Category Archives: Vegetarian

Fall Menu Ideas featuring Field Roast Stuffing

Fall has arrived in Seattle as though a curtain has dropped, ending the summer act and beginning the autumn intermission. The days are slow to start, and quick to end, with raindrops battering against windows as we all feverishly try to hold onto the glorious sunny days we’ve just left behind.

Seattle Skyline

Seattle in the Fall…what a beautiful place to be.

With this transition comes the inevitable shift in behavior. Days on the lake are replaced with afternoons spent reading on the couch, the soft snore of a puppy interrupting thoughts and inspiring a refill to a glass of wine or bowl of truffle popcorn. Evening BBQs and bonfires quickly turn into game nights, where a crackling fire provides the backdrop to the hoots and howls that come from confessions of Cards Against Humanity, or the poorly hummed tunes of Cranium.

Fall Menu Ideas

With a dinner this grand, appetizers can be modest.

Of course the blissful suppers of Capreses and Cava no longer seem quite right, but what replaces them is something while perhaps less glamorous, no less delicious. This Fall Sunday Supper, is relatively easy to put together and a perfect feast to begin or end your weekend. The Field Roast stuffing is the dark horse, making a table even sans Turkey a worthy destination.

What are your favorite Fall traditions?

Fall Menu Ideas: Roasted Acorn Squash with Nutmeg and Cinnamon

Fall Sunday Supper

  • Olives, Hummus topped with Chili Sauce, Crackers, and Cheese
  • Spinach Salad with Toasted Almonds, Blue Cheese, Dried Cranberries in a Anchovy Infused Balsamic Dressing
  • Roast Chicken
  • Field Roast Stuffing
  • Roasted Acorn Squash with Cinnamon and Nutmeg
  • Malarkey’s Best Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Field Roast Stuffing

Fall Menu Ideas: Field Roast Stuffing

With this hearty yet sophisticated Field Roast Stuffing you don’t even need a Roast Chicken or Turkey

  • 5 cups stale bread, cubed
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 4 Field Roast links, diced
  • 4 TB Butter
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  1. In a 400 degree oven, toast the cubed bread on a cookie sheet until golden brown about 5 – 8 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, saute the shallot and field roast in the butter until beginning to slightly brown, 5 – 8 minutes. Add seasonings and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. In a large bowl combine the bread with the shallot/field roast mix and stir well to combine.
  4. Slowly adding the broth a few tablespoons at a time, mix until slightly moistened. Pending on how stale your bread is this will take anywhere from 1/2 – 1 cup of broth.
  5. Add to a 9×9 glass baking dish and bake at 400 degrees until warmed through, about 20 minutes.

Fall Menu Ideas_RoastChickenFall Menu Ideas: Spinach Salad

20 Comments

Filed under Comfort Foods, Entertaining, Salads, Uncategorized, Vegetarian

The Little Things: Artisan Pizza Topped with Figs, Buffalo Mozzarella, and Truffle Honey

This past weekend was lovely. Not because of any spectacular event, but because of all the little things. The kind that are easy to miss, and so important not to. Lazy mornings in bed drinking tea and eating croutons. Soaking up the sun at the park while the dogs run as though their hearts might burst. Dinners that creep into the wee hours with new friends. Rediscovering a song you loved back when life was simpler, but didn’t seem as such.

A perfect Sunday breakfast.

Similar to how some create a sound track for their lives, I inevitably find myself creating meals. Breakfasts that comfort or inspire, lunches that speed along or stop to pause, dinners that celebrate simplicity or boast grandiosity.

No weekend is complete without eggs..hard boiled, deviled, scrambled, over easy. I like them all.

This pizza somehow manages to span nearly all of these. While making your own dough might seem intimidating at first, it is surprisingly easy and delivers a much more complex and affordable canvas than the store-bought variety. Easily enjoyed over a long dinner with lots of wine, it is also perfect for a bite on the go, and while there is something undeniably impressive about anything involving the word “truffle”, the minimal number of quality ingredients makes this weeknight friendly as well.

What are the little moments that you most enjoy?

