Found: Some porcini mushrooms bought in optimism, about to go; apple juice
Risotto may seem like it takes a long time to make, but to me, it's really not, and any time spent making this dish will reap tremendous taste bud rewards, not to mention a fabulous smelling kitchen. I used Tyler Florence's recipe (link HERE) but replaced the wine with apple juice, and used porcini mushrooms instead of the crimini and portobello mushrooms. Result? De-lish!
Found: Mixed cherry tomatoes, few pieces of ciabatta bread, bottle of dried lavender I've yet to use
Made: Bruschetta for lunch!
18 cherry tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
3 cloves garlic, minced
Fresh or dried basil
Italian dressing (I currently am using a copycat Olive Garden recipe)
Ciabatta or sourdough bread
Shredded parmigiano reggiano cheese
Instructions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. In a bowl, mix your cherry tomatoes with garlic, oil and a generous amount of salt. (Eyeball it -- I used 2 "glugs" of oil for my 18 toms.) Spread on pan and roast for 2 hours.
In a container that has a strong sealed lid (I used a mason jar), mix your roasted tomato / garlic mix with basil (I used dried, didn't have the fresh on hand) and lavender. Again eyeball it -- the picture below shows my eyeballing. Add Italian dressing, mix well, and let the ingredients get to know one another for several hours -- or overnight is even better.
To make the bruschetta, set your oven to broil. Place bread slices baking sheet and broil until both sides are golden brown (turn once during baking). Top with roasted tomato mix, freshly shredded cheese, and, just to gild the lily, drizzle with a bit more olive oil. Yum-mo!
P.S. Sorry I did not get a picture of the final "presentation" -- I forgot. Blame it on low blood sugar!
Found: 1 egg, leftover cottage cheese, browning banana, leftover sweetener from coffee run
Made: Yummy breakfast muffins
1 large egg
1 cup cottage cheese
2 T. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. no-calorie sweetener
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup oatmeal, old-fashioned
Instructions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend thoroughly. Pour (two-thirds full) into a muffin pan coated with cooking spray or lined with muffin liners. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the muffins are lightly browned and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Makes 8 muffins.
Found in fridge: prosciutto, goat cheese, spinach, leftover peach jelly, naan. Spread jelly on naan, Topped with rest plus a little honey, baked 450 for 7 minutes.
Found in the fridge: leftover spinach artichoke dip, leftover bowtie pasta with tomato sauce. Well, it's not the prettiest pasta I've ever seen, but combining these two together yielded a YUM-MO lunch pasta.
Found in fridge: waning baguette, cottage cheese, jar of roasted red peppers, one sad tomato. You know, ricotta gets all the glory, but cottage cheese, drained and mashed a bit, is really the same thing when it comes to recipes.
Half jar roasted red peppers
Tomatoes, grilled as here
Drain and mash your cottage cheese until it looks like ricotta. Toast your bread as you like. A lower fat option is to toast it, but I like Julia Child's way -- grill it in olive oil! Put your grilled tomatoes, red peppers and basil in a food processor and pulse it up. You just want to get it spreadable, but still have the individual ingredients show themselves. Layer your bread with cottage cheese and then tomato/basil/pepper mixture. Devour.
The chicken-basil sausage we buy at our local Sprouts market is soooo good and we seem to always have some on hand in the freezer. From the leftover veggies from steak night, I made Zoe a petite pasta with a bit of pesto. Super easy to make, completely gone in 5 minutes!
Nothing better on a winter day than soup and crusty bread. And soup is the ultimate way to clean out the pantry.
3-4 slices of bacon, chopped
1 small onion or 1/2 large onion (red, yellow, white), chopped
1 mini sweet red pepper, chopped finely (What's this?)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 T. flour
4 cups chicken stock or broth (I used the turkey stock I had in the freezer)
4 cups peeled, finely diced potatoes (I like Yukon Gold)
2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 can evaporated milk
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried parseley (or 2 T. fresh, chopped)
In a heavy stockpot, brown bacon until almost crisp. Remove some of the bacon and reserve for garnish. Add onions and garlic to the pot and saute 2 minutes -- make sure the garlic doesn't burn! Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Sprinkle on the flour and mix into the onion mixture, and then add the broth and potatoes. Cover the pot and bring to a boil; then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or till the potatoes are tender. Add the corn. Cover and simmer everything about 5 minutes longer to blend the flavors.
Stir in the milk. Season with the thyme, parsley, some more salt, and lots of freshly ground black pepper to taste. Garnish with the bacon bits you've been saving.
Since we didn't carve our pumpkins, we were able to use the pumpkins for these delish recipes.
Pumpkins, rinsed and dried
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Slice a small piece of skin off the one side of the pumpkin so when laid on its side, the pumpkin will lay flat without rolling. Remove the stem and split the pumpkin in half from top to bottom, using a large cleaver and a mallet. Scoop out the seeds and fiber with a large metal spoon or ice cream scoop. Cut the fibers with kitchen sissors if necessary. Reserve seeds for another use.
Sprinkle the flesh with kosher salt and lay the halves, flesh side down, on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan. Roast until a paring knife can be easily inserted and removed from the pumpkin, 35 to 45 minutes. Test in several places to ensure doneness. Remove the sheet pan to a cooling rack and cool the pumpkin for 1 hour.
Using a large spoon, remove the roasted flesh of the pumpkin from the skin to the bowl of a food processor. Process until the flesh is smooth, 3 to 4 minutes. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months
I freeze my puree in muffin tins, as they are about 1/2 cup each. This makes it easy to get just the amount I need for all the pumpkin recipes. Then I pull the muffin tray out of the freezer, let sit for about five minutes,
and I use a plastic knife to easily pry the muffin-shaped frozen pumpkin out.. I freeze in freezer bags.