Good Eats: Easy Corn & Potato Chowder

Chowder


Ingredients

  • 6 pieces of bacon
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1-1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 potatoes, cubed
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 can corn
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cheese (optional)

Instructions

Cook bacon over medium heat in a dutch oven until beginning to crisp.  Add onion and garlic, cooking until soft.  Add mushrooms, cooking until tender.  Sprinkle with rosemary.  Pour in wine and deglaze, making sure to scrape all of the brown bits off of the bottom.

Remove bacon to cutting board.  Cut into bite-sized pieces and return to pot.

Next, pour in chicken stock and water.  Add potatoes and cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes.  Add cream and corn.  Cook until well-heated.

Taste and season with salt and pepper.  Ladle into bowl, and top with cheese.  Treat yourself to two helpings!

Good Eats: Pesto Baked Eggs & a Super Smoothie

This weekend, Kaya and I were left to our own devices while Matthew ventured off to New Orleans with friends. Naturally, we stayed up watching renditions of various fairy tales on Netflix and sipped on a LOT of chocolate milk. We’re wild, I tell you! We were also snowed in and going a bit mad.

For breakfast on Saturday, Little Bean and I both had a hankering for eggs. We opted for the doctored-up kind that were inspired by the meager contents of our refrigerator. To balance our meal, we made a green super smoothie that was packed with all the good stuff, and perfect for a series of smoothie mustache contests. Things got a little weird, but we rolled with it.

Ingredients for Pesto Baked Eggs

  • 4 teaspoons pesto (jarred or fresh)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 4 teaspoons heavy whipping cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cheddar cheese for topping

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Lightly grease two ramekins.

Divide ingredients into each ramekin, in order.  Place into oven, on middle rack, and bake for 12-15 minutes.  Devour!

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Ingredients for Super Smoothie

  • 1 1/2 cups baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup water or juice
  • 2 bananas, peeled
  • 10 strawberries, whole with greens
  • 1 apple, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 cup ice

Instructions

First, blend spinach and water.  Next, add each ingredient, making sure that it is well blended before adding the next.  Add additional ice for thicker consistency. Pour into cup and sip.  Smoothie mustaches will ensue.

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Good Eats: Squash Pie

I’ve harvested quite a bit of butternut squash this fall. Unfortunately, I am the only one in the house who actually enjoys it. I’m working with some persnickity eaters when it comes to squash over here. It doesn’t even matter the variety, my housemates just don’t care for it. Sneaking it into a pie was the only way I could think to get some help in consuming my abundance of butternut. I just couldn’t do it myself!

This recipe transforms butternut squash into a dessert, and it’s great. It’s a twist on the veggie that I personally haven’t seen before, and one I think I may actually prefer to pumpkin pie.  Try it during the upcoming holidays.  I guarantee it will be a hit!

Ingredients

  • Pie crust
  • 1-1/2 cups cooked squash
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter

* Make this gluten-free by substituting sweet rice flour or amaranth for the flour, and use a gluten-free pie crust.

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Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease pie dish and lay out pie crust.  Set aside.

Combine all filling ingredients into a blender.  Blend until smooth and poor filling into pie crust.  Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool and enjoy!

What is your favorite way to prepare butternut squash?  Have you tried it in pie-form before?

Autumn Pumpkin Bread

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Trust me when I say that I love simplicity; especially when it comes to what I cook.  This recipe is so easy that it would take more work to mess it up than it would to actually complete it.  It makes enough for three loaves, so we intended to eat one, freeze one, and then share one with others.  Sadly, the ‘others’ never saw that third loaf.  We ended up eating the other two in one weekend, and obviously couldn’t sacrifice the third, so we kept it.  What would we eat for dessert, or a snack, or. . . breakfast?!  Ahem.

In order to make up for our transgressions, I am here to offer the recipe to the ‘others.’

Adapted from a recipe on allrecipes.com.

Makes 3 loaves.

Ingredients

  • 1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 3-7×3 inch loaf pans.

Combine all ingredients.  Divide batter equally among three pans.

Bake for 60 mins, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

*If you’re feeling really gung-ho about it, you can use fresh pumpkin after you carve some awesome ones to display on your stoop.  ‘Tis the season!

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Good Eats: Chimichuri

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If you have not experienced chimichuri, then friend, you are missing out on something wonderful.  This is one of those recipes that is extremely easy, but because of it’s impact seems intricate.  As you eat it you’ll just think, “where have you been all my life?!”  I say think, because you’ll likely be rendered speechless.

