Gourmet Veggie Mama

Category Archives: Ethnic

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sweet Chili Sauce

You know what’s good? Brussels sprouts. I know, I know — they’re all the rage right now, but I have to say, I’m so glad they’ve been re-discovered and that people are actually doing them right!

Roasting is the way to go, hands-down. You’re not still cutting those little Xs in the bottom of your Brussels sprouts and boiling them are you? Roasting is so much easier, and so much tastier, too.

The hubby and I went out to dinner at Uchiko a little while ago, and, among the many dishes they wowed us with was a side of crispy roasted Brussels sprouts with sweet chili sauce. Since I love Brussels sprouts for Thanksgiving and wanted to include them in our feast, I decided to try my hand at a similar recipe. Although ours didn’t come out as crispy (or, truth be told, as greasy*) as Uchiko’s, they were still awesome.

Roasted Brussels Spouts with Sweet Chili Sauce

* Not necessarily saying that’s a bad thing — they were utterly delicious.

I love the combination of soy sauce and sweet chili sauce on these, for a slightly Asian spin that was still perfectly at home with more traditional Thanksgiving foods. We had the rest of the sprouts (recipe testing, round 2) with a dinner of caramelized tofu with ramen noodles a couple nights ago, and it went great with that, too. Definitely a must-try!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sweet Chili Sauce
Cuisine: Asian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 2 Tbs canola oil
  • 2 Tbs tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 Tbs sweet chili sauce**
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Toss the Brussels sprouts in a bowl with the oil and soy sauce to coat them, and then spread them in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes, or until partially tender.
  3. Toss the sprouts and then raise the oven temperature to 400. Continue to roast for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until tender, crisp and browed, tossing every few minutes to ensure even browning.
  4. Remove the Brussels sprouts from the oven and toss in a bowl with the sweet chili sauce. Serve immediately.
** Available at Asian groceries or the Asian foods section of some grocery stores.


Taco Night, Vegetarian-Style

One of my favorite meals as a kid was fried white bean tacos. I hadn’t thought about them in ages, until I suddenly got a craving for them the other day.* So, I set about searching all of my cookbooks and scouring the internets for a recipe… but to no avail. It’s like no one had ever heard of these things! There were a few recipes out there for white bean tacos, but nothing really like what I remembered. So I had to wing it.

* Pregnancy is weird.

That’s okay. Winging it can be fun, and it yielded delicious results, very similar to what I remembered, and it actually wasn’t all that much work.

white bean tacos

I started with dried white beans, but you could easily use canned if you don’t have time for that. I made a big batch of tacos and froze the leftovers (pre-frying), so hopefully that’ll provide another, even quicker meal for us some rainy day. With a baby on the way, there are sure to be some of those days in our future!

White Bean Tacos
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 lb white beans (Great Northern or similar), cooked and drained (or 2 cans)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1-2 tsp chili powder (to taste)
  • 1 small can sliced black olives
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 16 corn tortillas
  • 2-3 Tbs canola oil, for frying
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the onion until soft and translucent.
  2. Add the beans, mashing with a potato masher, and stir until heated through. Add the cumin and chili powder and stir to combine. Stir in the black olives and sunflower seeds. Remove the mixture from the heat and set aside.
  3. Heat each corn tortilla on a griddle until soft and pliable. Stuff with the white bean mixture, fold in half, and secure with a toothpick. Continue with additional tortillas until all filling is used.
  4. Heat a thin layer of canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a batch of tacos and fry on one side until golden brown. Flip and fry on the other side until golden brown. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate and continue, working in batches. Serve with sour cream and hot sauce, if desired.


Eggplant Stir Fry with Green Beans and Cashews

I don’t usually write about stir frys, since I tend to put them together often, and on the fly, with no real recipe to speak of. This time, however, I was feeling inspired to try something a little different with the Chinese eggplant we scored in the CSA box. I had been flipping through an issue os Vegetarian Times, and I came across an article on eggplant, complete with a recipe for Eggplant Stir Fry with Green Beans and Cashews.

eggplant stir fry

I’m not usually one to shop for stir fry ingredients, either, but this sounded so delicious — and I was admittedly lacking any green vegetables in the fridge to throw in — that I decided to give it a whirl. I’m glad I sucked it up and bought green beans, because this was a wonderful dish, and one we’ll definitely be enjoying again. The hubby raved, and Nora, who has scarcely tried a bite of anything I’ve cooked for the past three days (sigh) nibbled at it a bit… and then settled for plain rice instead. Can’t win ’em all. I did eat her leftovers, though, so at least there’s that.