Artisan Pizza Topped with Figs, Buffalo Mozzarella, and Truffle Honey

The drizzle of truffle honey is really what takes it to the next level.

  • 2, 1-lb loaves Olive Oil Dough (recipe follows)
  • Olive Oil for Brushing
  • 1/2 lb sliced fresh buffalo mozzarella
  • 1 cup figs, cut in half
  • Truffle Honey for Drizzling

Utter simplicity, and yet so good.

  1. At least twenty minutes before baking, preheat the oven with a baking stone to 550 degrees or whatever is your oven’s maximum.
  2. Dust one of your loaves with flour and dust a work surface as well.
  3. Flatten the dough with your hands to produce an 1/8-inch-thick round.
  4. Place round onto a liberally cornmeal-covered pizza peel (note…if you don’t have one pre-cooking the crust slightly is helpful)
  5. Brush with olive oil, and top with half the mozzarella and half the figs.
  6. Slide the pizza directly onto the stone (I find this scary AND I’m bad at it, so I usually try to coerce someone else into doing it). A number of back and forth shakes may be necessary.
  7. Check for doneness after 8 – 10 minutes, rotating if browning unevenly. Continue cooking until light golden brown, up to another 5 minutes.
  8. While pizza one is cooking, prep pizza two to minimize time sitting (and therefore STICKING) on the board.
  9. Allow to cool slightly, drizzle with truffle honey, and serve.

Olive Oil Dough
From Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Makes four 1-pound loaves. Recipe easily halved or doubled.

  • 2 and 3/4 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 packets granulated yeast
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  1. Mix the yeast, salt, sugar, and olive oil with the water in a heavy-duty stand mixer if you have one.
  2. Mix in the flour until well incorporated.
  3. Cover (not airtight), and allow to rest at room temperature until dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately 2 hours.
  4. You can use it immediately after that, although it’s easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 12 days.

19 Comments

Filed under Entertaining, Uncategorized, Vegetarian

Going For It: Sage and Chevre Popovers

A perfect way to start a Saturday morning.

One of the things I love most about writing this blog, is becoming friends with people all over the world; hearing their stories, sharing recipes, being buoyed by their adventures, and trading kitchen tips and tricks. I am humbled by people’s honesty, in their triumphs and in tragedy, and I so appreciate knowing that there are other neurotic foodie folks out there who think there is nothing odd about making six dozen carrot muffins to perfect the technique.

One of my favorite exchanges was the discussion of all of our “Scary Foods“. I began with grilled artichokes, but from there came confessions of trepidation about spatchcooking a chicken, feelings of inadequacy with yeast dough, and a personal favorite, “anything animal related”.

Popovers have always been on the Intimidating List for me. Done right they are culinary beauties, golden brown with steam escaping from their crusty tops in front of your eyes. Done wrong they are dense little hockey pucks that would be better suited for home protection than mandatory consumption. The trick is that you must not, absolutely can’t, definitely don’t open the oven while they are cooking. For certain people who shall remain nameless (me) this is an exercise is incredible self-control, and let me tell you, it ain’t easy. But if you follow the rules and wait until they are done you will be greeted with a splendid treat and the unexpected, but most welcome addition to just about any meal be it a fried egg, salad, beef tenderloin, or fall lasagna.

What are you cooking this weekend?

Sage and Chevre Popovers

Makes 12, halves beautifully. Adapted from Joy of Cooking.

Culinary beauties: Sage and Chevre Popovers

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 TB warm melted salted butter
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, cut into 12 pieces
  • 1 1/2 TB dried sage, crumbled
  1. Bring all ingredients to room temperature.
  2. Move rack to center of oven and preheat to 450 degrees.
  3. Grease muffin tins. Popover tins are great too, but the former will absolutely do the trick.
  4. In a bowl combine the flour and salt.
  5. In a second bowl thoroughly combine the eggs, milk, and butter.
  6. Pour the egg mixture over the flour mixture and fold just to combine. A few lumps will remain.
  7. Divide half the mixture into the muffin tins, about one-third full.
  8. Evenly distribute the goat cheese and sage, and top with remaining mixture.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 20 more minutes. Do not open the oven!
  10. After the full 35 minutes of baking time, check to ensure they are done. They should be well browned and crusty, or else they will deflate.
  11. Remove from pan, and puncture one hole in the side of each to let steam escape.
  12. Serve immediately or keep crispy in the oven (turned off) for up to 30 minutes.

