With food intolerances, it’s difficult to find processed meats that are worthy. Hempler’s meat products are definitely worthy. We eat their bacon, hotdogs, ground pork and more. Nothing they make (that we’ve tried) rates as high FODMAP. Everything we’ve tried has been gluten MSG and GMO free . . . all in all a truly awesome product line.
I love one dish meals. We don’t sit down together to eat unless we have company. We eat on totally different schedules. If Wadly’s eating fried chicken I’m usually having something totally different. Stir fried pork, tuna or egg salad . . . something that’s not fried chicken. When he has two hotdogs heated in the microwave (yeah, me too) I’ll cut up a hotdog and have it with broccoli, bacon, green onion, bone broth, red and green pepper . . . and it’s awesome. I’ve done the same thing with a can of green beans. Hotdog for the win.
For those of us with food sensitivities it’s easy to get in a rut and eat the same things all the time. There’s a limited number of things we can eat and we have a tendency to fix the same things all the time. For a lot of us it’s easier to list the things we can eat rather than the plethora of things we can’t. One of the things that’s a big no is processed foods. The chance of cross contamination is huge and the repercussions truly suck.
I love pork. Pork is like chicken, it comes in two varieties, juicy/tasty and dry/bland. I don’t care for light meat port (pork chops, picnic roast, etc.). I love dark meat pork (pork steaks, sirloin roast). As a result I do a lot of stuff with pork. I have no idea what this thing I’m making is. It’s a pork stir fry (that’s how it starts) which turns into a soup which could be a stew if the broth was thickened. I don’t know what to call it but it sure is good.
I’m test driving a peanut butter custard recipe and it came out quite good. The recipe produces three servings.
3 eggs, separated
3 tbsp light brown sugar
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup organic plain yogurt
3/4 cup whole milk
Beat the egg whites to aerate them just a bit. Don’t beat them into a meringue, just give them a decent number of bubbles to lighten them a bit.
In a separate bowl mix egg yoke, peanut butter, brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and yogurt. Mix thoroughly. Add milk a little bit at a time mixing it in thoroughly.
Add egg whites to the egg yoke mixture and mix in without beating heavily.
Distribute equally to three buttered ½ pint canning jars or 1 cup ramekins. Sprinkle mini chocolate chips on the top if desired. Butterscotch chips would also be excellent!
Place on trivet in the Instant Pot with 1½ cups of water beneath. Pressure cook on high for 7 minutes. Immediately release pressure, undo and offset the lid to allow the jars to cool in place. Once the jars can be handled by a bare hand, remove them. Serve warm or cold, top with a drizzle of caramel, chocolate ganache or serve with an ice cream topper.
I’ve been making breakfast hoagies for Wadly and he raves over them. They’re simple to make but a bit fussy as it takes three pans. I like to cook so I don’t see it as a burden.
sourdough hotdog bun or hoagie roll (hotdog bun is small, hoagie is big – adjust for your hunger level)
fresh ground pork (I usually buy a 1 or 1½ pound package, mix in the appropriate amount of seasoning, separate it into serving sizes into zippered snack bags and stick it in a larger labeled bag into the freezer.)
sausage seasoning (1½ tbsp/lb) (seasoning mix recipe is here)
1½ tbsp sour cream
Mix the egg and sour cream.
Dice the green onion, add to egg mix.
Butter a HOT 5″ frying pan and dump the egg mix in. Reduce the heat and turn over when needed. Don’t overcook.
Place one slab of butter in a HOT pan under each side of the bun. Turn the heat down, watch carefully and rotate as needed. You want the hoagie to come out brown and crunchy, not burnt.
Shape the sausage into a size and shape that matches your bun. Cook this in a separate pan. Once it’s turned over, add a slice a cheese to the top. Wadly likes American, your tastes may align with cheddar or mozzarella or . . .
Once everything is done, assemble. While the order of assembly isn’t particularly significant, the taste is.
My awesome brother spun by months ago and gifted me with his breakfast sausage seasoning recipe. I introduced him to white pepper. He doesn’t like anything even remotely hot so white pepper was an awesome addition to his kitchen. I see this as a fairly fair trade.
