fenchurch: (Fenchurch Place)
A week or so ago, I posted this on FB: "On Saturday, I made drop biscuits to go with our leftover beef and barley soup... this evening, I made sausage gravy to go with our leftover biscuits. It's the Circle of Dinner."

And I really love being able to do things like that... leftovers from one meal that work well as an addition to the next. In that case, it was even better than that, because the beef and barley soup happened due to having enough extra beef to make the soup, leftover from what was needed for a previous meal.

A few days ago, I realized we had a couple of bunches of kale in the fridge that really needed to be used... so I went looking for a new way to cook them and happened upon this recipe out at the Weight Watchers website (which currently kinda sucks when it comes to linking to recipes, so I've included it here under the cut): Potato-Kale Soup. )

Before I pulled out the immersion blender, I decided to give it a taste and... well, it was really bland. I had [personal profile] rackham give it a try and we debated what we could add to give it some pop. We put a few tablespoons of the soup into a couple of ramekins and tried adding spice blends, finally settling on hot curry. And it was pretty good! Not the best thing ever, but if I end up with a bunch of kale and some potatoes I need to use, I'd probably do it again.

And then last night, I got to do one of my favorite things... I used it to make something else entirely. I cooked up some carrots and cauliflower, added some chopped up raw chicken breast and a little more curry, then dumped the leftover "Soup" in with it and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. Oh my word, it was *perfect*. I would totally make that soup again, only not as a soup... but as a base for curries. I'm actually wondering how well it would freeze, so I'd have a quick and nearly ready-made dinner on hand.

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Fenchurch Place)
So, I don't post for months and now I get all chatty. :-p

We picked up a rotisserie chicken from Costco the other day, which meant we had the makings for several meals: drumsticks or drumsticks and thighs the first night along with Costco's quinoa salad, curried chicken salad the next night (sometimes I do a gorgonzola chicken salad instead) with leftovers for lunch the next day and possibly the day after and then I strip the carcass (saving any remaining meat for soup later) and toss it in the crockpot with onions, carrots, celery, garlic, peppercorns and a bay leaf... cover it with water and let it simmer all day (or all night, depending on when it gets started). Usually there's enough to make soup that night and have leftover stock to go in the freezer for later. Costco rotisserie chicken is the BEST.

Tonight's soup turned out so well, I decided I'd better write it down before I forgot what I'd put in it... because I definitely want to try that one again! Still not sure what to call it, but for now it shall be known as:

Spicy Chicken Corn Soup )

This particular combination came about because we had cobs of corn from our produce delivery that needed to be used... and, of course, I also needed to use up the garlic scapes, so they were added in place of garlic. It was VERY zesty and if I was making it to share with other people, I'd probably add less of the Southwest Seasoning next time. It might also have been good with a bit of cilantro at the end, but we didn't have any on hand.

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Fenchurch Place)
I've been going through my grandma's recipe box recently, which is cram packed full of mostly handwritten recipes for cookies and cakes (with the occasional main dish thrown in for good measure). Today, I came across this list of ingredients written on the back of a ticket for the 24 July 1969 Pioneer Day Celebration Ball Game between Idaho Falls and Ogden:

10 oz Butter or margarine
1.5 lbs sugar
6 large eggs
1 lb 4 oz flour
1 oz baking powder
3/4 Tbsp salt
2 cups milk
1 Tbsp vanilla

There are no instructions and no indication what this is supposed to be making. Anyone have any ideas? I may just have to try mixing it up and see what comes out... although I do wonder if there might be a particular method that would work better.

The other amusing thing I've come across are the number of recipes that make 150 servings or more. My grandma was a lunch lady at school back in a day when they actually made everything from scratch.

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Fenchurch Place)
We're having Food Storage Chili for dinner later this evening and in looking through my old tags and memories, I realized I'd never actually posted the recipe here! [personal profile] rackham came up with it years and years ago when we were fairly newly married... and it gets its name from the fact that it can be made entirely with items we have in our food storage (aka shelf stable ingredients, generally in cans), but can also be done with fresh versions of the ingredients. It's a definitely favorite, though, and super easy with the side benefit of using ingredients we almost always have on hand (perfect for days when you just don't want to leave the house).

