Sunday, November 30, 2008

Christmas Prep Party

Hey Utah People and People Who Want to Fly to Utah for This Event . . .

We're thinking with the holiday rush it might be fun to get together for a Christmas Prep Party. We're thinking this Friday at Megan's house.
We're thinking around seven.
We're thinking if you want more details click below, otherwise, we love you and all your recipes.

Here's some things that we could/should do at the PARTY:
1. Sit around and eat Christmasy food (that we each bring to share, along with the recipe, of course)
2. Make presents--bring your current project along.
3. Teach each other how to make presents (can you knit a scarf? Can you make an earrings? Please teach us how . . .)
4. Sell stuff to each other (actually I don't want to knit a scarf but I'll buy the scarf you knitted or the earrings you made, etc.)
5. Get rid of stuff that maybe someone else might want (I have this rocking vase that I know you want to give you grandma and what about that old Lego set? Ehh?)
6. Wrap presents (bring your supplies)
7. Order stuff together so that we can split the shipping.
8. Sit around and eat Christmasy food*

If you want to come (and you know you do) email Ann Dee at
Come even if you are shy, you'll be happy you did.

*this is the only mandatory thing. If we end up sitting around eating and watching Project Runway reruns, the night will a success.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cranberry Salsa

This is a fun recipe for Thanksgiving. Something a little different...

Cranberry Salsa

1 pkg. fresh cranberries
3/4 C sugar
1 medium jalapeno
1 green onion
1-2 T cilantro
1/4 t cumin

Place all ingredients in a food processor. Process until coarsely shopped. Store in fridge over night to allow flavors to blend.
Serve with tortilla chips or crackers and cream cheese. A perfect little appetizer

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Monday, November 24, 2008

turkey & broccoli weeknight stir-fry*

I spent a few days over the weekend traveling for work and eating delicious restaurant food but very few vegetables, and got home with a major broccoli craving. Threw this together tonight, and it's very quick, easy, healthy, and delicious. It makes about four servings.

Read on for the complicated instructions...

You will need:

1 package of Jenni-O turkey breast tenderloins (when these go on sale, I always get two or three and throw them in the freezer). You could also use a pound or so of boneless chicken breasts.

1 package of steam-in-the bag broccoli florets (like Broccoly Wokly). This is easiest, but not cheapest. For cheapest, just get a bunch of broccoli. The bag is 12 oz. of florets, but precision is not important.

onion and/or garlic (optional - like half an onion, 1 clove of garlic) Fresh ginger would also be good.

some kind of interesting Asian sauce in a bottle. I used Whole Foods peanut sauce. Thai red curry would also be good. Or teriyaki.

soy or tamari sauce

some broth or water

some kind of oil (I used peanut)

cooked rice (I use brown, and I use a rice cooker, which makes this whole thing easy)

If you're using onion and/or garlic, chop it. Cut the turkey or chicken into bite-sized chunks. Follow the instructions on the broccoli bag, or otherwise cook in microwave to your likeing. Heat a large pan over medium heat, add about a T. of oil, then the turkey, onion, garlic. Stir, then add maybe 1/2 cup liquid (broth or water). Splash some soy or tamari sauce in at this point - not too much! When the broccoli is done, add that to the pan. Stir-fry some more, adding liquids as necessary. When the turkey or chicken is cooked through, serve over rice and top with your desired amount of bottled Asian sauce. If you don't have or don't like a pre-made sauce, a blend of soy sauce, rice vinegar, and some peanut butter would work. I sprinkled toasted sesame seeds on mine to make it look pretty. The whole process (not counting the rice, which cooked on a timer while I was gone during the afternoon) took about fifteen minutes.

*Also known as the "post-travel colon cleanse."

(Also, I know I'm messing up the thing where the post gets divided into two sections. The template makes half my font size really teeny tiny then when I fix it, the break goes away. Sorry!)

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Friday, November 21, 2008

A Better Cranberry "Sauce"

2 cups frozen fresh cranberries
1 Tablespoon orange rind zest
Two or more whole oranges, peeled and seeded
1/2 cup or more cane sugar
Simply process all ingredients together in a food processor and voila! Eat immediately for a frostily sweet-tart refreshment or store in closed container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days and serve juicily with turkey and stuffing later on.

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Great Thanksgiving Salad

I went to a shower the other night. Not so much to go to a shower but to get out of the house. Alone. It was fantastic. But here was the best part: This Salad. I got the last plateful of it and couldn't get over its flavors. Granted, it could be pregnancy or hormones or whatever. But still, I hunted down the recipe and can't wait to make it. It will be on our Thanksgiving table. And it's nice that you can buy the dressing or make it. Whichever you prefer. I might try both.

Pistachio Salad

Mixed greens
Cubed chicken breast (I would omit if just a side salad)
Red grapes, halved
Dried cranberries
Pistachio nuts
Goat cheese (soft chevre style), sliced into about 1 oz. slices
Dark cherry balsamic vinaigrette (bottles may be purchased at Nordstrom cafe or recipe follows)

Mix greens, cubed chicken breast, red grape halves, Craisins, and pistachios together. Right before serving, toss with Dark Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette. Place on serving plates. Warm goat cheese by placing slices on foil lined baking pan. Broil on high for about 4 minutes (6-8 inches from heat source) or until cheese is just heated through and faintly browned. Place one heated slice goat cheese atop each serving salad. If this is too much time/work/effort just buy the crumbled goat cheese instead. Still really good.

