Category: food

Fast and Loose: Hummus Pita Pizzas

Some seasons seem like they’re about finishing the unfinished, about closing doors.

I was looking around in the drafts portion of this blog when I came across these photos. 

And this is the perfect recipe to share with my young associates. It’s the kind of recipe that proves that you don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen in order to come up with a tasty meal to eat.

But there is is a more important lesson here. This is a fridge meal. This is one of the meals where you repurpose the things that are hanging out in you fridge. 

Go ahead, preheat your oven. 350 degrees will work just fine.

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You pull out those mini pitas that you bought on a whim because they were so cute! And you put a bit of hummus on them, the hummus that you bought in a recent shopping while hungry incident. 

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Then, you check your jars. Maybe there are olives. Maybe there are roasted red peppers. Maybe there are pepperoncini. Maybe a swipe of pesto. You spice up that hummus with what’s in those jars.

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And then you assess your cheese situation. If you have some, sprinkle it on top of these mini pizzas. If you don’t, you move on to the next step.

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Put these on a baking sheet and pop them into the oven. This won’t take long. You’re just trying to crisp up the pita and warm through the toppings. You’re on the lookout for browning bread and melting cheese. These should smell a little like toast.

Pull them out of the oven, let them cool a little and there you have it: a meal!

In Search of a Coney Dog


On a whim, I asked Alex if he wanted to go on a quest to find the best coney dog in the area. Okay, okay, area  has a loose interpretation here. I included Flint because despite being from Flint, I’ve never had a coney at Angelo’s.

Why did I even do this? I’m not a huge hot dog fan, so the thought of chasing these saucy wieners around town isn’t right up there on the top of my list…but the universe must have known that this would be exciting to Alex. So, I asked and now we start the quest.

Being a planner, I had to start a list. What are we missing?

Ypsi-area

Ann Arbor

Flint

Detroit

Any suggestions? Favorites?

365 Days of Salad

I decided at the last minute to do a New Year’s goal. 

I’m going to try to eat a green salad every day in 2017. 

This shouldn’t be too hard. I love salad! I love coming up with different flavor combinations. However, sometimes when you don’t slow down, it can be a challenge to get in the things that you know add to a quality life.

Here’s to fiber and tastiness and better habits one day at a time.

 

 

Tasting and Testing: Lay’s Potato Chips


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I love to cook at home, but I also like to try all sorts of weird food products. I know that I shouldn’t like this. I know that it isn’t good for me sometimes, but the mouth wants what it wants. You know, I can’t decide whether or not I’m comfortable with that last sentence.

Listening to The Nosh Show doesn’t help me manage these impulses. There are several products that I tasted that I surely wouldn’t have if it weren’t for this show. I would list them, but I don’t know whether my self-esteem permits it. 

Recently on the show, they talked about the chips that are a part of the Lay’s flavor contest. I knew that if I had the chance that I’d pick these up. As I did my weekly shopping, I thought that I wouldn’t see these when I finally encountered the end cap that displayed them. I didn’t pick up all four flavors, just the Southern Biscuits and Gravy flavor and the Kettle Cooked Gyro flavor.

I knew that Alex and I would need to do a taste test. Since we’re still actively moving, quick dinners are super helpful right now. Also, he loves things like this and often begins conversations with, “remember the time we….”

When I told Alex about the taste test, he was pretty excited about the idea. We had the chips with a chicken sausage. As soon as I could get the chips on the plate, we tucked in.

Of the Kettle Cooked Greektown Gyro, Alex said, “I’d have to say a nacho with zest and vinegar.” I think that was his joke response? What followed made a little more sense, “I think there’s a little meat to that one.” I thought this one was pretty tasty. I’ll have no problem doling these out as a part of my lunch for a while.chiptest1

Of the Southern Biscuits and Gravy, Alex had nothing much to say. He asked me what I thought. I told him that I couldn’t really pick up much. He agreed, saying that they taste pretty plain. 

An occasional completist, now I’m dying to try the other two flavors, Wavy West Coast Truffle Fries and New York Reuben.

 

 

Roasted Beer and Lime Cauliflower Tacos with Cilantro Coleslaw

vegantacos1I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Thug Kitchen for Christmas. 

I took that book to bed that night and read through the recipes. While I am not vegan, or even vegetarian, I often love vegan recipes, particularly the ones that aren’t trying to be something that they’re not. From what I could read in this book so far, these recipes focus on the ingredients and seem to layer flavors in a smart delicious fashion.

So, here I am two days later already cooking from the book. This is a good thing. I think that I have eaten out more in December 2014 than I ever have before in my entire life. That has got to stop.

There are many, many things that I want to try from the book. Among them are: Quinoa Oatmeal, Maple Berry Grits, Baked Okra and Potato Hash, Lentil Tacos with Carrot-Jicama Slaw, and Lemony Red Lentil Soup.

