Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Beer-Cheddar Soup

OK. Onions. Beer. Cheese.

Any questions? Make again.

[Oh and obviously I used Sam Adams because it's my favorite.]

soup

Beer-Cheddar Soup
Cooking Light, November 2007

Avoid using dark beer, which could make the soup too bitter. Toast the bread cubes a day ahead, cool, and store at room temperature. Serve the soup in a tureen with the toasted bread cubes and chives on the side, and let guests help themselves.

10 ounces sourdough bread -- cut into 1-inch cubes
Cooking spray
2 cups chopped onion -- (about 2 medium)
2 garlic cloves -- minced
12 ounces beer
4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth -- divided
1/2 cup all-purpose flour -- (about 2 1/4 ounces)
2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk -- divided
1 1/4 cups shredded extrasharp cheddar cheese -- (5 ounces)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives

1. Preheat oven to 450°.

2. Arrange bread cubes in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan; coat bread cubes with cooking spray. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes or until toasted. Set aside.

3. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Stir in beer; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 20 minutes or until onion is very tender.

4. Place beer mixture and 1 cup broth in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Return pureed mixture to pan. Stir in remaining 3 cups broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.

5. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and 1 cup milk, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add flour mixture and remaining 1 cup milk to pan; cook 12 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove pan from heat. Gradually add cheese, stirring until smooth. Stir in pepper. Serve with bread cubes and chives.

Servings: 12

Tips
Reviewers suggest using extra-sharp cheddar and Yuengling

Chocolate Nutella Cupcakes

I like to bake for work sometimes, and we found this recipe a couple of weeks ago and it sounded delicious. You KNOW how much I love Nutella! This really disappointed me though! Personally, I thought they were very tasty. They were overcooked because my timer didn't go off (boooo!) but they weren't burned, just a little dry. The buttercream was heavy but delicious. SO I brought them to work and.... only two got eaten. TWO! I was really disappointed! They certainly weren't my crowning achievement but they were still very good nonetheless. Booo.

cupcake

Chocolate Nutella Cupcakes
52 Kitchen Adventures

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Nutella Buttercream:
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup Nutella
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1-2 tablespoons milk

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. In a mixing bowl, beat butter until softened and smooth. Add sugar and beat for a few minutes, until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each until well combined.

3. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder. In a separate small bowl, combine milk and vanilla.

4. Add about 1/3 of dry ingredients to butter and sugar and mix until combined. Add about 1/2 of wet ingredients to mixture and mix until combined. Continue alternating dry and wet, mixing in between (finish with the remaining dry ingredients).

5. Fill cupcake tins about 1/2 full (don’t overfill – you only need 1/2) and bake for around 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. They will come out flat.

Nutella Buttercream:

Beat butter until smooth. Add Nutella and beat together until thoroughly combined. Slowly add powdered sugar, mixing until combined. Add 1 tablespoon of milk. Add additional milk or powdered sugar as needed to reach desired consistency.

Yield: 15-16 cupcakes

Eggplant Sandwich with Black Olive Pesto

We've had so much delicious produce lately, between the farm and the farmer's market, that I was excited to make this sandwich to showcase it. I even got some fresh focaccia from the farmer's market, with rosemary and olive oil on top. Yum! Really, this sandwich was delicious. Absolutely wonderful. A little bit salty but I think that's from the bread in addition to the olives. Doesn't matter, still delicious. Much more filling than you would expect, so be prepared! Yum. I would consider making this again.

sandwich

Eggplant Sandwich with Black Olive Pesto
Food Network: The Cookworks

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 medium Italian eggplant -- cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
1 cup olive oil
1 loaf focaccia
1 cup Black Olive Pesto -- recipe follows
4 tomatoes -- thinly sliced
2 roasted red peppers -- peeled and seeded
1 1/2 cups grated Asiago
Special equipment: food processor and pastry brush

For the Pesto:
1 cup black olives, pitted
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Combine the flour, salt, and pepper. Coat each eggplant slice with the seasoned flour.

3. In a large skillet heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil over medium-high heat and fry the eggplant slices until golden brown on both sides, adding more oil as needed. Remove the eggplant from the skillet and blot lightly on paper towels.

