Spicy Eggplants & Basil

Little Thai eggplants

On Friday we had a couple of pounds of Thai eggplants (round, slightly larger than a golf ball) that needed to be cooked. I decided I wanted to make a spicy eggplant dish to serve over rice.

I halved the eggplants and steamed them for about 10-15 minutes until they were soft (I do this so that they do not absorb oil/liquid when stir-fried).

I sauteed garlic, ginger, and red pepper flake in oil until they were aromatic. Then I added the softened eggplant, a couple of diced serrano peppers, soy sauce and fish sauce. I let that cook down until it all sort of became a squishy mess, removed it from heat, and then I tossed in a ton of fresh Thai basil. That’s it. It made for a tasty meal though the serranos were not as spicy as I thought, so it could have been spicier (sriracha or chili-garlic sauce helped at eating time).

Soup Weather

Homemade pho by N!

We’ve been living on soup recently. N made homemade pho for the first time, using a Steamy Kitchen recipe at the recommendation of a friend. It turned out very well! Not that pho is that expensive to go out and eat, but it’s nice to have some pho broth handy in the freezer when you’re not feeling up to going out.

Blini


It was our turn to host dinner and games this weekend. We went for a favorite of mine, blini! Yum.

Breakfast from Home

dutch apple baby

One would think that since I work from home and have a full kitchen at my disposal, I might take the time and cook breakfast more often. I don’t. I eat a lot of yogurt and fruit and protein bars. Oatmeal, cereal too. I occasionally will make an egg or a frozen waffle, but that’s infrequent.

Thursday I wanted a waffle or a pancake but I didn’t want to make a whole batch of anything. I thought to myself, “self! dutch baby!” Then I thought I’d add some apple to it since we keep getting apples in the CSA.

It didn’t puff up as much as I’d like and more apple would have been grand. Next time.

Leeks are pretty all in a pile

Before I forget to post today in the excitement and craziness — happy thanksgiving! I am thankful for ALL THE THINGS.

On Cranberries

Ye put de booze in de cranberries an' boil it all up

I have never really been a huge fan of cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense because I like cranberries a LOT.

A week or two ago I ran across this spiced cranberry sauce recipe. I think it was the spiced rum that twisted my arm. Tonight I made a batch of the spiced cranberries… in addition to a more traditional cranberry sauce. Initially I was going to make my mom’s cranberries. Her sauce has walnuts and ginger in it but everyone made a weird face about nuts in the cranberries. Instead I made a very plain “traditional” version (cranberries, sugar, orange zest, orange juice, a bit of Cointreau).

Sunday is Hockey Night

Local brewery American Brewing Co. has an IPA that is hockey themed – Breakaway IPA!

local hockey beer!

I finally managed to pick up a couple of bottles. It’s good! Maybe I’ll have a bit when I get home from my game tonight.

[I also really enjoyed their Caboose Oatmeal Stout on nitro. Delicious.]

Onion Jam

onion jam
taste test

I had a couple of tasks on my plan for today. One was to make this onion jam. It turned out well, though it’s a bit sweet (check out all the honey and balsamic vinegar). I think it will be fantastic on a grilled cheese sandwich.

Beer

In college I drank a fair amount of Guinness and the occasional Grolsch, which eventually turned into a lot of Newcastle.

I drank Newcastle for years as my go-to beer. N would drink all of these IPAs and I would take a pull: “too bitter!” “ew, armpits!”

Over time I grew to dislike Newcastle (too sweet!) and like the IPAs (mm, more bitter, more citrus, more evergreen, more armpit!).

Tonight I had a couple of Jackass IPAs by Skookum Brewery. It was not my favorite IPA — not enough hop nose on it — but it was ok.

I track beers in untappd these days. It’s fun. It makes me drink more beer.

[aside: in winter I generally tend to want to drink more hard liquor than beer. I get too cold for beer. So when I drink more gin than beer for the next five months, that's why. ]

Geometric Spinach

Spinach squares for the Thanksgiving potluck we're going to tonight

This was supposed to be a photo of the spanokopita triangles I made for a pre-Thanksgiving potluck we went to tonight. However N packed them up before I got the camera on them, oops! Instead I give you spinach squares (often called spinach brownies), best served at room temperature.

Yea, I was all about the geometric spinach dishes this time ’round.