Friday, April 30, 2010

Broccoli Potato Casserole

We're moving.   Last time we moved I ended up throwing away so much food on moving day.  It kind of broke my heart.  So many good cheeses and half used bottles of sauce.  So this time round I've been trying to use up what we have in the house and it has resulted in some, uh, interesting concoctions.  Most of them I've only inflicted on Niall, but this is one that I liked enough to make again.  It used up some leftover mashed potatoes.

1 head of broccoli, washed and chopped into small pieces
1 cup mashed potatoes
1/2 cup mozzarella
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup mayonaisse
salt and pepper
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Partially cook the broccoli.  (I steamed it in the microwave for a few minutes.)  Place in a casserole dish.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs.  Then mix in the mashed potatoes and stir for a minute or two.  Add the mayo, onion and salt and pepper and mix well.  Pour over the broccoli and cover with cheese.

Bake uncovered in the oven for 20-25 minutes until hot and bubbly.  Serve hot.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Chipotle Rice

We had some left over chipotles so we added them to rice.  It smelled so delicious and made a spicy rice dish.   I had it with some enchilada sauce and ranch dressing (I am from Utah you know, so ranch dressing seemed like the perfect addition.)


2 cups vegetable stock
3 cloves garlic
5 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cups rice

Put vegetable stock, garlic, chilies and onion in a blender and puree until smooth.

Pour the rice into a saucepan. Rinse and drain the rice in cold water until it is no longer cloudy (to remove the starch). Add the mixture from the blender.  Add additional water so liquid is about 1/2 inch above the rice.

Bring to a boil and cover.  Simmer until the liquid has evaporated (about 15-20 minutes, without stirring and leaving the lid on) and rice is tender.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Enchilada Soup with Chicken

This soup could also be called Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy Soup because I made it with the ingredients we had on hand.  The plan was to go to the store on Saturday evening but Niall and I both were so tired we fell asleep.  And on Sunday we had friends coming over for dinner so I made do with what we had in the house.


4 cups chicken stock
1 cup chicken (I used roasted chicken)
2 cups vegetables (I used radishes, onion and Peperoncini peppers)
1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce
1 can kidney beans
salt and pepper to taste
bay leaf

In a large pot, simmer the vegetables and chicken stock until the vegetables are soft.  Puree.

Add the chicken, enchilada sauce, bay leaf, seasoning and beans (undrained).  Cook until warm.  (Or put it in a crock pot for eight hours with a bay leaf like I did.)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Chocolate Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting

I was curious how the Black Bottom Cupcake recipe would work without the cream cheese filling.  (I really like these cupcakes, even though they don't have eggs or butter.)   So I used the chocolate cake part of the recipe and topped with Coconut Frosting.

The result?  Pretty delicious.  Makes 10 cupcakes.


1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/8 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups flour
1 Teaspoon vinegar
1 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon soda
1 cups cold water
1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Mix cocoa, flour, sugar, soda and salt in a bowl with a hand mixer. Add oil, vinegar, water and vanilla. Sir well.  Line a muffin tin, fill 3/4 full and bake for 20 minutes.  (Cupcakes should come out clean when poked with a fork.) 

Frost with coconut frosting. 

Spinach with Fried Garlic and Caramelized Onions

We had a bunch of fresh spinach that was meant for another dish, but forgot to use it.  So we used the recipe from eCurry and were pleased with the results.  We only changed the recipe slightly.


2 Tablespoons roasted sesame oil
1 pound fresh spinach, washed
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 fresh green chili, deseeded and chopped
salt and pepper to taste

In a skillet, heat the sesame oil.  Add the chili and stir for a minute.  Add the onion and saute until translucent.  Add the garlic and cook for a minute or two, then add the spinach.  (It was overflowing at this point, but quickly reduced.)

Continue cooking until the spinach is wilted and then serve.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Fried Goose Egg

This isn't so much a recipe as an experiment.  I've never made a fried egg (anything but scrambled eggs pretty much grosses me out) and I've never used goose eggs.   We were in the market downtown and a stall had goose eggs, so we got one.  They're huge!  I didn't eat the egg, but apparently goose eggs taste pretty much like chicken eggs.

