Category Archives: Cooking

Sunday Morning

Well, it’s been a while. Looks like I wasn’t as good at keeping up with school, work, and the interwebs as I thought. Now, though, I’m done with school and taking it easy on the work front to catch up on the home front, so hopefully we can make this a more regular thing.

French Toast with Strawberries

Starting easy – here’s our Sunday Breakfast. We try to have one nice breakfast a week, sometimes out, sometimes home. Last week was a failed attempt at beignets (bad recipe, tasty, but not a beignet). This week it was too warm to deep fry, so we made French Toast. Not super-fancy but since we don’t often indulge in sweet carby breakfasts, it was nice. I am not a huge fan of custards, so I make my french toast pretty light, which means the bread has to be top notch. Today we used a delicious challah from New Seasons, our favorite local grocery.

If you’d like to make you some it’s super easy, I don’t even use a recipe. In a pie pan, whisk an egg up, then add some milk. How much milk depends on how much french toast I’m making, how dry the bread is, etc. Like I said, I don’t like my french toast all soggy and usually make about 6 slices of french toast, so I usually end up putting a quarter inch of liquid in the bottom of the pie pan (don’t worry, if it looks like you’re running out, just splash some more milk in and stir!). Whisk in some cinnamon and nutmeg, or your favorite spices. Heat up a pan over medium, add some butter if it isn’t non-stick (I usually even give my non-stick a butter swipe for flavor’s sake). Then dip your bread slices, flip to coat the other side, and move to the pan (I do this quickly to avoid soggy french toast, if you like that kind of thing, let it soak up some, but you might want to increase your egg and milk amounts). Cook until browned on each side, and adjust your heat if it’s going too quickly, especially if you let it soak in, you want to cook the egg-milk mixture through.

I served these with diced strawberries with a little orange mint mixed in and maple syrup. Yum.

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Good Eats – August

In addition to taking advantage of the cooler swings in the weather to do some baking – banana bread, cake & homemade granola – the Mister has had a little more free time, and we’ve enjoyed a couple of jaunts out for nom noms.

So, here’s what I’m currently enamored with in the Portland food scene:

Korean Frito Pie from Yogio

K-Pop from Yogio

The carts at Killingsworth & Greeley – Second trip to this pod, and they have yet to disappoint. This time, we got there in time to have a Wicked Perfect waffle from Wicked Waffles. Oh my, how appropriately named. Sweet cormeal waffle wrapped around piping hot eggs, crispy bacon, and melty cheddar.

Very difficult to force myself to share with the Mister (and so tempting we just dug in and forgot to take a snapshot to remember it by). Glad I did share, though, because we then split the Korean Frito Pie and K-pop (perfectly fried spiced popcorn chicken with spicy sauce, veg & rice) from Yogio. Wow. Both were very filling and super tasty. Sadly, I believe they have retired the K-pop, but be oh-so-happy that the Frito Pie is sticking around!

Nectarine Marscapone pie from Pyro Pizza

Pyro Pizza – Cartopia Pod – all the Cartopia carts I’ve tried are stellar, but recently I keep going back for Pyro Pizza. The kicker was the weekend they served a Nectarine & Marscapone pizza. Crispy crust is the star, with just enough supporting assistance from wonderfully fresh ingredients. They also make their own sodas, love their zesty Ginger Ale! It might be a good thing we live so far away.

Country Cat – we recently had an epihany when we realized that brunch here, where they seem to make everything from scratch with garden-fresh ingredients and no pretension whatsoever, was CHEAPER than going to the crappy chains out in the suburbs where we live. What?!? What?!? Yeah, that blew our minds. That and the best freakin’ BLT I’ve ever had, hands down. And you must try the Gato Verde.

EatingWell – as you can probably tell, I love me some food. Good food, which mostly translates to fattening food, and I’m trying to get that under control. It’s slow going, because I refuse to deprive myself of what I love (see above, and the pot of Chili Con Carne bubbling on my stove), but EatingWell is there for me. Good, healthy food without artificial this and that (a huge peeve of mine with other weight loss recipes). I have a subscription to the magazine, but the website is my first stop when making a grocery list every week, or when I have a hankering for something that can probably be made a bit healthier (tuna noodle casserole anyone?)

