fireun: (Default)
My squash cup runneth over. My CSA was magnificent in making sure its members were well stocked with storage vegetables- root veggies and winter squash. So I find myself seeking out ways to work with new (to me) and interesting foods. Again, part of the reason I joined the CSA.

The noble spaghetti squash. Solid. Probably would work well as a bludgeoning tool. Also, goes damn well with a garlic butter sauce, Parmesan cheese, and mushrooms.

1 small spaghetti squash (about 3-4 pounds)
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup finely minced parsley, basil, or Italian herb blend
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
one bag of frozen or one package of fresh mixed mushrooms

Bake the spaghetti squash for an hour at 375, just until you can easily pierce it with a knife. Let it cool. While it is cooling, melt the butter, add in garlic, salt, herbs, and mushrooms, saute until the mushroom water has reduced down, keep on low as you deal with the now cooled down squash.

Slice the squash open, length-wise, and scrape out the seeds. Use a fork to then scrape away the squash- it should easily form strands. If the strands seem reluctant to form, put it back in the oven for 10 minutes. The squash should have texture though, a slight crunch. It should not be mushy.

Add the squash in with the butter-seasonings-mushrooms, stir together. Turn off heat and stir in parmesan cheese.

Top with a little more cheese or salt (garlic salt is a magnificent thing to have on hand) to taste when served.
fireun: (Default)
This was an amazing sort of comfort food to come home to. I tossed everything into the crock pot before heading to work, came back and mushed it all together, sat down, and enjoyed. I had gotten both leeks and potatoes through my CSA last weekend, and really wanted to make this. I am glad I did. Wow did my house smell delightful.

4 Leeks, chopped fine
4-5 russet potatoes (if you are using huge ones, use fewer) cut into moderate sized pieces. I did not peel (I love potato peel) but feel free to peel if you are not of a like mind)
4 cups vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste

Toss everything into the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. Mash with a potato masher (or run through a food processor if you prefer creamier soup).
Optional deliciousness includes a little bit of sour cream and grated cheddar cheese to top off each bowl. 

If you are not planning on feeding vegetarians, add 4 pieces of bacon, crumbled, into the slow cooker.
fireun: (coffee)
This is not a hard and fast recipe, but here are the basic ingredients to make some rather amazing apple butter. 

Approximately 3 lb. apples
1 cup sugar 
2 tsp. cinnamon (more or less to taste)
1 tsp. nutmeg (more or less to taste)
1/2 tsp. allspice (more or less to taste)
1/2 tsp. cloves (more or less to taste)
3/4 cup or fresh apple cider
Maple syrup to taste- a good solid dollop will do you. You just want to sweeten slightly without overwhelming the apple taste. 

Fill Crock-pot 3/4 full with peeled, cored and sliced apples. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until evenly mixed. Cover and cook on low setting overnight or until the butter is of a thick, spreadable consistency.

If apple butter has too much liquid, remove lid and cook on high until thickened. Stir often as butter thickens to prevent scorching. I left it covered and on low for 8 hours (overnight), and then uncovered and on high for 5.

It will keep for 6 weeks refrigerated, or you can process and can using boiling water baths.

fireun: (madness!)
Part of my desire to join a CSA this season was to make myself try vegetables I had little to no experience with. I need to be eating healthier, I want to be eating healthier, and I want to have a better idea of things I can plant next year. Having run out of ways to make things into salad (and becoming very bored with salad in all of its incarnations) I went on a search for recipes to try with this week's CSA share- seeing as it involves things like kohlrabi and turnips, things I have no experience with, I needed the assist.

