Makin Grammie Proud!

Food, Garden and family

What is that green stuff?

So like most children in America it can be hard to get them to eat foods that might be good for them. In a world where parents try harder and harder to be a childs friend instead of well…. parent they cave and give a child whatever they want instead of teaching them to eat things they should. I of course would love to say my children are not picky in any way and eat and like anything I put in front of them but that would be a half lie. They do eat what I serve them but if they don’t like it they don’t ave to ask for seconds. I totally get catering to what you know your child will eat with out a fight but I am not for fixing my 4 year old Kraft mac and cheese and  my 8 year old the 5 foot subway sub every night while Hubby and I eat something different. So when i saw RR take my fav thanksgiving traditions and turn it in to mac and cheese. I was so inspired. So here is what came out of all this jabbering.

Spinach and artichoke mac and cheese with bacon.

6-8 slices of bacon

1lb of tube pasta

2 tbs of butter

3 tbs of flour

half and onion chopped

2 cloves of minced garlic

salt and pepper.

a few grates of fresh or like 1/8 tsp of nutmeg.

10 oz ( or one box) frozen chopped spinach  defrosted and wrung dry

1 can or one box of frozen quartered artichoke hearts ( I cut mine a little more)

2 1/2 cups of cheese ( I chose Smoked fontina. I think a smoked cheese is great in this.)  reserve a bit for the top

2 cups of milk

1 cup of  chicken stock.

Directions

Get your pasta going in a LARGE pot of salted water. Dont let them over cook. You want them to keep their shape. So take one out at about 8 min and taste the bite. to chewy go another like 2 min. Strain it and set aside.

Chop up your bacon and toss it in another pot and let it cook up. Pull it out when almost all the pieces look done. Place it on some paper towels to get rid of some of the grease. Pour almost all  the bacon fat out of your pan leave about 2 Tbs. If you are like me I poured all of it out in to a coffee mug and measured 2 tbs back in to the pan.

To the bacon fat and your butter on med heat till melted then add your onion and garlic and cook till soft with salt and pepper. When the onions are soft sprinkle in your flour and cook that up till it smells kind of nutty. Not crazy… nutty. You know what I mean. Constantly whisking, slowly add your chicken stock and let it thicken up. Then add half your milk, still whisking, let that thicken up add the rest of your milk and keep whisking till it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Sprinkle in your spinach and artichokes. Add your nutmeg and bacon and stir to coat.

Add 2 cups of shredded cheese. Stir to  just combined.

spray a baking dish with  non stick spray ( unless you don’t mind scrubbing cheese off your pans.)and pour the noodles in. Then top the noodles with  the cheese sauce and careful mix the noodles and sauce together. Top with your reserved cheese and put it under the broiler to make it all bubbly. Pull it  out let it cool and enjoy. I would say with some garlic bread or those knots I was supposed to post a couple months ago. Sorry :/

Any way I can get my guys to eat almost anything if I put bacon in it and smother it with cheese. I love that this is kind of a rounded meal in a bowl. I should have used whole grain pasta but I didn’t have any in my cupboard. Let me know what you think. I miss you guys. I hope I still have at least one reader.

Blessings

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Travel To Cuba minus the passport and embargo stuff.

So when I was 9 may Dad married a woman from Cuba. She  made many things I turned my nose up to. (I was a very picky eater now I am just a semi picky eater) One of my fav things she made was  Black beans and rice. Until then all beans I had eaten were in chili or in a can of refried and all my rice was topped with butter.  Hey i was 9.  So I have asked her and some cuban friends of hers  and I never really got a for sure recipe. So here is what I have come up with .

1 bag of black beans soaked drained and cooked or 2 big ol cans of black beans if you can afford that type of thing.

One whole onion diced

as well as one green bell pepper diced too.

3 garlic cloves minced or pressed thru a garlic press.

2 TBS of vinegar white is ok but cider is better.

1tbs of sugar

3 tbs of Ketchup… don’t question just do it.

a big palmful of ground cumin and another of dried oregano.

