Friday, November 26, 2010

Wild Rice Dressing

If you can't find dried cranberries, use fresh ones and add 2-3 tablespoons of sugar to the mix. It's just as good. Instead of wild rice, I used leftover Uncle Ben's Seasoned Rice & Wild Rice box mix.

2 cups wild rice
3/4 pound mushrooms, sliced
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped
5 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup walnuts
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1-2 Tbsp fresh sage, minced
4 cups bread croutons
2 cups chicken, vegetable or turkey stock
1 Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then add the wild rice. Cover, turn the heat to low and simmer until the rice is tender, about 25 minutes or so.

2 Preheat the oven to 350°F.

3 As the rice is cooking, heat a large sauté pan on high for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and shake the pan a little so they don't stick. Dry sauté the mushrooms, stirring often, until the release their water. When most of the water has burned off, sprinkle salt over the mushrooms, add 3 Tbsp of the butter, onion and celery and toss to combine. Sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring often.

4 Drain the rice when it is tender (most of the grains will have split by then) and add the rice to the sauté pan. Turn off the heat and add the sage, croutons, dried cranberries and walnuts. Sprinkle a little more salt over everything. Stir to combine.

5 Put the dressing into a large, oven-proof pot with a lid and dot with the remaining butter. Add the chicken stock, cover and bake for 45 minutes. If you want, take the cover off for the last 15 minutes to brown the top.

Serves 6-8 as a side dish.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cape Cod

Lots of memories there.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Lego Space Center

Students used LEGOs to 'Build the Future' at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. on Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2010. The 'Build the Future' event was part of pre-launch activities for the STS-133 mission.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Kingston Trio

They're Rioting in Africa (The Merry Minuet)
(Sheldon Harnick)

There are days in my life when everything is dreary
I grow pessimistic, sad and world weary.
But when I'm tearful and fearfully upset
I always sing this merry little minuet:

They're rioting in Africa
They're starving in Spain
There's hurricanes in Florida
And Texas needs rain.

The whole world is festering
With unhappy souls
The French hate the Germans,
The Germans hate the Poles

Italians hate Yugoslavs
South Africans hate the Dutch
And I don't like anybody very much

But we can be grateful
And thankful and proud
That man's been endowed
With a mushroom shaped cloud

And we know for certain
That some happy day
Someone will set the spark off
And we will all be blown away

They're rioting in Africa
There's strife in Iran
What nature doesn't do to us
Will be done by our fellow man.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Animators of Life

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Chestnuts

or this:

Crispy Brussels Sprouts
Recipe courtesy Claire Robinson
Serves: 2 servings
4 ounces thick slab applewood smoked bacon, cut in 1/4-inch pieces
1 pound Brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed, and halved lengthwise
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup toasted chopped walnuts
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and sliced
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a sheet pan, lay out bacon slices. Bake for 10 minutes, until lightly browned and the fat has rendered. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon, and transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Carefully toss Brussels sprouts in the hot pan, and season with salt and pepper. Return the pan to the oven, and roast, turning once, until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven, the walnuts and apples and toss to combine. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving platter, top with the bacon, and serve warm.

or this:

1 1/2 pounds Brussels Sprouts
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic, peeled and sliced
1 medium Onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
2 tablespoons Butter
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Trim sprouts, blanch for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water to stop cooking.

Heat a large frying pan and add the garlic, olive oil and onion. Saute until the onion becomes tender. Add the brussels sprouts. Saute a few minutes more. Add the vinegar and toss to cover sprouts. Add butter, salt & pepper. Toss until butter melts.

Source: The Frugal Gourmet Celebrates Christmas

Monday, November 08, 2010

Swiss Chard

Yum! I'd never fixed Swiss Chard before. I like it better than Kale, I think. When I cook greens, I usually use the Mollie Katzen method as in the Pasta with Greens and Feta from her 'Still Life with Menu' cookbook. I just leave out the pasta and feta (which is delicious, but more calories!).

6 tablespoons Olive Oil
4 cups Onion, chopped
8 cups Kale, packed
Salt, to taste
1 pound Penne Rigate
1 pound Feta Cheese, crumbled
Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated
Black Pepper, freshly ground

1. Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet. Add the onions and cook for about 10 minutes over medium heat. Put pasta water up to boil.

2. Add chopped greens to the skillet, as it lightly, and stir until the greens begin to wilt. Cover and cook 10 to 15 minutes over medium-low heat.

3. Cook the pasta until al dente. Just as it becomes ready, add the crumbled feta cheese to the sauce. (keep the heat on low as you add the cheese.)

4. When the pasta is done, scoop it out with a strainer and add directly to the greens and cheese. Mix thoroughly.

5. Cook the completed dish just slightly over low heat for a few minutes. Add a small amount of parmesan and a generous amount of black pepper. Serve immediately, on warmed plates.