You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Cooking’ tag.
Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you My KitchenAid Stand Mixer:
(The folks at KitchenAid have no idea I exist, and I’m not getting paid or perked in any way. I’m just seriously in love with my mixer, and my amazing husband who gave it to me. This is a total gush post.)
Remember last Christmas when I yelled at family? This year was stunned silence. Speechless awe.
Yeah, Nick gets me. He knows what’s what.
And this mixer is what, let me tell you!
And my talented husband knows how to work that roller.
Sure, the filling tasted amazing. And balsamic brown butter sauce is epic. But paper thin pasta rolled to perfection just can’t be beaten. Or competed with, really.
And making cookies with this mixer? No sweat.
Literally! I don’t have to mix the chocolate chips in by hand anymore!
You know how some people choose a certain car or shoe designer to fall head over heels for?
For me, it’s this mixer. And I anticipate we’ll spend many happy years together.
Now it just needs a name…
I know, I know. “Pork roast? Come on, Jo; two weeks ago I was gorging myself on honey glazed ham and pierogies.
Roast is so…not festive.”
I hear ya! I do. But I think what I need now is comfort food. And the added luxury of not having to come up with a full dinner menu is so nice. It makes the transition out of the holiday mindset just a little easier.
Pork Roast in the Crockpot
Serves 4 with leftovers
I have to admit, I did not use a recipe or write down what I was throwing into the crockpot, so this is an estimation to the best of my memory. Feel free to add or subtract whatever spices you prefer.
2 pound pork shoulder (or other cut of meat suitable for roast)
1 quart beef or vegetable stock (enough to cover the meat in the crockpot)
1 medium onion, sliced into big chunks
1 or 2 large turnips, sliced into half-rounds
6-8 red potatoes, cut into evenly sized chunks
1 bay leaf
1-2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
Rosemary, basil, salt, pepper, oregeno and thyme to taste
Pour the stock into your crockpot and add all the seasonings. Stir gently to combine. (If you like a thicker, more gravy-like sauce at the end, add 2-3 tbsp of cornstarch to the stock with the rest of the seasonings.)
Cut the pork in half, or smaller, to ensure that it’s covered almost completely in the stock. Then add the vegetables on top of the roast.
Cook on low for 8-10 hours, or on high for 4-6 hours. You just need to make sure the internal temperature of the pork reaches 160F.
When you buy something at Costco, you don’t just end up with one package. So, the other package of sausages have been sitting in our refrigerator long enough that I was worried we’d have to throw them away if I didn’t come up with something.
Our broccoli was the same deal. We had a lot of it, and although we’d been slowly nibbling on it for awhile, (and adding it to a few dinners) I knew that if I didn’t use up a big portion of it, a big portion of it was going to go in the trash.
Ok, so we totally can, but we needed to use it up faster than nibbling would allow.
You can freeze what you don’t need right away, thereby not wasting any food, and you have back up dinner or lunches when you’re pressed for time.
And Nick thought the sausage taste was disguised enough that he didn’t even realize it was the same sausage. Win one for me
Chicken Sausage Calzones
1 pre-made pizza dough (I used my bread machine, but lots of stores have ready made stuff in the freezer aisle)
2 cups chopped broccoli
1/2 cup sliced onion
3 sausage links (3 oz each) sliced into rounds. I used these
2/3 cup cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup grated mozzarella
Salt and pepper to taste
cornmeal to sprinkle on the baking sheet
Preheat the oven to 350F
On a cookie sheet, spread the sausage out to create one layer. Roast on the bottom shelf of the oven for 30 minutes (or until done), making sure to move the sausage around on the pan several times to prevent burning.
On a separate cookie sheet, spread the broccoli and the onion out to create one layer. Roast on the top shelf of the oven for about 15-20 minutes, moving everything around on the pan several times to prevent burning.
Set the vegetables and sausage aside to cool slightly before adding the cheeses, salt and pepper. Stir everything together until fully combined.