4. Cut the focaccia in 1/2 horizontally and spread the Black Olive Pesto on the inside of both halves. Arrange the eggplant slices on 1 half of the focaccia. Layer the tomatoes and roasted peppers on top and sprinkle with cheese. Cover with the other half of the focaccia, pressing firmly to join.

5. Cut the sandwich in 2 pieces. Brush each side of the focaccia with olive oil. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and grill both sides until golden and crispy. Place the sandwiches on a baking sheet and place in the oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and gooey.

6. Cut each sandwich into 3 and serve warm.

For the Pesto:

1. In a food processor puree the olives, Parmesan, olive oil, and garlic until smooth.

2. Can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks in an air tight container.

3. Yield: 1 cup

Servings: 6

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Zucchini-Quinoa Lasagna

If you've been following for awhile, you know these two things:
1) We keep getting a ton of zucchini from the farm every week, and
2) I am the only one who likes lasagna.

Part of the reason he hates lasagna is that it is "messy" and part of it is the ricotta filling. So this is a totally new take on lasagna since it doesn't have noodles and it has a quinoa filling instead of cheese. It really does count as a lasagna though. You just have to trust me on that.

So, it's great. Both of us really liked it. It's delicious, it reheats well, and it's healthy. I love it. Let me make this clear: I DID NOT USE VEGAN INGREDIENTS. Instead of cream cheese, I used some mascarpone because I still had some left over. I used a combination of regular quinoa and red quinoa. All-around, it was wonderful. I would definitely make this again.

lasagna

Zucchini-Quinoa Lasagna
Vegetarian Times, July/August 2011

While brainstorming ways to make a summery lasagna with the same flavors as the classic casserole, Matheny chose to replace lasagna noodles with zucchini, and use high-protein quinoa instead of a meat filling.

2 large zucchini, cut lengthwise into 12 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons nondairy cream cheese, such as Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese, optional
1 25-oz. jar marinara sauce
1/2 cup shredded nondairy cheese, such as Daiya Mozzarella, optional

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place zucchini slices on bed of paper towels. Sprinkle with salt, cover with paper towels, and let stand to release moisture while preparing quinoa.

2. Bring broth, quinoa, tomato sauce, onion, and oregano to a boil in saucepan. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 25 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, and stir in basil, parsley, and cream cheese, if using.

3. Spoon 1/3 cup marinara sauce over bottom of 8-inch square baking dish. Blot remaining moisture and salt from zucchini slices, and lay 4 zucchini slices over marinara sauce in pan. Spoon half of quinoa over zucchini, and cover with 1/3 cup marinara. Repeat with 4 more zucchini slices, remaining quinoa, and 1/3 cup marinara. Top with remaining 4 zucchini slices, remaining marinara, and shredded cheese, if using. Bake lasagna 30 minutes, or until zucchini is tender and top is bubbly.

Servings: 6

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Curried Cheese and Peach Panini

First off, some make-agains. Tonight I made Roasted Corn & Poblano Stew. Last night I made Cauliflower-Onion Linguine. Exciting times were had by all.

So this sandwich. I made this sandwich on Saturday night after we spent all day setting up for a festival. Let me tell you - it is weird. It sounds weird, it is weird. I left out the celery because I don't like celery in things like this, and that was a good choice.

Weird as it was, it was also REALLY GOOD. Maybe it's the mango chutney, but it kind of reminded me of the Open-Faced Jerk Vegetable Sandwiches, which we love. Every bizarre part of this sandwich worked well. I doon't know if I would make it again because it was crazy messy, but it was very yummy. Definitely worth a try if you're looking for an exciting new sandwich to try (and really, who isn't looking for exciting new sandwiches?).

sandwich

Curried Cheese and Peach Panini
Vegetarian Times, July 2011

Cottage cheese is the secret low-fat ingredient in these sandwiches. Try the recipe with sliced pears or apples as well.

2 cups reduced-fat cottage cheese, drained
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon grated lime zest
1 stalk celery, finely diced (1/4 cup)
1 green onion, thinly sliced (2 tablespoons)
1 10-ounce sourdough baguette, cut into 4 sandwich lengths
1/2 cup mango chutney, optional
1 large peach, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup sliced almonds (8 tablespoons)

1. Stir together cottage cheese, curry powder, ginger, and lime zest in medium bowl. Fold in celery and green onion. Set aside.