This was dinner, and it was amazing. Recipe is originally from My alterations are marked with *

1 bunch swiss chard
1 large onion, chopped*
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and black pepper to taste
4 ounces feta cheese**

* I rarely cook with onion unless I can saute it within an inch of its life. The texture does me in. So in this case, where sauteing was not happening, I substituted in dried onion chunks/bits- not powder as I did still want the stronger onion flavor. I used about 1.5- 2 tablespoons

** 4 ounces turned out to be a lot of feta. If you use that much, go lighter on the salting to taste part of the recipe or you will have a salty finished product. I will probably use a little less- sprinkle it over the top until you have equal coverage, but don't feel you need to use the full 4 oz. The final product is flavorful enough that you can go lightly on the cheese if you so desire.

1- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, grease a baking sheet with olive oil

2- Separate the leaves from stems. Chop the stems and toss in a bowl with the onion and 1tbsp olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste and spread onto baking sheet. Bake until the stems are tender and onions start to brown- about 15 minutes. If you use dried onion, reduce time by 5 minutes.

3- Toss the chard leaves with remaining 2tbsp olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Spread leaves over the stem mixture, scatter feta over the top.

4- Return to the oven and bake until the feta starts to become golden and the leaves are beginning to crisp- about 20 minutes.
fireun: (Default)
I am madly in love with this recipe. It is easy as hell, makes enough for a few meals and is mighty filling and nice and healthy. Recipe was originally found in Eat and Run by Scott Jurek.

1 c dried quinoa (any color will do. tri-color looks very cool in the final product)
2 c water
1 c almond milk or your favorite non-dairy milk (I used one that was a blend of grains)
1 ripe pear or banana (hooray for bananas!)
1/4 c dried flake coconut
1/2 tsp sea salt or light miso (it was the sea salt for me)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (I..will admit to not measuring this. I like cinnamon and was rather liberal with the amount added)

raisins, nuts, apple slices, or chia seeds for garnish (I used the chia)

Cook quinoa- add it to the water, bring to a boil and then simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the water has been absorbed. Fluff and cool for 5 minutes

Place cooked quinoa and all remaining ingredients into a blender and mix until smooth

add garnish(es) and enjoy
fireun: (Default)
This is what my dear friend and I had for dinner. I will admit, she prepared it- I just ate. But I wanted to share the thrown together recipe that turned out amazing, and perfect for cold weather. My dear friend has Crohn's, and I have the vicious IBS that comes with fibro, and this is pretty damn friendly to both. The recipe is, as she writes-

In a food processor, puree (in batches)
1 large can of black beans (19 oz, I think it is)
1 large handful of shredded carrots
1 large handful mushrooms
2 large handfuls kale

Put these in a soup pot with a bay leaf. Cook for a while, then remove a portion if you have vegetarians over. They too can have some delicious soup. In our case, we wanted to share dinner with [ profile] djkc.

Then put in:
1 can beef stock
2 pieces of bacon, cooked, cut into little pieces.
1 pound sausage, rolled into meatball-things and browned
Another handful of mushrooms, cooked in the meat-fat (mmmm meat-fat)
Let it cook for another half-hour or so.

You can also use other meats... she has used pork shoulder and stew beef with success. But the sausage was utterly amazing. We ate it with just a bit of cheese on top ( a shredded Mexican blend) and blue tortilla chips.

We had a lovely dinner to go with our Season 2 Sherlock finale. 

fireun: (nii)
 less work than rolling actual enchiladas, still brilliantly tasty.

4 burrito sized tortillas
1 can of enchilada sauce
1 can black beans
1 can hominy (white or yellow)
~3 cups Mexican cheese blend, shredded

lightly grease bottom of 9x13 inch pan

Tear 2 tortillas in half. Dip each half in enchilada sauce, making sure they are fully covered. Line the bottom of the pan.
Spread hominy and black beans over tortillas. Sprinkle half of cheese over top. 
tear, dip and layer last two tortillas.

Pour rest of enchilada sauce over top, sprinkle rest of cheese.

Bake at 350F for 30-40 minutes, until the cheese starts to brown. Let sit before eating, it is going to come out hot.

