Friday, December 31, 2010

food pictures and ranch potatoes: I will get my husband to eat mushrooms someday

What follows are some food pictures from Wednesday that I didn't have a chance to post.  After the pictures I'll post a recipe for Ranch Potatoes.  They are super easy, and it's almost embarrassing posting it as a "recipe," but they are delicious.
 Lunch Wednesday.  Ranch potatoes and portabella mushroom sandwich.
My husband taking his first bite of mushroom sandwich.  He was unimpressed and said he should have put more mustard on the sandwich to hide the taste of the mushroom.  I did take a reaction shot, but he wouldn't let me post it.  I'll keep working on these mushrooms.  I've fixed brussel sprouts in a way that he likes, and I will not give up on the mushrooms.
Breakfast: 10 grain cereal with peanut butter and raisins.
Ingredients for Ranch Potatoes: 3 red potatoes, olive oil, and one packet of Ranch seasoning.
Ranch potatoes mixed and ready to go into the oven.
Ranch potato closeup #2
Cooked and crispy potatoes.

Ranch Potatoes

3 large or 6 small red potatoes, washed and diced leaving the skin on
1 packet Ranch seasoning
Olive oil

1.Preheat oven to 400 F.

2.  In a small bowl drizzle olive oil over Ranch seasoning while whisking.  Add enough oil to make a runny paste.  This should be the consistency of a thick milkshake.

3. Mix seasoning paste with diced potatoes.  Mix until all potatoes are evenly covered with the paste.

4. Place potatoes on baking pan, spreading out so that potatoes are in a single layer.

5. Bake for about 40 minutes, stirring potatoes about halfway through, so all sides get nice and crispy.  You will know the potatoes are finished with they are brown and crispy.  

What I ate Thursday:

5:30 am: 2 hardboiled eggs in the car on the way to Springfield

11:25 am: Wisconsin Horseshoe from D'arcy's pint.  (See yesterday's post for details)

6:00 pm: Taco pizza from Gem City Pizzeria  

Thursday, December 30, 2010

D'arcy's Pint

My husband and I needed to drive to Springfield very early this morning so I could take the GRE.  We had to leave at 5:30 am to make my appointment on time, so I packed snacks for the drive.  I was too nervous on the way to the test to eat very much, so when I was finished at 10:00 I was starving.  We made a stop at Barnes and Noble then headed for D'arcy's Pint.

D'arcy's pint is great for comfort food like Shepard's pie, fish and chips, and corned beef and cabbage. They also serve some amazing *horseshoes and have a horseshoe of the day and week. D'arcy's also has quite a few beers on tap.  When you get there expect to wait.  They open at 11:00.  We arrived a few minutes before the doors open and there were already 20 cars in the parking lot.  As soon as the doors opened, everyone got out of his or her car and went inside, by 11:15 the restaurant was full, and there were at least 12 people waiting at the door.  The waitress told us that this is not uncommon, and there is sometimes a waiting list from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm.

* I know horseshoes are a regional dish, and I've heard you can only find them in Springfield, Illinois, but living an hour and a half away from Springfield, I can tell you they can be found in other areas.  A horseshoe, for those of you who don't know is traditionally two open faced hamburgers covered in french fries and cheese sauce.  A ponyshoe is one hamburger patty instead of two.  Many places that serve horseshoes offer ham, roast beef, chicken, hot dogs, and even fish instead of hamburger.  If you haven't had one I suggest you get to West Central Illinois and get one.

I had the special horseshoe of the day: The Wisconsin.  It had beer brats, sauteed peppers and onions, sauerkraut, cheese sauce, French fries, and melted cheddar cheese on top.  I wasn't going to have a horseshoe today, but as soon as the waitress said sauerkraut I was in.  I may never eat another horseshoe without sauerkraut again.

My horseshoe in all its glory.  I ate about 3/4th and got a box for the rest.

This was my husband's lunch.  He had the roast beef and cheddar sandwich (another lunch special).  The beef was amazingly tender and delicious.  I didn't have food envy, but I wish I could have eaten this too.

