De Ma Cuisine

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Monday

30

March 2020

0

COMMENTS

Peanut Butter Bacon and Cheddar Dog Cookies

Written by , Posted in Baking, Cheese, Cookies, Dog, Dog Treat, Gluten Free, Grains, Pets

In my life, I haven’t experienced another relationships like the one between a dog and their humans. Can you imagine what life would be like if we got as excited as they do when our favorite person came home from work, or asked us if we wanted to take a walk with them? They forgive our bad attitudes and forget the grumpy mornings. They just want to be around us. Their tails flap excitedly when we walk into the room. They love us so much.

It was our best dog’s birthday the other day. He turned twelve. We tried to return some of the love he has shown us for all these years with treats and homemade cookies. And we let him dictate the plan for the day, which meant everyone lounged around until like 6pm then got hyper and went for a walk.

I winged it with the cookies. I’m not a baker, but sometimes I try. I’ve baked enough that I’ve got a general idea of what to do to make a cookie. Still, it’s still a bit of a guessing game.

I wanted to incorporate some of Brando’s favorite things: bacon, cheese, and peanut butter. We don’t have a lot of flour left, so I did without. I made oats into oatmeal. And I used egg whites to bind it all together.

Brando ate his cookies while we watched the tiger show. Are you watching it? I can’t decide if I’m glad that we did. I guess it’s given us something to think about besides the Coronavirus. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

(Singing and clapping) “THIS IS YOUR BIRTHDAY SONG. IT ISN’T VERY LONG.” Happy birthday Brando. We love you a lot!!

Peanut Butter Bacon and Cheddar Dog Cookies

Yield: 40 small cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 3-4 tablespoons egg whites
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons bacon grease (or olive oil)
  • 1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 300°F with an oven rack in the middle position.
  2. Cook the oats and the water in a medium-sized saucepan until the oats have softened, about 10 minutes.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, egg whites, and bacon grease. Then add the cheese. Fold in the cooked oats and mix until combined.
  4. Using a spoon, drop the dough onto un-greased baking sheets, about 1 1/2 tablespoons per cookie. Leave a bit of space between cookies, but they don’t need too much. Bake until the cookies are set and a bit browned, about 35-45 minutes, rotating the pans every 15 minutes. Cool for 5-10 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely, about an hour.

Thursday

22

January 2015

0

COMMENTS

How to Use it Best – Winter Edition

Written by , Posted in How To, Storage/Prep

HoneyRoastedCarrotsParsnips2

It’s no secret that I love to roast veggies. I’ve been known to roast anything from beets, to peas, to cabbage. But, not all veggies are alike. And not all veggies act the same when they’re thrown into a pot of boiling water, sautéed in a skillet, or roasted in the oven.

Here’s some of what I’ve found to work (and sometimes not work), in my experience as a home cook.

In Soups

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I use potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, acorn squash, and rutabagas interchangeably in soups. They respond similarly, and, unless I know that one or the other might not pair well with another of the soup’s components, if I have one, but not the other, I’m going to use what I have. Same thing with broccoli and cauliflower – I find them similar enough. And when it comes to soups, I’ll usually add as many veggies as I can. Starting with the harder veggies (think roots like carrots and beets), then adding slightly softer guys (hello broccoli and cauliflower, maybe even cabbage, and herbs like rosemary and thyme), and adding more delicate greens and herbs at the end (kale, chard, dill, parsley).

Cooking 101 – One of the keys to adding things at the same time is to make sure they’re chopped/diced/cubed the same size as all the other components. This will ensure that someone doesn’t burn, while someone else is still raw. This goes for any method of cooking.

In Salads

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I love lots of different textures in a salad. I will often combine a nice butter lettuce with tuna, a hard boiled egg, some chopped nuts, croutons, dried fruit, and grated or chopped veggies.

I prefer to grate hard root veggies like carrots and radishes. If you’re ok with raw beets, grate them too. But, you can also roast for salads. Roasted beet chips and crispy potatoes are some of my favorite salad toppers.

Cooking 101 – If you want to tame a spicy radish a bit, grate it. You won’t bite into a big chunk of burning, if that’s not what you were hoping to get from your salad.

In the Oven

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As Fries

I love to cut potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, and winter squash into sticks to make fries. Mostly, because I want to dip them in yummy sauce.

In Smaller Pieces

A head of broccoli or cauliflower cut into bite sized chunks, some cubes of potato, winter squash, or sweet potato; wheels of carrot, one inch pieces of beet all make a great side when roasted. Just toss them with some olive oil, salt, and pepper before they head into the oven, and you’re good to go.

