Friday, October 31, 2008


Key to my recipes:

C. = Cup
T. = Tablespoon
t. = teaspoon
# = lb. = pound
b.soda = baking soda
b.powder = baking powder
16 ounces (oz.) = 1 pound



Cooking Tools and Equivalents from Smitten Kitchen

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Apple Pumpkin Bread

I made this for an Obama Calling Party. The people need their sweets.

This is a quick bread. Quick breads are yummy and generally sweet. This one is delicious. It makes two. Which is good to know before you start to double the recipe because you need two and then realize that you are making four. just saying.

Mix Wet Ing.s:
3/4 C. veg. oil
2 1/4 C. Sugar (i used a mix of organic cane and brown)
1 15oz can pumpkin (tj organic is good)
4 large eggs

In another bowl, mix Dry Ing.s:
3 C. Flour
1/4 t. salt
1.4 t. cinnamon
the recipe calls for allspice, nutmeg, and cloves,
i did a mix of: ginger, nutmeg, and cardamon

Add dry to wet and then fold* in 2 peeled, cored, chopped apples.

pour into two greased loaf pans.
top with:
1 T. flour
5 T. sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1 T. flour mixed together with your fingers.
actually, i doubled this before i realized about the two-- and it was just enough. so double.

Bake apx. 1 hour in 350* oven.

*fold: pour apples in. take a spatula and slice down with the edge through the center of the batter. slide the spatula to the side and pull batter up over the top of the apples. repeat, rotating the bowl until the apples are gently combined. As a rule, we don't want to over mix batters so that they will not get tough. so, folding is a gently way to introduce new ingredients. tips from tasha.


Meaty Moussaka

First of all, let me just say: holy deliciousness.
This is a perfect food for today in nyc: it's cold and rainy and dark in a way that is made better only by rainboots and a warm, luscious, layered meal with a hunk of bread. Oh, and tea. Ok, fine, also wine.

Sautee a med onion (chopped pretty small) in about 1 T olive oil add a couple of cloves of garlic minced and then about 3/4 lb. of ground meat (lamb or beef--preferably organic). Add one 28 oz can of plum tomatoes (drain and reserve 3/4 C. juice, chop tomatoes). Add 1/4 t. cinnamon and same of allspice if you have it (i did not). S/P to taste. simmer until thickened slightly, apx. 20 min. (i added a bit of wine).

Slice an eggplant (apx. 2 lbs.) into 1/3" slices. Line up on the counter and salt generously. cover in paper towels and layer some pots and pans on them to squeeze out the moisture. Eggplants have too much water. When you squeeze it out you make the eggplant less mushy and bland and more delish. let them sit for 10 min or so then wipe off with a damp cloth.
You are suppose to brush with olive oil and broil on both sides. My broiler, it turns out, was being used as a playground for my mice friends. gross. I mean really. So gross. So no broiler. I roasted at 500* for apx 5 min on each side on an oiled baking sheet.

now. oil a pan or two. i did two so that i can freeze one. layer eggplant on the bottom, spoon on the meat sauce, add another layer of eggplant. Set aside. Heat oven to 400*.

You can follow N's recipe for bechamel. Mine is only slightly different:
Make a roux with 2.5T. butter (melt in pan) add 3.5T. flour + whisk for 3 min. Add 1.5 C. whole milk whisking constantly. Allow to boil and then reduce heat whisking constantly for apx 3min or until slightly thickened. add 1/4 lb (4 oz) crumbled feta and keep whisking. Add s/p. turn off heat and let sit for 5 min. Start whisking again while adding 1 egg + 1 yolk (beaten well) in a slow stream. Whisk until well combined. The egg gives the bechamel a little lift when it bakes. It makes it otherworldly.

Spoon sauce over layers and then top with a couple T.'s of parm.

Bake 30 min. until bubbly and starting to turn golden.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Apple Cake

My grandmother (Mama) made this cake as an after-school snack.
It is fall.

mix in a large bowl:
3 eggs
3/4 Cup white sugar
3/4 Cup brown sugar
3/4 Cup veg. oil
2 t. vanilla

in another bowl mix:
2 Cups flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
2 Tablespoon cinnamon

add dry to wet.

add to that:
4 apples peeled cored and sliced.

pour into a greased 9 X 13" pan, bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes.

It's really good with butter.
It's even better when you picked the apples with friends on a beautiful fall day!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Vegetarian Moussaka

We had a beautiful eggplant at home and as always some lingering potatoes, so tonight's dish had to be a vegetarian moussaka. the greek interpretation of a lasagne. or is lasagne the italian interpretation of moussaka? regardless.

1 eggplant
1 medium onion
2-4 garlic cloves
7-8 smaller potatoes
6 tomatoes on the vine
salt, oregano and nutmeg as you wish
butter, milk and flour for béchamel with no measurements

I salted the eggplant slices and left them for about half an hour before I patted them dry. I then roasted them in the oven for a bit. I can't say, if this actually did anything special to their flavor, but I felt fancy doing it. If nothing else, it did dry the eggplant for sure.

Meanwhile, I boiled the potatoes for a few minutes. Once I drained them, I prepared a simple yet delicious tomato sauce by sautéing one onion and a couple of garlic cloves, adding fresh tomatoes and some (greek) oregano and salt. After about ten minutes, I liked the consistency of it. After greasing the pan, I layered first potatoes, then eggplant, then the tomato sauce, repeated the layers of potatoes and eggplant and finished with a simple béchamel sauce (add flour to melted butter, whisk, add milk, don't forget to whisk, salt, whisk, nutmeg, still whisking, pour before it gets too thick!).

In the oven at 180 C for 40 minutes at least. At some point I added a little bit of water and covered the pan with some aluminum foil. Before serving I sprinkled some feta cheese on top which was probably my favorite part of the dish. K made a fabulous green salad with my
favorite shallot dressing.

voila! there it is! n*