Sunday, December 27, 2015

Savory Peanut Flour Curry Cookies

I spent some time figuring out how to make a savory cookie.  After some experimentation, I give you a very yummy curry peanut savory cookie:
Preheat oven to 375

1 cup peanut flour
1 cup regular flour (I used bread flour)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking bowder
1 egg and 2 yolks (I think you could just add 2 eggs- but I had some yolks from this morning, and I wanted to use them up)
1/4 cup salted butter
1/8 cup sunflower seeds
1 tsp pepper
1 Tbs balti curry powder
2 Tbs poppy seeds
1/8 cup minced or chopped onion (I tried both- both are good- just depends on how big you like your onion chunks)

Mix everything together and then add:
Approximately 4 Tbs water (I added water until the dough held together well- and as I was pouring, not measuring, I'm not totally sure on the water- but pour and mix until the mixture just holds together in a nice firm ball.)

On parchment paper make the dough into 2" round and press down (should be about 3/4 inches high)
Bake about 10 minutes- until just turning slightly brown (I flipped one over to check the bottom- and it was very lightly browned. ) I do like sweet cookies- but these are amazing! I love them.

Here's a picture:

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Best Easy Cottage Cheese Bread for Your Breadmaker

With a crust that toasts to a cracker like crunch, and a soft puffy interior, this is one delicious white bread.

Put in Breadmaker:
1/2 cup luke warm water
1 cup cottage cheese (I use Humboldt Creamery organic)
3 cups bread flour or white flour
2 Tbs sugar
2 tsp yeast
1 beaten egg
2 Tbs canola oil
1 1/2 tsp salt

Run on regular cycle- and enjoy!  If you get the dreaded crater top- reduce the liquid, or put in a tiny bit more salt (1/8 tsp at a time)- until the crater goes away.  That's how I evolved this recipe, from a melange of other recipes I found online.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Best Bread Machine

I love this machine.  It's one of my favorite helpers around the house.  Put the mix in, or your own ingredients (see my easy white bread recipe) and you've got wonderful, better than store bought, bread in 3 hours.  There's a quick cycle, but I don't use it, since I don't like it as well.  I prefer the crust and grain of the loaf with the full cycle- and so far we haven't run into any bread emergencies that wouldn't wait a few hours.

The machine is easy to use (to tell the truth, I only use about 6 of the settings regularly).  And most of the time I just use the 1st setting- basic.  I can program it- but I usually don't.  95% of the time I just put the ingredients in, and start it.  Sometimes I bake the bread while I'm awake, and sometimes I just let it work overnight.  It's always great.

I love being able to make delicious bread for pennies a loaf without all the garbage store bought breads have in them.  I've used all kinds of mixes, and flours, and they've all worked great.  Our favorite mixes have been from King Arthur (brioche), Hodgson's Mill  (European cheese and herb bread), and Bob's Red Mill (the rye!)

If you don't have a breadmaker yet- this one is cheap, reliable, easy to use, and lots of fun.  Start baking today!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Best Rice Cooker Ever

We eat a lot of rice, and rye, and barley and other grains- and this rice cooker does it all.  I've had it for over 7 years, and it just keeps on going.  I just love it.  My sushi rice is perfect, as are the darker rices- brown, red and black, and it's a snap to clean.  My daughter had a cheap little rice cooker from Costco in her dorm, and it was fine, for what it was, but it doesn't hold a candle to this.  If you expect to use a rice cooker for many years, make the investment and get a Zojirushi.  You won't be sorry you did.  Programming is easy, and you have many options.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Cheesey Ham and Egg Biscuits

Can of refrigerated biscuits
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
8 oz finely chopped uncured ham
8 eggs
8 X8 pan- teflon preferred
Line pan with biscuits- 2 rows of 3 biscuits, 1 row of two biscuits
Beat eggs, mix in cheddar and chopped ham.  Pour mixture over biscuits,  Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes- depending on oven and desired doneness (we like our cheese to become slightly brown)

Easy 7 ingredient Delicious Chocolate Rice Pudding

2 Cups half and half
2 cups whole milk
1 cup washed Arborio rice
1/2 a Theo's chocolate bar  (4 squares/1.5oz) (salted dark chocolate)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp Pumpkin spice
1 tsp vanilla

Put half and half, milk and rice in crockpot- cook on high for about 2 hours (until rice is soft).  Mix in all of the remaining ingredients.  Eat and enjoy!  This is such a creamy, delightfully rich pudding.  The pumpkin pie spice gives this the taste of Mexican hot cocoa (in my opinion).  Hope you like this as much as we do.


