Tag Archives: Cooking

’tis the season for squash

Spaghetti squash is one of my favorites.  I read this wonderful recipe from Molly Katzen’s “Vegetable Dishes I Can’t Live Without.”  Spaghetti Squash with Sage and Caramelized Onions.  The pictures below are poor quality as Tompaul has the camera…these are all taken with my blackberry.

First you take your Spaghetti Squash and look at it.  Love it….I SAID LOVE IT.Then you take your super sharp knife and cut it in half.Then you scrape out all the seeds.  Throw them away…we don’t need them cause we live in Baltimore and don’t have a garden.  Take this and place on a baking sheet with foil covering and a bit of oil.  See my MISTO.

Bake at 425F until you can insert a fork easily. Then use your fork to scrape out all the wonderful spaghetti.Then rebake it at 375F for another 30 minutes with caramelized onions and garlic.Top off with sage and parmesan cheese (my own addition).

The flavor was nutty and worked well with the parmesan cheese. It was quite tasty, autumnal one might say.


Band-aids and Books

Today I am giving a shout out to Earle Dickson.

Who is this wonderful man, orginially from Tennessee?  He created the worlds greatest invention, the Band-Aide.  His wife was a woman dear to my heart.

Josephine Dickson was constantly cutting, burning and scratching her fingers during cooking and other housie duties.  Imagine a bleedy finger…then trying to cut your gauze and then apply your own tape.  A little tricky.  Plus her bandages were always falling off cause she didn’t stop what she was doing…so he created the band-aid.

Why such a shout out?  Cause if you know me…or have seen me cook you know I am a klutz.  This weekend alone I have burned one finger, cut another and grated a knuckle.  So thanks Earl Dickson!  Much obliged.

Now for something less violent than my cooking (which today I made 4 batches of my fav. spinach pesto to freeze).  I finished The Rope Trick.  It is one of Lloyd Alexander’s later books, and one of my new favorites.  As a child I read the Pyridian Chronicles but didn’t know there were so many books.  Lloyd always had excellent heroines, something I appreciated.  Well in McKay book store I stumbled upon The Rope Trick. It is an captivating story about a magician’s daughter.  The store is not as epic as other books and seems to take place over a shorter time.  Also the books is dark and less humorous.  The ending is ambiguous and as an adult I love it.  Not sure how I would have felt as a 10 year old girl.  Anyway I recommend it.

Now off to my office for some serious work before we have our dinner guests tonight!

So Spicy It’ll Knock Your Socks Off Applesauce

Fall is amazing.  I love the scents, crispy air, the bonfires, and the food.  This year I want to celebrate and make as many autumnal dishes as possible.  I had a quick jaunt to Nashville this weekend and got to visit McKay book store.  One of my aquisitions was an old Martha Stewart Cookbook

Martha Stewart’s Healthy Quick Cook.

It is arranged seasonally, similar to my monk cookbook.  So I bought some crisp fall apples and decided to see what I could make up.  I found a recipie that was so scandalous (say it with some southern twang…scaaandOlus) I couldn’t resist it. Spicy Applesauce.

How does one make such a craaazy recipe?  

First chop up 8 apples.Put these in a saucepan w/ 1 c. apple cider, 1/2 tsp red paper, pinch cayenne pepper and pinch of ground black paper.  Simmer for 20 minutes.

I put it in my food processor and chopped coarsely.  Then I fed it to my husband.  He is a texture snob and didn’t like the “chunky” texture.  So begrudgingly I blended it.  The result?

So what’s the verdict?  It was HOT.  Too hot that I couldn’t taste the apples.  I think in the future I might a bit of red pepper to my apple sauce but not 1/2 tsp.  I mean it was good…it just left a burning feeling in my belly when I was done.  I think I am going to try some granny smith apple sauce with cinnamon tomorrow.

