Culinary Mad Libs plus a Giveaway

April 19th, 2010

It is another Culinary Mad Libs post… a request for more ingredients and a giveaway… a lot to cover… so little time… first, I will be giving away a wonderful prize supplied by CSN Stores which sells everything from entertainment centers to cookware.  Thank you for sponsoring this giveaway.

A little while ago I invented Culinary Mad Libs to get my creativity going… My readers gave me some wonderful suggestions to start off with and I made Asparagus-Prosciutto-Chervil Ravioli…  Tonight, I used the ingredients of lentil (Foodcents), Sweet Potato (Resa) and Cinnamon (Juan) to make lentil burgers with sweet potato fries.

What an amazing dinner that really stretched me out of my comfort zone.  Lentil burgers are delicious.  I just wish I had the ingredients from Kevin’s Remoulade Sauce to put on top. I halved the recipe and got five good size patties out of it.

For the sweet potato fries, I cut a sweet potato into strips, mixed with olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon curry powder and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper until all the pieces were coated. Then roasted at 400 for about 45 minutes.

So, I’m hooked on the idea of Culinary Mad Libs and now, I need your help to continue my culinary adventures— here is how it works- leave me ingredients to work with in the comment section… in the following order… 1) Protein; 2) Vegetable/Fruit; 3) Spice/Herb… then repeat… in other words, if you leave the first comment, please include a protein.  The second comment, a vegetable and so on…

In addition, until next Wednesday, leaving an ingredient comment will enter you into my giveaway.  Also, if you retweet this and let me know, you will get an additional entry.  Unfortunately, the prize can only be shipped to the US or Canada but, hopefully, you will still participate… oh yes, what is the prize you ask…

A beautiful Le Creuset 14″ Oval Baking Dish…sigh!  I want one!  and, hopefully, you do too… so what should I cook next?

Just Improvising…

March 17th, 2010

cooking with Juan makes me happy… well, Juan makes me happy… there is just some special about making dinner together… sharing something I enjoy with him… plus, he is always agrees to cut the onions for me… I think I’m gonna keep him… we recently came up with this creation… it was delicious…

Ginny and Juan’s Pasta

1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tblsp. olive oil
1 can chopped tomatoes
about 1 1/2 cup chopped sausage (Alpine Sausage from Gene’s Sausage Shop)
garlic salt, pepper and italian seasoning to taste

In a saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute the onions and garlic. Add the tomatoes and heat through. Add the sausage and season to taste. Throw over some pasta and top with cheese.

Pasta e Fagioli…

February 23rd, 2010

Certain recipes bring up memories… this one brings up two (well, now three)…

The first time I had Pasta e Fagioli, I was in Rome. One of my father’s colleagues lived there and she met me for lunch one day. We went to a small trattoria off the piazza near the Pantheon. It was small place… She ordered for us… a classic Roman meal… starting with pasta e fagioli… it was delicious! Something I would have never chosen myself and I loved it. I tried to go to the trattoria a couple other times during my time in Rome but… it was never open again… one of those little places that only the locals know when it is open…

The second time, my co-worker called me… “My mom gave me some pasta fazool, I’m coming over!”… As the two Italians in the office, we bonded quickly and became really good friends… her mom’s was also delicious… sprinkled with a lot of parm… we sat around eating and sipping wine…

For Christmas, my mother (a.k.a. Santa) gave me Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan. Flipping through it, I saw her Pasta e Fagioli recipe and decided to give it a shot. I made this for our New Year’s Eve dinner… Juan’s sister doesn’t eat meat so I made it meat-free… it was great… I’m sending it over to My Legume Love Affair #20 started by the Well-Seasoned Cook.  Check out the round-up.

Pasta e Fagioli
(recipe from here)

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped onion
3 tablespoons chopped carrot
3 tablespoons chopped celery
2/3 cup plum tomato, chopped with juices
1 cup dried cranberry beans, soaked and cooked
3 cups (closer to 4) vegetable broth
Salt and Pepper
1/2 pound tublar macaroni
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoons parm

1. Put the olive oil in a large stock pot, cook the onions until tender at medium heat.
2. Add the carrot and celery, cooking for about ten minutes.
3. Add the cut-up tomatoes with juices and bring to a simmer for about 20 minutes.
4. Add the beans and stir for about 5 minutes.
5. Add the broth and bring to a boil.
6. Add the salt and pepper to taste.
7. If there is a lot of broth, then cook the pasta in it. If not, add more broth and bring to a boil. Cook until the pasta is tender. (I did not add anymore broth and it was less on the soupy side but still delicious. I would probably cook the pasta separately).
8. Serve with parm.