Sunday, October 22, 2006


So I did something I havent done in a long while- make a large shabbos meal for lots of friends.
This meal ended up being 12 people, so I went with cooking lots of a few main dishes and some plainer sides for picky people.

Morrocan Vegetable Tagine for 12- see below, only doubled or tripled most of the quantities

Charmoula Chicken
Defrost more chicken than you thought possible. For me, this meant 2 family-packs of leg/thighs (resulting in 10pcs total) and 1 pack of breasts (2 largeish ones which i later split into 4). Pound a bunch of cilantro with 2 cloves of garlic, salt, olive oil, pepper, and a spoon of harissa. Mix with a bit of water and some vinegar, spoon over all the chicken thighs. Season the chicken breasts with mustard and paprika for anti-cilantrites. Bake till it wont food-poison your guests.

Really easy, just boil up about 4 cups of water and add 4 cups of whole wheat couscous. Cover, remove from fire. When this turns out not to fill up your serving pan, make one more of pinenut-flavored couscous mix you have sitting around and mix it in with the plain stuff. Add more pine nuts (stroke of genius!!)

Fennel Salad
Slice up a bulb of fennel and a clove of garlic. Lemon, salt, oliveoil, pepper. thats it.

Roomie made cake and edamames. Esti brought salad, HB brought humus and eggplant salad and breads. His roomies brought wine and soda.

Overall, A Smashing success with many people crowded into half of a living room!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Rock the Casbah, Veggie-Style

Delicious Vegetable Tagine With Couscous
First I cut a red onion into large, flat peices, sauteed them in a very small quantity of olive oil, cut and seeded a small Kabocha squash and placed this skin-side down on top of the onions and added water to cover. Then I added 2 chunked red potatoes, 2 chunked and peeled carrots, 4 ribs of celery and 4 garlic cloves, more water, some peppercorns and let it simmer for a while. Added 2 bay leaves, a shake of turmeric, a bit of powdered ginger, some cumin, some dried parsley, salt, and some hot paprika and then a dab of harissa paste. Added a can of chickpeas. Let simmer untill all the vegetables are tender and the spices no longer can be individually
Serve over whole-wheat couscous.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Tzatziki Salad

Peel and seed 3 largish or medium cucumbers if theyre the kind that need that sort of treatment. Otherwise, use your discretion. Chunk them up. Toss them with lemon, olive oil, a pinch of salt, and some peppermill. Oh, how I love the peppermill... I chilled mine for a while in the fridge, scooped out a bowl-full, and topped with a few spoons of Fage 2% Yogurt and a shake of hot paprika (untraditional for tzatziki I know.) Very cool and refreshing. Add some chickpeas for protien and fiber if you want.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Succotash Soup

This post is special for LutC who expressed a desire (indirectly) for healthy things. Please, comment all you want, and I'd link you if I could figure out how the darn thing worked.

Succotash Soup

I sliced the kernels off 3 ears of beautiful white corn. I cut an onion into halfmoons and sauteed it in a bit of olive oil, added carrots, zuchhinis, and lima beans. Added water, salt, pepper, and some garlic cloves. Let it stew for a bit. Added the kernels. Cooked for a small while, didnt let the corn get too un-crunchy. Dished up with a bit of low fat greek yogurt and a dash of hot paprika on top. Yummy. I ate the whole pot.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Sorry About the Lack of Pix

But I've been eating my food before I get a chance to photograph it, really....
I made a fake cream of cauliflower soup the other night- really just an onion and a few garlic cloves and a head of cauliflower boiled in a mixture of milk, water, and a soup cube for a while. Sounds very spare but it was actually great- very soothing. Lovely with parmesan and ground pepper on the top.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Meatless Moussaka

This one is in the oven, we'll see how it comes out

Slice up a robust eggplant into thin slices, toss with a pinch of salt and a very small dribble of oil. Roast in a large aluminum baking dish (no need to seperate out on trays) at 400 while you make the sauce, tossing occasionally.

