November 28, 2011

Pumpkin Stuffed Mushrooms

For Thanksgiving Day, YJDKIY needed a hearty appetizer/lunch item since dinner got pushed back to, well, dinner time. Enter my Winter Harvest mushrooms...

...and an open can of half-used pumpkin, the end of a bag of stuffing, some yellow onion, some shredded parm, some sage and thyme, and a spoonful of almost-done Neufchâtel.

Remove the stems and fill them up. Place on a cookie sheet (I foiled it, don't know why though...). Since I only had 5 little shiitakes, I also stuffed some organic buttom mushrooms from TJs.

Bake in a 400 oven for about 20 minutes. 

The other eaters thought these were pretty tasty...and I had a couple of bites, despite my lack of love for mushies.  They were super easy to make and presented (and photographed!) really well. I'll definitely make these again. 

November 27, 2011

Dashing to December

SATURDAY: Salad with Baked Breaded Cod
SUNDAY: Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Kale, Shiitake, Sausage
MONDAY: Black Bean Quesadillas
TUESDAY: Breakfast Dinner
WEDNESDAY: Tofu Hoagies
THURSDAY: Tuscan Chick Pea Soup
FRIDAY: Chicken with Asparagus & Pine Nuts

November 26, 2011


Now that Thanksgiving is past, it is, in fact, permissible to move on to Christmas.

If you're busy with the decorating and shopping and falalalas, here is a simple dinner.

Falafel! This was a new brand YJDKIY picked up at The Fresh Market. Normally I stand over a hot pan and fry these, but this time I just stuck them in the oven and went about my other chores.

I made some fake tzaziki sauce with Oikos, lemon juice, and garlic powder, and got them all ready to go in my pita, only I didn't have any pitas!

No matter! I wrapped them up in lettuce-pitas!

November 25, 2011

Wedding Cake Redo

YJDKIY got a fantastic birthday surprise!

A certain someone arranged to have a remake of that wedding cake I didn't really get to enjoy.

A closeup doesn't do it justice. MMMMmmmmmmm...muah!

November 24, 2011

T'was the night before...

Thanksgiving and all through the house, I only wanted salad to put in my...mouth (close enough rhyme right?!).

YJDKIY is preparing for a carb-o-licious fall feast tomorrow, so the night before (and likely lunch before) was as light as possible. It's based on this recipe, but of course I didn't measure, I omitted ginger and used garlic powder, added green onions, and used EVOO instead of sesame. Oh, and I sauted canned TJ's salmon instead of a filet.

It was a little odd combining these things at first, but it actually turned out super delicious. Keeper!

November 23, 2011

Long Lost Post

Somehow this post got lost in the depths of YJDKIY, likely because I was too lazy to bust out the DSLR and these are iPhone photos. But I decided to go ahead and give it life.

Eggplant-Artichoke panini in the new grill pan!

I'd never cooked with one of these before, but it worked perfectly! I can't wait to try "grilling" other things!

Wacky Wednesday: Like it's 1991

Isn't it funny how things get stuck in your head? I called this Wacky Wednesday for a reason, so I won't go into lengthy detail. But, what started with an innocent little SNL skit (not nearly as cool as REALLY!?!) has resulted in a trip down memory lanjavascript:;e to 1991, also known as Junior High for YJDKIY.

It was pretty amusing to watch these videos for fashion and culture. Plus, I had all these singles on cassette tapes. (which, when you think about it was sort of like the 1990s version of iTunes - it was much more efficient to just buy the songs you liked rather than the whole album...which, were they albums or CDs at that point?)

It's also interesting that this was going on at the same time, too.

Although grunge had earlier origins than new jack swing, it wasn't until 1993-94 that we all started wearing flannel shirts and Doc Martens and one of my all-time favorite recordings was done: Nirvana on MTV Unplugged. That is still one of the handful of classic "albums" worthy of purchasing the entire thing in my book. Watch it on Netflix.

Check out the MTV Yearbooks for your own walk down musical memory lane. 1991 1994
(but it's a dead end at 1981!)

November 20, 2011

GK TG menu

Harvest Apple Salad Bowls
Homemade Bread*
Lemon Seared Brussels Sprouts
Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Granny Bell Beans with Stewed Tomatoes
Green Kitchen Favorite Collards
Carrot Spice Cake with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Icing



Seth AND Kermie...about food...I can't handle it. REALLY!

November 19, 2011

Tis the Week

SATURDAY: leftovers
SUNDAY: Corn Chowdah Mac 'n' Cheese; Broccoli
MONDAY: Naan Pizzas
TUESDAY: Tofu Stir-Fry w/ Brown Rice
WEDNESDAY: Shredded Cabbage & Salmon Salad
THURSDAY: this day requires and entire separate post
FRIDAY: leftovers

November 13, 2011

Crunchy Tofu?!

YJDKIY never thought to do this with tofu!

The recipe is pretty close to what I did, I just added some assorted other chopped veggies (peppers, zuchs, squash) and used panko instead of regular bread crumbs. 

This was tasty and pretty filling, but still light, plus I love using kale in a casserole!

For vegetables
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced lengthwise
1 lb cabbage, cored and cut crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick slices (4 cups)
1 lb kale, stems and center ribs removed and leaves coarsely chopped (12 cups)
1/2 lb carrots, cut into 1/4-inch-thick matchsticks
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt

For topping
1 1/2 cups fine fresh or dried bread crumbs, preferably whole wheat
7 oz firm tofu
1 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/2 cup)
1/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons dried basil, crumbled
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
1 teaspoon paprika
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt

Sauté vegetables:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.
Heat oil in a deep 12- to 14-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté onion, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to moderate and add cabbage, kale, carrots, water, soy sauce, and salt. (Skillet will be full, but volume will reduce as vegetables steam.) Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are just tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a 13- by 9-inch glass baking dish.