My sibling’s seasoning recipe got a bit of a tweak to suit my palate (I don’t mind a bit of hot as long as Wadly can handle it) and I’ve been using the adjusted recipe ever since.
Dosing is at 1½ tablespoons per pound of freshly ground pork . . . or more depending on your tastes.
3 tbsp rubbed/ground sage
2 tsp salt (I’m not a huge fan of salt so try this amount and add as needed)
1 tsp white pepper (I agree with my brother on this, black pepper is a bit too bold)
1 tsp marjoram
3 tbsp brown sugar – I make my own, 1 tsp organic molasses to 1 cup organic cane sugar, store in a jar with a moisture proof lid.
I give this mix a whirl or two in my spice grinder to blend it and get the kosher salt reduced and distributed. Then I stick it in a ½ cup jelly jar for later use. The mouth of the jar is big enough for a tablespoon to fit in easily, the lid is nice and flat for writing the name of the spice combination and they stack neatly.
My cod/shrimp chowder thing is continuing to improve. Today’s effort is particularly good. Added . . . mushroom and cooked broccoli. OMGosh. SO good.
Here’s the guide when cooking for one.
All the veges are equal amounts with red and green pepper counting as one veg. I cut all the veges (except cooked broccoli – sliced, zucchini – sticks and mushrooms halved and sliced) into 1/4″ cubes. In total that’s about 1/8 cup each of cooked broccoli, mushrooms, peppers, zucchini, spinach and green onion.
Heat a cast iron skillet (my pan of choice) adding butter, garlic oil and sesame oil (twice as much butter as each oil). Add green onion, peppers, mushroom and saute’ for a bit. Add zucchini, spinach and broccoli and sautee for a bit.
Add seafood. This really can be anything. I used cubed cod (1/4 lb. pacific) and 4 medium shrimp diced into four pieces each.
Add bone broth (about 2/3 cup), sour cream (1/2 cup), clam broth (1 tbsp), fish sauce (1/2 tsp), cilantro (1/2 tsp) and Korean red pepper (gochugaru, 1/2 tsp).
Stir to incorporate everything and let simmer until the fish is done.
I’m still playing with cod/shrimp dishes. My latest is really pretty good!
Toasted sesame oil
Korean red pepper (gochugaru)
Dice up the veges. Saute’ everything but the zucchini in butter, garlic oil, sesame oil. After those veges are al dente add the zucchini. Once the zucchini has started to soften add the seafood. Add everything else. Simmer until the fish is done.
Yup, it really is that simple. There’s lots of stuff but it’s totally uncomplicated.
Wadly bought a new white wine for me to try. He’s such a star!
This is a remake of a recipe I pulled off the internet. The original calls for parsley instead of cilantro. I have to admit, I’m not a fan of parsley. The original recipe has no veges. Can you imagine me eating a dish without veges? Steak makes sense with vege sides, cod soup doesn’t.
Ingredients include Pacific cod, shrimp, carrot, zucchini, green onion, green pepper shiitake mushroom, fish sauce (small splash), white wine (Quail Run Chardonnay), bone broth, cilantro, basil, salt, garlic oil, sesame oil, butter.
Saute the veges in butter, garlic oil and sesame oil. Start with sliced carrots as they’re the most dense. While they’re cooking slice and add green onion, green pepper, mushroom and finally zucchini. Once the veges are al dente, lift them out of the pan with a slotted spoon. Add shrimp and slices of cod to the pan, turning them to cook both sides. Don’t overcook. Cod is a fragile fish and will fall apart. Add the vegetables back to the pan. Add bone broth, wine, fish sauce and spices. Stir gently, warm through and turn off the heat.
This has a lovely mild but rich flavor. I’m adding it to my favorites. I can picture eating it with a crunchy toasted sourdough slice. Mmmm. I bet Wadly has his with pan toasted home made biscuits.
I didn’t think of adding saffron but you can bet I’ll try it next time. Saffron is awesome with this kind of seafood. Have you ever done Julia Child’s bouillabaisse? It’s awesome! I also didn’t think of garnishing this with toasted sesame seeds. Again, next time.
