Tag Archives: quick and easy

Cranberry Pumpkin Microwave Muffins

20 Nov

Oh, you thought I was done posting muffins after ‘Muffin Month’ back in April?

cranberrypumpkinmicrowavemuffins002Nope.

And with Thanksgiving right around the corner for us US folks, and Halloween just past, what better fits the season than some pumpkin and cranberry? These taste like a lighter, airier version of pumpkin pie, and lend themselves well to various nutty additions, if you like a little crunch in your muffin.  Walnuts or pecans might suit them well.

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Feeling Saucy: Spicy Remoulade

16 Oct

remoulade003

For a busy October, I decided to feature a series of sauces, highlighting one each week.  While French in name, remoulade comes to us in the US by way of Cajun cuisine, frequently in the company of seafood, fried food, or po’boys, and with an accompanying dose of spicy heat.  This works great as a substitute for tartar sauce, a dressing for salad, or a dip for anything dippable.  Personally, I thought it made a great pairing with falafel, for lunch.

remoulade001

Ingredients

1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup garlic chives, chopped
2 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp hot sauce (such as Tabasco, Ligo, or Frank’s Red Hot)
2 tsp whole-grain Dijon mustard
2 tsp horseradish
2 tsp garlic, minced
2 tsp red pepper flakes

remoulade002

Mix all ingredients together.  Let sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving, to allow flavors to settle.

Enjoy!

Herbed Spinach Pasta Salad

2 Jun

herbedspinachpastasalad001Today, I bought a new ‘spice rack’.  There’s been a big agricultural fair at City Hall plaza, near my new house, these past few days, and I keep prowling past all the herbs and plant pots for sale with wishful eyes.  This one, though, was a winner.  It doesn’t take up much horizontal space, it’s stable on its base (for a minimum of cat-related damages), and it’s terribly easy to angle around each segment as needed.  I grabbed the stand, then promptly bought basil, rosemary, and golden lemon thyme to occupy it in my sunny window.  I figure the plants are a lot cheaper than buying the fresh herbs at the grocery store, only to have half of them spoil before I can use them due to getting too cold or too wet or too dry in the fridge or on the way home.  My fridge, by the way, is a beast at freezing things. I haven’t yet quite figured out how to turn the thermostat in there up a bit so it stops icing my water and destroying my green produce.

Anyway, with all these fresh herbs on hand, I decided it was time to make one of my old standby recipes again, a super easy pasta salad.

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Rum Double Chocolate Microwave Brownies

1 Sep

The most irritating about my kitchen, here in a tiny Korean studio apartment? (Well, aside from the fact that only one of my burners works…) No oven.  This means, no matter how many fascinating cookie, scone, bread, or pie recipes I see, I can’t give them a test run.  However, a friend swore she’d tried out a microwave cupcake recipe recently that had produced results, and it sent me on a wild Google spree to find something chocolate, carb, and sugar-loaded for my diet ‘cheat day’ that I could create in a microwave.  Naturally, the moment I found a promising-looking recipe, I changed chunks of it, threw in some extras, eyeballed the rest, and experimented wildly before even trying the original.  This was a logical thing to do.

Fortunately for me and my sudden and deep-seated need to eat all the chocolate, it worked.

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Monday mornings…

27 Aug

So, I had a whole list of Things I was Going to Do on Monday. I planned it all weekend.

These lofty goals included: cooking my favorite Moroccan chickpea soup, whipping up another batch of my new favorite sauce, redoing my manicure, vacuuming, washing my laundry, dressing like a competent adult, going to work, coming home at 9 on the dot, exercising for 45 minutes, fixing a healthy salad, and sleeping at a rational hour.

I managed to go to work, at least?

Instead of all the rest, I took a picture of my breakfast and tried very hard to feel accomplished about it.  My breakfast, mind you, was a couple of fried eggs, some black beans (from a can) heated up in the same pan with herb salt and red pepper, and some salsa (from a jar) spooned over it all.  Basically just huevos rancheros without the tortilla.  It was delicious, at least? And an entirely valid cooking choice on One of Those Days.

Anyway, since there is apparently a typhoon with the approximate dimensions of France sailing in tomorrow to hang about for a couple of days, and my office may or may not close, perhaps I’ll have some free time to do the other things.  You know, if we don’t lose power, in which case I may just end up rocking back and forth sadly and pushing unresponsive keyboard buttons until it returns.

Salad with an Attitude

16 Aug

Most people seem to get into the habit of thinking of salad as an afterthought, some vaguely nutritious green filler to cover a bare patch of plate.  I hate that kind of salad.  You know, the three limp pieces of romaine or iceberg smeared with some sort of dressing and a few slivers of carrot that you find awkwardly arranged in a bowl before you can get to the real food.  Forget that stuff.  This is a meal in itself. It eliminates sugars and processed carbs, but remains brimming with flavor, color, and texture. And with no meal-break at my job, it’s got to tide me over until I get home for dinner.

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