Monday, September 30, 2013

#kitchncure Day 1: Fridge and Freezer Edition

You know how when you spend time traveling, things start to slip? Well, I've been home for something like three weekends since the beginning of May, and one of the things that's slipped is the kitchen. Cleaning it out and up has become a big job. The Kitchn Cure 2013 is just what the doctor ordered.

It's an online autumn group clean-up. It goes like this: you take "before" shots of your kitchen, especially problem areas. Each day this week The Kitchn e-mails you a "to-do" for the kitchen and you set aside about an hour to do it, then you photograph it and share for bragging rights.

I'm in for anything that will turn this job into bite-sized chunks. So I'm in.

Today's job was de-clutter and clean the fridge and freezer. Hoo boy.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Quick and easy: Eggs baked in marinara

It's cold in Ottawa. I finally turned on the furnace just to bump it back up to 20 degrees in the house. Coming from Southwest Ontario turning on the furnace in September seems crazy, but there you go. Brrr.

At any rate, yogurt was not going to cut it for breakfast this morning. I thought back to my favourite brunch when I lived in Windsor: eggs diablo at Rino's Kitchen and Ale House, and decided that the morning is a perfectly acceptable time to eat baked eggs - normally a quick and easy weeknight dinner.

I've tried to simplify this recipe further by putting the tomatoes and ingredients straight into the oven to heat up rather than starting with a sauce, but it's just not the same.

There are a ton of variations you can do with this. Want it spicy? Add sliced hot peppers or extra chili flakes to the sauce. Want it cheesy? Add some goat's cheese or ricotta. You can top the finished product with feta or shaved Parmesan... but keep it simple. Overdoing it with a marinara sauce is never a good idea.

This is great served with crusty bread, slightly stale pitas (or, you know, fresh, but I sort of like it with stale ones), or toast. I scale this recipe up and down with no problems.

Monday, September 9, 2013

CORN! bread, cakes, and muffins.

Sometimes there's something you eat for your whole life and it gives you a great "goes with lots of things!" recipe. One of my mom's standby recipes when we were growing up was a quick version of chili that she always served with cornmeal muffins. The cornmeal muffins are quite simple, so there are all sorts of things you can do with them! The base recipe is:
1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/3 cup salad oil
1 egg
(It's all ones and threes, so I've had it memorized for years.) Whisk the dry, whisk the wet, stir them together until they're combined, then put the batter into greased or sprayed muffin tins and bake at 425F for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown on top!