Thursday, November 9, 2017

Beet and Quinoa Salad

We made this beet & quinoa salad
Original recipe: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/beet-and-quinoa-salad

But, it was so bland and seemed to be missing something so badly that it doesn't even get a picture here :)  Not recommended. 

French Onion Soup

This was a fun soup to make. It was good, and better than some restaurants. The soup did take more work than we thought it would. We had made french onion soup previously but we used the slow cooker. This version worked out better. We were never able to simmer the onions completely dry after the wine addition, but it was still good, and did not have too much of a wine taste to it. We did double the recipe because we had a lot of people and this and a light salad was the only thing on the menu, but surprisingly it made so much, that we had about half left over. Four quarts of beef broth were not fitting into our dutch oven so we only used three, but that may have been for the best as it turned out just right.

Here's the original recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/french-onion-soup-recipe2-1947434

Served

Ready to go in the oven for baking (one was without cheese)

Waiting on the cheese addition!

ready!

Look at all those onions!


Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter - 1 stick
4 onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 fresh thyme sprigs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup red wine, about 1/2 bottle
3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 quarts beef broth
1 baguette, sliced
1/2 pound grated Gruyere

Directions:

1. Melt the stick of butter in a large pot over medium heat.
2. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and salt and pepper and cook until the onions are very soft and caramelized, about 25 minutes.
3. Add the wine, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until wine is boiled down.
4.  Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs.
5. Dust the onions with the flour and give them a stir.
6. Turn the heat down to medium low so the flour doesn't burn, and cook for 10 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste.
7. Add the beef broth, bring the soup to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
8.  Ladle the soup into bowls, top each with 2 slices of bread and top with cheese. Put the bowls into the oven to toast the bread and melt the cheese.

What we liked:

It was delicious!

What we didn't like:

Took longer than we thought

What Kaspian thought about it:

He ate fish sticks. 

Next time:

No need to double :) 

Potatoes Au Gratin

We wanted to make some potatoes au gratin and chose this recipe for it's simplicity and few ingredients. We probably will not make it this way again. Alona thought it was FAR too oily and greasy, while Nick thought it was just okay.
Overall, not great.

Here is the original recipe: https://www.onceuponachef.com/recipes/potatoes-au-gratin.html

Cooked! 

Ready to cook

Ingredients:

Spray oil for the baking dish
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 Yukon Gold potatoes (about 2-1/4 pounds), peeled and sliced very thin
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.. we used a mix of cheese 

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray.
2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the cream, salt and pepper.
3. Lay out the potatoes in an overlapping single layer. Add some cheese and cream.
4. Repeat with additional layers. (we only got about 2 layers in our pan - this made it cook better anyways).
5. Place in the oven and bake, uncovered, for about an hour to an hour and half, or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife and golden brown on top.
6. Let the dish settle and cool for about ten minutes before serving.

What we liked:

It was easy. 

What we didn't like:

It was not very good. 

What Kaspian thought about it:

He did not deem it edible. 

Next time:

Different recipe

Monday, October 30, 2017

Avocado Toast

Avocado toast:

We had this at a local restaurant and had to recreate it. The trick seems to be in the lemon zest to really add that brilliant lemon flavor!





Ingredients:

1 Large Avocado
2 Slices of bread
1 Medium Lemon
1 Radish
1 Bunch Sprouts (Radish or Sunflower)
1 Tablespoon oil (Walnut, sunflower or olive)
pinch salt

Directions:

1) Toast 2 pieces of bread 
2) Remove the avocado from skin and place into a large bowl 
3) Zest the lemon and add zest to the bowl
4) Squeeze 1/2 of the lemon into the bowl 
5) Add oil and salt 
6) Mash the avocado and other ingredients into a thick paste 
7) Spread the paste onto the toast (which should be done by now)
8) Cut radish into thin slices and place on top of the avocado 
9) Place the bunch of sprouts on top of the radish slice
10) squeeze the other 1/2 of the lemon on top of the sprouts 
11) Optional: drizzle 1 teaspoon of oil onto the sprouts 

What we liked:

Tasty and easy to make!

What we didn't like:

Really dependent on the goodness of the avocado!

What Kaspian thought about it:

Ew!

Next time:

Sunflower sprouts and sunflower oil!

Beer Brats

We needed something quick and easy to make while pumpkin carving. So we opted for these brats.
We only used about half a bottle of corona beer, and that worked out well. Definitely did not need any more.
 Here's the original recipe: https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/bratwurst-in-beer-243230


Ingredients:

1/2 stick of butter
2 medium onions, sliced into half rings
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 bottle of light beer
3-4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
7 bratwurst links
7 hot dog buns
Mustard

Directions:

1. Heat the grill to medium - hot.
2. Place the butter in a medium disposable foil roasting pan. Place the pan on the grill rack and cook until the butter melts. Add the onions and garlic; cook until softened, three to five minutes. Add the beer and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a simmer. Place the pan on the low heat zone and keep the onion mixture warm.
3. Place the bratwurst on the grill rack. Grill, turning occasionally, until evenly charred, four to five minutes. Transfer the bratwurst to the onion mixture and let stand until ready to serve.

What we liked:

Super quick and easy!

What we didn't like:

Be careful, the disposable foil pan will get HOT quickly!!! 

What Kaspian thought about it:

Both Astrid and Kaspian ate a whole brat! They loved them. The onions turned out really good too, but Astrid didn't opt for any this time. 

Next time:

No changes. 

Happy Halloween!

 We carved pumpkins last night, here they are!










Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Chicken and Dumpling Slow Cooker soup

This is a great soup for the starting to get cold nights. It did seem to require more work than most slow cooker soups and tasted more like a pot pie soup but it was still yummy and delicious!
We will likely make it again.

Original Recipe: http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a53818/easy-crockpot-chicken-and-dumplings-recipe/

Served



Cooked! 


Ingredients:


1 onion, chopped
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp. oregano
salt
ground black pepper
2 cans cream of chicken soup
5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoon thyme
2 bay leaves
3-4 stalks celery, chopped
2-3 carrots, chopped
1 cup frozen peas
5 cloves garlic, sliced
2 cups bisquick mix
2/3 cup milk

Directions:

1. Add chopped onion in an even layer in the bottom of the slow cooker and place chicken breasts on top. Add oregano, salt and pepper.
2. Pour soup and chicken broth on top then add the thyme and bay leaf. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours, or until the chicken is cooked through.
3. Add in the celery, carrots, peas and garlic.
4. Combine bisquick mix with milk and mix until a soft dough forms.
5. Drop teaspoons sized bits of dough into the hot slow cooker mixture.
6. Cook on high for another 1-2 hours.
7. Serve. 

What we liked:

It was good!

What we didn't like:

It was like a two step slow cooker dish, unlike most where you just put it in and leave it alone it needed more work halfway through. 

What Kaspian thought about it:

He preferred chicken nuggets. Astrid was intrigued by it, until her brother had nuggets, then all had to change. 

Next time:

Myabe try the not-slow cooker version of this.