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Archive for the ‘Foodstuffs’ Category

We are foodies, not sophisticated ones, but foodies nonetheless. This is where the fodder for eating parties comes from. Check this category for fabulous vegetarian recipes.

Unemployed Cooking: Asparagus Mushroom Primavera

Posted by kathleenerindavis on May 17, 2010

Dear loyal Food Babies readers, I am happy to inform you that after many many months of unemployment I now have a job! (starting June 7). Which means there will not be very many more installments of “Unemployed Cooking.” However, I’ve gotten in to a lot of healthy habits during my unemployment, and I hope to be able to keep them up as much as I can when I start working again. So I’ll still be posting new recipes that I try just perhaps not as frequently.

Anyways, here’s what I made for dinner last night (along with a great salad and garlic bread), the red pepper gave it an interesting kick:

Asparagus Mushroom Primavera

Servings: 4 servings

Prep: 15 mins

Total: 20 mins


1 pound fresh asparagus spears

8 ounces dried linguini

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 8-ounce package fresh button mushrooms, halved

1/4 cup dry white wine

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon butter

1/4 cup shredded fresh basil

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper


1. Snap off and discard woody bases of fresh asparagus. Rinse. Bias-slice asparagus into 1 1/2-inch pieces; set aside.

2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and ground black pepper; cook and stir for 30 seconds.

3. Add asparagus, mushrooms, wine, and salt to skillet. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cook, uncovered, for 4 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in butter.

4. Drain pasta; add pasta to vegetables in skillet. Toss gently to combine. Garnish with basil and crushed red pepper.


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Unemployed Cooking: Chili and Cornbread

Posted by kathleenerindavis on February 22, 2010

I’m been cooking  a lot more in the two weeks I’ve been re-unemployed. First there was the Where’s the Love party I wrote about in my last post. Then on Valentines Day I made Mark the Eggplant Parmesan I wrote about a few months a go.

This week my little sister and I made pizzas and chocolate chip brownies on Saturday and last night I made Mark chili and cornbread.  I forgot to take pictures, but I say they were a success because Mark went back for seconds. Still I have enough chili for the next month, any one want to come over for leftovers?

Here are the recipes:

The Best Vegetarian Chili in the World (this bold claim was made by the author at, but it is pretty good)


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 (4 ounce) cans chopped green chile peppers, drained
  • 2 (12 ounce) packages vegetarian burger crumbles
  • 3 (28 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and season with bay leaves, cumin, oregano, and salt. Cook and stir until onion is tender, then mix in the celery, green bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, garlic, and green chile peppers. When vegetables are heated through, mix in the vegetarian burger crumbles. Reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer 5 minutes.
  2. Mix the tomatoes into the pot. Season chili with chili powder and pepper. Stir in the kidney beans, garbanzo beans, and black beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 45 minutes. Stir in the corn, and continue cooking 5 minutes before serving.

(I have a “wuss mouth” so I left out the jalapenos, but Mark said it could have used more heat, so gauge your own spice tolerance)

Cornbread Muffins

Prep Time:
10 Min

Cook Time:
25 Min

Ready In:
35 Min

Yield 12 muffins


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease or line 12 muffin cups.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, honey, eggs and salt. Mix in flour, cornmeal and baking powder; blend thoroughly. Stir in milk and corn. Pour or spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.


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Unemployed Cooking- Week 7

Posted by kathleenerindavis on September 28, 2009

So week six we were out of town at a wedding, riding rollercoasters, and visiting my family, so I didn’t make dinner. But here’s a cute picture of me and my nephew Andrew.


But last night I was back to cooking. I had a really great sandwich at this place a few weeks ago and decided to try to recreate it.  It was an Apple, Brie and Tempeh sandwich.


it’s very yummy, but kind of explains itself (slice up the thing and put them in a sandwich), so I won’t put up a recipe.

With it I made this salad I’ve made for many an occasion.


  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 11/2 tsp chopped thyme
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 5-oz bag mixed baby greens
  • 2 ripe pears, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup crumbled blue cheese or goat cheese
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped


Whisk the first 3 ingredients in a small bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in oil. Toss everything together in a bowl.

