Friday, April 18, 2008

Veggie Pot Pie

This was absolutely delicious. The "gravy" was much better than I thought it was going to be definitely beat a can of Campbell's cream of celery (and no MSG!).

One bag of refrigerated, diced potatoes
Several handfuls of green beans, snapped in half
Handful of carrot slices
Two handfuls of frozen peas
One small can of corn
2 frozen pie crusts, thawed 15 minutes
2 cups veggie broth
2 tbsp corn starch
2 tbsp soy sauce
two pinches thyme
salt and pepper

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the vegetables with the broth. Add the soy sauce and the corn starch, simmering until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat, add the thyme and salt and pepper. Pour everything into a pie crust and use the other crust to top the first. Bake at 425 for 30 minutes or until golden.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Sarah want!

Out of the two of us, Jay is definitely the gadget whore, but this caught my eye:

The Amazon Kindle. No more paper books! I could even carry my dissertation around with me.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

"Bullets and Barbeque"

Last night we hosted a murder mystery dinner party. This was the first time I've ever improvised recipes, and they turned out okay. Our menu included ribs for the meaties, red beans and rice, stuffed peppers and asparagus.

Red beans and rice:
I modified this recipe. I used canned beans (2 cans) and took all the meat out, including the Worcestershire sauce (which usually isn't vegetarian). We didn't have celery, or I would have used that. I also was too lazy to cook it for 2-3 hours, so I just added a cup of veggie broth and let it reduce down to a nice sauce. We mixed it with the cooked rice instead of spooning it over the top. The original recipe:
  • 1 pound red kidney beans, dry
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 5 ribs celery, chopped
  • As much garlic as you like, minced (I like lots, 5 or 6 cloves)
  • 1 large smoked ham hock, 3/4 pound of Creole-style pickle meat (pickled pork), or 3/4 lb. smoked ham, diced, for seasoning
  • 1 to 1-1/2 pounds mild or hot smoked sausage or andouille, sliced on the bias
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. dried thyme leaves, crushed
  • 1 or 2 bay leaves
  • As many dashes Crystal hot sauce or Tabasco as you like, to taste
  • A few dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • Creole seasoning blend, to taste; OR,
    • red pepper and black pepper to taste
  • Salt to taste
The peppers were a real experiment. They were good, but I would have changed a few things. I used:

  • 6 red peppers, halved and scooped
  • 1 can of artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • Several handfuls of baby carrots, chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into small pieces
  • Mexican cheese
  • Plain bread crumbs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Parsley
  • Garlic
I sauteed the garlic, onions, and carrots until softened, then added the zucchini. After the zucchini softened, I added the artichoke hearts for a minute until they were slightly browned. Add the salt, pepper, and cayenne (don't overdo this or you'll regret it). Stuff the peppers and top with cheese, then breadcrumbs and a sprinkle of parsley. Bake at 350 for an hour in an oiled baking dish.

If I do this again, I'll mix the cheese in with the vegetables. By putting the cheese on top and the breadcrumbs over it, it made the cheese crusty. I like hot melty cheese better, and this didn't have any.

Dessert was J.P. Licks ice cream with hot fudge, caramel, and whipped cream.

For entertainment, we did a murder mystery called "Bullets and Barbeque." Peter was hilarious as Juan Bandito, the meanest Mexican bandit in Drygulch. Candice was a close-runner up as Sally Forth, the Sheriff's mail-order bride with a mysterious mutating accent. Fritz was Rowdy Azell, a sweet-talking gambler and Ricki was Bibi Gunn, lady of the night. Jay and I rounded the group out as the town's drunk doctor and Miss Patience, the innocent schoolteacher. It was lots of fun and a lot better than watching Peter murder "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" on Guitar Hero.