Peoplewhoeat’s Weblog

March 5, 2011

Stuffed Dates

Filed under: Appetizer, Good for party food, Quick cook, Snacks, Special occasions — Tags: , , , , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 2:09 am

Got this from Rachel Wilkerson‘s excellent rundown of Thanksgiving recipes. But I think these puppies are awesome enough to deserve their very own blog post. Also, unlike Rachel, I don’t think the cheese is optional. I’ve made them three times now, and they’ve always been a hit!

Dates, the big ones, the best quality you can afford (it’s actually easier to buy the ones with the pit still in)
Gorgonzola cheese

Pit the dates, and replace the pits with a similarly sized and shaped bit of cheese.
Cut the slices of bacon in half, and wrap a half-piece of bacon around each date.
Bake at 400* for 20 minutes, turning halfway.

They’re best slightly warm but not hot (about half an hour after coming out of the oven).

Ta-da! A filling, impressive, and easy appetizer! I made these the other day, chilled them, then reheated them at a party and they were still delicious.

(No picture, because while they are DELICIOUS, they are not photogenic)


February 21, 2011

Group GORP

Filed under: Snacks — Tags: , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 2:38 am

A recent mixture of GORP based on what I had in the cabinets

Got some sort of group excursion that will require snacks? This is what my friends and I did in high school for trips. Have everyone bring one or two items to contribute to a snack mix. Throw everything into a really big bowl or bag, give it a shake/stir and then divvy it up into individual snack baggies. Generally it’s a good idea to have the leader/adult/most boring friend bring the base–some kind of cereal or pretzel, usually. My favorite contributions were always Swedish Fish candies and honey bbq Fritos. Other good additions are mixed nuts, dried fruit, chocolate, shredded coconut, Goldfish, flavored or yogurt pretzels, cereals, etc. Pretty much anything sturdy enough to handle some jostling will make a tasty addition to a sweet and savory mix. Though this can be a healthy snack, that really depends on your friends…
Have fun!

February 20, 2011

Lobiani (Georgian Bean Bread)

I made this recipe from Darra Goldstein’s excellent The Georgian Feast. I brought it to a Super Bowl party, and it was a big hit–a savory, finger-food that’s quite filling but also a little different. The texture wasn’t the same as the lobiani that I bought on the streets of Tbilisi, but it was still very good. My friends suggested, though, that they would prefer a different spice blend; I’m not sure what would be good though. Any suggestions?

Makes 2 incredibly large breads (fortunately you can freeze it after you cut it)

For dough:
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) softened butter
2 eggs
2 cups sour cream (light worked fine)
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda, divided into quarters

For filling:
1 pound dried kidney beans, soaked overnight to soften
3 or 4 medium onions
2/3 cup vegetable oil (yes, you do need that much or else it gets dry)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons salt
Black pepper to taste

one egg yolk to brush on top while baking

Cream the butter. Beat in the eggs and sour cream. Mix in flour to make a soft dough.

On a well-floured board, roll the dough to a 15 x 18 rectangle. The dough will be INCREDIBLY sticky at this stage, but it will calm down fast, so just do your best the first few times. Sprinkle the rectangle with 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda. Fold the dough into quarters and reroll, repeating the baking soda, fold, re-roll procedure until the baking soda is used up. Place the dough into a floured bowl, cover it and leave to rise for 6-8 hours indoors or 2-3 hours in the sun.
For filling: Boil the kidney beans for about one hour. Drain, and then mash. Dice the onions and sautee them in the oil until soft. Stir the onions (and oil) into the kidney beans, and add the spices. Divide in half, and set aside.
Before you start assembling the bread, preheat the oven to 350* F. When the dough has risen, divide it into two parts. Roll each out in a large circle, keeping the inside of the circle thicker than the outside. Place the filling in the center, and bring the dough up around it, forming a sort of ball. Flatten this out, to a large disc. Brush the top of the bread with beaten egg yolk, and bake for 40-45 minutes until browned.


May 30, 2010

Apple Snow

Filed under: Dessert, Fruit, Healthy, Snacks, Vegetarian — Tags: , , , , , , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 11:14 pm

This is another thing that the rest of America probably realized years ago and I’m just now catching on to, but I thought I’d share the amazingness in case I wasn’t the only one in the dark.

Take applesauce. Put it in a bowl. Put the bowl in the freezer. Stir after about a half hour. Take it out when it has the texture of snow. Eat (one can only have so much ice cream, after all)


November 16, 2009

Russian Blini

Filed under: Snacks — Tags: , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 12:43 am

Unfortunately I lost my old, favorite Blini recipe.  But this one is good and significantly easier…

2 cups 2% milk
3 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 packet yeast
1 Tbso sugar
1 1/4 cups flour

Heat milk to a medium warm temperature (not too hot!  you don’t want to cook the eggs!)

Mix in eggs, salt, sugar and flour.

Add yeast

Let sit at least 1/2 hour

Heat pan to medium (4.5 if your stove measures 1-10).  Butter the pan and ladle some batter on the pan.  You should have a thin layer of batter covering the bottom of the whole frying pan.  Cook for a minute or so, until bubbles appear on the surface.  Flip to the other side, and cook about half as long as the first side.  Remember, the first blin is for the bears, so adjust based on what happened with that one.

Serve the blini with condiments, some poplar ones are nutella, jam, sour cream, caviar or cheese, but you can put anything you want on them.


