Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Stir Fry

So, Erika is very close. It's eggplant stir fry. From an experiment I did last year, I discovered that I like the light purple eggplant stirfried. All that eggplant...I used it all in this stir fry. Didn't measure anything but just did everything by eye. Eggplant is a good source of fiber and the green peppers and onions are great for ARF's. This is my entry for Sweetnick's ARF Tuesday. Cate, I hope you got moved easily and that everything is getting set up! Check by her site for more great recipes. Eggplant Stir Fry
3 small eggplant
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, sliced
garlic powder
corn starch
soy sauce
chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
olive oil
In a hot skillet, pour some olive oil, add onions, peppers, and eggplant. Cook until tender. In a small bowl place some corn starch and soy sauce, stir. Pour into hot skillet with veggies. Add chicken stock as needed to dilute and thin sauce. Serve with brown rice. Add chicken if you want some meat. In the back is some cantelope and those lovely blackberries!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Last Weeks Farmer's Market

Our farmer's market is in full swing. Blueberries are everywhere and are only $2 a pint. I'm loving this! Here's what I got last week. My goods start with blueberries, cantelope (which is SO much better at the market than at the grocery store), plums, nectarines, zucchini, oranges, and three kinds of eggplant.I ALSO found some blackberries. YUM! I haven't done anything with them except eat them. They go great with cantelope and with my morning yogurt. At first I was worried that I wouldn't be able to go to market b/c of work, but I'm pretty sure that they try to get us out of there by 9 on Sat/Sun if we go at all. Here's a little hint at a yummy concoction coming up tomorrow. Any guesses as to what it is?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Nuts...just nuts!

Well, I was on call last night, so I got to the hospital at 7 on Wednesday morning and left today at 1:30 this afternoon. It really wasn't so bad. I think I probably got to sleep around 5 hours. We had two trauma pages, which was pretty exciting. Unfortunately, one did not end well. The department provides us with on call rooms...however, the girls' room is right by a frequently used metal door. This makes it noisy. I got used to it eventually, but it was annoying at first. Anyway, I guess the idea of just being involved in something emergent is exciting. When a trauma comes in all the pagers go off at once and we all go down to the ER. I think the lack of sleep makes me a little nuts, shall we say! At 11 o'clock my pager goes off. I put my glasses, shoes, and pagers on and start walking down to the ER. I can't find the new page but keep going. No one is down there. Then I decide to look at my personal pager...Ah HA! My mom had paged the number 3...I love you! Made me smile AND laugh at myself. How does this have to do with food? Well, it really doesn't except that I made some cookies this weekend with nuts in them! They are my mom's aunt's recipe and I LOVE them! They are an ice box cookie and end up a lot like pecan sandies. Try them out some time. You could even make the dough and keep it in the freezer to bake a few whenever you want...like if you're up all night on call and need a snack! ;-) OH...I did a test between my baking stones and a pan with my new silpat!!! The silpat is great for giving a smooth bottom on the cookies. The textures of both cookies were the same, though I think the stone needed a little longer than I gave it. Either with work! Enjoy the cookies! Aunt Imogene's Ice Box Nut Cookies
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 cups flour
1/3 cup pecans, chopped
1 stick butter or margarine (for crispier cookies use butter)
1 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Cream butter and sugar together. Add well-beaten egg and chopped nuts. Sift flour and soda. Mix with other ingredients well. Shape into a roll about 3 inches in diameter. Roll in waxed paper and chill in refrigerator for at least one hour. Freeze for later if desired. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

Monday, June 18, 2007

ARF's to Refresh!

