Friday, December 23, 2011

Pumpkin Roll

A favorite of the Hall household at Christmas time. Stores well in the freezer.

3 eggs
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup pumpkin

3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
Chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 375. Mix 3 eggs on high until frothy with volume. Slowly mix in sugar then the pumpkin. Add flour, baking powder, spices, and salt.  Heavily grease and flour a cookie sheet. Pour mixture into pan and sprinkle with chopped nuts (optional). Bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Put powdered sugar on towel, nuts side up. Roll up in the towel. Cool. Unroll carefully. Fill with cream cheese frosting and re-roll.

Cream cheese Frosting

4 oz cream cheese, softened
4 oz butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
2 2/3-3 cups powdered sugar

Blend the cream cheese and butter.  Add vanilla.  Slowly add powdered sugar until you reach a spreadable consistency.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Chocolate Mint Cookies

3/4 cup butter

1 1/2 cup light brown sugar

2 tbs. water

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 eggs

2 1/2 cup flour

1 1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 packages Andes Mints

In a large, heavy saucepan over low heat, cook butter, brown sugar, and water until melted. Add chocolate chips and stir until partially melted. Remove from heat and continue to stir until all the chips are melted. Pour into a large bowl and let cool for 10 minutes. With beaters, mix in one egg at a time. Then add dry ingredients.

Chill dough for at least one hour (or until it is no longer sticky to handle). Preheat oven to 350. Line cookie sheet with tin foil. Roll teaspoon sized balls of dough, about one inch in diameter. Make sure to put the dough back in the fridge while waiting for the cookies to bake. Bake 10-12 minutes. (cookies will crisp as they cool). Remove from oven and immediately place an Andes mint on top of each cookie. Allow mint to soften

and swirl with the back of a spoon. Cool thoroughly.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash and Quinoa

I found this on pinterest, but it (along with the picture) comes from Cookin' Canuck. This was a nice new flavor. Don't skip the olives. You could make this vegetarian by using veggie broth and subbing white beans for the chicken.


  • 1 1/2 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded & chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 can (14 oz) petite diced tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 3/4 cup pitted and quartered kalamata olives
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley


  1. Steam the butternut squash until barely tender, about 10 minutes. Remove half of the squash pieces and set aside.
  2. Steam the remaining squash until very tender, an additional 4 to 6 minutes. Mash this squash with the back of a fork. Set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan set over medium-high heat, bring the chicken broth to a simmer.
  4. Add chicken thighs, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  5. Transfer the chicken thighs to a plate and allow to cool. Pour broth into a medium-sized bowl.
  6. Return the saucepan to the stovetop and lower heat to medium. Add olive oil.
  7. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is starting to turn brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
  8. Add minced garlic and oregano. Cook, stirring, for 1 additional minute.
  9. To the saucepan, add tomatoes, butternut squash pieces, mashed butternut squash. Stir to combine.
  10. Stir in reserved chicken broth and quinoa. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the quinoa turns translucent, about 15 minutes.
  11. Shred the chicken with your fingers or a fork.
  12. Stir the chicken, olives and pepper into the stew and simmer, uncovered, to heat, about 5 minutes.
  13. Stir in parsley and serve.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Oatmeal pancakes

I found this yummy recipe on smitten kitchen.

3/4 cup oat flour (you can make this by pulsing rolled oats into a food processor or spice grinder until finely ground; 1 cup of oats yielded 1 cup oat flour for me)
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon Kosher or coarse salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly (plus extra for the pan)
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 cup cooked oatmeal*
1 tablespoon unsulphured (not blackstrap) molasses or 1 tablespoon honey
2 large eggs

Whisk the dry ingredients (oat flour, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt) together in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk the butter, milk, cooked oatmeal, honey and eggs together until thoroughly combined. Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Using a light hand is important for tender pancakes; the batter should be slightly thick with a holey surface.

Heat a 10-inch cast-iron pan or griddle over medium heat until water sizzles when splashed onto the pan. Lower to medium-low. (This is my tip; I find pancakes impossible to cook well over higher heats. I’ve got more pancake tips over here.) Rub the pan generously with butter; Boyce says this is the key to crisp, buttery edges. Working quickly, dollop 1/4-cup mounds of batter onto the pan, 2 or 3 at a time. Once bubbles have begun to form on the top side of the pancake, flip the pancake and cook until the bottom is dark golden-brown, about 5 minutes total. Wipe the pan with a cloth before griddling the next pancake. Continue with the rest of the batter.

