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Lot, those bacon wrapped cherry tomotoes remind me of a very favourite recpie of bacon wrapped water chestnuts. You marinade the chestnuts in sugar and soy sauce then bake them. I'm trying to go veggie but if I go to someone's house where these are out as an appetizer i devour them. I'm craving them right now...mmmm...
Thanks, everyone, for your responses. I'll report back when I try making pesto again. Thinking about the mortar & pestle.
Yum, dusty! I've been craving feta lately. Usually I just make a basic salad...any unusual ideas for it anyone?

A friend gave me some tarragon vinegar, and I was so excited, but also thinking, "What the heck am I gonna make with this?" And then lo and behold, I saw a recipie for a shimp salad with remoulade sauce that called for it...I'm having a friend over for dinner to try it. Yay!

No one gave me gallery snack ideas, but we decided we'd just put out chocolate and strawberries (Louisianna strawberries are sweet and so dark red right now) and offer white wine only because it's all hot. Easy. And that'll be all fancy and nice, right?
amilita, those sound quite tasty. the appetizers for the gallery opening, i mean.

i had sugared strawberries last night and called it dinner. hee!

can someone give me a good red beans and rice recipe? i mean, i get the basics (um... red beans and rice, right?? lol) but what seasonings and such do you use?

i haven't forgotten about the everything-free banana cake recipe i said i'd post, i just can't find it! i'm looking, i promise!

i made rye/spelt rolls the other day and they turned out really well. i used them for tuna melts with tofutti cheese for the little ones. they loved 'em! they are just yeast, sugar, water, rye flour and spelt flour, but i can't remember the proportions right now... the dough is really sticky and hard to mix/shape though. maybe it needs more flour?
amilita, I gave some gallery snack ideas in your other post under partying... :-)

Although chocolate and strawberries sound delectable.
damona, do you have the Joy of Cooking? They have a good red beans and rice recipie...the key is getting good smoked or andouille sausage. Red beans and rice is one of those things that everyone makes differently, but if you want the Joy version, I'll type it up for you. Make it to eat on Monday if you want to be traditional. :-)

I gotta find a gumbo recipie I love...I don't like it real dark or thick. This guy I know made a real nontraditional version that was brothy, tomato-y, and had chunks of veggies, including pieces of grilled corn on the cob...but I asked him about it, and he didn't even remember making it, much less how.

Thanks for the ideas, treehugger...I'm gonna go read 'em now.

my gumbo recipe (passed down through goddess knows how many generations of good cajun women):

first you make a roux - i do half a cup of flour and half a cup of whatever cooking oil i have on hand. i like a seriously dark gumbo, so i brown mine halfway to coffee. if you like yours lighter, i would reccommend a caramel or peanut butter color. you could even be provencal and not brown it much at all.

(time out in case anybody other than amilita wants to use this recipe and doesn't know how to make a roux - put a pan or pot on pretty good heat. add half a cup of oil, any cooking oil will do. give it a good swirl and add half a cup of flour, stirring gradually until it mixes in. at this point, you have to lower the heat and stir nonstop until the roux starts to brown, but NOT burn. my quickie way is to get the pan and oil real hot, and then take it off the heat for a while once the flour is stirred in. the heat of the pan and oil will cause the roux to brown, but at a very slow rate that doesn't need to be stirred nearly so much -- that said, you should definitely supervise it, but you can take a time out to chop vegetables while the roux browns)

when the roux is browned how you like, add half an onion, a medium sized bell pepper, and a couple or three stalks of celery, all chopped pretty fine. i throw in some garlic, too, if i remember. i also sometimes substitute a red or yellow pepper for green, though this is tres nontraditional. i believe this is also the time to add the okra if you do that, though i'm a file girl and generally don't do okra unless it's shrimp gumbo. or unless i'm hard up for file, which is pretty much unobtainable up here so i have to stock up when i'm in south louisiana.

