How I made a delicious meal in 19 minutes.

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All of you know how much I love cooking but even for me cooking everyday can seem like a chore.  Several weeks ago I had been painting all day and then I wanted to head out to yoga.  “Maybe I’ll pick up some dinner on the way home.” Had been the thought going throughout my head all afternoon as I had no real plan of what to cook.  When Paul ask what we were having for dinner it galvanized me in to action.  I thought I can fix dinner before I leave.

I pulled out my pantry staples.  These are the items you should keep in pantry and refrigerator so you can make a meal.

  1. Olive Oil-I typically use California Olive Ranch for my everyday oil.
  2. Stock-Don’t use up all the stock? Freeze it in ice cube trays.
  3. Onions-I use sweet, I don’t like the tears.
  4. Carrots
  5. Celery
  6. Garlic
  7. Pasta or rice  or beans of some kind

If you have these items dinner has almost cooked itself.

Here’s what I did:

Assessed what was hanging around in my refrigerator: leftover rice and one chicken thigh from dinner a few days before.

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I pulled out a pot, put some olive oil in it, heated it on medium heat and chopped an onion (how to chop an onion). While it was sautéing on the stove, I chopped garlic and diced some celery and a few carrots.  I added those to the pot.

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While they softened I took the chicken thigh and chopped it up into bite size pieces. I put it into the pot with the veggies.

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I added the leftover rice and seasoned everything with salt and pepper and a few red pepper flakes.

When everything was softened I added chicken stock, you could also add water.

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I looked up and 19 minutes had passed from the time I started to a finished pot of soup.

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Other ideas:

 Chicken Fried Rice:Stir fry the vegetables, add the rice and chicken, scramble an egg add soy sauce.

Pasta with chicken and vegetables-Boil your favorite pasta add the sautéed veggies and chicken, top with parmesan cheese or add some milk to the pan with parmesan and reduce to create a sauce.

Add other vegetables from your refrigerator, choose a different protein or add beans.

 

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Crunchy Pasta

Cuisine for Katie and the boys

Hungry? Need something in a hurry?  Need to fix something inexpensive but still tasty? Do I have the recipe for you!  I saw this first in Smitten Kitchen‘s Every Day Cookbook.  I saw something similar on the New York Times Cooking Site and I’ve read different variations.  I called it crunchy pasta because of the delicious breadcrumbs, but the best part…drumroll please…is the crispy egg on top!  Everything is better with an egg on top as all of you well know, or should by now.

You can jazz this up, have some leftover bacon, chicken or any other protein, even tuna. You could warm up some beans and put on top or add cheese.  You could even melt an anchovy into the olive oil for a delicious salty taste, trust me you’ll never see the anchovy once it melts away.

Pasta with Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs

2 garlic cloves-minced

1/2 Cup…

View original post 269 more words

Crunchy Pasta

Hungry? Need something in a hurry?  Need to fix something inexpensive but still tasty? Do I have the recipe for you!  I saw this first in Smitten Kitchen‘s Every Day Cookbook.  I saw something similar on the New York Times Cooking Site and I’ve read different variations.  I called it crunchy pasta because of the delicious breadcrumbs, but the best part…drumroll please…is the crispy egg on top!  Everything is better with an egg on top as all of you well know, or should by now.

You can jazz this up, have some leftover bacon, chicken or any other protein, even tuna. You could warm up some beans and put on top or add cheese.  You could even melt an anchovy into the olive oil for a delicious salty taste, trust me you’ll never see the anchovy once it melts away.

 

Pasta with Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs

2 garlic cloves-minced

1/2 Cup of bread crumbs-I used and love Panko.

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Red pepper flakes, Salt and Pepper to taste.

In a skillet heat the olive oil and add the garlic, bread crumbs, pepper flakes and salt and pepper.  Stir until the bread crumbs are golden brown and put in a small bowl.

Pasta

1 pound of pasta if you want left overs and you are only feeding yourself.

You can use as much pasta as you like the breadcrumbs will keep in refrigerator or freezer.

Boil water that you generously salt, you should be able to taste the water and it should taste salty.

Cook the pasta to the degree of doneness you like.  Save out a 1/2 Cup of pasta water when it’s done and drain the pasta.

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Put it together:

2 Tablespoons of olive oil

2 Teaspoons of drained capers

2 Tablespoons of olive oil go in the pot you cooked the spaghetti in.

Put the pasta back in, put a couple of splashes of the pasta water you saved in, add capers.  Stir around on the heat, put on a plate and sprinkle with however much of the breadcrumb mixture you like.

Crispy Egg

Wipe out the skillet you cooked the breadcrumbs in and put in some olive oil heat it pretty high and crack you egg into the skillet, it may splatter.  Cook the egg, if you can never get all the white set without flipping it then go ahead flip it for quick second.  Put it on top of your pasta.

You can grate some cheese on the top if you want and enjoy.

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Buckeye Bars

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Not only are we Buckeyes by birth but most of us are Buckeyes by degrees…so far we have 4 Buckeye degrees with more to come, right Jonathan?

These history of these bars though begins at another of our favorite places…Camp Arcadia in Michigan, yes I wrote the M word.  Your Dad loves these bars and looks forward to them at camp but alas the new chef does not have them on the menu.  What to do?  Make them yourself.

They are so easy no baking involved.

 

Buckeye Bars

Makes 12-15 bars I usually double the recipe.

Line a 9 x 9 pan with foil. I leave the foil hanging over the sides for easy removal.

