Hi, how are you?

Well, my hiatus lasted longer than I expected. I have missed this blog and although I don’t have a recipe to post tonight, I just wanted to stop in with an update.

I still haven’t been cooking much, but I have a few ideas that should be up very soon, including homemade croutons, spicy sweet jalapeno vinaigrette, and green bean and mushroom pot pie.

One thing I am dying to make is cranberry nachos. I had a flash of brilliance around Christmas and came up with the recipe. I froze the remainder of the cranberry tangerine relish I made and I hope to make them this weekend. If you have some leftover cranberry relish you froze or an errant bag of cranberries in your freezer, then this is the snack for you.  Keep your eyes peeled for the post, most likely on Sunday.

Well, gang, I am off to make tortellini with my Mom’s homemade sauce for dinner, but I promise to have a real food update this week.

Have a great night and keep cooking!

No food today.

I thought I should take the time to let you all know that I probably won’t be updating for a week or two. My mother in law is quite ill and I haven’t felt like cooking at all.

I have been making some body scrubs and whatnot, so I might put some of those up, but as far as food goes, I just don’t have it in me.

I will be back as soon as I can I promise. Until next time, have a great day and keep cooking!

Harvest Pizza

Sorry so long between posts!  Things have been busy around here.  Mark and I celebrated our two year wedding anniversary on the same night we celebrated Obama’s victory!

But let’s talk about autumn.  I love autumn and all of the things that go with it: falling leaves, crisp air, Halloween, and of course great, rib-sticking food.

There is a restaurant in town that makes a similar version of this pizza, only with real ham. I have never tried it, but I decided to come up with my own veggie friendly version, with a few tasty modifications.

Harvest Pizza

1 package whole-wheat pizza dough

3 tablespoons maple syrup, use local when you can

2 tablespoons stone ground mustard

1 cup cheddar cheese

Half of a Macintosh apple, sliced into wedges

½ cup chopped red onion

½ cup dried cranberries

3-4 slices of veggie ham, diced

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Spread the dough on a pizza pan. I almost always fail miserably at this, so if you have some special technique, go ahead and do it, and please pass it along to me.

Next, mix the maple syrup and mustard together, and spread it on your pizza, as it is the sauce.

Sprinkle the pizza with the cheddar cheese. This doesn’t call for a lot of cheese, because you want the other flavors to meld together, not overwhelmed by an excessive amount of cheese.

Arrange the rest of the toppings in any way you want. Me, I kinda just throw it all on and spread it out. This is a hearty pizza, so presentation isn’t all that important.

Pop the pizza in the oven for 15-20 minutes. This might be a bit gooey in the middle, so you may have to adjust your cooking time and temperature accordingly.

This is a great quick meal. It is a nice break from the traditional pizzas and it allows you to enjoy some of the tastes of this wonderful season.

The next time we meet, I will tell you all about black bean and black-eyed pea soup. Until next time, have a great day and keep cooking!

Triple decker grilled stilton and pickle sandwich.

Hi!  We have been back from England for almost two weeks, yet I have been so busy that I haven’t had time to update ye olde blog.  If you click my Flickr widget on this page, you can see the photos of my trip and the photos I took at the Sherlock Holmes museum.  Also, the October project is still continuing.

England was so much fun!  We got to hang out with great friends- both old and new, see some great sights, and eat some tasty food.  I hope to replicate some of them in the future, especially, the Sunday roast and the Cornish pasty.  OMG.  Cornish pasty.

While over in England, I became quite addicted to the to go sandwiches offered at places like Tesco and Sainsburys.  I loved the cheese and pickle sandwiches so much that when we needed to make dinner on the night we got back from London, I went to the local shop and bought some good cheese (red Leicester) and hard rolls and used our hosts pickle and salad cream to make us a few sandwiches.  I fell in love with the pickle so hard, that it kind of became a running joke for the whole week.  I brought back a squeezy container of the stuff in my suitcase and shipped three stateside.  You can’t find it in the grocery stores in the States, so when I run out, I will either have to order it online or hit up a local tea room that stocks British foods.  Our other speciality store that usually carried this sort of thing closed about a year ago.  Viva The Grand Onion!

