Cookery Shmetrospective

It’s been a week since my last post, and guys, I cooked so much! With beans! And other things! I can’t wait to tell you all about it in detail, but for now, I’ve decided to start a new segment here on Cookery Shmookery: a weekly Recipe Retrospective, where I give you a tour of the food I made over the past week that may not have gotten its own blog post. Which isn’t to say that none of it WILL get a more detailed post. Ohh, I’ll write about some of this stuff, because I love talking about food, particularly my food (as those of you who know me are fully aware of – hi Jenny!). But a weekly retrospective is a good way for me to keep track of what I made (and what I remembered to take pictures of). If you have a favorite item, or are dying to know how I made something, leave me a comment and I’ll make sure to elaborate. Your wish is my command!

But enough babbling, on with the stuff I made!

***

I have the best mother-in-law ever. She’s a really good friend, and we do girl things together, and we like a lot of the same things. Well, she found a recipe for Limoncello, the Italian lemon liqueur, and promptly decided to make it. Aaaand obviously, I had to make it, too! Behold:
Two fifth the strength of Everclear is still pretty damn strong.
I made Limoncello, you guys! It took two weeks of shaking a bottle of lime rinds (I used limes, the result was about the same) in Everclear, but it was so worth it. This stuff should last me into 2011. Maybe. It’s so good! It’s yellow, and sweet, and smells like lemons, but not like bathroom cleaner. What more could you ask for in an alcoholic beverage?

***

I have this constant goal to cook light and healthy. I really try. But sometimes light just isn’t what I want, and when that happens, I try my damnedest to at least stick with healthy. And sometimes that works out… half-way. Enter the Tuna Pot Pie:
Do I look fat in this pie crust?
Tuna, cauliflower, peas, spring onions… all good, healthy things! And cream of celery soup! The skinny bitch of cream soups! But then, all of it is stuffed into a GIANT MOUNTAIN OF BREADY DELICIOUSNESS! THAT I DIDN’T EVEN MAKE MYSELF! Ahem. Anyway, I feel bad even about the cream of celery soup, since I usually try to avoid canned soups, or at least try to use organic stuff. But you know what? It was good. So sue me.

***

Sometime last year, I bought a sprouting box, even though I had successfully grown sprouts on a plate between paper towels, as well as in jars. But this seemed less hassle, and it was. Slightly. But it made me sprout more, so I threw that one on the Success pile. At least for a few weeks; after that, the poor box went in the cupboard never to be seen again. Until a couple of weeks ago. And boy am I glad I got it back out. Because I love sprouts and I want them on everything, even though they make stuff taste hairy.
Like cute little tentacles, reaching up to get you.
Almost done eating this batch, and almost done growing the next!

***

I recently discovered that a lot of things taste a million times better if I manage to sneak falafel mix into the recipe. Sometimes this works out great in ways I fully expect, like when I make falafel-crust pizza. But sometimes, falafel works in mysterious ways. Like in this case, where I made a meal that was based, believe it or not, on a quiche recipe.
Quiche? No. Bean stirfry in a giant monster falafel prison? Yes.
The falafel mix stood on the counter for a bit too long and was then too thick to really flow into the stuff below. I could have fixed this by stirring it all together, but stirring is for the faithless. I was sure the oven temp would take care of it. Except falafel dough doesn’t get runnier in heat. It gets solid (SOLID!) as a rock. Long story short: it was still tasty, but on the dry side.

***

About every other lunch I have is a quick veggie soup. Like the one that led to the unfortunate Soupcake Incident a couple of posts ago, only usually a lot better. This one, with a miso broth as its base, was one of my favorite soups I’ve made in a while. So satisfying, so quick, so filling, and so light. And also pretty! Damn, I’m a little bit in love with this soup.
Miso vegetable soup? That a really interesting name. Do you come here often? You have very pretty eyes.
I really need to buy miso paste again so I can make this from “scratch”, if you can call miso paste that. Until then, I will be seeing you in my dreams, soup.

***

Sometimes when I’m not very inspired, I go back to meals I know I enjoy very, very much. Salmon on top of sauteed veggies or salad is a standby that’ll probably be there for me for the rest of my life. This one in particular is just not very exciting.
I love you, but I'm not *in love* with you.
I make much better salmon than this, which I will attempt to prove sometime.

***

Remember how I have a freezer full of beans? Well, Melody over at Melomeals posted this wonderful recipe for super healthy apple oatmeal breakfast cookies that were made with BEANS! How could I not try them? The had beans, they had my beloved oatmeal, and they promised to be a good, quick breakfast for days when I don’t have time to actually cook oatmeal.
Three things about these cookies: 1) They’re freakin’ fantastic. 2) Melody is not kidding when she says they’re a breakfast item, not a dessert. If you want them sweet, POOOOUR SOME SUUUGAR ON IIIIT! Or in it. Or wherever you want it. 3) She is also not kidding when she says they’re better the next day. I think I didn’t leave mine in the oven long enough, and they came out a bit too soft. But the next morning, threw a couple of these babies on the Pizzazz (don’t make fun of me – it’s a fully functional and practical kitchen appliance!) until they were really crispy on the outside, and they were ah-mazing with my cup of coffee.
I like my baked items really crispy. But they're not burned. That's just the lighting. Shut up.
Thank you, Melody! Oh, and Misty, I know it’s not an entree, but you asked for something made with beans that you can make in advance, and that is in the category of comfort food. I fully realize that these cookies are kind of not at all what you asked for, but: they are COOKIES! Made from BEANS! You can sweeten them a bit more, and you’ll have a good, nutritious breakfast snack that even packs some protein.

***

Sometimes I’ll be sitting at my computer, and B will be in the other room at his computer, and suddenly, out of nowhere, I’ll hear his voice say, “Tacos!” And I know it’s time for tacos. Sometimes I make them with Morningstar Farms fake beef crumbles, and sometimes I’ll make them with fake chili mix from the co-op’s bulk bin. This time, I made them with lentils, because I had just cooked a giant batch. They’re keeping the beans company now. Anyway, These were spectacular, and possibly my favorite meal this past week. Don’t tell the soup.
I love tacos that are soft and warm and soak up the delicious sauce.
B loves tacos that crumble to pieces in your hand as soon as you first bite into them.
We had some of every topping left over, so we had these again for lunch. Double win!

***

And that was my food. We spend the weekend in Baltimore, by the way, so there was a lot of eating out. And I also often forget to take pictures of what I cook. But yep, that was the bulk of it. Good times, no?

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3 Responses to Cookery Shmetrospective

  1. Jenny says:

    I request an in-depth entry on sprouts!

  2. Julia Rios says:

    Oh man, I want your soup. (Soup is natural, soup is fun?) Seriously, miso + vegetables = win. Yum. Tomorrow I am making pumpkin soup, though, so you know, also yum.

  3. I’m glad the “cookies” worked for you… I gave one to my X MIL and she said they would have been good if they were sweeter… did you use stevia or sugar? You can also add some raisins for sweetness. I personally love them with a little peanut butter and banana!
    I love love love your sprouts.. and am so impressed with your Limoncello!

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