De Ma Cuisine

Monday

1

September 2014

0

COMMENTS

Irish Nachos

Written by , Posted in Appetizers, Cheese, Dinner, Gluten Free, Herbs, Kid-Friendly, Lunch, Main Dishes, Potatoes, Quick and Easy, Roasting, Sides, Snacks, Vegetables, Vegetarian

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Confession: I’ve never actually had Irish Nachos. I’ve seen some pictures though, so maybe that counts for something. Tim had them once when he was out with friends. He came home and talked about how good they were.

They seemed like something that I could make.

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It all starts with potatoes. You could slice them thin and round if you’d like. I cut them in to chunks because it’s quick and easy.

I need more quick and easy when it comes to meal preparations.

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Since we get a weekly box of produce from Abundant Harvest Organics, I try to add as many veggies as possible to our meals. The longer I do it the easier it is and now it’s become second nature. All the times that I’ve made my Irish Nachos, I’ve added some sort of greens. I just love their flavor when they’re roasted.

This particular version of Irish Nachos has more veggies than Tim would prefer (just a little too piled on for him). I’ve made them two or three other times with less. He liked those better. So use my recipe as a suggestion box and tweak it and adapt it to suit your family.

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I feel like Irish Nachos ought to have some sort of green onion sprinkled over top. That might just be me. In any case, I really like what they add to the dish.

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Crisped up potatoes are gathered into piles.

Mmmmm piles of potatoes.

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Then all of the toppings are piled on. You can do them in whatever order you’d like.

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Don’t forget the cheese. They are nachos after all.

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Since I recently cut a bunch of corn off the cob, I’m using it in everything. Summer Pizza, Squash and Egg Wraps, and Quinoa Salads… It’s good to have corn on hand.

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My favorite part, whenever there’s hot cheese involved, are the crispy bits of cheeeeeese. Every last bit needs to be scraped off the pan.

Every last bit.

Happy Eating!

Irish Nachos
Author: 
Recipe type: Main, Dinner, Side, Snack, Potatoes, Vegetarian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4
 
Ingredients
  • 4 potatoes, cut into long chunks
  • 1 T olive oil
  • ½ t (or more) salt
  • to taste pepper
  • ½ to 1 C greens (collards, kale, spinach, chard) cut in a chiffonade (thin ribbons)
  • ½ to 1 C green onions (or chives), chopped
  • ½ to 1 C cheese, grated
  • 2 cobs corn, cut off the cob
  • yogurt, for topping
  • lemon wedges, for serving
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
  2. Toss potatoes with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place on 1-2 baking sheets (don't overcrowd them - use two sheets if needed), and bake for 15 minutes, flip them (and rotate the position in the oven if using two sheets), and bake about 15 minutes more (or until potatoes are crispy outside, tender inside).
  3. Gather potatoes into piles (as many piles as there are people eating), and top with greens, onions, cheese, and corn. Bake for 10 minutes more.
  4. Serve topped with yogurt and a squeeze of lemon.

 

Thursday

28

August 2014

0

COMMENTS

Squash and Scrambled Egg Wraps

Written by , Posted in Breakfast, Brunch, Cheese, Dinner, Eggs, Fruit, Kid-Friendly, Low Carb, Lunch, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy, Thoughts, Vegetables, Vegetarian

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My family lives entirely too far away from me. Or I live too far away from them. Today has been one of those days where I’m missing them especially a lot.

Sniff. I’ll be ok. It’s always too long in between in person visits, but I’m always thankful for the technology like Skype, so we can talk and see each others faces every week. Usually at some point someone sounds like a robot, there’s a delay and we all talk over each other, or it sounds like there’s a train rushing by at someone’s house. But, we’re hearing each other’s voices, seeing each other’s faces, from so far away.

If Anja (who is almost 2 years old) is on, we’re just dying at the cuteness, as she says our names and chats about the puzzle she just got.

Oh I love technology…

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These wraps seem like the kind of thing that we would enjoy together when we’re all gathered around the table for a meal. In person. All of us at the same table.

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We all enjoy food. In fact, all three of us kids are involved in the food industry in some way. My mom and dad have a banquet hall and have passed on their love for eating, cooking, and gardening to us. I have fond memories of plucking still warm raspberries and cherry tomatoes from the garden that we had in our backyard growing up. There are so many things about those years that I find myself trying to duplicate now as an adult with my own home.