21 Comments

Filed under Breakfasts, Uncategorized, Vegetarian

Good Looking: Baked Tomatoes Stuffed with Curried Quinoa

When you write a food blog, it is very important to be strategic about your posts. You want to be consistent for your readers…but not post too often, lest they get sick of you. There are certain times of day that you want to publish, thereby generating higher traffic, and you always want to make sure you cover a variety of recipes and topics so you can rest assured you’ve got the proverbial “something for everyone”.

Heirloom Tomatoes

The latest bounty from our CSA.

Tonight, I’m going to break all those rules. Why? Because on Day 11 of “No Buying Groceries-gate 2012” I had a deliciously, fun dinner, and thanks to my new camera, a finally legitimate picture (or three) to back it up!

Salted Tomato

Who needs diamonds when a girl can have this?

Before I share the recipe for these perfect bites of summer, can I just say how stinking fun it was to read all your comments?? I must admit I was a little nervous letting you all in to the neurosis that is my psyche, but to hear that there are other folks out there that have similar feelings about foods, and budgets, and some weird Boxcar Children like enjoyment from using up the dredges of their refrigerator, honestly makes me feel better.  We are a funny bunch, we foodies and writers, but at least we’re in good company. And with that, I proudly present to you…

Baked Tomatoes Stuffed with Curried Quinoa

These are a spectacular vegan side or main, yet are hearty and flavorful enough to satisfy the most voracious of carnivores. They can be easily made ahead, and are a lovely addition to a dinner of grilled fish and salad.

Serves 2 + leftover quinoa

Baked Tomatoes Stuffed with Curried Quinoa. [Insert Happy Sigh Here]

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil + drizzle
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder (less if you don’t want it to have any kick)
  • 4 medium tomatoes
  • Kosher Salt
  1. Heat 2 TB oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring until slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Add quinoa and cook and stir until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Then, pour broth into the pan, return to heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, add curry,  and stir well to combine; cover and simmer until tender, about 25 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375.
  4. Cut the tops off of four medium tomatoes. Using a grapefruit spoon, scoop out all the flesh and seeds.
  5. Sprinkle salt in cavity of tomato, and put upside down on paper towel to absorb moisture.
  6. Once the quinoa is done, stuff tomatoes with quinoa, drizzle with olive oil, and put in a bread pan.
  7. Bake until tomatoes are softened and top of quinoa is slightly toasted, about 15 minutes.
  8. Serve immediately.

33 Comments

Filed under Health Conscious, Lactose Free, Make ahead, Uncategorized, Vegetarian

Bad Behavior: Slow Roasted Tomato Quiche with Leeks and Gruyère

Like so many before me, I’m afraid to say, I have some unflattering qualities. I’m prone to interrupting and am wildly competitive. My hair makes me look like a Fraggle when I wake up and I have been told on more than one occasion that I am nearly unbearably cheerful in the morning. I think To-Do lists are fun, and find a timer a helpful addition to more situations than is healthy. And I am a hideous control freak. It’s bad. I’m working on it. Well, sort of…part of me has just given in to this reality that I have a strong, undulating need to control most situations. Like I said…it’s bad.

Cherry tomatoes ready to be roasted

Such little jewels…cherry tomatoes waiting to be roasted.

As proof of this dreadful quality I input all my receipts into a monthly Excel spreadsheet. Are you shuddering yet? You should be. And yes I know about Mint but am too much of a control freak to trust it. This past weekend as I was closing out August I gasped in horror at my Groceries line item. As you would probably expect I tend to spend more on food than some people do, but August was out of control. Let’s just say if you can feed a starving child in Africa for $1 a day I could have fed a few children for a few years. And this doesn’t even address my “Eating Out” or “Fun” line items. It was time for drastic measures.

