Best Breakfast

October 31st, 2011

Over the summer, Pat’s brother’s girlfriend Fia made this for breakfast one morning and it was the perfect breakfast: simple, fresh, delicious, and very filling. This isn’t a normal weekday breakfast for me, but great for a little Sunday brunch with mimosas or if you have a little extra time in the morning (:

Ingredients:

Big handful of tortilla chips: approx. 10 chips
3 tablespoons medium salsa
2 eggs
fresh arugula
salt and pepper
frank’s hot sauce (optional)

Directions:

Break up chips into slightly smaller pieces (I broke each chip in half) over pan

Mix in salsa and put on medium-high heat

Add eggs and mix around the chips without breaking the yolk

Continue to do so for several minutes until fully cooked

Spoon over arugula

Add salt, pepper, and a little hot sauce

To borrow a phrase from Rachel Ray (or Anthony Bourdain mocking Rachel Ray), Yummo!

So I was planning on taking a picture of the apple butter cream cheese I made, but I kind of..um…ate all of it.  I could include a pic of the cream cheese shmear shtains on my shweater but that’s probably not appetizing.
In lieu of a lame stock photo, the next logical option is a photo of a dog dressed up as an apple. Obviously. So I googled ” dog apple costume”- It never occurred to me that I needed to specify apple the fruit. This was the first image to come up:

What the… I don’t even…What?! Someone actually made this? One can’t help but be impressed.  It’s an amazing costume. It even has a cord leash.

Alright back to food.  One of my favorite things these days, next to iPups, is apple butter. Apple butter is basically a concentrated apple sauce preserve.  It’s great with buttered toast, fancypants cheeses, etc. I put it on turkey and cheddar grilled sandwiches just about every day last week. So good.  It also turns out to make an incredibly delicious, suuper seasonal, flavored cream cheese . Here’s how to make it:

Ingredients:

4 oz. or half a packet of regular cream cheese
3 tablespoons of apple butter
1/4 cup of chopped walnuts or almonds

Directions:

Put the cream cheese and apple butter together in a bowl

Mash it with whatever you’ve got (fork, masher, pestle and mortar, etc) until it’s well blended

If you have a toaster oven, lightly toast the chopped nuts. This is optional- they taste great either way.

Add the walnuts/almonds to the bowl. Stir until evenly blended.  You just made your own fancy autumn cream cheese woop wooop!

Spread goes great on bagels, toast, crackers, and pita chips.

Here are some Halloween links to look at:

What Your Halloween Candy Says About You- This is a very important read, people.

90 Corgis In Costumes- obligatory adorableness

Thanks and Enjoy!

 

 

 

I’m very much in love with tapenades and bruschetta. The two I use the most are Wegmans Roasted Red Pepper Bruschetta  and Bella Famiglia Roasted Red Pepper & Artichoke Tapenade  for pasta, sandwiches, dips and, of course, soup.

So here’s another belly warmer for you folks.  This soup was very good and slightly richer than its predecessor. Here we go:

Ingredients:

5 cups of butternut squash cut into 2 inch cubes
1 can of condensed tomato soup
10 oz of water (aka soup can)
3 tablespoons roasted red pepper bruscetta/tapenade
2 tablespoons minced onions
1 tablespoon brown sugar
salt and pepper
*Sriracha sauce, hot sauce, and/or red pepper flakes for those with a spice tooth (extra sauce for el grande cojones! eep!)

Directions:

Boil squash in water for 30 minutes

Then let squash simmer on medium-low heat for 15 minutes until squash is very soft

While squash is simmering, in a medium sized pot, mix tomato soup, water, red pepper bruscetta, and onions on low heat, stirring every few minutes

Drain, put the squash on a large plate or flat surface

Mash into mush with a fork

Add to soup pot. Stir until blended then let sit on medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring it every so often.

This was great.  After eating this I took a picture of my favorite halloween decorations  I bought in Concord, Massachusetts last month- Disco Glitter Skeleton and Frankenstein napkins:

Disco Glitter Skeleton…just maxin’ here. NBD.

Triple Berry Crumble Pie

October 25th, 2011

Mmm look at this pie. Berries are just jumping out at your face, amiright?  I learned a new lesson in food photography the other day:

Sometimes you want to get. really. super. berry-goop-on-your-camera-lens close.

I realize these are summer fruits, and both the higher cost and  lesser availability of these fruits might be a disincentive for some of you. Frozen berries are a great option here. Fresh blueberries were oddly enough the most expensive of the three berries; so I bought frozen blueberries, and bought fresh raspberries and blackberries.

Crust:
Pie dough by premade Wegmans. (If you’d rather make your own crust, go nuts)

Filling:
4 cups of berries: if frozen, thaw and drain
(I used 2 cups blueberries, 1 cup  raspberries, 1 cup blackberries)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 dash salt


extreme close up whoooaaaaa!

Topping:
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup butter, melted

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

Mix topping ingredients together, stirring in the melted butter last, and set aside.

Roll out dough and shape into 9″ pie pan and set aside

Cook all the filling ingredients EXCEPT the berries on medium heat, whisking frequently, until it is well blended and thick

Remove filling from heat and stir in berries.

Spoon filling into pie crust

Crumble topping over filling, completely covering the berries

Place pie on a cookie sheet (helps cook the bottom) and bake in oven for 45 minutes

Cool and serve!

