Friday, April 29, 2011

Soft mustard molasses cookies

Cookies fit for a queen.

Well, at least fit for a princess, given today's royal wedding festivities.

(Such a classic dress! So elegant!)

I could have been predictable and posted a scone recipe, but you know that's not how The Ninj rolls. (But I give a nod to corniness with my Union Jack bar towel, a souvenir of my one and only trip to England, as perfect photo backdrop.)

So, in keeping with my love of mixing the sweet and the savory, I give you soft mustard molasses cookies!

Yes, I said mustard.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday

The ninjette: pretty yet suspicious ...

(Thanks to Gulliver's Doggie Daycare for the great photo!)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Tomato and green bean salad: a recipe

I am clearly not the master of my white balance yet...
I've been hitting the cold salads hard this week, trying to pretend that it's spring.

"Pretend" because it's been absurdly chilly here, even for Vermont. Trust me, one should not have to see, at the same time, snow flurries and daffodils trying to bloom. It's just disheartening.

Hence what seems like salad week here on the blog.

This one was inspired by another back issue of Sunset that I pulled out of my hoarder-esque magazine piles. It was supposed to be just a side salad but I added some chicken to make it a meal. It was also supposed to include asparagus rather than green beans but anyone who knows Mr. Ninj knows that asparagus isn't even welcome in the driveway, let alone in the house or in a salad.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday

It's nice to be back in the land of covered bridges...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cucumber salad: a recipe

Cucumber salad
My stockpile of cooking / eating / lifestyle magazines is starting to take over my life.

For a while, I had a really great system: I only subscribed to Cooking Light so, at the end of each year, I would buy the recipe compilation book and recycle all the magazines. Less space, no waste.

Ah, the simple days.

Getting all ninja-like means that I now subscribe to seven different magazines which provide my recipe fodder. The result is that I have stacks and stacks of magazines piled up in my kitchen. And family room. Ugh.

(One of my goals is to figure out some really kick-ass way to organize the recipes into some kick-ass online system. Yeah, I'll let you know when I get around to that.)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Nouveau colcannon: a recipe

Photo by Alexander Hausmann, via the stock.xchng
As regular readers of this blog know, some dishes just don't photograph well.

Case in point: this dish I've dubbed "nouveau colcannon" because calling it what it is -- mashed cannellini beans and potatoes with blue cheese and sausage crumbles and spinach -- is just too absurdly long.

Colcannon, by definition, is a traditional Irish dish made with potatoes and cabbage or kale, often with other stuff like ham, bacon or onion thrown in for good measure. Very casserole-y.

Nouveau colcannon is just another recipe I modified heavily from Mark Bittman's awesomely awesome Food Matters Cookbook, to make it more filling and appealing to the meatasaurus in me.

Well, appealing to the taste buds, I should say. Because pretty it's not.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday: beach-friendly Kindle cover

Leather covers don't mix well with sand and sunscreen but this cute terry number sure does! Only simple sewing skills required.

Monday, April 11, 2011

What we ate this week: crockpot recipes

Creamy chicken and biscuits
Last week wound up being a busy one for us, as we're in the middle of buying a new home. When I know I'm going to need to be gone all afternoon and not have a lot of time to prep dinner, I love to break out the crockpot.

So I tried two new crockpot recipes that both came from the March issue of Real Simple magazine -- I don't subscribe but my dear friend let me swipe her copy to try out these recipes. (Aside: I swear this is true -- mental, yes, but true: the main reason I don't subscribe is because it irks me to no end that "real simple" is grammatically incorrect -- it's offensive to English majors everywhere and I just can't get over it.)

I was very skeptical of the spinach and ricotta lasagna (lasagna? in a freakin' crockpot?), but damn if it didn't turn out wicked!

And the creamy chicken and biscuits were superb -- like a super-easy chicken pot pie. Trust me, Mr. Ninj never ever ever ooohs and aaahs over vegetables but slap a buttery biscuit on top and he was hooked.

Let me know if you try either one and what you think!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Baked bacon: tip and technique

Bacon! The photo is a little too pink but you get the idea.
In my world, everything is better with some crumbled bacon.

And I have the blessing of Mark Bittman, so I'm justified.

In his Food Matters Cookbook, Bittman presents many of the recipes in their vegetarian form but also offers suggestions for protein add-ins if, like Mr. Ninj, dinner isn't dinner without some meat -- it's just lunch. And the recommended add-in, more often than not, is bacon. (I heart Bittman, don't you?)

So imagine my joy when I stumbled across a technique in a recent issue of Cooking Light for baked bacon. It ... is ... WICKED!

Here's how you do it:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday: Sign of spring

And yes, that is freshly fallen snow. For cripes sake.