Make topping:
Pulse all topping ingredients together in a food processor until combined well. Alternatively, mash ingredients together in a large bowl with a potato masher. Sprinkle tofu mixture over vegetables in baking dish and bake, uncovered, until topping is golden brown and vegetables are heated through, 15 to 20 minutes.

November 12, 2011

Prep week

YJDKIY has a little Post article in the works. Nothing big, just, you know, THANKSGIVING!! Since it is running before the big day, this week is prep week!

SATURDAY: Lentil Loaf, Green beans
SUNDAY: Limas & Stewed Tomatoes, Apple Salad, Tofu Steaks
MONDAY: Those fajitas that never happened
TUESDAY: Likely Leftovers
THURSDAY: Taragon Tuna Toasties
FRIDAY: Potato Kale Enchiladas

November 8, 2011

Sad State of Affairs

1. At 5:20 pm, yesterday, Nov. 8 (!) , I was the 225th voter in my precinct. That is almost 12 hours after the polls opened this morning and only 224 people made it there before me? Granted it is just a local election, but if you think about it, the City Council vote probably has more direct impact on your daily life than any national or state election. And if you multiply that out, that means like 1000 people will elect 5 people, including the mayor.

2. The Canine Component was horribly embarrassed, but is totally rocking her (coupla months late) back to school look. Since she turns 7 next month, she's old enough to carry her own loot, yes?

3. Due to an unfortunate encounter with an IKEA SLOM and untimely appointments, I've had to resort to frozen dinner and lunch. I honestly cannot tell you the last time I stuck one of these in the microwave. It might have been 2 years ago. But, it turns out you do in fact need your left thumb to peel vegetables and you know, cook. So, until these three stitches are removed and my left hand can get wet again, don't expect much. PS: Donations of sympathy and dinner cooking are being accepted. PPS: Be glad I spared you the photo without the bandage!

(note both are organic, and the most healthy frozen item I could find! that counts for somethin right?)

The Small Stuff: The Menu

Ok so this wasn't really small stuff. In fact, it was one of the first things I started working on. Who would cater and what would dinner be like?

Photo by Denny Shortt

We knew there had to be a vegetarian option, so that ruled out a lot of companies. Luckily, Reids Catering seemed to be a perfect fit. With only a couple of revisions, they crafted a delicious fall meal with three entree options for our guests.

Hors D’oeuvres
To Be Passed

Assorted Vegetarian Bruschetta

Warm Feta & Spinach Filled Cremini Mushrooms

Roasted Butternut Squash Bisque
Served in Demi Tasse Cups with Crème Fraiche

Sparkling Peach Ginger Lemonade


Crisp Local Apples, Caramelized Pecans & White Balsamic Vinaigrette
Over Local Organic Greens

Grilled Molasses Glazed Local Pork Tenderloin
Apricot Ginger Chutney

Grilled Cedar Plank Mountain Trout
Lemon Gremolata

Vegetarian Strudel
Roasted Red Pepper Vegan Sauce


Grilled Seasonal Vegetable “Salad”
Basil Pistou

Butternut Squash Ravioli
Swiss Chard & Garlic

Assorted Artisanal Breads
Olive Oil

Hibiscus Herbal Tea
Coffee & Tea Service

I first chose the vegetarian strudel, but at the last minute change my mind to have the pork, since I knew it was something I rarely, hardly ever, in fact, prepare at home. This proved a wise choice because it was so tender & juicy and the strudel had mushrooms. 

Photo by Denny Shortt
The other eater chose Trout. I don't think either of us got to try the appetizers, but the Sparkling Peach Ginger Lemonade was delicious. Many couples told me that you don't get to eat at your own reception, but I was pretty intent on sitting down to dinner, just in case though, we had two boxed meals saved for a late night snack. 

Photo by Denny Shortt

November 7, 2011

Chinese Chicken Noodle Soup with Green Onions and Sesame

Quite an impressive title huh? For YJDKIY's first official Winter Harvest meal, I wanted to use those delicious green onions. Local fresh ones always seem to be spicier and hotter than the store variety, yet somehow milder than regular onions.

Nevermind that I forgot they were the star ingredient until I'd already diced up a yellow onion and had to seal it back up and put in the fridge. Doh.

This packaging cracks me up.

The recipe called for Napa Cabbage, which looked less than appealing at the grocery store (I can't imagine it's turnover rate is very respectable and it showed. Alternative?

I used Savoy Cabbage, that came all the way from Deep Gap, NC.

Cabbage is a winter vegetable and it is entering it's peak month (according to Wiki).

Chopped to pieces.

I put together a marinade of low-sodium soy, EVOO, and Sherry. And, for this meal, we reached a new milestone. I didn't think it was possible for a food photo, especially one I took, to be...well, gross. Squeamish readers shield your eyes....



Chopped up chicken marinating. GAHRHOOOOS.

I let it sit for a while and sauted a bunch of pressed garlic.

Add in the cabbage/onions. (The recipe called for a bunch of other ingredients I omitted.) Boil some water for the noodles.

Hello shutter speed.

Add in the stock and the cooked chicken strips.

Add some sesame.

Combine it all.

VOILA! Bangkok Garden right here on the Ave. Another keeper soup.


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