Recipe Maverick

Browsing Archive: November, 2009

Daring Bakers Challenge: Cannolis

Posted by Emma Barker on Friday, November 27, 2009, In : Desserts 


    Yes, it's the day after Thanksgiving, but I'm not going to blog about turkeys or cranberry sauce because, to be perfectly honest, I didn't cook any! My sole contribution to my family's meal was stirring the gravy while it was cooking, and then helping eat all the wonderful food my grandma had made.

    What I am going to blog about is the Daring Bakers Challenge for this month. This was my first challenge, so I was pretty excited about it. Until I made this recipe, I had never cooked or e...

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The Third Way With Brussels Sprouts

Posted by Emma Barker on Thursday, November 26, 2009, In : Sides 


    Yesterday I finally made my third brussels sprouts recipe, which attempted to use garlic to drown out the flavor of the sprouts. I think it did this a little bit too well; the garlic flavor was really strong! However, if you love garlic, this might be just the recipe you have been looking for, so here it is:

Ingredients:
*serves 1

2 brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
sliced almonds to garnish

In a plastic sandwich bag...

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Pear Galette with a Flaky Crust

Posted by Emma Barker on Tuesday, November 24, 2009, In : Desserts 


    Pear galette. It started out as a little whisper in the back of my mind, and became more and more insistent as the day went on and I went to class and then work. Pear galette. On the bus ride back to my apartment, I found myself getting off the bus one stop early so I could drop by the grocery store. I bought three bartlett pears. The next day was Saturday and I didn't have to work. I made some pate brisee, I peeled some pears. I made a pear galette. And here it is.

Ingredients:
*makes one ...

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Carrot Avocado Salad

Posted by Emma Barker on Sunday, November 22, 2009, In : Salads 


    For something so ugly, the avocado is a surprisingly delicious fruit. A ripe avocado melts in the mouth like butter, velvety soft with its own mild flavor. I love a good batch of guacamole as much as the next person, but sometimes I like to eat avocados in a simpler, healthier way. This salad is designed to compliment the unique flavor and texture of avocado without overwhelming it. Razor thin slices of carrot add structure and sweet nuttiness, which is balanced by the acidic lemon juice ...

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Blueberry Crumble

Posted by Emma Barker on Saturday, November 21, 2009, In : Desserts 


    When I was a kid, we had several blueberry bushes in the backyard. Every summer I would wait eagerly for the berries to ripen, watching as the little white flowers bloomed, lost their petals, and swelled up into sweet fruit. Then, when the berries were ripe, I would sneak out and eat them all before anybody else could get any! Luckily for my parents I eventually learned to share. Unfortunately, the blueberry bushes died a few years later, probably because they weren't getting any sunlight...

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Another Way With Brussels Sprouts

Posted by Emma Barker on Friday, November 20, 2009, In : Sides 


    As I mentioned in a post earlier this week, I have taken on the Brussels Sprout. I plan to cook the detestible vegetable into submission, pickling it, spicing it, and sauteing it until it cries out to be eaten. My first recipe for brussels sprouts involved pickling them before sauteing them, and relied on the flavors of salt and vinegar to combat the intense bitterness brussels sprouts are known for. This recipe attacks from an entirely different angle, and the results were fantastic! Thi...

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Croque Monsieur, California Style

Posted by Emma Barker on Wednesday, November 18, 2009, In : entrees 


    A popular quick snack in France, the Croque Monsieur is a delicious grilled ham and cheese sandwich. In Paris, the Croque Monsieurs I had were covered with grated cheese, resulting in a ridiculously cheesy sandwich-dare I say, too cheesy? To lighten the sandwich up a little bit I left off the extra grated cheese, and added some cilantro to give it a fresher flavor. This is a Croque Monsieur, California style.

Ingredients:
* serves 1
2 slices of sourdough bread
sliced cooked ham, enough to co...

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A Way With Brussels Sprouts

Posted by Emma Barker on Wednesday, November 18, 2009, In : Sides 


    Sometimes when I make a lot of desserts, I almost feel like I'm cheating. After all, when you're cooking with large quantities of butter and sugar, it's pretty hard to go wrong. And even if things don't go as planned, many a messed-up dessert can still be redeemed by dipping it in chocolate or covering it in whipped cream.

    Much though I love baking (and eating) sweets, I also like a good challenge. I think one way to really improve as a cook is to take a food you absolutely detest and...

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Raisin Oatmeal Scones

Posted by Emma Barker on Tuesday, November 17, 2009, In : Breakfast 


    On a cold day like the ones we've been having, all you really want to do is lie around your apartment slurping tea and rereading an old favorite book or knitting something.



    Or at least, that's all I want to do. But when one is lying around one's apartment slurping tea, reading and/or knitting, one is apt to become a mite peckish. One craves something like a cookie...but not a cookie. Something like a biscuit...but not a biscuit. It is at these times that I like to mix up a batch of ra...

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Eggless Chocolate Mousse

Posted by Emma Barker on Sunday, November 15, 2009, In : Desserts 


    When I went to Paris over the summer, I got to see some famous sights:



    I also got to eat lots and lots of chocolate mousse. It's everywhere! You can find little pots of it in the dairy section of the grocery store, sitting nonchalantly next to the yogurt.

    When I returned to the United States, I was completely addicted to the stuff, but unable to find it in American grocery stores. I wanted to make my own, but the recipes I found contained raw eggs, something I don't eat. EVER. Not ...

