I was at the Farmer's Market yesterday and it feels like everything is in season. We can still enjoy the last bits of summer--tomatoes, zukes and berries, plus the great fall produce--apples, pears and kabocha. I'm in a soup and sandwich-ey mood, so here's what's cooking this week.Meatless Monday
My son's favorite Simplest Spaghetti
with a side of farmer's market heirloom tomatoes and fresh mozzarella.This is a bread-less tomato sandwich.TuesdayFall panini
. Using Homemade Pork Sausage Patties.
Defrost them and cook them.Then stack it on toasted sourdough with arugula, Havarti cheese and sliced pears. Finish them in the microwave for about 30 seconds, just enough to melt the cheese so that everything sticks together.
Brown University, Providence, RI
This post is dedicated to all college kids (and a few in particular) who are now living the dream of off-campus apartment living.
Ah, yes. The freedom of selecting exactly what you want to eat. No more mass-produced, pre-selected dorm food to be eaten at specified times.
The reality of which quickly becomes, "Oh (appropriate college-level profanity here)!? I have to cook! And wash dishes!? And buy food?! Hello, Mom!?"
A friend of mine has a child is in just such a predicament, with two vegetarian roomies thrown in, just for some added fun.
Do not despair, or worse yet, whine. Armed with a salad spinner, rice cooker, a non stick pan, a non-stick spatula and a baking sheet, you will neither starve nor burn through your parents' money eating out.
Feeding Your Ohana 101: Staples you should always try to have in-house
Spices & Seasoners
Garlic. This makes everything better
Coarse sea salt. Say no to refined salt
Black pepper. The kind you can grind on your own
Olive oil. For general-purpose cooking
Canola oil. For when you decide to fry something, and you will
Shoyu (soy sauce). Low-sodium, green label Kikkoman is my favorite
Roasted sesame seed oil. Dynasty or Kadoya brand
Sriracha sauce. Look for the rooster on the label. He is your friend.
White vinegar. Buy a gallon and you can also use it to clean your floors. When you clean them.
Balsamic vinegar. Impress your friends
Brown sugar. For homemade teriyaki sauce
White sugar. If you bake. A mom can dream!
Cooking sherry and ginger
Generally non-perishable items
Onions. Technically perishable, but they last a long time and you will use them a lot
Rice. White or brown short grain, Koda Farms if you can
Quinoa.That you can cook in your rice cooker
"Noodley" type pasta like linguine
"Shaped" pasta like penne, farfalle, or elbows
Nuts. Pine nuts, walnuts and cashews
Dried cranberries. Good to toss into salads
Bread. Add cheese and it's a sandwich
Perishable Items--stored in the fridge
Cheese. Parmesan and your favorite for sandwiches
Firm tofu. If you and your roomies can make peace with it
A bottle each of lime and lemon juice. Fresh are always preferable, but these are good to have on standby
What you can make with the above supplies plus a trip to the grocery store for fresh produce.
So whether you are Lions, Tigers or any-type-except-Golden-Bears,
Cardinal, Crimson or Big Red--enjoy college.
Remember that if you have aluminum foil and an iron, you can make grilled cheese, and that snow banks are excellent temporary coolers.
Eat Well. Be Well.
Study Hard. Play hard, but not too hard. After all, I'm still a mom!
Don't get me wrong. I love candy canes, gingerbread and peppermint bark. And we will surely be making and decorating cookies this week. But sometimes it's good to be a little salty.
In addition to our ginger sugar Christmas cookies
, these are some of our favorite funky alternatives, all using not-sugar bomb cereals as an essential ingredient.
What the colleagues are getting
Furikake Chex Mix
It's easy, packages up well, and is a most welcome change-up from all the sweet action
going on during this time of the year. My son, the Chex Mix Jedi, declares his preferred combinations to be Crispix and pretzels or Rice Chex, Honeycombs and pretzels. Capn Crunch steer clear you should for this.
This takes a little more than an hour
to make. However, in the spirit of full disclosure, it didn't take me much time at all because my #1 son made this batch for me. Click here
for the recipe.
Made by my nieces this year
My Daddy's Energy Bars
This is probably one of the healthier treats. Yes, it has marshmallows, Rice Krispies and butter. BUT
it also includes oatmeal, raisins, nuts
and peanut butter.
My Dad made these for years and now my nieces have taken over the annual 'baking,' which means microwaving for less than 10 minutes
for the recipe.
Another cereal-based treat
Cranberry Cereal Biscotti
This has been one of the most popular items at our annual Christmas party for the past two years. The cereal makes it crunchy but without becoming molar-cracking, as when some biscotti can be a tad hard.Click here
for the recipe.
'Tis the Season. Eat Well. Be Well.
We did the Costco run this weekend, and of course, picked up a chicken. It's the poultry equivalent of Mary Poppins' magic bottomless bag. One $4.99 Costco Rotisserie Chicken will fuel for 4-5 meals this week.
