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What a Concept…

I tried making the roasted chickpeas again a couple of weeks later in late October. This time, I baked them ~10 minutes (maybe 15) longer than stated on the recipe. They turned out crunchier and kept their crunch days later. 🙂

Crunchier Roasted Chickpeas!

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Sweet and Salty Roasted Chickpeas

Roasted Chickpeas: Spiced and Ready to Serve (Closer)

OK… I’ve been focusing a leeeetle too much on the sweet stuff lately. Here’s my first recipe post in a little while; this one has both sweet and salty going on.

Sweet and Salty Roasted Chickpeas
from the Cupcake Project

Ingredients :

  • 1 can (14 oz) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon or your spice(s) of choice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions:

1) Place chickpeas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat. Bake at 450 F for 30 minutes. Note from the Cupcake Project: You didn’t miss anything here. You don’t oil or season them until after they are done. In fact, for an extra healthy treat, try them when they get out of the oven before even adding the oil. They are enjoyable all on their own.

Chickpeas Ready to Bake (closer)

Oven Roasted Chickpeas (even closer)

2) Transfer chickpeas to a bowl and mix thoroughly with the rest of the ingredients.
3) Enjoy hot, or bring to room temperature and store in an air-tight container.

Here’s what the roasted chickpeas look like after they’ve been tossed in oil and spices:

Roasted Chickpeas: Spiced and Ready to Serve

Instead of straight cinnamon, I generally go for fivespice to shake things up a little bit. I may try this recipe with a little pumpkin pie spice next time around. The spice combinations are really up to you on this one!

There are many things to love about this recipe.  The recipe is very simple and the finished chickpeas are easy to transport from place to place. While the chickpeas tend to lose their crunch the longer you keep the chickpeas, they are still really tasty days after you bake them. They are like beer or corn nuts, but I think a lot better tasting and possibly a little better for you. Once I pop one into my mouth, it’s tough to stop myself (sorry, Pringles 😉 ).

Need to figure out a way to keep ’em crispy/crunchy once they have been out of the oven a while, though.

A Good Day For Pi(zza)

Some of you have already seen me post this shot on Facebook or Google+, but for those of you who haven’t….

IMG_6011

 

I guess you could say having pizza for dinner was was in honor of yesterday’s Pi day, but I was totally craving a spinach-tomato-mushroom pizza without the extra geeky impetus. This was from the Whole Foods near work.

Curried Lentil Soup

IMG_3644

I wanted to try this recipe for a while, but opted for some Ethiopian lentil recipes first. This was the perfect way to use what lentils I had left over and was a great recipe for yesterday’s gloom and chill.

Oh, yeah… this was coming, too.

Ned Stark...Weatherman!
Thanks Ned!

I’ll have the Ethiopian recipes up eventually, but here’s the recipe for the curried lentil soup I made last night.

Curried Lentil Soup

from Bon Appetit Magazine, May 1998 (found on Epicurious.com)

Ingredients

  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 8-oz. russet potato, peeled, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled, chopped
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 3 14 1/2-oz. cans low-salt chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 2 c. lentils (about 12 ounces), rinsed, drained

IMG_3629

After reading the recipe reviews, I decided to add a few more things to the soup. I added several cloves of pressed garlic (seen above),  increased the cayenne to 1/2 tsp., and added 1/2 tsp each of tumeric and cumin.  Since I was a little low on chicken broth, wanted an extra layer of flavor and had it on hand, I also added a can of coconut milk (pictured below).

IMG_3638

Rest of the (mostly) step-by-step instructions behind the jump.

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Eat Your Veggies: Adobong Gulay…The Second Time Around

Made Adobong Gulay again for a Fourth of July party one of my friends was throwing… As promised in my first blog about making Veggie Adobo, I made some tweaks. This time, the dish turned out better (and looked a lot better, too).

Adobong Gulay (Veggie Adobo) #2

Putting the potatoes in before the eggplant made sure the potatoes were softer (but not too soft). Onions were also more visible this time (I’ll find a happy medium to Dan’s and my liking in re: to onions).

How to Train Your Cornbread*

Ah… Cornbread…

Depending on where you come from it can be a completely different being. Where I grew up, cornbread meant a slightly crispy, unsweetened creation… sometimes a little bit salty even. Pieces were often wedge-shaped as the cornbread was made either in a skillet or a round pan.