Goose Egg
Salt and Pepper

Melt the butter in a skillet.  Crack the goose egg.  (They're so big!  Look at that yolk!)

Flip the egg over (I have no idea what I'm doing) and cook it on the other side.

Add some salt and pepper.  Serve to someone who won't throw up at the sight of runny yolk on a plate.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Chipolte Moussaka

Uh, maybe I should just call this what it is?  A cheesy chili pasta bake.  But Chipolte Moussaka sounds better.  What it comes down to is we had some left over chipolte chili and I wanted to use it with pasta.  I used the Patitsio recipe from What the Fruitecake as a guide.  The result?  I liked it, Niall thought it was okay.  But he would prefer lasagna.


2-3 cups chili

400 grams pasta (I used penne)
2 eggs, whisked
1 cup shredded cheese (I used smoked cheddar)

Bechamel sauce
2 cups milk
2 Tablespoons butter
1/3 cup flour
salt and pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
paprika for garnish

1 cup shredded cheese

Cook the pasta until it's slightly underdone.  The penne pasta package said to cook 10-12 minutes, so I cooked for 8.  Drain the pasta, add the whisked eggs and the cheese and stir well.

In a saucepan, make the Bechamel sauce.  Heat the butter and the milk, then whisk in the flour so there are no lumps.  Add the bay leaf, salt and pepper and continue stirring until thick.  Remove from heat.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease an ovenproof dish and a layer of add half of the pasta and half the chili.

Repeat the pasta and chili layer, then add the extra cup of cheese.  Top with the Bechamel sauce and sprinkle with paprika.

Bake for 40-50 minutes until the the Bechamel sauce has browned.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes to set, then serve.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Broccoli Cheddar Popovers

I got this recipe from the Desert News and it's a fast substitute for dinner rolls.  We don't have a popover tin so use a muffin tin.  It's important to grease it well, and put in the butter.  I didn't last time and the popovers were pretty much a disaster and a major headache to remove.


2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 c all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1 c milk
3 eggs
½ c shredded cheddar cheese (I'm a fan of smoked cheddar)
3/4 c fresh broccoli, washed and chopped into small pieces.

Heat the oven to 450 F.

Prepare 12 muffin tins (or 6 popover tins, if you have them) by spraying each cup with cooking spray (or rubbing with vegetable oil) and drizzling about ½ tsp of the butter in each.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and pepper. Add the milk and eggs.  Whisk vigorously until the batter is smooth, about 2 minutes. Whisk the cheese into the batter.

Fill each of the prepared popover cups about a third full with batter; there will be batter left over.

Divide the chopped broccoli between the cups, then divide the remaining batter between the cups, pouring it over the broccoli (the cups should be about two-thirds full).

Bake the popovers for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325 F and bake for an additional 10 to 12 minutes, or until the popovers are risen and deep golden brown. Transfer the popovers to a wire rack to cool briefly. Serve warm.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Sticky Toffee Pudding

The first time I had Sticky Toffee Pudding was in Inverness.  I was with my sister and my mom and we thought we'd be all girly and share a dessert.  We got the pudding and wolfed it down in a very unbecoming matter (think licking the plate) and ordered another one.

I've tried several recipes, and this one is my favorite.  It's based on one I got from a magazine cutting, credited to The Old Rectory, Claughton, Lancashire.  Chef:  Mrs. Martin.  The measurements are all in weights and I haven't converted them to imperial (uh, is that what we call it when we use cups?)  So, here it is:


2 ounces (55 g) softened butter (I use unsalted)
6 ounces (170 g) granulated sugar
1/2 pound flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
6 ounces (170 g) dates, stones removed
1/2 pint boiling water
1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

Toffee Topping
2 1/2 ounces (70 g) brown sugar
1 1/2 ounces (40 g) butter
2 Tablespoons double cream

Heat the oven to 180 degrees C.  Remove the stones from the dates.  Flour them lightly (I think this is to help them not be so sticky) and chop them finely.  Put them in a bowl and add the boiling water.  Then add the soda and the vanilla.  Let the dates sit for about five minutes.