Posted in Foodstuffs, KK, Uncategorized, unemployed cooking | Leave a Comment »

Vegetable & Corn Chowder

Posted by kathleenerindavis on February 28, 2009

Making soup has always seemed rather daunting to me, and I’m not exactly sure why. But a few of my friends have been making soup this winter, so I followed a recipe from my favorite cookbook (a giant phonebook-like Vegetarian cookbook I found on the street) It turned out really well. Here’s the recipe:

1tbsp veg oil
1 red onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 large potato, diced
2 tbsp flour
2.5 cups milk
1 1/4 cups veg stock
1 3/4 oz broccoli florets
3 cups canned corn, drained
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated
salt and pepper
1 tbsp shopped cilantro to garnish

1) heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, and potato and saute over a low heat, stirring frequently, for 2-3 mins.
2)Stir in the flour and cook, stirring for 30 secs, Gradually stir in the milk and stock.
3)Add the broccoli and corn. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 mins.
4) stir in the cheese and season.

(I started a thing in this cookbook where I give the recipes a star rating, based both on taste and ease of cooking. Out of a possible 5 stars, this got a 4)

dsc_01011 dsc_0099


Posted in cookbook, Foodstuffs, KK, soups | Leave a Comment »

Recession Recipes

Posted by kathleenerindavis on February 27, 2009

OK, so I’ve cooked many meals in the 7 months since I last posted. But I have plans to make it up and post at least two recipes this weekend. In the meantime, here’s a great comic I found today. This is where it’s from.



Posted in food for the broke, Foodstuffs, KK | Leave a Comment »

Caramel Apples

Posted by Hilary on November 8, 2008

For my birthday this year I opted for caramel apples instead of cake. Although I haven’t perfected how to make them, I’m posting it anyhow (as I’ll likely never perfect the technique). The making of caramel apples should be fairly simply: put wooden stick into apple, stick apple in caramel, roll in peanuts, the end. Instead, most people who attempt this end up with an apple on a stick sitting in a pool of peanutty caramel. 

So what’s the problem? Why doesn’t the caramel always stick?

1. Store-bought apples are too damn waxy. I read about two ways of de-waxing the apple. The first one I tried was scrubbing with baking soda. I wasn’t impressed. The next method I tried was dipping the apples in boiling water. That seemed to work. Boil (I did this for about 5 seconds) and then wipe off the wax and thoroughly dry the apple.  

2. Apple might not be cold enough. Supposedly chilling the apple helps the caramel harden faster. So after de-waxing my apples I stuck them in the fridge for a bit. 

The boiling and the refrigeration resulted in the strangest thing I’ve ever seen an apple do:


Bright red droplets of what tasted very sweet and was very sticky came out of the apple. Fascinating, but I just wiped the apple dry again and continued with my project. 


Other things to consider when making caramel apples:

1. The apple should be firm. Smaller apples are better. Sweet or tart is really personal preference. We used Fuji this time.

2. You need to let a lot of the caramel drip off of the apple while you hold it over the pan. Don’t just coat and expect all the caramel to stick (it might initially, but you’ll end up with an ocean of caramel coming off the apple at a later time).

3. Convention says that you set the finished product on wax paper to set. I vote for a wire cooling rack so excess caramel can drip off if need be. We put the silpat (you could use wax paper) under the wire rack so as to avoid cleaning caramel off of the counter top. In the future I plan on trying to let the apples set in the fridge, as mine were still not completely free of drifting caramel.



Posted in Desserts, Foodstuffs, HilHil, Vegan-friendly | 1 Comment »

Coconut Cream Pie

Posted by Hilary on August 26, 2008

This is something that I learned how to make a few years ago for G-ma’s birthday party. I recently revisited the CCP for Margaret’s congratulatory thesis pie.



1 1/2 cup half and half

1 1/2 cup coconut milk

2 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup shredded coconut

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 pie shell, baked (I do have a good pie crust recipe, but too lazy to post right now, so just buy one)


Ingredients for whipping cream:

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tablespoon powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla



Combine half and half, coconut milk, eggs, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over low to medium heat, stirring constantly. This can take a long time, so don’t try this recipe if you’ve only got one arm and it’s gimpy. Remove from heat and incorporate 3/4 cup shredded coconut as well as the vanilla and almond extracts. Pour into the pie shell and throw into the fridge for a few hours

Make whipped cream by beating all ingredients together with a mixer until stiff peaks begin to form. Do not overbeat, lest you make butter.


Toast the remaining shredded coconut in a 350 degree oven. This can go from toasted to burnt very quickly, so watch carefully.


Top chilled pie with whipped cream. Top whipped cream with toasted coconut.



If you have a kitty named Sirius Black, keep him away from the filling. He has no qualms about eating the filling straight from the saucepan.


I was unable to get a truly blog-worthy photo of the pie, but this will have to do. The second photo is from the July 2006 eating party.



