Category Archives: Recipe

What We Ate

Monday: I wanted breakfast, which we normally don’t do as a “meal,” it’s usually catch as catch can with both of us finding cereal or whatever suits. I made herb/cheese omlettes. It was okay, but I’m trying to use up the artisinal cheese we got and it’s “sour” by nature and I’m not fond of that. Would have been better, I think, with other cheese. I also used fresh dill, parsley and tarragon, because I have them. Some time ago, I stopped making 4 egg omlettes for us and use 3 instead.

  • There’s a video of Jacques Pepin talking about how to make omlettes I found interesting and instructive, here.
  • Or, there’s another with him, slightly different, that’s here.

We had cheese, crackers and apple for lunch. Not exciting, but it works.

I made more garlic salt this afternoon.

Tonight’s dinner will be the lentils, rice, and onions dish I’ve made before. I have some small sausages to add. I’m feeling lazyish, in that I don’t want to research another recipe for something new to make, either in one of my cookbooks or online!

We have an actual head of lettuce from the farm as well as jarred salad, which has become a staple here.


Tuesday: No organized breakfast. Lunch was LO lentils/rice. Dinner? I have no idea, except salad and more LO lentils/rice. We’ve been discussing going to the small natural market after work . . . maybe we’ll pick up instant dinner?

DH made hamburgers with onions, his usual burger. We had it with leaf lettuce and jarred salad.


Wednesday: No breakfast. I really need to research breakfast casseroles or something like it so that we can just get up and eat breakfast, even if we’re not sitting down. Both of us snack too much and we agreed we need to eat a “formal” breakfast. I guess that means overnight oats (which I’ve never made) or a casserole of some kind.

I found a recipe in a cookbook for “blender applesauce” which I made as a side dish for dinner. I’m cooking pork chops, which leaves 1  “thick slab” and a little carnitas still remaining of the expensive meat.

Here’s the recipe for blender applesauce and my modified version. Original recipe from Everything But the Kitchen Sink, by Eliason, Harward & Westover, 1986, HP Books. The cookbook is subtitled “A Plan-Ahead Cookbook” and was designed to use the bits & pieces leftover after other recipes and turn them into useful food. It’s great for us, as the yields aren’t huge most of the time. (These are the same authors who wrote the Make a Mix Cookery,  and  More Make a Mix Cookery.)

Fresh Blender Applesauce

  • 4 lg cooking apples, peeled, cored and cubed (about 4C)
  • 2T lemon juice
  • 1/4C water
  • 1/3C sugar
  • 1/8t ground cinnamon (optional, the person who owned the cookbook before me wrote in “apple pie spice” and crossed out “cinnamon.”)

In a blender/food processor with a metal blade, combine all ingredients. Process until mix is smooth. Transfer to a saucepan, bring to a boil. Serve warm or cool. Cover and refrigerate until chilled. Makes 2C.

My version:

Pink Applesauce

  • 6 small macoun apples (or other red, sweet apples), cored, sliced and diced (keep peels on) , 4C worth.
  • 2T lemon juice (1 lemon’s worth, when lemon is zapped 10 sec. in a microwave and then rolled on the counter to make it juicer). Remove seeds from juice.
  • 1/4C water
  • 1T vanilla paste*

Combine lemon juice, water, and vanilla paste in the 1C measure after you put the apples in the blender or food processor.  Follow instructions above, but leave mixture slightly chunky so as to keep the red bits. The sauce turns pink with red dots. If it sits long enough the entire thing turns pink, or it did for me!

It’s sweet enough for us between the sweet apples and the vanilla paste.  (If you want it sweeter, add a little sugar or syrup. Or, omit the vanilla paste altogether and add some sugar.)

*My husband loves vanilla, and is always on me to use less sugar, so I almost always have this. It’s expensive, but a bottle lasts about a year.


Thursday: I made the “breakfast casserole” for lunch/brunch. Dinner was salad and smoothies. It was hot!


Friday: Lunch was catch as catch can, left overs, hummus on crackers, etc. Dinner was smoothies and salad again.


Saturday: We had left overs for lunch. I made the skillet dish I talked about here for dinner. There’s barely enough rice/veggies left for one person’s lunch.


Sunday: We had oven fried chicken and salad. DH had his with a quasi-mole sauce. I had mine plain. We have one left over chicken thigh to use up.

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Photo by Angela Bailey on Unsplash


Monday: DH needs to bake bread. We need to use up mozzarella, a chicken thigh, and veggies. Cheese sauce? Lasagna? (No noodles.) Salad with cheese and chicken, like a chef’s salad? We have salami in the freezer still I think? (Maybe.) I’ll look and see what we’ve got. A salad for lunch would work too. We’re busy working on our bedroom revision, so something that isn’t involved sounds good!

