Blasted Deer!

June 20, 2010

Half of our garden was eaten by deer! They were quite fond of the peppers, tomatoes, beans, and cucumbers. So today we set out to Home Depot in search of fencing and got some very sturdy stuff. We staked it up around and hope this does the trick to keep them out!!

Vegetable Gardening

June 9, 2010

Terribly sorry about the severe lack of posts! Finals as well as a seriously heavy course load crept up quite quickly this year! But now it is finally summer! Time for barbecues, camping, water, relaxation, and gardening! This summer I have developed a new veggie plot at my mountain home and will be noting its progress as it grows. I will also be explaining different things you can do with produce. Enjoy!

A Pizza for Springtime

March 10, 2010

Hi everyone!

I realized last week that it has been quite some time since I’ve written anything on here…I believe around Christmas was the last time. Oops! I will attempt to write more regularly. Schoolwork seems to have a mind of its own, however, and likes to completely control my life…is that normal? I suppose so. Anyway, it is spring break, which gives me a little more free time, and I have a wonderful recipe to share with you today. I made this a few weeks ago and was thrilled with the way it turned out. I have attempted to make homemade pizza in the past and the crust has turned out pretty thick, which still produces a good pizza, but is just a little bready. Also, I’ve never thought to make a pizza without a tomato sauce as the base. I know that probably sounds silly, but to me pizza has always been crust, red sauce and cheese (and of course any other toppings…I personally like anchovies on my pizza, but I realize that’s kind of freakish and weird, so we’ll just leave that subject alone). This pizza was different because it had a very thin crust and pesto as the base, rather than red sauce. The recipe, complete with step-by-step photos is on Pioneer Woman’s website, so I won’t bother reposting the whole recipe here. Just go to http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2010/02/my-favorite-pizza/ and be prepared for deliciousness! This pizza was so good that I am actually making it tonight for my mom and I for dinner. As a note, the recipe calls for olive oil under the cheese, eggplant and tomato, but says that pesto can also be used. Because pesto sounded so much more delicious than olive oil, I decided to use that instead, and I’m really glad I did! I unfortunately don’t have any pictures of the pizza I made, because it was cut and eaten before I even thought about getting my camera out (we were a little hungry), but Pioneer Woman has plenty of pictures on her site. Enjoy!

~Cassie

Vegetarian Halupki! whodathunk :)

February 16, 2010

Greetings bloggerbobbers, Amanda here!

This week, at the suggestion of my mom I decided to celebrate my Czech heritage with a bit of halupki, vegetarian style! I spent a while online browsing meat and meatless versions alike and found a common theme and then simply combined my favorite parts! I’m going to sort of combine the method and ingredients sections this week as I am writing from memory, so bear with me (I’ll bold the ingredients as I go).

What do you do?

Heat up 1 can tomato soup in a small pot. While that is heating, peel 12-15 leaves off of 1 head of cabbage, make sure they are large as they will have stuffing in them and will be folded up. Bring a pot of water to boil and proceed to boil the cabbage for 2 minutes, after which taking them out of the hot water and placing them on a plate. For the stuffing: 1 bag meatless scramble, 1 package baby portabella mushrooms, 1 onion. Chop the onion and slice mushrooms. Saute the scramble first and then add the mushrooms and onion, sauteing until onions are crystalized and the mushrooms are soft. Place a scoop of the stuffing into the cabbage leaf and roll it up, then place it into the tomato soup in a 9X12 casserole oven-proof dish. Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour with aluminum foil covering the dish.

Enjoy, it turned out fantastically!! :)

~ Amanda

Thai Lemongrass Tofu Soup

January 27, 2010

We are back at school! I can’t believe another semester has started and I am getting closer and closer to graduation; It’s hard to believe. So this week, I wanted to make a trip to our local Asian foods grocery store, Lotte, and decided that some sort of ethnic meal would be appropriate! I searched and searched for a vegetarian soup I could make. I had recently read an article saying that soups are very healthy in the winter time and often aid in deterring colds and other illnesses! I stumbled upon this recipe for Thai Lemongrass Tofu Soup, and being a strong lover of tofu (and all of the estrogen it contains) I picked it to make.