Optional addition- 10oz thin sliced chicken tenders. Heat oven to 400F. Lightly grease baking sheet. Sprinkle chicken lightly with cumin, salt, and pepper. Bake for 15-20 minutes (until chicken is cooked through, it will depend on how thin the cut is) Cut into bite sized chunks, mix chunks with some of the enchilada sauce and add to the layering in with the hominy and beans.

Cut into 8 servings it will be ~350 calories per serving (a little more if you add the chicken)
fireun: (milly)
 From the lovely cookbook [ profile] libwitch  helped make me for Yule a little while ago. Everything in parentheses are my alterations/adjustments. I tried to make this a tad healthier :) 

1 Package crescent rolls (I used low fat)
2 lb hamburger (or Morningstar Farms/Boca crumbles)
1 package taco seasoning (may I heartily suggest Ortega's chipolte flavored seasoning? adds a super kick to the bake)
1 bottle taco sauce (I used Ortega mild)
A few tablespoons of sour cream (low fat or fat free, just enough to spread across the casserole)
1 1/2 to 2 cup mozzarella cheese (part skim worked)
1 1/2 to 2 cup cheddar cheese (low fat again)
~8 oz crushed tortilla chips

Cook hamburger and drain fat (or heat boca). Add taco seasoning and taco sauce. If using meat, simmer for 10-15 minutes. For boca, just stir it up. Line 9 x 13 (lightly greased) pan with crescent rolls laid flat. Spread hamburger/boca mixture over rolls. Spread on sour cream. Sprinkle on cheeses. Sprinkle crushed chips over top. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

This is seriously delicious. 
fireun: (Default)
I have never actually written this recipe down, or measured particularly strictly, but here is the basic idea. People tend to really like this style of mac and cheese. Of course, I eat it with ketchup, but I am just weird like that. The ketchup goes real well with sharp cheddar though...
You will need-
16oz pasta
8oz sharp cheddar cheese
1/3 cup shredded asiago cheese
1/3 cup bread crumbs

for the cheese sauce-
1 tbsp butter
8oz sharp as hell cheddar cheese, shredded
melt the butter over low heat. add pinches of flour until you have a paste. add milk until the paste becomes creamy. shred and add the cheese. I add the cheese in thirds, smoothing out with milk as I go. You dont want the mixture to be watery but you do want it smooth and even. you can up the heat to medium to ensure the cheese melts nicely.

Cook one box (16oz) of pasta. I prefer noodles that are shaped to catch the cheese like nuggets or shells, but any noodle works.

Drain noodles and add to a lightly greased casserole pan. stir in cheese sauce, making sure it is spread evenly.

Mix 1/3 cup bread crumbs with enough melted butter to wet but not soak the crumbs (between 1 and 2 tbsp. I usually melt two tbsp and only use as much as needed. you want the bread crumbs to be able to pack loosely) mix in 1/3 cup shredded asiago cheese and spread over top of mac and cheese. This will get delicious and crispy when you bake it.

Bake uncovered at 350 for about 20 minutes, or until mac and cheese starts to get lightly toasted looking.
fireun: (Default)
Dishes to pass for the New Years shindig I am attending this evening. My mother has been making these for as long as I can remember, and I have been stealing portions for as long :)

Shrimp Dip

8oz cream cheese
1 can shrimp (I use the Bumblebee medium deveined)
lemon juice

Mix cream cheese and shrimp in a blender/food processor. Add 2 tablespoons horseradish and a few squirts of lemon juice. Blend.

Spread on a plate. Make a bit of a mound.

You can either use store bought cocktail sauce to top, or mix your own with ketchup and horseradish. I like mixing my own as I can control how much or little spice there is. 

Chill until serving. Serve with crackers.

If you are sharing with a group, double the recipe.

Pizza Bread
Traditionally this includes mozz cheese, black olives, and pepperoni as a filling. Feel free to alter it with whatever strikes your fancy. There is no hard amount for how much filling is used apart from the cheese.

