June 7, 2016 · 9:12 pm
I feel it is my lawful duty as an Alaskan to have rhubarb plants in the yard. Now, this does not necessarily mean that I actually like rhubarb – but I don’t see how these 2 things are linked. At all.
However, I am coming around to rhubarb. And I have to say, rhubarb sauce is a super simple and great entry level rhubarb drug.
- Harvest and remove the leaves from a big bunch of rhubarb. Have no scientific way of knowing how much you are grabbing – just get a lot.
- Clean and chop stems to equal 4 cups cut rhubarb.
- Put the rest of the crazy amount of stems you cut in a vase on the counter until you get around to getting flour from the store tomorrow for cobbler.
- Put 1 cup water and the 4 cups of chopped ‘barb in a pot and bring to a boil – cover loosely.
- Boil and stir occasionally until the rhubarb is soft.
- Allow the sauce to cool and add honey and cinnamon to taste.
February 29, 2016 · 12:15 pm
I have always been really intimidated by making my own mayo. I don’t really know why. Maybe I heard it was tricky? Well, whomever passed that info along is a fibber. Making your own mayo is so easy. And so much better than storebought. Believe me on this one.
Now, you can do this with a whisk by hand (I did it once…) or use a whisk attachment on whatever gizmo you prefer in your kitchen. (I am sure you could also use a food processor but we don’t have one of them there fancy things in our house).
- Add 1 egg yolk to a bowl with 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of salt
- Add to that 1 teaspoon of white vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon of mustard if that’s your thing (it’s not mine)
- Whisk these ingredients together until it is all incorporated
- Ultimately you will be adding 3/4 cup oil to this. I do about half vegetable and half olive oil (just don’t do all olive oil or you will be sorry). Slowly drizzle in about 1 teaspoon to the egg yolk mixture and whisk.
- Continue alternating adding oil and whisking. (This is where a gizmo comes in handy) until all oil is incorporated and your mayo is a lovely pastel yellow.
- Refridgerate and enjoy!
Seriously you guys. I won’t be going back to store mayo ever. So many weird chemicals and most are made with soybean oil (we have way too much soy in our lives – cut it out where you can). Give it a go. You will thank me later.
December 14, 2015 · 2:24 pm
It’s soup season. And what is easier (and yummier) than egg drop soup. I can almost guarantee you have most of this stuff in your kitchen already and it takes all of maybe 15 minutes to make.
- Peel and thinly slice 2 carrots, throw into a soup pot
- If you’re feeling mushroomy, slice 5 halved mushrooms and add to pot as well
- Add 2 cups chicken broth to pot and bring to boil – simmer your carrots and mushrooms for 3-4 minutes
- Add 3 more cups chicken broth (sub a cup of beef broth for one of those if you want the flavor to be a tad more complex) and simmer
- Add 1 cup thinly sliced cabbage – Napa or savoy is my favorite
- Add 2 whole eggs and 1 yolk to a cup and quickly whisk, set aside
- Whisk 1 1/2 TB corn starch in 1/2 cup water and add to broth (the corn starch makes the egg silky)
- Slowly pour your eggs into the broth gently whisking the soup with a chopstick (or whatever high tech tool you have to break up the egg).
- Liberally pepper
- Garnish with green onions
This is so easy. And so good. You’ll thank me. Now, get that soup going.
November 2, 2015 · 11:44 am
Whenever I would speak to my Uncle Stan, he would ask if the husband had gotten any rabbits lately. Sadly, Uncle Stan passed away (at the amazing age of 91!) in February. So, when the husband headed out Thumper hunting on Saturday, we knew that should he get one, it would be for Stan. In fact, the awesome hat he’s rocking in his picture was Stan’s. He would have been really proud to hear about the trip and how delicious that little bunny was.
Rabbit has the reputation for being tricky to cook, but this most recent recipe was probably the easiest, and best, we have ever had.
