Posts Tagged ‘cream cheese’

About a month ago (at the start of December) Marx Foods ran a promotion where they’d offer esoteric food items to food bloggers willing to write up reviews. And, honestly, this was my first ever shot at free food just because I have this hobby, so I gleefully bopped on over and signed up.

And also for full disclosure, I found out about the company in the first place because my friend, Meghan, had been to their site and entered a photo contest that had scored her some vanilla beans, of which she spoke highly.

So of three choices, I asked to try the Black Garlic because earlier in the year there had been a wave of food bloggers trying out this ingredient, too, and it’s appeal seemed to come from its flavor as well as its novelty value.

And right away I had to change my shipping address and had to try out their customer service – and received prompt emails back from Justin Marx on a weekend. Wow! And he was very supportive of my little amateur blog and every welcoming even though many of the things he sells just seem way out of my league / price range. So I am very impressed by them.

But how impressive is the black garlic?

Scent – I had it shipped to my work address, and I could not resist opening the package and poking at it right away. At first it didn’t seem to have much scent, but then I left the office to do something, and I came back to realize that there was quite a strong, dark garlic scent all through my office. Oh, yeah. I am full of professionalism. Luckily, no one has to share the office with me. But it made me very hungry for the rest of the day.

It ended up arriving at a fairly busy time for me, and the first recipe I made from it was born of a need for simplicity. That Friday, was the Philadelphia Food Bloggers pot luck, and I’d been planning to make stuffed dates… and then just didn’t have any time to assemble them. So I went with an incredibly easy cream cheese dip instead.

Recipe 1 – flavored cream cheese with crackers
I made two side-by-side bowls of dip.

Garlic & Parsley Cream Cheese

Garlic (3 cloves minced black garlic in one, 5 cloves mashed roasted garlic in the other)
12 ounces neuchatel cheese
large bunch of flat leaf parsley, minced (the last from the summer garden)
2 Tablespoons finely minced purple onion
pinch of salt

So with exactly the same recipe, I set out to see what people thought the differences were.

First off – after a full day at work, the cream cheese with the black garlic needed to be mixed up with a fork again to be presentable because the brown color had seeped out into the surrounding cheese. (And with the leftovers, it continued to spread and blend into the cream cheese until there was an even mocha color – I might recommend making this 2-3 days ahead for maximum joy)

No one thought there was a licorice flavor to the black garlic spread. Descriptions tended more toward round and dark and complex, but no one could quite name the difference. That said, people loved them both equally, but separately. They were not interchangeable at all.

Recipe #2 – flavored butter
So since it melted to well into the cream cheese, I figured I’d try mixing it with butter, too.

Now, I’d already read Diane’s entry from White on Rice where she found that it didn’t infuse well into oil, but I figured it would not only be useful to confirm her results, but also be useful for extending the experiment – since I’d only acquired 2 heads of garlic.

And, no, the garlic didn’t melt into the butter at all. But it was still tasty spread on bread. My favorite experiment at this stage was making toast with the black garlic butter and a thin smear of thick, smooth Frontera salsa.

Texture: The reason so many descriptions of black garlic evoke licorice is that’s exactly what it looks like coming out of the papery husk. The paper skin is so thin, there’s not more than a single layer between you and the clove, but the clove has shrunk down to a thick black nub. It’s dry and squishy and a bit sticky/tacky as you but into it. Putting it in the freezer doesn’t change its texture much at all and doesn’t make it easier to slice. I ended up resenting the fine layer it would leave behind on my knife because I had so little to work with.

Experiment #3 – Black garlic in mushroom barley
I’d been trying to hold out against a Black Garlic Risotto recipe because that would be too ridiculously easy. How could black garlic not be tasty in that set up? But I caved because the taste matched exactly a Roman barley recipe, which I made for my last Roman cooking workshop (and, huh, never got around to writing up) and had promised myself I would revisit. So a cold night and much starch and there was a tasty, garlicy meal of joy. Guaranteed crowd pleaser. I’ll get my copy of Apicius and try to remember to make a separate entry for that one, but trust me – it’s a lot like risotto.

Taste: So it doesn’t taste quite like garlic, so what does it taste like? Well, darker and rounder and definitely umami… but that’s not helpful. The best description is that it tastes like garlic breath – everything around the flavor of garlic, without the obvious front taste. It’s dark and musky, but it’s all around the edges of flavor without confronting you directly.