Cooking 101 – The stem of the broccoli doesn’t need to be discarded. Simply peel the tough outer layer, then slice the inner portion and use as you would the florets.

Roasting Whole

Beets are my favorite to roast whole. Recently, I’ve discovered that it’s best to put them in a pan, with about a cup of water, then tightly cover with foil. They will take about an hour (for small-ish beets) at around 425F, and maybe 10 to 20 minutes more if they’re larger.

Obviously, potatoes are kinda famous for being roasted whole. Sweet potatoes are the same story. You can leave them as they are, or wrap them in foil if you want. If you’re gonna do the foil method, before you wrap them up, drizzle them with some olive oil, and sprinkle with salt, so the skin is extra tasty. I like things extra tasty, so I’m all over the oliveoilsaltextrayummyskin.

And there’s the winter squash, which technically I don’t roast whole, I cut them in half, but they’re so huge that I think they count. Sometimes, when I have a whole bunch on the counter I will roast them all, then scrape the roasted flesh out of the skin and freeze it. It makes soup prep incredibly easy. (And, save this tip for summer: I do the same thing when I have loads and loads of eggplant.)

Cooking 101 – You don’t have to peel beets before you roast them. Once they’re soft, leave them to cool slightly (covered or uncovered, I haven’t noticed much of a difference either way), then using gloves, a paper towel, a paring knife, or your fingers, peel the skin off – it should be pretty easy (and oddly satisfying).

On the Stove Top

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Steaming

I find that most veggies respond pretty well to steam. By this, of course, I mean veggies that are meant to be eaten cooked. I probably wouldn’t steam lettuce… although at the moment, that’s the only one coming to mind that I wouldn’t… But, you know, use your judgement on this one.

Some of my favorites to steam are: carrots, potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, and green beans.

I prefer steaming over boiling, because I think the veggies retain more of their nutrients.

Cooking 101 – Save leftover steaming or boiling water to cook pasta, or to make veggie stock with the scraps that would have gone in the compost.

Boiling

My Oma always boiled the potatoes for special dinners. They tasted great. I know that boiling is the way people often cook potatoes when they’re going to be mashed. When I took that cooking class in Paris, that’s how we boiled the potatoes. It’s a tried and true method. And you can really pop quite a few veggies in a bunch of really hot water and get good results. Just beware that if you leave them too long, they can become water-logged and mushy, and may just fall apart in the pot (and then you adapt and pretend that you’d always planned to make soup).

Cooking 101 – So that you can save the boiling water for pasta cooking or stock, use a slotted spoon to pull out the veggies, rather than just dumping the water out. Or, if you don’t have anything else to cook, let the water cool completely, then take it outside to water your plants.

Sautéeing

Aren’t veggies just so versatile?! I mean, we’ve gone from roasting, to steaming, and now sautéeing, and there are some veggie-friends that are good with any option. So, I’d say, that things like broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, are an easy yes. If you want to do potatoes, carrots, parsnips… you know, the harder roots, that’s awesome too, just smaller pieces, and plenty of time. And then, if you want to go with the more delicate greens, like kale, chard, mizuna, mustard greens, and spinach, you’ll start with what feels like way too much, and end up with the perfect amount. If you’re starting with some harder veggies, once they’re a few minutes from being done, add the greens. They won’t take long and add a lot to a dish.

Cooking 101 – Don’t throw away those beet greens! They’re delicious sautéed, in salads, and in soups.

However you prepare them, have fun with your veggies!

Monday

6

October 2014

0

COMMENTS

Grape Toasts

Written by , Posted in Appetizers, Baking, Bread, Cheese, Fruit, Kid-Friendly, Lunch, Quick and Easy, Sandwiches, Sides, Snacks, Toasting, Vegetables, Vegetarian

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One of my all time favorite snacks is crackers and cheese with grapes. When I used to teach aerobics many years ago, I’d come home starving, and would eat like it had been a really long time since I’d last eaten (when in fact it had probably just been a few hours).

Back then, I wasn’t eating seasonally. I didn’t realize that grapes were a late summer/early fall fruit. I didn’t know, guys. I mean, the grocery stores have almost everything available year round. I didn’t really question where things were coming from or if it was beneficial to be eating things that were coming from so far away. I didn’t realize that they were often so flavorless because they were picked green and transported to us, so we could have oranges in June and peaches in December.

That’s just the way it was.

No longer.

At least, not for us, if we can help it.

I love that we’re eating with the seasons. Some say it’s better for your health, some say it doesn’t matter. Whatever. I’m not going to argue with them. Potential health benefits aside, I love that by buying things that are in season, we’re supporting our local/California farmers. We’re also doing the environment a favor by not buying foods that are shipped from ridiculously far away, whenever possible. We’re just two of us here in our little home, but we’re trying to do our part.

This means we wait all year for things like grapes.

It’s worth it.

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These sweet fall treats are sliced in half, seeds removed.

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A baguette is sliced about 1/2″ thick.

I would always prefer homemade. But, I don’t have any right now. They’re a bit of a process, so I don’t make them as often as I wish I would. Every time I do I decide that I’m never going to buy a baguette again (unless we’re back in Paris, obviously). Then we run out and the cycle starts over.

I digress.

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Bari’s olive oil is second to none. This goodness gets drizzled on the baguette.

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So many good things come from a sentence that begins with, “cheese is grated”. Cheddar or monterey jack would be great. Gruyère would be awesome. Havarti would be divine. Use whatever cheese is your favorite, even if it’s not one of my suggestions.

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A generous plomp of the cheese is placed on the grapes. And then it’s sprinkled with a bit of cayenne.

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I’ve used the broiler at our new house now twice. I’m a little bit scared of it. No one knows why. I think it’s that it gets so very hot and can burn things when they’re forgotten about for just a minute. Thankfully, the stove has one of those broiler drawers that pulls out, so I don’t have to lay on the floor to check on the foods. Makes it much less scary.

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I love the little crispy cheese crumbles that get stuck to the pan. I don’t usually share those.

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Last step is to drizzle each toast with a bit of honey.

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A little sweet, savory, kick of spicy treat. Perfect for right now.

Happy Eating!

Grape Toasts
Recipe Type: Appetizer, Snack, Fruit, Cheese
Author: Rachel Oberg – De Ma Cuisine
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 3 mins
Total time: 8 mins
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 6 slices baguette, about 1/2″ thick
  • 1 t olive oil
  • 9-12 grapes, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • to taste salt
  • 1/4 C cheddar or monterey jack cheese
  • pinch cayenne
  • 1 t honey
Instructions
  1. Drizzle bread with oil. Top with grapes, a sprinkle of salt, cheese, and a sprinkle of cayenne.
  2. Broil for about 2-3 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  3. Serve drizzled with honey.
3.2.1311

Thursday

3

April 2014

13

COMMENTS

Classic Meat and Cheese Lasagna… With Veggies

Written by , Posted in Baking, Beef, Cheese, Dinner, Herbs, Main Dishes, Meat, Pasta, Vegetables


Lasagna8

Tim informed me the other day that he would like more lasagna, meatloaf, and tacos in his life. Cool. I can do that. I had lasagna on the menu before he even asked.

Winner. (Um, both of us.)

I woke up really early this morning to get started, since I had two meals to cook and photograph. Boy was it fun. No really, it was. I’m totally not being sarcastic. I enjoyed a full day of cooking and picture making.

It’s a lot of fun to cook and photograph for you guys to see on here. But, let’s be honest, when I know that Tim is going to love something as much as he loves lasagna, well, not much can beat that.

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We just moved and have some friends coming to visit from Germany next week (yippee!). So I made two, and put one in the freezer. That means that if my kitchen isn’t completely unpacked, or if I don’t have the energy after unpacking and working all day, I can pop a lasagna in the oven, and dinner is taken care of… except for the caesar salad and garlic bread that will definitely need to accompany the meal. Other than that, all I have to do is open the wine.

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This is my version of a classic meat and cheese lasagna, with lots of veggies. I threw in some radish, kale, celery, and carrot. I’m not really afraid of veggie-ing up a dish. If you don’t heart vegetables, you are not alone (sorrynotsorry). Yesterday, Tim told me that something we had for dinner was “really good, for vegetables”. We may not share the same opinion about the deliciousness of greens. 😉

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Thankfully, we do both really enjoy cheese. I know you can use ricotta for lasagna, but I couldn’t find it at the store, so I used cottage cheese. It’s mixed together with Greek yogurt, mozzarella, and parmesan. I’m not sure that you could have too much of this cheesy mixture.

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The sauce is simple, it’s almost just tomato sauce and herbs. Like the cheese mixture, too much is a good thing.

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The anatomy of the lasagna and the way it all comes together.

Also, the sunlight changes more than I’d noticed in real life.

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It bakes up and bubbles and melts and mmmm tastes so good. You should’a seen the huge helping Tim got. And then I looked over and it was gone. So I gave him a bite of mine. He can’t get enough lasagna.

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I served this lasagna with some crazy good garlic bread. Done and done.

