Category Archives: New food

Overnight Oatmeal

This could also be called ‘cold oatmeal’ or ‘refrigerator oatmeal’.  I’m including this in the Reddit 52 week challenge under dairy, because it is in fact, over half dairy. Or in my case, non-dairy. Here’s the thing about me, I’m not a strictly non-dairy person. I’m more of a limited-dairy person. I’m not entirely intolerant, but more like ‘moderately bothered’ by dairy. That’s why you’ll see me posting recipes that use coconut milk instead of milk, but still will include butter. Sometimes I just dairy it up like crazy, guts be damned. Enough about my guts. I very loosely based this recipe from one I found here, but modified it like crazy, so now it’s MINE, all MINE! Muahahaha!

Raspberries and whatnot!

Raspberries and whatnot!

This is my very informal recipe:

2 Cups Old-Fashioned (non-instant) Oats
1 can coconut milk (I used low-fat but you could use whatever. You could also use regular milk or goat milk or soy milk or almond milk or emu milk or whatever milk you kids are drinking these days)
1 glug of maple syrup (If I had to wager how much that was exactly, I’d say 2.5 Tablespoons)
1 shakea shakea of vanilla extract (maybe a teaspoon?)
1 sprinkle of cinnamon

Dump everything into a bowl, mix it, cover it, put it in the fridge overnight. This was a BIT too liquidy for me, but I like my oatmeal kind of dry. The kids said it was perfect, though.

You can eat this cold, or you can heat it up in the microwave or stove top for a minute or so. Top it with whatever you want. I used frozen raspberries and toasted coconut. My kids lobbied pretty hard for some whipped cream on top, so of course I let them have some. That makes it even more dairy-tastic.

If you want to be a super hipster, you can put this in a jar and take it to work. Enjoy!

Non-Diet Diet Meal.

This year, for the first time in at least a decade, I did not include ‘lose 20lbs’ on my list of yearly goals. I do plan on eating healthily and getting lots of exercise this year, but with overall health and happiness as my main objective.  So, of course this year for the first challenge of the 2015 Reddit 52 Weeks of Cooking was Diet Foods. After reading the description, you can see it’s meant to be pretty tongue in cheek, in that with all the diets out there, you could make pretty much anything and have it fit into the category.

I was a little behind on the challenge this week and made my food on the 8th (deadline, 7th) but y’all know that’s how I roll. What did I make for ‘Diet Food’? Well, I had a wisdom tooth out and had to have a ‘diet’ of mushy food for at least 24 hours. Did you think I’d eat t jello and chicken broth? Oh, hell no. I made myself some high-quality mushy food.

First I made this:

Doesn't this look delicious?

Doesn’t this look delicious?

I know, flesh-colored pudding doesn’t exactly make you say, “I want to eat that!” But listen to me, this is one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten. It’s Butterscotch Pudding from Smitten Kitchen. No, it doesn’t taste like that horrible brown Jello Pudding Mix. It’s creamy and sweet and a little salty. I modified it a bit and used full-fat coconut milk, but I did use butter, so it’s not entirely dairy-free. Seriously, make this. It’s delicious.

For dinner I made this:

This looks a bit yummier, right?

This looks a bit yummier, right?

The Perfect Potato Soup by Pioneer Woman.  This has been on my ‘to make’ list since it came out 2 years ago. I used butter instead of bacon because I couldn’t eat bacon due to my tooth extraction, and I have to suffer, everyone has to suffer! I stirred the cheese in until it melted. I also skipped the heavy cream. As I blog more recipes that I try, you will realize that I almost NEVER follow them. I can’t help it. I mean I CAN help it, I just don’t want to. Anyhow, this soup is extremely delicious – Oh! And another thing I did was I pureed all of it, she leaves chunks. But I felt it was a very nourishing and hearty meal, and I ate two bowls of it.