2. Split baguette lengths, leaving one side attached. Remove some of soft centers of bread to make room for filling. Spread 2 tablespoons chutney, if using, on top and bottom of bread. Fill each sandwich with 1/2 cup cottage cheese mixture, 4 peach slices, and 2 tablespoons almonds.

3. Coat skillet or grill pan with cooking spray, and heat over medium heat. Place panini in pan; weight with smaller-diameter saucepan weighted with 1 or 2 cans. Cook 2 minutes, remove weight, flip panini, replace weight, and cook 1 1/2 to 2 minutes more (or cook 4 minutes in panini maker).

Servings: 4

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Some Make-Agains

Sunday my mom visited so I made Bibimbap. Always so yum.

Last week I made Cake Balls for a coworker's birthday. People ate all of them, and I'd made almost 5 dozen!

And then tonight I made Couscous and Feta Stuffed Peppers. They were delicious even though I didn't have any squash or zucchini. I added pine nuts this time, per my notes from the previous time I made them. Score.

Eggplant Parmesan

I love eggplant parm. When we go to Italian restaurants, the likelihood that I will order an eggplant parm is high. When we try out a new pizza restaurant, I'll pretty quickly order an eggplant parm sub to judge the quality of the restaurant. I love it.

I have not had good experiences making it at home. It's hard to make it without the eggplant getting bitter, and since I won't deep-fry things, that also takes away from what makes restaurant parm so delicious. BUT! We keep getting eggplant from the farm, so I decided to try this recipe out.

It was not bad! I did pan-fry the eggplant so that was nice. I also used way too much cheese which was wonderful. Cheese is wonderful. I thought this was really good. I would keep this recipe around but I don't know if I will make it again.

parm

Eggplant Parmesan
Vegetarian Times

Slender Japanese eggplant comes in a perfect single-serving size and needs no salting before you cook it. Try different pasta sauces for a variety of flavor results.

1/2 cup spaghetti sauce, divided
1/4 cup low-sodium bread crumbs
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil
1 5- to 6-inch Japanese eggplant, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices on the diagonal
1 small egg, beaten
1/4 cup grated low-fat mozzarella cheese, divided
2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon dried basil

1. Preheat oven to 350. Coat small baking dish with cooking spray, and spread with 2 tablespoons spaghetti sauce.

2. Combine breadcrumbs and Italian seasoning in shallow bowl. Heat oil in nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Dip eggplant in egg, then in breadcrumb mixture. Cook slices in single layer in oil 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until light brown. Place half of eggplant slices in single layer in prepared baking dish, and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons mozzarella and 1 teaspoon Parmesan. Discard remaining egg and breadcrumbs.

3. Place remaining eggplant slices, remaining sauce, and remaining mozzarella and Parmesan over eggplant in dish. Sprinkle with dried basil. Bake 15 minutes, or until golden brown, or microwave 5 minutes, turning baking dish halfway through cooking time to heat evenly.

Servings: 1

Monday, August 15, 2011

Nectarine and Blueberry Crisp with Amaretti Cookie Topping

At the farmer's market this weekend, I got a TON of fresh nectarines and blueberries. I already had in mind that I wanted to make this crisp, but I was excited to find perfect fruit. Because this is a Giada recipe, it's super easy and cheats a little. I didn't have amaretto so I subbed a couple drops of almond extract. Look for the amaretti cookies with Italian specialty foods (or in the cookie aisle, whichever). I think the brand we got was Stella D'Oro. Absolutely wonderful. It was SO GOOD. It even reheats well for lunches! I love it. It was a perfect way to enjoy some of the great, locally grown fruit.

crisp

Nectarine and Blueberry Crisp with Amaretti Cookie Topping
Food Network: Giada de Laurentiis

Topping:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup crushed amaretti cookies -- coarsely crushed
3/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup unsalted butter -- (1 stick) cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Filling:
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 pounds nectarines -- pitted and sliced into thick wedges
8 ounces blueberries
3 tablespoons Amaretto liqueur
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese

1. To make the topping: Stir the flour and sugars in a medium bowl to blend. Add the cookies and almonds and mix well. Add the butter and rub in until moist clumps form.