Here's what what's cooking. I'm using up the orphans from last week. So we won't be wasting the rest of the cornbread from last week's chili, an errant red pepper, part of a humongous red onion, and the Costco-sized bag of broccoli florets.Sunday
--Pasta with Broccoli, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Shredded (Costco) Chicken
, as made by the husband. This is not a new recipe, but an unfortunate "I forgot!" so look for a tardy posting later this week.Monday
--Costco chicken with Cornbread Stuffing
(using the previously noted leftover cornbread), roasted broccoli w/garlic & pancetta
, and Okinawan sweet potatoes. I might even make some gravy. The all-oven meal.Tuesday
--What Started Out as Tyler Florence's Pork Chops
. There is no picture of this, and we haven't had it all winter yet.Wednesday
--Sweet and Sour Chicken
, Yaki Musubi and Tangerine Spinach, Take 2. I'll use Drumettes here.Thursday
--BBQ (Costco) Chicken Pizza
, with red onions and extra red peppers from last week's fruit salsa.Friday
--(Costco) Chicken Divan
, using the rest of the Costco broccoli.Saturday
--Nachos with Spanish Rice
, Warm Jalapeno Cheese Sauce
and yes, if there is any more of it, the rest of the Costco Chicken.
Eat Well. Be Well.
Everyone who knows our house realizes that I do not bake very well, and that my husband is an extraordinary baker. The way I see it, cooking is more a liberal arts (i.e., art history) activity and baking is a science (i.e., electrical engineering).
Cooking tends to be far more forgiving, and doesn't typically punish a free-flowing, qualitative, don't-exactly-measure, and make some educated substitutions methodology. Soup going bland? I can add something to fix it. Too spicy? I can fix that too.
Baking, on the other hand, is all about precision and science. Measure. Stir too much give you a flat cake. Stir too little--lumpy flour balls in your cake. Put hot liquid into cold beaten eggs too fast and you're stuck with bastardized scrambled eggs. Do it slowly and the most miraculous custard emerges.
So when I decided it was time to make Vanilla Cranberry Bread Pudding, even my kids were skeptical. "Why don't you wait 'til Dad comes home?" and "I think he said he was coming home REALLY early."
For the record, I did this all by myself. I did not have a baking menehune come in the afternoon to make it for me. However, except for pouring hot cream into beaten eggs, this recipe is extremely forgiving. The size of the loaf of the bread can vary, and the ingredients are very straightforward. And I learned that if ladle hot cream into cold beaten eggs slowly while stirring (and holding your breath and praying), you do not get scrambled eggs.
Next time, I'm doing this with dried apricots and maybe adding a little lemon juice. Or coconut and pineapple. Or maybe I should just quit while I'm ahead.Click here
for the recipe that even I can make well.
This weekend we held our 20-something annual Christmas party potluck. When my husband and I were recently settled, working crazy, slightly homesick, 'adult holiday orphans', we figured we'd have a little party and maybe this would get us invited to a one of our friends' families for a 'real' Christmas and/or New Year's.
Now it is officially considered tradition. Our cooking has gotten better (and our cooking mishaps are legendary). We've gone through sig-O's, newlyweds, babies, 2nd marriages, and growing-up kids. We have a bona-fide ohana here, and it would be weird to spend Christmas elsewhere or worse, to cancel this party.
We make the main dish and our friends bring a bunch of amazing side dishes. Some of the best Feeding My Ohana recipes have come from these parties. This year, we had salted turkey
from Thanksgiving and kalua pig
The popular sides were Spam musubi with hot and spicy Spam (gone in about 15 minutes), sticky rice with lup cheong, eggnog pound cake and an amaretto cake with raspberry frosting. One of the favorite desserts, deemed Feeding-My-Ohana worthy, is cranberry cereal biscotti
. I was pretty much ordered to post the recipe immediately. Click here
for it. And Happy Holidays to All!
Is there no end to that Costco bag of cranberries from Thanksgiving? "We" finally finished off the first bag by making cranberry coffee cake.
And giving credit where it is due: Todd found this in the Joy of Cooking, p.780. Like pineapple muffins, it was a simple 3-bowl recipe (wet, dry, streusel). But based on the pineapple-cranberry fiasco, I thought putting raw cranberries into coffee cake batter was a little iffy.
It sat a full day before I had the courage to take a piece. What an idiot! I should always implicitly trust the baker of the house. Click here
for the recipe.
I was trying to make a pineapple-cranberry sauce. Cranberries, pineapple juice, and tangerine juice. Stir together and boil. How hard could it be?It was awful
If it had been any more sour, my head would have imploded. Tart, tangy, puckery--those don't even come close to describing the hurts-your-ears-because-it's-so-so-so-sour flavor.
But the fix was incredibly easy. Add sugar by the tablespoon. And suddenly bad sour mellows into sweet citrus-ey with just the right amount of kick. Amazing how quickly and simply this fixed itself. Click here
for the recipe.
Apple Cranberry Pie with Oatmeal Streusel = unanimous thumbs up
This was a good balance for the super sweet pecan pie and the smooth creamy pumpkin pies. Granny Smith apples + cranberries give this pie good texture and some zing.
We'll definitely be making this again next Thanksgiving. Click here
for the recipe.