If you're in Springfield, Illinois do yourself a favor and check out D'arcy's Pint.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Quick post before the GRE

This post is going to be short and have no photos.  I have to get up around 4:30 am tomorrow morning because I'm taking the GRE (Graduate Record Examination).  I'm very nervous about it, so any good vibes/prayers being sent my way is very much appreciated.  While many of you are snuggled in your warm beds tomorrow morning, I'll be doing geometry and analytical writing.  I took lots of pictures of my food today, which I will post tomorrow, and because I'm going out of town for the test, I'll take pictures when we go out to eat if I remember to bring my camera with all the craziness.

What I ate today:

9:00 am: Bob's Red Mill 10 grain hot cereal with peanut butter, brown sugar, raisins, and almond milk; coffee with almond milk and sugar

1:30 pm: Mushroom sandwich with lettuce, tomato, mustard, and lots of pickles; ranch roasted potatoes (I'll post instructions for these tomorrow)

7:00 pm: 3 cheese tortellini and tomato sauce with hamburger and onions; extra-dark chocolate sorbet.  The sorbet was a Kroger store brand, and it was excellent.  I would definitely buy it again.  It was intensely rich, but without the heaviness of a traditional ice cream or gelato.  

eggs, bacon, spinach, and leftovers.

My dog, not begging for leftovers, but just reminding my husband that he was waiting patiently to pre-rinse the plates.

This morning I made spinach, eggs, and bacon for breakfast. I wanted to make these in the cute LeCreuset ramekins I received for a wedding present, but alas, the English muffins I wanted to use as a base would not fit, so I used my LeCreuset baking dish instead.  Here's what I did:

Egg, Bacon, and Spinach Casserole

2 English muffins, split
6 slices bacon, chopped into small pieces
5 oz spinach
4 eggs

1. Cook bacon until done to your liking (I like mine soggy; my husband likes his crisp, so I cooked mine somewhere in between) 

2. Remove bacon and put into paper towel-lined bowl or plate.  Reserve grease.

3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.    

4. Cook spinach in same skillet that bacon was just cooked in.  This should take 1 to 2 minutes.

5. Use reserved bacon grease to coat baking dish.

6. Line baking dish with English muffins.  I had to tear up the muffins to make them fit.

7. Top English muffins with bacon and spinach.

8. Dividing the baking dish into four equal sections, crack eggs into each section.

9. Bake for 14-16 minutes until white are set and yolks are runny.

What I Ate Today:

11:00 am: Late breakfast of eggs, bacon, and spinach casserole, 1 orange, and coffee with almond milk and sugar

No lunch today because I was busy cleaning my living room, but I did have three Lindor dark chocolate truffles.

6:00 pm:  leftover fettuccine Alfredo and shrimp ramen.   

Monday, December 27, 2010

Photo Heavy and getting back to normal

This post is going to contain a lot of photos because I'm playing with my new camera.  I'm still adjusting settings and figuring out what is best in different lighting, settings, etc, so be patient.  Enjoy the photos.

 New blender, which I got for a wedding present.
Here's me making "Matrioshka eggnog".  It's a completely vegan eggnog.  My family loved it, and would not have known it was vegan if I hadn't told them.  It was like drinking a sugar cookie!

 Box of candy given to me in a goody basket from my sister-in-law.  She thought it was funny.
 Close-up of blueberry mochi
Unbelievable mouthfeel!  Honestly, it was pretty disgusting, almost "fleshy."
 Breakfast this morning: coffee, oatmeal, and a hard-boiled egg that was supposed to be soft boiled.

Part of supper tonight, steamed green beans

Supper was t-bones with green beans and scalloped potatoes (I took a picture of the potatoes by themselves, but it wasn't very pretty.
My new salt box with black truffle salt on top and chardonnay smoked salt on bottom.  Both were yummy on the green beans.
Grumpy dog says "That's enough pictures.  Go to bed."

What I ate today:

10:45 am (late breakfast): 1 hard-boiled egg; oatmeal with raisins, brown sugar, and almond milk; coffee with sugar and almond milk.

