So our town has a Farmers Market every other weekend. I went a couple of weeks ago, and ended up getting some great vegetables: green beans, garlic, and cucumbers. For some reason I got the idea to pickle them (I have been enjoying Bloody Mary’s and thought it would be good to have my own pickled items in my drinks). I researched a couple of different methods and decided to do a quick pickle instead of canning.Got together my ingredients for the liquid portion of the quick pickles.White and Apple Cider Vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt, water, and ground mustard. Boil 8 quarts of water, and place the containers (jars for the pickled items), in sudsy water. Let them soak (I soaked the lids as well). Rinse with boiling water as well, and let dry.Begin by placing the liquid (2 cups of vinegar and 2 cups of water) into pot, add 1 Tablespoon of salt.One clove of garlic, peeled.1 Tablespoon of red pepper flakes. I also added whole mustard seeds-1 Tablespoon (forgot to take the picture).Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 8-10 minutes.Prep the beans, by snapping the ends off, then rinsing them with cold water.I assembled my jars, and then sorted the veges to the jars. One small jar of garlic, and two jars of cucumbers.I added fresh dill to each jar. Depending on how much you like the herb, you can add more or not add it all.To the jars with the green beans, I also added a raw garlic clove.Cool the liquid slightly, and then pour over each of the vegetables until they are covered.Then add the lids to the jars and let cool on the counter.I placed these in the refrigerator once they cooled. These are a quick pickle, so you don’t have to do the entire canning process. (I wish I could tell you what that process is, but I haven’t done it yet. I plan to this spring with other vegetables I hope to get at the farmers market.)
I hope to let you know how they turned out soon. They should be ready in 24 hours, but have waited about two weeks.
Last weekend, I went to our local farmers market. I picked up some great items, one of which, I used in this recipe.I got some amazing green beans, and cucumbers. I ended up cleaning the green beans, by snapping the ends off, then rinsing them. I par-boiled 3/4’s of the beans for about 6-7 minutes. Plunged them in an ice bath to stop the cooking process.Chopped two shallots, and sauteed until translucent in a bit of olive oil and salt.Once the shallots are almost clear, add mushrooms. I used baby portbella’s.After about five minutes of sauteing the mushrooms, I added the green beans. Seasoned with salt and pepper as well. You may need to add more oil. Again, after 5 minutes of cooking all of it together, add about a half of a cup of Sherry.Cook for about three minutes so that the alcohol can be cooked out. Earlier in the day, I had roasted a bulb of garlic. I chopped two cloves, and added it to the pan.For the finishing, I added two tablespoons of butter (unsalted). Continue to cook until the Sherry is reduced as this doesn’t have much of a sauce. I cheated and served this with a rotisserie chicken. I loved the freshness of the green beans, and the earthiness of the mushrooms. It was a very hearty side dish that made me feel less guilty of not making the roast chicken.My plate (still using a small salad plate as my serving plate). And, David liked it as well.
David loves potatoes. Doesn’t matter how they are prepared just so long as they are potatoes. Since it has gotten a little cooler, I don’t mind the oven being on. So roasted potatoes are super easy, and I enjoy them as well.
Three pounds of small yukon gold potatoes, washed, and quartered. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet.Salt, pepper, and olive oil and toss to coat evenly. Bake at 350 degrees until golden, and crispy, about 30 minutes (in my oven).I always add some salt after cooking. I am posting more of the recipes I do a regular basis for our kids. Simple ones, I know, but for them, a permanent record of what I cook. Hopefully, you won’t be bored with them, and might even enjoy them as well.
Geoffrey Zakarian showcased this recipe on the Kitchen. I didn’t follow the recipe completely, but it turned out really nice.
I varied the recipe with what I had:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 cup olives, pitted
1 cup white wine
1/4 cup capers
6 artichokes (from a jar stored in water)
1 to 2 cups of marinara sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the olives, white wine and capers and cook about 2 minutes. Add the artichokes, and stir. Place in a oven safe dish.Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Add about two cups of the marinara sauce to the top of the mixture. Bake for about ten minutes then drop dollops of the ricotta cheese on each artichoke, then top with the grated Pecorino. Bake in the oven covered for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes.I really thought this was going to be salty, but it wasn’t. The ricotta made it creamy, and the white wine, and olives made it tangy. It was good.
David didn’t think he was going to enjoy this dip at all, but he did. So, I think I will make it again.
The past couple of Sunday’s, we have been making beef roasts. It’s not been cool enough to the oven on, but my cravings for them have been there.
So I did the same basic recipe with Beef Roast that I made not too long ago. However, this time I added a container of white button mushrooms.Saute until cooked down, and a little brown.Add the meat back and cook on 350 degrees for 4-5 hours. David’s plate below.And, my plate.I served it with pan sauteed carrots. I think I need to make another roast.
When we visited family in DC, we had some incredible meals that were primarily vegetarian. Rosetta was the cook for portions of the meals, and I asked for several of her recipes. This is one of her recipes. She made black beans that were so simple but so good that I had to make them.I used dried black beans, and soaked them overnight in cold water. First thing the next morning, I rinsed them.Pour the rinse beans into a pan and cover with water. Add salt, pepper, olive oil (just a bit), and two cloves of garlic minced to the pot. Bring to boil and cook until the beans are tender. You might need to add more water, please watch and taste after about a hour of low simmer.