Monday, November 23, 2015

Reducing Food Waste

So this morning, as I was making tomatoes baked with eggs for my family, I was thinking- "What can I do with these tomato guts besides tossing them in soup?" (what I usually do.)  So I decided to "risotto" them!  I hollowed out 5 large tomatoes- which gave me 2 cups of loosely packed tomato- and I put that in my crockpot- didn't even bother to chop it up.  Then I added 500g of Pomi tomato sauce, 1/4 cup white wine (chardonnay), 1/4 cup olive oil,  2 tsp of oregano, 1 tsp of powdered garlic, and 2 Tbs of dried onion, and 1 cup arborio rice.  I put the crockpot on high for 2 hours.  When the rice was soft, I added 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese- it was delicious!  You will love this- and it's 2, Two, 2 meals in one!

The baked eggs:

Saturday, November 21, 2015

EASY fabulous white bread for your Breadmaker

After trying numerous white bread recipes- this is my favorite- and it's my own little mashup of the best bits of all the other recipes:

3 C flour
2 flat teaspoons yeast (I buy the giant, intimidating but cheap, brick from Costco, of active dry yeast)
1/8 C oil (I use Safflower)
1/8 C melted cooled butter
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 C warm (not hot!!!!) water (this water should feel mildly warm on the inside of your wrist)
3 Tbs sugar

Put all ingredients in bread maker for 2 lb loaf, select normal setting.  That's it!

If the top craters- you've got too much yeast action.  With some of the other recipes I got off the net, this happened to me.  So I reduced the water (to 1 C) and upped the salt (to 1 1/2 tsp).  I get a lovely, perfect loaf every time.  But if with this recipe, or any other, you get the dreaded "crater top loaf"- just know that you can lower the liquid or up the salt to stop that.  Salt retards yeast action- so that's a nice way to adjust your yeast growth.  Orange or lemon peel is a nice addition to this.  Pepper, seeds, poppy seeds, curry powder, and other spices, can also be added.  It's a fun, simple recipe to play with- and you can add spices to your bread that make a sandwich more special.  Chicken curry salad on a bread with a little curry in it is fabulous!  Or put a little dried dill in the bread, and serve a tuna sandwich on it!  So good!!! And so easy.

Crockpot or Slow Cooker Truffled Risotto

Easy, easy recipe!  Tasty and great for guests.
1 C Arborio rice - rinsed and drained
3 3/4 C broth (I use Trader Joe's organic chicken broth)
1/4 C wine
1 tsp salt
1/8 cup truffle oil (I use Urbani)
1/8 cup olive oil
3/4-1 C Parmesan cheese

Put all ingredients EXCEPT cheese, in crockpot.  Turn on high and leave for two hours.  When rice is soft (and crockpots differ- so cook rice until it is soft) stir in cheese until melted, and add 1/8 cup heavy cream or half and half.  Eat and enjoy.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Risotto, Rice pudding, Arborio rice entertainment!

I've been cooking a lot- but I've been very lazy about posting here.  And I've found some wonderful recipes, and modified them to suit myself, and my lazy ways- so let me share some fantastic crockpot or slow cooker ideas for rice, rice and more rice.  Our Grocery outlet had a fantastic deal on Italian Arborio rice- so I got a bunch, because we love risotto AND rice pudding.

Here's a super easy rice pudding recipe!
1 cup Arborio rice
2 cups milk
2 cups half and half
vanilla- 1 tsp
cinnamon (1/2 tsp), nutmeg (1/4 tsp), allspice (1/4 tsp)- or, you can use pumpkin spice, and Starbucks up your rice pudding
Sugar- 1/4-1/2 cup- depending on your taste (we like ours less sweet)
Possible additions- orange peel, coconut, chopped pecans, raisins,dried cranberries, or other dried fruits (apricots and pineapples are very nice when added together!  especially with coconut and pecans- so tasty)

Put milk and half and half in slow cooker for 2 hours on high.  Stir in sugar, vanilla, spices, coconut, chopped nuts or any other additions.  Pudding will thicken quite a bit.  If you like a more liquid pudding, add 1/4 cup more milk.

Slow Cooker Risotto

1 ¼ cup Arborio rice
¾ cup sharp cheddar cheese
2 tbs dried chopped onion
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp ground pepper
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
3 ¾ cups broth (chicken or veggie)
1/8 cup olive oil or butter
¼ cup half and half (for richer risotto add heavy cream)

(options- to add dry white wine, reduce broth by 1/4 and add 1/4 cup wine.  Also, you can add just about any cheese you want to.  I change the broth to 2 cups crushed tomatoes, oregano, and 1 3/4 cups water, sometimes, and then add Parmesan cheese, at the end- voila, pizza risotto!  Blue cheese and white wine is wonderful.  Goat cheese is delicious, as is feta.  You can do just about anything you want with this easy, adaptable recipe.)

