Nori's Stuff - Gardening, quilting, cooking and dogs

Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Recipes

March 13, 2017

OMGosh stir fry

I’ve got a new super fast stir fry.

I bought a new gadget. I got a Zoodle from Amazon for $11. OMGosh. Game changer.

New fav meal. Oriental(ish) pork stir fry. OMGosh.

Thin-slice pork. Marinate it in sesame oil, basalmic vinegar and ground candied ginger (not available commercially, you’ll have to make your own – dehydrate candied ginger and run it through a food processor to grind it up).

Use the Zoodle to noodlize zucchini and rutabaga (yeah, new fav veg). Thin slide onion and break up into “noodles”. Add thin-sliced green pepper and some bamboo shoots (comes in a can).

You’re gonna need two frying pans, one for the marinated pork and one for the veges.

Add butter and sesame oil to both pans. Stick the veges into one and the pork into the other. Once the pork is most of the way done add the pork pan to the veges pan. When the veges are al dente the cooking us done!

OMGosh!

Pioneer Spirit,Recipes

March 3, 2017

Burger Bowl!

Tags:

In my continual search for really good food I can eat, I’ve discovered . . . Hamburger Bowl!

I have two version (with or without avocado) and they’re both wonderful. Those of you who eat carbs and bread/buns/etc. won’t think it’s so great, but for me . . . few carbs and no grains . . . it’s awesome!

On medium low, cook diced mushrooms and diced bacon in a 6″ skillet with a teaspoon of butter.

While that’s cooking dice a roma tomato and a slice of onion (choose the one you like, I’m using the basic yellow). Add two heaping teaspoonfuls of Farman’s Dill Pickle Relish in a bowl, add the diced onion and tomato and warm it in the microwave. Don’t COOK it, just get it warm so it doesn’t chill the hot ingredients. For my puny little microwave I use 55 seconds on cook, stir, then back in for another 15 seconds.

When the bacon and ‘shrooms are done or nearly done add the raw hamburger. The shape isn’t important, it’s getting chopped up when it’s done cooking. (I buy hamburger in bulk and package it in snack bags in the freezer for easy use. I get the amount of hamburger I need when I need it at a lower cost.)

When the hamburger is nearly done, dice up the hamburger and add 3/4 cup of black beans (drained and rinsed). Stir the beans into the mix. once it’s all heated up lift out the goodies (leave all the fat in the pan) and add them to your bowl of warmed and diced goodness.

Stir it all together and eat it with a soup spoon. OMGosh good! Heads up, this is more than will fit in a regular soup bowl.

When doing the avocado version I wait until everything’s mixed together and add the diced avocado to the top. Yummy stuff!

Recipes

October 20, 2015

Personalized spice mixes

Tags:

SpiceMixesI use a lot of spices and herbs when I cook, and I cook a lot of the same stuff all the time.  Rather than opening 4-6 different spice/herb bottles to season something I started using the empty bottles to make the mixes I use all the time.

The spicy pork seasoning is BBQ Boys mix with doubled ground onion and ground garlic.

The S&R is a steak and roast mix with rosemary, thyme, black pepper, onion and garlic.

The marinara is the spice mix I use for the tomato sauce I use for anything requiring tomato sauce.

I also have an apple mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and xylitol I use for apple compote and apple custard I make for Wadly.

I’m sure I’ll being adding more mixes to my array.  Having premixed organic spices speeds cooking and ensures the taste stays consistent across the dishes I make.

Recipes

August 18, 2015

No soy/sugar non dairy creamer

Tags: , ,

Having food allergies makes life very interesting in a way that cannot be appreciated by those who don’t have food allergies. I’m not saying that in a disparaging way, just as a fact. Anyone with food allergies is nodding their head at this point.

Given soy and milk allergies, finding a coffee creamer that works is a challenge. In researching creamer alternatives I found a recipe using water, vanilla, raw cashew butter and medjool dates. My recipe is an outtake of that recipe.

In trying the above recipe there were a few things I didn’t care for. Using water instead of coffee as the liquid made no sense. It waters down the coffee which to me is counter-productive. I didn’t find the vanilla added anything. If I’m adding anything extra it is organic cacao powder with another date to counter the bitter.

My most pleasing recipe, sans cacao powder, is 1/3 cup raw cashew butter (organic), 3 medium to large medjool dates (organic) and about 1/2 cup fresh coffee as the liquid. Mince the dates and blend it all together until the dates are liquefied. According to what I’ve read this should stay fresh and viable in the fridge for 3 days. I use about 1/3 of the above in my gigantic cup with fresh brewed coffee. Mmmmm.

Hydro/Aquaponics,Pioneer Spirit,Recipes

August 13, 2015

Awesome Chocolate Waffles/Pancakes

This recipe uses zucchini from my aquaponic bed. I’m getting enough zucchini to be able to eat a whole one a day, sometimes two a day. Woot!

ChocWaffles

Mmmmm.

These are SO awesome!  Fresh zucchini, coconut flour, eggs, cacao powder, medjool dates, butter and baking soda.


2 eggs, 2 medjool dates, 2 tbsp melted butter, 1/2 cup grated fresh zucchini

2 eggs, 2 medjool dates, 2 tbsp melted butter, 1/2 cup grated fresh zucchini

In a pint jar add 1/2 grated fresh zucchini, 2 large organic eggs (warmed in hot tap water before opening), 2 tablespoons melted butter, 2 medjool dates (pit removed).  Spin on the blender attachment and run on lowest setting until everything is chopped and mixed.


