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18th May, 2010. 1:13 pm. I love you, but I'm moving away!

I am moving to blogger!

Thank you all for reading all these recipes for the last six years, but it's time for a new domain and a new look!


Also, I am moving on from simple recipes to complete meal plans. Dinners, lunches, whichever. I look forward to seeing all of you at blogger!

Much love-

(1 serving |have some more!)

12th April, 2010. 6:56 pm. Garden Lentil Soup

Spring has sprung, and whereabouts I live that means sudden eighty degree temperature surges followed by a sixty degree drop and snow. All that bipolar weather gets you sort of hankering for a delicious, nutritious fresh veggie kind of meal. But still, you want to curl up with that bowl of stew and wrap up in an afghan. Here's a recipe full of all those spring goodies, but still good for when you know those April showers are going to turn to freezing rain any time.

3tbs olive oil
1 leek, sliced and rinsed
1 large carrot, minced
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/4 c chopped fresh parsley
1c lentils
1tbs dill (or 2tbs fresh, chopped)
1/2c frozen corn
8c water, approximately, divided

In a soup pot, heat oil over med. flame. Cook leek and carrot together until carrot is soft, about 5 minutes. Add celery and parsley, and cook for another 3 minutes.
Add lentils. Stir in oil and juice for about a minute, and add 2-3 c water, enough so that the top of the lentils are just covered. Bring to a simmer.

Add another 2c water and bring to a simmer. Add dill and simmer for 10 min.

Add corn and another 2-3c water (again, just covering the lentils) and simmer for 10 min.

Add 1-2c water, depending on desired thickness of soup.

Add salt to taste. And remember, less is more!

(have some more!)

9th April, 2010. 3:12 pm. Three Mushroom Paella

Having finally decided what I'm putting into my cookbook, I am not prepared to share with you the FIRST DISH!

I'd give you the whole story behind it, but now I want you to build up the unrelenting desire to buy my book! So in the meantime, a preview recipe. I recommend that if you're not vegan, you go for either one or the other of the optional non-vegan ingredients. But not both.

1/4c olive oil
2c jasmine rice
4c broth
1 large yellow onion, chopped
5+ cloves garlic, crushed
3 bell peppers, chopped (tricolor)
2 cans chopped/diced tomatoes
1c chopped portabella mushrooms
1c chopped porcini mushrooms
2c chopped puffball mushrooms
1 lemon, divided
salt and pepper

MEAT OPTION- 10oz shrimp
OVOLACTO OPTION- 8oz soft goat cheese

In a VERY large pan, heat the oil.
Cook the onions and garlic until soft
Add rice, and stir for 2-3 minutes
Add peppers and tomatoes, and stir for 2-3 minutes
Add broth, and cover. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
Add mushrooms, salt and pepper, and stir.


Cover and allow to steam for another 3 minutes.

Squeeze 1/2 of the lemon over the paella, and garnish the dish with slices from the other half of the lemon.

And there you have it! A complete meal in a delicious dish.

Current mood: cheerful.

(have some more!)

24th February, 2010. 6:11 pm. Mrs. Lea's Meat-less Pies

No worries, no people in these pies!

While my husband and I were honeymooning in New Zealand, we discovered the Meat Pie. Amazing, that Americans don't really have them. You'd think a delicious pocket of bread filled with meat would go over well this side of the pond. For the uninitiated American, a "Meat Pie" looks nothing like a pumpkin or blueberry pie. In fact, it's not at all what you might picture a pie to be. This version is much more like a biscuit with a savory, gravy filled center. You can eat them on the go with one hand when they're cooled off, or you can have them hot and actually set them on a plate.

Anyway, of course I had to start figuring out a good meat-free meat pie. And, as this is a VERY easy recipe to make some veggie, some meaty, I've experimented quite a bit with the fillings to make both me and Mr. Meat Pie happy. So, without further ado- Mrs. Lea's meat pies, savory and sweet pies! What a treat!

Preheat oven to 425

2 tbs butter
2 tbs flour
1 tbs Spike
up to 1 c veggie broth

In a saucepan over med-high heat, melt the butter, but do not brown! Whisk in the Spike and flour to make a paste, and then slowly add in the liquid until the desired consistency is reached. For the purposes of the pies, you want it VERY thick.

2 1/2 c ground or minced fake meat (thawed)*
approx. 1 c gravy

If you're using real meat, brown it and then set it aside, with the drippings.
Combine ingredients and allow to sit together while you make the crusts.

2 1/4 c flour, divided
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp sugar
5 tbsp margarine- chilled and sliced up
1 c buttermilk

Combine dry ingredients except 1/4 c flour.
Add margarine and mix with a pastry knife or fork until thoroughly mixed.
Add buttermilk and toss with a fork until it's doughy.
Turn onto a floured surface and knead briefly with the remaining 1/4 flour.
Roll the dough into a 1/4" thickness, and cut into 5" rounds.

put 1/4 c or so of filling into the center of each round, bringing up the sides and pinching them close. Don't worry if they pop open a bit.