2. To make the filling: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 13 by 9 by 2-inch glass baking dish. Stir the sugar and flour in a large bowl. Add the nectarines and blueberries, and toss to combine. Stir in the liqueur.

3. Spoon the fruit mixture into the prepared dish. Sprinkle the cookie topping over. Bake until the nectarines are tender and the topping is golden and crisp, about 45 minutes. Cool at least 10 minutes. Spoon the warm crisp into bowls. Top each with a dollop of mascarpone cheese and serve.

Servings: 8

Charro Beans with Vegetarian Chipotle Sausage

Remember I have a huge amount of dried beans in the pantry? I am slowly trying to use them all up. This was a nice way to use some of the dried pinto beans. I made it yesterday so they had time to cook. There is this great grain sausage (vegan) that is chipotle-flavored and is amazing and delicious. So this whole thing turned out to be REALLY FREAKING GOOD. I was pleasantly surprised and happy. I would actually make this again!!

beans

Charro Beans with Chipotle Sausage
Vegetarian Times, June 2011

Take the pork out of a Texas classic and what do you get? A flavorful, protein-rich dish that's great with vegetarian sausage. Chipotle-flavored sausage is in keeping with the recipe's Tex-Mex roots, but it can be quite spicy. If you like less heat, try the recipe with a milder-flavored veg sausage.

1 cup dried pinto beans
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 small green bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)
2 Mexican chipotle-flavored grain meat sausages, such as Field Roast, cut into 1-inch rounds
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 teaspoons)
1/2 teaspoon chili pwoder
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, for garnish

1. Place beans in large bowl, and cover with cold water. Let soak 4 hours, or overnight.

2. Drain beans, and place in large saucepan with 6 cups water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until tender but not soft. Do not drain.

3. Heat oil in separate large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and sausage, and sauté 3 to 5 minutes, or until vegetables are soft and translucent. Add garlic and chili powder, and cook 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes and beans (with cooking liquid); season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, 10 minutes. Uncover, and simmer 10 minutes more. Serve garnished with cilantro.

Servings: 4

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Fried Green Tomato BLTs

Yeah yeah yeah. I used soy bacon. Mostly I was just excited to have the fried green tomatoes. I had these perfect green heirloom tomatoes and they were wonderful. Mixing cheese into the coating is a great idea and made them super crispy and tasty. With the "bacon" and mayonnaise, yum yum. It was really good.

Awesome. I would consider making this again.

sandwich

Fried Green Tomato Blts
Cooking Light, July 2007

8 slices 40%-less-fat bacon
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
12 (1/4-inch-thick) slices green tomato -- (about 2 tomatoes)
2 teaspoons olive oil -- divided
Cooking spray
1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
8 ounces country white bread -- toasted
8 red leaf lettuce leaves

1. Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 2 teaspoons drippings. Set bacon and drippings aside.

2. Combine cornmeal, cheese, and pepper in a shallow dish. Dredge tomato slices in cornmeal mixture. Heat 1 teaspoon reserved drippings and 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Cook 6 tomato slices 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 teaspoon bacon drippings, remaining 1 teaspoon oil, and 6 tomato slices.

3. Spread 1 tablespoon mayonnaise over each of 4 bread slices. Top each slice with 2 lettuce leaves, 3 tomato slices, and 2 bacon slices. Top with remaining 4 bread slices. Serve immediately.

Servings: 4

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Food Challenge

This is silly, I know. But you know I can't make things without recipes, and I obsessively plan out our meals for the week. This week, I decided to try an experiment: I didn't make a meal plan. I went to the farmer's market and bought things that looked good. I went to the dairy farm and bought things that looked good (I'm going to need to do a post about raw milk at some point). I got a random assortment of stuff and then.... every night I am just doing what normal people do and deciding what to make. Last night I roasted some zucchini with garlic and pine nuts and tossed it with some pasta. No recipe! Voila! How did I do this? I don't know.

Tonight was the most exciting because I made Wheat Berry & Barley Salad with Smoked Mozzarella, which we have eaten and loved many times before. Okay. I didn't have wheat berries so I doubled the barley. I didn't have cherry tomatoes but I did have beautiful fresh tomatoes so I chopped those up. Fresh garlic mushed up, check. Fresh green onions, check. I used canned corn, so sue me. And then - this is the most exciting - I used some amazing smoked gouda from the aforementioned dairy farm. AMAZING.

