Oh My, Oatmeal Cream Pie

October 3, 2011 2 comments

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Busted. Yep, you caught me. It’s been a little while since I have blogged. The summer was busy with the kids, family, work, training for a marathon (yes, it’s this weekend finally!), house/garden work and other assorted shenanigans that occur during warmer weather. But I am back.  And I bring you pie (actually, a rather large cookie like dessert) so you can’t be too mad, right?

Another reason for my absence is a valid one that directly relates to this blog. Many of my blog posts intermix food and food politics/ethics. I have been internally juggling many different feelings about how I should be eating. One day I think that eating animals is okay, the next I am making vegan recipes. Quite frankly I am getting tired with this one-sided conversation with myself. I am guessing Mark Bittman thought the same thing when he came up with his “Vegan before 6pm” lifestyle.  I think this is something I can adapt to and have resolved also to make any meat consumed from local sources, and no factory farmed animal or product.

Why am I sharing this with you? First of all, I want to be honest. Many of my recipes are vegetarian or vegan and I do not want to pretend that I am 100% vegetarian/vegan. Second, I know some friends who are also struggling with this concept and thought we could support each other and offer ideas and recipes to make things easier. Your comments have and always will be very welcome to me – a huge reason why I do this – so please throw me your thoughts and opinions, and I will provide tasty vegetarian recipes. Deal?

Okay, enough of the emotional stuff…bring on the pie!

This is a recipe I found in Have your Cake and Vegan Too, a glorious cookbook by Kris Holechek. It’s pretty easy and tastes so much like those little cakes I used to devour in middle school. I would cut the raisins to only 3/4 of a cup though as it has a little heavier raisin taste than I prefer. Kids loved it and it did not last long in our house (goes great with coffee in the morning).

Black Bean Enchiladas and a Startling Revelation from Gwyneth Paltrow

June 1, 2011 2 comments

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This is a rant post. Those that know me well understand that when I get fired up about something, I get, well…pretty PO’d. The cause of this fury was located in my mailbox. Being a person with a passion for cooking, I subscribe to Bon Appetit magazine. I adored Gourmet magazine and was devastated when it folded. Well apparently BA has a new sheriff in town (editor/sheriff/crapmaster) and the format has changed. The editor was the former editor of GQ and is looking to shaking things up other than martinis. The new format reads like Maxim magazine with short attention span articles that are the length of a visit to the toilet. I always enjoyed the at-length adventure stories that whisked me away to other cultures with interesting, tasty recipes to follow.

Now what do I get? I get Gwyneth Paltrow telling me how to cook. Nu-uh. Not going to happen my friend. I won’t even put a link to show you my disdain for someone who dabbles in a bunch of everything and is mediocre at best (okay, I did like her as an actor, but her singing, blogging, cooking – ugh!).  What fired me up was that her recipes were beyond blah and that the magazine actually printed her “advice” when cooking:

“Drink while you cook!”

“Clean as you go!”

“State the obvious for those that cook all the time!”

Okay, the last one was mine, but REALLY – “Drink while you cook!” What a startling revelation!  Why didn’t I think of that?

So in summary, thumbs down to Bon Appetit and the new hazmat…oops, I mean format. So in response, I will post a recipe for Black Bean Enchiladas that I modified from America’s Test Kitchen, one of the few sources I still trust. Now if Christopher Kimball starts appearing on Glee, we’re all in trouble.

Black Bean Enchiladas
Makes 12 Enchiladas, serving 4 or 5

1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil or corn oil
1 medium onion, chopped fine (about 1 cup)
3 medium cloves of garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
2 cans black beans, drained, rinsed and mashed
2 cans tomato sauce (8 ounces each)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 can diced green chilis
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese , grated (2 cups)

Tortillas and Toppings
12 corn tortillas (six-inch)
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
3/4 cup sour cream(optional)

1. FOR THE SAUCE AND FILLING: Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering but not smoking, about 2 minutes; add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, coriander, cumin, salt, and sugar; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add beans and cook, stirring constantly, until coated with spices, about 30 seconds. Add tomato sauce and 3/4 cup water; and stir. Bring to simmer. Pour mixture through medium-mesh strainer into medium bowl, pressing on beans and onions to extract as much sauce as possible; set sauce aside. Transfer mixture to large plate; freeze for 10 minutes to cool, then combine with cilantro, green chilis, and cheese in medium bowl and set aside.


2. Heat oven to 400 degrees.

3. Have a margarita! (Because we all know drinking while cooking is fun!)

4. Stack the tortillas on a microwave-safe plate, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave on high until warm and pliable, 45 seconds. Get a 11x 14 baking dish and spread 1 cup of the reserved sauce on the bottom. Fill each tortilla with 2 tablespoons of filling, roll it up and place in dish. Top with 1 cup of cheese (or more if you have it!). Cover baking dish with foil. Bake enchiladas on lower-middle rack until heated through and cheese is melted, 20 to 25 minutes. Uncover and serve immediately, top with sour cream if wanted.

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