And so, with the determined resolution you could only expect from someone like myself, I put a moratorium on all food purchases. Admittedly, I have a very stocked kitchen to begin with (add “obsessive and irrational fear of second potato famine” to the list of faults), but I’m actually now having fun seeing how many gourmet meals I can create with just what’s in my kitchen at the moment.

This quiche was one of my first attempts to take a classic and fake it a bit with ingredient swaps. Craving a rich quiche, but not having any milk or cream I decided to use some yogurt, of which I have loads. The result was nearly as good as if I’d made it with the traditional heavy cream or half and half, and as an added bonus was healthier to boot.

What are your favorite “Use Up Everything In the Refrigerator” recipes?

Roasted Tomato Quiche with Leeks and Gruyère

Slow Roasted Tomato Quiche with Leeks and Gruyere

Slow Roasted Tomato Quiche with Leeks and Gruyere

  • 1 pate brisee crust
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (learn about how to support Slave Free tomatoes here)
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 TB + drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Grind of Salt and Pepper
  • 1 leek, white and light green parts finely chopped
  • 1 cup Gruyère, grated (or whatever cheese you like…chevre or cheddar would also be lovely)
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 3/4 plain nonfat greek yogurt
  1. Preheat oven to 365.
  2. Toss the tomatoes, garlic, drizzle of olive oil, and grind of salt and pepper in a cast iron pan, and roast until liquid is melted and flavor is concentrated. About 30 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, saute the leek in remaining 1 TB olive oil, until softened, about 6 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Combine the eggs and yogurt, and vigorously beat to combine, there should be no lumps from the yogurt
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pate brisee until a slightly larger circle than the pie plate. Fold in half for easy transfer, and move over to the pie plate. Unfold, trim the edges so even, fold crust under itself, and flute the edges.
  6. Add the leeks, cheese, and tomatoes to the pate brisee. Cover with the egg/yogurt mixture and bake 20 – 25 minutes on the middle rack, until golden brown, egg set, and cheese slightly bubbling.
  7. Can be served warm or room temperature.

28 Comments

Filed under Breakfasts, Uncategorized, Vegetarian

True Confessions: Kale Salad with Caesar Dressing and New Potatoes

The conversation went something like this. In fact, it went exactly like this.

“BTW, apropos of nothing, deep down I find it hard to believe anyone actually likes kale. Kale sucks. At best it is edible. At worst it taste like kale. F*ck kale.”

So went the text message tirade from a friend of mine, furious at having received yet another bundle of kale in his CSA box. Up until last week I would have felt exactly the same way. Actually, I did feel the same way. Every time my CSA box would arrive there the kale would sit…staring at me in its infinite leafiness, daring me to try to think of something to do with it before, upon being neglected, it would wilt pitifully away until in a fit of rage and guilt I would toss it in the compost and vow…next time…next time…I’m going to use up everything in my CSA box…everything!

Look who came to visit this weekend! Deacon Dog, formerly known as Scuba Steve…an 11th hour rescue by Georgia Peaches who saved him from being put to sleep.

Not anymore though…for thanks to reading two of my favorite blogs, Katherine Martinelli and Natalie’s Daily Crave I came up with the ultimate hybrid…a delicious potato salad tossed with a Caesar inspired dressing, and bulked out with beautiful, dark leafy kale. Even the most avid of kale haters will like this salad, finding themselves deeply conflicted as they cherry pick out the kale, not to avoid it, but to get more than their fair share.

Admittedly, the kale is somewhat buoyed by serving as a Caesar dressing delivery system, but does provide an undeniably lovely contrast to the new potatoes, and thanks to its robust stature holds up beautifully until the next day, making it a perfect make-ahead salad for a dog days of summer picnic, or BBQ side.

What’s your least favorite vegetable you get in your CSA box?

Kale Salad with Caesar Dressing and New Potatoes
Inspired by Katherine Martinelli and Natalie’s Daily Crave

Kale Salad with Caesar Dressing and New Potatoes

I guarantee, even the most vehement kale haters will enjoy this.