Our local Walmart has lovely fresh Atlantic salmon. It’s silver salmon, which isn’t my favorite, but it is really good and really fresh. It comes vacuum packed in a plastic tray.
Cooking is it dead easy. It comes out beautifully moist and flavorful.
Rinse the salmon, pat dry and place skin side down on a rack over an oven pan.
Dice a couple green onions. Mix with good quality mayo (I like Sir Kensington Classic). Spread the mixture evenly over the salmon fillet. Bake at 425° for 20 minutes. If the thickest portion of the fillet flakes when a fork is inserted, it’s done.
I’m fighting an antibiotic resistant infection . . . and winning. One of the protocols is to avoid red meat. Anyone who follows my blog knows I adore red meat. Beef is my favorite meat, hands down, but as the daughter of a fisherman I also love seafood. I love fresh salmon, canned tuna, shellfish and . . . Pacific cod. If you’ve had cod and have been singularly unimpressed, I don’t blame you. Not all cod is created equal. My absolute favorite cod is a little recognized fish – orange roughy, a truly fabulously tasty fish. Sadly, orange roughy isn’t widely available outside of fishing port towns.
A close second to my taste buds is Pacific cod. Not Alaskan cod (relatively tasteless but widely available) or any variation thereof. Pacific cod is it’s own class of cod. It’s flavorful in a way that makes it delightful to cook with. Tonight I had cod and shrimp in a white sauce and it was heavenly. Here’s what I did.
Saute sliced mushroom (I used shiitake), grated zucchini and diced green onion in garlic oil and butter. Sprinkle thyme, gochugaru and salt over the sauteing vegetables. Once the veges are al dente, lift them out with a slotted spoon. Add thawed cod and shrimp (and more butter) to the pan. Turn the seafood, cooking on both sides. Spoon the seafood out. Add milk. As the milk is coming up to temperature mix a bit of milk with a bit of corn starch and a bit of the warmed milk from the pan. Stir that into the pan. Continue to stir as it thickens. Once it’s thickened add the seafood and vegetables back to the pan and let it simmer just a little bit longer.
It’s 97 in the shade. Let me tell you firsthand, when our normal high is 80, 97 truly sucks. Wadly, in his grocery foray yesterday, got a two-pack of rib steak, my absolute favorite cut of beef. Last night was a really plain undecorated fry in butter and garlic oil. It was good but nothing compared to the innovation of tonight.
Usually the rib steaks we get are thicker than 1″. I put them in the toaster over for 30 minutes at 200 degrees, then sear them in butter/garlic oil. Good. Plenty good. Up until tonight this has been our standard.
This time there were two steaks that were about 3/4″ thick, not the norm for us. Simply frying was good but . . . OMGosh, the innovation tonight is really better..
I put the steak in the toaster oven (200deg for 20 min) and while it was preparing for a reverse sear, I put a couple tablespoons of red wine, a tablespoon of garlic oil, a tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce and a dash of salt in a flat dish. To prepare the pan I ground a 1/4 teaspoon of hing (asofoetida) and added that, butter and garlic oil in the (hot) pan, sloshing it around to ensure the flavor is well distributed. Quickly, so the butter wouldn’t burn (HOT pan) I gave the wine/Worcestershire/salt/garlic oil a quick stir, drop the steak on it and flip it over to coat both sides and then dumped the steak into the frying pan to sear on both sides . . . OMGosh! I’m thinking this is a new favorite.
I can’t eat commercially canned tuna and I can’t rely on family to can it for me. They simply cannot can enough. I have a solution that works for me. Wadly buys frozen tuna steaks. As I need canned tuna I use my Instant Pot to “can” it. It’s not processed in a way that gives it a long term shelf life. I don’t need that. I need tuna I can make sandwiches out of now, today.
Because I like my salads with everything but the kitchen sink (exaggeration but you get my point), I add all sorts of things. Today’s favorite is green onion, radish, cucumber, olive slices, pimento and Sir Kensington Classic Mayo. SO good! I would have added grated carrot but . . . no carrots.