Fry up an onion and a red pepper. Add whatever wine you have around, a can of crushed tomatoes and a little can of tomato sauce, cinnamon, allspice, oregano, parsley, and garlic, salt, pepper. I also rehydrated a few dried mushrooms and added them and their soaking liquid. Let it cook for a little bit, then add a package of soy crumbles.

Take the eggplant slices out of the oven and transfer to a plate. Oil the bottom of the pan you used for the eggplants- I used a 9x13 aluminum disposable- and toss some pinches of breadcrumbs on it. Place a layer of eggplants on the bottom, spoon half the sauce on top, then the rest of the eggplants, then the rest of the sauce. Top with more breadcrumbs. Lower the oven to 350, Pop back in untill the eggplant slices are fully cooked and the sauce is thick.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Sometimes Everyday Food is Nice, too.

So I'm settling in to more of a routine in my new apartment lately- get up, go to work, work, leave work, stop at the 175th farmers market for vegetables for dinner, start cooking something, go to the gym for a bit while it cooks, come home, tidy up a bit, water the plants, and eat dinner. Optional activites include- hanging up curtain rods, organizing the kitchen, and planning where all the clutter is going to be contained once I get everything out of the moving boxes. Understandably, food has to be rather simple. A few nights ago I stewed some lentils and served them with watercress and pine nuts. Last night I made a black bean chili and turmeric rice. The color contrast made it really special, I thought- purple and yellow.

Black Bean Chili
Chop a large onion, a handful of celery ribs, 2 large garlic cloves, 2 carrots and a red pepper. Let fry a bit in some olive oil. Add 2 chopped tomatoes when reasonably soft. Add 2 cans of rinsed black beans and a few cans of water. Pepper, cumin, chili powder- and I threw in some sprigs of fresh oregano from my windowbox. I went out to the gym and let this simmer.

Turmeric Rice
When I got back from the gym I tossed 1 drinking glass of brown rice into a pot with 2 drinking glasses of water and let it boil with a dribble of oil, a pinch of salt, and some shakings of turmeric. Bring to a boil, cover, and let steam untill all the water is absorbed.

Too busy to sit there and check leaf lettuce, I chopped up a head of iceberg and served with vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper. Maybe a few pine nuts.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Suprise Tomato Watercress Salad

Last night, Hippoboy and I decided to take a break from our strenuous 4th-of-July vacation of putting together large pieces of furniture and moving heavy boxes upstairs by making dinner for the first time in my new apartment. While I boiled some whole-wheat penne, HB graciously stepped out to the bodega for some tomatoes and basil for a quick tomato-basil-caper sauce. He returned however, with not basil, but a lovely bunch of very basily-looking watercress. On discovering this, I scrapped the idea of basil sauce, made a lovely sauce just with capers, tomatoes, and spices and had the penne and sauce.

Later that evening, after a very patriotic fireworks viewing over the bridge, I concocted a salad to fuel our continued moving efforts- I chopped 2 largish tomatoes, pinched handfulls of watercress off of their stems, chopped up a hard boiled egg, and added salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. It was so delicious that I made two more variations on this salad tonight- and I havent even begun to make a dent in the large bunch of watercress.

Variation One- Omit egg, add pine nuts.

Variation Two (pictured above)- omit salt, egg; add feta, pine nuts.


Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Last Shabbos my current apartment, that is.

I'm moving. It's chaotic. It's messy. My kitchen is more than messy. Somehow I managed to cobble together a fantastic Shabbos. My beloved grandparents were in town and joined a merry crowd of hippoboy, myself, and my friend batya for dinner. Batya stayed over and joined us for lunch. All things considered, it went swimmingly

Shabbos Dinner

Whatever Is in the Fridge Chicken
Defrost chicken parts- back quarters and/or breasts. Slather with a bit of dijon, Pour on some balsamic and capers. Sprinkle on some pepper. I tossed in a bit of my tomato-basil salad for good measure and poured about 1/2 a cup of moscato d'asti over it all and baked it at 350 till the juice ran clear.

Roasted Red Potatoes
quarter a mixture of red and yukon potatoes. Toss with olive oil, salt, garlic powder, pepper, and paprika. Roast with whatever you've got going in the oven as long as the potatoes can stand it. They take a very long time....

Roasted Asparagus (Deborah Madison's Recipe)
Snap the bottoms off the spears. Arrange in a roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a few sprinkles of water. Cover with foil for 10 mins at 425, then uncover untill done.

Tomato Basil Salad
Seed and chunk a bunch of tomatoes. Wash a bunch of basil. Tear up latter and scatter over former. Toss with oil, balsamic, capers, salt, pepper. Let sit.

Picked up some good bread from Fairway for both meals.

Shabbat Lunch
Hippoboy brought me back a smoked salmon, so I made a rather untraditional Nicoise.

Flake the salmon over salad greens. Add 2 sliced hardboiled eggs, the leftover asparagus and tomatoes from last night, and some capers. Balsamic, mustard, honey, olive oil dressing.

Steamed Artichokes

A Cholent that hurt my stomach a bit- marrowbones, onions, and potatoes. Who knew...

Now, the Moving continues....

Sunday, June 25, 2006

A Mediterranean Shabbat Picnic

This Shabbat, I was going to make a southwestern picnic- turkey chili, cornbread, the whole deal. However- my plans were derailed when I happened to stop in Grand Central Market and found a beautiful package of yellow tomatoes, and two flats of baby artichokes. That, plus the rustic bread I picked up from Zaros, was enough to inspire me to make a Mediterranean-Basin-Themed Shabbos Meal.

Provencal Tomato Salad
Chop and de-seed red and yellow tomatoes. Add capers, salt, pepper, lemon juice, olive oil, and torn fresh basil leaves. Marinate in Fridge.

Steamed Baby Artichokes

Tunisian Tuna Salad
1 largish can white tuna, waterpacked- really it should be ventresca in olive oil, but we work with what we find in the bodega.
Added a bit of lite mayo, dijon mustard, a generous amount of chopped cilantro, a finely chopped green onion, two ribs of celery, a dab of harissa, lemon juice, and cumin. A hit, I tell you!

Syrian Potato-Egg Salad
Boiled 2 large and 1 small baking potato. Let cool overnight, peel, cube. Hard-boil 2 or 3 eggs. Peel, cube. Combine. Add salt, ground pepper, lemon juice, olive oil, granulated garlic, and cumin. Fresh chopped parsley would have been nice with this.

Pesto Cauliflower
Steam or boil some cauliflower. Make a loose pesto (I made mine with my stickblender) of basil leaves, a garlic clove, salt, oil, and a few pine nuts. Pour over the chunked cauliflower. Let marinate in the fridge. Garnish with a few pine nuts before serving.

Tuscan White Bean Soup
Soak a bit less than a bag of white beans overnight. Sautee an onion, a few garlic cloves, 2 celery ribs and 2 carrots with some rehydrated porcinis and some oil. When the vegetables are partly cooked, add some kind of crushed tomato product and then combine in crockpot with the beans. Add some salt, pepper, dried oregano, and granulated garlic. Let cook untill lunchtime.

Rustic bread- buy somewhere good. Dip in olive oil.

Dessert- soak a box of strawberries in a bit of vanilla, a splash of good scotch, and a shake of sugar. Marinate in fridge. Tear up and top with some mint leaves, serve over bryers vanilla ice cream along with assorted chocolates. Delicious.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Hippogirl goes on a diet...

ok, its offical folks. I have two weddings this summer and I'm worried that my shapely curves are beginning to be a bit out of a nice shape and my muscles are not as toned as they once were. henceforth, i will be nobly attempting to hit the Curves circuit 3x a week (i hope) and elminating the following foods...

Refined flour
fatty things- i will allow myself 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil/day- i cant cook or feel good about my food without that. But transfats are out and the earthbalance margarine in the fridge is only to be used on very special occasions.
cheese- ah, the big temptation. I can eat a whole wedge of kashkeval in one sitting. cheese is henceforth restricted to ancillary roles, no more eating of cheese by itself and never in unreasonable quantities, and preferably not more than once a day.
Chocolate- actually, ive been very good about this one lately. I bought myself a bag of nibs for very bad cravings.
Ice cream- I'll admit ive been slipping with this one lately. I will buy 1 pint of tastidelite and have bits of that instead.
Eating untill really really overful- yikes, this happens alot. Strategies to curtail- will try to drink more beverages with meals and/or soup. Helped tonite at cafe viva.