Don’t these look kind of…gross? I”m sorry! I’m a horrible food photographer. Go check out the links to the recipes, the authors are much better photographers than I am. You know who else sucks at food photography? Martha Stewart. At least I’m in good company.

 

 

The Horribly Mangled Remains of A Julia Child Recipe.

I love Julia Child. A lot. I have an autographed photo of her that I bought off e-bay sitting next to my desk. She is the keeper of all things good and wonderful about cooking and food. My child loves watching The French Chef on DVD, there’s nothing like exposing a 5 year old to making your own sausage, complete with explanation of various casings, to ensure she knows EXACTLY where food comes from.  I am not sure if Julia would be proud of what I did to one of her amazing recipes or if she would smack me with a wooden spoon.  I mean on the one hand, she encourages using what you have, on the other hand, I made broth out of Worcestershire sauce. Yeah.

Yesterday was one of those wait until 4:00 and then start to freak out about what I want to make for dinner days. So basically, just like any other day. I know, I know,  I might give off a vibe that I’m one of those extremely organized know what I’m going to make for dinner all the time because I’m such a great cook and huge food snob types, but no. I’m not. I mean, I’m not organized, all the other stuff is true.  I happened to be putzing around on-line and checked out some recipes I’d bookmarked from the site Smitten Kitchen. SK happens to be one of my favorite food blogs, ever. That’s saying a lot because I subscribe to probably two dozen. Anyhow, she had a great post on a baked spinach recipe from Julia Child. . Coincidentally, I own the Mastering the Art of French Cooking, but I’m lazy, and it’s so much easier to have someone from the internet tell me what to make as opposed to looking it up myself.  Per usual I did not have most of the ingredients in the recipe, so I really took some liberties with it.  Here’s what I did:

Serves 6
Yeah, good luck with that. This stuff is tasty. I’d say serves 4.

3 pounds fresh spinach
One Bag Frozen Spinach

3 1/2 to 4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Salt and pepper

1 1/2 tablespoons flour

1 cup beef stock
This is where it gets really funky, I made a “broth” out of Worcestershire sauce and water. I don’t have the exact ratio of Worcestershire to water, because it was immediately after devising this evil concoction I realized I should be documenting and blogging. Anyhow, I like it pretty strong, so I’d say it was at least 2Tbspns sauce and the rest water.

3/4 cup grated Swiss cheese
One cup of leftover sliced Provolone, diced.

2 tablespoons fine, dry breadcrumbs
How about a 1/2 cup of Panko instead?

Preheat Oven to 375.

Nuke the spinach about 5 minutes with a little bit of water, per instructions on package. If you don’t have a nuker, cook according to pkg directions. Put it in a colander and strain it, squeeze out as much of the excess water as you can with your hands.

Melt half your butter in a pan over low heat, and then add spinach. Cook until most of the water is gone. Use your judgement here, you don’t want it to be super juicy, but you don’t want to burn it either.

Sprinkle flour over spinach to coat, and stir it. Then add your broth a bit at a time,  I used all of mine, but the recipe says to just add 2/3 of a cup, and then again, use your judgement regarding the remaining 1/3.  Bring to a simmer and stir frequently. Add salt and pepper.

Remove from heat and stir in about 1/2 the cheese.  Put it in a smallish, greased  casserole dish. Top with the rest of the cheese, and the panko. Melt the remaining butter and drizzle on top.

Cook about 30 mins @ 375 until lightly browned and bubbly.

Surprisingly good, considering the amount of bastardization.

I was a bit worried about how this would taste, considering the complete re-working of the recipe, but it was amazing. I really like my Worcestershire broth, and plan to use it again.  Next time I make this, and I will, I’m going to add a couple of drops of Sriracha and maybe some Truffle Salt. We’ll see, I might kill it entirely if I add too much.

This picture does not do my meal justice. I am not a very good photographer or food stylist. I'm working on it!

I served it with some ham, and am planning on reheating some right now for breakfast. I’ll probably also have a poached egg. Stop drooling, you’re disgusting.