Serve the pancakes hot, straight from the skillet or keep them warm in a low oven. We also found these to reheat surprisingly well the next morning, again in a low oven.

* Make oatmeal, if you don’t have any leftover: Bring 2 cups of water, 1 cup of rolled oats and a pinch of salt to a boil and simmer on low for 5 minutes. Let cool. You’ll have some extra oatmeal, which you can eat while you’re cooking.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

1 store-bought rotisserie chicken carcass, or 1 1/2 cups already cooked chicken meat
6 cups water
1 or 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chunked
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules (check for gluten, this was clearly labeled gluten free)
1 cup broccoli florets
1 small onion, diced
1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
kosher salt to taste (probably a good 1 teaspoon, since the base is water)
50-cent piece size, or so, handful of raw spaghetti noodles to add at the end (I used Trader Joe's brown rice)
1 large handful raw spinach leaves to add at the end
Parmesan and Asiago cheese, optional garnish

The Directions.

If you're going to use a chicken carcass, cook it on low overnight in the water. In the morning, unplug the crock and let it cool before digging in with CLEAN hands to pick out the bones. Strain through a colander (retaining liquid!) if desired.
Or, start with a slow cooker with 6 cups of water, and add chicken. Add all vegetables except for the spinach leaves. Stir in the bouillon and vinegar. Salt to taste. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours, or until sweet potatoes are tender and the onion is translucent. (I forgot about starting it until 2, and so I turned it to high for about 3 hours and it was just fine)

15 minutes before serving, put in raw spaghetti noodles and a large handful of spinach. Cover and flip to high.

Garnish with parmesan and asiago cheeses, if desired.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Quinoa with Black Beans and Corn

photo from

• 1 onion, chopped
• 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
• 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
• 1 1/2 cups broth*
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• salt and pepper to taste
• 1 cup frozen corn kernels
• 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
• 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

*I like the flavor of chicken broth, but if you want to make this meal vegetarian, use vegetable broth.


1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute until lightly browned.
2. Mix quinoa into the saucepan and cover with broth. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes,
3. Stir frozen corn into the saucepan, and continue to simmer about 5 minutes until heated through. Mix in the black beans and cilantro.
4. Use this the way you would use any taco filling: in taco shells, tortillas, or on salad topped with lettuce, tomato, avocado, cheese, and sour cream.

Chocolate Ice Cream with Orange Marmalade

Oh. My. If I am remembered centuries from now, it will be because of this idea. SO good.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Pizza- even better

This dough is also from smittenkitchen. I finally buckled and bought some cooking wine to try this recipe, and boy am I glad I did. Last night's pizza was the best I've eaten in a long time, and although I did have some great toppings (like Trader Joe's quattro formigia shredded cheese, fresh mozzerella, and basil I grew myself), I really think the crust was the deciding factor. The first measurements are for "one small thin crust." I quadrupled it to make 3 large (12 inch?) pizzas which fed 6 adults, 4 toddler/preschoolers, and a baby. Adjust as you will.

6 Tbsp warm water
3/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 tsp honey
2 Tbsp white wine
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt

1.5 C warm water
1 Tbsp yeast
2 tsp honey
½ C white wine
¼ C olive oil
6 C all-purpose flour
4 tsp salt

1. Dissolve yeast and honey in warm (100*) water. Let sit till frothy.
2. Measure out flour into large bowl and stir in salt. (I substituted one cup of white whole wheat flour in mine to no ill effect)
3. Add wine and olive oil to water. Add liquids to flour.
4. Use a spatula to stir it all up until it's clumpy, then use your hands to mash it all into a ball, making sure to incorporate all the floury bits.
5. Knead on a lightly floured counter/pizza peel until smooth and mostly uniform in consistency. (This shouldn't take long)
6. Oil the bowl your dough was in, roll the dough in it, and cover with plastic wrap.
7. Let rise until doubled, 1-2 hours.
8. Lightly press the air out of the dough and let it sit for 15 minutes or so while you prep your ingredients. Preheat your oven to 500* with the pizza stone inside it.
9. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface/pizza peel. Fold one side over and sprinkle the surface with cornmeal, then do the other side.
10. Add your toppings, and bake 10 minutes or until everything's browned and bubbly.

