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It’s a crock!

Menu: Crockpot scalloped potatoes with ham; steamed green beans

Creator of Deliciousness: New Person

As we work on getting back to a regular schedule of MND (Monday Night Dinners) New Person gave us a stick to your ribs slow cooker dish. It was rich and tasty and everything a crock pot meal should be. I (FreeFoodBaby) had been out sailing all day so I was super happy for creamy potatoes and cheese.

New Person made a few adjustments to the Crockpot scalloped potatoes with ham.

She upped the amount of potatoes to 4 pounds (there are 5 of us these days); milk instead of water; and 2 tins cream of mushroom and garlic condensed soup. Ours was cooked 4-5 hours on high.

The richness of our cheesy potatoes and ham was beautifully balanced with steamed green beans.

Once again we all ate more than we intended and left New Person with very little in the way of leftovers. We were so excited to eat this week’s deliciousness I don’t think we took any pictures. But there is a pretty good one on the recipe if you follow the link.

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Bring the bowl B!$CH – we curse at those we love

Menu: Pulled Lamb; mint sauce; mashed potatoes; veg

Creator of deliciousness: CTG and FFB

Lamb is a pretty expensive meat that I (FFB) have very little experience cooking. I have lots of experience eating it, but am always stopped by the price tag when shopping for myself. Seems a pricey bit of protein that would feel like a serious waste if you messed it up.

Enter Costco meat department, a brave friend and I ended up with a lovely wrapped boneless leg of lamb for roasting. Yup, our initial intention was to make a basic lamb roast. Garlic stabbed in everywhere, rosemary and oil and salt rubbed on the outside. Some old port from my cupboard to make it fancy. It all went wrong/different for 2 reasons i) we trusted the New Zealand Lamb Association website’ s chart about cooking time so much we didn’t check with the thermometer throughout the roasting process. ii) We didn’t factor in the fact we were using a lidded cast iron dutch oven which would accelerate the cooking time.

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When the timer let me know our calculated cooking time was over I stabbed in the meat thermometer to find we had gone well past the rare 160 degrees we were looking for. However, experimenting with new recipes is kind of how the whole Monday Night Dinner thing got started so I proceeded to let it stand while we thickened the cooking juices for a lovely dark gravy, and attempted to carve the beast. Instead if fell apart.

The lamb falling apart started one of those circular conversations “Hey CTG we seem to have made pulled lamb” I would say.

“great, we should put that in a bowl” CTG would reply

“sure, we’ll need a pretty big bowl for this pulled lamb” (me)

“great, we should put that in a bowl” CTG again, now looking for a bowl but I can’t see her

“mmmmm, we made fantastic pulled lamb” I said, sampling a piece while I wait for the bowl

“great, we should put that in a bowl” CTG again

“Well then Bring the BOWL, B!tch!!” I exclaimed, tired of the merry go round

“That is definitely the title of this recipe’s blog post” said pretty much everyone in unison.

The only other thing left to decide was draft the recipe we were aiming for? Simple roast lamb. Or just write the recipe of what we actually ate? Pulled lamb

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Easter was not a small affair

Date: 6-Apr-15

Creator of Deliciousness: Everybody! Potluck is tasty

From past years you may know that we celebrate “feast” days with what we call “orphan dinners” these are pot lucks for our extended “family” who may not have a family feast to join in the local area. Also some people like to have a few feast days if the weekend is planned out correctly.

This year we went from a table of 11, to a table of 15 on feast day. It was delicious and tasty and we sent everyone home with a food baby.

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CTG our actual host was away for the weekend and left me (FFB) in charge of “monitoring” our Facebook event to make sure we had a balanced meal. I think I’m kind of old school when it comes to pot luck. I figure if 8 out of 10 people showing up bring pie, we are going to sample a whole lot of different desserts. So while I kept an eye on the event for numbers, I did nothing about steering menu choices. It worked out really well all on its own.

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There was ham (fancy spiral cut w/black currant jelly glaze), mashed sweet potatoes, roasted brussel sproouts, 7lbs of scalloped potatoes, mixed veggies, ceasar salad, spring mix salad, apple crumble, apple pie, pumpkin pie, homemade Skor bars, chips and dip and fancy fizzy water for all. .Oh yeah and 2 lbs of fancy bacon from Red Barn.

The “glaze” on the ham was really just a jar of home made black current jelly rubbed on the ham for the last 10 minutes or so.

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Actual Recipe Involved – Bacon and Egg Lasagne

be lasagne originalIngredients (total for shopping):

Tomato sauce (ours was homemade to avoid mushrooms, gluten)
Gluten Free Lasagna noodles (Pasta Joy rice noodles)
2 lbs bacon, cooked to crispy
500 g Cotija cheese crumbled
18 eggs
3 med sweet potatoes (white), shredded
1 tsp sriracha hot sauce
1 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/2 cup milk
1 cup finely diced leek
2 boxes frozen spinach
1 500 ml container ricotta cheese
8-10 med sized tomatoes
1 med sized zucchini
2 Tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
2 Tbsp oil
1 cup shredded cheese

To break up the pain of all this cooking we made the Simple Tomato Sauce and Mousaka layer ingredients the day before.

be lasagna prep

Mousaka layer:
8-10 med sized tomatoes
1 med sized zucchini
2 Tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
2 tsp grape seed oil

This one takes some extra prep time. This layer actually doesn’t really resemble mousaka at all. I am now thinking my next lasagne will have a bechemel top layer though. Anyway, early in the day or even the night before cut the tomatoes into at least eight pieces. Also cut the zucchini into bite size pieces, place tomatoes and zucchini evenly on 1-2 cookie sheets. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with oregano and “roast” in the oven at 250/121 degrees for at least 1 hour. This sweetens the veg with a nice roasted flavour.