The Easy Bake Trials….The Mix is Poo

In order to get Kid to get rid of a small, plastic kitchen that she no longer uses anymore, I bribed her with an Easy Bake Oven. It should be known, that I have wanted an Easy Bake Oven for MONTHS. At Christmas I checked them out, but it said they were for kids 8 and up. Sometimes, believe it or not, I follow the rules. I figured there must be some reason that even though USE WITH ADULT SUPERVISION ONLY was plastered all over the box, there must be some reason why it would be unsafe for my 5 year old. Then I read Fadra’s blog, and she bought her 4 year old son one. I was all, “Holla! If she’s gonna, I’m gonna!”

At first, when I suggested the Easy Bake Oven, Kid was leery. Then I should her the commercial for it .

Kid: “You mean I can bake my own things by myself?”

Me: “With Adult Supervision!”

Kid”?”

Me: “Mommy and Daddy have to help you.”

Kid: “Will you go get me one right now?”

Me: “YEEEESSSSSS!!!!!”

Yup, the Easy Bake is just as you remembered. A plastic box with a 100W lightbulb  that cooks horrible packaged cake mix in tiny little pans. (Apparently a lot of countries are banning incandescent lightbulbs. Haven’t they even thought about what that’s going to do to the Easy Bake Oven industry? In related news, I have started hoarding 100W bulbs.)

OOOOH! What wonders will emerge from the magic box?

Kid immediately whipped up a cake using the packaged cake mix and frosting that came with the box. She was really,really proud. The cake was really,really horrible – by no fault of my darling daughter! Here’s the ingredient list of Easy Bake Oven Cake Mix: Ok, I couldn’t find it anywhere on-line, let me know if you can find the official list. I will tell you that it contains: Hydrogenated Oil, Artificial Color, and Artificial Flavoring, which is a lot to pack into 1/4 of a cup of cake. I mean I know I’m a food snob, but honestly this shit gave me chemical burns when I tasted it. Also? It costs about $6.00 for a 3 pack of this junk. Keep in mind each pkg contains 1/4 of a cup of mix. So….$6.00 for 3/4 of a cup of dog shit. Sign me up!

I fled to the internet, looked up recipes and found a number of good sites with make your own Easy Bake Oven mix recipes. So, long story way too long – You have got to make your own mix, yo. It’s way better for your family AND it’s going to save you about 9 million dollars. Also, you pretty much will never run out, since you have all the ingredients in your own pantry.

Sugar Flour Etc

Easy Bake would probably charge you $300 for these ingredients.

In about 10 minutes I made 10 servings of biscuit mix and 10 of white cake mix. I can’t tell you how much it cost, but I can tell you it was a hell of a lot less  than $6.00 per 3/4 cup.

White Cake Mix. Modified from Budget 101.(Who has a TON of Easy Bake Recipes)

1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon-flavored unsweetened Kool-Aid No! The point is no crap!
1/3 cup vegetable shortening – I use Spectrum Organics Vegetable Shortening, because through some process of dark magics (I assume) they have created a Crisco like substance that is not hydrogenated. I suppose I could look it up and tell you how they do it, but let’s just pretend it’s wizardry. Anyhow, I love it.

I skipped the Kool-Aid, if you want a lemony cake, just substitue a Tsp. of lemon juice for a Tsp. of water when you make your cake. Theoretically. I haven’t tried this. But I’m guessing it would work. I’ll try it and get back to you.

Yeah, so you mix everything up in a bowl. Make sure the shortening is incorporated well. You don’t want clumps. It should look like pancake mix, in that it’s just a little bit crummier than flour. I hope you’ve made pancakes and have a clue what I’m talking about.

See how that's a little bigger crumb than flour? Both the cake and biscuit mix should look like this. Also,I don't remember which one this is.

The instructions say to put the mixes into individual packages but, really? I don’t have time to measure out 20 1/4 bags of mix. I just put them in ziplocs and wrote the instructions on the front:

Bag of Biscuit Mix

Savings? About $1M. If you factor in doctor fees from chemical burns to the tongue.