1:45 pm: Qdoba Craft 2 with a naked veggie burrito with pinto and black beans and a chicken quesadilla, 2 iced-teas

7:45 pm: t-bone, green beans, scalloped potatoes.

Weeknight Kitchen: White Chili

This week's recipe was for white chili.  Normally, my husband does not enjoy soup, so I was a little concerned about two soup recipes in a row, but he was feeling a little under the weather, so the soup really hit the spot with some grilled cheese sandwiches.

The soup was very easy to make, and I substituted the canned beans called for  in the recipe with dry.  I did some checking online and I've determined that for every 15oz can of beans, you can substitute 1/4 lb. dried beans.  This recipe called for four cans, so I used a pound of dried beans.  To me, I just don't see the point in using canned beans most of the time.  Dried beans are super easy to cook from scratch.  They require a little bit of planning, but they are so much cheaper.  I didn't have enough white beans, so I did use half white and half black.

 I would definitely make this recipe again, and I think it will freeze very well.  If you haven't signed up for the weekly newsletter yet, I recommend doing so.  I hear so many people saying that they never know what to cook.  Get this newsletter, and get some ideas.  The website has a ton a great recipes too.

Here are the final pictures from my old camera.  I'm going to play around with the new camera a little more this afternoon, and I should have a new post up tonight.  I plan on getting back to posting everyday again.

Beans soaking for chili

White chili ready to eat

Pumpkin chocolate chip loaves from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.  My father-in-law requested these, and we hid some, so everyone would have some to eat.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

I received a new camera for Christmas, which means my pictures should improve a lot.  I also have two new cookbooks, which I am very excited about.  One is Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar and the other is The Bread Baker's Apprentice, so I should have some exciting new recipes as well.  I'll be back tomorrow with a proper post and pictures, but for now Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Weeknight Kitchen: Onion soup with apple juice and thyme

I know I'm a little late on this post, but I figured I had better get it up before tomorrow.  If you get the newsletter "Weeknight Kitchen" from Splendid Table, you'll also know that I'm 2 weeks behind on dessert.  I am officially on Christmas break, and I will be studying for the GRE, so I figure I'll need some sweets to get me through.  I'll get caught up eventually.

The finished soup.  I think it's difficult to make soup look "pretty."

I was excited to see the recipe this week was "Onion soup with apple juice and thyme" especially since onions were on sale and my thyme plant is still hanging on.  The soup was very easy to make and used very few ingredients, so unlike last week it was an inexpensive recipe.  The soup was also very easy.  It took awhile, but most of it was inactive; I just had to stir the onions every once in awhile while they caramelized. The soup was sweet because of the caramelized onions and rich with Parmesan cheese.  I will definitely make this again.  

I did make a few changes.  First, I didn't have enough homemade chicken stock, so I used about half chicken and half vegetable.  I think you could even use beef stock, and this would taste great.  Second, could not find apple cider, so I subbed Simply Apple apple juice, and I don't think it affected the taste.  Finally, I caramelized the onions for about 10 minutes longer than the recipe called for.  Hint:  if the onions aren't browning you can add some salt.  Salt helps the onions release moisture, and they will brown faster.

  The onions after being in the pot for about a minute

Onions about 10 minutes into the cooking

Sorry about the weird lighting.  The finished onions!

Monday, December 20, 2010

A healthy supper chased with lots of brownies

For supper I had a beautiful supper of roasted red potatoes, steamed green beans, and a portabella mushroom sandwich.  I felt so good about the whole meal that I promptly chased it will 2 dark chocolate Ghriadelli brownies.  I made enough green beans and potatoes to save for lunch tomorrow, but really I want to eat them tonight.  Back to grading now for a few more nights at least.

Oh, and if you're wondering about my Splendid Table post for last week, don't worry, I did make and photograph the recipe, and I will post it in a few days.

My plate minus the brownies

What I ate today:

10:30 am: about 6 Ritz crackers

12:00 pm: 2 leftover beef tacos with lettuce and guacamole, 1 small winesap apple, 1 apple dumpling cooked by the jr high foods class.  The dumpling was delicious, but very greasy and buttery.  I hear the recipe contained Mountain Dew!?