Eggplant Stir Fry with Green Beans and Cashews
Cuisine: asian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
For sauce:
  • 2 Tbs soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1½ tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp Sriracha
For stir fry:
  • 8 oz (about 1 cup) fresh green beans, snipped
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2-3 Chinese or Japanese eggplant, sliced crosswise on the diagonal
  • 1 carrot, sliced crosswise on the diagonal
  • 2 green onions, sliced crosswise on the diagonal
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • Crispy fried tofu (about 8 oz before cooking, prepared ahead)
  • Cashews for serving
  • Brown rice for serving
  1. Mix the soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar and Sriracha together in a small bowl and whisk until combined. Set aside.
  2. Bring 2 cups of water to a rapid boil in a small pot, and blanch the green beans, about 3-4 minutes. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid, and rinse with cold water Set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add the eggplant and stir fry for a few minutes, until beginning to soften. Add the carrots and stir fry for an additional minute or two, and then cover with a lid and allow to cook for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Remove the lid and add the green onions, garlic and ginger, and stir for 30 seconds. Add the green beans and the sauce, plus a splash of the green bean cooking liquid. Stir until the sauce begins to thicken.
  5. Add the tofu and stir to coat. Cook until warm and fragrant. Serve atop brown rice, topped with a handful of cashews.


Vegetarian Tamale Pie

Ah, tamale pie. I confess I hadn’t ever made it before, but now that I’ve given it a shot, it’s bound to become a regular feature on our weeknight table. Not only is it quick and easy to pull together, but it also serves as a “kitchen sink” meal for veggies I have a lot of — like summer squash and zucchini. Oh, and it’s delicious.

Vegetarian Tamale Pie ~ Gourmet Veggie Mama

I used a yellow crookneck squash and a zucchini here, plus some roasted sweet peppers, but you could play around with it and add all kinda of fun stuff, depending on what you have on hand. The corn was a must, though — we had some sweet corn that the hubby had grilled a couple of weeks earlier, removed from the cob and frozen, and it was perfect in the filling. Enjoy!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Vegetarian Tamale Pie
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
For filling:
  • 1 Tbs canola oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 colored sweet peppers, roasted (if desired), stemmed, seeded and chopped
  • 1 zucchini, sliced into half moons
  • 1 yellow squash, sliced into half-moons
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1 small can sliced black olives, drained
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
For crust:
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 1 cups cornmeal
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ cup grated cheddar cheese, plus extra to sprinkle on top
  1. Saute the onion and garlic in the oil over medium heat. When the onions are soft and translucent, add the peppers, zucchini and summer squash, along with the chili powder and cumin. Saute until softened.
  2. Add the beans, mashing with a potato masher as you incorporate them, and the salt, tomato paste, black olives and corn.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease an 8x8 glass pan.
  4. Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan, and then the cornmeal gradually, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Cook, stirring, until thickened and beginning to boil. Add the salt and chili powder.
  5. Spread half of the cornmeal mixture on the bottom and up the sides of the baking dish. Spread the filling mixture over the cornmeal mixture evenly, and top with ½ cup cheese.
  6. Drop and spread the remaining cornmeal mixture over the top. Top with additional cheese to your taste. Bake for 35-45 minutes, and serve warm.


A Mediterranean Feast

Okay… so I’ve been on a bit of an unscheduled blog-cation. I’ve been busy with other deadlines (yay for being busy!), and with the heat and the inevitable crankiness that comes along with it,* especially when one is pregnant, I just haven’t been feeling like cooking much… or writing.

* I really think there should be a diagnosable disorder, a la SAD, for people who live in hot climates during July and August. Heat-induced irritability is all too common!

The cooking came back first — and honestly, I’ve been feeling pretty inspired and have some fun stuff to share — so now I just have to get over the writer’s block. I’ll start with a fun one — a Mediterranean feast that the hubby whipped up not too long ago.