Bake on an ungreased pan for 15 to 17 minutes, or until slightly golden on top.

Place them on a wire rack to cool for at least 5 min before serving.

Should you feel like experimenting, I've also had great luck with adding sharp cheeses and mushrooms- which need not be cooked before adding to the filling.

*If using real meat, I recommend bison- best flavor/fat ratio. Also, don't over cook the meat. Remember that it's going into a very hot oven soon, so keep it rare!

(have some more!)

30th November, 2009. 6:53 pm. Carrot Bread

This has quickly become a holiday favorite in my family- my father is CRAZY for the stuff, and it's the sort of recipe that's hard to screw up. If you over-mix it, it's just a little crustier. If you over-cook it, it's just a little crublier. And so far, I've had a few people comment that they prefer it that way!

So a delicious and easy addition to your holiday cookie boxes- a few slices of carrot bread.

3/4 c white sugar
1/4 c packed brown sugar
3/4 c sunflower seed oil
2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
2 beaten eggs, or 1/3 c apple sauce for a vegan alternative
pinch of salt
pinch of ginger
1/2 c raisins
1 c grated carrot
1/2 c chopped nuts (I like pecans or almonds)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9"x5" bread pan.

Beat the sugars with the oil. Then sift in the four, powder and soda, salt, and spices. Then mix in the eggs or apple sauce until JUST blended.

Add the remaining ingredients, and pour into the prepared pan.

Bake on the middle rack for 60 minutes, or until it tests done. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

It may seem VERY crusty and hard, but trust me- it's moist and delicious on the inside! Enjoy!

Current mood: cheerful.

(have some more!)

22nd November, 2008. 4:10 pm. Fancy-Pants Starving Artist Soup

Well, the economy is in the tank, and it's probably going to get worse before it gets better. This means one very important thing- it is time for you to learn to cook like a starving artist. This is a recipe for one of the world's cheapest soups that I developed while I was... a starving artist. If I have one good piece of life advice, inherit as much money as you can early and invest in savings bonds. Don't be like me. Anyway, the soup.

In the words of Mrs. Bucket, "Nothing goes better with cabbage than cabbage." It's true. Cabbage soup has a bad rap. People think of cabbage soup as being the worst case scenario. Living off cabbage soup is the sort of thing your grandparents told you about to let you know just how lucky you are.

Well, cabbage soup is delicious. And easy. I have several COMPLETELY DIFFERENT cabbage soup recipes, so really one could eat nothing but cabbage for a month and hardly notice. This is one of my favorite varieties, because it's really the most comforting. Another time I'll put up the recipe for "Feel Better Cabbage Soup," but in the meantime feel free to play around with this one.

1 med. (1.5 lb) head hard green cabbage
1 med. onion
1 leek
1 tbs veg oil
1/8 tsp saffron
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp sugar
4 c vegetable broth

Cut up the onion roughly. Slice up the white part of the leek. Toss both of these in a pot with the oil, and simmer it gently. While simmering, heat up your veggie broth.

Cut the cabbage into eighths. Now remove the core. It's sot of like a stem, and you'll know it when you see it. Now slice up the cabbage into roughly bite sized pieces. Toss them on top of your onion and leek, and mix them up.

When you veggie broth is nice and bubbly, add all the spices and the sugar. Now pour all of it over the cabbage in the pot. Bring it to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover it, and leave it alone for about half an hour- until the cabbage is nice and tender.

If you've got a blender, blend most- but not all- of the soup. Serve it with your few hard crusts of bread, or with a good veggie BLT.

(2 servings |have some more!)

27th October, 2008. 12:32 pm. Butternut Squash Stew

You know you've got a recipe worth keeping when your meat-loving husband goes giddy over vegetables. This is a very easy recipe, perfect for a day when you've got a cold and want something satisfying without taking the trouble and you're tired of soup. Of course, the two non-vegan ingredients are optional, but I do recommend picking up a vegan sour cream. The flavor of the sour cream REALLY brings our how delicious the stew is, and there are many very good vegan sour cream alternatives. I recommend Tofutti.

1 butternut squash, skinned and seeded, chopped into 1" pieces
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbs olive oil
1 can kidney beans
2 small russet potatoes, chopped into 1" pieces
3 c water
1 c orange juice
1/2 tsp orange zest
1/2 tbs fresh rosemary, or 2 tsp dried ground rosemary
1 tbs Spike or Mrs. Dash
salt and black pepper
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
sour cream, for garnish

In a large pot over med. high heat, sauté onions in oil until translucent. Add garlic and spices.
Add squash, potatoes, water, and orange juice and mix well. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Allow to simmer gently for half an hour.
Add beans, and continue to simmer for another 20-30 minutes.