The recipe, under the cut. )

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Fenchurch Place)
One nice side effect of having my brother-in-law come over to help with the couch on Saturday was that it actually occurred to us that we should invite him over for Easter dinner on Sunday (his wife is currently out of town, so he's on his own for the moment). Of course, it was only later that we realized we had absolutely no plans in place for what wanted to cook for said dinner! We did a bit of brainstorming while driving home late Saturday night after returning the rental truck, stopped by a grocery store to pick up a couple of things for side dishes and decided to pretty much wing it on the main dish, using stuff we already had at home.

Moroccan-style lamb. )

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Fenchurch Place)
...which, I'll warn you, is fairly boring. Ran out to our old neighborhood this morning for my weekly walk with [profile] taradaktyl and her dog, Toby. This was a bit tricky, since we're finally getting some of that rain for which we're so famous... and it was actually, at times, pretty heavy. Of course we didn't bring any umbrellas with us (umbrellas, shumbrellas...) and ended up getting pretty soaked. I picked up my weekly produce delivery (they don't deliver out at our new house, but Taradaktyl already gets deliveries from them as well, so I just have my produce dropped off there) then headed out to grab a quick Geocache, getting even more soaked in the process. I got to my piano lesson looking a bit like a drowned rat, I suspect. Started on some new songs this week (yay!), even though I still haven't quite mastered the last ones. I tend to do a bit better if I'm not just constantly practicing the same things over and over, so I'm excited to be adding something new. Off to a late lunch, then to grab a photo and head home.

Bridge over the Snoqualmie River )

And, well, that's about it. Did some housework, contemplated doing some yardwork but decided it wasn't worth getting soaked again. Oh! And made a fantastic risotto for dinner (with [personal profile] rackham's help stirring... my arms get tired too quickly). So far my goal of using up all the produce from our deliveries each week has been going really well! A nice side effect being that we're eating out a whole lot less, too.

If I remember correctly, I originally got this recipe from a flyer put out by a local grocery store chain: Barley, Mushroom and Winter Squash Risotto )

It's not particularly difficult, just a bit more labor intensive than I like to do regularly. On the major plus side, it used up the squash, the shallots and the mushrooms we already had in the house (particularly the squash, which had been sitting on the counter for a few weeks). I love it when a meal comes together like that!

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Space Shuttle)
Sorry for posting two in a row like this, but I wanted to get this one out before I forgot!

We ended up having a rather late lunch today, followed by that fun hike up to a Geocache and the visit to Snoqualmie Falls, so when we got home we decided we didn't need a really big dinner and we also didn't want to have to go back out to get any ingredients. I glanced around in the fridge and grabbed some leftover cooked barley, a couple of oranges, some chevre and some other bits and pieces and came up with this.

Recipe and photo behind the cut. )

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Fenchurch Place)
I found my copy of this recipe recently (as dictated to me by my grandma) and I was going to title it "My Grandma's Banana Pudding" but I'm pretty sure it's the same recipe everyone's grandmas used (since I think it originally came from the back of a Nilla Wafers box).

2/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup flour

Mix flour and sugar together and add

2 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk
1 Tbsp butter
dash salt

Mix and cook in a double-boiler until it thickens.

Remove from heat and add 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.

Line the bottom of a bowl with sliced banana rounds and pour on the pudding. Top with Nilla Wafers and chill before serving.

And now I really want to make some.

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Autumn Pumpkins)
Bah! I need to give up on this insane desire to actually update on everything I've done. Because then I don't get around to actually doing it because it would take too long and more time passes and then I think "Wow, now I have even MORE stuff to talk about" so of course it would take even longer to write up an update and, well, never mind.

