Rosemary Roasted Nuts

The recipe originally called for cashews, but I used almonds and just cooked them a smidgen longer, so I’m working on the assumption this is adaptable to any and all nuts.

  • 1 lb nuts, unsalted
  • 1 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 Tbs salt
  • 2 Tbs fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne (or 1 tsp paprika)
  • 2 tsp brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Spread nuts in single layer on foil-lined baking sheet.

Toast nuts in preheated oven for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt butter in large bowl (big enough for the pound of nuts).

Add salt, rosemary, pepper, and sugar to butter; stir.

Remove nuts from oven; use foil to make a funnel to pour nuts into bowl.

Toss nuts in rosemary butter mixture until evenly coated.

Return nuts to foil-lined baking sheet; return to oven for 3 minutes.

After 3 minutes, cashews should be done; for almonds, stir and then return to oven for another 3 minutes.

Serve warm! ūüėÄ

Adapted from: http://familyspice.com/recipes/recipe/?recipe_id=282

Figgy Meat

This original recipe is the result of making a very nice recipe a few weeks ago, something with ground beef seasoned and made into meatballs, and then a sauce that – and this is all I remember for sure – included chopped figs and balsamic vinegar, simmered & reduced. ¬†I don’t remember what else was in the fig-vinegar dressing/glaze, and I decided afterwards that making meatballs was an unnecessary step when cooking for one person, but I did like the flavor combination.

Then this weekend, I impulse-bought some more figs at the store, but when I got home, I couldn’t find/recall the recipe I used.

So I decided to improvise! ¬†It turned out pretty well, in my opinion, so I want to keep some sort of record of what I did… but I was improvising, which meant I didn’t measure anything. ¬†Soooo…. here we are, at this probably-not-very-helpful recipe.

  • some figs (I had about 10 oz)
  • balsamic vinegar
  • brown sugar
  • rosemary
  • ginger
  • mustard
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • handful finely chopped onions

Prepare figs Рcut off the tip, then quarter vertically.  Cut each quarter in half or in thirds, depending on size.

In small saucepan, combine fig chunks and balsamic vinegar.  I emptied out what was left of my bottle, then added a little water until the figs were mostly submerged.  I would estimate 1/3 or 1/2 c. balsamic vinegar and 1/4 c. water.  Bring to a (very) low boil, then reduce heat and let simmer.

Add about Tbs brown sugar, Tbs rosemary, 1 or 2 tsp ginger, 1 or 2 tsp mustard, and any other spices you think would be complimentary. ¬†Stir well, mashing the fig pieces slightly (they should be pretty soft after coming to a boil, but you don’t want to pulverize them, just mush), and leave at low heat.

In preferred pan (I always use a certain skillet when browning a pound of ground beef), begin cooking ground beef.  Stir in a handful of finely chopped onion and salt & pepper to taste.  (Feel free to incorporate other veggies that you need to use up; bell pepper was a nice inclusion, for example.)

By the time the meat is nearly finished cooking, the fig sauce should have reduced somewhat.  Empty fig-vinegar sauce into beef; stir well.

Continue cooking for about 5 minutes, or until sauce is reduced as much as you’d like.

…so you end up with, basically, just flavored ground beef – but it’s fantastically flavored ground beef! ¬†I put a serving of it on salad, or serve with saut√©ed zucchini & carrots, or anything else that’s handy. ¬†¬°Fantastico!

Strawberry Shortcakes

These are THE SHIT, bro. ¬†I cringe when I see those little “shortcake” things that are like the shallowest bowl ever to put your strawberries in… ugh. ¬†Mine won’t act like a bowl, but it is about 9000% more delicious, without being too sweet. ¬†This is the recipe I always make for friends who don’t like desserts that are “too sweet” or “too rich” – this is just right for everyone.

Approximately. ūüėõ

  • 1.5 c. flour
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 c. cold butter
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 c. dairy sour cream
  • 2 Tbs milk
  • 5 c. sliced strawberries
  • 3 Tbs sugar
  • (optional) whipped cream

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Lightly grease baking sheet; set aside.

