Loaves & Dishes
By Jennie Geisler Erie Times-News staff blogger
Follow Jennie Geisler's kitchen adventures on her Loaves & Dishes blog.   Read more about this blog.
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Archive for January, 2011
Posted: January 27th, 2011

Baked Salmon over Apple-Ginger Quinoa

Baked Salmon over Apple-Ginger Quinoa

A couple of weeks ago, I was run over with a truckload of recipes for lasagna in the slow cooker. I shared one with you, because apparently interest was high.
I’m back to swimming downstream with Baked Salmon with Apple-Ginger Quinoa. The only food more trendy than quinoa right now is, well, nothing. The ancient grain is the only vegetable source of the complete protein you’d get from eating meat. It also packs in nutrition in other forms, but the best part is, it’s filling and delicious with just about everything. You cook it like you do rice. It looks like couscous, but it’s a seed, not a pasta.
I wrote about (KIN-wah) in a Loaves & Dishes column a few years ago, but it’s really hit star status now, making it onto every self-respecting list of healthiest foods, just like, well, salmon. So if you’re into taste and nutrition and trends — and taste, this recipe should more than fill the bill.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 26th, 2011

Tuesday was a banner day in the Hutchison household. I made three killer dips for an upcoming story on the Super Bowl (Friday, Feb. 4 Weekend cover). Nothing disappears faster at our house than dip. Absolutely nothing.. My husband, as a ridiculously active athlete in high school, could eat a bag of chips and container of dip in one night. He probably still could, so I consider his restraint admirable. Sugar is my Achilles heal, but his is anything you can eat off a chip or cracker.
The most difficult part of my dip project was choosing, three from the Food Network’s package of 50 Game-day Dips. If you can’t wait until next Friday to read about the ones I made, check out the package and see what I mean. If you like dips as much as my husband, I dare you to narrow it down.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 24th, 2011

It’s prime time snack season. The biggest football game in the world is coming, and people want food they can eat on the couch.
Of course, wings, chili, pizza and dips and football-shaped cookies will be on the table. But it’s possible to sneak in some nutrition under the guise of dessert. Stir in some sweet fruit with some sweet yogurt and even guys’ guys might take a serving.
I happen to love, love, love fruit salad in any form. This one looks delicious, and a frresh, seasonal change from the melon/grape/berry fest that doesn’t work that well in the dead of winter. I love making dinner out of snacks, even when it’s just me, and my two boys (40 and 5) standing around the table, double dipping without shame.
I think I’ll make Fresh Fruit Salad with Honey-Yogurt Dressing Feb. 6, and trick (at least myself) into eating my way out of a nutritional hole.
Click here for yum.

P.S. The chicken stock/soup adventure went well. I got a late start though, and we didn’t eat until 8 p.m. It was worth it.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 21st, 2011

It’s a big Sunday, I’m told, in the football world. The games will be on at my house. My husband will be in the recliner with his Velveeta dip, trying to decide which teams he hates less.

I’m planning something of a playoff game myself, but mine will be edible. I’m going to go all the way with making chicken stock and chicken noodle soup the old-fashioned hard way. I’m gettin’ a big chicken and boilin’ it up with all the veggies and stuff and then taking the chicken off the bone, stirring in some kluski noodles and goin’ to town.

I’ve done this in pieces before, but never all at once. And I’m ready. This is my idea of fun.

Game time.


Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 20th, 2011

Chicken with Peas & Quinoa from Campbell's

I get recipe ideas all the time from companies such as Campbell’s, Betty Crocker and the like. Yes, they all call for ingredients these companies make, but, you know, there’s nothing wrong with that. I don’t take enough advantage of prepared ingredients like condensed soup and pre-chopped veggies. Why not? I have no idea, really. It’s not some high-minded control-freakish choice I make. It’s just a habit to do it all myself.
The lady across the street from me is a working mother. Our sons play together all the time. She always has dinner on the table in 20 minutes using simple throw-togethers like these. I don’t know why I have to make everything so complicated.
Here’s a simple one I might make when I run out of leftovers here pretty soon.
You can try it too.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 19th, 2011

Good day on the technology front. Wegmans new 10th anniversary issue of Menu came out and it has something called “QR codes.” I can use my smartphone (present from Santa) to scan a code inside the magazine that sends videos and recipes to the screen on my phone. The camera lens on the phone just looks at the code, and pretty soon, there’s a chef demonstrating the recipe on my phone screen. Way cool.

