Polish Sausage Kraut Skillet

from http://www.yummly.com/recipe/external/Polish-Sausage-Kraut-Skillet-AllRecipes

2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup water
2 potatoes, sliced
1 cup sliced carrots
2 tablespoons beef bouillon granules (I used vegetarian chicken bouillon)
1 teaspoon white sugar (omitted)
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 (14.5 ounce) can sauerkraut, drained
1 pound kielbasa sausage vegetarian sausage I used Tofurkey italian sausage
 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 cup sour cream
salt and black pepper to taste

Heat the butter in a large skillet with a lid over medium heat; cook and stir the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the water, potatoes, carrots, beef bouillon granules, sugar, and caraway seeds; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook until the potatoes and carrots are tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.

Place the sauerkraut on top of the vegetables in a layer, and place the sausages onto the sauerkraut. Cover, and cook until the sausages are heated through, about 15 minutes. Whisk the flour into the sour cream in a bowl, and stir into the sauerkraut mixture. Bring to a simmer to thicken the sour cream, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve hot.

Peach frozen yogurt-y stuff

I made this by accident while trying to make a peach milkshake with frozen peaches.

Blend in cuisinart til almost pulverized:1 cup (ish) of frozen peaches
Add a few scoops of low fat yogurt and sugar to taste. AND a splash of almond extract. That's what makes it really nice. I'm not usually a big fan of frozen yogurt or fruit ice creams, but this was pretty good. Maybe not the best choice for December, though.


This is not a recipes I've used, it is a challenge to myself.
I'm scared of beets. (Also brussels sprouts, but that's a different animal.)
I asked some folks for suggestions, and here's what I got. Someday, I will try these things:

-raw beets shredded into a salad
-"shred beets, then saute in olive oil with garlic and onion. Add mustard, red wine vinegar, and salt and pepper at the end. Delicious! Brussels sprouts are good sliced thin and roasted on a tray or sauteed with a little nutmeg and lemon juice. They get a nice flavor when they caramelize."
-"boil them, and separately boil potatoes and carrots, chop everything up with a pickle and some scallions, and dress with vinegar, oil, black pepper, salt, and sugar. This is called "surprise salad" since you don't know what you're getting in every bite- everything is colored by the beets."

simple vegetarian chili

1 (14oz) can fire-roasted tomatoes (Trader Joe's)
1/2 an onion, chopped
2 cans of beans (1 black, 1 garbanzo), rinsed
chili powder

Run the tomatoes through the blender to pulverize. This seems to help the consistency and flavor of the chili--it spreads the tomato taste through the chili better than individual chunks do. Saute onions in oil until browned on the edges. Add tomatoes. Cook a little. Add beans and spices to taste. Add a little water if needed. Cook on medium for a while, until you get bored. This tastes better with more cooking/the second day, and tastes oddly good with broccoli.

UPDATE: I often double this recipe and use a finely chopped green bell pepper (sauteed with the onion - generally added after it has sauteed a bit already) . Also I add a few cloves of garlic. Sometimes paprika. It's pretty good and pretty easy.

bok choy/tofu stir-fry

This isn't super special but I like how it came out, so...notes!

Trader Joe's High Protein Tofu--super dense, doesn't need to have the water pressed out

Cube tofu, make a marinade of 2 cloves of garlic (put in garlic press), healthy splashes of soy sauce, lemon pepper, coriander, a little celery salt (I dunno, it was there) and a splash of sriracha. (This was a new ingredient to me, particularly.) Also add a few chopped mushrooms
Stir it around, let it sit while you cut up:

1 head of bok choy.

Heat up a wok, very hot. Splash some oil in the bottom. Add the tofu and any marinade that's left, cook for a while. I think my mushrooms would have burned before the tofu got especially brown. When I started to get worried it'd burn, I added the bok choy stalks and stirred, lowered the heat a little, covered it for a bit, and basically just tried to soften the stalks a tad. Then I dumped in the leaves/green part and threw the cover on for a bit to just wilt them--maybe a minute. Then I took the cover off, stirred, and ate it.

Main takeaways from this:
-TJ's high protein tofu = awesome
-Sriracha sauce in stir fry = interesting, good, (it's definitely kind of hot though, even with the bok choy cutting it)
-letting bok choy stalks stay crunchy in stir fry = nice.

cherry cornmeal muffins

I made this recipe:
but with all sugar instead of honey and an additional TBS of milk to make up for the lack of moisture provided by the honey. They were decent and more or less worked even though there's a strangely small amount of flour and my butter-sugar-milk mixture seemed a little clumpy (my melted brown butter re-solidified when it hit cold milk.) I also ended up using almond extract instead of vanilla. I'm not sure that was a good choice--not bad, but vanilla might have been better.

