Thursday, November 26, 2015

Bean Tomato Feta Salad

This was supposed to be the last of my summer posts and I got sidetracked. Isn't it a gorgeous salad, though?

White Bean and Tomato Salad
I was craving a bean salad of some sort, which sounds kind of funny, but it's not something I would usually make. Russian salads tend to be mayo-heavy, and my husband prefers straight tomatoes and cucumbers. MY favorite is something tangier, with a vinaigrette or Caesar-like dressing. And adding something like beans helps to add some body when produce is scant.

I had a can of beans on hand and starting looking for recipes. This recipe from Simply Home with a lemony dressing appealed to me right away!

A few changes:

THEIR version had cherry tomatoes and parmesan.
MY version had regular tomatoes and feta.

THEIR version had an herb infusion including anchovies and rosemary.
MINE did not, mainly due to the ingredients I had on hand. I definitely went for the garlic and lemon, and some fresh dill as you see in the photo.

It was a great, refreshing salad that hit the spot! If you have the ingredients, go for it. I might even make this with just the beans.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Just Cook It! (tip)

This is just a really quick tip for using up ingredients.

I have a few baking recipes that call for an egg yolk or two. I put the egg whites in the refrigerator, where they get lost...partly because my husband is the breakfast chef and doesn't notice them.

Recently, I was going to put the egg white in the fridge for later, and thought to myself...why don't I just EAT it? So I poured it right into a frying pan, which had a little oil left from breakfast, and had myself a mini dose of protein!

You could also fry it, chop it up, and add it to a stir-fry or pasta dish for dinner that night. Obviously it could wait for breakfast the next day, but the sooner, the better.

Basically, I'm less likely to let it go to waste if I have as close to cooked as possible!

Surely I can't be the only one?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

How to Make Snickerdoodles (with a substitution)

I've been doing some fun experimenting in the kitchen lately, but need to get everything written up to share here, so I'm just linking quickly to a cookie recipe that I'm adding to my files.

I wanted to make an easy dessert, and my husband/son are both obsessed with anything cinnamon-flavored! I started searching for Snickerdoodle recipes, and this one from seemed like a no-brainer with all the positive reviews!

This recipe doesn't use a lot of ingredients, but I still had to run to the store for butter. Thankfully my 3 yr old was cooperative!


I was debating making the recipe since I didn't have cream of tartar, but thankfully the very first comment was someone else living abroad who was in the same situation and said to replace BOTH the cream of tartar AND baking soda with the equivalent amount of baking POWDER. I found a few other discussions online that verified this.

Cookies make me nervous sometimes because the doneness can be so hard to judge. I timed these JUST RIGHT and was satisfied with the texture. My husband and son loved them, too.


P.S. I like making a batch of cookie dough and then baking it in smaller batches. But sticking a piece of bread into the cookie tin actually keeps the cookies soft if you are baking in advance!

Friday, September 18, 2015

How to Make Rhubarb Crumb Cake

I'm so bummed I didn't get this post up while it was still summer! This was such a great way to use rhubarb, and I probably made it 3-4 times over a short period. If you have some frozen rhubarb, you could give it a try!


What I needed: A rhubarb recipe that didn't need a pastry crust, that used regular baking ingredients but sour cream instead of milk, and that was generally YUM.

What I found: The recipe is from the blog Smitten Kitchen, and she apparently had altered a New York Times recipe. I'd heard of Smitten Kitchen before, but her blog doesn't have a clear ratings system, and I was wary of trying anything without a lot of feedback first. But this cake definitely passed the test! Here's the link:

I followed the recipe to a T, though I probably halved it as I tend to do for our small family. The only place where I got tripped up was the crumb topping. And Smitten Kitchen had raved over the topping, so I felt bad changing that up, but I actually didn't have any brown sugar, so I looked for an alternate version, and came across the one in this muffin recipe:

It was perfect! Like I said, I made this recipe several times within a matter of weeks!