Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Spinach Pesto

Yes, another vegetable recipe. Maybe I should rename this blog "Desserts and Vegetables, and sometimes a little pasta." But, with my garden sprouting miniature vegetable plants and the opening of the Farmer's Market this month, who isn't excited about vegetables?

This recipe is excellent for several reasons. You can make it with baby spinach from your own garden, or with the full-grown spinach you can buy at the grocery store all winter long. It's a great compromise for those who love the taste of spinach, but not the texture. It's far cheaper than basil for making pesto. And last, it's a great way to fool your kids into eating their veggies: "No, Johnny, it's not a vegetable-- it's pasta!" (Not that I would know this from experience-- you'll have to ask Elizabeth if this worked for her)

Plus, if you want to continue on the Italian food theme, look how pretty the ingredients are:

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Buttermilk Pancakes

Yes, that picture was taken from an iphone. No, this post is not from Nathanael.

I wasn't intending to post this recipe, as it was just an experiment. But it was so good, I just had to share it. Hence, only one picture, taken when there was hardly any food left on my plate ;). Next time I make it (which may be tomorrow) I'll take more pictures!

This morning, when I sleepily wandered out into the kitchen to make my morning coffee, I decided I should cut up the mango and strawberries in my fridge into a nice fruit salad. Then I decided they would taste delicious on Alton Brown's buttermilk waffles. Problem #1: I don't own a waffle maker.

But sometimes, even pre-coffee on Saturday mornings, I have brilliant ideas. Waffle batter and pancake batter are basically the same, right? So I pulled out Alton's recipe. Problem #2: If I wanted to make the pasta extravaganza I had planned for tonight, I only had one egg to contribute to this morning's breakfast.  Problem #3: I also only had 6 ounces of buttermilk. 

But pancake batter is supposed to be thicker than waffle batter, right? So I mixed up all the ingredients I had, cooked them in my skillet, and topped them with my strawberries and mangoes. So. So. Good.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mom's Macaroni and Cheese

For those of you with a little more time on your hands, you will be pleased to know that Macaroni & Cheese does not necessarily have to come from a box. Unless you are a bachelor, of course.

Macaroni and Cheese is a very flexible dish-- it can be a showcase for gourmet cheeses by night, comfort food by day, and a tasty, but easy, potluck dish on the weekends.

I took this to a potluck and a friend asked for the recipe, so I am posting it for everyone to try. I have never really had a recipe for this--it's more of a 'process', as my daughters tell me. Basically, I make a roux, add liquid, salt, pepper, and my signature ingredient, nutmeg. Then I melt in the cheese and add to cooked pasta.

This recipe as is makes enough for a medium sized Corning Ware dish, and serves 4-6 people.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Easy Hummus. And then some.

I know the rest of the country probably realized this a few months ago, but spring is finally here! This week, in fact, it has felt like summer. At least, like a New England summer--which probably also feels like spring to the rest of you ;).

I had no idea how much I liked the idea of summer until I moved up here. Who knew that sunshine and warmth could make me this happy? And with sunshine and warmth come a whole new world of Summer recipes.

For some reason, I always associate hummus with summertime. Maybe it was that one summer in college when I ate tomato and hummus sandwiches for lunch every day. I would walk to the D.C. farmer's market every Saturday and carry piles of fresh produce back to my apartment's closet-sized kitchen. One of the booths there made some pretty awesome cilantro-lime hummus.

Or maybe it is hummus' place as my picnic food of choice. Hummus, crackers, and vegetables make a great lunch after a long hike to the top of a mountain.

But there is one problem. Hummus is expensive. A little tub for $3.50? Now, I'd pay that for good farmer's market hummus; but not so much for plastic-packaged grocery store stuff. So here is how to make your own: