Saturday, March 31, 2007

Fish, Seafood, and New Things to Try

I think I've had enough cod to last me a few weeks.
Though I did try bacalla de la mel which I've wanted to try. But I had a cod a million other times/ways as well.
As a tapas, we had something with eggplant, peppers, tapenade, and goat cheese that I can't wait to try to recreate as a first course next time we have someone over, as well as a new recipe for bizcocho de naranja (which I never saw here, but made from a recipe I found in a magazine once) that was in an article in a special all-recipe issue of a magazine I picked up today.

I still have Paris (croissants and baguettes! though I'm sure my parents are going to foist escargot or pate on me) and then finally, meals from a home kitchen again, which after going to Santa Caterina Market, I wished I had over here. Minus the goat heads.

3:55 PM

Monday, March 26, 2007

Mercat de la Boqueria

Note: I'm having some problems with the larger size-formatted images. They're being cropped.


The largest and oldest market in Barcelona. Need I say more?
Stalls after stalls of produce, fish, seafood and bars. Not suprisingly there was a stall completely devoted to cod.

As well as the world famous Pinotxo Bar. (Or at least it seems that way with all the clippings on the beams and the fact I've read about it in a magazine my dad took off an airplane a few months ago AND the Bon Appetit that arrived in the mail Tuesday, the day after we returned.

After walking around La Boqueria, dinner that night was a dissapointment.

Friday, March 23, 2007

A Week Without Grocery Shopping

This has to be a record this yaer. I'm not sure when the last time was that I didn't step foot in a grocery store between Monday and Friday since the start of 2007. But it is true. In an effort to not buy more than we will eat and instead actually eat the contents of our fridge, which is difficult to see, we went to the store Sunday night (all three of us, together!), and after Dad picked out dinner, put some staples in the cart (eggs, milks, english muffins, and maybe a few other things) to survive the week since our fridge was already overflowing, but with nothing to eat (lettuce, cheese, carrots, cheese, apples, cheese, grapefruit, yogurt.)

Somehow we've made it through the week (and okay, we cheated and had dinner at a local pizza place on Tuesday and dinner at a Cosi on Wednesday, but I was at school late, and then I needed to go shopping for pants, so Mom was tired, and I didn't bother trying to come home.)

Last night though, I stole a Just Wave It vegetable side and figured, hey, I can make dinner and mom can make a salad (there's lettuce aplenty).

And mom said it was the best dinner we'd had this week, but the vegetables needed more flavor since I took out the herb butter to use olive oil instead (I forgot about all the fresh herbs in the fridge). I dub it "Skillet Egg Pizza." It was simple, just some assorted veggies from a container, a whole-wheat wrap, some eggs, some milk, topped with slices of fresh mozzarella.

Monday, March 19, 2007

5 Ingredients On The Stove for 5 Minutes (not including the salt and pepper)

I never understood all the hype about 5 ingredient cookbooks. It always seemed like you'd be missing out, or they really weren't all that easier.

But some things don't need more than a handful of ingredients.

Eggs over Tomatoes

2 ripe tomatoes, diced
3 eggs
olive oil
dried basil
english muffins, split

Cook eggs in some olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, salt and pepper to taste, and a bit of dried basil (or fresh would be way yummier at the end) and reduce heat to low.
When parents say they'll be down in five minutes, uncover, crack eggs over tomatoes. Salt and pepper, to taste. Cover and cook for about five minutes, or until white is set.
Meanwhile, toast english muffins.
And enjoy.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Baked Tofu Farfalle

Mom planned well, but not all plans work out.
We thought that we'd still have to be eating kosher, and to be safe, that means vegetarian meals (or fish, which would be overkill.) It ended up being mom and me, but she still made the recipe that she'd picked out from a year-old issue of Vegetarian Times, with just a few substitutions. She used Italian seasoned baked tofu and plain breadcrumbs, because she couldn't find smoked tofu, and we already had plain breadcrumbs in the cabinet from when I made Baked Mac&Cheese.
I liked the dish. But Mom and I are the only ones who have eaten it. The italian-flavored tofu did add a punch of salt to those bites, but I still thought that it tasted good, warm or cold.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Chili For A Crowd

Dad's friend from college and his brother are in town right now. They're Jewish, and eat Kosher. That means its either fish (with scales) or vegetarian. I protested to fish since we had bagels&lox for breakfast. So, fortunately enough, there was a pile of cookbooks and magazines for mom to sift through to plan the week's meals (okay, tonight and tomorrow.)
I'd already suggested the chili, since I've had my eye on it since the April issue of Eating Well came a week or two ago and immediately made wheat berries to freeze.
The chili turned out very spicy, but good. And extremely hearty, but the weather's warming up, so it did feel a bit odd. Mom and I think we know what changes we'd make next time, and the recipe here's modified to reflect that. (Mom is a bit teaspoon/tablespoon challenged, which just explained why it was so hot.)

Wheat Berry-Black Bean Chili
adapted from Eating Well April 2007 p. 68-69
serves 12-14

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 large yellow onions, chopped
2 large yellow bell peppers, chopped
10 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons ground pepper
3 15-oz cans black beans, rinsed
1 15-oz can red beans, rinsed
4 14-oz cans diced tomatoes, not drained
2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
1 quart vegetable broth
4 teaspoons brown sugar
3 1/2 cups cooked wheat berries
juice of 2 limes
2 avocados, diced
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil in very large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 8 minutes.
Add beans, tomatoes, chipotle, broth, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 35 minutes.

Stir in cooked wheat berries and heat through, about 10 minutes if frozen.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Lime Squares for "Dad's Family"

These were in the March 2006 issue of Everyday Food Magazine last year, and I've had my eye on them ever since. I just needed an excuse to make them, such as sweetened condensed milk being on sale or a crowd. I did buy the former when it was on sale, and Saturday presented the crowd.
It's a simple bar recipe, and turned out well, with the exception of my making the crust too high on the sides. The crust was extremely crumbly, but did taste good.
I personally wasn't a big fan of the bar, which is odd because I love sweet and tart, which was exactly what it was. However, many people complimented me on dessert, so either they were just being nice, or the bars were yummy.

I wanted to wait until I had the picture and recipe to post this, but the Martha Steward site is down right now, and I just spent 5 minutes searching for the magazine to no avail.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Just a Bite of Mocha

I've been eyeing this recipe for about a year now, and I finally bought the "pantry-staple" ingredients that I was missing in order to make them (almond extract and rice wine vinegar). The recipe didn't have nuts in the batter, and made big muffins, but I think these would be overwhelming as a large muffin since they're so strong. Mom and Dad like them, but then again, they do like coffee.

I've had the urge to bake this past week, and am hoping to make banana muffins, lime bars, and experiment with wheat berry cookies (though maybe I should hold off on the wheat berry cookies since I've never done anything with wheat berries, or experimented with cookies really for that matter. I used to with banana muffins, but I wasn't organized and lost my notes.)

Mocha-Almond Mini Muffins
adapted from Mocha-Nut Muffins in Vegetarian Times March 2006
makes 24

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
6 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup brewed strong coffee, lukewarm (I made 2 1/2 cups of coffee with 6 scoops of grounds to use)
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup canola oil
1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/3 cup chopped almonds, divided

Preheat oven to 325ºF. Coat 24 mini muffin pan cups with cooking spray.

Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl (flours through salt); whisk to mix together.
Whisk together wet ingredients in a small bowl (coffee through extract).
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until combined (can still be lumpy). Do not overmix. Stir in chocolate chips and 1/2 of almonds.

Divide batter among prepared cups using a cookie scoop (about 1- 1 1/2 tablespoons). Top with remaining almonds.
Bake 9-11 minutes or until they spring back when touched or a toothpick comes out with only a few crumbs.
Remove from pans and cool on wire rack. (Enjoy them or once completely cooled, freeze for later use.)