Thursday, March 31, 2011

Coq au Vin

So I made this with a few basic modifications. Here is what I did:

1 bottle of wine
2 handfuls mirepoix blend
2 minced cloves garlic
2.25 chicken drumisticks
4 oz bacon, chopped
1/2 bag frozen pearl onions
8 oz crimini mushrooms
salt & pepper

Combine the mirepoix, garlic and the wine, reduce til half (or a third!). Sieve. Coat the drumsticks in seasoned flour. Render the fat from the bacon, and remove the cooked bacon. Brown the drumsticks in the bacon fat, and remove to the platter. Caramelize the onions in the fat, add the mushrooms. Cook five or so minutes, and remove the onions&mushrooms to a separate plate. Deglaze with the strained, reduced wine. Whisk in about a tbsp of flour. Whisk well. Add the chicken & bacon pieces. Cover and simmer for around 40 minutes - an hour. Add the mushrooms & onions back in. Simmer 20 minutes, covered if it's thick enough and partially uncovered if it's too thin.

If you're making it ahead of time, feel free to fridge it anytime after you add the mushrooms & onions. If this is the case, it is also easy to remove the bones and separate the chicken into bite sized pieces before you reheat everything. That is what I did.

I served it on smushed boiled baby gold potatoes, but any sort of potatoes (mashed, roasted, etc) pasta or starch would do. Leftovers will be fabulous.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

CSA Box so far!

Fava beans are dumb. I have 330g of waste to show for 170g favas. Add in the shelling, blanching AND peeling, and its stupid. Going to saute those with bacon and shallots., topped with a few sprigs of microbasil.

Made an ugly soup the other day. The colors were glamorous but the texture was not. Carrot, peppers, shallots and chicken stock finished with a bit of cream. There's still a serving or so in the fridge.

Today, I'm going to blanch the chard and possibly make a quiche. That or a chard/biscuit/tomato bake.

I need to eat more salads!

Also, found out my new favorite egg salad ever. Good quality eggs + 1/2 slice of bacon minced and rendered + dab of spicy mustard + mayo. With sprouts and tomatoes on mini pitas = amazing.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Its been a while! I joined a CSA, so I'm going to use this as my little idea spot!

This weeks box:
3 mini pumpkins
peppers (red beaver dam & corno di toro)
mini cucumbers
rainbow chard
lettuce greens
fava beans
red okra
mini yellow watermelon
red clover sprouts
rainbow carrots!

Definitely worth the 25$/wk.

My current plans are:
fava bean salad with goat cheese and basil
quiche with odds and ends (lookin at you, parsley, chard and peppers)
roasted red pepper bisque
squash soup (pumpkins and a butternut i have on hand)
grilled okra
eggplant parm or lasagne
egg salad sandwiches on whole grain bread with sprouts
cucumber sandwiches
cucumber salad (with onions??)

Shopping list:
mini pitas
cream (totally optional and i shouldn't do it!)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Chicken thighs baked in coconut milk

So! Made dinner tonight. First time in a while I made something I'm excited about. So here it goes:
2 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on (these were huge, enough for two people roughly)
1-2 tsp curry powder
1/2-1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp or so cayenne
1/2 tsp mild paprika
salt & pepper to taste
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1/2 onion, slivered
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 ancho chile, diced
1/2 a huge red pepper, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 1/3 cup or so coconut milk, divided

1. Preheat oven to 375F. In a smallish baking pan of some sort, combine spices, salt & pepper. Add chicken, and rub spices all over.
2. In a small skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion & red pepper. Cook a few minutes. Add ginger, garlic and ancho. Heat another minute or two. Add about half the coconut milk. Heat another few minutes. Pour over chicken. Stir with a fork in the corners, to combine the sauce with some of the spices.
3. Toss in the oven for an hour or so, until it tests done.
4. Remove the chicken from the pan to rest. Try your damnedest to remove the fat from the remaining liquid without staining anything yellow (turmeric, you're amazing). Put in a small saucepan. Whisk in the remaining coconut milk and reduce by about a third. Mixture should thicken somewhat. Whisk a lot. Pour over chicken and serve.

I made this with sesame asparagus and spaghetti squash, but next time, I'll probably amp up the spicy and serve with basmati rice.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cheating (piglets in a blanket)

I've been cutting coupons lately, and sometimes there are little recipe dealies and whatnot using the brands they want you to buy. And! There was one for lil smokie pigs in a blanket, which had two whole ingredients: lil smokies and refridgerated crescent rolls.

Preheat to 375F, line a baking sheet in parchment or foil. Cut the crescent rolls into quarters and wrap messily around the lil smokies. Put on aforementioned lined baking sheet. Pop into the oven for 15 minutes, and serve with bbq sauce, or whatever else.
I think my favorite sauce for this is/will be thousand island - or mayo, dijon, ketchup, relish & tabasco mixed together. Woo.

Oh and as far as a football snack goes, this is cheap. Lil Reduced Fat Smokies were 2.00, and crescent rolls were $1.40. Not terrible

Friday, December 18, 2009

Smores on a Stick!

Totally stole this from gimme some oven via Maybe borrowed is the better word.

Anyway, after you made cookies but before you leave:
put a bunch of sticks into large marshmallows
crush a bunch of graham crackers into little pieces and put into a shallow bowl
melt a bunch of semi-sweet chocolate in another bowl

1. Dip marshmallow-on-a-stick into chocolate, using a spoon to help spread a thin layer of chocolate all over, including all around where the stick goes in.
2. Dip chocolate-covered-marshmallow-on-a-stick into the graham cracker crumbs, pressing in on each side to pick up biggish pieces, and a spoon to coat the top.
3. Place on parchment paper, or a serving type platter.
(optional)4. Refrigerate or put into treat baggies or both.
(non-optional)5. Enjoy!

Definitely a good crowd pleaser easy dessert. The sticks and the bags I have on hand, so those aren't counting towards the total costs. I think it'd be about $5ish. Used generic low-fat grahams (albertsons, <$2), generic marshmallows (albs, $1.50), and tollhouse semi-sweet chips (albs or vons $1.88 right now). Used about 1/6 the grahams, 1/2 the mallows and 1/2 the chips.

Anyway. Probably not the healtiest thing ever, but delicious!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bread! Con't

So! I love bread!

The recipe works. While I've read that the dough gets even better as it ages, I haven't experienced that yet. It does not last. Part of the problem there is that I can only make 2 loaves worth, for lack of space. Also, I've gone through nearly a 5lb bag of flour, and four packets of yeast. I need to get jar yeast like yesterday, because it is so much cheaper in the long run. Currently, I just toss in the whole packet of yeast even though it calls for slightly less. That way, I don't have to measure.

I still need to go peruse the book at the library. I'm thinking I'm going to do that on Thursday.

Anyway, I'm still all kinds of stoked on bread even if it is just about the most simplistic thing ever. I've started making it in an elongated loaf shape, because it slices better. Also, my hands are getting tougher again, because I'm in love with fresh from the oven bread. Woo!

Monday, December 7, 2009


SO! I tried the basic bread in the 5 minute artisan bread book. From this article (note: i'm linking to the printable version because its all on one page. just click cancel when the print screen comes up). I made a half batch because my only larger bowls are huge metal bowls that would take up way too much space in the fridge. The proportions are 6:3:3:13. 6 cups water to 3 tbsp yeast to 3 tbsp salt to 13 cups flour. Or as I did: 1.5 cups water, .75 tbsp salt, .75 tbsp yeast, 3.25 cups flour. Combine water (warmish like 100F, just a bit above body temp, I didn't measure), yeast & salt in a big coverable bowl. Add all the flour. Mix. I mostly combined with a spoon and then mixed the rest with my hands. Let it rise at room temperature, mostly covered, for 2+ hours, until its flattened or caving in. Then refridgerate. Yay. Its ready to use! I made 2 lbs of dough. I baked one of them today, and the other will either be a pizza or more bread or coffee rolls. The costs on this are probably around $.50 per loaf, including energy costs. Rough estimate, with a lot of cushion.

Anyway, its crusty and dense and I'm pretty stoked on it. I need to get the book from the library and see about the different variations and/or the other master recipes besides the basic boule. Like the olive oil one that apparently makes good foccacia. I would love to start making that.

So! I might start making my own bread! At least sometimes! Yayayayay. The dough keeps in the fridge for a week or two or more! I think it'd make a good French loaf styleish.

I also made cookies today. Betty Crocker pouch oatmeal cookies. Overly sweet, but not terrible for costing me a whole nickel, plus the additional ingredients (1 stick butter, 1 egg).

Dinner tonight!

Today's dinner is going to be amazing, if improperly timed.
First done is balsamic glazed brussels sprouts.
- Trim brussels sprouts, halve (depending on size), and soak in lemon water for however long, about a half hour.
- In a pan over med-high or so heat, combine butter and olive oil in not so scary proportions.
- When butter's melted, add brussels sprouts. Toss about until browned and awesome. Add some garlic and let it cook another minute or so.
- Up the heat. Add in some balsamic vinegar and chicken (or turkey!) stock. Toss about until tender and glazed. Enjoy.

Alternatively, set aside until cold because that's when the chicken's done.

Paprika & onion chicken
- Thinly slice a small onion. Add paprika til bright orange and salt & pepper. Add about a tbsp of butter for each chicken breast (i used two freakishly large ones). Toss with chicken. Add stock and put in the oven at like 425F until done. I should probably check on mine any minute now.

Lastly! I'm trying the basic bread recipe from the 5 minute artisan bread book! I made the dough up earlier, and there's a boule of it resting on the counter. If this works, it will be the best thing ever. Because its easy. And cheap. And we know how I like the cheap and easy. Its going into the oven after the chicken comes out.

So, its an ill-timed affair, which is more my speed than everything coming together all at once. Someday I'll learn.

Monday, November 30, 2009

christmas ideas

So! That time is upon us once again. I think I know what I'm going to do this year. Hot chocolate on a stick & homemade marshmallows. Woo! The first part has three ingredients and sounds delicious. The second is something I've wanted to make for a while. Anyway, this is going to be what most people get. Set it all up in a mug, and we're set. Probably wrap them in cello and put them in a bag. Anyway. I know I can get cute mugs at CVS for $1.50. Even packed in a self-styled white paper bag, they'll be adorable.

So that's my plan. I've decided with plenty of time to do it. It should be fairly inexpensive, and everything still sounds yummy. As a bonus, the hcoas(hotchocolateonastick) keeps at room temp for a year. So as soon as I get sticks and chocolate, I can make those up.

Also: this is a gift I would enjoy getting. So that makes it even better in my book. Yay.

Side note: this will be a million times easier than the big candy assortment I was thinking of before. Yay!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

So my tendency whilst cooking is to reference actual recipes for time&temp, but to kind of do my own thing the rest of the way.
I volunteered at the Mercato today, and got $20 to spend there for my troubles. I came home with eggs, mint, beets, a pearapple, squash and white cheddar. The squash is being made into soup! It tastes pretty good so far. Here's what I did:

2 x small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced (~3/4")
1 x handful baby carrots, cut in half
1/4 onion, slivered
3 x cloves garlic, smashed
2 tbsp oil, drizzled
salt, pepper, & cinnamon to taste
chicken stock (like 3 cups? 4ish?)

1. Preheat the oven while you chop the veggies. Put the veggies in a pan (used 9x13 pyrex) drizzle with olive oil, season with salt, pepper & cinnamon, and add ~1 cup chicken stock. Put pan in oven.
2. Stir every 20 minutes or so, add additional liquid if needed. I didn't need to. When everything's soft & mushy, move into a heavy bottomed pan. Add additional chicken stock and simmer for a while.
3. Blend. Thin with more chicken stock or water if need be.

Lately I've been buying whole chickens and either roasting them whole, or chopping them. And then making chicken stock! Yay! I love it.

NOTE: Had to add a whole lot of water while pureeing. Also, more salt and less pepper. The less pepper part is difficult, so don't put too much on to begin with. Also added a hint of ginger, and a splash of honey.

End: not the best I've had, but for once in my life, I've mastered the luscious texture that butternut squash soup needs.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Ground beef

So I've been looking into some component cooking. Its basically prep done well before you cook, in large doses. Yesterday, Albertsons had 85/15 ground beef for 1.47/lb, so I bought 5.5lbs. Thats more ground beef than I've bought in the last year, because chicken's usually so much cheaper. Anyway, I figured I should attempt one of the component cooking ideas, so I did. I did two things -- straight cooked ground beef (slightly seasoned) and meatballs. I did 1.5lbs in meatballs, baked them, and separated them into 3 bags. They're freezing. The rest of it, I boiled. Weird shit, no? I used the last of the broth from the roast I made, some seasoned salt, and some fresh ground pepper in whatever amount of water covered the meat. I started that right before I started on the meatballs. It doesn't take too long at all, and now I have cooked ground beef in 1/2-1lb portions in my freezer. If I want to make tacos or shepard's pie, it'll take one less step. The only thing I'd change is to get a bigger chamois. I have a tiny tiny one, so it took forever to drain the meat. The liquid/fat (which pretty much all drains off) is cooling, waiting til I toss it in a jar and toss it. Anyway, this seems like it'd work well for the fattier ground beef. OH! The other plus is it crumbles pretty fine, which I can never seem to do. Great for tacos.

Anyway, now I have 4lbs of cooked ground beef in the freezer, and like 50 meatballs. Amazing.

Side note: i need to learn to make better meatballs. these tasted kinda like meatloaf. awesome.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


This is a NYT recipe, gleaned from thewednesdaychef. Modified for miniloafpans.

256 g cake flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
12 oz dark molasses (not blackstrap, used 'robust')
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup water

Preheat oven to 350F. Heat water to boiling, add butter. In large bowl, whisk all dry ingredients. Butter and flour mini loaf pans. Add water/butter mixture to dry ingredients. Beat. Beat in beaten eggs. Beat in molasses. Divide among pans. I filled 5. Bake at least 30 minutes, until the fullest one tests done. Let cool. Serve with awesome homemade apple butter. Send to family with said applebutter and cheap honey.

Crockpot Apple Butter

WOO! It's fall! Apples are cheap. Barely less than 50cents/lb, but low enough to warrant buying 5 lbs of apples for apple butter.

5 lbs apples (note: that was 12 apples, i used 11 before the crockpot was full), peeled cored and thinly sliced
~ tsp cinnamon
~ 2 cups brown sugar
~ dash salt
~ dash nutmeg
~ dash cloves

Add apples and about a cup or so of water to a crockpot. Cook on high, stirring occasionally until you have to go to work (~4 hours). Get home, add salt and spices. Turn heat back to high, and remove lid. Add about a cup of sugar. Stir. Keep cooking. Taste and adjust. Add sugar if necessary. Keep cooking on high with the lid off until a spoon in the middle stays upright. Took a few hours. Put in jars and/or serve. Refridgerate and spread the joy. :D


Deal of the day:
4 12oz containers of SueBee honey
reg. 3.79 each
2.50ea on sale
+ $3 off when you buy $10 in certain products (honey inc)
+ $2 off (receipt survey)
+ $.50 off (buying yeast, printed up a $ off next order coup)
+ $1 off each container (on each bottle)
= $0.50.

Honey isn't a prepared food so it isnt taxable. So it was fifty cents for four 12 oz containers.

Those, homemade apple butter (~3.50 for the batch, excluding the jars which were a sunk cost anyway because i bought them like a year ago), and gingerbread (if it doesnt suck!) will be going out tomorrow!