Anotheryarn Eats

November 6, 2009

breakfast breaks the rut?

Filed under: almost a recipe, Breakfast — Tags: , , — anotheryarn @ 11:40 am

One can hope.  I know I’ve been woefully absent, I have drafts for three meals, am behind on chronicling our weekly share and to top it all off got in a rut of barely cooking for the last two weeks – which of course means that my fridge is overflowing with kale.  (A friend of mine shared this link the other day and I totally felt for the people who have fridge picture #3 on page 1, oh I remember that time).  Luckily with fall means winter squash and potatoes and onions which keep much longer than greens and don’t hog precious fridge-space).

But back to breakfast.  I’ve been trying to get better about eating breakfast.  I’ve always been one of those people who isn’t hungry right when I wake up.  On weekdays breakfast must be simple, something that I can make while half-asleep, while I like to wait a bit on the weekends and make your classic breakfast fare like pancakes, french toast, omelets, muffins and such.  But today I was excited to try this combination that I thought up a couple weeks ago and finally set in motion on Wednesday with the purchase of some granola.  Well, I didn’t really think up this combination, I’m sure someone else did.  I know a number of people strain yogurt to get a cheaper version of greek yogurt, and I had a classmate who used to add jam to his plain yogurt; if I googled it I’m sure oodles of people have done this before me.  But it was so easy, and am excited to have another jam eating outlet so I have an excuse to make more jam (I have fruit just waiting for me in the freezer, but first I need to free up a few jars).


Wednesday night I put some plain yogurt in a strainer (over a bowl) lined with cheese cloth, covered it with plastic and plopped it in the fridge.  This morning I spooned some of the very thickened yogurt into my bowl, added a spoonful of my homemade peach-lavender jamsyrup, stirred it up, tasted, added a smaller spoonful of jam, then topped it with granola (supposedly ginger, but I didn’t notice).  Soooo good.  The type of breakfast that makes you say, “I’m going to eat this for breakfast everyday for the rest of my life” (which of course you never do, because after a week or two you get tired of eating the same thing everyday; this is the same reason why I don’t make yogurt at home, too often I barely get through my quart of yogurt in time).  I now have visions of doing this and pre-prepping this in cute little mason jars (but then I couldn’t use the strained yogurt for things like tzaziki).  Must by more cheesecloth.


October 9, 2009

Beet Cupcakes

Filed under: Recipes — Tags: , , — anotheryarn @ 10:15 am

Actually they don’t taste like beets at all, just chocolate.  Hiding healthy foods in cupcakes is fairly common, and I’ve seen chocolate beet cake mentioned a few times in discussions on using up an excessive amount of beets – which was exactly my goal.  I had roasted beets for Friday’s dinner but had misjudged overall cooking time so they were not done we when ate.  I tossed them in the fridge and started digging around for a beet chocolate cake recipe.  I had intended on making these last weekend, but when I pulled up my recipe I discovered I needed cooked beets, unlike what you need for carrot or zucchini enhanced baked goods. I had  two recipes, one from Straight From the Farm and another a friend passed along to me from The Moosewood Dessert Cookbook.  I ended up going with the latter because my butter was not soft enough when I was ready to start baking.  Also, it had 1/2 cup less fat in the recipe; but really the recipes were pretty similar.


Chocolate Beet Cupcakes from The Moosewood Dessert Cookbook

  • 1 lb. cooked sliced beets*
  • 1/2 c water
  • 3 eggs*
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 c vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 c white flour
  • 3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda

*I actually didn’t weigh my bunch, but it was 4 medium sized beets.  I roasted my beets as I usually do (poked, wrapped in foil and tossed in a 350-400 F oven for 40-60 minutes) but steaming them is another option.  The original recipe called for a 15 oz can of beets.

*On eggs.  I’ve been trying to get my eggs from a local farm and the last dozen that I bought were all very small.  Not an issue for breakfast eggs but a problem in baking since the assumption is that you will use a large egg.  A large egg should have a volume of 1/4 cup so I broke my eggs into a measuring cup and found that 3 eggs gave 2/3 cup of liquid and adding a 4th gave me 3/4 cup of egg liquid.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Prepare 2 12-cupcake pans by putting a cupcake liner in each one (I yielded 22 cupcakes but ymmv slightly).

Cut off the tap root and stem end and peel your beets.  I cut them into quarters and then pureed them in my food processor with 1/2 cup water (you can also use a blender).  This should make about 1 1/2 cups of puree.  My 4 beets made a bit more so I just used the 1 1/2 cups and rinsed the rest down the drain.

