Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Roots n Leaves Hash

This recipe comes from the collaborative minds of Beast and Laurel. We had some greens that were needing cooked, and this is what came of it.


3-4 tbsp oil
2 medium parsnips
1 rutabaga
1 turnip
5-6 small red potatoes
1 bunch swiss chard
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp oregano
Salt & pepper to taste
1 egg, fried
1 kielbasa  (or other smoked sausage)

Dice up all the root veg, and toss into a hot pan with the hot oil. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the herbs and seasonings. Cook for another 5 minutes, then add the sausage. Fry till the root veg and sausage are almost browned. Toss in the cut up swiss chard. Cook till everything is browned and crispy, stirring as needed so as to not burn.

Plate the veg mixture, topped with the fried egg. A little smoked Chipotle tabasco, some grated cheddar, a dash of ketsup.. yum!

For the vegetarian, fry the sausage in a separate pan, and add to the plate after the vegetables.

 For those watching carbs, here's your break down. A single serving, roughly a cup and a half of hash = 34ish grams of carbohydrates. 

1 medium parsnip - 19 grams
1 rutabaga - 24 grams
1 turnip - 6 grams
1 small red potato - 34 grams
1 cup swiss chard - 1 gram
1 small onion - 6 grams
1 clove garlic - 1 gram
1 tsp smoked paprika - 1/2 grams
2 tsp oregano - 0 grams
Salt & pepper to taste - 0 grams
1 egg, fried - 1 gram
1 kielbasa - 21 grams

Monday, October 1, 2012

Bacon Fritatta!

What's better than the aroma of a freshly baked fritatta on a fall morning? Fresh coffee and English Muffin bread to go with it, of course!

This recipe could very easily be made vegetarian, simply by omitting the bacon. Sacrilege, I know, but not everyone eats meat..


18 eggs
half pound bacon, chopped
1 medium onion
1 green bell pepper
1 Anaheim chile
1 can spinach
4 medium Roma tomatoes
2-3 medium potatoes
1 clove garlic
shake or two of basil
1/2 cup milk
2 cups shredded cheese

This recipe makes an 9x13 Pyrex dish. I have 11 people in the house to feed, so I make laaaaarge quantities.. 

Preheat oven to 350

Slice the potatoes thin, and layer them on the bottom of the dish. I use two layers, as I like a good crust. 

Place the Pyrex into the oven to cook the potatoes while preparing the rest of the ingredients. This gives the potatoes a head start!

In a large skillet, begin to fry up the chopped bacon. Cook it about half way, DO NOT DRAIN. Add the chopped onion, peppers, garlic, chile. Cook until tender, and the bacon is nice and crispy. The grease from the bacon will cook the veggies nicely! It's a pork fat thing.. If you are doing this the vegetarian way, leave out the bacon, and add a few tablespoons olive oil instead.

While this concoction is cooking, it's time to drain the spinach. You can use fresh spinach, but if you can't get that, use canned. I use a colander, and drain the spinach first. This can seem gross, as you get lovely spinach juice all over your hands, but its actually quite easy. Pour the canned spinach into a colander, and then literally pick up the green glob, and squeeze. You will be surprised how much juice you can get out. It doesn't have to be DRY, just mostly drained. Toss the chopped Roma's in with the spinach.

 When these have both drained enough, transfer them into a large mixing bowl. By this time, the bacon/pepper/onions mix should be about done. Now, the question is how do you drain off the excess grease without losing the veggies, AND without clogging your drain? Why, by using the same colander, of course. I place the colander into a large bowl, and then drain the grease into the bowl. That makes it much easier to pour the bacon grease into a jar for later disposal. We all know not to pour bacon grease down the drains, right?

 Once the bacon mix is drained, add it to the bowl of spinach and tomatoes. And now come the eggs. 18 to be precise. Why so many?? We are, after all, making a 9x13 pan of Fritatta.. Add the half cup milk, and mix everything up all together. Add the basil and pepper to taste. Once everything is incorporated, it's time to take the potatoes out of the stove. Spread the grated cheese over the potatoes, then simply pour the egg mixture over it. Place it in the oven for about 45 minutes to an hour, and viola, FRITATTA!

You will want to test the center, to make sure it is cooked thru. I do this by cutting a small inch square in the center. Once it is finished, it looks delicious!



Sunday, July 15, 2012

Oatmeal Cranberry Almond Cookies

We went to a bbq at some good friends' house last night, and I wanted to take something different. I was thinking of Snickerdoodles, but then Melissa asked me to make cookies. This is the recipe I came up with. They were a HIT!

1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup dried cranberries (or other dried fruit)
3/4 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugars until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add to butter mixture and stir until well blended. Add dried cranberries and almonds. Drop by teaspoonful onto parchment covered baking sheet. Bake about 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Cool on a wire wrack.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Oatmeal Cake

This is another of my Gram's recipes that I have loved for many, many years. The original recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour. I have substituted this for 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour and 3/4 cups ground oats. I find this adds another layer of oat flavor and a better texture to the cake. This typically disappears rather quickly!

1 cup Oats
1 1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 cup White Sugar
2 egg
1/2 cup oleo (butter may be used)
1 tablespoon ground Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
3/4 cup all-purpose Flour
3/4 cup ground Oats (oat flour)

6 tablespoons Butter
1 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup cream (milk works as well)
1 cup sweetened Coconut

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, mix the oats and boiling water, set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix the brown & white sugar and the eggs until blended. Add the oleo.Blend until mixed.

In a large bowl, mix the cinnamon, soda, salt, oat flour and all-purpose flour. Add the sugar mixture. Beat until well blended.