There. These all sound like good, well reasoned and healthy moves on my part. Hippogirl POWER!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

an exotic pilaf

composed of qinoa and rainbow chard and yummy yummy pine nuts.

I sauteed the chopped chard in warmed olive oil with crushed garlic and let it steam with a little bit of water untill it was tender. I dished it out and rinsed a cup of quinoa, then placed it in the same pot with 2 cups of water and some salt and freshly milled pepper and let it steam. I toasted some pine nuts in the oven which was already on for the chicken breasts roasted in capers, lemon juice, thyme, and olive oil which went with a romaine lettuce salad with the delicious avocados I picked up for a fraction of their usual price at an open market on 175th on thursday afternoon and a dijon mustard dressing.

I composed the qinoa and chard, stirring them and enjoying their lovely colors. I strewed the pine nuts over and had to take it to Malka's to stop picking at it with little tastes and nibbles.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

when you give a hippogirl an apple.....

she will use the integrated camera to take digipix of her creations, what else?
of course, this means that I couldn't really get all the angles I wanted, but this chocolate cake, the simple chocolate cake of shabboscooking fame, looked very pretty in all of its bundty goodness. I also added pecans. Maybe I should whip up a glaze to put over it? with icing sugar and vanilla? I'm bringing this cake to a dinner at becky's this shabbos along with a bottle of wine, and Im thinking of making a quinoa pilaf (quinoa, pine nuts, dried nectarines; or, quinoa, chard, and pine nuts????) and a chicken ceasar salad.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Purple Artichokes, Continued

I cut the stems and peeled them rather thickly, placing the artichokes and their stems in my saucier with water- the artichokes with a portion of their beautiful purple-thorned crowns sliced into a flat top so they will steam, inverted.

The artichokes retained their purple and imbued the steaming water with a rich rosy hue reminiscent of my favorite purple roses.

I ate one. I composed a sauce of lite hellmans, grey poupon, and lemon juice. The artichoke was a deep, exquisitley bitter vegetal flavor, more artichokey than ordinary green artichokes, with the uniform purple of the leaves giving way to two-tone, then striped leaves, putting me in mind of their thistly relatives. It was like eating a flower.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Purple Artichokes!

In our peri-monthly trip to Fairway, I was entranced by a beautiful bin of purple artichokes with long green stems.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Too Much Food and Not Enough Blogtime

I simply have too much food to write about, seeing as I ended both of my last two posts with caveats that I had more to say. With that in mind, here is the brief lowdown on what I made for this past shabbos

Brought to the meal I attended- Dinner
a big pan of whole wheat macaroni with artichoke arrabiata sauce
a big pan of balsamic roasted green beans with walnuts
a little pan of savory cornbread

Made for the meal I hosted- Lunch
Crockpot Turkey Chili (a hit!)
Sweet cornbread
Romaine Salad with balsamic/dijon dressing
Broccoli/Tempeh/Chickpea baked curry
one of my guests brought wine, another, sesame green beans
and i made a big chocolate sheet cake with cinnamon topping and chocolate chips

Monday, May 15, 2006

Adventures in Indian Food for Shabbos, Satmar Groceries, and More...

This week was filled with myriad interesting experiences.
For one, I was admitted to NYU's Graduate Program In Applied Recombinant DNA Technology. Coming straight out of YU's Graduate Program for Women in Advanced Talmudic Studies, unless I hear good things from Columbia's MA in Biotech I'll be doomed to a string of graduate programs with long, unwieldly names that don't tell you much about what you actually will be doing on a day to day basis!
Just Kidding. I'm absolutely thrilled and hope I get a teaching fellowship. If I get into both and I get a fellowship at NYU I might just choose them over Columbia. That was Wednesday.