4:00 pm: 1 orange and 1 fun sized pack of plain M&Ms

6:30 pm: roasted red potatoes with cumin, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, and olive oil; steamed green beans; portabella mushroom sandwich on an onion roll with tomato, mustard and pickle; 2 dark chocolate brownies.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Parsley buttered potatoes and trying to get caught up

Close up of Parsley Buttered Potatoes

I know it's been a few days since I've posted, and I will try to do as much of a recap as possible.  I've been grading like crazy, and I'll have much more time after Tuesday because I will be on Christmas break.  I'm so ready for it.  I've been having a ton of leftovers, but I made a few new things as well.  The Parsley Buttered Potatoes shown above are from the leftover category, but when I was going through pictures I noticed this really cool picture, so I thought I would do a quick recipe for them to make up for my lack of posts this week.

Parsley Buttered Potatoes are a dish my grandma would make often in the summer when she had a lot of parsley to get rid of from the garden.  It's very easy and inexpensive to make even if you don't have garden-fresh parsley.  I often make it when I need a little bit of parsley for another recipe because it's a nice way to use up the entire bunch.

Parsley Buttered Potatoes (Once again more of a method than an actual recipe)

2 lbs red potatoes cut into bite-sized pieces
1 bunch parsley either Italian or curly, washed and minced
1 stick butter or margarine cut into about 8 pieces
Salt and pepper

1. Steam potatoes until they can be pierced with a fork, between 10 and 15 minutes.  Don't overcook; you don't want the potatoes to fall apart when your mixing them.

2. Place in a bowl and mix with butter while still hot, so it melts.

3. Mix in chopped parsley.

4. Salt and pepper to taste

Note: I've also melted the butter with garlic and then added to the potatoes.  It's an extra step, so I didn't do it this time, but it's delicious.  

Now pictures from other things I've been eating:
 Leftover Chicken pilliard, parsley buttered potatoes, and brussel sprouts
 Eggs and cheese on toast
 Steaming green beans.
These tacos were amazing!  I need to try and make them one more time, but I think I've perfected the seasoning!  It's similar, but much better than store-bought.

What I ate today:

9:00 am: Breakfast sandwich (fried egg, bacon, and American cheese on an onion roll), apple juice

12:00 pm: Buffalo chicken salad

4:00 pm: 1 orange

5:45 pm: cranberry, orange peel, goat cheese; sharp cheddar

7:30 pm: 3 tacos with beef, cheese, lettuce, black olives, tomatoes, and homemade guacamole

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

More leftovers

Just a quick post tonight to say I'm still eating leftovers and I will be again tomorrow too.  Depending on how much grading I get done I may be making homemade candied orange peel.  I need it for last week's Weeknight Kitchen recipe from The Splendid Table, but I can't find it in the stores.  I did have a major chocolate craving and made some brownies tonight, so I guess I did a slight amount of cooking instead of just reheating.

What I ate today:

8:00 am: 16 oz coffee with cream and sugar

9:45 am: leftover trail mix from last night

12:00 pm: leftover sauerkraut with potatoes and pork chops, 1 grapefruit

3:30 pm: more trail mix

5:00 pm: The last of the chicken pilliard, parsley buttered potatoes, and brussel sprouts

8:30 pm: one large piece of a dark chocolate Ghirardelli brownie

Monday, December 13, 2010


I cleaned out most of my refrigerator yesterday, and I'm embarrassed to admit that I found some beets that I think had fermented.  They were from August probably, and the lid popped like it was carbonated when I took it off.  My fridge still looks full because of all the leftovers.  This means that you will see a lot of repeated offerings this week, but I am thankful for that.  I have lots of grading to do and not a ton of time to cook, so I look forward to my re-heated meals.

What I ate today:

8:00 am: 16 oz coffee with cream and sugar

9:45 am: two hard-boiled eggs.  I seem to be on a hard-boiled egg kick right now.  In fact, I want some now.

12:00 pm: 2 slices leftover veggie pizza, 1 grapefruit, 1 small winesap apple

3:15 pm: Hershey bar with almonds

5:00 pm: Leftover chicken pilliard with roasted brussel sprouts, and parsley buttered red potatoes.

