Friday, August 21, 2009

Pizzoccheri II

I had a whole bag of egg noodles and some parmesan, or grana padano, (I forget which) from Trader Joe's, on hand. Since I was making a store run anyway, I picked up a head of cabbage for Pizzoccheri round two. And again, this cleaned out my kitchen just a little more.

Special note: as much as I hate Trader Joe's, they have an amazing yet reasonably priced cheese selection. Sigh.

Our giant bag of potatoes was long gone, but I almost preferred it without the extra carbs. I also added bacon, since bacon is like pizzoccheri's long lost soulmate.

I can see this becoming quite the staple in our household, with all kinds of variation. Egg? Bell peppers? Chicken or turkey?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Pizza II

Continuing on the bell pepper kick...

Pizza with homemade crust and sauce. For the sauce, I just mixed one can of tomatoes with a half a can of tomato paste (leftover from beef curry, which was totally awesome but I forgot to photograph) and "pizza spice." I used up some sliced mozzarella cheese, shredded mozzarella, and asiago in an attempt to clean out the refrigerator a little. The green peppers and onions were leftovers that also had to go.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pasta Casserole

So one day after work my husband announces, "I want to make a casserole!"

Nope. No idea what brought that on.

But he did a fabulous job! Whole wheat pasta, mozzarella, ground turkey, and tomatoes. Oh, and lots of different Italian-style seasoning.

Just in case you thought I did all the cooking around these parts.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Danger Dogs

Not long ago I went to my very first soccer game, Galaxy versus Barcelona. It was quite an experience - there were about 93,000 people in attendance at the Rose Bowl, which made it the highest attended game in the US since the World Cup in 1994. That, my friends, is a lot of people. We started the night at Cafe Santorini in Old Town Pasadena, which I'd recommend if you're in the area. The bartender was super friendly and had an amazing white sangria.

It's amazing the physical strength you need to play soccer. But, for now, I think I'll just stick to American-style football.

I swear this is going somewhere.

Danger dogs have been around at every Southern California sporting event that I have ever attended. I've never seen them in Mexico, but basically what happens is someone puts a heating element in the bottom of a shopping cart, and a baking sheet over it. Instant grill! I've seen more legitimate-looking carts before, but the shopping carts are really funny. The hot dogs are wrapped in bacon and grilled with onions and served with hot sauce.

I have desperately wanted to try one for a long time now. I have no idea how much they cost, but I'm guessing it's less than the cost of whatever medical treatment you need after eating one. Alas, my sensible husband isn't too keen on letting his wife eat random, questionably prepared street food. Los Angeles regulates restaurants pretty strictly, and guess what? These guys constantly avoid getting rated. Gasp!

Obviously this means I have to make it myself. Here's the basics on our George Foreman grill, which is the closest I could get to a baking sheet over a shopping cart. Cooking is all about improvisation.

That's pre-cooked Hormel Black Label bacon, and reduced fat Hebrew National hot dogs. Probably not what you get on the street.

I toasted the hot dog buns with a little olive oil spray on a skillet. Served with some rather old hot sauce I got for free from Trimana as they were trying to drum up business. Sorry guys, you're still overpriced for an office park sandwich shop. But you really made my hot dog!

Altogether: YUM. You have never seen two people eat a hot dog so fast. Question: is it still a danger dog if it was made with proper food handling? I still want to try the authentic version, but now I think I can wait until football season starts.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Look at these! Aren't they pretty? One of my coworkers brought in a giant shopping bag of bell peppers from her garden. Evidently they grow like gangbusters.

I also learned that different colored peppers are all actually the same, just at different stages of ripeness. They get sweeter as they ripen from green to red to yellow.

So I bring these home and announce that I'm going to make stuffed peppers. To which my husband replies, "But you're not a pepper person." True. Peppers kind of freak me out. At some point during my upbringing in the midwest I decided that all peppers were spicy like jalapenos, and I was not in to spicy. So I avoid them even though I now know better and actually like eating spicy foods (although, still not jalapenos).

But these were just so darn good looking.

Normally you boil the peppers for a few minutes, then assemble and bake. I skipped the boiling part and instead cooked ground turkey, spinach, and black beans in a skillet before filling and baking the peppers.

Hm. They could look more appetizing, I suppose.

These were really good, but a little bland despite my pile of spices (cumin, garlic, salt, pepper, chili powder). No idea where all those flavors went! Next time I'd add tomato paste to make it all stick a little better, and way, way more seasoning.

Oddly enough, this was the SparkRecipe of the day just a few days after I made them!

Am I a pepper person now? Let's just say, I was wondering if I could plant the seeds I pulled out ...