Archive for April, 2008

Excuse the bad photo, but I wanted to prove that the Laptop Lunch lives on. An impromptu meal from a few nights ago involving pesto chicken sausage, morels (not fresh, sadly, but reconstituted), and tomato sauce (a great recipe from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything), pasta, strawberries, and spiced nuts.


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Savory Bacon and Egg Tarts

There hasn’t been too much breakfast-making in our house over the last few months. Rather, we’ve enjoyed sleeping in or going out to some of our local breakfast haunts.

However, when I saw this recipe on the wonderfully named blog, 80 Breakfasts, I knew that we were going to have to stay in and make it.

I followed the recipe pretty closely. Using two gratin dishes we received as gifts for our wedding, I cut out circles of puff pastry to fit inside. I then smeared some Dijon mustard onto the pastry and grated over that some port cheddar. I wrapped two pieces of bacon (pre-cooked for about 10 min.) around the circumfrence of the dishes and cracked two eggs in the middle of each. Chopped herbs from our small porch garden finished it off, and into the oven it went for about 25 minutes.

This is a really easy and great breakfast or brunch dish. The flavor of the mustard really came through and I think, if you like onions like me, you could replace the mustard with some red onion confit (The Girl and the Fig is one of my favorites). I would have added a little more grated cheese, as that flavor didn’t come through enough, though there are a lot of strong flavors here so it makes sense that something will get lost.

I’d love to try this on a larger scale – using a full-sized pie dish and more bacon and eggs for a larger group of people.

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I’m still making my lunches once in a while in my nifty Laptop Lunch System. This lunch featured leftover chicken and tuna salad with my favorite crackers from a hike/picnic my dad, Cauli, and I went on this last weekend. There are also strawberries and a little bit of homemade pudding.


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Chocolate Pudding

I remember my mom making chocolate pudding when I was a kid. The wait for the pudding to cool and to develop its delicious skin was always excruciating. I would constantly peek into the fridge to see if the pudding was ready, passing my hand over the tops of the bowls and feeling disappointed when they were still hot. And nothing was better than that first bite, still a little warm because I just couldn’t wait.

I found this pudding recipe on a food blog I discovered recently, Eggs On Sunday. As I followed the recipe to the letter, I’ll direct you to her pudding post. This was super easy to make – almost as easy as the stove top Jello mix my mom used. And if you find yourself making it often, I imagine you could combine the sugar, cornstarch, and cocoa powder in the correct amounts and keep them in small lidded containers or ziplock bags.

One thing to remember is to wait until the pudding cools before covering it with plastic wrap and putting it in the fridge. You don’t want watery pudding.

This pudding came out super chocolaty – deeply chocolaty. Cauli loved it. Me? It was a bit much. I’m not much of a chocolate person – I like my chocolate more benign and easy. With that said, I could have used more sugar to sweeten it up, as well as a milk chocolate rather than a 75% Dagoba bar.

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As with many people who love food enough to blog about it, one of my favorite things to do is surf food blog sites – getting fresh ideas, discovering lasting recipes, and peeking into other people’s kitchens and learning about their approach to food.

If you haven’t discovered TasteSpotting, I suggest you click the link immediately. It’s a gallery of beautiful photographs of food from food blogs with accompanying links. A very quick and satisfying way to browse recipes.

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It’s been a long time…since I posted (Timmy T everyone!).

The last month or so at the Vegetable household has been fairly busy. We’ve either been eating out, or I’ve made comfortable and familiar food, like honey teriyaki chicken, slow-cooked broccoli, and mac and cheese.

This weekend my dad came to stay with us, and he brought me a birthday present: Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Family Style. We decided to make her Chicken Stew with Biscuits for Sunday dinner. It was a group effort: my dad picking apart the roasted chicken (store bought as I felt lazy), Cauli stirring the stew and chopping rosemary after a small accident between my finger and the knife (they met and it was a bloody exchange), and me rushing about as usual, trying to manage my messy kingdom, red faced from the heat.

The recipe is basically a chicken pot pie filling with biscuits on top. Rather than roasting chicken breasts, we bought a pre-roasted bird at the store. I added leeks that we’d picked up at our local farmer’s market to the blanched carrots, frozen peas, and onions called for, and omitted the frozen pearl onions. Finally, I added chopped rosemary from our herb garden to the biscuits.

The meal came out great – well seasoned, familiar and comforting, and enough for a small army. Seriously. We’ll be eating chicken stew for the rest of the week.


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