Friday, September 17, 2010

Playing Catch-Up, Part 2

sorry...that's what I get for telling ya'll when the next post was coming.  Tardiness.  I hate tardiness. 


What would butter day be without buttermilk?  There are so many uses for it and never enough to go around.  My 1/2 gal of heavy cream yielded just under 2 cups of (salted, a fact I kept forgetting) buttermilk.  I made ranch dressing with half of it (still from the packet, I haven't run out yet, but it's on the list of item to be replaced).  Very salty dressing.  Apparently, if you salt the butter, the buttermilk is salty too (who'd a thunk?) 

With the other cup, I made some seriously awesome, if salty, cornbread.  Old School home-style. 

Recipe (Adapted from the Hodgson's Mill Corn Meal Bag)

2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder (non-alumnium)
2 Tbsp. honey or agave
1 3/4 cups buttermilk (or enough to moisten batter well)(I only needed 1c.)
1 egg
2 cups Corn Meal

Put butter in cast-iron skillet in 400º F oven. Mix corn meal, baking powder, soda, salt and honey; add egg and buttermilk. Batter should be thick. Add heated shortening to batter, after swishing around pan, and put batter in heated skillet and bake in 400º F oven 25-35 minutes or until brown.

This was really savory (which Nick liked, but i like it sweet, so i'd prolly double my sweetener next time...and use unsalted buttermilk)


I was lazy this past week and didn't really go to the grocery store, so I was cooking with what I had on hand.  Here are two of my concoctions:

Pantry/Fridge Items:

Basil Linguini (Handmade from the farmers market)
Minced Garlic
Olive Oil
Diced Onions (anytime i cut into an onion, i finish dicing it and freeze it so i always have some on hand)
Frozen Zucchini Disks
Nature's Basket Chicken Breasts, which I had tossed in the freezer a while ago

I was thinking maybe a garlic butter on the pasta with zucchini & onions & grilled chicken, but I couldn't bring myself to make an all butter sauce (even if it was only going to be a light coating) so i did 50/50 olive oil & butter. 

Started Water boiling for noodles.  Melted Butter & warmed oil.  Tossed in a TON of minced garlic.  Drained zucchini & tossed in with onions, cooking til warm but not too long because it'd loose its vibrant color & freshness.  Tossed in pasta, brushed chicken with oil & grilled.  Drained pasta and tossed in oil & veggies. 

The chicken was the best part.  No seasoning or anything, just enough oil so it wouldn't stick and it was SO flavorful :)

Pantry Challenge #2:

Marinated Deer Steaks
Baby Spinach
Uncle Ben's Fast & Natural Brown Rice
Olive Oil
Half & Half (Whole Milk, Heavy Cream, or even Sour Cream will work...though the sour cream will produce more of a creamed spinach than spinach with just a hint of dairy)
White Wine

Thaw & grill steaks. 

Heat a tbsp of olive oil in sauce pot, then add rice (all at once or you'll get rice krispies).  Coat with oil and stir 'til warm.  Add liquid, substituting wine for half of water, and cook as directed.  Voila! Instant risotto. 

Heat tbsp of olive oil, toss in garlic and thinly sliced onions until onions just barely begin to carmelize or smell sweet.  Toss on a TON of baby spinach, toss to coat with oil & wilt.  Add a dash of half & half.  Remove from heat. 

Top risotto with spinach.  Much yum :)


I was in the grocery store a couple weeks ago and spotted a popsicle mold for $1.  It wasn't as cool as the one we had growing up.  That one had a little cup that gathered any melted goodness with a straw attached so you could suck it up.  No, this was very basic, but reusable and you can put juice or yogurt in it for a healthy and cool treat.  Win-Win.  I remembered it and mixed OJ and peach yogurt together.  Much yum!

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