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The Falliest Fall Dinner Ever

The Falliest Fall Dinner Ever.

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The Falliest Fall Dinner Ever

First dinner of the season. Give it a try, it was great.

Apple Butter Slow Cooked Pork with Butternut Squash

What you need for the Pork:

1 pork shoulder roast (the cheap cut actually works very well, but you could use loin or even thick chops too)

1/4 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup Smuckers Apple Butter

Dried sage 1/8 tsp or to taste

Dried tarragon 1/8 tsp or to taste

Salt & Pepper

Olive oil

1/4 cup sliced or chopped red onion

1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

How to for the pork:

Line your crock pot with a slow cooker liner or spray it with PAM

Rub the pork roast down with a bit of olive oil

Season with Salt & Pepper to taste

Rub the roast down with a bit of dried sage and tarragon

Lastly rub the roast generously with apple butter

Once you place it in the slow cooker add a little more apple butter to the top of the roast and spread it out with a spoon

add 1/4 cup of broth

add onion and mushrooms to the slow cooker

cook on high setting for 4 hours or low for 6 hours

What you need for the squash:

1 large butternut squash

tablespoon butter, chopped in to several small chunks

olive oil, a drizzle

salt & pepper, to taste

ground cayenne pepper, to taste

cinnamon, couple shakes

brown sugar, 1/2 tsp

tarragon, couple shakes

chicken broth, 1/3 cup

How to for the squash:

Peel and chop up the butternut squash into bite size chunks (this is a pain, I’m not gonna lie, but it’s worth it)

Spray a glass baking dish, 9×13 with PAM

Put the squash and all ingredients in to the baking dish

Mix well with a spoon

top tightly with foil

Bake @ 350 for 1 hour

Serve with pork and top dish with chopped green onion

 

And as if things couldn’t get any more cozy, well here is a snugly kitty to look at 🙂

 

 

Greeky Goodness in a Bowl

Easy dessert that is a bit like a trifle. Nothin’ fancy, just quick and inexpensive.

What you need:

1 Sara Lee frozen pound cake

1 container of  honey vanilla greek yogurt ( I like Greek Gods brand)

1 bag of frozen black berries or fruit of choice ( I would stick with some kind of berry though)

Honey

How to:

slice one piece of pound cake, still frozen is good- I don’t warm mine because I like everything in this dish to be cold

cut pound cake into bite size chunks

spoon yogurt into a bowl ( I use about 1/2 cup)

add your pound cake chunks

add your fruit

drizzle with honey

So good.

 

One sauce two dinners

I must admit I am a bit intimidated to cook with seafood. I always look longingly at the bounty of fresh seafood when we go to Pike Place market, but I never buy any because of two things: cost and inexperience. I am afraid I will ruin it, and because some seafood is pricey, I would feel even more defeated if things went wrong. I make fish on occasion, but shellfish is where I get nervous in the kitchen. I finally decided to give it a go with mussels. Mussels are not too expensive (4.99 per pound at my local grocery store), and depending on where you live, they may be locally farmed. In my case mussels are farmed about an hour north in Penn Cove, but I am fortunate to live in the bountiful Puget Sound. If this is not an option for you, try to purchase mussels that have been produced in the USA (if you live here, of course).

Mussels are a good choice for anyone who wants to take baby steps with cooking shellfish. They are inexpensive, easy and quick. Here is the recipe I followed from submitter Pati at allrecipes.com.

Dinner 1-What you need:

  • 50 fresh mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons margarine or butter
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped (I used cherry tomatoes)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • crusty bread
    * My additions: 1/4 teaspoon of Better than Bouillon lobster base and dash of Holland House white wine with lemon, shake or two of red pepper flake
  1. Place mussels in a large bowl with cold water to cover. Let them soak for about 20 minutes to remove any dirt or sand.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-low heat. Add garlic, and saute for one minute, but do not brown. Add the chopped green onion and tomatoes, and cook until almost tender. Pour in the white wine, and stir in the parsley and butter. Bring to a boil, and allow to boil until the liquid has reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add the mussels to the pot, cover and allow to cook until the shells are opened, about 10 minutes. Transfer the mussels and sauce to a large serving bowl, discarding any unopened shells.

The mussels I purchased at the grocery store were already cleaned and debearded- all I did was give them a soak to get any extra grit off the outside.

The recipes makes a lot of sauce, so much that I was able to use it again in a different dish the next night.

