Happy New Year!

Welcome Year of the Ox

For this week's menu, we decided to celebrate the Asian New Year (especially since SH was born in the year of the Ox)!. Our new ingredients this week were dried mushrooms and tofu. Both of these ingredients were incorporated into the Asian Primavera that was our main dish.

We started the evening with a quick and easy miso soup. This was just a simple miso broth with added tofu and soba noodles.

The soup turned out to be very tasty and enjoyable. It was a nice starter that curbed our hunger, yet was not too filling.

The main dish was an "Asian Primavera". This was an udon noodle dish topped with a stir fry of mushrooms, bok choy, zucchini and herbs.

The dish was beautiful, one of the most stunning dishes I have made. As far as the overall taste, I was a bit disappointed. I felt the dish lacked flavor and added quite a bit of soy sauce just to give it a kick. I am not sure I would make it again, but it was fun to try and I enjoyed using the dried mushrooms and the tofu.
Of course we had dessert - and this one was very easy and simple. We cut wonton wrappers into circles and triangles then brushed them with a sweetened egg wash. We sprinkled on some cinnamon and poppy seeds. We baked them for about 5 minutes and then enjoyed. I must admit they were quite tasty and I wished we had made more!

SB- We definitely had an adventurous menu this week! I really enjoyed the soup-it was warm, satisfying, and slightly spicy. I will be making the soup again quite often, it was cheap, simple, quickly, and very good.

The main dish, while beautiful, was lacking in flavor. I enjoyed the noodles, but the sauce definitely needed much more soy sauce and other flavor to give it some pep. I will not make this recipe again, but I will probably use it for an idea to start another recipe from. I am glad we tried it though, I enjoyed the tofu and mushrooms!!

The dessert was fun, and easy! We were going to make animal crackers-but we didn't have any cookie cutters. Therefore, we just ended up with circles and triangles, but they were yummy circles and triangles! I think some honey would make them a little sweeter and more enjoyable.

We had a fun evening, with some hits and misses. But even the best can't always be perfect!

Next week we will be taking it easy with comfort foods, but will have a very special surprise dessert!


They Might Be Giants....

We are beyond I think they might be..they ARE giants. Tonight, we cooked giant lima beans and the beans lived up to their name. Those beans are HUGE!!!
The recipe of the week was from Heidi's 101 Cookbooks (check out the link on our favorite blogs). The recipe is centered around giant beans which are tossed with swiss chard and coated with a

chipotle tomato sauce. The bean mixture is placed in a casserole dish and baked with queso
fresco on top. Once out of the oven the beans were topped with breadcrumbs and finally garnished with a cilantro pesto.

We started the meal simply this week with some fresh fruit and goat cheese. We shared a nice doppleebock ale and learned a new word from reading the label. Mouthfeel. I must say, the beer did have a nice mouthfeel :)

SB made some mint brownies for dessert which were delicious (as her desserts always are).
Overall another successful meal, delicious and fun!


Minding our Ps and Qs

We have been away for a few weeks celebrating the holiday- but we are now back and are ready to kick off a new year of cooking and blogging.
To spice things up a bit - we have decided to start the new year by trying new ingredients. We each made a list of foods we wanted to try and we are going to incorporate those ingredients into our upcoming menus. For the first menu of the new year we have used Pomegranate and Quinoa - both ingredients we had never cooked with. Quinoa is a pseudograin; it is prepared and eaten much like grains but is not actually a grass. Most commercially available quinoa comes from South America, but it can be grown as a crop in the southern US as well. Pomegranate is a fruit native to the Mediterranean, but is now cultivated in many regions of the world. In the northern hemisphere, pomegranate is available from September through January. Our pomegranate came with a pamphlet of instructions - which was quite helpful in extracting out the seeds.
Our first course was a salad- rather simple, yet delicious and sophisticated. The salad consisted of baby greens, pomegranate seeds and feta cheese. A homemade vinaigrette topped off the salad.
Our main dish was adventurous (even by our standards). I had an interesting dish while traveling over the holidays and we tried to recreate it here. The dish was a chickpea and quinoa cake and I think we did an awesome job of making it at home. We made a red pepper coulis as a base with quinoa and chickpea cakes on top. We added roasted red peppers and roasted onions then topped it off with goat cheese.
Of course we had a desert to finish things off. This week we had banana cupcakes with amaretto icing topped with toasted almonds.


We're still cooking!

SB-Hello to all our friends! I just wanted to do a quick update and let you know that while SH and I have been busy with the holidays, we haven't forgotten our blog! We plan on starting our weekly blog again next week, so I thought I would put up a few pictures of what I have been cooking!
We plan to use a lot of exciting ingredients this spring, so check back often to see what we are cooking!

I have definitely been into warm, cheesy, comfort food lately. Such as

Steamed vegetables with macaroni and cheese,

Veggie Calzones,

And pancakes, made by my sweetie!!!!