Sunday, January 23, 2011


Cute like sugar cookies, without actually being a dessert.  
We like it as an afternoon snack or in a packed lunch.

Leftover rice, about 2 cups
2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar

I spread the rice out on a plate.
I mix the vinegar, salt, and sugar to make a dressing.
I sprinkle the dressing on the rice.

I pack the rice into molds to make shapes, using my rice paddle to push the rice into the mold and level it.  I've got a little onigiri mold with three little shapes, which I bought in a japanese market a few years back.  Before that I used to just mold with a 1/4 cup measure.

Real onigiri would have something hidden in the middle, like pickled plum.  I've never met a pickled plum.  We usually just make them plain--haven't come up with a filling that interests any of us.

Do you make onigiri?  Is your vinegar-salt-sugar dressing different?  Do you put a little filling in the middle?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Applesauce Cake

Happy Birthday Captain Awesome!

I use my KitchenAid mixer for this one, because I believe in overkill.

Two sticks of butter with 1 1/2 cups brown sugar until creamy.
Mix in 2 eggs.

3 cups flour
1/2 Tablespoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon, unless it's in the applesauce already
1 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon or less salt
2 cups applesauce.

Mix it all again.
add 2 cups of raisins and stir them in by hand, unless you forgot this year again.

Put in that pretty big cakepan that looks like it would hold legal paper.  I think it takes an hour to bake.

Frosting (the last argument of kings)
melt another stick of butter with another cup of brown sugar.  Add a pinch of salt and 2/3 cup of cream.  
Rinse the cake batter out of the mixer bowl, and put this hot concoction in.  Add four cups of powdered sugar (from my interminable food storage.  Apparently we'll be eating cake during the apocalypse) and a teaspoon of vanilla.

When the cake is out and cooled off, spread this on top.  (The cake stays in the pan, because that's what I did the first year we were married)  If you were disorganized (again) spread the frosting (still warm) on the hot cake (oh well) because if something's worth doing, it's worth doing before the birthday man arrives home.

Understand that he's going to put his slice in a mug and pour milk over it.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Add the bouillon at the table

My own copy
The kids are in finals, so of course half the kids, and me, are coming down with a cold.  An excellent occasion to try at least the idea of Mark Bittman's Clean-Out-the-Fridge Vegetable Soup.  My soup was comparatively limited by what I had in the fridge to clean out, and I wasn't about to go out in the rain in my mildly sick and tired state to pretend I ever had on hand as wide a range of vegetables as Bittman.
Wannabe Mirepoix: leeks, carrots, mushroom.

Mine was a leek-carrot-mushroom-tomato-potato-spinach soup.  No pistou.  But served with cheese sandwich or hamburgers to take the pressure off.

I added my bouillon paste right into my soup bowl!
I serve a vegetarian soup at more than half our dinners in the winter, but tonight I was impatient with the thought of another vegetable bouillon broth.  So I did a crazy thing--I cooked the vegetables in water, and served a choice of vegetable or turkey Better than Bouillon soup base paste at the table.  I know this doesn't allow the vegetables to season in the broth while cooking, but it was worth it to me to serve vegetables in turkey broth to those who wanted it, without having to divide the soup into two pots so the vegetarian version would be available to those who require it.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Muffins using leftover Raisin Bran cereal

These muffins are delicious, and a good way for us to use up the second half of the box of Raisin Bran.

After School Muffins

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Pasta, Kale, and the Kids Liked It.

Two tricks to Kale:
1. Slice it into thin strips, disguising it as an herb.
2. Serve it so there's more carb than Kale.

I cooked mine in the pot after the pasta was drained, in olive oil and then a little water to wilt it, then I threw it on top of the pasta in the strainer and mixed it in.  If you want pasta, you'll be eating kale.

At the table to assemble themselves:

  • Pasta with Kale (The pasta is Campanelle instead of Penne, and it was just right.)
  • Cannellini Beans (I substituted white navy beans, and warmed them in the microwave)
  • Parmesan Cheese and That Fancy Olive Oil with Herbs we were given for Christmas.
  • (then leftover ham for the meat eaters, deliberately sweet to counteract the kale, since meat eaters are wimps.)


  • bread
  • crudites
  • milk.

Monday, January 3, 2011

What next? Thinking aloud about menus.

The kids are back in school today, and I'm still trying to go from standstill to speed.

I *bought* dinner on the way home.  So pathetic.   At least my son talked me out of Jack in the Box and across the street to Wahoo Fish Tacos.

What I have are leeks and potatoes, cabbage (several kinds), kale that we've had more than enough of.  One bunch of carrots, two tired-looking tomatoes.   Lettuce, pears that may finally have ripened now the holidays are over.  A couple apples and oranges.  A bag of lemons (great Christmas present).   Half a pan of cornbread to snack on.

Soupe Pistou and Salade Nicoise require green beans.
Hamburger-less cabbage-vegetable soup is really only loved by me.
The potatoes are beautiful fingerlings.  I'm wondering about trying the Crash Potatoes from the sidebar.
I'm stuck.