you let the onions, peppers, celery, etc. cook till the onions are transparent. at this point, if you started things in a pan, you'll want to transfer to the big pot, because it's time to start adding stuff.

any meat (non-seafood) or particularly hardy vegetables (carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, etc.) should go in first. the previously mentioned vegetables aren't traditional for gumbo, but if you're feeding vegetarians you have to put SOMETHING in there. it's also time to add your liquid, be it chicken stock, veg stock, greens water, etc. i usually put in one of those quart containers of stock, and it's generally liquidy enough for my taste. if i'm stretching it for a lot of people, i'll add a cup or so of water. another way to keep it real liquidy are to avoid using either okra or file -- this is technically not official gumbo, but honestly what matters is that it tastes good to you, not whether it's "authentic" or not.

after the liquid and meat (if you're going there) are in, it's time to add more delicate stuff, seafood or lighter vegetables. one of my favorite gumbos is gumbo z'herbes -- i add a big bag of frozen chopped spinach and a smaller thingie of either collard greens or whatever other interesting frozen greens my yankeefied supermarket carries. the 'from scratch' way of doing this would be to boil fresh greens and then use the water for your gumbo liquid. but honestly, in all that gumbo nobody knows the difference, so i use frozen greens and vegetable stock.

you let the gumbo simmer until all meat is cooked, whether chicken or oysters. start up a big pot of rice, and let the gumbo simmer away -- my mom will leave a pot of gumbo on the stove for hours, so no worries about overcooking. at this point, you might also want to spice the gumbo. i use a couple bay leaves, a good shake of hot sauce, and my cajun spice blend, which is home blended from equal parts black pepper, white pepper, cayenne pepper, and salt. you could also just get tony cachere's or emeril's or whatever if you're unsure.

if you didn't add okra and still want that traditional gumbo thickness, you should put your jar of file on the table along with the salt, pepper, hot sauce, etc. for people to add to taste. apparently it makes the gumbo texture weird if you add it in during cooking. though i'll add it myself as a last step before serving if i'm having a bunch people over who've never had gumbo, as they have no idea what to do with the file.

and there you have gumbo, the way my mama and mawmaw and on and on made it...
amilita: brush the bottom of large portobellos with EVOO, then top with pesto, slices of tomato, and feta on the BBQ. Put 'em under the grill for five minutes at the end if you want the tops a little more melty.

That's what we had on Sunday at our...impromptu BBQ!!!! And sausages. Mmmm......carcinogenic.
Yum, lys! I've been thinking about getting the grill going soon...I forgot how well feta goes with pesto.

bklyn, thanks for the gumbo recipie...I think I just need to start experimenting with it to get it down just the way I like it.

And the shrimp salad with remoulade turned out so good...ya know when you're making something, and you think it's not gonna be great? Well, I thought that and I was wrong! The tarragon vinegar gave a nice undertone...I don't love heavy tarragon flavor, like chicken salad with a ton of it. Yuck. But I'm glad to know I don't dislike it totally.
this is what happens when your cooking instructor(my dad) is a boy scout leader and makes do with what he's got on hand.

i made the best fruit salad...with what i had on chunks, halved strawberries and blueberries...but i had no pineapple i used lemon juice...but then it was too a tsp. of vanilla extract...pop it in my smart tupperware(it has a ice pack in it) and let it sit for an hour(during class). on break i popped it open, the smell was divine!!! the girls were like 'whos got cake?' mmmm they offered to buy it off me if i made gig?
lysistrata...THANK you for helping me decide to cook when my guy comes over tomorrow night! :-)

amilita, if you could type it up for me i would be very very grateful.

lys, i used to make stuffed mushrooms similer to yours. i used the medium sized portobellos and chopped up the stems very fine along with fresh garlic, crab meat and parm. cheese. use the mix to fill the mushroom caps and bake or grill or broil (whatever works for you) until warm and melty. yum!
Okay, my co-op makes this wonderful salad at the deli and I love it so much and they stopped making it very I got the recipe! Yummm...

