Tag Archives: recipe

Weekly Meal Plan

I can’t believe we’ve lived in Portland for over 13 months now! One of the biggest changes we made when moving here was cooking. Yes, when we lived in San Francisco we rarely cooked for ourselves. No we didn’t live off Ramen like the common college stereotype. We lived off of tacos. And burritos. And nachos. Sort of came with the territory since we lived in the Mission District. Now I cook dinner everyday. The biggest help has been creating a meal plan and shopping from it once a week. I love the meal plans created for you in Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food Magazine, and usually use that once a month (except for when it involves expensive cuts of meat…) Other times I just make up my own meal plan based on whatever I’m craving. [This week, it was salmon, so that comes into play twice, haha.] Here’s this week as an example:

You may have noticed that my “weekly” meal plans are only 5 days long…yeah I’ve just found that’s the time frame that works best for us [sometimes we take a night off of cooking to go to a friends house or just eat leftovers]. You may also have noticed that all the recipes this week are from Everyday Food. Yeah, what can I say-I subscribe to the cult of Martha. 😉 Plus those recipes aren’t even really recipes per say, more like methods of cooking, and they often use less than 5 ingredients.

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Bean burgers

My favorite vegetarian recipe: Kidney bean burgers!

Kidney bean burger

So delicious, my friend Rosie introduced me to this recipe, she is a vegetarian and apparently found this via StumbleUpon or something silly like that. Made these while my sister was visiting since she is a vegetarian. [Also I am really bad at coming up with vegetarian meals, Morgan and I eat some form of chicken or ground beef pretty much every night. So while my sister was here, our meals were: Vegetarian lasagna, Bean and cheese burritos, Kidney bean burgers, Vegetarian chili and cornbread, and pho. I’ve never eaten that many beans in one week before, I could never be a vegetarian unless I learned to really love tofu or something.]

One major recommendation, double this recipe! It is supposed to make “5 burgers,” but I’d put it more at about 2! Other than that, I’ve only changed this recipe slightly. That blog looks like it has other great recipes too (and not all veggie), I plan to try some soon.

KIDNEY BEAN BURGERS

One 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained, rinsed and mashed well

1/4 cup pecans, finely diced

1/4 cup onion, finely diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 egg

2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon ketchup

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon yellow curry powder

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

———-

In a large bowl combine the ingredients. Mix well and chill for 15 minutes.

Form into burgers and fry in a small amount of oil, or in a nonstick pan sprayed with vegetable cooking spray, over medium heat.

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xoxo, emma

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Pecan Pie

Did you know that Canadians also have Thanksgiving? I didn’t either until this week. They eat all the same foods but their harvest is earlier (since they are located farther North, obvs). Luckily for me my next door neighbor married a Canadian so I get to celebrate Turkey Day twice this year! If you want to get rave reviews and a bazillion compliments on your pie that you are supposed to bring to Thanksgiving dinner (or any other gathering this fall) you should really make the Pioneer Woman’s pecan pie. Seriously. These Canadians think I am some sort of pie Goddess now, but I have to give Ree Drummond all the credit.  When reading her recipe, just be sure to read “serve in thin slivers” as “serve in huge chunks, possibly with ice cream or whipped cream on top.” Here is the recipe:

Recipe: Pioneer Woman’s Pecan Pie

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Ingredients
  • 1 whole Unbaked Pie Crust
  • 1 cup White Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 1 cup Corn Syrup
  • ¾ teaspoons Vanilla
  • ⅓ cups Melted Butter (salted)
  • 3 whole Eggs Beaten
  • 1 cup (heaping) Chopped Pecans

Preparation Instructions

Mix sugar, brown sugar, salt, corn syrup, butter, eggs, and vanilla together in a bowl.

Pour chopped pecans in the bottom of the unbaked pie shell.

Pour syrup mixture over the top. Cover top and crust lightly/gently with foil. Bake pie at 350º for 30 minutes. Remove foil, then continue baking for 20 minutes, being careful not to burn the crust or pecans.

Allow to cool for several hours or overnight. Serve in thin slivers.

