28 March 2011

Leftover Jam

I've been considering how to eject the three mostly-used jars of leftover jam, jelly, and preserves from my refrigerator so's I can replace them with my new jar of lingonberry preserves from IKEA. Some of the Eurekas I've produced:

  1. Jam Muffins
  2. Mix them with plain yogurt.
  3. For grad student hors d'oeuvres, spread saltines or crackers with different jams. Serve with iced tea and a snooty look.
  4. Spread all 3 of them on pancakes or omelettes and roll them up. This technique I learned from my Disney cookbook when I was in elementary school.
  5. Mix them into the peanut butter.
  6. Taking a cue from Stoner Food, slather them indiscriminately on jelly doughnuts, then chop up the doughnuts into chunks and cook those chunks in pancake batter. Voìla, jelly doughnut pancakes, a.k.a. Health Food. (By the way, Stoner Food, your Post Comments function doesn't work anymore or I would have contributed this idea directly. The same happened to me and I had to change my settings.)

25 March 2011

Cranberry Mushroom Salad

As you may have noticed, but probably—let's be honest—haven't, I ain't been posting recipes at my usual furious rate. That's because I can't even keep up with all my homework because I have too many classes (five, including Russian); also, I've been traveling a lot this month. Last week I went to Claremont, California for my grandmother's 90th birthday.

Grandma Bessie retired from cooking several years ago. While I enjoyed eating breakfast and dinner out with the family every single day, it didn't take too long before I yearned to prepare myself a healthy, light meal. Luckily Gwen invited me over for a make-your-own lunch afternoon and helped me prepare this salad with ingredients from her refrigerator.

It tasted divine, in an all-my-cells-have-been-screaming-for-greens kind of way. Because I used Gwen's fridge and not my own, I ended up mixing unusual ingredients. Maybe these are ingredients you already own. This mixture makes the salad taste tangy, crunchy, sweet, savory, and creamy all at once. A lucky accident for my innards.

Cranberry Mushroom Salad

some button mushrooms, washed and sliced
a splash o' wine (make sure it's GF if you have Celiac disease)
a few spoonfuls of cottage cheese
a scallion, thinly sliced
a handful dried cranberries
a handful candied pecans, chopped
a few handfuls of greens, washed


1. In a fry pan cook the mushrooms in wine until you like the flavor.
2. In a bowl mix scallions, cranberries, and pecans.
3. Add the mushrooms and cottage cheese. Mix thoroughly.
4. Pour onto a bowl of greens. Toss and eat.

Serves one. Dances happily in my tummy with tomato soup.

15 March 2011

Pasta e Fagioli

There's a moment in all of our lives, I think, when we gaze deep, deep into the recesses of our pantries and fridges and think, "There's nothing to eat"…even though there is.

Actually, I experience that moment several times a week. Yesterday included. This time I told myself to be creative and Make Do. This pasta and bean salad is what I Made Did. It's not super different from my Vegetarian Pasta Salad, but Gavin ate two servings and pronounced it "delicious," so I felt proud enough to share this recipe with you.

I've decided that currently American brand pasta is no good. Use Italian pasta, whether white or whole wheat. De Lallo and Mantova have worked well for me in the past and De Lallo's whole wheat penne keeps my belly happy.

Chickpeas n' Pasta

1 lb. penne
1 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
a few handfuls of fresh greens, washed and dried
1/2 onion, sliced
1 glass jar artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed, and chopped
1/4 Cup minced nuts

1. Put on water to boil. Add pasta and cook until a nice, toothy texture. Drain and pour into a large bowl.
2. Meanwhile, saute onion until a bit browned.
3. Add everything to the bowl with the pasta. Put in a big spoon and shake it all about. Then you do the hokey pokey and turn yourself around. That's what it's all about.

Serve hot or cold. If it's a little bland, I like to offer crumbled blue cheese on the side for guests.

05 March 2011

Chickpea Casserole

I found a chickpea casserole recipe while surfing the 'Net, but it needed so many emendations and modulations that I made my own derivation, one that I share with you in this peroration. All four who tasted this creation hailed the tasty combination of chickpea plus Other Stuff—so please take their commendation and enjoy a light and healthy mastication.

To make it gluten-free, make stale GF bread into crumbs. Or, if you don't want to use bread crumbs, you can substitute the nice crunch of toasted, minced nuts. Almond or hazelnuts would be nice. Toast them yourself in a dry fry pan and sprinkle them evenly on top after the casserole has cooked.

This serves 6 people and would pair well with a snazzy steamed head of broccoli, plus maybe cream of tomato soup.

Chickpea Casserole


Three 15-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained. Or 5 cups of cooked chickpeas.
1 Cup of cooked quinoa (wash thoroughly and cook just like white rice)
4 shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
1 15 ounce jar of marinated artichoke hearts, rinsed and drained, then chopped
2 eggs
1 Cup small curd cottage cheese
1/2 Cup plain nonfat yogurt (make sure there's no gelatin in it)
1/2 Cup. vegetable broth (I like Imagine No-Chicken Broth)
1/2 Cup of flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, washed, and finely chopped
Needles of 1 stalk rosemary, washed and minced
1 Cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided in half
2/3 Cup of stale bread crumbs (multi-grain are best)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 baking dish.
2. Mix chickpeas with the quinoa, shallots, garlic, and artichokes. Sprinkle a little salt and fresh ground pepper on to taste.
3. In another bowl, beat the eggs. Mix in cottage cheese, yogurt, vegetable broth, 1/2 Cup of the Parmigiano-Reggiano, parsley, and rosemary.
4. Mix the two bowls together.
5. Spread evenly in the baking dish. Top with the breadcrumbs and the remaining 1/2 Cup of cheese.
6. Bake uncovered for 55 minutes until toasted on top and thoroughly hot. Serve immediately.

02 March 2011

Potato Rosemary Rolls

At some point, while I was trying to knead the sticky, sticky, sticky dough and simultaneously finger-squish all the embedded mashed potato bits, I wondered if the rolls were going to taste good enough to warrant this heroic effort. My verdict, after tasting them both hot from the oven and cold the next day, is NO. I am not even going to bother giving you the scorned recipe.

But it was worth it to see Gavin's face as for the first time in his life he punched down the dough and then tore off chunks to roll into rough spheres. He was also pretty excited at getting to taste bread hot from the oven for the first time in his life. During this same evening of baking revelations, he picked up one of my measuring cups and—I KID YOU NOT—asked me what it was. !!! Apparently he has reached 30 years of age without ever seeing a measuring cup.

I know what his birthday present is going to be this year.
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