Sunday, October 28, 2007

|i have been empowered to make risotto|

This is an amazingly happy day. The writers of Vegetarian Times magazine have changed my life by teaching me how to make any kind of risotto I want. Any kind. I've always loved risotto, but when I look at recipes I always think, "hmmm, I don't like that one ingredient," so I don't make it. But in Vegetarian Times they had a little sidebar that teaches you how to make any kind of risotto you want. We had about a cup of leftover arborio rice sitting around, so I picked up some vegs at the store and went to town.

You can make ANY risotto you want by following the steps below:

  1. Saute some aromatics in a little oil or butter. I used onions in olive oil. You could also use shallots, leeks, celery, carrots, etc. If you're going to use dried herbs, add them now. If you're going to use fresh herbs, add them at the end. I used thyme, sage, and some celery seeds.
  2. After they are translucent, add the rice (1/4 c. dry per serving). It has to be arborio because it has the right kinds of starch power to make the creamy risotto action happen. Let it brown for a couple minutes.
  3. Add about a half cup of wine (or beer, that would probably be good, too!). Simmer until almost all of the wine is absorbed.
  4. Heat 1 cup of broth per serving. Add it, about a half cup at a time, and let it cook down. Simmer the whole time. It will absorb ALL of the liquid. Just be patient and keep adding.
  5. Towards the end, you'll start to add whatever veggies you want. The key is just to chop them up small and add them according to how much cooking they will need. I added my mushrooms first, then asparagus, then delicata and acorn squash (which I precooked in the microwave). You'll be adding these veggies while the liquid is still cooking down.
  6. Once the liquid is absorbed and the veggies are cooked, you're done. ENJOY.

This is SO awesome because you could literally do any combination you want. Wow. I ate mine while sitting on the cough with my windows open, watching my DVRed "The Office" from Thursday. Does life get any better than this?

Saturday, October 27, 2007

|new way to do pumpkin seeds|

Okay, so maybe everyone else already knows about this, but my friend Nate taught me tonight that you can use cinnamon and sugar on your pumpkin seeds when you roast them. They were yummy that way!

Friday, October 26, 2007

|and then i had some squash soup|

Some things just aren't worth making. I'm gonna have to say that squash soup is one of those things. I should probably start this post by explaining that I love squash....of all everything. It's just such a pain in the patootie to make. And making soup out of it is even worse because you have to bake it, let it cool, scoop it out, cook a bunch of other stuff, and then puree the whole thing. Yikes. Of course, the end result is heavenly.

Fortunately, there is a better way. I just discovered Campbell's has butternut squash soup in those funny little cardboard containers. What are those called? It's the same thing tofu comes in. Anyhoo, I grabbed some at the store last week because a friend had just had the hubby and me over for HOMEMADE squash soup (which was amazing) and I knew I'd be craving it again soon.

So I tried it tonight and it was awesome. Not quite as good as the homemade, but man it was darn close. And since it took roughly 2 minutes to make instead of 2 hours, I think I'll be buying a few more boxes. (Boxes...of soup...feels weird to say).

My friend gave me the real recipe for her soup. From another friend. Based on The Joy of Cooking and I'm sure I'll give it a try at some point. More for the joy of having it homemade than out of necessity. And isn't it nice to have the option?

1) Get in your car or on the bus or put on your walking shoes or get on your bike (don't forget the helmet).
2) Go to your local grocery store and head to the food aisle (if biking, leave your bike outside...same goes for the car).
3) Buy the Campbells butternut squash soup in the BOX. Go ahead and get two. for sure.
4) Go home.
5) Open the box and pour it into a pan.
6) Heat it up.
7) Bliss out.

|i made a potato|

I guess all blogs have to start somewhere. Mine started because I made a baked potato for lunch today. It was super-delicious and, after eating it, my first reaction was to immediately type up the recipe and send it to my friends. But then I realized that my friends are probably sick and tired of getting recipes from me. I have a lot of friends who like food, but it probably still gets a little old after a while. So then I thought - hey, I could start a blog about food. And I could obsess all I want and not worry about boring anyone. And, thusly, "amateur foodie" was born.

And here's the recipe that started it all...

I had some leftover black bean spread that I've been eating on pitas all week, but I was sick of eating it on pitas. So I baked a potato, cut it open, and added the following:
- about 1/4 c. of the black bean spread
- 2 tablespoons of light cream cheese
- 1/2 cup corn
- 1/2 cup other veggies (I used onions and mixed peppers)

I threw it all in the microwave for a minute and stirred. Nummers.

To make the black bean spread, mix the following in a food processor:
- can of black beans (rinsed and drained)
- a smidgen of the bean juice from the can
- garlic powder
- cumin
- some onions
- little tomatoe paste
- some lime juice