Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

This is a recipe I'm going to make tonight for the potluck after the Samhain ritual. Finger foods were requested, but there will be plates, so these saucy meatballs should be fine. I apologize for the lack of photos, but I haven't started making these yet, and my hands will be too meaty to photograph later.

The plan:

1 lb lean ground beef
1 lb ground pork
2 eggs
1 cup rolled oats
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup apricot preserves
1 bottle sweet chili sauce
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (optional)

Break up the meat in a bowl.
Sprinkle the onion soup mix over the meat mixture.
Measure out 1/2 cup of oats (you can add the other half if needed) and add to the meat.
Lightly beat too eggs and pour over.
Mix with your (spotlessly clean) hands until well combined.
Form into 1" meatballs.
Place meatballs onto a baking sheet that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray.
Bake at 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

For the sauce, combine ingredients in a large sauce pan. Simmer on medium-low heat until the preserves melt. Taste for seasoning and add the vinegar if you want more "sour".

Combine the meatballs with the sauce and simmer for 5 minutes.

You could keep these meatballs warm in a crock pot, or serve them at room temperature.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween

Recipe Repost: Taco Eyeballs

These are on my friends' menu tonight as "Broiled Cyclops Eyeballs" and are my offering for tonight's party.

1.5 lb ground beef (I used the kind with 27% fat)
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 egg
1/2 cup rolled oats or bread crumbs
sliced green or black olives

Preheat the oven to 450 F.
In a large bowl, lightly beat the egg.
Pour in the envelope of seasoning and the oats or bread crumbs. Whisk to combine.
Add the ground beef to the bowl and mix well.
Form 1" meatballs and place on a baking sheet that has been lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
Lightly press an olive slice into each meatball.
Bake at 450 for 10-15 minutes.

Serve with salsa for dipping, or serve in a taco shell on a bed of lettuce. Garnish however you please. Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Almost Halloween!

Where did Rocktober go?! It seems like just yesterday it was getting here, and now it's getting ready to go.

Well, I signed up for NaNoWriMo because I figured it would be the kick in the pants that I need to get some work done on my cookbook. If you take a look over there ----> , you'll see my copyright info. That's because I do plan to share a few bits and pieces as I go. I don't promise to write every day, nor do I think I will get to 50,000 words (mainly because no cookbook needs that many damn words!), but I'm going to try to get the introduction down and start organizing some recipes.

I hope everyone has a great Samhain. I hope it's a good celebration of the lives of your ancestors. If you have children, enjoy trick-or-treating with them. If you dress up, I'd love to see your costumes. I plan to post pictures of mine after tomorrow.

It's been a busy week at work and I still need to find time this weekend to grade some papers. It's going to be a busy weekend, full of revelry and ritual. If I don't post before November 1, have a happy new year! :)

Monday, October 25, 2010


November is National Novel Writing Month, as many of you know. I always have story ideas floating around in my brain, but nothing that I could turn into a novel. I don't have the patience, discipline, or organizational skills to write a novel. I do, however, have the necessary qualities to write a cookbook. I think. Sooooo, I'm thinking about using November to get part of my cookbook ready.

I don't know how much I'll post here, and I don't know if I'll write every single day (again with the lack of discipline). However, I do plan to try to prepare a recipe a day (not literally prepare in my kitchen, due to time and the fact that I live alone and just don't eat that much), and try to get some of the introduction down.

Anyone else participating in NaNoWriMo?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Attention, Recipe Testers!

This recipe has been floating around in my brain for quite some time. I'm thinking of making some for Samhain, if I have the time. If anyone tries this recipe, please let me know. I want to put it in the book. Thanks!

Pumpkin Samosas

1 package won ton wrappers
Water to moisten
Oil to fry

For the filling:
1 pound roasted pumpkin, lightly mashed (keep it slightly chunky)
1 small onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ chili, seeded and minced
½ teaspoon grated ginger
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon garam masala
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
Salt to taste
1-2 teaspoons sugar, optional
2-3 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped

In a skillet, heat the oil on medium to medium-high heat.
Fry the onions until they begin to soften.
Add the garlic, ginger and chili and fry for an addition 3 minutes.
Add the dried spices and stir to coat everything.
Add the pumpkin and stir to evenly combine.
Stir in the sugar if using.
Salt to taste.
Add the fresh coriander at the end.