8 cups new potatoes, washed, bad spots removed, and halved
2 egg yolks
1-2 anchovies
Juice of 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves, minced fine
1 tbs Dijon mustard
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup Parmesan grated + more for topping
Salt and Pepper
1 large bunch dinosaur kale, washed, and coarsely chopped

  1. In a large pot, cover the potatoes completely with water and add lid. Bring the potatoes to a boil, then reduce heat to a medium-low and cook until fork tender, about 5-7 minutes, pending on size. Do not overcook. As soon as they are done strain and rinse with cool water to prevent cooking.
  2. Meanwhile, in a blender combine the egg yolks, anchovies, lemon, garlic, and Dijon. Pulse until well-combined. Adding in a slow stream with blender running combine the oils until dressing is emulsified. Add in the Parmesan and pulse just until combined.
  3. Toss potatoes with the dressing, add in the kale, and season with salt and pepper. Delicious warm, chilled, or even the next day.

36 Comments

Filed under 15-Minute-Meals, Cheap Eats, Entertaining, Make ahead, Salads, Uncategorized, Vegetarian

Patio Parties & Summer Sleepovers: Arugula and Pear Salad with White Truffle Vinaigrette

Do you remember the last time you really laughed? Not the everyday laugh you give the barista and her joke about the rain, but the kind that begins in your belly and ends with tears in your eyes and sore sides from mirth. The kind that makes you feel like a child again, like all is right with the world, like you can do anything.

This past weekend my Wine Book Club took our annual trip to Walla Walla where we enjoyed days of delicious tastings, nights of ridiculous dancing, and slow to start mornings shared over coffee and Pringles. Amidst the sultry readings of wine tasting notes (“What do you mean you can’t taste the leather and wet rocks?!”) and epic meals, we all became kids again, if only for a moment.

A brief moment of calm on the bikes.

Perhaps no moment of the trip felt more carefree than our Saturday evening tandem biking adventure to the Safeway, to get mixers for our cocktails, our palettes tired of wine, albeit briefly. The heat of the day was waning, and buoyed by the freedom of our weekend escape, we tied up our sundresses, and loaded ourselves onto the rickety, double-bikes. We shouted and shrieked (okay, mostly that was me), Nadia the personal trainer called out instructions, and the locals looked at us for the fools that we were. Careening around corners and filled with a mix of fear and joy, I found myself laughing harder than I have in months.

My new favorite breakfast spot in Walla Walla. Try the Migas or the Benedict.

Of course, no trip to Walla Walla would be complete without ridiculously good meals. A new addition to the food scene there is a brilliant breakfast spot, aptly named Bacon & Eggs. Everything we had was exceptional, from the Migas to the Heirloom Tomato Benedict, set amongst a decor that is both witty and whimsical, finding a perfect balance of each.

The welcoming committee upon arriving home.

Dinner at T.Maccarones is a must, and while it’s hard to say what was the best, this salad was the only thing we ordered two of so perhaps it deserves the prize. The girl’s were adamant that I figure out how to recreate the addictively pleasing combination of the salty arugula, bitter frisee, juicy pear, and finger licking white truffle vinaigrette. The good news is that this is pretty damn close. The bad news is, you might never want to eat anything else ever again.

Arugula and Pear Salad with White Truffle Vinaigrette
Serves 4
Inspired by T.Maccarones in Walla Walla

Seriously so addicting and so good.

1 bag arugula, washed and dried
1 cup frissee, washed and dried
1 very ripe pear, cut julienne style
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
Hunk good parmesan
1 egg yolk
2 TB shallots, coarsely chopped
2 TB champagne vinegar
1/2 cup good quality olive oil
1/2 TB honey, or to taste
2 TB Truffle Oil, or to taste
Salt and Pepper

  1. Using an immersion blender or food processor, combine the shallot, vinegar, and egg yolk for about 10 seconds. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Adding in a very slow stream, combine the olive oil, allowing the dressing to thicken and emulsify.
  3. Add the honey and truffle oil, using more or less pending on how “truffle-y” you like it to be. Add a shake salt and pepper.
  4. In a large bowl place the arugula, frissee, pear, and pecans. Toss well with the dressing, and finish with parmesan shavings.
  5. Prepare to become obsessed with this salad.