2 cups of chicken or veggie stock. .

*Start 2 cups of rice cooking is a steamer or pan according to your rice package directions.

so  get a pot probably a large one and add some oil to the bottom saute up the onion and bell pepper for a few min then add the garlic. Dont burn it.  keep it going till onions are soft  add the herbs and stir it up. add the beans back in with the chicken stock sugar, vinegar and ketchup. Let this simmer for a while. I think mine went for like 30 min in all. I also did a couple smashes with my tater masher  to thicken up the sauce.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. Viola yummy-ness.

In our home we lie to have pork with this meal. If  you want that too i would suggest cutting up a few pork chops into bite size pieces and pan cooking them up while the beans are simmering. To make it even better marinate them in some kind of store bought marinade about an hour before you cook them.  orrrrrrrr Mojo…. google it mah freeeen. Add the pork to the cooked beans.

serve it with rice in the bottom of the bowl then top with beans and maybe some fried plantains on the side. Soooo good I cannot wait to eat my leftovers.

Blessings

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shepherds pie twice baked taters.

So as many of my facebook friends know I was blessed yesterday with a BUNCH of taters. So sitting here today thinking of ways to use up these babies…. hmm soup? naw no bacon and not enough milk.  fries? naw trying to cut back… hmmm baked taters? naw but maybe… twice baked…. oooh or shepherds pie… or oh wait both…. Hmmmm Ab’s think this one out for  a sec…. and all I could here was  Joey in an episode of friends… ” meat good peas good custard GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!” you all know which episode I am talkin I about hahahahahaha. Here is it.

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Start with

6-8 large russets.  ( I used 6 and had enough inside stuff for at least 2 more)

1 lb lean ground beef ( you can sub turkey or chicken or tofu if you are in to that stuff)

1 med onion diced

1/2  packet of ranch powder

1-2 cups of cheddar

3 TBS Butter or margarine

1 cup (give or take) of milk

*Some frozen peas… ( for my youngest who doesn’t want to eat meat lately)

So You can bake up your taters. I cheated and used the microwave and if you are gonna do that then ( prick them with a fork like 12 times 1st) I did 4 for 10 min then 2 more for I think 6 min. I actually used the potato setting on my microwave so yeah.

While those bad boys are baking ( or cooling see below)  get out your big pan and set it to med hi heat and soften up your onions in a tiny bit of oil and salt. add your meat and brown it up with whatever spices you like. We like the montreal steak seasoning from McCormick.

But anyway when they are baked to perfection and cooled to an easily handleable temperature, cut the top 3rd off. Scoop the top out  and put it in a bowl. I didn’t use that much of the skins but you can. My doggy liked the skins.

now CAREFULLY scoop out the big part of the potato leaving enough innards inside to keep the sides up.  Add those innards to the innards of the tops.  I had a few places on mine where i scooped them to close and they ended up leaking some meaty juicy goodness on to my sheet pan and made it hard to remove the potato without ruining it.

Use all the innards and make mashed taters. I added the butter sour cream and 1/2 packet of ranch powder mashed em up and added milk till i liked the consistency. mash.

preheat your oven to 350.

Now to put em together.  Get out a sheet pan and cover it with foil, unless you get some weird kick out of scrubbing baked on cheese. Now that I think about it can’t hurt to spray  your pan with nonstick spray.  Put a big scoop of you meat mix in the potato canoe 1st then make a rounded top of your mashed taters. place on your sheet pan. I topped mine with the shredded cheddar ( actually my boys topped them so more cheese made it on the sheet pan and in their mouths then on the potatoes) but you can do something else… what ever floats your potato boat. 🙂

* Oh for my youngests I added frozen peas to the bottom of his instead of the  meat mixture. Then topped with mashed potatos and cheese marked his with peas on top so we would know which was his. super easy and I knew he would eat it that way.