Here are some of my favorite topping combos:

For a traditional, tomato sauce pizza, I like to herb my crust. First, I lightly rub it with olive oil. Then I sprinkle on garlic powder, oregano, thyme, and sometimes rosemary. Then, I just use jarred spaghetti sauce and sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top of that rather than making or buying special pizza sauce.

Tomato sauce pizzas:

Fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, tomato slices, and bacon.

Fresh mozzarella, shredded sharp cheddar, bell peppers, red onions, olives, and pepperoni.

1/2 red sauce, half pesto, mozzarella, and italian meats.

White pizzas:

Alfredo, chicken, brocolli, or zucchini

olive oil, goat cheese, pear, caramelized onion. once you cook that, add fresh arugula, and candied pecans.

equal parts ricotta and sour cream, seasoned with salt and pepper, topped with bacon and caramelized onions

Other pizzas:

sour cream and salsa, topped with sharp cheddar cheese, grilled chicken, red onion, and grilled corn. once you cook that, add fresh cilantro and avocado slices

peanut satay sauce topped with mozzarella, grilled chicken, carrots, and onion. top with fresh cilantro.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Baked potatoes

Big Idaho potato
sharp cheddar cheese
sour cream
walnut pieces

Put a big potato in the microwave for eight minutes.  (If you're cooking two or more potatoes, you have to do it for even longer.  At this point you might as well break down and use the oven.) Cut a slice in it, make sure it's mushy inside, and then put in the cheese.  Cook it for another minute or until the cheese is completely melted.  Then-- here's the genius bit-- put some chopped up walnuts in it.  It gives it a crunchiness and a more interesting flavor.  Then put the butter and sour cream on.  And salt, of course. This is basically supposed to keep you from tasting much potato.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pizza Dough

Adapted from smittenkitchen

Makes 2 large pizzas or 3 small pizzas

4 1/2 C flour
3 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp yeast
1 1/2 C warm water
3 T olive oil
1 1/2 tsp honey

I mix the yeast, water, and honey and let the yeast activate a bit and then dump it with the other ingredients.

The following are her instructions Take your pick.:

Stir dry ingredients, including yeast, in a large bowl. Add water and olive oil, stirring mixture into as close to a ball as you can. Dump all clumps and floury bits onto a lightly floured surface and knead everything into a homogeneous ball.
If you are finding this step difficult, one of the best tricks I picked up from my bread-making class is to simply pause. Leave the dough in a lightly-floured spot, put the empty bowl upside-down on top of it and come back in 2 to 5 minutes, at which point you will find the dough a lot more lovable.
Knead it for just a minute or two. Lightly oil the bowl (a spritz of cooking spray perfectly does the trick) where you had mixed it — one-bowl recipe! — dump the dough in, turn it over so all sides are coated, cover it in plastic wrap and leave it undisturbed for an hour or two, until it has doubled in size.
Dump it back on the floured counter (yup, I leave mine messy), and gently press the air out of the dough with the palm of your hands. Fold the piece into an approximate ball shape, and let it sit under that plastic wrap for 20 more minutes.
Sprinkle a pizza stone or baking sheet with cornmeal and preheat your oven to its top temperature. Roll out the pizza, toss on whatever topping and seasonings you like. (I always err on the side of skimpy with toppings so to not weight down the dough too much, or if I have multiple toppings, to keep them very thinly sliced.)
Bake it for about 10 minutes until it’s lightly blistered and impossible to resist.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Refried Beans from scratch

1 small onion, peeled and halved
3 cups dry pinto beans, rinsed
1/2 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tbs minced garlic
2 tsp salt
1 3/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/8 tsp cumin, optional
9 cups water

Place the onion, rinsed beans, jalapeno, garlic, salt, pepper, and cumin into a slow cooker. Pour in the water and stir to combine. Cook on high for 8 hours, adding more water as needed. Note: if more than 1 cup water has evaporated during cooking, then the temperature is too high.

Once the beans have cooked, strain them, and reserve the liquid. Mash the beans with a potato masher or hand mixer, adding the reserved water as needed to attain desired consistency.

Beans may be frozen in portions and thawed to use at a later date.

