Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Carrot Salad

A few weeks ago I scored a great deal on carrots at the grocery store and then sort of forgot to do something with them.  Typical.  So this past weekend I decided they needed to be used and made a little slaw-ish salad out of them that is sooo yummy. 


* Carrots
* Raisins
* Apple cider vinegar
* Maple syrup (real and only real) or honey
* Salt and pepper

* Shred carrots in food processor. 
* In a bowl, mix vinegar, oil, maple syrup, salt and pepper.  I'm not giving measurements because it depends on how many carrots you're using.  This is essentially a salad dressing though so you really can't go wrong.  Just eyeball it. 
* Add in carrots and raisins.  Mix to incorporate.  Taste to be sure you have enough seasoning and dressing.  It does not need to be wet as the carrots will give off some moisture as they sit too.  Just enough to coat everything.
* It's yummy right away but best if you let it sit in the fridge at least an hour. 

Optional additions:
* Garlic or onion powder
* Chopped scallions
* Dried cranberries

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pasta Bake

I've cooked bunches lately but have totally slacked when it comes to blogging recipes.  I know this photo looks gross but I swear this was so tasty.  And simple.  Hardly a recipe really. 

Fair warning, this is less healthy than I typically eat at dinner.  But it's just really good comfort food.  And sometimes we all need a little bowl of cozy.


* Cooked pasta
* 1 medium onion, sliced thin
* 2-3 cloves minced garlic
* Jar of tomato sauce
* 2 tablespoons cream cheese
* Meat of choice- I used frozen shrimp and muscles.
* Veggie of choice- I used frozen broccoli.
* Shredded cheese- I like something sharp personally
* Salt and pepper to taste

* Heat EVOO in pan and cook onions until translucent and approaching caramelized.  At the very end, add garlic for a few moments.  Remove onions and garlic from pan.
* Add jar of tomato sauce and cream cheese to pan.  Melt cream cheese into sauce. 
* In large bowl, combine cooked, drained gluten free pasta, cream cheese tomato sauce, onions, garlic, veggie, and meat/protein together.
* Pour into large baking dish.  Generously top with shredded cheese of choice. 
* Bake at 350 until cheese is golden and bubbly.  About 20-30 mins will do just fine.

Easy peasy comfort food.  Add a salad and you can pretend it counteracts all the cheese.  Ha!  It's excellent reheated the following day, too.

This would be just as tasty with ground turkey/beef, chickpeas, or mushrooms too.  And I love peas and spinach as much as broccoli.  Such a flexible recipe.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Cutie Pies

I've seen so many bloggers baking cupcakes in Ball canning jars and thought that I needed to make myself some tiny pies.  And OMG I am so very pleased!  They are just too cute. 

I must say they did take more time than a normal pie.  Not difficult but time consuming. 

There seem to be two methods to get the crust inside the jars.  I used a combo of the two.  Your first option is to just take tiny pieces and mush them together to form a bottom crust against the glass.  Your second option is to measure a round bottom and side piece and place/mush them in place.  Again, I sort of used both methods.  I would be hard pressed to make more than a few of these though as they do take a long time for each little jar.

Then fill with your favorite filling.  I peel and cut up a mixture of apples- some sweeter and some firm and tart.  Add cinnamon, sugar and a pinch of nutmeg.  Toss apples in mixture as you cut them up.

I used a jar to cut out the top crust.  I just sort of placed it on top.  Cut a slit for steam.  Brush the top with butter and sprinkle on sugar.  This time I used my vanilla bean sugar actually.

Bake @350 for 30-40 mins, until golden.  You can even make a bunch and pop them in the freezer.  Then just pop one or two in the oven to have yourself a little fresh baked apple pie any time you get a craving.

I got tired of the little jars and in the end made a bigger little pie in a ramekin.

Then when all was said and done, I actually entered myself in a little contest on my local NBC website.  Feel free to take a gander...

Oh and I can't remember if I ever posted it on here but I finally came up with a perfect gluten free pie crust recipe that one can actually roll out.  Raw, it does taste GF.  But baked, most people can't even tell the difference.

In a food processor, mix 2.5 cups GF flour blend (I use Better Batter), pinch of salt, few pinches of sugar, 1 tablespoon cream cheese, 2 sticks cold butter, and ice cold water (anywhere from 5 tbls to 1/4 cup). 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Easy Eggplant Dip

2 Japanese white eggplants, 1 GIANT purple eggplant, 1 black tomato (it's supposed to be that color), 2 not yet ripe t'mater that fell early and will ripen in a sunny window and lots of delish red t'maters that were made into salsa.

It's been so rainy and dreary here lately that I've just sort of let my garden go.  And by garden, I mean two eggplant plants (do I say eggplants or eggplant plants?), three tomato plants and on acorn squash that died a few weeks ago. 

So imagine my surprise the other evening when I was out picking t'mater and spied this giant purple eggplant!  All hidden under the big fuzzy eggplant leaves.  This sucker is heavy as all get out.   I was afraid it wouldn't be very tasty this overgrown.  Oh but I just hate waste.  So I chopped it up and tossed it in some EVOO, Kosher salt and pepper.  And roasted it for about 30 mins (until soft).

Then I buzzed it thorough the food processor with a dash or three of chili powder.  You might need to add a little more EVOO too depending on how much you added before roasting.  And if you find a jar of roasted red peppers in your pantry, I bet that would be yummy too.

Not pretty but sooo yummy!

This dip has no actual name.  But it's really really yummy.  Like addicting.  Great on chips, crackers, veggies, crusty bread, or a spoon.

So should you find yourself with a giant purple eggplant or a bunch of normal sized eggplants, you totally need to make this little eggplant dip.  Because it's really really good!