Banana Bread

Used this recipe:
1 cup (115 grams) walnuts or pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped (optional)

1 3/4 cups (230 grams) all-purpose flour
1 cup white, 3/4 cup white whole wheat

3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar half brown, half white

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cardamom

dash nutmeg

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

3 ripe large bananas (approximately 1 pound or 454 grams), mashed well (about 1-1/2 cups)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease & flour a 9x5x3 loaf pan OR 9x9 cake pan.
Place the nuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Let cool and then chop coarsely. 
In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nuts. (Dry ingredients.)
In a medium-sized bowl combine the mashed bananas, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, lightly fold the wet ingredients (banana mixture) into the dry ingredients just until combined and the batter is thick and chunky. (The important thing is not to over mix the batter. You do not want it smooth. Over mixing the batter will yield tough, rubbery bread.) Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake until bread is golden brown and a  toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 to 60 minutes for loaf pan or 25-30 for cake pan. Place on a wire rack to cool and then remove the bread from the pan.

Changes from original recipe:
1) used 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
2) used about half brown sugar (what I had)
3) added maybe 1/4+tsp cardamom and a bit of nutmeg in addition to cinnamon
4) maybe added some extra sugar?
5) baked in a 9x9 pan for 25-30 minutes
6) omitted the nuts
7) did the following in lieu of mashing: bananas in food processor, blended. added other wet ingredients and pulsed to blend. I'm not sure if this might have made things tougher. I doubt it since it was just the bananas and not bananas+dry ingredients at all, but who knows.

I think it was pretty good.

Solo Almond Bundt Cake

From http://www.solofoods.com/recipes/almond-bundt-cake
This cake requires a can of Solo brand "Almond Cake and Pastry Filling" and the recipe is generally printed on the back side of the can's label.This stuff has ground almonds in it but it's NOT equivalent to marzipan. It's kind of hard to find; in the San Francisco Bay area I've only seen it at Andronico's, even though I've seen Solo products advertised in Lucky's circulars occasionally. At some point I'd like to figure out how to replicate it without the canned stuff, both 'cause it's pricey ($5/can) and because it has corn syrup in it (which I'm not terribly against in moderation, but if I'm baking, why not use real sugar?)  In the meantime I make it anyway, because it's more almondy than the other almond bundt recipe I tried.

ANYWAY. I don't really modify this recipe at all:

1 cup butter (or margarine), softened
2 1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
3 eggs
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 can Solo Almond Cake and Pastry Filling (protip: open one end of the can, the flip it over the bowl and start opening the other end. That will break the suction/vacuum and it'll all fall out of the can neatly in one chunk.)
1⁄4 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour 10-inch tube pan or 12-cup Bundt pan and set aside. Beat butter and granulated sugar in large bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in almond filling until blended. Stir flour, baking powder, and salt until mixed. Add to almond mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.  Beat until blended. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on rack.

Chocolate Bundt Cake

Modified from here


  • 8 ounces butter (2 sticks)
  • 1/2 3/4?-1 cup Dutch process cocoa (I used regular, TJ's)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar (I used slightly less, maybe 2-3 tbs less?)
  • 1 cup sour cream I used the top of TJ's French Cream Line yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, stir before measuring
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (+ 1/2 tsp, + 1/8 to every 3 TBS of extra non-Dutched cocoa)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


Grease and flour a 10- to 12-cup Bundt pan with Baker's Joy or another flour+grease spray. (Seriously, that stuff is magic for bundt cakes.) Heat oven to 350°. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat; add cocoa, stirring until smooth. Whisk in the water and remove from heat. To the warm cocoa mixture, add the sugar, sour cream, 1 tablespoon vanilla, and eggs; whisk until smooth. In another bowl combine the flour, soda, and salt. Add all at once to the first mixture, whisking until well blended.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until it feels firm to the touch and has slightly pulled away from the sides of the pan. Cool in pan on a rack for 20 minutes. Carefully loosen the cake with a knife and invert onto a large plate.

NOTES: the extra cocoa was good. The yogurt seems fine, it seems moist enough. I wasn't sure it was mixed all the way at the end--it felt like there were what were either bubbles or tiny lumps of flour, but it was fine. I think I actually cooked it for close to 45 minutes and it was fine, not dry.)

*If you're using a standard baking cocoa (not Dutch-process or high-quality) add 1/2 teaspoon more of baking soda to the dry ingredients.

