Eating is a necessity. However, we choose what to eat. The choices we make reveal a great deal about us. The food you eat can tell quite a bit about your heritage, your family, your fears, your sense of adventure, your attitude toward yourself and others, and a myriad of other personal tidbits to anyone paying attention. Everything about eating is a glimpse into your soul.

I hope to reveal a little bit about myself to you through my food. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy eating. I find pleasure in bringing pleasure to others. I hope that by sharing my recipes I bring you a little bit of joy.

Cook my food. Feed it to the people you love.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mediterranean Orzo and Chickpea Salad

Chickpeas are so versatile that if you don’t have some in your cupboard you should run out and get some now.  In addition to their regular job as beans, they moonlight as the main ingredient in hummus, a crunchy salad toss in, and when ground, a gluten free flour.  Chickpeas are a good source of fiber and protein.  Providing thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, and manganese, chickpeas are high in nutrition but low in calories.  Still not convinced?  Okay, they are also scrumptious.  

Servings: 4-6
Time:  Prep: 10 minutes;   Cooking:  9 minutes
Hardware:  Measuring spoons and cups, a cutting board and knives, a large pot, a colander, a zester, a serving bowl

  • 4 ounces uncooked orzo
  • 1-16 ounce can of chickpeas
  • 1 + 1 tablespoon LIGHT olive oil
  • 1 cucumber
  • The zest and juice from 1 lemon (maybe more)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon fresh black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  1. Cook the orzo according to package directions.  Drain, toss with one tablespoon of olive oil, and allow to cool.
  2. Open the can of chickpeas and rinse twice to remove the salt.
  3. Chop and seed the tomatoes and cucumber.  Zest and juice the lemon. (You should have 2 tablespoons of zest and ⅛ cup lemon juice.)  Chop the herbs.
  4. Toss all the ingredients together.
  5. Serve at room temperature.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Baked Beans from Scratch

Everyone loves baked beans.  Making them from scratch does take time, but you will find that these beans are 1,000 times better than that stuff from a can.  You can adjust these to your taste.  As is, this recipe is spicy (chorizo, spicy mustard, red pepper) and sweet (molasses, brown sugar) and wonderful.

Servings: 6-8
Hardware:  A cutting board and knives, measuring spoons and cups, a large soup pot with a lid, a Dutch oven or a heavy ceramic dish, a skillet, foil, a wooden spoon
Time:  Soak: 8-24 hours, prep:  10 minutes, cook 3 hours (maybe more)

  • 1 pound bag of great northern bean, soaked and drained
  • Water
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 8 oz of fresh chorizo sausage-removed from the casing
  • 1 small onion (½ cup)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • 1½ cups ketchup
  • 1 cup spiced rum
  • ⅛ cup molasses
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons spicy mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • A pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken stock (maybe more)
  • 4 slices bacon
  1. Pick over the beans and place them in a large soup pot.  Cover them in cold water, place a lid on the pot, and soak them for at least 8 hours or over night.  Drain the beans and discard the soak water. 
  2. Bring the beans to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer until the skins begin to burst.  This will take 45 minutes to 1 ½ hours.  Drain and place in the Dutch oven.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  4. Wash the onion, garlic, and parsley and dice them, the smaller the better.  Remove the sausage from the casing and slice the bacon.  Set to the side.
  5. Heat the olive oil in the skillet on medium high.
  6. Add the onion, garlic, parsley, and sausage.  Turn the heat down to medium.
  7. Stir and allow the onions, etc to sweat for 4-5 minutes.  The onions should be bubbling, but not browning.  Stir occasionally. 
  8. Stir in all the remaining ingredients except the stock and the bacon.
  9. Bring to a boil.  Allow to boil for 2-3 minutes stirring constantly.
  10. Mix the hot liquid, chicken stock, and diced bacon into the beans.  Cover in foil.
  11. Bake, covered, for 1 hour.  Check half way through, stir, and add more stock if the beans are dry.
  12. Uncover and bake for another ½ hour to 45 minutes or until the beans are tender.
Serve warm.  Offer your guests hot sauce.

Start these beans now, call some friends and have a summer party tomorrow:  Beef kabobs, Spicy and Sweet Broccoli Slaw, Mactastic Macaroni Salad, corn on the cob, and Raspberry Lemonade