Don’t forget that it’s also often cooked with bacon grease… mmmm… bacon.

A prime example of southern-style cornbread is pictured below, from Charleston, SC’s Hominy Grill. (Yes…you’ll see this slice later…):

Hominy Grill's Cornbread...

…and here’s its northern cousin… Usually with a higher ratio of flour to cornmeal, more sugar than its Southern counterpart, and is cut in a square/rectangle . One from Hard Times Cafe is pictured below:

Cornbread @ Hard Times

Sometimes there are variations on the two themes. For example, jalapeno peppers or cheese is sometimes added to the more savory cornbreads. Sometime maple syrup is added to the more sweet ones.

There are definitely partisans of their regional style of cornbread. I’m good for both depending on where I am and whether or not I’m in the mood for sweet or savory. I end up making/having the below recipe more often than not, though. Yep…my sweet tooth betrays me (nothing wrong with that, IMHO).

Recipe and shots behind the jump…

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Potatoes with Afritude 2: Electric Boogaloo

As promised in my original post on this recipe, a second try on Potatoes with Afritude, with update…

This time, the usual suspects (redskin potatoes) were cut a little bit longer…

Red Potato Wedges (longer this time)

Here are the potatoes with the spices and oil mixed in… The curry powder produces both a wonderful yellow color on the potatoes and an equally nice scent.

Red Potato Wedges With Spices

The unfortunate thing about curry powder, though is it makes everything it touches yellow, and that tint doesn’t go away easily (I think there’s still a yellow curry powder mix spot on the counter).

…and the finished potatoes…ready for the potluck.

Potatoes With Afritude 2: Electric Boogaloo

This batch of Potatoes with Afritude was made for the same potluck party I made the Adobong Gulay. I’d say I’m almost there… I don’t remember if I actually mixed the spices and olive oil in separate batches like I said I would (since I was doing a lot of cooking…) , but this batch definitely had a better balance between potato and spice than the first try.

Eat Your Veggies: Adobong Gulay

While I have made a spinach version before (there’s also adobong sitaw with Asian green beans), this was my first shot at this version of adobo. It was made for a potluck party attended by classmates old and new and a few of my professors…

…Proof positive that you can adobo just about anything! The below recipe is from Bobbiy at Sparkrecipies:

Adobong Gulay

Ingredients:

  • 1 large raw onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp. peppercorn
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • ½ cup raw potato, diced
  • 1 lb. Japanese Eggplant, cubed
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup palm or white vinegar
  • dash of black pepper
  • dash of granulated sugar

Instructions: In a pan, heat oil, and then add peppercorn and bay leaves. When the bay leaves start to turn brown, add the garlic. Saute until brown. Then add the onion and fry until translucent. Add the pepper and the sugar, stir briefly to mix, and then add the soy sauce and vinegar. Lower heat to medium, and then add the potatoes and eggplant. Stir briefly then simmer, covered, around 20 minutes for the potatoes and the eggplant. They should be soft but not mushy. Add water if liquid level drops too low. You don’t want to burn this dish. You just need enough liquid to cover the ingredients.

Serve over rice. Serves up to 8 people depending on how much you want to make.


Below are shots of the diced eggplant…Unfortunately, Giant didn’t have Japanese eggplant, but the big ol’ purple ones worked fine…

Diced/Wedged Eggplant

Eggplant... a Little Closer

Probably my most common food shot, but… Hail to the Redskins!

Diced/Wedged Redskin Potatoes

I generally smash garlic against the blade of a big Japanese cleaver. Sure I can use a garlic press, but there’s something therapeutic about smashing things…

Smashed Garlic

Garlic, bay leaves, and peppercorn smelled wonderful cooking in oil. Afterward, I added the onion, vinegar, and soy sauce…

Sauteing Garlic, Bay Leaves, and Peppercorns #1

While the dish might not have ended up as pretty as I would have liked, it tasted good…

Adobong Gulay

I think next time, I should put the potato in before the eggplant, especially if I’m using redskins (despite what the recipe says). I also should cut the onion just a little bit larger and not process it any further.

