26 June 2014

Peanut Sauce

This is the best peanut sauce ever. Simple, quick, super tasty. It's from this cookbook of Ken's - the only cookbook he owns, actually - called Dad's Awesome Grilling Book by Bob Sloan. Bob Sloan is really funny, and he grills good food. He says this peanut sauce makes broccoli "dynamic." See what you think.

1/2 c. Chunky peanut butter (room temp)
1/4 c. warm water
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. Soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 4 days (bring up to room temp before serving). Dip your broccoli in it and see.

10 July 2013

Hobo packets

Dad likes it: meat & potatoes, and rrrrrreally hot.
Mom likes it: no dishes and no whining :)
Kids like it: they get to pick their own dinner!! Sort of.

Hobo packets are supposed to be cooked on a campfire but you can also do them in the oven:

Sausage - Italian or breakfast style, browned
Ground beef - can be raw
Potatoes, thinly sliced
Onion, thinly sliced
Carrots, sliced 1/3" thick
Frozen peas/corn

Choose your own adventure from the above choices! Give each person a sheet of foil to place all ingredients on and then season however you like. We seasoned ours with Worcestershire sauce, salt & pepper and penzey's Tuscan sunset salt free seasoning blend, which is just basil, oregano, fennel and some other stuff. Then wrap up tightly, write your initials on with a sharpie, and throw it on the campfire for awhile. Or...the oven at 350 for 45 minutes :-) open the packets carefully because the steam coming out of there is wicked hot.

We then let the kids cover theirs in ketchup...who cares.

13 April 2013

Antipasto Salad

Here is another winning recipe from Moosewood, tweaked by me.

1 bunch asparagus, ends snapped off
1 red bell pepper
5 artichoke hearts
1 stalk celery
White balsamic or white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper.

1. Red pepper: cut in half length-wise, discarding stem, veins and seeds. Place halves skin side up on a foil-lined baking sheet (toaster oven?) and roast at 425 for 20-25 minutes, until skin is blackened and bubbly. Let cool; peel off skin and discard. Cut pepper into strips, then 1" pieces. Add to bowl.

2. meanwhile, Asparagus: boil spears in a large pan/pot of boiling water for a few minutes, until bright green. Cut into 1" pieces; set aside in salad bowl
3. Chop artichoke hearts into 1" pieces. Thinly slice celery. Toss in bowl with vinegar, oil (use less if the artichokes were marinated), and salt and pepper to taste. Best part: it keeps in your fridge for a few days!!!

Other add-ins: olives, Parmesan cheese, croutons. Good served over lettuce, but don't mix in lettuce or tomatoes if you want to keep it overnight.

24 March 2013

Oinka-Doodle-Moo Baby Bakers

OK, Oinkadoodle-Moo, this BBQ place, has the most amazing potatoes everrr. So I tried to recreate them at home. It was a somewhat-fail, but now I know what to do. This is even a potatoes after church recipe, which I think is nothing to sneeze at :)

Slow Cooker Baby Bakers
1.5 lbs potatoes (supposed to be new potatoes but I just had regular old russet)
2 Tbsp. + 1/4 c. butter, melted
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. paprika
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. granulated onion
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. chili powder

Leaving skin on, scrub and chop potatoes into 1-2" pieces. Toss potatoes with 2 Tbsp. melted butter and some salt. Spread in single layer on cookie sheet lined with parchment. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker. Pour remaining 1/4 c. melted butter over top.

Mix brown sugar and spices together to create a dry rub. Sprinkle over potatoes and butter in slow cooker and cook on low 3-4 hours. Serve with sauce.

07 February 2013

Roasted Zucchini

Check it out, Martha has a new cookbook. I thought the portobello and zucchini tacos looked really good, so, feeling sort of half-hearted about it at lunchtime today, I just made the roasted zucchini part and thought I would turn it into a sandwich by melting some cheese over it.

It was A.Ma.Zing!!!!

Roasted Zucchini
1 zucchini, cut into 2"x1/2" sticks
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. Tuscan Sunset seasoning (or oregano)
salt and pepper
1 tsp vinegar (white balsamic or red wine)

Toss zucchini with olive oil, herbs and salt & pepper on a baking sheet. Roast at 425* for 20-25 minutes, tossing once. Drain on paper towel. Transfer to plate and sprinkle with a bit o' vinegar.

I stuffed as many of these little friends as I could into a sandwich with some melty muenster cheese. YUM.

02 February 2013

Curried Lentil Soup

from Claire's Corner Copia Cookbook
Really flavorful, especially when topped with plain yogurt!
Serves 4

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1-2 large onions, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 tsp. curry powder
1 bay leaf
1/4 c. chopped parsley
2 quarts water
1/2 lb. lentils
1/4 c. brown rice, uncooked
5 oz. frozen peas
1/4 c. bottled mango chutney (Trader Joe's?)
Salt and pepper to taste (for me...a lot :-) )

1. Heat oil in large pot over medium-low heat. Add onions, garlic, curry powder, bay leaf and parsley. Cook uncovered, stirring frequently, 8-10 minutes or until onions are translucent.

2. Add water, cover and bring to a boil. Stir in lentils and rice. Cook partially covered, stirring frequently for 1 1/2 hours, until tender.

3. Stir in peas, chutney, salt and pepper. Continue cooking over low for 30 minutes. Remove bay leaf and taste for seasoning. Serve with plain yogurt or sour cream and Trader Joe's pita crackers.

Note: Everything in this cookbook seems to have extraordinarily long cooking times, so I'm not sure if quite this much time is necessary, but the brown rice at least would require a long time.

02 November 2012

Pureed Butternut Squash Soup

I made this out of some leftover cooked butternut squash so it was fast work. The squash broke down in the pan so I didn't puree it, but it was still super good. I usually add sugar to my butternut squash soup, but the orange juice made it sweet enough and the ginger was super tasty!

from Everyday Food (Martha Stewart for the common man)

2 Tbsp. butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 2" piece ginger, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 3/4 lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded, chopped (1" cubes)
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
salt and pepper
sour cream (optional)

1. Melt butter in saucepan over medium. Cook onion 2 minutes; add ginger, garlic and squash and cook 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in 4 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until squash is tender (20 minutes).

2. Puree soup in two batches. Stir in orange juice and 1 1/2 tsp. salt. Season with pepper and serve with sour cream if desired.

Spaghetti Sauce

This recipe is from Once A Month Cooking by Mimi Wilson and Mary Beth Lagerborg (so it goes without saying that you can freeze the part that you don't use).

Karen Eckardt gave this recipe an A+ and Ken called it "awesome." :) It's so good you don't need cheese on top!

1 lb. bulk Italian sausage
1 1/2 c. finely chopped onion
1 12-oz can tomato paste*
3 28-oz cans crushed tomatoes
2 cups water*
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 bay leaves
2 Tbsp. sugar
4 tsp. dried basil
2 tsp. dried oregano
4 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp. salt

In a large pot, cook and stir the sausage with the onion until meat is brown. Add remaining ingredients; bring to a boil; reduce heat. Partly cover and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Makes 12 cups sauce.

*I omitted the tomato paste and the water. It was still a good consistency though obviously made less - maybe more like 10 cups sauce.