Friday, December 19, 2008

I swear I've been in the kitchen!

Here's what I've been up to:

There was pesto, made with basil that I actually kept alive all by myself! I tossed it in with veggie spiral pasta, grilled chicken, and peas. Yumm!

Then there was meatloaf. I can't remember where I found this recipe, but google seems to think that it's modified from Bobby Flay's recipe. This is definitely making it into the recipe rotation. So much flavor! And I still felt like it had the texture of a full-meat meatloaf. The true test will be what Mr. L thinks of it, but I think he'll go for it. Delish. Here it is, cut into portions (the recipe said it was 10 servings, so I cut it into 10 servings - less temptation, and easier to reheat) and ready to freeze. Aren't all the diced peppers nice and festive?!
Roasted Vegetable Meatloaf

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large zucchini, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 yellow pepper, finely diced
5 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
1 pound ground turkey
1 pound ground beef
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan
1 cup ketchup, divided
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Heat the oil in a large saute pan over high heat.
Add the zucchini, peppers, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper, to taste, and cook until almost soft, 5 minutes.
Set aside to cool.
Whisk together the eggs and herbs in a large bowl.
Add the meat, bread crumbs, cheese, 1/2 cup of the ketchup, 2 tablespoons of the balsamic vinegar, and the cooled vegetables and mix until just combined.
Mold the meatloaf on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Whisk together the remaining ketchup, balsamic vinegar, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Brush the mixture over the entire loaf.
Bake the meatloaf for 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
*I split it into 2 loaves, in loaf pans, and it took about 50 min to cook.

And that same night, I made spinach and sun dried tomato frittatas from FitAfterThirty, one of my new favorite sites. (seriously, check it out!) It is wonderful. I made mine in giant cupcake tins, lined with parchment, since I'd be taking them to punch for work - I just pulled them right out and stuck them in ziplocks. They were easy to reheat, and I didn't have to remember to bring dishes home. And the parchment liner worked perfectly as a built-in plate. I also cut the amount of sun dried tomatoes in half, worried that they would overpower it (it looked like so much before I added them); this was a mistake. Next time, I'll put the full amount in the recipe.

Finally, it was cookies for coworkers - Robert E. Lee Gingersnaps, to be precise. This is a recipe given to me by one of my law professors, and I think it may be the best thing I learned in law school. They are perfect - they are soft gingersnaps!!! I totally used Martha's idea of cookie envelopes, and made each cookie an envelope from wax paper, sealed with a sticker from etsy's LadyBugLabels. I stacked them by the dozen and tied them up with ribbon.

Robert E. Lee Gingersnaps

3 sticks butter, melted
1/2 c. dark molasses
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
4 c. flour
4 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. ground cloves

Preheat oven to 350ยบ.
In a large bowl, add molasses, sugar and eggs to melted margarine.
Combine flour, soda, cinnamon, ginger and cloves.
Add to margarine mixture.
Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.
Make into small balls, roll in sugar.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
Makes 12 dozen. (Dough will keep for weeks in the refrigerator.)

Oh! And there were pound cakes - 4 of them, for groups of people at work... but I totally forgot to take pictures of them. Just imagine a plain pound cake. Times 4. That's it. I went with Martha's recipe, which I haven't actually tried. But they smelled good and looked OK, and people said nice things. So I assume that it's good.