Monthly Archives: January 2010

Mushroom Tarts

I found myself with a few random ingredients and decided to make something out of them a couple of weeks ago when some friends were coming over to watch the Golden Globes. You won’t see any specific amounts here, since I was just winging it. I’m sure all kinds of stuff would be good added to these, but this is a good starting off point for variations…

I used almost 2 pkgs of crescent roll sheets — basically the ones without the perforations. I sprayed muffin pans with Pam, then cut squares of the dough and pushed them into the cups. Some covered the whole cup, some didn’t — it didn’t really matter in the end.

1 pkg sliced baby bella mushrooms,
onion and/or shallot
minced garlic
fresh herbs: thyme, sage
Italian bread crumbs
Parmesan cheese (you could easily substitute veggie cheese(s) here!)
salt and pepper

1. First, I sauteed the onion and garlic in a little olive oil, then added the chopped sage and thyme, salt and pepper.

2. Chopped and sauteed almost the whole package of mushrooms — in the end I could have used more filling, so I should have used the whole thing.

3. After they were all soft and sauteed, I added just a little bit of shredded Parmesan cheese, and a sprinkling of bread crumbs to bind everything together.

4. I divided the filling into the cups, remembering that the dough would puff up a bit upon cooking. I sprinkled extra cheese on top of about half of them, knowing half of the people eating them don’t love a lot of cheese.

5. I baked them according to a recipe on the side of the roll canister — about 10 minutes at 350 degrees or so. I just kept an eye on them until the dough started to brown a little.

I realize this is all a little vague, but that’s what’s good about cooking sometimes — it doesn’t have to be exact. Everyone loved them, so I guess winging it sometimes works!

See the happy faces!!

I think if Scott was alone, he would have rolled around in them. He smacked my hand away when I tried to enjoy one of my own creations.

Pumpkin Soup!

I decided this weekend that I needed to make soup. Maybe because I was fighting a cold yet again, but it’s cold, soup is hot — and there you have it.

I stole my sister’s soup cookbook and saw MANY that I will definitely try (um… ginger leek soup, anyone?). Then I remembered that I have three cans of pumpkin puree in my pantry from Thanksgiving. Since I first started going to my squeeze’s family Thanksgiving in Champaign, Ill., three years ago, I have been the designated pumpkin-pie-maker.

Due to work and some unforeseen circumstances, our trip was axed the morning we were supposed to leave, and the pies never got made (by me, anyway). I didn’t know if pumpkin soup existed, but certainly there is butternut squash soup, and it’s practically the same thing, right?

A quick Google search and I was happy with one of the first I found. A good friend just got out of the hospital after a wicked Penicillin reaction during dental surgery (talk about kicking someone while they’re down), so I decided to double the batch. Holy hell did it make a lot of soup. Around 20 cups to be exact. That had to be pureed one at a time. That is how said squeeze, me, our two guests, recently-sprung-from-the-hospital-friend (and likely her husband) and yet another sick friend got dinner last night. Buyza Soup Kitchen was born.

Without further ado, here is the recipe (a single batch version, which has 7-10 servings). I’ll list the recipe as I found it, then tell you what I added to it at the end. My guess is, you could throw about anything in this soup and it would be delicious.

6 c. vegetable stock
1 1/2 tsp. salt
4 c. pumpkin puree
chopped fresh parsley
1 c. chopped onion
1/2 tsp. fresh thyme
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 c. whipping cream
5 whole peppercorns

1. Heat stock, salt, pumpkin, onion, thyme, garlic and peppercorns in a pot. (I think next time I will probably saute the onions and garlic in a bit of oil and then add everything else…).

2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes uncovered.

3. Puree the soup (I went with a blender) in small batches – 1 cup at a time (toward then end of my 4,000 cups, I was doing 2 or 3 at a time, but I do think some chunks got through). Some of the people who reviewed the recipe online said they did it right in the pot with a hand mixer too.

4. Return to pan and bring to a boil again.Reduce heat to low and simmer 30 minutes uncovered.

5. Stir in heavy cream. After I made the soup, I realized coconut milk would probably be DELICIOUS in this – and make it vegan. I think I’ll try it next time just to see.

6. Pour into soup bowls and garnish with fresh parsley.

NOW for the additions, I made….

I put in extra salt and pepper — my guess is, if you don’t have the peppercorns, obviously you can just use ground pepper.

I also added touches of garlic powder, cinnamon and ginger powder. I think next time I might add some curry too and see how that goes!

The thyme I bought also came with sage, so I put a bunch of that in, not to mention far more thyme than the recipe asked for.

I served it with some French bread — a good crusty baguette would actually be great with this though.

I just ate it for dinner AGAIN and, after a day to hang out, it’s definitely a little spicier than it was last night, but still really good.

For some reason, the idea of making the effort to puree a soup always turned me off from doing it. I am no longer afraid (even 20 cups later). I’m so glad my laziness didn’t stop me from discovering this soup!

Martha goes veg!

Martha Stewart made a list of her 50 best vegetarian recipes. Definitely some repeats from the last time she sent out a list like this, but worth the repeats all the same I say.

You can check it out HERE.

WOOL AND WATER: Mmmmm Lentils…..

Here is a delicious looking lentil dish, posted by another fellow Michigan crafter. Check it out!

WOOL AND WATER: Mmmmm Lentils…..

Best kale dish and super easy too!

This recipe comes from my crafting partner in crime Jay (pictured* with me at our 2009 Detroit Urban Craft Fair booth). I was kind of a kale freak this summer, but never really found the perfect recipe. This one sounded sooooo good when Jay told me about it, I asked her to pass it on. Here it is!

Kale (I like the dark purple kind best, with the stems removed and chopped coarsely)
sliced almonds
dried tart cherries
red wine vinegar or lemon juice
salt and pepper
olive oil

• Saute shallot, almonds and cherries in a little olive oil until shallots are soft.
• Add kale and toss around until wilted. sprinkle with salt and pepper and a little lemon juice or vinegar.
• Serve over a bed of couscous (for extra flavor, use broth instead of water when cooking the couscous)

* Photo by Tafari