Thursday, February 24, 2011

What happens in college stays in college...

Here are some snapshots of what living in the dorm means for our little guys.

College girls have every color fingernail polish known to man and are happy to take the time to paint every nail of yours, provided you are under 4' tall, into a virtual rainbow even if you are boy.

There is almost always an excuse to make desserts for visitors.

Which also means there bound to be leftovers on occasion to be consumed by you know who!

There is always a student that will take up your cause to prolong the life of your potato that you were growing in one of the juice glasses from the kitchen.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I LOVE Muffins

I love love love muffins. Problem is, I'm no good at actually making them. However, over the past few months, I've managed to combine two recipes that make some pretty darn good 'uns. It's a basic recipe that you can make and then use add-ins to your own taste. I almost always have craisins and pecans on hand so those are the ones I usually make. Try it next weekend and let me know how they turn out...

The trick to these muffins is to use buttermilk and to soak the oats in it ahead of time. Add the egg, sugar and melted butter.

Sift the dry ingredients together then add them to the wet ingredients.

Any time I use nuts in baking, I toast them first.

Gently fold in your "add-ins"

Best Ever Muffins

1 cup buttermilk
1 cup oats

Allow oats to soak in buttermilk for 30-60 mins.

1 egg, room temp
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 stick melted butter
1 cup + 2 Tbsp flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp soda
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Add egg, sugar and melted butter to oatmeal mixture. Sift together dry ingredients and then add to the rest until moistened. Fold in your add-ins and bake 375 for 10-12 min.

Makes 12 muffins.

  • 1 cup raspberries, 1/2 cup semi sweet choc chips
  • 3/4 cup apples, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 cup white choc chips, 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup toasted coconut, 3/4 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1 cup diced rhubarb, 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 3/4 cup dates, 1/2 cup pistachios
  • 3/4 cup golden raisins, 3/4 cup shredded carrots

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Main Course Mainstay

I've actually forgotten just how many times we have had this recipe over the course of the winter. It's so good, it just never seems to get old. And despite us putting only one animal in the freezer this year, we have found that when it's an elk, it's like having an entire cow in there! Lazy as we were, we cut most of it into stew meat and roasts, both of which will work well in this recipe. So get out your, deer, elk or beef roast/stew meat and try it out. It's guaranteed to bring you back to everything that is comforting, warming and in all honesty, the best of home cooking.

Beef Bourguignon Soup
(And NO, I can't actually say the name even after 4 years of highschool French. GO figure. We'll have to head to France next year. I'll be complaining about that! Let me tell you.)

2 lb roast, cut in 1" pieces or stew meat
4 Tbsp flour
Olive oil to sear meat, or some bacon grease from a couple slices of bacon
8 oz button mushrooms
3 carrots, sliced in 1/2"
3 shallots, sliced (substitute leeks or just a yellow onion if you need to)
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 Tbsp tomato paste
3 Thyme sprigs, or more (I use half of one of those things you buy at the store. Fresh is key though. And don't bother chopping Thyme. It's for the birds. Just throw the whole sprigs in there. The leaves will cook off and the little twigs are easy enough to fish out before you serve it.)
2 bay leaves
1 cup red wine (Trader Joe's Baby! Don't leave this out!)
8 cups beef stock (this is a soup so you will want something tasty. It should be a good quality)

Turn your crock pot on high.

Season the flour with salt and pepper and then toss the meat to coat. Sear meat in a cast iron pan or pot in either bacon grease or olive oil in batches and throw into your crock pot.

Next, without cleaning the pan, add a bit more olive oil and saute the carrots, onion and celery. Throw into the crock pot.

Saute the mushrooms for maybe 4 minutes then pour in the wine. Let it reduce for maybe 6 min. You guessed it, throw it all into the crock pot.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the crock pot and cook on high until the meat starts to fall apart.

Serve it over rice or some cooked egg noodles. Add crusty bread and a glass of the 'ol red and you've got yourself a full and happy belly.