A summer-y video for the summer berries:

Squash Soup 1

October 24th, 2011

You may be asking yourself, “Squash soup 1? You mean there’s going to be ANOTHER squash soup recipe? A squash soup 2?!? Good gourd!!” You bet your ass there’s another squash soup recipe, so please calm down and stop making squash puns, you’re embarrassing yourself.

To be clear, I did not just run out to a patch and gut a whole butternut squash. I bought 3 pounds of pre-cut butternut squash, which is VERY cheap right now. Hooray for in-season goods!!

Ingredients:
5 cups of butternut squash, cut into 2 inch cubes
1 can (10 oz.) of vegetable broth
2 tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup of chopped onion
1/3 cup of brown sugar
a dash of ground cinnamon, salt and pepper to taste

Boil squash for in water for 30 minutes and then let simmer on medium-low heat for 15 minutes until squash is very soft

Drain, put the squash on a large plate or flat surface, and (my favorite part) MASH the bejeezus out of it with a fork.

(squish squash squish squash squish squash)

Put it medium-sized pot, add broth, onions, butter, brown sugar. Stir until blended then let sit on medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring it every so often.

Serve!

Brace yourself, because you are about to take the 3 greatest cookies and combine them into one King Cookie.  Peanut butter, oatmeal, and chocolate chip.  The original recipe here as well as the above photo source (for most of my posts I will use my own photos, today we’re just gettin the ball rolling). 

Oatmeal is the backbone here. It changes the overall consistency of the cookie and melds with the peanut butter to give it a strudel-like crisp at the edges.  Mmm. FINALLY oatmeal is back in the winner’s circle where it belongs! Free to blossom apart from the lowliest of cookie invaders… the raisin. This sun-dried booger fruit has no place in a cookie.  What makes raisins even more loathsome is they look like chocolate chips at first glance! Don’t act like you’ve never scanned the hell out of a cookie platter at a family reunion to ensure that you don’t accidentally pick the raisin cookie. Blech.

 Aaaaanyways, after making these several times I’ve made a few tiny changes to the original, but the bulk of the recipe is about the same. 

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 stick (½ cup) butter, at room temperature
½ cup creamy peanut butter
½ cup brown sugar (light or dark doesn’t matter!)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
½ cup rolled oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Here we go!

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray cookie sheets with Pam or line with parchment paper (parchment paper = you dont have to wash the cookie sheets after) and set aside.

2. Put flour, salt, baking soda in small bowl and set aside

3. With an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together the butter, peanut butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract until smooth. Add the egg and beat to combine. On low speed, gradually add the flour until just combined. Stir in the oats, and then the chocolate chips.

4. Using a heaping small spoon (roughly equivalent to 2-3 tbsp) drop dough onto prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly golden. Cool completely on the baking sheet and then store in an airtight container at room temperature. Woo!

In honor of oats, the humble ringer of this recipe,  a little Hall and Oates:

        

Welcome to Ragamuffin Recipes!!

October 21st, 2011

Ragamuffin is more than just a funny word; it’s my cooking lifestyle. Despite my small kitchen, two left feet, long workdays, and chronic laziness, my love of food has triumphed over all aforementioned obstacles. Cooking and baking are loves of mine, and a great way for me to be creative and relieve stress.

Many of the recipes I will share with you on this blog are adaptations of gourmet recipes made with the following types of cooking aficionados in mind:

The Hopelessly Messy/Clumsy Cook“No guys, I don’t know how Cheetos cheese dust got on my forehead/back/ankle.”

Do you always have food stains on your clothes? Are you constantly tripping over your own feet and bumping into coffee tables?  Well, either you need glasses or like me, you’re an impossibly awkward, all thumbs, bull-in-a-china-shop human being.  I will show you that baking and cooking is definitely possible without making a huge mess or seriously injuring yourself (I hope!).

The Small Kitchen Chef -

A small kitchen has less space, fewer appliances, can certainly test your patience; especially with a 400-degree oven burning up a 5×7 room while your eyes tear from chopping onions.

I try to be as much of a minimalist as possible. I look for recipes that use the least amount of dishes, and I cut corners wherever I can to avoid making a mess in a small space.  I don’t own a food processor and even if I did, I don’t always want to clean up after it, so I buy chopped onions, carrots, etc. They’re slightly more expensive, but so incredibly worth it.

The Lazy and/or “Yeaaah I’m Two Glasses of Wine Deep..” Chef -

Pasta and grilled cheese is always your friend, but sometimes you want to mix it up! There are many ways to make an awesome and creative dinner with little exertion, using what you have readily available.

Where Shortcut/Ragamuffin Recipes Does NOT Apply:

1. Cookies, cupcakes, cakes: You’ve already made the decision to bake, so might as well just suck it up and do it right.  Baking tends to involve a very constant method and set of ingredients.  Most likely eggs, flour, sugar, an electric mixer, and an oven will be involved, and you just can’t work around that.  Raggamuffin Recipes will use the least amount of dishes needed, and will work around ultra-superfluous recipes, but if you want quality baked desserts, you can’t half-ass this one.

2. I’m not going to simplify any recipes that are SIGNIFICANTLY better the harder way.  Some recipes are worth the extra effort. Plus it can be interesting to test your limits!

Thanks and Enjoy! (:

Maura