Sunday, February 24, 2013

Adventures in Cooking

Over Saturated Sunset from Home

It's been a decent week of cooking at the O2 household (the Oggel-O'Connor's). I bought so many groceries based on so many tasty recipes that I had to do a lot of cooking so it didn't all go to waste. Devin was home early a few nights this week so it was lovely to have him help me do some of the cooking. He's a really good chef and I love having him home around dinner time both for his company and for his help! I did a terrible job documenting almost all of it so there aren't many photos to share with you. Sorry.

But let's face it, when you're cooking, you're cooking . . . not being a photographer. Unless you're from Green Kitchen Stories (my favorite new food blog with ah-mazing photography) in which case you not only cook stunningly healthy foods, but also take fabulous photos of it as you go along. Oh, and you live in Sweden and when you have a baby you both get at least 6-months PAID paternity/maternity leave and take your newborn and travel all around the world. I'm not jealous at all. (Seriously, check out their blog.)

  • Quinoa Spinach Bake (by Martha Stewart) with a side of Kale & Braggs 
    • Would definitely make this again. I did not use rosemary (personal preference), and didn't have fresh thyme. I did add jalapeños which I think kicked up the flavors a bit. 
  • Stuffed Bell Peppers with Lentils, Bulgar, Quinoa, Squash, Garlic & Jalapeño 
    • I don't have a recipe for this, but basically: sautéed onions, garlic and jalapeño, roasted cubed squash with olive oil, salt/pepper and paprika, tossed everything together with the cooked lentils and bulgar, added cumin, red pepper flakes and thyme, stuffed it all into peppers and topped it with mature cheddar cheese. They were good, but not my favorite. I think I needed to cook the peppers longer to make it really work. 
  • Homemade Pizzas (okay, I bought the dough)
    • Whole wheat dough was from the grocery store, rolled out two cookie sheet size pizzas, topped with olive oil, garlic, basil, mozzarella, sweet corn and capers. Yum!
  • Fajita Style Burritos (no recipe needed)
    • You know, just sauté  a bunch of veggies on the stove, warm up some beans, season the lot with cumin and garlic,  and make some super garlicky guacamole to go on top. We add tomatoes, spinach and salsa to ours because that's how we roll. Oh and cheese because um . . . CHEESE!
  • Winter Minestrone by The Barefoot Contessa
    • Great recipe. I (obviously) omitted the pancetta, and substituted chicken stock with veggie stock since we're veggie. Since I'd used the squash earlier in the stuffed bell peppers I added sweet corn to the soup. Next time I'd stick to the squash though as I think the corn added too much of a chewy texture. Otherwise I followed the recipe and loved it. The dry white wine really adds a unique flavor and has me interested in trying more recipes with wine in them.
  • Double Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Pecan Cookies by ME!
    • A remake of the cookies I made this past December. Even better this time though, and I swear it's due to the imported semi-sweet chocolate chips my loving mother-in-law brought to me! Truly. Makes a difference, I'm tellin ya!
  • Cinnamon Rolls from All Recipes
    • I made these on Friday night, and then let them sit overnight on the counter for their 2nd rise (most people refrigerate them, but they won't fit in our tiny fridge so the counter it was!). I halved the recipe since we need two trays of cinnamon rolls like we need another hole in the head. The dough is great. Lovely to work with, rises nicely, tastes a bit sweet, a bit savory. The filling I could have added a bit more too since it was good, but I think needed a bit more. I added chopped walnuts, and next time would use pecans, and more of them. I think maybe more cinnamon too. The recipe calls for cream cheese when you make the frosting, but since I didn't have any I just made a white sugar frosting with butter and milk. It was nothing but sweet, and so I think next time I'd either use the suggested cream cheese or make more of a glaze and have it soak into the rolls instead of having it sit just on top. They must be good enough to eat because we had 12 rolls yesterday morning, and there are only 3 left (it's Sunday morning). 

Cinnamon Rolls, 2nd Rise - Unbaked

Devin's Photo of his Breakfast - Pure Joy

We joined some friends on Thursday night for a few drinks at The Elm Tree (easily one of my favorite pubs for a drink), and last night we tried a new Indian restaurant named Cocum, on Castle Street. Thank goodness for Indian food in this town, they are really the one place we can get good vegetarian food.

All in all a great week of food!
Hope you're inspired to do some cooking in your kitchen!
As always, thanks for reading!

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