In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar.  Add the egg and then add the flour and baking powder.  Continue beating for about a minutes.  Then add pour in the dates mixture.  Blend well.

Turn the batter into a greased cake tin (the recipe calls for 11 inches x 7 inches, but I use a 9x13 glass dish)  Bake for about 40 minutes, until a fork poked in the middle comes out clean.

When the cake is still warm, make the toffee mixture.  Heat the brown sugar, butter and cream in a saucepan and simmer for about three minutes.  The original recipe says to pour the toffee over the cake and place under a hot grill until it bubbles.  But I don't have the patience and spoon the toffee over the cake and eat.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Crock Pot Vegetable Lasagna

Making lasagna in the crock pot is easy and delicious.


6 carrots
1 zucchini (courgette)
1/2 butternut squash
1/2 head of broccoli
8 lasagna noodles (uncooked)
2 cups mozzarella cheese
Basil, oregano, salt

1 can (15 ounces) tomatoes
1 cup fresh tomatoes
1 teaspoon green pesto
1/2 onion
3 cloves garlic
5 leaves fresh basil

Combine the sauce ingredients in a blender.

Prepare the vegetables.  (Wash, peel, dice, etc.)

In the crock pot, layer 1/3 of the marinara sauce, then 1/2 the noodles (rectangular noodles in a round pan doesn't go down so easily...I had to break most of them to make them fit), then half of the carrots, zucchini, broccoli, squash and cheese.

Repeat, finishing with the marinara sauce.  Add the spices (basil, oregano and salt) on top of the tomato sauce.

Bake in the slow cooker for 2 hours (or more...our slow cooker isn't working so well.)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Chicken Taco Soup with Vegetables

In an attempt to use up some leftovers we had (yet another) soup.  It turned out okay, but would have been even better with tortilla chips.


3 carrots, peeled and cubed
2 parsnips, peeled and cubed
1 can tomatoes
2 Tablespoons Taco Seasoning
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cups vegetable stock
jalapenos (as desired)
1/4 bunch of cilantro (coriander)

Garnish:  shredded chicken, cheese, hot sauce

Heat oil in a pot.  Add onions and allow them to saute for a few minutes.  Add the carrots, garlic and parsnips and cook a few minutes longer.  Add the tomatoes, stock, cilantro, jalapenos, and seasoning.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer until vegetables are soft.  (About 20 minutes.)

Puree with a hand blender (or upright blender) and allow soup to simmer until ready to serve.  (About an hour in my case.)  Garnish with cheese, shredded chicken (we had some leftover from a roast) and hot sauce, if desired.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Lemon Sour Cream Cupcakes with Coconut Icing

We had some sour cream that needed to be used quickly, and a small bit of leftover coconut milk.  So these cupcakes sounded good.  The cupcakes themselves were so-so (probably because I didn't follow a recipe, they were a little crisp on top and ended up sinking slightly), but the frosting was amazing.  I'll make the frosting again.  The frosting recipe is based on one from She Wears Many Hats.

Makes 12 cupcakes.

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil (I used half vegetable oil and half coconut oil)
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup flour
baking soda
baking powder
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1/4 cup lemon juice

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut milk
a LOT of powdered sugar (maybe 3-4 cups)

For the cake, heat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a bowl, combine the sugar, oil, eggs and sour cream.   Mix well.  I would have used all vegetable oil, but only had 1/4 cup.  Then remembered we have coconut oil.  If I would have remembered earlier I would have used all coconut oil.

Add the rest of the ingredients. 

Line a muffin tray with papers and fill each cup about 1/2 full.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until cake pierced with a fork come out clean.  Remove from the oven and cool.

For the frosting, whip the softened butter with the coconut milk.  Add the salt, vanilla and powdered sugar until the icing is as thick as desired.  

Frost the cupcakes and serve.  (I thought they were better the next day.)