“It’s not a casserole, it’s an oven omelet”

I’m about to share another recipe, though I promise that this blog is not a food blog. I promise! I took an oven omelet (definitely not a casserole, Jessica ) over to Adam’s Alliterative Birthday Breakfast Bash this morning, and someone asked for the recipe. It really wasn’t that difficult to make, and it makes a great take a dish to share kind of recipe because it can be served at most any temperature.

I’ve put the full recipe that I was riffing on in the first comment, so as not to take over the screen space. The basics of the recipe is that you take a vegetable saute and cover it with an egg, milk, and cheese custard, and bake it in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, the first 30 covered with foil.

For my saute, I used three peppers (1 red bell pepper, 1 orange banana pepper, and a bit of jalepeno pepper), onions, yellow zucchini, garlic, and 1 fresh tomato. I seasoned with salt, pepper, and Mrs. Dash. I used 6 eggs instead of 5 like the recipe called for, but like I said, I was riffing off of the recipe instead of following it. It seemed right at the time. Many of the ingredients came from my CSA, which made them even more delicious!

Check the full recipe in the comments. And remember, it’s not a casserole. It’s an oven omelet.

Mingle Dish – Baked Garbanzos with beans

I got a lot of compliments on the mingle dish tonight and wanted to share the recipe. Really, the secret is the tomato sauce. You could probably get away with doing anything with this sauce and it would be great. By the way, this was the solution to my tomato problem of a few weeks ago. 😉 Clever, huh? So it’s another food / recipe post on my blog. You can just skip it if you want (but you’d be missing out on some tasty food!)

This is all from Mark Bittman’s book: How to Make Everything Vegetarian, which has become my favorite cookbook of all times.

The base of the recipe:

4 cups Garbanzo Beans
1 recipe Spicy Indian Tomato Sauce (warmed)
1 1/2 cups cheese (The recipe recommended fresh cheese, I used mozzarella)
3 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup cilantro (which I forgot to put on)
Salt and pepper to taste

Grease the pan you are cooking in with a little of the butter. Layer on the sauce, then the beans. Insert chunks of cheese into the layers, and lightly salt and pepper. Pour the remaining (melted) butter over the top. Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes, until the beans and the cheese are a little browned. Garnish with a little more pepper and the cilantro.

Here’s the good recipe: And seriously, you could use this to fill donuts and it would be good. 😉 Ok, maybe not donuts… But this sauce is Amazing!

See my notes afterwards. I’ll explain some how I did it, because I didn’t quite do it the same way. It’s not a difficult recipe, but it does require some chopping and paying attention to it on the stove.

Spicy Indian Tomato Sauce

Makes 2 cups.

4 T butter or 1/4 c neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
one 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
1 T minced fresh chile or hot red pepper flakes or cayenne to taste
2 T garam masala or curry powder
1/2 t chili powder
large pinch sugar
2 c chopped ripe tomato (about 1 lb. whole), preferably peeled and seeded, or drained canned tomatoes
1/2 cream or coconut milk
1/2 c chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 t cumin seeds
1 t mustard seeds

1. Put 3 T of the butter or oil in a deep skillet over medium0-high heat. When the butter is melted or oil is hot, add onion, garlic, ginger and chile. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in garam masala, chili powder and sugar and sprinkle with salt and pepper; cook and stir until spices become fragrant, a minute or two more.

2. Add tomato and cook, stirring frequently, until it starts to release its liquid, about 3 minutes. Add the cream and cilantro and keep cooking and stirring until the mixture comes to a boil.

3. Turn heat down so the sauce bubbles gently and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomato breaks up and the mixture comes together and thickens, about 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. (The sauce may be made ahead to this point, cooled, covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Reheat gently before proceeding.)

4. Put remaining butter or oil in a small pan over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted or the oil is hot, add cumin and mustard seeds and toast them until they begin to pop. Spoon over the sauce just before serving.

My notes:
– I didn’t do the toasting of cumin and mustard seeds this time, but it’s a nice addition.

– Garam Masala is an Indian Spice which I still haven’t really found in the stores I frequent. Fortunately my recipe book (see above) has a recipe, which shows its about equal parts cumin and cinnamon, plus some other exotic spices. I just threw in equal parts cumin and cinnamon, and to be on the safe side, some curry powder I had laying around. It tasted just fine.

– The fresh ginger is great! The first time I tried it, I left the pieces a little bigger, which added special pockets of flavor. This time I minced rather finely. (I didn’t ever get a ginger chunk, as I didn’t get very much to taste.)

– I didn’t have any cream or coconut milk, so I used some of the plain yogurt I had laying around. It added a touch of tanginess.

– Through the full cooking time I thought that the sauce was too liquidy, but it came together right at the end after I turned the heat off and was the right consistency, something like a very chunky spaghetti sauce.

– I went a little overboard on the jalepenos, in my opinion, but you can vary according to your taste. Many of the people at the mingle liked the heat where it was.

Our Family Farm #8

A long time between posts! Ack!

