adventures, by accident


October 2013


It’s a lovely fall weekend here in Baltimore – bright and crisp outside, and full of colors. My baseball season has been extended by the Red Sox, even though nobody around here wants to hear about that.

Cat on radiator
Cookie thinks it’s the perfect time of year to be wearing a fur coat!

I had the urge to bake on Sunday, the first time in a long time, and was ashamed to discover that my beloved KitchenAid stand mixer had gathered a fine layer of dust over the summer months! Something, obviously, had to be done. And if I discovered that I was short a few liners for the muffin tins, then, I’d MacGyver some liners from tiny truffle cups.

Perhaps inspired by the Sox (sorry!) I dug out an old favorite recipe from my days in Boston. I printed the recipe years ago, and it’s quite beaten up, but luckily the website is still up: I’ve made a number of ‘variations’ on the recipe – using cherry pie filling as a garnish, swirling in some Nutella or melted chocolate, or using chocolate wafer cookies as a “crust”. This time, I topped half the cheesecakes with a few chocolate chips to liven them up.

Cheesecake Cupcakes
Cheesecake cupcakes with chocolate chips.



Casserole o’Clock

Fall, fall, fall. I love fall. It’s on of the few seasons in the mid-Atlantic region I enjoy – the here tend to be unremittingly miserable and the winters bland. After a Baltimore summer, it’s nice to get back into cooking and especially baking as the weather cools.

Our CSA is winding down, and we’re getting a lot of squash and broccoli in our share. One of the recipes on repeat in our apartment is now an old recipe for a rice and cheddar casserole with broccoli; I almost always have the ingredients on hand, and it can even be a good use for leftover rice.

The recipe comes from my mother’s copy of The Missouri Cookbook: Sesquicentennial Edition (1821-1971). It was her gift for serving as my aunt’s (my father’s sister) bridesmaid, and is inscribed by my grandfather, who was a state representitive around that time. I find the fact that he inscribed it hilarious, though I can’t say why. Perhaps because it’s proof that my mother met my father’s family before they got married, and she should have known what she was getting into!

The recipe is typical in that it doesn’t give “reliable” measurements, so one had to guess what’s a package and what’s a can in reference to 1971 Missouri sizes. I usually use brown rice, and so will add chicken broth or extra water to step two, since I find brown rice, especially a day or two leftover, seems to absorb more liquid.

Broccoli Rice Casserole

1 cup rice
4 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
1 package frozen broccoli (or equivalent fresh)
1 can cream of mushroom or cream of celery soup
grated cheddar cheese

1. Cook rice.
2. Melt butter in a large Corningware casserole. Cook onions, then add broccoli with a small amount of water and cook until broccoli is almost done.
3. Add cooked rice, soup and grated cheese. Mix together. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

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