Experiment #4 – Chocolate Truffles
Now I was a little dubious about this from the start, but the Marx Food people has promised this would be useful for savories or sweets. And they had even offered up a chocolate truffle recipe. Having read it, I’m kind of dubious about their preparation – which has a regular truffle center, rolled in minced black garlic. I think the garlic would end up too chewy and right there on your tongue.

So I set about to make the garlic part of the filling. I mixed together butter and garlic again, and I added as much chocolate as necessary to keep it from being overwhelmingly butter. I added enough sugar to make it feel like dessert, but I also added some salt and smoked paprika to bring out the smokier notes. I chilled this and dipped it in a pretty dark chocolate coating (a ratio of 2 squares unsweetened to 1 square semi-sweet Ghirardelli chocolate) and then garnished with a dusting a regular paprika.

And… it turned out bad. Not devastatingly bad, but not something I want to eat. Other people who tried it described it as a flavor explosion. But it wasn’t a pleasing one by my call, and I threw out the untried ones, instead of taking them home with me. (right, and I also need to write up the other, more sucessful, truffle recipes)

Experiment #5 – Black Garlic omelet
So I had just one clove left, and I decided to go with something I knew would be good. I sliced it very thinly, and I fried them crisp in a teaspoon and a half of bacon fat.

note: it was hard to track their cooking progress because they were already black. I don’t know why this didn’t occur to me before, but yeah worth pointing out.

And then I scrambled together an egg and almost an equal quantity of light cream. Poured in just enough to coat the pan, pulled the garlic slices back into the pan so they were evenly distributed, and rolled out a soft, luscious omelet of pure bliss!

(Note: this same trick of frying slices of garlic was also used in Steamy Kitchen‘s experiment, where she made Scallops with Black Garlic)

Conclusion: This was a lot of fun to try, and I’d definitely use them again… but I’m not sure it’s something I’ll feel the need to seek out.

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8
Jul

Vegan Cream Cheese Experiment

   Posted by: Livia    in breakfast, experiments, Food, Recipe, sauces, vegan

So I volunteered to help some friends make food for a Vegan Bruncheonette thing they are doing this weekend to raise money to go off for yoga teacher training.

Only I won’t be around this weekend, so I had to think of something on the spot that I could make ahead, and I said to my self, “Hey, I know there’s vegan cream cheese – it must be better with stuff in it than plain. I could make flavored cream cheeses.”

And the guy said, “Why, yes, that’d be wonderful.”

So I said, “Where’s the best place in Philly to buy vegan cream cheese?”

And he gave the wrong* answer – “I have a recipe.”

note: after checking recipes online, I did go back to him and say, “Do you really think this sounds like appetizing food?” and he was still pleased with the idea.

Right.

So.

Yester morning (Monday) I ran around shopping for silken tofu and cashew butter. Last night, I borrowed the use of a friend’s food processor at 10pm and tried out a couple recipes.

I have to say that the results were kind of nasty.

But they did firm up into a more cream cheese-esque firmness this morning (Tuesday), and I figure it’s as good as any other homemade vegan cream cheese. Blech.

Check.

So the next stage of the plan will be to flavor the hell out of them tonight Tuesday night.

Here’s the list of things I’m thinking of adding. Let me know if you have any other ideas/suggestions.

The first batch was made with: silken tofu, cashew butter, lemon juice, salt, black pepper, and white sugar
  • Korintje cassia cinnamon, cinnamon, brown sugar, toasted walnuts, and buckwheat honey**
  • bronze fennel, black pepper, Japanese pepper, black cardamom, lemon zest, nutmeg, and clove
  • black olives, green olives, and toasted almonds

The second batch was made with: silken tofu, canola oil, rice vinegar, lemon juice, salt, black pepper, and white sugar

  • roasted garlic & herbs from my garden (chives, parsley, rosemary, thyme, savory, and lovage)
  • pesto (Genovese basil, purple basil, toasted pine nuts, roasted garlic, and black pepper)
  • chipotle & adobo, garlic (roasted and fresh), brown mustard, and molasses

*Only wrong in that I hadn’t expected the extra layer of complication and uncertainty of results. IN fact, the whole experiment was rather fun.

**Great Vegan Honey Debate is discussed at length here.

~*~

Results as each was made –

So far, the pesto one has turned out surprisingly well.