Increase the oven heat to 400F
Prepare a stone baking pan or cookie sheet by sprinkling cornmeal onto it.
Divide the pizza dough into 8 equal portions, and roll or spread the dough to create little circles. Add a few spoonfuls of the filling onto one side, leaving about 3/4 of an inch edge. Fold the other side of the dough over to create a pocket, and use a fork to seal the edges. Cut a slit or two in the top, and bake for 20 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.
You know that scene in Amelie where she reaches her hand into a sack of beans because it’s one of her life’s simple pleasures? That’s how I feel about a bag of cornmeal. I have to resist the urge to dip my fingers into it every time I get it out of the cupboard.
It’s ok. I know I’m an odd duck.
1 1/2 cup chopped broccoli
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 425F
**Follow your favorite cornbread recipe, omitting most–if not all–the sugar. Add enough batter to an 8 inch round pan to fill the bottom about a half inch. (Use the leftover batter to make cornbread muffins!)
Bake the cornbread for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, beat the eggs with the cayenne, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir in the broccoli.
Pour the egg mixture over the cornbread, top with the cheese, and reduce the oven temperature to 375F. Put the quiche back into the oven and bake for another 30-35 minutes. Just until the eggs are firm and everything turns a nice golden brown color. Serve hot.
If you want a little more kick or moisture, feel free to add some salsa as a topping.
How’s your summer going?
We’ve been pretty busy, but we’ve managed to do 90% of all the very fun things we love to do when it’s warm outside.
You know, Farmers Market, canoe trips down the river, run through sprinklers, tour with a dance company…that kind of thing.
And because we’ve been so busy, we’ve gotten really good at the seriously fast, seriously easy dinner prep.
These kabobs taste fancy. Like someone spent all day mixing a marinade and then slaving over a hot grill.
(But there’s only four ingredients! Shh, no one has to know that these took no work or thought at all. Just go with it)
Are you ready for the mind-blowing list of ingredients?
I know it seems weird to marinate steak in lime juice, but you just have to trust me. Your mouth will thank you.
Lime Marinated Kabobs
1 pound of roast or steak, cubed
5-6 limes, juiced
Vegetables (we used onion, bell pepper, mushroom, zucchini, and pineapple cause it’s delicious, but use what you love)
1/4 cup olive oil
Place the cubed meat in a bowl or ziplock bag, and pour the lime juice over the meat. Allow the meat to marinate in the refrigerator for up to a day, but no less than 2 hours.
If you’re using wooden skewers, soak them in a pan of water for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, skewer the vegetables and then brush them with the olive oil. Use separate skewers for the meat. We like to do all meat kabobs and all vegetable kabobs to allow for varying grill times. We also have some vegetarian friends who appreciate not having to pick off the meat. We also have some meat eating friends who appreciate not having to pick off the vegetables.
Grill the meat kabobs first, adding more lime juice if they start to dry out. After about 5 minutes, add the vegetable kabobs to the grill and brush on more olive oil if they start to dry out.
You can serve them on the skewers or pull everything off and mix it in a bowl, as you prefer.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I hear the sprinkler calling my name.
We’ve had a long spring this year. A long wet spring.
Great for the grass and my water bill, not so great for morale.
But even though I’m seriously a happy camper, turning on the oven when it’s 85F in my kitchen is just asking for trouble. And melted popsicles.
So what’s a Jo to do? Make a giant salad! With chicken! And vegetables! And no oven!
Summer Survival Salad
4 unfrozen chicken breasts (I like boneless and skinless, but use what you’ve got)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cucumber, sliced
1 medium tomato, chopped
1-2 cups sugar snap peas (you can leave them whole, but I cut them in half for easier eating)
your favorite mix of lettuce
Marinate the chicken for at least 15 minutes, up to a day, in your favorite Italian salad dressing or vinaigrette (I’ll give you my favorite recipe at the bottom).