Bake for ten minutes at 350. I then pulled mine out and turned the broiler on and broiled the cheese tops for a min or two. Let cool for a few while you set the table and steam one of the veggies in a bag.

these were so good I had ZERO leftovers. Hubs ate 3! Hope you all like these. Tell me how you change them up. All in all probably only took me 30 min to make them.  Unless you are baking the taters int he oven it shouldnt take a very long time to throw this one together.

Blessing all!

P.S.  please if you have any ideas for an over abundance of onions.. let me know 🙂

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sourdough quickie.

So I bought a sourdough starter from etsy last week and i am just starting to rehydrate it and get it working cant wait to show you all. I also cant wait to make all kinds of yummies with it. YAY!!!!

I hope you all had a beautiful Easter.

Blessings

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Spring sweetness ♥

I love spring. The temps are just right. Its rains a bit but the sun shines too.  Also there is all kinds of yummy things in my produce dept at my fav local store.   But yesterday I felt like something sweet.  So lemon sour cream pound cake it was. I had everything I needed( which is something i am super stoked about cause that never ever happens). Here is what you will need.

3 cups AP flour

2 sticks or 1 cup of butter softened

3 cups of sugar

1/2 tsp  baking soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

6 eggs

1 cup of sour cream

the zest of 2 lemons

1 tsp of vanilla

Icing:

2 cups powdered sugar

3 tbsp of lemon juice

Preheat your oven to 325 NOT 350… 325

So 1st cream together the sugar and butter till they are friends…  then add the sour cream to the party. Get em going till they are all kinds of nice and cozy.  Add your baking soda and powder to your flour. Then take turns  adding the flour mix and the eggs to the butter sugar cream mix.   at the very end add your lemon zest and vanilla mix till those are spread evenly thru the batter.  pour into a greased bundt or tube pan.  watch it though I have a 10 inch one and it was almost to full to allow for proper expansion. so don’t over fill it. if you have more batter… make pound cup cakes…. oooh that’s a good one Abi.  any ways place that sucka in the oven  for bout an hour. At this point you want to test it.  tooth pick should come out clean. Mine took about an hour and 15 min but my oven is CRAP!

   Take it out and let it chill while you hunt down a wire rack that is not currently employed.  Turn it out on to the wire rack and let it cool BEFORE you put the glaze on. BEFORE!!!! not while it is warm I know you will be tempted but don’t!

so the glaze mix  the 2 cups of powdered sugar and lemon juice together…  and pour over the cake evenly. This glaze is tart. if yo would like it less tart replace one TBS of juice with milk.

Viola! delicious cake. this will be awesome when topped with berries or just as is. Nom nom  nom.

Blessings!

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Simply simple Whole wheat bread.

I am a big fan of the whole grain bread that has all the nuts and stuff in it.  husband and kids however would be happy with plain old wonder bread. So i try to compromise and try to make really soft whole wheat breads. I am learning as I go. My loaves started off short and dense. very crumby and kind of tasteless.

Now days I have learned a few tricks to making whole wheat breads. My biggest trick is this little thing called “Vital wheat Gluten”  it is a natural product sold in a bag or box about the size of a powderd sugar box.  A small amount of this stuff packs a huge punch! For my standard loaf I use just two TBS.  i have also found that buying the cheapest whole wheat flour doesnt work for my family. I like the King aurthur brand whole wheat cause it is very very ground. My guys are fussy about stuff sometimes. I am too its just I am the one cooking so i make things i like. LOL anyways below is my standard whole wheat recipe.

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1 1/4 cups lukewarm water

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup honey, molasses, or maple syrup

2 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour

1 cup bread or AP flour

1 packet (2 and a half TSP.) active dry yeast.

1/4 cup nonfat dried milk

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

2 TBS of vital wheat gluten. Yes you are adding gluten… I aint no hippie dippie gluten free freak. LOL JK. ADD IT or you will end up with  WHOLE WHEAT BRICK.

