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Recipes

Salmon Chowder

I have this thing with not wanting to cook on weekends. I don’t know where it came from!  So I like to use leftovers for something new to speed things up (I call this a “rollover meal”).  Therefore today’s lunch!  I used our leftover roasted sweet potato and carrots and rolled them into the most delish Salmon Chowder (every time I say this word I always think of the Simpsons).

I’ve never made a chowder before so I’m pretty excited to try it. I love chowder though so I kind of had an idea of what I wanted to do. I took a quick peek on Pinterest (follow me here) and I was reassured that I was heading in the right direction. 
Here’s the recipe:

Serves 2-4 people (or 3 if you are a breastfeeding eating machine)

Ingredients:

1 medium onion
1 tablespoon oil (I use coconut)
2 cups leftover roasted carrots and sweet potatoes (probably about 1 cup each of using fresh)
2 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dill
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
1/4 cup cream (I just wanted to use this up)
1/2 cup milk
1 can of salmon
1 cup corn
1 cup of cheddar cheese
3 cups chopped kale
Directions:
Heat oil and cook onions until they are translucent (about 5 minutes). Add in sweet potato, carrots and spices. Mix well and add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil and cook for about 20 minutes (or until veggies are soft). 
Add milk, corn, salmon and stir well. Add cheese and kale. Turn off burner. Put lid on pot to steam the kale for a few minutes (mine probably steamed for about 10 minutes).
Give it a good stir, serve and enjoy!
Recipes

Cast Iron Pan Maintenance

Back in March I did a post about our Kitchen Must-Haves and our number one item is the cast iron fry pan.  I figured it was time to go over how Hubby got this thing to where it is today.

Seasoning is probably the most important thing when it comes to these types of pans.  It’s the seasoning process that gets them to be nonstick and the cleaning that keeps them that way.

Seasoning:

New or old this is the process that we (and by we, I mean Hubby) took.  Getting a cast iron pan to become come nonstick takes a lot of love, sweat and tears (of joy when it’s finally done)!

Start with a pan that has a nice smooth cooking surface. Some new pans have a textured surface and these are no good! The best place to find a smooth cast iron pan is at an antique store, or maybe online?


Start with a wet and soapy wire pad and scrub the crap out of the pan. I mean it! Really giver on that thing.  Hubby probably worked on it for more than an hour.  He got it down to where most of the black residue was gone and it had a nice silver colour again. Heat up the pan a bit to ensure its totally dry before continuing! Since we’re dealing with iron, its going to start rusting really fast once its dry… Gotta get through one seasoning cycle before its safe to leave alone.

Using flax seed oil (because of its high smoke point) give the pan a super thin coat all over the cooking surface and sides. Try to wipe out the oil with a paper towel even to make it extra thin. Place it upside down in the oven and turn the temperature to 425f.  Leave it in there for 2 hours, turn off the oven and just leave the pan in there to cool off.  Repeat this oiling/baking at least four times, then its ready to use!

The more you use the pan with care, the better its seasoning will become.

Cleaning:

To keep the seasoning perfect do not, I repeat, do not use soap. Ever.  Sounds gross, I know, but using soap on seasoned cast iron is a big (and I mean big) no no! It will take away your hard-earned seasoning.

If you are the type of person that lets dishes soak then I’m sorry but cast iron isn’t for you. Having water sit in the pan can make it rust. Eww.

To clean the pan after use, just wait until the pan has cooled down  then rise with water and wipe with a paper towel.
If food is burned-on, then you’ll need to get that off.  We, again Hubby (he’s the dish man), uses our super thin spatula to scrape anything off of it.  I’ve read that you can use coarse salt too and for those of you that are grossed out by not using soap… that is your answer.  The point is you need to preserve the nonstick surface.  Then you must dry the pan thoroughly!  Hubby puts our pan back on the stove for a few minutes on low. Lightly oil the pan and you’re all done!
Other Things to Note:

Cast iron pans are probably the most versatile thing in your kitchen, just don’t boil water in it… It can wear down your seasoning
Don’t turn up the stove too high or the seasoning will burn. We don’t turn our stove past 4 (out of 10) ever
Always heat up the pan before using it, it will hold the heat longer so you don’t need a high heat
The handle gets hot!  You’ll need an oven mitt.  We’ve had ours for 6 years and I still do this…so know that you won’t be loan when you do touch it
Use paper towel when drying it.  The oil will just get over and ruin your nice dish towels
When you cook with cast iron, the food absorbs some of the iron which is healthy for you!

This might all sound daunting, but it really is easy once you get to know your pan. It will become the pride of your kitchen in no time!
Recipes

Turkey Pie

What a great Thanksgiving weekend!  We stayed local because my SIL is pregers with her third baby and she is due any day now.  It ended up being an amazing family filled weekend with lots of food as well.

I cooked two dinners; 1) turkey for five people and 2) roast beef for 14 people.  My mom walked me through the turkey process and I rocked the beef all by myself!  I believe in lists and that is what kept me cool in the kitchen.  On Sunday, I planned for dinner at 6 and we were sitting down at 5:45!  On Monday, I planned for dinner at 5 and we were eating by 5:07.

