Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sprouted Lentils: Days Three and Four

The sprouts have sprung! The lentils are all growing little while tails. I'm going to rinse them once more tonight, then uncover them (the jar has been wrapped in a kitchen towel for the past few days) tomorrow to let them get green. Then I'm not quite sure what to do with them. I might toss them into a salad, or make some rice or quinoa and lentil patties. I guess I'll have to see if they even taste good before that though...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Sprouted Lentils: Day Two

Here are the lentils this morning. They absorbed all the soaking water and puffed up. I rinsed them in fresh water and then transferred them to a jar topped with cheese cloth.

I've rinsed them twice today and will do that for the next two days. In the meantime they are tucked in neatly under a dish towel on my counter with only the open top exposed. So far so good.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Sprouted Lentils: A Journey

An experiment is better descriptor. Sometimes I just read my cookery books for fun. Then I find something that sounds intriguing, realize I have all the necessary tools or ingredients, and get up to make it right now.

I fell in love with micro greens (sprouted beans and seeds) back in PDX. They are bright and colorful and add a wonderful texture and flavor to salads. They are also super nutritious for reasons that I do not quite understand.

I had a few tablespoons of lentils kicking around in the cupboard so I decided to sprout them. This is night one, where they soak overnight in some water. Tomorrow they will move to a jar. Stay tuned.

P.S. It snowed again. Yessssssss.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hippie Cookies for a Weekend Afternoon

One of my favorite things is when a recipe sparks my interest and I realize that I can make it without going to the store first. That's what happened with these healthy little cookies. I got home from work and was reading through the blogs and found this recipe. I realized that I had everything I needed (or at least acceptable substitutions) and got to work.

The other reason I was drawn to these cookies is because I have a pretty serious sweet tooth that has been a bit out of control lately. If I'm going to eat dessert after breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and then maybe before bed, with a few sweet snacks throughout the day, then it's probably a good idea to have some healthy cookies around to nosh on.

I'm usually quite wary of vegan baked goods (no butter, no deal) but I thought I'd give these a try. They are chewy with a bit of crunch and just the right amount of sweetness. I substituted honey for maple syrup and almonds for walnuts because that's what I had on hand, and I halved the recipe.

I've eaten two cookies while typing this.

Click here for recipe.

Here is what my street looked like on Thursday.

Denver was hit by a huge blizzard and the city was shut down. It was heavenly. Sadly, it's mostly melted now and it looks like that might be the last snow for the season. Sigh.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

New Toys

Aren't they lovely? Tim bought me this set of Global knives as an anniversary/birthday gift. And I looooove them!!! They are super sharp and so smooth. They cut like a dream. Onions, tomatoes, limes, no problem. We are both enjoying this present.

I got a gift certificate to Target (yes!) from my Grandma for my birthday and fully intended to buy something fun and frivolous. Instead, I ended up with this sturdy acacia cutting board (our old crappy one warped and cracked in no time) and this set of nesting bowls. Fun, yes, frivolous, not really.

I am a kitchen nerd through and through.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Mac and Cheese, Fancy Style

...or Bon Appetit's Baked Penne with Farmhouse Cheddar and Leeks.

We just finished eating this and I sat down to blog it immediately for several reasons. To redeem myself from the last post, because I feel like a bad blogger for not posting in ages, and because it is so delicious that it should be shared.

I don't actually have a subscription to Bon Appetit. My dad does but he never reads it because he doesn't believe in recipes (?!). That means I get them. I didn't always love Bon Appetit but they revamped a little while back and the magazine is working it's way into my heart. The recipes are very do-able and much more appealing to me than they used to be. At any given time I have a magazine or two with several page corners turned down and a pile of recipe clippings from recent issues.

This recipe is from the most recent issue. I do love a good mac and cheese, and this one sounded simple and fancy at the same time. I also love leeks and happened to have some raw milk English Farmhouse cheddar on hand (bizarre, I know).

I halved this recipe, as I do most recipes. We are both totally stuffed right now, and each have some for lunch tomorrow. I didn't use the Dijon mustard called for because I was out and I completely forgot to add the egg to the sauce. The meal was delicious, but I think it would have been even more delicious with those things. The bit of hot sauce really makes it, so don't skip that. I also found a fun shape of pasta called gnocchi that was on sale so I used that instead of penne.

Click here for the recipe.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Truth

So, sometimes I don't like feel like cooking. And when I don't feel like cooking, I pretty much always demand Annie's Macaroni and Cheese. The thing is, I can't seem to make mac and cheese from a box to save my life, so that is Tim's job. And as you can see, the meal doesn't always make it to a bowl. This particular batch had some chopped Hatch green chilis mixed in. So good, who needs a bowl?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Biscuits and (Almost Vegan) Gravy

Usually it takes me a little while to actually start cooking from a new cookbook. Like, months even. I flip through it quickly, then go back and really read it. I don't mark recipes or pages that I want to try, but usually a few things will stick with me and when I'm ready for actual cooking, that's what I'll try first. I don't know why I don't use new cookbooks right away. Maybe I want to get familiar with the writing, or I'm intimidated to try something new, or I figure that there are so many things in my other cookbooks that I haven't cooked yet.

With three new cookbooks to choose from, I decided I had to dive in right away otherwise they would languish on the shelf for months. I've cooked from all three books in the past few weeks and am quite delighted with all of the results.

More Home Cooking by Laurie Colwin is actually a book of essays, rather than a cookbook. At the end of each essay, or sometimes in the middle, is a recipe or two thrown in. I love how Colwin writes her recipes. They are more like suggestions for making something delicious than an actual recipe. And her tone is so casual that it makes it all sound like a piece of cake. After reading about her favorite biscuits, I headed directly to the kitchen to whip up a batch.

Here is her recipe:

"You need 2 cups of flour, 1/2 stick of butter or margarine (or a combination of the two), 2 teaspoons of baking powder, and 3/4 cup (a little more or less depending on the flour and the weather) of milk-sweet, sour, or buttermilk (or a combination of milk and yogurt).

Rub the butter into the flour and baking powder. I myself have had unhappy experiences with pastry blenders and feel that your hands do the best job, but if you don't feel like doing this by hand, two knives work fine. When the butter is well blended add the milk until you have a not too sticky dough. Turn it out on a floured board and knead about five times. Roll, cut out, and bake at 400 for about 15 minutes until golden. Some people like their biscuits just baked, which means that they will be floury white. Some people like their biscuits crispy and a little browner than golden. However you like them, they will never fail you."

If that is not a delightful recipe then I don't know what is.

I added some chopped, fresh herbs and some grated parmesan to my dough. I also cut down on the baking powder because of my altitude, but I would use the full amount next time as my biscuits were a little on the skinny side.

I smothered these babies with an almost vegan gravy. I would have made regular gravy but I didn't have any stock, chicken or vegetable, or any meat or meat fat to start with. I remembered a tasty vegan gravy using water (!) as the main liquid that someone had made for me in PDX. So I searched the internet and found this recipe. I halved it, used butter, soy sauce, and fresh sage, and omitted the nutritional yeast because I didn't have any. I also used a shallot instead of the onion. This gravy was damn good. Not to watery and very flavorful, and super easy. A perfect topping to our casual biscuits.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

New Goodies

These are the lovely new cookbooks that I got for the holidays...

"Cookbooks hit you where you live. You want comfort; you want security; you want food; you want not to be hungry; and not only do you want those basic things fixed, you want it done in a really nice, gentle way that makes you feel loved." -Laurie Colwin