Monday, November 30, 2009

peanut butter and sweet potato toast + cinnamon blackberry oats in a jar

two simple and scrumptious dishes...
toast a piece of bread, top with peanut butter and roast sweet potato slices (slice a sweet potato and roast it in the oven for about 45 minutes at 400 degrees F, or until soft on the inside--poke it with a fork to test). YUM! that is all i have to say about that.
Oh. Em. Gee. and that is not a phrase i use often, so you know this was some seriousness goodness.
cook 1/4 cup steel cut oats in 1/2 cup milk (or soy, for any vegan readers) + 1/4 cup brewed darjeeling tea for 10-20 minutes (mine was about 15 min). stir in some blackberries, raisins, and a generous spoonful of cinnamon. serve in an almost empty peanut butter jar and top with a small scoop of peanut butter (I used about 1/2 a tablespoon)and 1/2 a crumbled cinnamon graham cracker.
if i made this again, i would replace the raisins with more blackberries (i only had 3 left and i wanted to get more fruit in, hence the raisins) and either replace the tea with more milk or water or replace some of the milk with more tea (was that confusing? the tea flavor didn't really come through, so either omit it entirely or use more tea, is what i mean).
ps. check out chocolate covered katie's coconut butter giveaway
and emily has a giveaway too!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

thanksgiving break

its been a while, hasn't it? no new recipes today, but i just wanted to do a quick post. we had a great time over thanksgiving break. my fabulous friend A. was visiting for the weekend, and we spent most of our time in chinatown, with some detours to upstate (thanksgiving dinner with our aunt, yay!), columbus circle (black friday shopping. we went in the afternoon, we're not crazy enough to go at 5 am. but still, it was insane), little italy, and soho.
food highlights (sorry no photos! hopefull A. will upload hers soon and i can steal some):
-Szechuan food in Chinatown. Famous Sichuan. we met up with A.'s friends, who are all from China. super spicy and delicious. from now on, i need to go with people who speak Chinese whenever i eat Chinese food...more authentic dishes and we got a discount! fave dish was the dan dan noodles. we got a huge feast, even though this was our lunch before heading upstate for thanksgiving dinner.
-Cannoli in little italy! amazing, but overpriced. i don't remember what restaurant we went to, but cannoli seems to be the same at most places in little italy.
-vietnamese sandwiches at paris sandwich. delicious, but if you're going to get banh mi, san francisco is better and cheaper. i reccommend saigon sandwich for true amazingness.
-grilled corn at cafe habana. with cheese and chili powder. yum!


Monday, November 23, 2009

butternut squash casserole

This weekend was my turn to have a thanksgiving potluck. I was assigned a squash dish, so I decided on this butternut squash casserole. It turned out quite tasty, if i do say so myself! although the star of the dinner, for me at least, was the sweet potatoes. I'd never had the traditional preparation with marshmallows before, and it was fantastic! Although i am generally of the opinion that marshmallows make everything better.

the recipe, from southern living via

Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings

* 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 2-inch cubes (about 1 3/4 pounds)
* 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
* 1 small onion, minced
* 1 garlic clove, minced
* 3 tablespoons butter, melted and divided
* 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
* 1 tablespoon sugar
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon pepper
* 1/4 cup fresh cranberries, chopped [found these at whole foods]
* 1 cup fresh soft breadcrumbs


Bring squash and water to cover to a boil; cook 30 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat; drain. Mash until smooth.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in skillet. Add onion and garlic; saute 5 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat; stir in squash, 2 tablespoons butter, eggs, and next 3 ingredients. Fold in cranberries. Spoon into lightly greased 1-quart baking dish.

Combine breadcrumbs and remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Sprinkle over casserole.

Bake at 375° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until set and golden.

My "I am a ridiculous college student" notes:
First of all, I doubled the recipe and made it in a 2 quart dish. This made more than enough for the 15ish people at our dinner, although not everyone ate my dish. Also, I would like to say that peeling and chopping a 3.5 pound squash when you have approximately 1 square foot of counter space is very challenging. I made the breadcrumbs by toasting a few slices of wheat bread and 1 stale whole wheat pita in the oven for about 15 minutes. I then put the bread in a plastic bag and crushed it into crumbs using a metal water bottle as if it was a rolling pin. I stole the sugar and pepper from starbucks and our dining hall, respectively. I forgot to steal any salt, so I left it out and it didn't seem to make a difference.
p.s. happy thanksgiving everyone!
also: a giveaway!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Stuffing with collards, cornbread, and soyrizo

I had a thanksgiving potluck this week, so I decided to try a new stuffing recipe. I followed the recipe exactly, except instead of making my own cornbread, I used TJ's cornbread mix because it is impossible to do any baking from scratch in our tiny kitchen, especially since we no have no mixing bowls and only 1 baking pan (and as lola's friend k. said, "actual homemade stuffing is like wild just never see it" we then proceeded to have a 20 minute conversation with two of the RAs about how Jiffy cornbread is everyone's family secret, the controversial inclusion of whole pieces of corn in cornbread, and the existance of something called a "cheesecake lollipop tree". anyhoo, trader joe's makes a good cornbread mix). I also substituted soyrizo (trader joe's too) for the chorizo.

despite having to figure out a way to make everything in one pot, and a frantic last minute trip to the deli to buy tinfoil, it turned out quite good. Everything at the potluck was delicous, and I had a the perfect thanksgiving feast-stuffing, mac & cheese, candied yams, and a ridiculous amount of pie.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 cups stone-ground white cornmeal
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, melted

  • 2 pounds collard greens, large stems discarded
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound chorizo, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 celery ribs, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken or turkey stock or canned low-sodium broth


1. MAKE THE CORN BREAD: Preheat the oven to 425°. Pour the oil into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and heat in the oven. In a large bowl, whisk the cornmeal with the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. In another bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the eggs. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients, add the melted butter and stir with a wooden spoon until just blended; do not overmix.

2. Remove the baking dish from the oven and swirl to coat with the oil. Scrape the batter into the hot dish and bake for 25 minutes, or until springy and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a rack and let cool. Turn the oven down to 375°. Crumble the corn bread into small chunks and spread on 2 large baking sheets. Bake the corn bread for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until dry and golden. Leave the oven on.

3. MAKE THE STUFFING: In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the collard greens until just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly. Squeeze dry and coarsely chop.

4. Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the chorizo and cook over moderately low heat for 5 minutes. Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring, until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the collards and remove from the heat. Let cool completely.

5. Scrape the corn bread into a very large bowl and add the collard mixture. Season with salt and pepper. In a bowl, whisk the eggs with the stock and pour over the stuffing; mix well.

6. Butter 2 large, shallow baking dishes and divide the stuffing between them. Cover and bake at 375° for about 25 minutes, or until heated through. Uncover and bake for about 10 minutes longer, or until browned. Serve hot.

Make Ahead: The corn bread can be frozen for up to 1 month. The stuffing can be assembled and refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before baking.

-Rita we're gonna start signing our posts now so you can tell which twin wrote what =)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

butternut squash chili + the twins' artistic endeavors

As much as we'd like autumn to go on forever (or at least until next spring), we've been forced to admit that it's almost winter here. The one advantage of this is that it's the perfect weather for chili.
Lola remembered seeing a recipe for butternut squash chili somewhere, so we took that basic idea and made our own (probably much simpler and faster) recipe:
Butternut Squash Chili: serves 6
1 butternut squash, roasted in the oven and then cut into cubes
*1 can (14 oz) red kidney beans
*1 can (14 0z) black beans
*1 can (14 oz) corn kernels
*veggie broth or water
*3 tablespoons each cumin and cayenne
* a pinch of cinnamon
Combine everything except squash in a pot, including the bean liquid from the bottom of the cans. heat up, then taste and add more spices if necessary. Add water or veggie broth until it becomes as soupy/liquidy as you want it. Add squash, heat up for a few more minutes and stir everything together. Put into bowls and top with grated cheese if desired. (and at Chez Twin, cheese is always desired)
it turned out delicious! we also added some Mexican hot sauce at the end.
and now, onto the artistic endeavors. we are twins of many talents:
this is how Lola studies for her science tests:

and this is my assignment for drawing class: (turn your head or your computer around)
now turn it back

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

italian vegetable and bread stew

I literally just finished eating this a minute ago, then rushed over to the computer to blog about it. first of all, because its been 5 days since our last post (sorry!), but also, because i am excited about this. it was that good.
italian vegetable and bread stewserves 2
*10 Brussels sprouts
*2 tablespoons olive oil
*salt and pepper
*1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes, with their juices
*1 (or most of one, depending on how much you want) 14 ounce can of chickpeas
*2 teaspoons italian seasoning
*2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
*1 slice stale wheat bread
*grated Parmesan cheese
1. preheat oven to 450 degrees F. toss brussels sprouts in about 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus a pinch of salt and two pinches of pepper. pour into a glass baking dish and roast in the oven until the outsides are browned, 40-50 minutes.
2. heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. add garlic and cook about 3 minutes, until light brown.
3. add can of tomatoes, bread, torn into bite sized pieces, and italian seasoning to skillet. cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. add chickpeas and stir.
4. remove brussels sprouts from oven. let cool for about 2 minutes. if desired, you can slice them in half.
5. put 5 brussels sprouts in each of 2 bowls. top with tomato mixture and stir to incorporate sprouts. sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
edit: a variation!omit the bread and serve everything else over cooked pasta.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The chorizo post

We are usually not big fans of fake meats, but we've been trying some really good ones from TJ's lately that might change our minds on that. The latest is soyrizo. We got a link of it a few days ago and have been using it in as many meals as possible since then. The first way we tried was with some chipotle salsa, also from TJ's. Lola had it inside a whole wheat pita (as Lou Seal watched jealously) and I had it on top of some home-made tortilla chips with a little cheese melted on top.

For my second soyrizo meal, I made soyrizo and potatoes. This dish is so simple, yet so delicious. It only has 2 ingredients (3 if you count the generous amount of oil used for frying) but those 2 ingredients go together perfectly to create the most comforting, flavorful breakfast/ brunch ever.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Super Taste Restaurant

On a cold day, there are few things better than a giant bowl of warm noodle soup. Especially when those noodles come from a tiny, crowded restaurant in Chinatown. And when they are only $3.45. Rita and I both got the hand pulled noodles with vegetables and a fried egg. A few minutes later, we were presented with ridiculously ginormous bowls of deliciousness. You can also get many other toppings, such as beef, or fish balls (my favorite at most places...but it was slightly more expensive and was being cheap that day so i didn't try it at Super Taste), with the most expensive bowl coming to $6. And, like any good restaurant, they have big bottles of sriracha at every table. They also had dried mustard greens to add to your soup. At the restaurant, we each ate half our noodles, plus the fried egg and the vegetables (leafy greens) that came in the soup. At home, we added spinach, shiitakes, and more sriracha (this is what's pictured above).
Super Taste Restaurant
26N Eldridge St., New York, NY 10002
nr. Canal St

Monday, November 2, 2009

thai rice with vegan meatballs

rita is the ambitious one in our dorm kitchen. she does big shopping trips to trader joe's and actually tries to make recipes. with more than 3 ingredients. me, i stop at gristede's on the way home from class, wander around the aisles in a daze for 30 minutes, and wind up with a dinner of toast, baked beans, and artichoke hearts (which was delicious by the way). so this meal is a bit of a mix between our 2 current styles-her "fancy" ingredients, and my "lets just cook a few random things we have and throw them together" craziness.
thai rice with meatless meatballs
*trader joe's meatless meatballs i had seen these on other people's blogs and wanted to try them. they are super good! i would use 6 per person in this, or any other, dish
*brown rice
*trader joe's thai green curry sauce, or other spicy curry sauce
*peas i buy tons of frozen peas because they're the cheapest of the frozen veggies
*mango (or other type) chutney
cook your rice, add peas and meatballs (defrosted, of course...i just threw mine in to the rice pot frozen once there was about 10 minutes left for the rice to cook. but i also had way too much water in that pot because apparently i thought i was cooking pasta--lesson of this post: ironically, an entire day of classes about the brain causes my brain to cease functioning. anyhoo, it would be better to simply defrost your meatballs and peas first and throw 'em in at the end),stir in a big glob of sauce, and top with mango chutney.
serve in tupperware, if you're classy like me. also, wow. super unappetizing photo. but it tasted good!