8:00 pm: homemade trail mix containing: dried cranberries, pine nuts, sliced almonds, peanuts, chocolate chips, and sea salt.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Pork loin and broiled grapefruit

I woke up this morning, and Jason asked for bagels, but I realized we were out of cream cheese.  It didn't really matter though because I wanted hard boiled eggs and broiled grapefruit. For those of you who have never broiled a grapefruit, you should really try it.  I cut the grapefruit in half, cut out the segments, so it's easy to eat with a spoon, sprinkle with a generous amount of brown sugar, and broil for 5 to 10 minutes or until the sugar begins to caramelize.  It was delicious.  I'm not sure why I wanted the eggs hard boiled, but it hit the spot.

 I also made a pork loin tonight.  Whenever pork loin goes on sale I buy two.  One gets cut into pork chops and frozen; I slice the other into 3 roasts.  It's very easy to make because there is very little prep time.
Here is the raw pork loin getting ready to go in the oven.

To my dutch oven I added about a 1/4 cup of sliced fennel leftover from Thursday night, 8 cloves of garlic (This seems like a lot, but I love garlic, and you really don't notice it), 1 Tablespoon peppercorns, 2 Tablespoons kosher salt sprinkled on the loin.  Then I added 1 cup veggie stock and about 2 cups water.  I added the lid and let this cook in a 300 degree oven for about 2 hours.

Finished loin, I forgot to take a picture of it sliced and on my plate.

I served the loin with mashed potatoes and gravy.  My mom came over to eat, so we had homemade turtles for dessert!

What I ate: Sunday

9:00 am: 2 hard boiled eggs, 1/2 broiled grapefruit

11:30 am: Carry-in at church.  My plate was piled high with: fried chicken, beef and noodles, cheesy potatoes, stuffed shells with marinara, sauerkraut with pork and potatoes (I brought this), ham, and a piece of ice cream pie

4:00 pm: 1 orange

7:00 pm: pork loin with mashed potatoes and gravy, 3 turtles


Sorry, the photo is a little blurry, but this is the pizza my husband and I made Saturday night.

My husband likes to help me out in the kitchen, and one of our favorite things to make together is pizza.  Saturday night he wanted pizza, so we threw one together before chaperoning a Christmas dance.  This pizza included black olives, tomato, and basil.  I added the basil during the last three minutes of cooking, but really I wish I had added it when it came off the pizza pizazz.  

I have been trying to eat out less and use up my bulging pantry full of food.  However, it was my dad's birthday this week, so on Saturday morning I took him out for breakfast.  We went to Louge's in Hannibal Missouri.  I had my standby which is the Logue's skillet.  It's hash browns topped with ham, two eggs, and cheese sauce.  It's huge, but I love a huge savory breakfast.  

What I ate: Saturday

10:30 am: Logue's Skillet breakfast, about 3 cups of coffee.  They really have great coffee here.

3:30 am: 1/2 cheese enchilada, 1/2 bean burrito, both leftover from yesterday.  2 oranges

6:00 pm: 3 pieces veggie pizza, glass of cream soda

7-10 pm (at the Dance): 2 mini York peppermint patties, fun sized box of Milk Duds, 1/4 of my husband's Dr. Pepper.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

An evening of wine and cheese

I thought I was judging a poetry slam last night, but unfortunately not enough poets showed up to hold the slam.  It wasn't all a bust though because I had some amazing cheese.  My husband, Jason, and I got the three cheese plate.  We choose: Farmer Jack with basil, Chipoltle cheddar, and a cranberry orange peel goat cheese.  At first, I didn't think I'd like the goat cheese because of the sweetness, but then the tangyness kicked in, and I was in heaven.  We chased all the cheese with a Australian Syrah.  Unfortunately, no pictures today, but the cheese plate was very pretty.

