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.
 Phone: 814-870-1885
Archive for May, 2012
Posted: May 31st, 2012

Sorry about not doing the drawing yesterday. I was trapped under something heavy.
Thanks to everyone who entered the drawing for “The Naked Foods Cookbook: The Whole-Foods, Healthy-Fats, Gluten-Free Guide to Losing Weight and Feeling Great” by Margaret Floyd and James Barry. The winner is Sarah Kreitzer.
If you are not Sarah Kreitzer, you are eligible to enter the drawing for Grace’s Sweet Life: Homemade Italian Desserts from Cannoli, Tiramisu, and Panna Cotta to Torte, Pizzelle, and Struffoli, by Grace Massa Langlois.
“Struffoli,” heh? Well, if you call it dessert, I’ll eat it. If you want to enter the drawing, send e-mail to jennie.geisler@timesnews.com.

Please include your NAME, MAILING ADDRESS and NAME OF THE BOOK. This information will not be shared or stored.

As you may imagine, none of the recipes in this book are shorter than two pages. They’re for experienced cooks who enjoy a challenge. The photography is mouth-watering.

For those of you just here for the food, here’s a simpler recipe for Tiramisu.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: May 29th, 2012

Confess your dietary sins and cleanse your spirit with Minty Fruit Salad.

Last week, I blithely posted a recipe for Honey-Chipotle Glazed Ribs, musing “Hmmmm these look good.”
Then I came across an even simpler one that I wanted to try this past weekend for one of my first times working with the baby back variety.
Grabbed some ribs at the store, hummed along gathering ingredients, prepping rub, sauce, foil pouches. Popped them in the oven, caramelized them on the grill, and happily enjoyed a small rack.
I’m lucky to be alive.
This is because soon after dinner, I sat down to track my Weight Watchers points and I almost fell out of my chair.
I worked the numbers over and over and over before I had to admit that I’d ingested nearly enough fat and carbohydrate to warrant calling an ambulance as a matter of course.
I thought about the number of times I’ve downed a plate of ribs at restaurants, blissfully ignorant of the dangers lurking within.
They were good, yes. Great, even. But it’ll be a long, long time before I get those numbers out of my head.
I need some Minty Fruit Salad. Stat.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: May 25th, 2012

I dare you to resist this image (from allrecipes.com). Try not to lick the screen.

I love macaroni salad. I don’t have a recipe for it, though, because it’s so evil health-wise that I don’t even want to know how to make it.
But this holiday weekend has me hung up on it.
For a “picnic” at work today, I made macaroni and cheese for a story about Internet recipes that will run June 10. That was awesome, but it didn’t satisfy my craving for creamy, tangy elbows with little crunchy bites of veggies.
After perusing recipes, it’s easy for me to see why the nutritional values on this stuff are so eye-popping. The dish is just mayo. And pasta. And mayo. And seasonings. And mayo.
I’m going to try easing up a bit on the mayo, maybe using half as much and reduced fat at that. This recipe for Macaroni Salad With A Kick looks like it has enough going on — jalapeno, white pepper — to go easy on the evil white stuff.
The way I plan to make it, 1/2 cup reduced-fat mayo, leaves us with
273 calories
7.7 grams fat
7 milligrams cholesterol
523 milligrams sodium
45 grams carbohydrate
2.2 grams fiber
7.4 grams protein
I just wish I knew the serving size. All the recipe says is serves 6. 6 what, I won’t know until I make it.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: May 24th, 2012

I'm having a hard time sitting at work, as opposed to going home to make Strawberry S'mores from Epicurious.com.

S’more season (It is too a season!) started at our house a month earlier than usual this year. Warm days and beautiful nights have beckoned me and my son and our neighbors to gather around our fire ring every Friday for weeks. We’ve burned through two bags of marshmallows, 10 Hershey’s bars and a box of Honey Maid graham crackers. Well, I think they were Food Club. Whatever.
This has proven more of a challenge this year than usual because I’m counting Weight Watchers points, but I have forced a S’more into the diet every week. There’s no way I can make S’mores for everyone but myself. Even if I tried, I’d probably nibble a cracker here, a marshmallow there and a hunk of chocolate anyway.
This recipe for Skewered Strawberry and Marshmallow S'mores might make stopping at one even harder.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: May 23rd, 2012

Lots of great ideas here for fresh summer vegetables, which are coming soon.

