Every once in awhile I make myself I nice big stack of pancakes from. So last Saturday I decided to make myself some and I accidentally discovered a recipe for crepes. How does one accidentally discover a recipe? I got the stuff together for the pancakes and noticed I was out of baking powder. I looked at the ingredients and wondered if crepes were basically just pancakes with out the baking powder. So I gave it a try.
Mix in a bowl 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flower, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon white sugar.
Melt 3 tablespoons of butter. I put it in the microwave for about 40 seconds then let it cool for a bit.
To the dry mixture at 1 1/4 cups of milk and 1 egg. Start mixing. After a few seconds start slowly adding the butter while continuing to stir. I finally stir in a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
At this point I thought the consistency wasn’t quite liquid enough so I stirred in a 1/4 cup of water.
I heated up a cast iron skillet and added a small amount of butter to melt. I didn’t measure out the amount of batter I poured into the skillet. I just guessed a good amount and used the back of a spoon to spread it out a little bit. I cooked them 1 minute on the first side and then 30 seconds on the other. Viola crepes. They came out very tasty. This makes enough for two people so I took about half and put them in a ziplock bag and tossed them in the fridge. Next morning I just popped them in the microwave for 60 seconds and they were good to eat.
It’s that time of year when EVERYTHING is pumpkin flavored. With cans of pureed pumpkin going for 10 cents, slight exaggeration, I had stocked up on pumpkin. I wanted to do something a little different, so I decided on putting together a pumpkin soup. I apologize for the terrible pictures. They were taken with my horrible horrible phone.
Ingredients (I adjusted the amounts from a recipe for the amount of chicken stock I had on hand):
26 oz chicken stock
1 3/4 cans pureed pumpkin
1/4 cup heavy cream
one medium yellow onion chopped
4 cloves garlic (can use less but I like garlic.
pepper to taste
Put the chicken stock, pumpkin, diced garlic, and chopped onion in a pan and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 40 minutes. Your soup probably will NOT look like mine above. I had misread the recipe and initially only used 1 can of pumpkin. About half way through the simmer time I realized that there was no way the soup was right and reread the recipe. That’s when I added the extra 3/4 can of pumpkin. Luckily I have other uses for left over pumpkin. Next time I think I will just use both cans and add a little water.
Anyway, once the soup has simmered you need to blend it to a nice paste. You can use a good stick blender for this. My stick blender isn’t good, so I use my stand up blender which has a nice thick glass blendy thingy(probably a name for this). I poured in small amounts of the soup blending as I went. Once all blended put it back in the pan and add the heavy cream.
You can garnish. I didn’t bother and just chowed down. This stuff is actually really good even if it does look like baby food.
Earlier this week as Wintermageddon2014(tm) descended on me I knew I would need some good winter food to see me through. I searched through my pantry and came up with enough stuff to put together a passable beef stew. Even better I could make it in the slow cooker which makes the whole process really easy.
About 1lb of cubed beef (It can be pretty cheap because the hours in the slow cooker will make it tender)
a cup of chopped carrots
16 oz of tomato sauce (I usually use tomato juice but didn’t have any)
26 oz beef stock
Some randoms peppers that were about to go bad
cup and half of potatoes cut into large chunks
2 tbsp black pepper
3 bay leaves
What I wish I had but didn’t
Easy peasy, chop up the carrots, potatoes, and peppers. Then just toss everything into the toss everything into the slow cooker. If there isn’t enough liquid to cover just add water. Put the slow cooker on low and just walk away for eight or nine hours. You gotta love that slow cooker ease of use.
Like usual I forgot to get a picture of the final product, but it was delicious. And like most soups and stews it got better over the next couple of days. The stew can last three days in the fridge or be frozen for several months of storage but with it cold and snowy in nowhere Illinois, mine didn’t last.
Sorry, I don’t have any pictures for this recipe. It is one I make quite often. It takes about fifteen minutes and makes a cheap and nommy couple of meals.