After serving, cover the top of the stew with Parmesan cheese. Add a dollop of sour cream. Serves 6.


Here pictured with grilled cheese and heirloom tomato sandwiches:

Current mood: calm.

(1 serving |have some more!)

7th October, 2008. 9:43 am. Shephard's Pie

Hello again, inturwubs!
I know I've been gone a long time. I apologize. I promise that my return heralds many more yummy recipes for your enjoyment!

This is one I modified from my mother's. Completely vegetarian, easily made vegan. It's also appropriately autumn-y, and a great thing to do with all those root veggies that are suddenly turning up. I'm listing below what I prefer to put into my Shephard's pie, but this is one dish that is easy to tweak! Try throwing in anything else you like. It's pretty hard to make it NOT delicious!

2 tbs vegetable oil
2 medium yellow onions, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large carrots, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 sweet potato, chopped into bite sized pieces
2 medium sized red potatoes, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 turnip, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 parsnip, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 small daikon radish, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 c frozen peas
1 c frozen baby lima beans
1 c frozen corn kernals
1 bay leaf
liberal amounts of Spike
liberal amounts of coarse ground black pepper

4-5 yukon gold potatoes
1 tsp salt
1 tbs processed horseradish
1/2 c Parmesan cheese (optional)
3 tbs butter/margarine
2-3 c milk (or soymilk)

1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
(vegan option: 1.5 c vegetable broth)

Preheat oven to 350*

In large, heavy skillet, heat the oil over med. high heat. Add onions, garlic, Spike1, black pepper, and bay leaf.
When slightly translucent, add carrots, sweet potatoes, potatoes, parsnip, radish and turnip. Cook until tender, then add the frozen vegetables. Sauté an additional 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil, add the salt, and boil the yukon gold potatoes until thoroughly soft, when a skewer or toothpick can be inserted completely through easily.
Mash potatoes with butter, horseradish, milk, and cheese. When mixed properly, they will be creamier and soupier than you would normally want mashed potatoes.

Remove bay leaf, and pour vegetables into casserole dish. Spread condensed soup over vegetables (or pour broth evenly over vegetables). Now cover the whole thing with the mashed potatoes.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until top begins to brown.

When finished, it is not only delicious, but absolutely beautiful!

1Spike is a seasoned salt, much like Mrs. Dash or Lawry's. I've just always found it has the best flavor, and makes both excellent vegetables and excellent broth.

(have some more!)

20th December, 2007. 10:23 am. Anniversary Mushrooms

A dish I invented for my fiancé on our anniversary. They combine one of his favorite foods (portabella mushrooms) and one of my favorite foods (goat cheese) into a simple and DELICIOUS dish.

10 portabella mushroom stuffing caps
6 oz bucheron goat cheese
1/2 cup crushed walnuts
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped

3-5 tbsp grated parmesan

Wash the mushrooms, and remove the stems.
In a small bowl, use your hands to mush together the cheese, parsley, and walnuts.

Use a metal spoon to fill the mushroom caps with the cheese mixture.

Arrange the mushrooms on a LIGHTLY greased baking dish. You definitely want to use a dish with sides as opposed to a tray, because the cheese inside the mushrooms will melt.

Sprinkle parmesan cheese onto the stuffed mushrooms. You definitely want GRATED cheese, and not parmesan powder.

Bake at 350• for 20 minutes. Serve either hot or cold. Hot, the mushroom flavor stands out the most. Cold, the cheese flavors take over.

(have some more!)

6th August, 2005. 1:01 pm. Watermimosa

Okay, so I know a mimosa is *supposed* to be made with champagne, but we're all on budgets, right? Besides, if you use a yellow watermelon, it does look like a mimosa...

It's been a while, I know. What with the unbearable heat here in the midwest, I haven't done much cooking. But enough excuses, recipes don't *have* to include heat- or even substantial food- now do they?

A dear friend of mine spent the last eight months traipsing across Europe, and returned with an Italian idea that has inspired what has quickly become my favorite coctail of the summer. It looks incredibly impressive at a party, and it's absurdly easy, so here we go.

1 watermelon
1 fifth Absolut
1 tsp salt

Yup, that's it.

Take your watermelon, and let it sit until it's a bit too ripe. Still eatable, but squishyier on the inside than you'd normally want. Then slice off the top.

What you have now is a sort of bowl of soggy watermelon insides. With a spoon, dig out as many of the seeds as you can find. In this process, you'll basically liquify the insides of your watermelon. Go ahead and eat the bigger chunks of the flesh, you want mostly juice in there. Whatever you don't munch on, mash it up.

Now add the salt, stir well, and stick your mushy watermelon in-a-half-shell in the freezer. Leave it there over night.

Remove the watermelon from the freezer and allow it to thaw for about ten minutes. Now add the vodka, stir gently, and serve.

If it starts to melt, just put it back in the freezer.

(2 servings |have some more!)

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