Thanks to everyone who entered the drawing for “Simple Shortcut Recipes,” from Gooseberry Patch. The winner is Jenn Sirak. I’ll pop it in the mail today.

If you are not Jenn Sirak, throw your name in the hat for "The Naked Foods Cookbook: The Whole-Foods, Healthy-Fats, Gluten-Free Guide to Losing Weight and Feeling Great" by Margaret Floyd and James Barry. Lots of creative and healthy dishes in here.

If you want the book, send an e-mail to jennie.geisler@timesnews.com including your NAME, MAILING ADDRESS and NAME OF THE BOOK.

If you need enticement, check this out:

SWEET POTATO BREAKFAST HASH
1 1/2 tablespoons ghee or lard
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 sweet potatoes, cubed (2 to 2 1/2 cups)
1/2 onion, diced (approximately 1/2 cup)
1/4 red bell pepper, diced (approximately 1/4 cup)
1/4 yellow bell pepper, diced (approximately 1/4 cup)
2 stalks celery, diced (approximately 1/2 cup)
2 cups chopped kale
3 chicken, turkey or pork sausage links, cut into 1/2-inch-thick half moons

1. Preheat oven to 385 degrees. Place an oven tray in the oven as it preheats, along with a large heat-resistant mixing bowl with the ghee in it to melt.
2. When the ghee has melted, remove from oven and add the salt, black pepper, paprika, cumin and chili powder to the bowl, mixing well. Add the sweet potatoes, onion, red and yellow peppers and celery. Toss well to coat the veggies thoroughly in the ghee and spice mixture.
3. Pull the heated oven tray out of the oven, spread the veggies on it and bake for 15 minutes.
4. At the 15-minute mark, pull the veggies out of the oven, add the kale and sausage, stir to mix them in, and put the tray back in the oven for another 15 to 17 minutes, until has has lightly browned.
Serve warm.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: May 22nd, 2012

Well, the photo is kind of, well, bad. I mean artsy. But the meat still looks like it would taste good.

Since you’re here, I’m guessing you have some experience with the Internet. I’m also guessing you have some experience finding recipes on the Internet. Given these, I would love to talk to you about how the Internet has changed your cooking, your recipe collections, your social interactions.
Tell me how you search for recipes and how they find you. Also, share the extent of your “want to try” pile. I even want to how you keep track of the ones you love. Meaning recipes.

Yes, I’m talking to you. Write me, or call me at 870-1885, send me a homing pigeon to tell me just how much you love your bytes.

In the meantime, I’ll share a totally click-butt recipe for Honey-Chipotle Glazed Ribs. that I got from … the Internet. Martha Stewart.com to be exact. One of my favorite sites.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: May 21st, 2012

I'm lousy at taking food photos, so I have no image of mine. Rest assured the distinctive noodles will be put to good use in my mom's lasagna.

My mom maintains a stable of tried-and-true go-tos for big dinners and picnics, including lasagna.
You could say it was my first recipe, and it’s served me well over the years. I made it for more than one boyfriend and my college roommates, and none of them went hungry that day.
It’s by no means the lasagna Italian folks grew up on, but I love it, and so does my husband.
John ran a half-marathon (13.1 miles) in Cleveland Sunday, something he trained for by running 600 miles over 18 weeks. He’s been eating us out of house and home.
Yesterday was not a day for screwing around with unproven or portion-controlled recipes. It was time to bring out the big gun.

MOM’S LASAGNA
1 pound ground round, or lean hamburger
1 67-ounce jar Prego Traditional Italian sauce
8 lasagna noodles, boiled if necessary (some you don’t have to. I like to use whole-wheat noodles when I can find them.)
32 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 egg
(Mom uses a 10-ounce box of frozen spinach, but John doesn’t like it.)
6 medium slices provolone cheese
8 ounces shredded mozzarella