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The Roasted Beer and Lime Cauliflower Tacos though made up my maiden voyage with the book and they were delicious…even though I didn’t actually have any vegetable broth, which the recipe calls for. I subbed water, and the recipe was still dang flavorful. I loved the texture and the spice of the cauliflower and the contrast of the cool slaw. I had two of these tacos and was all set for dinner. 

I can’t wait to see what else Thug Kitchen has to offer.

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Fast and Loose: Season Change Kale Salad

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 Sometimes, you need a salad in your life. For me that’s what happens when I’ve been indulging too many culinary whims. There are only so many fries, beers and cupcakes you can eat before your body gasps out to you, “Green. I’ll take anything green. Please. Green.”

 When that happens to me, not that it has happened any embarrassing amount of times or anything. Nope. Never that. But when it does happen, I know that I’m going to grab a bag of kale, because like everyone else right now, I am a kale lover. I love kale so much I  don’t even care if you interpret that to mean the most creepy thing you can imagine.

Usually I throw it in a smoothie or saute it and eat it with eggs, but this time I wanted to experience the rawness of the kale.

Kale and pears

Um…

Let me try that again. 

I decided that I wanted to make a salad. As I walked around in the grocery store, I picked up a pomegranate, too.

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At home that’s when the fun began. I sliced the kale and then added some pear chunks to it. Then I toasted some walnuts who had been waiting for some culinary love in the freezer for some time. I added those and some blue cheese. Then I cut up a chicken breast and added it to the salad, giving it meal potential. Finally, I added those pomegranate arils.

It was time to dress the thing, so I made a simple dressing from lemon juice, olive oil, salt, mustard and a little bit of agave syrup.

A salad was born.

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Pear Butter Funnel Cakes

Pear Butter Funnel CakeI had a pot of barely used oil on my stovetop and I wanted to put it to good use.

That is the kitchen equivalent to, “It was a dark and stormy night….”

Part of me wanted to make donuts. The other part of me didn’t want to wait for donuts to proof. I was more in the mood for a culinary quickie.

Enter the funnel cake. Now, I originally planned to make pumpkin funnel cakes, it being October and all. I love the seasonal stuff. It makes me so happy! Because of this seasonal product lust, I had recently purchased a can of pumpkin. 

And I lost it.

It wasn’t the little can.

Where, oh where can my pumpkin be?

By the time I realized I had lost the pumpkin. (See, that doesn’t even sound like something that should happen). I had already mixed the dry ingredients for the funnel cake. I had also heated the oil.

I had to do something. 

Then, I remembered a stash of  pear butter that I made and canned a while ago. And I knew what had to be done.

And it was good.

Pear Butter Funnel Cakes
Print
Ingredients
1 quart vegetable oil, for frying
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup pear butter (apple butter would work here, too)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup powdered sugar, for dusting
Instructions
Place the oil in a deep pot over medium heat.
While the oil is heating, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
Add the eggs, brown sugar and pear butter and whisk until a smooth batter forms.
Check the oil by dropping a small drop of water into it. This should cause bubbling. If it causes popping, your oil is too hot.
Scoop about a half cup of the batter into a zip top bag or a plastic piping bag.
Cut a small bit of the corner from the zip top bag (or tip from the piping bag) and pipe batter into the oil in a circular pattern. Don't be worried if it looks strange at first, once the batter gets frying, it will be recognizable as a funnel cake.
Let the batter fry for a few seconds until golden brown on the bottom. Flip your funnel cake using a pair of forks or tongs. Fry until golden on the other side.
Remove the funnel cake from the oil and place on a paper towel-lined plate.
Dust funnel cake with powdered sugar using a sieve.
Repeat process with remaining batter. I like to place the bag in a cup with the tip at the bottom of the cup, then lift it from the cup. This helps to avoid spilling too much batter from the tip of the cup.
Adapted from Something Swanky: Deserts and Designs
Project Addict http://sherlonya.net/blog/

Fast and Loose: Fried Rice

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I had some rice left over from some takeout and decided to make fried rice. This rice had the perfect texture, and I seldom have rice hanging around, so the decision was made essentially as soon as I put two and two together.

I had also cooked some bacon that day because it had stayed out of the fridge for a short enough time that I still wanted to eat it, but long enough that I wanted to cook it immediately.

So, this rice began using the grease from the bacon. I added a little canola oil to it to reduce the likeliness of making a smoky mess in my kitchen, then, once the oil got hot, I threw in some coleslaw mix that I had in the fridge. Next, I added some frozen peas to the mix, then came the rice.  Here, I stirred everything together, and added some soy sauce. By this point, things were smelling good and looking done. So, I cracked an whisked an egg, then stirred it into the food until the egg was cooked through. Finally, I added about two slices of cooked bacon to the mix. I bet you can guess that the sauce on top is Sriracha.

I didn’t put the Sriracha on my son’s fried rice. He enjoyed it, and took some to school in his lunch the next day. When he got home and discovered that it was all gone, he was disappointed. 

However, with a success like this under my belt, it’s more likely that I’ll whip up some fried rice in the future.