First get your warm water in your bowl  with your sweetener. I prefer the Molasses. mix it up a little bit.  then add your yeast and let those guys get going for about 5-10 min.  After that  put every thing else in your bowl.  mix it up till it pulls away from you bowl. then turn it out and knead it by hand for 6-8 minutes then let it rise in a warm place for 50 min… OOOOOOOR put all this mess in your bread machine bowl and set it to the dough method like i do.  1.5 hours later boom dough.  I punch mine down and let it  rise again in a greased bread pan for 30 min.

Pop that baby in the oven for 20 min at 350. When the timer dings tent your bread with foil and let it bake another 15 min. The tent prevents the crust for turning to brown and hard. When that timer rings take your bread out of the pan and on to a wire rack. While it is still smokin hot you want to coat the crust in soething to keep it tender as well. I like to use butter, just rub the stick all over it but…. my expanding waistline says i need to cut back soooo lowfat milk will do the same. Just brush the whole loaf while it is still hot with  the milk and let it cool.  AT LEAST 30 MIN!!! this is key. Your bread will colapse if you dont give it time.  I promise.

Let me know if you guys use this recipe or any ideas you think would make it better. This is  a simple starter recipe you can  add nuts… go all whole wheat flour, use honey.   Whatever you think.

Blessings!

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Pancake adventure!!!!

so it is always nice to wake up and make a yummy breakfast for your family. I have to say though it rarely happens in our house cause mom is usually making bowls of cereal or serving muffins half asleep.  Sometimes though husband feel the urge to wake u and make breakfast. Probably because his 1st order of business in the morning s it a shower. Today was one of those days.  he woke up and  cleaned the kitchen then proceeded to  work on breaky. not realizing we didnt have instantpancake batter he promised our youngest chocolate chip banana pancakes.  Then enlisted my help in making hoem made pancake batter. which niether of us had ever made before. there is a 1st time for everything.  so with flour in hand we tried a random recipe we found.  here is our version of home made pancakes for 4 people.

3 cups of ap flour

1 egg

4 tsp bakign powder

1 tsp salt

1tbs sugar

4 tbs shortening.

2.5 cups of milk

2 tbs buttermilk powder

mix the dry stuff together.  twice… i dont knwo why but the recipe said to do it twice.  next add the wet stuff.  now we semi melted our shortening cause we thought it would work better and ours was comign out of the fridge.also  slowly add the milk you might need more or less to make it the right consistency.

Dont over mix your pancakes will end up tough and crumbly.  pour on to a heated skillet at this point you can add things like banana slices or chocolate chips or berries. When it starts to bubble flip it.cook for another few minutes.

I know what you are saying ” but the just add water mix is so much easier”  and too you i say rubbish. I was a “just add water” girl but I am thinking I wont be buying the mix at all anymore. It was sooo easy. You can do it. Try it. I  think  my favorite part about makin these was being in the kitchen with my hubby. Wearing the cute apron he gave me for christmas.

blessings

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HELLOOOO OUT THERE!!!!

image

Ok so it has been awhile. You can beat me… but hear me out 1st. I moved since last we spoke and not just across town.. try like across a whole state.  So we are back in sunny San Diego.

It is Christmas time… in fact 2 days before Christmas. and yesterday i had so much fun making Tamales with my mom and best friend. i dont have a recipe for you since really it ended up just being a throw together thing haha. But i do want you to know, No Tamales are not that hard. YES they are time consuming.  YES many hands make the work load light.  and YES it was an awesome bonding experience. My nieces were there too and I hope that one day they are able to grow up and keep this tradition growing.

Blessings

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Mangoluscious Tartalicious

I had  Mango tart in San Diego at a little place in Solana beach call Pasta Pronto.  I think I was 16 maybe… since then there has been a whole in my life that no other dessert could fill.  I dare not try any ones else’s because Paula the owner made all her desserts by hand and I didn’t want to jeopardize the memory ya know?  Now that I have moved out of San Diego I know I wont ever taste it again.  So I decided to try my hand.  It was a pain at times. I didn’t have the right pan but I improvised.

