Waste not…

October 5th, 2008

A challenge to living alone is the inevitable problem of leftovers. It seems that no matter how hard I try to half, third, or fourth recipes, I always end up with too much food. Not wanting to waste any food, I find that I am eating the same thing for the next couple days. It gets so boring! This quiche was born out of this problem…

Last week, I had some italian parsely going bad in the fridge so I made some pesto. For those “How I Met Your Mother” fans out there, you will notice that I added peanuts just like Ted did a few episodes ago. It is a really different and interesting twist. I liked it alot. After having pasta and pesto for three days, I still had so much pesto left. What was I going to do?

I decided upon this Italian inspired quiche using more leftovers from my fridge…onions, cheese and tomatoes. Overall, I liked it. The pesto and cheese worked well together without being too over powering. Next time, I would add more vegetables. Of course, now I have an entire quiche to eat…and I still have more pesto! Ah, so this is why freezers were invented?

Ginny’s Pesto Quiche
(based on a recipe from Joy of Cooking)

1 pie crust
3 tablespoon pesto (see below for a recipe)
8 oz. of cherry tomatoes, sliced in fourths
1/2 onion, chopped
1 1/2 cup Five Italian Cheese mix, Shredded (or you cheese of choice)
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

1. Heat oven to 375°F.
2. In a prepared pie crust, spread the pesto on the bottom of the crust.
3. Sprinkle with the tomatoes, onions and cheese.
4. In bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, salt and pepper together.
5. Pour over the other ingredients in the pie pan.
6. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the center is set.

Italian Parsley Pesto
1 bunch of Italian Parsley (about 3 cups)
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup Peanuts
1 cup Parmesan
3 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

1. Place all ingredients in the food processor and mix until smooth.
2. Add more olive oil as needed.

Farfalle for my friend…

September 28th, 2008

So, here I am in a new city…living alone…and it is hard sometimes!  I miss having a roommate to hang out with and cook for…sure, I have my friends but there is something to be said for the impromptu dinner date with L.   Who is L you might ask? Well, L is my roommate, best friend, and official taste tester. We were thrown together freshman year of college as random roommates and just clicked. Over the years, we have shared a lot and she has helped me through many issues with school, boys and life. After college, she moved to DC, where I soon followed. That year, we did not live together but she started dating my neighbor so I still saw her quite frequently. She was the one I first tried my chocolate souffles on…as we sat there giggling with a bottle of champagne. Last year, we lived together again…as I was moving and everything, I ignored the fact that this was the end of us as roommates. We still talk weekly but I miss her. I was thinking about her today when I made this pasta.  She loves farfalle pasta!  The recipe is adapted from the September issue of Saveur, which came unexpectedly in the mail yesterday. If they want to send me a free magazine, I’ll take it!

Pasta with Tuna

1/2 pound of pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon red crushed pepper
2 garlic clove, chopped
1 can of tuna
1 tablespoon chives, chopped
1 tablespoon Parmesan

1. Make the pasta according to the directions, reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.
2. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Cook the garlic and red crushed peppers until the garlic is tender.
3. Heat the tuna until warmed through.
4. Add reserved pasta water and toss in the pasta.
5. Cook until the pasta sauce thickens.
6. Stir in the chives and sprinkle with the parmesan.

P.S.  A friend sent me links to this guy on youtube who gets really creative with vegetables.  It is worth checking out!

I think I’ve gone Bananas…for Bloggin’

February 20th, 2008

Tomorrow, my blog will turn one month (and my grandfather 80…Happy Birthday Nonno!). How crazy is that? I must admit…I am hooked. It challenges me to be creative, learn new skills (such as html code), and try new recipes plus I love the community of the foodie blog world that I have joined. My friends and family have been very supportive by listening to me blab on and on about what I am learning, patiently refraining from eating my models while I take pictures and emailing me constructive comments. Thank you all.

I do not want to lose sight of my purpose to impart some easy recipes and tips for the 20-somethings who just want to make some good food. I grew up making this banana bread recipe. It is very easy and it is a huge hit. I have friends from college who still ask for my banana bread. It is the best way to use up over ripe bananas, because who really can eat all those bananas before they go bad? Not this single woman. I like to wait until they have turned black but before they go bad (a.k.a. moldy). We tend to freeze the bananas, as they become too ripe, so that I can use them when that craving for banana bread hits. Unfortunately, there is only one decent photo, because, as Peabody warned, beige food does not photograph well. But it tastes better than my picture looks and is really easy to make…

Banana Bread
(adapted from Betty Crocker recipe for Nut Bread)

1 cup mashed bananas (2-3 super ripe bananas)
2 ½ cup all-purpose four
1 cup sugar
3 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Heat oven to 350°F.
2. Grease and flour a 9x5x3 loaf pan.
3. Mash up the bananas using a potato masher or fork.
4. Mix in the remaining ingredients, until everything has been incorporated.
5. Pour into pans and bake for 65 to 75 minutes or until a knife/ tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean. To prevent it from burning, towards the end of the baking time, place a piece of aluminum foil loosely over the bread.
6. Remove from pan; cool thoroughly before slicing.

P.S. Do you like chocolate or nuts in your banana bread? Mix 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1/2 cup of chopped pecans/walnuts or both with the other ingredients before pouring it in the pan.