Saturday, April 5, 2014

Shepherd's pie

This is a favorite of mine, so much so that sometimes I make mashed potatoes for dinner one night just so that I will have leftovers to make shepherd's pie with. Making fresh mashed potatoes is an option, but somehow it tastes better with potatoes that have sat in the fridge a day or two.

I like mine with a little cheese on top, so do the kids. But my potatoes are always vegan due to hubbies allergies.

veggie meat, onion, garlic, peas, leftover potatoes, oil, salt, pepper, and cheese (optional)

saute onions, garlic, and veggie meat in oil until smeat is browned

pack into the bottom of an oiled casserole

add a layer of frozen peas

then cover with mashed potatoes and smash down tightly

add cheese to half and bake until bubbly and browning on top

enjoy as a one-pot meal


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Soda bread

The next few recipes are all going to be St. Patrick's Day related, only because I remembered to document when I was making food that day. The first up is the classic soda bread. We like our soda bread sweet and with raisins. The first time I made it, I used currants which is more traditional, but my kids hated them. So now we just use raisins.

I followed a basic recipe by Ina Garten, but did not use orange zest, used raisins instead of currants, coconut milk instead of dairy, coconut oil instead of butter, and I added way more raisins and a bit more sugar than the recipe called for. It was super yummy.

Next time I will make it into two loaves so it cooks even faster. In our new house the oven tends to make breads super crusty, so cutting the baking time should help. That is why you put an X in the bread by the way, to help heat reach the inside and the bread to rise since it is a no yeast bread.

If you want to make it vegan, just add a 1/4 cup more coconut milk and a dash more baking soda.

flour, milk, raisins, salt, sugar, baking soda, coconut oil, and an egg

mix some flour and sugar into your raisins

mix dry ingredients: flour, sugar, salt, baking soda

cut in coconut oil, or shortening, or butter

make a well and add wet ingredients: egg and milk

mix well, it will be wet-ish, then gently stir in raisins

form into a round and mark with a deep X

bake in a moderate oven until it sounds hollow

serve with other yummy foodstuff


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Where have I been

I haven't been cooking recipes that is for sure, but I have been cooking. In fact I have been relearning how to cook. Our electric stove caught on fire in our new (to us) house. Clearly the stove was not new. It was a rather exciting day. I emptied an entire fire extinguisher on the stove and it wouldn't stop smoking and sparking and the stove wasn't even on when it caught fire. The motor started to make weird noises and sparks arced across the kitchen and it smoked and smoked and smoked. I gave up and called the professionals.

Instead of paying the same amount to replace the electric stove with another electric stove, we decided to have a gas line put in and replace it with a gas stove. This was in our long term plan, but things happen, and that changed. Now, the long term plan also include remodeling the kitchen so I wasn't going to buy a nice new fancy stove, which we also can't afford right now. Having the gas line put in wasn't very expensive as it only needed to be extended 10 feet from the gas already in the laundry room. Finding a replacement stove was a different story. I needed to find a replacement that would also just drop into our 30" downdraft counter top hole which is sort of a very unique type of stove. That took about a month. I scoured craigslist, ebay, sears outlet, all the discount stores in the area and finally we found someone selling a used one that needed a replacement part, but it would fit in nicely. Now I have a nice gas stove and can start cooking again.

So what did I do for a month without a stove. I learned how to cook lots of things in the oven like oatmeal and rice, in fact I really like oven cooked oatmeal way more than stovetop cooked. We also made good use of our family size broil king griddle. That thing can handle a lot. I could fit 3 pots on it. The only thing it couldn't do well was boil water and keep it boiling (we are at altitude) to make pasta and whatnot. We did not eat a lot of pasta the last month. We did however survive and manage to eat well, we just ate a lot of staples and to be honest we did eat out more than usual.

