Monthly Archives: October 2014

Baby Spaghetti

bsWhen my boys were babies I came up with a simple recipe for a mild pasta sauce that I served on Angel Hair. I called it Baby Spaghetti. They loved it. And now I am sharing it with you.

Baby Spaghetti
2 cups prepared pasta – think tiny for a little baby with little to no teeth
3/4 cup tomato sauce – I used some with Italian Herbs
1 tbsp basil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

1. Heat the tomato sauce with the basil and Parmesan and combine it with the pasta.
2. Serve to a cute little baby with a fun little plastic spoon (or no spoon at all) and watch them love every bite.

The sauce is reminiscent of a Margherita sauce. If you are making this for adults, add some garlic and onion and maybe some mozzarella. Maybe even a little white wine.

My kids looked at the pasta, wondering what it was. They haven’t had this exact pasta since they were babies so they didn’t remember it at all. I enjoyed telling them it was the first pasta sauce I ever made for them. They didn’t seem interested in my heartwarming story. I think they wanted to know why there was no meat.

Enjoy!

Spinach Potato Soup

sps2I think that if there is a record for the most green food ever posted on one blog, I’ve got to own it. I believe in green. I love green. I love seeing my co-workers’ faces when I pull out another green concoction. But It’s working. One woman at work has taken to adding veggies to her smoothies. I like to believe after two years of witnessing so much green in my lunch that maybe she finally relented to my subtle pressure. Will you be next?

 

Spinach Potato Soup
1 quart broth of choice
1 tsp or more curry powder
2 cups chopped potato
1/2 an onion, chopped, or a chopped leak
1 cup frozen spinach

1. Place all the ingredients in a slow cooker or in a stock pot and cook until the potatoes are soft. I used the slow cooker and let it do its magic on high for about 3 hours. On the stove, you will probably need an hour.
2. After the soup has cooled slightly, either blend with a wand blender right in the pot, or blend in batches in a traditional blender.
3. Serve!

There are so many possibilities with this soup. It can be made with veggie broth as a wonderful vegan soup. You can add a little cream and chicken to it. You can leave the curry out or add a lot more and have a much more exotic soup. You could some pesto when you blend it, too. So many options! I love recipes like this!

If you need an even faster version of this, find a big enough microwave safe bowl  and microwave it for about 15 minutes. Let it cool for a few minutes and blend. Super fast, tasty and healthy!

Enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Bread

psbAm I too late? Are you all pumpkinned out? Do you have it in you to read just one more pumpkin recipe? Please?

I make a pretty good Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread, if I do say so myself.  It has very little oil but it’s still nice and moist and very flavorful. But you may be aware that not everyone likes chocolate. I know. It’s one of those strange but true facts. So in case any of my readers don’t care for chocolate with their pumpkin, this is an alternative.

 

 

Pumpkin Spice Bread
1 can of pumpkin puree
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 or more tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp all spice
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups flour

1. Combine everything but the flour, salt and baking soda and mix until smooth.
2. Now stir in the flour, salt and baking soda.
3. Pour into one large loaf pan or three small loaf pans prepared with cooking spray.
4. Sprinkle the top with sugar. I use Sugar in the Raw. It looks cool and tastes great, too.
5. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes for the small loaves or 55-60 minutes for the large one. Your bread is done when a toothpick or sharp knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Do you see the crystals of sugar on the top of the bread? Nice touch, right?

This bread is so flavorful and it doesn’t have the overly sugary, artificial flavor that many of the seasonal pumpkin treats have right now. Feel free to adjust the spices to your taste. I would have added more ginger and some cardamom too. Then I could have called it Pumpkin Chai Bread! But no ground cardamom in my cupboard.

Looking for some other breads? Check these out from some of my favorite food bloggers.

Chocolate Chunk Pumpkin Bread from Moore or Less Cooking Blog

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread from Whole Bag of Chips

Pumpkin Zucchini Bread from Six Sisters’ Stuff

Enjoy!

#hocofood

Homemade Goat Cheese

10256992_10204868274364792_3275975497486350751_oI did. It’s true. I made goat cheese. I bought some goat milk because I saw some recipe for a warm milk drink with tumeric and honey. Then I decided that I didn’t want to make it because, in spite of all the information about how great tumeric is for you, I just don’t like it enough to put it in my milk.

So there was a quart of goat milk in my fridge. I plugged some words into Google. Goat cheese from goat milk. Ta da! KissMySpatula.com had what looked like a really easy recipe for Homemade Goat Cheese.

Once again, someone else’s recipe so I’m going to let you click over to that site to see it. There are great pictures of the different steps in the process. I followed it to the letter. It was pretty easy. There are a couple things that you’ll want to know, though.

When you add the lemon juice, the recipe says the milk will begin to curdle. This will not be obvious. You’re not going to suddenly see cottage cheese. You may see almost nothing at all except that maybe the top of the milk will look thicker. You may be tempted to add more lemon juice but don’t.

When you pour the milk through the cheese cloth, you are going to wonder if the milk is just going to go right through the cheese cloth and leave you with a soggy piece of fabric that smells like a baby who has just had a bottle. It will not. Carefully gather up the corners of the cloth and gather them together and tie them together. Then hang the bundle from something, with a bowl under it.

As the instructions say, in an hour and half, all the whey which will be kind of clear, will drain out leaving you with a lovely little ball of cheese. I stirred in some herbs de provence. You can add whatever you like. Dill, chives, basil, garlic, dried fruit and nuts. Maybe nothing at all.

I was pretty happy with my goat cheese. I will definitely make it again very soon. And I’m excited because there are so many things I can do with it.

Enjoy!

Easy Roast Chicken

rcI made my first roast chicken when I was 12. I doubt it was my choice. I was probably instructed to do it by my mother. What confidence she had in me to make something as significant as a roast chicken at such a young age. I don’t know that I would be able to give either my Faithful Assistant or the Teenager the same task.

If you’ve never made a roast chicken, you are missing out on one of the greatest culinary gifts. Not only is roast chicken you make in your own home one of the best tasting foods, you can really get a lot out of it. If you don’t believe me, please see my post from earlier this year Chicken, Chicken, Chicken, Chicken!

Here are my instructions for what I think is a very wonderful..

Roast Chicken
One 5-6 lb roasting hen
Poultry seasoning
Salt and pepper

1. Remove the bag of stuff from the chest cavity of the chicken and throw it away.
2. Place the chicken in a roasting pan that is at least two inches deep with the wings tucked delicately underneath and the pop-up timer on the top.
3. Season with the poultry seasoning and salt and pepper. Some people put seasoning on the inside of the chicken. I don’t.  Just on the outside. No butter either.
4. Bake at 350 for 2 hours (more for a bigger chicken). The chicken is done when the little timer dealie-bobby pops up. If you don’t trust that, cut into it near the leg and if the juices come out clear, it’s definitely done.

We can get two dinners for four out of one chicken. Your results will vary, depending on the size and appetite of your family. Feel free to play around with the seasoning. Herbe de Provence would be pretty good. So would Tuscan herbs. I will probably switch it up the next time I make a chicken.

Would you like to print this recipe and share with some younger cooks in your house? Here’s a PDF of the recipe! roastchicken

Enjoy!
#HoCoFood