I've cooked my way through all 264 recipes
in The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook!

September 29, 2011

Peach Ice Cream

I've blogged about my Strawberry Ice Cream before, and I love the recipe because it's super adaptable to other fruits.

A couple of weeks ago I bought a ton of peaches from Costco and they just weren't great. Good flavor, but the consistency wasn't fabulous and they were ripening way too quickly. So I chopped them up and tossed them in the freezer to deal with later.

To make the ice cream, I just let them soften for 10 or 15 minutes and then threw them in the food processor. Once they were mostly processed I added in a mixture of cream and sugar (about a cup of cream and 2/3 cup of sugar, though it definitely depends on the type and amount of fruit.)

Ten minutes later, voila, we have peach ice cream.

So good. And it's going fast.

September 27, 2011

Banana Bread

I love banana bread, and only ever make the recipe from the Joy of Cooking. I'm sure there are other delicious recipes out there, but this one is solid and has never failed me.

And when my bananas are looking like this:

I know it's time to get some bread started. I'll only eat my bananas when they're still green, so this is way past prime for me.

Instead of doing a full loaf, I went with muffins and mini muffins this time.

I chopped pecans up to dust the regular-sized muffins with, and used semi-sweet chocolate chunks on the mini ones.

The Joy of Cooking recipe only has timing information for using a loaf pan, so I just kind of eyeballed them until they were done.

These are delicious. I've been heating up a banana nut muffin with butter every morning for breakfast.  They're amazing.

The little ones are lovely, too. I've popped them in my freezer to enjoy once we're done with the big ones, and Matt and I are looking forward to snacking on them soon.

September 23, 2011

Crescent Jalapeno Poppers

Last night was the last Supper Club for the year, and we didn't really have a theme -- it was just an outdoor get-together with a fried turkey. I was assigned to make a main course but didn't want to detract from the deliciousness of the turkey, so I looked around for a quick appetizer I could make after work but that would still be somewhat filling.

I've had luck before with a recipe from the Pillsbury website (which I somehow never blogged about) so I checked in there and found a yummy looking recipe for Crescent Jalapeno Poppers.

First up, I deseeded my jalapenos and quartered them.

Instead of the Boursin cheese that the recipe called for (at $8.95 a tub, no less!) I used cream cheese and mixed it with pepper, celery salt, thyme, and garlic salt. This was spooned into the pieces of pepper.

Next up, wrap each pepper with a piece of pre-cooked bacon. I actually didn't know pre-cooked bacon existed before making this, and had to ask at the grocery store where to find it. It certainly made this a quicker (and cleaner) recipe, though!

Finally, I wrapped the ingredients in halved crescent roll triangles and popped them in the oven.

These were amazing and everyone was a big fan. 

Even though I doubled the recipe these disappeared fast. I didn't have the fruit salsa that the recipe called for, and instead just served the poppers with a little bit of raspberry jam on the side. I'll make these again, for sure.

September 20, 2011

Sausage Feta Quiche

I was watching reruns on the Food Network the other day and got all mouth watery over this Double Double Bacon Cheese Quiche. Really I was just excited about quiche in general, so tonight for dinner I threw together a Sausage Feta Quiche. And I do mean threw together. It was super easy.

I had some frozen sausage patties that I picked up at Costco last week, so I cooked those on the stove top.

At the same time, I sauteed chopped white onion in olive oil.

These were mixed together, along with Feta (thanks Costco, for that, as well) and spooned into a cooked pie pastry.

Then I poured in a couple of beaten eggs mixed with milk, pepper, and some garlic.

I baked this at 350 for about 40 minutes, let cool briefly, and then served it with a nice light salad of mixed greens.

This was lovely. The sausage is spicy, so it gave a nice kick to the quiche that was mellowed out some by the feta. Also, it reminded me how easy it is to make quiche with pretty much whatever you have in your pantry. Quiches may become a go-to meal for us in coming months.

September 11, 2011

Finally Cooking Again...

I'm 37 weeks pregnant now, but had a burst of energy yesterday. Between mowing the lawn, weeding, and going grocery shopping, I also decided that I wanted a delicious home-cooked meal. I opened up Sarah Foster's Casual Cooking to see what inspired me, and was instantly drawn to "Skewered Thai Chicken Thighs with Spicy Peanut Sauce" (page 150.)

I don't cook with thighs very often, and they're a little difficult -- the fat isn't as easy to cut off the thigh as it is off the breast. I did my best and left them to soak in a delicious Thai marinade in my fridge for several hours. I had to alternate just one ingredient -- I didn't have tamarind sauce, but I found a jar of spicy Thai curry paste at the back of my pantry and tossed that in instead.

Meanwhile, I put together the "Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce." It need's to be said that I adore peanut sauce. I'll order chicken satay at a Thai restaurant just for the little bowl of peanut sauce and the delicious cucumber salad they often pair it with. I could tell from all the delicious ingredients going into this one, like ginger and honey and soy sauce, that this was going to be a winner.

And of course I didn't take any after pictures. We slapped the chicken on the grill, made it all delicious, and dipped it generously in peanut sauce. I was a happy camper. Next time I'll use chicken breasts, just because I'm more comfortable with them, but I'd be happy for there to be a next time.

I served the chicken with Sarah Foster's "Classic Cucumber Salad" (p. 212), which was nice and light and delicious. We have plenty of leftovers since our guests don't like cilantro, which was chopped in there along with vinegar, olive oil, and lime juice. So, more for us.

And finally, since all dinners should be served with dessert, I made Sarah Foster's "Fluffy Dark Chocolate Mousse" (p. 225). And it was the first time I've gotten to use my double-boiler, so that's fun.

I over-beat my egg whites, which made this mousse a little grainy, but the flavor was good. I'd make it again but be a little bit more careful about my timing.

So, there we go. Four recipes out of Sarah Foster's book. Hopefully this energy will continue for the next few weeks.