Saturday, November 30, 2013

Cranberry relish

In the food processor combine:
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries
- 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 5 small clementines cut into chunks
- 1/4 cup local raw honey
- almost one cup sugar
- almost one cup raw almonds

Chill for several hours. 

I'm going to can this. For Christmas.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving requests

My mother-in-law requested that I make either roasted cauliflower or my special mini vegetable pot pies for thanksgiving. I made both.

This year for the pot pies, I put about 16 ounces of fresh cauliflower, carrots and broccoli in the food processor.

I bought Pilsbury pie crust because I got it on sale at Target. I greased muffin tins with butter and cut the pie crusts into weird shapes to stuff into the muffin tin.

The filling started as a cheese sauce. Some butter melted in a saucepan, mixed with a teaspoon or so of flour and then slowly mix in, over medium-low heat, about a cup of milk. I used soy milk this year but coconut milk would have been awesome.

I think I added about a teaspoon of ground four color peppercorns. 

Mixed in Colby jack and extra sharp cheddar until I liked the consistency. Then I mixed in the vegetables.

Poured the mix into the muffin cups. Topped with generous amounts of shredded Parmesan and then pinched closed.

Bake at about 375 until golden brown.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Vegan, gluten free corn muffins

Based on these:

My father spent a good portion of my childhood as a diesel mechanic. A talented mechanic. When I needed a car to get to my college internship (a dream come true to intern in the PR department of Crayola), he bought me a totaled 1984 Ford Escort. In 1996.

Someone he knew had hit a deer with it. I think he paid $50 for it. For months, he pieced that car back together with junkyard parts.

It had a bad carburator. Every time it rained he had to come clear the carburator so my car would start.

And he never brought tools. Only a screwdriver. Often a hanger and some duct tape. No matter what the problem.

He prefers to fix versus replace. He's spent more than one afternoon trying to fix my 50-year-old garage door. The tracks are bent and the pulleys keep jamming.

I've begged him to take my money and go buy new parts. But no, he hammers and bangs the old ones. Once there may have been a torch involved. 

Why the resistance?

"Because any idiot can fix it with new parts," my dad says.

Well, I don't follow recipes. I rarely make the same dish twice. Any idiot can follow someone else's recipe or even their own recipe.

I prefer experimentation.

So, the coffers are low (fuel oil drop, new washing machine, extra car maintenance and I apparently ate my seven-month old implant crown), I'm using what I have.

- 1 1/2 cups corn meal
- 1/2 cup ground cashew
- 1/2 cup flax meal
- 1/4 cup sourgum flour
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- pinch salt
- one big tablespoon baking powder (when did I run out of baking soda????)
- 1 cup soy milk
- about 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- less than 1/4 cup canola oil
- about 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 
- 1 can cream-style corn (the dole version is cream-style-- not creamed, no dairy)

Mix quickly, portion into muffin tins. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes. 

Mine took forty.

I love these. They have a bit of a baking powder aftertaste, a tad of a grit to them (but much less than other coconut flour recipe I have tried). They are very moist on the inside. Very much a success.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Chicken-spinach casserole Mexican style

We don't have much food left in the house. We made a family pack of chicken breasts last night. We froze some and my husband made some into stir fry for dinner.

Today I made some into a casserole.

My husband made some penne while I made a cheese sauce. I started with two tablespoons of butter on low heat with a tablespoon of flour. I mixed them with a rubber spatula and then added about two teaspoons chili powder and one teaspoon cumin.

When that incorporated nicely, I measured out 1 cup of soy milk, which I doled out a bit at a time mixing everything together. I gradually added about 3 ounces of extra sharp cheddar and the rest of a can of jalapeño-cheddar dip (about 2 1/2 tablespoons). 

Next I added about 1/4 cup diced black olives and 1/2 cup mild salsa.

Then I added a block of frozen spinach I'd thawed.

We mixed the noodles and the sauce, added the chicken, stirred, covered and baked at 350 for 45 minutes.

Before serving I sprinkled with the crumbs from the bottom of a bag of Simply Balanced organic blue corn/flax chips.

This was very delightful. I could eat all of it. Wind chill is 4 degrees. It was a casserole kind of day.

Monday, November 18, 2013

What fell out of the freezer

I went into the freezer to find some vegetables and chicken for my dinner tomorrow and stuff started falling out. So I whipped up some processed mac and cheese and added some of the "falling out" stuff.
- one box market pantry mac and cheese
- cauliflower
- peas 
- fresh spinach
- spicy chicken bites
- extra butter
- some extra milk (today I used soy)
- some cheddar jack shredded cheese blend
- a few shakes Frank's Red Hot

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Olive pasta

This one is for my friend, Jayne, who stopped to ask my husband if I were okay because I hadn't blogged in a while.

Haven't had anything to blog because our meals have been borrowing.

Earlier this week, my daughter had her ENT appointment. We would be getting her to school late and since I didn't have time nor groceries to pack, it was looking like she'd be stuck with peanut butter and jelly.

There's a Target next door to her doctor's office.

A BIG Target that has different stuff than our local Target.

We found an Archer Farm ready to eat pasta salad in the café. It came with pesto, roasted red pepper, kalamata olives, spinach and feta. Child loved it.

But it made me want to try it.

So tonight I had husband make rotini.

I poured some extra virgin olive oil in my skillet. I put the heat on low and added garlic powder and cracked peppercorn. I added organic fresh spinach, roasted red peppers, Spanish olives, and kalamata olives.

I put the topping on the noodles and sprinkled with Parmesan. 

I served with a side of chicken bites because they were on clearance and I wasn't sure the pasta world be enough. I wish I hadn't included them. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Rum shakes

Tonight my husband and I took some strawberry cheesecake ice cream, coconut milk and malted milk and added some of this lovely cinnamon cream rum.