Interestingly enough, earlier that Wednesday, Hippoboy and I went backstage to the taping of Extreme Makeover home edition and met a visually impaired celebrity chef who prepared very standard American "cool" (nonkosher) fare- scampi pasta, coolwhip and poundcake parfaits... in a fantastic kitchen full of donated Hamilton Beach appliances in Avocado Green (!).

This past Shabbos, I decided to go dairy/pareve and made very simple meals.
Steamed Qinoa (we're very into Qinoa lately. It's quicker to cook than rice and can be made in very small quantities and is perfect as a base for those aseptically packaged heat-and-eat kohinoor kosher curries that I pick up at fairway because they are so magically delicious and easy.)
Lentil Dal (this was very spicy- almost spicier than I had intended to make it. I sauteed an onion and a few garlic cloves in olive oil and toasted with them some whole cumin seeds, tumeric, curry powder, garam masala, and cayenne. I then added a cup of dried lentils and about 3 cups of water and let it simmer for a while, set it on the blech before I lit and then served it at around 9ish - go late shabbos!)
A steamed broccoli dish which went totally untouched
Some yogurt on the side to temper the heat of the Dal
A Hatian Mango (less astringent and blander, sweeter than regular ones, and I really dont think they're nearly as good) chopped up into a fruit salad with blackberries) and some Ben and Jerry's ice cream finished the meal.
Oh, and of course Halla and Wine (Tishbi Estate 2004 Chenin Blanc. Hippoboy was not impressed but I found it quite drinkable.)

Mac N Cheese Kugel (whole wheat penne, halav yisroel english cheddar, shredded, J&J farmer cheese, paprika on top, baked till bublly, fridged, and put on the blech in the morning)
Field greens (horridly overpriced but the only decent lettuce in the market) and endive salad with avocado, lemon, olive oil, and pink hawaiian salt.
Homemade Tehina (sesame paste, water, lemon juice, salt, cumin)
Granny Smith Hard Cider
Ice Cream

This is getting to be rather a long post, so I'll leave our Boro Park and Mothers Day adventures for another one.

Monday, May 08, 2006

More about Cakes, and Lemony Artichoke Soup

I made ugly cake. It was a big hit. It looked a little plain, so I adorned it with dark callebaut chips. Hippoboy was pleased. And I got him a bottle of fine scotch as a 21st birthday present. We opened it with friends and had a lovely party, complete with movie and popcorn and much laughter and silliness.

Augh. How dissapointing then, after a few days of absolutely lovely weather, to come down with a cold. I told myself it was allergies, but when I woke up coughing, congested, headachy, and sore of throat this morning I knew I had to stop kidding myself.

Odd how one's need for theraputic soups comes in direct inverse to ones ability to putter around the kitchen chopping and concocting. I wanted to lie in my bed and have soup brought to me, but as this was not an option, I ground up a telma cube, popped in some frozen artichoke hearts, and rummaged through my fridge. I tore up some parsley, cilantro, and dill, ground in some fresh pepper and splashed in some lemon juice. Lemons have vitamin C in them, right? Drizzled in some olive oil. Celery salt and garlic salt and boiled untill the hearts were cooked. Tastes vaguely syrian. Topped with some pine nuts. Now I want to crawl back into my bed and sniffle for a while more. But remind me to post about the syrian stuffed artichokes I made two weeks ago, and the steak salad that Hippoboy made.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

A Gaggle of Cakes

Hippoboy's birthday is coming up and I am determined to make him a cake.

Let me explain that I am a good, steady baker but not necessarily a very creative one. I have one cake recipe (a very simple scoop and stir in the pan chocolate one)that I make all the time, and one basic challah recipe that gets translated into whole wheat, regular, rich egg bread, and foccaica as the need arises (ha, ha).

I ventured onto in search of a brave new cake. I found a pecan praline cake which looks simple enough. However, it does not look like it tastes all that yummy. Plus, as Hippoboy confided a few nights ago, he would like a cake with multiple elements preferrably, with layers or a creamy filling.

