Monday, October 30, 2006


I have been remiss of posting of late. I have been way too busy to take even 5 minutes to put together something for the blog, and for that I apologize! I have been doing some cooking, although my dear hubby as been really bringing it on. Unfortunately, many of his dishes include meat, so I don't include them here (even though he has asked! sorry honey!)

First up -- a tomato galette -- galette dough from Julia Child
I used red tomatoes from our garden and the yellow/orange ones are from the market. I LOVE this recipe, but the amount of butter included means I won't make it too often.

Second up -- for our anniversary I made a bunch of Indian food, however I was not wowed over with my attempt. I have made better in the past, and I am not sure what went wrong this time. The best part was that that week we had indian cheese in our dairy delivery, so I fried it up. That was pretty fun to see it actually hold shape and look like it is supposed to. Of course the spinach sauce it went into left a little something to be desired. We should have just gone to the local indian rest. and ate there. oh well!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Use'em or lose'em

Now that the weather is decidely fallish, the nights are cooler, the sun is not quite so warm, we have decided that our tomatoes are not going to get any less green, as can be seen here. So, we try to come up with creative ways to eat them. Don't get me wrong, I love fried green tomatoes, but some times they are a pain to make. So I dug out this recipe that I made two years ago for the first time, and I really love it. I am sorry to say I have no pictures of it b/c, well, it is all gone. But it was lovely and even lovelier tasting!

Green Tomato Chocolate Cake

As unlikely as it might seem, among thrifty gardeners there is a tradition of using up excess vegetables in cake. They don't necessarily lend taste, but they do make it more moist. This recipe comes from "The Tomato Festival Cookbook," by Lawrence Davis-Hollander. Serves 12.

2/3 cup unsalted butter
1 3/4 cup sugar
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups sifted unbleached flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup beer
1 cup puréed green tomatoes
1/4- 1/2 cup water (optional) (you need this if the puree is very thick and dry. I had to add ¼ cup)


Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan (I used two 8-in. round pans).
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Stir in chocolate, then, one at a time, the eggs. Add vanilla.
In a medium bowl, sift flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with beer and tomatoes.
If batter appears stiff, add water (moisture content of tomatoes varies).
Turn batter into the prepared baking pan.
Bake for 35 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
Ice with frosting or serve plain.

The first time I made the cake, I made a frosting of powdered sugar, unsweetened cocoa, vanilla extract, and half-n-half. I spread it over the top and let it drip down over the sides. It looked really good this way.

This time I made the frosting recipe from the back of the Hershey's cocoa powder can, and used 6 Tbsp. butter and 2 Tbsp. all natural peanut butter. Can you say, YUM?!???!?!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

My Favorite Fall-themed appetizers, Part I

Now that Fall is upon us, and I LOVE appetizers, I thought I would post my favorite tried and true FALL-THEMED appetizers. This is also a way for me to keep posting even though I don't have a lot of time to cook right now!

Up first,

Pumpkin Cheese Ball (from Southern Living, photo credit: Southern

Here's a great cheese ball recipe I got from Southern Living. This cheese ball is so cute - it looks just like a pumpkin and the broccoli stalk looks just like a pumpkin stem! I used all light cheeses and cut the recipe in half to make a small pumpkin. DH and I both thought this was delicious. A definite repeater.

Pumpkin Cheese Ball INGREDIENTS

2 (8-ounce) blocks extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) container chive-and-onion cream cheese
2 teaspoons paprika (I usually use a beer cheese spice mix that I have. You might want to added a touch of seasoned salt to the paprika and ground red pepper. You can really play around with the spices, after all it is CHEESE and very forgiving!)
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 broccoli stalk Red and green apple wedges

INSTRUCTIONS Combine Cheddar cheese and next 4 ingredients in a bowl until blended.
Cover and chill 4 hours or until mixture is firm enough to be shaped.
Shape mixture into a ball to resemble a pumpkin. (I usually wrap it in plastic wrap for this step. Otherwise you end up with lots of cheese goo on your hands!)
Smooth entire outer surface with a frosting spatula or table knife.
Make vertical grooves in ball, if desired, using fingertips.
Cut florets from broccoli stalk, and reserve for another use.
Cut stalk to resemble a pumpkin stem, and press into top of cheese ball.
Serve cheese ball with apple wedges.

Note: To make ahead, wrap cheese ball in plastic wrap without stalk, and store in refrigerator up to 2 days. Attach stalk before serving.

YIELD: Makes 16 appetizer servings