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Cooking: Spinach Dip, Leftover Edition

3 Aug

Living in a house with only one other person I always have leftovers and I feel like I am always throwing something out. So, I have been trying to actually use leftover food and this weekend I had some leftover spinach I turned into a spinach dip of sorts.

Leftover Spinach Dip

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup leftover cooked spinach
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup hidden valley ranch dressing

Method:

  • Mix ingredients together
  • Chill 1 hour
  • Serve with vegetables/ chips

My measurements are kind of estimated. If you wanted to make this, I suggest adding and subtracting amounts as you feel comfortable. Helpful, I know. Happy fooding.

Cooking: Popcorn Edition

19 Jul

I’m trying my hand at popping corn on the stove. One of my favorite things to eat is popcorn. However, I do not own an air popper, microwave popcorn bowl or a  special popcorn pot so I haven’t made it at home. I’ve read the tutorials on making it in a paper bag in the microwave, I’ve tried Jiffy Pop, and I don’t care for microwave popcorn, so for years I’ve been trying various brands, all of which I would recommend:

Love everything about it but the gross fingers it gives you.

Every kind of Indiana Popcorn is really good

Good Health Organic Popcorn tastes the closest to home made.

But any of these bags costs $2.99 or more and offers a couple servings while a bag of kernels cost $1.40 and seems like unlimited servings. Since I’m cheap I keep wanting to find a way to make it at home without buying a special thing to make it in/ not ruin any of my pots with burned kernels.

I frequent the blog Simply Recipes and have never tried a recipe off there I didn’t love. So, when I saw they had a popcorn method that appeared really easy I decided to be brave and give it a try:

Perfect Popcorn Recipe

  • Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp canola, peanut or grapeseed oil (high smoke point oil)
  • 1/3 cup of high quality popcorn kernels
  • 1 3-quart covered saucepan
  • 2 Tbsp or more (to taste) of butter
  • Salt to taste

Method

1 Heat the oil in a 3-quart saucepan on medium high heat.

2 Put 3 or 4 popcorn kernels into the oil and cover the pan.

3 When the kernels pop, add the rest of the 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels in an even layer. Cover, remove from heat and count 30 seconds. (Count out loud; it’s fun to do with kids.) This method first heats the oil to the right temperature, then waiting 30 seconds brings all of the other kernels to a near-popping temperature so that when they are put back on the heat, they all pop at about the same time.

4 Return the pan to the heat. The popcorn should begin popping soon, and all at once. Once the popping starts in earnest, gently shake the pan by moving it back and forth over the burner. Try to keep the lid slightly ajar to let the steam from the popcorn release (the popcorn will be drier and crisper). Once the popping slows to several seconds between pops, remove the pan from the heat, remove the lid, and dump the popcorn immediately into a wide bowl.

With this technique, nearly all of the kernels pop (I counted 4 unpopped kernels in my last batch), and nothing burns.

5 If you are adding butter, you can easily melt it by placing the butter in the now empty, but hot pan.

6 Salt to taste.

Additional tips: From the comments section

a If you add salt to the oil in the pan before popping, when the popcorn pops, the salt will be well distributed throughout the popcorn.

b Fun toppings for the popcorn – Spanish smoked paprika, nutritional yeast, cayenne powder, chili pepper, curry powder, cumin, grated Parmesan cheese.

Yield: Makes 2 quarts, a nice amount for two people, or for one hungry one.

I did it.

I had sunflower oil so I used that but other then the oil I followed this exactly and ended up with only 5 un-popped kernels, and nothing burned. I tried the tip suggesting adding salt to the oil and that worked fairly well. If you love you some popcorn and don’t have a fancy pants making method try this recipe. It’s pretty good.

Cooking: From Farmers Market to Beer Battered Veggies Edition

18 May

I’m trying to be more adventurous with food. I don’t really like to cook that much and when I do I have a pretty standard food lineup I stick too, however I discovered a farmers market with great prices and actually fresh produce and thought I should pick up some veggies I wouldn’t normally think to unless a recipe specifically called for it. Vegetables before recipes this time.

I picked up a pound of asparagus for .99 and googled for recipes other than roasted and steamed asparagus and came up with: Beer Battered Asparagus with a Lemon Herbed Dipping Service. I had also picked up some sweet potatoes and thought I would give those the beer treatment too. It went something like this:


I finished making the vegetables and moved onto the Lemon Herbed Dipping piece:

And served them with Pan Seared Pork Chops (which is a thing I make fairly often):

I would say the beer battered veggies turned out fairly average and I liked the dipping service more; bonus it’s easy to make. I suck at cutting recipes so I had enough leftover to serve with the buffalo chicken pizza I tired out the next evening:

In conclusion, it’s summertime and that means fresh produce reasonably priced and with that in mind I anticipate trying more vegetable/ fruit based experiments. Like the Minted Watermelon Salad I made for brunch a few weekends ago. I also anticipate trying to get people into the dungeon to help me get rid of the to much food I always end up making, friends you’ve been warned. Cooking.