When I can tuna I pack the tuna in a half-pint wide mouthed jar, add a little salt to the top, add the lid and process it in my Instant Pot (9 minutes on high pressure, natural release, leave until cool) I usually start it in the afternoon or evening and leave it until morning.
Once the jar is empty of tuna I give it to our pug. She adores cleaning out the jar, picking it up and carrying it around to whichever spot suits her. Because her muzzle is so short it takes her quite a while and quite a bit of effort to get all the goodies out.
I’ve got a new breakfast food love, a frittata with a hash brown hat. It’s so good!
This requires breakfast sausage. I make my own with fresh ground pork (store bought, Hempler and Smithfield both rock) with a seasoning mix my brother gave me. The rest is eggs and fresh veges and it’s very good!
We have farm grown eggs. Some of our hens are banty cross descendents which gives us big eggs from our new girls and bitty little eggs from our banty cross hens. I can do this frittata with one big egg or two little eggs. Much of my baking calls for big eggs so I’m perfectly happy to use the small eggs for my breakfast.
Dice green onion, mushrooms (I use shittake) and red and green pepper. Grate half a baked russet. I always have baked russet on hand. I use them for hash browns, fries and as a meal with chili, sour cream, butter and chives for a special occasion dinner. Using cold baked potatoes speeds the cooking and improves the flavor.
Cook the grated russet in butter, stirring fairly often. The goal is to lightly dehydrate and brown the individual gratings rather than turn it into one mass of hash browns.
In a separate pan cook the green onion, peppers and mushroom. When they’re close to fully cooked add the sausage. Stir the sausage in thoroughly breaking up any lumps.
In a separate bowl whisk the egg with a tablespoon of cream cheese, sour cream or yogurt. Add the cooked veges/sausage. Pour into a hot buttered pan (I use a small 6″ skillet). Arrange the hash browns over the top. Cover and turn the heat down to low. Once the egg sets it’s done. Serve with diced tomato.
I had a craving for chili. It needed to be flavorful without being hot and totally low FODMAP. And like just about everything I make, it had to use up stuff I had on hand. I’m out of red and green peppers or you know I would have added them as well.
1 pound hamburger
1/2 pound ground sausage (home made, really super mild)
tomatillos (small, about a dozen) – watch the big ones, they can be bitter.
tomato (1/4 large tomato)
green onion (3-5 depending on size)
1.5 cups nacho beans (instant pot cooked beans with gorugachu chili flakes, bacon and salt) – soak/rinse/soak/rinse the beans before cooking to make them low FODMAP
lactose free sour cream
Add a couple tablespoons of butter to a frying pan. Add a bit of garlic oil. Add chopped green onion. Once the green onion softens add the meat. Once the meat is browned add diced tomatoes and tomatillos. Add seasoning (1/2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp each of coriander, paprika, cilantro, chili powder (cayenne), dry mustard, salt, 1+ cup bone broth and a dash of red wine and a sprinkle or Worcestershire sauce.
Simmer until the tomatillos break down. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and tortilla chips.
It’s really good! It’s flavorful and super mild. AND it’s low FODMAP.
I use bone broth all the time. If a recipe calls for liquid (assuming we aren’t talking dessert) and it’s not milk, I use bone broth. If I can add nutrition and flavor, you know I’m going to!
The only problem is the time it takes to slow cook bone broth. Enter Instant Pot! Bone broth in 2 hours! Okay, I lied. First I have to roast the bones (an hour), then I have to fill the Instant Pot with bones, drippings, spices, whatever veges I want for flavoring, wine or apple cider vinegar, water . . . so let’s say I’m being efficient and I manage all that in two and a half hours . . . even though we both know it actually takes longer. For me it works best if I can wait on a natural release of the pressure in the cooker (close to an hour). Regardless of whether it’s two and a half or four hours, that’s SO much better than two days. So much better. I can make and use bone broth all in the same day! Plus it gives me an additional fillip! I can tailor a batch of bone broth to me OR us!