You add all ingredients, EXCEPT cheese, and cook 2 hours on high.  When the rice is tender, stir in cheese until fully melted.  Eat and enjoy.

Monday, July 13, 2015

A Lot of Food in a Little Space

For dinner we had eggs, poached in tomatoes- and topped with Parmesan, meatloaf, and rainbow chard in a balsamic vinegar sauce.  It all fit quite nicely into small bowls for lunch the next day.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Cloud Basket Eggs

Easy Sunday morning breakfast.  I used 6 eggs- separated.  Whip the whites until stiff peaks form.  Then make round "lumps" on a parchment coated baking sheet.  Make a depression in the middle of the egg white deep enough to accommodate an egg yolk.  Put in a yolk, or if you broke the yoke, use a spoon to pour in some egg yolk.  Bake at 350 until desired doneness- we like our yokes very firm.

Isn't that pretty?  And they're tasty too.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Nutella Brownies

So easy!  I saw this on Facebook.  1 1/4 cups of nutella, mixed with 2 eggs, and 1/2 cup flour (I added a cup of pecans)- mix well and bake at 350 for about 20-30 mins (till tester comes out clean).  Then DEVOUR them!  Great with whip cream or ice cream- or both!

I sprayed the pan, bottom only, with coconut oil- brownies came out totally cleanly!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

"Homemade" Chili Hack

Want to make delicious chilli that tastes like you've been cooking for hours in under an hour?  Of course you do.  Whip out your slow cooker and add one package of Costco's Pulled pork, and 3 cans of Amy's Organic Chilli (I use medium hot), and 1/2 cup of Pomi crushed tomatoes.  Cook until hot (I cook on high at first, and serve the chilli with fried eggs.  Then I put the chilli on low- let it cook another 1/2 hour, and I put it in the fridge for later.  This also freezes well.  Additions- sauteed onions, potato chunks (precooked), corn, and anything else you like in your chilli. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Potato Tip!

Organic potatoes are back at my local 10 pound bags.  Now we all know what happens to those- you use a few, and the rest go green (and unless you want to eat neurotoxins, do NOT eat green potatoes.)

Obviously quantity matters.

Of course I could buy smaller batches of potatoes, but the Costco bags are such a deal!  So, bake all the potatoes at once.  400 degrees- just stuff them all in there, and cook until you can insert a fork in them.  Then, cool them completely.  Next, wrap each spud individually in plastic wrap, and stack them in your fridge.  We have found the following uses for them-
breakfast spuds- serve topped with scrambled egg, cheese, and chili, or egg, cheese, and hot sauce.
Sloppy Joe spud- use a potato instead of a bun
Chili spud- top spud with chili and cheese and microwave (I take these to work with me, and microwave for lunch)
Chop the potatoes up and add to a breakfast scramble (I use Italian sausage, eggs, tomatoes and spuds- cheese on top, as garnish)
Chop the potatoes up and add to soup or stew
Top the spud with tuna salad and cheese, and make a potato tuna melt (microwave until cheese melts)
And of course, you can serve them as baked potatoes :-)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

1 Million Ways to Use Candied Citron

I apologize for the hyberbole- I probably don't have a million ways to use it, but I've got a few good ones for you (unless you've thought of them yourself.)

Our local supermarket had obviously overbought the citron, so they had it for 25 cents a container (hard to resist, right?)  So of course, I baked the sweet bread recipe that came with the citron:

And it's a very good cake!  So make that.  But if you're like me, with 8 packages of citron, you'll need another way to use it. 

Mix with peanut butter in peanut butter sandwiches!

Mix with cream cheese- put on crackers (or anything)

Cut the top rind off a brie wheel, leaving a rim of rind- broil until soft, sprinkle with citron
Make a cheese compote- mine was 8 oz raisins, 8 oz citron, 8 oz apricots and 4 oz dried cherries- I used 1 cup late harvest riesling, cooked with 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, I cooked the wine with the sugar and vanilla until the vanilla was absorbed, then I added the fruit.  I cooked it about 25 minutes, on low, then I took out the fruit and simmered the liquid until it was the consistency of syrup.  I added it back to the fruit- and used it over cheese (chopped walnuts make a nice addition to this- add after cooking)

Add to pancakes.

Add to waffles.

Add to chocolate chip cookies.

Add to oatmeal cookies.

