Not too little, not too much

Cheesy Squash Soup 12/27/2010

Filed under: Cheese,Lunch,Soups,Squash,Vegetarian — Roxana GreenGirl {A little bit of everything} @ 18:02
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Christmas is over. I hope everyone had a wonderful time and receive plenty of gifts.

Our Christmas was white as I wished for, plenty of laughs and lots of good food. The only sad part is that my camera broke down and we don’t have any pictures 😦

Until I get my dream camera (Easter Bunny, I’ve been really really good) is going to be a while   😛 . I can’t stay that long without a camera so meanwhile I have to improvise. I was looking at a cheaper Canon, something to hold me over for 3-4 months but still haven’t decided yet. If you have any suggestions, I’d be more than happy to take them into consideration.

Lucky me, I still have some recipes I haven’t shared with you yet. Today I’m going to post a delicious creamy soup made from one on my decorative Halloween squashes :)). I still have 2 peanut squashes waiting to be cooked. Yummy.

For this soup I used an Australian heirloom Blue squash, correct me if I’m wrong.

The idea of this soup came from Maya‘s  Creamy Patisson Squash Soup with Reblochon Cheese but I just couldn’t find a Patisson squash anywhere so I took matter into my own hands and came up with Creamy Blue Squash Soup with Comté Cheese or Cheesy Squash Soup 😛

Ingredients

2 lbs winter squash (mine was bigger, the rest was baked and mashed)

2 carrots

2 leeks

2 celery ribs

3 tbsp butter

6 oz Comté Cheese

stock

salt, pepper, nutmeg

Directions

Melt the butter and add the chopped carrots, leeks and celery ribs . Pour 1/2 cup stock over them.

Cook until soft.

Meanwhile clean the squash

When the vegetables are soft, add the chopped squash and cover with stock

Simmer until the squash is cooked. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper and let cool slightly.

Puree the soup

Return the soup to the pan, add the shredded Comte cheese and heat gently.

Serve hot sprinkled with more cheese (optional).

closer view

 

Few days before Christmas I submitted my blog to AllTop and they already listed it, yeeee

 

 

This recipe goes to

hearthandsoulgirlichef

Thanks for reading, appreciate your support,

Roxana.

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Brussels Sprouts au Gratin and Green Vegetable Soup 12/11/2010

As much as I love green, no, I didn’t cook both today, just the soup.  The Brussels sprouts au gratin I baked the other day just didn’t have the time to resize the photos and post it.

I like Brussels sprouts, mostly roasted sprinkled with a pinch of nutmeg but lately that’s the only way I had them so I decided to make a gratin. Sounded good and tasted way better than I imagined. I know lots of people who don’t like these tiny cabbages and I don’t understand why. Brussels sprouts are high in vitamin C and are a good source of folate and vitamin A (beta-carotene). They are cruciferous vegetables and contain phytochemicals that may help prevent cancer.

 

Brussels Sprouts au Gratin

 

Ingredients

lit over 1 pound Brussels sprouts

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

few garlic cloves

1 oz grated Parmesan

1 Tbsp butter

salt and pepper

 

Directions

Mix the milk, heavy cream, Parmesan, finely chopped garlic, salt and pepper. Slice the Brussels sprouts

Butter 2 casseroles, divide the sliced Brussels sprouts between them and pour over the milk/cream mixture.

Bake in preheated oven (350 F) for about 45-50 minutes or until they are soft and start to brown on top.

 

 

Now, the soup.

 

I have a problem with my fridge. If  the vegetables are left outside the fridge drawers they freeze although the thermostat is set as low as it can be. The same goes for eggs if I don’t place them on one of the door’ shelves.

Last night my husband decided to make himself a salad and trying to get everything out of the drawers he put some vegetables on the fridge shelves and forgot them there. This morning when I opened the fridge to make breakfast, surprise, I had 3 frozen zucchini and 2 frozen broccoli crowns. Well, what was I supposed to say, nothing would make them fresh again. While we were enjoying our breakfast I remembered a broccoli-zucchini soup I had once and since we were out of soup the memory came in handy.

