Archive | June, 2012

RIP Nora Ephron

27 Jun

A quick post to note the passing of a remarkable woman, writer, and humorist, Nora Ephron.

In addition to being the mastermind behind my very favorite movie, When Harry Met Sally, she was a brilliant essayist who managed to convey the issues and, more importantly, the humor that come with being a woman in a man’s world.  Some say she was a feminist, others criticized her brand of pseudo-feminism— one way or the other, she paved the way for other women who wanted to portray, write, and include neurotic, funny, complicated women in leading roles.  


          “Whatever you choose, however many roads you travel, I hope that you 
          choose not to be a lady.  I hope you will find some way to break the rules 
          and make a little trouble out there. And I also hope that you will choose to 
          make some of that trouble on behalf of women.”

Cauliflower, Chickpea, and Coconut Curry

13 Jun

Clearly, “C” is not just for cookie.  Today we have a delicious, quick, and easy curry–no more into needed!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 head cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 med zucchini, chopped
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained
  • 4 TBS olive oil
  • 3 tsp garam masala 
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1.5 tsp chili powder (add more for spicier curry)
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 inch grated ginger (or ground)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 can lite coconut milk

Assembly 

1. Preheat oven to 350. Toss cauliflower, zucchini, and chick peas in 2 TBS olive oil.  Then add HALF the garam masala, all the ground ginger, and HALF the chili powder. Put vegetables on a baking sheet and cook uncovered for about 20 minutes, until tender.

2. While the vegetables are roasting, heat remaining oil and spices over medium heat for about 1 minute, stirring to distribute spices evenly.  Add onions and garlic and saute until fragrant, 5-7 minutes.  Onions should be soft and covered by oil/spices, but not browning from heat.
3.  Add tomatoes to onion mixture.  Stir around and allow to cook together 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  
5. Add coconut milk, stirring to combine.
6. Add roasted cauliflower mix.  Allow the whole mixture to come to a boil, then lower heat and let simmer for 10-12 minutes.  
7. Curry will taste best if you let it cool–the flavors come together as temp goes down.



Homemade Fruit Roll Ups So Simple a 5-Year Old Can Do It

12 Jun

Hi, I’m Chef Kef and I’m berry-aholic. 

The whole world seems to conspire against my work to contain my berry habit–global climate change has created a nearly 6-month berry “season,” that beautiful wall of red, blue, and black is ALWAYS the first display in a grocery store, and pints of those cancer-fighting rock stars seem to be on “buy-one-get-one-free” sales just about every other week.  So I buy one (and get one) and try my damnest to eat them before they turn into a refrigerator science project.  As it turns out, strawberry curry does NOT make for a delicious dinner and I can’t eat berry-topped yogurt with every meal, and so they get a little mushy and moldy before I can finish them all.  Then it’s time to grocery shop for the next week and guess what? It’s deja vu all over again.


Lucky for me, the tender angels I babysit all happen to be adventurous eaters who also like a project or two.  So last week one of the KiddyKefs and I took on the task of homemade fruit roll ups to get rid of my extra strawberries before they went bad.  What resulted were good enough that KiddyKef 1 and 2 ate nearly the whole batch (which is admittedly not that big–but the point remains), and as KiddyKef 2 astutely realized– “Everything in these is healthy!” 

 Ingredients
–half a pound of strawberries*, stemmed and chopped, don’t worry about uniformity
–one green apple*, peeled, cored, and chopped
–juice of one lemon
–1/4c water
— 1 TBS agave

** you can use any fruit in any amount you’d like- you really can’t mess this up (but more fruit means add a bit more water). The margin for error is in the sweetening–remember that sweetness and flavor will increase after they get dried out, so I wouldn’t add much more than another TBS of sweetener unless you are using WAY more fruit than shown above, especially if you’re using naturally-sweeter fruits.

 Assembly
1. Throw chopped fruit, lemon juice, and water in a sauce pan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil, cover and let simmer for about 7 minutes. Stir occasionally. They will get stewy. At about the 5 minute mark, add the agave and stir around.
2. Remove from heat. Let fruit cool off. Preheat your oven to “Low” or 180F.
3. Puree your fruit–food processor is best, but since they’re all stewy, you can mash the big pieces by hand if you want.
4. Spread the puree thinly and evenly on a lined baking sheet. I used a silicon mat, but I am told that the temp is so low that microwave-safe plastic wrap works as well- do you.
5. Cook in the oven until you get the texture you like–we cooked them at 190 for 5 hours and our batch came out closer to fruit leather than rollup– so I think 180 for 5.5-6 hours would do the trick.

6. Cut with a pizza roller and enjoy.

Pancakes, Chef Kef Style

7 Jun

In theory, things should have calmed down a bit in Keftown–nursing school is done, I’m unemployed, and summer is in full swing.

Instead, I’m feeling crazier than ever–searching for a job (anyone need a pediatric nurse?), training for a triathlon that’s a month away, babysitting about 10,876 hours a week, and traveling to what feels like EVERY wedding on the Eastern seaboard this summer. In short, I’ve been eating at Sweet Green a lot.

A few weeks ago I came up with these guys–gluten-free, sugar-free pancakes that are probably–ok, definitely– higher in calories than regular ones, but have a rich, distinctive flavor that makes up for blowing a calorie budget (1,800 is just a suggestion, anyway….right?). Anyway–I love the way the honey, soy, and coconut flavors come together, I hope you do too. 


Ingredients

1/2 c gluten-free flour
1/3 c coconut flour
2 eggs
1/4 c honey
3 TBS vegetable oil
6 TBS soy creamer (or more if you want more liquidy batter)
1 TBS baking powder

 
Assembly
 
1. Mix everything together, saving creamer/milk for last.  Dough will be very thick–this is okay.  If you prefer more traditional pancake batter, add creamer 1 TBS at a time until you reach desired consistency.  Raw batter will not taste great, as the GF flour has garbanzo bean flour which tastes horrible raw.

2. Cook in greased skillet over med-high heat for about 3 minutes/side.  Pancakes will rise up beautifully and fluffy because of the baking powder.

Enjoy!

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