Category: Easy


Tonight’s dinner got rave reviews!

I’ve been craving turkey, just not all the work, so I bought a frozen Butterball white and dark turkey roast.  I rubbed the frozen roast down with a chicken rub (from Stonewall Kitchens) and put it in the crock pot with some pieces of onion (about 1/2 C.) and about 1/2 C. white wine, and cooked on high for 3 hours and then low for about 2.  The cooking directions said 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.  I was just looking for an internal temperature of 170F.  When it was done, I removed the string (they come wrapped in string to hold it together) and shredded it,  leaving it in all the juice to stay warm while I roasted some veggies in the oven.  It soaked up all the juices and was moist and delicious.  The boys said it was the best turkey they’ve had in a long time.

Fresh Market sells veggie skewers with red peppers, portobello mushrooms, zucchini, and yellow squash.  I pulled them off the skewers and laid them out in baking dishes.  I also had a bag of mini Yukon gold potatoes that I cut in half and a head of cauliflower I broke apart and placed in baking dishes.  I sprinkled everything with a new Saltopia salt blend I got  called Maui Wauwie, some garlic powder, a little of the chicken rub, and drizzled grapeseed oil over everything.  Bake at 400F for 45 minutes.

There were NO LEFTOVERS except a little turkey.  It was that good.  I will buy more turkey roasts in the future!

This recipe uses a ready-made sauce from Stonewall Kitchens.  Their Roasted Garlic Peanut Sauce is amazing.  We love their products and stock up regularly.

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2 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs

1 bottle Stonewall Kitchen Roasted Garlic Peanut Sauce

1 bag stir fry veggies

1 large sweet onion

2 Tbsp. grapeseed oil

2 packages udon noodles

Marinate chicken in sauce at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Bake chicken in 13 x 9 baking dish with all the sauce.  It takes about 35-40 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook onions in oil over medium heat until softened, approximately 20 minutes.

Get water on stove to boil for udon noodles.

Go back to onions, turn heat up a little and add in veggies.  Cook until desired doneness.  Turn off once you get there.

Pull chicken from the oven and cut up into bite-size pieces using kitchen shears.

Put back in oven at 425 to get a little browned on top.

When water  for noodles comes to a boil, be ready to finish up and serve in 5-10 minutes.

Put noodles in water.  They take 3 minutes or so.  Be ready to drain and rinse them.

Add chicken into veggies and heat up to get ready to add to the noodles.

Toss noodles and chicken/veggie mixture and serve!

Top with chopped peanuts and green onions for crunch, if desired.

We love cornbread and we love chili.  The two of them together is a definite winner!

Cook the chili in the crockpot, and bake the cornbread about 1 1/2 hours before you want to serve the casserole.

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Combine:

2 lb. cubed pork (use any meat, or even plant based “meat”)

1 jar Newman’s Own Pineapple Salsa (any salsa will do)

1 can black beans, drained

1 can white kidney beans, drained

Place in crockpot and cook on low 8-10 hours, or high 4-5 hours.  Keep warm until the cornbread is baked.

Spray 13 x 9 baking dish with cooking spray.  Preheat oven to 350 F.

Combine the following:

2 boxes Jiffy cornbread mix

3 eggs

1 can creamed corn

1 can whole kernel corn, drained

1/2 c. almond milk

3 Tbsp. honey

Stir until blended.  Pour into prepared baking dish and bake until golden, about 40 minutes.

Pour chili over cornbread, and sprinkle with shredded cheese.

I used 1 c. Daiya mozzarella style shreds.

Bake another 20 minutes until cheese is melted.

Serve topped with sour cream.

Back before everyone was suddenly into baking bread during quarantine, I happened across an amazing and easy peasant bread recipe on alexandracooks.com.  It caught my eye because it said No-Knead.  I followed Alexandra’s basic peasant bread recipe.  However, instead of making two smaller loaves, I make one big loaf in a pyrex bowl that has a capacity of 2 Qts.

I also like to experiment with different flours and add ins.  However, after binge-watching hours of British Baking Show, be warned that any deviation from the basic recipe can change proofing time.   Today’s experiment was a success!  The best bread I’ve ever made!

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4 C. flour (I used 3 c. AP, 1/2 c. flaxseed meal, 1/2 c. millet flour)

2 tsp. salt

2 c. tepid water

2 tsp. sugar

2 tsp. yeast (I used Fleischmann’s Active Dry Yeast)

2 Tbsp. butter.  I wasn’t good about taking pictures.  They all started to look the same LOL.

First Place flour in large bowl and wisk in salt.

