Dolmah

Finished these up after getting off work. Stuffed grape leaves are easy to make. I like to use leftover rice that’s a little bit dry. By the time you add the meat and steam your dolmah the rice will be the perfect consistency again. Fresh rice tends to turn to mush, day old has a little bite to it.
Cook up ground beef or lamb with diced onions, stir and break into small bits. Once it’s cooked through add your rice to the hot pan so it soaks up the grease. Add dill, salt and pepper to taste. Then take pickled grape leaves and put a tablespoon or so of filling in each leaf and roll up like you would a burrito. Steam for 5 minutes. Simple! 

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Farm Fresh Eggs

People say it’s hard to peal fresh eggs, one reason done folks might not buy local eggs. But it’s not totally true: there is a truck to make it ready to peal fresh eggs: stream!

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Yes, steaming your eggs for 20 minutes for a hard cooked instead of boiling makes them ready to peal.

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Tada! Now go buy those local eggs and make the most killer deviled eggs ever.

Quick and Easy Asparagus

It’s spring and that means lots of asparagus on sale! Yum!

It’s easy to make. One of my favorite ways takes minutes.

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First turn on your broiler in your oven. Then rinse and cut off the pale woody ends. Just look closely and you’ll see a difference between the dry bottoms and tender tops.

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Toss in a bowl and drizzle a olive oil (1-2 tbs) on top. A dash of salt, pepper, garlic powder* and chili pepper (approx 1/4 tsp each) Mix it with your hand to coat all the stalks. There’s enough there! It will cover a bunch of asparagus with enough tossing.

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Arrange on a backing pan so all stocks are exposed and put into the broiler. DO NOT WALK AWAY!! Depending on how close your pan is to the broiler it can take 1-3 minutes to cook one side of the asparagus, so keep an eye on it. Once it starts to brown a tiny bit pull it out and turn, with tongs or a spatula, your asparagus. Put it back in the oven for half the time and tada!

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Beautiful delicious veggies! They can be eaten immediately or stored for a few day. They make a nice side or use as salad toppers.

*I use powdered garlic in this recipe because fresh garlic has a propencity to burn. Powered garlic stands up to high heat better.

Underrated Rice and Beans

The humble rice and beans gets a bad rap but it’s cheap, healthy, and can be delicious! Not only that its easy to make. 

Simply rinse and soak your beans overnight. In the morning drain off the liquid and add fresh water to cover the beans by a half inch. No, you don’t need to be exact with this because once you simmer for half and hour you are going to drain and rinse the beans again.

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Why drain and rinse again? Because we want to wash off the fart juice. Really. You’ll digest the beans better and toot less if you get rid of the first liquid you cook the beans in. Or so I’ve been told, and it seems to work for me.

Next step is to add broth. I have canned pork broth with shredded pork already in it. You can use chicken broth and fry up some salt pork and add it to the broth, or make broth from an old ham bone (all that may that’s still attached will fall off the bone after a few hours of simmering). Whatever. You just need tasty liquid to finish your beans in.

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Now add half a chopped onion and by leaf.

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Then let it simmer for another 20 minutes and viola! Beans are done.

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Serve on top rice with avocado, sour cream and cilantro. Add different toppings like hot sauce or Kim chi (really pairs well with beans) to change up the flavor. And the cost for a pot that lasts days is only a few dollars.

The beans can be used for lots of other dishes. Scoop into burritos whole or mash into refried beans.

Bon Appetit!

Candy Mishap

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I screwed up. I put my peppermint bark in the oven to keep it away from the dog. Of course I forgot to take it out when I turned on the oven. Melted the candy cane and the chocolate got a weird texture. Hate to waste it

So I tried something. Broke it up and made chocolate chip cookie dough with the peppermint bark as the chips.

Yeah, is good. This is happening again.

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Cheap Lentil Soup

Drippings. It’s good stuff… Only what do you do with it? Or the left over sauce you simmered your food in?

Many of these rich, flavorful, drippings just go to waste. But I’ve found if I add a little water, some veggies and lentils I’ve got a cheap CHEAP pot of different, but usually delicious, soup.

Lemme show you how

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This was want was left over from making Mexican Birria (lamb) I took out most of the meat but there is still tons of lovely sauce.

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So I put it back in the crock pot and added water

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Toss in some lentils. Make sure you add enough water that the lentils have something to soak up. I think it’s a 1:3 ratio. I don’t know, I just eyeball it. Lol. I put in 1 cup dry lentils I think.

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Add veggies. I added a carrot.

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Then I spied diced tomatoes in my cupboard.

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Add left over turkey that’s kicking around. Cook for a few hours. Aaaaand

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Teedah! Since I just reused stuff or used home grown goods (canned tomatoes when they were cheap and abundant out of my garden) all I paid for was the lentils. So maybe 50 cents for 6 meals worth of food. If I had to buy everything I could still do it for under $3.

This is a very balanced meal. It’s got vegetables, legumes and meat. It’s fiber with protein and fat. And it was cheap.

Flavorwise? I prefer this made with drippings from carnitas. I over cooked it as I may it in the crock pot on high overnight, but it’s still good. Adding condiments like avocado or sour cream  will make it more interesting. I personally hate lentils, but they come out really good when made into a soup from drippings. And it’s cheap and healthy.

Variations: you can use lots of different veggies. This is the first time I’ve used tomatoes. I like to cube turnips in these recipes. Kale, collards, other greens work well. I just go with what I have and what looks like it will work with the other ingredients. Serve on rice or as a soup. Drain and put it in a burrito.

Don’t forget condiments! Avocado and sour cream I already mentioned, but cheese is good, i discovered saurkraut and kimchi brings a nice spur crunch to lentils. There is always got sauce…Lots of ways to eat the same thing differently.