And together we learn

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Food. Yummy yummy food.

All day long, I write blog posts in my head. They're witty, informative, full of sparkling and creative prose. Then I get in front of my computer each night and ..... nothing. I got nothing, folks.

So I'll revert to the easy way out and do a couple of food posts. Because things have been GOOD around here in the food realm of the togetherwelearn household.

My sisters and I are embracing some communal living--we've had dinner together almost every day this week. There's something so right about working together as women. There are some aspects of polygamy that make a whole lot of sense. Just some, mind you. The big negative??? There's just no getting around that one obvious flaw in the system. But the hanging out with other women idea of it is fabulous.

Anyway, the food. Oh, the food!! Last night we made some Greek-type pita hamburgers that were inspired by a recipe from the Smitten Kitchen's kebabs. Oh, help me, these were good!! Not just a little good. These were groan-out-loud, roll eyes and swoon good.

Greek hamburgers
1/2 cup oatmeal, or cracker crumbs, or bread crumbs
1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
1 lb ground meat-- we used hamburger, but lamb or turkey would be excellent
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (do more if you don't have little people!)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Mix everything up and grill patties. We served ours on pita bread with sliced cucumbers, garden tomatoes, red onions, feta, and a mint yogurt sauce.

Eat, with lots of napkins and you'll be really really happy.

For dessert, I made Cherry Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Almond Buttercream. And those, my friends, are happiness incarnate. Oh, so yummy! I found this recipe at Cast Sugar, and I'm so glad I did.

Chocolate Cherry Cakes with Almond Buttercream

1/2 c. butter
1 1/2 c. bakers sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 c. good unsweetened cocoa powder
1 3/4 c. cake flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 (21-oz.) can cherry pie filling
For the buttercream:
1 1/4 c. confectioner’s sugar
1/3 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease and flour one 9x13 inch baking pan.

Cream the butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs and almond extract and beat well. Add the cocoa powder and mix until well combined.

By hand, stir the cake flour, baking soda and salt together. Add flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in the cherry pie filling. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake at 350 F for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the middle comes out clean. Cool.

For the buttercream: Add the butter, confectioner’s sugar, salt, and almond extract to the stand mixer and mix on low using the paddle attachment until combined. Turn the speed to med-high until the buttercream is fluffy. Spread or pipe onto the cooled cake.

I realize the photos are pretty crappy. There's an art to taking food photos, and I haven't mastered it yet. But please know that these are utterly and completely delicious.

And since I'm on a roll here, tonight for dinner I made a recipe from Mollie Katzen's Vegetable Heaven that I've had my eye on for years. You can tell by just the name that it's going to be yummy, and it surely didn't disappoint.

Lentils with Caramelized Onions and Slow Roasted Tomatoes

4 onions, cut into rings
3 T butter
1/2 t salt
4 big tomatoes
1 T brown sugar
1 T balsamic vinegar
8 C cooked lentils (about 3 cups dried)

Melt the butter and add the onions and salt. Cook for a long time on slow heat, until really brown and soft and delicious. About 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Meanwhile, roast the tomatoes whole in a oiled pan in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Let them cool a while, then skin them and chop them up, draining all the extra water that oozes out.

Meanwhile again, cook the lentils in about 8 cups of water. Add some salt to the water if you feel like it.

Combine the cooked lentils, tomatoes, and caramelized onions in a 9 x 13, and add the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Salt and pepper generously, then bake, covered with foil, for about 30 minutes.

Feel really really good about your life when you eat them.

4 comment(s):

How nice to have sisters nearby!

Your posts always make my mouth water.

By Blogger Hannah, at 12:59 PM  

Hey wait a minute. Im on a diet! It all looks scrumptious!

By Blogger Mrs. Darling, at 5:37 PM  

I'm sad I missed greek hamburger night! I'll have to try them at home. Yummy!

By Blogger Emily, at 2:53 PM  

Mm that was good cake. Is it normal to be craving cake and cookies and chocolate and sweets and sugar in general when pregnant? :)

Very yummy lentils, too. I was going to ask for the recipe, now here it is! yay!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:52 PM  

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