peach cornmeal upside down cake

I neeeeeed to make this when it's peach season:
https://www.marthastewart.com/316964/peach-and-cornmeal-upside-down-cake

Chocolate Chia Pudding

1 can of reduced fat coconut milk (Trader Joe's brand, about 2 cups even though the can says it's about 6 1/4-cup servings)
1/2 cup chia seeds
~3 TBS granulated sugar
splash vanilla extract
dash of salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder (plus a little more?)

I used an immersion blender to blend everything well before adding the chia seeds, and I'm letting it sit at room temperature for a bit to set before refrigerating because coconut milk solidifies in the fridge and I imagine that chia seeds can't absorb solid coconut milk.

Verdict: tasty, but didn't taste like what I wanted, which was...honestly probably chocolate soy milk. Which is an unfair expectation of coconut chia pudding. 

Dutch Babies II

I made a dutch baby pancake using (basically) the NYTimes recipe this morning:

  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • splash vanilla extract
  • dash of cinnamon 
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  •  1 apple, unpeeled
Preheat oven to 425, mix ingredients (except butter and apples) in bowl. I blended them with an immersion blender til a bit beyond "solidly blended." Slice apples about 1/4" thick. Butter went into my old 10" cast iron, into the oven *once the oven was almost to temperature*. As soon as the butter was melted, pulled the skillet out of the oven, fanned out the apple slices in the pan on top of the butter, poured the batter on top, and stuck it back in the oven for ~20 minutes, then lowered to 300 and kept it in for only 3 more minutes because it was starting to burn.

Verdict: good recipe, overall, and came out of my cast iron skillet easily enough even though the skillet needs to be re-seasoned quite badly. But the apples didn't really cook enough. Some recipes for dutch babies with apples suggest you cook the apples a bit first but I figured I'd try it without doing that because less work is nice if the finished product doesn't suffer. But I bet this would have been better with more thoroughly cooked apples. Such is life.

kale salad!

I never thought I would come around to this! But I did! I was resistant to putting sweetened stuff in it but the driedcranberries make it especially fun.

1 bunch kale, washed, stems removed, cut into ribbons
dressing: 1 lemon worth of juice, neutral oil like canola, salt, pepper, garlic powder, *toasted sesame oil*
pine nuts
grape tomatoes, sliced in half
dried sweetened cranberries
avocado

grated Parmesan (add just before eating)

Mix well, let it sit with the dressing on it for half an hour at least to sort of "cook" the kale, i.e. break it down a bit with the acid from the lemon. Don't put too much salt in the dressing. Also be sparing with the canola oil.

Brussels sprouts

About 5 years after vowing to conquer my last remaining food vegetable fears (brussels sprouts and beets*), I finally cooked brussels sprouts yesterday (I'd eaten them at other people's tables in the interim, but not cooked them myself.)

I trimmed the ends a bit, then did the classic "coat a pound of them in ~1.5 TBS olive oil, scant 1/2 tsp sea salt,and ground pepper" and baked at 400 on an (ungreased) baking sheet for 20-30 minutes" deal.

I cut some of them in half and left others whole. Most recipes didn't say to cut them in half,
which seemed odd.

Conclusions:
1) cutting them in half is better, generally speaking.
2) they are in some ways just a  vehicle for salt and oil (and pepper), and I am just fine with that. Honestly - if you eat a lot of vegetables, if they make up a good portion of your diet, it can be hard to get enough fat to keep you full. Or not quite HARD, really, so much as it can sometimes be easy (at least for me) to be so enthusiastic about the soup or vegetable chili or whatever you made that you eat a bunch of bowls of it for a meal or two meals - and, while filling and nutritious and tasty, that stuff doesn't have much fat in it. And then you get hungry an hour later.So I am making a point of not shying away from vegetable recipes that incorporate more oils and fats.
3) yes, they are sort of just cuter, more expensive mini-cabbages, but the fun of roasted cabbages that make convenient finger food is worth it sometimes.

*I have given myself permission to give up on beets. I don't like really like sweet vegetables. (I am also OK with never learning to like fennel bulb and asparagus. Brussels sprouts and some other green vegetables just have a bad rap, and it made sense to work through my prejudices about them, but fennel and asparagus have strong unique flavors that I can't get into.)

Collard greens (vegetarian)

This is only to remind myself what I've done and liked, not because I think it's some amazing recipe..

1 lb precut collard greens (stems included)
3/4 of a medium onion
~3 cloves of garlic, minced
red pepper flakes (several good shakes, maybe half a teaspoon? more than I'd use for a head of bok choy)
oil
pinch of salt
water

Saute the garlic for  maybe half a minute in the oil on medium heat,then add the red pepper flakes and the onion. Saute for a bit.I did not let the onion brown, mostly because my heat level was off and it was looking like it was going to burn. Add the collard greens, stir to coat with some of the oil. You may have to wait a second for some of it to wilt/compress before adding more,but you should be able to fit a whole pound in a 4.5 quart pot. Keep stirring a bit to coat all leaves with the oil.  Sprinkle a little salt.  Add a few splashes of water so that you can braise rather than continuing to saute.

Turn the heat down to pretty low and cover the pot.  Stir every so often and let it cook for maybe..half an hour? Til the stems are soft enough and mild enough to be pleasant.

Nectarine...thingies

I've been making this for breakfast:

Pizza dough (flour, salt, yeast, a little sugar, olive oil, water) rolled out very very thin (this seems easiest if the dough has actually risen and had the air knocked out of it and sat for a while, even though this recipe doesn't really need the dough to be airy or rise significantly.)

Covered with thinly-sliced nectarines

folded over, scored on top so that you can see the nectarines through little windows in the dough

baked for about 20 minutes at 450 degrees

It's pretty good.

It's easiest if you roll the dough out on parchment paper, and it's important to make sure the edges are sealed--the little windows on top are OK, but you don't want nectarine juice leaking out the sides or  bottom because a) it burns and b) that juice staying on the dough helps make a nice sweet moist dough-y situation.

Today I tried it with a mixture of ricotta cheese, powdered sugar, and almond extract spread on the dough before the nectarines.Also pretty tasty, roughly same amount of cooking needed.