I melted some butter and sauté 2 chopped leeks and 2 celery ribs.

 

Meanwhile I chopped the zucchini, broccoli and 5 Brussels sprouts. Added them to the pot and covered with stock.

When the vegetables were cooked I let them cool slightly and purée the soup. Returned it to the pot and added 1 cup Greek yogurt.

Serve warm to hot with more yogurt.

Linking this to

 

hearthandsoulgirlichef

 

Asparagus and Pea Soup 11/03/2010

Filed under: Cheese,Lunch,Soups,Vegetarian — Roxana GreenGirl {A little bit of everything} @ 19:57
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The weather is such a funny thing. If yesterday I could have sworn spring is coming, today I take my words back. The bloomed flowers call your name but the wind makes you stay inside and enjoy a warm cup of hot chocolate with mini marshmallows or/and a bowl of soup.  I’m happy at least on Halloween it was sunny, I even saw a butterfly on the side of the house

 

I can’t say I like winter, last year was the ugliest of all, it snowed up to 26 inches in less than 24 hours, and to top it, the power went out. All the hotels were jam-packed that weekend. The next day we went out for brunch and enjoyed a warm bowl of soup. I know you rarely eat soup for brunch but I felt i just need something to warm me up and give me strength to go on despite the cold weather. Don’t you agree that a warm bowl of soup  may brighten your day ? I do think so.

Back to my today’ soup, Asparagus and Pea soup with shavings of Asiago cheese

 

 

Ingredients

 

1 pound asparagus

lit less than 1/2 pound frozen peas

2 onions

2 carrots

2 tbsp butter

parsley

~ 1/2 cup heavy cream

Asiago cheese

1 bay leaf

salt, pepper

 

 

Directions

 

Cut the wooden parts of the asparagus and chop them roughly. Chop the carrots and 1 1/2 onions. Add them to a pot, add the bay leaf, pour over 6 cups of water, bring to boil and simmer for 30 minutes.

 

Melt the butter in another pan. Add the remaining chopped onion and cook over low heat 2-3 minutes.

 

Add the chopped asparagus stems (reserve some tips for garnish if you want), peas and asparagus stock.

Bring to a boil and simmer until the vegetables are tender. When almost done, add the parsley.

 

Cook for further 3-4 minutes and let in cool slightly. Puree the soup in a food processor or blender. Return to pan, add the heavy cream and heat it gently; do not boil.

 

Serve hot with blanched asparagus tips and shavings of Asiago cheese.

 

 

Amaranth Salad stuffed Carnival Squash 11/02/2010

Filed under: Main dish,Salads,Seeds,Squash,Vegan,Vegetarian — Roxana GreenGirl {A little bit of everything} @ 21:44
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Amaranth

Amaranth was one of the main food sources for the Aztecs, who also used it in religious rituals. Cultivation ended almost completely after Spanish conquistadors made growing the plant a punishable offense. Today, both farmers and anyone interested in nutrition are showing increasing interest in the plant because it has more protein (15 percent to 18 percent of calories) than most other grains (8 to 15 percent of calories). It also contains more lysine and methionine, amino acids not provided by many common grains. Combined with other grains, it can provide a complete balance of amino acids. Amaranth is also a source of calcium and magnesium and contains more iron than almost any other grain. The amaranth plant has long clusters of red flowers and grows to a height of 1 to 3 feet. It produces tiny seeds—up to 3 feet. It produces tiny seeds—up to 500,000 per plant. These seeds can be cooked and eaten as a grain or popped, sprouted, or ground into flour that has a strong, nutty flavor. Amaranth flour can range from a light yellow to dark violet, although most amaranth flour sold in stores is buff-colored. Pasta can be made from amaranth flour, and amaranth oil is obtained from the plant’s seeds. The green leaves and stalk of amaranth (also called pigweed) can be cooked and eaten. The leaves have a taste similar to that of spinach.

