Clearly, My Boyfriend Is Not From Wisconsin*

April 21, 2009

Yesterday, I asked Jerry to pick up some feta for dinner, and this is the conversation we had about cheese.

J: So, is feta cheese a strong cheese?

Me: Yes.  It’s very salty.

J: Is it crumbly?

Me: Yes.

J: Is it like blue cheese?

Me: No.

J: I think blue cheese is the kind I don’t like. It was white and crumbly. Do you eat it on a cracker?

Me: No.

J: I like extra sharp cheddar cheese.

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Breakfast at J’s

April 20, 2009

sweet-potato-spinach

Photo credit: 1. spinach, 2. sweet potato slices

Scrambled eggs with spinach and scallions from the farmers market

Boiled sweet potatoes, cut into rounds

Greek yogurt with apricots, walnuts, and honey


Avocado, Mango, and Ginger

April 15, 2009

This is what I made this weekend.

Guacamole – mash an avocado, add some salt and lime juice, chop up some cilantro and a bit of red onion, and stir it all together.

Mango salad – chop a mango, a bit of red onion, and cilantro, grate a little ginger root, and combine.

Black beans – saute the rest of the chopped red onion in a little olive oil, add some cumin once the onions are soft, add some chopped green pepper and a chopped jalapeno pepper (remove the seeds if you don’t want it to be too spicy), then add a can on black beans and cook until the beans are hot.

Brownies with coconut, ginger, macadamia nuts  – melt 2 sticks of butter in a saucepan, turn off the heat and add 2 cups of sugar and 1/2 cup cocoa, stir in a cup of flour, stir in 4 beaten eggs, then stir in a little grated ginger, a lot of dried coconut, and a handful of macadamia nuts. Pour the batter into a greased brownie pan, then bake at 350 for 20 minutes or so.


Blondies with Nuts & Fruit

April 9, 2009

Melt 2 sticks of butter in a saucepan. Turn off the heat, and stir in two cups of sugar, then 1 cup of flour. Beat 4 eggs in a glass, then stir them into the mixture. Add a couple of handfuls of nuts and dried fruit, pour the batter into a greased brownie pan, and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the blondies are done.

I used macadamia nuts, dried cherries, dried apricots cut into quarters, and coconut, but there are lots of delicious things you could add instead. Here are some possible combinations:

Lemon zest, lemon juice, and almonds

Walnuts, raisins, chopped apples, and a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg

Orange zest, orange juice, craisins, and pecans


Butternut Squash Soup with Leeks, Kale, and Lentils

April 6, 2009

I’ve had a bunch of kale and squash in my freezer for weeks, and I decided to make use of it yesterday. This is what I made.

Ingredients:

3 leeks, washed, trimmed, and chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

3 stalks of celery, washed and chopped

small bunch of parsley, chopped

1-2 bay leaves

pinch of salt

half a butternut squash, cut into half inch cubes

colander full of kale, chopped

1 cup of lentils

1. Make the stock: Put the green parts of the leeks, the carrots, the celery, the bayleaf, the parsley and a little salt in a big pot. Add about eight cups of water, bring to a boil, and then lower the heat. Let the veggies simmer for about half an hour, taste for salt (if it’s too salty, add more water and simmer a little longer; if it’s not salty enough, add more salt), then strain the stock. (I put a colander in another big pot, pour everything in, then lift out the colander and discard all the boiled-to-death veggies).

2. Saute the white parts of the leeks in a little olive oil.

3. Put the leeks, squash, and lentils into the pot with the stock, bring it to a boil, then turn down the heat.

4. Once the squash is soft and the lentils are almost done (about 20 minutes), add the kale.

5. Keep cooking until the kale is done (about 10 minutes), then taste for salt. Add more water if you like – the water in the soup will evaporate while everything’s cooking, so you may need to add a cup or two of water once in a while. Alternatively, you can just let everything cook down into a stew and it will still taste good.

Update: my grandmother just called to say that she made this with a little vinegar and salt and pepper for extra flavor, and a little brown sugar for the butternut squash.