Bake in to muffins or gingerbread:
 I used this mix- and added raisins AND citron, and it was wonderful:
 The citron:
So is citron the new bacon?  Can you add it to anything?  Probably not- bacon is still the most awesome thing ever, but citron is pretty fun to work with.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Waffle Brownies- so far, not a great success

I was so excited about this.  I read several posts about doing this.  But our first try was not a success.  My brownies were not eager to exit the waffle maker- and the first batch was really bad (I had sprayed the waffle maker with my usual light coating of coconut oil) and the second batch, without oil, was better, but still not great.  I just made my usual boxed brownie recipe.  Next time I will use some of the modifications.  If I still don't get a good result, I'm going back to regular brownies- which are plenty good enough for me.

Not horrible- but not what I'd call a great success, either.

Pack Up Your Food IMMEDIATELY Into Meal Sized Containers

It seems so simple, but my mom never did this, and as a consequence a lot of our food did not get eaten.  If you pack things up- like this bean soup- in individual containers, especially ones that can be used to reheat the food, and serve it- you will not waste anything!  Your family will grab these on their way out the door to work.  They'll eat these for breakfast.  And before you can have any for yourself, all the food will be gone!

Arugula and Pickled Egg Sandwiches with Bacon Bean Soup

Just a few days ago I told you how to make pickled eggs and my bacon and bean soup- here are the two served together for lunch :-)  I toss the arugula with some mayo, which helps the eggs stay in place, and I put a very light spread of mayo on my rye bread as well.  These eggs were pickled for a week, so they've gone beyond ombre to solid pink.  If you use the eggs quickly, they'll have a delicate ombre color.  Might be nice for a baby shower.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Smashed Chickpea Chicken Salad- Two Ways

 You will need:
1/8 cup parmesan cheese
2 cups diced cooked chicken breast
16 oz can chickpeas/garbanzo beans
salt pepper
minced dried onions

Smash 16 oz of drained chickpeas.  And 2 cups of minced cooked chicken breast.  Add 2 TBS mayo, 2 TBS dried onions, 1/2 tsp salt or Nosalt, 1 tsp pepper, 1/8 cup diced celery, 1/8 cup parmesan cheese.  Stir till well mixed.

I used Hodgson's Mill Rye bread for the sandwich.  Form the mix into a patty to fit the bread - otherwise it crumbles too much.  I put a thin layer of mayo on the bread before smashing the chickpea patty on it.  On the other half of the bread I arrange the lettuce, then I put both halves together.  You can also add a slice of tomato between the halves if you want to.

Extra salad  on the side, topped with more of the chickpea mix.  No dressing needed.

Save That Pickled Beet Juice! Easy, Pretty Pickled Eggs

Want to make lovely pink pickled eggs?  Save your pickled beet liquid.  I use Trader Joes pickled beets, since I'm too lazy to make my own, then I pour the liquid in a mason jar, add eggs, and fill up any extra space with some sort of vinegar- I've used all kinds- sherry, balsamic, and plain old apple cider.  Slice into the eggs, and you'll get a lovely, ombre tinted egg.  Makes a lovely garnish for anything.

Waffles and Muffin Pan Eggs

Delicious easy breakfast.    Krusteaz chocolate chip pancake mix- use the waffle recipe on the box, pour on melted butter and chocolate jimmies.

Eggs- 6 eggs, mixed with 1/3 cup shredded cheese, fresh pepper, and salt ladled into nonstick muffin pans- 4/5's full.  Bake at 350- until set.  top with Parmesan cheese, bake until  they are the doneness you like- we like well cooked eggs.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Delicious Bacon Soup

You will need-
Bob's Red Mill Soup veggie mix (or some similar bean and lentil mix)- 13 Bean is pictured
32 oz veggie broth or chicken broth
16 oz turkey or chicken gravy (I use Imagine brand- organic)
16 oz pearl onions (or other onions, if you prefer)
1/8 cup dehydrated onions
16 oz wild mushrooms  (I use a frozen mushroom medley)
16oz bacon (I use uncured bacon ends from Trader Joes)
optional- pan drippings from roasted chicken

Bacon- sliced up- I freeze mine for a short time, makes the fat easier to slice:

Rinse beans and lentils for soup mix.
I use 2 cups of soup mix, and 8 cups of water (or 32 oz boxes of broth x 2),1/8 cup dried onions, and pan drippings and simmer these for an hour.
Next, add pearl onions, gravy, and minced, sliced or cubed bacon.  Cook until bacon is done.
Add mushrooms- until hot.
Serve and enjoy!!!  Below- pictures of the beans cooking in veggie broth, and pictures of some of the additions.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Coconut Flour Waffles- Gluten Free!

I liked this recipe- see below, but I added some creme fraiche and milk to smooth out the texture.  Instead of coconut milk, I used whole milk, and I also added a whopping TBS of creme fraiche.  I topped the waffles with whip cream and passionfruit and pineapple syrup (from North Shore Goodies- you can see my blog post about them in 2014 (July 5th), and my ode to their amazing peanut butter).