Greek Chicken Wrap with Tzatziki Herb Yogurt Sauce

2 cups fat-free plain yogurt
1 cup peeled, seeded and diced cucumber
2 tbs chopped fresh dill (we used dried)
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs white vinegar
2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp salt (optional)

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients until blended. Sauce may be made up to 2 hours in advance. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

1 (6 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 ts light Italian dressing
4 (6 inch) whole wheat pitas
2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/2 cup sliced red onion
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
4 kalamata or black olives,pitted and sliced

Place chicken breast in a plastic bag and add Italian dressing. Let the chicken marinate for 15 minutes; pound using a meat pounder or mallet or the bottom of a skillet, and flatten to about 1/2 inch thickness; and remove chicken.

In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, cook chicken about 5 minutes per side or until nicely browned and cooked through. Slice chicken thinly against the grain. Set aside. Assemble all other ingredients to your liking.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

curry powder

I got a spice jar full of curry powder. It's awesome.  It turns every food into the mutant ninja version of itself. Lentil soup becomes lentil curry.  Macaroni and cheese becomes macaroni and cheese curry.  Mashed potatoes becomes potatoes curry. Plain rice becomes curried rice over rice. You can't lose!
Also, I have maple syrup of you want to try the Canadian version of various foods. And thyme if you want to try the Doctor Who version.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Flourless PB Cookies

I thought this would be a good GFCF treat to make when we're all together

From Make and Takes

Reese’s Pieces Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup Reese’s Pieces candy

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
2. Mix the peanut butter and sugars together until creamy and smooth.
3. Add in the egg and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.
4. Stir in the salt, baking soda, and Reese’s Pieces candy.
5. Spoon dough into balls, about 1 Tablespoon of dough for each cookie. Place them on the baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Lightly flatten dough balls with the palm of your hand.
6. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until cookies are slightly golden brown around the edges. The cookies will still be soft. They will set up while cooling. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Banana Bread

adapted from Flour Bakery's recipe
  • 1 C all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 C white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 C sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 C oil
  • 3-4 bananas, roughly mashed
  • 1/4 C buttermilk (or 2 TBSP sour cream)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 C chocolate chips (or walnuts)
Preheat oven to 335°F.
Sift together first four ingredients.
Beat sugar and eggs with a whisk until light and fluffy. At least 3 min, if not more.
Drizzle in oil.
Add bananas (make sure they're not pureed- some good chunks of banana are part of what make this bread so good), buttermilk, and vanilla.
Fold in flour mixture and chocolate chips/nuts.
Pour batter into a greased 9" x 4" loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Or in 4 mini loaf pans for 35-40 min

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Aquarium Chicken Salad

Sam and I went to the New England Aquarium for our cousin, Crystal Stay Farrell's, wedding reception. They served salmon. It was really weird eating salmon in an aquarium.

BUT! They also served this delicious chicken salad. It was the best thing we ate all night. So, I tried to recreate it when I got home and came pretty close. I didn't measure anything, but it's easy enough to add stuff until you get the right proportions.

Mix together:
  • Chopped cooked chicken (I think I used rotisserie chicken)
  • Thinly sliced red onion
  • Thinly sliced celery
  • Craisins
  • Chopped pecans
Add enough real mayonnaise to make it all stick together, then add a little bit more.

Season with
  • Dill (this is essential. do not skip it.)
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • maybe a little bit of sugar? I didn't add this, but now that I'm thinking about it, it would have been appropriate.
Serve on oven-warmed croissants with a slice of lettuce.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dark Chocolate Frosting

We ate this at Mom's house on this cake. The frosting tastes like truffles.

  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • 2 1/4 cups (4 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds best-quality semisweet chocolate melted and cooled


  1. Combine cocoa and the boiling water, stirring until cocoa has dissolved. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, confectioners' sugar, and salt until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add melted and cooled chocolate, beating until combined and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in the cocoa mixture. If not using immediately, frosting can be refrigerated up to 5 days, or frozen up to 1 month, in an airtight container. Before using, bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth again.

