From our June cooking group event.
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From our June 2010 cooking group.
Read the rest of this entry »

From our June 2010 cooking group.
Read the rest of this entry »

Enough for 8 chicken breasts

From our June 2010 cooking group meeting. This is the easiest if put together in a food processor.

Brussels sprouts for dinner

February 27, 2010

I always use brussels sprouts to illustrate how much easier it is to cook for just yourself than to worry about the eating preferences of other people.

When I was single, if I wanted to eat just brussels sprouts for dinner, I could!” I’ve been known to say, nodding curtly and stamping my foot for emphasis. And on many occasions, in my single days, I actually did just that.

Since F is out of town this weekend, and I felt inspired by my dad’s recent heart attack to eat something healthy, I did it again! I love the blackened crispy bits the most – delicious and nutritious!

Amazing post-Zumba miso soup

February 17, 2010

Feast your eyes, folks – quick, easy, delicious, AND nutritious!

By the time I arrived home from the gym, I still hadn’t stopped sweating. I needed to eat something and to hydrate, so I did what any gal dining solo would have done in my place – I whipped up a miracle supper in (no kidding) about 8 minutes flat!

1. Fill the electric tea kettle and turn on to begin heating.
2. Put around a tablespoon of dried wakame seaweed into cold water to re-hydrate.
3. Dice 1/2 a shallot (or could use onion), two cloves of garlic, and a thumb-sized piece of (peeled) ginger.
4. Finely slice 1/2 a carrot.
4. Put a small saucepan on the stove and heat about a tablespoon of oil. Once hot, stir in the veggies and cook for about 1-2 minutes.
5. Water should be hot by now, pour about 2 cups in with the veggies and bring to a simmer.
6. Stir in 1-2 tbsp of miso paste (I used red).
7. Stir in 1-2 tbsp of nut butter (I used sunflower seed).
8. Simmer for another minute or so. Stir rapidly.
9. Crack an egg into the soup while the water is still spinning around, tornado style.
10. Squeeze out the seaweed to drain, and add to your soup.

Enjoy! Delicious and nutritious!
And add some red chile flakes if you like – I forgot them in my haste to eat…

We made this at our annual cookie bake on Sunday – YUM!

Check out the porky deliciousness….

Bacon Peanut Brittle
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 tablespoon pure ground ancho chili*, or to taste
Pinch of ground Cayenne pepper
1 cup whole salted, roasted peanuts
2 cups cooked, crumbled Applewood bacon, fully rendered and drained well
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 teaspoon baking soda

Butter a baking sheet with about ½ tablespoon of the butter and set aside (I used a silpat, no butter – slw).

Place sugar and corn syrup in a large, heavy 4 or 5 quart saucepan over medium-high heat, stir the sugar and corn syrup until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is bubbly and is pale golden brown.

Add the ground chile and cayenne and cook for 2-3 minutes longer or until the sugar mixture has reached the hard-crack stage, about 300ºF if you are using a candy thermometer.

Take off the heat and working very quickly, stir in the remaining 1 ½ tablespoons of butter and then beat in the baking soda. Add the peanuts and bacon and mix well. Immediately pour onto the prepared baking sheet—it should even itself out, but if it doesn’t, smooth with a spatula and let cool.

Break into pieces and store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. Makes about 1 lb

Recipe Tip:* The ground ancho chile peppers make a big difference in this recipe so don’t leave them out. If you can’t find them ground in your local store, buy whole dried ancho chiles; they are available every where—I’ve even seen them at convenience stores! I actually prefer grinding them myself and never buy the chile already ground.

My own cooking notes – Winter 2009: Very nice flavors! Found ancho chile flakes in World Spice Merchants @ the Pike Market, and ground them in a spice grinder. Could stand to increase the spiciness factor – will use more cayenne next time. Would use slightly fewer peanuts and slightly more bacon (which is probably the amount in the recipe–I quadrupled the recipe (two batches) and 3.5 lbs of bacon didn’t quite give 2 cups per batch). RE: Technique: When heating the sugar and corn syrup, it expands considerably – use a pan that is deep enough for the mixture to double temporarily in volume. Also, having everything pre-measured and silpats at the ready is helpful, since once the candy gets to temperature, you have to move really quickly.

Adapted from Al Dente

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