Tuesday, June 26, 2012

When the Moon Hits Your Eye...

Feeding 20 plus people can always pose a bit of a challenge, however, if you're going to take on this feat of cooking, pizza is the way to do it.  Its fast, simple, and everyone loves it.  My family has always been a big fan of the Boboli pizzas-- whenever I was in grade school and my brother and I had a million activities going on, we'd grab a slice of Boboli and head out to the next thing on our list.  However, we are all "growed up" now and I decided to share this delicious memory with my extended family on our vacation in the Outer Banks.  We had 16 people eating the pizza so we made 4 big pies and 4 little.  Here are all of our ingredients:
The trick is to make the big ones safe kind (the usual cheese, pepperoni, etc.) and experiment with the little--until next time of course!  So here are the ones we made:

The two big ones here are cheese, with a thin crust and pepperoni and the little ones are green pizza (pesto, mushrooms and parmesean) and another cheese (just to be safe-we had a few kids to feed)
The big: Broccoli and cheddar, and half-pepperoni, half-meat-lovers
The little: White pizza (shrimp, alfredo sauce and parmesan cheese) on a wheat crust, and apple chicken pizza (Fuji, a crisp apple that will hold up in the oven, cubed, pre-cooked rotisserie chicken breast and Feta cheese)
We baked two big and two small at the same time as to maximize efficiency, which I would recommend, however, make sure you keep the light in the oven on because they WILL cook at separate paces given the differing sizes and toppings. (P.S. Feta never looks melted, but it is!)
Surprisingly, all was inhaled by my family except there was leftover cheese pizza! I guess you just have to have faith in the adventurous eaters.  Here are a few of the finished products:
  apple chicken and cheese
 green and white pizzas
It was such a simple dinner and we had such a blast making it! Even my brother and mother, whose skills in the kitchen are...let's just say...unmatched by other aspects of their life, did their part.  And the opportunities are endless! I didn't even try a hawaiian pizza or a taco pizza or a breakfast pizza...and the list goes on and on...and on. So to leave you with something sweet to remember, here is our dessert pizza, inspired by the one and only Peirce dining hall:

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Curried Chicken Salad with Cucumber and Tomato Salad

This is a great colorful summer supper that anyone can make!  It is relatively quick to prepare and even faster if you have a rotisserie chicken.  The chicken salad is full of flavor but not too spicy for our delicate taste buds and is balanced nicely by the refreshing cucumber and tomato.

Curried Chicken Salad:
3 whole cooked chicken breasts (can be roasted, grilled or rotisserie; I grilled mine in a foil packet with onions, olive oil, salt and pepper)
1 1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 Tbs. curry powder
1 cup medium-diced celery (about 2 large stalks)
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1 cup whole roasted, salted cashews
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 1/2 tps salt
1Tbs cayenne pepper
1 apple

1. Remove the skin of the chicken and cut into bit size pieces.
2. For the dressing combine the mayonnaise, curry powered, salt and cayenne pepper in the food processor until smooth (feel free to add more or less cayenne pepper depending on how spicy you like your curry!)
3. Chop apples into bite size pieces and combine with chicken.
4. Add dressing to chicken and apples.
5. Add the celery and scallions.
6. If you have time, refrigerate for a few hours
7.  Add cashews and slivered almonds and serve at room temperature in a boat of romaine lettuce for extra crunch!

Cucumber and Tomato Salad: makes 2 servings
1 cucumber
1 tomato
1/4 of a red onion
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbs. red wine vinegar

1. Seed, peel and chop a cucumber to desired size. Combine with 1 chopped tomato.
2. Combine red onion, olive oil and red wine vinegar. 
3. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Toss cucumber and tomato pieces in dressing and enjoy!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Herb Plants

Spices and herbs bring out the best flavors in the food we cook, so I figured I'd start the first "food" post with the plants from which they came.  I'll begin with a quote from one of my favorite movies: "Aragorn: 'Sam, do you know the Athalas plant?'  Sam: 'Athalas?' Aragorn: '[Otherwise known as] kingsfoil'  Sam: 'Kingsfoil! That's a weed!'"  As we all know, this so called "weed" saves Frodo's life, as does the amiable and heroic character, Samwise Gamgee the Brave.  (If you haven't noticed by now, not only am I a cook, but an extreme nerd!)  So the plants that may not look the best, or have the greatest reputation, could save a dish from near disaster.  And although we live in Ohio where the winter is harsh, and we must make due with the dried stuff for the greater half of the year, fresh from the garden is always better!
Here are my two pepper plants (bell and cayenne) and my tomato plant:

The following is my beautiful Basil plant:
And the rest can speak for themselves! (Although I must say, they smell delicious)



curry (mmmmm.....)
So, I'm hoping to plant these when we get to Kenyon, however I have no idea how forgiving the terrain is at the Morgan apartments.  Also, I don't know how often I'll remember to water them once I start to use my brain again.  Even if I don't, they should last well into the winter at the rate they are growing now!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Introductions: Katie

My name is Katie, also not to be confused with Kate because as well as two Elizabeths, there are also two Katherines living in the Food Coop next year!  I am a rising sophomore from a suburb of St. Louis, MO and will most likely major in Biochemistry.
I decided to join the Food Coop because I love cooking and especially eating!  This summer I have been having a lot of fun making vegan desserts (even though I am not vegan at all).  If forced to choose, I would have to say that barbecue and Italian are my favorite types of food.  I also have a soft spot for ice cream :)
Other than food, I love playing soccer and am on the soccer team at Kenyon.  I also played the violin for 10 years and recently took up the ukulele (strictly recreationally though).  Due to my increased amount of free time this summer, my reality TV addiction has manifested into a bit of a problem.  I am not proud to say it but a few of my favorite shows are Sister Wives and Toddlers and Tiaras (a little disclaimer here: I in no way approve of how these children are being displayed, just think it's interesting to see this side of life).  My other obsession is my cats.  I have two, Herman and Horton, and at risk of sounding like a potential cat lady, I must say thus far they are the loves of my life!  Don't be surprised to find a few pictures of them along with some hopefully delicious looking food!!