Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Eva's Spaghetti Dish

This recipe is so ridiculously easy to put together, and tastes so good! Any night mom wants me to make supper and I'm pressed for time, this is a stand-by that everyone loves. It comes from a local cook book; you know, one of those fund raiser cook books put together by a local church group of ladies. The thing about these cook books is that they are written by real people who use real every-day ingredients. So while it may not be a culinary masterpiece, full of expensive ingredients, requiring techniques that only a chose few can pull off with accuracy, it is delicious and satisfying.

Eva's Spaghetti Dish

6 slices bacon, chopped into 1" pieces or smaller
1 large onion, minced
1 quart tomatoes (stewed or whole, chopped, not sauce)
1 tbsp sugar
Pepper to taste
(We prefer feta, but have used cubed cheddar. Anything sharp will do!)
Cooked spaghetti

Cook the bacon and onions together until brown and tender. Carefully add tomatoes, sugar and pepper. Heat through and let simmer just a minute to let the flavors blend. Serve over noodles, sprinkled with cheese.

Rhubarb Cake

This is a recipe that my grandmother has made as long as I can remember. She would bake the huge 13" x 9" pan, and then send most of it over to our house because she and my grandfather couldn't possibly eat the whole thing themselves.

It's basically a coffee cake with rhubarb in it... too much sugar on top makes a crunchy coating, delicate cake kept moist by the rhubarb, which adds a wonderful tang to off-set the sugar. Or is it the other way around? Either way, this recipe will always be a favorite with me.

We grow huge amounts of rhubarb. I sell a good deal of it by just putting it down by the road, but still we have much more than we will ever use in a year. This recipe uses 1 1/2 cups chopped, but I've been thinking about trying it with even more. The amount it calls for is by no means overwhelming, and I need to use up last year's frozen crop to make way for new. It's poking out of the ground now, getting ready to grow like crazy as soon as the warm weather finally arrives.

Rhubarb Cake

1 C sugar
1/2 C packed brown sugar
1/2 C soft butter
1 beaten egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 C milk
1 1/2 C chopped rhubarb


1 C packed brown sugar
1/2 C sugar
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp soft butter

Preheat oven to 350*

Cream sugars and butter; add beaten egg and vanilla. Sift in remaining dry ingredients. Make a well and add milk and rhubarb, stirring til thoroughly incorporated. Spread in a lightly greased 13 x 9 pan. Mix topping ingredients thoroughly (fingers turned out to be the most useful tool here), making sure not to leave any sugar dry. You may find a tad more butter to be helpful. Sprinkle over the cake and bake 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temp.

I'm very tempted to wave my arm and say "Bon Appetit!" , but I'll content myself with a sorry little "Enjoy!" instead.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Julie and Julia

Anyone else watch it? I know some of you have. I watched it the other night on NetFlix, and I LOVE it. As in, really, really, really like it a LOT. I'm sure I'm following in the footsteps of thousands of fans who watched it much sooner, when I do things like look up Julia Child's cook book on e-bay (Probably could have gotten it pretty cheaply before this movie came out... but who ever thought of it? Not I.), and search for THE blog... and find it. And did I mention that my long-felt desire to go to cooking school has blown through the roof?

I will say up front that the movie is not 100% what I'd have it be. There is language, and an awful lot of, er, making out... among married couples, but still, this is something that's terribly private and I don't want to watch other people doing it repeatedly in the space of two hours. Nothing horrid, just not my cup of tea. Still, I found it very refreshing that both lead characters had very supportive, caring husbands who stuck with them when it was rough (*SPOILERS* or at least come back...) and listened to them ranting about their passions very patiently. I can honestly say I've never experienced that with ANY man, Dad, brother or friend, and it's something I hope for very much in my future.

Another perk of this movie is it's ending. I won't say what it was in case some of you haven't seen it yet, but it did NOT end the way I was expecting, which is almost always a good thing.

Anyone else feel like cooking some boeuf bourguignon?