First, you need to brine your bunny for a day in salt water to tenderize and help remove the iron-y blood taste from the game. After that you’re ready to go. Break down the legs and remove the rib cage. The back strap is one of the best parts of any animal, so to minimize the chance of ruining it, I leave the entire back column intact. Obviously we aren’t running a fancy french restaurant out of our kitchen, so I’m not concerned with presentation. Remove tough silver skin with a sharp knife and you’re basically done.
In a large pot, brown the rabbit pieces in 2 TB or so of oil for about 3 minutes on each side, set aside.
- Add 1 whole chopped onion to the pot and saute until soft – about 5 minutes. Add 3 cloves chopped garlic and cook until fragrant – about 1 more minute.
- Add 2 cups chicken broth to the onion and garlic mixture, toss in a bay leaf and a sprig of thyme if that’s your thing. Liberally pepper the broth.
- Add rabbit to the broth mixture and quickly bring to boil. As soon as it has boiled turn the setting to low, cover, and slowly simmer for 35 – 45 minutes. Low and slow is the way to go with rabbit lest you turn it to leather.
When your rabbit is finished, remove from the pot and set aside.
- In a separate container, create a slurry with 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup lemon juice and 5 TB water.
- Shake to mix well, and add to the remaining broth and onion mixture. Bring to boil while stirring. Remove from heat once it has boiled.
- Spoon the gravy over your rabbit and viola! What’s up Doc?!
You may think that the lemon sounds insane (I did the same thing) but it is a surprisingly delicious touch. A high note of citrus that really elevates the rabbit to a different level.
I also serve my rabbit with carrots (these were grown in our urban garden this summer and roasted with olive oil, salt & pepper) – because I find it hilarious. And of course, delicious.
October 16, 2015 · 12:54 pm
I love pasta. A lot. It’s like bread but in a different form and with more seafood (because always seafood). I had the best lobster ravioli of my life in a fabulous little bistro in Boston a few years ago, and I still dream of it. The key? The vodka cream sauce. So I thought it was about damn time to start making some of this cream sauce myself. And you know what? It’s super easy. The only part of this recipe that a well stocked kitchen may not contain at any given time is cream. Otherwise, I know most of us are ready to bang this out with little to no notice.
- Saute 2 chopped garlic cloves, 1/2 cup chopped onion and 1/4 cup minced shallots in butter – 3 to 5 minutes to bring out the flavor
- Add 1 TB tomato paste to the pan along with a generous dash of red pepper flakes (depending on preference for level of heat) and cook until you can smell the spice (1 to 2 minutes)
- Remove your pan from the heat and stir in 1 cup of freshly sliced tomatoes (I use the little guys from the garden – so good!) and 1/3 cup vodka
- At this point you are going to cook it all down until the alcohol cooks off (7 to 10 minutes)
- If you want your sauce to be super smooth, you can pour it into a blender. I leave it with the little chunks – the texture is an added bonus
- Slowly add 1/2 cup of heavy cream to your sauce (because healthy and delicious) and heat until warm.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
This sauce is pretty amazeballs right out of the pan, but if you have guests or someone who may judge you, I suggest pouring it over linguine with garlic butter sauteed shrimp. And of course, green onions to garnish because duh.
See? Easy. Now I’m hungry…
September 11, 2015 · 9:58 am
I grew up on Jiffy mix biscuits. They were a pretty regular fixture at the dinner table and I still have a soft spot in my heart for those (mom used a cutter for round biscuits, and dad just dropped them from the spoon). However, we don’t buy Jiffy in our house, so when it’s time to make the perfect biscuit, a little elbow grease is involved.
- Mix 2 cups flour, 1/4 tsp baking soda, 1 TB baking powder and 1 tsp salt in a bowl
- Cut in 6 TB very cold butter until it makes a mealy mix
- Add 1 cup buttermilk and mix until just combined (over mixing is bad)
- Turn out onto a floured surface and press until it’s about half an inch thick. Fold the dough over on itself and press again.
- Repeat the folding process 4 times (this is how you get all those awesome flaky layers)
- Cut with a cutter and bake in a 450* oven for 10-12 minutes
Making the gravy and meaty bits is super easy. Thanks to my friend Colour who turned us on to doing this in the same pan a year or so ago, a process that was already pretty idiot proof got even easier.
