food food food

[written 03/09/11]

i love to cook. the mood comes and goes somewhat, but generally i’m cooking something new up every month that i’m excited about. i’m bad at remembering to take pictures of the dishes but i can guarantee that each and every one of these recipes is delicious. approaching the end of this pregnancy, i’m looking to double up and freeze the half we don’t eat so that when the baby comes we won’t be starving and/or ordering take-out every single day. just maybe every other day. ;)

the recipes:

~ bean and cheese enchiladas ~ i got this recipe originally from pioneer woman and i’m sure it’s delicious as is, but i substituted cottage cheese for the sour cream, added in a can of refried beans, use whatever cheeses i can find (usually a gouda/edam mix), added a ton more cumin, and top with freshly diced tomatoes at the end. we like it a lot.

~ roasted vegetable lasagna ~ from for the love of cooking. i change up the vegetables to be whatever we find in the mercado that’s fresh and good-looking. basically i’ve learned you cannot go wrong with roasted vegetables. add pasta, cheese, and some spices, and it’s even harder to go wrong. i do like the no-bake lasagna pasta, but other than that, this takes a while to make (mostly just waiting for the veggies to roast, and stirring them every 15 minutes or so) and is very very worth it.

~ cheese and potato tart ~ from smitten kitchen. to account for the altitude here (12,000+ ft!), i added an egg and some water to the crust and an egg yolk to the filling. the crust turns out really nice and crispy (not sure if that’s due to the ingredients or the silicone pie ‘pan’ i use). i like blue cheese and roquefort is super popular here, but i usually have two different cheeses for those that don’t like blue cheese. emmantaler works great, but so would gruyere and probably any other melty cheese.

~ spinach quiche ~ from last one eating, which i got from my sister’s mother in law. she brought it over the day my sister came home from the birth center with her newborn (along with a very good kale and two-bean soup) and it was the perrrrfect food. iron-wise it’s super rich, which every woman needs after birth, it’s generally very healthy, plus it makes an enormous quiche that freezes very well. the only thing i’ll change is make a bit more dough since last time, i had to really thin it out to accept all the filling. i like my crusts.

~ cauliflower gratin with leeks and gruyere ~ from cook’s illustrated. this dish is very good ~ though again, how can you go wrong with the three simple ingredients listed above? of course, wash the leeks super thoroughly. i used sourdough instead of sandwich bread. hmm, what else ~ i don’t think it would hurt to have more cauliflower in there, there’s so much cheese. not that that’s a bad thing.

~ crispy hash browns ~ from simply recipes (love this site). easy to make! one large hash brown (say, 9” diameter) uses 3-4 potatoes so you can be eating in about 20 minutes max. i think these would freeze very very well. plus it’s lots of fun to flip them.

here’s some other recipes that aren’t too complicated or somewhat silly for an eight-month pregnant woman to contemplate (unlike my recently bookmarked homemade ketchup recipe):

~ broccoli cheese casserole

~ spaghetti frittata ~ i did make this once and it was quite good. great way to use leftover pasta, but that’s not really a problem in this house.

~ cornbread ~ this looks delicious. worried about the altitude part, i’ve put it off but one day i will tackle this.

by the way, my favorite way to find new recipes is using this custom google search somebody set up and i bookmarked forever ago: foodblogsearch.com. it does exactly what it says, searching over 3000 food blogs according to your criteria. it’s excellent.

i have a little list of kitchen things i want (just got to scratch tongs off the list, yay for kitchen tongs. definitely helps with the enchilada recipe.) that includes a pressure cooker, a crock pot, a food processor, a pasta maker (sigh), and some nice cast-iron pots and pans. slowly but surely we’ll get them, and in the meantime there’s still so much good cooking that can be done.

and with that, now i’m hungry again! off to chug more water first, gotta stay hydrated. happy monday ~