Basic recipe-
frozen white bread dough (loaves are in the frozen food section of the grocery)
1 1/2 pound mozz cheese
olive oil
whichever fixins you decide on.
Makes two loaves

Preheat oven to 400.
Pull bread dough thin, put half the cheese and fixins in the center. Pull sides together and seal by pressing the dough together firmly. Brush with olive oil, place on a tin foil covered cookie sheet (oil the tinfoil lightly to prevent sticking) sealed side down. Bake for 20 minutes. Slice and serve. You want the roll long and skinny when prepping, not short and fat. Repeat for second loaf.

Mine this evening will be a vegetable roll, with onions, mushrooms, and green peppers. The other is going to have jalapeno rolled into the bread itself, and filled with venison sausage (sausage and the like must be cooked and diced ahead of time).

Both recipes are damn easy and are fun to snack on. Enjoy!
fireun: (fall)
my after Thanksgiving favorite.
This is not a precise recipe, and it does change a bit every time i make it. but the basics are as follows.

Save the drippings from the bottom of the turkey pan (i used a cool whip container). refrigerate over night/until you are making delicious soup. Skim fat (opaque layer) off. the bottom layer should look like jelly. that is the good stuff. plop it into a crock pot. add twice as much water as turkey gloop. add in any leftover turkey. I usually use the leg and wing meat and whatever bits people failed to pull off the turkey proper. add about a cup of barley and wild rice (by a cup i mean a few handfuls. dont overdo it with the barley. it sucks up water and expands!) for veggies this year i copped out and used a dried veggie mixture. basically you want onion, carrot, celery, and some leeks in there. you can add parsnips and turnips if you are feeling adventurous. Cook for 5-6 hours on low. Add salt and pepper to taste. I like my soup a little on the salty side. i stir every now and then, and sample, adding more salt or pepper as needed. You can also use premixed seasonings like Mrs Dash, but that gets a little too strong for me. I actually like the turkey broth flavor. If you want a thicker soup, add some corn starch or tapioca. i eat all of my homemade soups with a lot of bread. may i recommend Marco Polo loaf?

see? ridiculously easy, and fantastically customizeable. and a good way to use up leftovers.

you can also make turkey stock by boiling the...well, the carcass (appetizing word choice, eh?) seasonings, and veggies for an hour or so, and then straining all the bones and bits out. and then use that as a soup base. thats usually round two for me. first batch of soup is from the drippings. second batch is from the big turkey carcass i have stuffed in the corner of the freezer until i need more soup.

either way, it will be blander than if you used store stock, so DO test as you cook and add salt, pepper, celery salt, whatever catches your fancy. you can toss in some peppers for a bit more kick as well.

honestly one of the tastier ways to spend a cold afternoon. my house smells DELICIOUS right now.
fireun: (Default)
i am officially too far behind on lj to catch up. damn you, Paolini and the spazzy work weekend your release made me suffer!

one good thing, [ profile] libwitch   took me to lunch...and then to get a crock pot!

for meat eaters in here-

pork tenderloin and apples!
peel, core, and cut four apples into eighths.
place in bottom of crock pot. pour one cup apple cider over apples. sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar.
place pork tenderloin on top of apples. sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon

cook on high for one hour, then low for 4 1/2 to 5 hours.

it was delicious. the pork fell apart when i tried to get it out of the pot. loooooove
fireun: (nii)
creamy peanut butter pie! ridiculously easy recipe!

2  packages (8 oz each) cream cheese
1 cup sugar
i jar creamy peanut butter
2/3 cup whipped topping
14 peanut butter cups (optional)
either a graham cracker or oreo cookie crust (premade at the supermarket, or you can make one in a 9 inch pie pan)

beat the cream cheese, peanut butter and sugar until smooth and fuffy. stir in whipped topping. coarsely chop half the peanut butter cups, stir into mixture.

spoon into crust.
quarter remaining peanut butter cups. arrange over the top.

refrigerate for at least 4 hours.


March 2015

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