Sweet Cooking

Archive for October, 2010|Monthly archive page

Autumn Vegetable Soup

In Just Good Food on October 20, 2010 at 6:36 pm

I've eaten this type of sqash for most of my life.

But now, I'm eating butternut squash! It's in season and all over the Farmer's Market.

Unlike yellow squash, butternut squash must be peeled before you can cook with it. It’s a pretty sturdy vegetable so peeling it takes a little work. Once the skin is removed, chop it in half and scoop out the seeds. What you do from there depends on your recipe. For this Autumn Vegetable Soup, I diced the squash into small cubes.

This soup starts with onion and carrots sauteed in a little olive oil. Then you add garlic, diced butternut squash and some spices.

Then add 1 quart of chicken broth, one can of diced tomatoes and a few sprigs of thyme.

After all that simmers for a while, add kale (I used spinach instead) and some chick peas.

Serve this delicious soup with some freshly grated pecorino and a grilled cheese for an excellent fall dinner. Enjoy!


Pulled Pork Sandwich = Voodoo Success

In Just Good Food on October 18, 2010 at 9:45 pm

Well, I'm not sure if it was my voodoo or just the arms of legs of #2.

Either way, my team won! I am pretty sure my voodoo had nothing to do with it, but I certainly had fun with it.

Final Score: Auburn 65 - Arkansas 43!! Take that Hogs.

So, I cooked a Boston Butt (for the first time ever). I did not photograph the cooking process because this was possibly the least attractive dish I’ve ever made. It was seriously ugly. Not one thing about my pork was photogenic.

I wasn’t really sure how to cook this thing, so I called my friend who is a chef to inquire about cooking techniques. This is what she advised (which I followed meticulously):

1. Make a rub of kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, garlic powder and cayenne pepper and rub it all over the butt.

2. Put the butt in a pot and add one cup of apple cider vinegar and then add water to cover the butt.

3. Put the lid on the pot and cook the butt at 250° for 4 hours.

4. Remove from oven and let it rest for quite a while (I let mine rest an hour or so)

5. Trim off any fat and shred the meat.

The results were outstanding. For more recipes and tips from my chef friend, visit her blog. She also recommended a recipe for homemade BBQ sauce. This is a solid ketchup based sauce. It’s not too spicy, so if you like heat, you need to add some fire. Otherwise, it’s really good.

This was the only decent photo I could get of my boston butt! I will definitely be making this again. Delicious!

Help! Need a Great Recipe for Pulled Pork

In Miscellaneous on October 14, 2010 at 2:03 pm

I am all nervous about the Auburn game this weekend. I am just petrified of Arkansas. I don’t know why, but I have a bad, bad feeling. I’m resorting to some voodoo to try to help my team. I am going to make pulled pork sandwiches for the first time ever. I figure eating the opponent has to warrant some type of good luck.

I wish someone from Alexander City would Fed Ex me some Sho' Nuff BBQ!

It’s just going to be me and Dan, so I don’t need a recipe that takes 12 hours to cook and feeds an entire tailgate. Any thoughts? I’ll even settle for a great BBQ sauce recipe. I don’t even have one of those that I like. Thanks and War Eagle!!

Delicious Pumpkin Bread

In Bread, breakfast, Muffins on October 13, 2010 at 9:22 am

It’s definitely Fall….cool bite to the air, every woman in NYC is wearing boots , football season is in full swing and pumpkins are everywhere. I think pumpkin is underused in the kitchen. I like to make pumpkin soup, ravioli stuffed with pumpkin, and last but not least, pumpkin bread. This is an easy Cooking Light recipe that is a fall staple for me.I’ve made it many times, and it does not disappoint.


Whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.



In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar, eggs, oil, and buttermilk. The recipe calls for 2 eggs and 1/2 cup egg substitute. I used 4 eggs. I don't use egg substitute when baking.



Combine the wet and dry ingredients.



Then add 1 can of pumpkin and some water. Be sure not to use pumpkin pie filling...that's a totally different thing.



Pour the batter into a standard loaf pan and top with either pecans or walnuts. I've used both and either works fine. This recipe makes 2 loaves of bread.



Or...you can make one loaf and 12 muffins. I chose to do that. I froze the bread and ate the muffins. I didn't have enough nuts for the muffins, and honestly, I didn't miss them. The muffins are delicious when they are slightly warm. Enjoy!!


