Tag Archives: food

Recipe: Apple Oatmeal Crumble

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A couple weeks ago, I signed up for a produce delivery service with Winder Farms. We had a positive experience with New Roots Organics in Seattle and so I thought I’d give this one a try. In our introductory box, we received several Granny Smith apples. They’re a bit tart for me to eat as a snack but I heard they were delicious in baking. Off I went in search for a crumble recipe using apples and oatmeal (sounded like a good idea). There’s something about crumbles that I find so warm and comforting. You can hardly mess with it and it’s the perfect way to begin the fall season. Here was one from my favorite recipe site, Allrecipes, that turned out so well. It was simple to make and great as a dessert with a dab of vanilla ice cream, or even as an indulgent breakfast.

I love fall!

"Breakfast"

“Breakfast”

Apple Crisp with Oat Topping
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 40 Minutes

Ready In: 1 Hour
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
6 apples – peeled, cored, and sliced
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup cold butter
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Toss apples with white sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a medium bowl to coat; pour into a 9-inch square baking dish.
3. Mix brown sugar, oats, flour, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon in a separate bowl. Use a pastry cutter or 2 forks to mash cold butter into the oats mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs; spread over the apples to the edges of the baking dish. Pat the topping gently until even.
4. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown and sides are bubbling, about 40 minutes.

Recipe: Summer Gazpacho

The DL Co-bloggers!

Last weekend, something exciting happened which occurs only once in a blue moon. The DL co-bloggers were reunited for a few short hours! Missy, CJ and their cutie Nola stopped in Salt Lake for the night on their way to Wisconsin. We were so excited to meet up with them for dinner. After all, it’s been over two years since Missy and I last saw each other when she and CJ were visiting Seattle. Coincidentally, it was also when they broke the news that they were expecting with Nola. 🙂 How time flies. (if I had a nickel every time I wrote that..)

We met at the Dodo, which is a few blocks from our house. It was as if the last two years hadn’t passed and we were able to pick up right where we left off. Except now we have little ones! Watching our husbands be fathers to their little girls was both fun and endearing. It’s funny how much more “active” dinners out are when wrangling kids at the table. Gone are the days of leisurely meals for now, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Parenthood is certainly a game-changer.

Toto, we’re not in Seattle anymore. Summer in Utah is H-O-T.  We sat outside on the patio in 90 degree plus heat and honestly, the only thing that sounded good to me was something chilled. The restaurant had gazpacho on the menu and I gave it a try. It was refreshing, the perfect dish to eat in the heat. I went home and immediately made plans to try making it this week. After a few online searches, I found Ina Garten’s recipe for gazpacho which of course was simple, elegant and delicious. The only tweaks I made were to add chopped shrimp and chunks of avocado in the end to make it more of a meal (how the restaurant served theirs.) I also added a squeeze of lime to brighten the flavors. It was a great way to use the yummy summer tomatoes out now and it tasted even better the following day. I now have lunch for the rest of the week. Extra points for it being healthy too.

Chopped!

Chopped!

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Gazpacho
Recipe from the Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, 1999
Ingredients
1 hothouse cucumber, halved and seeded, but not peeled
2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded
4 plum tomatoes
1 red onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
23 ounces tomato juice (3 cups)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup good olive oil
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Directions
Roughly chop the cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onions into 1-inch cubes. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until it is coarsely chopped. Do not overprocess!After each vegetable is processed, combine them in a large bowl and add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well and chill before serving. The longer gazpacho sits, the more the flavors develop.
*My note: I added chopped avocado and cooked shrimp in the end to make it more of a meal. I also recommend a squeeze of lime!

 

Dinner Idea: DIY Chipotle Steak Bowl

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Hey guys!  I’m the biggest fan of Chipotle and to be more specific their Steak Bowls.  For us during the week, by the time CJ get’s home from work and having a good routine for Nola’s bedtime, it’s just easier to have dinner at home.  So to get my Chipotle fix the past month I’ve made these at home at least once a week.  This post is less of a recipe and more of a dinner idea/assembly of what you need to make this because it’s really that simple.  If anyone’s like me I tend to have a handful of dinner’s that are put into rotation so I love getting other ideas.

Here’s what you need to make this tasty Chipotle Wannabe Steak Bowl.

