Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Chicken tortilla soup

April 9, 2011

Avocado- Day 31/365

Nothing terribly creative here, but I do think that the use of chipotle makes a difference. It lends a smoky taste rather than heat.

The ingredient list is long, but this soup comes together quickly.

1/2 cup rice
1 quart chicken broth
2 boneless chicken breasts
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 dried chipotle pepper
1/4 tsp cumin
1 chayote squash, cut into bite-size pieces
1 carrot, sliced into coins
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 avocado, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 lime, cut into wedges

Cook rice in a small pot. While it is cooking, start the soup.

Put broth, chicken, garlic, onion, tomato, chipotle, and cumin in a large soup pot and bring to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes or so until the chicken is cooked through.

Remove chicken from the pot and set aside to cool.

Add squash, carrots, and cilantro to the soup. Simmer until vegetables are tender.

Meanwhile, shred cooled chicken with a fork.

When vegetables are done, add cooked rice and shredded chicken to the pot. Season with salt and pepper.

Top with avocado and serve with lime wedges.

Roasted Asparagus with Dill and Goat Cheese

April 4, 2011

Asparagus I’m finally getting spring vegetables from my local farm subscription. This week, there was asparagus and fresh dill. I poked through various recipes for inspiration, but couldn’t find what I was looking for, so I made it up.

Roasted Asparagus with Dill and Goat Cheese

1 bunch asparagus
1 bunch fresh dill
1 oz goat cheese
olive oil
red wine vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Snap off asparagus ends and place asparagus on a baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with some chopped dill. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Roast in oven for 10-15 minutes to desired doneness, turning as needed.

Meanwhile, make a red wine vinaigrette and add fresh dill to taste.

When asparagus is done, remove from oven, and cut in half. Toss warm asparagus with vinaigrette and chunks of goat cheese. Serve.

Granola bar FAIL

March 8, 2010

I found this fine, non-fail recipe for homemade granola bars and decided to try it. So I picked up some lovely dried cranberries and bittersweet chocolate chips (mmmmm, tasty).

Then, I got out the other ingredients from my pantry — brown sugar, rolled oats. Hmmm, that box feels awfully light.

And I discovered that I had about a quarter-cup of rolled oats. That expired in 2008.


Fast-forward to two weeks later, and we are going to try again…this time I discover that I don’t have wheat germ. And don’t want to use whole-wheat flour. Left out the wheat germ, increased the flour and the rolled oats slightly to compensate.

The result smelled good, but:

2x FAIL.

What is wrong with these granola bars? I’m going to need a list:

  • When I tried to poke them in the pan for doneness, I hit a chocolate chip instead of the granola area. You know what happens when you stick your finger into hot melted chocolate? It HURTS. Then, you stick your finger in your mouth to get the chocolate off and burn your mouth. So now I have a burned finger and a burned lip.
  • I tried to cut the granola bars up, but the binding didn’t quite work, so I have quite a bit of deconstructed granola bar. Hmmm…what do you call it when you have granola ingredients not in a bar…maybe…”granola”? Lesson: Follow the recipe, which says to cut them up when they are “warm”. Not hot, warm. (I was still mad about the burned finger and wanted to take my revenge with a knife.)
  • Taste. Oh, the taste. Did I mention that I baked the granola bars at the same time as a lovely batch of non-fail brownies? I neglected to increase cooking time to compensate for multiple pans in the oven, and so my granola “bars” have a slight raw flour taste. Which is not good. Also, I think I didn’t use enough sweetener, so in addition to the raw-flour note, there’s also an unsweetened oats feature. This may work for horses, but not for me. Neigh, not at all.

Lessons learned:

  • Avoid melted chocolate chips in the oven.
  • Do not “wing it” when assembling ingredients on a new recipe. The major reason that this recipe fell apart is probably that I was eyeballing the ingredients instead of measuring them. “What could possibly go wrong, other than a second-degree burn?” I thought blithely.
  • When in doubt, add more sugar.
  • When in doubt, follow instructions closely.
  • “Wing it” is for recipes you know well, and maybe hockey.

CookieFest 2009

December 8, 2009

CookieFest 2009 was another resounding success. The product of our labors included:

  • One newborn (!!). We had one regular attendee missing due to her being otherwise occupied with Having a Baby. I suppose we can let that slide Just This Once.
  • Buttermilk cookies (thanks to Alyssa for pointing me to the recipe).
  • Three gingerbread houses (contrary to what the picture might indicate, we had not been drinking. It’s possible that we were a BIT punchy after 9 hours of nonstop cookie action).

Gingerbread house

  • Ginger spice cookies (wow. I think we followed the recipe on these)
  • Pumpkin spice cookies
  • Gingerbread (found in Joy of Cooking)
  • Rugelah (we used currents instead of raisins, hazelnuts instead of walnuts, and skipped the milk wash and sugar sprinkle)
  • Evil Oatmeal Cookies. Oh wait. That’s not their official name. They are actually Oatmeal Toffee Cookies, aka The Least Healthy Thing You Can Make with Oatmeal. Substitutions: for bittersweet chocolate, use chocolate chips (no chopping required), for toffee pieces, Heath bars
  • Triple-threat chocolate cookies (we omitted all those nasty nuts and increased flour slightly to compensate)
  • I think I might have forgotten one. It’s sort of a blur.

I am now officially ready for the holidays. We don’t even have to clean the house any more because we can distract visitors with cookies. LOTS of cookies.