Lady Gaga Half-Time Fare

This Sunday evening in Houston, Lady Gaga performs on the world’s largest stage. She crushed the national anthem this time last year–I had goosebumps for days–and this year it’s rumored her act will be over-the-top. Literally. The Patriots and Falcons will bookend her show (-:

Don't forget the pickles!

Don’t forget the pickles!

The Falcons are the underdog rookies. After all, this is the ninth Super Bowl for the Patriots. With quarterback Tom Brady and his magic necklace  fending off the Falcon defense, it will be Brady’s fifth Super Bowl win if his team secures the glory.

The game begins at 6:30 ET and over 100 million folks will be watching. Since Super Bowls tend to last 3 1/2 hours, I’m guessing Lady Gaga should be hitting the stage around 8:15.

I hope the commercials are amusing. Aside from the Dorito dogs, Subaru retrievers, and the sheep singing “Queen”, from where I was sitting last year, they seemed to be meh

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Tossed salad with a nacho crunch is a refreshing option.

This year’s Budweiser ad is rumored to touch upon a salient, sensitive topic. It could get interesting. (Spoiler Alert: Don’t watch the U-tubes if you want to be surprised.)

Below I’ve compiled a slide show of Super Bowl watching recipes that I’ve enjoyed in season’s past. And while you’re chewing on a wing, here’s a bit of trivia to impress your partying cohorts:

Lady Gaga’s name was inspired by the Queen song, ‘Radio Gaga’. Her real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, and her nicknames are Gagaloo, Loopy, Mother Monster, Little Monster and Rabbit Teeth. She’s been wanting to sing at the Super Bowl since she was four years old.

White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili

Smokey Quinoa Chili

Smokey Quinoa Chili

Chili with the Works

Chili with the Works

Chili-Lime Chicken Wings

Chili-Lime Chicken Wings

Teriyaki Appetizer Meatballs

Teriyaki Appetizer Meatballs

Chipotle Chili Chicken Skins

Chipotle Chili Chicken Skins

Slow-Cooker Barbecue Sliders

Slow-Cooker Barbecue Sliders

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Casserole

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Casserole

Chopped Chicken Taco Salad with Chipotle-Corn Dressing

Chopped Chicken Taco Salad with Chipotle-Corn Dressing

No-Fuss Barbecue Ribs

No-Fuss Barbecue Ribs

Beefy Super Bowl Sliders with Pimento Cheese

Beefy Super Bowl Sliders with Pimento Cheese

White Chicken Chili thumbnailSmokey Quinoa Chili thumbnailChili with the Works thumbnailChili-Lime Chicken Wings thumbnailTeriyaki Appetizer Meatballs thumbnailChipotle Chili Chicken Skins thumbnail
Slow-Cooker Barbecue Sliders thumbnailBuffalo Chicken Pasta Casserole thumbnailChopped Chicken Taco Salad with Chipotle-Corn Dressing thumbnailNo-Fuss Barbecue Ribs thumbnailBeefy Super Bowl Sliders with Pimento Cheese thumbnail

While Chili ChickenSmokey Quinoa ChiliChili with the WorksTeriyaki Meatballs♥Chili Stuffed PotatoesCrock Pot BQ SlidersBuffalo Chicken Pasta CasseroleChopped Chicken Taco SaladNo-fuss BQ Ribs

 

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Buddha, ahem, Bowl

Ahhh, 2016—feels like yesterday. Reflecting back to the good old days, one strong current that kept me off the beach was the Buddha Bowl trend.

I’ve been composing bowls and plates filled with an assortment of nutritional goodness (usually a compilation of leftovers) well before the name was penned.

Quinoa with Spaghetti Squash and Dill-Almond Pesto

Quinoa with Spaghetti Squash and Dill-Almond Pesto (circa 2010)

But I was loathe to be trapped in the Buddha Bowl wave, revisiting old recipes of healthy goodness and rewriting their names so that they could find their way to a Pinterest board.

It’s the name. Buddha Bowl. Did Siddhartha feast with a Buddha Bowl to celebrate his enlightenment? The concept brings to mind the granola and nutrition bar aisles in supermarkets. Such excessive branding as they fight to capture the latest food fad flag, yet most are loaded with fat and sugar.

And yet. Buddha Bowl. It caught the wave. Great alliteration.

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I was delighted to find a lonely beet hidden beneath some potatoes to julienne, stir-fry and add to my Buddha Bowl.

A quick Google of Buddah Bowls yields recipes with a common theme: a layer of grains or seeds (quinoa, farro, couscous, rice) that is attractively garnished with proteins (tofu, nuts, beans) and veggies (roasted, sautéed, raw) all topped with savory dressing, if desired.

Essentially a Mom & Pop diner’s meat and three, hold the beef.

I stirred a stocking stuffer into the composition I made just before eating it—Frank’s Rajila Sweet Ginger Sauce. Goodness, that stuff would make cardboard taste delicious. Oops! Silly me. It’s loaded with sugar.

Ah well. Here’s a toast to sliding off the yoga mat from time to time. Happy New Year!