Preparation Tips
Amaranth flour does not contain gluten, which means baked goods containing it will not rise as desired and will be crumbly. It can be used in baked goods, but it should be combined with wheat flour (which contains gluten) in recipes for muffins, bread, cookies,or pastries. Because it has a nutty, assertive flavor, you may want to experiment somewhat with how much amaranth flour to add to recipes. Amaranth’s nutritional advantages, however, make adding it to baked
goods worthwhile. Amaranth seeds also can be cooked and eaten as a cereal. Or, they can be popped by adding them a tablespoon at a time to a hot, ungreased skillet. They take just a few minutes to pop.

Serving Suggestions
In addition to using amaranth in baked goods as described above, amaranth can be substituted for flour in pancake or waffle recipes. Cinnamon particularly complements its flavor in both of these breakfast favorites. Amaranth leaves can be substituted for spinach in salads or cooked dishes. Popped amaranth seeds can be used as a garnish or topping or in breading recipes.

 

Amaranth Salad stuffed Carnival Squash


Ingredients

3 carnival squashes

1 onion

few garlic cloves

parsley

1/2 to 2/3 cup of  amaranth

frozen corn

frozen peas

carrot

bell pepper

dried cranberries

 

 

Directions

Cut a small cap and clean the squashes

 

Put the cap back on. In a ovenproof casserole dish pout about 1/3 cup water and arrange the squashes.Cover well with aluminum foil.

 

Bake at 400 F for about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile cook the amaranth (1/2 cup amaranth in 1 cup water) simmering it in a covered pan until the water is absorbed.

 

In another pan, boil the corn and peas for 2-3 minutes.

 

In a bowl mix onion, garlic, bell pepper, cranberries, corn, peas, amaranth, parsley and carrot. Season to taste.

 

Remove the squashes from the oven, take off the cap and stuff them with the amaranth salad.

 

Return to the oven and bake, uncovered, for 30-40 more minutes, until the squash is cooked.

 

Serve hot.

 

inside view 😛

 

one more

 

Baba Ghanoush and Pide Ekmeği 10/28/2010

No, no, I’m not going to write in Turkish, I only kept the fancy names of what I’m about to write.

I should have written this post yesterday but, due to weather conditions, my internet connection was on and off and I just gave up after a while.

Last couple of days, I’ve been baking every day, not that my neighbors are complaining 😛 . Sometimes I get this baking mood and I bake everyday something else. I’d bake from dawn till sunset if it is up to me 😛 , on the other hand there are days when I have to make bread and just don’t feel like doing it 😦 . I wonder if I’m the only one that feels like this.

 

The other day I made some Yumuşacık Poğaça, still Turkish he he

 

 

The recipe for this lovely breads you can find it on Zerrin‘s website, http://www.giverecipe.com/fluffy-pogaca.html I’m sure that most of you know her, and those who don’t, pay her a visit, you’ll thank or hate me later LOL

I also made some cinnabons  (I’ll post the recipe tomorrow)

 

Yesterday, I made Baba Ghanoush and Pide Ekmeği that stands for eggplant dip and Turkish flat bread

 

Baba Ghanoush (there are a lots of versions of this eggplant dip, this one is my favorite)

 

Ingredients

2-3 eggplants (little over 2 pounds)

juice of 1 lemon

2-3 tbsp tahini paste

2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

handful of parsley

few garlic cloves

pinch of cayenne

 

 

Directions

 

Pierce the eggplants several times with a fork.

 

Turn the broiler on and roast the eggplants until very soft and wrinkled.

 

When cooled, carefully peel the skin away.

 

In a food processor, combine the eggplants, lemon juice, olive oil, tahini paste, garlic, parsley, cayenne pepper, salt and puree them.

 

Serve with flat bread

 

 

Pide Ekmeği – I’ve tried different combinations for this recipe and this time I substituted the water with mineral water, and, oh boy, this is the one I kept looking for, the perfect bread to be dipped in good olive oil and nothing else

 

Ingredients

4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp dry yeast (little over 1 sachet dry yeast)

1/4 cup lukewarm water

1/4 cup olive oil

3 tbsp yogurt

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp sugar

mineral water (about 1 cup)

1 egg for brushing

nigella or sesame seeds, to sprinkle

 

Directions

Cream the yeast and sugar in the lukewarm water. Leave 5 minutes.