In a big bowl beat 3 eggs and then whisk together the sugar, oil, vanilla, salt and beet puree until it is smooth.  In another bowl sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda together (I needed to whisk them to thoroughly combine them).  Add the flour mixture to the beet mixture and stir to combine until it all just moistened and smooth.  Pour about 1/4 cup of a batter in each tin, I use an ice cream scoop/server for this so each tin is filled about 2/3’s full.  Bake for 15-18 minutes, check for done-ness with a toothpick, when it comes out dry they are done.  Remove from the pans to a cooling rack.  Frost or dust with confectioners sugar.  While the cupcakes cooled I made a cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting from Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book

  • 6 oz cream cheese, softened but cool
  • 1 stick butter, softened but cool
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 4 1/2 – 4 3/4 c powdered sugar, divided

Beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together (with a hand mixer or stand mixer) until smooth and fluffy.  I use a medium speed on my stand mixer.  Add two cups of powdered sugar (sift if it is lumpy) and start the mixer slowly so it doesn’t poof up everywhere.  Once that is combined and smooth add 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 cups more powdered sugar and beat until smooth, about 1 minute once the powdered sugar has been incorporated into the mixture.  I found 4 1/2 cups of sugar made a nice consistency for piping.  If it is too thick thin it with a spoonful of milk.  If it is too thin add a rounded tablespoon of powdered sugar at a time.

October 8, 2009

Fish Tacos

Filed under: Recipes — Tags: , , — anotheryarn @ 3:40 pm

I was thrilled and proud that we used up almost all of the veggies in our fridge before this week’s pick-up.  When I list out what was left (1 green cabbage, 1 small red cabbage, 1 bunch beets, 1 carrot, 4 oz green beans, some green onion stalks; oh yes and some onions and potatoes) it looks like a long list – but really isn’t that much produce when you try and have produce be the bulk of your meal.  I have plans for that bunch of beets (as well as a bunch of beets that are already roasted) and the carrot.  I had plans for the green beans but they fell through.  This is how every week is supposed to be, but too often, even though we downsized to a half-share, I could come up with a Sunday-Friday meal plan on Sunday (not that I’ve been meal-planning lately, but I’m trying to get back into it).

And so, on Sunday while listening to The Splendid Table (Mario Batali has fish taco night on Thursdays) I decided to make fish tacos on Tuesday.  It would use some cabbage and green onions but not be too dependent on veggies (and not require me to buy anything that we might just get in our share that day).  I took a look at Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch guide to help me pick a fish, then did a search on Epicurious to help me decide how to prepare everything.  Now some will say fish tacos are breaded and fried fish in corn tortillas with a fresh salsa and/or creamy sauce but I grew up with grilled fish tacos (but both are quite tasty when done right, the former when done wrong ends up like fish sticks wrapped in a tortilla) and was feeling a bit out of my element since I hardly ever cook fish.  I settled on loosely following this recipe for Baja Fish Tacos.  And when I say loosely I mean loosely.  I didn’t use the recommended fish, just the marinade (with half the oil) and the crema (done with lemon juice since I was running out of lime juice); the slaw sounded really good but I knew we wouldn’t use that much shredded cabbage so I kept it plain for better storage.

fish tacosFish Tacos, fish marinade from Epicurious

  • about 1 lb fish, aim for a mild white flesh fish
  • fish marinade
    • 1/4 c oil
    • 3 T lime juice
    • 5 t chile powder
    • 1 1/2 t cumin
    • 1 1/2 t ground coriander
    • pinch salt
  • shredded cabbage
  • sliced green onions
  • cilantro
  • sour cream turned “crema
    • sour cream
    • plain yogurt
    • lemon juice
  • salsa
  • lime wedges
  • corn tortillas

Whisk the marinade together, and place the fish in it.  Shred the cabbage, slice the green onion, stir together the crema (note my sour cream, yogurt and lemon juice method was only semi-successful).  Cook your fish (the recipe suggest grilling which is nice but we just pan fried/sauted it).  Plate and cut into smaller pieces.  Heat a tortilla, place some fish, crema, salsa, cabbage, green onions and cilantro in it.  Squeeze a wedge of lime over the taco right before eating.

October 7, 2009

year 2 week 15

Filed under: Weekly Share — Tags: — anotheryarn @ 3:54 pm

year 2 week 15

  • radishes
  • green beans
  • eggplant
  • butternut squash
  • purple bell peppers
  • kale
  • red onions
  • potatoes

October 6, 2009

Lentil Soup

Filed under: Recipes — Tags: , , , , — anotheryarn @ 11:09 pm

I love soup, but I’m partial to thick, chunky soups that borderline on stew except my soups rarely have large chunks of meat.  Lentil soups were never my favorite, but when I saw this recipe for Lentil Soup with Sausage and Cabbage I knew I had to make it.  Luckily I also had a head of green cabbage waiting to be used in the fridge.  As I finished cooking it occurred to me that this soup looked a lot like my grandmothers vegetable soup (a variety of vegetables  in a broth with tomatoes, ground beef and cabbage).  It was – and that is just fine because I loved my grandmother’s vegetable soup.