Boil water (you will need 1/2 c. boiling with 1 1/2 c. tap water to get “tepid water”)

I melt the sugar in the boiled water in a large mixing cup before adding in the tap water to make sure the sugar is dissolved.  (I actually forgot to do that today, and it still turned out okay).

Sprinkle water with yeast and let activate for 15 minutes.

Stir into flour/salt mixture until no pockets of flour remain.  Cover with plastic wrap and proof about 1 hour.  It should be doubled in size.

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Meanwhile, get the bowl(s) you will be baking the bread in ready by spreading butter over it’s entire inner surface.

Deflate proofed dough using two small forks, pulling dough in from the sides of the bowl onto itself.  It is really sticky and hard to scrape from the sides.  That’s normal.

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Put is into the bowl you are baking it in (just sort of plop it in there) and use a spatula or metal spoon to get as much of the dough out of the original bowl as possible.  You won’t want to waste any of it.  Trust me.

Preheat oven to 425F.

Sit bowl of dough on the stovetop where the heat comes out of the oven.  Let the dough have a second proof (about 20 minutes).  It will double in size again!

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Place bowl in the 425F oven for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 375F and cook 15-17 minutes more.

Immediately turn the bread out onto a cooling rack.

The video from Alexandracooks.com is great:

My Mother’s Peasant Bread: The Best Easiest Bread You Will Ever Make

 

 

 

Tonight’s dinner was such a hit, the boys said to write down what I did differently so I can recreate it!  One part I don’t want to recreate is having a stove that only has one working burner (a small one) and an oven (no broiler).  I didn’t really know that some of the minor changes I made would make it so much better, so I didn’t take pictures as I went along.  It was, however, pretty, so I took a picture of a serving of the finished product.

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1 lb. elbow macaroni

2 Tbsp. minced garlic

2 tsp. seasoned salt

1 8 oz. container vegan or lactose free cream cheese

1 large sweet onion, finely chopped

1 C. finely chopped turkey ham

4 Tbsp. butter

1 Tbsp. grapeseed oil

2 tsp. Italian seasoning

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. seasoned salt

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/2 c. leftover roasted (charred) broccoli, finely chopped

1 pouch vegan mozzarella style shreds

Cook elbow macaroni.  I use the Alton Brown method of putting the pasta in a large pan with enough cool water to cover it by about an inch.  Stir in minced garlic and seasoned salt.  Bring to a boil and stir occasionally.  Lower the heat to medium low and the pasta basically becomes rehydrated instead of boiled.  Because I’m dealing with only one burner, once the pasta was cooked, I placed it in a 13 x 9 lasagna dish sprayed with coconut oil.  Rather than draining off all the fabulous flavored pasta water, I spooned approximately 1/4 to 1/2 cup into the baking dish with the pasta.

Next, I cooked the onion and ham in butter and oil with all the seasonings over low heat for about 25 minutes.  I turned it up at the end, and added in the chopped charred broccoli.   Add in cream cheese and melt through.

Pour over noodles and mix in.  Top with shreds and bake at 350F for 30 minutes.

I’m not sure what made this better than usual.  Maybe the pasta was perfectly cooked and had just enough pasta water?  Maybe the charred flavor of the broccoli added a special touch.  Whatever it was, I’m going to try to recreate this to see if it can be done!

Oh, and this was the last meal I’m preparing on my old on its last legs stove.  Tomorrow my son is installing the stove I always wanted.  It’s a combination Birthday/Mother’s Day present.  I can’t wait!

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If you’ve followed my blog at all, you know we develop favorites which end up on the menu at least once every week or so.  Right now, Kimchi Fried Rice is that favorite!  This recipe makes a lot, but the leftovers go quickly!

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1 lb. thick sliced bacon (I used Greenfield Farms Thick Cut Applewood Bacon)

1 C. kimchi (I used Wildbrine Korean Kimchi)

8 c. cooked rice (I used Lundberg Farms Wildblend Rice)

12 eggs

I start the rice cooking first.  Meanwhile, I cook the bacon in oven at 350.  I use two 13 x 9 baking dishes which will be used to cook the fried rice later.  It takes about 20 minutes.  I take it out and turn it several times.  Before cooking the rice in the oven, turn up heat to 400.

Place the cooked bacon on sheet pan lined with paper towels to absorb the grease.  The Greenfield Farms bacon was surprisingly lean!  Pour the bacon grease from the baking dishes into the rice that is cooking and set the backing dishes aside.  The residue of the bacon grease in the dish makes the rice crisp up nicely.

 

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I cut up the bacon and chop up the kimchi and put in a bowl together to put in the rice when it’s done.

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I also put the eggs in little dishes to enable me to quickly pour them into the rice to cook in the oven.

