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Archive for August, 2009

Falalalalalafel

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Last week Dan and I were finally able to cross something off our to-do list: make falafel. We had attempted this over two years ago and it was a complete disaster – the batter fell apart immediately upon hitting the oil, leaving us with chickpea mush that, while still tasty, was just not what we were going for. With that experience in mind, we took a step back and made falafel patties-some baked, some lightly fried. They weren’t the deep-fried crispy falafel balls that we’re use to but were yummy nonetheless. We’ll leave the deep frying to the experts.

Falafel

1 15 ounce can of garbanzo beans, drained and dried as much as possible
2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 small white onion, diced
1-2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
2 tablespoons flour

Combine everything but the garbanzo beans in a blender and blend until smooth. Add the chickpeas and pulse until incorporated but batter is still slightly chunky–this will help the balls/patties retain their shape. Form the mixture into patties that are about 2 inches in diameter and half an inch thick. Lightly fry in heated oil, flipping once the bottom begins to brown or bake on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper at 400F for about 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.

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Saucy Mini Reunion

After weeks of cooking separately, Saucy has been reunited. We spent Sunday afternoon lounging and recovering from Amanda’s birthday festivities on Saturday night before reluctantly dragging ourselves off of couches (and a chaise lounge) for a quick grocery run. Of course it had started to pour just minutes before our revival of energy but we put our game faces on and headed outside anyway. We returned home with zucchini, peas, asparagus and diced tomatoes — all of which would become supporting actors to the fresh whole wheat pasta we had waiting in the refrigerator. The veggies were sauteed in butter and a bit of garlic, the diced tomatoes were simmered with a bit of milk, and then all was tossed with the pasta.
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After work on Monday we met at Westside Market to have a quick chat with our bff, Omar, and pick up ingreeds for a quick salmon salad. We went for a run and put together the salad upon our return home: a bed of Boston lettuce topped with honey-mustard grilled salmon, sauteed red onions, celery, and green beans. High-5-Fiber bread with goat cheese on the side, duh.

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Buttermilk Batter!

Buttermilk Batter!

Saturday Morning at Dittmann Casa

Saturday Morning at Dittmann Casa

My little helper Thomas

My Little Helper Thomas

yum!

Yum!

My other helper Isabelle! Check out those great aprons made by Amanda!

My other helper Isabelle! Check out those great aprons made by Amanda!

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“schmear”

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colorful tomatoes at bryn mawr’s baby farmer’s market

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Saucy enthusiast Beth showing off her goods

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pesto with artichokes made by jay

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rufus swims!

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Saucy as mermaids

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wooofus 😀

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tofu lettuce wraps for my birthday dinner made by barry

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isabelle eats a mini sandwich for lunch

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fresh spinach pasta

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While browsing nytimes.com I came across a recipe for cold sesame noodles that had kitteh written all over it. Dan came over on Thursday and we whipped them up in a flash. It’s an extremely easy recipe, the only cooking that needs to be done is the pasta, so it’s no-air-conditioning-in-your-apartment friendly.

Cold Noodles with Sesame Sauce, Tofu, and Cucumbers

2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons soy sauce, or to taste
1 tablespoon rice vinegar

half of a large cucumber, seeded and cut into strips
half a block of extra firm tofu, cut into cubes
12 ounces long pasta
1/2 cup (or more!) minced scallions

Cook the pasta normally, until tender but not mushy. Rinse with cold water after straining. While the pasta is cooking, combine sauce ingredients and whisk together — adding hot water to thin the sauce until it’s the consistency of heavy cream. Sesame paste can be substituted for peanut butter (but why would you ever do that?!), and fresh ginger and/or hot sauce are optional. Toss the cooled pasta together with sauce, tofu, and cucumbers. Top with scallions!

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On Wednesday morning Christina and Amanda dragged themselves out of their upper west and lower east (respectively) beds and scurried to the Union Square Farmers Market for a 7:45am shopping date. We wandered lazily through the stands, eyed mounds of vegetables, smelled fresh herbs, and even observed some honey bees. Then we realized we were women on a mission: pick out some goodies for dinner that night and still make it to our offices on time. With a bunch of eggs, cream, and onion already on reserve we obviously settled with our easy saucy classic: quiche. In an effort to mix things up a bit we grabbed a few colorful tomatoes. The crates of fingerling potatoes were calling our name so we picked out a few and decided to pair them with green beans Amanda had at home. For the dinners we will be cooking separately for Saucy fans tonight we picked up a few more items–corn on the cob, squash and zucchini, and the longest scallions known to man. We picked up our shopping pace and were soon on our way to work.

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DSC04579Amanda’s favorite pre-work activity? Cradling giant zucchini babies.

After work, Christina met Amanda downtown and soon enough we had our quiche baking in the oven while our green beans and potatoes simmered in a sauce pan on the stove. To beat the heat of the kitchen, we sat on the fire escape with glasses of wine and took turns crawling back inside for a quick stir or two. When everything was ready we loaded our plates and headed back outside where we happily munched as the sun went down. 🙂

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Yogurt Zucchini Walnut Bread

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Today I snuck out of work early and joined Dana, mom, gram, aunt Bonnie, and Hope at the Natural History Museum. During the next hour and a half that was spent wandering through mammals, sea creatures, DumDum/GumGum/Gumby, and dinos I was hit with an overwhelming sense of under-the-weather-ness. Uh oh. So I skipped out on dinner (sorry fam!) and trudged home. I retired to my bed but still felt restless. Then, it hit me! All I probably needed to do was make the zucchini bread I had planned on making last night but never got around to doing. Silly me. I set to work, popped two mini loaves in the oven, and rested for another 45 minutes while they baked. My cure? Three (thin!!) slices of zucchini bread, one cup of tea, and one NYMag crossword.

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Yogurt-Zucchini Bread with Walnuts (from September 2009 Food & Wine)

1 cup walnut halves
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
1 cup coarsely grated zucchini (or finely chopped, if you’re like me and have no grater)

Preheat oven to 325F. Place the walnut halves in a pie pan and toast for about 8 minutes. Remove from oven, chop coarsley and freeze for 5 minutes until cool. Whisk together sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, and yogurt. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the sugar mixture then stir in grated zucchini and walnuts until evenly moistened. (*I also added cinnamon and nutmeg to jack up the flavor a bit…about 1/4 teaspoon of each!*) Pour batter into buttered-and-floured baking pans and bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes (if one large pan) or 45 minutes (if two smaller). Remove from oven and let cool before serving.

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