After blending

After blending


Cacao powder, coconut flour and baking soda added and blended.

Cacao powder, coconut flour and baking soda added and blended.

Spin the top off and add 1 tbsp coconut flour, 1 tbsp cacao powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda.  Spin the top back on and blend until the powdered ingredients are integrated.

Step4

Cook and serve with butter. Mmmmm.

Recipes

April 4, 2015

Chunky Chicken Soup

Tags: , ,

Chunky chicken soup

Chunky chicken soup

This is a fast and simple recipes.  If you’re like me and mostly just cook for yourself and maybe another, you will love this one.

Wadly got a nice buy on some boneless skinless chicken thighs.  I like thigh meat as it’s tastier and juicier.  Already boned and skinned means no fuss . . . though this recipe would work with skin on and bone in and it would work for chicken breast if you don’t mind less tasty.  If you go the whole thigh route, fillet it out a bit so it’s not so thick and put it skin down.  The skin and bone will add flavor.

Cut a handful of baby carrots in half lengthwise or peel a whole carrot and cut it in diagonal slices just under 1/4″ thick.

Cut two 1/4″ slabs of zucchini.  I cut off the length I want and then cut it in lengthwise slices.

Chop some red and green pepper.  You’ll also need a 1/4″ thick slice of onion.  Don’t dice the onion.  Cut it into big chunks.

Take the stem end off a roma tomato and slice it open.  Don’t cut it in half, just make a single slice up the side and a few short slices in top and bottom so you can lay it out flat.  Pull the middle bit out and rough chop it.

Melt a generous tablespoon of butter in a small pan (I use the really small cast iron skillets for a lot of the “just me” stuff).  Turn the pan down to really low, the low side of simmer.  This won’t take long to cook and cooking it slowly will make the chicken super tender and keep the veges from becoming mush.

Put the two slabs of zucchini down side by side in the middle and arrange the carrots around them.  Sprinkle the onion and peppers on the top.  Stick the chopped bits of the tomato on top.

Place the chicken on top.  Don’t cut it up, just lay it over the top of the veges.

Sprinkle oregano, salt and pepper on top the chicken.  Lay the tomato skin side up over the top of the seasoned chicken.

Cover and cook slowly until the carrots are tender.  Lift the skin off the tomato and discard.  Lift the chicken out and cut it into big pieces.  Return to the pan, stir and pour into a bowl.

This soup is simple, fabulous and no fuss and the perfect meal for a dreary spring day.  You can bump the flavor a bit more by adding a couple tablespoons of your favorite “with chicken” wine if you’re feeling posh.

Enjoy!

Recipes

November 14, 2014

Orange and ginger creole?

Tags: , , ,

One of the unspoken mandates for celiacs is really tasty food to compensate for all we can’t partake.  Of late I’ve been marinating everything . . . hamburgers, steak, pork or chicken and it’s been wonderful.  I thought I’d share, both the recipe I use for my creole seasoning (pork or chicken) and the twist it got this morning.

My creole seasoning is spicy but not too spicy if you like spicy.  Use only organic seasonings.  If you haven’t gone organic with everything you can, herbs is a must for where to start.  When an herb is dried the flavor is concentrated, but so are any chemicals ON the herbs.  Go organic with your spices and herbs.

  • 2 tbsp cayenne
  • 2 tbsp pepper
  • 4 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic (powder)
  • 1 tsp onion (powder)

This mix is just a tablespoon or two more than will fit in a recycled spice container so plan for the extra you’ll have to store if you can’t use it right away.

This morning’s deviation from the norm included freshly grated ginger (micro-grated) and fresh squeezed orange juice.

For a single serving, squeeze the juice of 1/3 of an orange into a bowl.  Add grated ginger (1 tbsp?), the diced pork (or chicken) and shake a couple teaspoons of the creole seasoning over the top.  Mix thoroughly and set aside while you prep the veges.

I’m a little short on ingredients this morning.  For those of you who read my blog, you’ll know that’s not unheard of.   This morning’s stir fry had zucchini, onion and mushroom.  With a bit of bell pepper it would have been even better, and it was awesome!

Make sure you saute the mushrooms separately until thoroughly browned so they come out tasting like mushrooms.  Once all the veges are cooked set them aside.  Add more butter and a tablespoon of peanut oil to the pan.  Pour in the marinade laden meat.  As soon as it looks nearly done, return the veges to the pan.  Stir to incorporate and it’s done.

If you’re a thickened sauce person, spoon out the chunks and thicken the broth. 

This is lovely, full of flavor, healthy and a quick fix.  

Pioneer Spirit,Recipes

July 22, 2014

Portable crisper

Tags: ,

Portable crisper

Portable crisper

I eat a lot of vegetables. Because I am a fuss-less person I’ve come up with a way to get my veges out of the fridge without spending forever pulling them out of a drawer, stacking them on the counter, whack off what I need only to stick them back in the fridge again every time I cook. This portable crisper sits on top the glass shelf that is the cover for the existing crisper in my fridge and, with the handy handle molded into the front of the drawer, allows me to pull it out of the fridge with one hand.  It contains most if not all of the veges I need.

This crisper is the drawer and glass shelf from a small portable fridge. With the addition of a brass piano hinge and some aquarium sealer, a piece of washable non-skid shelf liner for the inside and very little effort, I have streamlined and shortened my prep time.  The lid fits flush against the top preserving the moisture in the veges.