Decide now if you want to use a pastry cutter (aka pastry blender, aka that thingy like a whisk had an affair with some brass knuckles) or an electric mixer, and subsequently whether you want to use a large mixing bowl or electric mixer bowl for the next step.

In the bowl you just decided to use, combine flour, 1/4 c. sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Incorporate butter in manner previously determined, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

In small bowl, combine lightly beaten egg, sour cream, and milk.  Add to flour mixture; stir with fork until just moistened.

Drop dough into 8 large mounds on prepared baking sheet (you could make them smaller, I guess, but this way everyone gets one giant … scone blob thingy for themselves). ¬†Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until edges become golden. ¬†Transfer to wire rack and let cool.

Meanwhile, in large bowl, combine 4 c. strawberries and 3 Tbs sugar.  Using a potato masher, mash berries SLIGHTLY and set aside.

When ready to serve, halve shortcakes like you’re going to use it as a hamburger bun, and then put the strawberries inside like a raw, oozing hamburger of delicious sweetness. ¬†Add whipped cream if you want to stretch this analogy to include “cheese” as “a sweeter and fluffier dairy product”. ¬†Top with extra sliced strawberries if any remain. ¬†Or don’t. ¬†You’re the boss.

Poe-tay-toe Sal-ahd!

deliiiiiicious, my preeeeecious…

  • 1.5 lbs new round red potatoes
  • 1 c. light mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbs yellow mustard
  • 1 Tbs white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 c. sweet relish
  • 1/3 c. sliced green onion
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs, coarsely chopped
  • 1 avocado, seeded, peeled, and chopped
  • 3-4 slices bacon, crisp-cooked and crumbled

Scrub potatoes thoroughly, and cut into bite-size pieces.  In large saucepan, place potatoes and enough lightly salted water to cover them.  Bring to boiling, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 8-10 minutes, or until just tender; drain.

Meanwhile, boil eggs, cook bacon, and prepare avocado.  Chop eggs into 8 pieces (once lengthwise, 4 times across).  Cut avocado into similarly-sized pieces.  Crumble bacon.

In large bowl, stir together mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, sugar, pepper, and salt.  Stir in pickle relish, then green onion.  Add the potatoes, then gently add eggs, avocados, and bacon.

Toss lightly to coat all ingredients with sauce.  Cover and chill 2-24 hours, then serve.

 

 

(You can boil ’em, mash ’em, stick ’em in a stew, OR make them into a salad! ūüėÄ )

Cranberry Pork Roast

  • 3-lb boneless pork top loin roast (preferably a double loin, tied)
  • 1 Tbs cooking oil
  • salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 16-oz can whole cranberry sauce (or real cranberry sauce, if you have access to it)
  • 1/2 c. cranberry juice
  • 1/4 c. sugar (reduce if your cranberry juice has sugar added)
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 Tbs cornstarch
  • 2 Tbs cold water
  • optional starch to serve on/with – rice, rice pilaf, noodles, mashed potatoes, stuffing, etc.

In a 10″ skillet, heat oil, then sear roast, rotating frequently, until browned on all sides. ¬†Place roast in 4- or 5-qt slow cooker; sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

In medium bowl, stir together cranberry sauce, cranberry juice, sugar, mustard, and cloves.  Pour over roast.  Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 6-7 hours, or on high-heat setting for 3-3.5 hours.

Using tongs, transfer roast to a platter; keep warm.  Skim fat from juices in slow cooker.  Measure 2 c. of juices, and transfer them to a medium saucepan, along with most or all of the cranberries from the sauce.  In small bowl, stir together cornstarch and water; add to saucepan.  Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly; cook and stir 2 minutes more.  Serve sauce with roast (and optional starch).

