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Archive for the ‘Easy!’ Category

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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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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Chip(w)iches

Cookies are yummy. Ice cream is yummy. Chipwiches are ALSO yummy! Saucy and Emily cooked up a double batch of Amanda’s classic oatmeal chocolate chippies today–half of which Christina took to a work party, and half of which we kept for chipwiching or straight up cookie consumption.

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The perfect dessert to follow a dinner of leftover risotto!

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C on the C

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If you ask Saucy, nothing says summer like corn on the cob. We are self-proclaimed experts at corn choosing, husking, cooking, and eating. It’s the perfect addition to just about any summer dish and especially perfect when enjoyed on the roof deck as the sun goes down. To celebrate summer, we made our signature pizza (homemade dough topped with asparagus, goat cheese, and sliced tomatoes), a tomato and cucumber salad, and fresh corn on the cob. We trekked up to the roof, wine in hand, and enjoyed a great dinner. In fact, according to renowned food critic dmo, “dinner was so dank”. Need we say more?

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There are certain foods that just taste better at home: monkey bread, chocolate chip cookies, and, of course, Gram’s pancakes.

A few weeks ago my mom threw a little graduation brunch for yours truly. I made banana crunch muffins and sour cream coffee cake. Mom made baked eggs florentine, baked french toast, and monkey bread (duh!) Everything was delicious and quickly eaten up.

banana crunchies

banana crunchies

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Ina Garten’s Banana Crunch Muffins

3 cups flour

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

½ pound unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2 large eggs

¾ cup whole milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 bananas)

1 cup medium-diced ripe bananas (1 banana)

1 cup small-diced walnuts

1 cup granola

1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into bowl and whisk. Add melted butter and blend. Combing the eggs, milk, vanilla, and mashed bananas and add them to the flour mixture. Do not overmix. Fold the diced bananas, walnuts, granola, and coconut into the batter. Spoon batter into paper-lined muffin tin and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until tops are golden brown.

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monkey bread

monkey bread

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I was just in New Jersey staying with my little brother for a few days and there was a strange lack of cookies in the house. (For those of you who know my stepmother, you also know that there are usually sixteen different types of cookies to choose from at any given time.) Obviously this was an issue, but Veraldi’s have pretty good problem solving skills so we were whipping up our own batch in no time. I used Baking Illustrated’s recipe for thick and chewy chocolate chip cookies and we threw in some peanut butter chips too. Please note the new jagged edge cookie technique outlined below. Loves it. Cookies were dunked into glasses of milk soon after being removed from the oven and our cookie cravings were satisfied.

please note the jagged edge technique

please note the jagged edge technique

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm

1 cup packed brown sugar

½ cup sugar

1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 ½ cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325F. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together and set aside. Cream butter and sugars until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla and blend until combined. Slowly add flour mixture and blend until just combined. Stir in the chips.

Roll a scant ¼ cup of the dough into a ball. Hold the dough ball with the fingertips of both hands and pull into 2 equal halves. Rotate the halves 90 degrees and, with the jagged surfaces facing up, join the halves together at their base, again forming a single ball, being careful not to smooth the dough’s uneven surface. Place the formed dough balls on the prepared baking sheets, jagged surface up, spacing them 2 ½ inches apart.

Bake until edges have begun to harden but center is still soft and puffy, about 15-18 minutes.

ready for dunking

ready for dunking

The next morning Robbie and I drove over to my Gram’s house for pancakes. Cooked to order (I like mine batter-y in the middle, don’t ask.) and with optional blueberries, they were better than any pancakes elsewhere. Leftovers were, of course, thrown to the squirrels.

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lucky squirrels!

lucky squirrels!

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Today marks the 25th anniversary of my sister’s entrance into the world. Wow! Though she is having a mini fête to celebrate tonight, I am currently en route to Philadelphia to attend some celebrations of my own and to spend some QT with mommy. But my favorite sister’s birthday is still my favorite sister’s birthday so I invited her over last night for dinner. I wanted to use up the left over squash, zucchini, and tomatoes from Saucy creations earlier this week and so I sauteed those three with shallots and garlic then tossed with orecchiette. The result was yummy but simple, perhaps a bit too plain for those who aren’t straight-up-veggie lovers like I am. Next time I’ll try to make it a little more…saucy! For dessert I made a raspberry buttermilk cake that I had seen on Smitten Kitchen. The pasta might have been plain but the cake was perfect and really hit the spot. Dinner and dessert were followed by coffee, some people watching, and a birthday kiss on the cheek before Dana hopped on a subway back downtown. Happy birthday sister! I love you!!

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Raspberry Buttermilk Cake

1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (optional)
1 large egg
1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 cup fresh raspberries (about 5 oz)

Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy then blend in vanilla, lemon zest, and egg. Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk to the butter mixture and mix until combined. Pour into a greased and floured cake pan. Place raspberries evenly on top then sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool and enjoy!

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