Cooking with Sage.

anyone out there? by babyybritain
06.10.2009, 4:40 pm
Filed under: bell pepper, cheese, tomato, wine cricket…. pretending there was no hiatus…….

so, i have exciting news!  i’ve officially moved into the new apartment with the boyfriend, and that means a new kitchen!  okay, maybe not as exciting as i made it sound.  but i was pretty psyched to set up a new cooking workspace.  anyway, i’m now in pennsylvania, specifically in one of the suburbs of philadelphia- and the food scene over here is pretty spectacular.  first of all this area is just crawling with farms (amish country is about an hour away, i think?) so there’s lots of nice, fresh, local produce all around.  there’s tons of farmers markets, which i haven’t gotten to hit yet unfortunately, but that’s this weekend’s project (along with setitng up track lighting and hitting a few local wineries/breweries.. ahem.. anyway..)  besides the farms, we also have a trader joe’s and whole foods basically around the block.

in other news, as i mentioned i’m living with the boyfriend: a pretty dedicated carnivore.  if you haven’t noticed, eat very little meat.  not that i’m a dedicated vegetarian, i have a bite of his steak or chicken every once and a while, but i don’t eat it on a daily or even weekly basis.  so, how is this going to work?  i’m wondering the same thing.  beside the fact that i’m a B.S. in nutrition and he’s being living on cheeseburgers for the past 2 months.  well, it hasn’t been difficult or messy yet.  luckily, he does like beans and most vegetables, and he even loves soyrizo as much as i do.  about once a week i’m making a meal that can have meat for him and meatless for me (this week it was pasta and broccoli alfredo- with chicken for him and chickenless strips for me) but other than that there’s been some pretty delicious vegetarian meals going down here =)

anyway, onto the “recipe.”  this isn’t even a recipe.  it’s a list of ingredients that together makes a delicious salad.  i’ve been craving salads lately, i guess it’s the hot weather and all the nice summer produce around.  i would call this spanish inspired, but as the 2 other girls who write on this blog have lived in spain, i hesitate to call it that… =p

Salad Which May or May not be Inspired by Spanish Ingredients.

Black Beans
Corn on the Cob
Vidalia Onion
Manchego Cheese
Mixed (red, yellow, orange) Baby Bell Peppers
Butter and Chili Powder (for the corn)

We grilled the peaches, peppers, and corn on our illegal-in-the-new-apartment propane grill.  To be honest, the salad could have done without with peaches and more mango- i love mango!  but it wasn’t bad tasting by any means.  The corn got hit with some butter and a ton of hot mexican chili powder.

As for the dressing… I used Lemon-Tahini dressing from 101 Cookbooks because I was unsure about what kind of dressing would got best with the flavors in the salad, and i wanted a break from the bottled dressing we always use.  I just saw a nice looking recipe for lime-chili sauce, which probably would have worked well.

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dear sweet baby jesus (or whoever your illegitimate savior of choice is) by babyybritain

oh.  my.  god.  i just had a food orgasm.

it was perfect.  well seasoned.  time consuming, but worth it.  it was even so good we can totally disregard how i cannot eat anything a stuffed pepper in a neat and/or ladylike fashion.

yes, a stuffed pepper.  but it doesn’t have to be, if that’s not your thing.  that’s the beauty of it.

i started off with this recipe for spinach and bulgar pilaf.  this is what it became:

ingredients (this is enough to make a big ol pot.  roughly 5-6 cups.)
the ingredients listed in the original recipe were in much better proportion than my “use what i got” technique.  obviously my obsession with tomatoes and caramelized onions would incline me to use way more in the future.  but this worked fine.)
also, obviously i make meals in huge portions, it’s so i have something i can just throw in tupperware and bring to work the rest of the week.  adjust accordingly.

4 plum tomatoes.
1 t brown sugar.
1 T olive oil.
1-2 t balsamic vinegar.
2 t minced garlic.
1/2 t coriander.
1/2 t salt.

1/2 an onion, finely chopped.
1 tsp minced garlic.
1 T olive oil.
6 oz bulgar.
6 oz quinoa (RINSED).
2 1/2 cups stock (i used water).
salt and pepper.

1 large zucchini, chopped.
about 5-6 oz chopped spinach.  use as much as you want, it wilts anyway.
2 t olive oil.
hungarian paprika and ground fennel (to taste) (i used a lot)

the other half onion, finely sliced.
1/2 T olive oil.
sprinkles cinnamon and brown sugar.

and, if you’re following my lead:  1 green bell pepper and feta cheese.