6 Comments

Filed under 15-Minute-Meals, Entertaining, Salads, Uncategorized, Vegetarian

Young and Foolish: Grilled Vegetable Paninis with Broccoli, White Bean, and Cheddar Soup

I remember the first time I discovered Three Buck Chuck,Trader Joes’ infamous cheap wine. I was in college in NY and was throwing a party. Of course, being a student I hardly had two pennies to rub together, but my foodie tendencies were already starting to come out and I was determined that there should be more wine than anyone knew what to do with at this grand fête.

“You know about Three Buck, right?” a friend from the riding team whispered conspiratorially to me as we were tacking up our horses, her voice hushed and looking over her shoulder to make sure no one heard us.

“No? Is that a new horse?”, I asked, dread creeping into my voice that I would soon be getting hucked into the rafters by our latest “project” horse.

Back in the day when I thought Three Buck might be a very naughty horse I’d be stuck with.

She burst out laughing, and quickly recovering herself told me it was this “delicious” wine that was also only $3 per bottle. I was so excited to try it out I could hardly stand it. And so, after riding took myself (and yes, my riding breeches clad bottom) right back to the dorm to call my 21+ brother and ask him to bring a case of it when he next came to visit.

The wine (and the party) were, of course, sub par but we thought it was fabulous. Unfortunately for my budget, over the years I would be exposed to nicer and nicer wine, rendering my previously tried and trusted Three Buck, to be barely worthy of sangria, and certainly not good enough to ruin good short ribs with.

If you’ve never done an olive oil tasting, I highly, highly recommend it. You will not believe the differences among different brands, presses, and fruits.

Up until recently I’m embarrassed to admit that I thought about olive oil very much how my underage self had thought about wine. Something to get you from Point A to Point B, but not anything particularly special. This notion was firmly blown out of the water at a recent olive oil tasting event, with some of Seattle’s top bloggers, hosted by California Olive Ranch and Talk of Tomatoes at Farestart in Seattle. Over the three-hour evening I enjoyed Swirling, Sniffing, and Slurping oil from different top producers and learning how to dismantle all the different flavors, varietals, and brands.

The difference is staggering, a quality olive oil full of complex flavors and depth, and a bad one tasting like little more than watery oil. If you’ve never done an olive oil tasting, I highly encourage you to try. Get a collection of different oils, both domestic and international, pour small tastes in different wine glasses and then see what you think. Allowing the oil to first warm up via cupping the glass in your hand is recommended, following by Swirling it to release the flavors, Sniffing it to see what you pick up, and then Slurping it, allowing air to come in through your teeth and generally looking and feeling ridiculous as you make embarrassing sounds with strangers.

This simple, vegetarian dinner is all about delicious, farm fresh veggies brought to life with Arbequina olive oil. Frankly either the soup or sandwich would be plenty since they are both quite hearty, but together they make an especially lovely combination. Make it on a Meat Free Monday when you’re looking for something a little unexpected.

Grilled Vegetable Paninis with Broccoli, White Bean, and Cheddar Soup
Serves 2 + Leftover Soup

A lovely summer dish, celebrating what’s fresh and using quality olive oil to bring it all to life.

Broccoli, White Bean, and Cheddar Soup
Adapted from Eating Well

2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 pound broccoli crowns, trimmed and chopped (about 6 cups)
1 14-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 cup shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt + more for topping
Drizzle Arbequina Olive oil, I used California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin

  1. Bring broth and water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add broccoli, cover and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in beans, salt and pepper and cook until the beans are heated through, about 1 minute.
  2. Using an immersion blender, blend until completely smooth. Add in the cheddar and greek yogurt and pulse until smooth.
  3. When ready to serve add a small spoonful yogurt and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately.

