.
  • Rub, cover, let sit in fridge overnight. Remove next day, allow to rest @ room temp. 2 hours, place in crockpot. http://twitpic.com/1f7cca
  • Top roast w/ garlic and sliced onions. http://twitpic.com/1f7ctu
  • Here’s the secret! Pour in one bottle of ginger beer. Cover, set crockpot on low 12 hours and cook. http://twitpic.com/1f7d9h
  • After 12 hours, remove remaining fat, shred, return to pot along w/bottle of BBQ sauce and cook 4 more hours. Place on buns w/slaw & enjoy

My taste buds occasionally dictate our travel plans so I keep a mental list of food destinations. The Little Red Bike is now officially on the list. The blog could be satisfying substitution until we make the trip to Portland; it’s on our “one day we will go to xxx for the weekend” list.

If anyone tries this recipe, let me know how it turns out!

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Filed under Foodie, Recipes, Restaurants to try, Slow cooker