Archive for March, 2009

This is a dish that I forget about way too often. It’s not that it’s not delicious – it is exceedingly so! – but it’s just not… fancy. There’s nothing involved that makes me think “Yes, this really is haute cuisine” or even “There’s cooking involved”.
And that is sad, because it’s absolutely delicious, wonderful comfort food and easy to make to boot.
So I figured I would write myself a reminder to make it more often by writing the recipe down.

Pasta with mangold, feta and onions

1/2 big bunch (or 1 small bunch) of mangold (Swiss Chard), or a packet of babyleaf spinach or similar.
1 cup of feta, crumbled roughly
1 red onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 Tsp. olive oil
Salt, pepper
1 large pan with a lid
2 portions pasta (I used Penne here)
Optional: Sundried tomatos, sliced

Cook the pasta.
Slice the garlic. Cut the onions into half moons. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and fry the onions and garlic until the onions start browning – they should taste sweet. We really want them slightly caramelized to contrast with the rest of the dish.
Wash the leafy vegetables. If you’re using mangold, cut it into strips. Smaller stuff can stay whole. Put them into the pan with the onions, stir and put on the lid until the leaves have wilted. Take the lid off, stir to cook a bit more, season with salt and (lots of) crushed black pepper.
Put into the pasta pot with the drained pasta and the crumbled feta. Stir vigorously so that the feta can heat through and combine with the pasta. Optionally, add sliced sundried tomatoes, raisins or pine nuts.

Serve garnished with more crushed pepper.

I’m sharing this dish with Presto Pasta Nights, hosted this time by its creator, the lovely Ruth.

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Bento #230

Big box (background): Farfalle with tomato, pepper and cream sauce, parmesan shaves and some parsley.
Small box (front): Broccoli, two falafel with flower picks, bear with hummus, cherry tomato, Babybel cheese and a mini Twix.

BF gets the same.

The sauce is just something I whipped up very quickly. I had made a big bunch of roasted tomato and bell pepper sauce before and frozen it. This is about half a cup, rewarmed with some extra chili and garlic, and a few spoons of cream added. I don’t normally have cream in my pasta sauces but it works rather well for this.

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Ada Lovelace Day


“Ada Lovelace Day is an international day of blogging to draw attention to women excelling in technology. Women’s contributions often go unacknowledged, their innovations seldom mentioned, their faces rarely recognised.”

This is a sad state of affairs.
Almost all of the bloggers I know are female. All of them know how to use a computer, navigate the web, fiddle with HTML and CSS markups, use a camera (most of them better than me!) set up photography professionally and more – and we do it on a regular basis! Most of us work, in one way or another, in the tech sector. (Don’t believe it? Read their bios.)
We are not rare. We are not alone! None of us is, these days, the exception to the rule any more.
Therefore, this post is dedicated to all of you! Celebrate your techyness! You do not have to prove yourself to be good at tech any more. You already are.

So why are we still underrepresented and underacknowledged?
One of the reasons might be that we are still taught, by media and common opinion, that we do not have to be good at technology. It’s OK, because we are women. If we are good, it is either exceptional (ooh, look at that brainy girl!) or it is not noticed because we ourselves think it’s nothing special.

Well, the bad news first: It isn’t. Most people in our generation should (in my opinion) have a base level of understanding of modern technology. We grew up with it, and we’re using it daily. Being good at using a computer is not special, nor is it something only men can do. We have all grown up with it and it’s time we realized that.

But now the good news: It isn’t! That means that even if you think now “Oh, this doesn’t apply to me, I never was interested in maths during my school time” it does not mean that you’re automatically doomed to tech-unsavvyness.
Nor is it a good excuse. Why are girls not interested in maths? Simply because they see no reason to be. When asked about career options, boys will name about every profession on the planet. Most girls, however, will stick to the “soft” options, the traditionally female-dominated jobs. We don’t see the other jobs as an option – something I realized almost too late myself. Now I’m a programmer and scientist and loving it.
Why don’t we consider it? Well, because most girls we see around us aren’t. Neither are most girls in the media. But that’s not true, and you are already proof of it! Come out and make your voice heard. We are the techie girls of today – let’s be good examples to the next generation that’s growing up now!

All currently registered Ada Lovelace Day posts
The pledge
More about the pledge

And now returning to the regular food blogging…

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Rice topped with scrambled egg, tomato and cucumber flowers, carrot flowers, stirfried bok choy, fried marinated tofu, and 1 1/2 chili cheese tops from McDo as dessert.

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Bento #228

Big box: Slice of quiche, carrot sticks, sundried tomato, cress, cherry tomato and olive.
Small box: Couscous (there’s more underneath the stuff in the big box), carrot sticks, cucumber, fishy with balsam vinegar, chocolate Cthulhu.

BF’s box.
And because I can never resist posting a photo of a quiche…

The quiche is filled with caramelized onion and feta, with a yellow cheese crust on top. It’s kind of a mix between two quiche recipes that I found in my cookbook (heavily influenced by what I actually had at home) but it’s really nice and savoury. If you serve this to a meat-eater, I promise he/she won’t miss anything.

Next time I will make thicker onion rings so they won’t lose so much substance while cooking. They are roasted in a cast-iron pan while the pie shell bakes.
There are also black olives and sundried tomato stripes in the filling, but the tomato didn’t add anything (it doesn’t seem to come out against the onion and the feta) and I’ll leave it out next time.