I had the last of the skillet dinner from Saturday for lunch, not sure what DH had.

We both must have been wanting more sweet stuff, DH made tapioca and I made a mug cake from this recipe. I had a hard time finding one that didn’t use chocolate bits, which I don’t have and used only cocoa, which I do!

We had white pizza for dinner, the last chicken thigh from Sunday, onion, and the mozzarella.

 

Brunch Casserole

I made a breakfast casserole. By the time I made it? Well, we had it for lunch.

The recipe I used is this one. I made about 1/3rd as much as specified, because there’s only 2 of us. I used regular hashbrowns, because I already had them. My notes, aside from the calculated quantities say:

  • Good, use garlic salt instead of fresh minced.
  • If you’re cutting it down, by weight, it’s 7 sausage links —  try 6 next time.
  • Yellow pepper was okay, red would be better (red is specified).
  • Grease the pan!

I will definitely make this again. If you try it, let me know in the comments below. The one thing I noticed is that it doesn’t particularly stretch the food, 1 egg per person, about 3 sausages per person, etc.

I wonder what I could add that would make it more economical

or pandemic/retirement friendly?

Pandemic/Retirement Corn Casserole

This was started in April, 2020.

I made chili from the freezer the other day: a package of  “stewed” tomatoes, 5  salsa cubes, the end of the cooked ground turkey, and about 1C of left over chili. It was good!

In the process, I also took out of the freezer a package of roasted chilis from last July. They got thawed before I realized I didn’t need or want them for the chili. So, what do I do with them?

My idea was a  chili relleno casserole, using a package of corn bread mix, which I have at the moment.

So, I went looking for a recipe. I found a chili relleno casserole I’d made before,  (#1).  I can’t link to it, sorry, all I wrote down on the written copy I made was “internet” not where it came from! And my usual 5 ingredient corn casserole, this one (#2). While looking for the first recipe, I also found this (#3), new to me which sounded good.

  1. I rejected my original recipe (#1) because of the amount of ingredients.
  2. I used this recipe since it used the least ingredients and I had everything.
  3. I rejected this recipe because of the use of sour cream and heavy cream. Not only do I not have either, but we don’t use them up when I do.

Because the corn casserole recipe (#2) doesn’t normally cook in layers and I had a container of roasted chilis to use, I made the usual batter and put 1/2 in the bottom of the pan, then put a layer of chilis on top, then put the other 1/2 of the batter on that.*

It was good.

And, btw, the original corn casserole recipe (#2 above) is a standard here. It’s yummy!


*If you don’t have a container of frozen chilis, a can of chopped or whole chilis would work. I just made a layer of chilis on 1/2 the corn mix in the pan, then spread the rest of the batter on top evenly so the chilis don’t “show”.

This is good enough that I’ve made it twice now! 5/13

More Retirement/Pandemic Food with Apples

I made a “Brother Jonathan” today. Apparently apples and bread or breadcrumbs are a thing. I never knew about anything other than apple crisp or cobbler.  I’m not a huge fan of cooked apples, so I haven’t sought out apple recipes.

I found this in one of my country cookbooks, it’s dead easy, and I like it better than the Danish Pudding.

Ingredients: apples, water, bread dough — that’s it. No sugar, salt, raisins, sweeteners, nada!

Core and slice the apples. Layer them evenly into a sauce pan, leaving at least 2″ free on top. Pour in 1/2C water (to keep them from scorching). Take uncooked bread dough (we used 1 loaf’s worth) and make a plug across the apples, don’t seal it but layer the dough over the apples to the edge of the pan. Put the lid on the pan (tight fitting lid). Cook on high heat until you hear the water boiling. Reduce heat to a simmer, cook another 45 minutes.

Take off lid. Put platter or large plate over top of pan. Invert it all. Apples end up on top of the bread. Serve with maple syrup.

It would be good with cream, I don’t have any.

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Photo by Sarah Gualtieri on Unsplash

Retirement Planning: Using Expensive Meat

I bought that 3 lb pork loin 4/30.  The meat cost $9.99/lb., $1.99/lb over my preferred price of $8 or less.*

I have a cookbook which talks about dividing a 3 lb pork loin into four meals: chops, chow mein, sweet & sour, and a roast.

I cut it into 5. One smallish piece, 3 thick slabs, and a roast. Then I put the pieces into the freezer.

The cost was why I divided it the way I did. Assuming my idea works as planned? It’s 10 portions, or about $2.79 each. If I’d divided it as in my cookbook, it would have been 8 meals, $3.49 per portion.