Also downloaded the Epicurious mobile app for Android-based phones. It’s a good one. First, it’s free. Second it’s lightening fast, access to thousands of recipes, an easy save-to-faves button and shopping list. I’ll be using that one a lot. So long floppy 8×11 papers falling all over my grocery cart!
The Food Network app costs $2 and it’s reviews are all over the place. I’ll hold off for now.
Speaking of now,

My God, this looks awesome.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 18th, 2011

A friend of mine likes to say that “Life is what happens to you while you’re making other plans.”
Well, there are some super simple recipes out there that I make on hurried weeknights, when I’m planning bigger dishes for my column. Sometimes I think readers would appreciate the super simple ones. Well, I found a treasure trove yesterday while planning what to make for my next few Loaves & Dishes column.
I get a weekly newsletter for simple recipes from parents.com. The one I got last week had a collection of healthy ones to try in the new year. I took one to make for a Loaves & Dishes in February, but the others will make it onto my dinner table soon enough — literally.
Here’s one

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 14th, 2011

Today I’m asking you for recipes. I’m doing a story for Feb. 4 on getting together for the Super Bowl. The big game is in Dallas this year, and I thought I’d try to rustle up a script or two for food you might find there. If anyone has been to Dallas, or Texas, or just has a good Tex-Mex dish, or knows what they like to eat down there, I’m all ears. Drop me a comment, send me a link, drop an e-mail (jennie.geisler@timesnews.com) whatever your pleasure.

I know they like beef in their chili. That they like beef in general, and that their cakes are wide and flat. Unfortunately, I don’t get many opportunities to make cake, nor should I. No one has a bigger problem with it than I do. Allow me to live vicariously through the knowledge that you might make this:

Texas sheet cake

By the way, I’m on Twitter now. Find me at @geislerjen. Follow me and I’ll follow you.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 13th, 2011

Alright already! If I see one more recipe for slow-cooker lasagna, I’m going to beat myself with a hot wet noodle.
It’s everywhere. I tried making it not too long ago and we liked it a lot. It doesn’t make for the most beautiful oblong hunks of lasagnas you see in food photos, because you’re taking it out of a slow cooker. It’s going to look like any other helping of casserole. It’s also kind of awkward to get the square noodles neatly into an oval/round slow cooker. But these are superficial complaints. The finished product is delicious — and everywhere. Click here for a good-looking recipe.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 12th, 2011

So McDonald’s comes out with this oatmeal. It has apples and some kind of dried berry and a nut or two. Looks pretty good. Of course, everything they make has been focused-grouped to kingdom come and somebody somewhere told them it at least tasted good. I was aware the nutritionals might be a different story, but all the promotion piqued my interest.
I love oatmeal and make it all the time — the old fashioned kind, which cooks in just 2 minutes 30 seconds in my microwave. Don’t come at me with that instant mush I ate as a kid. There’s no comparison.
But, hey, I like Mickey D’s new-ish grilled chicken snack wraps, and their salads are pretty good and you’d think they’d be on the ball with a simple bowl of oatmeal …
I’m guessing you can tell I was underwhelmed. First of all, it appeared that the clerk who took my money had to mix it up herself, which took longer than it would have taken me to make it myself at home. I was the only one in line, but I was wondering what in goodness name they’d do if the place was jammed.
Anyway, since she took such loving care of it, and the whole focus group thing, and the promotions and … I guess I was expecting more than a lukewarm, watery apple-chunk soup.
Ugh. If you love oatmeal, don’t go there. And if you don’t like oatmeal, please, please, don’t start there.

Posted in: Uncategorized