MAN! I'm tired. I went to the hospital just before 6 this morning and didn't leave until 6 tonight. Tomorrow will be another long day of surgery and then on Wednesday night I have call (4:30 until 7 am on Thursday) with a morning of clinic to follow. I think I'm going to be a tired puppy and ready for our family reunion next weekend...I'll sleep, thank you! It's a good thing I made a yummy salad this weekend, though most of it is gone! I had some portabello mushrooms and decided that they would be good in a panzanella type salad. Sooooo...I created my own. It's not perfect and I WILL be doing it again. Because of the tomatoes, onions, and portabellos, this is a super healthy salad, so it's my entry for Sweetnick's ARF Tuesday. Visit her site to check out the other great recipes. BTW, sorry for the poor quality of the pictures...this is what my eyes felt like! :-) Portabello Cornbread Panzanella
3 tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup (or a little more) green onions
1 cup cubed cornbread (I used a quarter of the round "loaf")
2-3 grilled portabello mushrooms
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Put tomatoes, onions, portabellos, oil, and vinegar in a bowl and mix. Cover and let stand for a couple of hours. Stir in cornbread. Serve immediately or (even better) refrigerate overnight and serve. I like this better after it has set for a little bit. I must admit, I didn't really measure, so these may not be completely accurate but are just estimates! Enjoy!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Happy Father's Day!!!

Because of rotations (and because I was there all last weekend), I am not going to be at home for Father's Day. However, while I was home, we had Daddy's favorite dinner...lasagna. Now, I'm just not a big fan of lasagna but I do know how to make it. My mom has been making this recipe for years. In fact, she has been making it since they lived in Virginia while Daddy was in the Navy and she worked at Capitol Hill; that was more than 25 years ago. One day someone asked her if she made "real" lasagna...apparently to be real, it must be made with Italian sausage and ricotta cheese. So, she tried it that way and they didn't like it with all Italian sausage nor the ricotta. She has changed the recipe a tad to account for this. If you want to, you can make this with all sausage and ricotta, but we use half Italian sausage, half beef and cottage cheese. I've determined that I don't really like Italian sausage; there is some kind of spice in it that I don't care for. Another note, I forgot to put the cheese on at the right time. Usually the top layer is the meat sauce instead of this bubbled cheese layer. Anyway, Mama got this recipe in DC but found it in our local college's (Mississippi College) cookbook. In the cookbook it is in the special section. These recipe are given by notables such as Willard Scott (baked rice, which my grandmother made before his recipe submission), Ann Landers (Lemon Pie), Arthur Guyton (a world famous physician whose physiology textbook is used in many medical schools; he was director of the physiology department at University of MS Medical Center, where I attend medical school!), and even Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter (eggplant spaghetti sauce - I LOVE this!). This recipe was given by Landrum Shettles, a 1933 graduate of MC. The description reads "Landrum Shettles is a research physician and pioneer in the field of in vitro fertilization and gender determination studies. he received an honorary doctorate from Mississippi College in 1966." I thought that was pretty interesting. I hope you all enjoy this lasagna recipe. Happy Father's Day!!! Lasagna
adapted from With Special Distinction

1 pound Italian sausage (or half sausage half ground beef)
1 clove minced garlic
1 T whole basil
1 teaspoon salt
1, 16 oz can tomatoes
2, 6 oz cans tomato paste
8 oz lasagna noodles (6 sheets)
3 cups fresh ricotta (or cottage cheese)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 T parsley flakes
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced (we use 2 (or less) packages of presliced)- this was made with slightly less

Brown meat slowly. Drain excess fat and wipe out the skillet. Return meat to pan and add garlic, basil, salt, tomatoes, and tomato paste. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cook noodles according to package instruction; drain, rinse, and dry. Combine remaining ingredients except mozzarella. Place half (3) noodles in a 13X9 baking dish. Spread with half the ricotta mixture. Top with half mozzarella cheese. Top with half the meat sauce. Repeat layers, ending with meat sauce.* Bake for 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting. *If you forget the cheese like I did (or just prefer cheese on top), bake for 20 minutes and the put the cheese on top and cook remaining 10 minutes.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Honey is Music to my Mouth...