Autumnal Dinner

Last night Tompaul and I drove to Hagerstown, MD.  I know this is exciting in itself…but the real reason was to see Bronwen and Aaron and new baby (a.k.a. Adam).  I  volunteered to make part of dinner as there were some new recipies I wanted to try out…and its easier to experiment on a larger crowd because you get more opinions.

First I decided to make a homemade tomato soup.  This is mostly because I had subpar tomato bisque for lunch…for 3.5 for the cup.  I was thinking as I ate it…I have made better tomato soup.  At this moment I realized I have become something horrid…a food snob!

Anyway I decided to make this soup I love.  It comes from Giada’s Kitchen.  The soup involves crushed tomatoes, canelli beans (to make it creamy), carrots, garlic (sorry Ba), onion and red pepper flakes.  The red pepper flakes I used were newer than the ones I have so it was a bit on the HOT side.   You can look the recepie up on Google books (it’s page 44).  I substituted McKay’s Chicken Seasoning for the chicken broth and I don’t use heavy cream to make the wipped cream topping.  Instead I add the part cream in to the soup and I use milk.  I think this helps with the acidity of the tomatoes…as everyone knows I don’t like raw tomatoes.  Here is the soup cooking…we ate the soup so fast I don’t have any of the finished product!

Then to finish off dinner I made a monky cake.  And by monky I mean from my monastery cookbook.  I chose the Yogurt Cake Saint-Elie.  I added 2tsp of vanilla, baked it in  an 8″ round pan instead of square and only baked it for 40 min instead of the full 50 because it was done.  I turned out to be a nice solid cake.  Te outside made a firm “crust.”  The cake held its own taste so the toppings were simple: cut strawberries with lemon juice and sugar topped whipped cream.  My friend Mary Heather taught me that.  She is one smart cookie.

Here is baby Adam.  He is growing nicely.  All of his reflexes are appropriate and he is super fun to swaddle and cuddles nicely.  All in all it was a fun night….well worth the drive.

Crazy Calzones

Tompaul works late on Thursdays so I take call then.  If nothing “distracts” me then I usually spend some more creative time with dinner.  Tonight I decided to give calzones a try.  I made calzones tons in Nashville but that was with easy access to Trader Joe’s to pick up pizza dough.

Trader Joe’s is definately here…which I appreciate.  It is just not convenient.  (noting a theme about grocery stores and downtown baltimore anyone?)  It’s about 30 min away.  So I have resorted to making my own pizza dough.  Thanks to my friend Sharon who gave me her amazing recipe!

Preheat oven  450 degrees F

Mix the following  in a medium bowel (or the stand mixer bowl) and let stand for 10 minutes:
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)

Then mix in
2 1/2 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1-2 tsp of  italian seasoning
1 tsp cracked pepper
garlic powder

Needs to sit at least 5 minutes but the longer the better.This is mine after sitting for 30 minutes

So I made my dough and filled with spinach, basil, paremsean and riccotta cheese.Here is the finished product!

Birthday for Ba

On Saturday I invited Tompaul’s parents and aunt over for lunch.  The request from the birthday ba was mexican food and chocolate cake.

-Black bean and corn enchaladas

–  Mexican Rice, Cheese sauce, Sweet Corn Bread– Guacamole, Salsa, LimesAnd for the finale……Homemade Hershey’s Chocolate Cake with a Lemon Curd Filling w/ Hershey’s Chocolate Frosting.  The “Ba” was made with lemon rind.

New cookbook

Today we went down to Red Emma’s bookstore and coffeehouse.  We frequently pass it on St. Paul Street on the way to I-83.   It’s a worker owned and collectively managed bookstore.

While perusing the anarchist guidebooks, history books and conspiricy theories I found a cooking section and lo and behold  a Southern Vegan Cookbook.  It’s called “Hot Damn and Hell Yeah.”

I look forward to trying some of the recipes here like Mexican Chili-Gravy and Vietnamese Style Curry.