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Soy Ginger Chicken

Posted by Emma Barker on Saturday, November 14, 2009, In : entrees 


    This weekend I didn't have to work Friday or Saturday, making it feel like my first "real" weekend in weeks. I celebrated yesterday after class by getting into my cozy flannel pajamas at a ridiculously early hour of the afternoon, cooking up a storm, and watching Boondock Saints with two of my housemates. It was a quiet, relaxing evening and just what I needed to wind down from a busy week full of little frustrations (getting stuck in the dishroom at the end of every shift, bombing my Phy...

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The Imperfect Parfait

Posted by Emma Barker on Saturday, November 14, 2009, In : Desserts 


    I've been a perfectionist for as long as I can remember, and it causes all sorts of problems. Although it is useful when it comes to completing school projects and getting good grades, it can also be counterproductive. Sometimes I feel like nothing I do is really good enough, because none of it is perfect. I can get so bogged down in feelings of inadequacy that I don't get anything done. It's taken me a long time to accept myself as the imperfect person I am, and to learn that even if som...

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Warm Green Salad with Pan-Fried Vinaigrette

Posted by Emma Barker on Friday, November 13, 2009, In : Salads 


    One of the great challenges of working at the dining hall for me is the salad bar. It's the dressings; they're just so icky. I see people drowning their lettuce in Ranch dressing and I want to cry out, "Why, oh why are you putting that on your salad?" But I have to restrain myself. What's more, when the Ranch dressing runs out, I'm supposed to refill it. Ewww.

    When I make salad for myself, I usually don't even like a simple vinaigrette. Instead, I squeeze a little lemon juice on top a...

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Bagel French Toast

Posted by Emma Barker on Wednesday, November 11, 2009, In : Breakfast 

    About a week ago, generic store-brand bagels were on sale at the supermarket. I bought two bags of 6, which is a lot of bagels for one person to use up before they go bad! I've been working my way through them pretty diligently, and let me tell you, I'm getting tired of eating bagels with cream cheese for lunch every day. Since today is Veterans' Day, I don't have any classes, which meant I had time to make a special breakfast for myself this morning. I had never tried making french toast...

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Fettuccine Alfredo (or, as I like to call it, Pasta with Green Flecks)

Posted by Emma Barker on Wednesday, November 11, 2009, In : entrees 
  

     It has been an eventful couple of days: my blog finally became google-searchable (yaaaay!!!), I seem to be getting over my cold (excuse me while I run outside and knock vigorously on nearest tree!), and the weather suddenly went from mild and summery to cool and crisp. It was perhaps this chain of events that emboldened me to attempt, one more time, a recipe I have always failed at in the past: Fettuccine Alfredo. I capitalize it here because that's the way I think of it. That's the w...
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Mashed Potatoes with Pesto

Posted by Emma Barker on Sunday, November 8, 2009, In : Sides 
 

     If you read my blog (which I know you don't because nobody reads it yet), you may have noticed that I like pesto. A lot. I use it like some people use ketchup- I'm always looking for ways to add it to whatever I'm eating. So it should hardly be surprising to you, dear nonexistent reader, that I got the idea in my head yesterday to put pesto in my mashed potatoes.
    The point is, it was a good idea. Just the way it made my kitchen smell as I added the pesto to the hot, freshly boiled a...
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Beef Stew

Posted by Emma Barker on Sunday, November 8, 2009, In : entrees 
  

         I am so fed up with being sick. Even while I'm coughing and sniffling, a large and stubborn part of me is insisting: "No. I can't afford to be sick again this quarter. I already missed too much class when I had the (swine?) flu!" Nevertheless, I am sick, and I am realizing as this stupid cold persists that if I want to get better, I need to do some serious self-pampering.
    Food, of course, is one of the most important elements of my cold treatment regimen. (After all-"Starve a ...
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Pimped Peas

Posted by Emma Barker on Wednesday, November 4, 2009, In : Sides 


    Frozen peas can be a godsend when you need to whip up a vegetable fast-but they can also be boring. This recipe takes plain 'ol peas and gives them some pizazz.

Ingredients:
*serves 1-2
1 strip of bacon
2 crimini mushrooms, chopped into eighths
1 cup frozen peas
water to cover the peas
a teaspoon of butter

First, cut the bacon into small pieces (about an inch wide) and cook it in a small pot over medium heat. When the bacon has exuded some grease into the pot, add the mushrooms and brown them. ...

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Raspberry Turnovers

Posted by Emma Barker on Wednesday, November 4, 2009, In : Desserts 


    We've started to have some cold days here in Davis, a sign that the summer really is over and fall is, well, falling. The quarter is in full swing, as evidenced by the many stressed-out faces on campus, and turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie are on the horizon.  But before we get too used to this cold-weather fare, Davis has given us a few more sweater-free days and a sale on raspberries at the supermarket. A berry dessert seemed a fitting farewell to summer, so I made raspberry turnovers ...
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Lazy Chicken Pot Pie

Posted by Emma Barker on Tuesday, November 3, 2009, In : entrees 


    Allow me to clarify: it is me who is lazy, and not the chicken pot pie. Usually I'm so lazy when it comes to making chicken pot pies that I just buy the ones in the frozen section of the grocery store. Well, not this time! After discovering just last week who Nigella Lawson is and that she is a proponent of using real butter, I had been dying to try making her chicken pot pie. On the show where she made the pie, she happily declared that it took only half an hour to make ("We'll see about...

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About Me


Welcome to my blog! I'm Emma, a recent college graduate with a BA in French. I am passionate about cooking and writing, among other things. Come share in my love of food!
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