I’ve always been good at following directions. In classes where there are random directions that most miss, I’m usually on top of it (except that one time, I don’t like to think about it…). So this following directions bit, I do it well, except I can’t seem to get myself to follow cooking directions. Baking, I follow the ingredient list and usually all the steps required (except the whole mix in separate bowls thing, just mix in the baking soda and salt in the last bit of the flour, but I digress). But baking is so much more chemistry than cooking is. In cooking so many ingredients can be substituted in and out and then incorporated in a new way that I rarely worry about following them to a T. Thus we have this un-stuffed cabbage recipe.
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Every few weeks I roast a chicken. After I am done, I end up with about 20 cups of chicken stock. It’s a lot of stock. During the winter it’s useful and cherished, but during the summer it’s a little intense to figure out what to do with so much stock.
One way we like to use up some of the stock is by making risotto. Now, I have two little ones who run and crawl around while I make dinner. All the while we 3 anticipate the arrive of Daddy. Me, so he can take over answering the never ending stream of consciousness of questions, and the boys, well, they just miss him and don’t understand why he leaves. All that said, I (and the kids) don’t really have the patience for me to sit glued to the front of the stove continuously stirring a pot of creamy starchy goodness. Enter oven baked risotto!
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In every family there is at least one recipe that’s everyone’s favorite and gets made over and over again. In my family it was these banana muffins.
My brother, Will, was a fairly picky eat growing up and my mom would often joke that if I really liked something he wouldn’t like it and vice versa. That wasn’t the case when it came to these muffins (though it was the case with chip beef on toast, yuck). To this day whenever we go visit and my mom asks us what she should make we still request these muffins (even though Will and I are fully capable of making these for ourselves whenever we want…)
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While we have been down at my parent’s house this past week and a half we have had a ton of yummy food. One of our favorites is this brown rice salad. It is quite addicting, we’ve made it twice already and are contemplating a third time. It would be a great side dish to take to a summer potluck or a 4th of July Party. It can hold its own in the summer heat or is delish chilled right out of the fridge. Brown rice mixed with a dairy free dressing, crunch from pecans and celery and tang from ginger, shallots and orange juice. Mmm my mouth is watering just thinking about it, and I have
a bowl right in front of me eaten a bowl just now.
This is a favorite salad that we like to serve for any special occasion or Tuesday night dinner. The hardest part is waiting for the brown rice to cook, it always takes longer than I think it will. Throw the dressing ingredients in a food processor or blender and you are basically there. If you need it to be nut free (like me), you can always omit the pecans and it is still just as yummy, just add a little more celery to keep the crunch to chewy ratio.
Brown Rice Salad
From Momba’s Kitchen
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 shallot chopped
- 1 TBSP minced ginger
- 3 TBSP brown sugar
- 3/4 cup of extra light EVOO
- 3 cups of cooked brown rice (1 1/2 cups uncooked)
- 1/2 cup of celery chopped (about 2-3 ribs)
- 1/2 cup of green onions
- 1/2 cup of toasted nuts (we like pecans but walnuts, pine nuts or slivered almonds would be good as well)
- 1 can of mandarin oranges drained and chilled
- salt and pepper to taste
Put your can of mandarin oranges in the refrigerator a few hours before you start.
Cook your brown rice according to the package directions (just in case, it is usually 2:1 ration of water to rice, so 3 cups of water to 1 1/2 cups of rice). Meanwhile chop the shallot and ginger and prep your ingredients for the dressing. In your food processor or blender add the first 5 ingredients. Run the machine for a bit to get it going, then on a low speed slowly add the EVOO. Mix until combined.
Chop the celery and green onions. Toast the nuts in a small pan on the stove until fragrant (make sure you watch these closely so they don’t burn). Pull your oranges from the fridge and drain them (if you forgot to put them in the fridge no worries it isn’t critical, just make the taste testing all the yummier).
In a large bowl mix all your ingredients together (you may want to reserve a little of the dressing for later, but you don’t have to). Be prepared to start crying as the onions often get really strong when mixed with the warm rice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Test the salad and try not to eat it all while standing at the counter.
Chill the salad until you are ready to serve. It just might be better the next day, so feel free to make it a day (or two?) early.
Combining two pins in one, No Cook Playdough and Mud Playdough. We hadn’t made any playdough since Feb and between it drying out a bit and the dog eating much of it (bad bad bad, the playdough is not good for dogs, and the amount of salt that is in it can be toxic for them, luckily (in that he didn’t go into toxic shock or anything) for us, Buddy just was super super thirsty and peed every 10 minutes for the next 24 hours (rough night)) we needed more.
I thought the brown, mud, playdough would be fun and had seen a post on making a no cook version. Basically the same recipe, just use hot water instead of boiling the whole thing on the stove. It does seem to be smoother, and stayed fresh while we played with it the whole day (it was the only thing he did from about 10 -6:30, only taking a nap in between…)
We have moved the process up to the kitchen table as to avoid the dog sneaking some while we are out of the room. Overall this was a great success, the dog didn’t eat any and Henry had a ton of fun!
No Cook Mud Playdough
From theimaginationtree.com and icanteachmychild.com
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup salt
- 2 TBSP cream of tartar
- 2 TBSP cocoa powder (or food coloring of your choice)
- 2 TBSP vegetable oil
- 2 cups boiling water
Mix the dry ingredients together. Add the vegetable oil and 3/4 of the water. Mix until combined to a sticky
mess dough, adding more water as needed. Let the mixture cool to room temperature. Roll out onto a well floured surface and kneed the dough until it is no longer sticky and is a nice playdough consistency.
Store in an air tight container in the fridge and play with it as often as desired.