Grill the chicken (outside! not in your kitchen!) until fully cooked, adding more marinade each time you turn the chicken. Allow the chicken to rest covered in tin foil before you slice it into strips.
In the meantime, assemble your salad. I like to do it in layers, ’cause it’s more fun that way. Then plate and serve.
My favorite salad dressing/chicken marinade
from Emeril Lagasse
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp dark brown sugar
1 clove pressed garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3/4 cup olive oil
Add all ingredients into a lidded container. Shake or whisk until everything is combined. Will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
What are your favorite summer survival foods?
Yes. Always! Variety is the spice of life, my friend. And tempeh, like tofu, is excellent if you take the time to do it right.
Tempeh doesn’t need to get pressed like tofu. And it’s a bit more substantial than extra firm tofu, so it works really well if you’re looking for a meat substitute. Even if you’re not looking for a meat substitute, this fits the bill as hearty and filling, without being heavy. Total comfort food*
*Don’t roll your eyes at me. Tempeh can totally be comfort food!
Sorry, that was my mom sass coming out.
and spices. I threw it in a bag and let it marinate for 15 minutes. It’s hard to get the flavors to soak into the tempeh, so if you really want it saturated, allow it to marinate in the fridge overnight. I did not plan that far ahead.
Orange Tempeh Stir Fry
3 small blocks of tempeh, cut into cubes
juice from two oranges
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp garlic powder or 1 clove of minced fresh garlic
3/4 tsp ginger
1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne, depending on how spicy you like it
1-2 bell peppers, any color, sliced
2 cups chopped broccoli
6-8 small mushrooms, sliced
For the marinade:
Place the tempeh, juice from one orange, 1/4 cup soy sauce, brown sugar and spices into a ziplock bag. Allow it to rest in the fridge for at least 15 minutes, or overnight. Remove the tempeh, but save the marinade.
Heat an oiled wok or non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add the tempeh and stir fry until lightly browned on all sides. Remove the tempeh and set it aside for now.
Heat a teaspoon of oil in the wok and then cook the vegetables until tender crisp. About 3-5 minutes. Add the tempeh and remaining marinade to the vegetables. Then pour in the remaining orange juice and soy sauce. Feel free to add more spices at this point as well. Cook until very hot, making sure that all the vegetables get covered in the sauce. Serve over rice, quinoa, or by itself.
I kept eating this thinking that bok choy would be delicious in here, and if you hate mushrooms, leave them out. Stir fry’s are an excellent way to just use up whatever you have.
Remember, don’t be scared of tempeh if you’ve never had it before. Let me know what you think!
I overheard this line coming from the kitchen after I’d thrown together what I thought was a brilliant new concept for dinner.
Seriously? How did I not catch on?
It was one of those nights where we had nothing planned for dinner, and no fresh ingredients. You know those nights? Where it would just be easier to go out to dinner because you’re starving and you couldn’t possibly go to the grocery store and then come home and cook dinner? (I’m the queen of the run-on sentence, by the way.)
Except we had company. And my husband and said company were in the process of making home brew, so they couldn’t leave.
What to do? What to do?
I got it! I’ll make biscuits. Those are fast and easy.
Maybe I could even follow in my Aunt Patsy’s footsteps and make chocolate sauce! (True story. I’ll never forget that dinner as long as I live. I thought she was the coolest mom in the world.)
No, I can’t very well serve three grown men and a growing 6 year old chocolate covered biscuits. I don’t have her recipe for chocolate sauce
But they were delicious! And gourmet…or something.
Not Sloppy Joes
For the biscuits:
2 cups all purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup milk
Preheat oven to 425F
Sift dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl until well combined. Add oil and milk, and mix until all the ingredients are just incorporated. Don’t over mix.
