Sunday, August 19, 2012

Who's ready? Also: weekly recipes.

For breakfast, I mean. Well, not till tomorrow morning, but: I am! I am continuing my long tradition of postponing the hardest work as thoroughly as is humanly possible. Which, it turns out, is quite thoroughly.

But I sent my syllabus to students. So that's something. I have some links in my online course. That's another thing. And there's a lot of content that just needs to be framed into "modules" and "discussion posts" and other linky links that...ack.

Currently resisting putting together a PowerPoint. Death to PowerPoint! or at least this particular PowerPoint.

Wait! I have two recipes to give you.

RECIPE ONE: baked macaroni and cheese with other stuff in it.

So: cook however many penne noodles makes sense for you. Bear in mind that you can eat leftover baked macaroni and cheese  for a few days. So the number of penne could be many.

Then make your bechamel sauce. Quick version: saute a tablespoon or so of minced onion in 1/4 c. butter. When the onion is soft, sprinkle over the butter, which should be gently bubbling, 1/4 c. of flour, and with a whisk, make sure that the butter and flour are well acquainted, and that the flour browns slightly. Then stir in a cup or a cup and a half of warm milk. If you have basil, you could have steeped the basil in the milk, and that will make a slightly more flavorful sauce base.  Once you have stirred in the milk, whisk it around while the sauce thickens.

When the sauce has thickened, take it off the heat and immediately add about a cup or more if you like more of cheese. You can actually be fairly inventive, but it needs to be a melty cheese--not a hard cheese, and not, probably, a blue cheese. I used some entirely pedestrian already-grated colby jack cheese, which I have around because my son likes grated cheese, because evidently grating cheese is very hard work. Back to the sauce: put the cheese in the sauce that's hot, but off the heat. Let the cheese melt. You can whisk it a couple of times if that makes you feel useful.

Mix the noodles and sauce together. Now: take a zucchini. Take two. And take a handful of cherry tomatoes. Or any tomatoes, really. Slice the zucchini thin but not too thin. Halve the cherry tomatoes.

Put half your noodle sauce mix in the bottom of a baking dish, whatever size is appropriate. Then lay the zucchini and tomatoes in an even layer over the noodles and sauce. Then, cover the zucchini and tomatoes with the rest of your noodles and sauce.

Now, take some stale bread with a small chunk of parmesan and put them both in your blender, the bread torn into smallish pieces. Pulse it until everything is crumbs. Sprinkle all that goodness over the noodles. Bake that at 375 for 20 minutes or as long as it takes for the whole thing to get golden and bubbly.

Point one: hot cheese. Point two: unexpected vegetable bonus. You can actually change up the vegetables and you won't be sorry.

RECIPE TWO: Oatmeal cookies with a little extra business.

Make your regular oatmeal cookie recipe. I happened to have some oats in the tall cylindrical container situation, and I used the recipe on the side of the cylinder. I also substituted demerara sugar for brown sugar. If you have some demerara sugar, you should try this. It was good.

But that's not the business to which I am referring. Once I had my cookie dough, I divided it in half. In one half, I threw some chocolate chips. Also not the business to which I am referring, but my son likes these cookies with chocolate chips, so I made these as an acknowledgement of his tastes.

In the other half, I put unsweetened coconot flakes and golden raisins. Did I mention that, instead of cinnamon, I used cardamom and fresh nutmeg in the cookie dough? Well I did. Those spices plus the raisins/coconut combination--excellent cookies. Really superb. The demerara sugar, which is coarsely grained, also added a little crunchy something.

Happy first week of school, all y'all for whom this is the first week of school. We who are about to die salute you.


  1. So, you failed to mention what time I should show up to the Megastore for breakfast. Just an oversight, I'm sure.

  2. And you also failed to mention when I might join the Megastore for cookies! :)



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