Thursday, August 30, 2012

Cheesy Green Bean Casserole

Cheesy Green Bean Casserole
(a new taste on an old classic)

This is a simple twist on the classic. I don't know about anyone else, but when someone mentions Green Bean Casserole for thanksgiving, I'm like "Not it!" I do not want to make it. It is sooo boring!
It's about time to spring some life back into it. 
So the green beans. I got a pound in my weekly CSA share, so that's how much I made. This is supposed to be a side dish, but honestly we just ate it for dinner as the main course. Whatever :)
The most important thing with fresh beans is to snap off the edges. And if while you are snapping, the bean wants to loose a long thread between the ends, pull that bad boy out too. It's super stringy otherwise. Not all beans have this problem (mine did)
And by all means, if you don't have fresh beans, of course you can use a can. I think 2-3 cans is equivalent.

The milk sauce. Okay, so this is me trying to be fancy. That's not true, I didn't have or like Cream of Mushroom soup. I actually didn't have Cream of anything soup, so I made this instead. If you aren't feeling like cooking up a rue sauce, you can certainly just use a can of whatever Cream of Soup you have. Celery would be good.

I used a thick nacho cheese for my jarred cheese sauce. It was too thick to spread, so I threw it in with my milk sauce to melt is up a bit. Not all jarred sauces are like this, so look at yours before doing this step.

 I love me a little before/after photos. So here is mine.

Mmm bubbly cheese.
Then after with the topping.
(hi, I used baked potato chips instead of onions
Yes I am deviating from my own recipe)

And enjoy. mmmm. I can't promise how healthy this one is with all that cheese sauce in there. But it certainly does taste good.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cucumber Bread

Not just for pickles anymore. Use those extra cucumbers in a tasty bread instead!

So peel and shred up the cucumber. If you are using one with seeds inside, you should probably scoop those bad boys out 1st.
I like to let mine set for 30ish min in a strainer to drain out some of the extra moisture.

Mix it all togther into a bread looking glob of batter :) Pout into loaf pans and bake.

I like to cover my breads with tin foil for the last 15ish min just so they don't brown too much, but that's a personal preference. If you don't want to do that, I am not going to come over to your house and force you to :)

 So take the loafs out of the oven. I like to let them cool in their pans for 10 -15 mins and then plop them out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.

And Voila. Bread. Looks like Zucchini bread but has that twang of a cucumber. No one will know what's in it but will love it just the same.
I think it tastes best toasted with some butter, but hey, that's just me!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Tomato Pie

Tomato Pie (Not to be confused with pizza)
So the official Recipe:

 So the ingredients. I used cherry tomatoes, but I think this would be best with a Roma or similar tomato. The cherry was pretty sweet.
Also when doing the tomatoes, it's best to either roast them separately or to salt them and let the excess fluid drain out before assembling so that your crust doesn't get all soggy. Who likes a soggy crust? Not this family.
So this is everything plopped onto the pie crust.
Then you add the special topping and bake.
So bake this and enjoy.
Let it cool like 10 mins otherwise the topping is still really loose and will kinda fall off. But we couldn't wait, so just cut carefully!

And there you have it. Tomato Pie

Friday, August 24, 2012

Baked Chickpeas

Spicy Baked Chickpeas.  A tasty snack, or if you are like, a good protein packed addition to a salad.

The official Food's Fool Recipe :

Ok so this is pretty obvious, but this is the rinsed chickpeas.
Ahh, the de-skinning. It sounds much harder than it actually is. Once you try one, it's like magic.It literally just falls off
You should not have to work to get these off.
This is why we de-skin them. Yucky looking. This is everything I got from one can.

Ok, so peas on the tray ready to be cooked. If you wanted to be clean, you could put parachment paper on your tray. But I like to live a little on the dangerous side :)

Okay and back to the final product image. Tasty little guys.
Check on them during the last few minutes. You want them crispy not burned!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Stuffed Tomato Poppers

Perhaps the easiest no-bake tomato appetizer ever.
It's so easy, I don't need to make up a recipe card.
And guess what? 2 ingredients!!! How could it get any better?

So step 1: wash your tomatoes. I'm using yellow cherry tomatoes here.

Step 2: Make a little hole and remove the stem and insides of the tomato.

Step 3: Stuff with whatever you want. I used an herb cream cheese for this one, but hummus would be tasty, or a cheese spread. mmmm

So just an extra note, if your tomatoes aren't really flat on the bottom and you want them to stand up on a platter to look pretty, you may want to shave off a little from the bottom of the tomato prior to stuffing.

Problems stuffing it? If you don't have a piping bag handy, just use a ziploc bag and trim off a corner.

You can prepare this tasty dish the day before with cherry tomatoes. :) perfect

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Swiss Chard Quiche

So another weekly delivery from my CSA has me staring at yet another pile of Swiss Chard and thinking, what the heck am I supposed to do with this. In addition, I'm starting to get slightly homicidal thoughts about who could possibly give us this much chard every week, and who could eat it all!
As to not waste this present from the garden, I took to finding out something to do with it aside from the normal saute. Bring on the Quiche.
Typically made with spinach, I thought why not? and went to working preparing my normal quiche recipe with some chard. Now to warn you, I've snuck a couple extra veggies into this quiche.
I also made mine with ham, now this is optional and you don't have to do it. But as I was working, I started thinking Green Eggs and Ham sounded funny, so that's what I made.

So this is the end result that we are looking forward too. mmm yummy.
So the basic recipe.

