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*All recipes on this blog (unless otherwise noted) are Martha Stewart's from the Everyday Food Cookbooks here and here, they are not my own. If other than this I will post links to the recipes or indicate that they are originals*

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Vegetarian Meal

No I have not turned into a Veggie, but I have been eating A LOT less meat since Logan has been gone.  Not really for any reason, mainly just because its cheaper.  Anyway this was an amazing salad, I would say one of the best I've ever made.  It was definitely filling with the mushrooms and all the fresh greens.  Also, I used a low fat substitute for the blue cheese, which actually tasted way better than I thought.  Its a laughing cow wedge, which is blue cheese flavored...I was going to buy it anyway so I figured why spend more money on regular blue cheese.  So as you can is a huge motivator for me.

Roasted Portabello Salad with Blue Cheese
3 T red wine vinegar
1 T dijon mustard
2/3 cup olive oil (I only used 1/3 cup...I didn't think it needed any more)
4 large portabello mushrooms, stems removed caps cleaned
3 heads endive, sliced crosswise, 1/2 in thick
8 oz mesclun or mixed salad greens
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
4 oz blue cheese, crumbled

Preheat oven to 450.  In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper.  Slowly add olive oil, whisking to emulsify.  Reserve 1/2 cup dressing to toss with the greens.
Place mushrooms on a baking sheet.  Coat both sides with some of the remaining dressing.  Roast mushrooms, stem sides up, brushing with more dressing every 5 min, until they are tender, about 15 min total.
Toss endive, mesclun, onion and blue cheese with reserved dressing.  Slice mushrooms 1/2 in thick and arrange pieces over each serving. 
Serves 4 as a starter.  
I think this could easily be a meal for 4 people if you just had more greens.
I used one mushroom for myself, it was quite filling.

Paige Rating: ****

I'm Back...again...

I am just going to skip the apologies, because as much as I would love to say it will never happen and me both know I can't promise that!
But I will give you a nice update on what I have been cooking for the last couple of weeks...
Mostly I cook when company is coming over, because if I cook every night for myself fridge would be over run with leftovers.  They would all go bad and then my conscious would nag at me about all the starving children in the world...I can't have that on my conscious people!  How would I sleep at night.
So I guess my point is...I'm only cooking about 2-3 actual meals a week.  The rest of the nights I go back to old staples, such as spaghetti, chicken with veggies, canned soup, sandwiches...well you get the point.
I'm definitely not eating as well as often as I have in the past, BUT  I'm still eating well, so don't you worry about little old me!
On to the important part....THE FOOD! 
This is an awesome soup, which is easy and fast and tastes just as awesome leftover...which is one of the reasons I love soup.  I served this with bread as a meal, but you could also serve it as a starter or a side.  It's a very hearty soup, so I will warn you if you serve it as a starter you may not be able to eat all of your meal.  Just a thought.
Ok...well thanks for sticking with me...leave some comments PLEASE...I love to hear what you guys think!

Quick Navy Bean Stew
1 T olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 small red potatoes, cut into 1/2 in pieces
1 pound white mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 T tomato paste
2 cups water
1 package baby spinach (10oz)
1 can navy beans, drained and rinsed
1 T red wine vinegar (optional, but recommended!)

In a large deep skillet or pot heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion and potatoes, cook until onion in slightly browned, stirring occasionally, 8-10 min.  Add mushrooms, and thyme; season with salt.  Cook stirring often, until mushrooms are tender, 8-10 min.
Stir in tomato paste and water; cover and cook until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork but aren't falling apart, about 8-10 min.
Add half of the spinach, cover and cook until wilted, about 1 min.  Add remaining spinach and beans; cook covered until heated through.  Stir in vinegar if desired.  Season with S&P and stir to combine.  
Serves 4.

Paige Rating: ***

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dinner with a Friend! :)

I've started just inviting people over for dinner to replace Logan.
Not only is it nice to have some company, 
but its also nice to have a little less leftovers. 
As of now I have made 2 meals in the last week and have just been eating them over and over...
it gets old to say the least.
This is one of those two meals.
It was delicious.
This Moroccan chicken dish was really tasty
and really healthy, which helps since I know many of us are trying to shed those holiday lbs.
It is served with couscous, but you could substitute that or leave it out. 
The recipe calls for chili powder, next time I would put more in to make it a little spicier.
I might also put a little extra turmeric...the flavor wasn't quite as strong as I was expecting.
But overall this was really good and easy, not super quick, but it was less than an hour.

Moroccan Chicken Couscous 
8 bone in skinless chicken thighs
3 carrots, cut into 1 1/2 in chunks
3 onions, thinly sliced
1 (14.5 oz) can whole tomatoes, drained
1 (15.5oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp chili powder 
2 zucchini, about 1 lb halved crosswise and quartered lengthwise
couscous for serving.

In a 5 qt pt with a tight fitting lid, combine chicken, carrots, onions, tomatoes, chickpeas, stock, 3/4 cup water, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, chili powder, 1 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper.  Break up tomatoes with a spoon.