October 20, 2009

Aubergine/eggplant caviar

A nice simple roasted aubergine and red pepper spread. Next time I might add some chilli and raw garlic to sharpen up the flavours.

2 aubergines / eggplants
1 red capsicum / pepper
Half a head/bulb garlic, unpeeled
Squirt of lemon juice, to taste
Salt, to taste
Olive or vegetable oil, to grease

1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (about 350F). Cut tops off aubergines, prick several times into the body with a sharp knife or fork (to let steam escape so they don’t explode, like when you bake potatoes!). Do not peel aubergines.

2) Grease a baking sheet. Lightly grease aubergines. Place onto baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes.

3) Cut capsicum in half and remove seedy core and stem. Rub oil over it lightly. Oil the unpeeled garlic bulb. Add to baking sheet; bake, along with aubergines, another 20 minutes or so. Aubergine should be soft, the capsicum should be collapsed with the skin lightly blackened and coming away, and garlic cloves should give way when pricked with a knife.

4) Peel capsicum. Cut aubergines in half and scoop out cooked flesh; discard skins. Peel softened garlic (this should be easy). Blend together in a blender or using a stick blender – or just chop very finely. Add splash of lemon juice, to taste. Season with salt. Make sure to taste and adjust the flavours, adding more lemon juice if you need to. Don’t skip it – it really lifts the flavour.

October 13, 2008

Proper Brownies

Filed under: Dessert, Snacks — Tags: , , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 3:05 am

In my house cake, muffins, and brownies all had distinctly different textures.  I notice this difference disappearing in most commercial bakeries.  Try a proper brownie, they really are an entirely different food than just small pieces of chocolate cake!

Recipe for a 13×9 (in.) cake pan:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a baking pan lined with foil.

Melt in a small saucepan:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate

Let cool.

Beat until light in color and foamy in texture:
4 large eggs
1/4 tsp salt

Gradually add and continue beating until thick:
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

With a few swift strokes, stir in the cooled chocolate mixture just until comvines.  Even if you are using an electric mixer, switch to a wooden spoon for this.  Stir until just combined:
1 cup all-purpose flour

Gently stir in, if desired:
1 cup chopped nuts (or other goodies)

Scape batter into the prepared pan.  Bake about 25 minutes.  Cool completely in the pan on a rack.

-From “The Joy of Cooking”


June 25, 2008

Pico de Gallo: Fresh Salsa

Filed under: Appetizer, Healthy, Quick cook, Snacks, Vegetarian — Tags: , , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 8:06 pm

Salsa doesn’t have to come from a jar at the store!  It’s delicious when you make it yourself, and is a good way to use garden tomatoes when an onslaught comes. 

You can obviously increase the quantity easily, but I’m giving proportions for one normal-sized tomato.

1 fresh tomato
1/2 onion (I prefer red) (optional)
1 clove garlic
1 TBSP cilantro
1 TSP salt
juice of 1/2 lemon (can use lime, too)
a dash of hot sauce or a chopped chipotle pepper

Cut everything up and throw it in a bowl.  Simple and tasty.  You can experiment with some additions for fun;  my mom sometimes adds mango, and it’s delicious.  Use it just like salsa from the jar; dip in tortilla chips, or add to tacos or burritos.


June 12, 2008

Parmesan potato wedges

Filed under: Appetizer, comfort food, Snacks, Vegetarian — Tags: , , , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 12:34 pm

These were both simple and delicious. I adapted the original recipe a little to be more convenient for me (e.g. it’s not easy for me to use only eggwhites, so I used a whole egg). It was very tasty and a delicious and super-simple accompaniment to some stuffed baked peppers (recipe soon!). It would also be a really nice side to something like roast or meatloaf.

Parmesan potato wedges

6 potatoes, cut into about 6 wedges each
1 whole egg, beaten
finely grated parmesan, about 3/4 cup

Preheat oven to 220 degrees celsius. Oil a baking sheet. Toss the potatoes wedges into the beaten egg (you may need more) and place on baking sheet. Sprinkle parmesan over the wedges and bake until the potatoes are soft, about 30 minutes.

Original recipe here.

Eat well…life is too short not to!


May 2, 2008

Russian Grocery Store in London

Filed under: Light lunch, Reviews, Snacks — Tags: , , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 10:37 am

It wasn’t long ago that I discovered the wonderful little Russian grocery, Kalinka at 35 Queensway in London (Queensway or Bayswater tube).  While most of the products are technically imported from Poland or Germany, you can find all your favorite Russian foods here (or introduce yourself to the delights of simple, tasty Russian food).  We went on a walk on a nice spring day (punctuated by hail…oops) and then had a picnic in Hyde Park, which is conveniently located just a block away.  We went for the ‘peasant lunch’ buying two types of sausage (кольваса), farmer’s cheese (сыр), black rye bread (чёрный хлеб), eggplant caviar, Russian pickles, and some квась (Russian soda made from fermented bread) and apricot juice to wash it all down, and then finished with some poppyseed cake and spice cakes (пряники).  Kalinka is also a great place to buy things like buckwheat flour for a good price, get a nice bottle of vodka, or explore the interesting world of Russian candy.

In short, we highly recommend this little gem of a store in a fun part of London.

For more adventures in Russia, please visit

(Apologies for any egregious Russian spelling errors, I don’t type in Russian often)

Как вкусно!

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