Adventures of an unfussy foodie.

Pretty Kitten's Kitchen is now at http://www.pbandjeats.com

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March 28, 2012

Wishlist Wednesday - Moosewood Restaurant New Classics



Do you know what I love about the library? I love that you can take a cookbook you're interested in owning home with you and give it a spin. I hate buying a cookbook only to find that it's not really as great as I hoped it would be, don't you?

While at my local library, Moosewood Restaurant New Classics caught my eye, so I invited it into my kitchen for a little while. In short order, I had marked upwards of fifty recipes I am dying to try!

What's so great about it?

Well, the Moosewood Restaurant is a highly influential restaurant in Ithica, NY, serving delicious, local, seasonal vegetarian fare. And while I'm not a vegetarian, the recipes in this book are completely accessible to vegetarian and omnivore alike. A great many types of cuisine are represented here, but in such a way that even a novice would feel comfortable giving it a try. Yes, there's tofu in there, but there's also an abundance of hearty breakfasts, fresh sandwiches, smoothies and drinks, and decadent desserts.


Lots of recipes bookmarked. I'm just itching to try them!

On my hit list:
Peach Oats Brûlée
Asparagus with Red Pepper Sauce
Orrechiette with Butter Beans
Black Bean & Sweet Potato Hash
French Chocolate Almond Cake
Thai Black Rice Pudding

And that's just a small percentage of what I have bookmarked! Vegetarian or not, this cookbook is worth your attention.

What cookbooks are you eyeing? Is this one of your favorites, too? Leave a comment!


March 23, 2012

Brown Sugar Angel Food Cake

This page has moved.
Please click here to get the recipe at my new site, PB&J Eats!

March 19, 2012

One Hour, Two Loaves

This page has moved.
Please click here to get the recipe at my new site, PB&J Eats!

March 14, 2012

Unexpected Uses for Your Wafflemaker

When my husband and I were first married, I really, really wanted a waffle maker. In fact, it was my Valentine's Day gift that first year. I just wanted to make me some waffles! Little did I know it was such a multi-tasker!

So get ready to rummage through your small-appliance storage; Stay tuned for 4 unexpected uses for your waffle iron.


Press Some Panini

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Why buy another appliance when you can press a panino (that's the singular form of panini, which is already a plural word in Italian -- which means that "paninis" isn't a word, just sayin') right in the waffle iron you already have? You could do grilled cheese, or a monte cristo. The possibilities are really endless. And why limit yourself to sandwiches, quesadillas would work, too!

Fry Up Some Bacon
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Trust Alton Brown to think up an even better way to make bacon. Check out the video from an episode of Good Eats via Serious Eats for the finer details of technique and such.



Crisp Some Hashbrowns
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I love this idea! Think about how crispy hashbrowns could get with all those nooks and crannies making contact with them while they cook. Mmmmmm... And just imagine that you cooked the bacon in your waffle maker first, and then did the hashbrowns in the bacon drippings! I know we shouldn't be thinking about such things, but... I really can't help myself. Don't hate me.



 5 Minute Brownie
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Okay, so the actual time it will take depends on your waffle maker, but whatever amount of time it takes it will be faster than baking a pan of brownies in the oven. Just make your favorite recipe or use a mix, and scoop about 1/2 cup of batter per square into your waffle maker. Let it cook 5 to 10 minutes. This is a particularly great idea for those of you who love the edges. (Which isn't me so much, but a brownie is a brownie!) Not a brownie person (is there such a person in this crazy world)? Try it with a cake batter for "cupcake" waffles.

Do you have any new uses for your kitchen appliances?
Leave a comment!





March 09, 2012

Spring Pea Soup

This page has moved.
Please click here to get the recipe at my new site, PB&J Eats!

March 05, 2012

Windowsill Herb Garden in 10 Simple Steps

This may be the blind leading the blind (or rather the black-thumbed leading the black-thumbed) but here goes.

I've always wanted to have fresh herbs at the ready in my kitchen window, and we're lucky enough to have a little kitchen window box in our house here in Portland, so I'm taking the plunge this spring. So far, so good! I've started them from seed, and they seem happy.

Here's how I did it:

Step 1: Determine which herbs you would like to try your hand at growing and will use in the kitchen. Get seeds.

Step 2: Pick up some potting soil. I got Miracle Grow Moisture Control so I could stress less about over/under watering. I would NOT recommend nabbing soil from your backyard, as that soil may have critters and pests in it that you won't want to bring indoors. Nobody likes uninvited houseguests.


Step 3: Save an empty egg carton. Cut into individual sections and label one for each of your different herbs. Once your plants are sprouted tall enough you can plant the egg carton section directly in your vessel or choice (or the ground, if you like). The plant will easily grow down through them.

Step 4: Take a skewer or your scissors and poke a drainage hole in the bottom of each section -- give the water somewhere to go if you overdo it.

Step 5: Fill 'em up and sow the seeds.
Grab a spray bottle  and moisten the soil, then follow the instructions on the back of the seed packet regarding how deep to pant your seeds. I sowed several seeds in each egg carton section to ensure that SOMETHING sprouted. If you do the same, be sure to thin your seedlings later to ensure that they aren't overcrowded.

Step 6: Water thoroughly. And set them aside.


Step 7: Keep them moist. I took my spray bottle and gave them a spritz every day. I also created a makeshift terrarium for them using my cake stand and dome. (Which was also pretty cute!) Sunlight isn't as important at this stage in the game, since the seeds are covered by soil, but you'll want a sunny spot for them once they've sprouted, so you might as well put them where you'll want them to grow.



Step 8: Watch them grow! Mine sprouted through the soil in about a week, and I was so happy to meet my darling little sproutlings!






Step 9: Transplant them to their final home. Once your seedlings reach a couple of inches high, you can set them in a larger vessel with plenty of soil for them to grow in. A good indicator that your seedlings are ready is that they begin to sprout real leaves. (The sprouts will look different from regular leaves, so watch for leaves to grow that really look like parsley or dill, etc.)





Step 10: Set them in a sunny spot, water and love them! You might even make markers for them using this tutorial.

Enjoy your herbs!

A couple of things to consider:
*Some herbs, like mint and thyme, can be "aggressive", meaning that they creep and spread into the space of other plants, sometimes taking over. Plant them separately.
*If your kitchen window isn't an ideal spot, try your bedroom window or another sunny spot in the house.
*Seeds are inexpensive, and one packet comes with a great many more seeds than you will probably use. If your happen to meet with disaster, use some of the extras to try again. If your herbs are happy, put together a seedling kit for a friend: give them some soil, your extra seeds, and an empty egg carton to get them started!

Are you planning to try your hand at kitchen herbs for your windowsill? What will you plant? Any tips to share?
Leave a comment!

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March 04, 2012

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