05 January 2008

Pure Heaven

[Eaten in 35 seconds, the same amount of time it takes for WAC students to decimate a tray of General Tso's Chicken.]

Here's to eating your dessert before dinner. Or, in this case, instead of dinner. At least I didn't need to feel too badly: 2/3 of this was fruit!

Baked Bananas with Toffee Sauce

(recipe from The Best Ever Three & Four Ingredient Cookbook)

Things pilfered from the pantry:

4 large bananas

5 tablespoons light brown sugar

5 tablespoons heavy cream

5 tablespoons water

1 scoop vanilla ice cream

[Bananas, post-baking.]

  1. Bake unpeeled bananas at 350OF for 20-25 minutes, or just until skin is totally blackened.
  2. Over burner, dissolve brown sugar in water completely. Add cream, boil, and cook 10-15 minutes, or until sauce is thickened and even in color.
    Remove from heat and let stand at least 5 minutes before use, to allow it to become tacky.
  3. Cool bananas for 5-10 minutes. Split bananas lengthways with a very sharp knife. Take care, the insides will be very mushy/runny and the skin will be tough, a very sharp knife will help to pierce the skin quickly and without malforming the flesh.
  4. Serve with ice cream and drizzle toffee sauce over top.


03 January 2008

Certified for Microwave Cooking

These recipes brought to you by Litton microwave cooking products! Not really, but I did use the company book, Microwave Cooking – Convenience Foods. Despite being hideously out of date (published in 1981), it still lives with the real cookbooks, and not in the "camp" library with Knitting with Dog Hair (a youngster from 1997), Attractive Lawn Furnishings (1946), and The New Joys of Jell-O (1973). Of course, when I glanced through the book on Tuesday, I didn't really expect to find anything edible. Probably because of the 80's stigma. Or that it's a promotional cookbook. From the 80's. I was pleasantly surprised to find at least two recipes that I could work with.

Tonight's dinner came out of the Litton cookbook, although, of course I had to add a pinch of spice to the food, as everything looked (and no doubt tasted) a little bland right out of the microwave. For the roll-ups, I used seasoned roast beef deli slices instead of old, dried beef, and baked the whole mess in the t.o. to bring out the flavors without making the food soggy. For the Wild Rice Casserole, I added the spices instead of the recommended sour cream, though I wish I had used real roasted chicken instead of canned – the whole dish ended up tasting like tuna, I think because the cans looked so similar that my brain was switching the flavors around. Still, everything in the book, even with alterations, makes a satisfying meal, and it all came out of two dorm-style appliances at around 10 minutes. Sweet.

Asparagus Roll-Ups

Things pilfered from the pantry:

hollandaise sauce

1 bunch asparagus spears

1 package roast beef deli slices

  1. Microwave asparagus in 1 inch water for 5 minutes (crisp) or 7 minutes (mushy).
  2. Drain, roll bunches of five spears up in two slices of roast beef. Bake in the toaster oven on 375OF for 6-7 minutes.
  3. Whatever kind of hollandaise sauce you're using (mix, store-bought, or homemade), make it now while the roll-ups bake.
  4. Serve drizzled in sauce.

Wild Rice Casserole

Things pilfered from the pantry:

2 packages Uncle Ben's 90-second wild rice

1 package frozen chopped spinach

2 cups cooked, chopped up chicken (or 2 cans of chopped chicken)

1/8 teaspoon cumin

1/8 teaspoon basil

2 cloves garlic

  1. Microwave rice by package directions. Microwave spinach in a large, 1 quart, casserole dish for 4 minutes, stir with a fork, and microwave an additional 3 minutes.
  2. Mix together chicken, spinach, and rice along with seasonings and pressed garlic. Microwave 2 minutes.


01 January 2008

No-Bake Noodle Cookies

I must not have been thinking clearly when I picked Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays to update. The last night of Hanukkah, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Day, Valentine's Day, April Fool's Day, Earth Day… all of them on days when I update. (My birthday also, but I won't still be doing ABS, because I will be a college graduate by then, woo-hoo!) Today, I was happy to rediscover a Christmas gift (Thanks Uncle Bruce, Aunt Gwen, and family) on our kitchen table that was perfect for ABS – No-Bake Noodle Cookies.

Yep, you only need a microwave for these babies. My mom says she used to know a recipe for no-bake brownies (no-bake, if I made them, because the batter would be all gone before they could hit the oven). The cookies are perfect for dorm room study sessions or late New Year's Day snacks that you (by which I mean me) can make tolerably well before or after the… er, memories of the night before have worn off. And I'm tolerably sure that all of these ingredients are also available on the salad bar, though you might have trouble with the peanut butter chips or chow mein noodles. Unless you want to make your own chow mein noodles, for which you'll need some ramen. I didn't measure everything in the jar, but I do have a picture of it, which gives a tolerably good impression of the ratios of things.

[These cookies really look (but not taste) really familiar to me. Watch out, when I'm around cookies, they all tend to turn out looking like soot spirits.]

No-Bake Noodle Cookies

Things you'll need:

chocolate and peanut butter chips (about 1 cup total)

chow mein noodles (about 1 ½ cups)

peanuts (maybe ½ a cup)

raisins (maybe ¼ cup)

(Sorry Aunt Gwen, I think you told me on Christmas how much of each was in there. Anyone who knows, feel free to leave me a comment on the amounts and I'll update the ingredients list.)

  1. Microwave all ingredients together for 1 – 1½ minutes. Mix well.
  2. Dollop teaspoon sized cookies onto waxed paper. Cover and press with a second sheet of wax paper. Seal and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before eating.

Enjoy and Happy New Year!