Ingredients:
1 Steak (cooked to your liking and sliced)
3 Cups of white or brown rice (add lime juice, cilantro & salt)
1 Red Onion
1 Red Pepper
1 Green Pepper
1 Can of Black Beans
1 Can of Sweet Corn (frozen or fresh works too of course)
Avocado
Pico de Gallo
Sour Cream
Cheese (shredded cheddar or queso fresco)
Cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste
Lettuce (I don’t add it, but that’s part of a Chipotle bowl so add if you like!)

This was enough for 2 adults and 1 toddler

Instructions:
You could season the steak prior to cooking with cumin and chili powder, but I enjoyed ours with just salt and pepper.  Right before serving add to rice the juice from 1 lime, a handful of cilantro and salt and pepper to taste.  Fry the onion and peppers, add salt and pepper to taste.  Heat the black beans and corn.  Then all that’s left is the assembly of your choice.  Easy, right!?!

Last night I made this and just piled everything on top of each other.  Other nights I nicely put each ingredient in separate piles.  The great thing about making this at home is if you are hungrier than one bowl you can just get some more.  The amount on my plate last night was the size of TWO Chipotle bowls and I ate it all.  I was simultaneously horrified I ate that much and also at the same time proud, which the latter scares me even more because why would I be proud of that?!  Anyways, make this, it’s delicious, easy and husband and toddler approved!!

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Christmas gets most of the attention around this time of the year, but Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I can’t imagine anything better than kicking off the season with a cozy celebration of family, food, traditions (both old and new) and giving thanks for all of our blessings. Having lived away from both our families these past 9 years, I cherish every holiday we get to travel home, Nick’s work schedule permitting, to be with our loved ones. This year, we get to spend Thanksgiving (or Thanksmas) in Omaha with Nick’s family and Christmas with mine in Southern California. Like last year, we also hope to be able to have a mini-Thanksgiving at some point with just the two of us, so I have an excuse to cook the traditional dinner!

So let’s get to the good stuff: the food! I love seeing people share their recipes and traditions during Thanksgiving. After all, food is love. What are your favorites? For some, Thanksgiving means turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing. In the Wegner household, the traditional lime-green pear jello dessert from his mother’s side of the family makes an appearance at the table every Thanksgiving. During Nick’s first Thanksgiving with my family, I tried making it so he could feel like he had a little piece of home with him. Every person in my family was initially horrified at the sight of it- neon, creamy green in the clear glass bowl (there really isn’t much you can do to make this jello look pretty) but soon everyone, to their surprise, fell in love with its sweet refreshing taste after the first cautious bite. I even caught my late Grandma Sue covertly licking the last remnants off the serving spoon when we were clearing up at the end of the meal. To this day, if we are celebrating Thanksgiving in California, my relatives still request I make it and it’s now an official entry in our family cookbook as the “Greteman Lime Pear Jello.”

Nick’s favorite Thanksgiving food is his mother’s stuffing, which I try to replicate every year but can’t get quite right yet. My personal favorite dish at Thanksgiving is the oft-maligned green bean casserole. The Campbells Soup and French Onion kind, I totally admit without shame. Yes it’s not fancy and the cream of mushroom soup is kind of scary to pry out of the can but I know countless others (though they may not want to admit it), who like me, LOVE and look forward to its comforting deliciousness every year. Sometimes I’ll make a green bean casserole with fresh green beans and eat it for the week, that’s how much I love it.

If you’re looking for a homemade version, Deb Perelman of the wonderful Smitten Kitchen blog, wrote a post for green bean casserole this week that was adapted from an Alton Brown recipe. Ms. Perelman (and Alton Brown) rarely make a misstep, so I can’t wait to try it. And it can all be done in one skillet! Score.

I should also mention that Nick loooves canned cranberry sauce (it doesn’t take much to please these Wegners it seems!) I’ve included Alton Brown’s homemade cranberry sauce below. Maybe this is the year we finally fancify our favorite dishes!

Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels this week, everyone!

