Sunday, January 28, 2007

Baby, it's cold outside

So, you may have noticed I have been absent from posting for a while, sans the post of yesterday. I have been super busy with work and life, mostly life. I have been taking a much needed and deserved break this weekend, hiding out in our cozy ranch with its newly installed Buck Stove in the fireplace cranking out the warmth. There is nothing like a sunny, windy, CRISP day to motivate me to get in the kitchen. And I find that cooking and baking helps to clear the cobwebs and cure the blues.

Today I am making Vegetarian Cashew Chili, a Cooking Light recipe, but one I can never find in the mag, so I resorted to looking it up in kickpleat's index. Out of all of the types of beans we keep around the house, kidney beans were not among them, so after a jaunt to the store, with side-trips to Sam's and Khols' for some much-needed retail therapy, I am in the kitchen cooking up a fresh pot of kidney beans to use in the chili.

As if the chili wasn't enough, I felt this overwhelming urge to bake sweet breads (real breads, nothing of the cheese head variety). I have been on a muffin/breakfast cookie kick the past few weeks, even going so far as to dream (!) of lemon muffins. Today I am making Chai Spiced Pumpkin Bread courtesy of 28 Cooks, via Everybody Likes Sandwiches, and will throw together a banana bread when we get back from a blustery stroll with the pooches.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Good Food Karma

Last night I threw together a Veggie Pot Pie using stuff hanging around the fridge/freezer. I must say that it was so good (and surprisingly so considering the lack of any planning on my part) and I am looking forward to leftovers.

Here is what I did:

I roasted 5 diced carrots, 3 diced red potatoes, 1/2 diced onion (mixed w/ olive oil, salt, pepper, sage, thyme). I also roasted 5 cloves of garlic (all that were left on the head).

Once the veggies were done roasting, I added a bag of frozen soup vegetables (corn, carros, peas, potatoes, onions, green beans, okra, lima beans) to the dish, mixed in the roasted garlic, and put back in the oven to heat through.

Meanwhile, I defrosted a 16 oz. container of garden brown gravy (leftover from Christmas -- this is a great CL recipe), and simmered on the stove to reduce. I ended up mixing in 1/8 cup of flour to thicken it up.

I put the veggies in a 1.5-2 qt. casserole dish, poured the gravy over it, and covered with biscuits (3 Pilsbury frozen that I had defrosted and rolled out as big as I could get them; and 5 small refrigerated ones that I spread out and covered all exposed veggies).

I baked at 375 degrees for about 25-30 mins, until the biscuits were golden and the gravy bubbly.

The result was so tasty, I ate two servings. I probably will never be able to repeat this recipe, it was just good food karma! :D I give the credit to the gravy and roasted veggies and garlic.