A Veggie St. Patrick’s Day Feast

I’m going to avoid the obligatory apology for not posting in quite some time, and instead just dive into the lovely St. Patrick’s Day feast that we enjoyed this year.

Every Friday afternoon, I get a text message from the Humane Society, promoting their weekly Meatless Monday recipe. As mouth-watering as they always sound and look, I’ve never actually sat down and made one. But with this week’s recipe for Corned Beefless Brisket and Cabbage, celebrating everyone’s favorite drunken holiday, I knew I was in.

Vegan Corned Beef and Cabbage Feast

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Breakfast Lasagna 2.0

In my first venture into Breakfast Lasagna, I knew there were a few things that I needed to tweak. It was good, but it wasn’t quite what I had envisioned. But I knew what I had to do: throw some cheese on it.

And I did just that. Taking complete health-consciousness out of the picture for a moment was key. Instead of my usual dance around “how can I cut the fat” or “well that’s lower in sugar” I gave in to my dream and let the food steer me.

And I made this:

Breakfast Lasagna

A slice of Breakfast Lasagna

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Oops, I forgot about you.

Woa, where has the time gone? I’m going to have to stop trying to make excuses as to what life obstacle got in my way and took me away from blogging for so long. A new job. Vacation. Summer sunning. Summer drinking. Sumer cooling. The list could go on.

Instead of pretending that I will be able to finish every saved draft I’ve created and forgotten about. Let’s try killing a few birds with one stone. I present to you my compilation: My Month in the Kitchen (or so). Here are some of the fun things that I’ve been up to over the last couple of months…

Bourbon Brownies

Bourbon Brownies

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Yee-Haw Mother’s Day Brunch

Oatmeal- peanut butter cream filled cookies and orange-chocolate scones

Oatmeal- peanut butter cream filled cookies and orange-chocolate scones

Firstly, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that although it was Mother’s Day (just wait for Georgene’s comment on here shortly…) I in fact did not spend it with mommy dearest. Instead I was in Houston with Gabe’s family, spending the weekend at his godmother’s house.

So of course, I had to find a way to go overboard with brunch — and not without some… hiccups, because it wouldn’t be a day in the kitchen without them, right?

In full disclosure let’s just get the dirty laundry out of the way quickly.

1) Only one oven of the double oven was working. And to make matters more complicated, the one oven that is working is a broiler oven, unbeknownst to me.

2) I made it to the grocery store at 11:30, when they closed at midnight, the night before brunch. We were able to get what we needed, but of course, I was up at 6:30 to go and get a bag-full of items I forgot, oops.

3) Being in a stranger’s kitchen, I had to improvise some kitchen tools, of course, later to find them hiding somewhere.

So problem #1 considered, we went for more of a …. 6-ish hour, spread out “brunch tapas” event. Yeah, that’s what we’re calling it.

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Kale and Feta Pie

I LOVE Kale. And I LOVE Feta cheese. And heck, I’m Greek.

I’ve been making spinach pies for years, but lately, I’ve been substituting kale in the mix. You could use any green, leafy vegetable, but how can you go wrong with kale?

Green Onions in Cast Iron Skillet

Green Onions in Cast Iron Skillet

Spanakopita

The topped off kale-feta pie

  • 2 bunches of kale
  • 1 bunch of green onion
  • 1 package of phyllo dough
  • 1 pound of crumbled feta cheese (feel free to use low fat)
  • 1 egg
  • dried or fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • olive oil
  1. Chop kale leaves, stripping them from stems.
  2. Quickly blanch kale in boiling water.
  3. Finely chop green onions and sautee in olive oil.
  4. Add sauteed green onions, kale, feta cheese, dill (to taste) egg, sour cream and feta cheese to bowl.
  5. Mix to incorporate all ingredients.
  6. grease a 9 x 17 baking dish.
  7. Layer 4 pieces of phyllo dough on the bottom of the pan, coating each layer lightly with olive oil.
  8. Pour kale mixture on top of phyllo.
  9. Layer 4 more pieces of phyllo on top of mixture, coat top with oil.
  10. Bake in a 400 degree oven until top is browned, about 40 minutes.