Thanks to the Mister for the food shots in the post!

Zucchini For Breakfast

zbread

Yum, this loaf is a little bit sweet, and healthier than most muffins or whatever from the coffee shop, it’s cheap and easy to make to boot (easier still to make two at once and bring one to most grateful co-workers, if you’re lucky enough to have them right now)! I can not stand a banana that even thinks about getting ripe, so normally banana bread is my morning nosh, and Veganomicon’s Lower Fat Banana Bread recipe is not only the healthiest, but also the tastiest I’ve had. So, with some serious zucchini poundage staring me in the face, it was time to find a zucchini bread recipe as good and healthy as the banana bread one.

And I know it’s a lot of recipes (zucchini recipes!) right now, but the crafting I’m up to at the moment is a gift, so posting will have to wait until after it’s been delivered :).

Bonus breakfast zucchini tip – take any leftover shredded zucchini from making the bread and saute with some finely chopped garlic and onion (heck, throw in some swiss chard or anything else you have left from your farm share) then pour just enough scrambled eggs over to hold it all together, and stir to coat evenly. Cover and cook (if you’re brave or talented, flip the whole mess over to make it go faster) and serve on a sandwich or as a scramble. Top with a little shredded cheese and serve on it’s own or in a breakfast sandwich!

SachitaBean’s Zucchini Breakfast Bread (Vegan too!)
adapted from Emeril’s zucchini bread and Lisa’s zucchini bread recipes.

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 cup shredded zucchini
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed into 3 tablespoons warm water (let sit 5 min to thicken) or 1 large egg
1/2 cup applesauce (one of those little lunch size cups – want to try pineapple next!)
1/2 – 3/4 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, grease bottom of a 9×5 loaf pan.

In medium bowl, stir together flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon, then stir in nuts to coat with flour. Set aside.

In large bowl, stir together zucchini, flaxseed mixture, applesauce and sugar. Add dry ingredients and stir until combined. Pour into loaf pan and bake for about 1 hour, or until top is firm and toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on stovetop for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool completely. Flavor improves if you wrap and let sit for a day.

Doubles fine to make two loaves.

La Jungla’s Bounty – Zucchini Saute

La-Jungla
I know the Northwest grows monster things. I know I should have allowed twice the space the little plant tags said. But I didn’t and now, the squash are staging a coup, kept at bay by the melons, and everything else is becoming a casualty. I find myself picking 3 lb zucchini I somehow didn’t see yesterday, and can’t reach half of the cherry tomatoes because the pumpkins are in the way.

So, as I have had more days that I like to admit where zucchini has been served at every meal, here’s a recipe that’s good enough it’s made repeat appearances. It’s easily adaptable, so increase, decrease, add, or substitute to your heart’s content! We had it with our favorite homemade flatbread, and when I made it today I brushed some garlic olive oil on the flatbread after flipping it and sprinkled some shredded cheese on top so it melted while the other side of the flatbread cooked. Yum!

zucchinisaute

Zucchini Lunch Saute

Generous glug of olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small sweet onion, sliced
1 large zucchini (or 2 smaller) cut into bite size pieces
2 carrots, shredded
kernels from 2 cobs corn
1-2 cups cherry tomatoes
favorite seasoning blend, to taste (I used Penzey’s Mural of Flavor)
Parmesan Cheese

I prepped my veggies thusly: garlic and onions in one bowl, corn, carrots, and tomatoes in a second, then the chopped zucchini. Heat the olive oil in a skillet large enough to hold your bounty. Add the garlic and onions and saute until the onions are softened. Add zucchini and saute until the zucchini begins to shrink down a little, add in the corn, carrots and tomatoes, sprinkle liberally with your spices, cover and cook until desired doneness remove the lid towards the end to let any accumulated liquid evaporate (I like my zucchini and carrots al dente, this also keeps it from overcooking and turning to mush when I heat up any leftovers). Plate up and shred some parmesan cheese on top.

This would also be very tasty with a mexican or other cheddar blend cheese, but the kind I had on hand was a 2% blend, and it didn’t deal well with melting on top of something so liquidy – it stuck to everything but the vegetables.