From Martha Stewart

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Pepperoni Rolls

Bread recipe:

2 Cups lukewarm Water (100 degrees)

1/2 Cup Sugar

2 TB Yeast (if doubling recipe, double all other measures but only use 3T yeast)

1/4 Cup Oil

2 t Salt

1 Egg

3 Cups Flour

Add 4 more cups flour while kneading

  • Start the yeast in 1 C water and a little bit of the sugar.
  • Once it's growing, add 1 C warm water and 3 C flour into mixer
  • Mix till combined and let sit/grow for 15 min
  • Meanwhile, mix eggs, oil, sugar, and salt in one bowl and have 4 C flour in another
  • After 15 min, alternate egg mixture and flour while mixing on low until dough is sticky
    (Heather's note: For the first 3 C of flour added to the yeast, I use white flour. Then, at this step, I add 1-2 C whole wheat flour, and then 1-2 C more white flour. Maybe with your white wheat you could use more whole wheat.
    Also, the last time I made these, I only added 3 1/2 C flour for this step and ended up having to add a little more water, so watch as you go)
  • Knead in mixer for about 5 min
  • Press down, and let rise in a lightly oiled bowl until doubled (1/2 to 1 hour)
At this point, you can make bread out of the dough. Here are the instructions for the pepperoni rolls

  • Pull off a handball sized ball of dough (about half way between golf ball and tennis ball size...)
  • Roll out in 1/4 inch-ish thick circle
  • Place 5 pepperoni slices and about 1/4 C mozzerella cheese in the center
  • Fold in sides
  • Fold down top and roll up, keeping pepperoni and cheese on the inside
  • Squeeze roll in your hands to release air bubbles and seal the seams
  • Place seam side down on greased cookie sheet
  • Let rise a little (not quite doubled again, but you can tell the dough is rising a bit- place on the oven door with the oven on warm if they're not rising)
  • Bake at 350 for 15-18 min until lightly browned
  • Eat fresh and hot and gooey, or refrigerate or freeze leftovers. Reheat in microwave 15-45 seconds
You could add lunch meat and chedder or any other combination. Mom likes to cut open refrigerated ones and put sliced bell pepper and onion inside and eat it like a sub sandwich.

Monday, March 7, 2011


Another from Manjula.

Shahi Paneer is a very festive main dish that is creamy and rich in flavor. It is usually a special occasion dish. Shahi paneer can be served with any Indian bread, such as naan or with rice.

Recipe will serve 4.*


  • 1/2 lb paneer (approx. 1-1/2 cups cubed)**
  • 12 cashew nuts
  • 2 tomatoes chopped
  • 1 green chili chopped
  • 1/4 inch of ginger
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1/8 teaspoon asafetida (hing) [I couldn't find this and left it out]
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder (dhania)
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric (haldi
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder, adjust to taste
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt, adjust to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (hara Dhania)


  1. Slice paneer into 3/4 inch cubes. Keep aside.
  2. Grind cashews into powder-like consistency. Keep aside.
  3. Puree tomatoes, green chili and ginger. Keep aside.
  4. Add oil in a pan, over medium heat. Shallow fry paneer cubes till they turn slightly brown. Remove from pan and place over paper towels to absorb excess oil.
  5. Increase heat to medium-high and test the oil by adding one cumin seed. If it cracks immediately, the oil is ready.
  6. Add cumin seeds to the oil and as they crack, add asafetida and bay leaves. Stir for a few seconds.
  7. Add tomato puree, coriander powder, turmeric, red chili powder, and paprika. Cook the mixture, stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes. It will reduce to half its volume and start separating from the oil.
  8. Add sugar, cashew powder and yogurt. Cook for another minute then add 1 cup of water*** and salt and bring to boil.
  9. Add paneer and cover the pan. Simmer for a few minutes over medium-low heat, till gravy is slightly thick in consistency.
  10. Remove from heat, add garam masala and chopped cilantro. Mix gently, cover the pan and let it sit for a couple of minutes.
  11. Shahi paneer tastes best if it is served hot.

*It fed me, Sam, and Anna, not quite 4 adults.
** We used chicken instead of paneer.
***I'd suggest substituting chicken or veggie broth for the water. We liked the final dish, but it tasted watered down.


I got this recipe from Manjula's Kitchen. It's the easiest and tastiest I've tried for naan. I like using my hand to mix the ingredients like she does in the video (which I found helpful to watch). And I speak from experience when I say: make sure you don't have your oven rack too close to your gas broiler or else your bread could catch on fire as it puffs. Leftovers make excellent individual pizza crusts.

Makes 6 Naan.

