Thursday, October 28, 2010

Roasted rosemary potatoes


I also made rosemary potatoes with my windfall of free herbs. Rosemary is delicious on roasted vegetables, or chicken and very tasty in bread. All fresh bread should have rosemary! Too bad I don't have time to make any.

Making these potatoes is very simple. Chop a potatoes into evenly sized pieces, put in a baking dish. Coat lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with fresh rosemary, pepper and salt. Bake at 350 to 400 for about 45 minutes, or until tender. They can be baked at just about any temp, it will only take more or less time for them to be ready, making it easy to make them while also using the oven to make something else.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Bruschetta


Bruschetta (Bra-ske-ta) is a very simple appetizer and Italian staple. I recently had a fresh herb windfall of basil and rosemary, courtesy of one of my coworkers who must be a gardening prodigy based on the size of this basil plant.

What I love about Italian food is that it's not about quantity or complexity, it's all about simple, fresh, quality ingredients. Bruschetta is a prime example of this, it requires only a few ingredients, which must be fresh and combine to create an amazing (and healthy!) flavor.

This is a small size recipe for 1-2 people to share, you can double it (or more) if you're having a party.

Fresh Italian bread, light toasted
1-2 ripe roma tomatoes
1 clove garlic
1 Tb olive oil (use a quality one!)
8-10 fresh basil leaves

Toast thick slices of Italian bread either under a broiler or in a toaster oven. Chop tomatoes and garlic and place in a small bowl. Tear basil leaves into small pieces and mix with tomatoes and garlic. Toss tomato mixture in olive oil and spoon onto bread slices. Serve.

Sorry the photo is a bit dark, but I sure you it was a rich red and delicious!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cinnamon scones


This time around I made a sweet scone. Cinnamon scones seemed like they would be tasty, so I started with my basic scone recipe (see below) that I used for the cheddar & thyme scones I made a while back. I'm still shocked how easy scones are to make!

Basic recipe

2 cups flour
1 Tb sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1 egg

Cinnamon editions

2 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 Tb of sugar

ooking Equipment

Pastry blender

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and cinnamon in a large bowl. Blend butter in using either a pastry blender (or fork) until well blended and a mixture of course crumbs forms. Stir in milk and lightly beaten egg. A slightly moist, crumbly dough will form. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface and form in a round, flat mound. Place on a greased cookie sheet and cute into 8 wedges. Separate the wedges and bake for 15-20 minute or until lightly browned.

The cinnamon scones were pretty tasty, however, I think that I should have added more sugar. The scones weren't quite sweet enough and therefore slightly lacking in flavor. I might add a little more cinnamon the next time also. Keep this in mind if you use this more 'savory' basic recipe but want to make a sweeter scone. Happy baking.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Cheesy pasta sauce


I saw a recipe for pasta sauce made with cream cheese and milk and that's all. Is using cream cheese to make cheesy pasta sauces a thing and I'm just not aware? Anyway, I of course had to try it because it was either going to be amazing or a total disaster.

The recipe where I got my sauce idea is here. The fact it came from Better Homes & Gardens gave me hope it wouldn't be terrible. Yea, BH&G has recipe street cred.

Sauce ingredients:
1 9oz tub veggie cream cheese spread
1/2 cup fat free milk

Place cream cheese and milk in a small sauce pan on medium heat and stir until well-blended and creamy. Place on top of warm pasta.

I made the sauce to top some whole wheat pasta with sausage and broccoli but you can put it on any kind of pasta you like.

First, plan on using more than 1/2 a cup of milk, I think it was a better consistency for pasta sauce after I tossed in about a full cup. If you decide to use whole or 2% milk, you might want a little but more even. This was a very easy and pretty tasty sauce (after I added more milk to thin it) but be warned that it's also very heavy, (because it's cream cheese!) so choose your pasta combo accordingly. Happy eating!

Cost: B+
Waste: A
Taste: B+

Monday, October 4, 2010

Broccoli fish bake

Lately, I've been feeling like I'm in a fish rut and need to be more creative with the seafood, not just putting some lemon pepper on white fish and sticking it under the broiler. The idea of a casserole is something that appeals to me, in a time management sense, though I typically don't like all my food mixed together. I'm that person on Thanksgiving who is trying to keep all their food from touching each other.

However, I decided to give this broccoli-fish-cheese concoction a shot. Overall, a satisfying experience. It cooked much faster than a casserole made with chicken because it has fish and I enjoy just about anything with cheese. I would not say that it makes a good meal solo, which is a shame, because that is the point of a casserole! I decided pretty quickly that it needed some rice and thankfully, has some Uncle Ben's ready rice in the cupboard.

This is a cambell's recipe, which I found on allrecipes.com see it here or pasted below.

1 (10 ounce) package frozen broccoli spears, cooked and drained
1 pound fresh or thawed frozen firm white fish fillets (cod, haddock or halibut)
1 (10.75 ounce) Broccoli cheese soup Soup
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
1 teaspoon butter, melted
1/8 teaspoon paprika

Arrange broccoli in 2-quart shallow baking dish. Top with fish. Mix soup and milk and pour over fish. Sprinkle with cheese. Mix bread crumbs, butter and paprika and sprinkle on top. Bake at 450 degrees F for 20 minutes or until fish is done.

I used fresh broccoli. Honestly, I don't know why anyone would use frozen but if you want to, go for it. Fresh worked just fine, left the broccoli a little crunchy, but I like that. I also used tilapia, and suspect any white fish would do the trick. I would also recommend you to go heavy on the bread crumbs, it made a very nice crispy layer on the top.

Sorry I don't have a photo...I forgot to take one.