Happy Eating!

Classic Meat and Cheese Lasagna
Recipe Type: Main Dishes, Dinners, Meat, Beef, Vegetables, Cheese, Hearty, Oven, Baking, Greens
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Rachel Oberg – De Ma Cuisine
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
A classic lasagna with lots of veggies.
Ingredients
  • meat and veggie filling: 1 lb. ground beef
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 C carrot, diced
  • 1/4 C radish, diced
  • 3/4 C celery, diced
  • 3 C kale, chopped
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • pinch nutmeg
  • cheese filling: 16 oz. cottage cheese
  • 1/2 C Greek yogurt
  • 2 1/2 C mozzarella cheese, grated (1 C reserved)
  • 1/2 C parmesan cheese
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • tomato sauce: 4-6 C tomato sauce
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 1 t dried oregano, crushed
  • 1 t dried thyme, crushed
  • 1 t dried parsley, crushed
  • 1 t dried basil, crushed
  • 1/2 t dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 – 9 oz. box (about 12 noodles) lasagna noodles (the kind that don’t need to be cooked first*)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
  2. Cook beef until partially done, then add garlic through celery, and cook for 5-10 minutes. Add kale and wilt down, about 5 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Taste and adjust seasoning. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
  3. Mix together cheese filling ingredients. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  4. Mix together tomato sauce ingredients. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  5. Grease two 8×8 pans (or one 9×13). Spoon a bit of sauce into the bottom of the pan and top with two noodles. Top noodles with meat and vegetable filling, then with cheese mixture, and more sauce. Repeat three more times, topping last set of noodles with lots of sauce and reserved mozzarella.
  6. Bake covered for 30 minutes, then uncovered for 30-40 more.
  7. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

 

 

Wednesday

26

March 2014

6

COMMENTS

BLT Salad

Written by , Posted in Condiments, Fruit, Inspired By, Lunch, Main Dishes, Meat, Pork, Salads, Toasting, Vegetables

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You’re welcome. I’ll just say it. I mean, if I were you, I’d be thanking me for this post. Because, when it comes to bacon and croutons, I can’t get enough. 😉

For example, today, after I’d finished taking pictures, I ate the salad right out of the bowl. All of it. Didn’t share. After dumping the bowl in the sink (in hopes that the dishes fairy will come while I’m typing this for you), I stood at fridge with the dressing whisk and serving spoon to make sure I got any remaining dressing off of them, while eating the leftover bacon and croutons (that are meant for something else). I continued to stand there eating bacon and croutons even after the dressing was gone.

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I did not give up bacon for Lent. Fact. You might not have been wondering.

I have bacon planned for 3 more meals in the next 7 days. It’s been a while since we’ve had bacon.

I’m so distracted by the photos of croutons and bacon that are on the other screen.

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And then there’s that dressing. It’s really just a few things that I think you have in your fridge and pantry right now: mayo, yogurt, lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and garlic. Oh the garlic… Garlic is good for you.

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You will want to choose a sturdy lettuce. It will be less likely to get soggy. If you don’t, that’s cool too. Just dress the salad right before serving and make sure there are no leftovers.

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You may want to take a moment, after you consume this salad, to give thanks for bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, and bread… seriously. This is good stuff. Also, being thankful is important. Sooooo, yeah.

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The dishes fairy has not yet arrived.

Happy Eating!

BLT Salad
Recipe Type: Salad, Main, Meat, Bread
Author: Rachel Oberg – De Ma Cuisine
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
It’s like you chopped up your BLT and poured dressing over it.
Ingredients
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1 C bread, torn into crouton sized pieces
  • olive oil
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • dressing: 1 T mayo
  • 2 T Greek (or plain) yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic (optional), minced
  • 1/4 t dijon mustard
  • 1/2 T lemon juice
  • 1/2 T balsamic vinegar
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 1 T olive oil
  • salad: 2-4 C lettuce, torn
  • 1 tomato, chopped
Instructions
  1. Cook bacon. Drain and let cool on paper towel lined plate. Crumble.
  2. Toss bread with a splash of olive oil, and some salt and pepper. Bake at 350F for about 10-15 minutes, or until crispy.
  3. Whisk mayo through pepper. Whisk while streaming in olive oil. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  4. Top lettuce with tomato, bacon, croutons, and dressing. Toss to combine. Serve immediately.
Notes
If cooking bacon in the oven, heat to 350F, place bacon on a cooling rack on a baking sheet (so it won’t sit in its grease). Bake for about 25-35 minutes, or until cooked to desired crispiness. Baking in the oven increases cooking time.