...is what Pooh Bear said when he tried these Dorie Greenspan cookies. I had been wanting to try these cookies for a while but never got around to it until I was studying for my Step 1 exam. Dorie describes them as an idea from the "back to earth movement in the 1970's." These have wheat germ in them...what attracted me to them...honey, and lemon zest. Honey is definitely very sweet and has a distinct taste. I didn't have lemon, so I used orange. I just love the way Dorie incorporates zests into sugar...the fragrance is amazing. The orange worked well, but I'd like to try it with the lemon as well, as I think that flavor combination will be a bit better. Because of the antioxidants in lemons and the healthy benefits of wheat germ, this is my entry to Sweetnick's ARF Tuesday. Head over to her site to check out the other recipes. Honey Wheat Cookies
adapted from Cooking: from my home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
1 3/4 cups AP flour
1 cup wheat germ, divided
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temp
1/2 cup honey
1 large egg
Whisk together in a large bowl the flour, 1/2 cup wheat germ, baking powder, and salt. Rub the sugar and orange zest together with your fingers until the sugar is moist. Add butter and beat on medium until creamy and smooth. Add honey and beat another minute or so. Add the egg and beat 2 more minutes. Reduce speed and add the dry ingredients in 2 portions, only until the flour disappears. Scrape onto a piece of plastic wrap, wrap well, and chill for at least 2 hours (up to 2 days). Preheat oen to 350 degrees F. Place 1/2 cup wheat germ in a separate bowl. Remove chilled dough and roll the dough into 1-inch balls. Roll the balls in the wheat germ. Place balls on a baking pan and press down slightly with your hand. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until just firm to the touch. Cool on cooling rack.

Monday, June 11, 2007


WARNING: Long post with lots of pictures ahead!
This past weekend my parents and I made a quick trip to Atlanta. It was my last Hurrah before I start my M3 year, which started this morning! This year I'll actually be working in the hospital learning how to be a doctor! Anyway, the Chicago Cubs were playing at Turner Field and I wanted to see them and the aquarium. So, Thursday morning we left Tennessee and drove to Atlanta. We had lunch in Nashville at Panera Bread. This is such a good little shop. You can by (really good) bagels singly or by the dozen. They also have a great lunch menu. Mama and I shared a strawberry chicken salad and Daddy had the pick two with a chicken fontago (?) sandwich and french onion soup. It was all very good. When we got to the hotel, Mama and Daddy decided to get supper outside the ballpark but I wanted the full baseball experience, so I had a hot dog and Diet Coke for supper. Unfortunately we forgot to take a picture, and it really is a monumental occassion...that's my ONE hotdog for the year! BTW, the Cubs won! 2-1. Friday we went to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, beautiful, in the morning and, in Rachael Ray fashion, asked the gift shop lady where a good place to eat lunch would be. She recommended Agnes and Muriel's. This was a super cute, retro, Southern cooking diner. Mama got the special of the day...Fried Green Tomato BLT with slaw. Daddy got the Chicken Club with corn pudding. I got the vegetable plate with grilled garlic broccoli, squash casserole, grilled sour cream cornbread, and watermelon vidalia salad. All of it was really good EXCEPT the watermelon salad. It was really bad. They let it sit in vinegar, and we decided that was the problem. It made the watermelon, and even the onion, taste "friendly." I think it would be a really good flavor combination without the vinegar. If you're ever in Atlanta and want a local eatery, try Agnes and Muriel's. In addition to good food they have good (looking) desserts. When we walked in, the red velvet cake was untouched. When we left, this is what it looked like! We think that a bridal shower must have eaten it. After lunch we went to the aquarium, which was great. Nothing exciting for supper, just Steak Escape. Friday we drove back to Tennessee leisurely and stopped in Nashville for lunch. We ate at a cute shoppe in the Vanderbilt area called Provence. Apparently, Rachael Ray HAS eaten here. They have a variety of sandwiches, soups, salads, desserts, and even specialty cheeses. Mama got the chilled gazpacho (kind of tasted like salsa) and a turkey sandwich. Daddy got the tomato artichoke soup (good) and creamy chicken salad sandwhich. I got fruit salad (my body was craving cool fruit) and grilled vegetable salad (eggplant, red pepper, squash, carrot, red onion, zucchini). There was also whole wheat cranberry walnut bread...it was SOOOOO good. I'm looking for a recipe to try and recreate it. It was a dense, tough-crusted bread. Let me know if you have any ideas! All was VERY good. Then we went over to a kitchen store owned by a father and two sons, Davis Cookware (?). It's not well organized but has lots of great stuff...even a 13X9 springform. They sell great coffees and teas, too. I walked out with a sifter, sil-pat sheet, and a tube of sea salt. Daddy left with Snickeroo coffee, a steamer, and a tea steeper. Great store. When we got home, we made blueberry pie and watched Facing the Giants. GREAT movie. Anyway, it was a great weekend and got me ready for a lot of hard work to come. I hope I'll still have posts, but if I slack off a bit, forgive me. I have a feeling I'll be getting up quite early and not having much time to cook.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

More Chocolate Anyone?