The paper sack is cut down from a large grocery sack and holds mushrooms at the perfect humidity to keep them fresh.  Strong smelling veges like onion are zipped in plastic but everything else is pre-cleaned, unwrapped and ready to use.  A cut-to-fit non-skid shelf liner keeps the veges up off the plastic bottom to avoid accumulation of moisture where veg and plastic meet.

Current content of the crisper include zucchini, yellow squash, onion, celery, mushroom, red and green pepper.  The larger build-in crisper contains overflow and backup stock.

Recipes

October 4, 2013

Breakfast Frittata

Tags: , , , ,

2013-10-4.jpg

Shrimp frittata with peppers, onion, zuccini, chevre and fried baked potatoes on top

If you’ve never had a frittata, I’m going to recommend you try one. They’re very easy to make and delightfully flexible. I go through periods where I want seafood, other times when my preference is for breakfast-y stuff.

Today my frittata had sausage, bacon, Danish Havarti, chevre, zucchini, onion and asparagus. Oh, and hash browns on top though next time I might try potatoes O’Brien instead. The pictured frittata has rounds of baked potato

Frittatas aren’t fast food, but they are quality food and can be as simple or complicated as you choose with everything you need in a single dish.

To make a frittata, prepare the filling. For delicate seafood you can choose to lightly precook or not as you choose. If you don’t precook the seafood, make sure you bake it long enough to completely cook it and expect the result to be a little moister than using precooked seafood (drain it before you put it on the plate).

Prepare your meat. If you’re using anything except seafood, precook. If I’m having both sausage and bacon I will cut them up reasonably small and cook them in the same pan until done. Saute the vegetables in butter until tender. I cut my zuccini in small (smaller than 1/4″) cubes, fine-dice the onions and cut the asparagus in small rounds (1/8″ cuts). If you find you like bigger pieces of vegetables, you have the freedom to make it your style. I’ve used peppers (I didn’t today because I’m out), broccoli, cauliflower, carrots (not the best), red and green peppers and mushrooms (not today, I’m out).

If you’re making a single serving frittata, use one or two eggs. Beat them a bit and add your cheese and sauteed meat and veges. Pour the mixture into a small (6″) frying pan that’s been heated and buttered. If you’re adding hash brown, sprinkle the cooked hash browns over the top. Pop it in your over (or toaster over) at between 325 and 350. How done you would like it is totally up to you. You can cook it just until the egg is set or you can cook it until it’s brown on top. Instead of hashbrowns you can add cheese. Or tomato. Or . . . This is a dish that never has to be the same twice and it’s easily delicious.

I think I’d better go shopping. I’m out of a lot of things . . .

Recipes

July 30, 2013

Basil carrots

Tags: , ,

Wadly’s not a fan of vegetables.  He’s tall and thin and lives on meat and starch.  Getting him to eat and enjoy vegetables not loaded with starch is a personal quest.

My latest shot at Wadly-edible vegetables is basil carrots.  He thinks they’re okay (not high praise but close) and I love them.

Saute onions, carrots and a very light sprinkling of basil (it’s strong and can easily overpower the carrots so take care) in butter.  Reduce the heat after the onions become transparent to finish the carrots.

That’s it.  Did you think I’d make it more complicated?  Nope.  It’s so tasty and so sweet it’s almost like dessert.

Recipes

Flavorful and healthy

Tags: , , , ,

I’m on a new kick.  We all know I wander from one focus to the next like a hobo with no home but at least I’m not bored . . . or boring.  I’m always experimenting, learning new things, TRYING new things . . . and I like it.  Testing ideas is a good way to keep your brain in shape.

My latest is crock pot meat.  My first foray into “cook it slow” was chuck roast.  It was wonderful . . . and here’s what I did.

Add the meat to the bottom of the crock pot.  DO NOT add any water.  Trust me, you won’t need it.  Crush a garlic clove and toss that in.  Cut up a carrot and toss that in.  Add some chopped celery, onion, a tomato, red and green pepper . . . sprinkle in some rosemary and some thyme, add 2 tbsp cream sherry, 2 tbsp dry sherry and put the lid on.  Turn it on low and walk away.  This needs to go for about 8 hours.  Lift the lid every so often and poke the veges in around the meat.

When it’s done the meat will be tender and the vegetables will be worthless.  Pull out the meat, dump the rest through a strainer and toss the veges (I feed them to my chickens).  Chop the meat and put it away for later.  Put the juice (there will be surprising amount of liquid) in a separate container and refrigerate both.  When the juice has cooled completely you’ll be able to peel the fat off the top.

This is a great start for stew, soup . . . or eat it just the way it is!  It’s delicious.

If the sherry adds too much flavor, try using two tablespoons of sherry and half a cup of creme soda instead.  Both ways are absolutely delicious.  I haven’t tried it with root beer yet.  I bet that would be good as well.  I added a bay leaf to one batch.

To turn this into wonderful vegetable beef soup dice your veggies (all of the above plus one small potato and anything else you have in your veggie drawer – the latest batch also has cauliflower).  Saute all but the potato in butter, add the potato, the juice and the diced beef and simmer until the veggies are done.

I don’t add salt and I don’t add bullion cubes (mostly beef flavored salt) though you can if you must.  It’s flavorful and healthy and a good eat and it’s a really chunky soup, not mostly broth and few goodies.

Recipes

April 10, 2013

Updated almond chicken

Tags: ,

I’ve updated my almond chicken recipe.  There’s a lot of in-the-pan, out-of-the-pan, drain this, strain that going on and I’ve tweaked the ingredients just a bit (more flavor).