Mediterranean feast ~ Gourmet Veggie Mama
None of it took too terribly long to make, and it’s all very do-able in advance, so this make the perfect (cool) lunch for us a couple of days in a row. The cucumber salad was my favorite — with cucumbers from our own garden, which are coming in like gangbusters nowadays — and the feta-yogurt dip was sublime. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but the flavors together were just awesome (and it had a strange spiciness to it that I still can’t quite account for). Store-bought pita, cut into triangles, and some pitted kalamata olives completed the meal. We’re working on perfecting the recipe for roasted-pepper hummus (we’ve got plenty of peppers coming in from our garden right now too) — so stay tuned for that in the near future.
All in all, it was a delicious, protein-filled meal that left us feeling full, but not icky — and that’s a big plus in these dog days of summer. Enjoy!
Cucumber and Mint Salad
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup red onions, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2½ tsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint (or less, to taste)
  1. Halve the cucumbers lengthwise, and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Cut into thin slices.
  2. Toss the cucumber with the salt in a colander and allow to drain in the sink for 30 minutes. Tap to remove any remaining water, and then dump the cucumbers onto a clean dish towel spread on the counter, using its edges to blot any excess moisture.
  3. While the cucumbers are draining, soak the onions in a small bowl of ice water for 10 minutes (this tames their bite a little bit), then drain using a fine mesh sieve.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the cucumbers, onions, white wine vinegar, olive oil, sugar, pepper and mint. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes before serving.
Feta-Yogurt Dip
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1⅓ cup feta cheese, crumbled (about 8 oz)
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • ¼ tsp lemon juice
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp za'atar spice mix, plus more (to garnish)*
  1. Add the garlic, feta and olive oil to the food processor and process until the cheese is roughly crumbled. Remove half of the cheese to a bowl.
  2. Add the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, pepper and za'atar seasoning to the food processor with the remaining feta. Process until smooth.
  3. Add the Greek yogurt mixture to the bowl with the crumbled feta and mix well. Garnish with a sprinkle of za'atar seasoning and serve.
* Za’atar seasoning can be purchased in Middle-Eastern markets, or substitute 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds and 1/4 tsp each dried oregano and thyme.

Gourmet Veggie Mama is 2!

Happy second blogiversary to me! It’s hard to believe that my modest little website is turning 2 already. It has been quite a second year! I ran a marathon, made the jump to being a self-hosted site (which was a good decision… I think?), tried my hand at video, went to my first-ever blogger conference (TechMunch, which was great), cooked a lot of delicious food and mixed more than a few mean cocktails. Many bottles of wine were killed over the course of the year, but I like to think they didn’t die in vain. Oh, and I got knocked up and battled wicked morning sickness and food aversions that made it really hard to enjoy (or write about) food.

Earlier this year, Gourmet Veggie Mama was named one of the Top 10 Austin Food Blogs* by the Austin Chronicle. I am still humbled by that recognition — this started out as my creative outlet, and a place to write about the meals I cooked for my family, and it has grown into something more than that.

* Go check out the list — there are some great finds on there!

I want to say a big thank you to everyone who reads, regularly or occasionally, comments and otherwise follows along. I appreciate each and every one of you more than you know, and this whole thing would be no fun at all without you. I don’t know what the next year holds — with a new baby on the way, everything is likely to be topsy-turvy for a while — but here’s hoping for much more kitchen (and cocktail) creativity to come! I hope you’ll stick with me for the journey… and I just might be posting about baby food again this time next year. But I promise it won’t all be baby food.

In honor making it to 2, I’m taking a leaf from my own book from last year and making a list of my 10 favorite recipes from the past year, listed in no particular order. I hope you enjoy them — and if you’ve tried any of these recipes out, I hope you’ll take the time to let me know how you liked them, if you haven’t already. I may not be a professional photographer (puh-lease) or food stylist, but I’m trying to hone the art of recipe writing, and I always appreciate your constructive feedback.

Here’s to another fabulous year!

1. Chard and Mushroom Enchiladas with Hatch Green Chile Sauce.

Chard and Mushroom Enchiladas ~ Gourmet Veggie Mama

It’s Hatch green chile season again, and this recipe is one reason I can’t wait to get my hands on some of those green beauties!

2. Chocolate Budino.

Chocolate Budino ~ Gourmet Veggie Mama

This is not just any pudding. It’s delicious, creamy, ultra-rich chocolate decadence. Sometimes simple is best.

3. Creamy Roasted Tomato and Orzo Soup.

Creamy Roasted Tomato Orzo Soup ~ Gourmet Veggie Mama

Ah, I miss soup weather… but someday it’ll be here again. Here’s the perfect creamy tomato soup to pair with a grilled cheese.