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You will need 2 cups of peeled and sliced mangos for this.

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You will need 1 recipe for (rich) pastry dough. If you have one you like use that. but here is mine.

1 1/4 cups of flour ( I wouldn’t use whole wheat)

1/4 cup of sugar

2 beaten egg yolks

1 tbs of ice water

stir the flour and sugar together. Use a pastry cutter ( I used my food processor) and cut in the cold butter till it make small peas sized balls. In another bowl mix the yolks with the ice water. gradually stir the egg  yolk mis in to the flour sugar butter mix.  using your finger gently knead till  a ball forms.  wrap that ball in plastic wrap and toss it in the fridges for at leat 30 min and hour would be better.

on a floured surface use your hand to flatten the dough.  then whip out your roller and roll that sucker in to a 12 in circle.

to transfer the pastry roll it on to your pin then gently roll it in to the  tart pan, Quiche pan, dog bowl,  old coffee can or… what ever you feel like using. It seems in my new town they don’t sell tart pans so I had to get creative… What ever you use make sure it is oven proof and if it isn’t non stick give it a quick spray with pam type stuff for insurance.  AND make sure the sides are not taller than like 1.5 inches maybe 2.

bake at 350 for 15-20 min. Let it cool completely

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pastry cream/ custard

1/2 cup of sugar

4 tsp corn starch

2 cups of half and half

4 egg yolks beaten

1 tsp of vanilla extract

In a med saucepan combine the sugar and cornstarch. Gradually add the half and half. goo and stir over med heat until thick and bubbly then cook for another min. gradually stir 1/2 the hot mixture in to the beaten egg yolks.  Return all the egg yolk mix to the pan  and bring to a gentle boil then reduce the heat and cook and stir for 2 min. Remove from the heat, pour into a bowl and add the tsp of vanilla. put the bowl with the cream in it in to a bigger bowl with ice water to cool it down and mix it a few times to speed it along. Let it cool there for 5 min then put plastic wrap right on the cream and put it in the fridge for at least 4 hours till you are ready to serve.

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When you are ready to put this bad boy together.  Place you crust on a serving tray or plate. Gently fill with the cream. but don’t over fill remember you still have fruit to put on.

now when it come to putting th slices on I started on the outside and went around.  I tried to get them to stand up or slight recline on each other.  just keep going around till you fill it up. I put a strawberry in the middle but you could go with out or put something else like a raspberry.Chill till eatign time. Enjoy guys.

I wonder really how many folks read my stuff  and how many folks have  me on ignore on facebook?

Blessing

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SFBC Yuminess

So yes this is my second post today but you need to understand that dinner was so good I could not wait to share it with you.

SFBC means spinach feta bacon chicken burgers.  YUM. i served these on regular plain old burger buns with just a touch of ranch and they were awesome. If one likes tomato a good slice  would probably be yummy here too.

1 lb ground chicken

1/2 a 10 oz box of frozen spinach defrosted a rung out well.

2 tbs of diced parsley (optional)

1 egg

1/2 cup of bread crumbs

4 oz of feta chopped in to small pieces.

4 slices of bacon cooked cooled and crumbled.

2 green onions diced fine ( you can use whatever onion you have but i would grate up a big onion so you dont get a ton of onion flavor.)

1-2 tsp salt (to taste)

1/2 tsp of pepper

2 tbs Worcestershire sauce.

Ok  kids remove your rings… I always forget. Open up you chicken plop it in the bowl.. crumble the spinach on top add everythign else up there in to the bowl. Then get to mixing… mix it up good… but dont “squish it” . Heat your grilled pan on med high heat and  start to form your pattys. I got 5 good sized pattys out of mine.  Cook them for 3 min on each side. Mmmm i am still so full but i cant wait for lunch with leftovers tomorrow.

I hope you try these soon

Blessings

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