Seaweed/Edamame salad

(this makes a HUGE amount, you might want to halve it if you're thinking of making it)

1 1/2 cups sesame seeds, toasted
2 heads bok choy, sliced thin (ribbons)
1 head napa cabbage, ribbons
1 head red cabbage, shredded
4 carrots, mandolined
2 cucumbers, mandolined
1 (approximately 2 oz) package dried hiziki seaweed, soaked, cooked
2 12 oz. bags frozen shelled edamame

3/4 cup Braggs
1/4 cup tamari soy sauce
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon hot pepper sesame oil
1/4 cup brown rice vinegar
6 cloves garlic, minced

Soak the seaweed for 20 minutes in saucepan, then boil for 20 minutes. Cool before adding to veggies...I used a colandar and ran it under cold water like you'd do with pasta.

Toast sesame seeds by spreading in a cookie sheet and baking at 325 for 15 minutes or until they're brown and aromatic

Cut up all the veggies..mix dressing ingredients and toss.

(I made this tonight for my big party tomorrow so I'd have some vegan friendly food. I ended up doubling the dressing because it seemed sort of dry...doubling it made almost too much so you may want to choose small-ish heads of bok-choy, napa, and red cabbage.)

But this is sooooo good.
Maybe this is a stupid question, but when a recipe calls for a large amount of fresh pepper (like 1/4 cup or something) do they really expect you to crank out a 1/4 cup with a pepper grinder? There's just no way I could do that- I've got tendonitis in my hand! Could you put it in a food processor, and if so, do you measure before or after it's ground I just missing something here?
What's the recipe for, polly?
well, in this case it was a dry rub for a pork loin. I doubt you'd need that much fresh pepper in too many other recipes, but even when trying to crank out a tablespoon or so, my hand starts to hurt!
You could try putting the peppercorns in a plastic bag and beating them with a rolling pin to crack them up a bit. Do you have a mortar and pestle? You could put them on a cutting board and pound them with a hammer, too. I dunno. I would hate to crank out that much pepper.
I second the hammer. That's what I use o break up chocolate for melting too. The other benifit is, you won't lose any peppercorn bits. You will get your quarter-cup exactly.
Yeh, but I tried to make steak au poivre once and tried the hammer method...I think more peppercorns ended up on the floor than on the board. I was picking them up for weeks.

I'd suggest wrapping them in cheesecloth or one of those flour sack dishcloths. Plastic will rip immediately. And a crushing with the back of a big spoon seemed to work better than a hammer.
I've never had plastic rip. I use ziploc baggies to crush my whatever in. Chocolate, pepper, etc.
Ohhh, that must be it..I had just wrapped them in plastic wrap. I think those baggies are a little thicker.

Good idea, it'd be really easy to pour out too! :-)
We do it at work too. We have recipes that call for melting large amounts of chocolate and I grab gallon freezer bags off the shelf and whack the chocolate mercilessly. It makes people look at us funny.
I am having a ridiculously hard time finding a good recipe for a chewy oatmeal cookie. I want to make oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, but all the recipes I try end up dry and horrible. Anyone?
ooh, we were at this italian restaurant one time and the waiter came over with an Electric pepper corn grinder. the poor man, my dude made him stand there with that thing over his plate grinding away until he was satisfied for Every Course! did i mention that it had a little light in the bottom so you could see how much pepper was making it's way onto your plate? ha, funny.
why not use a spice mill? i have two, one for coffee and one for everything else. it works Gr8!

btw, i picked up a kitchen scale at a yard sale for fifty cents (wow) so i'm gonna try it with the gingerbread cookie recipe tomorrow. but i'm also going to let the children help me so there's just no way to tell if i'm actually having success due to proper wieght measurement or just dumb four and five year old luck. cross your fingers for me :-)

Here is an interesting link to go along with the yummy sounding gumbo recipe posted a few days ago. We have alot of this tree around, so I'm thinking to try it. <<bklynhermit>> that recipe sounded very good.
damona, I'm gonna do the red beans and rice recipe, I just haven't had time yet! It's coming!
mmm, good gingerbread! yum! and the house smells lovely.
So I take it the scale worked, Pepper? :-) Good job (and way to go with that bargain price).

