Seriously. Vote for economic understanding if nothing else. McCain really really doesn't understand it, period. (Although my friend solipsae had the funniest comment of the night: "McCain's approximation of laughter is how I imagine Cthuhlu to sound when he's breathing." Hahahaha.)
Now! *hand clap* I have recipes I've been meaning to record. Veggie dishes, desserts, and a lovely pumpkin soup, under the cut. (read: I have loads of zucchini, pumpkins, tomatoes and basil in my garden, and here's how I'm using them up. *G*) Also, I'm going to start recording new wines I'm trying out, because I like being pretentious. Or rather, I want to further my alcoholic tendencies with a record of what worked. :)
Zucchini-Basil Frittata (a great way to use up all of that damned zucchini coming in right about now
1/4 C best quality olive oil (divided use)
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced (I use a whole one, because I love me some yaller onion)
3/4 pound zucchini, shredded (again, I use two big huge zucchinis, or three smallish ones)
1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese (use the best you can get. In a simple dish like this, the crap in a green shaker can will NOT do)
1/2 tsp salt
4 to 6 basil leaves, torn into pieces (I use a few more because again, gluttony/flavor addict is me)
Heat the broiler. In a 10 inch oven safe non-stick skillet (read: no plastic/wood handles) heat 2 TBSP olive oil over medium heat on the stove top. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes, or until it softens and sweats. Add zucchini and cook until it's no longer moist and begins to clump together, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
While the zucchini is cooking, beat the eggs with a fork until they are ropey and well mixed, but NOT foamy. (They should be lighter in color.) Stir in the cheese, salt and basil leaves into the egg mix, and add the zucchini. Stir for a minute after you've added the veggies to cool it a little.
Return the (emptied) pan to the heat, and add the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil. When oil is hot, pour in the egg mixture and immediately reduce the flame to medium low. The bottom of the egg mixture should set very quickly. Gently lift the sides with a fork and pull them towards the center, allowing the loose egg mixture to run underneath. Cook this way until the eggs are almost set, about 5 minutes. The mixture should look like loose scrambled eggs, with a little liquid remaining.
Place the pan under the broiler until the eggs are puffed and lightly browned, about 45 seconds. Cool slightly before sliding the frittata onto a serving plate. 6 servings.
(I'm going to try a more hands-off approach in a cast iron skillet, which is a more traditional way. It'll take longer, but I won't have to stand over the stove top lifting and stuff. I'll report back if that is easier.)
Feta-Crusted Baked Tomatoes
1 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the baking dish
4 medium ripe tomatoes, cored, cut into half horizontally
1 large clove of garlic, minced (2 tsps)
freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 oz. crumbled feta (about 2/3 C)
Preheat oven to 350. Use oil to lightly grease a shallow baking dish large enough to hold all of the tomato halves. (9 x 13 ish)
Discard all seeds and pulp from the tomato halves (note: I use my Amish paste for this as they have more meat than seeds/goo. Roma would also be a great choice, or Big Boys) place halves cut side up in baking dish. Sprinkle garlic evenly over halves, drizzle with 1 tbsp of oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes. The tomatoes will soften, begin to shrink, and lose some of their juice. (Check time as different tomato varieties may take less or more time) Remove dish from oven, and move baking rack to position 4 inches below broiler. Set oven to broil.
Sprinkle cheese evenly over the halves, return to oven and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, until cheese starts to brown. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
(Note:This is awesome with a good crusty loaf and a glass of bordeaux, incidentally. Simplicity at its finest.)
Pumpkin Soup With Blue Cheese and Bacon [insert Homer-esque drool]
15 oz. canned pumpkin
14 c chicken stock
3 1/2 C half-half
3 1/2 C minced onion (my guess is this is about 2 medium onions)
3/4 C molasses
3 TBSP pumpkin pie spice
1 TBSP ground black pepper
3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 TBSP Kosher salt
16 thick slices of high quality, thick-sliced bacon
3 1/2 C high quality
Combine all ingredients except bacon and blue cheese into a large pot and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring well. Stack your sliced bacon on top of each other, making two piles. Cut the bacon into smaller pieces and place into a skillet and cook until golden brown. Crumble the blue cheese for later use.
(Note: this is a tailgating recipe, so the instructions are to store into thermoses and bring toppings. It moves well, which is nice.) Top with fixin's and dig in.
Sugar Cookie Apple Crisp
2 TBSP butter, melted and cooled
1/4 C packed brown sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of salt
6 medium apples, peeled, cored, chopped into bite-size chunks
1 (14 oz) package prepared sugar cookie dough, broken into chunks (cheating, I know, but hey.)
1/2 C rolled oats
Preheat oven to 375. Coat a 9 x 9 inch DEEP baking dish with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine first 7 ingredients (up through salt); add apples and toss to coat. Transfer the apples to the dish, and use a rubber spatula to get all the nummy bits left in the mixing bowl.
In a food processor, combine the cookie dough and oats. Pulse several times until it looks like coarse, wet sand. Use your hands to sprinkle this over th eapples. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the topping is lightly browned and the apples bubble. Let cool before serving. (6 servings.)