- Brown 1 pound ground pork or the sausage of your choice
- Sprinkle cooked meat (don’t drain! Keep the oil and fat because, healthy!! And delicious…!) with 2 TB flour
- Slowly add 1 1/2 cups milk and stir to thicken
- Sprinkle with salt and liberally apply pepper
- Make sure your husband walks by and adds more pepper
- Add more pepper yourself (we like our pepper)
- When thick, spoon over your biscuits and unhinge your face
I bet you didn’t think biscuits and gravy could be that easy, eh?
August 26, 2015 · 11:44 am
I have one of those friends. You know. The friend with whom you make the pact of ‘should we not be married by 30, we will move to Vermont together and make and sell applesauce at the end of the driveway and be awesome spinster aunties.’ Ok, so this may be a mix of too many viewings of Baby Boom and a mutual love/fascination/obsession with Practical Magic (btw I am totally Aunt Franny) but it actually happened. Sadly we lost touch for a few years after my 4000 mile move to Alaska, and we both did end up tying the knot (both just squeaking through that 30 year cut off), but we’re back together – in a totally platonic life partner bff kinda way – and the texts are flying fast and furious. With a 4 hour time difference, a shop busy with customers all day, and 2 kiddos under the age of 3 on our collective plates, texting is the easiest. (And no one can overhear you bitch and whine from the next room).
We often send each other photos of what we are canning, processing, cooking or eating as we fancy ourselves to be super cool urban homestead hipster chicks (without any of the negative connotations of course). And one night after a glass or two of my favorite red vintage from a box, I decided that we were going to photograph our dinners each night to send along to the other. It has been a lot of fun, and I think both of us are not only upping our game (I informed the husband last week that we needed all new dinnerware because what we have just isn’t going to cut it for my plating aspirations and photographing anymore. You know, those black square plates I insisted on getting when we moved in together.) but getting some great ideas. It can be really hard to break out of that same 10 dinner rotation – There is absolutely nothing to cook! No recipes in the world!! – much like looking at your literally bursting closet and screaming you have nothing to wear.
I’m having fun with this little project. Not just because it’s an excuse to send more texts to my comrade Auntie Jet…well, maybe that’s the biggest part of it. And hey, if some publisher wants in on this, I bet we could get on board with that, too.
August 25, 2015 · 8:40 am
This beautiful recipe, or rather photo of drool worthy food, has been floating around Pinterest for a bit. What’s the hold up? It’s in Russian. My pal Natasha over at Alaska Knit Nat had a friend translate some of the recipe with a translator and ended up with things like “butter sauce.” So, no one is much closer to making this beautiful thing…So I
bribed kindly asked my friend Sergios to translate the ingredients for me as he is super cool and speaks both Russian and Greek (go team Cyprus!).
From there I approached this a bit like a British Bake Off technical challenge. Read: Imma make this up! Sort of.
- Make your pie crust
- Mix 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, 2 tsp sugar, 3/4 tsp salt in a bowl
- Cut in 2 full sticks of butter. (Yeah. 2 sticks. No one ever said vegetables were healthy.) until you have a nice mealy mix.
- Add 9 – 12 TB of ice cold water and mix until the dough holds when pressed. Don’t over mix or your pastry will be tough. And ain’t nobody got time for that.
- Wrap/cover in cling film and pop in the refrigerator
- Run out of the house in your flour covered shirt to go to the expensive (but very cool) housewares store in rush hour traffic. Buy spring form pan because even after all these years, you still don’t have one. And believe me – this veggie tart won’t be nearly as cool if you can’t see the whole thing.
- Dig out your butcher glove (the Michael Jackson thing you use when filleting allthefish so you won’t cut your hand off) and prep the mandolin. Slice 1 full green zucchini, 1 full yellow zucchini squash, 2 potatoes, half a beet and some carrots. Realize the carrots don’t cut as nicely as you would like, and feed some to the dog.
- After your dough has chilled for at least an hour, remove from the fridge, roll, pack and blind bake for 15 minutes at 375*. I’m too cheap to own weights, so dried kidney beans and tin foil won the day. Why do we blind bake? No soggy bottoms!