I did make some changes to the recipe.  I halved the recipe, since a household of two doesn’t need 8 servings of untested soup.  I skipped the stew-meat since it just struck me as an odd addition, and picked spicy italian sausage over mild italian sausage.  While the lentil variety was not specified, and I suspect they meant the common brown/green lentil, I chose to use french green lentils.  And finally I did not add the tomato and salt according the instructions (when adding the water and lentils) because I was worried about the salt or acid prolonging the cook-time for the lentils; Instead I added the tomato and salt once the lentils had softened, let the pot come back to a simmer and then added the cabbage.


Lentil Soup with Sausage and Cabbage from How to Pick a Peach by Russ Parsons
adapted slightly by me (ie this is half a recipe and missing stew meat)

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 lb italian sausage (I chose spicy italian sausage)
  • 2 T red wine vinegar, plus more for the finished soup
  • 1 chopped carrot
  • 1 chopped celery rib
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 lb french green lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 t salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 8 oz cabbage, cored and shredded (probably half a small cabbage)

In soup pot (I used my 4 qt pot) heat the oil and add the sausage.  Cook until done, breaking it up as it browns.  Once it is cooked (recipe says 15 minutes, I didn’t time it) pour the red wine vinegar into the pan to deglaze it, stirring vigorously to loosen the stuck bits.  Once the vinegar has evaporated remove the pot from the heat, and use a slotted spoon to transfer the sausage to a strainer (or plate with paper towels).  Spoon out some of the remaining fat from the pot – you want to have about 1 tablespoon left in the pot.  Put the pot back on the burner and turn to medium.  Add the carrot, celery, and onion to pot and saute until soft, around 5 minutes.  Then add the garlic and stir until fragrant, maybe a minute.  At this point you add the lentils, water and bay leaf and bring it to boil, then turn down to simmer.  Let everything simmer for about 45 minutes, then test lentils to make sure they are tender.  Now add the tomatoes, salt and pepper and bring it back to a simmer.  Add the shredded cabbage, and let everything simmer for about 15 minutes until the cabbage is soft.  Add a drizzle of red wine vinegar (maybe a tablespoon or so) and taste to adjust seasonings if needed.

October 5, 2009

a new way to curry

Filed under: Recipes — Tags: , , , , , , — anotheryarn @ 9:06 pm

Ever since I discovered jars of red curry paste, coconut curry has been an often repeated dinner.  Sometimes it is quick ‘n easy route of frozen veggies simmered in the curry sauce, other times it is a way to use up a varieties of veggies.  Earlier this week, I was excited to see find this Roasted Veggies, Thai Style recipe on The Bitten Blog.  And conveniently I had almost everything called for in the recipe (I subbed a green pepper for the red and added carrots for more color).  Of course the one hour cook time meant this dish got put off a few nights, first it was planned for Thursday – but evening commitments turned that into leftover-night, then it was planned for Saturday but I when I hit the kitchen at 7:20 pm to start dinner and discovered the pan I needed to use was dirty (and the bowl I needed to use a different pan was also dirty) I pushed it back to Sunday night.

It was pretty easy, though it does take 2 pans instead of my usual one pan for either curry OR roasted veggies.  But the peanut-enhanced curry sauce was quite yummy and we are totally looking forward to eating the leftovers as lunch.  I think it could do with less roasting time, and possibly a time delay for adding certain veggies to the oven (shallots sooner than everything else, but maybe that is just my grocery stores gargantuan shallots).  It just depends how “melty” you like your veggies I think.  And yes, this is a pretty spectacularly bad photo, above-head compact florescent bulb plus high fat food equals “what is that greasy blob looking thing?”.


Thai-Style Roasted Veggies with rice from NYTimes Bitten Blog by Mark Bittman with my addition of carrots

repeat from last August

Filed under: almost a recipe, Recipes — Tags: , , — anotheryarn @ 9:03 pm

Friday night I wanted comfort food, but it took a little effort to convince myself to actually make this comfort food.  I decided to try a new polenta method, baking, since I had to turn the oven on to roast the beets (if I thought I could have gotten wilted greens via the oven I would have done that too).  Unfortunately the beets took more time than I thought so we just ate wilted garlicy greens and polenta topped with gorgonzola – but when you got a bite with all three things it was oh so good.  I was a little leery of the baked polenta, but it turned out just fine, if a little on the thinner than I’m used to. It was nice to just let the leftovers cool in the pan and stick that in the fridge.  I used a bit of the leftover polenta in a breakfast scramble and it slide out of the pan nice and easy.