So now what!  We have all this food and only two people to eat it.  Can you say Turkey Pie!?!?  It’s kind of like a chicken pot pie but with all the leftovers from the turkey dinner (including the cranberries).

Ingredient

Turkey Dinner leftovers (my leftovers included: turkey, mash potatoes, sweet potatoes, gravy, cranberries and dressing/stuffing)
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen green beans
1 cup frozen corn
2 cups chicken stock (or turkey stock if you happen to have made some)
2 pie crust for each pie you plan on making

Directions

Mix the leftovers, frozen veggies and stock together.

I didn’t include a picture of the mixture because… well it doesn’t look that good but it taste is delicious!

Place mixture into one pie crust and top pie with another pie crust.  Gently push the crust down and fold up the edges.

Pinch edge with fork and poke the top of the pie for venting.

I’m going to freeze my pies for eating at a later date.  So I have wrapped them in cling wrap, then tinfoil and placed the pies back into the boxes.

When cooking (fresh or frozen) here are the direction:

Preheat the oven to 425.  Brush a little milk on the top of the pie and bake for 10 minutes then lower the temperature to 325.  Bake for an addition 35 minutes or until the crust gets a lovely brown colour on it.

My leftovers made 4 pies!

Enjoy!

Recipes

Crockpot Sweet Potatoes

Happy Thanksgiving weekend everyone!  I’m a very luck girl and I’m getting to cook two (yep! two) dinners.  I haven’t had much experience with cooking a turkey so I’m just going to do that one night and the next night I’m planning on doing a big roast beef.  I’m only doing the turkey for five people so if it doesn’t turn out not a big deal.  I know the beef will be good so that’s why I’m doing it for the larger dinner of 14.

Last Christmas, I did a post on Crockpot Mash Potatoes and an old friend asked if I had a recipe for doing sweet potatoes this way.  At the time I didn’t but I do now!!  Please note: I do these potatoes over night because I find it easier.  Who doesn’t want food to cook over night!

I enjoy a sweet sweet potato so please feel free to adjust the sugar.  Here is the recipe and I’m hoping it will be enough for 10:

Ingredients

6 Sweet Potatoes (because that’s how many I had), peeled and chopped into slices
2 cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
3/4 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup butter (I used coconut oil because I run out of butter)

Directions

Place the potato in the bottom of the crockpot.  Mix together the stock, vanilla, cinnamon, pumpkin spice and sugar.  Then pour the mixture over the potatoes.  Place dollops of the butter (or coconut oil) on top of the potatoes.

Cook on low over night.  I did give it a stir before going to bed.

Some of the potatoes did go a little brown but once everything was stirred together it was fine.

What it looked like in the morning after a good stir

After they cooled down a little I gave them another good mix.  Can’t wait to eat them!

In Dan’s family, they top sweet potatoes with marshmallows and roasts the dish so feel free to try that.  I’m going to leave them this way as they are pretty sweet.  I also have a little pumpkin left over from making pies which I’m going to add to this.  I would rather add it to something then toss it out.

I’m excited that this worked!  Thank you old friend for the suggestion.

Enjoy!

Recipes

Skillet Dinner

On
Sunday, I was having a hard time thinking of something to make for dinner.
 I forgot to take some meat out of the freezer to thaw, and when that
happens my go-to is ground beef.  
Side
note, we order beef in bulk from a butcher, so we always have lots of ground.
 
I
had no idea what I was going to be making, but this is what I came up with.
 It turned out awesome and only took about 15-20 to put together. The oven
did the rest!
Ingredients:
1
red pepper chopped
1
onion chopped
2
celery stocks chopped
2
garlic minced 
1
lbs ground beef
1
can kidney beans
1
jar of pasta sauce
1
cup Bisquick
1/2
cup milk
1
egg
1/2
cup mozzarella cheese 
Olive
oil
Directions:
Preheat
the oven to 350.
Using
a cast-iron skillet (or anything that can go from stove-top to oven) cook up
the pepper, onion, celery and garlic for about 5 minutes).  Put into a
bowl and save it for later.  Now cook the beef.  Once the beef is
cooked, add the bowl of peppers, onion, celery and garlic back in to the pan
with the cooked beef.  Add the kidney beans and pasta sauce and give it a
good stir (Dan helped with this).
Mix
the Bisquick, milk and egg together separately.  Once mixed, fold in the mozzarella.
Pour
the Bisquick mixture over the beef/veggies and add a drizzle of olive oil to
the top. 
Bake
in the oven for about 25-30 minutes until the Bisquick is fully cooked.
I doubled up the Bisquick when I had made this but we found it to be a little too much.  The recipe above is half of what I did.  It was still very good.
I think this would work well as a more Mexican dish.
 The next time I make this I’m planning on using salsa instead of pasta
sauce, add corn and doing a corn bread on top!  I can’t wait.

Enjoy!