You can serve these beans as is, or mushed on tortillas, or over rice! So good. So simple. Really good.I used mine in nachos. Loved the flavors. Simple and really good.Pictures really don’t show how good these beans are. I loved that something so simple could be so good.
I have shared I watch a lot of the Food Network, and I really enjoy The Kitchen. They shared a really simple recipe for an olive spread that I thought I would try (especially since I had everything in the pantry or fridge-bonus).Olives, both green and Kalamata, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. About a cup of both olives, drained.Three cloves of garlic.Oh, oregano–a generous amount of oregano, lemon juice as well (I didn’t put in a lot). Put all into a blender or food processor. Add enough olive oil to keep it creamy. I started with about 1 tablespoon, and ended up added another 2 teaspoons.You can use this on fish, chicken, or as a spread on toast or crackers. Super yummy. And, yes, you will need to add just a bit of salt. I doubted it at first, and then ended up adding it in later.
Since I made sauce for the zucchini lasagna, and I had some extra (score), I decided to go ahead and make some meals for either dinner or lunches for the week.
David is part of a local community theater group, and will be in rehearsals all week. So I will be on my own for dinner.
I had a sweet potato, sliced, chopped. Add a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake at 350 degrees until soft and tender.I also had spiralized some zucchini – made some noodles.Three bowls with some zucchini, sweet potatoes, and…Added the meat sauce, and then parmesan cheese of course! Four meals…well, one is zucchini noodles with some olive oil, salt and pepper – with shrimp that I had sauteed as I had ran out of meat sauce.This week was so much better for meal planning and prepping. I felt so much better about dinners, and lunches and my overall health.
How was your week? Did you plan/meal prep?
I have been craving Lasagna for a while, as since flour pasta is not something I should be eating, I tried it with zucchini (again). I used my madoline, and sliced it thin. Laid them out on a paper towel, sprinkled with salt (to draw out the moisture). Let them sit for a little bit…you will see the moisture draw out.For the sauce: pound of ground beef, 3 cloves of garlic, and a medium onion. Sauteed until cooked through. Seasoning: cinnamon (yes, just a bit), Italian seasoning and Oregano, salt and pepper.I used some of the Slocomb Tomatoes that I put up a couple of years ago for the sauce (and just let it simmer for a while), and a couple of cups of red wine. I added some tomato sauce as it wasn’t deepening like I wanted.Wipe off the moisture from the zucchini, and place into a 9×9 dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Next, layer…with sauce…Mix together a small container FULL FAT ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup parmesan, egg, and a generous amount of pepper.Hint: drop the half of cheese mix into spots around the dish THEN spread out to cover.One block of mozzarella cheese, shredded. Sprinkle a third of it on the first layer. And, repeat…Once you add the second layer of cheese mixture, top with mozzarella, then add the other 1/2 cup of parmesan. It will add a nice crust to the top.Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until nice and bubbly.Remove the foil, and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.I LOVED mine…the noodles (zucchini) were perfect for me…and it was the perfect serving size. David’s portion (and he had seconds!), with extra’s.We had leftovers for the next several nights, and even had some for when Carmen was home. She even enjoyed it! The cinnamon really adds a nice hint of something extra.
I had made Yogurt Bread as well…so yummy!
Have you ever stared at something then suddenly realized you could do something else with it? I did that exact thing with my leftover baked potatoes. I have baked potatoes, and just used them for normal leftovers. David would used as a normal side dish, or top them for BBQ pork or brisket. But Carmen was home, and I wanted to make something different.
I have made a Breakfast Casserole with a hash-brown crust before but it was made with those frozen hash-brown patties. I decided to shred the leftover baked potatoes, and make a breakfast casserole. Simple – right? It was!Clean, and peal the potatoes.I used a boxed shredder, and used the large grater side.Spray the bottom of a casserole dish (9×13) with non-stick cooking spray, and then layered the potatoes on top.The rest was either frozen or canned, but assembled and re-purposed into the casserole. The first being the roasted bell peppers, chopped to add color and a bit of a bite.Jimmy Dean frozen turkey sausage. I had half of bag left in the freezer. So simple, pre-cooked. Done.(8) Eight eggs, beaten with a cup of sour cream (no milk- do what you can with what you have – right?).Mixed in ground mustard (a must for my breakfast dishes – adds a bite without a lot heat), parsley, salt and pepper. Blend together.I added about 2 cups chopped frozen broccoli to casserole. With the red bell pepper it adds a nice color.Pour the egg and sour cream mixture over the top of the hash-brown layers.Top everything with shredded cheddar cheese (again, what I had in the freezer). Oven at 350 degrees, and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Since everything was already cooked but the eggs, it really is a simple bake.My corner piece…It was bright, creamy, and super yummy! Carmen loved it – she didn’t have to make anything for breakfast- score. And, it made for great leftovers for the week as well since it was mainly David and I at home.Breakfast Casseroles are a great way to use up to lots of little things left in the freezer or refrigerator. Carmen really liked it. I loved this. David really enjoyed it as he loves potatoes, and anything that I cook with them in it. What do you cook that you use up your leftovers or extras?