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Anything is good, in moderation. I cook because I love to and because I can share with those around me. I crochet for the same reason.

Do what you want to do, enjoy what you do and use it to touch those around you.

Nov 26, 2014

Cornbread Stuffing

This cornbread stuffing is one of Hubby's favorites.  However - there is a soy allergy in the family.  Do you know how hard it is to find bread without soy? This year, I made the cornbread first using the recipe found here.

14 Oz Cornbread
1 Lb Sausage, Cooked, Drained And Crumbled
2 Tsp Thyme

1 1/2 Cups Sweetened Dried Cranberries
2/3 Cup Pecans, Chopped
1 Cups Chicken Broth

Combine all ingredients in a medium casserole dish or bowl.  Stuff bird or cover casserole dish and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Pie Crust - Pre Baking 101

Sometimes, you just need a pre baked pie shell.  Cream pies, some custards, tarts - all use a pre baked, cooled crust.  Doing so is simple.

Place the pie crust in your pie pan - press the crust so it is about 1/4 to 1/2 inch taller than your pan to allow for shrinking.  Place in the refrigerator.

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Top crust with three coffee filters.

Top filters with pie weights - you can used purchased pie weights that are ceramic or stainless steel.  You an also line the crust with beans or rice.  Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or so until browned.  If you would like the bottom browned, remove the filters and weights and bake for another 5 minutes or so.

Nov 25, 2014

Spinach Potato Soup

Snow arrives tomorrow - how about a broth based soup to keep you warm and light for Thanksgiving?

2 Tbl Olive Oil
2 Cups Potatoes, Diced
3/4 Cup Carrots, Sliced
3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
15.5 Ounce Canellini Beans, Undrained
15.5 Ounce Dark Red Kidney Beans, Undrained
4 Cups Beef Broth
2 Cups Water
5 Cups Spinach - Washed and Chopped
Salt and Pepper to Taste.

In a large soup pot, heat the oil.  Add the garlic, cook for 1 minute.  Add potatoes and carrots, sauté for 5 minutes.  Add all remaining ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes.

Nov 24, 2014

Queso Blanco

I recently purchased a cheese making kit from Standing Stone Farms (learn more here).  It had everything I needed to make cheese and a few things I didn't as I had them already (see earlier posts about cream cheese and creme fraiche).  My first project?  Queso Blanco.

1 Gallon Whole Milk (keep the empty jug)
2 Tsp Citric Acid
1 Tsp Kosher Salt

Sterilize all equipment before you begin (1 part to 10 parts water, dip, air dry).

Add milk to pot and stir gently over medium low heat until milk is 195 degrees.  Remove from heat and add citric acid, stir gently up and down for 10 seconds.

Cover and let stand 5 minutes, do not stir.  Drain into a flour sack towel and gently fold in the sea salt.    Tie the curd in the towel tightly and form cheese into a disk shape.  Place the cheese on a plate with a second plate on top.  Fill the milk jug with water and set on top of top plate.  Press for 1 hour.  Remove from sack, wrap and refrigerate for 7 to 10 days.

My cheese looked like a donut - the knot in my towel pressed a hole in the middle.

Nov 23, 2014

Slow Cooker Burritos

I wanted to make Queso Blanco, but I wanted something to cook and enjoy with it - and I wanted it easy.  Slow cooker chicken burritos fit the bill.

2 Lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
15 Ounce Chili Pinto Beans
16 Ounce Salsa
10 Inch Whole Wheat Tortillas
Shredded Cheese

Line a 6 quart slow cooker with a slow cooker liner.  Place chicken, beans and salsa in a slow cooker and stir.  Cook on high 3 hours.

Remove chicken and shred.  Return it to the slow cooker.  Spoon into tortillas, top with cheese and roll.  Enjoy.

Nov 19, 2014

Rolled Flank Steak

Frozen spinach, flank steak and cheddar horseradish cheese.  Roll it up, bake it, enjoy!

2 Lbs Flank steak, pounded to 1/2 inch
6 Tbl Cheddar Horseradish Cheese Spread
10 Ounces Frozen Spinach, thawed

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

To pounded steak, rub cheese to within 1 inch of the sides.  Place spinach in a towel and squeeze thoroughly.  Once very dry, put on top of cheese.  Roll up and tie with twine.  Bake about 45 minutes until about 150 degrees.

Nov 18, 2014

Sweet Potato Coins

Fresh sweet potatoes from the CSA.  This dish went well with the beef roll up.

Scrub the potatoes well, peel if you like.  Slice into 1/4 inch pieces.

While prepping, put 4 Tbl butter into a 1 1/2 quart sauce pan.   And 3 Tbl Brown Sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp nutmeg.  Melt over low heat.

Once the potatoes are prepped, add enough to the sauce pan that you can stir easily.  Put the remaining potatoes into a pie pan.

Stir the potatoes in the saucepan to coat then pour over the top of the potatoes in the pan coating well.  Drizzle any butter remaining in the pan over all. Bake in a 350 degree oven until soft.