The chipotle one, however, is not for the faint of heart. I ended up adding dijon mustard in order to get enough bulk to make my mini food processor happy, and then a tiny little bit of molasses for sweet. But I still had to add the entire portion in the food processor before it stopped tasting of ick, and that might be too spicy for a lot of people. I’ll add a little warning on the label, and no one will believe me, but that’ll be fine.

have just made the garlic and herbs one. Right now it is very disappointing, but I yet have confidence that it will turn awesome over the next couple days as the flavors mingle.

Olives – I don’t know, since I don’t like olives. I ended up buying ones with pits in my quest to get only 6 olives per color, so I wasn’t able to mark the container with a pretty olive slice.

fennel – meh. It’s flavors did suit the tofu concoction well, but you’d have to like the tofu concoction in the first place to enjoy this one.

honey/cinnamon/walnuts – winner! This one was tasty. I wouldn’t put it on a bagel, but I had no problem just eating the spoonful that wouldn’t quite fit in the container.

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18
Jun

Pasta Sauce in a jar

   Posted by: Livia    in breakfast, experiments, Food, Recipe, vegetarian

Yes, I have a garden. And, yes, I grow tomatoes.

No, I do not make my own pasta sauce.

Usually, I can get through all of the summer’s tomatoes fresh. If not, there are salsas and chicken creoles to make.

Besides, I think the higher end jarred salsas are delicious, especially when treated as a base with fresh vegetables added.

So I’ve started selecting my jars of sauce by which comes come in mason jars because I find that those tend to be tastier, and I like having the jars to reuse.

On a whim, I recently tried Classico Vodka Sauce.

It is delicious. I ended up eating it with a spoon while I was cooking! It tastes like it is parmesan cheese and cream held together by tomato sauce. I felt absolutely sinful eating it, and I’m not sure I should trust myself to buy another jar.

Also, after my last serving of pasta, I had just a quarter of a cup or so of sauce left that I just couldn’t fit on the dish, so I put it in a separate container to wait until I found the perfect dish for it. And I thought and thought, and I had no idea what to do with it, so I figured I’d mix it with cream cheese (about 4 ounces) and see if that gave me more inspiration.

That and a visit to Satellite Cafe and their signature wrap (spinach tortilla, cream cheese, pesto, roasted red peppers, and fresh spinach) was good for inspiration.

So the next morning’s breakfast was a quesadilla of my cream cheese and vodka sauce spread with caramelized onions and fresh spinach. Mmmmm!

It’s a little too salty for a straight dip for crackers, but maybe with a dry whole wheat type cracker, it could be the base for another topping.

I loved this pasta sauce in a jar.

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16
Jan

Flavored cream cheese

   Posted by: Livia    in breakfast, dubious, Food, Recipe

I’ve written about flavored cream cheeses before, but my latest attempt was not an unqualified success.

So cream cheese.

Then I cut some dried tomatoes into fairly small pieces.

And shredded the last of my Double Gloucester I bought at Tesco New Years Eve.

Mixed it all up and ate it on a bagel.

Yummy.

…but!

Two days later, I came back with another bagel, and the cheese was very dubious, indeed.

It had turned a grey-ish brown and was a bit crackled in texture.

I almost chucked it. Bun instead, I kept thinking that it really was too soon for it to have gone off. So I poked it and sniffed it and decided it was all the fault of the tomatoes.

Apparently, you need to plump your dried tomatoes a bit before trying this, or they’ll dehydrate your cheese to the point where its texture is fine, but it looks sketchy. And the color is just unfortunate. Perhaps you just shouldn’t serve this to company.

But it was still tasty on my bagel.

It was even tastier with some chipotle sprinkled it.

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I love cream cheese. If I were poetically inclined, I would write odes to cream cheese.

It makes almost everything, sweet or savory, taste better.

But most especially – bagels!

And if you’ve been buying your fancy cream cheese spreads from the store, you’ve been missing out.

Cream cheese and scallions – I think stores must try to put them through a food processor or something to universally come up with bland, stringy (but I’ll still eat it!) scallion cheese. Let me tell you how to make this one better.

Take 1 bunch of scallions. Cut off the root bits and then peel them down until you have firm, clean skin left. (If you keep a bag of onion skins in your freezer for stock, wash off these scraps and put them into the bag, too) Then line up three or four of them, and slice the thinnest rounds you can (if anything is thicker than a millimeter, slow down and try it again). And keep slicing all the way into the green parts (pulling out any that are too wilty, and then slicing up the rest until you have just the tips left… and then those can go into the stock bits bag, too).