24 fl oz can of diced tomatoes
24 oz can of black beans
1 medium onion
salt and pepper
Chop the onion into moderately sized pieces. I am a fan of onions so I chop it into about inch square pieces. Dump the black beans and the onions into a pot for approximately 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the can of tomatoes with all the juice. Cook over medium heat for another 6-8 minutes and then season to taste. I use about a tablespoon of chili powder and a teaspoon of both cumin and cayenne powder.
It’s quick, easy, healthy, and delicious. I always keep the ingredients on hand if needed. To extend the dish you can add a couple of cups of cooked rice and end up with black beans and rice.
With the temperatures dipping low and the days getting shorter, it’s time to pull out the stews and chilli. Below is a slightly modified version of my normal chilli recipe. I told my Lebanese friend who loves really spicy food that I was going to make chilli. He told me he had something for me. He then gave me what I in a incorrect homage to the Simpsons refer to as “the insanity peppers of Itsoplatilacal”.
I have no idea what they are actually called but they turn your mouth numb.
Ingredients for about 6 servings:
Two cans kidney beans
1 pound ground beef
1 green pepper
some hot peppers <- my supermarket labelled the two peppers on the left as “assorted hot peppers” they were less hot then Jalapenos.
16 oz tomato sauce
28 oz diced tomatoes
Begin by browning the ground beef over medium heat in a rather large pan. While the beef is browning chop up the onion and seed and chop up the peppers. Important: if you have insanity peppers don’t chop them up. We are just going to add them whole to the mixture. After about six minutes of the meat browning add the onion and peppers. I also like to add in some salt and pepper at this point, approximately a table spoon. Mix cover and let the mixture cook for another six minutes. While that is going on get a big pot going over medium heat. Dump in the diced tomatoes, the tomato sauce and the kidney beans. Once the meat is done add it and the veggies to the big pot. Also dump in the insanity peppers whole. Season pepper, chili powder, cayenne and cumming to a hotness you like. Remember if you have insanity peppers they are going to add more heat as the mixture simmers. Leave the pot simmering on the stove for between four and ten hours.
Remove the insanity peppers which should have floated to the top. The chilli will be best after a day or two sitting in the fridge.
The final result was more liquid than I wanted. I had actually dumped two cans of water into the chilli but removed this step for you all since it wasn’t necessary. It had a nice flavor and was just spicy enough to clear out the sinuses.
This is yet another on of my favorites that is easy, cheap, and versatile. Fried rice makes a good base for almost anything. Try it with chicken, fish, all sorts of veggies, or just eat it the way I do. I prefer it plain with just some sriracha sauce.
1 cup uncooked rice
bunch of green onions
2 tablespoons oil( I used canola oil )
soy sauce ( amount depend on how salty you like your fried rice )
about 1/2 cup of frozen veggies ( this time I used mixed vegetables )
Begin cooking the rice according to the instructions. For me that meant getting two cups of water to a boil then adding the cup of rice. I then covered the pot, turned the heat down, and let the rice simmer for twenty minutes. With about five minutes left to go for the rice, I chop up the green onions and whisk the eggs. I don’t go all the way to a pure yellow color like I would for an omelet. I like to leave some white in the mix. But to each their own.
Now you need a big pan. I don’t know how big of a pan I used(pic below). It also helps to have a pan you don’t care about, because clean up can be a chore. Get the pan hot and add some of the oil to coat. Then dump in the eggs and I like to add the onions to try and cut the flavor a little. Stir the mixture constantly and once cooked place on a plate.
At this point the rice should be done. Put the rest of the oil in the pan and then dump in the rice. Using a spatula of some kind flatten out and evenly distribute the rice. Now comes the soy sauce. You need to be careful here. Add too much soy sauce and the mix becomes an over salty inedible mess. So start out using less than you think you need. You can always add more but not take extra away.
After a couple of minutes start turning the rice over and packing it down again. This get as much of the rice to fry as possible. A few minutes in a add the eggs, onions, and the frozen veggies. Keep turning and cooking for around eight minutes total. If I go over ten minutes I tend to get burned bits.
Viola. I took a picture of the final product but it was all blurry, Sorry.