Do any of you have a favorite recipe for granola that you want to share avec moi, something that will stand up to milk or yogurt?
I use this as a base:

3 cups rolled oats
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup cashews
3/4 cup shredded sweet coconut
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, coconut, and brown sugar. In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, oil, and salt. Combine both mixtures and pour onto 2 sheet pans. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color. Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl. Add raisins and mix until evenly distributed.


I usually toss in some spices (cinnamon and allspice are particular favorites of mine) and leave out the coconut and only use one kind of nut (usually pecans because they're my favorite), though sometimes I'll toss in roasted pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds. Sometimes I'll use other dried fruits (bananas!).... like anything else, it's just a basic recipe that can be dressed up or down :P

But my favorite is cinnamon, allspice, walnuts, almonds, dried banana, and raisins. No coconut. It's kinda like a homemade oatmeal raisin crisp then!

I've not had problems with yogurt, and I usually eat it with milk...
OK, Damona! Red Beans and Rice from the Joy of Cooking for you!

I should've known it has pork fat in it...that is why it's so good! This is the best I've had from someone who made it at home.

pick over, rinse, and soak:
1# dried red beans (kidney, pinto or any red bean)

combine in a large pot:
8 c. water
2 ham hocks (2-3#)
1 c. finely chopped cleery
1 c. finely chopped onion
1 c. finely chopped green bell pepper
2 tsp. chopped garlic
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. ground white pepper
1/2 tsp. ground red pepper

Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer covered, stirring occasionally, until the ham hocks are tender, about one hour.

Remove the ham hocks and let cool.

Drain the beans, add them to the pot, and return to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the beans are tender, about 30 minutes.

Add water as needed to keep the beans covered. Remove the meat from the ham hocks and add it to the pot along with:

1# smoked andouille or smoked kielbasa sausage, cut diagonally into 1/2 inch thick slices

warm through.

serve with 4 cups hot cooked rice.

Like I said, the key is to get good sausage!

And with regard to the beans, I'm sure when they say soak, they mean overnight the night before you make it. I like to cook the heck out of the beans until they are falling apart and it's like one thick consistancy.
i am still looking for a good gingerbread recipe..any one know of one?

mmm all these recipes make me wish i had more time to actually cook!
Gingerbread cookies or gingerbread?

I make a cake-ish gingerbread with fresh ginger that rocks, if you want's different than the typical dark brown, molassas-heavy stuff. Which I love, don't get me wrong.
cookies i think...i have had some cake, which is divine....but my friend M moved away and had the best recipe...i wish i had gotten it from him before he left.
Oh Quantum, merci bien pour la recette! But:

1) If I omit the cashews, how would the proportions for the other ingredients change? I'm thinking mostly about the oil, syrup, and brown sugar.

2) When I measure the brown sugar, should I pack it down into the cup as usual?
Does anyone have a good recipe for grilled portabello mushrooms? I made one tonight and it was awful, i took one bite and threw it out. Way way way too much vinegar.