If you’re going to try the recipe, you’ll need; small frying pan, big frying pan, sauce pan, marinade bowl, paper towel for the fried amonds, wire strainer big enough to hold all the cooked veges, bowl to catch the oil when the veges are drained, something to hold the extra oil after the almonds are fried (I use a wide mouth half-pint canning jar so I can reuse the oil), a bowl to hold the raw veges until time to cook them, cutting boards (1 for chicken, 1 for veges), a good and sharp chef’s knife, a fork to stir the cooking stuff . . . I can see this is a recipe I’m going to have to video at some point.

The first step in the prep is hot soapy water so I can clean up as I go . . . hands, knife and cutting board after dissecting the chicken, veges cutting board, bowls as I’m done with them, pans as I’m done with them.  I’ve done this recipe enough times that when I sit down to eat, the only thing left to wash is what I’m eating out of and with.  Sweet.

Recipes

February 27, 2013

Healthy and easy casserole

Tags: , ,

Tomato, onion, green and red pepper, broccoli and carrot.

Tomato, onion, green and red pepper, broccoli and carrot.

This is an easy and delicious way to get a mess of vegetables in an easy potentially low fat prepare-ahead meal. This recipe can easily be multiplied to feed more people. It’s an awesomely delicious and healthy lunch or dinner that I can prepare way ahead of time.

I don’t know if it’s fair to call this dish a casserole as it’s just veggies and a frank. You could make this with any kind of sausage or hot dog. I use Painted Hill’s Natural Beef Franks but it would be lovely with other types of commercial cured sausage.

Rough chop half a tomato and put it in the bottom of an individual casserole dish. Make sure you use the tomato. It provides the moisture and the acidity that will balance the dish and make it delicious.  You can use a couple tablespoons of tomato paste.  If you do, add a half-cup of water for the moisture.

Layer a selection of vegetables on top. I’ve used onion, potato, broccoli, green and red peppers, carrot, celery, zuccini and use a different variety as the mood strikes.  You can even use potato, just cut it in smaller cubes so it cooks thoroughly.

Whatever vegetables you add should equal four or five times the volume of the meat.  Place your choice of vegetables on top of the tomato. Cut the sausage or frank up and put it on top and put the cover on.  This is the absolute perfect dish for a toaster oven, which is what I’ve got.  Bake at 350° for 45 to 50 minutes.  Once the dish has cooled enough to eat, pull the lid and enjoy!

Recipes

February 25, 2013

Korean beef

Tags: ,

This is an adaptation of a Korean rice bowl recipe I found online. The first time I made it I followed the directions which called for cooking the meat first, then adding the veges but the very lovely beef I used came out so overcooked and tough I never did it that way again.

The original recipe called for a lot of stuff and I like fairly simple but great tasting food so I made some . . . uh . . . adjustments.

Make a marinade –

  • 1 or 2 crushed/minced/finely chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar (I use tubinado instead – healthier)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (I use coconut aminos instead)
  • 1 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp corn starch (leave this out if you want – it’s a make-you-fat thickener)
  • 1 tbsp fresh ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp cooking sherry (optional but tasty)

Chop the beef in relatively small pieces and stir into the marinade until well coated.

Prep whatever veges you want. Cut the denser veges in smaller slices/pieces to even out the cooking. Use a carrot or two, a stalk of celery or two, some red pepper, some green pepper, a zuccini if you’ve got one, some broccoli if you’ve got some, half an onion. Pea pods would be good as would bean sprouts but add the bean sprouts right at the end when the veges are added back to the pan with the meat or they will overcook.

If you’re a minimalist, feel free to just use onion and peppers.

Stir fry the veges in a bit of olive oil. When the veges are not quite done, lift them out and add the meat reserving the marinade for later. When the meat’s is almost done, add the marinade sauce and layer the veges over the top.  Wait a bit to stir it all together. When the marinade has finished thickening and the meat is done, the dish is done.

Sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds on the top. Serve over rice if you like.

Recipes

February 24, 2013

Easy and tasty almond chicken for two

Tags: ,

This is my go-to recipe for just-for-me food.  It’s not super-quick to fix (about 20 minutes) but it’s delicious, packed with flavor and veges and, for the nutritional value in the meal, it’s uber-healthy.

I buy chicken thighs in the family pack size and zip them into sandwich bags, put them into a gallon zip bag and chuck them in the freezer.  I pull a thigh out in the morning and toss it on the counter.  By lunch it’s thawed and ready to use.

Skin and debone one chicken thigh per person. Slice the skin in strips and put the skin and bone in a small sauce pan with 1/2 to 3/4 cup water per thigh to make the required chicken broth.  This chicken broth is healthy and a zero dollar addition to the recipe from something you would have thrown away.  If you’re a broth purist, chop some celery and onion and toss it in as well.  I don’t see the need.  This dish is already max tasty, full of texture and flavor and excellent nutrition.

Slap on a lid and start it cooking. You want to bring it to a boil and turn it down to simmer while you’re prepping the rest of the stuff. Flip the bones over a couple times as it cooks to get as much flavor out as possible.  Because you’ve sliced the skin into strips, it needs zero attention.

Dice the chicken in 1/2 to 3/4″ cubes. Stick it into a marinade of (measurement is per chicken thigh) 2 tbsp soy sauce (or coconut aminos if you’re soy adverse), 2 tbsp Lee & Perrins Worchestershire sauce, 2 tbsp sherry (I use Sheffield’s creme sherry), 1 crushed clove a garlic and (optional and fattening so leave it out if you prefer) 1 tbsp corn starch.  The Worchestershire sauce adds a layer of very complimentary flavor and is not standard to the recipe.  One day I was short on coconut aminos and use the worchestershire to make up the difference.  I was so caught by the flavor combo I adjusted the recipe and haven’t looked back.