And how good would this be with pumpkin ice cream? Or cinnamon ice cream? Or homemade French vanilla ice cream?
Can also be used as a room freshener. ;)
Gingersnap Balls (the local paper had a mess of things to do with packaged gingersnaps. NUM. I used Ikea's for this, and it was great. Later in the year I'll use my own recipe because I looooove making gingersnaps.)
Pour 1 pound box of gingersnaps into a food processor; add 1 1/2 C of chopped pecans, half a can of orange juice concentrate (12 oz. can) and 1/2 pound powdered sugar [call your dentist for a filling appointment, good lord]. Pulse to combine, adding more orange juice if needed to form a cohesive dough.
Scoop dough with melon baller and roll into balls, then roll balls in coconut flakes. Makes 60 balls. [people just can't seem to keep their hands off my balls.] haha. Also: HOLY CRAP, these were delicious.
It's juuuuust starting to get fall-like here, and I'm wanting to be in the kitchen again. I've got only a handful of venison brats left (my husband is a hunter - most of the meat we eat is from his hunting, incidentally) from last season, and I'll probably make "apples-n-onions" with them. Incidentally, that recipe is from "Farmer Boy" and it's freaking delish.
Apple-n-Onions, Stoney Version
In a HUGE skillet, saute two large yellow (sweet) onions that have been cut into thick rings and separated. I use about 2 TBSP good olive oil for this. When they start to wilt, add two flavorful apples (old school apples are the best. I prefer Gravensteins, but Pink Ladies are a second favorite. Juicy and good smelling. I fyou can't smell the apple before you've cut it, that's not a good choice) that you've coarsely chopped.
At this point I add diced brats to add a protein, but you could certainly just have this with the two ingredients and a crusty loaf. The brats add a fantastic flavor and makes this a meal instead of a side dish. (Apple sausages would be a good choice, too.)
My kids go nuts for this. If you have a hard time getting kids to eat onions, this is a great way to make them eat it, as they take on the flavor of the apples. Plus? All the fiber and vitamin C you could want, excellent for winter time.
Because I'm essentially a n00b when it comes to vino (hey. I'm a tequila girl, always have been, always will be, but I'm expanding!) I thought I'd keep track of some of the wines I've really liked.
Condesa de Leganza 2002 Cheap, but doesn't taste cheap AT ALL. Very complex and flavorful, but minus the astringent nature that some oakey wines have. Loved it. Got this as World Market for under 7 bucks, if you can believe that. Had this with venison, and it's appropriate for strong flavored foods.
Veo Ultima cab sav 2006 I had this last night during the debate with tapas, and it was alright. Since it was also under 7 bucks (no, really) it's getting a huge pass for the price point, but it was just okay. Nothing exciting here. I'll keep some on hand for parties.
Paulliac, Reserve Speciale, 2004 (bordeaux) Holy sheep dung, this is one of my most favorite wines ever. 1. it's a Rothschild. 2. See #1. It's about 30 bucks at World Market (when they have wine specials, LOAD UP.) and worth every penny. Fabulous fabulous drink. Complex, smokey, easy on the palate, and did I mention delicious? If you want a wine to impress but not get crazy with the spending, this is it.
(the get crazy with the spending is Silver Oak, 2004 Cab Sav. Best wine I've ever had, ever. It's about 100 bucks a bottle, so... Merry Christmas! ;) The nice thing is that Silver Oak and Paulliac will keep for years. The others need to be drunk within months.)
Marques de Casa Concha 2006, Cab Sav I'm really digging some of the Chilean wines. They don't over do it with the oak, which I've realized is what puts me off of some wines. (That's that astringent cack thingy at the back of your tongue. I'm nothing if not erudite. hahaha.) This has lots of flavor but doesn't make your mouth pucker up. Seriously, I should write for wine magazines with this grasp of the biz, right? :D Also, Chilean wines seem to be fairly inexpnesive, but taste like they cost a lot more, so that's a plus. This one is under 15 bucks and would be great with a red meat dish or tapas. And, according to the sommalier at a shop I like to frequent, will keep for more than a year, so that's a plus, too, if you're not a booze hound.
Santa Margherita, Pinto Grigio Damn, I love this. I'm not a chardonnay or zinfandel fan at all. Pinot Grigio? Yes, please. This one is perfect: nice and bright and smooth, and only a little fruity. Fish, chicken, tapas, crackers and cheese, whatever, it's great. It's best to get from World Market if you can, because they routinely have it for 18 bucks. Everywhere else has this for about 25. Redonk. It's great to have a few of these, honest engine.
McManis, Pinot Grigio (and their cab sav is awesome, too) The Mr. and I were at a wine tasting, and they pushed this heavily, which was funny as it was the least expensive. Under 10 bucks, actually, and people were picking this over a 60 dollar bottle that the owner of the wine cellar was pushing. (Duh.) This is also a great wine to cook with - I've reduced garlic and butter with this and served with a touch of cream and shrimp and it was DIVINE. Big big fan.
Oh my god, I'm so hungry right now. I hate that I have to wait until Sunday to hit the farmer's market for more food... On the plus side: my house is smelling goooood since I've set out two pans of bread for baking off, plus a clutch of roses are brightening up my counter. *is content*