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How to make boba

I wanted to make my own boba tea/tapioca, and went to Fubonn on a whim.  Luckily they actually had an entire section of the pearls and even drink mixes.  If you don’t have an Asian grocery near you, they are available on Ebay.  The boba turned out great! Here’s what you’ll need:

Boba supplies

Tapioca pearls, they had black, white and multicolored at the store.  Of course I got multicolored.  I picked up a honeydew flavor drink mix as well.  And you can’t forget the chunky straws!

tapioca pearls

Boil 10 cups of water, then add in one cup of the pearls.  Give the pearls a gentle stir.  Right away they will rise to the top of the water.  When they do, cover them and boil for 5 minutes more.

tapioca pearls, done

After 5 minutes, take the pearls out and drain them.  Mix them with some simple syrup (1 cup white sugar, 1 cup brown sugar, 2 cups water.  Heat in a pot and remove from heat as soon as it boils.)  I think the simple syrup step is to keep them from sticking together.

Next, in a shaker combine: 2 ounces simple syrup, 2 tbs. drink powder, and 2 tbs. non-dairy creamer (I didn’t have any so I used 2 tbs. milk and it worked perfectly).  Add a few ice cubes and fill to the top with cold water.  Shake to combine, making sure the drink powder dissolves.

Spoon some finished tapiocas into a glass, and pour the liquid over it.

finished boba

And that’s it!  It looks (and tastes) so impressive but is really quite easy.  I will definitely pull this recipe out next time I have friends over.  Enjoy!

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Angelhair Pasta with Bacon, Peas and Shallots

One of my go-to dinner recipes is so simple but yields delicious results.  Want to know the secret? Cook some pasta (Personally, I think angelhair is the most delicious shape); fry up some bacon; remove the bacon but keep the grease; cook some veggies in the bacon grease; add some cream; mix it all together! See how simple? I promise it is so delicious–I’d guess it’s probably the bacon grease… :/

Vegetarians beware: this post contains photos of raw bacon!

Bacon

First, fry some bacon

Cook some shallots in the bacon grease

Add some frozen peas and half-and-half (though I have been known to use heavy cream!)

Once it starts to thicken up, add it to the pasta!

I’ve had good results with all sorts of veggies, like squash and onions instead of peas and shallots.  Every veggie tastes better cooked in bacon grease!

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Recipe: Heirloom Tomato Tart in Parmesan Crust

Tomatoes are my favorite summer food.  I love putting them on sandwiches (with just a dab of mayo, salt and pepper), making an easy caprese salad and even eating them plain.  One of my favorite summer tomato recipes though is this easy tart.  It only uses a few ingredients, but the flavors are amazing.  The simple crust is buttery and parmesan-y (yes, that is a word).  Pick the prettiest diversely-colored tomatoes you can find for a real stand-out dish.  I can’t wait to make this again!

Tomato Tart

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Recipe: Zucchini and Chicken Salad

When we lived in San Francisco, the BF and I would go out most days to eat (nothing fancy, our neighborhood was filled with taquerias after all).  Our kitchen that we shared with 3 other roommates–not to mention 3 cats–wasn’t the most appetizing place to cook.  Now that we finally have our own place in Portland, I’ve been cooking dinner everyday.  Not only do we save bundles of money, but I also have a great time teaching myself to cook different things.  I’m learning a lot about what is in season when, how to “eyeball” measure ingredients, and even broadening my palate (I never used to like zucchini or asparagus but now eat both on the regular).  On my quest to make different meals, I’ve been cooking a different recipe every night.  This has been going well for about two months now, and most nights I’m very happy with the different meals.  I get a lot of the recipes from Everyday Food Magazine or cookbooks, because they tend to feature just a few cheap ingredients put together in new and creative ways.

Zucchini and Chicken Salad

The salad before the addition of spinach and chicken

This week I’ve made Cashew Chicken, Chicken Tostada Salad, and a couple different Barley Risottos.  Mmmm!  Tonight I made Zucchini and Chicken Salad.  The recipe is available here.  It was deeeelicious!  I was happy to get in three green veggies in one meal.

Zucchini and Chicken Salad

I also made artichoke on the side because they were so cheap at the grocery store.  For a quick dipping sauce I mixed some veganaise (the BF doesn’t really like mayo and it’s one of the small battles that I’ve lost…now it tastes the same as mayo to me) with some wildberry lemon vinegar.  That sounds fancy, but I didn’t have any balsamic!  Just mix the two until they are about the consistency of yogurt.  So good!

I hope to continue this pursuit of cooking knowledge and gain a lifelong skill and appreciation for food.  So far, so good. 🙂

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