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Saturday, March 28, 2020

Cooking up Disaster

 These photos were taken at the Walmart, on one of my many trips, in my hometown. They are a startling reminder of what's going on in our country, our states, our towns.  In all the melee, please remember to be courteous of others and considerate of quantity limits set by the stores to ensure that more shoppers have an opportunity to pick up the items they need for their families too.   A sweeping 'hoarderesque' effect has taken hold during this Pandemic, on our people, somewhat forcing others to follow suit or miss out.
Do not forget, we are only  as strong  as our weakest teammates.  Yes, we would like to acquire the goods offered at the stores. True, we don't want to run out. Yes, some states and cities are under quarantine and had to hurriedly find staples before the lockdown.  It is good to be proactive during this time, but the unfortunate part of this scenario is that we are not yet even under quarantine or facing the tribulations of some cities.
 Some of the town's residents have embraced an attitude of 'no one matters, except my family'  and that is most unfortunate. It seems as if they have lost regard for fellow mankind in an effort of self preservation. 
Please be considerate of others during this time.  Lastly, treat others as you would have them treat you and use this as your guide to humanity and gauging your moral compass.  Together, we're better! Just make sure you are limiting your group numbers and practicing social distancing, so we can do our part to help thwart the enemy and force it into dormancy.





Friday, March 27, 2020

See & Slay: Deep Dish Pepperoni Pizza Puffs


Ingredients:
PEPPERONI, TURKEY OR REGULAR
1 lb. pizza dough, divided, I bought pre-made from deli
Sauce, homemade or store bought
A pair of muffin tins
Olive oil for drizzling
SPST (Salt and Pepper to Suit Taste)
425*F Oven.

Stretch one half of dough across olive oil drizzled muffin tin. Add sauce into each cup and sprinkle cheese.


Spread pepperoni across layer of cheese.

 Add more cheese.

Cover with second half of dough, drizzle with olive oil.

Cover with second tin and place on cookie sheet to bake.

Bake until golden and bubbly, about 12-15 minutes.
,
Invert onto surface to cool for 2 minutes.



Cut into 6 pieces.  Serve with extra sauce on side or as is.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Foraging: Morel Mushrooms

 I just wanted to post a little something to make you smile.  I found these today. I can't wait to go back tomorrow. I have my dehydrator ready. If you have some recipe ideas, please feel free to leave them in the comments section. I will be developing recipes overtime to make the most of this bounty, and share some with my loved ones.  I'll be taking the kiddoes with me as a part of their home school curriculum.  We live in an isolated area of the country, so we can do so safely.  Happy Foraging, but please be sure to TRIPLE AND QUADRUPLE check your haul to make sure it is safe.



Also, I want to wish my nephew Justin, a very Happy Birthday!!! We Love You!!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Frico Egg Art


How about something to get your kids engaged, that's easy to do, plus fills their bellies at the same time.  Enter this quick, simple and delicious two ingredient recipe.  Frico is a style that hails from North Eastern Italy and it involves heating cheese and sometimes adding other ingredients, this time it's a sliced boiled egg, but you can also use cooked slices of potato, peppers, mushrooms etc.. Execution is a breeze and you can exercise your creative muscles to make designs using your choice of ingredients.  Save the egg salad for later!

Recipe:

Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese or other hard cheese
Sliced boiled eggs
large nonstick saute pan
Spatula
SPST

Directions:
Over medium high heat, place about 1 oz. of cheese.
Once cheese starts to melt, reduce heat to medium and arrange eggs in a pattern.
Place another scant pinch of cheese onto center of frico.
Use a spatula to help frico keep its shape around the edges.
Remove from heat and wait about 1 minute.
Invert onto plate to show design and serve or place on buttered  or toasted bread.


I want to wish my first born daughter Genesis, a very Happy 14th Birthday Today,
Hope Your Day is Filled with Memorable Blessings!!!
Love, Mom, Bronwyn, Braelyn ( The Bees), Gram. 


Saturday, March 21, 2020

5 Cheese Ziti in Bechamel

Ever have a bunch of packages of cheese, too much to throw away, but not enough for a recipe. This is one such recipe, containing a mishmosh of lots of little portions of cheese.  When I make mac and cheese, the kids usually dive right in, sometimes choosing a creamy stove top version over the Southern style baked one.  That's fine and dandy with me, though I think they sometimes don't appreciate the love that goes into a baked one.
By creating a nice creamy bechamel, you can add all the portions of cheese, for a delicious dinner in no time and cut down on food waste. Whatever cheeses you have on hand will do, I happened to have five. (havarti, mild and sharp cheddar, parmesan and gouda. Together they made about 2 1/2 c. which worked well in the sauce. 

