Sunday, October 18, 2009

Spicy Vegetarian Chili

I have finally contributed to the Emily/Mandy Fall 2009 Bean-off! Since I feel like food bloggers always post their snotty little heirloom health food modification to recipes, I think you should all know that I made this with these lovely black and while spotted heirloom beans from Rancho Gordo ( and they were pretty.

The level of spiciness will depend on how much chili powder, and how many jalapeños you put in the chili. If you like things on the mild side, start with the smaller amounts of both, and add to taste. I used the lower bound of spiciness and it seemed fine.


  • 1 1-pound eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 2 large red bell peppers, cored, seeded, diced
  • 1 to 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded, finely minced (Taste and check the heat of the jalapeños. If very hot only use one, if mildly hot, use two. Wash hands with soap and water after handling. Do not rub eyes.)
  • 1 28-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped, including liquid (or 2 pounds fresh plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped)
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1-2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh chopped oregano or 2 teaspoons dried
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds (I hate fennel and did not use this)
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked white beans (1 15-ounce can, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked kidney beans (1 15-ounce can, drained and rinsed)
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro (can sub parsley if you have an aversion to cilantro)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Scatter eggplant cubes in a shallow roasting pan and slather with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for about 30 minutes, stirring once during the cooking. Remove from the oven and set aside.

2 In a large (5-6 quart) thick-bottomed Dutch oven, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute more. Add the red bell peppers, zucchini, and jalapeño chili peppers. Cook for about 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

3 Add the tomatoes to the pot along with any liquid that may have been in the can (if using canned). Add oregano, cumin, and fennel seeds. Add chili powder to desired heat. Stir in the eggplant cubes (carefully as to not break them up), and simmer for 20 minutes over low heat.

4 Add the white beans and kidney beans, lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, and chopped cilantro. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Serve with sour cream (or yogurt), grated cheddar cheese, chopped green onions, and cilantro.

Serves 8-10.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mrs. Robertson's Delightful Pesto Sauce

2 cups fresh basil
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 cloves garlic crushed and peeled
1 teaspoon salt

Stir in (not blend, makes a big difference):
1/2 cup grated parmesan
2 tablespoons pecorino

Stir in vigorously:3 tablespoons softened butter

Sarita Austin's Spicy Squash Stew

Spicy Squash Stew

1 1/2 T. oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 garlic cloves –minced
½ t.salt-divided
1 T.curry
½ t. coriander (ground)
½ t. cinnamon
¼ t. red pepper
4 cups of butternut squash-peeled and cubed
1 3/4c. veggie broth
1 (14.5oz) can of diced tomatoes-undrained
1 can of chickpeas, drained
3 cups fresh spinach
1 can of light coconut milk
¼ cup of chopped cilantro
1 T. lime juice

Cook onion (till tender) over med-high heat in canola oil. Add garlic,1/4 t.salt-cook 1 minute. Add curry, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and pepper. Cook 2 minutes stirring constantly.

Stir in squash, broth, and tomatoes-bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until squash is slightly tender. Stir occasionally.

Stir in remaining salt and chickpeas. Uncover and simmer 8 minutes –until veggies are tender. Add spinach and coconut milk-cook 2 minutes.

Remove from heat. Stir in cilantro and juice.
Serve immediately-yum
(FYI-I usually increase the broth and spinach)

8 servings

Dan -I love to cook so much and share recipes-this is totally cool.

Love you,

Monday, October 12, 2009

Don't try this alone...

I made this one night last week when I was home all by my lonesome and bored to death. I then proceeded to feel sick to my stomach for the next two days because I ate half the loaf in the two hours following its exit from the oven. I really would make this only in circumstances where you will not be left in the room with it alone, unsupervised, for more than 20 minutes.

Glazed Lemon Bread Recipe

Tip: eggs rise better when they are at room temp. If you are pressed for time and have cold eggs, put them in a bowl of warm water (not hot, warm) for a few minutes before using.


  • 4 ounces (1 stick, 8 Tbsp) butter, softened*
  • 1 cup minus 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 eggs (room temp)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder


  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp honey

* Do not soften butter in microwave. Either leave a stick of butter on kitchen counter for an hour, or place between two pieces of wax paper and rollout with a rolling pin to soften.


1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 4x8-inch loaf pan.

2 Beat the butter until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and honey, continue to beat until creamy, a few minutes more. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition to incorporate. On low speed, slowly beat the milk in. Do not worry if the mixture looks a little curdled. Mix in lemon zest.

3 Sift together the flour, salt, cardamom, baking powder. Add to the wet ingredients, beating until smooth.

4 Place batter in prepared pan and bake for 1 hour at 350°F.

5 While the lemon bread is baking, prepare the glaze. Heat the glaze ingredients - lemon juice, sugar, honey - in a small saucepan until the sugar is completely dissolved.

6 Once you have removed the bread from the oven, poke holes all over the top with a thin skewer (this will help the glaze penetrate). Spoon the glaze over it while the bread is still in the pan and is still hot. Let cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan and slicing to serve.

Makes one loaf.

The carrot cake that won my desk...

Hi all!

Hopefully this blog will work, I'm pretty pumped about it. I figured I'd start out with the only important recipe I've used recently: Paula Dean's carrot cake. Not exactly healthy, but certainly delicious...

Sweet Baby Jack Carrot Cake

Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

Prep Time:
20 min
Inactive Prep Time:
5 min
Cook Time:
30 min
16 servings


  • Butter, for greasing pans
  • Flour, for dusting pans

For the cake:

  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 (4-ounce) jars strained carrot baby food
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

For the frosting:

  • 1/2 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (16-ounce) box confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour 3 (8 or 9-inch) cake pans.

For the cake:

Mix together the flour, cinnamon and sugar in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and blend well with a handheld electric mixer for about 2 minutes. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes. Invert onto lint-free dishcloth, or waxed paper, and allow to cool completely.

For the frosting:

Mix all ingredients with handheld electric mixer and blend until smooth and creamy.

Frost layers, top, and sides of cooled cake.