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Once the rice is cooked, mix in the bacon, kimchi mixture.  Spoon into the two reserved backing dishes with the bacon grease residue.

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Spread out evenly, and make six wells for the eggs in each baking dish.  Put in the 400 oven for 10 minutes.   Do not put the eggs in yet!  Bake for 10 minutes to get the rice piping hot.  This will help the egg whites to cook quicker.

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Once baking dishes are really hot, pull from the oven and put eggs in the wells.  Return to the oven for 7 minutes.

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That’s it!  Top with siracha, if you like it hot.

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I was in the mood for some egg salad again. I do dread peeling hard boiled eggs though and didn’t really like the texture of the eggs when I bake them even though I posted it. Today I found post that suggested steaming the eggs. Guess what? It works! Try putting your eggs in a pan and a half inch of water with a lid and steam them for 15 minutes. The steam permeates the shell and the eggs peel like a dream. I am sold. Beautiful yellow yolks and no green Rings either! Great for making deviled eggs for the holidays.

 

Lemon Tarragon Chicken

My love for lemon and tarragon began the first time I tried Stonewall Farms lemon tarragon aioli.  Luckys Market brand lemon tarragon sauce is also amazing.

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Although both made great marinades for chicken, I experimented with making my own.

2 Tbs. unsalted butter

3 Tbsp. dried tarragon leaves

2-3 Tbsp. flour

1/2 cup white wine

2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream

1/2 cup plain unsweetened almond milk
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Melt butter and add tarragon.

Add flour and cook a few minutes, stirring to keep it from sticking.

Add wine and lemon juice and cook until thickened.

Stir in Tofutti “sour cream” and “milk” and continue to cook until slightly thickened.

Marinate chicken in sauce for at least 30 minutes.   I actually froze mine in the sauce, and defrosted it in the fridge the day ahead of when I planned to cook it.  I used four large boneless skinless chicken breasts.

Bake chicken in sauce at 350F for approximately 30 minutes or until internal temperature is about 150F.

Cut into bite sized pieces with kitchen shears and return to oven at 450F to cook until and golden and yummy – about 5-10 minutes.

 

I served with oven roasted broccoli, potatoes, and baby portobello mushrooms tossed with olive oil and seasoning blend.  Yummy!!

Any time I make baked beans, especially with franks or sausage, I feel my father’s presence.  He could eat B&M baked beans straight from the jar or heat them up with some sliced hot dogs and he was in comfort food heaven!

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My kids love corn dogs, but dipping and frying is too much work, too messy and greasy, and I decided a casserole could work – and it does!

2 boxes Jiffy cornbread mix

3 eggs

1 can corn kernels, drained

1 can creamed corn

2- 3 Tbsp agave or honey

3 Tbsp.  Sour cream, yogurt, or coffee creamer (I used sweet and creamy almond creamer to keep it lactose free)

 

 

Combine CORNBREAD ingredients.

Meanwhile soften some onions in oil with barbecue brown sugar seasoning.

 

 

 

Heat oven to 375F.  Add sliced franks to cornbread and pour into 13 x 9 baking dish sprayed with coconut oil.

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Add beans to onions and cook on low while corndog casserole bakes.

20191123_201826Bake about 35 minutes or until golden and toothpick comes out clean.

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So, I am definitely on an empanada kick.  They are something everyone loves!  I had some leftover mashed potatoes and was looking for inspiration as to how to use up the leftovers.  Pirogi recipes kept popping up, but they require more steps than I was up to doing, what with the boiling and then pan frying.  I decided to make an empanada pierogi fusion!  Leftover mashed potatoes, onions and crumbled sausage, vegan cheese, and viola!

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2 packages frozen empanada dough (I used Goya)

4 C. leftover mashed potatoes

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 lb. sausage (I used apple sausage)

2 Tbsp. oil (I used grapeseed)

1 package vegan cheddar style shredds (I used Daiya)

1 egg, beaten for egg wash

Set frozen empanada dough out to thaw.  The Goya type below is my favorite.  The discs are separated by plastic sheets and are not too fragile.  They don’t fit my empanada press, though, so I have to seal them by hand.

tapas-para-empandas

Prepare large sheet pan by coating with cooking spray.

Saute onion in oil over low heat until softened, and add in sausage.  Drain well and crumble.

Add in mashed potatoes and cheddar style shredds.

You may want to make the filling ahead since you need to let cool before filling dough.

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One at a time, fill and press empanadas/pierogis.  Preheat oven to 350F.

Place on sheet pan, and brush with egg.

Bake at 350F for 20 minutes or until golden.

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