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800 pound gorilla

I don't want to talk about the snow, or the shoveling, or how many trees we have lost, or how many of those trees were lost into my next-door neighbor's driveway or in how many places the collapsing trees took out our fence. I am over snow. I am moving to Fiji. The end.

(Ok, it was fun pulling the kids around the neighborhood on their sleds.)

Let's talk about food instead. Here's what I made this week:

Zucchini with chick peas - I talked about this one before, but mention it again because this time I made it with a can of "tomatoes with zesty chilies" that I got at Trader Joe's, and they were not kidding about the zestiness of those chilies. They were mighty zesty, which made this dish mighty spicy, which made it quite different from the first time I made it but also quite good. So if you are considering this one, try it mild and try it spicy, good both ways.

Lentil Shepherd's Pie - This is two cups cooked lentils, an onion, garlic, and a bag of frozen mixed veggies sauteed with broth and seasonings and some flour to thicken things up, dumped in a loaf pan and then topped with mashed potatoes and baked. Easy to make and very yummy, especially if you are married to a mashed potato addict like I am. Leave a space in the potatoes though or the whole thing will explode in the oven. We shall never discuss how I came to know this.

Penne Primavera - Ah the bitter irony of making something titled "primavera" with two solid feet of snow on the ground. Zucchini, yellow squash and carrots julienned (you could surely just chop them, but the julienne bit always makes me feel fancy) in a tomato paste and cream sauce (I use just milk, works fine) and then tossed over the short-ish pasta of your choice. One of Chris's favorites, and other than the fancy knife work takes no time at all to make.

Pizza - I made pizza! From scratch! Both sauce and dough! And it was delicious! Sorry, I am still proud of myself for this one. In fact, I am making it again tonight, except this time I am using the extra dough to make breadsticks instead of cinnamon rolls. Both kids love breadsticks, and I've survived the last three snow storms by shoving fistfulls of M&Ms into my mouth, so nobody needs any more cinnamon rolls around here.

Broccoli Rabe with Rice Noodles - I avoided making this until I had almost run out of other options, because after I picked it and bought all the stuff it didn't sound very good to me after all. But it was! I sauteed broccoli rabe (which I had never had before, tastes like very bitter broccoli) and green onions with soy sauce and black bean sauce and then added soaked rice noodles to the wok for about four minutes at the end. I think next time I will try it with mushrooms and maybe a milder green - Chris suggested regular broccoli, I think it would be good with spinach.

Brownies - I made my first ever batch of homemade brownies yesterday, mostly as a way to entertain the children for twenty minutes. They were a total disaster. I tried to salvage a bit out of the middle last night, but even heaped with Cool Whip they were hard to eat. The rest of the pan went down the sink this morning. Consider this a call to arms, I need a brownie recipe and I need it fast!

Comments (16)

I keep getting an error when I try to comment so hopefully you don't get this three times!

I love these brownies. :)

Okay! Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and butter a 9x13 pan.

In a saucepan roughly the size of a mixing bowl (because you will be making the whole recipe in this pan), melt 3/4 c. butter (1.5 sticks) and 5 ounces of unsweetened baking chocolate. When melted, remove the pan from heat and add 2 c. sugar, 3 eggs, 1 t. vanilla, and 1/2 t. salt. Mix it up, and then add 1 c. flour and mix again. Pour it into the pan and bake it for 30 minutes. Do no tburn tongue on deliciousness.

I love this brownie recipe that I found on the back of a container of Nestle cocoa. They're chewy and I've yet to screw them up.

a tree fell on my sister's car in alexandria. i'm over here in mild portland oregon and i am over your storm, too! as pretty as the snow is, i hope you can dig out soon :)

Incidentally, my friend made some delicious vegan brownies for me the other day! The spongiest and most flavorful brownies ever. My non vegan friends tried them and loved them too so I am making more just as I am typing (it's in the oven). Here is the recipe:

Preheat the oven at 325 degrees
Mix the dry ingredients together first
1 and 1/2 cup of flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 and 1/2 cup of brown sugar (I only put one cup)
1 and 1/2 tsp of baking soda
3/4 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of salt

Mix the wet ingredients together
3/4 cup of coffee or any fruit juice (I squeezed fresh oranges)
3/4 cup of milk (I used almond cause it's so amazingly good)
1/3 cup of vegetable oil

and then pour them in with the dry ingredients, mix well and add:

1/2 cup of nuts
1/2 chocolate chips

put it in an oiled dish (you can oil the dish and then sprinkle it with cocoa... just saying!), in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes. There you go :) Let me know how it turns out, mine is looking good!

Actually I think the oven needs to be at 375 degrees. The brownies came out DE-LI-CIOUS!

Adding Lentil Shepherd's Pie to my to-make list now. I made tofu parmesan last week... it was really good!

Thanks for the recipes! The lentil shepherds pie sounds great.

I also have been making pizza from scratch, it's a lot of fun and my daughter loves it. I have my dough perfect, and am working on my pizza toss. :)

We were supposed to get some of your snow but didn't.

You cannot go wrong with any of the recipes from Cooks Illustrated, but I find that the book I use the most is the America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, which has a lot of good desserts but is also meat-meal-based for the other recipes OR you could just cut to the chase and go for the America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book. There are a couple of brownie variations and they are ALL GOOD. And consistently awesome. That said, I'm sure that my second baby is part mint brownie, thanks to Swistle's recipe and some considerable bingeing. And now I horde Andes chips since they are only available seasonally.

Brownies...this is something I know about! When your at the store go to the baking aisle (sp?!)...grab a box of Baker's Chocolate I think it's an orange box...on the back, a one bowl recipe for homemade brownies and they are fabulous! :)

I can never make decent brownies unless they are from a package. =/

Thought I'd pass along one of my favorite recipe sites, though, since you're getting so handy in the kitchen! A lot handier than I am, anyway. lol They have a vegetarian section and other side dishes that might fit the bill!

Ooh, may I have the pizza dough recipe, please? I've been tempted to make it from scratch but I'm worried about finding a good dough recipe.


My daughter makes some amazing scratch brownies, but I was wondering before I gave you the recipe...I couldn't remember if you went full on vegan or just vegetarian. (eggs okay?)

Let me know and I'll send you the recipe. They are quick and easy to make and DELICIOUS!!!

I refuse to talk about the snow on my blog. So I'll talk about it on yours. About how we got the 2nd largest storm in Philadelphia history last weekend, which came on the tails of the previous 2nd largest storm in Philadelphia history, which is now the 3rd largest. And how we are supposed to get 12-18 inches tonight. And how the only way I get out of work is if the city shuts down, and they never do that because then they need to pay the plow drivers and subway workers triple time and a half and we are already millions of dollars in debt.

So, thank you for your food post. Because all I've been doing is dreaming about food and what the heck I'm going to do with my upcoming "vacation" that I'm going to be forced to take this week while I'm snowed in my house. I think I'll cook everything I own. Including my shoe if times get tough enough.

Oh, a great way to keep kids and yourself entertained? Cut up their old clothes and make beanbags for them. I did this recently for Jake. I use stitch witchery because I can't sew. But he plays with them for at least an hour a day. My mom used to do it for us, and we had ours for years. I'm hoping that my kid will love his just as much as we did ours.

It just started snowing in our MD suburb. I think I am going to go cry.

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