Archive for the ‘recipes’ Category
Monday morning: No dinner plans. Figure I’ll scrape something together from whatever happens to be in the
Fridgg fridge. (Oops, totally didn’t realize I had spelled it like that until I published this post!) If all else fails, it’ll be a bowl of cereal for dinner.
Monday afternoon: Still no dinner plans. Spending the day coding for Fridgg, working on a post for Sushi Day and an episode for my Miso Hungry Podcast that were supposed to go up last night, and trying to do some cleaning around this messy, messy apartment of mine.
Monday evening: Nope, no dinner plans. Then Son asks me to roast one of the purple sweet potatoes we bought at Nijiya Market on Sawtelle in West LA last week, because he’s hungry. Meh. While I do love roasted sweet potatoes, for some reason I just wasn’t in the mood for making one tonight. I procrastinate.
Monday, 8pm: On a whim, I decide I’m going to make a gratin! I had been wanting to make one, and just happened to have all the ingredients (plus, purple sweet potatoes!) I find the recipe for regular potato and sweet potato gratin I had bookmarked last month. I start peeling and slicing potatoes. Because, you know, it’s totally normal to start cooking dinner at 8pm.
Monday, 9pm: The recipe I was using seems good, but dull. I wanted something more. I know when my mom makes scalloped potatoes, she uses cheddar cheese and bacon. So I figure, why the heck not? I start cooking some bacon.
Monday, 10:30pm: The gratin is finally in the oven. Now to do dishes while I wait for it to be done, and check it every five minutes to make sure the cheese and bacon on top isn’t at risk of burning.
Monday, 11:30pm: Oooh, the kitchen smells delicious. The gratin is out of the oven, and off to Son’s home office so he can take photos before I cut into it. Here’s hoping it actually tastes as good as it looks and smells!
Monday, midnight: I finally get to cut into the gratin. My main worry was that the sweet potatoes wouldn’t be cooked through, since they start out harder than the potatoes. Plus, does cheddar cheese work with sweet potatoes? I have no idea. Luckily, it turned out I had no reason to worry. This was the best gratin I’ve ever had. Even Son loved it, and he’s usually not a scalloped potatoes kind of guy at all!
Tuesday, 1am: My little brother saw my post on Instagram about the gratin, and came to my apartment to get a plate of it. We’ve already eaten more than half of the gratin. It was that good. I have a feeling the leftovers won’t last past tomorrow.
Recipe inspired by this scalloped potato gratin from A Thought For Food.
- 4 lbs potatoes (I used 1 large white sweet potato, 1 large purple sweet potatoes, and enough red potatoes to make up the difference)
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 pkg bacon
- 8 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 9×13″ rectangular baking dish with butter.
- Dice the bacon into 1/2″ pieces. Cook in a large frying pan until crispy. Drain.
- Wash and peel the potatoes. Slice into 1/8″ slices.
- Thinly slice the garlic cloves.
- Layer about half the potatoes into the bottom of the baking dish, alternating regular potatoes and sweet potatoes, if using them. Pour 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream over it, season with salt and pepper. Evenly sprinkle the sliced garlic, 4 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, and half the bacon over the potatoes.
- Repeat with the remainder of the ingredients. Bake for 45 minutes.
- Delicious served sprinkled with green onions, paprika, or drizzled with hot sauce (we used Sriracha, but it’s probably delicious with most any type of hot sauce).
I’ve been a huge fan of Culinary Concoctions by Peabody for quite some time now. She always comes up with the craziest recipes (kind of like what I do on Sushi Day), but as wacky as they may be, they quite often also sound delicious.
I had the opportunity to meet her at IFBC back in 2010, and can attest to the fact that she’s just as awesome (and hilarious) in person as she is on her blog. These days, I also consider myself pretty lucky to be able to call her a friend.
There are a lot of things from her blog that I’ve bookmarked to make in the future, but the only thing I’ve ever gotten around to making was her vanilla nutmeg caramels for my own version of scotch kisses.
But then, every once in a while, there comes a recipe that you see and just have to make RIGHT THAT INSTANT. This is what happened when I saw her recipe for Peanut Butter Cup Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars. OMG. (Plus, it doesn’t hurt that she gave Fridgg a shout out in her post, sending TONS of traffic our way – thank you so much, Peabody!)
The bottom layer is a peanut butter cookie with chocolate chips mixed in. Then you top it with full-sized Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Then a layer of cheesecake. Then top it with more of the peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough, more chocolate chips, and mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
If you don’t think that sounds amazing, there’s something wrong with you. Or you’re allergic to peanuts. But still. It sounds ridiculous, right?
Obviously, I had to make it, and bring it to Son’s office for his coworkers. (They just started serving free lunches there, and one of his former bosses said to me, “I was going to tell you we don’t need you anymore now that we get free food, but this is MUCH better!”) Everyone loved them. They’re totally over-the-top decadent, but if you cut them into small squares, they’re just right.
So head on over to Peabody’s post for the recipe, then come back and let me know what you think!
Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies
(For a bigger version of the photo, check it out on the new Fridgg! )
I love baking, but since it’s just Son and myself at home, a batch of anything is always too much. There’s only so much you can pawn off on family, so most of what I bake ends up going to my physical therapist’s office (they all love me there) and Son’s work (they do too ).
