Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving and a birthday means Red Velvet Cake

I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving as much as I did. The opportunity to cook an immense amount of dishes always inspires happiness within me. I am proud to say that I made most of the Thanksgiving feast: turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin and pecan pies. Mmm... I shall post the recipes for pumpkin and pecan pies close to Christmas (since they are still relevant).

This post is not dedicated to traditional Thanksgiving fare, but instead I decided to focus on the one extraneous item I made over my holiday: Red Velvet Cake. My brother's birthday occurs only a few days after Thanksgiving every year, and this year he requested a cake from me. I decided to make an old-time favorite. Seriously, who can resist delicate, bright red cake covered in a delightfully smooth cream cheese frosting? I know I can't.

Red Velvet Cake
Adapted from Bon Appetit magazine

Saturday, October 3, 2009

New domain/blog name!

The benefits of gaining new friends = gaining new insight, ideas, and expertise.

Thus, I can thank Joe, Rudy, and AJ (but mostly Joe) for my new name: Right Up Your Aly. (Haha, get it? My name is Aly.)

Here's the new domain:

Stay tuned! I shall be gifted with a new layout in a couple months. Hooray HTML!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Creamy, Tangy Yogurt and Berries

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You have probably heard or read this a thousand times, but that is only because it is completely true. It jump-starts your metabolism and gives you the energy required to start the day. Without breakfast, any endeavor you choose will not be filled with as much energy than if you had just taken 10 minutes to sit down and eat.

Breakfast is personally my favorite meal of the day. I can't do anything without having something in my stomach after waking up, but I also don't like to spend an hour making breakfast. Therefore, I develop dishes that can be put together the night before and have ready to eat when I wake up. My favorite thing to make is tangy Greek yogurt with honey, various berries, coconut flakes, walnuts, and flax seed. It's very filling, delicious, and so simple anyone can make it.

Tangy Greek Yogurt and Berries
Serves 1

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Balsamic Eggplant and Zucchini: Simple, Easy, Delicious

As of right now, I see two benefits to having a garage sale: making money while doing nothing and having plenty of time to post recipes on the internet. So, while I am sitting and being lazy, I shall post a very simple recipe I came up with the other day.

I am obsessed with making foods that have very few ingredients and require only a small amount of preparation. Most of my meals are born out of very little planning, so I have to work with the ingredients I have on hand and usually within a small time frame. Thus, the idea of sliced zucchini and eggplant tossed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar was born. Not only is it ridiculously easy and inexpensive, it's delicious. I could eat it every day for the rest of my life, and it would never get old.

There are many ways to prep and cook this dish. The most delicious method I tried was putting everything on the grill. The smokey flavor is wonderful. If it's raining or you don't feel inclined to fire up the grill, oven-roasting is an acceptable alternative.

Balsamic Eggplant and Zucchini
Serves 4

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Take a flavor vacation without even leaving your house

A couple months ago I made my mother breakfast for mother's day. Needless to say, it wasn't your average everyday breakfast. It was a Moroccan tagine breakfast with eggs and delicious lamb kefta. If you've never had kefta before, they're a lot like meatballs. Actually, I take that back. They are balls of meat, but they taste nothing like meatballs. They are much smoother and spicier but also sweet at the same time.

If you're looking for an adventure in the kitchen, don't be daunted by the thought of Moroccan food. You can make the kefta the night before and throw everything together in the tagine the next day. You might even be surprised at how few ingredients actually go into the dish.

A small note before I begin the recipe: if you are cooking with a tagine, you must - and I mean MUST - invest in a heat distributor for your heating element. Otherwise you can crack the bottom of your beautiful basin (haha, alliteration. Alton Brown would be proud). You can pick one up at a specialty cookware store or even at Target. I found mine at our local grocery store. Also, If you don't have a tagine, don't worry. You can use a fry pan with about 3 inch sides and a lid or even a casserole dish.

And finally, the babbling ceases. Here's the recipe:

Kefta with Eggs and Roasted Cumin
Adapted from Ghillie Basan's book Tagine, Spicy Stews from Morocco

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Tired of reubens? Try this.

After having delicious corned beef on St. Patrick's day, many people are often left wondering what they should do with the leftover corned beef. Well, there are reuben sandwiches (which is my personal favorite sandwich), but those can get old after you've made a few of them. There's corned beef hash, which is also delicious.

This year, however, I decided to stray away from those typical leftover recipes. This recipe is much like your traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner, but it's in the form of a soup. It's easy to put together and is a time-saver because you can throw all the ingredients in at once and let your slow-cooker do all the work.

Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup

Friday, March 6, 2009

What's better than chocolate? Double chocolate.

Earlier this week I had a chocolate craving that eventually turned into me making double chocolate scones. I have a basic scone recipe that I love to mess around with, so I decided to make the chocolate-lovers version. Scones are very versatile, and they're a lovely snack with a cup of tea or coffee because they're only lightly sweet.

Double Chocolate Scones

Monday, February 16, 2009

Deliciously Simple Carrot Cake

I spent my Valentine's Day making a multitude of scrumptious things, one of them being my grandmother's deliciously simple recipe for carrot cake. There's not too many ingredients, it's not time-consuming (the only real work comes when you grate the carrots), and assembly is non-existent because it's baked in a tube pan instead of cake pans. I stayed mostly true to her recipe, but I did put sweetened coconut on the outside of the cake after frosting, and I used whole wheat pastry flour instead of all-purpose in the cake.

If you don't have much time but you want to make something elegant and delicious, make this cake. Everyone will love it.

Carrot Cake

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Continuing (Finally) with Mulligatawny Soup

It seems my ambitious idea of creating a food blog went to the wayside for a while. Applying to college and finishing up the first semester of my senior year was quite time-consuming. However, I am now comforted with my acceptance to Cornell University's College of Human Ecology and will begin making delicious dishes for this blog again.

Let's start with something comforting (seeing as it is currently 60 degrees in my house). When I went to Ireland with with parents a few years ago, my mother picked up a cookbook called Irish Soups and Breads by Nuala Cullen. In her book resides a delightful recipe for mulligatawny soup.

Here's my version of her recipe:

Mulligatawny Soup