Potatoes with Afritude…Sorta…

Sunday Morning:

Dan: You know, we have some leftover potatoes. We need to cook them soon.
Hapa: I think I have just the recipe for them…

I stumbled on AJ’s Disney Food Blog the night before, where I remembered looking at a recipe for one of Boma’s* offerings: Potatoes with Afritude. While I don’t recall having this dish when my brother, sister, and I had breakfast at Boma during our August weekend at Disney (I also am not the best at taking pictures when buffets are involved), and Dan never dined at Boma,  it seemed like a simple, tasty, and relatively healthy recipe… It was definitely worth a try.

The recipe is below:

POTATOES WITH AFRITUDE, Boma, Animal Kingdom Lodge
Yield: 10 servings

Ingredients:

  • 5 lbs. Red Skinned Potatoes (any variety of potato may be used)
  • 2 ounces Olive Oil
  • 3 T. Curry Powder
  • 2 T. Turmeric
  • 1 T. Garlic Powder
  • 1 T. Paprika
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Note: I added 1 T. Light Brown Sugar… (per a commenter suggestion on Disney Food Blog)

Method: Wash potatoes well, and cut into wedges. In a large bowl mix the spices and olive oil. Add the raw potatoes. Coat the potatoes with the spice mixture. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet, place in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Credit: DisneyRecipes.homestead.com via http://www.disneyfoodblog.com/ .

The leftovers Dan referred to were a small amount of reds. I supplemented them with a russet initially and later added another…

Uncut Russet and Red Potatoes

I wedged the potatoes the way I would when I make herbed potato wedges.

Raw, Wedged Potatoes

For visual reference: here are the herbed potatoes I was talking about (these are tossed in olive oil, garlic salt, and thyme and/or rosemary before baking at 350 degrees).

Herbed Potatoes

Back to the potatoes I was making this afternoon: I then added the olive oil and spices like I would have with the aforementioned herbed potatoes. They were then placed in a cookie sheet to bake per the recipe.

Curry and Tumeric Spiced Potatoes

I ended up cooking them closer to 45 minutes to an hour after mixing them up at the 30 minute point and discovering the reds weren’t quite cooked all the way through.

Here’s how they looked coming out of the oven:

Curry and Tumeric Seasoned Wedges Out of the Oven

And a couple of finished product shots: A little closer each time…

Curry and Tumeric Seasoned Wedges in Storage Container

Curry and Tumeric Seasoned Wedges (a little closer)

While these potatoes certainly taste like they could come out of Boma and passed the Dan taste test, the finished product definitely didn’t look like the “Potatoes with Afritude” pictures I’d seen on Disney Food Blog or Dining in Disney.

Changes I’ll make next time:

  • Cutting the potato wedges a little longer (and perhaps thinner?)
  • Actually referring to the blog pictures…
  • Making sure I actually mix the spices and the olive oil separately before adding the potatoes (as the recipe indicates).
  • Either making sure I actually have 5 lbs of potatoes (I had about 2.5-3 lbs on hand between both russets and the reds) or doing a better job at adjusting the proportion of spices.

Things I probably won’t change:

  • Adding the 1 T. brown sugar to the recipe.

You can almost bet there will be a follow-up blog post when I make my tweaks… We’ll also see which way we also end up liking best…

*Boma is a buffet-style restaurant in the Animal Kingdom Villas’ Jambo House.

Blue Box? What Blue Box?!

Granted, I think Kraft’s macaroni and cheese is OK, but I much prefer the homemade stuff. 😉 Dan made this batch of mac-and-cheese the other day using his mom’s recipe.

Mac and Cheese (Closeup)

Combine the following in a large pot:

2 eggs
1 cup flour
4 cups milk

Bring the ingredients to a boil on stove set to medium heat. Sautee 2 tbsp onions with a stick of butter. Add the sauteed onions to the mixture in the pot. Add 4 cups of shredded cheese. Mix thoroughly and cook on medium heat until the cheese is fully melted. Once the cheese is fully melted, cook on low heat, stirring occasionally. (Note: This produces a thick sauce. For a less thick sauce, use less flour and/or more milk).

Cook 1 pound of pasta until it is al dente. Once the pasta is done, combine with the sauce in the large pot. Stir until the pasta is fully coated. Pour the contents of the pot into a 9×13 inch roasting pan. The mixture should be 2 to 3 inches deep throughout the pan. Liberally pour bread crumbs on top. Cook for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.

Substitutions: Dan uses grated parmesan-romano instead of bread crumbs atop the mac/cheese.

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