The HACSI Girl Scout Method

I always appreciate when people make dessert to go along with dinner. The thing is, it takes A LOT of time and energy to plan, prep, cook, and clean up after dinner for the whole co-op. Though I’d love to regularly make dessert, it just so rarely happens.

Enter: the HACSI Girl Scout Method (TM). (Not really TM.)

This weekend I bought some marshmallows and graham crackers. We have a great big jar filled with chocolate chips in our pantry. Do you see where I’m going with this?

Heck yes, oven s’mores! Graham crackers split in half with chocolate chips and marshmallows on top. Baked in the oven at 400 for 9 minutes. (Could’ve gone a bit more to make them more browned, but I was afraid I’d burn them.)

Still slightly browned and totally gooey.

I even used a few of eliz’s fancy vegan marshmallows so she could get in on the s’more action. I put her chocolate chips on top so we could tell them apart (and made a little tin foil wall to protect them from gelatin-bearing marshmallow goo). The vegan marshmallows changed way less than the standard ones…science!

These were a really nice half-assed treat on this feeling like summer evening. (In case you’re curious, the s’mores followed a dinner of sesame and edamame buckwheat noodles with baked tofu and a lemony raw kale salad with carrots, beets, and snap peas.) I wonder if I can challenge myself to find other easy recipes to make dessert seem more possible?

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HACSI Veggie and Cheese Quiche-lets

Hello fellow half-assed cooks! My roommates and I have been talking about this idea for a long time at the co-op, and I’m excited to finally be posting. On to the half-assed cooking!

Sunday is my cooking night and my partner Melsen regularly cooks with me. Everyone loves a good theme dinner, especially around the co-op, so we often try to come up with a cohesive theme when meal planning. Last Sunday, inspiration struck in the form of homemade waffles: breakfast for dinner! The co-op is kind of frittata-ed out but we knew we wanted to use eggs as our main source of protein for the meal. We decided that a quiche-ish item could still be good as long as the egg to filling ratio was relatively low.

I started by looking through the fridge to find some leftovers that would lend themselves to quiche. Goldmine: leftover greens of some sort (collards?) that had been sauteed with lots of vinegar. I poured most of a bag of frozen green peas into the greens container and let them hang out for a bit to thaw. Meanwhile, I chopped up one red onion and started it cooking in an olive-oiled skillet. I added the peas and greens, along with the last handful of broccoli florets from the freezer. I heated everything until softened, then moved off the stove to cool.

Meanwhile, I grated a whole bunch of sharp cheddar cheese and dug a bunch of fresh parsley out of the fridge. I pulsed the parsley, stems and all, in the food processor until it formed a deliciously aromatic paste. Once the cooked veggies were cooled off a bit, I poured them in with the parsley and pulsed to combine. Finally, I added the cheese and whirled until the whole thing was bright green and an almost doughy/pastey consistency. In true HACSI form, I put the whole food processor in the fridge to deal with later.

Melsen ended up finishing the quiches while I was out  later that afternoon. He greased the inside of some muffin pans, then added a square of some ready-to-bake puff pastry that my roommate excavated from our storage freezer when de-icing it a few weeks ago. (Stop and Shop’s “fancy” house brand, Simply Enjoy.) He then combined the veggie/cheese mixture with six eggs, a bit of heavy cream, and salt & pepper. He poured about a quarter cup of the egg mixture into each muffin cup, then baked at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.

The result?

Not very eggy but totally satisfying cheese and veggie quiche-lets! How cute are they?!

Here’s a close-up;

The sides look burned, but I think they're just browned from the fat in the cheese.

We served these up with some delightful buttermilk waffles* (from Mark Bittman’s recipe…delicious but kind of time-consuming and fussy for my taste…but then again I resent baking or any precise cooking that requires measuring). We also had some gorgeous purple and pink potatoes from our Red Fire Farm deep winter CSA share. We made a breakfasty hash with potatoes, carrots, parsnips, onions, and frozen spinach.

Breakfast for dinner!

 

*We didn’t have buttermilk, so used yogurt and some regular 2% milk for an approximation. HACSI!