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Category Archives: Dinner by FreeFoodBaby

In Memory of Dr Oetker’s Sauce’n’cake

Menu: Smoked Salmon pasta alfredo; garlic bread; green salad; chocolate cake w/caramel sauce

Creator of Deliciousness: FreeFoodBaby (FFB) and Guest Chef

I was given some home smoked salmon a while back, but warned that it had turned out a bit salty. So I kept it in my freezer until I was inspired to make a cream sauce with it. I figured with the salty salmon I wouldn’t have to add any salt myself.

In regular cooking, I’m actually not that big a fan of white sauce so I brought in Guest Chef to help me out. We kept it gluten free by making our rue with corn starch. This also led to a very thick sauce in the end.

smoked salmon alfredo

Our salad was a family favourite with lettuce on the bottom and sliced veg in colourful pattern on top.

Guest Chef was surprised that we were only making one sauce so with all his extra time he made homemade sauce’n’cake. His was chocolate with a caramel sauce. It was made bacause he has heard me lament the fact I couldn’t find Dr. Oetker’s sauce’n’cake mix at my local grocery store anymore. I thought it was because my local store stopped carrying Dr. Oetker but a Google search revealed they actually stopped producing sauce’n’cake mix in 2012. Shocking that it has been that long since we had it!

e saunce cake

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Posted by on October 23, 2015 in Dinner by FreeFoodBaby

 

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Better late than never, Year of the RAM

Menu: Lettuce wraps w/chicken filling; pork dumplings; steamed rice; vegetable chop suey

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Only a week or so after we were supposed to have welcomed in the year of the Ram, the MND crowd got together with Guest Chef to have Chinese food style dinner.

Over the last few months, we have found great success in having meals prepared for us by Guest Chef on non-MND nights. I (freefoodbaby) managed to sous chef for the night. This means I now have some idea how to make a few of these dishes.

Our group was expanded to 7 members for the evening and we all proved how delicious our food was by going back for 3rd helpings.

We may be losing Guest Chef to the British Isles in the not terribly distant future so we might end up with these recipes written down.  At the moment though, these recipes seem to be made with a dash of this and a splash of that from family memory.

I also learned a similar lesson to what we found out in “White guy no fusion” Mirren may be the best secret ingredient for stir fry. The flavour that you miss in homemade Chinese food is rose wine. A Chinese cooking wine, available in most grocery stores, we used it in the clear broth sauce of our chop suey. Also I’m pretty sure it was in the lettuce wrap filling as well.

Quite selfishly, I’m hoping we get Guest Chef for a few more dinners.

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2015 in Dinner by FreeFoodBaby

 

Inspired by the written word

Date: June 2013

Menu: Bacon and Egg Lasagna; Watermelon Salad; Gluten Free Focacia; Dairy free coconut milk frozen dessert w/mead, strawberry rhubarb compote. Also bubbly water with a variety of iced tea and fruit infusions for bevvies.

Creators of deliciousness: FFB & GF

This was technically GF’s turn. We were discussing menu options and decided that the fictional Bacon and Egg Lasagna was something that needed to happen in real life. Our friend is the Author of a great book that features a fictional BC town. This town has an annual contest for its residents to make foods featuring odd combinations. Bacon and egg lasagna was a fictional winner that made us readers think it could be pretty tasty.

My imagination’s first idea of what this would look like, included lasagna noodles, bacon subbed for some noodle layers and a layer of fried eggs. However, I’m very picky about how my eggs are cooked, from any visit to the local greasy spoon, we can infer that most people have a preferred type of fried egg. So my brain pondered it and decided the egg layer would need some scramble and something to hold it together, enter the shredded sweet potato. GF was the one who insisted proper lasagna tomato sauce should be used. We both agreed that the traditional spinach and cheese layer should be included. Realizing how high in protein and carbs this was becoming the “mousaka” layer became part of our plan, this was roasted tomatoes and zucchini.

