Thursday, October 30, 2008

My First Bird

I posted over on my blog but forgot to here. I roasted my first turkey for no reason other than they are cheap right now and I can get a lot of meals out of them. And... was a success! I had my doubts. It was harder than I thought it was going to be. I ended up not doing a whole lot to it. Rubbed a little bit of a butter-salt mixture on the outside, put some butter where the stuffing would normally go on the inside, and then put a little more butter under the skin but on top of the breast, flipped the bird breast side down and viola - a juicy delicious bird. I was surprised how well it turned out. It didn't look pretty with the breast side being down but once its carved you can't tell anyway. It took about 4 hours to took and then let it sit for about 15 minutes. Dan read how to carve because he wanted to learn how so he did the carving.

Pictures to boot!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Fall Treat

I used the recipe that's linked over at Bless Us O Lord and I think it needs some tweaking, if you want it to taste like an sbux latte but it was still a good drink. The cookies were fun to make. We made them together last night and enjoyed our drinks and cookies while watching a movie.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Fall Food

I like this recipe. It's relatively simple and something new to do with extra winter squash. I got this recipe from my mother in law and altered it to suit our needs. So I will post the recipe as I made it with the other options below.
It doesn't really photograph that well, but it taste good.

Squash Puff
3 cups cooked winter squash (I used acorn)
1/4 c rice milk
2 T flour
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 T orange zest
2 beaten eggs
2 T oil
2 T brown sugar + extra for topping

Mix together the milk, eggs, oil, and orange zest. Then add flour salt, pepper, and brown sugar. Mix again. Finally mix in the squash. Dump it all into a buttered 1 quart casserole dish and place dish inside another pan that has 1/2 inch or so of hot water (see my two pans). Sprinkle additional brown sugar on top, if so inclined. Bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes or until firm in the center.

*Use evaporated milk or light cream or regular milk in place of the rice milk. Apparently any sort of milkish product will do!
*Use melted butter instead of oil.
*You may want to use less pepper. This was a lot for this dish, but I can't decide if I like it or not. It definitely gives an added kick, so you'll just have to use your own judgement.

To cook squash easily: Pierce squash through with knife a couple of times, then microwave for about 5 minutes. When it is soft enough, cut in half and scoop out the seeds. Place skin side up, squash side down on a plate and microwave for an additional 6-8 minutes, until easily pierced with a fork. Then scoop out the squash and leave the skin behind!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

More Vegetable From the Farmer Goodness

Matt and I tossed around the idea of getting a CSA box this year, but we either got lazy about signing up or just plain forgot, I don't remember which! It turns out to be a good thing, though, since we have several friends who are also "just us two" who DID sign up for boxes, and they ALWAYS have WAY too much stuff. Which they then give to us! :) We've been having fun roasting squash with butter and brown sugar, stuffing bell peppers with hummus, and, when at our wit's end with a pile of slightly tired veggies staring at us, making "wilted vegetable soup"!

I just turned off the burner under my latest creation: 2 bell peppers, seeded and chopped, 1 onion, diced, 1 bunch "teenage" celery, chopped, all sauteed together in 2 tbs butter until onions are tender. Add a few pinches of flour, stir until veggies brown up a bit. Toss into 3 c. water and 3 c. veggie stock with 3 chopped carrots, a handful of chopped bok choy stalks, and a cup of brown rice. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and stir occasionally for a half an hour, or until rice is just tender. Turn off heat and add the rest of the bunch of spinach that didn't make it into salads, and VOILA: Wilted Vegetable Soup with Brown Rice! This one will go into the freezer for post-baby meals!


Monday, October 20, 2008

This is just to say: yes, you really can make chili out of anything! I threw some leftover barbecued chicken breasts and some leftover Italian chicken from our dinner out into a pot. I added the remainder of my homemade chicken stock, about a cup, and a cup of water + 1 bouillon cube. I threw in a can of diced Italian tomatoes and a can of rinsed black beans. Add some chili powder and cumin. A dash of oregano for good measure. I put the pot on low and let it heat to a simmer. I simmered mine for almost 2 hours. And it turned quite good. Who knew?

Beef Vegetable Soup

After advertising my Beef Veggie Soup on my regular blog and getting a couple of requests for the recipe, here it is! (Seriously nothing special. Basically just a bunch of canned veggies in beef broth.)

These are approximate amounts of what I use when I make a regular pot for dinner and a few leftovers. If I want to make enough for dinner and a good amount to freeze, I "double" everything and omit the potatoes because potatoes don't freeze well.

-A couple cups of water in a big pot
-1 pkg. of stew meat (I cut mine into smaller chunks so it seems like it's more meat. I'm cheap.)
-a handful of baby carrots cut up into slices or chunks
-one small onion, or half of a big onion, chopped into small pieces
-a handful of potatoes, peeled and chopped into big pieces (Especially if you plan to simmer your soup all day, you want the potato chunks a little thicker, otherwise they will boil away.)

Get all that stuff chopped and in the pot while the water is starting to boil. Along with all those things I add
-a good helping of salt.