Pickled Cauliflower

I just made some pickled cauliflower with this recipe. Changes: I used a 24-oz jar (2 quarts would be 32 oz) so I scaled things back: 3/4 cup of vinegar, 3/4 cup of water, 1.5 tsp of salt. I used about 3 slices of a very large (but pithy) lemon, the whole clove of garlic, and the whole 1/4 tsp of black peppercorns. I don't think I used anywhere near 2 lbs of cauliflower--I just cut slices and stuck them in the jar to see what would fit, and then I blanched those. I used white vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar, more because that's what I had than out of any taste preference, though I'm not a big fan of apple cider vinegar. I've seen lots of pickle recipes that use white vinegar anyway. So. I'll report back in 12+ hours.

Aaaand...months later, actually:
this was OK, but not amazing. I didn't let it sit all that long, but mostly--it's a lot of work for something that's not all that much better (to me) or exciting (to me) than plain cauliflower (which I will eat raw.) Perhaps if it had pickled for weeks it might be more interesting. 

Pesto! (Arugula & Walnut)

I used this recipe:

2 cups of packed arugula leaves, stems removed
1/2 cup of shelled walnuts
1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/2 garlic clove peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 Brown 6 garlic cloves with their peels on in a skillet over medium high heat until the garlic is lightly browned in places, about 10 minutes. Remove the garlic from the pan, cool, and remove the skins.

2 Toast the nuts in a pan over medium heat until lightly brown, or heat in a microwave on high heat for a minute or two until you get that roasted flavor. In our microwave it takes 2 minutes.

3a Food processor method (the fast way): Combine the arugula, salt, walnuts, roasted and raw garlic into a food processor. Pulse while drizzling the olive oil into the processor. Remove the mixture from the processor and put it into a bowl. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.

NOTES: Browning garlic and walnuts on the stove is weird. I think next time I'll do both in the oven.
Too much garlic (!) Not sure if that was because my stovetop-browned garlic wasn't as cooked as it should be--it was almost burnt in places but it wasn't soft like roasted garlic is--or just a matter of amount. I'd say 4 cloves would be about right.
I added about 3/4 of a small lemon's worth of juice, and probably used a bit more Parmesan than called for. I also added it in in hte food processor instead of stirring it in the bowl.
I did not remove stems from the (packaged, Trader Joe's) arugula. I think removing the stems is more for less tender stuff.

Overall--very tasty and good.

[Spicy, Indian-food-inspired] garbanzos + kale

1 can of chickpeas
half an onion, chopped relatively small
6ish leaves of kale, sliced fine
splotches of marinara sauce (1/2 cup?)
shitload of paprika
powdered ginger
garam masala
curry powder

Sauteed onion in oil for a bit, added chickpeas and spices and fried a bit, dumped in marinara sauce and cooked a bit more,then dumped in kale and a little bit of water and stirred a bit and then put the lid on and cooked til the kale was wilted. Stirred a few spoonfuls of yogurt into my bowl before eating.

I do variations on this all the time, and I always forget what I do. (Tomatoes? No tomatoes? Garlic? Etc.) I usually do fresh ginger, but I think the powdered ginger might be even better. This has a nice hotness to it and it's evenly dispersed through the dish.

banana bread muffins

I just made this recipe with changes.


  • 1 cup white sugar (I did 1/2 white and almost 1/2 dark brown because brown sugar is tasty)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (I did 1 scant cup white flour and 1 cup white whole wheat because whatever)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (closer to 1/2 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • added 1/4ish tsp cinnamon and a dash of vanilla because cinnamon and vanilla are nice. (NB last year I made banana bread and had no cinnamon and I used some combo of nutmeg and cardamom instead and it was great.)

I blended the bananas in the food processor first, then added the egg, oil, sugar...basically everything except the flour and nuts, and processed a few more times. Then I dumped it into a bowl to stir in the flour and nuts because my food processor is tiiiiny.

Spooned it into unlined muffin tins greased with flour+oil Pam, and now baking. I predict that the recipe's 30-40 minute bake time will be too long. We shall see. Verdict: at least 30 minutes is necessary.

Almond Bars

(from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/almond-bars/)
This is the weirdest recipe I've made in a while. I thought it would be more like a brownie minus the chocolate flavor/color, but they're cakey and sort of spongy. (My guess is this is due to beating the eggs and sugar, and also due to the two cups of flour; brownie recipes would have less flour for this size pan.) They seem better after a few hours/the next day when they're a little more dense.

Preheat oven to 325. Grease a 9x13 pan (I used flour+grease Pam spray.)

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar (I used less, between 1.5 and 1.75 cups, which is plenty)
  • 1 cup butter, melted (I used salted butter)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons almond extract (I used a little more, almost a tablespoon)

Beat the sugar and eggs with mixer. Add in butter, flour, almond extract. Mix well. Spread into pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of pan comes out clean. (I was worried they'd be underbaked at that point, but they were fine. They seemed weird until they cooled and sat for a while.)