Polenta with gorgonzola and Garlicy Swiss Chard

baked polenta recipe from Everyday Food (and in the Great Food Fast cookbook) topped with diced gorgonzola

Garlicy Swiss Chard chronicled repeatedly here, but this provides good directions (ignoring the onions this time around)

October 4, 2009

Provencal Vegetable Stew

Filed under: Recipes — Tags: , , , , , — anotheryarn @ 10:14 pm

I know that Rachel Ray is quite the controversial figure in the cooking world.  To that I say,whatever.  I’ve been given three of her cookbooks and sometimes I find yummy sounding things (personally I have no problem ignoring the goofball names, plus I have my own goofball side, so who am I to judge?).  I was lamenting the lack of eggplant recipes in my cookbooks as I was flipping through cookbooks trying to figure out what to do with my two, yes two, new eggplants from this week’s share.  I grabbed Express Lane cooking, cursed the index (no eggplant listed) and then noticed a post-it note marking a recipe I wanted to try sometime.  That recipe was Provencal Vegetable Stew – which calls for 1 eggplant (I repeat cursed index)!  It also called for mushrooms and celery so I had TheHusband grab some from the grocery store on his way home (he had just called and I still hadn’t figured out any other ideas for dinner).  Of course it didn’t take 30 minutes.  Maybe it would have if I had started timing things after  I chopped all the veggies – I’m not the fastest chopper around, but I’m not painstakingly slow either.  It took 45 minutes.  And it was good, I’d make it again.


Provencal Vegetable Stew from Express Lane Meals by Rachel Ray
serves 4

  • big glug of olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped (or say 1/2 of a large one)
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 lb mushrooms, quartered if large
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 medium eggplant, chopped in 1″ cubes
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 T fresh thyme leaves, chopped (or 1 t dried thyme)
  • 1 T fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1/2 c dry white wine (or dry vermouth)
  • 1 14-oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • a baguette or other crusty bread

Heat the olive oil in a big soup pot.  Add the onions, bell pepper, garlic, mushrooms, celery, and bay leaf.  Saute for a couple minutes (while you chop the eggplant and herbs).  Add the eggplant, salt, pepper and herbs.  Saute for about 15 minutes until the eggplant is soft, stirring occasionally.  Add the white wine or vermouth and deglaze the pan (stirring to get any stuck bits loose).  When that has cooked off add the tomatoes and heat through.  Serve with a nice thick slice of crusty bread.

Year 2 Week 14

Filed under: Weekly Share — Tags: — anotheryarn @ 9:57 pm

year 2 week 14

  • eggplant
  • cabbage
  • carrots
  • green onions
  • tomatoes
  • potatoes
  • green bell pepper
  • white (or yellow) green beans

Eggplant with Pasta

Filed under: Recipes — Tags: — anotheryarn @ 9:45 pm

In one of those lovely ironic twists of last week, I had to buy a second eggplant to make my eggplant enchiladas, but then didn’t get to making them until Tuesday.  And just after I started cutting up the eggplant, TheHusband walked in with that week’s share, including another eggplant.  Drats, and oh well.  It gave me a chance to make this eggplant pasta sauce my friend Liz raved about earlier this summer.  It was a great simple dish too, perfect for a quick weeknight meal, and according to Liz, the leftover sauce can make a good stand-in for vegetarian sloppy joes.  I just made an entire bag of pasta and tossed the leftover pasta and leftover sauce together to make for quick leftover lunches for the rest of the week.  It would have worked out better if I had one of those sneaky 12 oz bags instead of a 16 oz bag since the bottled tomato sauces have gone sneaky on us and dropped the amount from 32 oz to 26-28 oz.  This just wasn’t quite enough sauce for 16 oz of pasta IMO.  My one complaint was that it did veer a bit on the side of tasting like eggplant in jarred sauce, but I also don’t think this recipe really needs a jarred sauce, I bet it would be good made with some canned tomatoes, extra garlic and dried herbs (either an italian seasoning blend or your own blend).  For one lunch I also added some chopped kalamata olives; so next time I might add that, as well as cubed mozzarella and turn it into a cheesy casserole.

eggplant tomato sauce on pastaEggplant Pasta Sauce from the Brown Rice Penne with Eggplant Recipe from Cooking Light via the MyRecipes site

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