While the skin and bone are simmering, prepare these veges.  The measurements are per thigh so double for two, triple for three . . . 1 carrot peeled, cut in half lengthwise and slice in less than 1/4″ thick slices on the diagonal. Slice 1/2 a medium onion thinly. Slice a celery stalk on the diagonal.  (Because I mostly cook this recipe for just me and don’t need to impress anyone, I pull the celery bundle out of the vege drawer and cut the top of the bundle off  in thinnish slices until I have the amount I want, usually 3 or 4 cuts.)  Add some mushroom.  I like mine cut in sticks but do what makes you happy.  Add a little sliced pepper (both red and green).  I like pepper in almost everything.  If you’re not a pepper fan, leave it out. Slice a handful of water chestnut slices (canned) into sticks. Cut a handful of bamboo shoots (canned) in half lengthwise.  Once I’ve opened the cans I process everything in the cans and put them in zippies in the freezer so they stay good until I’m ready to use them.  You can break them into portions (1 snack zippy with both water chestnut and bamboo shoots) and pull the right number of portions out of the freezer when you pull out the chicken.

In a small frying pan, pour 1/2″ peanut oil and start it heating. When the oil is hot (add a single almond slice – when it starts to sizzle, the oil’s hot) throw in 1/4 cup of sliced almonds per thigh.  If you’re making more than two servings, use a bigger pan so the almonds have room to brown. Stir and shake until the almonds just start to change color. If you wait any longer they will rapidly turn brown and taste a bit burnt so be ready to pull them out of the oil just as they start to turn color.  I’ve eaten them that way and it isn’t bad, just not great so keep a close eye as you’re cooking them.

Pour the almonds and oil through a metal mesh (screen) strainer so the oil drains into a bigger frying pan. Drain the almonds really well (shake and wiggle) and spread them on a paper towel to stop the cooking and finish draining.

Once the peanut oil is again up to temp, toss in all the prepped veges and stir/shake a bit longer than it takes to turn the onions transparent. None of the other raw veges will be completely done yet but close.  The dish won’t be horrible if you slightly overcook or undercook the veges, and you’ll prefect this with practice.  You’re going to cook them again so don’t over-cook them now.

While the veges are cooking, use the screen to strain the chicken out of the marinade.   I dump the drained chicken into the small frying pan so the residual heat will start to bring the chicken up to temp.

Dump the broth from the chicken skin/bones into the marinade.  The hot broth will help bring the marinade up to temp.

Dump the veges out of the frying pan into the strainer over a bowl to drain off the remaining oil.  

Dump the chicken into the big frying pan. Stir until cooked nearly cooked through.  Don’t overcook.  Add the marinade/broth.  If you’re using a thickener, wait until it gets up to temp and starts to thicken before adding the veges back to the pan.  Don’t stir them in just yet. Dump in the almonds and cook the whole thing just a bit longer.  You don’t want limp veges but you do want thickened sauce and done meat.  This dish is better if they still have just a bit of a crunch.

If you like bean spouts, they would be a good addition. Add them when you add the veges into the pan with the chicken. Any sooner and they’ll be overcooked.

Enjoy!

Recipes

September 8, 2012

Perfect rice, the easy way

Tags: ,

Pick your weapon.  Any shape or size, as long as you can get the rice in and out, it’ll work!

Fill it with rice

Fill with water (yup, with the rice STILL in whatever you’re using to measure).  You now have a rice and water mix.  Dump it in the cooker.

Don’t worry about the rice left inside, you’ll rinse it out in the next step.

Fill your measure with water one more time.  Add it to the ricer and water already in the cooker. If you’re good, all the stray rice will end up in the cooker instead of left in your measuring device.

Add a little bit of oil. It helps keep the rice from sticking together. I don’t know if this step is advised for sticky rice so you’ll need to check.

Cover the cooker and switch it on. When it switches itself off (or, in my case, switches to warm), your rice is done!

This method of cooking rice is super easy, no measuring cup required, though I take the lazy man way and use a rice cooker. You can, depending on your cooker, make any amount of rice you want, enough for one or more!

Pick your measuring device.  I’m not saying don’t use a measuring cup, but you certainly don’t need one with this method.  I’m using a small drink glass for my measure here.

This method works because it provides the right amount of water for the rice every time.

Fill your measure up with rice.  With the rice still in your measuring device, fill it up with water as well.  You now have a mix of water and rice in your measuring device.  Dump the rice and water mixture into the cooker.  Filling the measure with rice and water gives exactly the right amount of extra water.

The amount of water we’ve added won’t be enough, so we have to add one more measure full of water.  Remember, it doesn’t matter what measure you start with, just use the same measure all the way through and it will come out perfect!

Just so we’re really clear, you’re adding one measure of water and one measure of rice and water mixed.  I add the full measure of water after the rice and water mix to rinse the rice out of the measure so none is wasted.

Top it off with a drizzle of olive oil, put the lid on, plug it in and turn it on!   When it shuts off, you’ll have perfect rice!

Recipes

August 27, 2012

Potato bombs

Plugging the bottom

Ready to pop in the oven.

Here’s how you make potato bombs.

Because I don’t have an apple corer, Wadly made me a potato coring tool out of a length of copper pipe.  This method requires an additional tool for pushing the core out of the pipe.

Core the potatoes.  Mine were really big russets so I cut them in half lengthwise before coring.  

