I’m trying to get back on track with blogging, but I’m not going to lie – things have been a little rough lately and it has been hard finding the time to develop/test new recipes. Fingers crossed things will start to get a little easier, and thankfully summer is approaching so soon cooking will switch over to the grill which is the realm of my amazing husband 🙂 The theory with that being I can prep, marinate, coordinate the effort and then write the post while he works magic on our indoor brick oven. Thankfully my funk is not extending over to cooking in general, so blog challenges such as Secret Recipe Club and Random Recipes have been insuring that we are eating more than just pasta – and today’s A-Themed Random Recipe introduced me to an entirely new member of the grain family. When I told Joe tonight’s dinner was going to feature Bulgar Wheat his reaction was to ask me if he liked bulgar wheat, at which point I had to admit that I had yet to make or even eat bulgar wheat and thus had no idea. I also reminded him that we had some leftover matzoh just in case this was a total failure, as well as the ingredients to make matzoh pizza, so with a back up plan in place I opened up Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian cookbook and turned to my “A” recipe: Tabbouleh, a Salad Made with Bulgar and Arugula. I made a few seasonal changes, and also prepped the bulgur per the ingredients on the bulk food bag (Wegmans FTW) as I somehow missed that the original recipe calls for 2 hours of soaking, and that’s the quick version!
Thanks Dom and AlphaBakes (Ros and Caroline) for an A+ experience! For those that haven’t yet picked up this international buffet of vegetarian recipes I can not recommend it enough as this book is probably the most used of all my cookbooks – and it shows.
Oh, chocolate – you are amazing. Which is why I was rather thrilled to see that Random Recipes – hosted by the fantastic Dom of Belleau Kitchen along with the Chocolate Log Blog (cuz chocolate!!!) – was going chocolate this month, in addition to the normal rules. I only have two dedicated dessert books, but found that a number of my books had at least one chocolate recipe tucked away. In the end a non-dessert book won out, and with that these delicious chocolate filled muffins from 1000 Vegetarian Recipes. I did make a slight adjustment to the recipe, as the basic muffin directions called for zest which is something I avoid due to an allergy. I also decided to go with milk chocolate chips, while the original recipe didn’t say one way or another.
The best thing about this recipe is that the technique can be used for making other types of filled/stuffed muffins. I could see pieces of fruit, jam, or caramel (!) doing rather nicely in this delicious muffin – or being really naughty and putting brownie or cookie dough in the middle! If I was to do chocolate again I would probably use something more like a chocolate nugget as the chips didn’t really give it as much chocolate as I was expecting – or use a chocolate spread like Nutella!
I’m so thrilled to be getting back to Random Recipes, hosted by the awesome Dom. Random Recipes is a bit different than my other challenges in that it sends me back to my books, some of which can get rather neglected. This month the challenge was to pull out all our new books and randomly select the book from that group. I was lucky enough to get four books this year: Indian Slow Cooker, Madhur Jaffrey’s Quick and Easy Indian Cooking, Dining with the Doctor, and The Heart of the Plate – which was the “winning” book! I used my same random method (Joe picking a number) to select the winning page which led me to a Mushroom Bread Pudding, and wow did I wish for a different page at that point. The last time I made a bread pudding was Home Ec back in middle school, so it’s been a fair bit of time. However I had some leftover sourdough bread so with the addition of some fresh peasant bread I at least had the basic ingredients. I also adjusted the ratio a bit, along with the seasonings, as things didn’t look quite right at first and I was worried about it being a bit bland as written.
I’m also sending this over to /52weeksofcooking for their eggs challenge since I rarely, if ever, prepare dishes that feature 5 eggs. This is the first of their challenges for 2014, and if things go as planned the second one will be up on Wednesday!
Greetings and welcome to the June installation of Random Recipes! This month we were challenged to randomly select a happy and healthy recipe – something rather easy for me since I only have a few cookbooks dedicated to the sweeter side of life. Once randomly selecting a cookbook, 1000 Vegetarian Recipes, I then selected a section, Entrees, which lead me to the Grains and Beans section and a delicious recipe for Curry Chickpeas and Kale. I did make a few edits to the recipe, fresh ginger for ground and some cayenne powder to add a bit more heat to the dish as well as using red onions.
