Vegetable Fritters

March 4, 2015

Fritters are a wonderful way to use up knobby bits of root vegetables, spicy radishes, or the cabbage that just keeps coming from our winter CSA. They are also the secret to surviving zucchini season if you are one of those people who sees zucchini as a pointless, watery, tasteless vegetable.

I borrow Deb‘s approach to fritters, which is to say that I finely chop or grate a pile of vegetables, stir in a beaten egg or two, and enough flour to bind, and then fry them up like adorable little latkes.

Last night, I grated green meat radishes, carrots, parsnips, jerusalem artichoke, and celery root until I had about three cups of grated vegetables. I stirred in two beaten eggs and 1/3 cup of floor, then fried them up like little latkes. I think I could have made this with 4 cups of vegetables and maybe a little extra flour, but Ava had reached her limit for letting me grate vegetables without her.

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Roasted Butternut Squash with Cayenne Pepper

October 26, 2009

First, cut up your butternut squash. If you’re not quite sure how to do this, trot over to my handy tutorial on cutting up very large squashes. You can cut your squash into cubes or slices or whatever suits your fancy. I usually cut them into  something that looks like it escaped from a Jinga tower.

Next, put your squash into a baking pan, add a splash of olive oil and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper, and stir it all together. Bake it at 350 degrees, stirring every 10 or 15 minutes, until you can pierce the squash with a fork. The squash should be done in about an hour – just use your nose, and poke it with a fork once in a while, and you’ll know when it’s ready.

How to Cut Up a Very Large Squash

October 26, 2009

Winter squash are the armadillos of the plant world. They’re hard, funny looking, and very difficult to cut in to.

If winter squash weren’t so delicious, I wouldn’t give much thought to cutting them open. But they are, and I have. So today, dear readers, I will share what I know with you.

First of all, it helps to have a big, sharp knife. I’ve cut up a squash with a paring knife – in fact, I’ve done it more than once – but I wouldn’t recommend it. They always get stuck in the squash, and then you can’t get them out, and you can’t cut, and it’s very frustrating.

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Asparagas is in Season!

May 24, 2009

Wash the asparagus and cut the bottom ends off. Heat some oil in a pan and throw on the asparagus. Add a splash of sherry and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Cook for a few minutes on each side, until patches of the asparagus are lightly browned and you can stab it with a fork.

How to Tell that the Broccoli’s Done

March 20, 2009


Photo credit: blindbeth67.

It turns bright green and you can stab it with a fork.

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Whole Wheat Banana Muffins with Almonds and Raisins

February 24, 2009


Photo credit: 1. spotted banana 2. golden raisins 3. almonds 4. eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

3-4 very ripe mashed bananas

3 tablespoons yogurt (you can use plain or vanilla – I like to use Greek yogurt)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup white flour

1-2 handfuls of slivered almonds

1-2 handfuls of raisins

Beat the sugar and oil together. Beat in the eggs. (If you don’t have an electric mixer, beat the eggs in a glass first, then stir them in.)Add the mashed bananas. Stir in all the flour. Stir in the almonds and raisins.

Spoon the batter into a greased muffin pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. This will make somewhere between 12 and 15 muffins, depending on how big you make them.

Six Things to do Before Breakfast

February 17, 2009

When I lived at home with my parents, I practiced the piano every morning. I’d start with scales or Czerny around 5:30, work through a Chopin etude, then play the last few chords of a Beethoven sonata around 6:30 or 7:00. In college, I rolled out of bed at seven, started jogging, and woke up to admire the sunrise half a mile later. These days, I use the time for writing and running. If I have something major to accomplish, it usually gets done before breakfast.

I adhere to the practice of doing something significant before breakfast every morning because it is the best way to achieve long term goals. Building a blog, writing a thesis, learning an instrument, or training your body requires steady practice. Practicing before breakfast yields steady progress.

Knowing that you have done something worthwhile before nine o’clock in the morning is tremendously powerful. It is the ultimate confidence booster.

And besides, there are so many delightful things you can do before breakfast! Here are six things you might try:

1. Go running and admire the sunrise.

2. Write 500 words. Make steady progress on your dissertation, start your novel, or finish your thank-you notes.

3. Draw a self-portrait. If it’s nice outside, go out to your garden or a park and draw the ducks or the day lilies.

4. Sing or practice an instrument.

5. Practice yoga on your rooftop.

6. Go outside with your camera, and take five beautiful photographs before breakfast.