Set the potato on its flat end and stuff it with your favorite potato partner (I used diced onions and bacon).  I used my push rod to pack down the diced onion, then added the bacon and packed it as well.  Plug the top with the other short section of core, skin side out.

Place the potato halves cut side down in a buttered baking dish.  Wrap the halves in bacon.  Mine took 1½ slices for complete coverage.  Toss the two remaining core pieces in the pan.   Waste not . . .

Bake at 350° for 1 hour.

If you’re barbequing and have good control of the temp in you grill, you can wrap these in heavy duty foil and cook them on the grill.  For full sized potatoes, turn them over at the half-way mark to distribute the bacon flavor.

You can’t beat this dish for awesome flavor.

Recipes

May 10, 2012

Chicken over rice

I baked a whole chicken last week planning to make a big batch of my latest soup recipe so I could freeze some for quick meals. Yeah, that’s as far as the chicken soup idea went. I hared off in a different and equally delicious direction. 

I seasoned the unstuffed halved chicken with pepper and Bragg Organic Sprinkle and baked it skin side up for about 50 minutes. Don’t skip this step. Boiled chicken does not have the same flavor as baked or fried and that extra flavor is important. After baking, I put the whole chicken in a 5 quart pressure cooker with wine, water, pepper, onion and Bragg Organic Sprinkle. I didn’t pressure cook it, I just simmered it for a while to marry all the flavors.

After the chicken cooled I deboned and diced it and added it back to the liquid in the pan. After it cooled I divided the result into four zippered sandwich bags intending to put them in the freezer for later use.  I’d done this with turkey earlier in the year and it made a nice quick base for not nearly as delicious (trust me, it’s all in the prep and seasonings) turkey on rice.

When dinner time rolled around I put rice in the cooker and peeled and diced a carrot, a quarter of an onion, a couple parsley sprigs, a celery stalk and 1/4 cup each red and green peppers.  I sauteed a couple slices of bacon (chopped) and added the veges and a couple tablespoons of butter.

Once the veges were sufficiently tender I dumped in the sandwich bag of chicken, gave it a thorough stir and once it was heated through, covered it and set it on low to simmer while the rice finished cooking.  I served the chicken and veges over rice with a little more butter on top and it was delicious!  One cup of rice (uncooked) and one zippered sandwich bag of chicken with the veges makes 4 or 5 healthy servings.

None of the chicken made it into the freezer.  We’re eating the last of it as chicken/veges over rice today.  Mmmmm.

Recipes

April 22, 2012

Chicken vegetable soup

Tags:

Lovely color, beautiful flavor.

I made chicken vegetable soup yesterday and it’s truly delicious!  It’s  bright, succulent and satisfying.  Paired with garlic bread or corn bread, it’s also a low cost lunch or light dinner.  This is so good I will explore canning or freezing it for quick meals.

In a small frying pan, brown two chicken thighs in olive oil. Do the browning on med-low so the thighs are at least halfway cooked before transferring them to your sauce pan.

Add 2/3 cup white wine to the frying pan for deglazing.  I use Franzia Crisp White which gives a lovely mild slightly sweet flavor which is totally harmonious with the chicken and veges.

Pour the deglazed drippings and wine from the frying pan into the sauce pan.  Add a dozen brisk shakes of Bragg Organic Sprinkle (awesome with chicken and turkey), a diced celery stalk, 2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley, 1/4 sweet onion-diced, 1 carrot-diced, 1/4 cup each of diced red and green peppers and fresh cracked black pepper.

Add 2/3 cup water and the juice from the corn dip recipe.  Put the lid on and simmer until the veges are done but still slightly crunchy.  If you aren’t a fan of the corn dip recipe, put the contents of all three cans in a blender, liquify and divide into three.  Put the portions you aren’t using in a ziplock and into the freezer for later use.  Use in soup or chowder to bump the flavor.

Turn the heat off and remove the the chicken thighs.  Once cool enough to handle, remove skin and bone and dice the meat.  Add the diced chicken to the pan.  Bring to a simmer for a few minutes to heat the chicken through.

If you want to make chicken noodle soup, consider pureeing the rest of the ingredients before adding the chicken back to the pan.  Add your noodles and cook for the time necessary to finish the noodles.

Sans noodles, this makes 4 nice big bowls of soup.  If adding noodles, this should feed five or six.

Recipes

February 24, 2012

Chocolate worth mentioning

Tags:

Truly good chocolate

All chocolate is not created equal. Most chocolate I can’t eat and the chocolate I can eat isn’t anything to write home about. Just lately I’ve run across a chocolate worthy of mention.

I can’t eat the other chocolate this producer makes, but I can eat this one . . . and it’s heavenly.

Recipes

January 19, 2012

One egg, two yolks

Tags: ,

Big yolk in the big end and a slightly smaller yolk in the small end.

Here's a two-yolker split in half lengthwise. Yummy!

I bought a flat of jumbo brown eggs for hard boiling.  If you’ve never tried to peel a freshly laid hard boiled egg, you just wouldn’t understand.  The shell does not come off.  When hard boiled eggs are needed, and you want some sort of expectation that the eggs can be cleanly peeled, you have to start with old eggs.  Ours never last long enough to be old enough for hard boiling.

I was having a hard boiled egg and a bit of sharp cheddar snack yesterday.  I cut the egg in 4 lengthwise and was surprised to see two yolks!  Then today I was peeling eggs for egg salad and ran into another!  Wow!

My favorite recipe for egg salad is minced sweet onion, small diced kosher dill and mayo.  Mix the mayo with the egg yolks until all the egg yolk lumps are gone, then stir in the diced whites, pickles and onions.  Yummy.