So I'm pretty proud of myself so far this week.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Repeats

I forgot to post about these.

Friday night I made a big tray of Mandarin Cream Delight, which I still maintain is one of the yummiest things of ever.

Last night I made a grilled cheese but I don't know if I even posted the recipe originally. It's fontina, pear, and harissa on rye. It was so freaking good, and it had pears from the farmer's market so it was even better. So happy!

I love food so much, you have no idea. Maybe you do by now.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Roasted Cucumber Sandwiches

Continuing with the need to use our farm vegetables in new and unique ways, I was intrigued by this absolutely bizarre recipe. Well, that's not true - it's not really bizarre if you think about it. Yes, it is weird to dump some cucumbers on a roasting pan and stick them in the oven. I don't think I've ever done that in my life. BUT. Middle Eastern/Greek/Indian etc food uses cucumbers in warm and savory and yogurt-based dishes all the time. Like raita. Or tzatziki sauce. So really, this is not that different, if you really think about it.

And oh my goodness, it was DELICIOUS. It is SUPER messy. But it is really, really good. I really liked how it all came together. I would definitely make this again! And given the number of cucumbers we get on a weekly basis, my guess is I will be making it again soon!

I omitted the mint and subbed in some dill. Oh, and as per the Lauren rule, I omitted the capers. Because why? Because anything that is delicious with capers is more delicious without them.

sw

Roasted Cucumber Sandwiches
Bon Appétit, August 2011
Manresa Restaurant

"This is a play on English cucumber finger sandwiches," says Kinch, who roasts the cucumbers to deepen their flavor. "It also works fantastically on the grill." Use any cucumber, such as Japanese, Persian, or English hothouse, available at supermarkets and farmers' markets.

2 1/2 pounds Japanese -- Persian, or English hothouse cucumbers
2 tablespoons unsalted butter -- (1/4 stick) melted
3/4 cup labneh or Greek-style yogurt -- (Lebanese yogurt cheese)
3/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons salt-packed capers -- rinsed well, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove -- finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice -- (or more)
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 9x7 inch loaves focaccia -- halved horizontally, or 8 ciabatta rolls
Extra-virgin olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 400°. If using English cucumbers, split lengthwise and remove seeds (leave other varieties whole). Arrange cucumbers on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet. (If using English cucumbers, arrange cut side down.) Brush with melted butter. Roast cucumbers until crisp-tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer cucumbers to a paper towel–lined plate; chill until cold.

2. Cut Japanese or Persian cucumbers lengthwise in half. Cut hothouse cucumber halves lengthwise in half. Slice crosswise into 1/4 inch-thick pieces. Whisk labneh and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in sliced cucumbers and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Season filling to taste with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if desired.

3. Brush cut sides of focaccia or rolls with olive oil; place on a baking sheet and toast in a 400° oven until just crispy and lightly browned, 3-5 minutes. Divide filling among focaccia bottoms, cover with tops, and cut each into 4 sandwiches (or divide filling among rolls).

Servings: 8

Cheesy Baked Pasta with Spinach and Artichokes

I love spinach and artichokes. And cheese. And pasta. So this seemed like a good meal. It's super easy and super quick. It is definitely yummy and reheats really well. It isn't anything exciting or special though. I added some garlic, which I highly recommend. I'd keep this recipe around for quick dinners, but I guess it isn't a favorite.

pasta

Cheesy Baked Pasta with Spinach and Artichokes
Real Simple, April 2010

8 ounces mezzi rigatoni or some other short pasta -- (1/2 box)
14 ounces artichoke hearts -- rinsed and quartered
9 ounces frozen creamed spinach -- thawed
1/4 cup grated Parmesan -- (1 ounce)
2 cups grated mozzarella -- (8 ounces)
black pepper

1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and return it to the pot.

2. Add the artichoke hearts, spinach, Parmesan, 1 cup of the mozzarella, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to the pasta and toss to combine.