Recipe: Buddah-ahem-Bowl

Ingredients

  • 14 ounces extra-firm tofu
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil, plus extra for cooking
  • 2 tablespoons or more soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger root
  • 1 large red beet, peeled and julienned
  • 1/2 pound baby bella mushrooms, washed and sliced
  • 1 large bunch chard, washed and sliced*

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Drain tofu. Cut into 3 slices. Place on paper towels and drain until most of the excess moisture has been absorbed (weighting down the tofu with a pan or plate accelerates the process).
  3. Whisk together 1 tablespoon sesame oil, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and ginger. Marinate drained tofu in mixture, about fifteen minutes per side.
  4. Place marinated tofu on oiled cooking sheet. Bake on center rack of oven until browned, about 25 minutes. Use leftover marinade may be used to season cooked quinoa.
  5. Meanwhile, cook quinoa according to package instructions
  6. Place 1-2 tablespoons sesame oil in a medium-sized fry pan. Over medium-high heat, fry beets until crispy, stirring, about 12 minutes.
  7. While beets are frying, heat an additional 1-2 tablespoons of sesame oil over medium-low heat. Cook mushrooms and chard until tender.*
  8. Reheat quinoa if it has cooled. Fill 3-4 bowls 1/3 the way full with quinoa. Arrange tofu, chard, mushrooms and beets over top. Serve.

*When cooking chard, I remove the greens from the stem and cook the stem about 3 minutes before stirring in the chard.

Time: 75 minutes, mostly unattended to prep tofu

Number of servings (yield): 3-4

Copyright © Peggy Lampman’s dinnerFeed.

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Easy Gift Ideas From Your Kitchen

A bottle of wine dressed up in a festive bag is the usual accessory when invited to a holiday gathering. But it’s fun to mix it up. With available time for most folks in such short supply, gifts from the kitchen are becoming a rare gem.

Irish Cream

Irish Cream

This gift idea is almost as simple as purchasing a bottle: make a riff on Bailey’s Irish Cream–the one perenially stocked in the liquor department.

I made my own Irish Cream, divided it between Bell Jars and put a plaid ribbon around the lip. I delivered it to some favorite cousins, who claim ancestry in the Emerald Isle. Here’s the recipe:

In a blender, combine 1-2 cups of Irish whiskey, 1, 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk, 2 tablespoons of chocolate syrup, 2-3 teaspoons instant expresso (or coffee).  Blend on high  until combined. Stir in the cream until incorporated. Keep refrigerated and serve chilled. (Lasts as long as the expiration date on the cream that you used.)

Yogurt and Fig Cake

Yogurt and Fig Cake

Something demanding more time, but a simple recipe all the same, is Yogurt and Fig Cake. (Featured in the recipe below.) A friend and incredible pastry chef, Anna Marie Ascher, once told me that the perfect cake is one you would enjoy eating for breakfast. This certainly meets that criteria.

I might add that the perfect cake for gifts is the size of a loaf pan and easily portable. When cool, wrap the cake in brown parchment paper (so that the topping doesn’t stick), tie with a bit of twine and stick a sprig of holly between the string and paper. Voila!

I can savor this cake for a good two weeks, if tightly wrapped and refrigerated. Try serving with a dollop of freshly whipped cream enhanced with a liqueur, such as Grand Marnier to complement the orange zest. It also freezes well up to a couple of months, ready to thaw when the occasion demands.

Chocolate Truffles with Bacon

Chocolate Truffles with Bacon

Or step it up yet another notch and make your own chocolate truffles. Take a look at the recipes–they really aren’t as hard as you’d think. Craft shops carry small boxes that are perfect for these morsals.

Here are the links:  Chocolate Truffles, and, a bit  more savory , Chocolate Truffles with Bacon.

 

Vicki's Famous Peanut Brittle

Vicki’s Famous Peanut Brittle

Vicki’s Famous White and Dark Chocolate Bark (the feature picture) and Vicki’s Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle are other ideas.

The reasonably simple recipes are tailor-made for packing in tins and distributing amongst office mates.

May your days be merry and bright!

 

Yogurt and Fig Cake

Ingredients

  • Unsalted butter as needed for greasing loaf pan
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup washed and diced figs, such as Black Mission Figs plus sliced whole figs for garnish, if desired
  • 1/4 cup fig preserves (other fruit marmalades may be substituted)

Instructions

  1. Position rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 350˚.
  2. Generously butter metal loaf pan (apx. 9X5X3-inches). Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl. Combine yogurt, sugar, eggs, orange zest and vanilla in large bowl; whisk until well-blended.
  3. Gradually whisk in dry ingredients. Using rubber spatula, fold in oil. Transfer batter to prepared pan and place pan on baking sheet. Place baking sheet in oven and bake until cake begins to pull away from sides of pan and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40-50 minutes.
  4. Cool cake in an on rack 5 minutes. Cut around pan sides to loosen cake. Turn cake out onto rack. Turn cake upright on rack and cool completely.
  5. Stir fig preserves and 1 teaspoon water in small saucepan over medium heat. Brush 1/2 of hot preserves over cake. Arrange sliced figs on top of cake. Dollop remaining glaze over figs. Let cake cool and set.

Active time: 20 minutes

Baking time: 40-50 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

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