Materials:

  • 8-10 oz dried thai rice noodles (I used plain old oriental noodles)
  • 1-2 stalks of lemongrass
  • 4-6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger
  • 1/2 pack of medium or soft tofu (or if you’re feeling ambitious, the whole package) drained, cubed
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets with stems
  • 1-2 cups chinese cabbage (I used baby bok choy) cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1-2 carrots sliced
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 can good coconut milk
  • 1 lime

Method:

  1. Dunk noodles into water by boiling water, adding noodles, turning off heat source, covering and allowing to seat while the meal is prepared.
  2. Prepare broth along with lemongrass, ginger, carrots. Bring to a boil, and reduce to medium, allow to cook for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add remaining vegetables, cook for 2 more minutes.
  4. Reduce to minimum heat and add coconut milk, stir until it has dissolved.
  5. Add tofu!
  6. Add soy sauce and taste test
  7. Place noodles in bowl and ladle soup atop it!
  8. Enjoy :)

I got this recipe from http://thaifood.about.com/od/vegetarianthairecipes/r/veggilemongsoup.htm

~Amanda

Christmas!

December 24, 2009

Hi everyone! Sorry for the lack of posts recently. Finals crept up, and then we rushed home for break and began preparing for Christmas…which brings me to the point of this post. Christmas is without a doubt one of the most magical times of year, whether you are young or old, Christian or otherwise. There is just something about the season that makes you thankful for the loved ones in your life and opens your eyes to the blessings all around. At least, that’s how it makes me feel. I wish you all a very merry Christmas! I hope those who are not able to be with their families find joy and celebration and those who are with your families, cherish every moment. Merry Christmas all!

~Cassie

Don’t be a dodgy chap, eat minestrone!

December 10, 2009

So finals are upon us, therefore I apologize for the severe lack of posts these past few weeks! I’ll just start from now though! As I sit in frontĀ  of my laptop, I can hear the wind blowing outside my window, the 30 degree air drifting through the screen, my books calling to me (eager to be studied), and I can smell the minestrone cooking in the kitchen. All three of us decided that this week, crock pot soups would be most conducive to maximizing study oppurtunities. Simply throw some ingredients in in the morning and smell the goodness the whole day through; you can also simply eat when the timer goes off. Very simple, very delicious, and very good for leftovers during those 2 am cravings.

I found the recipe for this crock pot minestrone at http://vegetarian.about.com/od/vegetariancrockpotrecipe/r/croclpotminestr.htm

Ingredients Include:

  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 zucchini, chopped
  • 2 yellow squash, chopped
  • 1 cup green beans, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper for taste
  • 1 1/2 cups macaroni pasta

Method: Combine all ingredients excepting the pasta in the crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Add the pasta and cook 20-30 minutes, or to preference. Remove the bay leaves before serving. Serves 6!

Enjoy everyone! Have a beautiful Christmas and happy studying to you students! God bless!

~Amanda

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie…

November 11, 2009

Hi everyone! As you may have guess from the title, I made Italian food for dinner this week…again. I seem to be making a lot of Italian food lately. I guess it might have something to do with my Italian heritage…maybe. :) Anyway, for dinner this week I decided to make calzone. I’d never tried making it before, so I figured now was as good a time as any to learn! I used a recipe from The Enchanted Broccoli Forest by Mollie Katsen.

