Saturday, August 27, 2011

Pickle Juice Potato Salad...

This is awesome!!!

6-7 smallish-medium potatoes, maybe 2-3 pounds, diced(don't peel)

Boil potatoes til tender, about 15 minutes or so. Drain but don't rinse.

3-4 scallions, sliced smallish
1/2 of a green pepper, about 1/3 cup, minced
1 cup real mayonnaise
1/2 cup pickle juice(from dills)
1/2 teaspoon or to taste: dry mustard, garlic powder, dried dill, black pepper, caraway seeds
dash of cayenne pepper
(as with all of my dishes, these are very approximate measurements)

Combine well and wait for potatoes to cool off some. Pour over the potatoes and gently toss. Put in the fridge, and go play on facebook for a few. Toss the potatoes again, add more mayo if you need it(I didn't). Wait for the brats to cook and salivate.

Makes probably a good 6-7 servings. Enjoy!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Coconut Chocolate Bark...

I've been slapdashing again, this time with my favorite oil and favorite flavor(Chocolate). I made a tiny version of this concoction yesterday and was impressed that it tasted much like a gourmet dark chocolate bar so I set out to make MORE! Here's what I did...

All measurements are approximate, please taste test for your personal palette.

2/3 to 3/4 cup coconut oil. I used 3 scoops of a 1/3 cup scoop but it wasn't all the way filled for each scoop. Put in a shallow, wide container, you want this to be a thin layer, about 1/2 inch deep.

1 tablespoon cocoa powder. I shook it into the oil but it looked like a tablespoon or so.

Several drops of vanilla and several more drops of liquid stevia. I imagine you could use the powdered versions of both if you had it. Then, a tiny drift of cayenne pepper and a handful(less than 1/3 cup-that's all I had) of sunflower seeds.

Whisk it all together, taste and adjust flavors if needed. Chill in fridge until solid, break up with a knife and enjoy!

Monday, May 2, 2011


Sorta kinda based on this recipe

1 pound navy beans, soaked and cooked.

Leave these in their cooking liquid and set aside.

2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
8 baby carrots(fat ones), chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
5 garlic cloves, smashed

Combine in saucepan and cook over medium heat til softened.

1 can diced tomatoes
dash of oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
few shakes liquid smoke

Add to veggies and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Combine with beans and 8 cups of water or so.

1 bunch kale, shredded

Add kale and let wilt, about 10 minutes.

1 sourdough sub roll or french bread, about 2-3 cups torn.

Add bread and simmer for about 20 minutes on med-low. Adjust seasonings, salt and pepper. Let sit for 20 minutes and serve with Parmesan cheese. YUM!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Golden Baked Potato Soup

Today was yardwork day so I wanted something fast but satisfying. It was uncomfortably cool today(60), yesterday was HOT(90) so it wasn't like we needed cold weather fare really, just something.... you know.... good and rich and creamy. I had to run out and get nails for fencing we replaced. Sarah rode with me and reminded me that she'd requested baked potato soup for a few weeks now.


Soooo, here we go! The short-cut version first, which I made tonight, is super easy but you'd get a teeny bit more "umph" with the traditional method in (these). As always, all amounts are approximate and subject to whatever you want to put!

Golden Baked Potato Soup

5 medium* potatoes, baked in microwave(or regular oven) until soft
2 medium* sweet potatoes, baked
2-4 cups water
1 tablespoon chicken broth paste
tiny sprinkle of nutmeg(or not)
onion and garlic powder(or chopped onion and garlic softened in butter) to taste
liquid smoke(or chopped ham or bacon) the l.s. gives it a nice flavor but start with a tiny amount, 1/8th of a teaspoon and taste before adding more. I think I have about 1/4th in mine and its just right.
2-4 cups milk
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste

Peel and chunk all potatoes, add to large soup pot with water, chicken broth paste, and seasonings. Stir over medium heat until hot. With hand mixer or immersion blender, mix til mostly smooth. Add liquid smoke and adjust flavors. Heat for about 10-15 minutes on med-low. Remove from heat and stir in butter, sour cream, cheese and salt/pepper. Return to burner and heat through to melt cheese. Stir, adjust seasonings again and serve with crusty bread(and a salad)!

*my medium is slightly larger than a regular soup can.

(after, but with more to go)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

White Beans, Egyptian Style

I bought navy beans a few days ago and was hoping for cooler weather so we could enjoy a good soup of them. No such luck. It was 80 degrees today! So, I searched for a different recipe and came across this one, Egyptian Style White Bean Salad.

It was just the inspiration I needed. Ryan requested hamburgers so I had plans for the beans to be a side dish. Fortunately, we ended up being away from home most of the day so I ajusted. I had Amy stir them from time to time. Just beans and water, no seasonings at all. We didn't get home til after 7 tonight so I hastily threw stuff in the pot after I'd drained most of the water from the beans. Here's what came of it...

1 pound dried navy beans, soaked overnight
several cups of water(to cover beans by 2 inches or so)

Drain and rinse the beans, cook, partially covered, over med-low heat for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally, until tender. Let cool about 15 minutes, drain all but about a cup of the water off. Return to pot and heat on medium.

1 tsp cumin
dash of tumeric for color
1 tsp coarse sea salt(or half tsp regular salt)
3 roma tomatoes, small dice
1 large handful cilantro, chopped(about a cup loosely gathered)
2-3 green onions, sliced thin
1 tsp each onion and garlic powder

Add these to the beans and heat on medium for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

These were WONDERFUL!!! Other recipes called for celery and lemon juice and fresh garlic. I'm sure those additions, and maybe some red pepper flakes, would make it better but this was quick and just lovely for us after a long day.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Winter-spiced Beef Stew...

Similar to Moroccan or Azorean Stew but better, in my opinion anyway...

2 pounds beef stew meat

3 stalks celery, sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 medium parsnips, sliced(bigger pieces halved too)
5 smallish potatoes or two large baking potatoes, diced(I left skin on)
10-15 baby carrots, chopped
5 green onions, sliced

1-2 Tsp beef broth paste or 2 broth cubes(optional)
1 quart water
2 cans diced tomatoes(I use no-salt-added)
2 bay leaves
onion and garlic powder to taste(about 1/2 tsp each probably)
couple sprinkles of ground cinnamon(1/8th to 1/4th tsp) and tiny sprinkle of ground cloves
couple shakes of red pepper flakes
1 tsp ground cumin

Chop veggies and put in 6 quart crockpot, turn on low
Brown beef in skillet(I cut mine into smaller pieces)

Add beef, spices, and water, cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 5-6 hours. Serve over couscous or noodles of your choice.