Sunday, February 28, 2010

Pecan Coconut Tart

I over-bought shredded coconut back when we were making Christmas cookies, so I was trying to come up with a way to use it up- this recipe looked interesting and had a lot of good reviews on epicurious, so we gave it a try.The recipe was pretty good- it seems like a cross between a pecan pie, a granola bar, a 7-layer bar. It's oaty, nutty, and caramely. Like some of the other recipe reviewers said, maybe I wouldn't cook the crust quite as long since it gets a second bake with the filling.

Chicken Scaloppini

Martha is in town and she's craving pasta. We had the majority of the ingredients for this chicken scalopini recipe with artichokes, mushrooms, capers and pancetta, so we decided to give it a try.
This was really tasty. Since it's a Paula Deen recipe, it requires an entire pound of butter in the lemon sauce... don't go there. We made it with a quarter of that and it was still rich and delicious. Even Martha, who would eat a butter ice cream cone if she could, thought it was great with just one stick of butter.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Rainbow Snuggie for Mark

Chuck made yet another homemade Snuggie, this time for Mark's birthday, so she gave it a pride-y twist.
Bright, beautiful and somewhat mesmerizing. Work it, Chuck.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Boneless Pork Chops with Apple Chutney

We really liked this chutney from the other Martha... a little spicy, a little vinegary, a little sweet. Be careful not to overcook the pork chops if, like ours, yours are a little on the thin side.

We're trying the remainder of the chutney on turkey sandwiches tomorrow for lunch- will let you know how it tastes in that context!
Tonight the pork and chutney was served with some subpar roasted sweet potato and parsnip fries. They turned out kinda floppy when I was hoping for crisp. Oh well.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Enchiladas

These tasty enchilada-esque things were a recipe-less creation from pantry items we had laying around. Laziness and unwillingness to go to the store are the mother of invention, I guess.

I roasted some cubed sweet potatoes in olive oil, sprinkled with some chili powder and cumin (and salt and pepper, of course). The black beans were heated with some minced garlic and onion that I briefly sauteed. Threw it together, topped it with some grated cheddar, wrapped it in a tortilla and put it in a baking dish that I had coated with some salsa verde. Topped the whole thing with some more salsa verde and cheese. Baked at 350 for about 10-15 minutes.

Chuck made some homemade guacamole - mashed an avocado with some grated onion and garlic, minced tomato, lime juice, hot sauce, and cilantro.

Pretty great for a made-up meal!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Butternut Carbonara

OK, this is snowverkill.
I am snowverwhelmed. And stir crazy. Yet too lazy to leave the house. It's a weird combination.

For dinner tonight Chuck and I scrounged around the fridge a bit, but rocked out a somewhat nontraditional, yet delicious pasta carbonara. The dish included butternut squash and sage... sage from our rooftop garden... sage that I had to shovel 4 feet of snow to get to.
Anywho... it was worth it. This dish was awesome. The slight sweetness of the butternut, the super salty bacon. Fabulous. Make it.

Ok, bye.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Creamy Potato and Broccoli Soup

The DC Snowpocalypse is starting to get really ridiculous... ridiculous or not, the snowy weather really called for some soup. Scrounging up odds and ends from the fridge (as the grocery store is a total shit show right now- long lines, bare shelves, nothing fresh), I was able to pull together a pretty tasty broccoli and potato soup with a little cream and some cheese. Topped it off with cheesy garlic toasts and some bacon bits. Perfect winter comfort food.

Monday, February 8, 2010

"Man-Catcher" Brownie Sundaes

I've been making these "man-catcher" brownies for several years since seeing them in the Washington Post. Despite the ridiculously goofy name, they are awesome. Super fudgy and rich. None of that cakey crap. If you want a chocolate cake, make a chocolate cake; don't make brownies.

Also, they are easy. Almost as easy as making brownies from a box, and 10 times better, so don't be intimidated.

The recipe is easily halved, which is good since it makes a massive amount. I successfully made a half recipe in a 9"x9" pan and cooked it for 30 minutes.
Made the sundaes for the Superbowl by topping a small brownie square (zapped briefly in the microwave to warm) with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and some blackberry coulis. Awesome.

Superbowl Snacks

We were basically snowed in for Superbowl due to the Snowpocalypse here in DC, but we were able to turn out these fun homemade soft pretzel bites with a cheddar cheese dipping sauce.
The pretzel bites are really good- definitely best served warm. The recipe makes a million bites- we made all the dough, but only cooked half of them. We are freezing the other dough (already shaped into the bites), so we'll see how that turns out next time we have a soft pretzel craving.

We upped the ante on the cheese sauce by sprinkling in some smoked paprika- yum. However, I should warn you not to make the cheese sauce until right at the end- it cooks very quickly and doesn't keep its consistency very well. I got a little excited and made the cheese sauce before the pretzel bites were done cooking: bad plan.

Baked Shrimp Scampi

This baked shrimp scampi is a pretty reliable Ina Garten recipe that I've made several times. However, I think this time I squished the shrimp too close together in the dish, because it took waaaaaay too long to cook the shrimp in the center. Perhaps next time I'll do these in individual dishes.Anyway, it's garlicky, buttery and delicious- good with some bread to dip in the sauce! We took the tails off for ease of eating, but they do make the presentation a little bit fancier.

Mushroom and Ricotta Pasta

This was a super quick pasta with ricotta, lemon, and mushrooms that I saw in my Everyday Food magazine. Definitely fine if you're in a hurry and have the ingredients laying around, but not tasty or pretty enough for company.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Quilted Coasters

Chuck has been using her paycheck stubs as makeshift coasters for her bedside water glass. I thought she should have something a little classier.

She had an extra purple velvet curtain hanging around that had a hole in it, but was otherwise useable fabric, so I cut some strips out of it and sewed these simple quilted coasters, using directions provided by the other Martha. I used contrasting thread that matches Chuck's wall color. Pretty cute and very easy!
(Yes, they are crooked and uneven. Give me a break- I'm relatively new to sewing)