Now, since this cake will be served on Shabbat, and most likely after a meat meal, I am delimited in my choices of creamy filling. Buttercream is out of the question, and I always thought the Crisco-based buterkreem I learned to make in high school cake design was beyond awful, as is the Reddi-whip and Crisco based confectionary of Kosher bakeries worldwide. I could, however, make an acceptable dark chocolate ganache with soy creamer and fill a vanilla cake with it.

Friday, April 21, 2006

I Even Cook In My Dreams

Hippogirl is eating- nothing, still too fooded-out from pesah. Starbucks later, maybe.

I had the weirdest dream last night.

It was Friday afternoon in my apartment in the Heights- only somehow it was also magically Los Angeles as well- and I had invited the entire world- including a bunch of my professors from Revel (a program I dropped out of, incidentally,) to Shabbat Dinner. But it wasn't just any Shabbat Dinner, it was the Friday night after Pesah! I hastily put up pareve cholent from leftover potatoes and a can of turtle beans, then left for shul (you know it's a dream, because I never go to shul Friday night in real life- except in my previous apartment, which was less of a shlep).

Anyway, I come back from Shul and everyone is there and hungry. I realize I'd forgotten to make absolutely everything. I rummaged up a box of matza and half a bottle of wine and ppl made kiddush and hamotzi. I served the hastily prepared cholent for a soup. And then while people were eating, Hippoboy and I began to frantically rummage through my fridge for food to serve. There were lots of vegetables that had been in there all of pesah but were miraculously still fine. We began to slice and dice and prepare these elaborate salads out of nothing. While these were run to the table and I began to panic at not having a main course, I sat down on the floor of my kitchen (another conspicuous difference with real life, as my kitchen itself has no floor but is in a closet attached to another room)and began to rummage despondently through another freezer that magically had materialized. I was rather glum untill I turned around and saw Hippoboy, who spoke words of comfort, telling me that it would be a lovely dinner and look how many nice things had already happened! Then we found a quiche for a main dish and pecan bars for dessert.
So that means we had

Potato-blackbean soup
Assorted Salads (some of which were quite beautiful, hearty, and mealish)
Pecan bars
Matza and Wine

Would you like to have been at this meal?

Monday, April 17, 2006

In Which Hippogirl Feels Ambivalent About Food

I seem to be suffering from food overload. I am home for the paschal holiday, and the amount of food I have consumed is frankly excessive. And it is not the whole grain, low fat food of my concoctions in my apartment, oh no! Plus only some of it (my mother's, actually; and some delicious pesah churros (??? they were morrocan, sweet, and inexplicably composed of potatoes and sugar, fried!) was any good. Plus my tummy has been cranky since I got off the plane. Second days will be more vegetable focused and more detoxifiying, I hope.

Monday, April 10, 2006

"Cream" of Broccoli- The Soup of Desperation

Hippogirl is eating: See title

If matza is the bread of affliction, then what I just made today is the soup of desperation. A few days left before Pesah and almost no food in the house, I decided to rummage up something that turned out pretty good actually, considering the circumstances.
Note to self- frantically trying to get the mice which seem to have invaded my domicile to leave doesnt seem to fall under the heading of cleaning for pesah, but it feels just the same.

I chopped up an onion and two garlic cloves and set them to sautee in my trusty soup pot. Then I added the remmnants of a bag of frozen broccoli and a telma soup cube- peccavimus! Thinking I'd puree it later, I also added half a can of white beans and cooked the heck out of it while I was waiting for my super to move my fridge to look for mouseholes.

Incidentally, he found one behind the oven.

I took the soup off the fire- because my super had to move the oven- and pureed it with my stickblender, added some more salt, some hungarian hot paprika, and some nutmeg.

Not bad, and pretty creamy to boot.

Take that, mousies!

Friday, March 24, 2006

The Mitzva of Tashbito; or; 2 Weeks of Carboloading

Hippogirl is eating: Nothing right now

Pesach is upon me, and my large tupperware canisters filled with half bags of flour, bulgur wheat, and pasta have all got to go. If I were of Ashkenaz descent, I could just cordon off my pantry and sell it in this crazy psuedosale trick that we have called Mehriat Hametz... Imagine selling your house for a week, but locking it up so that nobody can use it! Ok, so its not "yours", but really....