Yesterday I made bone broth with leeks (the coarse green bits no one eats), turnip, parsnip and carrot, kosher salt, bay leaf, peppercorns and Korean red pepper! The smell when I popped it open last night was amazing! Three of the five pints are going into the freezer for “just for me” cooking.
I really need to get some good gluten free rice noodles . . .
I love food with a plethora of tastes and textures. Being a celiac and needing to eat low FODMAP hasn’t stopped me for creating some awesome meals. Okay, awesome to me. Wadly isn’t a huge fan of some of the stuff I cook. He’s not into mushrooms or peppers or any cheese except America eaten cold . . . or vegetables or spices or foods with lot of ingredients. And there, in a nutshell, is why we might share one meal a day. For us, it works.
Today’s breakfast, a loaded, stuffed to the max, frittata. Ground sausage (mild), red and green peppers, green onion, shiitake mushrooms, fresh farm egg and milk, extra sharp cheddar, home cooked black beans, tomato. OMGosh SO good! Wadly would eat it and be entirely NOT a fan.
I sauteed the green onion, mushroom, red and green pepper. Then I added the sausage to reheat (cooked earlier) and the black beans (also cooked earlier). I added that mix to the egg/milk, added the cheese, stirred, poured it into a hot/buttered 6″ cast iron frying pan and stuck it in the oven on 350 for 10 minutes. Diced tomato on top and oh so good!
Want the world’s easiest recipe for hot cocoa? SO easy. 2 tbsp choc chips, 1 cup milk. Warm until chips melt. DO NOT over-heat. Once steam starts rising off the milk, STOP. Scalding the milk changes the flavor in a not-favorable way.
Want to make it beyond awesome? Once you finish heating, pour it into a cup and stir in 2 tbsp peppermint schnapps. If you’re a no-alcohol person let it sit for 2 minutes before drinking. The heat will burn off the alcohol.
BEST DRINK EVER.
If cocoa upsets your stomach, consider this. Buy organic/gluten free/soy free/non-GMO chips (I use Enjoy choc chips) and use low FODMAP (lactose free) milk. You’ll never see hot cocoa the same again! Wadly says the lactose free milk tastes like a milk shake. To me, it just tastes like milk . . . really good milk!
OMGosh! Dinner was so good! I made a pork stir fry. I wasn’t intending to but . . . I picked the last of the tomatillos. I was going to make a dipping sauce for pork I was going to deep fry and . . . well . . . uh . . . you know how I cook. When I veer of course it’s usually a pretty thorough affair. This was a deliciously thorough affair. Tomatillos, tomatoes, green onions, peppers (red & green), shiitake mushrooms, butter, cilantro, gochugaru (Korean red pepper), salt, bone broth and chopped up pork. OMGosh! SO good!
Problematic food . . . I developed a recipe I call “Nacho Beans”. OMGosh! It’s REALLY hard to not eat it all at once. I make it to add to things like soup and stir fry and . . . stuff. But it’s SO good!
1/2 cup black beans. Soak the HECK out of them. Soak and drain until they no longer produce any dying of the soak water. Soak overnight, rinse and resoak . . . clear water after soak means they’ve been adequately soaked.
Beans (soaked as above)
handful of diced bacon ends
1/4 tsp hing (get the good stuff, the resin lumps. Run through blender/grinder before use)
I really enjoy using older kitchen equipment. I have an old KitchenAid K5-A fixed stand mixer I use often. I bought it used in an inoperable state and repaired it. I use it to mix bread and cookie dough a couple times a week. I have a Universal 2 meat grinder (just got it! Woot!) I use for making pork patties, and that’s just the start of what I’ll use it for. SO exciting, the possibilities! I have an old manual WearEver food processor I use pretty much daily for grating cheese (nachos) and vegetables for soup. I only have two of the five cylinders (fine and coarse grate) but will definitely be hunting down the others.
Having such a nice variety of old tools expands my cooking.
We don’t eat a lot of potatoes. They make Wadly’s joints ache and they’re a bit difficult for me to digest, so they’re eaten just a couple times a month as a treat. That means more frequent meals like chowder, fries and hash have got to have remakes to make them great menu choices. I’ve got the chowder figured out (it’s truly awesome, one of our favorite meals), fries are in the works and hash is now having it’s day in the sun! OMGosh, SO good! I will fix this menu item regularly, it’s that good!