Egg Layer:
15 eggs
3 medium sweet potatoes (white), shredded
1 tsp sriracha hot sauce
1 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup finely diced leek, we used the milder green parts
1 tsp bacon fat
250 g Cotija mexican cheese, crumbled

In a frying pan heat the tsp of bacon fat, add the diced leek to soften, caramelize. Leave on med heat.
In a bowl crack 15 eggs, add milk and whisk with a fork. Add sriracha sauce, mustard, pepper and crumbled cheese. Stir until mixed and add to frying pan. Add grated sweet potato and keep on heat until mostly cooked. I looked for scrambled egg texture, but runnier that you see at the restaurant buffet cart. Put aside until your other layers are ready.

Spinach layer:
2 boxes frozen spinach, thawed
1 500 ml container ricotta
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1 egg

Squeeze the excess moisture out of the frozen spinach and place in a bowl, add the egg, grated cheddar bacon bits and ricotta, stir and set aside until construction.

While it’s a bit of a pain, we pre-cooked the lasagna noodles. Follow the directions on the box and be sure to rinse in cold water. We learned on the 2nd attempt it really is helpful with the GF noodles to pre-cook them.

CONSTRUCTION:

be lasagna construction

Spray oil on a 9x 13 glass dish (we had enough for an extra 8×8 casserole)
Spread a layer of tomato sauce in the bottom of the dish.
Place a single layer of noodles.
Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce, then spread an even layer
using all of the egg layer (this is why we had an extra one)
Place a single layer of bacon
Spread an even layer using all of the Spinach mixture (don’t forget your spare)
Place a single layer of noodles
Spread in even layer using all of the “Mousaka” (don’t forget your spare)
Fill the spaces around your roasted veg with tomato sauce
Place any remaining noodles
Spread out the rest of your tomato sauce on top (don’t forget your spare)
Evenly spread the remaining crumbled Cotija cheese and place in a 350F/175 C oven for 35 minutes

At 35 minutes add your over easy fried egg and smile bacon for garnished, smiling lasagna and back in the oven for 15 more minutes.

On our second attempt we didn’t pre-cook the rice pasta noodles and paid for this with at least twice the cooking time

be lasagna wrappedThis recipe also made a few extra smaller ones for our communal freezer.

be lasagna extrasAt some point in your cooking you actually get to eat some of this tasty creation.

be lasagna slice

 

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These Tomatoes got “Saucey”

So, there is a series going on here about Bacon and Egg Lasagne. It turns out making the food while creating a recipe is easy. Writing out the recipe is difficult. The first MND bacon and egg lasagne actually happened in June 2013. It was delicious and I created a draft of the recipe right away, but it needed editing on the directions and quantities that I just wasn’t sure about. GF reviewed it a couple times, but was also unsure of the quantities we used at the time so we’re making it again. This time, we will post the recipe.

It came as a big surprise to our Monday Night Dinner (MND) crowd that I, Freefoodbaby, had never made a tomato sauce from scratch. Our family dinners growing up always used the cans of prepared pasta sauce and built on that with fresh veggies, meat etc. We even have family tricks to combat that acid tomato taste that you sometimes get with the no name brand cans of sauce.

Of course if you’re making a fancy lasagne, you must use from scratch tomato sauce. Originally we made tomato sauce from scratch to ensure it was mushroom and gluten free. This time we aren’t so worried about the mushroom allergy.

photo credit: GlutenFr33k

photo credit: GlutenFr33k

If you’ve never made lasagne you don’t know how time consuming the process can be. Creating all the parts before you build the actual casserole can make lasagne feel like an all day affair. So, GF and I got together the day before MND to make the tomato sauce and prepare some of the veggies. As chef’s privilege, we had a lovely pasta supper with a the simple tomato sauce. This sauce is going to be extra good because it simmered for 4 hours and aged overnight for all the flavours to blend, before making our lasagne.

simple tomato sauce

 

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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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Prime rib, soooooo good

Date: 15-Dec-2013

Dinner missed…CTG fed us all a lovely roasted supper with chicken and Stove-top brand stuffing last week.

Menu: Rotisserie Prime Rib; steamed asparagus; slow cooker sweet mashed yams; gf Yorkshire Puddings

Our last get together before the Christmas rush brought NP to the sale flyer and Prime Rib to our bellies. I can say that NP has mastered the art of rotisserie cooking.

GF brought us gluten free Yorkshire Puddings. They arrived in mix form and became fresh from the oven tasties.

photo credit glutenfr33k

photo credit glutenfr33k

We had a guest to dinner, Northern Mum was down, she also has a wheat allergy so the gluten free yorkshire was an extra treat. I think she even got to take a couple home with her.

We made packet gravy because with a rotisserie there are no “drippings”. I can’t remember whether it was “Club House” or “Knorr” but it was delicious. I did see a “Knorr” gravy packet at the store the other day advertised as “gluten free”, but I’m not sure if that’s the one we made.

NP had a plan when carving that since there were 5 of us and we like our roast beef, she would carve thick slices and then we would have 1, instead of the 2-3 we normally eat. Instead, we all ate 2-3 large slices because it was soooooo good.

The asparagus, was steamed in veggie steamer to perfect crunchy tenderness.

The mashed sweet potatoes were done in the slow cooker, so this meal had a lot of pre-planning and used many kitchen gadgets.

GF yorkies

 

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