Anyway, I'm getting rid of as much grain products as is humanly possible. I made challah to take to shabbos meals, cake to bring to parties, soba noodles with pesto and parmesan cheese to feed to Hippoboy. I made a bulgur wheat pilaf and a bulgur wheat lentil dish. I poured the last of the vanilla vodka over last week's chocolate strawberry cake, which was a big hit. I dripped the last few drops of coconut extract into my coffee this morning.

I've still got a good bit of flour left, but no yeast, so making bread to bring places is out of the Q. I'm thinking of making a cobbler to bring to school, or some muffins, or a healthy quick bread or cake. That'll take care of the rest of my vanilla extract too. Bringing things to YU is a surefire way to get them eaten. I once left an entire pudding cake on the first floor of the library and it was demolished in minutes.

As far as the rest goes... A liter of soy sauce was probably not a smart purchase 3 weeks ago. That I'll just try to give away. The last box of noodles, I'll probably eat this week, and try to make another lentil pilaf to take for lunches. I'm probably going to end up throwing out the gluten, as there is nothing I can really do with that other than make bread. I've got a lone package of gruenkern (green wheat kernels) that I am loath to throw out because I got them at LI Glatt before they closed, and because I have no idea what to do with them. The non-instant oatmeal is gone, I have a few bowls of shredded wheat left for breakfasts, as well as about 10 packets of instant oatmeal that I will valiantly attempt to eat. Not all at once, of course. Curves is having a food drive starting April 1, so I'll try to unload some stuff on them.

Oh yeah, I've also got a pint of Ben and Jerry's lite cookie dough ice cream, but I don't think getting rid of that is going to be too hard...

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Now it's a side dish; Now it's a soup!

Hippogirl is drinking: Strawberry tea

Having previously roasted two (and that was one too many!) butternut squashes for shabbos, I was left with a squashy problem. Take the leftovers for a nebulous lunch which might or might not happen? Or turn them into soup? Since I'm always looking for an opportunity to use my immersion blender, the soup won out. I chopped up the remainder of a 1-lb bag of carrots from a few weeks ago (erm, 4 perhaps?) with a large onion and about a third of a head of celery and a few garlic cloves. I sauteed these in just a very small bit of olive oil and added the peeled squash and a healthy quantity of water. Now, remembering that the squash was initally flavored with garam masala (which is like a sweeter, more pumpkin-pieish variation of curry powder), I knew I could either go sweet or savory with the seasonings, and I chose savory. Sweet is good in fruit soup only in my opinion. I added regular curry powder, some hot hungarian paprika, and a good bit of salt and pepper, and possibly a bit more garam masala. Then I let it cook untill all the veggies were cooked and then pureed with my trusty immersion blender. Voila, butternut squash soup conjured from leftovers. Only I'd let the onions color so the soup was browner than the lovely orange I had envisioned. But still, all in all, not bad.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Roasting Things

Hippogirl is drinking- homemade iced coffee (presspot, stuck in the fridge) with fat free milk, vanilla extract, and splenda.

So my roomie is making Shabbos lunch and since our purim activities sort of made it difficult to focus on planning for Shabbos, Hippoboy and I are joining in. This is rather rare, as usually, we switch off hosting meals in our apt. Should be lots of fun.

She's making: Chicken roasted on a bed of grains (originally it was rice pilaf but there wasnt enough to cover the whole roasting pan so I had the idea of cooking up some bulghur wheat to mix with the rice,)- I think she is seasoning the chicken with fennel, orange peel, lemon and orange juices, garlic, ginger, and some other things. It looks delicious. And Deli Roll- which, due to the nature of our filo dough, which is decidedly unpliable due to being in the freezer too long, is going to turn into a deli casserole instead.

I'm making: Roasted green beans and Roasted butternut squash. Now, my basic techinique with roasting veggies is to cut them up, blast the oven to 450 or 425, dribble on some olive oil, salt, spices and/or herbs, and pop it in the oven. I got a little more elaborate with these.