Yesterday was another pick up for delicious food stuffs from Our Family Farm. Here’s the take and a beautiful picture. 🙂

1- 1 dozen eggs
2- 1 small “lightning squash”
3- 2 beets
4- 4 ears of corn
5- 4 tomatoes
6- 1 onion
7- 1 quart of potatoes
8- 2 eggplants
9- 3 banana peppers
10- 2 green peppers

The take was only about 10 pounds this week. I’m guessing with all of the rain we had over the last few weeks, harvesting was rather poor. I got some information on a winter CSA they are running, for eggs and chickens this winter. They also have a turkey option(!). I’ve been looking for a local Thanksgiving turkey, so this might be my lucky day.

While at the farmers market, I also got some cilantro (which was amazingly difficult to find), and some !!! Fresh Apple Cider!!! It’s apple time in Michigan!

Why are you voting for Obama?

Ok, so I’m a news junkie. I’ll admit it. I love news, because it tells me something about how the world works, and how people react to it. Right now, the news is unfortunately all politics all the time. So what do you think I spend my time thinking about.

As you know, I’m trying to give the current batch of candidates a fair chance for my vote, instead of relying on the party lines. I consider myself to be a moderate Republican leaning kind of guy (I think I’d call myself a Public Radio Republican). If you check my Facebook, you’ll see that at least over there, I support McCain. (I added that support at about the time that Mitt dropped out of the race. No way was I supporting Hucky.) I also know that some of the readers of my blog support Obama.

In the interest of gathering information, and not descending into politics, I’d like to ask the readers of my blog why they support Obama. Use the anonymous setting to leave a comment, please, as I don’t really want anyone to feel uncomfortable leaving their thoughts. If you support McCain and want to say something, just wait your turn… I’ll get to you… 😀

Also, I won’t be persuaded by “He isn’t Bush” or “He’s for change.” Give me something concrete to work with. 😉

And now for a completely reasonable way to pick the next president

So I’ve made a commitment to myself to actually give both candidates for president a fair run at my vote this year. They both picked VPs that would allow me to vote for either of them. There are only three people who would have swayed my vote one way or the other (Hillary, Mitt, and Joe Lieberman).

I decided to watch both parties conventions, especially the acceptance speech. This required lots of dedication, stamina, and the ability to stay awake on my couch while watching “Prime Time” coverage. Since when is 10:30pm prime time, anyway?

So no decision on my part, but I did come up with a completely reasonable criteria for selecting the president.

Are you ready?


Yes, confetti. You should be able to tell exactly who you want for president by the quality of the confetti used after their acceptance speech. I mean, really, why wouldn’t you? It’s a sign that they know how to select a good planner, that they have good taste, and are willing to shake things up.

Convention Floor Confetti
Originally uploaded by skye820

The winner of my confetti vote is clearly Barack Obama. Look at the difference in the confetti. John McCain’s confetti is boring and oddly creepy. (Doesn’t Cindy’s hair look like she fell out of the ’80s? It may just be the angle, but still… She should get whoever is doing Sarah Palin’s hair…)

On the other hand, Barack Obama’s confetti is cool and stylish. It’s got stars. That was pretty much the selling point for me. The stars. That says something about the candidate. It says, “I like stars in my confetti, and that’s cool. I’m cool by association with my confetti.”

The party’s left town…
Originally uploaded by Argos

Not like that other guy… His says “I’m oddly creepy, and my wife needs a new hairstyle. If I get elected, my VP can tell my wife where she get’s her hair done.” Not exactly the message you want to sell the confetti voting public. Not at all.

On the other hand, if you’re in the balloon voting public, the Democratic candidate would have left you wanting. No balloons in Denver. John McCain won that contest hands down. They even threw in some giant balloons with stars!

CSA Pickup #7 – Tomato time

Time for another list of food. I’m still not sure what I’m going to do with all 21 pounds of this haul. Lots of tomatoes and peppers makes me think of chili, but maybe not… We’ll see. Here’s the list and the photo:

1- 3 Zinnias
2- 1 Cucumber
3- 1 quart of potatoes. Again I chose mostly small potatoes. I guess I need to think about a roast.
4- 2 squash. I chose 1 summer squash and another yellow zuchinni.
5- 12 slicing tomatoes
6- 1 quart of roma tomatoes. (Upwards of 10 romas, haven’t really counted).
7- 2 eggplant (one very delicate white and purple, the other traditional. The farm appears to be having a bumper crop of eggplant this year. The tubs were overflowing with eggplants to choose from.)
8- 1 dozen eggs
9- 1 muskmelon, which I think is kind of like a cantelope.
10- 4 ears of corn. mmmm… corn…
11- 1 large bunch of small green onions
12- 1 bell pepper
13- 2 jalepeno peppers
14- 2 chili peppers
So there you have it, posed vegetables and another list. If you’ve got recipe suggestions that will eat up a lot of tomatoes, shoot them my way! I continue to be very impressed by Our Family Farm, LLC. I’m glad that I chose them as my CSA. The quality of the food is wonderful.