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Archive for December, 2007

The dreaded Brussels sprout. Tiny layered package of evil. Or is it?

I’ve always been a Brussels sprout hater – not that I’d ever tried one, mind you, but I’ve heard the boiled and bitter stories. But, in an epiphany moment not unlike the one when I decided I liked broccoli one day, I decided to make Brussels sprouts for Christmas dinner. Apparently it, like prime rib, is a staple of Christmas cooking. And after trying this recipe, this will probably be a staple in the Vegetable household.

Now, for all you sprouts haters out there, I should point out something important: Cauli hates Brussels sprouts. He finds them to be bitter. But he tried these Brussels sprouts and he actually liked them. And liked them enough to indulge in some left overs.

I found this recipe at a great food blog called Champagne Taste. The secret to this recipe is the sweetness from sugar, the tartness from apple cider vinegar, and the saltiness from bacon. I really love the glaze mixture of the chopped shallot, bacon, sugar, and vinegar and I think that you could take that part of the recipe and add it to other greens.

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Pretty green with flecks of bacon. Yum!

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Elli’s Artichoke Dip

My mother doesn’t cook. It’s somewhat of a joke in our family and with friends. I did not get my love of cooking from her, though I like to think that my pasison for creating food is not unlike her passion for quilting – spending time to make things just right and giving to those around you. There are a few things that my mom does cook, however, and I will be posting them on my blog as I make them.

The first is a baked artichoke dip. I believe my mom was looking to bring an easy dish to a party and turned to my cousin for inspiration. Thus, her signature artichoke dip was born.

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(Like the receipe cards? You can find them at the Etsy website.)

As you can see above, the recipe is quite simple and the ingredients are easily found at any grocery store. One important note, though, I’d like to make to the recipe above – regarding the two cups of mixed white cheeses. We used a mix of mozzarella, fontina, Parmesan, and asiago cheeses. This made the dip incredibly greasy. The best thing to do is use one cup of a low grease cheese – like mozzarella, and one cup of a greasier cheese – like Parmesan or asiago.

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The dip is thick and can be easily spread into a pie pan and baked until brown at the edges and bubbly. The result is warm, fragrant, and incredibly delicious – especially on large, multigrain crackers. The garlic powder is optional and a variety of other ingredients could be included – hot peppers, onions, herbs, bacon, etc.

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A Very Merry Christmas Present

Things are a little different around the Hunt the Recipe blog. Cauli was sweet enough to buy the domain name for me for Christmas. As you’ll see in the web address above, regardless of if you have my old Wordpress address, you’ll be redirected to my site: www.hunttherecipe.com.

I guess this means that I’ll need to do a lot more cooking in 2008!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!

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Winter Morning Breakfast

This weekend was a rare one in that we didn’t have anywhere to be. Regardless, I still like to get up a bit early in the morning, while Cauli enjoys snoozing until I rouse him out of bed with promises of coffee and breakfast.

This Saturday morning I was happy to try a recipe from a fellow food blogger – Deborah of What’s in My Kitchen. She posted a very tasty looking breakfast bake and I knew I had to try it. I am thinking that this would be the perfect breakfast for Christmas morning. You assemble it the night before, refrigerate it, and pop it in the oven the next day.

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The recipe came out really well – it was warm, custardy, with a wonderful aroma of cinnamon. I halved Deb’s recipe, used multigrain bread and 1/4 tsp of both cinnamon and allspice. The next time I make it I would use chicken apple sausage (rather than the breakfast links I used this time), butter the bottom of the dish (doh!), and create a more even layer (I felt my results were more bready, rather than custardy, than I would have liked).

This was just as good the next day, warmed in the microwave. Thanks Deb!

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Acorn Squash

Fall and winter is a time for squash, and there have been plenty of squash in our CSA bag.

I turned to Elise at Simply Recipes to prepare the acorn squash we received last week. This is a very simple recipe: Just cut the squash in half, remove the seeds, rub with butter and sprinkle with brown sugar, and bake in a dish with some water in the bottom so the squash doesn’t dry out. Elise’s recipe calls for some maple syrup, which I left out as Cauli and I can only handle so much sweetness with our vegetables.

The butter and brown sugar turned the inside of the squash a beautiful golden brown color. I served the squash in its skin, and it was very easy to scoop out.

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It’s been almost a month since I last posted, and I’m happy to say that I’m getting back into cooking! Which is good because we have a bag of tasty fruits and vegetables waiting for us on someone’s porch every Wednesday.

Tonight I had an opportunity to cook for friends, and I decided on spaghetti squash. My inspiration was this post from Nook and Pantry. Following her instructions, I cut the squash in half and steamed it for 13 minutes, testing it with a knife (mine needed another 5 minutes).

While I was steaming the squash, I chopped and sauteed a large leek and half a small onion in some olive oil, adding roughly chopped chanterelles and about 1/4 teaspoon of ground sage.

I used a fork to scrape out the squash strands and served the mushroom mixture on top. I topped it all off with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar and a small sprinkling of feta.

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I think this is my favorite dish I’ve made so far. Spaghetti squash is easy to make and is a great base for a variety of sauces: marinara, meat, pesto, cream – all would be good options for this vegetable.

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