Grilled Vegetable Paninis
Use whatever veggies are in your fridge, the below is merely meant for inspiration

1 zucchini, thinly sliced with a mandolin
1 squash, thinly sliced with a mandolin
1 onion, thinly sliced
Coarse Salt and Pepper
Artichoke Hearts, marinated in olive oil
1/4 cup basil, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup arugula
2 thick slices, smoked mozzarella
2 pieces foccacia bread, cut in half
Drizzle Arbequina Olive oil, I used California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin

  1. Preheat grill to high, reduce heat to medium.
  2. Brush both sides of the veggie with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper
  3. Add to grill and cook until marks showing and vegetables are tender. Remove
  4. Assemble the focaccia first with the cheese, then the thinly sliced vegetables, and artichoke hearts.
  5. Grill until cheese is melted and sandwich is warmed through.
  6. Add the arugula and basil, and enjoy!

24 Comments

Filed under 15-Minute-Meals, Health Conscious, Make ahead, Seasonal Cooking, Soups, Uncategorized, Vegetarian

Let’s Go Steady: Grilled Summer Vegetable Strata

You might have noticed some minor changes around here lately. Nothing too big of course, but hopefully some small upgrades that will make Shut Up & Cook tick up one more notch on your “Favorite Food Blogs” list. (Incidentally, thank you to all who participated in the giveaway for free tickets to the Best of Seattle Party. All of your blog suggestions and recipe wish lists were such fun to receive).

The biggest change is the addition of a Recipe Index. That’s right folks, a one-stop-shop, all-you-can-eat, everything goes list of each and every recipe I’ve done over the last few years.

Looking through it I feel a mixture of many emotions: Pride (Hot damn, I’ve done some cooking!), embarrassment (Where do I get some of my blog post title ideas?), sadness (Still miss dogs Lucky and Onca every day), and peace (The past years haven’t all been easy, but I truly believe I’m better for them).

If you make nothing else from this blog…make these cookies. I guarantee they will be the best you’ve ever had.

For those of you that are new readers, I invite you to take a scroll through the list. Hopefully you’ll find new recipes to fall in love with, or discover old favorites. I felt like I was meeting a dear friend looking through the list, remembering moments and events, and who I was in each. With that, a few of what I think are the best (thank GOODNESS my photos have gotten better…eeesh!):

What I was surprised to find wasn’t on there however, was Strata. This was most odd because I make it at least once a month, and it’s a go-to for a delicious make-ahead brunch food that always feeds and satisfies a crowd. For those of you not familiar with the magic that is a strata, it is essentially a savory bread pudding meets egg custard. Stale bread is diced over which an egg/milk/cream mixture is poured. Any other assortment of ingredients are then added, it sits over night, and you bake it in the morning, resulting in a delicious smelling, beautiful looking, amazing tasting, puffed delight.

Grilled Summer Vegetable Strata
Serves 8 – 10

A perfect way to begin a Sunday morning.

The beauty of a strata is that you can throw whatever in…here I did grilled summer vegetables as a means to tackle my CSA, but you can do an endless combination of ingredients; think artichoke hearts and goat cheese, mushrooms and chorizo, peppers and sausage…the list could go on, and on, and is limited only by your creativity, and your leftovers.

  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk, cream, half and half, whatever
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 4 cups stale bread, cubed
  • 1 zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 summer squash, thinly sliced
  • Glug olive oil
  • 1 bunch kale, washed, and coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups semihard cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup semisoft cheese, shredded
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Fold in the bread and semihard cheese and set aside.
  2. Preheat a gas grill on high. Take the zucchini and squash slices and toss with olive oil. Over medium heat, using a grill pan if you have one, cook until softened and grill marks beginning to show and flavor slightly smoky. Remove from grill and coarsely chop.
  3. Grease a 9×13 inch glass baking dish.
  4. Pour in half the egg mixture. Top with half the zucchini and squash, half the kale, and half the semisoft cheese. Repeat with remaining egg mixture, vegetables, and cheese.
  5. Cover with foil and allow to soak in fridge overnight.
  6. Remove from fridge one hour before cooking and preheat oven to 325.
  7. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes without foil, rotating halfway through, and returning foil if top getting too brown. Bake until the top of the dish is very brown and the middle is springy. Let the strata cool for 10 minutes before serving.