Just a Little Something For You

In Just Good Food on October 8, 2010 at 9:39 am

I have had a really busy week, and I’m leaving in a few hours to go to San Diego for a long weekend. We are visiting friends there, and I can’t wait to be in sunny Southern California! When I’m about to go away, I don’t cook a lot. I don’t want to buy a lot of groceries that will just spoil while I’m gone, and I’m typically dieting, so I eat weird stuff – like oatmeal for dinner.

I did try a new pasta sauce this week that I wanted to share. Have you ever heard of Rao’s? It’s an Italian restaurant in Harlem that is notoriously difficult to get into. There are only 10 tables. As legend has it, the tables are actually owned by individuals. And the only way you can get a seat at one of these precious tables is to be invited by the person who owns it. I would really like to eat there one day, but I don’t know anyone who owns a table. So, I guess I’ll have to settle for this….

I purchased this jar of Rao's sauce at Whole Foods. I've seen it at a lot of other supermarkets too. Maybe you can buy it at your local grocery. It's expensive, but delicious!

I am usually weary of sauces out of a jar. That typically means it has a lot of chemicals in it. I was pleasantly surprised to find this ingredient list on the Rao’s jar.

Nothing bad there! It actually looks like what I would put into a pot of homemade sauce.

For dinner, I sauteed some onion, green pepper and garlic in olive oil. Then added lean ground beef. Once it was cooked through, I poured in this jar of sauce and some freshly crushed red pepper. I let it sit at low temperature for an hour and then served it with spaghetti. I feel like this type of cooking is cheating, but when life is busy, sometimes “semi-homemade” is just the answer.

Have a great weekend everyone. I’ll be back middle of next week and have a delicious recipe for pumpkin bread to share!



Candy Corn Bark

In Holidays on October 6, 2010 at 12:05 pm

Do you know that “bark” that people make during the holidays that is white chocolate and peppermint? If you don’t, you are really missing out. I can’t wait for Christmas to get here so I can make that delicious bark.

This is a Halloween twist on Christmas bark. I searched and searched for a cookie using candy corn, but I didn’t find anything compelling. I found this invention instead: Candy Corn Bark.

Here are the ingredients. Try to ignore the fact that they are all bad for you and full of gross chemicals.

Crush the Oreos and break up the pretzel sticks. I used the orange Oreos that they have in stores for Halloween. Put them in a pan lined with foil.

Melt the chocolate and pour it over the pretzels and Oreos. Press the candy corn into the warm chocolate to make sure it gets in there good. Then give it all a liberal coating of chocolate sprinkles. You can also use orange sprinkles if you wish.

Put the pan in the refrigerator and let it all set. Once it's good and hard break it up into chunks.

I don’t think this photographed very well! In reality, this turned out to be a cute Halloween dessert. If you’re going to a party or have a Halloween themed kids event, I think this would be a hit. Also, there is only one bowl to clean (the one in which you melted the chocolate). I crushed the cookies and pretzels in a large baggie – so no mess there! And the pan lined with foil is not messy at all.

I loosely followed a recipe that I found on line. I reduced the portions some and used 12 Oreos, 1 1/2 cups pretzels and 1 cup + a few tablespoons of candy corn. I used the entire bag of white chocolate chips. Happy Halloween!

Quick Shrimp Pad Thai

In Just Good Food on October 4, 2010 at 8:39 pm

I have been craving Thai food lately. I love the flavors – lime, peanut, chilies. I have never been to Thailand, but it’s on my list of places to visit. I would love to try the authentic cuisine.

This is my go to dinner for a Thai fix. It's super easy, and while not totally authentic, it is a good "at home" version of Pad Thai.

So, follow the recipe and in a few steps you’ll have a quick Pad Thai:

1. Prep

Chop everything first. It’s not a lot…garlic, peanuts, cilantro and lime wedges. Then peel and devein the shrimp while you boil some water.

2. Make the sauce

Mix together the teriyaki sauce, peanut butter, sriracha and hot water. The recipe calls for 1/4 teaspoon of sriracha. I use 1/2 teaspoon because we like things a little spicy.

Sriracha is a sweet, tangy paste made with sun-ripened chile peppers, garlic, vinegar, sugar and salt. Sriracha is thicker and not quite as hot as Louisiana-style hot sauces like Tabasco.

3. Almost done

Boil the pasta. I used whole wheat spaghetti. While the pasta is doing its thing get your garlic and shrimp going. Add the teriyaki sauce mixture and then the snow peas. Finally stir in the pasta.

4. Plate and garnish

Top everything off with some chopped peanuts and fresh cilantro.