So, this morning I’m having breakfast hash. OMGosh. This is a keeper recipe! No boiling vegetables, not a lot of chopping or dicing! Fast AND easy, my favorite kind of recipe!
In an iron skillet add butter, freshly ground pepper, coarsely grated (not diced, equal amounts of) parsnip, turnip and carrot, chopped green onion (low FODMAP, no white parts), finely chopped red pepper and bacon. Throw all of those in the pan and cook on medium high, stirring often, until tender. OMGosh! SO good! The true challenge with this dish is to not eat it all by yourself! Please note I’m practicing great restraint to leave Wadly some for his breakfast.
One of our family staples growing up was an awesome clam chowder. As a family, it was a favorite. Made with a roux, it was rich, creamy, tasty and filling. It was also fairly high in carbs and high FODMAP due to the addition of onions. Today, for us, that’s a total ouch. I do best when my meals are low FODMAP, low carbs. I just don’t have a way to put the carbs to productive use. After much experimentation, I’ve finally got a chowder recipe that’s every bit as good as the one I was raised on without the carbs and high FODMAP ingredients.
Finding a bacon we could eat was a challenge. Most bacon has high FODMAP ingredients, usually garlic and onion, sometimes wheat. As much as I love bacon, eating it and living with the resulting gastrointestinal distress is not my thing. It’s like getting stung. After a time or two, you avoid the beasties causing the pain. Our local Safeway carries Hempler products which are perfect for our needs, GMO free, gluten free, free of this, that and whatever that horrid other thing is. Hempler’s bacon is fab. Wadly started buying the package of bacon trimmings which work perfectly diced for chowder. If you’re cutting it into little bits anyway, it doesn’t matter what size or shape it was when you started.
Replacing the potatoes in chowder was the next challenge. I love potatoes but I don’t digest them well and they cause Wadly’s arthritis to flare up. My stomach tells me the next day I shouldn’t have eaten them however much I love that potato-y goodness. A 50/50 turnip/parsnip balance is a really nice replacement! Not kidding! I grate them fine and get great taste and texture with no carbs. Win/win!
The onion also had to go. Onion is ridiculously high FODMAP. There’s no point in adding something that gives me indigestion. I tried leeks, cutting away the white portion but with leeks there’s so much waste. Most of the green stuff is too tough to eat so with discarding the white parts, I’m throwing away half the leek! Ugh! Instead, I switched to using green onion. They’re readily available from the grocery store all year round and the white part is a relatively small portion of the plant and I don’t feel guilty discarding it! Super win! I split the base lengthwise, cut in 1/4″ lengths and I’m good to go!
I’ve tried using heavy cream (supposed to be low FODMAP) and my tummy just wasn’t happy. Now I buy organic half and half and add lacteeze. After 48 hours it’s ready to use. AND my tummy likes it! I’m back to having it in my coffee! OMGosh! And home made ice cream! Go me!
So, here’s low carb low FODMAP, fabulously tasty, creamy, full of super good nutrition chowder.
Finely grate equal amounts turnip, parsnip and carrot (coarse grate). The combination of finely grated white veges (potato replacement) and coarsely grated carrot (nutrition, flavor and sweetness) gives the resulting chowder a really nice texture.
Prep green onions (wash, remove white part, trim previously cut ends, split the solid part lengthwise and cut into 1/4″ lengths)
In a sauce pan add butter (a fair amount) and bacon. Once the bacon is cooked, add green onion and stir. Add carrot and stir. After a couple minutes of cooking, add parsnip and turnip and stir. Cook for a minute or two.
Add liquid (bone, chicken, fish or vege broth). The liquid should not cover the veges. Add the liquid until you can see it peeking up through the veges. I use home made bone broth. It’s a natural tummy healer/soother, full of vital nutrition and even though it tastes like bone broth (not really appetizing), the taste, added to the other flavors, enhances the flavor of the chowder. If you aren’t a bone broth maker, use vegetable broth or chicken broth. Either will work. Watch the salt content if you’re using a commercial product. They are enhancing the “taste” by adding salt, not nutrition, which is not a healthy option. If you’re trying to stay low FODMAP, make your own broth. Many commercial broths have celery which is an “avoid” item.