Green beans- i had a whole big bag of frozen green beans which i opened and poured into the pan with about half a head of slivered garlic. I poured on some olive oil, soy sauce, honey, and balsamic vinegar. I panicked when i tasted this because it tasted really harsh and vinegary. But then I remembered that acetic acid will vaporize readily. So its all good. And I roasted till the top ones were shrively. I like a mix of really crispy and brown and some still sort of green and fresh when I roast greeny veggies. Very delicious.

Squash- I had a few drips of toasted sesame oil that I wanted to use, so i dribbled that over the squash and a few shakes of garam masala powder, salt, and sugar, because this squash was very a very pale orange inside and I did not think it looked so optimal. Then I thought that the sesame smell was very overwhelming, so I cut it with some regular olive oil. Its roasting now, so I guess we will see.

My Challah is also in the oven.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Best... Purim... Ever!

Hippo girl is currently eating: Low fat mashed red bliss potatoes

So I woke up blearily 10 minutes before the scheduled start of the Women's Megillah Reading, pulled on a college sweatshirt and a jeanskirt over my pajama pants and decided to call it a "stressed college girl" costume. The reading was excellent, and very very beautiful. I was suprised how many other girls copped my costume idea though.

I went back home and took the bread dough (for my special purim breads, see shabboscooking for more details and pix!) that had been rising in the fridge, punched it down, and let it start rising again while I went out and delivered last night's batch.

Most of the rest of the day was spent making up that batch, (a 10 cup recipe, by the way, and a little hard on the wrists...) shaping, glazing, baking, wrapping, etc. My own eating was curtailed (mostly out of business) to some plain yogurt with honey on top, a hardboiled egg with salt and pepper, some sliced beets with balsamic vinegar; all little tiny portions grabbed on the fly, and a bag of alexia baked fries (oops... but I did share these (sort of...) with my roomie and her fiancee.

After getting the last batch of breads ready to go and putting the finishing touches on my vanilla-vodka-chocolate-cake (really a simple chocolate cake soaked in home-infused vanilla vodka, just split open 2 vanilla beans and soak them in a pint bottle of premium vodka for 3 weeks) I met up with Hippoboy (my lovely and wonderful significant other), who suprised me with a giant chocolate hamentaschen and a bottle of wine, and then a latte when I growled that I hadn't had any coffee yet.

We set off to the festive meal, which was a cooperative food effort, with such varied offerings as steak salad with pesto dressing (v yummy!), spiced carrot muffins, which hippoboy and I dipped into our wine to fulfill the "hayyav inish l'bisumei" aspect of drinking on Purim, roasted cauliflower, etc etc. Of course, I brought my vodka cake and a large edition of my special purim bread.

Hippoboy and I then wandered around delivering a few more mishloah manot, then looked for a mincha minyan, then wandered back to our neighborhood, where we discovered a delightful drink, hard pear cider! I like hard pear cider or hard apple cider very much. It is like moscato but drier and less sickening. Then I decided to make a big pot of mashed potatoes so I could easily put up a shepherds pie tomorrow with some frozen beef/veggie mix that I made from a beef stock setup. Of course, I had to taste a bit (ok, a bowl) to see if they were yummy enough. Hippoboy departed, and now, its time to initiate my sleepysequence.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Attack of the Hungry Hungry Hippo Girl!

I am a girl of many faces. Sometimes I learn Talmud. Sometimes I am a BIT (Biologist in Training!). But all of the time, I cook, eat, and plan about food. When my planning goes awry and I am left with nothing to eat or even nothing very substantive, I turn into a mythical creature also known as....


This blog is about the food I like to cook, eat, and feed to other people.
Oh, and by the way, this is not a "diet blog" or a "food anxiety blog" or an "I-hate-my-body blog" although you might occasionally hear me say stuff that sounds like that. FYI, I am a very happy, healthy, pretty girl and I have no complaints on that score. I just try to make healthy food that centers on a variety of veggies, whole grains, fruits, dairy, and lean protiens. And, of course, that tastes yummy.