Turn the dough out on a floured surface, and roll out to about 1/4 inch thick–you don’t want it to be too thin. Using a round cutter (mason jar rings work really well), cut out circles and place onto a stone ware pan or lined cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until tops and bottoms are golden brown.
For the *ahem* gourmet and totally fancy meat sauce:
1 pound ground beef
1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce (here’s mine)
Brown the meat in a skillet, draining the juices periodically. Add the sauce and heat through completely.
Serve the biscuits warm, covered in the meat sauce.
And don’t tell anyone I made Sloppy Joes. It would ruin my street cred…or something.
It happens sometimes. No big deal!
Unless it happens three times in a row. In a row!
The first failure was still edible. Really spicy, but that can be ok.
The second two?
I need to talk about it. Can I vent? Thanks.
Look at how pretty these were! All plump and soft. Sure they looked great, but the flavor? After two days of sitting on the counter uneaten, I threw them in the trash. Something was off. Very, very off.
I didn’t even take pictures of the next failure. I should have, just so you could see what I had done. I was so ashamed!
Have you ever made muffins that totally collapsed on themselves and tasted like a puddle of mushy goo? I hadn’t until last week. Bottoms burnt, insides mush, flavor unpalatable. In. The. Trash.
Man, was I a wreck! I have some thoughts on what went wrong, but I have never thrown that much food away at once. The hippie in me was totally devastated. The baker in me was pissed. And my belly was totally sad.
I had to do some immediate comfort/ego boosting baking. So I made these amazing muffins (and added chocolate chips, naturally) and these:
Don’t worry, that post is coming soon!
So, what about that delicious looking photo at the top? Yeah, that didn’t turn out as expected, but at least it didn’t end up in the trash!
Can I tell you a secret?
Chipotle powder is a great substitute for Ancho chile powder. AS LONG AS YOU REDUCE THE AMOUNT!
I know that now.
I was loosely following this recipe, but clearly I need to work on it a little more before I post it. I’m going to think of my mistakes as public service announcements. The more I learn, the more I can share. And then you won’t end up like me: a sad and hungry hippie baker.
Do you have a home brewer in your life? You’re going to need to find one.
“What is spent grain?” you ask. I’m going to let Wikipedia answer that:
Brewer’s spent grain (also called Spent grain, Brewer’s grain or Draff) is a byproduct of beer brewing consisting of the residue of malt and grain which remains in the mash-kettle after the mashing and lautering process. It consists primarily of grain husks, pericarp, and fragments of endosperm. By mass, spent grains consist of about half carbohydrates, and the rest being mostly proteins and lignin. Carbohydrates include traces of starch, cellulose, β-Glucans, and arabinoxylans.
Mmmm. That sounds tasty
Before we knew that people could eat spent grain, we would end up with pounds of it during brewing. All those lovely, nutty grains would end up in the trash.
Just goes to show you, always do your homework!
The barbecue sauce in the burgers give them a nice tangy snap, but the nuttiness of the spent grain and quinoa shines through to add some depth.
And even though we’ve made these three times in as many weeks, we still have leftover spent grains!
Spent Grain Burgers
From the Brooklyn Brew Shop
makes 8 patties
1 cup spent grain (re-hydrated with hot water, if they’ve been de-hydrated)
1 cup cooked quinoa (which is different than cooking one cup of quinoa. Yeah, I definitely figured that one out the long way! Just meant I had leftover quinoa for the next round of burgers)
2 eggs (or vegan egg replacement)
5 tbsp barbecue sauce
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup bread crumbs
Combine all ingredients in a bowl until they are fully incorporated. Heat a generous amount of olive or almond oil in a griddle or cast-iron skillet. You don’t want to fry the burgers, but they do need help not sticking to the pan.
Scoop a handful of the mixture into your hand, and flatten slightly to form a patty. Place the patty on the griddle and allow it to cook on that side for 5-8 minutes before flipping. Repeat until all the mixture has been used.
Serve hot, with all the fixings!