Recipes

January 14, 2012

A hamburger worth the time

Tags: , ,

We’ve got a quarter of beef in the freezer which means we have a lot of hamburger to eat.  That’s not a bad thing but it’s pushing me to expand my hamburger recipe repertoire.  Yesterday I came up with a stellar hamburger.

Mince peppers, red and green, and onion. Sauté until the onion is translucent.  In a bowl mix the hamburger with crushed rosemary, thyme, fresh cracked black pepper and the sautéed vegetables.  Form patties and fry in the pan you sautée’d the veges in.  I put a piece of Havarti cheese on mine but I think it would be just as good with pepper jack, Swiss or whatever.  AWESOME burger.  Even Wadly gave it lots of stars.

Recipes

January 3, 2012

The other fish

Tags: , ,

Simmering to perfection

I’m making fish stock (soupe de poisson) to use in clam chowder.  I make it and store it in the freezer so it’s available when needed.

I scored a mess of half-off frozen fish at Shop n Kart yesterday including but not limited to ling cod, smelt, tilapia, head on prawns and some seafood mix which includes calamari and fake crab (pollack).  I ended up with enough fishy bits to make two batches of stock, so I divided it up and stuck half back in the freezer.  I don’t have a large enough stock pot to make two batches at once.

In this batch I have some whole fish, minus the gills and headed/gutted fish and prawn heads and fish parts simmering with parsley, onions, leeks, shallot, garlic, tomato, bay leaf, orange peel, celery, saffron, thyme and whole coriander.  I don’t think I left anything out . . . Hmm.  Maybe I should go throw in a couple rough chopped carrots.  Once this has simmered for four hours I will strained out the solids.  If there was somewhere I could put that stuff where the chickens could pick it over without the dogs getting into the bones, that would be a plus.  Hmm.  Time to ask Wadly for a temporary pen.

The last time I made bouillabaisse (chunks of fish, in-shell little neck clams, shrimp and scallops cooked in the above fish stock) I had some orange roughy in the mix of fish.  That is the most lovely tasting fish.  Mmm.  Maybe I can sweet talk my brother into grabbing me some the next time he comes for a visit.  He’s got a huge Japanese market where he lives and the orange roughy is fresh!

Recipes

December 24, 2011

Orange Mocha

Tags:

I bought some awesome free trade bitter orange peel chocolate at the health food store a while back.  It’s really awesome stuff but pretty darned addicting.  I’ve come up with a fairly nice liquid version.  Add equal amounts of sweetener (I use xylitol) and cocoa (the unsweetened baking kind) (adjust to taste – start with 1 tsp each) to equal amounts (1/2 cup) milk (or cream or half-n-half) and coffee.  Heat it up then grate in some orange zest.  Stir and drink. OMG is it good.

Pioneer Spirit,Recipes

November 5, 2011

The beauty of water kefir

Brew, ferment, drink

I have a jar of water kefir grains brewing on my counter.  It’s one of the few natural things that will help right my system when I eat something I shouldn’t.  It will also chase off a cold if I drink it as soon as my throat start to tickle.

Water kefir grains are supposed to multiply, though mine don’t seem to do so at any visible rate.  That doesn’t seem to alter the effectiveness of the result so I’m not going to fuss about it.

I brew my water kefir with maple syrup and dissolved minerals in filtered 7.2PH water.  I sliced a chunk of unsulfered candied ginger into the water kefir grains mix and cover it with a piece of paper towel, stirring it twice a day while it’s brewing.  I can tell when it’s ready by the way it smells, though I suppose I could measure the brix.  Smell seems to work for me.  The speed of the initial fermentation is a product of sugar content and warmth.

After the grains have fed for a couple days I strain the liquid into a sealable bottle.  I add a few chunks of dried pineapple to the bottle of water kefir and set the cap on without tightening it down.  When all the fruit is floating (usually a couple days) I seal the cap.  Sometimes the fruit stays at the top, sometimes it sinks to the bottom, sometimes it does both and sometimes it hangs in the middle like little fruit jewels.

When I need a water kefir I uncap it over the sink (if properly sealed it WILL fizz as it is a fermented drink) and strain it into a glass.  It’s a lite pineapple/ginger beer filled with good-for-you enzymes and digestive bacteria.  What’s not to like?

Recipes

October 28, 2011

Squash Season

Tags: ,

A slice off the side of a cube of butter, some maple syrup and a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg.

Awesomely delicious squash

In one of our rare outings, Wadly and I had dinner at one of our local eateries. They served squash wedges with a seasoned butter that made the squash taste like pumpkin pie. It was delicious. LouAnn says it was hubbard squash. I’ve duplicated the taste in both acorn and spaghetti squash.

Wadly will even eat this squash, and he is so not a squash fan.

This is a dead easy recipe.  Drop in a slice of butter, add a couple tablespoons of real maple syrup, sprinkle a little cinnamon and nut meg on top the butter and bake.

Recipes

September 17, 2011

No-bake coconut macaroon bar cookies

Tags: ,

Coconut macaroon bar cookies

Enjoy Life chocolate chips

Yum!

|

As we all know, women can’t live without chocolate, but when you’re soy intolerant, a chocolate free life is almost the only choice you have.  Chocolate generally contains soy lecithin as the emulsifier which makes it a treat I have to avoid.  Fortunately, Enjoy Life has a product that doesn’t push any of my buttons.

I’ve done lots of things with this chocolate.  Around our house it makes a safe out-of-the-bag snack, great chocolate dipped pecans and a versatile chocolate coconut macaroon cookie.

