Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Three Ingredient Tomato Sauce

I'm so over Winter. I want days in the mid 60's, with warm breezes, not blustery cold winds that cut through clothing and freezes your toes even with 2 pairs of socks and Uggs on. I am craving spring and summer veggies, more variety than what is available now.

Running across two different recipes for a basic tomato sauce, made me happy. I found the Scarpetta recipe at Steamy Kitchen, but that was a bit more than I wanted, not that a garlic basil oil isn't tasty, I just wanted a simple recipe I could throw together while cleaning house. A few weeks later I run across Smitten Kitchen and her quick tomato sauce recipe. Now I'm more in tune with her recipe since she's got her hands full with a really cute little baby.
mixed pasta and sauce

This was my lunch for two days, and it was totally yummy. When one thinks about it, what does a basic sauce need? Tomatoes, onions, and butter. Life can be fantastic with just those three?

3 ingredients- seriously!
One can of tomatoes, I have used San Marzano style, regular whole peeled, diced, and no salt kinds. They all work. Since it's a side dish, I use only 14oz cans of tomatoes, not the 28oz. It requires half a onion and 3 tablespoons of butter. Just put it all in a sturdy pot and put it on low heat to simmer for 40 min to 1 hour. Stir occasionally.

simmered for 40 min This is what it looks like when it's been simmering for a while. I like to puree the sauce when I'm done, so I used my hand immersion blender. I do admit I enjoy basil so I chiffonade a few leaves and toss them in after the immersion blender, then salt if needed. So if you need something warm and sunny give this a try. Right now I'm trying to keep a basil plant alive in this cold. Hopefully it will make it to Spring and I'll be able to plant it.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

BBQ beef sandwiches

I was trying to find something that was simple and filling and ran across this recipe on Simply Recipes. This looked good, something different and tasty, and a bit of a warm weather reminder in the freezing cold. The ingredients were fairly inexpensive and made enough to serve 12. That's two meals in this house.
(more after the break)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Kiddie Food--Corndogs and Mac and Cheese

As previously mentioned, BabyBella hates eating vegetables.  This is not at all unusual in children her age.  I've read countless articles and books on how to deal with this from the "try one bite" to "hiding the veggies."  My problem with these two approaches is the first won't get enough vegetables into my kid and the second is, quite frankly, lying to her.  Thus, I have gone with a blended approach.  I often serve vegetables as a side dish, have her try at least one bite (she inevitably says she hates it) and fortify the meal with vegetables I've blended into other foods.  As BabyBella is my #1 kitchen helper (menu planner and sous chef) she's fully aware of what I'm doing.

Today BabyBella chose for dinner a school cafeteria favorite--corn dogs with macaroni and cheese.  Now, before you get all "that's not a healthy meal!" on me, know that it is not the traditional carnival treats.
Recipe and more after the break...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Jumuk Bap

This recipe was something I found on Serious Eats. http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2010/01/jumuk-bap-korean-rice-balls-beef-pears-seaweed-recipe.html In retrospect it seemed like a great comfort recipe, reminding me of something my mom made when I was a toddler and for my son when he was young. I think every ethnicity has some type of comfort easy to chew type food. Call it baby mush. Not that I remember from my childhood, but when I tasted it, I had a sensory recall. Mom would take lean beef, flank steak or flap meat, or lean pork, using two cleavers she would chop the meat finely and marinate it. While the meat marinated she would prep the vegetable of choice (for my son it was green beans fresh from her garden, or squash from mine) In a 3 or 4 qt pot she would cook rice on the stove top and add the meat and veggie at just the right time to gently steam on top of the rice, the flavor soaking through out the dish. She would make this every day for my son as a lunch. One of my friends loved it when her son would come over for play dates and he would be given a little margarine tub of this concoction to take home for her son's dinner. She had difficulty deciding if she could justify eating it all herself and not sharing.

Then something went wrong.  More after the break.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Hiding the Veggies in Pasta e Fagioli

My six year-old daughter, henceforth referred to as BabyBella, is a horribly picky eater.  We've been through all the phases--only eating particular colors, insisting on only eating one kind of food for days on end then refusing to eat it at all the next week, refusing to eat food that touched another food--name it, we've been there.   These days, BabyBella's picky phase is refusing to eat any fruits or vegetables.  For obvious health and nutritional reasons, I can't accommodate this phase and have her not eat any fruits or vegetables. 

Luckily, although BabyBella won't eat vegetables, she and I have a deal--if she can't tell its a vegetable, she'll eat it.  That means things like tomato sauce, cornbread, spinach pasta, etc. are all totally OK with her. Thus, I've become talented at hiding fruits and vegetables in everything BabyBella eats.

I wasn't feeling particularly creative tonight but it is extremely chilly out and wanted comfort food, so I went with an old standby--Pasta e Fagioli.  Of course, I use the title loosely as it's not exactly the classic Italian soup recipe, but I've kept the general idea with a few modifications to accommodate my picky eater and make it a little bit more of a complete meal.

Recipe after the break...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

REALLY? Another food blog? Criminey...

I know, I know, why yet ANOTHER blog about food?  Hasn't it been done to death, ad nauseum, already?

Yes and no.  What this blog is really about is a place for Jo and I to share the results of both our own recipes and recipes we've found with each other as well as randomly rant about whatever happens to pop into our (exceedingly odd) minds.  If you happen to stumble upon this and find a recipe or two you like--fantastic!  If not...well, the web is an awfully big place so chances are you won't have to ever see us again.

If I haven't bored you yet, more after the jump.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Is America too stupid?

I've made an effort for the last 15 years to cook for my family and avoid prepackaged or processed food. So the other day I ran across a blog post from Michael Ruhlman, http://blog.ruhlman.com/2010/01/america-too-stupid-to-cook.html I love Michael Ruhlman, it was through his creativity and curiosity that brought to the world the recipes and technical mastery of Thomas Keller's French Laundry. I admit I haven't made any of the recipes in this coffee table work of art book. I drool at the images, the techniques, the details the chefs put into the prep of the ingredients, and the amazing outcome. But again is America too stupid to cook? No, I don't believe that is the problem. America is time crunched, or cash strapped.

More after the break...