We used the biscuit mix the other day for a danish (more on that later) and it was gooood! I am all about getting kids in the kitchen, teaching them about food and cooking, it hits on all the major points. An Easy Bake Oven is a fantastic way to do this, IF you also teach them that good food doesn’t come from a mix. Kid was delighted that we can “make our own mix, any way we want.” The sense of pride and accomplishment she had after cooking that tiny cake in a box with a light bulb made me cry a single tear and write a haiku about love. Ok, no. But it was pretty goddamned awesome.

Get an Easy Bake, make some stuff. It’s fun. Oh, and this is going to be a regular feature. Next up: Sort of gross pizza!

Diametrically Opposed

*Note* I wrote this two days ago, but then the cord to my phone was chewed (no comment) and wouldn’t upload my pictures from Friday night and I know you guys NEED to see them, so this post is kind of old news. I like it though, so here you go. Review of Nosh to follow.


I am stuffed, and prepared to spend my afternoon at a Nosh with Hubby and two of my very good friends eating an Apocalypse Now Burger: (Beef, Pork Belly, Foie Gras, Cheese, Mayo, Orange & Cherries) and possibly some Tempura Dipped Bacon. Don’t get me wrong, I am very, very excited to be wrapping my lips around 5,000 cals of bacony goosey beefy goodness. And, I have heard great things about Nosh. And,  two of my goals are go to Portland and try new restaurants.  Fun!

   Well, the thing is, last night we went here: Fuji with 3 other couples. I have been to Fuji many, many times, and figured, “Hey, I’ll just get some nice, light sushi and save room for Nosh tomorrow.” That sounds reasonable, right? What I didn’t realize, is that my lovely cousin had made reservations for us in the Hibachi Grill section of Fuji, which is downstairs. I have never had Japanese Hibachi! So, even though I’ve eaten at Fuji, I’m counting this as a new eating experience. It really was. It’s nothing like the upstairs. Have you guys ever been to Japanese Hibachi? You sit around a big flat grill and the chef prepares your food right there in front of you. He does fun stuff too, like spins around his spatulas and throws rice at you. There are a lot of flames involved.

        I am a firm believer of When in Rome, Do as the Romans. So, what was I to do? I ordered Salmon (sort of healthy) and steamed rice (blah, but very healthy) and felt pretty good about my decision. Then they started bringing out the food. First course, Miso Soup. Yum. Second course, salad with some kind of creamy citrusy dressing – then they start cooking. Fried noodles, fried rice, little shrimp. It was  all soooo good.  The chef was pleasant, and we had a great time watching everything being prepared. Towards the end of the “dinner show?” “cooking experience?” I don’t know what to call it, the chef was finishing off the salmon. I noticed that throughout the evening, he had judiciously applied large dollops of what looked like Miso paste on the  grill.  So, he flips the salmon over, and to the side without skin applies a HUGE dollop to each piece. My cousin, who also got the salmon, said, “Wow. That is A LOT of butter.”

Me: “Um, what the what? That’s BUTTER?”
Cuz: “Yeah, didn’t you hear him say that at the beginning?”
Me: “Clearly not.”
Other Cuz “Wow, that’s like 100000000 calories”
Me: “Greaaaaaaat”
MMMM.Buttery, Noodley….

I ate it, butter and all. Well about half of it. And it was soooooo goood. And I’m stillll fullll. But, duty calls.  I must press on. On to Nosh! 

Oh, the title of this post? Diametrically opposed? My eating at new restaurants goals is fun, but completely detrimental to my weight loss plan.  Oh well. Salad for me…..starting tomorrow 😉 
One final thought, you know you’re a parent, and old, when you’re out to dinner with a bunch of your friends and the conversation continues to come back to how much fun your kids would like to eat there, and at the end of the night you ask the waitress what the earliest time they start serving dinner is.