Sunday, October 27, 2013

Bunny Chow

No bunnies are used in this! I promise!
The name for this South African curry actually comes from an Indian caste (Bania) who sold the curry when it was invented (created?) in the 1940s.

There are two origin stories:
The first is that since blacks were not allowed to eat in restaurants under apartheid laws, they got carry out and with limited utensils and containers bread bowls were the most convenient way to carry it.
The second is that it was created as a way for Indian workers to carry food for lunch.
I got the recipe from Joanne-Eats Well With Others.

"Waving Flag" K'nann
Even though they're not South African, this song makes me think of South Africa because of the World Cup.
It can be served with mutton(traditionally) or chicken or pork.


  • 1/2 lb dried or 2 15 oz. cans cranberry beans
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 green cardamom pods, crushed
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 4 tsp Durban masala or red curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1-ish lb potatoes, cubed
  • salt
  • crusty loaf of bread (or 2)


 Soak the beans overnight. Cook as directed, either via the stovetop, crockpot, or pressure cooker methods. Slice the onion and dice the tomato.

 Heat the oil. Add the cinnamon, onion, cardamom pods, and curry leaves. Fry the until the onion is light golden brown, about 5 minutes.

 Add the curry powder, turmeric, ginger, garlic, and tomato. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture resembles a paste.

 Add the beans and potatoes, along with 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, 20 minutes. Add the garam masala. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for another 10 minutes.

 Take a fresh loaf of bread. Halve or quarter the loaf, depending on how big it is (probably better to use small loaves since you need an end for this and can’t really use a middle piece). Scoop out the insides, leaving the crust to form a bowl.

Asparagus Soup

I got an immersion blender last year for Christmas. I love it. Really. It's the coolest kitchen gadget. Of course it shall always be outranked by a spatula in terms of usefulness, but whatchyagonna do? I'm not sure an immersion blender and a spatula would be of any use combined, but what do I know?
I spent all weekend (3 days, since its the end of the quarter!) with Herbie.
Quality time seems to have helped him warm-up (or at least we got to know each other better)

The weather's been freezing though, so it's a soup weekend.

"Carry on My Wayward Son" Kansas


3 cups of asparagus, cleaned with ends removed and sliced into thirds
2 cups of vegetable or chicken broth (I used chicken broth)
1/2 tsp of dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp flour
2 cups of low fat milk
Dash of nutmeg
2 tsp of butter
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste


Zest of one lemon. In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, combine asparagus, broth, thyme, bay leaf and garlic; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Using a blender or an immersion blender, blend until completely smooth. Keep soup in the blender (or pour into a bowl if using an immersion blender) and set aside.

Place flour in the pan. Gradually add the milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Add pureed asparagus and ground nutmeg, stir to combine. Bring to a slight boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and stir in butter, lemon zest and sea salt and black pepper to taste.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Nut Crunch Apples

Not going to lie, I got these from Samantha's Friendship Fun, yes the American Girl book. But trust me, if you look beyond their childish beginnings these are actually really good.

I made them while watching the new The Great Gadspy. Whoo, that film is so cool. Perfect example of how a book should be made into a film.
The snowflake/letter thing and the windows popping up so cinematic!
"Wake Me Up" Avicii


  • 4 medium apples
  • 4 tbsp currants
  • 4 tbsp walnuts, chopped
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • Cinnamon (optional) 


Halve and core apples.

Mix currant, walnuts, sugar, and butter. Spoon mixture into apples and place apple halves in a skillet, stuffed sides up.

Add the apple juice to the skillet. Cover and simmer the apples for 15 minutes, or until they are tender. Spoon some of the juice over the apples when you serve them. Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired.

Raspberry Lemon Bars

Now, normally I see a recipe with raspberries that's mouthwatering and I reluctantly move on from it since, if we were to get fresh raspberries, I'd feel wasteful to use them in cooking instead of enjoying them for what they are.

We used to have a raspberry patch in the backyard, with blackberry plants mixed throughout, so raspberries have always seemed much more valuable to me than other fruits.

Why is it that in flavored candy, raspberry is never as sweet as strawberry? When in reality, strawberries are half as sweet as raspberries. I just don't get it. 

Anyway, you have to love sales. My mom bought a ridiculous amount of raspberries (more than we could eat), so I made perfectly shaped lemon bars from The Spiffy Cookie.
"The Great Escape" Boys Like Girls


For the base:
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp lemon zest
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup flour
For the filling:
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 1/3 cup flour


Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Grease with butter or cooking spray.

For the base, pulse together the sugar, lemon zest, and salt in a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until it is evenly distributed throughout the dough. Add in the flour and pulse until just combined and crumbly. Press into the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until starting to brown.

Let cool while you make the filling.

In the same food processor, puree the raspberries. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl to get rid of the seeds.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice. Add in 3 tbsp of the raspberry puree. Stir in the flour until just combined. Pour the filling on top of the crust and bake until just set, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting and serving.

Spinach Florentine

 I'm a sucker for pasta as you can most likely tell by the amount that I make,
but stuffed pasta like shells, lasagna, and manicotti aren't really my thing.

My mom loves them, however, so here we are with homely manicotti.

 "Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want" The Smiths


  • 8 manicotti pasta tubes, uncooked
  • 2 tbs Olive Oil
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 egg white
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 2 cups jarred tomato-basil spaghetti sauce, divided
  • Fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, chopped (optional)


Cook manicotti al dente according to package directions. Drain; set aside.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°F. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, onion, and garlic; cook and stir 2 minutes. Add spinach; cook and stir until wilted. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Stir in egg white, cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Stuff spinach mixture into cooked manicott.
Spread 1 cup of the sauce into an 11x7x2 inch baking dish. Place stuffed pasta on top of sauce. Spoon remaining sauce over pasta. Cover and bake 30-35 minutes. Top with parsley, if desired, and serve.

Cheddar-Cider Fondue

 Alright, my birthday was last weekend, so we had fondue. But not just any fondue, we tried Cheddar-Cider Fondue. It was ridiculously sweet but also really good.

Look at the cake my mom and sister got:
Delicious and beautiful!

 "Let Her Go" Passenger

 From the Best Fondue


1 garlic clove, cut in half
1 cup apple cider
2 tablespoons flour
1 lb old cheddar
1 teaspoon apple-cider vinegar
1 teaspoon chili powder
salt and pepper to taste


Rub the garlic halves in your fondue pot, then discard. Pour the apple cider in your fondue pot and light the burner (medium). Bring to a boil, then mix in the flour and reduce heat.  Melt cheese into it, one handful at a time.  Add spices and vinegar.