Armed with our plan and a rather large shopping list we hit the stores the day before. One issue we noted with trying to create a recipe is you aren’t always sure of your quantities before you’ve tried it. We invited the Author to join us for dinner and with the Hosts both being in town we were cooking for 7 ppl. This isn’t that unusual but I think we got a bit carried away. I’m not complaining though, the leftover ingredients will make many good meals as will the leftover dinner.

be lasagne original

With our additional guests it should be noted we added to our food restrictions, already working with Gluten Free, no onions, no alcohol, we added no mushrooms and, it turns out, a strong dislike of cilantro. That last one by happy accident we worked into the meal since we had forgotten cilantro for the salad and had CTG pick it up for us at the last minute. We had already put aside an onion free serving of salad for NP, so an additional bowl was served for the Author before the cilantro got mixed in.

Starting servings of the lasagna were quite small but we all managed to grab a second helping. We had taste approval from the Author and may even have our recipe become the “official” version for her novel. The Hosts noted this may become the lasagna they create for the freezer and I will definitely make it again. We even have a small version in the freezer for a lazy dinner sometime soon.

All in all a resounding success and a good thing we had so many guests for the washing up. Their shoes were filled with leftovers so escape was much more difficult.

photo credit: GlutenFr33k

photo credit: GlutenFr33k

Author’s note: This post was written wayyyyy back in June 2013 but writing out the recipe in an easy to follow way took a lot of time. We are beta testing it this week and stocking our freezers with more deliciousness for future.

 

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Have food, will travel

Menu: Gluten Free Pork Tortierre; spinach & strawberry salad; Paleo Friendly, gluten free lemon honey cake

Creators of deliciousness: FFB and GF

Admittedly, we sometimes brag about how awesome our dinners are. We have friends who will be leaving town soon, who noted that sharing an MND or two would be a good way to visit, before they head to other parts of Canada for a few years. We agreed, this is a great idea. Since these friends are owners of an actual house, but new to MND, GF and I (FFB) picked a menu and showed up with groceries and recipes ready to go. NP got roped into food prep too since we carpooled. We did get Long Island Iced Teas, while prepping, as our hosts bar tended and pointed out where to find dishes.

The spinach and strawberry salad was prepared with lots of spinach and strawberries. Also there were bell peppers and cucumber. GF made a quick oil and vinegar dressing using a peach balsamic reduction that she made and canned last fall.

We were demonstrating, tasty and easy Gluten Free cooking and added another food restriction of no mushrooms or fungus. GF has been working with this millet flour pastry recipes and I believe it’s been perfected. This is a pastry that really requires the time in the fridge, and the directions of rolling it out between layers of wax paper are also helpful. One thing I will take from my gluten free pastry handling is rolling with sweet rice flower. Sweet rice flower is quite fine and ideal for helping any pastry stop sticking to surfaces.

Tortierre is a fancy meat pie. This week’s version had apples, ground pork, carrots, veggie soup stock and celery. In the past it’s had turnips, parsnips, rutabaga, ground turkey, ground beef (not my favourite). Really anything goes. This version it was the pastry that made it really tasty and you can tell from the photo that we had artsy fun with steam holes in the top. I was impressed with the millet pastry, it cooked through nicely on the bottom, even though we had a fair amount of extra moisture from being too generous with our soup stock.

Photos and editing by GlutenFr33k

Photos and editing by GlutenFr33k

Dessert was my (FFB) idea, inspired by a recipe I saw on the internet but didn’t pay attention to what blog I was reading. I was away from the computer on dinner day, so using my description of ingredients GF found this Almond Honey Cake recipe and I’m happy she did.

Our next MND will be cooked by our Hosts so we all get to skip a turn.

GF Millet Pie Crust

 

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Inspiration from the past, brings a meaty future

Menu: PTBM casserole; Tarty Chard; garlic mashed potatoes

Creators of deliciousness: FFB and GF

Way back, when TB was still a regular at MNDs, we had the Vegetarian substitute take the prize for best tasting piece of meal. So it was decided to put our heads together and see if we could get the same taste fusion but using meat. The original inspiration for this dish was the can of mushroom soup over pork chops in the oven from my childhood. I don’t buy a lot of canned soup anymore and it’s pretty easy to make a cream sauce.