4. Bourbon Peach Cobbler.

Bourbon Peach Cobbler

Bourbon peach cobbler. In a cast iron skillet. Need I say more?

5. Caramelized Tofu with Ramen Noodles and Kale.

Caramelized Tofu with Ramen Noodles and Kale

This is a recent one, but it’s so good, I just had to include it. It’s such an easy, no-press way to prepare tofu, and the sauce is absolutely delicious.

6. Freshly Pressed.

Freshly Pressed ~ Gourmet Veggie Mama

I really fell in love with gin this year (sigh…), and this cocktail is just the perfect mixture of delicious grapefruit and gin, made a little more complex with a splash of bitters.

7. Orecchiette with Kale and Breadcrumbs.

Orecchiette with Kale and Breadcrumbs ~ Gourmet Veggie Mama

This pasta is creamy, garlicky, kale-y deliciousness. And there’s just something about that quirky little ear-shaped pasta that makes it extra good.

8. Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding with Coffee Bourbon Sauce.

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding with Coffee Bourbon Sauce ~ Gourmet Veggie Mama

Oh yes, I infused my own coffee bourbon… and this was the most awesome thing I made with it.

9. Chickpeas and Spinach with Garlic Aioli.

Chickpeas and Spinach with Garlic Aioli ~ Gourmet Veggie Mama

This is a delicious Middle Eastern-inspired dish finished off with a dollop of homemade garlic aioli. The best part? The aioli is incredibly easy to make, and it absolutely makes this meal.

10. Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins.

Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins ~ Gourmet Veggie Mama

I don’t quite know what it is about these muffins that makes them so perfect. They have the perfect, tender crumb, and they’re just amazing. Plus, this recipe is how I first discovered the wonders of white whole wheat flour.

Cool Noodles for Hot Temps

Are you sensing a theme, here? It’s hot. Not that I’m complaining… yet. But I also welcome any recipe that allows me to put a delicious meal on the table without heating up the kitchen too much. Enter soba noodle salad.

soba noodles

Go check out my latest post on LiveMom for the full scoop, and the recipe. Nora’s take?

head in bowl

Yeah, it’s good. Try it!

Weeknight Enchiladas

Enchiladas around our house are usually a weekend project. I do love me some chard enchiladas, but they do tend to be more time-intensive. The other night, though, I wanted enchiladas, and I didn’t want to spend a lot of time. Enter weeknight enchiladas.

Oh yeah, you can totally pull off enchiladas on a weeknight. You just have to be choosy with your ingredients. These are simple cheese enchiladas (studded with black olives for extra fun) smothered in a flavorful red sauce.*

Weeknight Enchiladas ~ Gourmet Veggie Mama

*Excuse the photo quality. These are the leftovers (which Nora and I were lucky enough to enjoy for lunch the next day), since I originally deemed this meal not “blog-worthy.” Then the hubby convinced me otherwise, and I’m glad he did, since it’s a handy little recipe.

Is it better if you make your own sauce? Absolutely. Do you have to? Not if you’re short on time and have access to good pre-prepared enchilada sauce. The only ones I’ve found that passes the taste test are Frontera‘s line of enchilada sauces. They come in a pouch rather than a can, and both the red chile and the green chile varieties are delicious — and, most importantly, don’t taste canned. (No, I was not compensated for saying that — I just like their stuff.)

You can pull these enchiladas off, start to finish, in 30 minutes. Can’t beat that! Serve them with a dollop of sour cream on top, plus refried beans and rice on the side. I like to jazz up plain brown rice with a can of green chiles and tomatoes (drained) and a bit of tomato paste. Enjoy!

Weeknight Enchiladas
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-5
  • 8 oz colby jack cheese (can substitute cheddar or jack cheese)
  • 10 corn tortillas
  • 1 pouch Frontera red enchilada sauce
  • 1 small can sliced black olives (optional)
  • olive oil for spraying
  • sour cream for serving
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Shred the cheese and set aside about ¼ to ½ cup for topping the enchiladas.
  2. Spray an enchilada pan with oil and keep it handy. Heat a griddle or a large skillet over medium-high heat. Spray or brush the first tortilla on one side and place, oiled side down, on the griddle. Spray or brush the other side, while heating, and then flip. Remove from the heat and place in the enchilada pan.
  3. Working while the tortilla is still hot (but cool enough to handle), fill the center of the tortilla with cheese and roll it up. Place it seam side down in the enchilada pan, and repeat the process with the remaining tortillas.
  4. When the pan is full, spread the sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkle with black olives and the reserved cheese. Bake for 15 minutes, or until warm and bubbly. Serve topped with sour cream.


