Saturday, December 31, 2011

Bye 2011!

Robert Hutchison, in an address to the British Medical Association in 1930, once said "Vegetarianism is harmless enough though it is apt to fill a [hu]man with wind and self-righteousness."

What a year!  I must say, I'm glad to be putting it behind me.  Several highlights though, it's not that 2011 was a terrible year.  There are definitely some moments/events/times that I'm glad I won't be repeating, but all in all it went by so fast because we were so busy!  2012 is going to unpredictable and no doubt speedy as well.  Best part of this past year?  Rod's family coming to visit!!  What a great month!  Worst part?  Having to say good-bye to Lancelot.  Hm.  Still sad.

So, changing the subject before sap-head cries again, all other food bloggers I'm following are doing a sort of recipe round-up.  I might as well too.  I'm biased though, so I guess I can't be a good judge for the 'best in show' category.  What to do...  what... to... do...

Index!  To index everything, it will not only take forever, but it will also take up beaucoup amounts of space so just a few for each genre of meal.  The ones listed aren't my "favorites" by any means because, as mentioned above, I love all of them. Also, I apologize for the formatting, usually they are pleasantly left-justified but for some reason they only want to show up in the center or else I have to do some weird paragraphing and I don't want to risk screwing it up on the output.  Oh my, did I just geek out there for a second?

In no particular order...I make a lot of porridge and pancakes apparently.  Resolution?  Make new breakfast-type food stuffs!


Brekkie Cranberry Oats (with a quick pita pizza)

Crispy Coconut Almond Pancakes

Pumpkin Pancakes


Macadamia Poppy Granola

Omelette (c'est French)

Though most of what I make is targeted to be "quick" and hopefully "light" I figure some can be sub-categorized as quicker/lighter...

Key Lime Pie Raw-ra Bars

Burrito Rapido!

Sun-dried Tomato Cashew Spread and Roasted Pepper Spread

Unbelievable BBQ Sauce

We love bread... a lot.  I love variety on my plate... combined, many side dishes!

Focaccia Fantastica

Savory Donuts: Leek and Rosemary

Potato Cakes

Fiesta Rice
Cream of Broccoli--and Sesame Too!

Cheezy Rolls

So many to choose from!  Alas, I have picked but a few for your review... hope you try something out and if you do, please leave a comment!

Pastel de Choclo and Empanadas de Queso (Chilean Independence Dinner, 2 recipes)

Roasted Garlic Crunchy Risotto

Spaghetti con Cojones

Sesame Crusted Chick'n

What a Jerk Seitan Is... Peas-ful Bulgur-ity and Purdy Plaintains

The winners every time... They seem to get the most attention, and why shouldn't they?  I have a pretty gnarly sweet tooth.

PineGin LemLoaf

 Crunchie Bar Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate Berry Layer Cake

Alfajores (Chilean Independence Dessert)

Banana Cashew Cookie Ice Cream

Chocolate Donuts with Chocolate Glaze

Creamy Chocolate Lime Pie

Candied Pecans

Blueberry Almond Sugar Cookies

And with that, I stop.  I wish you all the best in 2012!  Many more recipes will be joining the ranks here at Self Righteousness 'n Gas  :-)

Friday, December 30, 2011

Potato Hash with Cheeze

Pictured above.... documentation of the moment when I realized my processor had kicked it.  I was devastated.  Not only did I no longer have the best kitchen appliance ever to make my life easier, but I had to "mince" four potatoes by hand!  It was early, I had envisioned a potato hash for breakfast... and I was really looking forward to the texture the processor would give the taters.  Sniff...

Chopping by hand was ok, and they still had a cool texture, but 'been there, done that,' so I wasn't as impressed as I would have been with the alternative.  Had the alternative been functional.  Oh I am so sad!  I miss my processor every day. I think, today I will make a mousse! Oh, wait... no I won't.  Or, I think, ah ha! Today is omelet day! Oh, no... no it's not.  Or, mince 6 cloves of garlic?  No problem! Oh, wait... yes... problem... won't happen so fast and my fingers will carry the scent of garlic for the next 18 hours...


Enough self-pity! Because guess what I got for Christmas???? A grown-up processor!!
Isn't it purdy?  Thanks Santa!!  I'm keeping it in the box until after we move so that I don't have to pack it back up.  First recipe?  Nutella, yo!  Though my life is about to get crazy busy, this appliance will make eating at home a lot easier.  It even has a dough blade, a slicing AND a shredding disc, dishwasher safe parts (woot!) and best of all?  5 year motor warranty and 3 year [limited] entire unit warranty.  I'm really stoked... simple things...

On to Potato Hash with Cheeze!
3-4 servings

4 medium potatoes, finely chopped
2 tsp oil
1 flaxseed "egg" (1 TBS flaxseed meal/ground + 2 TBS water, mix and set aside)
Extra water as needed
2 tsp dried thyme
1 sprinkle cayenne for a kick
2 TBS cheeze sauce per serving to top... optional of course.

1. Put on some rockin' music and chop those taters.
2. Heat oil over medium heat in a large pan.
3. Add the potatoes when they are finally ready.

4. Stir frequently for about 7 minutes, until they start releasing their juices and are becoming more translucent.
5. Add the flaxseed mix and stir.
6. Cover the pan and let it cook about 15 minutes, til potatoes seemed cook through.  Definitely stir often and add some water if they feel like they are sticking to the pan.
7. Sprinkle in the thyme and stir well.  Dish it out and top with cheeze and a dash of cayenne!
Despite my short-term depression, I was able enjoy this meal.