Naan Bread


  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 cups of All Purpose flour (Plain flour or maida)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons yogurt (curd or dahi)

Also needed:

  • 1 teaspoon of clear butter or ghee to butter the Naan
  • 1/4 cup All Purpose flour for rolling


  1. Dissolve active dry yeast in lukewarm water and let it sit for 10 minutes or until the mixture becomes frothy.
  2. Add sugar, salt and baking soda to the flour and mix well.
  3. Add the oil and yogurt mix, this will become crumbly dough.
  4. Add the water/yeast mixture and make into soft dough.Note: after dough rise will become little softer.
  5. Knead until the dough is smooth. Cover the dough and keep in a warm place for 3-4 hours. The dough should almost be double in volume.
  6. Heat the oven to 500 degrees with pizza stone for at least thirty minutes so stone is hot. Using a pizza stone will help to give naan close to same kind of heat as clay tandoor.
  7. Next turn the oven to high broil.
  8. Knead the dough for about two to three minutes and divide the dough into six equal parts.
  9. Take each piece of dough, one at a time, and roll into 8-inch oval shape. Dust lightly with dry flour to help with the rolling.
  10. Before putting the Naan in oven, lightly wet your hands and take the rolled Naan, and flipp them between your palms and place onto your baking/pizza stone into the oven.
  11. You can place about 2 Naan on the baking/pizza stone at a time. The Naan will take about 2 to 3 minutes to cook, depending upon your oven. After the Naan is baked(Naan should be golden brown color on top).
  12. Take naan out of the oven and brush lightly with clear butter or ghee.
  13. wait 2 to 3 minutes before baking the next batch of naan. It gives oven the chance to get heated again to max.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sweet Mustard Roast

3 pounds beef or pork roast (mine was still frozen when I put it in)

1/3 cup molasses

1/3 cup dijon mustard

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons white vinegar (apple cider vinegar would work well, too)

The Directions.

Use a 4 quart slow cooker. If you have a larger model, that's fine, but you won't need to cook it as long---I'd check after 5 hours on low.

Dump meat into cooker. In a small bowl, mix molasses, mustard, and garlic powder. Pour over roast. Using tongs, flip the meat over a few times to coat it nicely with the sauce. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for about 4.

The meat will be more tender if you cook it on low for a longish time.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

the best the processed foods industry has to offer

aka Bavarian Dessert aka Million Dollar pie

But let's be honest. Those names are stupid.

Crust option 1:
1 stick butter, melted
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup flour

Bake at 350 for 15 min

Crust option 2:
1 stick butter, melted
1 1/2 C crushed Oreos
1/2 C flour

Bake at 350 for 10 min

Layer 1:
1 8 0z. pkg. cream cheese (softened to room temp)
1 C powdered sugar
1 C cool whip (from 8 oz tub)

Layer 2:
1 large box chocolate instant pudding, prepared according to box directions

Layer 3:
the rest of the cool whip from the 8 oz tub

Just try and feel bad about all the gross stuff that's in oreo cream filling, cool whip, and boxed pudding. It's impossible in the face of this deliciousness.

Sam's Hash Browns

While making these pancakes, I suggested to Sam that he cook up some raw potatoes we had that wouldn't fit in the roast we ate earlier in the week. I told him he could do whatever he wanted since I wasn't going to eat them anyway. Here's what he did:

Cook some bacon and keep all the grease in the pan.
Dice some small red potatoes into 1/4 inch cubes.
Reheat the grease and put the potatoes in. Salt and pepper generously.
Cook them for a little while (3 minutes?) and decide they're not going quickly enough. Cover with a pan lid and cook until tender and crispy, stirring occasionally.

Needless to say, these taste like the best french fry you'll ever eat. I ate at least 1/3 of them.

Triple Grain Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

The holy grail of pancake recipes, as far as I'm concerned. I've been making pancakes nearly weekly playing with measurements of ingredients and finally hit the sweet spot once I added some corn meal.

Makes 12-18 pancakes. You can freeze what you don't eat and microwave them for 1 minute to thaw.
  • 1 C white whole wheat flour (as opposed to the regular "whole grain flour" you buy at the grocery store, which I think is red wheat)
  • 1/2 C oat flour (put oatmeal in the blender or food processor and blend till floury)
  • 1/4 C corn meal
  • 1/4 C all purpose flour
  • 2 heaping TBSP ground flax seeds
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4-1/3 C sugar (you can make some of this brown sugar for a caramel-ier taste)

  • 2 C buttermilk (substitute 1 C milk + 1 TBSP vinegar or lemon juice + 1 C plain yogurt if you don't have buttermilk)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 TBSP melted butter, cooled enough that it won't cook the eggs