To make the dough:

1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

1 cup lukewarm water

2 tsp honey

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

3 Tbs olive oil

First, mix together the yeast, water and honey in a large bowl. Stir and then let it sit for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes has passed, beat in salt and flours (I should note at this point that I only had white flour in the kitchen, so I just used 3 cups of white and it turned out fine). Use a wooden spoon until it is too thick to mix, and then turn it out onto a floured surface and knead for 8 to 10 minutes, or until smooth. Grease the mixing bowl with olive oil, return the dough to the bowl and brush the top of the dough with oil. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about an hour). After the dough has risen, punch it down and turn it out onto a floured surface. Divide it into 6 equal parts and knead each part into a ball. Roll each ball out into a circle that is about 1/8″ thick. equally divide the filling among the 6 circles, placing the filling on one side of the circle. Bring the other side of the dough over the top of the filling and seal the edges with water and the flat edge of a fork. Prick with a fork and put on baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes at 450 degrees.

Now for the filling! There were several fillings in the cookbook to choose from, but I decided on the pesto filling. It is very simple, just mix 1 cup of pesto with 2 cups ricotta. After I mixed up the two ingredients, I tasted the filling and I felt like something was missing. I had some mozzarella in the refrigerator, so I threw that in and I also added some garlic (I usually add extra garlic to things…this may or may not be a good thing). I was talking to my mom before I made this, and she gave me a good tip. When using ricotta as a filling for calzone, it is a good idea to get some of the excess liquid out, otherwise the filling gets runny and gross and, well, no one wants that. :) So, to drain the ricotta, just line a colander with paper towels and put the ricotta on top, then cover the cheese with more paper towels and push down lightly on the cheese so that all the excess moisture will come out. Once I mixed up the ricotta and the pesto I noticed that, despite my cheese draining efforts, the mixture was very soupy. To firm up the filling a bit, I whisked an egg and added it to the mixture. This helped the cheese to become more firm once it was baked.

The calzone turned out very well, and it was very easy! The crust took a little time, but that was only due to the kneading and rising time. Otherwise, it was a very simple dinner.I apologize for the picture. I forgot to take a picture of the calzone before we started eating, so the picture is of a calzone cut in half…not the best picture, but you can get the general idea :)Calzone

Happy Cooking!

~Cassie

A Perfectly Unique Autumn Dinner

November 7, 2009

007It has been so cold! What a lovely time of year to be outside, but also the perfect weather to be inside and a under a warm blanket with some hot black tea :) I definitely wanted to do some sort of pumpkin dish this week due to the wonderfully cold 50 degree weather as a sort of ode to autumn, so I went on a google search. I found this recipe for Pumpkin and Peanut Curry. It sounded like just the right thing after a week of stressful classes: something warm, creamy, and containing pumpkin! It comfortably served the three of us and I would suggest it to anybody!

http://www.deliciousmagazine.co.uk/recipes/pumpkin-and-peanut-curry

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp tomato puree
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Small handful of fresh coriander (cilantro)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 cm piece of ginger
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 yellow onions, cut into thin wedges
  • 800g pumpkin, peeled, deseeded, and cut into small pieces
  • 400 mL can coconut milk

Method:

  1. Stir the peanut butter into a bowl containing 200 mL of hot water and stir it around until it dissolves. Stir in the puree, lime juice, soy sauce, and sugar.
  2. Remove the leaves from the coriander and set them aside (they will be used as garnish). Chop the stalks as finely as you can, as well as the ginger and garlic.
  3. Heat the oil in a large pot or pan and saute the onions until they are soft, about 4-5 minutes. Add the pumpkin and stir fry for a few minutes. Stir in coriander, garlic, and ginger for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk. Stir, then add peanut butter mix. Cook at a brisk simmer (4 on my stove) for 15-20 minutes until the sauce is thicker and the pumpkin tender. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with cooked rice.

Enjoy!

~Amanda

Nicole’s 21st~Bridget Jones Style

November 3, 2009

We just wanted to take this oppurtunity to wish Nicole a very happy 21st birthday yesterday! She cooked us a lovely birthday feast of blue soup, spicy tofu, and bailey’s chocolate fondue :)

~Amanda 004


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.