1. Brown ground round in a large skillet, drain fat and add Prego. Turn heat to low and stir once in a while.
2. Prepare lasagna noodles according to package instructions. If you have noodles that don’t require boiling, skip this step.
3. Combine ricotta, Parmesan and eggs, and stir well.
4. Thaw and squeeze moisture from spinach, if using.
5. When the noodles are done, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
6. Spread 2 cups of meat sauce in a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Cover sauce with 4 of the noodles.
7. Gently spread ricotta mixture over noodles. If you’re adding the spinach, spread it over the ricotta. (I used a medium sliced zucchini Sunday, which made it a little watery.) Cover ricotta (or vegetables if using) with provolone slices.
8. Cover provolone with 4 more noodles. Pour the rest of the sauce over top and spread mozzarella cheese evenly over top.
9. Bake, covered with foil, 45 minutes, or until bubbling. (If it’s not bubbling, that means the center isn’t hot enough.) Remove from oven and let the lasagna rest at least 10 minutes before slicing.
Cook’s note: Sometimes Mom builds this the day before or in the morning and puts it in the refrigerator. If it’s cold, you probably need to cook it an hour or so.
Serves 12-16

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: May 18th, 2012

I love Fine Cooking magazine almost as much as I love this recipe for asparagus pesto.

One of my favorite food magazines is Fine Cooking. Many of the recipes are over my head, but I find a lot that are right up my alley. I just perused my April/May edition and, as always, found two great ideas. Well, there are probably more, but I stopped when I hit two before I got carried away.
The first is Asparagus Pesto, which looks like it would be fabulous on sandwiches.
The second is so simple, they wrote it in a paragraph, with no amounts. But you can probably figure it out.
Chicken Soup with Avocado and Cilantro
Bring chicken broth to a boil and season with salt. Add shredded, cooked chicken and heat through.
Divide diced avocado, coarsely chopped fresh cilantro and minced jalapenos in bowls. Add broth and chicken to each and squeeze in a bit of lime juice.
Is it dinner time yet?

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: May 17th, 2012

I can't wait to go home and pound the crap out of a chicken breast at the behest of HuffPost Kitchen Daily.

To be honest, I’m writing about Mustard-Garlic Chicken Paillards with Spring Peas and Lemon because of the word “paillards.” This allows me to share Marnie Mead’s succinct definition of the fancy-sounding French word: “Basically it means you pound the crap out of something until it’s really thin.”
Awesome. I can do that. With gusto.
Of course the recipe itself looks fabulous. It was one of 50 chicken recipes recently gathered into a story for HuffPost Kitchen Daily, one of my new favorite e-mailed newsletters.
E-mailed newsletters are my favorite way to look at new recipes: They’re already vetted and caramelized by food people, creating a high concentration of great ideas.
They come to me, so I don’t have to go fishing in the vast Google sea. They help me keep up on trends and give me opportunity to join the fun or roll my eyes.
And it’s all free.
My favorites, besides Marnie's Make It Erie of course:
The Daily Meal (www.dailymeal.com)
Everyday Food (www.marthastewart.com)
Epicurious Recipe of the Day (www.epicurious.com)
Real Simple Weekly Tips (www.realsimple.com)

On this note, I’d like to invite any and all of my readers to join me in a story about how the Internet has changed the way we search for recipes, our relationship with food, and food trend obsessions.
Where do you get your ideas? How do you keep them? Has your system changed in recent years? Come one, come all. Please reply, or send an email to jennie.geisler@timesnews.com.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: May 16th, 2012

Thanks to all who entered the drawing for “The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook,” by Lindsay Landis. The winner is Lisa Nelson. I’ll pop it in the mail today.

If you are not Lisa Nelson, you’re eligible to enter the drawing for “Simple Shortcut Recipes,” from Gooseberry Patch. Attentive readers will notice I gave this away a few weeks ago, but now I have another copy.

To enter, send an e-mail to jennie.geisler@timesnews.com including your NAME, MAILING ADDRESS and NAME OF THE BOOK by Tuesday at midnight.

For those of you just here for the food, here’s an incredible recipe that crossed my desk last week from co-worker Jeff Hileman.

JALAPENO POPPER DIP
16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup mayonnaise
8 pieces of bacon, cooked and chopped up
6 jalapeños, minced (if you can’t get fresh, substitute a 4-ounce can diced jalapeño peppers, drained)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Topping
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise, bacon, jalapenos, garlic, cumin and cheddar cheese in a mixing bowl. Pour the mixture into a casserole dish or 9×13 baking dish.
3. Combine the panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese and melted butter in a small bowl, tossing with a fork until the mixture is evenly moistened. Sprinkle evenly over the cream cheese mixture.
4. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the dip is bubbling. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips, crackers, vegetables, etc.
Note: Six jalapeno peppers might seem excessive while you’re mincing, but they get milder in the cooking, so don’t be timid.
– browneyedbaker.com

Posted in: Uncategorized