A few months ago I was at a dinner and a friend had one for his meal that tasted just like steak, and I've been searching for a similar recipe but with no luck.
erinjane - here are 2 different ideas for marinades

5 Tbsp. olive oil
juice of 2 lime
1 clove garlic, minced
1 shallot, chopped
1 tsp. chopped rosemary
1 tsp. chopped parsley

marinate for 1 hour, or more if you like, then grill until tender. Can also use a little salt and white pepper during grilling.


marinate in - 3oz. vege broth
juice of 2 lime
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small shallot, chopped
1 sprig rosemary, chopped
1 tsp. parsley
FOR ONE HOUR...... then
Grill for 4 minutes with caps UP, turn and season while grilling with a mixture of
6 Tbsp. water
3 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
3 Tbsp Miso
fresh ground pepper
Grill until soft.......

maybe these will turn out better for you.....
these are good gingerbread cookies, not too sweet.

preheat oven to 350F
1/2c butter, softened
3/4c molasses
2Tbsp sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
2c flour
3/4tsp salt
1tsp baking soda
1tsp cinnamon
3/4tsp ginger

cream butter, molasses and sugar, beat in egg.
sift dry ingredients together and stir into butter mixture until well combined.
chill the dough for 2 hours.
roll out on a lightly floured surface (flour the pin as well) 1/8" thick. bake for 8-10 minutes.
thicker cookies will be chewier, thinner crisp. you can ice them or not, they're nice as is.
Thanks Voodoo! I'll probably give one of them a try on friday or sunday.
The one I tried was just ick. There was 1/2 a cup of red wine vinegar. All I took was one bite and I could still taste it half hour later. The weird thing was I followed the recipe exactly but some other people had left comments about how good it was. I can't imagine anyone enjoying that.
erinjane - no problem chicky-dee! I tried to go through my recipes and find one for you that was LOW on the vinegar / tart stuff. Or at least had enough other stuff to compliment well.

Hey... I have been wondering... Have the Busties ever thought of putting together their own CookBook? A compilation of Busties favorite recipes from 'round the globe? (kind of like the inexpensive, paperback CookBooks that are put out by various womens groups ie. churches etc.) It doesn't have to be a "for profit" thing really, maybe just something we can all share? I was just wondering tho... I'm in the process of putting together a compilation book of all my fave recipes and just thought it would be cool to have all my fellow Busties fave recipes too. I have been documenting the recipes I have seen on here, just so I don't have to back through the archives for them, and thought it would be so much better just to have them all in one book.
i tried to do a bustie e-cookbook a few years ago but it never took off and i didn't have the time/patience to put everything in myself :/
oh.... oh well then. guess i'll just concentrate on my own then.
thanks for the recipe for the i just need a recipe for more time. anyone...? hehehe
Does anyone have any tips for making stuffed mushroom caps? I can't seem to get my stuffing to stick together, so when you bite into it, crumbs go everywhere. Or is that normal? Any general tips on stuffed mushrooms would also be appreciated.
gingerbread cookies, mmm.
battygurl, I add about a tablespoon or so of tomato paste to the stuffing for my mushroom caps. I don't know if that would work with what your stuffuing yours with, but it's good in mine.

I would guess you could also moisten with stock or broth of some description.
those are cute and tasty looking cookies, pepper!
Thanks kjhink, I'll try that next time.

I made onion rings last night. If you put baking powder in the batter they poof up when you put them in the oil. They were good, but very heavy and I ate too many.
thanks! i let the kids (and a growed up neighbour) at them with some icing we made and spooned into plastic baggies and piping "tools", ha ha. it was a bLAsT! dang, i loves me some cookies. it's almost more fun to bake them then it is to eat them. i have a skull cookie cutter that i got for free that is the best thing ever. skully sugar cookies, ha! what a great present for my kookie friends.

i made some guac and salsa, whoa! garlic and red onion! sooper strong flavour even after three days in the fridge. it hasn't mellowed much at all. way too spicy for the kid so i'm stuck eating it all myself. heh heh.
amilita, thanks for the red beans and rice recipe! i'm gonna make it tomorrow!
omigod! i just got an ice cream maker in the mail from my mother for my birthday.

she is the best.

unfortunately, you have to chill the bowl part in the freezer for 24 hours or i'd be out picking up ingredients right now... but WOW. by five o'clock tomorrow, i will be making ice cream.

also, it came with this little booklet of recipes, and there are some extremely odd ones in there -- olive sorbet. for instance.
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