Dump the sliced scallions into a bowl. Dump an 8oz block of cream cheese into the bowl.

Ask yourself whether you want to be creative. If yes, also add some garlic (either minced from a jar or roasted cloves, but not fresh because that ends up just a little too potent) and maybe some chipotle. See what odds and ends are hanging around your fridge looking exciting. A dollop of heavy cream makes it a very sexy dip for company. A blob of mayonnaise makes it more spreadable. A drop of worcestershire sauce may sound like a good idea to me, but it just ends up making it taste a bit off, so don’t do that.

Mix it all up. It will be the best scallion cream cheese you have ever had, and people will ask for your secret. You will end up looking at those people like they are crazy, since it’s just scallions and cream cheese – why is it so hard?

roasted red pepper and cream cheese – okay, so it took me a while to make a better one than my bagel place, but I blame that on being a relative newcomer to the wonders of roasted red peppers. One warning though, since cream cheese mold often shows up first as orange dots and this is a fairly strong flavor so it’s basic nature will mask early signs of spoilage, you do want to be careful how long this sits in your fridge – this has never been a problem for me, though.

Roast red peppers. Remove skins. Have them hanging around your fridge looking lonesome.

Lay out a kitchen towel. On top of that, put a paper towel. (or you can have lots of paper towels… or 2 kitchen towels, if you are doing laundry tomorrow, otherwise the little scraps of red pepper will get ingrained in the fabric for a while.)

Cover half of the paper towel with roasted red pepper strips (you can strip some of the moisture with your fingers while you’re still dangling them over the container… and possibly with the container resting in the sink). Fold the other half of the paper towel and kitchen towel over top of the peppers, and then just plop your cutting board on top and maybe a pitcher of water. Read some food blogs. Come back. Set aside the pitcher of water, move the cutting board, and flip over the pepper/towel sandwich. Replace cutting board and pitcher. Oh, wait, have you checked your email? Better do that again.

Okay, so you’re bored and eager to eat breakfast now. Fine. Go open up your towels. Peel the red pepper off of the paper towel, tear it into smaller strips (and inch wide or so is plenty fine) and pile them onto your cutting board. So when you were tearing them, you noticed that peppers have a grain direction, right? It runs from stem to seat. Slice the peppers into thin strips opposite the grain direction.

Dump the strips into a bowl. Add one 8 oz. package of cream cheese. And then there’s just no question on this one, go ahead and add several cloves of roasted garlic. Mush it all up.

And try not to eat it all in the first day.

Chives, fennel, garlic, and cream cheese – or you can just be creative.

I lopped off a hunk of chives from the herbs on my patio, and then used scissors to cut them into wee tiny slices.

Pulled off some fennel fronds from the bulb [redacted] gave me (note: I have done this before with bronze fennel, and it doesn’t look nearly as appetizing as with green), sliced them up into tiny pieces as best I could.

And then tossed in the rest of the cloves from head of roasted garlic.

And a stick of cream cheese.

It was delicious! And all gone.

~*~

So I was hungry this morning, but I kind of didn’t want to make a new batch of sexy cream cheese because they haven’t been lasting well in my fridge (and the box of triscuits is getting low, too…). And I thought about making oatmeal, but I have a craving for cranberries to put in them, and I haven’t made it to Trader Joe’s, which I think will be my best bet. I considered making it with dates and apples, and while that sounds good, but it wasn’t what I really wanted and I only have sexy oatmeal that requires standing for half an hour. And Kundalini yoga kicked my ass on Sunday.

So I went for squash blossom quesadillas.

My neighbor has a butternut squash plant that is planning to take over the world, so we had already talked about how it wouldn’t be any problem for me to relieve her of a few blossoms.

Only my default for quesadillas is using them to get rid of any small leftovers I have, so it ended up including: half an onion, half a bell pepper, a jalepeno pepper, the last 2 of the tiny yellow summer squash, some mushrooms – and 8 squash blossoms. Seasoned with Penzey’s fajita mix. With plain old store brand sharp cheddar cheese from the grocery (which I usually wait to buy at $2/lb, but they haven’t had that price in a while and this is my last stick. Should I keep waiting, or buy a couple at 2 for $5 to tide me over).

It ended up being full of deliciousness, but I couldn’t have told you where the flavor of squash blossoms added a damn thing. But delicious. In my mouth.