The only problem with bringing baked goods into Son’s work is that one of his coworkers/friends has recently gone vegan… so she can never eat the butter/egg/dairy-filled baked goods I bring in.
Luckily for her, I love a challenge! I’ve been wanting to make something she can eat for a while, but I didn’t want anything that used weird ingredients like dairy-free margarine, or anything like that. I found this vegan peanut butter cookie recipe on ChooseVeg.com, and although I was a little worried it might not work, I decided to try it.
This last weekend one of his old coworkers had a housewarming party, which was the perfect occasion! The cookies turned out wonderfully – they’re a little more cake-like, and crumblier than non-vegan cookies, but delicious nonetheless. I thought they were reminiscent of the filling of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (which I LOVE), while Son said they reminded them of the Vietnamese mung bean cookies eaten around the Lunar New Year.
Just don’t do what I did with the first batch, and forget to flatten them with a fork (although in my defense, the original recipe left that part out). The cookies come out of the oven in the same shape that they were when they went in… and as you can see, flattening the cooked cookie balls after the fact doesn’t work so well.
(Although one of my twitter followers did have the great idea of using the cookie crumbs for a pie crust… which makes me want to mess up more cookies just so I have an excuse to try that!)
Flatten the cookies BEFORE they go in the oven!
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1/4 cup oil
- 3/4 cups sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- extra sugar for flattening
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Mix all ingredients together.
- Roll the dough into 1.5-inch balls, and place on an ungreased cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart.
- Dip a fork in sugar and use it to flatten the balls, creating a cross-hatch pattern on each cookie. Dip the fork in sugar again each time you flatten a cookie.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes.
- Let cool on the cookie sheet. These are crumblier than non-vegan cookies.
Sour Candy Grapes
Ah, Pinterest. Now, I’m not really a Pinterest addict – nowhere near it. I can spend maybe 10 minutes on the site at most at one time. But still, it is an excellent place to find new recipes and food ideas.
For example, these grapes. I saw a friend of mine pin a link to these sour patch grapes and had to make them.
Not for me, mind you. I’ve never been much of a sour fan. No, these were for my younger brother. The guy is addicted to sour candies.
Now, I wanted them to be sour, and I wasn’t sure if the melon-flavored jello she used would do that. And since I didn’t have that much time to experiment, I decided to go with something I KNEW would be sour.
So what better than lemonade-flavored Kool-Aid powder?
Verdict? These were a hit. My brother had friends over for the Fourth of July, and they INHALED these grapes. Seriously. They were fighting over them. I’m surprised nobody got hurt.
They taste just like sour candy!
Recipe heavily inspired by the sour patch grapes from Pure Sugar.
- 1 lb green grapes
- 4 packs lemonade-flavored Kool-Aid drink powder
- ~1/2 cup sugar (less sugar if you want them more sour, more sugar if you want them more on the sweet side)
- Wash grapes thoroughly. Do not dry them. (You want them to be damp so the powder will stick.)
- Mix the Kool-Aid powder and sugar.
- Roll the grapes in the Kool-Aid mix. (Or you can lay them out and sprinkle the powder over them. This is much quicker, though it may not turn out quite as pretty.)
- Serve, and watch them magically disappear before your eyes!
Cream of Broccoli Soup
I recently signed up for the Farm Fresh to You delivery service, because I’ve decided I need more produce in my life (and I got a good deal through LivingSocial). Of course, getting a big box of produce also means you have to figure out what to do with everything in the box. The artichokes and strawberries were easy (we ate them right away), carrots went into a big batch of curry, lemon went into honey-lemon “tea” (I spent that week sick as a dog), lettuce turned into salads. But what to do with the broccoli?
Then I saw this recipe for broccoli cheese soup on Brown Eyed Baker, and it sounded really good. So once I got better, I made the soup… with a few alterations. A little more broccoli, throw in the potatoes that I had just because they were there. Add some garlic powder because it needed just that slightest kick of flavor. Cook it a little longer so the vegetables are meltingly soft. And add bacon, because… well, why not? We all know bacon makes everything better.
Of course, the test for whether something is good is never whether Son likes it or not. He’ll eat just about everything, and yet he isn’t much of a fan of cream-based soups. (He ate it anyways.) So instead I brought my dad a bowl of it. The verdict? He loved it.
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
- 3 heads broccoli, stems removed and discarded, and florets cut into bite-size pieces
- 1/2 lb potatoes, diced
- a pinch of nutmeg
- 12 ounces mild cheddar cheese, shredded (about 3 cups)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 12 slices of bacon, cooked
- In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until they begin to soften. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir to combine, cooking for about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the milk and half-and-half.
- Add the nutmeg, broccoli, potatoes, a dash of salt, freshly ground black pepper, and garlic powder. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for about an hour, or until the broccoli is tender. You can add the cheese now, or add it to taste when you serve the soup. (I like cheese, but Son isn’t as much of a fan so he didn’t add any.)
- Blend with an immersion blender, or carefully transfer to a blender or food processor to blend. Top with cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon. (You can also add croutons, if you’d like.)
- This makes a fairly thick soup. I like it that way, but if you prefer a thinner soup you can mix in a cup of vegetable broth to thin it out.