Sunday, September 19, 2010

Scary Spice

This is my spice cupboard. As you can guess, I have trouble remembering what spices I have on hand for any given recipe. You see, I mostly buy the small Tones spice containers. They're typically just $1.00 and the containers stack really well, but then I have no idea which spices are on the bottom without rummaging through them all.

I found a really interesting recipe on Food Network called Quinoa-All Bran Pilaf with Raisins, and it called for curry powder. I had no idea if I had any, but I highly doubted it because I don't cook Indian food so I really wouldn't have had a need for it in the past. I bought some curry powder without looking through my existing supply, but I was right that I didn't already have it. But now, I have yet another spice adding to the confusion.

I decided that I needed to take stock of my spice collection. The simplest solution I thought would be to make a list of what I have and tape it to the inside of the cupboard door. At least now I know what I have, even if I still have to dig for something.

(BTW - I didn't make the pilaf yet. I had so many other dishes to make or ready in the fridge that I thought something would go to waste if I added yet another dish. I'll make it later in the week once I use up some leftovers.)

(Also, you see correctly - that is Worchestershire sauce in the cupboard. Not for me, but for Husband. He loves the stuff - and so did I before I went veg. I'd like to try some Bragg's Liquid Aminos and see if it's a good substitute.)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Gone Bananas

I took a few days off work to make this Labor Day weekend a nice, long one - and as usual, when I take a day off, I bake. A few days ago, I ran across a recipe for Easy Apple Pie Burritos at (which is currently my favorite blog). The only problem with making it - I had no apples. I did, however, have three ripe bananas that were begging to be baked somehow, so I improvised. I replaced the apples with my bananas (cut into thick slices), halved the amount of brown sugar (so I only used 1/4 cup), and added some chopped pecans. Otherwise, I followed the recipe as written.

I was really worried how they would turn out. After all, I hadn't even tried the recipe as written, much less as an improvisation. I needn't have worried. They are delicious with bananas! The crust is so yummy, too. I bet it would make a great shortbread-style cookie. (Note to self: bake spelt crust cookies.) I ate two of them after they'd cooled a bit.

I ended up with a little extra banana filling, so I poured it into a small ramekin and baked it along with the pies. Also devine, but would probably be over-the-top wonderful with some kind of crumble crust. (Note to self: try banana crisp recipe.)