Dinner 2- What you need:

Leftover mussel sauce from dinner 1

other half of crusty French bread or whichever bread you used

1/2 box of pasta (angel, thin or regular spaghetti)

1 can of white clam sauce

1 can or jar of fancy clams

tablespoon of sherry

2 cloves garlic, pressed

How to:

simply cook your pasta and reheat your sauce and add the additional ingredients, mix together and top with fresh parsley

serve hot with warm bread, delicious!

A Chicago dog at home

A Chicago dog at home.

A Chicago dog at home

Back in my hometown (Orlando, FL) there is this old roadside hotdog place called Hotdog Heaven. And heaven it is. They make the best hotdogs in town, my favorite is the Chicago Dog. I haven’t found any place similar here in the Seattle area so I make my own version of their Chicago dog at home.

What you need:

Good quality hot dogs, I like the Ball Park Angus beef variety

Buns

chopped onion, I use yellow but white or red will work too

Boars Head sauerkraut (usually found in your deli area or near the cold case pepperoni items)

Relish

2 Cherry tomatoes, cut in to halves

mustard

celery salt

How to:

Make your hot dogs however you like to eat them ( I prefer mine grilled)

Drizzle mustard on the dog in a nice zigzag fashion

add chopped onion

add kraut generously

add tomatoes ( I nestle mine down in the sides of the bun)

top off the dog with a tiny bit of relish and a bit of celery salt

I also added a bit of Sriracha (rooster sauce) on top of mine for a little heat, and if you are feelin’ adventurous add a dollop of creamy potato salad on top (yeah, I did that and it rocked)

So good.

Hotdog Heaven’s version is a bit different, but for a home version I think this is tasty. They also served their dogs with hot fries sprinkled with celery salt and an icy cold shake or soda (I used to like to have a root beer with mine)

Next time I make it I will try to remember to stop and take a picture, because they look nice too 🙂

A new sandwich concoction- Orange marmalade & ham on bagel with some crunch

A new favorite sandwich I concocted.

What you need:

1 onion bagel, toasted

Philly onion & chive cream cheese (to taste)

A bit of red onion, thin sliced

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon orange marmalade or jelly

couple slices of ham

handful of kettle chips (optional)

How to:

Toast the bagel, apply cream cheese to both halves

add marmalade to both halves

add ham & red onion

and if you are feeling especially indulgent, add a couple of small or crushed pieces of potato chips to the sandwich

combine the halves, give it a good sandwich hand press, enjoy.

I like to have mine with a good cup of hot coffee.

Nutty Goodness

New favorite snack! om nom nom…

http://emeraldnuts.com/

These are almonds tossed in dark cocoa powder, very subtle, not too sweet- just darn tasty and they fall somewhere between this:

and this

on the scale of  ‘crave-ability’.

The Novice Curry Dish

This is a good basic curry recipe for beginners.

 

1 lbs chopped chicken breast/tenders

2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

1 can Thai Kitchen coconut milk

1 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp  Thai Kitchen fish sauce

2 tbsp  Thai Kitchen red curry paste

1 teaspoon lime juice

Cilantro & Green onion

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup shredded carrot

jasmine or brown rice

nan bread or pita

Sesame oil to taste

 

How to:

Season your raw chopped chicken in a mixing bowl, I use the World Market Thai Spice Blend, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, thyme, paprika and a drizzle of sesame oil ( season to your taste)

heat a large pan with sesame oil and butter

add chicken, cook for about 6 minutes, stir once or twice

add garlic and golden raisins, continue to cook on med-high or high

cook for 5 minutes

 reduce heat to simmer, add 1 can coconut milk, fish sauce, curry paste, sugar, mix well

cook for about 7-10 mins

add lime juice

remove from heat

add green onion, parsley and/or mint

mix well

serve over rice with warmed nan or pita bread

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Now I know what to do with radishes

I finally got around to trying the classic French snack, radishes with butter, salt and bread. It is simple, but tasty.

  • Small baguette, sliced
  • creamy butter
  • sea salt
  • Pepper (optional), I like pepper on just about everything…even peppery radishes
  • I would have added some chives or green onion on top if I had any.
  • Slice your radishes paper thin
  • Warm your bread
  • Put a decent amount of butter on each slice, layer with radishes, add salt & pepper on top

Done!

While I was at it I put some cinnamon sugar butter on a bread slice with thin sliced strawberry, that was pretty good too.

I ate my snack with coffee, if it wasn’t for the dirty laundry churning in the washer and stacks of papers & bills laying around I could have sworn I was at a French cafe.

Enjoy!

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