Thursday, November 15, 2012

Cooking Wish List

Photo from the NY Times.
I know everyone says you should appreciate every day of your life, but this semester I am extremely guilty of looking toward the end of December and hoping the days in between go as quickly as possible. It may have to do with the ridiculous work load I got myself into this fall, but there is something else as well: I miss cooking!

In my other life I was obviously meant to cook elaborate meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I am so lucky to have Aaron to make sure I eat more than canned soup and toast while in grad school (or, ahem, frozen fish sticks, a staple of my undergraduate diet), but one of the things I miss the most about working full time was how I could come home and NOT do homework, but cook a nice dinner (even if it was just for myself). I try to keep recipes easy and cheap for Aaron, since we are often tight on dinner making time and I guess its not really fair to give him a 20 step recipe just because I think it sounds fun.

In the mean time I have been saving recipes like crazy and dreaming of December 20th when I will be finished with all of my course work and can cram as many recipes into winter break as possible.

We already have plans to make cinnamon rolls and cranberry upside down coffee cake (the best brunch/dessert that has so much sugar in it it can only be eaten once a year). The cranberries are already in the freezer, purchased at the Farmer's Market over the weekend. Did you know Wisconsin is a big cranberry producer?

Also on my cooking wish-list are the following recipes:

Chocolate Pie: I love chocolate pie and this one is made with tofu, so its totally appropriate as the main course for Christmas dinner right?

Chilaquiles: I ate these all the time in Mexico and want to try making them at home. There are just no substitutes at the Mexican restaurants in Madison. I saw them made on the Food Channel a couple of days ago while I was at the gym and I was practically drooling on the machine.

Shepard's Pie: I made this once in my life and topped it with sweet potatoes (vegetarian/vegan versions typically use some combo of lentils and veggies instead of beef). I want to try it again with a more complex recipe with regular mashed potatoes on top... there is something so appealing about a casserole topped with a thick layer of mashed potatoes. I have two recipes in mind: Swiss Chard and Lentil Shepard's Pie and Vegan Shepard's Pie.

Squash on Toast: This recipe is from the ABC Kitchen in New York. Ruth and I ate lunch there and had their "crab toast." They just have a knack for putting stuff on toast and making it delicious. We have about 7 squash on top of our fridge right now begging to be roasted, mashed, mixed with carmelized onions, and heaped onto toast.

Something with Farro: I've been eyeing farro for a long time and have never bought it or cooked with it. I'm thinking a risotto like dish is the best option, or using it in a salad.

There will also be waffles, but that is more of Aaron's specialty. Maybe we'll even try our hand at bagel making. Admittedly not the healthiest of cooking wish lists, but there will be plenty of exercising and green smoothies happening as well.

All of this food talk is making me hungry. Time to get back to work and stop day dreaming about cooking and baking. Looking forward to Thanksgiving when I will have dairy and beer for the first time in over a month (thats right I gave up beer and dairy in Wisconsin and survived a whole month, be impressed).


  1. I want to come eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at your house over winter break. I am intrigued by the squash on toast....please let me know how that one turns out. I found a butternut squash soup recipe I am in love with :)

    1. I'll let you know how it turns out, I have a feeling I might put it on our menu before winter break. Butternut squash is sooo good. We have been able to buy it extremely cheap at the farmer's market. We haven't made soup this year, but Aaron made a really really great butternut squash risotto.