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2
Oct

food list

   Posted by: Livia    in Food, lists

food I have
Protein
chicken breast of dubious vintage
roast beef from weekend before last
chicken stock (needs to be boiled and put in a new container)
1/2 slice bacon (yes, there’s more in the freezer, but that’s what is thawed)

Produce
roasted garlic (1 1/2 heads)
roasted tomatoes (2/3 cup)
container with the seeds and juice from the tomatoes I roasted
roasted red peppers in their own juice (1-2 peppers’ worth)
fried leeks
fresh cilantro
1 whole coconut
muhammara
hot peppers (mostly green jalepenos)
1 small leek
bulb of fennel
3-4 leaves of kale
5 little yellow squashes and 1 medium
carrots
6 potatoes
1 delicata squash

Bread
Nope, I ate all the bread. Well, there ate tortillas and the bagels in the freezer, but those don’t spoil, so they don’t ever count.

Meals

Well, I was going to ask you all for recipes that would combine the winter squash and the fennel, but then I came across this recipe for delicata with spiced pecans and dried cranberries (I’ll need to acquire some cranberries for that plan.)… but don’t let that stop you from offering suggestions anyway. Especially for the fennel.

Thursday, October 2
pasta with the rest of the kale and the medium yellow pepper. Also turkey meatballs from the freezer. And some lemon juice. Huh – I didn’t notice lemons when I made this list, but there are usually some hiding out in my fridge… if not, I’ll find out how important they are to the recipe. Also nab some more of those jalepenos from my neighbors that had been on the bush long enough to turn red; those are awesome. Ooo… maybe I shall put roasted tomatoes in this.

Friday, October 3
Make hash from roast beef and potatoes. Also add fried leeks, roasted garlic, and two jalepeno peppers.

BUY LETTUCE – it’s on sale at my grocery until Friday. Can I just mention how much it bothers my that it is a physical impossibility to stock up on lettuce when it is on sale? I cry my bitter tears of woe.

Saturday, October 4
Harry Potter’s naked bum! Er, I mean, I’ll be eating out. At Red Lobster.

Sunday, October 5
breakfast: make more awesome cream cheese with roasted red peppers and roasted garlic. I am so glad this will be my last batch of the peppers because ever since I perfected the technique it has been very difficult not to just eat it ALL RIGHT NOW! Nom!

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2
Oct

Food List

   Posted by: Livia    in Food, lists

Food I have
Protein
chicken breast of dubious vintage
roast beef from weekend before last
chicken stock (needs to be boiled and put in a new container)
1/2 slice bacon (yes, there’s more in the freezer, but that’s what is thawed)

Produce
roasted garlic (1 1/2 heads)
roasted tomatoes (2/3 cup)
container with the seeds and juice from the tomatoes I roasted
roasted red peppers in their own juice (1-2 peppers’ worth)
fried leeks
fresh cilantro
1 whole coconut
muhammara
hot peppers (mostly green jalepenos)
1 small leek
bulb of fennel
3-4 leaves of kale
5 little yellow squashes and 1 medium
carrots
6 potatoes
1 delicata (I think) squash

Bread
Nope, I ate all the bread. Well, there ate tortillas and the bagels in the freezer, but those don’t spoil, so they don’t ever count.

Meals
Well, I was going to ask you all for recipes that would combine the winter squash and the fennel, but then I came across this recipe for delicata with spiced pecans and dried cranberries… but don’t let that stop you from offering suggestions anyway. Especially for the fennel.

Thursday, October 2
pasta with the rest of the kale and the medium yellow pepper. Also turkey meatballs from the freezer. And some lemon juice. Huh – I didn’t notice lemons when I made this list, but there are usually some hiding out in my fridge… if not, I’ll find out how important they are to the recipe. Also nab some more of those jalapenos from my neighbors that had been on the bush long enough to turn red; those are awesome. Ooo… maybe I shall put roasted tomatoes in this.

Friday, October 3
Make hash from roast been and potatoes. Also add fried leeks, roasted garlic, and two jalapeno peppers.

BUY LETTUCE – it’s on sale at my grocery until Friday. Can I just mention how much it bothers my that it is a physical impossibility to stock up on lettuce when it is on sale? I cry my bitter tears of woe.

Saturday, October 4
Harry Potter’s naked bum! Er, I mean, I’ll be eating out. At Red Lobster.

Sunday, October 5
breakfast: make more awesome cream cheese with roasted red peppers and roasted garlic. I am so glad this will be my last batch of the peppers because ever since I perfected the technique it has been very difficult not to just eat it ALL RIGHT NOW! Nom!

