Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Indian Beef, Zucchini & Muffin - 2/18/2008

When most people think of Indian food, the first thing to come to mind is usually curry. This food does not have any curry, but is still pretty good.

Indian Beef & Zucchini

The main course is a beef dish, though it should probably be made with lamb. The beef is stir-fried with garlic, ginger, salt, pepper, cumin, cinnamon, and allspice. Then some onions and garlic are cooked separately, then combined with the beef and some toasted pine nuts.

The first side dish is supposed to be served as a cold salad, but I'm not a fan of cold zucchini, so I ate it warm. Some zucchini is sauteed with garlic, mint and lemon juice. After it is tender, raisins and pine nuts are added. The second side dish is a broccoli-cheddar muffin. I know it does not fit the other two dishes, but I was in the mood for a muffin and I figured this was a way to keep it moderately healthy-ish.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

PB Cup Cookies - 2/9/2008

If you want a really easy cookie recipe that looks better than simple break-and-bake cookies, here you go:

PB Cup Cookies

All you do is buy a tube of Pillsbury peanut butter cookie dough, form it into 1" balls, place those balls into greased mini-muffin pan cups, spread them over the bottom and the sides of each cup, bake for about 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven, and insert a mini Reese's peanut butter cup. Allow the cookies to cool all of the way and potentially place them in the fridge before you remove them from the tray so they have a chance to set up. These cookies are also a delicious excuse to eat peanut butter cups.

I made some blueberry cheesecake bars which tasted good, but were impossible to get out of the pan without destroying them. I need to try again in the future to see if I can make them more functional.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Polenta Lasagna & Salmon Crostini - 2/2/2008

I've been cooking! I swear! I've been traveling around the country for graduate school interviews, so my time for cooking has been unfortunately re-prioritized. I did manage to make this creation last weekend and now have the time to show it off.

Smoked Salmon Crostini

I wanted a quick and easy appetizer while I waited for my main course to finish. I cut up a baguette into slices, rubbed them with a little olive oil and baked them at 350 degrees F for about 5-10 minutes to make them crisp. After taking them out of the oven, I smeared them with herbed goat cheese, placed some smoked salmon on top and sprinkled it with dried dill. They tasted pretty good and were very easy.

Polenta Lasagna

My mom has made a small casserole using polenta, some veggies and tomato sauce. I decided to take her idea and expand upon it. I bought the pre-made polenta that you can get in the produce/vegetarian section of the grocery store. I cut it into slices to act as the noodles of a lasagna. I also sliced up some zucchini and eggplant on my mandaline (to make sure they were even) then baked them in the oven with some olive oil and salt for about 15 minutes. Now the layering: tomato sauce, shingled polenta, sliced zucchini, mozzarella, sauce, polenta, sliced chicken sausage, mozzarella, sauce, polenta, eggplant, sauce, mozzarella. I baked this creation for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees F until it was nice and bubbly. Serving this creation was rather difficult with all of the sliced polenta, but it tasted delicious. It may be better to make as individual lasagnas, but if your guests are not looking for something pretty, this is a good choice.