This time around we got local free range and mostly hormone free ground pork and turkey for similar prices to the large processed ground products in our chain grocery. The local source meat was from the Root Cellar. Due to our onion free member the meat was browned with soy and Worcestershire sauce and minced garlic. We were going to use a leek in there but we forgot it.

GF and I decided to make a rue and seasoned the whipping cream while whisking it and waiting for it to thicken. Because I like the taste of pan browned mushrooms and I didn’t want the excess moisture they got precooked with butter. Also because the vegetarian dish made previously was so good, GF brought some black beans from her freezer to help us get similar flavours into the mix. When I make this dinner again, I will use my garlic mashed potatoes on top like a shepherd’s pie and have a one pot supper.

photos and editing by GlutenFr33k

photos and editing by GlutenFr33k

With all the potatoes and cream based sauce the tarty chard balanced our plates out with a healthy green.

We are messing with our schedule by teaming up on cooking responsibilities but it has been nice sharing the costs and cooking with friends. Also the method to the madness will be revealed soon.

ptbm casserole recipe

 

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Cheating a turn

Menu: Apple Sage stove top chicken; signature lemon roasted brussel sprouts; cauliflower rice with zucchini added

Creator of deliciousness: FFB and One More (OM)

Because of our busy social lives we’ve fallen off the weekly wagon with our MNDs. However, this week I incorporated our social lives into dinner and brought on a co-host who had plans with us later. I think this counts as cheating a turn as she provided the recipe and pretty much all the groceries for this one.

Sage Apple Chicken Stew

This was my first attempt at cauliflower rice and it was delicious. The zucchini got added to a triple quantity of this recipe because it needed to be eaten, I just cut it and threw it on the grill to cook quickly then added it to the cauliflower long enough to warm up again. I should also note onion was not used this time around due to food restrictions in the group. Also a food processor instead of a cheese grater, just easier.

I’m not sure about the recipe for lemon roasted brussel sprouts but they are tasty and a dish we ask for at pot luck events when OM joins us.

Now onto the chicken. I’m sure this recipe lives on the interweb but I only have it in an email. So, credit to the recipe creator – it wasn’t me. If I were to make the dish again I would go fancy and crisp up fresh sage in brown butter for a heavier flavour into the mixture. Also this recipe seems to have been written up for a single person pan, we used 3 chicken breasts and about 6 chicken thighs (boneless, skinless)

apple sage chicken stew base recipe

 

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Garlic comes later

Menu: Bacon wrapped, paleo friendly Meatloaf; sauteed beet greens; chili roasted vegetables; apple crisp

Creator of delicousness: FFB

This weeks dinner kept us honest on portion sizes as the high protein meatloaf was very filling. We were all feeling hungry and served ourselves 2 slices of meatloaf each. The high protein made it only possible to eat 1 slice. There were discussions with a friend of what to use in place of bread crumbs or rolled oats if one has adopted the Paleo-dietary lifestyle. A quick internet search showed potential success with almond meal or coconut flour. Because meat loaf was said out loud on the phone, I think another household had meatloaf for dinner.

I will post the recipe as I wish I had made it. Our onion hater was absent this week so I went heavy on the onions in the meatloaf. When I make this next I will soften/saute the onions and garlic before adding them to the raw mixture. We decided the garlic flavour would be noticeable in the leftovers or as we indelicately discovered……garlic came later……in burps.

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Veggie sides for this dinner were plain and simple, oven roasted zucchini, parsnips, turnips and carrots. Tossed with olive oil and lightly dusted with chili flakes for a bit of kick. The beat greens were added because I really only like to eat them the day I bring them home from the store. My fridge tends to wilt greens very quickly. I stovetop steamed them with a little palm sugar.

paleo friendly meatloaf

 

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