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I don’t know if I was crazy about squash as a kid. Mom would hide it in “Zoo Bread” (made with zucchini), which we loved. But, I love squash now and can’t get enough of it this summer especially.

One of my favorite easy lunches is Squash’n Eggs. This is almost the same thing, just topped with cheese and salsa, and all wrapped up.

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If possible, I always have eggs on hand. They’re the perfect meal saver. From pasta topped with a fried egg, to Pasta Carbonara, to Roasted Broccoli and Fried Egg Sandwiches, it’s eggs to the rescue.

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I whisked the eggs with a little bit of milk, some salt, and pepper. Keeping it simple.

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Once the eggs start to set, they get scraped off the bottom of the pan a bit. Low heat is key with scrambled eggs. Cook them gently.

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Once they’re just set, they’re ready.

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Half of the mixture is scooped out on to each tortilla. Whole wheat for me, white for Tim. It’s what we both prefer.

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I like to add a little bit of monterey jack or cheddar cheese to them. Tastes so good.

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A plomp of salsa, then they get rolled up. My whole wheat tortillas aren’t as flexible as Tim’s white ones. But, even cracked, they taste good.

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We have tons of fresh tomatoes right now and they’ve got the most incredible flavor, so we’re eating them on everything! I hope you are too. And, I especially hope that you’re enjoying these wraps with your family. Even if it’s just via Skype.

Happy Eating!

Squash and Scrambled Egg Wraps
Author: 
Recipe type: Main, Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, Brunch, Quick and Easy, Eggs, Vegetarian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
One of the quickest, easiest lunches for those super busy days. Squash and scrambled eggs are topped with cheese and salsa, and all wrapped up.
Ingredients
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 medium summer squash, chopped
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • ½ C corn
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 T milk or water
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 2 tortillas
  • ¼ to ½ C monterey jack (or cheddar) cheese, grated
  • salsa
  • 1 tomato, chopped, for topping
Instructions
  1. Heat skillet, add oil, when oil is hot add squash, salt, and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes over medium-low heat. Add corn and cook for about 2 minutes more.
  2. Turn heat to low. Whisk together eggs, milk or water, salt, and pepper. Add to squash skillet. Gently scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon or heat-safe spatula to scrape up the eggs as some bits begin to set. Cook for about 4-5 minutes, or until eggs are just set, scraping occasionally. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  3. Scoop egg mixture into the tortillas. Top with cheese and salsa. Fold ends in and then sides.
  4. Serve topped with tomato.

 

Monday

25

August 2014

0

COMMENTS

Meatball Subs

Written by , Posted in Beef, Bread, Cheese, Dinner, Fruit, Herbs, Kid-Friendly, Lunch, Main Dishes, Meat, Quick and Easy, Sandwiches, Sauces

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I want you to know that I almost had to stop working on this post to go back to the grocery store to buy some ground beef so I can make these sandwiches. They are not on the menu for dinner tonight, but working on these pictures is tormenting me.

Tormenting I say.

The day that I photographed this dish, as soon as I was done, I stood next to the island and inhaled it so fast that I think I gave myself heartburn.

Oops.

Worth it.

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It all starts with meatballs. They’re made with organic beef, an egg, and some honey. Plus herbs. Gotta have herbs.

They start in the pan that an onion has just cooked in.

Some homemade tomato sauce is added, and they cook a bit longer.

I’m drooling here.

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And then there’s a homemade baguette.

Can this meal get any better?!

If you don’t have the time to make homemade baguettes, I understand. They are a lot of work. Buuuut so worth it.

The bread is toasted in a buttered skillet.

Yep. It got better.

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If you can manage to stop yourself from just standing at the stove and scooping the meatballs out of the pan with the bread, you can top it with cheese.

If you can’t, I understand.

Buuuuuuut I think that might actually be a good idea. You know how the best part of eating a plate of tomato sauced spaghetti is wiping down the plate with your buttered bread? This is kinda like that but better, because there’s so much more goodness to scoop up.

Next time I’m trying this.

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If you’ve held yourself together and convinced yourself to not eat like a maniac at the stove, top the sandwich with lots of basil.

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Now you’ve earned a bite.

So have I.

I’m hungry.

Happy Eating!