I do miss my processor though.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Blueberry Almond Sugar Cookies

Sometimes you just need a sweet cookie.  Of course, as with all things, these totally didn't last.  I used to scale recipes down to only make a few cookies (2 or 4) to avoid temptation... Maybe I should get back into that habit...
These came about from a desire to use some of the dried blueberries I have for breakfast muesli mixes.  Along the way I reached for the vanilla and saw the almond extract and the lightbulb went off.  Great decision!  I'm not sure if the almond flavor would be good with other dried fruit, but I'm excited to make these again with dried apricots.  For those I'll probably use vanilla.  


These are really light in color, but they firm up after cooling so don't be fooled!  You can easily overbake cookies like these.  They look like they flattened out but didn't bake.  This is a trick!  I also bet they'd be great with oat or spelt flour.  Oooh... maybe coconut flour, coconut flakes and vanilla extract with maybe dried mango or papayas for the fruit.  I'm getting distracted... sorry!

About 16 cookies

1/2 cup margarine
3/4 cup sugar
1 flax "egg" (1 TBS flaxseed meal with 3 TBS water, premixed and set aside to do it's thang)
1 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp almond extract
1/4 cup dried blueberries

1. Mix the flaxseed meal with water and set aside.  Heat oven to 350F.  In a large bowl, mix the margarine and sugar until fluffy.  I don't have a beater, but my arm got a work out!

2. Add in the flour, baking powder, salt, almond extract, and flax egg.  

Mix well til creamy.  Then add the blueberries.

3.  Measure out about 1 TBS or so onto a cookie sheet lined with awesome parchment paper.  Evenly space them, these will definitely spread out.

4. Bake for 12 minutes at 350F.  Remove and let them cool a bit before moving to a wire rack or just eating.

I couldn't tell you how long they'd last in an airtight container but my guess is 30 minutes. ;-)  Probably a few days... if you have willpower!
 Yummy... enjoy!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Curried Taters and Outsourced Tech Support Rice

It was either "Not Native American, but the Other Kind of"-Rice but it was too long.  Therefore, the panelists ruled in favor of a shorter name.

This recipe came about by chance.  I had tangerines from that illustrious Groupon and was completely clueless about what to do with them.  I came across numerous recipes for cakes, and I almost went that way. But by way of extreme coincidence a blogger I'm subscribed to surprised me on the morn of my Tangerine Cupcake Recipe Modification Adventure Day (which may have ended up being mini donuts) with a recipe entitled Spicy Zesty Curried Potatoes.  The picture drew me in, but then I saw that the ingredients included tangerine or orange zest and I was sold.  Conveniently, I also had the rest of the ingredients.  My next adventure was to make some form of complimentary rice.  I found this recipe and proceeded to get all the missing ingredients, which were all whole versions of seed-type spices since apparently I only own ground.

I modified both recipes, so read below for my mods!  And I also make a lot of rice in anticipation of having some on hand since it takes FOR.EV.UH. to make brown rice.  On that note, you might want to time how long the rice takes to time it with the curried taters since those take almost an hour in the oven.  So, really, this is a recipe that requires a major time investment, but super low on the labor intensity scale.  Super low.  Perfect for a marathon of a sitcom... like Parks and Recreation...

2 servings of the potatoes, and rice is approximately 1 cup each of cooked rice... or whatever you want!

Curried Taters
2 medium sized potatoes, chopped (I leave the peels on)
1 medium onion, chopped
1" fresh ginger root, grated
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 cup milk with 1 tsp white vinegar (mixed early and set aside to make "buttermilk"
Tangerine! zest from two tangerines, and their juice (be mindful, these buggers are seedy)
pinch of salt
sesame seeds (optional, and I recommend toasting them early if you remember to)

Enough brown rice to feed a small army... or however much you want.
2 cinnamon sticks
4 whole cloves
2 cardamom pods or 1 tsp ground cardamom
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seed
1/2 tsp cumin seed
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
3 chopped garlic cloves
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp garam marsala (optional)
pinch salt and pepper

1. Make the "buttermilk" to let it sit and get ready...  Also, heat the oven to 400F.  Hopefully you have an awesome rice cooker that will make the rice ahead of time with no worries... If so (and really, even if not), prepare brown rice how you normally would, except add in the cinnamon sticks, whole cloves and cardamom pods, if you have them.  If not, the ground stuff can be added in a later step.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the Tater dish.  Chop the onions and potatoes.  In a small bowl mix the ginger, red pepper flakes, garlic, curry powder and buttermilk.

3. Mix the taters and onions in an 8x8" baking dish, drizzle with some oil and stir to coat.  Add the spicy milk mixture and toss to coat.  Add the coriander seeds and tangerine zest, plus juice.  Toss to coat.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

4. Cover with foil and bake for about 40 minutes, until potatoes are tender.  You may want to stir them about halfway through.

5. Remove the foil, stir and return to the hot oven and bake an additional 10 minutes to dry it out a little.

6. When the rice is ready...remove the cinnamon, cloves and cardamom pods. Toast the sesame seeds in a heated pan if you want to before adding anything to the frying pan.  Otherwise, heat a tsp of oil in a frying pan.  Add the mustard seed and the cumin seed.  Let them start popping.

7. Add the rice (enough for what you are serving) and the garlic.  Stir it around and mix it up well.  Add the red pepper flakes and turmeric powder, and any salt n' pepa that you might want (plus the cardamom powder if you haven't yet).  Stir it up, little darling.

Eventually you end up with awesome looking rice.  Stir in the garam marsala just before serving.

8. To serve, provide a bed of Outsourced Tech Support Rice:

Then top with the Curried Taters:

Sprinkle sesame seeds on top and enjoy!  Total yum!!