Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Oh, baby.

My friends had a baby over the weekend. In order to help, I thought I'd leave a little bag of good eats for them. I made a Shepard's Pie on the fly that turned out a whole lot better than I thought it would. Goes something like this:

Sautee a large sweet onion in a few Ts of evoo for about 15 minutes (getting it on its way to caramelizing). Then add a few stalks of celery, a few big carrots, and a medium-ish sweet potato (all diced pretty small) and a few cloves of crushed garlic - sautee another 5 or 10 minutes. Add a couple of cups of nice veggie broth, some thyme, pepper, and rosemary, and let it simmer on medium heat for another half an hour.

In the meantime, boil a big pot of water, toss in diced Yukon gold (or fingerling as I had them on hand) potatoes - maybe 1.5 or 2 pounds worth. Boil until soft. Mash em with a good amount of salt and pepper (and soy milk and non-dairy margarine if you're feeling indulgent, which I was - telling myself it was a gift helped).

While the veggies simmer and the potatoes boil, toss some veggie crumble (like Boca that you can buy in the freezer section) into a pan with a little oil and cook on med-high with about 1/2 cup of marsala until the marsala is all burned off and the crumbles are browned up and a little crispy.

Throw the crumbles down in a layer on the bottom of a glass casserole. Throw the veggie mixture on top (during simmering if it dries up, add water, when you're ready to use it, if it's too wet, add some flour or cornstarch to thicken it up), and finish with your nicely mashed potatoes. Bake at 350 for about a half an hour. Let stand for 10 minutes as to not loose the roof of your mouth. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Last night we watched "Perfect Getaway" (just scary enough with a good twist) while I satisfied my craving for Thai food. I made a spicy peanut sauce (which is generally some combination of soy milk, peanut butter, garlic, ginger, sirracha, corriander, sugar, vinegar, onion, salt, and sometimes hoisin sauce) and put that over rice noodles. Which, in a really-reaching sort of a way, is a poor man's Pad Thai. And then I made spring rolls, well my kind of spring rolls, which are more Vietnamese than Thai, but just go with it.

The spring rolls had spicy tempeh, green onion, red pepper, lettuce, carrot, and cilantro. We dipped them in a sweet hot chili sauce that was pretty awesome. The trick is to boil sugar and vinegar together just long enough to get a syrup and then add a little chili-garlic paste (enough to make it burn just right). The combination of that sweet, super spicy, sticky sauce on a chewy, cool, fresh spring roll stuffed with cilantro and fresh veggies is really delicious. If you're in to that sort of thing, and I am.

I ran a few miles at the gym today and then came home and spent three or four hours working in my yard. I had to transplant quite a few things and do some cleaning up and freeze-preparation in the garden. It was pretty fun, if you're into that sort of thing (and I am).

Friday, January 8, 2010

Italian Thursdays

I have two confessions to make. The first is that I love pizza. The second is that I watch The Jersey Shore on MTV. Okay, one is significantly much more embarrassing than the other and we all know which it is.

Last night was the premier of Italian Thursdays. The plan was to eat pizza bites and watch the leather-skinned kids of The Jersey Shore make trouble.

I stuffed the pizza bites with caramelized onions, red peppers, sundried tomatoes, and kalamata olives. I made a tasty marinara and a warm, gooey "cheese" sauce. I laid the golden puffs of pizza on a plate, then ladled the sauces into ramekins. I sat down happily on the couch, a smile on my pizza-loving face, until we realized the new episode of the aforementioned embarrassing show wasn't on until 10pm. I don't even stay up that late, much or less eat that late.

The pizza bites ended up accompanying season one episodes of Veronica Mars. Now that I think about it, Veronica and her father often comment on their love for Italian food throughout the course of that series. I guess the premier of Italian Thursdays didn't go so wrong after all.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Getting to it.

Yesterday I had tea with my friend Laura. Laura always manages to shed light on any thing I am struggling with. I told her I'd been thinking of starting a new blog. I told her I missed what it felt like to just "put something out there". I told her I didn't know if it should be about cooking, about running, about photography, about writing. Laura told me, "Well, it should just be about you." Laura's always right.

Isabelle started running with me this week. It's great to have someone to run with for a lot of reasons. I can run outside without the irrational fear that I'm going to fall, injure myself, and be unable to scream for help (I said it was irrational). I can run at night without the rational fear of being killed in any number of ways one might be killed at night. I can feel good about the fact that I'm getting someone else to run. I can feel better about the fact that it inspires me to run more.

So last night we ran 2.5 miles. I'm using "ran" really loosely here, but "jog" and "walk" and "limp" are far less sexy. And after that run I baked some tofu, heated up some leftover piccata sauce and roasted some asparagus, zucchini, and yellow squash. It was pretty delicious. But aren't most things when consumed following major exertion? (I'm using "major" really loosely here).
Copyright 2009 eringee