  • blueberries, fresh or frozen, thawed slightly
  • butter for frying
  • real maple syrup
Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate bowls.
Heat your griddle to 350-375 degrees.
Whisk wet and dry ingredients together until just combined.
Put your maple syrup in the microwave.
Rub the griddle with butter.
Pour approx 1/4 C of batter to make 1 pancake. Once it's cooked a little, place 5 blueberries on the side of the pancake facing up.
Turn the pancakes when bubbles are forming on the top, edges are solidifying, and bottom is browned.
Eat with butter and warmed maple syrup, or this cream cheese frosting.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

"Minestrone" Soup

I got this recipe from my History of Food professor, Jim Faulconer, in London 2005. He calls it minestrone, but it is nothing like any other minestrone I've ever had and everything like every Italian wedding soup I've ever had. Either way, it's really good. You could substitute some kale for the spinach if you wanted.

serves 4-6

2 T olive oil
1/4 lb Italian sausage, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
3 large cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 bay lead
1 can white beans
1 can garbanzo beans/chick peas
salt and pepper
8 C chicken stock
1 C small shell pasta
1/2 lb green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
10 oz spinach, clean and coarsely chopped (any dark greens work)
1/2 C freshly grated Parmigiano-reggiano or romano cheese, plus extra for topping
12-16 leaves fresh basil, cut into a chiffonade-- substitute 1/4 C chopped parsley if necessary (don't tell Jim, but we used dried basil. just know fresh is way better)

Heat a soup pot over medium high heat. When the bottom of the pot is hot, add the olive oil and turn the pan to distribute the oil.

Saute the sausage for two minutes.

Add the onions, celery, garlic, zucchini, and bay leaf.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add white beans, garbanzo beans, and chicken broth.
Cover and bring to a boil.

Add pasta and green beans to the boiling broth, and cook 8 minutes or until pasta is barely tender.

Stir in the spinach. When it is wilted-- about 1 minute-- stir in the grated cheese.

Ladle soup into bowls and top each bowl with a bunch of basil chiffonade or chopped parsley.

Creamy White Chili

Creamy White Chili
7 Servings

1 lb cubed chicken (or 2 lbs)-- any left over chicken, especially rotisserie is good
1 med onion, chopped
1.5 tsp garlic powder-- we use fresh garlic
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cans (15.5 oz) Great Northern Beans-- any white bean will work. we use 2 different sizes for variety
1 can of chicken broth
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
.5 tsp pepper
.25 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup sour cream
.5 cup whipping cream

Sautee chicken, onion, and garlic powder in oil
Add beans, broth, seasonings, and boil
Simmer down for 30 minutes
Remove from heat, stir in sour cream and whipping cream

Monday, January 10, 2011

Really Gross Macaroni and Peanut Butter

1 Package of macaroni and cheese
3 Tbsp. peanut butter
1 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup milk

Boil water and cook macaroni until tender.  Discard cheese package. Melt the butter in a saucepan.  Mix in peanut butter.  Pour over boiled macaroni.  Stir until well mixed.  Serves three.

Note: This is competely disgusting and you should not try it. It is an ugly greyish brown color and tastes even worse. I just thought for scientific integrity that I should publish negative results as well as positive, to avoid skewing the statistics.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

French Toast Dip-- Anna's first recipe

Anna made this little creation for dipping her french toast tonight. I asked her if I could have some and she shook her head no. I dipped anyway and I was severely reprimanded. And after having tasted it, I can see why. It was delicious! Once I told her how much I liked it and what a fabulous cook she was, she had even more fun mixing and stirring.


maple syrup


Mix and dip :)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Chocolate Raspberry Ganache Cake

from 17andbaking

This is one showstopper of a cake. Triple layer, lusciously moist, not too sweet. I dream about this kind of cake. I want to try it again with some chocolate butter cream frosting to get an ultimate chocolate experience.

Chocolate Raspberry Ganache Cake
Including Sour Cream Chocolate Cake from Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes
Makes a three layer 8″ cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup canola oil
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
Raspberry Ganache (recipe follows)
2/3 cup raspberry jam

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter three 8″ cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Butter again. [ I just buttered and dusted with cocoa. It was extremely hard to get the cakes out - don't skip the parchment paper.](Note from Heather: I just buttered and floured my pans well and had no problem getting the cakes out. Also, I used 9" pans since that's what I had and it turned out fine.)