3. Heat broiler. Transfer the pasta mixture to a shallow 2-quart (or 8-inch square) broilerproof baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining cup of mozzarella.

4. Broil until the cheese is browned in spots, 2 to 3 minutes.

Servings: 4

Barley, Roasted Vegetables, and Feta Salad

Another creative way to use up vegetables! I have made variations of this before with couscous and quinoa, but never with barley. So that was interesting. I also added some chickpeas because I love chickpeas. I thought this was pretty good except for the dressing. I really did not like the orange. Something about it just didn't work for me. I wish I'd omitted the sauce or just used a vinaigrette. I wouldn't make this again.

barley

Barley, Roasted Vegetables, and Feta Salad
Cooking Light, June 2007
Salad:
4 cups water
1 cup uncooked pearl barley
2 red bell peppers -- cut into wedges
1 medium peeled eggplant -- cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
Cooking spray
1 medium zucchini -- halved lengthwise
1 medium yellow squash -- halved lengthwise
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
2 garlic cloves -- minced

Dressing:
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
5 teaspoons extravirgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. To prepare salad, bring 4 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add barley. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes or until tender. Let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Spoon barley into large bowl.

3. Place peppers and eggplant on one jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray; place zucchini and squash in another jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Coat vegetables with cooking spray; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Place pan with squash on top rack in the oven and pan with eggplant on middle rack. Bake at 400° for 12 minutes or until squash and zucchini are tender. Remove pan with squash, and move pan with eggplant to top rack. Bake peppers and eggplant an additional 8 minutes or until tender. Cool. Cut vegetables into 1/2-inch pieces. Add vegetables, parsley, and next 4 ingredients (through garlic) to barley; toss gently.

4. To prepare dressing, combine vinegar, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, stirring well with a whisk. Add dressing to barley mixture; toss. Sprinkle with cheese.

Servings: 6

Caramel Frosted Chocolate Chip Zucchini Sheet Cake

We just keep getting zucchini and I am running out of things to try them in. Bread, soup, casseroles, pasta... so here's a sheet cake. It was alright. The chocolate chips were nice, the caramel was a little super-sweet, and I wish the cake had a little more spice. It wasn't bad, but it's been sitting on the counter for days and neither of us have really eaten it. Eh.

cake

Caramel Frosted Chocolate Chip Zucchini Sheet Cake
CLBB (valchemist)

3/4 cup butter -- softened
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips (or more)

For The Frosting:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

1. Cream butter, brown sugar, vanilla and eggs in bowl. Stir together flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder in a separate bowl. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and stir until combined. Fold in zucchini and chocolate chips. Spread in greased 15 x 10 inch jellly roll pan. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes.

2. For the frosting: Bring butter, brown sugar, and milk to a boil in saucepan. Boil for 3 minutes. Stir in confectioners' sugar. Spread over cake (this is the type of frosting that hardens, so you shouldn't take your time in the spreading step).

Servings: 24

Fruit Salad with Honey-Yogurt Sauce

Woah, I went an entire week without updating? That was terrible. I need to update more. Instead, I am about to hit you with a barrage of recipes I made over the past week.

This fruit salad, I made as a side dish. It was alright. It wasn't anything special. I feel like with fruit salad I shouldn't need a recipe, but it was still interesting to try. I doubt I would make it again.

fruit

Fruit Salad with Honey-Yogurt Sauce
Cooking Light, November 2004

You can prepare and refrigerate the yogurt sauce up to a day in advance. You can also combine and refrigerate the fruit mixture (except the banana) up to three hours ahead; stir in the banana just before serving to prevent discoloring.

1 cup vanilla low-fat yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lime rind
3 cups cubed pineapple -- (about 1 medium)
1 1/2 cups chopped Braeburn apple -- (about 1 large)
1 cup orange sections -- (about 2 oranges)
1 cup chopped peeled kiwi -- (about 2 large)
1/3 cup flaked sweetened coconut
1 medium banana -- sliced
1/4 cup slivered almonds -- toasted

1. Combine yogurt, honey, and lime rind in a small bowl.

2. Combine pineapple and next 4 ingredients (through coconut) in a large bowl; toss gently to combine. Just before serving, stir in banana. Top fruit mixture with yogurt sauce; sprinkle with almonds.

Servings: 6