My First Dollar Dish and a Guest Blogger

May 2nd, 2008

Yesterday, my sister took her last exam! In a few short weeks, she will graduating from college. In the fall, she will begin law school at Carolina! I am very proud of her and all her accomplishments! GO RESA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In honor of her finishing her collegiate career, I wanted to share with you her entry into my Dollar Dish Duel

Like my sister, when I first came up with the Dollar Dish Duel, I immediately thought of Ramen. The go to of college students all around because it is very inexpensive and filling…So, I decided to jazz up Ramen. But how?

Ginger came to mind as a flavorful and inexpensive spice. I bought a piece of fresh ginger root that was about two inches long for three cents!!! For a protein, I decided upon tofu ($1.79) and grabbed a cheap bunch of green onions ($.69) for some added flavor. I ended up going with Rice Noodles ($1.98) in lieu of Ramen just because they looked interesting. This all came to $4.40. From my pantry, I took leftover soy sauce packets, honey and some vegetable oil. Overall, I was satisfied with my creation. The flavors worked really well. The ginger was strong enough to flavor the tofu but not too overpowering. Next time I would use extra firm tofu because my tofu crumbled easily. I would also make the oil hotter and fry the tofu. So there is my first dollar dish! Stay tuned…more to come!

It is not to late to enter my Dollar Dish Duel. Deadline is May 5th! Round-up on May 7th! Click on the Logo for more details!

Ginger-Green Onion Tofu Noodles

1 tablespoon Ginger, minced
1 bunch Green Onions, chopped
2 packets Thai Rice Noodles
1 12 oz. package Firm Tofu

3 staples:
1 tablespoon Honey
4 tablespoons Soy Sauce from packets leftover from takeout
2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil

1. Slice the tofu into one inch cubes.
2. Mix tofu with soy sauce, ginger and honey. Let sit for 30 minutes.
3. In a fry pan, heat oil over medium heat and sautee the green onions.
4. Add tofu mixture and cook until browned.
5. Make Rice Noodles, discarding seasoning packets, according to instructions.
6. Drain water from noodles.
7. Mix with tofu mixture and enjoy!

P.S. How to easily remove the skin from the ginger? Take a spoon and scrape off the skin. Comes off very easily so you can grate or chop the ginger.

Dollar Dish Duel Update and some Olive-Thyme Bread!!

April 23rd, 2008

First, an update regarding my Dollar Dish Duel. We have a logo thanks to my boyfriend. I was always joking that I needed to date a man who could help me with my blog. Well, the blogging gods answered my prayers with this one. We spent a very romantic evening designing a little logo for my event. So, if you would like, please put the logo on your entry to help publicize the event. Thank you!

You are entering, right? Why wouldn’t you? You have a chance winning this awesome cookbook…

Ok, enough about the Duel. Let’s talk about this delicious bread that I have already dangled in front of you. Lately, I have been in what I like to call my European mood. I start craving warm fresh breads, rich soft cheeses, large crisp salads and some really good red wine. Maybe it is the beautiful spring weather that puts me into this mood. I just want to sit on my balcony basking in the sunshine with my meal or maybe not…

Monday it rained a lot! As I was trudging home from the metro, the water seeping into my ballerina flats and splashing up my legs, I fixated on the thought of warm fresh bread smothered in brie. In fact, I knew exactly which recipe I wanted to use. Vegeyum from A Life (time) of Cooking recently made a no-knead bread that would be ready in a little over an hour. Walking into my apartment, feeling like a drowned rat, I went quickly to the kitchen and put it all together. I had some olives and thyme left over from the Fig and Walnut Tapanede I made last week so that also went in. While the bread was rising, I ran to the store to grab the brie and salad fixin’s. I forewent the glass of wine this time knowing that I would be driving over to my boyfriend’s later for our Logo Designing Date. When I got back from the store, the bread was all ready to go. I threw it in the oven and fifteen minutes later, I had to use a great deal of self control not to burn my mouth. Thankfully, I have found that by the time you take some photos, your food is normal cool enough to eat. My roommates and I devoured it with the brie. A fabulous dinner! And yes, I even has some salad to feel semi-healthy, I swear!

Olive and Thyme Focaccia
(adapted from vegeyum’s My Deliciously Fast No Knead Focaccia)

3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 cups approx of tepid water
1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoon) rapid rise yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, chopped

1. Mix the sugar, 1/2 cup lukewarm water and the yeast with 1 Tablespoon of the flour, making a sponge, and let sit in a warm place for 15 minutes.
2. Mix the flour, yeast sponge, olives, thyme and enough of the remaining water to make a sticky dough.
3. Add additional water if you need it. The dough should be a little wetter than you would normally make dough.
4. Leave the dough to rise for 1 – 1.5 hours.
5. Place the risen dough on a bench and divide into two. Shape each on a tray with well oiled fingertips.
6. Bake in the oven at 500 degrees Fahrenheit around 10 – 15 minutes, or until cooked and lightly browned.
7. Eat while still warm.

P.S. Go to vegeyum’s post for more variations and tips. Her blog combines delicious food, exceptional photographs and cultural insights that I enjoy reading everyday. I would highly recommend checking it out.

A Dollar Dish Duel!!!

April 14th, 2008

In keeping with my motto of this blog, I decided to just go for it and start an event…So, I am announcing my DOLLAR DISH DUEL!!!!

As previously mentioned, inspired by an article in the New York Times entitled “5 Cooks, $40, 5 Dishes, 3 Desserts,” I want to challenge everyone to make a dish for $5 that must feed at least 2 people. So hit up a dollar store or be creative with what you can find at your local grocery store. Don’t live in the US? Convert to your currency here. In your post, please let us know the prices of your ingredients.

One exception: You may use 3 staples from your pantry (salt/pepper/oil or something like that).

Please email the entry to ginnygetsfloury AT gmail DOT com with “Dollar Dish Duel” in the subject line. Include the following information:

* Your name and location
* The name of your blog
* Your blog URL
* The URL for your post
* If you are not a blogger, please partcipate! Just email me the recipe, a description of how you came up with the dish and a picture if possible. (Mom, I think you should join in the fun!)

Deadline: May 5, 2008 (round-up soon afterwards)

UPDATE: The winner will receive The Improvisational Cook by Sally Schneider after my judges make their decision.

Ok, I refuse to never have a post without some food. I made this Fig and Walnut Tapenade with Goat Cheese last night for a dinner party. It was easy to make and a huge hit with my friends!

Fig and Walnut Tapenade with Goat Cheese
(adapted from

1 cup chopped stemmed dried Calimyrna figs
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives or other brine-cured black olives
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon drained capers
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts

2 5.5-ounce logs soft fresh goat cheese, each cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
Assorted breads and/or crackers

1. Combine chopped figs and 1/3 cup water in heavy medium saucepan.
2. Cook over medium-high heat until liquid evaporates and figs are soft, about 7 minutes. Transfer to medium bowl.
3. In a food processor, chop figs olives, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, capers, walnuts and chopped thyme.
4. Season tapenade to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.)
5. Arrange overlapping cheese rounds in circle in center of medium platter. Serve with breads and/or crackers.

P.S. Please spread the word on my event. A cute logo will hopefully follow soon!