Quick Beans

February 1, 2012 § Leave a comment

E: I am a big fan of beans and Southwestern flavors. As a sometimes-vegetarian (and generally trying and succeeding to eat less meat than I used to, with a few minor setbacks like bacon here and there) I’ve been thoroughly wooed by the heartiness of beans and vegetables. This recipe owes a lot to Susan’s baked beans, with which it shares many of its ingredients. However this is something you can successfully make with any kind of beans in about 20 to 30 minutes, in basically any quantity you want.

quick, easy, healthy, and delicious

We make this or some variant quite often for lunches as well as dinners. I imagine it is a great way to use up any extra vegetables you have in the fridge. We always seem to have extra carrots, so that’s usually what we make this with. I’ll give you the basic amounts of things and you should play around with it to suit your liking. « Read the rest of this entry »

Rum-Soaked Berry Apple Pie

January 4, 2012 § 3 Comments

J: I have been on a major pie kick since Thanksgiving, and not least because I really enjoy making pie dough.  I love working with dough of all kinds — bread dough, cookie dough (duh!), pizza dough, scone dough, pie dough.  And the basic recipe for pie dough that we have been using, from the Joy of Cooking, is simple and produces consistently excellent results if you work with it correctly (more details on that later).  Once you’ve gotten this down, you don’t have to buy pie dough (or quiche dough, for that matter) ever again.  And you know how we feel here at Nombudsman about buying food that can be just as easily made at home!

Incidentally, another bonus to making pie dough is that all of a sudden you have a delicious vessel that you can put more delicious stuff in, and then bake, and then eat.  It’s kind of magical that way.


So, Erik and I were at his parents’ house this week and we decided we were going to make a dessert.  As I was on the aforementioned pie kick, it was clear what kind of dessert it would be.  The only question was what to put in the pie.  In a joint moment of genius, we hit on berries and apples, and then decided that clearly it would be in everyone’s best interest to soak the fruit in rum before we baked the pie.

That was a very, very good choice. « Read the rest of this entry »

Sweet Potato Hash

December 29, 2011 § 3 Comments

E: We came up with this recipe shortly before Thanksgiving when we wanted something with lots of vegetables in it to counteract a week of irresponsibility with pasta and cheese. It was sufficiently good (and sufficiently seasonal) that when we went to visit my parents for Thanksgiving we made it again for them. It is a testament to how good it was that we didn’t change anything from one preparation to the next except for reducing the amount of pepper we use. I thought it was great, but it turns out that a whole Hungarian wax pepper was too much spice for Joanna, almost to the point of making the dish inedible. So you should really adjust this to your spice tolerance. If you don’t like spice at all, you can still make this just by omitting the pepper. I think the spiciness is a great counterpoint to the sweet potatoes and apples, but it would still be good without.

this is really delicious

Making this is really quite simple. It does take some time, but nothing here is really difficult. The instructions I’m going to give are for making it in stages, cooking ingredients and then removing them from the heat and cooking other ones. If you want to avoid that and do it all at once, just add the onions first until they soften, then add the sweet potatoes and cook until they are almost done, then add everything else and cook until done. « Read the rest of this entry »

Bite-Size Apple Pies

November 20, 2011 § 5 Comments

J: So, I had this idea back in September about making apple pie cookies.  I am in love with apple butter, and we had just found some organic apple butter in our local Whole Foods, so I was trying to think of delicious baking endeavors that I could use it for.  As fall was just around the corner, the flavors of apple pie came to mind immediately, and then I had an extra burst of inspiration and decided that what we really needed was apple pie in the form of cookies.

This idea was finally put into action at dinner party #2, in October, when we made thumbprint-esque apple pie cookies by taking pie dough, pressing an indentation into it, and adding some slices of apple along with our magical apple butter concoction.  These were so tasty that among 5 of us, we devoured the entire batch.  Oops?

miniature pies: delicious and adorable

Since they all disappeared within half an hour of being baked, Erik and I decided that, um, we wanted more of them, and we wanted more very quickly.  So we made another batch the next day, and decided that this time we would amp them up a little and make legit mini-apple pies, since the “cookies” were pretty close to mini-pies already. « Read the rest of this entry »

Susan’s Baked Beans

October 30, 2011 § 2 Comments

E: This post goes out to my cousin Susan (who just recently had a baby, congratulations again Susan!) because it was from her that I got this recipe. She served this at her wedding this summer (a really lovely backyard affair that a bunch of us got to help cook and decorate for) and I insisted that I had to have the recipe. It is totally vegetarian by the way, which is part of what struck me about it.

really good vegetarian baked beans

It has been quite a few months but we have finally made and posted this wonderful dish. It’s really easy to do if you plan ahead (dried beans take a while to soak and cook) but if you want to make things a bit more interesting you can take it that extra step. One of the recipe’s main ingredients is ketchup, so we figured we would make our own—especially because Joanna does not like bottled ketchup. What we thought would be just a hint of cinnamon came out a bit strong, but the truth of the matter is that it was a good first try. It’ll take some time to get the spicing of it right for me, because it definitely needed more kick. But the nice thing is you can just add more powdered onion and garlic at the time of service if need-be. « Read the rest of this entry »

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