I found it amazing that, as a vegetarian, I could go in to the grocery store and just pick up a to go sandwich without worrying about if it contained meat.  I also appreciated the large “V” marked on all things vegetarian.  Come on American stores, wake up to the veggie revolution!

Anyway, the majority of the sandwiches come with mayo.  Now, I hate mayo, or at least American mayo.  I actually quite liked the salad cream.  I think it is because the salad cream tastes a lot like Vegenaise, kind of sweet and tangy.  So with my newfound love of “salad cream” (or in my case vegan mayo) and a burgeoning obsession with Branston Pickle , I have created a version of a triple-decker sandwich that is not for the faint of heart.

The picture does not do this sandwich justice.  It was simply delicious.

Now, I don’t have a real recipe for this so bear with me.  This was a slap dash meal made to fill our bellies.

Mix about a half-cup of crumbled Stilton with about three tablespoons vegan mayo, sprinkling a little fresh ground pepper and garlic powder in the mix.

Butter a baking sheet and place four slices of good, dark bread on the sheet.  Spread about a tablespoon and a half of the cheese and vegan mayo mixture on each slice.  Next, squirt some Branston pickle on each slice, spreading it around a little to fully cover the bread.

Put the open-faced sandwiches in the over on about 275 degrees for a few minutes, just long enough for the mixture to get melty and gooey.  Take the pan out and put a slice of bread on two of the open faced sandwiches and stick them back in for a bit, so they get a little toasted.

Take the sandwiches out, place the remaining open-faced slices on the other sandwiches, and there you have it, a triple-decker grilled Stilton and pickle sandwich!

When we meet again, I will give you my recipe for an autumn pizza that is just delightful.  Until then, have a great day and keep cooking!

Tomato vegetable soup

Good news! I have sucessfully not gotten sick!  I am in tip top shape for my flight tomorrow.  Yes, we leave for England tomorrow.  I am excited and scared and nervous all rolled into one.

I mentioned in my last post how I have been cleaning out the fridge before we go.  This is a soup I made that took the ends of many vegetables and made a very hearty soup in my crock pot.

As you can see, it was quite hot when I snapped the photo. This soup made enough for the both of us to eat it twice, and to give a considerable amount of leftovers to two of my co-workers.

Here’s the very simple recipe:

2 14.5  ounce cans of tomatoes.  I prefer Red Pack tomatoes because I love the flavor. I try to get the ones with basil, but they aren’t that easy to find.
1 small can of tomato paste
2 vegetarian bullion cubes
3 crushed garlic cloves
Any and all vegetables you have lingering in the fridge. Here is what I used:
-baby spinach
-red onions
-green onions
-sun dried tomatoes
-red and orange bell peppers
-grape tomatoes

As for seasonings, I just threw in garlic powder, sea salt, pepper (fresh ground black and white), hot paprika, a splash of Frank’s hot sauce, and a squirt of hot pepper paste , oregano, and parsley, but no basil. Can you believe I forgot to add basil? So, you should also add basil, because basil is tasty.

I just dumped and stirred up all the ingredients in the good ole crock pot and let it cook on low heat for about six hours. It was good, but a little thick upon reheating, so when you do reheat it on the stove, add a little water.

I served this with croissants, but next time I would like to serve it with pumpernickel. Mmmm pumpernickel.

This is a good soup to warm you up as our North Country days get colder. If you make this, let me know what veggies you use. I would love to know your adaptations.

Have a great day and keep cooking! We will all get together and talk soon.

Oh and one more thing, I do an October Project every year. Basically, I take a photo every day of the month and I post it on flickr. If you are interested in following it, here is a link to the set and here is the feed .