Delicata and spiced pecans and dried cranberries
I’ll need to acquire some cranberries for that plan.

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But where has all the cream cheese gone?
I am out of cream cheese. And almost out of cheddar cheese. But I refuse to pay more than $1 for 8oz of cream cheese or $2 for 8oz of cheddar cheese, and they haven’t been on sale lately.

I might go into withdrawal soon.

~*~

my tale of woe with the time change
So there I was Sunday morning, having a leisurely breakfast of bacon, mexican hot chocolate, and amazing fresh coconut (I’ll tell you about that soon), with a charming person who had spent the night, with plenty of time until my 11:20 massage appointment… when I remembered the time change.

We packed up quickly (with him leaving behind his grocery sack with fun ethnic yummies from my grocery store across the street) and barely made it across Broad Street and the surprise marching band parade (for St. Patrick’s Day, apparently) to get there 20 minutes late. Woecakes!

So they only docked my half the price of the session for not showing without notice (and the session was only $35, so not bad. That’ll just make the fee for the next one about on par for professional prices) and I rescheduled for the same time this next Sunday.

~*~

White Coconut

So a couple weeks ago, my grocery store started carrying white coconuts. I more or less ignored them because I figured they’d be just like the brown ones, which I tried doing once from scratch and it just wasn’t worth the trouble. Luckily, I was convinced to experiment this weekend. WOW!

So white coconut – apparently it’s softer and tastier and has more water inside. Once you pull out the meat with a fork, instead of having to gnaw on it for a bit, it was completely chewable and tasty without any processing. I’m going to get another one to take to my mother this coming weekend because it’ll be a dream to shred over cake.

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So I had an absolutely lovely weekend of lounging on my porch and socializing with lovely people which was marred by itching from poison icvy.

So I had people over to play bridge, and one of the necessary components is snack food. Last time I had bridge, I baked a whole bunch of random frozen things I had bought at the Indian grocer and just made dippings sauces – everyone left stuffed, but it did heat up my apartment a good bit to have the oven running constantly.

So this time, I roasted some veggies beforehand and had one thing that got made in the microwave, and it was all pretty much dips’n’chips:

Sleazy Cheesy Dip

1 stick velveeta
1 package cream cheese
1 jar salsa

all microwaved together and served with toasted pumpernickel bread (it would have been served inside the bread, but it was too soft and didn’t hollow well) and Fritos.

[redacted]’s Bacon & Horseradish Dip (which I was sure my father would *love*, but he ended up saying, “I am not a fan of cream cheese – I like sour cream based dips. Never mind, I think it is the tastiest thing ever)
bunch of real bacon bits (I made bacon and crumbled it)
1 tablespoon horseradish
1 pgk cream cheese
1/4 cup sour cream

served with Wheat Thins and Rosemary Triscuits

Chopped Liver
recipe here

Roasted Veggies
1 yellow squash
1 long, thin eggplant
3 red bell peppers
2 orange bell peppers

Tossed and “marinated” for a minute or less in: a dash of soy sauce, white balsamic vinegar, pasta sprinkle, and olivey and peppery olive oil (note: the olive oil people are having free shipping on 500ml bottles for mothers’ day), and then roasted – as you do.

So. There was a lot of food.

And then about 4 hours in, I do a hostess round going, “So is there anything else I could feed you?” And I am well-stocked to make a wide variety of foodstuffs appear on very little notice…

and someone pops up with, “Could we order pizza?”

O.o

So, um. We did.

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18
Dec

Mmmmm food makes it warmer

   Posted by: Livia    in breakfast, gluten free, non-vegetarian

What could be better to make for dinner when a bunch of women get together to watch Stargate: Atlantis than lemon chicken? Nothing. But having cookies and mashed potatoes on the side is a big plus.

I have had chicken stock AND duck stock boiling away all weekend. Actually, they are both turned off and cooling down now so I can put them up, but – YAY – so much humidity that it is condensing on my walls and fogging up my windows.

And for breakfast today I had an egg white omelet full of cream cheese and bacon (because I’ve been thinking about that ever since Traveller mentioned it. And, no, I am not dieting – I just keep giving all my good yolks to the feral cat.

Mmmm… I may be dressed, but I am all warm and cozy in my bed, cuddling my cat, with a belly fully of tasty hot food.

Later there shall be bridge playing.

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