Dark Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette:

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbs. minced roasted (or sautéed) garlic
1/2 cup cherry preserves
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup canola oil
Kosher (or sea) salt
Freshly ground pepper

In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the balsamic vinegar and sugar to a simmer, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar. Simmer the mixture, uncovered, until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cherry preserves and cook for 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat and let cool. When room temperature, whisk in the red wine vinegar and then the canola oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside. Or buy it at Nordstrom.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies

This is kind of a cheat, because it is really just the recipe on the back of the Tollhouse bag. Then why am I posting it you, ask? Because two easy modifications made these turn out kind of semi-gourmet...

1) I used the chocolate chunks instead of the chips and 2) I used chopped hazelnuts for the nuts. I'd never actually noticed chopped hazelnuts in the store before, but there they were in their not-so-festive Kroger bag. Maybe it's a new item, or maybe I just haven't been paying attention. Anyway, hazelnuts have a distinct flavor that makes these taste like not-your-average cookie.

Also: we are a household of two, and don't really have sweets during the week, so I only baked about half the batch. The rest, I double-wrapped in plastic then put in a labeled Ziploc for the freezer. So we can have yummy homemade cookies all over again in a couple of weeks without all the work.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

New Podcast

New Podcast - Jewel is killing me!

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Moroccan Chicken Pot Pie

This is sort of a cross-post from my other cooking blog, where I'm trying to cook my way through my collection of cookbooks and magazines (which will never happen even if I live to be 250). I really liked it, but am not sure how kid-friendly it would be. Also, note in my comments that though the recipe says 6-8 servings, that is a laughably conservative estimate. 

Here's the link to the post, picture, and recipe!

Type rest of the post here

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Apple Cake with Caramel Glaze

I adore apple cake and this is my favorite apple cake recipe. Tangy apples are surrounded by moist, cinnamon-laced cake and then it's glazed with lovely caramel. It's even better on day 2 or 3 and it serves a lot of poeple. So good. (I make it without nuts and it's just as good.)

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Sweet Pork and Pineapple Enchiladas

For the enchiladas:
1 recipe Pulled Pork (below)
10 soft taco size tortillas, trimmed by 1 1/2 inches on both sides
1/2 can pineapple tidbits
8 oz. Cheddar or Colby Jack cheese

For the sauce:
4 Tbl, olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
2-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 28 oz. can tomato sauce
1/2 can pineapple tidbits and juice
2-4 pablano peppers in adobo sauce, depending on how spicey you like it
salt and pepper to taste

In a small frying pan, saute garlic and onion in about 4 Tbl. olive oil until golden, 5-8 minutes. Pour in to blender. Wipe frying pan clean with paper towel and reserve for next step. To blender, add tomato sauce, pineapple and juice, peppers and salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Pour half of the sauce in a 9X13 baking dish. Set the rest aside.

Cut 1 1/2 inch edges off two sides of the tortillas (refer to picture). In small frying pan, heat 1 cup vegetable oil on med-high and lightly fry tortillas on both sides for 30-45 seconds and drain/cool on papertowel-lined plate. Set aside. (This step is optional and reserved for those who don't mind squandering their health sometimes. It really adds to the texture and taste.) Once cooled, place about 1/2 cup of pulled pork, a few pinches of cheese and pineapple in each tortilla. Roll tightly and place seamside down in baking dish. You should get about 10 enchiladas to fit. Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas and bake in 350* oven for 35 minutes until golden and bubbly. For the last 10 minutes, sprinkle with cheese and bake until melty goodness. Serve with sour cream and sliced green onions.
Easy Pulled Pork
1 3-3 1/5 lb. pork butt or shoulder roast, bone-in
Rub: 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 Tbl. cumin, 2 Tbl. paprika, 1 Tbl. each Onion and Garlic Powder, 1 Tbl. thyme, 2 Tbl. salt, 1 tsp. cayenne

Rub pork thouroughly with spice rub, cover and let refrigerate overnight. Let pork warm to room temperature, preheat oven to 250* and bake covered for 6-7 hours. Pull apart with forks and serve on sandwiches, tacos, etc.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

New Episode of "Cooking for One With Katy"

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Friday, November 7, 2008

Squash Rolls (for Thanksgiving, or any time)

I made these a couple of Thanksgivings ago, and they are very, very yummy. A nice change from your regular white yeast rolls, and kind of cheerfully orange, too. The squash gives them a moistness and sweetness that goes great with turkey. And SO good if you have leftover rolls and and leftover turkey and a dab of cranberry sauce for a snack! It's from an old Betty Crocker book. When I made them, I used the frozen pureed butternet squash option.