Use a sauce pan and melt:

1 Cup butter

add to the butter

2 Cups Graham Crackers-about 2 packs, finally ground.

1 1/2 Cups of Powdered Sugar

1 Cup creamy Peanut Butter

Mix the above all together and press into the pan.

Make a double boiler: place a smaller sauce pan with a cup of water on the stove top bring the water to a simmer.  Now place a larger sauce pan on top the simmering water.

Add  2 Cups Chocolate Chips-you can use milk chocolate, semi-sweet or my favorite dark chocolate and 3 Tablespoons of Peanut Butter and stir until melted.  (You can also use a microwave but I think it’s much more work.)

Spread the chocolate peanut butter mixture on top of the crust and chill in the refrigerator at least an hour before you cut them.

These are so rich I cut them fairly small.

Best eaten when cheering the Buckeyes on to Victory.

 

 

 

Spicy Goodness

How does time fly so fast and where has the summer gone?  Katie’s in Aspen and I’ve been there twice, once in a beige VW with my mother as co-pilot while driving across the USA without my driver’s license.  Jonathan at home slaving away at Wyandot…is there really a snack emergency all across these States that demand people work twelve hour days packing snacks?

I finally made it to our beloved Arcadia, the waters of Lake Michigan, the Camp we all love best. Now that I’m back in Ohio I’m trying to make Jonathan’s favorite foods before he heads back to Ohio State and here is one we discovered in the last year from The New York Times Mapo Ragu.  We love it, I served it with spaghetti last night because Grandma was here and she’s not a rice fan.  We all agreed we liked it better with rice the sauce soaks into the rice better than the spaghetti.  I also double the recipe for the sauce.  You know it is pretty spicy.  It is  right of at the top of my spice level tolerance.  After making it last night I think you could use 1 1/2 T of Sriracha and 2 T. of soy, that would lower the heat level.

It’s really a pantry meal, I used ground deer sausage someone gave us and was in the freezer. I subbed in spinach for the kale because the kale looked pathetic at Wal Mart. I think a heartier green like mustard greens would be good and stand up to the spicy sauce. Make it your own and enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons neutral oil, like canola
  • 2 large onions, peeled and sliced
  • Pinch of kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1 pound ground pork or any ground meat
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • Rice, pasta any kind of Asian Noodle
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of water
  • 1 bunch kale or any hearty cooking greens, roughly chopped
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish
  • Peanut to garnish, I really think they are a must.

 

Heat the  2 T. oil to medium heat and add the onions and a pinch of salt and cook until they are tender and brown 20 minutes or so, you may need to lower the heat after the first 10 minutes.  Stir to evenly brown. Remove the onions to a bowl and add the last Tablespoon of oil if needed, cook the ground meat breaking it up into small pieces until it is brown about 10 minutes. Add the onions back to the meat.

Add the garlic and the ginger and cook until softened.

Then add the greens and let them soften, stir them into the meat.

In a small bowl mix the sriracha, brown sugar, soy sauce and water.

Put the sauce into the pan with the meat and onions and greens  simmer for a few minutes.

Serve over rice or noodles.

 

Baked Rice

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You three know when I can’t make something well I have to keep making it until I get it right.  That’s the story of me and rice.  I was always jealous of our Indian friends and their perfect rice.  I seem to have accomplished a much better rice by baking it.  So here’s the recipe, I like to make extra rice and freeze it then it is ready the next time I want some.

There’s a lesson in this:  If you can’t do something well at first; keep practicing.

Rice Baked

  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups of water

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put your rice in a fine mesh strainer and rinse it well with cold water.

Put the glass baking dish in the oven with the butter and let it melt.  Put the rice in the dish after the butter melts and stir the rice to coat with the butter. Add 2 cups of water and salt.  Cover the baking dish with foil and bake 20 minutes. Turn off the oven and let it sit covered for 10 minutes.

Hello Katie and my hungry sons

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Katie you are about to embark on a major adventure.  Feeding yourself, this is the  first time in twenty years that you will be completely and totally responsible for deciding what you eat.  So far, I as your parent, and your school have been primarily responsible for the cooking and the cleaning up.  Now this responsibility will fall on you.  Not just the occasional meal but the everyday decision about how to nourish yourself.  You’re already a pretty good cook.  But deciding everyday what to eat, is not as exciting as cooking a special meal.  As you know by now, I think food not only nourishes your body, but your soul.  A good meal brings people together.

I will be posting ideas, recipes and my thoughts about cooking, food and whatever else I want.  Take what you want.  May you be as well fed as you are loved.

Feel free to share this with your friends.

Omelet for One

Well you had to know I’d start with an egg.  Adapted from Julia Child.

3 eggs-if I’m not really hungry I’ll use 2 eggs

olive oil-1-2 teaspoons

dijon mustard-1/2 teaspoon

milk-1 Tablespoon or a splash

cheese-parmesan, cheddar, any kind you like-however much you want

salt/pepper

vegetables and meat of your choice

small non-stick skillet

small spatula-wooden or silicone

Directions:

Heat olive oil in skillet over low heat.  Whisk the egg, milk and dijon together. Generously pepper and salt. Pour gently into the skillet. Use your spatula to lift the edges of the egg mixture and let the undone part seep under in the pan.  Keep the heat low.  Continue to lift the edges until no more can run under.  At this point you could flip it over to finish the uncooked side or put a lid on it.  Off  goes the heat so you don’t overcook the egg. Either way add some cheese, veggies, meat or whatever you want. Slide it onto a plate and voila! Breakfast, lunch or dinner.