Ingredients in a neat list:
1 pie shell of your trust
2 onions, cut into rings and cooked in a castiron pan with a little olive oil
1 cup feta cubes
2-3 eggs, 1-2Tsp. sourcream or Greek Yoghurt
1 handful grated yellow cheese
Olives, salt, pepper, French herbs to taste
Layer the onion rings in the pie shell, mix everything else and pour over, top with grated cheese, bake.

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This is a guest post I wrote for Just Bento last month. Now that it’s up, I figure it’s OK to post on my ow blog as well!
(If you don’t know Just Bento yet, check it out – it’s a lovely site!)

“Go ahead, bake my quiche.”

Queen Magrat, Lords and Ladies

As a pescetarian leaning heavily towards full-time vegetarianism, finding the right protein for my bento is often a strain. I’m not a fan of soy meat replacements to boot, so often I look to eggs as a handy protein packet to put in my bento. Luckily, scientists now say that eggs are good for you again, so I’m not worried about cholesterol.
These mini-quiches are a tasty and healthy freezer staple for those times when boiling an egg or making tamagoyaki seems like too much effort. Each one of them contains about 1-2 tablespoons of egg-vegetable mixture, equivalent to about half an egg (plus a bit of milk).
Here are a few bentos I have used them in:

Now, how to easily make bento-sized quiches? It’s actually quite simple – I bake them in a silicone muffin tin!

You can technically use any dough for it. I used premade butter dough (that’s a local type of puff pastry) for a mediterranean flavour and because you can buy it in handy little rolls that fit 8 muffins :).
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Celsius.
Cut the dough into 6 squares and line the muffin form with the pieces.

Hint: Put some aluminium foil (or, as my old-fashioned cookbook recommends, dried peas) along the edges of the dough to prevent it from shrinking into the moulds.

Put them in the oven to pre-bake and poof up a little for 5-10 minutes. The dough shouldn’t get brown yet, just a little poofier!

Mix together the filling ingredients and stir well. Spoon 1-2 Tsp. of the mixture into each muffin.

Here are some of my favourite filling recipes:

Vegetarian Quiche Lorraine (makes about 12 muffin-sized pies)
3 eggs
2-3 Tsp. Greek yoghurt or sour cream
1/3-1/2 zucchini, shredded and drained on a towel
1 cup of grated cheese (anything yellow and tasty)
1 cup of chopped leek or spring onions
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Salt, pepper, thyme to taste

Feta-and-tomato quiche (makes 6)
3 eggs
125g feta (or more), crumbled
4 pieces of sundried tomato, cut into small pieces
fresh herbs, e.g. thyme, basil, oregano, rosemary (I used all 4, and it got really spicy!)
Salt, pepper to taste

Turn down the oven to 200 degrees Celsius for baking the egg mixture. They bake in 10-15 minutes (do a test to see if the egg has solidified completely).
Let them cool thoroughly on a wire rack so that no moisture can form underneath and ruin their crispyness.

You can stack them in plastic boxes and freeze them after cooling. They warm in the microwave in just 1,5-2 minutes.

Happy bentoing!

PS: It’s pronounced keesh, not kishay. The quote above always gave me troubles in Lords and Ladies. ;)

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I’m continuing with the green theme this week – today stopping in the Mediterranean region.
Börek with feta and spinach, green olives, cucumbers and lettuce in the big box.
Green pasta with pesto, avocados, a lone red tomato flower and a chocolate frog who was probably attracted by all the lush greenery!

I’d have liked to put some homegrown herbs and salads into this week’s challenge, but sadly we don’t have any at the moment. They’re sown, now it’s time to wait until they grow!

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Today I finally managed to get properly in on the green challenge!
Maki rolls with cucumber, avocado, leek and mayo, inarizushi, broccoli, lettuce and kiwis.

My own box.

When making sushi, I always hate that the rice takes so long to cool. I don’t premake the sushi rice, so it makes me seriously antsy having to choose between burning my fingers and crinkling the nori and having to wait aaaaaages for the rice to cool down! Today I’ve figured out a neat little trick to cool down sushi rice quickly AND save time for rolling maki rolls:

Spread out some rice thinly on a small cutting board. I have one that’s exactly the width of a nori leaf, and about 2-3 cm shorter in the other dimension. Perfect!
Put a sheet of plastic foil on top of the rice. Pop it into the freezer and stack something frozen on it.
Take out after a minute, pull off the sheet (all moisture seemed to stick to the plastic instead of the rice for me, practically) and press the cutting board upside own onto the nori. The rice comes off it easily (I used a spoon to poke it a bit where it resisted), leaving a 1,5cm margin on either side perfect for stacking the veggies and sealing.
Rinse, repeat for each sheet of nori.

Mwahaha… I’m a laziness genius! Right? Right? :D

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Bento #225

I wanted to do a bento for the green monochrome challenge on Livejournal, but the menu for last night turned out to be pizza which is… not green XD
So we have red feta-and-sundried-tomato pizza slices with green sides consisting of lettuce, rucola (to put on the warmed pizza, mmm!) green olives with almonds, and half a green mochi.

My own box turned out looking somewhat messy in comparison, as I had to cut the slices weirdly to fit. Ah well. I also packed a green chai packet, since I don’t seem to be taking too well to the office tea bags right now. I’ll try with green tea for a day and we’ll see if it helps!

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