It appears that I've been using a lot of chocolate this week. Although, I've mentioned that I'm not a HUGE chocolate fan, there were some chocolate recipes I wanted to try. One of them was Dorie Greenspan's Chocolate Chunk Muffins from her Baking from My Home to Yours cookbook. This week I had the perfect opportunity to do that. There were some guys from my medical school class who live in my apartment complex taking their USMLE Step 1 exam last Friday. Since I haven't been able to cook much because of studying, I wanted to make something...so I made them these chocolate muffins for the day of their test. They said these were good. The texture was night and light but full of chocolate. Dorie has done a great job once again. As we all know, chocolate has lots of antioxidants (especially if you use dark chocolate), so this is my entry to Sweetnick's ARF Tuesday. Check out the other entries later on tonight! Chocolate-Chocolate Chunk Muffins
adapted from Baking from My Home to Yours, Dorie Greenspan
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used chocolate chips)
2 cups AP flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 T baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a 12-cup muffin tin with baking spray or muffin cups. Melt the butter and 2 oz. of the chocolate in the microwave (or alternately in a double boiler). Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg, and vanillla. Pour liquid and chocolate into dry ingredients and stir to blend - do not overmix. Stir in remaining chocolate chips (I added a few extra). Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups - I ended up with enough batter for 14 muffins even after filling the tin to the top. Bake for 20 minutes or until a knife inserted at the center of the muffin comes out clean.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Nuggets of Gold for BrownieBabe!

I wanted to do the Browniebabe event last time, but I didn't get a chance to make any brownies. So, last week I decided to try some butterfinger brownies. They ended up being very "dark" tasting. That may be because I used cocoa with minimal oil instead of baking chocolate, but I liked it. I couldn't really taste the butterfinger that much but I think I may have cut the bars up too small. Maybe using the Butterfinger BB's halved would work better...or just use more butterfinger!!! Check out Myriam's site for the other yummy brownies that are entered. Last time there were SO many good looking ones! Nuggets o' Gold Brownies adapted from The Cookie Bible
3 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate (I used 9 T cocoa and 1 T oil)
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup AP flour (I used whole wheat pastry)
1, 3.8 ounce Butterfinger candy bar, coarsely chopped (I used 6 mini bars - would use more or bigger chunks next time).
Heat chocolate in intervals until completely melted. Stir in oil and set aside to cool. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs until foamy. Whisk in sugar, then add vanilla and salt. Stir in chcolate mixture, then mix in flour until all ingredients are moistened. Fold in candy. Pour batter into greased 9-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 F for 25-30 minutes or until edges begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool before cutting or use a plastic knife (or lettuce knife) to cut if you just can't wait!!!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Lists and Links

Do you ever find yourself wanting to look at some new food blogs? I mean, you enjoy the ones you look at everyday, but you want something different, something fresh, someone who's not on vacation. Well, The Leftover Queen has something just for you! It's called the Foodie Blogroll. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post - she'll then send you the computer gobbledigoop that programs the blogroll for your site, then you add it to your sidebar, and you're all set! Your blog will be on the roll, so you may be getting more readers, and you have a way to find new blogs to read! If you're curious, just check it out at the bottom of my sidebar.

Now for a recipe link. There seems to be an infatuation with Snickerdoodles among the blogging world lately. Peabody has given us her snickerdoodle muffins , which I still need to try!, and many people have started trying the cookie. I decided last week, after it seems not baking in FOREVER because of my studies, to make snickerdoodle. However, I wanted to try a recipe different from my usual. So, I went on a search. I couldn't find any of the cookie posts I had seen on other blogs so I tried CookingLight. Well, they had one recipe and I tried it. Now, this recipe isn't bad, I just like my original better. To me, there seemed to be a little something missing from this cookie but I can't put my finger on it. These are very crisp cookies but soften a little if you microwave them...at 54 calories a cookie (if you make them as small as directed!), they're not that bad. No picture of the cookie today, just the link!