Tonight’s dinner will be made with the smaller piece I put aside, in pork soup, using this recipe. I don’t have the specified sausage or 5 spice powder, so I’ll modify it, as usual. I do have regular pork sausage, but I’ll make the soup without it. I used a piece of fat from the pork instead of oil to cook the veggies. I’ll add bell pepper and celery leaves from the fridge, stems from the freezer, and whatever else I think it needs for flavoring.

2 p.m.: The soup is asimmer. I’ll add the minced stems, celery leaves, and apple a few minutes before serving.  (The recipe calls for a sour apple and all I have is a sweet one, it seemed it would be better added near the end.)


The soup was good and we have about 1 portion left over.

5/5: We used it for 3 meals. At lunch, we use custard cups for things like soup. When soup is dinner, we use large bowls!

5/10: One of the thick pieces cut into 2 pork chops. Dinner!

5/12: Decided we’d have the 1 lb piece (the roast) as carnitas. I found a recipe for it, but I’ve never made carnitas before, so we’ll see! I’ll put in a link to the recipe when I use it, this coming Friday, along with any comments. The only comment I have now is that the recipe specifies a 4 lb roast and I don’t have one!

5/15: Made the carnitas. Two portions were dinner. What remained was split between the fridge for meals this weekend and the freezer for future use. The cost per portion has been updated to reflect the 2 meals eaten.

5/16: Two portions of shredded meat on salads with a thick slice of mozzarella and red bell pepper shreds. Just needed salt and pepper. Great! There’s a little of what I put in the fridge left, not enough for a meal. Will probably be used as a garnish or such…

It was used on our dinner, which was salad too, the count was updated to reflect two more servings.

5/20: We had one of the slabs, cut into 2 pork chops for dinner with the HM applesauce.


I made a carrot salad, this one, which I didn’t cook as long as specified, my husband doesn’t like cooked carrots. It was very spring-y looking, as the dill looks like carrot tops. It was okay. I added a little agave syrup (about 1 tsp)  and used less onion to suit our tastes. I’ll make this again, but it isn’t the huge hit the jarred salad has been.

(We ate the last of the 2nd batch of jarred salad for lunch. I’m out of cabbage, so I couldn’t make more — I made the carrot salad instead.)


Total cost $27.92.  Portions eaten 2 + 1 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 +3

Cost per portion = $13.96 $9.31 $5.58 $3.99 $3.10 $2.54 $2.14 $1.86 $1.55


*My target price of $8/lb for meat is discussed here. My goal is to have the meat in a meal cost $2 or less per portion. My conclusions about this experiment can be found here.

simon-birt-tSruvNOg1j0-unsplashPhoto by Simon Birt on Unsplash

Links Roundup: Apr – Jun (working)

I will add to this as each month ends. At the beginning of July, when I put in June’s list, I’ll remove the  “(working)” label.

APRIL

MAY

More Pandemic Food: Jarred Cabbage Salad

I just made what I’ll call a “jarred” salad, as it’s in the fridge in a jar, marinating. I used this recipe, and modified it these ways:

  1. I don’t have cucumbers.
  2. I made approx. 1/2 as much as specified.
  3. I only had red pepper, I used one big FAT one.
  4. I used my HM champagne vinegar with tarragon; it’s my fave flavor combo. When I can find the vinegar cheap I buy as much as I can afford then add fresh tarragon.
  5. I used HM garlic salt, this one, instead of garlic powder and sea salt.
  6. I made up the full recipe of dressing, expecting to have about 1/2 of it left to use as salad dressing this week. All of it’s in the jar! We ate all the salad and I have the expected pint of dressing, remaining.

Why didn’t I just make coleslaw? Because I do not like coleslaw — that’s why! I have no problem with cabbage, but I don’t like coleslaw!

pointing finger

THIS IS REALLY GOOD!

IT WILL BE A PANTRY STAPLE FOR A LONG TIME TO COME. 

REALLY GOOD !!!


Tonight’s dinner: LO lemon chicken from Weds. with gravy made from the drippings. Cooked a double pot of rice. Had mixed baby green salad with a little of the jarred salad on top. Put some of the dried greens on top of the rice, looked very fawncy!

The LO gravy will be put in the freezer to use as a soup base sometime soon. The bones were added to the current “stock” bin also in the freezer. The LO rice will be used for a tomato-less burrito bowl, as I don’t have any non-red tomatoes. The farm’s greens this week included a small portion of cilantro and I bought limes, so I have everything else. There’s 1 thigh left in the fridge to use and that will go in the burrito bowl. (I split my last bulk pack of chicken thighs up into 1 lb pkgs this week. I must have bought a six lb package because I expected to get the dinner I making (3 thighs) and 4 packages of 3 each. But I ended up with 5 thighs and 4 packages. So we’ve had a lot of chicken this week!