Borscht (better known as, “you didn’t think you got enough beta carotene in the 6lbs of carrots that you just ate?”)

I recently checked out “50 Simple Soups for the Slow Cooker” from the library, because Hank and I try really hard to make simple meals that we can prep ahead, take minimal time to prepare, or can be made ahead since we do yoga many nights of the week. We have been doing some serious soup making since the first day it seemed chilly enough to fully enjoy a warm meal that doesn’t need chewing.

On Saturday, after we got our 45 pound CSA share, we decided to make the slow cooker borscht recipe in the above book. In case you aren’t sure what borscht is here is my best description: try to imagine beets, carrots and potatoes pureed into drinkable goodness, then add some dill and hard boiled eggs and you are all set.

The meal, although cooked on Saturday, was for Monday night. So, last night (Monday) we re-heated it, hard boiled some eggs, thawed out (and toasted) some delicious jalapeno cornbread we made awhile back, and chowed down.

We also blobbed some fat free greek yogurt into the mix, because Hank and I are in agreement that greek yogurt makes everything better.

Oh, and in case you wanted to see those carrots…

Menu: December 19-25

Well, this week is one of those weeks where we are trying to clean out the fridge in preparation for a week away. We do have something exciting planned for tonight though! Borscht! Details to follow.

Tuesday– Eating out with the in-laws. Still to be determined where we will be going.

Wednesday– Spaghetti and Trader Joe’s meatballs.

Thursday– On the road to Ohio! We plan on hitting up a few good Roadfood recommendations. Stay tuned for that!

Friday– Still on the road. We might make it to my folks in time for dinner. If not, see above.

Saturday– My mom’s chicken paprikash…mmmmm.

Sunday– Probably ham… 😦 Hank’s family will be having tuna melts and nachos. I’m sure you can see why I am bummed about the ham.

What are eggs with hats?

Intro: My family calls these eggs in the nest, other known names include: hole in one sandwich, cowboy eggs, toad in the hole, and many others (check out wikipedia). I have conformed to the in-law name of eggs with hats because why the heck not?

The beginning of the story: A few months ago, our friend Mike, best known for The Hot Dog Blog generously gave us some Pearl ‘flat dogs‘. As you can see, these are basically burgers made out of the awesome meat that is used to make hot dogs. WARNING! These are different than bologna. We stuck them in the freezer having no idea when we would have occasion to make them.

The story: One night, perhaps in a dream, I finally figured out what to do with them! Use them as the hats for eggs with hats! I proposed my idea to Hank the next morning, but was met with a slightly pessimistic, “Hmmm…sure.” Never the less, I placed it on the weekly menu.

As these patties slowly thawed in our fridge, I became more and more skeptical of what they would taste like once cooked, but as soon as they began frying in the pan I remembered how much I loved when my dad used to make us fried hot dogs with american cheese melted on top.

Next step was the traditional eggs with hats:

Then! we assembled the much more contemporary eggs with hats:

I have to say, these were pretty darn tasty in all the different ways. We did manage to add some veggies to the meal by siding these beauties with a little arugula salad.

Philippe and the world of Achewood

I mentioned in my ‘Menu’ post that we were going to be making Philippe’s Mexican Pizza last night for dinner. I wanted to take a moment and talk about Philippe. Philippe is a baby otter on the wonderfully amazing online comic ‘Achewood’. ‘The Achewood Cookbook’ features a few recipes by this adorable character who gives very important child cooking safety advice in his recipes. He states it best when he says, “This recipe is pretty sophisticated. I usually get help with the oven stuff.”

Luckily, Hank was doing the cooking last night. So, no need for me to ask someone for help with the oven, Hank usually has this under control (except for that one time that he lit tortilla shells on fire…big flames…I wish I had a picture of that to show you!).

Obviously, Philippe’s recipe can be made with any toppings and in any order. His inspiration came from the Mexican Pizza at Taco Bell, which he has never had (neither have I), but would like you to contact him if you have had any experience with it. (Philippe, c/o Achewood, PO BOX 7182, San Carlos CA 94070).

We made our Mexican Pizza with re-fried black beans, ground beef, and pepper jack cheese.

Then we topped it with cilantro, plain greek yogurt and jalapenos.

If you are interested in learning more about Philippe and his mad skillz, here is our favorite comic strip: A Love Romance

Menu: December 12-18

Monday-Spaghetti w/ mushrooms, zucchini, onion, garlic and arugula

Tuesday-Philippe’s Mexican Pizza (from ‘Recipes for a Lady or a Man: the achewood cookbook’ pg. 32)

Wednesday-Carrot curry (from Hank’s recipe box)

Thursday-Pinto Bean skillet chili Sante Fe (from ‘Flash in a Pan’ pg. 153)

Friday-eggs with hats (You might notice that this was on the menu last Friday. Unfortunately, we never made it, but it has been added to this weeks menu in hopes of total success.)

Saturday-??

Sunday-Swupper

A perfect example…

of an outstanding failure!

Last night, during the time that we normally would be preparing dinner together, I was chatting on the phone with a friend from back home who I have not spoken to in AGES. We were having a jolly conversation while Hank was chugging away making our dinner. We had everything prepped for an onion, mushroom, goat cheese pizza. While I was in the other room, he was rolling out the dough, placing it on a cutting board, perfectly laying out all of the toppings and then considering how in the heck he was going to get this thing onto our flaming hot pizza stone. I heard some grumbling coming from the kitchen, so I went in to investigate. I found him at the considering part of the process.

Step 1: Try and slide pizza from cutting board to flaming hot pizza stone. FAIL.

Step 2: Fold pizza and toppings into fourths and transfer to flaming hot pizza stone. Semi FAIL.

Step 3: Try and unfold pizza on flaming hot pizza stone. FAIL.

Step 4: Make pizza into calzone while still on flaming hot pizza stone. FAIL.

Step 5: Make disfigured calzone into pizza roll up. Semi FAIL.

It went into the oven looking like this:

Came out of the oven looking like this:

And went into our stomachs looking like this:

I have to say, we may start doing our pizza this way always. It was really a great way to mix it all together. Being a lover of all things bread, I loved the big doughy parts. I’m sure in the future we will try and make it a little bit more aesthetically pleasing.

Meat!

Oh man! Last night was a big night in the kitchen!

Last weekend we went to buy some ground beef for hamburgers this week, but we found that Whole Foods had chuck roast on sale. So, we decided to try making our own ground beef, and it went smashingly!

Here’s the beef:

We plopped it in the food processor:

We then had 2lbs. of ground beef:

Then we made some amazing burgers:

We may never go back to the buying it already ground. I mean, who knows what fillers they are adding to it!