Nutty Broccoli

  • 1 lb broccoli, trimmed and cut into 2″ pieces
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 1/2 tsp zested (or finely shredded) orange peel
  • 2 Tbs fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbs pine nuts or chopped pecans, toasted
  • orange wedges (optional)
  • egg (optional)

If desired, cut broccoli stem pieces lengthwise in half.

Place vegetable steamer basket in a 3-qt saucepan.  Add water to just-below-the-bottom-of-the-basket height.  Bring water to boiling.  Add broccoli to steamer basket; cover and reduce heat.

Steam 8-10 minutes or until broccoli stalks are tender.  Transfer broccoli to a serving dish.

Meanwhile, in 8″ skillet, dry roast nuts, stirring frequently, until lightly browned. ¬†Add butter and heat until melted. ¬†Then stir in shredded orange peel; cook and stir 1-2 minutes. ¬†Carefully add orange juice and cook for 10 seconds. ¬†Remove from heat; stir in desired salt. ¬†Pour over broccoli; stir well to lightly coat broccoli in butter.

Serve with orange wedges. ¬†I often also fry up an egg in the butter-orange skillet and call it a complete breakfast. ūüėÄ

This makes multiple servings of broccoli, though, obviously. ¬†An entire pound, jeez, I shouldn’t have to specify this. But some of that broccoli becomes breakfast for that morning, that’s all I’m trying to say here. ¬†Maybe I’m over-thinking this.

Unauthentic Shepherd’s Pie

  • 1 Tbs vegetable oil
  • 1.5 lbs ground meat (lamb is better, but lean beef is acceptable)
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 1 Tbs tomato paste
  • 2 c. chicken broth
  • 1/5 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary (ground up a bit so it’s not big spiky leaf chunks)
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 regular potatoes
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 c. frozen peas and carrots (or more if desired)

Adjust oven rack 6 inches from broiler element and heat broiler.

Begin cooking potatoes.  Pretty much anything works; microwave them like baked potatoes, boil them, whatever you prefer.

Cook ground meat in vegetable oil.  Add onion, breaking up meat with wooden spoon, until meat is no longer pink.

Stir in garlic until thoroughly combined (I love garlic, but not when I get ALL the garlic in one bite).

Stir in flour.  If meat seems excessively greasy, soak up some of it with a paper towel first, but remember that the flour will thicken it.

Stir in tomato paste until thoroughly combined.

Gradually whisk in broth, thyme, rosemary, and Worcestershire, scraping up any browned bits and smoothing out any remaining garlic, tomato, or flour lumps.  Simmer until thickened, about 3-5 minutes.

Stir in peas and carrots.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add more vegetables if desired.

Pour meat mixture into rectangular casserole dish. ¬†So long as it all fits, the size of the dish isn’t actually terribly important. ¬†If you have an oven-safe skillet to cook in, you can do the whole recipe in that one dish, but I don’t, so…there.

Scrape delicious mushy insides out of potatoes into mixing bowl, and combine thoroughly. ¬†Measure out 4 cups of mixed sweet and regular potatoes. ¬†(Remaining potatoes are now a side dish for some other main; if there’s not much left because you had small potatoes, just use it all on this recipe. ¬†This is not an exact science.)

Using a regular spoon, dollop the potatoes onto the top of the meat mixture. Spread them around as evenly as you can; you are aiming to cover the entire surface with mashed potatoes, sealing the potatoes to the edges. ¬†However, I’ve made this recipe multiple times and I’ve never actually successfully done that and made it look pretty. ¬†There’s got to be a magical trick to it, but I usually murmur “This is not an exact science” over and over until I give up and throw it in the oven. ¬†It’s still tasty, but if you’re serving other people, you might want to put more effort into this step.

Place dish in oven and broil until top is golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. ¬†LET COOL and serve (oh god I only made that mistake once; I was just so hungry and it smelled so good I got carried away by my own enthusiasm, but in the end that just meant I couldn’t really taste how good it was until the next day when my tongue wasn’t burnt-numb anymore).

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