1.  preheat oven to 350º F.  cut up the tomatoes, and put them in a baking dish with the brown sugar, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, coriander, and salt.  stick it in the oven for about 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2.  i did this in 2 separate pots.. i don’t know quite how it would work out in just one.  divide the onion and oil among two pots over a medium heat, stirring until the onion is transluscent.  add the garlic and cook for another minute or so.  add 6 oz of each grain to each pot and cover with 1.25 cups of stock/water.  bring to a boil, then reduce both to a simmer and cover.  the bulgar should take about 15 minutes and the quinoa about 20.

3.  in a large pot over medium to high heat, combine the zucchini, oil, and spices you choose.  once these have cooked a bit, add the spinach and cook thoroughly.  if you are making this in stuffed pepper form (and i suggest you should), now is the time to stick your hollowed out pepper shells with feta cheese in the bottoms in the oven (oh yeah, you heard me.  feta cheese in the bottom.  heck yes).  once all veggies are combined you can add in the grain mixture and the roasted tomatoes.

4.  in a small frying pan, heat up the last bit of oil good and hot.  now, without burning yourself, add the sliced onions.  cook until they are crispy and brown, and add the cinnamon and brown sugar.  cook about a minute longer until the resemble all that is good and beautiful in the world.

now, stuff the pepper and then stuff your face.  or, use this as a side dish.  or a main dish, sans pepper.  it would probably be really, really good with toasted sunflower/pumpkin seeds or pine nuts.  i’m serious, this will change your life.  it also goes really well with barefoot moscato wine.  alas now due to my exam tomorrow, i’m switching to coffee and headed out to study……

Lemon Rubbed Chicken Legs and Sauteed Swiss Chard by ohlno
04.19.2009, 11:48 pm
Filed under: random, wine | Tags: , , , , , ,

This meal was so easy to make AND delicious. Thank you for two amazing recipes.

Let me start off by saying that I went a little crazy at the farmers’ market today, coming home with a whole chicken, the afore mentioned chicken legs and swiss chard, beef sausage, arugula, fresh mozzarella, scallions and two plants (rosemary and oregano)-which I am praying I do not kill-thank god my fiance seems to have a green thumb.

So, I am currently on Marc’s computer as mine has been attacked by a nasty virus. Because his laptop is geriatric, uploading pictures is a difficult task, so they will be coming soon…hopefully.

Now, onto the recipe. Click the link below for the exact recipe, because, as we all know, I never follow things to the letter.

Sauteed Swiss Chard with Onions.

I started off with a bunch of swiss chard, a large onion, and a clove of garlic. I also added a dash of salt and pepper while cooking.

After rinsing the swiss chard, I seperated the stem from the actual leaf. I chopped the stems and threw them into a bowl. Then I took the leaves, rolling them lengthwise and cut the cylinder this formed in half. ( This is far less complicated than it sounds, as I discovered). After dealing with the chard, I sliced the onion and diced up the garlic.

I put some olive oil and about a tablespoon of unsalted butter into a pan and let it melt. Then I added the onions and garlic. When the onions started to soften I threw the swiss chard stems in. I lowered the heat to medium and let this cook, covered for about 8 minutes, stirring it occasionally.

When the stems and onions were softened I started to add in the leafy parts. I added it  about a handful at a time, waiting for the leaves to wilt (This cooks like spinach, sort of). Once all of the mix was added I added a little bit of salt and black pepper and let it cook for about 6 minutes on low heat (or until tender and wilted…like spinach).

As I love to multi-task, I was making the chicken at the same time. For the faint of heart, here is the exact recipe:

Lemon-Rubbed Chicken Legs with Garlic and Rosemary

I used chicken legs, but you could definitely make this with chicken breast, thighs, or the boneless skinless variety. It will work with all.

I used 2 chicken legs, a lemon-halved, rosemary-about a tbsp (yay! I got to try some from my new plant!), olive oil, a clove of garlic-minced and 3 tbsp white wine (I used some barefoot chardonnay)…or water, as the recipe calls for.

I started off by patting the chicken dry. Then I took a lemon half and rubbed it all over the chicken. I seasoned it with a little bit of salt and black pepper, along with some of my amazing rosemary ( feel free to use dried or fresh, it will be good either way).

After seasoning, heat the oil in a pan. When hot, but not burning, place the chicken, skin side down. Brown it. This took about 10 minutes, I flipped it to get both sides.

When browned, flip the chicken, skin side up and squeeze the remaining lemon all over it.  Then cover, cook over low heat. Again, I would flip it over occasionally. Depending on the size of the chicken legs, time will vary, but this took about 35 minutes.