Donated blood today. It's amazing how different the experience is nowadays... and every time I donate blood now, I get even happier that I decided to start seeing an ND. I used to get refused about every other time due to low blood pressure or low iron and the times I was able to donate, I would nearly pass out. Now, there's no trouble at all... in fact, I get done and can pretty much hop right up and could very likely just walk out of there (except I fully realize that's a VERY bad idea -- plus I'd miss out on the yummy Cougar Mountain cookies they have at our local blood center). So, anyway, blood donated! They shouldn't bug me for another month and a half or so, at which point they'll start pestering me to make an appointment for two weeks later when I'm eligible -- it's what I get for being a "rare blood" donor (I'm O+, but I'm also CMV negative).

Other than that, the only really exciting thing going on is that we made "Dinner in a Pumpkin" for dinner last night. Yum! I ended up creating my own recipe because all the ones I found inevitably called for Cream of Something-or-Other soup. Blech. Ours turned out to be a bit more of a soup, and was incredibly good... plus when it's reheated, it's a lot more like a thick stew. Also, on a whim, I tossed in some curry powder and it turned out wonderfully!

Dinner in a Pumpkin recipe behind the cut. )
fenchurch: (Dreamy Alton)
We saw this on "Good Eats" ages ago, but finally had everything we needed to give it a try. It's a really simple thing, but wow... was it good!

Just take some bananas, leave the peel on (this helps keep sugar off the sides when you add it) and cut them in half lengthwise. Then either press them into sugar, or sprinkle sugar on top (we did the latter so I could better control the amount of sugar being used... it ended up being 1 Tablespoon sugar for each banana). Remove the peel and place bananas on a wire rack set in a metal baking sheet lined with foil and placed on a surface that won't be damaged by heat. Then use a kitchen torch, running it along each banana until the sugar bubbles and starts to turn brown. Wait a few minutes until the sugar has finished solidifying, and then eat!

The banana gets cooked by the kitchen torch and is sweet and creamy, and the sugar forms a light crispy, crunchy crust. Absolutely wonderful and we'll definitely be doing this one again.

For those on my flist doing Weight Watchers, one Banana Brûlée (using a large banana and 1 Tablespoon of sugar) is only 3 points. And oh so yummy.
fenchurch: (Dreamy Alton)
I mentioned on [livejournal.com profile] treacle_a's LJ that I would post my recipe for Chocolate Chocolate Chip Brownie Bites. They're essentially the recipe for Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies with a slight variation that came about when I realized the only butter in the house was in the freezer... and in the process of trying to thaw it in the microwave, I overshot and it melted a bit, which led to a much more batter-like consistency.

Anyway, here they are: Chocolate Chip Brownie Bites )

It makes wonderfully chewy brownie bites, although if you're still having some willpower problems, they may not be the best thing to keep around the house. I still haven't tried freezing them, so I have no idea how well they'll hold up ([livejournal.com profile] rackham likes them too, so they haven't been sticking around long enough to go bad). I really like the idea of using mini chocolate chips in things though... you can use considerably fewer and still get a nice even distribution of chocolaty goodness (I'm probably going to try tossing some in with my fairly low point banana-oatmeal muffins, the next time I make them).
fenchurch: (Alton Brown)
I'm not sure why it is... but whenever I add new things to my life, it sort of blows my existing routine out of the water and it always takes a bit for me to find my equilibrium again. So, I recently started some new projects and, as a result, it feels like I've gotten almost nothing else done for the past few weeks. If I owe you a reply for something, don't be too shocked to hear from me as I move through my email backlog.

In other news, I finally decided to give Weight Watchers a try. I kept putting it off because, really, it's not something I haven't been able to do before on my own... before the car accident, I was down 30 pounds and still losing, but the accident and the subsequent injury recovery pretty much blew it all out of the water (not being able to exercise and, for a few months, not being able to even prepare my own food, really made it difficult). Don't worry, I won't be talking about it a whole lot here... or if I do, I'll probably put it on a filter of people I don't think will get annoyed by it. :-) On the whole, though, I'm quite pleased with how Weight Watchers Online works... the best part being that I can still *cook* (rather than just throwing ingredients together or eating pre-prepared food) and experiment.