Meatball Subs
Author: 
Recipe type: Main, Sandwich, Lunch, Dinner, Beef
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3
 
One of our favorite sandwiches is also one of the messiest. Filled with delicious beef, basil, and cheese, we love a good meatball sub.
Ingredients
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 T olive oil, divided
  • 1 egg
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 1 t honey
  • 1 t balsamic vinegar
  • 2 C tomato sauce
  • ½ t mustard
  • 1 T fresh (or ½ t dried) parsley, divided
  • 1 T fresh (or ½ t dried) thyme, divided
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 2 C tomato sauce
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 1 t lemon juice
  • 1 T butter
  • pinch salt
  • 3 longish portions of baguette or crusty bread, sliced in half lengthwise
  • cheese, grated
  • fresh basil, for topping
Instructions
  1. Heat a large skillet. Add 1 T olive oil. When it's hot, add the onion and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes (or until onion is translucent and softened), stirring occasionally.
  2. Whisk together egg through thyme. Combine beef with egg mixture, mixing together with your hands (do not over mix). Roll into about 12 meatballs.
  3. In the onion skillet, add remaining 1 T olive oil, turn heat to medium-high, and add meatballs. Cook, turning often, until browned all over (about 8-10 minutes total).
  4. Whisk together tomato sauce, salt, pepper, remaining parsley, and thyme. Pour into meatball pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook meatballs until they reach 160F (about 10-15 minutes). Stir in a squeeze of lemon.
  5. Heat another skillet and add the butter and a pinch of salt. Once the butter is hot, add the bread (cut side down) and cook over medium heat it until it's browned.
  6. Top the bottom piece of bread with some cheese, four meatballs, a couple scoops of sauce, a bit more cheese, and the basil. Scoop a bit more sauce on the top piece of bread and close the sandwich.

 

Friday

22

August 2014

0

COMMENTS

How To Freeze Peaches

Written by , Posted in Fruit, How To, Kid-Friendly, Storage/Prep

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There’s nothing quite like the tangy-sweet taste of a peach. Ok, except maybe a nectarine… they’re pretty similar…

In these hot summer months, I love biting into a super juicy piece of fruit. So juicy that I either have to eat it standing leaned over the sink, or outside. It doesn’t have to be a peach. Watermelon, plums, apricots… they’ll all do the trick.

But, I’m eating a peach as I type this.

I just can’t get enough.

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Because of this, it makes sense to me to save some for the winter months, when we’re wondering when we will ever see stone fruit again. It makes sense to always have peaches on hand for Fruit Crisp and topping Tim’s Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.

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So here’s what I did the other day with part of my twenty pounds of peaches… I halved them, and pulled out the pits (which I’m saving to make some Peach Pit Tea).

You may notice that I left the skins on. If you want to skin them (some say to do this if you’re making peach ice cream, others don’t… it’s up to you), score the bottom with an X, toss whole ripe peaches into a pot of boiling water for 30-60 seconds, then quickly submerge in an ice bath (water and ice in a bowl). Let stand for 15-30 seconds or so, then peel the skin off with your fingers. (This is the same way you’d easily peel tomatoes, by the way.)

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Some of the pits were split. That’s fine. Just pull out the pit and if there’s anything pitty still in the peach flesh, scrape it out and discard. (I didn’t save these pits for tea.)

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You could stop here and freeze the peaches halved if you want. I sliced them. I got about 8-10 slices per peach. They could then be chopped if you feel like doing a little more prep work ahead of time. But, I figured that it’s not too much work if I want to chop later for a crisp. Plus, I can’t unchop if I decide I want them all sliced again.

If you’d like to toss them with a little bit of lemon juice, that can help with browning. I guess that I worked quick enough that I didn’t have any turn brown, but if you want to be sure, lemon juice usually helps out.

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Freezer safe bags or containers are filled up. I used a large measuring cup and got a rough estimate for how much was going in to each bag. Some people like to freeze fruit by laying it flat on a baking sheet, freezing, then putting it into bags. That would be great. But, I was short on time, so I just didn’t fill the bags too full, and have laid them flat in the freezer, in hopes that the slices don’t stick together too much. And if they do, it won’t be a monster sized hunk’o peaches to break apart.

Do whatever works for you.

The sliced peaches can be eaten frozen, as a snack, right out of the freezer. They’d make a great popsicle replacement for a hot summer’s day. If you want to enjoy them with breakfast, thaw in the fridge overnight. They’ll be great with some Greek yogurt in the morning. To use them in a Vegan Fruit Crisp, you could use them frozen, or thaw them in the fridge overnight. If they’re frozen, just increase the baking time a bit.