Once the chicken is cooked, transfer it to a plate, leaving the juice and drippings in the pan. Add the remaining rosemary and the minced garlic. Saute over med-high heat. When slightly golden, add the white wine, stir and cook for about 1 minute and a half.

Drizzle the sauce over the chicken, add the Swiss chard and nice piece of french bread, and Ta Da! You have a delicious meal in under an hour.

This came out really good and it had a nice, zesty taste, without being too much. I would also recommend serving with rice or some pasta. Use the extra sauce on either. YUM!

Pictures to come.

Have a great night everyone! :-D

Look for more farmers’ market inspired recipes this week.

Emeril’s Lemon Garlic Chicken Thighs by ohlno
04.14.2009, 11:33 pm
Filed under: random | Tags: , , , , ,

After another long day, I decided that I wanted to try something new without too too much effort, so I did what I always do when looking for a new recipe, I scoured the internet.

Inevitably, I wound up on the food network site. I decided to try out this recipe, a great chicken dish by Emeril-you can’t go wrong.

I won’t bore you with a list of ingredients, these instructions are pretty easy to follow. But I would recommend cutting down the olive oil, lemon juice and chicken stock, because this gives you a TON of liquid. And by a ton, I mean, WAY TOO Much. Even with half (or less than half) of these three ingredients, you’ll still have a lot of yummy sauce to pour over your pasta in the end, an abundance of sauce, if you will. I also used whole wheat linguine instead of angel hair pasta.

Browning the chicken...

Browning the chicken...

Another thing that I changed when making this-mostly because I didn’t have a pan that I could use on the stove and in the oven-was that I dumped everything in to a big glass baking dish and covered it with aluminum foil before putting it in the oven. It’s a little more clean up, but it was less hassle for me. This method also made it easier to regulate how much of the sauce/liquid you put over the pasta and chicken. I had to bake it a little longer than the recipe calls for, but this will vary depending on your oven, the size of your (chicken) thighs and other factors.

My Abundance of sauce, pre-oven.

My Abundance of sauce, pre-oven.

Another recommendation I would make is that I would dip the chicken into some egg before coating it with flour. I would also add some bread crumbs to crisp up the skin.  I read some reviews that said Emeril actually just threw in some lemon wedges, as opposed to using that much juice, this may solve the liquid problem as well.

Besides these minor things, the meal came out great, the chicken was flavorful and juicy without being greasy and the parsley was a great compliment to the lemon-garlic sauce.

Overall I really enjoyed this trial-run. Next time I’ll adjust it to my own style (i.e. not really measuring anything and seriously cutting down the liquids while up-ing the crisp factor for the chicken), but for a test run, I think this came out great. It’s easy and serves a big crowd. I’d give it a 7.5 on a scale of 1-10.

The final product, sprinkled with some parmesan cheese of course!

The final product, sprinkled with some parmesan cheese of course!

A Simple Marinade. by ohlno
04.14.2009, 12:34 am
Filed under: cheese, random, tomato, wine | Tags: , , , , ,

I love things that make my life easier. This includes  my Smartrip card, my cellular device, paperclips, Real Simple Magazine and various ingredients that I always have in abundance in my kitchen.

These ingredients go in almost everything I cook.

My Key Ingredients

My Key Ingredients

Tonight after a ridiculous day at work, an amazing run and a trip to the grocery store that took entirely too long, I was not in the mood to fuss with dinner.  So I pulled out the old stand-bys and began dumping them all willy-nily into a tupperware. I poured what is probably the equivalent of 2 tablespoons of olive oil in, then an unknown amount of balsamic vinegar.  Then I added a large clove of chopped garlic.

I mixed these up, then I sprinkled in some black pepper, basil, and grated lemon peel, gave it a quick stir, and added some meat (this goes well with everything). I closed the container and then shook it up (make sure your tupperware/ziploc bag is sealed, as this could make a real mess).

I then let the mix sit for a few minutes and sliced up a medium sized onion.

I put everything into a medium sized frying pan and cooked it on low heat, covered.



While this was cooking, I started on my amazing salad! I usually keep some raw spinach around, as it can be eaten on its own, or cooked into pretty much anything. I put some on a large plate and added some craisins, a few slices of avocado, some tomato and some chopped up red pepper.

When the meat and onions were cooked to my (meaning my fiance’s) satisfaction, I topped my salad with the onion/meat goodness and topped it all off with a little bit of shredded cheddar cheese- thank God Lent is over!

So, I only spent about 30 minutes on my dinner and it came out amazing! I didn’t use any salad dressing, but this would go really well a balsamic vinagrette, or maybe a nice blue cheese, depending on your taste.