 

 

Pour the mixture over sifted flour. Add olive oil, yogurt and salt.

 

Start mixing adding mineral water until the dough is very soft and moist.

 

 

Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover and let it raise until double.

 

Divide the dough in two balls

 

Roll them out (about 1/2 inch thick) and put them on baking trays

 

Turn the oven on to 450F. While the oven is heating,  indent the surface of the breads with your fingers and brush them with egg and sprinkle with nigella or sesame seeds.

 

Bake them for 10-12 minutes until puffed and golden.

 

 

Thanks for reading, hope I didn’t bother you too much.

 

Cheesy Stuffed Bell Peppers 10/23/2010

Filed under: Latin America,Main dish,Mexican,Vegetarian — Roxana GreenGirl {A little bit of everything} @ 19:50
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My plan was to make stuffed eggplants or stuffed carnival squash but, if there is one thing I’m good at that would be changing my mind in a heart beat. Since I had 6 bell peppers in the fridge, the first idea was to stuff them with rice and raisins, then with rice and other vegetables and other few combinations. In the end I remembered that I ate once at a Mexican restaurant peppers stuffed with beans. But I didn’t have Poblano peppers so why not use regular peppers instead? This is how a memory turned into a delicious and satisfying meal.

 

Ingredients

4 bell peppers

1  1/2 onion

1 1/2 tomato

few garlic cloves

1/2 to 1 cup shredded cheddar

2 eggs

corn oil

2/3 cup dried beans*

 

cook the dry beans with 1/2 onion, 1/2 tomato, thyme and 1 Jalapeño or Serrano pepper. when cooked remove the onion, tomato, pepper and thyme springs.

 

Directions

Turn on the broiler and roast the bell peppers until the skin get black and blistered. Meanwhile heat some oil and cook the onion and garlic for few minutes or until soft.

 

Add the tomatoes and cook few more minutes.

 

 

Remove from the heat and add the beans. Season to taste and mash almost half of them.

 

 

Back to the peppers. Remove the skin and seeds.

 

and fill them with the beans mixture.

 

 

Break the eggs and beat them lightly with a pinch of salt and pepper and mix with the cheese. Pour over the peppers.

 

Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes until the egg is set and cheese melts.

 

 

Serve hot

 

 

Vegetables Bulgur Pilaf 10/19/2010

Yesterday, while reading  Yesim’s blog ( http://yesimstylekitchen.blogspot.com/2010/07/bulghur-pilaf-with-eggplant-etli-bulgur.html if you like Turkish cuisine you should pay her a visit) my mind took me back, years ago, to my first trip to Turkey. Back then I wasn’t paying so much attention to food (not that I do now) and tried for the first time bulgur, I still remember the dish bulgur piluvi. Tho the nut-like flavor, the taste, the feel were new to me I enjoyed it and asked for seconds. Years past and I got married and one day I cooked some bulgur for my husband (who’s the pickiest eater I’ve ever met) liked it too and since then every time I make bulgur or rice I have to make at least 4  servings  😛

Bulgur is a type of cracked wheat that has been steam-cooked and dried. Because of this, it does not require as much cooking time as other whole-wheat products. Bulgur is used for making tabbouleh (a well-known Middle East cuisine favorite), cereal, and pilaf. It is available in a variety of grinds, from fine to coarse or from #1 to #4.

 

 

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup bulgur

2 onions

2-3 tomatoes

1 potato

1-2 zucchini

chili pepper, mine was a habanero

3 cups stock

olive oil

dill, mint (fresh is possible)

salt, pepper

 

 

Directions

 

Heat a little oil in a heavy based pan and cook the onion and chili

 

 

Add the bulgur and diced potato, stir well and cook for 1 more minute.

 

Add 2 1/2cups of stock and tomatoes and simmer until almost all the stock has been absorbed.

 

Since I don’t like mushy zucchini I added them almost when the bulgur is done with another 1/2 cup stock.

 

Simmer for 3-5 more minutes,  add chopped dill and mint, remove from heat, cover and let rest for about 10 minutes.

 

Serve warm as a side or main dish.

 

 

 

 
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