Bring to a simmer over med heat.  Cover and cook for 15 min.  Add zucchini and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 15 min more. 
Divide couscous evenly among bowls.  Spoon chicken, veggies and broth on top. 
Serves 4. 

Paige Rating: ****

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Eggs and bacon for lunch

I'm experimenting with color...hopefully its fun for you guys too and not just obnoxious.
I'm taking advantage of Logan's absence.
By making all of the things that I'm pretty sure he would hate.
Such as things with mushrooms, runny eggs, beans and cooked veggies galore.
Which actually works out really well, because I wasn't sure how I was going to get these recipes done without cooking two meals in one night, one for me and one for the picky husband to be.
Ok fine, he really isn't that picky, but I like to tease him anyway,
because his distaste for cooked veggies reminds me of a grade schooler.
Anyway I had this for lunch the other day and it was mighty delicious.
I would say the combo of the dressing and the runny egg was somewhat perfect.
Any excuse for me to eat a runny yolk, I jump at...LOVE them.
This was easy enough to be a lunch salad, but hearty enough to be a dinner salad, 
you decide.  
Also this was the first time I have truly poached an egg.
I have little egg poaching silicone cups that sit in the water and poach the egg for me,
but I wanted to be true to this recipe, since many of you probably do not have these little egg poachers.
And let me tell you it was EASY! 
I will give you step by step instructions just like they do in the book.
Try this one, it truly was a unique but very good salad.

Warm Spinach Salad with Poached Eggs
1/2 cup plus 1 T white wine vinegar
4 large eggs
6 slices bacon (of course I used turkey...) cut into 1/2 in pieces
1 shallot, minced
12 oz baby spinach (about 12 cups)

Fill large skillet with 1 1/2 in water, heat over med heat just until bubbles appear on the bottom; stir in 1 T vinegar.  Poach eggs...
1.Break each egg into a cup (coffee cup works good); dip cup in water for 20 seconds; then release the egg.
2.  Cook until whites are just firm, about 4-6 min.  Remove with a slotted spoon
3.  Drain on paper towels; trim edges with a paring knife if you want. 
In a medium saucepan, cook bacon over med high, until browned, 4-6 min; use a slotted spoon to transfer to a paper towel lined plate.  Cook shallot in rendered bacon fat ( I added a little olive oil because my bacon had not fat), about 2 min.  Carefully add remaining 1/2 cup vinegar and boil over high heat until reduced to 1/3 cup, 2-3 min.  Season with S&P.
In a large bowl, toss spinach with bacon and hot vinaigrette.  Divide among four plates; top each with poached egg.

Paige Rating: ****
Serves 4.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

First Meal 2011 and First meal for ONE

Things that I have learned in Logan's absence...
While I have always been an independent woman (oh yes I am quoting Destiny's Child),
I have come to appreciate the joy my solitude
A solo walk, just me and the pup,
getting lost in my thoughts.  
Watching whatever I want on the one TV in our house.
Picking up only after myself.  
Not having to walk in the bathroom to a toilet seat left ajar. 
However I have yet to find the joy in cooking for ONE.
In fact, I kind of hate it!
It takes me just as long as it does to cook for TWO,
there is no satisfaction in watching someone else enjoy the meal,
perhaps worst of all
I not only have to cook the meals, but I also have to 
Nonetheless I will push on, just for you guys, SO PLEASE,
Keep Reading!

This was good, but not saucy enough for me...I feel like it needed more tomatoes or something...not quite sure.  Also I eat whole grain pasta (because I know I should) but while eating this I instantly KNEW it would be MUCH better with regular, starchy, bad for me, but oh so delicious, white pasta!  
What do you think?

Mushroom Ragout
4 slices bacon cut into 1/2 in pieces (I used turkey bacon, as usual)
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 packages (10 oz) each cremini mushrooms, quartered
2 packages (10oz each) white shrooms, quartered
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley ( I used dried, about 1 tsp)
2 tsp red wine vinegar
3/4 pound spaghetti
parmesan  for serving

In a large saucepan cook bacon over med heat, uncovered, stirring until crispy, about 5 min.  With a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towel and drain.  Set aside.
Add onion to saucepan; stir until golden, about 1 min.  Add mushrooms; cover and cook until juices have evaporated, about 20 min. 
Stir in tomato paste, thyme, and 2 cups water until combined; cover and cook until sauce has thickened, 10-15 min.  Stir in parsley and vinegar.  Add bacon, reserving some for garnish if you want.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta until al dente according to package instructions.  Drain and return to pot.
Toss pasta with ragout. Garnish with reserved bacon and shaved or shredded parm.
Serves 6.

Paige Rating: ***

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New year to all of my faithful followers!
I ensure you that I am getting back on track with this blog.  
I am  now back in MT yet again and am excited to get back to cooking.
I actually just today went and bought for the first time my second copy of any cookbook. 
My uncle Dug always talks about how he ruins his favorite cookbooks and is on his 3rd or 4th copy.
I never understood how this was possible.
I now do.
I'm excited to have NEW books, even though they aren't really new.
I also bought groceries today and will have 4 recipes to share with you all this week.
Really looking forward to getting back to blogging, hope you all are looking forward to it as well.
Stay tuned!