I served mine topped with some So Delicious Greek Yogurt, but regular yogurt or sour cream would also work – as would some naked beans and kale which is how I had lunch the next day. I also added some couscous to make it a full meal but bulgar or quinoa would also work, or even some brown rice. However you decide to top it this is a great and quick dinner that is packed full of vitamins, nothing like a good tasting good for you meal! Thanks again Dom for hosting another awesome month of Random Recipes.
I missed Random Recipes last month thanks to a total spaz on my part so I made sure to get to work on my recipe this month as soon as I got back. This month the theme is “bread” and as I only have one bread book I knew that was the one I was working with. As for the recipe it was randomly selected my a friend who was coming for dinner, who requested sourdough. Once I was narrowed down to the sourdough section I had my hubby pick the page number which led me to the basic Sourdough Bread. This is a bread I have made many (MANY!) times because it is simply amazing. I’ve had my sourdough starter going for a few months now so every loaf is getting better and better. Gunther, as my sourdough is loving called, might not be the fanciest starter on the block but he’s the first I’ve had survive past the few month so he’s a winner in my book. One day I might attempt to make a loaf fully by hand but until then I’m a HUGE fan of my bread machine and use it at least once a week.
This bread can easily be enhanced by adding various herbs and spices to the dry ingredients – my favorite is 1 tbsp of dry oregano but a combination of thyme, rosemary, and basil also gives amazing results. As for serving the bread I’ve used it for everything, it makes an outstanding sandwich bread and if it lasts long enough it also makes a delicious french toast. For more bread recipes be sure to check out Belleau Kitchen and the rest of May’s Random Recipe entries.
Time for February’s installation of Random Recipes! Hosted by the awesome Dom of Belleau Kitchen this month we were instructed to randomly pick a book however we wanted to, just randomly select a cookbook and a recipe from said cookbook and then get to it. So for my random selection I numbered off my cookbooks and had Joe pick a number, which gave me one of my newer cookbooks: Jerusalem. When it came to the page number, I was give 143 – which is the tail end of the recipe for tomato & sourdough soup. A quick look at the ingredients revealed that I had everything I needed already in my kitchen, and it doesn’t get much easier than that. I had to make one little change, using some homemade White Herb Bread (see note at bottom) instead of the standard sourdough called for in the recipe. I also used two types of tomatoes since the recipe didn’t specify what type should be used and played around a bit with the seasonings to make it work best for my family – which fits well with the theme of the book.
This challenge also gave me the perfect excuse to reread the story that goes with the recipe which talks about how various cuisines and techniques blended together to create the “typical” Jerusalem cook. This cookbook is more than just amazing recipes for it also gives you a glimpse in to the family behind the chefs and the history in the amazing food of an amazing city.
Note: Since I used homemade bread this recipe is vegan but as written in Jerusalem the recipe contains sourdough which normally contains dairy
Time for the January installation of Random Recipes! This month the amazing Dom of Belleau Kitchen challenged us to try a recipe from a friend’s cookbook, which worked out perfectly. For the past few weeks one of my coworkers had been talking about a new cookbook she got and how I had to give it a try. After telling her about the challenge this month she brought the cookbook right in and started showing me all the recipes from it that I had to try. Up until she brought in Jamie Oliver’s Great Britain cookbook I had no idea what the book would be, and got quite the kick out of it being a British cookbook since the challenge this month was inspired by UK based Dom being in the US visiting family. I had my co-worker pick my recipe and she selected the Green Beans with Spicy Tomato Sauce which I had no objections with, outside of one slight dietary tweak. I also had to figure out what a “knob” of butter was since that is not a standard US measurement.
I’m not sure how knob-like my knob was but this recipe was delicious! Everything came together so quickly and the sauce had just the right amount of oomph. I also have a feeling that this sauce would go great with zucchini or squash – maybe even tofu! I can’t wait to see what other recipes this amazing cookbook has, hopefully my coworker will let me borrow it for a little bit longer.