To assemble, put about 1 teaspoon of filling into the middle of the won ton wrapper. Use water to moisten the edges of the wrapper and fold into a triangle, pressing firmly to seal.

Heat the oil to 350 degrees and fry about 4 at a time until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. This recipe will make several dozen.

Serve with mango or pear chutney.

Some of My Favorite Cooking Sites

Happy Sunday, everyone. Last night's Indian feast went very well. Everyone was pleased with the food.

Today I thought I would share some links with you all. These are my favorite recipe and cooking websites. If you have any to share with me, please leave them in the comments. I'd love to check out some of your favorite places.


Saturday, October 23, 2010


I finally get to cook for friends again! Last time I made a beef and stout pie, herb roasted potatoes, and ginger glazed carrots. I'll have to post the pie recipe later because it was deeeeelicious!

Tonight, however, is Indian night. I'm making:

Murgh Masallam - chicken in a tangy spiced sauce with yogurt
Mughlai potatoes - potatoes in a creamy sauce
Saag - spinach without the paneer (cheese) because I'm too lazy to make it
Samosas - fried pastries with potatoes, peas and spices.

These recipes are from www.ruchiskitchen.com. If you like Indian food, there are TONS of great resources on the web, but I tend to go to Ruchi's Kitchen the most.

I've decided that I am going to honor Annapurna as my kitchen goddess. Many honor Hestia, and I honor her as well, but there are so many kitchen deities from so many cultures around the world. I've done a post on Annapurna and a few other deities, including recipes to make for those deities.

I'm actually thinking of a second book before the first one even gets written. I'm planning on a book that covers various kitchen and hearth gods, plus foods you can make from those cultures in order to honor them. Any thoughts?

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend! I have a lot of straightening up to do before I can even start cooking! Good thing I got up early!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

What's Been Cooking?

Well, I must admit that I'm in a bit of a cooking rut. Actually, no, that isn't completely true. I have lots of ideas for recipes for the book, but it's not easy to get people together to test them. I can't make a full batch of something just for myself or it will go to waste.

Now we're getting to the tricky part. How many recipes to share? How long to keep them online if I do decide to share them? If I put them all online, what's the point of compiling them into a book?

I do still plan to share some recipes, so don't worry about that. If you were worried in the first place, that is. heh. Here are some things that have come out of my kitchen or will come out of my kitchen soon.

Beef and Stout Pie (for the book. delicious.)
Mushroom Soup (recipe already shared with y'all)
Pumpkin Samosas (Samhain recipe to test)
Meatloaf (tonight's dinner. should I include a meatloaf recipe or not?)

I might not post every single test recipe, but I am going to do my best to post more pictures of the making of the recipes. My kitchen is small, the lighting is bad, and my camera is cheap, so bear with me.

Hope you're all having a lovely weekend!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Sneak Peek

Here is a recipe I finally got around to making. In honor of the moon, here is my Moony Mushroom Soup. No, I don't like that name. I'll just call it "Mushroom Soup". Anyway, it'll be in the book if I ever get around to writing it. Copyrighted, y'all. Or something.

2.5 tablespoons butter
1/2 large onion, finely chopped
1 large portabello cap, diced
1 package crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 package dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in about 1 cup of boiling water
2 teaspoons fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
2 cans chicken broth, plus extra water if needed
1/2 cup half and half

In a large soup pot, melt the butter and cook the onions for about 5 minutes.
Add the fresh mushrooms and cook until slightly soft, another 5 minutes.
Add the dried mushrooms plus the soaking water, chicken broth and thyme.
Allow the soup to simmer, covered, for 10-15 minutes.
Check for seasoning and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Put the lid back on and let the soup sit for another 5 minutes.
Puree with a stick blender or in batches in a regular blender.
Add the pureed soup back to the pot and stir in the half and half.
Reheat gently if needed, taking care not to boil. Serve.

Friday, October 1, 2010

October is finally here

Hooray for October! I'm so glad it's finally here! Time to make kabak tatlisi and experiment with those pumpkin samosas for my cookbook and...HALLOWEEN! Happy October everyone. Let's hope it's so good we call it Rocktober.