What I ate: Friday

9:00 am: Everything bagel with cream cheese, 16oz coffee

12:00 pm: Ruby red grapefruit (yay, my FFA order finally came in.), baked chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy

6:00 pm: 1/2 bottle of wine, cheese, and crackers

8:00 pm: 1 chili relliano, 1/2 bean burrito, and 1/2 cheese enchilada at El Rancherito.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Weeknight Kitchen: Chicken paillard with tomatoes, fennel, and olives

I made the Splendid Table recipe from the Weeknight Kitchen newsletter this week.  It was Chicken Paillard with Tomatoes, Fennel, and Olives.  link here.  The chicken was very good, but for me it will be more of a special occasion recipe.  It was easy to make, but the ingredients were a little on the pricey side. Pine nuts are delicious, but $20 a pound around here.   It was very beautfiul, and looked very holiday inspired because of the colors.  Unfortunately, I didn't get very good pictures of it.  I will definetly make this the next time my brother and sister-in-law are in town.
Starting in the upper left and continuing clockwise you see the Chicken paillard, balsamic brussel sprouts, and parsley buttered potatoes.

The recipe called for a cup of skinned, seeded tomatoes, so I took a few pictures of how I skin my tomatoes.  I learned this from my grandmother who I would help make gallons of tomato juice in the summer.  You submerge the tomatoes in boiling water for a few minutes and the seeds slip right off.

This weeks newsletter also came with a cookie recipe.  I will probably be making this on Saturday.

What I ate today:

8:00 am: 16 oz coffee with cream and sugar

9:45 am: apple strudel

12:00 pm: leftover baked chicken, mashed potatoes, and gravy, granny smith apple

3:00 pm: small winesap apple

5:00 pm: small bowl of mashed potatoes (I knew it would be 8:30 before I ate tonight)

8:30 pm: Chicken paillard with tomatoes, fennel, and olives; balsamic brussel sprouts; parsley buttered potatoes.

Baked Chicken

I got home from school today, and I knew I wanted to make a meal.  I went through all the things I could throw together quickly, and nothing appealed to me.  I briefly toyed with the idea of baking of chicken, but then I thought that was stupid because I would be the only one here for supper tonight.  I thought a little more and kept coming back to the chicken.  Finally I gave in.  I've always cooked entire meals even if it's just me.  Food is a necessity for everyone, and it should be enjoyed.  It makes me sad that often times people who live alone will not cook something nice for themselves.  Go ahead, pamper yourself.  Make a chicken with mashed potatoes, and a vegetable.  You deserve it!

Picture of my plate.  I ended up burning the kale, so no greens.

My preparation for the chicken was fairly simple.  I took it out of the freezer to thaw, by placing it in a sink full of hot water.  I haven't had a microwave in over a year, and I really don't miss it except for defrosting.  After thawing the chicken, I put it in a roaster with a generous amount of salt, whole peppercorns, and about 7 cloves of minced garlic.  Then, I added about an inch of water to the roaster and covered it.  I baked it covered for an hour at 350 and then uncovered for about 45 minutes to brown a little.  I then used the pan drippings with some cornstarch for gravy.  Sometime I'll do a mashed potato post because my mashed potatoes are awesome.  

I'm very happy I took the time to make this meal; even if I was the only one eating it.  I boxed up leftover lunches for the next 2 days, and I have some chicken bones to use for stock (I'll do a post on this soon too).

What I ate: Wednesday

9:45 am: 16oz coffee with cream and sugar, kitkat bar

11:30 am: leftover kale, mushroom, and goat cheese tortellini.

7:00 pm: baked chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Catching up: What I ate Monday and today

I was so involved in posting my recipe for yesterday that I forgot to post what I ate, so for tonight I'm just posting my food journal.  The next Weeknight Kitchen newsletter comes out tomorrow, and I'm really excited for it.  I'll be making it sometime Wednesday through Sunday, so keep your eyes peeled.

What I ate: Monday

9:00 am: Chocolate covered goodies found on a tray in the teachers lounge.  I filled a small (12 oz) coffee cup with assorted chocolate confections.  16oz black coffee.  They have finally started putting real sugar in the lounge, but I'm not sure if I want to go back to drinking it sweetened.  I'm doing okay without the sugar, so I may keep drinking it black, or maybe I'll have cream and sugar once a week.