To make this super-simple recipe, melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler.  If you’re adding anything additional to the recipe, this is the point where you would add it.

After the chips have fully melted, stir in the coconut a half-cup at a time.   Keep adding coconut until you like the looks of the mix.  Use less coconut if you want heavier, more chocolatey cookies or more coconut if  you want lighter, more crumbly cookies.

Dump the mix out on a piece of aluminum foil and spread it out.  After it’s completely cooled, cut it into squares.

I’ve made these with a dab of butter for extra richness or with a couple tablespoons of milk or buttermilk (REALLY good) for additional lightness.  You can add an extract like almond or vanilla, maybe even mint.  I bet orange zest would be good!

If you aren’t gluten intolerant, you can use this recipe as the filling between thin shortbread type cookies for a totally different twist.  Whatever additional ingredient(s) you choose, add it to the melting chocolate before adding the coconut.

I’m going to try a batch with some chevre cheese mixed in . . . I bet that’ll be good!  Mmmm!  It should add a nice creamy tang.

Recipes

Roast beef “sandwich”

Tags: ,

Gluten free roast beef "sandwich"

Toast 2 slices roast beef topped by 2 slices pepper jack cheese

Saute peppers and onions

Eating out I’m faced with a 10% chance that I will inadvertently end up eating something I shouldn’t and creativity at home prevents me from feeling deprived or limited.  Because I can’t eat gluten or soy, and because I have to be careful of other foods as well, I’m continually trying different combinations that respect my limitations.

I like Subway’s roast beef sandwich (made without the bread), but the last time I was there I got glutened by careless handling of my order.  It takes two weeks to recover which sucks, so creating my own roast beef sandwich became a must.

Safeway’s Primo Taglio house brand of roast beef is really quite good.  I get it sliced the same thickness as deli cheese.  Lucerne has sliced pepper jack cheese.   With a bit of onion, some red and green pepper, a sweet Anaheim pepper and some cucumber and tomato, I get a sandwich that rocks.

 

 

Recipes

July 31, 2011

Bison, and other stuff

Tags: ,

We have a lovely local market that carries all sorts of not-so-mainstream foods as well as having a lovely selection of bulk foods.  I shop there not only because of the selection but because I’m supporting a local store.  They just increased their bulk food selection and they carry a really good range of gluten free products which is an additional plus.  They are my go-to-first food shopping place.  I shop at Safeway only after I’m done all my shopping at Shop-n-Kart.

Yesterday I was collecting bits and pieces for another batch of bouillabaisse inspired base for the clam chowder I make.  I make a big batch and store it in portions in the freezer and use that to add liquid/fish to my chowder.  It is SO much better than just adding water.  It takes the chowder from “oh, we’re having chowder” to “Oooo!  Chowder!”  It really makes that much difference to me.

Shop-n-Kart has a really good selection of head and tail on fish which is just what is needed for bouillabaisse.  Note to self, put in a request for orange roughy.  So I’m browsing away adding stuff to my cart as whim strikes me.  That’s the beauty of bouillabaisse.  I always check over the beef section (they carry family and restaurant packs of meat which are usually quite a bit less than what Safeway carries and can be packaged into the freezer so I can shop less often) to see if there’s a really good buy on rib steaks (my favorite), t-bone (okay but not nearly as good) or New York strip (what I usually end up with) and I noticed they have started carrying bison.  How cool is that?!  I picked out a lovely 7-bone chuck roast to barbeque.

I don’t know if you can call what I do with 7-bone chuck “barbeque.”  I smoke/bake it on a charcoal grill with all the coals pushed out to the outside edge.  It takes more coals (1½ to 2 times as many) but the result is fabulous.  Okay, I guess that’s barbeque.

I dried off the roast and rubbed both sides with finely grated elephant garlic, rosemary, thyme and cracked black pepper.  The elephant garlic grates into a paste that pretty much disappears into the meat when you rub it in.  Then I add the pepper, rosemary and thyme, rubbing it in.

I placed the roast in the center of the grill well away from the charcoal and close the lid.  The goal is to cook it to juicy tenderness, not charcoal the outside leaving the inside raw.

The first side cooks for about 20-25 minutes depending on thickness, the second side for 10-15.  It’s important to not overcook it.  The key to timing the turn and removal is in the appearance of the surface of the meat.  When the top of the roast’s outside edges starts to get shiny from rising moisture, turn the roast over.  You want to pull it off the grill just as moisture starts to pool on the top.  If you wait to long, the heat will drive all the moisture out and you’ll end up with a dry roast.

When you pull the roast off the grill, let it rest for five minutes before you cut into it so the juices have time to redistribute.

Our bison roast was beyond awesome, tender, juicy and flavorful.

I have used this same technique to smoke a rolled turkey roast for Thanksgiving.  Soak flavorful hardwood chips (I use apple or cherry) overnight.  Just before placing the roast on the grill, cover the charcoal with the soaked wood chips.  They will flavor the roast as it cooks and you’ll have delicious juicy turkey ham.

Recipes

July 4, 2011

Potato butter

Terry and Lorr on the range

Our son and his SO came over yesterday.  After an afternoon on the range, we all went to dinner at a local restaurant specializing in slow cooked smoked meats.  I had blackened prime rib which came with a baked potato topped with a scoop of premixed butter, sour cream, chives and cracked black pepper.  It was AWESOME.  Whoever thought of mixing those together and serving it all in a scoop is a genius!  The ratio of butter to sour cream to chives to pepper was perfect!