Sunday, October 30, 2011
After rinsing and patting dry the chicken, I placed on a foil lined baking pan and sprinkled with smoked sea salt, black pepper, paprika and garlic powder.
For the vegetables, I chopped fennel, golden beets, leeks, purple and white potatoes, carrots and parsnips into bite sized chunks. I placed these into a large bowl and sprinkled with sea salt, black pepper and fresh thyme. I drizzled with a bit of olive oil and stirred until fully combined. The vegetables were then poured out onto a large foil lined baking sheet.
I placed both the chicken and vegetables in the oven at 425 degrees, until beginning to brown and fully cooked through. I finished with a sprinkling of fresh fennel fronds.
I have to say that this was a definite fall meal. The chicken was really moist and flavorful and the vegetables all worked great together. There was a bit of sweetness from the beets and a bit of savory from the fresh thyme, very tasty.
I'm also looking forward to using the leftovers in my meal tomorrow!
Thursday, October 27, 2011
I chopped the figs and pears adding them to a sauce pan with 1/4 cup of blackberry merlot and a tablespoon of rose blossom honey. This was brought to a simmer and allowed to cook until beginning to thicken.
To serve, I scooped some pistachio gelato (Ciao Bella brand) onto a plate and topped with a few spoonfuls of the sauce.
Despite the fact that I do not like the gritty texture of the figs, it didn't seem to bother me in this sauce at all. I thought that the flavor of the figs and pears along with the wine worked very well together. Using the sauce to top my all time favorite gelato, was also an excellent idea!
I added 3 minced cloves of garlic, 2 thinly sliced (lengthwise) green onions, thin strips of red gypsy pepper and chopped broccoli to a pan with a little toasted sesame oil and red pepper flakes. Once the broccoli began to soften, I added the steak strips, thinly sliced (in this case, I just purchased the pre-packaged stir fry steak). When the steak was mostly cooked through, I removed from the heat and allowed to sit for a minute while I warmed the flour tortillas.
We added a scoop of the mixture to the tortilla, topped with a spoonful of tomatillo salsa and dinner was done! This was so fast, used minimal ingredients and was probably the healthiest thing that we've eaten all week long!!
Dylan loved it, eating 4 entire fajita's! (I was stuffed after just 2.) She would have eaten more too, but there wasn't any left, I should mentioned that this made a large pan full of food!
Turns out, I do know how to make a tasty tortilla and I didn't even over cook the meat! =)
Friday, October 21, 2011
Gold Beets with Tops
Yukon Gold Potatoes
Banana Sweet Peppers
Honey Crisp Apples
Local Bartlett Pears
I am so happy to have fennel today! This is a vegetable that I never expected to enjoy so much. Mostly because of it's close resemblance to black licorice when in its raw state (yuck!), but when cooked, fennel takes on a delicious, creamy texture with a wonderfully mild flavor to it. The collard greens are also a great item in my bin, a nice change from all of the kale we've had lately.
Red cabbage is one of those items that I'm still not quite sure what to do with. As much as I love the flavor of it, I'd like to find a way to use it outside of it's raw form in a salad. I've been trying to stay away from salads lately, I find that when I start making them I can't seem to stop and fall into a sort of salad funk. So no salads, at least not as a main dish.
I think that with all of the remaining produce from last week, in addition to my new bin, I should be able to come up with some really great meals. I'm thinking that I will try to make extra of most dishes so that they can be frozen and eaten on those days when I am just not in the mood to cook, but want something that doesn't resemble the cardboard box it came in.
I layered chopped kale and chard into the cooker, then added quartered potatoes, sliced carrots, broccoli, sliced delicata squash, leeks, green onions, sliced bratwurst and fresh thyme. I also added 2 cups of beef broth, 1 bottle of Pyramid Apricot Ale and 3 cups of water. Then I set the timer on low for 5 hours, covered and let it cook away.
When I walked into my house later that day, it smelled delicious! I could hardly wait to try it out (after adding salt and fresh ground pepper to taste), only to realize that in all of my excitement and grogginess from waking up way to early (for me anyways), I had forgotten to remove the rind from the squash. However, aside from the fact that I had to go through my bowl and remove all of the rind before I could eat it, my stew turned out pretty excellent!
This recipe also made so much that after Dylan and I both helped ourselves to a few bowls each, I still had enough left over to freeze for another time.
I think from now on I will stick to getting up at my regularly scheduled time and do my prep work at night so as to avoid any more ridiculous mishaps (at least those related to a lack of sleep anyways).
Friday, October 14, 2011
Local Carrots with Tops
Local Green Onions
Gypsy Sweet Peppers
Flavor King & Queen Pluots
Honey Crisp Apples
Local Bartlett Pears
Tough as Nails Coffee Blend (Middle Fork Roasters)
I'm looking forward to cooking with the delicata squash, this is an item this week that I'm not all that familiar with so hopefully I won't mess it up! Another item I am excited to have in my bin are leeks! I haven't had them for far too long, and they have such a wonderful flavor.
I added some coffee this week too. Middle Fork Roasters is a small local roaster that gets excellent reviews. I've been wanting to try their coffee for a while now and New Roots just started offering it on their site. I can hardly wait until tomorrow morning to have some!
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
I needed something that was easy and there isn't a whole lot easier than just chopping veggies and cooking them up. I was however motivated long enough to grill up some slices of Texas toast to serve alongside though.