Peaches go well with strawberries, vanilla, red, white, and sweet wines; pistachios, raspberries, blueberries, cinnamon, cream, ice cream, and oranges.*

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I ended up with about 35 cups of sliced peaches. Good for a while I hope… except that Tim has started making homemade ice cream most weekends, and peaches go really well with it.

We may be in trouble here. Maybe we will have to order another twenty pounds just to be saved for our ice cream addiction. ;)

Happy Freezing!

*Ideas for peach parings from The Flavor Bible.

Wednesday

20

August 2014

0

COMMENTS

Family Reunion Road Trip

Written by , Posted in Thoughts, Travel

IMG_0025RSMontana, I see what all the fuss is about.

What a beautiful state.

Wyoming too.

Gorgeous.

We drove through them both on our family reunion road trip.

We drove through a few other states too: California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada. Some were much lovelier than others, but it was really fun to be in some places that I’ve never been.

We took the long way there and stopped in Albuquerque and Boulder.

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Albuquerque is where Breaking Bad was filmed. Tim found lots of locations and we did our own little tour.

It. Was. Awesome.

Photo by Mayor Berry

We also stopped in at Tim’s Place for lunch. If you’re ever in ABQ, definitely go there. Great food and such a friendly place (as advertised). We even got to meet the Mayor!

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Boulder is home to Austin and Gen, some good friends of ours. We had a great dinner, stayed up way too late talking, and crashed on their couch. They fed us a delicious breakfast the next morning before we were off to our final destination: The Graves Family Reunion in Montana.

Lots of long days of driving were made so worth it when we pulled up and saw the 90+ family members there.

They do this every other year, this being the 65th anniversary. It all started with Tim’s great grandma and her siblings and has grown to five generations.

Amazing!

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We were at a little camp in the hills of the Custer National Forest. They had all sorts of activities for us to do. Basically it was a week of camp for grownups (and the kids too). Rappelling, shooting, zip line, horseback riding… you know, camp stuff.

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In the midst of the fun, I found out that I’m married to a cowboy. I didn’t know that Tim even knew how to ride a horse. The thing he misses most about the trip may be his horse, Cowboy. ;)

You know what I really miss (besides having a week off from cooking, the family, and the telepictionary games)? I miss not being able to use my phone.

We weren’t really expecting to be without cell service or wifi. But, it ended up being a nice break. I’ve realized since being back how much time I spend on Facebook and Instagram. Some of it is excusable – work stuff, sharing things that are beautiful, keeping in touch with family and friends… ok, that’s fine. Important even. I wouldn’t discredit the value in any of that. But, really, would my life be that much worse without it all if it meant I had to pick up the phone, mail a photo, or write a handwritten letter?

I feel caught in a net of perceived necessity. I have to stay or I will miss out… But, maybe I’ve missed out on more by staying.

Our time in Montana has left me longing for the days of old. Obviously I know we’ve got so many modern advances that have made life much better. We have water from a tap, medicines, and cars. We don’t worry about daily shootouts at the saloon, can shower every day, and can communicate with family at the touch of a button. I don’t actually want to live in the Pioneer days. But, then I think about how much we depend on pre-made packaged junk that is called food. I see how we are so addicted to Facebook and Instagram that we hardly speak to each other in person. I’m surrounded by more stuff than we could ever use. And it makes me desperate to throw my iPhone as far away as I can and drive a DeLorean 88MPH with the dial set way way back.

I long for a time of homemade bread, living off the land, and talking face to face rather than texting. I know I can’t get away from it completely (how else would I post these thoughts?!), but I want some distance.

I want to spend less time worrying about likes, comments, and comparing my life’s photos to yours. I want to leave my phone in another room and not feel like I’m missing out on something. Time is the most valuable thing we have and we can’t get it back (something that Tim said as we drove through Wyoming that has stuck with me). I don’t want to “follow” someone because they could connect me to someone else or get me somewhere better. That’s not why I do what I do here at De Ma Cuisine. Maybe that makes me a failure in your eyes. I’m ok with that. Because my friend David told me the other day that my post about enchiladas helped him to feel like he could make them too. A dish he’d always wanted to try, but never felt he could make. That is why I do what I do.

So I’ll be around the interwebs still, blogging, as usual, but hopefully Facebook and Instagram stalking a bit less. I plan to write more letters, tend to my garden, converse with my husband without my phone in my hand, and to bake bread. Because homemade bread is something that is worth the time it takes. I don’t know if my Facebook posts are…

Food for thought. A little bit of my heart. Take it or leave as you wish.

If you don’t like it, there will be more recipes coming up soon.