Brandy Sweet Potatoes

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To make brandy sweet potatoes, you need what it sounds like–brandy and some sweet potatoes.

Add a few walnuts and some brown sugar, bake for an hour at 400 degrees, and you’re done. easy.

 

 

You can either peel the sweet potatoes or not first–but either way this will be tasty. The walnuts automatically become candied when you toss them in the brandy and brown sugar mix. Just make sure the potatoes are cooked enough before you serve–you want them to be soft and easily pierced with a fork.

Breakfast Biscuit

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Now, this may be the most simple recipe I have ever posted. But sometimes we need simplicity, especially at breakfast-time, when we are coffee deprived and not feeling up to flipping pancakes. My secret for a quick breakfast is frozen biscuits. On non-lazy days, recipe for from-scratch biscuits coming soon.

The recipe:

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frozen biscuits

white cheddar slices

maple flavered Morningstar Farms soysauge

Directions: cook number of biscuits (follow package directions) based on number of hungry people in your household. Microwave soysauge until hot, add too sliced biscuit and top with cheddar. If you’re less lazy than me, top with an egg as well.

Jack’s Beanstalk Mojito Pitcher

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Once, when it was still summer, and all of us were complaining about the persistent humidity and heat, Liz and I had an entire evening dedicated to homemade mojitos. First step–get the largest, most ridiculous pitcher you have, or two separate pitchers. Even three pitchers. Because this recipe makes a lot. A lot.

Still this full after four pint glass drinks.

The Ingredients:

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One liter club soda

3 limes, cut into wedges

60-90 fresh mint leaves

1/2 bottle white rum, to taste

ice

Simple sugar to taste

 

Simple Sugar Recipe:

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Boil one cup water. Add one cup sugar and stir until dissolved. Easy! Leftovers will keep in fridge for eternity.

 

If this is your first time making a mojito from scratch, the first and only obstacle is crushing the mint leaves. This is a lot easier if you use something with a blunt, flat edge. So not a butter knife, but a wood spoon or a mortar and pestle, for instance. Do this in a bowl where you can crush the leaves against the sides. So, first step, crush the leaves with the lime wedges to release both juices (you can reuse the lime wedges as a garnish later). Slowly add all the liquids to your giant pitcher, but mix each proportionally and slowly and taste as you go. The list above is more about ingredients than exact measurements. Some people like no alcohol taste (not me, but you know, some people). Add the crushed mint leaves. If you want, strain them out after, but the flavor will be stronger if you leave them in. Let people add ice to their individual cups, and pour away.

Buffalo dip (cont’d)–endless recreations.

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Buffalo Quesadilla + Buffalo Pizza

So. This is yet another post about the many ways you can reuse your vegetarian buffalo dip. Two recipes for one, since I’ve been posting so little lately. If you want a completely different pizza from the below pear and gorgonzola, then start with buffalo pizza. It’s ruthlessly easy to make.

The [pizza] recipe:

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One pizza crust

One small can tomato sauce

Shredded cheddar cheese

Minced garlic

Morningstar Farms buffalo wings

Leftover buffalo dip

Pre-bake crust in oven for a few minutes. Then add the can of tomato sauce, but top with your favorite Italian seasonings (the flavor with bake into the sauce in the oven). You could also use a can of actual pizza sauce, but I find the canned route is more economical. Then cut thawed buffalo wings into chunks and sprinkle thoroughly on pizza. Complete by spreading the buffalo dip, which can be tricky if you don’t heat it up a little . Sprinkle with the cheddar. Cook in the oven until crust is browned, and toppings are bubbly with melted cheese.

The [quesadilla] recipe:

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1 Tortilla

1/4 cup cooked spanish rice

1 tsp. minced garlic

1/2 cup black beans

sliced red onion

Garnishes:

Cilantro, sour cream, salsa, cheddar, tomato

This is almost as easy as the pizza. There is the extra step of making the rice, but keep in mind this will be one wonderfully filling quesadilla. Combine the few ingredients onto half the open tortilla. Close shut, and grill in a pan on the stovetop, or if you’re lucky, use your cheating indoor grilling machine Mr. George Foreman. I found I didn’t need to top it with extra cheese, and it was great with  side of corn.

Pear and Gorgonzola Pizza

Okay, so I’ve had this whole pear and gorgonzola pizza thing figured out for a while. I’ll admit–I’ve made this several times and neglected to post the recipe. So I’m making it for a friend today. There is nothing better than being on a two week break and having endless free time to cook for people. And seeing Pavement, Boston,  and [possibly] skydiving. Summary: food+ travel+ adrenaline=quality vacation.

The Recipe:

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One pizza crust (homemade or bought)

2 packages of gorgonzola cheese crumbles

1/2 red onion, sliced

1-2 Bosc pears, sliced

1 tbsp. minced garlic

8 slices provolone cheese

Chopped walnuts

ranch dressing, to taste

Directions: Arrange the provolone on the crust, then the pears, and sprinkle with the remainder of ingredients. It’s easier to put the ranch on the side, rather than use it in excess like a sauce. Cook the pizza for about half the time and then add the walnuts last, because they easily burn.

This is one of those easy recipes that you can adjust. Less cheese, no ranch, add chives, use pecans, don’t use pecans. Make it however you like. Note: I used two pizza crust doughs to make one large pizza. Another trick is to stir in the garlic with the gorgonzola cheese first so that it gets evenly spread.

O R Z O

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Time for an Italian-esque vegan food post. Being me I was instantly intrigued by a vegan sauce themed blog I came across. Any themed blogs easily catch my foodtention. This trend started a while back with Dumbledore’s Vegan Army ( a Harry Potter themed vegan blog!).

Reminiscent of Rice?

Noting that I have been meaning to use some Orzo my mom gave me (supposedly healthier than regular pasta, and vegan!) this was the blog made for me cosmically, in my task of making a vegan Italian pasta sauce.  Here’s the recipe, to which I added green olives, a fresh tomato, and an excess of fresh dill. If you aren’t vegan, I would suggest feta as a finishing garnish.

Roasted Garlic Basil Sauce (find the original here)
4 lg garlic cloves
1 med zucchini
3/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup packed fresh flat leafed parsley
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Instructions
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Wrap garlic cloves tightly in foil. Cut Zucchini into 1/4 inch
thick slices and season with salt and pepper. Put foil wrapped garlic
and zucchini on a baking sheet and roast in the middle of the oven until
garlic is tender and zucchini is pale golden (about 15 minutes). Unwrap
garlic and cool.

Have ready a bowl of ice water. In a saucepan of boiling water, blanch
basil and parsley 10 seconds and drain in a sieve. Refresh herbs in ice
water to stop cooking and drain in sieve. (Sauce ingredients can be
prepared up to this point 1 day ahead and kept separately, covered and
chilled.)

In a blender, blend garlic, zucchini, herbs, water, and lemon
juice until smooth, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Makes
about 1 cup.

Where’s Your Perfect Cup of Coffee?

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Lemongrass Coconut Rice

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I got the idea for Lemongrass coconut rice from allrecipes.com. Allrecipes just added tumeric, coconut milk, lemongrass and rice. Though I was inspired by these ingredients, I thought that adding a red pepper, scallions, and lime juice would make it a little more distinguishably Thai. It’s easy: just simmer a can of coconut milk with partially cooked rice while you stir in the remaining ingredients. Then to accompany it, a saute of mushrooms, scallions, and tempeh. I originally had plans to feed this to a fellow vegetarian friend, but we canceled on each other 3ish times, so I just made it anyway (because I didn’t want my fresh lemongrass to go bad).  And all the better, because I got two meals out of it instead of one.