- Cool your pastry for 10 minutes, and begin layering your veggies in the mold.
After your veggies look super pretty, set aside and begin making your cheese sauce. I did not have Sergios translate the entire recipe (my bribe powers have limits) but from the photo, it looks like a modified cheese sauce.
- Grate a lot of cheese – like 2 1/2 cups or so. I used 3/4 pepper jack and 1/4 cheddar. It was what we had – I don’t judge.
- Begin your roux – 1 -2 TB of melted butter with 2 -3 TB of flour, yadda yadda. (If you don’t know how to make a roux – go forth to Google)
- Slowly add 1 1/2 cups of milk, stir until thick, begin adding portions of cheese and stir until melted and all is incorporated.
- Add a few TB of water because of course you made the cheese sauce too thick. Salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste.
- Feel terrible you are about to pour this stuff all over your pretty vegetables.
- Bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour at 375* – until the pie is set.
While you are waiting for the pie to cook, snack on some salmon spread leftover from last night’s onigiri. Have 3 or 4 slices, because it’s snacking.
Allow your pie to cool for about an hour – you want all that stuff to set and congeal before you hack into it and it all comes rushing out….Make sure someone in your house asks “Is it ready yet? Can we eat it?” every 15 minutes.
Cut, serve and send photos to your friends. This thing turned out amazingly well and it is definitely making it in to our meal rotation. Seriously. Super good.
August 17, 2015 · 9:49 am
This is a recipe for the worst zucchini relish ever. I entered it in the state fair last year, and of the 3 zucchini relish entries, I did not place. Not even 3rd. It was that bad. The only nice thing that could be said was “beautiful jar” – the thing I had no actual hand in making. I find this hilarious.
My husband on the other hand loves this stuff. He puts it on pizza, hot dogs, sandwiches, etc. We sent a jar to my father in law, and I believe it was gone within a week. So, who really cares what the fair folks say, eh? (Though I totally entered a jar this year…just to see.)
- Grate 10 cups of zucchini into a bowl. Chop 3 -4 bell peppers (red makes for the nicest presentation later) finely, as well as 2 1/2 cups onion. Mix with 5 TB salt and allow to sit in the fridge overnight.
- The next day, rinse and drain the goods that sat overnight. Add to a pot.
- Add 3 cups sugar, 3 cups vinegar, 1 TB dried dill, 1 tsp coarse ground pepper, 1 tsp celery seed, and bring to a boil
- Boil for 30 minutes – start the water in your canner.
- Pack hot sterilized jars with relish, add sprigs of dill along the side to pretty it up.
- Water bath for 10 minutes, and viola! The worst zucchini relish ever.
I don’t usually like relish myself (I’m a picky pickle or pickled eater) but think this is pretty good stuff. Give it a try. I bet you’ll agree. And if you want to come judge the category at the fair, let me know!
July 20, 2015 · 11:33 am
We have a bumper crop of green and red bunching onions this season. Also known as scallions, spring onions, green onions, etc. So of course a batch of scallion pancakes was needed. Duh.
- Mix 2 1/2 cups flour with 1 cup warm water and knead until elastic. Cover with a towel and let sit for half an hour.
- Chop a large bunch of green onions while the dough is resting – 10-15 stems.
- Divide your dough into 4 sections. On a lightly oiled surface, roll one of the dough portions into a rectangle – as thin as possible without breaking.
- Liberally sprinkle the lightly oiled dough with salt, spread a generous amount of onions on the dough and roll into a long rope. Cut in half, coil and set aside to rest for at least 15 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Roll each cool as thin as possible while a pan heats with a combination of sesame and olive oil and some of that bacon grease you have stashed in the freezer.
- Fry each cake approximately 2 minutes on each side, cut into 4 sections and serve with soy sauce, gyoza sauce or just on their own.
They were amazing and super easy – what is that, 5 ingredients?? If you want to kick it up a notch, add some pepper jack cheese and you’ve got a handheld funky pizza. Hooray! (The husband thought that was pretty amazing)