The veggies tonight consisted of onion, red and green bell pepper, chard leaves and stems, cherry tomatoes, cauliflower and corn sauteed until just beginning to soften. I added about 1/2 cup of chicken broth and brought to a simmer just until the cauliflower was fully cooked and the chard leaves completely wilted. To finish, I added my usual seasoning of salt, red pepper flakes and fresh ground pepper.
I will say, for being completely unmotivated to cook, this wasn't half bad. Dylan thoroughly enjoyed it (eating two full plates). The toast was also a great side for this, soaking up what little liquid there was, but not getting too soggy because the slices were so thick.
And the best part....it was ready in under 10 minutes!
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
I made my version of deviled eggs by mixing the cooked egg yolks with horseradish dijon mayonnaise, finely chopped onion and diced pickles (in this case I used a brand called Wickles, they are an excellent spicy pickle, my favorite!!!).
I filled the cooked egg white halves with a spoonful of the yolk mixture and topped each deviled egg with diced cooked beets.
As weird as this dish sounds, it was pretty good. In fact, I do not like deviled eggs at all, however I could definitely see myself making these again for my next dinner gathering! (In fact, Dylan was lucky that I even shared any with her because I liked them so much!)
Sunday, October 9, 2011
I thinly sliced two red onions and added to a large stock pot with a few tablespoons of butter. The onions were cooked over medium heat until caramelized, roughly 15 minutes for a deep golden color. I then added 2 1/2 cups of beef broth and 1 1/2 cups (or one bottle) of Pyramid red ale (Juggernaut), as well as a few sprigs of fresh thyme and a cheese rind (in this case I chose gouda because that's what was in my freezer). When the soup began to boil, I lowered the heat to a medium low and simmered for about 45 minutes.
I added two large spoonfuls of soup into each of two bowls and topped with a few slices of french bread and shredded apple smoked gruyere cheese. The bowls were placed into a 425 degree oven for about 5 minutes, just until the cheese was melting and beginning to brown.
This soup turned out exactly like I was hoping it would...Delicious!! Even Dylan enjoyed it. Not that I really had to worry too much that she wouldn't, but there were a few interesting flavors going on between the smoked gruyere and the red ale.
I started by removing the skin from each thigh, rinsing and patting dry. The thighs were then dredged in flour and browned on each side in a mix of butter and olive oil over medium high heat. I then lowered the heat to medium and added one half of a lemon, thinly sliced, quartered figs and thinly sliced red onion. Next I poured a mixture of dry white wine (3/4 cup), port wine (1/3 cup) and balsamic vinegar (1/4 cup) over the chicken, covered the pan and allowed to simmer for about 15 minutes, turning the chicken occasionally. Once the chicken was fully cooked, I removed the chicken from the pan and set aside. The heat was brought to medium high and the sauce boiled until thickened and slightly reduced. To finish, I added 1/2 cup of heavy cream and placed the chicken back into the pan, turning to coat in the sauce and removed from the heat.
To serve with the chicken, I made green beans (simply boiled until heated through and sprinkled with garlic seasoning) and herbed mashed potatoes. I made the potatoes by adding cream cheese, heavy cream, finely chopped fresh parsley, fresh thyme, butter, salt and fresh ground black pepper to cooked, mashed potatoes.
I have to say, the entire meal took less than half an hour to make and if you like sweet dishes, then you would definitely enjoy this one. I myself am not a huge fan of the grittyness of the figs, but aside from that, I really liked it and thought the flavors went very well together. Dylan enjoyed it so much that she ate the remaining potatoes and helped herself to more chicken. She thought that the fig sauce was delicious and probably would have licked her plate and the pan clean if I would have let her!
Thursday, October 6, 2011
I started off by making the biscuits, just a simple mixture of Bisquick mix, sugar and milk. This was then kneaded, shaped and baked in a 450 degree oven for about 6 minutes.
I also made a quick raspberry sauce, by heating half a cup of frozen sweetened raspberries over medium low heat until all of the raspberries were heated and falling apart. The raspberries were poured into a fine mesh strainer and all of the juice was pressed into a bowl.
While the raspberries were cooking, I sliced the kiwiberries and thawed the Cool Whip.
To assemble, I placed a biscuit on each plate, topped with a spoonful of kiwiberry slices, a spoonful of Cool Whip and a light drizzle of raspberry sauce. I topped with another biscuit, a bit more Cool Whip and garnished the plate with more kiwiberry slices and raspberry sauce.
This was my favorite dinner ever! I might even go so far as to say my favorite dish ever! Super simple to make, the right combination of sweet and tart and the perfect end to a rough day.
Saturday, October 1, 2011
The result was the usual adding of onion and garlic with a little olive oil to a pan, this time I also added some chopped gypsy peppers, diced potato, salt and pepper. This was cooked until the potatoes were fully cooked through and beginning to brown. I then added the sausage (which had been removed from the casings and chopped into large chunks), spinach, tomatoes and black beans. I continued to cook the mixture until everything was fully heated through and the spinach was wilted. This was served with a little sour cream.
This turned out pretty good, aside from the fact that half my potatoes were not fully cooked through like I thought! (Turns out, it actually cooks better if you dice the potato into uniform sized pieces...duh!) Dylan however really seemed to enjoy it, in fact she not only finished my bowl but all the rest too! Atleast now I don't have to worry about how to heat up the leftovers tomorrow (still no microwave yet).