Squash Rolls

4 1/2 - 5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 package active dry yeast
1 1/4 cups very warm milk (120-130 degrees...I don't have a thermometer so I just heated it on the stove and kept testing with a finger. my finger.)
1 cup mashed cooked winter squash (or 1 cup frozen squash, thawed and brought to room temp)
2 T. butter

Mix 2 cups of the flour, the sugar, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Add milk, squash and butter. Beat on low speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Stir in enough remaining flour, 1 cup at a time, to make dough easy to handle.

Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; kneed about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place in greased bowl; turn greased side up. Cover and let rise in warm place about 1 1/2 hours until doubled.

Grease 24 medium muffin cups. Punch down dough; divide into 24 equal pieces. Shape each piece in to 3 smooth balls. Place 3 balls in each muffin cup. Cover and let rise 30-45 minutes or until doubled.*

Heat oven to 400. Bake 15-20 minutes or until light brown.

*This is just one way to do it, obviously. They come out looking like Parker House rolls if you do it that way, very classy. You could also make free-form rolls, or what my grandma called "pocketbook rolls" - flattened then folded over. Or butterhorn shape, if you have the patience for that.

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Rosemary Garlic Focaccia

This recipe is tried and true, super easy and highly rewarding. The smell alone....

Rosemary Garlic Focaccia
makes 2 round loaves or 1 sheet pan

2 cups warm water (105-115*)
4 tsp sugar
4 tsp active dry yeast
2 Tbl olive oil
5-6 cups flour
3 tsp rosemary
1 tsp salt
1-2 Tbl fresh garlic, minced or chopped

In a Kitchenaid or Bosche, combine water, sugar and yeast. Let the yeast activate until frothy about 5 minutes. Add oil, flour, rosemary, salt and garlic, and knead for about 5 minutes until the dough is just slightly sticky. Scrap out into a large, oiled bowl and form into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap or a towel and let stand in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 450*. Prepare two 8-9 inch cake pans or one 10x15 in baking sheet with Pam and a sprinkling of cornmeal. Divide the dough and drop in the prepared pans. Grease your fingers with olive oil and press the dough down to the edges. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 15 minutes until golden. Pull and tear or cut into squares, wedges. Best served with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. (Freezes well up to two months)

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Impromptu Salad

It was the day after Halloween. Garbage gut was in full effect and I was pillaging the fridge and cupboards for something non-candy and this is what happened: mixed greens, leftover green apple slices used to make Monster Mouths at my daughter's class party, a near empty and soon-to-expire tub of blue cheese, and gorgeous golden raisins from the bins at Sunflower Market. I finished it off with my favorite vinegarette and a drizzle of honey. Sometimes the best things aren't planned.

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tin Angel Cafe, Salt Lake

So, hi, I am Sara and I know Ann Dee from Writing and she knows I like food, cooking, eating, thinking about eating, and pictures of food, so she invited me to join in. I'm enjoying all the posts and am now a big fan of Katy's cooking show, especially the soundtrack.

Anyway, today I ate lunch for the second time at the Tin Angel Cafe, and it's now one of my new favorites in Salt Lake City. (I realize that sort of sounds like I had two lunches today. Only one. It was the second time I ate there.) It's especially convenient for you gals coming from the south on I-15 because it's practically right off the highway - so if you are coming to town, give yourself an extra hour to stop here for lunch or dinner (dinner is a lot more expensive). I failed to take pictures of my lunch (what was I thinking???) but here are my thoughts...

First of all, it's a unique space with lots of paintings and things by local artists. Both times I've been, the service is great...friendly but not too friendly (HI MY NAME IS CHUCK I'LL BE YOUR WAITER). It's cozy. A little loud when it gets busy. I met a friend there today at 11:30 and that was perfect. By the time we left it was getting very crowded and noisy. The first time I went I had one of the specials, which happened to be a house0made chick-pea burger that was very tasty - kind of like falafel with not quite so much tahini in it. I had it with a cup of butternut squash soup that was highly yummy.

Today I was craving MEAT, maybe because it was pouring down snow and 30 degrees out? I ordered something I had my eye on the first time I went:

House Roasted Lamb Ciabatta, described as "Slow roasted Lamb with Feta Cheese, Balsamic-Red Onion Jam and Pesto served on Toasted Ciabbata Bread." I had it with the side salad and told the server to tell the chef to pick whatever dressing he thought would go best. This was maybe the best sandwich I have ever had in my life. I really love lamb when it's done right but never cook it at home. It was almost like a pulled pork kind of sandwich, but with lamb and pesto instead of pork and bbq sauce, and the onion jam and feta gave it nice sharpness. The lamb was tender and juicy but not greasy. Warm but not hot - just the right temperature to show off the flavors. The bread was obviously fresh and locally made. Mmmmmmm. Another thing I like about this place is that the servings are not GIANT.

There is a small parking lot on the north side of the building. Maybe the north side. Directions are not my strength. They also do Sunday brunch.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A New Request

Not to be pushy but I really really want some Indian food recipes: curry, naan, etc. I tried to make curry the other night and while it made the house smell quite fragrant and saturated my newly washed hair (very sad), it didn't really taste all that great. ALSO, what about some Thanksgiving love? Or how to use your food storage love (possibly could be combined with Indian food love? Garbanzo beans?)? Maybe? I think that's all. Happy Vote Day.

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