Pour the batter into a greased 13x9 Pyrex, and bake for approx. half an hour to 45 minutes, or until set. A wooden tester inserted should come out clean. Remove from oven, and allow to cool.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter, brown sugar, and cream. Cook until incorporated, and the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, and stir in the coconut. Pour this frosting over the cake. Let cool, and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Rock Cakes

I have a gathering I am going to tonight, and decided to be nice, and fix some snacks to take with. I found this recipe in "The Scottish-Irish Pub and Hearth Cookbook". This is an amazing book, with a ton of great recipes. The original recipe is below, which I made one batch of. Flavoured with spices and raisins, these small cakes or buns are rocky-looking mounds, great favourites afternoon tea and in-between snacks. They are easy and simple to prepare and keep well. The original recipe is good, but as I always do, i had to try to make it even better. *MY* recipe is below the original.

Rock Cakes
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt
3 tblsp brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup raisins or currants
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil, spray with Pam.

Into a large bowl sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Mix in the sugar. With a pastry blender, cut in the butter until mixture is uniformly crumbly. Stir in raisin or currants. Add the egg and enough milk to make a stiff dough. Spoon onto prepared cookie sheet by the teaspoonful, about an inch apart.

Bake in a preheated oven until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack to cool. Sprinkle the tops with sugar.

Makes about 3 dozen.

Beast's Rock Cakes
2 cups ground oats
3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt
3 tblsp brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup raisins or currants
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
Fruit jam, your choice of flavors

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil, spray with Pam.

Into a large bowl sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Mix in the sugar. Stir in raisin or currants. Melt the butter, and mix with the milk, and then the egg. Add wet mixture to dry mixture, to make a stiff dough. Roll two tsps of dough into a ball, then place on the cookie sheet. press down in the middle with your thumb to make an impression. Fill the impression with about 1/2 tsp of jam.

Bake in a preheated oven until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack to cool. Sprinkle the tops with sugar.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Irish Brown Bread

A couple of years ago I made my first loaf of Irish Soda Bread for an SCA event I attended, and instantly fell in love. I loved the thick, hearty texture and simple, yet complex, flavor. It’s perfect for toasting and slathering with butter and jam, to soak up extra broth from your favorite stew or to eat as a quick grab-a-snack! Any way you cut it, it’s fabulous bread that I have enjoyed over and over since first trying it. My wife even enjoys it! This year, I started seeing mention of Irish brown bread and went about trying to find some authentic recipes. Well, I found tons. And they all seemed to contradict each other in terms of what makes Irish brown bread truly “authentic” – some had to contain oats, some said absolutely no eggs, some said only four ingredients, and the list goes on and on. In the end it seemed that there was no one set of rules for Irish brown bread and I decided on this version. I loved this version because it included such a wide variety of flours and grains – all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, and a combination of wheat bran and wheat germ. I used a stone-ground whole wheat flour and wheat germ since I didn’t have any wheat bran on hand. To be honest, I didn’t have any wheat germ either, but Wal-Mart did, and pretty inexpensive, too. It takes the hearty texture of the bread to a whole new level and is absolutely, utterly delicious. I cut the original recipe in half since the original calls for such a large amount of flour. The original poster suggested dividing the recipe into two loaves, but I just halved it and made one.

Irish Brown Bread

1 cup + 1½ teaspoons whole wheat flour
½ cup + 1½ teaspoons wheat bran, oat bran or wheat germ, or a combination
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1¼ cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon molasses

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and put it on the center oven rack.

2. Whisk together the whole wheat flour and wheat/oat bran or wheat germ in a large bowl.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the wheat flour mixture and whisk to combine.

4. Add the butter pieces and rub them into small pieces with the flour mixture using your fingers, until as small as possible.

5. Stir in the buttermilk and molasses until the dough is uniformly damp. Turn out onto a lightly floured countertop and knead gently, until the dough forms a smooth ball.

6. Use a sharp serrated knife (or a lame) to slice a cross deeply into the top of the bread, about 1-inch deep. Place the loaf on the hot baking sheet.

7. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until the loaf is firm on top and when you tap the bottom, feels hollow.

8. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack before serving.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Oven-baked Country Style Bar-b-qued Pork Ribs

1 1/2 - 5 lbs. country style pork ribs, with or without bones
½  c. lemon juice
2 medium onions, sliced
2 c. water
1 ½  c. ketchup
½ c. vinegar
4 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. Soy sauce
1 tbsp. paprika
2 tsp. mustard
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
½ tsp. Paprika

Line an 8x12 Pyrex casserole dish with a heavy foil. Trust me, this is IMPORTANT to your sanity when clean up time comes. Make sure the foil is up the sides as well, as this sauce is a pain to get off!  Put half the chopped onion in the bottom of the pan.

After trimming off the excess fat, place the ribs in the pan and sprinkle the remaining onion over the top. Pour the lemon juice over the ribs, and then brown in a preheated 375°F oven for 45 minutes, uncovered.
While the ribs are browning, combine the rest of the sauce ingrediants in a large pot and slowly bring to a simmer on top of the oven.

When the ribs have browned, pour off most of the liquid in the pan (save the onion) and add the sauce. It should be enough to fully cover the ribs. Add more water if needed, depending on how many ribs you have.
Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake at 425 degrees for 2 hours. Uncover the pan and bake for about 30 minutes more until the sauce cooks down. The meat should just about fall off the bones and the sauce is about half its original volume. We used boneless pork ribs, and they were DELICIOUS!