The sauce may be achieved by first melting 4 tbsp. butter and a couple drizzles of olive oil to a medium saucepan over medium heat.
Next sprinkle in about 1/4 c. AP flour and cook for about 1 minute, cooking out the raw flour taste.
Next, whisk in a can of evaporated milk, dissolving the flour and making a bechamel. 
To the bechamel add 1 tsp. onion powder and a dash of paprika. The sauce will thicken as it cooks, so turn the temperature settings to medium. 
Stir in about 1 cup of pasta water you reserved from cooking the pasta of choice to al dente, about 7 minutes and 1 cup of hot water, whisking together to thicken.  The pasta will finish cooking in the bechamel. 
Then, add your cheeses.   Stir until cheeses are incorporated, then fold in pasta. Reduce to medium low and cook for about 2 more minutes. 
Makes 8 to 10 servings.

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Best,
D. Smith :)

Herbaceous Braised Beef Short Ribs Au Jus



Finding short ribs on sale can be like trying to find a unicorn in a haystack, but this day proved fruitful, with welcoming tender arms.  I made a simple and sumptuous meal by using my trusty Ninja™ Foodi, on pressure cook mode and added some aromatics like celery, onion and garlic.  Fresh sage makes a warm herbal appearance on the end. The beefy reduction is great for crusty bread dipping.
Your hands and mind will be free from worry as you go about the day, the Ninja™ can be set and it will keep your dish warm too. In about an hour and 15 minutes, you will have perfectly supple short ribs with a jus to reduce to your liking.
If using a stovetop, simply use a heavy bottomed pot with a good fitting lid.  The time will swing longer, but you will still be happy with the results.
Beef stock or powdered bouillon is a flavor enhancer and a worthy one.  Be mindful of the sodium in the powdered version however and use sparingly, a little goes a long way.
Roasted or creamy potatoes and green beans make affordable and fantastic sides, plus offset the cost of the short ribs.

Recipe:
2 pkg. about 4 lbs. beef short ribs, rinsed under cool running water
3 stalks celery, strings removed, cut into thirds
1 large onion, quartered
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
Fresh Rosemary, 2 sprigs
1 bay leaf
Olive oil for drizzling
Beef Stock
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, optional
1 tsp. flour, optional, your choice
SPST
Starting on sear/ saute mode, drizzle pot with olive oil, about 2 tsp. and place all aromatics.
Over medium high heat, Cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
SPST.
Use pressure cooker according to instructions.
Add ribs to pot and fill with stock halfway of ribs.
Pressure cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Remove ribs and strain off  veggies and return to pot.
Place on sear/saute mode over medium and reduce to desired consistency.
Finish by stirring in butter that has been tossed in the flour.
Cook for an additional 1 minute.
Serve in shallow bowl with crusty bread for dipping or with some hearty sides.


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Vegetable Primavera Frittatta


There's nothing like a nice hearty dish to help you use up some of the ingredients in your crisper  and other on hand staples and Spring into Spring!  This frittata is  perfect for that.  Packed  with vegetable brightness and flavors, this budget friendly recipe screams summer veggie lovin' and 'have brunch, will travel'.   The natural sweetness of the peppers, onions and carrots really shine through and there's plenty to go around and for seconds. The vegetables may be roughly chopped, but similar in size for evenly cooking.  By the time  it is finished, they will all be tender and full of baked goodness, but with good texture.  Revisions can be a snap and  personal substitutions make it your own.
Perfect for a Vegan or Vegetarian spread but also  just a regular meatless, delicious meal.  This dish is a great way to eat the rainbow and may be served at room temperature. Brunch or Lunch, dinner and even breakfast is only a few steps away.  Simple buttered toast points make for a creamy and fantastic accompaniment.
An important thing to remember during this time is to arm ourselves inside and out, by making sure we consume as many immune system boosting and vitamin rich substances to help our bodies stay up for the upcoming challenges.
Eating the Rainbow should be our priority.  Much of what's occurring now is out of our control, but some things, we can take charge of. We like options, at least I do, why not go ahead and start something before it's mandated by our bodies to do so.  Priming our immune system and arming it with what's needed to potentially take a beating and keep pushing us through, is a part of our responsibility as proactive citizens joining the fight to save ourselves.

 By now, many of us are participating in "social distancing" and some self isolation.  Keep up the good work.  Now is a good time to try this recipe.  It will help sustain you and boost your mood.  Vitamins and minerals are cool like that.

Recipe:
Blend of like sized chopped veggies from crisper, I used about 6 cups
1 c. Colby Jack Cheese, shredded
2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
10 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 c. heavy cream or evaporated milk
Dash of Sriracha or favorite hot sauce
SPST ( Salt and Pepper to Suite Taste)
Olive oil for drizzling
Preheat oven to 375*F.
In an oven safe saucepan, over medium high heat, drizzle with 2 to 3 turns of the pan of olive oil.
Add veggies and cook for several minutes until fragrant.
Add garlic.
SPST.
Pour eggs beaten with milk and hot sauce , seasoned , over veggies and sprinkle with cheese.
Cover with foil and bake until set, about 40 minutes.
Remove foil for the last 5 minutes of cooking to get top golden.
Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Serves 8 to 10.









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Smokinhotchef
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