All of that was mostly to explain how I found this absolutely divine recipe I wanted to share... I snagged it off the Australian Weight Watchers Online website (I've been haunting both that site and the UK one, gleaning them for recipe ideas). It's not something that's "good, for diet food." It's just flat-out good food.

Feta-Stuffed Lamb Burgers with Mint Yogurt Sauce )

The only downside is that these are so yummy, you'll want to eat more than one, even if you're full. As a result, I had one for dinner last night and another for breakfast this morning. And if I don't talk myself out of it, I'll likely have the last one for lunch. :-p

With the way the original recipe was written, I hadn't noticed it needed fresh oregano until I was home and in the middle of making it. I was trying to decide if I should just add some dried when it suddenly occurred to me... we have three herbs growing in the front yard: rosemary, thyme... and that third one I can never remember. So, I slipped out into the cold rain and, sure enough, oregano!! I can't believe how well those three plants have done out there. I planted them on a whim several years ago and they've just flourished... even during the winter.
fenchurch: (Thanksgiving Turkey)
I figured I'd hop on the bandwagon of recipe sharing again this year...

First up, is the biggie. For the last two years, we've brined our turkey... and it has definitely been the best turkey we've ever eaten. This year, we're hauling a turkey with us over to my dad's place (we'll cook it there, but I wanted to get a free range turkey and it's not the sort of thing he'd buy... and he wouldn't bother with brining, either :-p) and hopefully he'll like it as much as we do.

Brined Roast Turkey by Alton Brown from Good Eats (the link takes you to the recipe on Food Network's website).

Another yearly favorite of ours is Pumpkin Chiffon Pie, which I posted about on my LJ four years ago (it's down at the bottom of the entry). It's a relatively fluffly pumpkin pie, with a scrumptious gingersnap crust. I've made it in the past with Ener-G Egg Replacer (for anyone who might have an egg allergy) and it still turned out pretty well, it just takes longer to set up.

[livejournal.com profile] rackham's favorite is Eggnog Pie, which contains no actual eggnog (I think it got the name because it sort of, kind of tastes somewhat like eggnog -- I'm not terribly fond of it, but he loves it).

Egg Nog Pie recipe under the cut. )

A few years ago, we also added Fresh Cranberry Compote (links to the Food Network website) to the menu, after seeing Emeril preparing it on a Food Network Thanksgiving special. It's super easy and VERY good. Way, way better than that gelatinous cranberry mass carved into the shape of a can (but then, it would be hard to not be better).

When I have my way (which, sadly, I won't this year... my dad is making what he calls "Yams" -- meaning canned sweet potatoes smothered in marshmallows. Blech), we will buy whole sweet potatoes and simply bake them like a regular potato... then serve them with maple spice butter on the side. For maple spice butter, you just whip some softened butter (NOT margarine) with a mixer, toss in some cinnamon to taste and drizzle in some real maple syrup (NOT maple-like syrup... go for the genuine article), to taste, while mixing. It should be sweet and buttery and is oh, so good on baked sweet potatoes.

And for suggestions on what to do with those leftovers, [livejournal.com profile] rackham always makes Turkey Quiche (links to a previous entry on my LJ). It's fantastic! A pie shell made from leftover dressing, blind baked to be a bit crispy, then a quiche with leftover turkey... served with leftover gravy and cranberry compote. Mmmmmmmm.... almost better than the original meal!

And with that, we're about ready to hit the road (after my PT appointment)! Hopefully things will be clear and there won't be a lot of traffic, since it's about a five hour drive to my dad's in the best of times.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! And safe travels to everyone who is heading somewhere for the holiday!
fenchurch: (Alton Brown)
About a week ago, I got a yen for pumpkin risotto. Not that I'd ever had any before... it's just that the idea of pumpkin risotto sort of crept into my brain and suddenly became irresistible (I blame all the pumpkins hanging around after Halloween). So, I did a quick search and found this recipe on Recipezaar. It was, as I'd been hoping, from someone in Australia... meaning the pumpkin was very likely butternut squash. However, I had no clue whether the cups and tablespoon mentioned in the recipe were in American measurements or Australian (I suspected the latter). I didn't want to go through the bother of doing the conversions, so I figured the ratios would remain the same, even if the amounts weren't quite right (and for those Americans on my flist without a kitchen scale, 15g of butter is about 2 Tablespoons. It turned out really well and was exactly what I was looking for... but it left us with quite a bit of leftover butternut pumpkin squash.

