Saturday, September 19, 2009

Making Whoopie...pies, pumpkin whoopie pies

My sister is on her way to Louisville which can only mean one thing, I have to whip something creative up for her judgemental taste buds. While on a run earlier this week, which just happens to end at the Wine Rack no matter the millage or the day, I noticed pumpkin beer in the window, a favorite between the sisters. I came home and begin looking for that extra special pumpkin recipe when I stumbled upon one of my favorite blogs. After reading the list of ingredients, there was no way I could compete to make it my own so I present you with Pumpkin Whoopie Pies, from Erin's Food Files.

While you're there, check out her other amazingly delicious treats. Erin is a good friend of Megan and from what I hear, quite the chef. My whoopie pies are in the cooling stage but from licking the bowl throughout the process, I can already tell these are going to be a hit!
* This is not a picture of the Pumpkin Whoopie Pies as my camera is toast. However, this is my jack-o-lantern from last Halloween, so it counts.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

For you meat lovers

So, I am by no means a vegetarian. I just have a strong distaste for touching raw bloody carcass prior to gnawing on its bones, that, and I do feel bad for the little guys. However, I am a huge huge huge fan of bacon and bison. Thus I present you with this:

If you haven't tried bison, it is much less fatty and greasy than beef and is huge here in Kentucky, that and fried green tomato blt's which I will attempt one of these days. Back to the bison, simply season with salt and pepper and throw it on the grill with some potatoes and veggie kabobs and you have yourself a well balanced meal. I prefer mine medium to medium well, but if charred is your thing, by all means go and ruin it. Now to the veggie goodness, I opted for eggplants and squashes from my CSA basket, added in green pepper and tomato with minced fresh garlic. Mmm mmm good.

Veggie Burger Deliciousness

So this one I totally stole from Megan, but since she's much too busy to entertain you, I am taking the credit. While I have not quite mastered the stability of these yet, the taste is there and that's really what counts.

2 cans black beans (rinsed, drained, and mashed)
1 onion
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
2 eggs
1 ear corn, off the cop
3-4 garlic gloves minced
1 package saltines
chili powder
squirt hot sauce
small handful shredded cheese

Finely chop up the onion and peppers and drain them as much as possible. Wrap them up in towels being careful not to spill them on the floor to soak up some of the moisture. Mix all the ingredients with the mashed black beans and make yourself some patties.

Things you can add to help keep the patties as patties: flour, oats, cooked rice, sweet potatoes. egg whites, etc. etc.

If you plan on grilling these, which is by far the tastiest method, freeze them in patties first.

Basically throw everything together and make patties.

Vegetarian French Onion Soup

Hellooooooooooooooooooooooooo blog world, I'm back, camera or not. After many weekend away, I have decided to spend this one indoors cooking, except for that little stint with blogging buddy Megan in which we drank champagne and visited the many Louisville festivals. My favorite of the recipes was French Onion Soup. I mean, come on, who doesn't love a delicious bowl of tasty goodness and wait until you see the soup crocks I bought in Chicago.

After much google searching for the perfect recipe I came across the following from Cooking Light. I halved this recipe and substituted fake beef broth for the real deal. At Whole Foods I discovered Vegetarian Better than Bouillon fake beef paste stuff in a jar. To make a long story short, it's delicious. So here it goes:

2 teaspoons olive oil
4 cups thinly vertically sliced Walla Walla or other sweet onion
4 cups thinly vertically sliced red onion
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup dry white wine
8 cups less-sodium beef broth (I used the fake stuff, no cows for me)
1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
8 (1-ounce) slices French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
8 (1-ounce) slices reduced-fat, reduced-sodium Swiss cheese (such as Alpine Lace)

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions to pan; sauté for 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in sugar, pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Reduce heat to medium; cook 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Increase heat to medium-high, and sauté for 5 minutes or until onion is golden brown. Stir in wine, and cook for 1 minute. Add broth and thyme; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 2 hours.

At this point I divided my recipe into the cute little crocks shown above and placed them in the fridge for individual indulgences.

Before Service
Warm soup in oven. Remove from oven.

Place bread in a single layer on a baking sheet; broil 2 minutes or until toasted, turning after 1 minute. Or if you're me the bread is already stale and you can skip this step.

Place bread on top of soup and layer with cheese. Broil 3 minutes or so or until cheese begins to brown. You might place a pan underneath these so you don't burn the dripping cheese.

Enjoy, it's delicious