Photo by the Smitten Kitchen

Photo by the Smitten Kitchen

Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Onions
Adapted a little from Alton Brown and a little from trial-and-error

Serves 6, or more if you: a) have a lot of sides on the table, which I bet you will, or b) use the higher amount (1.5 pounds) of green beans

Crispy Onions
2 medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons panko or plain breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon table salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Canola, safflower, peanut or other high-heat oil, for deep-frying

Mushroom Sauce
3 tablespoons butter
12 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced or coarsely chopped
Few gratings fresh nutmeg (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon table salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream

Assembly
1 to 1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed and halved (see note about volume)

Make the crispy onions: Toss onion with flour, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Heat a 1/2-inch or so of oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet until a drop of water flicked into it will hiss and sputter. Add onions, just a handful at a time in something close to a single layer, and fry until a light golden brown (they’ll get more color in the oven; I overcooked mine a bit, forgetting this). Remove with a spider or large slotted spoon, let oil drip off a little, back into the skillet, then spread onions out on paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining onions. Set aside until needed; this makes a lot.

Heat oven to 400 degrees F.

Prepare the beans: Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and boil greens for 5 minutes (for standard green beans) or 2 to 3 minutes (for haricot vert, or skinny ones). Drain beans, then plunge them into ice water to full stop them from cooking. Drain again, and set aside. (If you are adamant about only using one pot, you can boil them in your 12-inch cast iron skillet that you use for the other steps. But a saucepan can be easier.)

Make the mushroom sauce: Over medium-high heat, melt butter in the bottom of a 12-inch cast iron skillet. Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper and saute them until they start releasing their liquid, anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes, depending on how they were chopped. Add the garlic and saute one minute more. Add the flour and stir it until it fully coats the mushrooms. Add the broth, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring the whole time. Simmer mixture for 1 minute, then add cream and bring back to a simmer, cooking until the sauce thickens a bit, about 5 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently.

Assemble and bake: Add cooked greens beans to sauce and stir until they are coated. Sprinkle crispy onions over the top. Bake for 15 minutes, or until sauce is bubbling and onions are a shade darker. Eat at once.

Do ahead, a few ways: Onions can be made long in advance (up to a day) and keep at room temperature, loosely wrapped (they’d get soggy in an airtight container). Green beans can be cooked and kept in fridge until needed, at least one day. Green beans can also be combined with mushroom sauce and kept refrigerated for up to a day. Add onions and bake shortly before serving. Finally, it’s less ideal, but the entire dish can be cooked, loosely wrapped (so the crispy top doesn’t get soggy) and then rewarmed in a low oven before serving. Just keep an eye on the topping so it doesn’t get too brown while reheating.

Cranberry Sauce
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2007
Prep Time:
10 min
Inactive Prep Time:
6 hr 0 min
Cook Time:
20 minLevel:
EasyServes:
6 to 8 servingsIngredients1 pound fresh cranberries, approximately 4 cups
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup 100 percent cranberry juice, not cocktail
1 cup honeyDirectionsWash the cranberries and discard any that are soft or wrinkled.Combine the orange juice, cranberry juice and honey in a 2 quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the cranberries and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries burst and the mixture thickens. Do not cook for more than 15 minutes as the pectin will start to break down and the sauce will not set as well. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.Carefully spoon the cranberry sauce into a 3 cup mold. Place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours and up to overnight.To unmold and serve, immerse bottom of mold in hot water for 10 to 15 seconds and turn upside down on plate or serving dish. If necessary, carefully run a warm knife around the edge of the mold.

Recipe: Marcella Hazan’s Super Simple (and Delicious) Tomato Sauce

Marcella Hazan, the ultimate Italian cooking maven (sorry Giada) passed away on Sunday. I first came to know of her by her renowned tomato sauce recipe, handed down by a coworker. Skeptical at first, because it only contained four very basic ingredients (canned tomatoes, onion, butter, and salt), I tried it, and fell in love with its simplicity and depth of flavor. I am now convinced that butter does make everything better!

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Here is the recipe from Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking.

Tomato Sauce
Serves 6, enough to sauce 1 to 1 1/2 pounds pasta

Ingredients

2 cups tomatoes, with their juices (for example, a 28-ounce can of San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes)
5 tablespoons butter
1 onion, peeled and cut in half
salt

Preparation

1. Combine the tomatoes, their juices, the butter and the onion halves in a saucepan. Add a pinch or two of salt.
2. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally, mashing any large pieces of tomato with a spoon. Add salt as needed.
3. Discard the onion before tossing the sauce with pasta. This recipe makes enough sauce for a pound of pasta.