So this is my way to cut up the chard. I take a bunch of leaves and roll them up. Then slice. Voila, little chard pieces. 1 bunch for me was like 10 leaves. (which just happened to be what I got from the CSA).                                                           This is probably a good place to mention to super triple wash leeks, if you are using them. They are sooo dirty since they just grow up in the soil. Take them all apart and wash them well.

My Favorite photos. A little before/after shot for you.
So don't freak out about the amount of chard you just chopped up. It cooks down to like basically nothing.

Before                                                                  After

 The egg/cheese mix. I think this is where the recipe takes on a not healthy, but very tasty twist. Mmm cheese. I clearly live in WI, who else would dump a full bag of shredded cheese into a recipe?
 And this is what the mix looks like all mushed together. Notice the added ham (I didn't include that in the recipe, it was a last minute, optional throw in. note bacon would have been nice too)

And the magic moment. 40ish minutes later. Voila! It's like a fancy omelet. I'm sure someone is out there rolling their eyes "quiche is not an omelet"...
Whatever, that's what it basically tastes like to me.

And the verdict? I thought it was good. The hubby told me if I kept cooking like that, I'd have to cook dinner every night. Hahahaha. This would also be great for breakfast.
He coated his slices in salsa, which I'm sure was a tasty addition. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Restaurant Review: The Cookhouse

So a new restaurant opened up in Verona where the hubby works.
So day 1 he goes there for lunch and comes home with pasties for us for dinner.
Day 2 he eats there, apparently there was a pizza special and he was super excited.
Bring on Day 3. We are headed home after swim class with the little man and are hungry so we stop there.

1st of all, the menu changes monthly depending on what is on the farm. This restaurant was opened by Jordandal Farms. They are a local farm with both veggie and meat available direct from the farm.
Click to visit their website

So the menu isn't that large, but what is there is great and it changes all the time plus there are daily specials. On saturday when we ate there, there was a breakfast sandwich special (hubby got that, I stole a bite, the sausage was soooooo good)

It didn't dawn on me to take pictures of the actual restaurant, but I snapped one picture of my side dish before devouring it.
I had a cubano for my lunch. The chef was very nice and let me change out the cheese since I have an aversion to Swiss Cheese, so mine was made with White Cheddar.

I was a little worried about the pickled onions but I thought I would give it a try. They were very tasty. I am now tempted to try some experimentation with my own onions to see what I can come up with. (Check back for my pickled onion recipe once I have perfected it!)

Here is my side dish. Sweet Potato Salad with thick cut bacon. How could you go wrong? You can't!

The only drawback I could see with the restaurant is that it's really just set-up for take out. There is a picnic table outside and a couple of chairs outside, but that's it.
I have a feeling once other people catch on to this delicious new place, there is going to be a line and a quite a wait. Right now though, it only took a few minutes to make our food. Well worth it!
But everyone must start someplace. I bet they will end up expanding!

So are you hungry yet? Stop by the Cookhouse in Verona, WI.
Keep in mind you can get frozen food too. Not only pasties, they have meatballs, pizza, soup..... I even saw some icecream in there. I believe one flavor was Lavendar Vanilla. There were a few options.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Broccoli Corn Ravioli

Fair warning, the filling is green. So while this isn't that sneaky, once you cover it with sauce... hopefully no one can notice.

So I'm starting this post with how the finished product looks to entice you to try this at home. Mmmm tasty right?

So here is the all famous Food's Fool recipe for these delicious looking wonders of the plate:

Cooking the garlic: My new little trick for garlic is to grate it. Note to self, self: you should buy a microplane grater because dragging out your large cheese grater everytime you cook with garlic is silly. I hear you self, it is on the list. Anyways, this is what my grated garlic in the olive oil looks like. I love garlic. I may have put in a clove or two more than the recipe calls for... 

 So this is the pan with all the ingredients. Hi, please use a large enough pan to fit your broccoli, otherwise it may overflow like mine did while trying to mix it up.

Ahh the beauty that is the mix. So I know I say this alot, but the mix should look like thick baby food. I guess if you really want, you can have some chunks, but you are making ravioli out of this, it should mostly be smooth. So fill the wrappers, keep in mind how you want to fold them, I'm making normal ravioli, so I can have more filling, if you are folding them in half or making something else, use less. Feel free to make your own pasta if you are so inclined. I wasn't.
 The finished raviloi. Behold the wonder. When making these it is super important to get all the air out of the inside when putting the top on. You also want to make sure to seal the edges up really well. Otherwise all of the hard work will be in vain when you cook them, the filling will just end up in your water and you'll have a limpy looking noodle left over.

A little before/after shot for you. You can see that the ravioli float to the surface when they are done. Be sure to use only a light boil, you don't want to beat the crap out of these, they are delicate :)

                          Before                                                                                After
The finished ravili. You can see that the noodle gets kinda wrinkly in over the filling. They also look a little green (umm yeah they are filled with broccoli)

Finish with your favorite sauce, or heck make your own. It's simple. I'll have a sneaky sauce recipe up later once the tomatoes start coming in from our CSA. This is my personal favorite sauce this week. It changes all the time as I venture out and try new ones.

And lets end with our beginning picture. The final product. mmmmm tasty. I served mine with our squash rolls.

So the verdict. The husband caught me mid act. He came into the kitchen just as the broccoli was steaming. He was like, umm are you cooking broccoli? (I guess you can't hide that smell)
But all-in-all the final product was very tasty and even though he knew the secret ingredient, he said he couldn't tell.
My opinion. Cover anything with enough sauce and really... you could hide pretty much a whole garden of veggies. Who is going to know the difference?