Add salt and pepper. If you’re using a commercial broth consider skipping the salt until the very end. Taste test before adding more salt. If you prefer, add a couple teaspoons of fish sauce to enhance the seafood bit of the chowder.
Simmer until the turnip and parsnip are close to falling apart.
Add raw seafood. Our current favorite is shrimp. I use shell-on, peel and cut them into chunks. Sometimes I use minced clams when I can get fresh (seasonal). I may try a seafood chowder with a selection of in-shell little necks, shrimp, orange roughy chunks and minced razor clams. I think that would be really good.
Once the chowder has just started to simmer, add enough half and half to cover the other contents. If you like your chowder on the runny side, add more half and half.
Continue to heat until the chowder starts to simmer. Turn the heat off and let the chowder rest.
This chowder is awesome but it’s even better the next day.
I had an epiphany this morning. Here’s where it started.
I had an excess of chicken. I cooked the last of it yesterday, frying two pieces for Wadly snacks and baking two pieces with leeks, halved russet potatoes and butter (really good stuff). Normally I break up the potatoes, pour the chicken/butter/leek juice over the potatoes, dice up the chicken to go on top and it’s an awesome meal, simple, filling and flavorful.
But at this point in the “what’s for dinner” cycle I’m running a little low on groceries. It turns out I’m out of potatoes. I didn’t realize that until I thought about using some of the fried chicken to make chicken pot pie for dinner . . . which can’t happen without potatoes. So . . . time to improvise.
That’s when the epiphany hit. I do the same thing with knitting as I do with cooking! I look at what I’ve got to work with and improvise. So tonight’s chicken pot pie will be sauteed carrots, frozen corn, leeks and the chicken and potatoes I baked with all the associated juices. I’ll dice the chicken and potatoes and add some bone broth for additional liquid. It will be awesome served with home make biscuits, a simple, fast and delicious result.
Here’s the “step back and punt” half as it relates to knitting.
I bought two balls of Sublime Evie Prints in blue for socks. When it arrived I realized it was totally unsuited for that and let it set while my brain worked out how to use it.
I’ve always thought there should be an adult version of those cute little girl dresses where the top is knitted to an empire waist and a cloth skirt is added. One of those for running around at home would be perfect on cold February days. So now I’m playing with a knitted yoke for a navy sweatshirt fabric skirt. I bought the sweatshirt fabric on EBay to make a run-around-the-house full length sweatshirt. If I knit a yoke, extend the sleeves and create the skirt I bet I can get two or possibly three out of the fabric I bought. Because of the way my conti-something base fits, the softness of the yarn and the coziness of the sweater shirt fabric, this could be a really good thing!
My first attempt didn’t go so well. The neck was smaller than I wanted and I ran out of yarn before I got anywhere near having the real estate I needed to match my plan. Digging through my meager stash I came across a navy bamboo cotton of the same weight to use for neck edge and sleeves. At this point I am most of the way through what looks like a varsity (sleeves and trim one color, body another) themed yoke. I don’t think I’m going to make it to anything resembling an empire waist. I may get to the bottom of the armscye which would be great. I can work with that. Stay tuned. I’ll post pictures soon.
I made a huge pot of chili last night. It’s fabulous! I’ve finally wised up and am getting my spices from Spicely. No chance of gluten cross contamination and that’s a truly wonderful thing. I’m getting smoked paprika and chili powder in one pound containers and that too is a wonderful thing! Next time I order cumin I’ll do the same. Garlic powder came in a resealable bag. Yummy stuff. So chili . . . here it is.
3 carrots, diced
equal amount of mushrooms, diced (volume, not weight)
sautee in butter
Once the carrots have started to soften add 1/3 pound of ground sausage, 1.5 pounds ground pork, 1.5 pounds ground beef and stir until broken up, then stir occasionally until browned.