12:00 pm: Everything bagel with cream cheese, Granny Smith apple, small bowl of potato chips.

4:45 pm: I came home starving and really wanting some veggies, so I made pasta.  You can see my recipe in yesterday's post.  Huge slice of leftover lemon yogurt cake.  This was ridiculously good, and I ate too much.

I drank lots of water today, so yay for me.

What I ate: Tuesday

8:00 am: Asiago bagel with cream cheese

9:45 am: 16 oz black coffee and a coffee filter full of potato chips (they were out of bowls in the lounge)

12:15 pm: leftover pasta from yesterday, Granny Smith Apple, Crunchy Kashi peanut chocolate bar.

4:45 pm: fried potato with 2 eggs scrambled, 1/2 avocado, and Tabasco.  I'm a little strange about hot sauce. With almost everything I like Louisiana Hot Sauce because it's so vinegary, but with eggs I want Tabasco.

8:30 pm: 2 oz extra sharp cheddar, homemade dill pickle.

Monday, December 6, 2010

4-cheese tortellini with mushrooms, kale, and goat cheese.

I had been thinking about supper all day at work.  I work on Monday nights, so it had to be quick because I would have about 2 hours between jobs, and I had other things to do besides just cook.  I thought about what I have in my refrigerator and pantry, and then it hit me: pasta.  I came up with this on the fly, so I'm being approximate on the amounts.  I will make it again and post something more clear.  For now I just have a few pictures and some vague instructions.  This came together in about 40 minutes from start to finish including cleaning all the kale and taking pictures.

The kale was the last produce from the garden.  I'm not sure if I'll have a garden next year, but I will definitely try to grow something in pots at the very least.

In holiday news, I have managed to almost completely kill my rosemary plant again this year.  Does anyone know any tricks/tips to keep them alive.  I've been very diligent about watering this year.  Maybe it just needs more sun than it can get indoors.

4-cheese tortellini with mushrooms, kale, and goat cheese

My supplies, I forgot the mushrooms

Ingredients (once again, I don't really have amounts yet):

  • 1 pkg four-cheese tortellini
  • 1/2 onion
  • olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • portabella mushroom cap, cleaned and cup in large chunks
  • 1 large grocery bag kale washed and chopped in bite-sized pieces
  • vegetable stock
  • balsamic vinegar
  • salt
  • pepper
  • goat cheese, 5oz
  • Parmesan cheese (I wish I had a block instead of the pre-grated stuff, but I was in a hurry)

1. In large pan put on water and salt to boil for pasta.
2. While water is boiling roughly chop onion.
3. Place 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in pan and cook onion for 4 minutes on medium high.
4. Chop garlic and add to onion, cook another 3 minutes
5. Add mushrooms.  Cook for 4 minutes.  It will look like this:

6. Add kale, you may have to do this in batches letting the kale cook down before adding more.  Cook until kale is tender, about 7 minutes.
7. Your water should be boiling now, so add your pasta to the water and cook according to directions.
7. Add balsamic vinegar.  I poured and counted to about 5.  Add vegetable stock, about 1/2 to 3/4 cup. I'll measure next time. Simmer together for 5 minutes.
8. Salt and pepper to taste.  I make my own vegetable stock, so I needed to add quite a bit of salt.  If you are using bullion cubes or pre-made stock you won't have to add very much salt.
9.  Add parmesan, about 1/2 cup.  Stir until the cheese melts.  Turn off heat.
10. When pasta is done drain, reserving pasta water and place pasta in a large bowl.
11. Crumble goat cheese over hot pasta and stir until melty.  I added 1 ladle of hot pasta water to help thicken and melt the goat cheese.  
12.  Pour kale, onion, and mushroom mixture and sauce over goat cheese and pasta.  Mix.
13.  Serve and enjoy!

This pasta was so good.  I've done something similar with beet greens, which is great too, but it does turn your pasta pink.  You could also use spinach, but it wouldn't need to cook as long.  You could leave the mushrooms out if you don't like them.  You could also substitute cream cheese for the goat, but you wouldn't get the same tangy taste.