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl and whisk to combine. Whisk in the oil and sour cream, then gradually beat in the water. Add the vinegar and vanilla and mix to combine, and finally beat in the eggs until the batter is well combined. Divide among the three cake pans.

Bake for about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out almost clean. Cool in the pans for 20 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack and peel off the parchment paper, letting the cakes cool completely. These cakes are very soft, and it helps to freeze them for 15 minutes at this point. While the cakes cool, make the Raspberry Ganache.

If the cakes are not flat, use a serrated knife to even the tops. Place one layer onto a parchment-lined cardboard cut out and spread 1/3 cup raspberry jam. Cover the jam with a thin, 1/4″ thick layer of raspberry ganache. Top with the second layer and repeat. Then invert the final layer and place on top.

To frost the cake, start with a crumb coat: barely cover the entire cake with a thin, see through layer of ganache. This is to help create a smooth finish later. Chill the cake for 10 minutes.

Frost the cake with the remaining raspberry ganache and top with fresh raspberries. I would recommend leaving the cake at room temperature to prevent the ganache from becoming too brittle.

Raspberry Ganache
Makes just enough to fill and frost a three layer 8″ cake

15 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped * (Note from Heather: I used about 2 C bittersweet Ghiradelli chocolate chips since that's what I had. It worked fine.)
1 2/3 cups frozen raspberries
8 oz (2 sticks) butter, room temperature

Bring an inch or two of water to a simmer in a medium saucepan. As the water heats, microwave the raspberries in 1 minute intervals, stirring and mashing with a fork, until they become a smooth liquid. Pour through a strainer (should yield 1/3 cup raspberry juice) and set aside to cool.

Place the chopped chocolate and the butter in a large heatproof bowl and set over the saucepan. The bowl should not touch the water or fall more than halfway into the saucepan. Stir until the chocolate and butter melt, then gradually add in the slightly warm raspberry juice, whisking to combine.

(Note from Heather: I just microwaved the butter and chocolate together at 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until it was almost melted. Then I stirred till it was all melted, added the raspberry juice, and let it cool.)

Take the ganache off the heat and let cool until spreadable, stirring once in a while.

* The ganache was almost too sweet, but I used a combination of semisweet and bittersweet chocolate. Use the bitterest, darkest chocolate possible to counteract the sweetness of the berries.

Roasted Pork Loin with Pearl Onions

from Martha Stewart

Serves 4

  • 1 boneless center-cut pork loin roast, (2 pounds)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 pound frozen pearl onions, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. 1 Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Rub pork with salt, pepper, and 2 teaspoons mustard. On a plate, season breadcrumbs with salt and pepper. Coat top and sides of roast with breadcrumbs, leaving ends uncoated.
  2. 2 In a 9-by-13-inch roasting pan, toss onions with the oil; season with salt and pepper. Place pork in center of pan; roast 15 minutes. Turn onions; cook 10 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water; stir onions to coat.Continue cooking until onions are caramelized, pork juices run clear, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of meat registers 140 degrees. 10 to 15 minutes more. Remove pork and onions from pan; let meat rest 20 minutes before slicing.
  3. 3 While meat is resting, add 1/2 cup water and remaining teaspoon mustard to pan. Cook over medium heat, scraping up browned bits. Stir until sauce is fully blended, 3 to 5 minutes; serve with pork and onions.

Read more at Roasted Pork Loin With Pearl Onions - Martha Stewart Recipes

Catskills Cubano

From the panini book. This sandwich is way awesomer than you could ever imagine.

Serves 2-- do the math for more

2 Ciabatta rolls or sliced ciabatta bread
2 Tbsp yellow mustard
4 thin slices (about 2 oz) sliced swiss cheese
2 tsps finely chopped pickled jalepenos or more to taste
4 thin slices (about 2 oz) serrano ham, prosciutto, or cured ham
4 thin slices (about 2 oz) roast pork*

Slice open rolls and spread 1 Tbsp mustard on bread. Place cheese on mustard. Sprinkle with 1 tsp jalepenos. Lay on 2 slices of ham. Top with pork. Cover with top half of roll. Grill on a panini press, George Foreman grill, or on your stove, 4-7 min or until bread is golden brown.

*I use this recipe for roasted pork loin for a meal earlier in the week and use the leftovers for this sandwich.