Last night, I decided to do something with it and dug out the cookbook [livejournal.com profile] babyotto got for me from her daughter's kindergarten a few years ago. For some reason, American chefs seem absolutely convinced that pumpkin and squash HAVE to be cooked sweet (even moderately savory dishes will throw in a dash of nutmeg or clove or even cinnamon), but Australians really seem to know what they're doing. So, here it is, from Brunswick Kindergarten Family Favourites:

Lentil and Pumpkin Soup )
fenchurch: (Dreamy Alton)
I was rewatching the Good Eats episode "Major Pepper" the other day and decided it was time to give Slow Cooker Pepper Pork Chops a try... so, yesterday, I fired up the slow cooker and oooooo... was it good. Even though it calls for quite a bit of pepper, it cooks long enough to mellow the heat a bit, so you get the pepper flavor without as much of the bite. I had originally thought I would end up pushing the dried apple slices (and I highly recommend finding some NOT treated with sulfur) to the edge of my plate, but they'd absorbed the flavors from the pork chops really well and were quite tasty!

Recipe under the cut )

In other news, Yakima Fruit Market up in Bothell has fresh local strawberries!! Not at all like the stuff you find in regular grocery stores... these are the sort you'd pick off a plant in your backyard: generally small, not perfectly shaped and oh. so. sweet!

I also picked up some apricots to dry... considering [livejournal.com profile] taradaktyl and her family have gotten MUCH more use out of our dehydrator than we ever have, I think it's about time we start using the thing!
fenchurch: (Alton Brown)
Everyone seems to be doing it, so I figured I'd join in with two easy summer recipes!

We made this first dish last week and loved it, although I think I might look at cutting it in half next time... it claims to serve six, but that's apparently two meals for six people. I do think it would also make a great dish to bring to a pot luck or a picnic. It's pretty much Tabouleh with a southwestern flair... and it has a lot of room for variations, although I mostly tried this one straight this time. Even better, it uses ingredients we pretty much always have on hand:

Black Beans and Couscous Santa Fe Style )

This one is an older favorite that we haven't had for awhile but is on the menu for dinner tonight:

One-Bowl Turkey Cobb Salad )
fenchurch: (Alton Brown)
I realized I forgot to post the recipe in the last post, so here it is...

One Can Plus Five Soup )
fenchurch: (Alton)
On our morning walk, [livejournal.com profile] taradaktyl mentioned that she was looking for a place that sold lemon curd now that Larry's Market is gone... I told her I have a really good recipe for it that's pretty simple (it actually surprised me how easy it was to make lemon curd). We then started talking about our back deck gardens... and she said needed ideas for what to do with the tarragon she has growing, and I mentioned I have a great recipe for Tarragon Lime Chicken... so, rather than just emailing them straight to her, I figured I'd share with everyone!

Yummy and easy Lemon Curd recipe under the cut. )

Broiled Tarragon Chicken with Lime. )
fenchurch: (cats)
I've been going through my recipe collection lately, getting things ready to take with me for Thanksgiving next week (we're heading over to my dad's place on the other side of the state), and figured I'd share some of our family recipes.

Turkey Quiche -- the absolute best use for Thanksgiving leftovers )

A few years back [livejournal.com profile] babyotto had been invited over to an American friend's house for Thanksgiving and was asking for a good recipe for something to take for the dinner. I sent her my favorite holiday recipe, Pumpkin Chiffon Pie (which was, much to her surprise, a dessert -- it had never even occurred to me that you could use pumpkin for anything else, though I've since developed a taste for it in other dishes). )


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