That is where I have been, and hopefully with the new year and the newish stove I can pick up again trying to get through my recipes. Apparently it is going to be a two year resolution. If not more.

yep, that fire truck is for us

they had to rip out the old stove, since it wouldn't stop smoking and sparking

the last meal we made on our broil king

fire - so pretty

first full meal I made on the new stove

Yay for finally having a gas stove again after 5 years without!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Tomato sauce (sunday)

Now that I have all these canned tomatoes, I get to use them all year long. This is my version of a Sunday sauce where you simmer the ingredients all day long as opposed to a fresh sauce that comes together quickly.

My dad used to make a Sunday sauce and his dad and our Uncle Bill used to fight over who made the better Sunday sauce. I even vaguely remember a sauce off in my grandparents kitchen when I was a child. My dad always served his with homemade meatballs, fresh pasta, and garlic bread. For my kids, just the garlic bread and some frozen veggie balls. One day fresh pasta, but making pasta and sauce on the same day still intimidates me.

canned tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil, oregano, oil, and salt

simmer onions and garlic in oil until soft

chop most of the basil and oregano saving some for later

remember you need a bay leaf, and some dried porcini for flavor

quick work of the porcinis

stir it into the onions

then add your canned tomatoes and sauce

let simmer all day, stirring occasionally

then I add more fresh basil right before serving, remove the bay leaf

blend it all together

simmer a little bit longer

finish your pasta in the sauce

and serve with veggie balls, grated cheese, and pepper flakes


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Caramel apples

We make these are a once a year, although my kids would love it if I made them more often, but caramel is a pain in the tush. You have to stay on top of it so it doesn't burn, but you can't turn the heat up to make it cook faster, because then it will burn. We make them with coconut milk since hubby is allergic to milk (protein). I am not sure how they would work with margarine but the caramel is pretty darn yummy without the cream.

apples, sugar, corn syrup, coconut milk, butter, vanilla, salt

melt butter

spear apples with sticks

add sugar and a dash or to of salt to melted butter

stir well

add corn syrup

and coconut milk

cook to soft ball 240 stirring a lot (the pain in the... part)

turn off heat and stir in vanilla

then dip your apples swirling to coat

pour excess in lined pan

allow caramel to set up

then enjoy with lots of smiles

Such favorite, much yum!

CSA week 23 and 24

This post is almost a month after our last pickup. I am a little hazy on what I made, but I will try hard. We had a great year for the CSA. There is even going to be a winter CSA where we can pick what we want once a month. 

Week 23: kale, turnips, radish, rutabagas, bok choy, spinach, onions, potatoes, carrots, squash, apples and pears

What I made: apples/pears/carrots in bellies, onions in everything, kale salad, bok choy with tofu (the kids love it, I can't make anything else), turnip and mashed potatoes, mashed rutabaga (my fave), sauteed spinach, and acorn squash saved for thanksgiving

Week 24: carrots, daikon, spinach, arugula, turnips, potatoes, apples, pie pumpkin

What I made: carrots/apples in bellies, daikon in kimchi and radish cakes, home fried potatoes, arugula in salad and sandwiches, spinach and rice, turnips still in fridge, pumpkin and acorn squash saved for thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

CSA week 21 and 22

These are the last two weeks of the regular CSA. This year we had a two week extended CSA, those I will post soon. Unfortunately both these pictures are blurry and I am not sure why. My theory has more to do with little fingerprints on my phone than anything else. That happens a lot.

Week 21: Beets, cauliflower, sunchokes, onions, garlic, broccoli rabe, red russian kale, arugula, butternut squash, and apples

What I made: apples in bellies, onions and garlic in everything, pickled beets, roasted cauliflower, sauteed broccoli rabe and sauteed kale, arugula in sandwiches, sunchokes in the compost (loathe sunchokes), butternut squash in pumpkin bread

Week 22: lacinato kale, potatoes, onions, spinach, parsley, bokchoy, garlic, butternut squash, jalapenos (bonus), apples, and pears

What I made: apples and pears in bellies, jalapenos in the freezer for winter use, bok choy with tofu and rice noodles, spinach spoon bread, sauteed kale, parsley and garlic in everything, potatoes/onions/butternut squash for storage