Now the canned stuff... (dump the whole can of everything--don't drain!)

-1 can of lima beans (half cans are cheaper and if you don't particularly like beans, that's the way to go.)
-1 can cut green beans
-1 can petite diced tomatoes (sometimes I use two cans because I like tomatoey soups, but I drain the second can.)
-1 can whole-kernel corn (sometimes I use only 2/3 or 1/2 the can)

Bring it all to a boil and add
-2 cubes of beef boullion.

I don't typically add spices to my veggie soups. I have some general Greek seasoning that I sometimes toss in, and I have some Tony's Creole seasoning that I used in this batch. But really, salt and pepper (I don't even always use pepper) are enough.

Get it boiling nicely, then simmer for some hours until the carrots and potatoes are soft.

The end!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I did make soup last night, but I kind of altered the recipe a bit. And well, it was pretty gross. But I remembered to take pictures! So I think I'll post the pictures, along with the original recipe which I'm sure is just delicious!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I was craving soup on this cold and rainy day. We had a baked chicken last night, and I didn't know what to do with it. But, I threw some stuff together and made a great chicken tortilla soup for tonight. I don't know if the kids will eat it, heaven forbid stuff "mix" on their plate, but it is pretty darn tasty. Hope you all try it and like it.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast cooked and shredded
1 10 oz can diced tomatoes with green chilis (rotel)
1 10z can diced tomatoes
1 10oz can enchilada sauce
1 medium onion chopped
1 clove garlic minced
2 cans chicken broth (4 cups)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 bay leaf
10 oz. frozen sweet corn

Mix all ingredients in the crockpot and simmer all day. Crush up some tortilla chips and put in a bowl. Pour soup on top. Top with shredded mexican blend cheese and any other toppings you like.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Happy, Happy!

I have been in the kitchen quite a bit, but I've not been posting because I haven't made anything that hasn't already been posted on some cooking blog. But I am cooking and making new dairy-free meals for my family.

These are the Happy Cookie Bars that I've written of before.

And of course I haven't taken any pictures of my other cooking ventures, which include: Pumpkin Cream Muffins (Peter raved about these and declared them "better than Panera's"), pumpkin bread (moist and yummy - I doubled the recipe and left the nuts out - I also used vegetable oil instead of olive oil), Dirty Rice (I don't know how this tastes because I made it for dinner and ended up heating up some pizza bites for myself instead, but Peter said it was good), and Irish Shepherd's Pie (this is a good comfort dish).

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Acorn Squash Quesadillas

Here's a unique way to use a fall vegetable.
I'm linking this directly from Deb at I made it and used a squash that was probably too large, so i saved 1/3 of it for another meal. I didn't have jalapenos so I just added some crushed red pepper instead. Also I added spinach and used Muenster cheese like she suggests. I put avocado/sour cream and some sliced red onion on it and just smeared it all together. it was quite good. :)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is the best, no the ULTIMATE, chocolate chip cookie recipe! I made these yesterday so Dan could have an after work treat when he got home. I've been using it for about 4 years now. I do break one rule I have when making these, Crisco. I'm normally a butter girl but that's what the recipe calls for and if it isn't broke, I don't try to fix it.

3/4 c Butter flavored Crisco
1 1/4 c Firmly packed brown sugar
2 tb Milk
1 T Vanilla
1 Egg
1 3/4 c All-purpose flour
1 tsp Salt
3/4 tsp Baking soda
1 c Semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use the whole bag and I use milk chocolate chips)
1 c Pecan pieces (I've never put these in)

Heat oven to 375. Cream butter flavor Crisco, brown sugar, milk, and vanilla in large bowl. Blend until creamy. Blend in egg. Combine flour, salt, and baking soda. Add to creamed mixture, gradually. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Drop rounded Tablespoonfuls (about 2 measuring tablespoons) of dough 3 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375 8 to 10 minutes for chewy cookies (they will look light and moist with bottoms looking done) DO NOT OVERBAKE or 11 to 13 minutes for crisp cookies. Cool on baking sheet 2 minutes before moving to cooling rack.

In Need of Recipe

Does anyone have a good party meatball recipe? I need one for two reasons. First, they sound really good to me so I want to make them. Second, Joy and Jacob are staying with us Saturday night due to a wedding being closer to Lafayette than their home so I thought I could make meatball subs for Sunday afternoon.

Help a pregnant lady out, will ya?

15-Minute Chicken and Rice

1 T oil
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken
1 1/2 c water
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp pepper
2 c minute rice, uncooked
2 c broccoli florets, frzn or fresh

Heat oil in skillet, add chicken and cook until browned. Remove chicken and add soup, water and spices, stir. Heat to a boil. Stir in rice and Broccoli. Top with chicken. Season chicken with more paprika and pepper as desired. Cover and cook on low for 5 minutes or until rice and broccoli is tender.

Tips after cooking: Cut chicken into 1 inch cubs - chicken can come out dry and this will help. The rice will probably take longer than 5 minutes to cook.

Recipe from Campbell's