Dal with Spinach and Radishes

Ah, yes. Another clean-out-the-fridge meal. I like to use spinach quickly, since it’s so nice when it’s fresh, and radishes always stump me. Did I make a salad, you ask? Nah. I made dal.

Spinach dal

The lentils, along with onions, spinach, radishes (yes, cooked — they add a little spiciness) and seasonings, served with brown rice, made a complete meal. I know cooking radishes sounds a little weird, but they really do pair well with Indian spices, and in some parts of India, radishes are cooked traditionally, often in dal.

Dal with Spinach and Radishes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
  • 1 cup green lentils, rinsed well
  • 2 Tbsp ghee (or a neutral oil like canola)
  • 1 onion, halved and sliced thinly
  • 1½ tsp turmeric
  • 1½ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp salt, plus additional to taste
  • 4-5 small radishes, sliced thinly
  • 1 bunch spinach, tough stems removed and leaves roughly chopped (about 4 cups)
  1. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan and add the lentils. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until tender, 25-35 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the ghee over medium-high heat and saute the onions until softened and translucent. Turn the heat down to medium and continue to stir until they are light golden brown.
  3. Stir the turmeric, cumin, cayenne and 1 tsp salt in the with the onions. Add the radishes and the spinach, working in batches and adding more as the spinach wilts.
  4. When the spinach is wilted but still bright green and the lentils are cooked, add the onion mixture to the lentil mixture and cook for a few additional minutes. Taste for seasoning and adjust. Serve with rice and enjoy!


Sweet Potato and Chard Enchiladas

Not long ago, a friend sent me a clipping from the Austin American-Statesman. In her column Food Matters, Addie Broyles had tracked down the recipe for El Monumento’s swiss chard and sweet potato enchiladas. I knew at first look that this was a recipe I needed to try, but I also knew I’d need to have some time on my hands when I did it.

Last weekend, I had some time. My mom was over to visit, and she chased after Nora while the hubby worked on the finishing touches (finally!) to the paint in our entryway and I puttered around in the kitchen.

Sweet potato and chard enchiladas

This was a very different, healthy-but-not-healthy-tasting enchilada. My balsamic reduction was pretty ugly — I should have let it reduce past half to a more syrup-y consistency, but, lesson learned. It still tasted good! Next time I would strain the sauce, too, as the recipe provides, to give it a smoother texture.

We all ate the enchiladas up, served with refried black beans (homemade by the hubby) and brown rice on the side. What a delicious way to get your veggies!

Sweet Potato and Chard Enchiladas
Serves: 4
  • 1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and diced small
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large bunch chard, stems removed, roughly chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil, divided, plus more for brushing tortillas
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed with the flat side of a chef's knife
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Toss the sweet potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in a roasting pan until tender, 20-25 minutes, stirring a couple of times to ensure even browning.
  2. Heat 1 Tbsp canola oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the chard and sauté until slightly wilted, then add the sweet potatoes and stir until the chard is tender. Season with salt and pepper to finish. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp canola oil over medium-high heat in a sauté pan. Sauté the onions, garlic and chiles until the onions are softened and translucent, then reduce the heat and continue cooking until the onions are caramelized.
  4. Add the walnuts and sauté until lightly toasted. Deglaze the pan with the white wine, then add the cream and simmer to reduce by one third.
  5. Let the mixture cool slightly, and then puree in a blender or food processor. Strain (if desired) and set aside.
  6. While the sauce is simmering, place the balsamic vinegar in a sauce pan, bring to a boil and simmer to reduce by half or more, until the consistency is syrupy and thick. Set aside.
  7. One by one, brush the tortillas with canola oil and heat briefly on each side on a griddle over medium heat.
  8. Fill each tortilla with the sweet potato-chard mixture, roll and place in an enchilada pan. Repeat for remaining servings.
  9. Ladle the walnut cream sauce over the enchiladas and drizzle with reduced balsamic vinegar.
  10. Warm to serving temperature, a few minutes in the oven. Serve with beans and rice.


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