Zosia’s Pierogi


Boiled Pierogi
Of all the cooking that I do, I have a couple of recipes that are staples in the kitchen and really bring me back to my childhood. Growing up in a Polish-American family, pierogi were always one of the dishes that was served along any big event. For Christmas and Easter, they were there, and each year at the church festival, they were also there, golden and crispy on the outside, warm and gooey on the inside.

After my grandmother Zosia(Sophie)’s passing 6 years ago, no one in the family really had an interest in continuing the labor-intensive tradition of pierogi making. And then there was this weird little gay boy who liked getting dirty in the kitchen.

To celebrate my mother, the sheeny herself, coming for a DC visit, I decided to role out the cabbage-lined carpet and create a feast that would please even the frumpiest Stasho at the PLAV.

The centerpiece was a behemoth platter of pierogi. And in full disclosure, I have to confess, that in the heat of the day of cooking, I somehow managed to forget to take photos of much of the end results. Not sure how this happened exactly, but I’ll blame the wine.

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A Mexican Valentine’s Day Dinner

Hello. Gabe here. Let me tell you what a normal evening at home is like:

Chris: What do feel like eating today, option 1, 2 or 3?

Me: I think option 2.

Chris: Well I really feel like making option 3.

STORY. OF. MY. LIFE! (I know I’m spoiled. Whatever.)

This Valentine’s Day we didn’t feel like joining the mobs for a ‘romantic’ dinner with an overpriced menu, so we simply turned the tide at home. I made dinner for a change. I mean…I make dinner sometimes…but it is rarely, if ever, pescatarian friendly. Dinner consisted of vegetarian beef and cheese enchiladas, Spanish rice, refried beans, empanadas, and homemade margarita-like cocktails. Continue reading

Consider Me: Salsified

Salsify Root

I think I’ve found the new kale.

Or at least something to hoard for the next few months alongside the crunchy-green masterpiece. And let’s face it, I eat a lot of kale, so some diversity in my diet –even if for a few weeks/ months/ whatever — will be a good idea (and Gabe can only handle so much of my crunchy-greens-obsessing I’m certain.)

If I judged on first impressions alone, I never would have dove into this long, dirty root. It’s one of the items that I’ve probably walked past in produce markets before, and never thought twice. But after reading encouraging reviews from the wonderful folks at South Mountain Veggies, I was convinced to at least give it a try. Heck, the worst that would happen is I would waste a few dollars and throw it away. I can think of many worse things.

And let me just say, this root will change your eating life.

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Christmas Breakfast in February

This year's loaf of pannetone (and only $5 at Trader Joe's)

Pannetone is a marvelous Christmas bread. Each year when December rolls around, I have to find one. This Italian holiday tradition pops up at most grocery stores and gourmet shops the last few months of the years and is pretty hard to find the rest of the year. If you’re as big as a fan as I am, it may warrant stocking up when you can.

The buttery, flaky bread is filled with all sorts of dried fruits. But this past year, for whatever reason, my beautiful Christmas loaf sat lonely until well after the holiday.

But lucky for me, it holds up for a few months. But what to do with this caloric-beast? I mean, it’s buttery and sweet enough as it is, and can be perfect just lightly toasted, but that just won’t do.

But dipping it in an egg and milk mixture, dusted with cinnamon then drowned in Michigan maple syrup, now thats a winner.

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Martha Got Me Again

So I’m trying to come up with my list of excuses of why I’ve not been blogging as much as I told myself I would in 2012. Maybe it’s that I’ve been going to the gym a lot, but I really haven’t gone since the first week of the month. Or maybe that my boyfriend’s been keeping me too busy with social activities, but then there’s the fact that he’s been in the (not so glorious) state of Indiana for the last three weeks. Or maybe that… I lost power and had no access to internet? Ok, now I’m just reaching.

I guess I’ve just been slacking off more than I would like to admit (but heh, I’m doing it publicly.) So in my attempt to right this ship, today I went back to Martha. And hey, I know I’ve had my ups and downs with Martha’s recipes, I figured I’d give her a shot tonight.

And of course, because it’s a Martha recipe, I inevitably missed a step, but for all the better, it just cut calories and I was still very satisfied. The recipe was for Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower, Parsley and Breadcrumbs (I forgot the breadcrumbs).

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