Fast, Fantastic, Fun.

Fast, Fantastic, Fun.

Oh, by the way! I had this with a glass of 7 Deadly Zins. It was a great combo!

of homemade pasta and maple cupcakes. by babyybritain
04.12.2009, 9:21 pm
Filed under: 1

what a weekend.  srsly.
there’s a lot of cooking involved here.  in the essence of saving time (and not failing the exercise physiology test i have on tuesday) i’m not going to list all the recipes, but rather where i got them from and my notes/thoughts.  and my pictures.  be excited.

oh, before i get started- the proposal for the NYS tax on soda and other SSBs (sugar sweetened beverages) was overturned this week (grrrrrr) i discussed it a little bit on my blog along with a really interesting article about it in last weeks new england journal of medicine.

also, i had big dreams of starting a garden this week.  yeah, it didn’t happen.  bigger plants (tomatoes) were held off on because i’m moving in about a monthish and didn’t want to deal with transporting a growing plant.  i bought a basil plant, but it was hydroponic and i haven’t managed to get to the store to get soil yet and it’s seriously wilting.  we’ll see if it makes it til tomorrow.

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wine and tomatoes. by babyybritain
04.06.2009, 9:16 pm
Filed under: tomato, wine | Tags: ,

i could live on wine and tomatoes (if the all cheese diet doesn’t work out).
because i’m a poor college student and the majority of my money is directed toward ridiculous impulse purchases.  anyway, i am on a constant mission to find cheap yet delicious bottles of wine.  i was especially lucky this weekend, and discovered two new, amazing, and most importantly cheap wines.  (note:  if your definition of a delicious wine means “dry” or “red,” you can just skip this section.  i like em sweet).  here are my top 4 as of right now:

4.  gallo family twin valley moscato ($7.99 for a mag)
3.  saracco moscato d’asti ($13.99 for a 750)
2.  sutter home california moscato ($7.99 for a mag)
1.  bricco riella moscato d’asti ($8.99 i think for a 750– but i believe this was the sale price)

until this weekend, the gallo and the saracco were my all time favorites, the two ones i tried this weekend undoubtably replaced them.  the other mission of this weekend was blood orange mimosas.  don’t ask me why.  i’ve never even had a blood orange or blood orange juice.  i don’t even drink juice.  but on friday i was on a mission to find blood orange juice, and once i was done jumping through hoops and had paid my $5.00 for a small bottle of juice (!!) i was ready.  and it was seriously everything i had hoped and dreamed for.  i highly suggest it.

in addition to the adventures in alcohol this weekend, there were several exciting cooking adventures.  sadly, i was too involved in all the visiting friends (and about 20 bottles of wine we finished) to take pictures.  but it’s okay, i know you don’t mind.

on friday we made spaghetti all’ubriaco (drunken spaghetti).  hello, boiling pasta in wine, how have i not thought to do this before??  it was delicious, especially with a bit of parmesan cheese, roasted cherry tomatoes, and brussells sprouts. mmmmmm.
on saturday i had big dreams of making home made pasta, but after a particularly long day at work and a bit of too-many-cooks-in-the-kitchen syndrome we ultimately decided make your own pizzas would result in much less tears.  it actually turned out wonderfully- everyone purchased their own desired toppings so there was no need for compromises among people with such varying tastes (ie, one of us doesn’t eat mushrooms, one of us doesn’t eat onion, one of us doesn’t eat meat, etc etc etc).  i adapted a tomato sauce recipe found here and it was delicious.  i’m seriously looking forward to the leftovers.

caramelized cherry tomato sauce

2 pints cherry tomatoes
cooking spray
brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1 yellow onion, chopped up small
spices i used: mexican hot chili powder, smoked paprika, sage, salt, and cumin.
red wine- about half a cuppish.
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

1.  heat oven to 350.  wash and dry cherry tomatoes and cut them in half.  spray a cookie sheet with the cooking spray and spread out the tomatoes on the sheet.  (i also spray the tomatoes with a bit of the spray).  sprinkle with brown sugar and throw in the oven for about 20-30 minutes, depending on how caramelized-brown-burnt-crispy you like your tomatoes.
2.  once those are done (or almost done) melt the butter in a sauce pan.  add the onion, chili powder, and salt and saute until the onions are clear looking.
3.  add the red wine and cook until the liquid reduces slightly.  at this point add the crushed tomatoes and continue simmering.  this is when i added (half the jar of) paprika, sage, and cumin.  but you can add whatever you like.
4.  add the roasted tomatoes and enjoy =)