This specific recipe is from my Argentinian grandmother, who is by far the best chef I have ever had the privilege of meeting.  She and my grandfather owned a quaint little restaurant when I was a child, and it was here that my love affair with Argentinian food began.  I have memories of being filled to the brim with her delicacies: the very items that my culinary palette now naturally favors.

Chimichuri is great on meats, potatoes, vegetables, bread, and in my opinion everything else under the sun.  When I make it, it tops every item on my plate.

*Tip: If you like yours with some extra kick, add a couple extra cloves of garlic.

INGREDIENTS

Makes 4-6 servings

  • 2 bunches of parsley
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 shallot, peeled (optional)
  • 6 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • splash of lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a food processor.  Blend until smooth.

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Good Eats: Oven Roasted Potatoes and Pole Beans with Shallots and Garlic

I’ve been harvesting a lot of these pole beans lately, and there are so many, that I hardly know what to do with them. I planted them as sort of an experiment in the spring, and given my unique ability to kill the things that I obsess over, decided not to expect much.  I’m shocked at their abundance, and frankly, was feeling a bit annoyed.

They’re beautiful and surprisingly fruitful, but here’s a little secret: I don’t particularly care for pole beans.  They’re slightly chewy and bitter.  I’ve eaten them raw, boiled, and sauteed, but they’re pretty awful.  However, I’ve remained vigilant in my pursuit of doing them justice (I did, after all, grow them), and have finally found a way to choke them down; nay, enjoy them!

One of my favorite ways to prepare vegetables is to roast them.  They always come out of the oven glistening, with a little bit of color on them, looking absolutely stunning.  Why I didn’t think to do this before, I’m not really sure, because it was the perfect solution.  The pole beans developed a beautiful, crispy skin that has given me a new found appreciation for these precarious little veggies.

You can prepare this with any kind of vegetable, though roasting times will vary.  Regardless of the type of veggies you choose, I would always include the garlic and shallots.  They kind of make the dish.

*Tip:  chopping larger vegetables into sizes that match the smaller vegetables you choose to include, will aid in providing an even roasting.

Serves 4, but if you’re like me, you will eat them all yourself.

INGREDIENTS

  • A bunch of pole beans (about two handfuls)
  • 6 red potatoes (cut into 1/4s)
  • 4 shallots (cut into 1/4s), peeled
  • 8 whole cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • salt
  • pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Lightly oil cooking sheet.

In a large bowl, combine beans, potatoes, shallots, and garlic cloves with olive oil.  Sprinkle half of rosemary into the bowl, and liberally distribute salt and pepper, so that each vegetable is covered.

Spread vegetable mixture onto cooking sheet and top with additional rosemary.

Cook for 25-30 minutes, checking frequently.  Cook times may vary.

Plate, and enjoy!  Bread is a nice addition with this side, as you can spread the roasted garlic and shallots on top.  I’d probably throw a little goat cheese on there with it.

What are some of your favorite ways to prepare persnickety vegetables?

Roasted Vegetables | Midwestern Musing

Good Eats: Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake | Midwestern Musing

This cake is extremely simple to make. It’s a great one to make on a whim, especially if you bake often, because you’ll likely have each ingredient on hand. I combined the ingredients in my blender, making it a quick clean up, too. It’s a win-win!

The recipe calls for three 8-inch cake pans, but I used one large pan and winged it.  It turned out wonderfully!

*Tip: If you are like me, you don’t have softened butter hanging out on your kitchen counter.  Not to fret, slice butter stick up into tablespoon sections to speed up softening.

This recipe is adapted from the 1996 edition of Southern Living’s Annual Recipe Book.

CAKE INGREDIENTS

  • 1 and 1/3 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 and 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour cake pan/s.

Combine first three ingredients in separate bowl.  Next, combine wet ingredients in blender, one at a time, in sequential order.  Add dry ingredients to blender.  Thoroughly blend.

Add batter to greased cake pan/s and cook for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a knife can be inserted into center of cake and comes out clean.  Remove from oven, and let cool for 8 minutes.  Remove from pan/s, and let cool completely.  Cover with icing and top with powdered sugar.

ICING INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 and 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS

Combine all ingredients in blender.

*Tip: if your icing isn’t smooth enough, add a tablespoon of milk until it reaches the desired consistency.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake Tutorial | Midwestern Musing