In Praise of Porridge

A good morning indeed.
A good morning, indeed.

It’s currently 9 degrees in Chicago.

Of course, after the Polar Vortex of Doom last year, 9 degrees doesn’t sound so horrible, but it’s still cold enough that I think everything should be cancelled except snuggling and cups of tea. Failing that, I decided to start my day off cozily, with porridge.

There’s nothing like a warm bowl of hot cereal to make you feel like a pioneer. And since we all know how much I enjoy feeling like a pioneer (minus the scarlet fever and back breaking labor involved with actual pioneering), I am a fan. Porridge of various sorts is usually pretty inexpensive, nutritious, and doesn’t require any fancy equipment (I’m looking at you, waffle irons). It’s simple to prepare, doesn’t take up much room in your pantry, and makes you feel super healthy, even if you just covered it with brown sugar. Continue reading

A Dinner Pie–Royal Eggplant Pie

Eggplant HamburgerThis pie is a great addition to your holiday table, or just for lunch on a Wednesday. It’s a single crust pie with an Italian vibe–the cookbook notes that teens might be fans, due to it’s pizza flavors. The original calls for ground beef and regular cheese, but we substituted vegan ingredients, to great success. We used a white whole wheat crust, which was especially tasty.

 

Ingredients:

2 cups cubed eggplant, unpeeled
.25 cup margarine
.75 cup “Gimme Lean” hamburger flavor (TVP or lentils might be good here, too)
.5 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic
1 TBSP chopped parsley
.25 cup chopped celery tops
1 tsp salt
.25 tsp oregano
solid shake of pepper
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
.5 cup shredded cheese (we used “Follow Your Heart” mozzarella

 

Directions

  1. Melt the margarine in a deep skillet, and add the eggplant. Cover and cook over medium heat for five minutes. Then remove eggplant, set aside.
  2. Saute the onion and garlic in the skillet, add the ground “beef” and brown. Add parsley, celery tops, seasonings and tomato sauce. Cook over medium for about five minutes, stirring frequently. Add the eggplant, turn off heat.
  3. When the mixture is partially cool, spoon it into a single pie crust.
  4. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle with “cheese” bake until melted.

Queen of Pies: Butterscotch Peach

Peach Butterscotch, for real.
Peach Butterscotch, for real.

Confession–I made this pie again for Thanksgiving with my family, along with a thickened up Apple-Cranberry, and I left the recipe at home. I messed up the butterscotch, because I left out the flour, and it still was delicious.

The major discoveries of this pie included: The fact that butterscotch is made of ingredients, a thing we had never really thought about, and that none of those ingredients were scotch. Made of canned peaches, and with the butter scotch factor, this is not a summery peach pie.

If you are trying to seduce someone, impress your in-laws, or apologize for doing something really awful, this is the pie you want.

 

Ingredients:

2 piecrusts
One large can peaches (28 ounces)
half a cup brown sugar
2 TBSP flour
1/8 tsp salt
half a cup of syrup from the peaches
quarter cup of margarine
2  TBSP lemon juice
1/4- 1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp sugar

Directions

  1. Drain the peaches, reserving half a cup of syrup. Place them in the piecrust.
  2. Mix the sugars, flour, syrup and margarine together. Cook on the stovetop until thick, over medium heat.
  3. When gooey and thick, add the almond extract and lemon juice. Stir.
  4. Pour over the peaches.
  5. Place top crust on pie. Seal and vent.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes at 425 degrees.
  7. Accept all the accolades graciously.