Posted in Desserts, Eating party classics, Foodstuffs, HilHil, Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Picnic Planning

Posted by kathleenerindavis on July 24, 2008

Earlier this month The New York Times ran this article, called 101 20-Minute Dishes for Inspired Picnics. First of all I think 20-minutes is a bit too long if you are making several different things for a picnic, and second a lot of them are probably gross. But it’s still a good idea.

So here’s a list of the things that I normally include in a picnic (notice the lack of prep time):

  • My totally awesome picnic basket that I found on the street, it has a deep main section and two wine bottle holders
  • Cups, plates, cutlery, etc.
  • The pretty round table cloth my mom gave me that I have no other use for (good because it’s lightweight and you don’t have to dirty your blankets.
  • White or Rose wine (summer is usually too hot for Red)
  • Strawberries and Chocolate Dipping Sauce
  • Hummus and Pita
  • Wheat Thins and Garlic Laughing Cow Cheese (in those super convienent individual triangles)
  • Various other types of cheeses and crackers
  • Macoroni and/or potato salad (usually store bought)
  • Egg Salad Sandwiches (the egg salad I make uses pickles and sometimes cucumbers)
  • Seedless Grapes
  • Chips and a dip of sorts
  • Other fruits or brownies

And here’s some of the NYT suggestions I might consider for future picnics:

  • Beet Salad with hazelnuts and goat cheese (I didn’t think I liked beets until just a month or so ago, now I think I should try to see what they can do)
  • Interesting sounding celery filler: Process a cup or two of cashews, a chili or two, some garlic, a splash of soy sauce and enough water to get the food processor going; fold in chopped cilantro or chives. Fill celery sticks and chill.
  • This sound good, but I don’t know if I’d for to this much trouble for a picnic: Cook whole unpeeled eggplant in a dry, hot skillet, turning occasionally, until collapsed and soft. While it’s cooling, whisk together tahini, lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic and parsley in a bowl. Chop the eggplant flesh (leave the peel behind) and roughly mash in the bowl. Add red pepper flakes if you like. Serve with pita.
  • Soak a tablespoon or two of black beans in sherry or wine; toss with cooked rice, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and cilantro

(there were more, but the article seems to have locked me out, hmph!)


Posted in Foodstuffs, KK, Parties | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Brunch-tastic Quiche

Posted by kathleenerindavis on July 24, 2008

I’m thinking of making this to eat for Sunday Brunch, it’s also great to make on the weekend if you are a single lady because then you have some for lunch during the week.

Vegetable Quiche with a Tot-Crust

* About a cup and a half of chopped veggies of your choice (favorite combos of mine include: mushroom and asparagus or broccoli and onion)
* About a cup of shredded cheese of your choice (I usually use colby jack)
* About a cup of cream cheese or sour cream (for best results do half a cup of each)
* Four cage-free eggs
* Around 20 or so frozen tater tots

Thaw out the tots and press into the bottom of a greased baking dish to form a crust.

Put the veggies in first, then beat the eggs, sour cream/cream cheese together, and mix in the cheese. Pour all of that over the veggies.

Bake at 350 for about a half hour.

Really good with Morningstar veggie breakfast sausages (some of the other ones taste like dog treats), and french toast (recipe for that with a strawberry glaze coming soon) OR eat for lunch with a salad.



The role of French toast was played this morning by English Muffins

The role of French toast was played this morning by English Muffins

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Ginger Cookies

Posted by Hilary on July 23, 2008

Ginger cookies are fabuloso! They are perfect autumn cookies. They are also good cookies for summer, winter, and spring. I just made some for my cat’s friend, Nicole. This recipe is one I found online last year and modified to suit my taste.



2 3/4 to 3 cups flour

2 teaspoons powdered ginger

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2-1 teaspoon cloves

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup earth balance (or butter, if you’re in for that kind of thing)

1 cup brown sugar

1 egg or the equivalent amount of egg replacer

1 tablespoon orange juice, apple juice or water

1/4 cup molasses (this stuff is foul)

Crystalized ginger (as much as you want!)



1. Set oven to 350 degrees.

2. Mix flour, baking soda, spices, and salt.

3. In a separate, large bowl cream butter/earth balance together with sugar. Beat in egg/egg replacer, OJ, and molasses.

4. Gradually mix ingredients from step 2 into the wet mixture.

5. Cut up the crystalized ginger into whatever size pieces you please. Incorporate into batter.

5. Use heaping tablespoon to form big cookies. Roll cookie balls in a sugar and powdered ginger mixture. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and flatten a bit.

6. Bake for 10-ish minutes. Let cool. Eat.


Posted in Desserts, Foodstuffs, HilHil, Vegan-friendly | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »