Monday, December 1, 2014

Savory Meat Pie

This savory meat-pie is a perfect cold-weather dish!

  • 1 pound of ground turkey or pork (or 1/2 lb. of ground turkey and 1/2 lb. of ground pork)
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder, or one small onion chopped very fine
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder, or 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp celery salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • ~1/2 cup of sourdough breadcrumbs

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup butter, very cold
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup water, very cold

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Step 1: Put a chunk of sourdough bread in a food processor and blend until you have crumbs that are mostly fine (a few larger chunks are okay.)

Step 2: Prepare the filling.  Put the meat and seasonings in a deep skillet (everything except the breadcrumbs.)  Add 1/2 a cup of water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until the meat is cooked through, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and stir in the breadcrumbs.  Stir until the crumbs absorb the juices (add more breadcrumbs if needed to absorb all the juice.)  Set the filling aside.

Step 3:  Add flour and salt to a standing mixer or food processor.  Cut 1 cup (2 sticks) of very cold butter into cubes and add them to the flour.  Mix thoroughly until the mixture becomes crumbly-looking.  Add the ice water slowly, a little at a time, and mix until the dough is smooth (not sticky.)  
Turn the dough out onto a lightly flour surface.  Cut the ball in half.  Roll out one half of the dough to fit a 9-inch pie pan (I grease my pan with just a little coconut oil.)  Fit the dough into the pie pan and spoon in the meat filling.  Roll out the other half of the dough and place on top over the filling.  Trim the edges, then cut a few steam vents into the top of the pastry.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the pastry has browned.  Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes.  Slice and serve hot!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Quinoa & Flax Muffins

I recently found a muffin recipe on the back of a hot cereal box that was too good not to share.  Just reading over the ingredients, I knew I had to try it.  And it did not disappoint!

The cereal is: Hodgson Mill Multi Grain with Quinoa & Flax Hot Cereal.

The recipe is:

  • 1 cup of Hodgson Mill Multi Grain Hot Cereal
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup carrots, shredded
  • 1 cup apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

I substituted 1/4 cup of brown sugar and 1/4 cup of honey for the 1/2 cup of sugar.  I used coconut oil.  There were chopped pecans in the recipe originally, but I generally don't like nuts in my baked goods.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Line 12 muffin cups with paper liner, or grease the muffin tin.  Blend together the dry ingredients.  Add remaining ingredients and mix until well blended.  Batter will be thick.  Spoon into muffin cups and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until golden brown.

So good!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Cream Cheese and Walnut Sandwiches

Cream cheese sandwiches are a great tea time snack!

You will need:
  • 8 ounces of softened cream cheese
  • 3 tablespoons of softened butter
  • 1 tsp of honey
  • 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
  • 8, 10, or 12 slices of bread of your choice (I use whole wheat)

Both the cream cheese and the butter need to be soft, so be sure to set them out ahead of time.

First, make the honey-butter simply by mixing the butter and the honey together.

Then, mix the chopped walnuts with your soft cream cheese:

Now you have two mixtures: honey-butter, and walnut-cream-cheese.

Spread the honey-butter on every slice of bread.  Spread the cream cheese mixture on HALF the slices of bread.  Be as generous or as sparing as your taste dictates.

Cut the crust off:

Then cut them into triangles.


Quinoa and Black Bean Chili

Our family has been eating less meat lately, so I've been adding quinoa to our chili instead.

First, I cook a cup of quinoa in a flavorful chicken stock.  Then, in a deep cast iron skillet, I pour 30 ounces of tomato sauce and add 30 ounces of beans (I like 15 ounces of black beans and 15 ounces of kidney beans.)  I season generously with salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, and paprika.  Then I add the cooked quinoa.  I let it simmer for about 20 minutes.  We like ours topped with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream, and my favorite cornbread on the side.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Easy Creamy Carrot Soup

  • 1 pound of carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 cup of half and half
  • 1/8 tsp red cayenne pepper (optional)
This will make two average-sized bowls, or four small appetizer-sized bowls.  Double or triple ingredients as needed to accommodate the amount of people you're serving.

Start with 1 pound of carrots.  Peel and chop them.

Add the carrots and 2 cups of chicken stock to a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover.  Allow the carrots to simmer in the stock until they are cooked and soft, about 20-30 minutes.  They should break apart easily when poked with a fork.

Once the carrots are cooked and soft, strain them over a bowl.  Catch the extra chicken stock in a bowl and set aside.  

Now you need to mash or blend the carrots.  I used my food processor with great success, but if you don't have one then you can try a blender, or even mash by hand with a potato masher.  Try to get as many chunks out as possible for a smooth soup.

Basically baby food, right? Haha

Now transfer the mashed carrots back into the saucepan and pour the chicken stock that you set aside back in.  Stir well and let simmer for about 10 minutes.  Pour the half-and-half in and again stir well.  Add the optional cayenne pepper now, if you want some spice.  Continue stirring slowly until the soup is good and hot, then pour into bowls and serve!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Pasta Process

I recently starting making homemade pasta, thanks to this pasta machine I found at Goodwill.

The process of making pasta is even easier than I had imagined.  I started cooking this dinner (fettucini alfredo) at 4:30, and even with making the pasta from scratch I had dinner on the table at 5:30.  I have definitely made more labor intensive meals than this!

The pasta dough is simple.  It is 3 cups of flour and 4 eggs.  You make a well in the center of the flour and beat the eggs with a fork, then mix them until the dough is a uniform consistency and color.

It's important for the dough to rest for 10 minutes, so I started getting the sauce and broccoli ready in the meantime.

The alfredo sauce is also a simple process.  Bring cream, butter, and garlic to a boil... then add shredded parmesan cheese and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.

Now that the dough is rested, it is sliced kind of like a loaf of bread.  Each slice is then lightly dusted in flour before it is put through the pasta machine. 

The first step is flattening the dough.  On the side of the machine is a dial with numbers, you start by setting the dial at 7 first (the widest.)  The dough is fed through the rollers with a crank.  Then you set it at the 6 and flatten again.  Then again at 5, and again at 4.  After the dough has gradually been made flatter and flatter, then it is ready to be put through the pasta side.  It really is so easy that my 7-year-old can do it by himself.

After each slice of dough has been put through the machine, the pasta is hung on a drying rack.  This is completely optional.  As far as I can tell, the pasta can go straight from the machine into a pot of boiling water, but it cooks so quickly that I need to wait. And why not hang it on the rack since I have it?! Ha.

The broccoli is steaming, the alfredo sauce is simmering, bread is in the oven, the pasta is ready to be cooked... now it's time to get a big pot of water boiling.  The pasta must be placed in a lot of water that has been brought to a roaring boiling.  It only takes 4 minutes to cook.

Once the pasta is cooked, it is then drained.  The sauce is poured on top and tossed to coat.

Ready to eat!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Creamy Coleslaw

Creamy Cole Slaw

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1 tsp of onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 head of cabbage (OR 1 bag of pre-shredded cabbage)
  • 4 or 5 carrots, shredded
  1. In a large bowl, mix mayonnaise, sugar, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and apple cider vinegar
  2. Toss cabbage and carrot with dressing to coat
  3. Chill for 1 hour in fridge