Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Lots of Cooking, Not Much Blogging

I haven't been using the computer much in the last several days. I managed to finish the Stephen King book late last week. Annelies has been home from school and sick since last Wednesday. I haven't really been feeling 100% myself. I have, however, done lots of cooking.

Let's see...I think last Wednesday evening I made some baked ziti. I actually used penne pasta because I couldn't find whole-wheat ziti. This time I also made my own sauce using crushed tomatos, Italian seasonings, salt and pepper. I mixed it up with a small container of ricotta, and topped it with some shredded mozzerella. That's always an easy dinner that the kids will actually eat. Of course, they wouldn't touch the sauteed spinach, garlic and onions that I made to go with it.

Thursday evening, I was really feeling like some good comfort food. I decided on homemade macaroni and cheese and some baked beans. I used this recipe from Ina Garten for the mac n' cheese. It's definitely an "Ina recipe". Not lacking in fat or deliciousness! It's pretty easy to make, and easily the best macaroni and cheese I've ever had. For my baked beans, I make them the way my Mom taught me. I use two large cans of Bush's Vegetarian baked beans. To those I add a jar of salsa, a can of rinsed kidney beans, ketchup, mustard and molasses. I bake them at 375 for two hours, covered. Then I remove the foil and bake them uncovered for another hour or so. They're very good, and super-easy.

On Saturday, I made a very labor-intensive meal of Curried Tofu in Coconut Sauce. (Thankfully, Sleek was in the kitchen helping me on that one!) I found the recipe in my mom's America's Test Kitchen cookbook. It was good, but like many of ATK's ethinc recipes, it slightly lacked flavor. It would've been much better with a little dab of Thai curry paste mixed in. I'll definitely do that next time. To go with it, I made the Cornmeal-Masala Roasted Brussel Sprouts from V-con. They were really different, and really good. I'll definitely make them again.

Last night, I made my best pizza yet. I can believe how it gets so much easier to stretch the dough each time I make it. I was getting everything ready, and realized I didn't have any sauce left. All I had was a large can of tomato puree, which I accidentally picked up instead of crushed tomatoes. I opened it and tasted it. It was horrible and flavor-less. I spiced it up with some garlic, Italian seasonings, salt and pepper. It actually may have been the best pizza sauce I've made. I'll definitely plan on using the tomato puree for pizza sauce in the future. I made the kids a cheese pizza, and for Sleek and myself, I topped it with fresh spinach and banana peppers. I left half of it cheese-less since I'm seriously trying to fit back into my jeans. :)

Sleek and I watched a fantastic movie on Saturday night. It's called Once. The soundtrack is unbelievable, and one of the songs won an Oscar for "Best song in a film". I highly recommend the movie. I've been listening to as much of the soundtrack as possible online, but Sleek purchased it from iTunes yesterday, so I've got the whole thing on my iPod now. Can't wait to give it a good listen today!


carrie said...

I love that recipe for baked beans. I can't wait to fix them. What a great recipe for taking to summer barbeques....and to share with my non-veg family this Easter!

BTW, welcome back, I've been wondering what happened to you!!

The Dalai Mama said...

Carrie: The baked beans are great. Next time I make them, I'm going to use Newman's Own pineapple salsa. I don't know why, but I was thinking about it last night. It sounded so good to me. LOL The ingredients in Bush's vegetarian baked beans are surprisingly natural too.

Inarticulate Fumblings said...

That's it. I'm moving in.

The Dalai Mama said...

IF: Was the mac n' cheese?

carrie said...

DM - Do you have an exact recipe for your baked beans, I need to get the stuff together so we can have them for Easter.

Can you just e-mail them to me.....let me know if you need my address again.