13 Comments

Filed under Breakfasts, Cheap Eats, Comfort Foods, Entertaining, Make ahead, Uncategorized, Vegetarian

Woo Woo Wonderful: Creamy Cauliflower Mac & Cheese

Oddly Delicious: Creamy Cauliflower Mac & Cheese

As you’ve probably guessed by now, I’m not much of a “Woo-Woo” person. I don’t listen to Phish, I haven’t owned tye-die since 1991, I don’t believe in Dream Catchers or Fortune Tellers, and I generally find activities where you’re supposed to close your eyes and hold hands with your neighbor somewhat amusing, and very uncomfortable.

This translates itself in perfect form into the kitchen as I suspiciously flip through recipes exclaiming “Delicious Sprout Smoothies” or “Dairy Free Grilled Cheese”. If I can’t see something, and taste it, and touch it, and most importantly, make sense of it, I tend to be a bit of a skeptic. Okay…a really big, annoying skeptic.

So when my CSA box arrived boasting a Cauliflower Mac & Cheese I was immediately wary, quick to dub it as some vegetarian, hippy dish that would never be as good as the real thing. However, as I peered into my refrigerator and realized that I still had anxiety-producing amounts of vegetables left and no plan with how to tackle them I decided to hand myself over to the softer side, and give this a try.

It admittedly is not the same dish as a traditional Mac & Cheese made with a béchamel, lots of cheese, and heavy cream, but it is a lovely lighter version of the old standard, with a nice contrast between the creamy cauliflower puree, dark, leafy kale, and crispy panko bread crumbs. It also is delicious, I think maybe even better, microwaved the next day…go figure!

Enjoy this when you’re willing to put your cynic subconscious on the shelf for an evening, and see what emerges.

The treats, in order of when comments were made.

The judges preparing for their case.

GIVEAWAY WINNER: Thanks to all who entered to win tickets to the Best of Seattle Party! The honorable judges, Duke and Lou chose the winner out of a row of 11 treats. The first snarfed up was #8, Morgen Schuler of Morgen Schuler Photography. Congrats to Morgan…and lucky for us, now we know this year’s event will be shot in style!

Little Lou, a fair and unbiased judge.

Creamy Cauliflower Mac & Cheese
Adapted from Hand Farmed Organics – Week 5 CSA Box

2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock

2 bay leaves

1 cauliflower, cored and cut into large pieces

16 ounces penne pasta

1/2 cup sharp cheddar, grated

1/4 cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt (I like Chobani for cooking b/c it’s less sweet than most)

The secret ingredient…a spoonful of low-fat plain yogurt.

2 cups chopped kale

1/2 cup sliced squash

Erina vs. The Veggies…my ongoing summer battle.

2 TB olive oil

1 TB Dijon mustard

1/8 tsp nutmeg

Salt and Pepper

1/4 cup grated parmesan

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees and grease a large glass baking dish
  2. Boil a pot of salted water.
  3. In a saucepan, warm stock and bay leaves on medium-low heat for five minutes; turn off heat
  4. Cook cauliflower in boiling water for 25 minutes or until very tender. Drain out all water, and add to cauliflower the stock (discard bay leaves), cheese, yogurt, oil, mustard, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Using an immersion blender, puree until totally smooth.
  5. Meanwhile, boil a second pot of water and cook the pasta, 3 minutes less than instructions. Drain and rinse with cool water.
  6. Add the pasta to the cauliflower puree and mix well.
  7. Pour half the pasta into the prepared dish. Top with half the kale and squash. Pour the remaining in and add the kale and squash. Top with parmesan and panko bread crumbs.
  8. Bake 20 minutes or until breadcrumbs are turning golden brown.
  9. Allow to sit 5-10 minutes before serving.

13 Comments

Filed under Cheap Eats, Comfort Foods, Health Conscious, Make ahead, Pasta, Vegetarian