Add 3-4 heaping tablespoons of spice mix (listed below). Stir this in and let it simmer just a but. This seems like a lot for a pot a chili but it’s a super mild mix so taste test and add the amount that suits you. If Wadly’s not going to share in the feasting (not a fan of anything spicy) I will add a bit of red pepper flakes for a bit more bite.
Add 1 pint bone broth (I make my own), 1-16oz can of diced tomatoes (organic), 1 pint of kidney beans (organic – I cook them in my crock pot).
Let simmer on the stove for a while to ensure all the flavors are fully integrated.
Serve with a huge dollop of sour cream. Mmm, heavenly.
Spice mix. I can’t take credit for this. I got the recipe somewhere in internet-land. I multiply this times four and store it in a glass jar with a screw-on lid. Don’t be afraid to use this generously as it’s mild . . . and super-tasty.
1 tbsp oregano 2 tsp cumin 1 tsp black pepper 2 tbsp chili powder (here the recipe calls for 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce. I ran out and didn’t get any more. Add to the chili making if it suits you, I like it just fine without) 1.5 tsp ground garlic
The original recipe shows a substitution of 1 tbsp minced garlic which cannot be added to a mix you will be storing. If you elect to go with minced garlic, you’ll need to add it to the chili pot instead of the mix.
I decant the chili into pint jars while it’s hot, seal them. Once cooled I store them in the freezer for easy quick meals.
OMGosh. Awesome soup today. I made chicken soup for Wadly yesterday, which smelled fabulous, and beef/pork soup for me today. Amazing beautiful nummy soup
Prep: Make bone broth. Wadly gets huge intact beef leg bones from our local butcher. He whacks them apart into big chunks using a dedicated chop saw which gives both marrow and cartilage for bone broth. Roast the bones for 1 hour at 400 deg. Place in crock pot with 1/4 c apple cider vinegar, bay leaves, peppercorns and fill to the top with filtered water. Let sit for one hour, then cook on low for 3 days. Bottle the broth. Freeze in pint jars until needed. Wadly gets multiple bones at a time and stores them in the freezer in clean pet food bags with a zippered top (reuse/recycle/re-purpose) and cuts them up when I’m ready to run a new batch of broth.
Prep: Black beans. Clean and rinse, add to crock pot, 5.5 cups water, 2 cups beans, sea or Himalayan salt, 1/2 c orange juice, 1/2 onion. Cook for 6 hrs. Drain off liquid and freeze in wide mouth pint jars until needed.
Prep: Canned diced tomatoes . . . run a 16 oz can through the blender. It’s about 1 pint of tomato sauce. Most blender rings will fit a small mouthed pint jar. I dump the 16 oz can into the pint jar, spin on the blade/ring and blend it for about 30 secs. Instant tomato sauce.
Dice meat (2/3 beef / 1/3 pork, hamburger and ground pork works just fine, 1.5 to 2 lbs). Sautee in a couple tbsp of butter. When it no longer looks like raw meat add spices. Oregano or marjoram/ thyme/rosemary/crushed red pepper, black pepper, a bit of sea salt (not too much). Add 1 cup bone broth. Add 1 cup tomato sauce. Let it simmer for a while. The acid from the toms add tenderness, the bone broth adds nutrition and flavor. The spices (use what suits you) adds flavor.
While that’s doing its thing . . .
Cut up three good sized mushrooms, sautee in butter.
Peel and dice 2 carrots (about 3/4 cup)
Dice onion (about 3/4 cup)
Dice zucchini (about 3/4 cup)
Add one more vege. I used asparagus as it’s what I had. Pick something you like. Squash, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. Same thing, about 3/4 cup. The stronger the flavor of the vege, the more it will change the flavor.
When all the parts are ready, add them to a 6 quart or larger stew pot. Add an additional cup of bone broth, the rest of the tomato sauce and let it stew until the carrots are tender.
Turn the pot off and stir in the pint of black beans. The result is a chunky almost stew-like soup loaded with nutrition and flavor. Serve with rolls, bread, salad . . . whatever your favorite side is. Store what’s not used in pint jars in the freezer for when you need a quick and nutritious meal.