December 29, 2011

When Dinner is a Disaster*

After my week plus vacation from the blog, YJDKIY had big plans to return with a tasty sweet potato recipe that I could also feature for an upcoming Winter Harvest post. I should have known when the sweet potatoes were MIA that this dinner was doomed. Apparently when unpacking groceries the other day, I thought they should go in the freezer. Just for the record, frozen whole potatoes are an ideal substitute for bricks. The other eater showed up with two new sweet potatoes, and I decided to cheat the recipe and microwave them for a few minutes to reduce the 60 minute bake time. Note, this doesn't really work.

Meanwhile, I got out the shallots, garlic, and corn for a little stuffing saute. Again, I should have quit when two of the just purchased shallots were already rotten.

Plus they make SUCH a mess. 

Diced them up and cooked for a while, but apparently not long enough (this will be clear later).

Scooped out the potatoes, which is not at all like scooping out a baked potato.

Spooned the mix back in.

Top with some fancy-grated cheddar and return to the oven for 15-20 minute. These had such potential!

Just so we're clear, I have never met a dish that had too much onion or garlic...until now. I couldn't even finish this because the shallots were so potent. It burned my mouth to even chew it. And just to reinforce the magnitude of this disastacular, the other eater even said, for the first time EVER, that this dinner concoction did not get approval. first.time.ever.

So while dinner was a total flop and second dinners ensued, we're going to hope this is just the fault of the frozen potatoes/rotted shallots and not because I, you know, forgot how to cook or anything.

* or The One that made me have to re-think tomorrow night's dinner in order to make this flop not the last post of 2011. You're welcome.

December 19, 2011


Holiday baking around here almost always involves this.

And it always makes me laugh.  
(click the photo to enlarge if you can't read the text under Peppermint Extract).

December 18, 2011

Green "Meat" Balls

No, YJDKIY didn't use green meat. But I had this idea to make meatballs out of kale. Given that I don't really like meat, this proved a bit of a challenge.

Instead I used MorningStar Farms Meal Starters Grillers Recipe Crumbles.  Basically, I just sauted some onion and garlic with the grillers and then set them aside to cool, Meanwhile, I boiled an entire bunch of kale, torn into tiny pieces. Then I combined the two, plus an egg (egg beaters), breadcrumbs and spices, and rolled into balls. They baked at 375 for about 30-45 minutes until crispy on the outside. Served with marinara sauce over spinach spaghetti.

Food that doesn't photograph well is dead to me though.

December 16, 2011

Quinoa Stuffed Cabbage Leaves

I'm pretty sure this used to get made when I was younger, and it involved millet and I hated it. :P

I started with some random ingredients (those are the local turnips I never used!)

Feature ingredient!

Plop it in a pot of boiling water and let it cook for about 5 minutes. Rotate it to get even cooking.

Remove from water (not as easy as one might think!) and transfer to a cool water bath. Gently peel off the tender leaves without tearing them.

If you get to tight leaves that are crisp, plunk it back in the boiling water for a couple minutes. I got about 10-12 off a the small cabbage patch head. While your leaves are cooling, saute 1/2-1 finely diced sweet potato, half a yellow onion, 4 cloves of garlic (minced), and, cook about 1 c (dry) quinoa (I ran out so I mixed in some cous cous, which actually worked really well to hold it all together). Dump a bunch of rosemary, garlic powder, sage, and basil in the mix and stir it all together. I also added about 2T nutritional yeast.

Evenly divide your mix according to how many leaves you have an spoon onto a leaf. They are much more flexible than you would imagine.

Roll'er up! Place rolls in a greased baking dish and top with 1.5 c tomato sauce of your choice. I used no-salt added plain tomato sauce with extra basil, garlic powder, and rosemary.

I also sprinkled a little parmesan. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes on 400. Remove foil and broil for 10-15 minutes.

Because I forgot to add the soy crumbles, this was served over balsamic-rosemary chick peas for some extra protein. Weird looking and a little weird of a combination, but it actually turned out pretty tasty!

PS: While the winter sky does give you things like this out your back window

and sometimes even rainbows with a pot of gold right next door, 

it is IMPOSSIBLE to photograph dinner this time of year. Dark at 5 pm = overhead fluorescent + yellow incandescent = bizzzzzarre colored food.

December 15, 2011

A video is worth a thousand words

The fresh spinach we got last week in the Winter Harvest basket was crunchier, yes CRUNCHIER, than any spinach, and just about any green I've seen.

I could tell you all about it, but it's just easier to let it speak for itself.... (excuse the blurriness and messy background!).  Make sure your sound is on.

I'm not sure I can go back to bag spinach ever again!

December 13, 2011

Shrimp Salad

When you think of shrimp salad, does something like this come to mind? YJDKIY happens to think that creamy stuff is rather disgusting. So I remade it!

Simplest supper we've had in a while! Just dice up some green and yellow pepper, a small tomato, red onion, fresh cilantro and combine with lime juice, agave, and a tiny drip of olive oil. Mix it all together and add some chopped boiled shrimp. Chill and serve!

December 10, 2011

Last One

Likely the last regularly scheduled menu programming of 2011! This week features a few recipes from the Gluten-free Goddess. I'm not going to be strict about the ingredients, but her recipes looked so tasty, I decided to give it a go!

SUNDAY: Butternut Chili
MONDAY: DIY dinner
TUESDAY: Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (totally modifying this) 
WEDNESDAY: Kale-Meatballs & Spaghetti
THURSDAY:  Twice Baked Tofu Potatoes
FRIDAY: Chicken Enchilada Casserole
SATURDAY: Mediterranean Tuna & Artichoke Pasta

December 7, 2011

Top 11 Ornaments of 2011

For some reason, YJDKIY hasn't been big on the food posts this week. In place though, please find a holiday countdown sure to have your PayPal accounts dwindling*!

Top 11 Fantastic Ornaments of 2011 from Etsy**


Surly Girl Crafts: Recycled Bike Chain Star

 TheOffbeatBear: Terrified Gingerbread Man
SweetBabyJs: Elvis
tomtaggart: Hand Painted Mermaid
boxhounds: Surfer Girl LEGO

Note that all images are from the seller's linked pages, these are not my photos, nor do I claim ownership or credit for them.

*after reading this list, hopefully you will have detected my sarcasisity***.

**I heart Etsy, there is fantastic stuff out there and this post is all in the name of fun. and taste. because there is no accounting for it. Just think of it as exposure to culture.

***scarcasisity is a YJDKIY special word of the day. go on, look it up.

YJDKIY Christmas 2010 with my actual ornaments

YJDKIY 12 Days of Christmas 2009 Special

December 2, 2011

Post title (I can't think of one)

SATURDAY: No-cream Creamy Broccoli Soup
SUNDAY: Tofu Hoagies that never happened but without the hoagie and brown rice instead, squash, radish salad
MONDAY:Cheesy Butternut Bake & Peas
TUESDAY: SortofCeviche
WEDNESDAY: Spinach stuffed shells
FRIDAY: more bleh (but convenient for dinner planning)


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