Category Archives: butter

French Onion Soup

We went to a dinner party last night that asks everyone to bring an item to eat. We brought french onion soup for which the base was the stock I made earlier in the week. It came out very tasty. This recipe uses bread and cheese in the classic way, however, you can definitely leave those off if you want to keep it paleo. I’ve made this soup so many times that I don’t use a recipe any more, so below are approximations of how I made it last night.

French Onion Soup

12 onions sliced

1 stick of butter

2 tbsp thyme

2tbsp red pepper (not traditional but I like spice in everything)

1tbsp garlic powder (I can’t believe it but I ran out of fresh garlic!)

fresh black pepper and salt

4 qt of stock

1 loaf of french bread sliced and toasted

1 block of swiss cheese (Gruyere is also a great cheese) grated

Chop all of your onions. You might as well think of something very sad because this many onions will have you crying. I’ve found refrigerating the onions before hand helps with the tears but nothing gets rid of it completely.

Melt your butter in a deep pot. You can of course use olive oil or coconut oil, but butter is amazing and shouldn’t be scorned here.

Add all of your onions, and spices to the melted butter. Cook the onions on medium low heat covered while stirring every few minutes. This process takes a while and shouldn’t be rushed. You want to sweat the onions down for awhile. The onions take on a butter like consistency and taste when you are finished. Of course the stick of butter couldn’t hurt. This will take about an hour. You’ll know they are done when your onions are soft and reduced my more than half and there is liquid in the pot.

This is what they should look like when done. Like delicious butter onions!

Add your beef stock. I just added liquid until it was to the top.

Continue to cook on medium for another 20 minutes.

Pull out the ramekins, place a piece of toast  in the middle. Ladle your soup on top then sprinkle the cheese. Put them in the oven until the cheese is melted. Enjoy! The dinner party was an enormous success! There was so much good food that I wish I could live there!

(last photo was by Lorenzo thanks for taking it for me!)

 

 


Pumpkin Ginger Bread

I’ve been reveling in all the holiday flavors lately. Ginger, squash, pumpkin, apples, cinnamon, cloves. oooh it all makes me so happy. I want to wrap up in a big soft blanket and drink hot tea. Sadly right now my air conditioner is on and I got eaten up by mosquitoes on the walk with the dogs. grrr. However, I haven’t let it stop the fall explosion that’s happening in my kitchen right now. I’ve been trying to devise a way to make two of my favorite flavors make sense together in baked goods. I came up with this recipe for pumpkin ginger bread muffins. I used real pumpkin puree I made myself and real fresh ginger. These muffins came out so good. I used the Joy of Cooking’s pumpkin bread recipe as a guide but changed it to add in my own version of ginger bread. If you don’t make these you are sorely missing out

Pumpkin Ginger Bread

2 pumpkins (pie pumpkins not carving pumpkins) to make 2 cups of puree

2″ fresh ginger diced

4 eggs

1stick of butter

1 1/3 cup molasses

2 tsp vanilla

3 cups of flour

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp all spice

1 tsp nutmeg

Halve the pumpkins and scrape out all the seeds.

Roast them in the oven at 375 for 45 minutes or until soft. Remove them from the oven and let them cool.

When the pumpkins are cool enough to handle scrape the flesh out and into a blender. Puree the pumpkin until smooth. I ended up with quite a bit more pumpkin than I needed. 1 pumpkin would probably be enough for 2 cups of puree.

I put the extra in the freezer for something else. (More muffins?) Mix all of your dry ingredients first. Add all your wet ingredients next. Mix until smooth.

Bake on a greased muffin pan at 350 for about 30 minutes. Check the centers with a toothpick. If you can push a toothpick in and it comes out clean then the muffin is done. For half of these I topped them with sweetened coconut and crushed pecans.

They are perfectly fall tasting and the fresh ingredients really augment the recipe. If you don’t want to go through all the trouble of roasting the pumpkin you can used canned pumpkin. But, where is the fun in that?

 


The Most Amazing Mashed Potatoes Ever!

These mashed potatoes would make Paula Dean proud. They are the mashed potatoes that my husband makes. These were originally inspired by his buddy in college Connor. Thank you for showing him the way of awesome! They are amazing and not for the faint of heart. You know that saying ‘made with love’? Well these are made with all the things that make you love food. The only thing missing is bacon! Which I’m sad to say we didn’t add. Serve these for your next get together and you might just find you have new roommates.

Amazing Mashed Potatoes

3 large russets washed and cubed

1 package of cream cheese

1 stick of butter

1 package of powdered ranch dressing

2 heaping tbsp of sour cream

1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream

1 head of roasted garlic

1 tbsp of Tony’s cajun seasoning

Boil the potatoes with the Tony’s seasoning.

Drain the potatoes and add all the remaining ingredients and mash. Black nail polish is optional but certainly adds flair. (Zombie prom remnants)

Shhh. You won’t have a heart attack quite yet.

(Secret weapon)

That’s it. Now try not to lick the pot clean.We ate them with some tasty ribs and baked beans. I think now is when the heart attack is kicking in. 😉


Pot Roast

My local grocery store was running a special deal a few weeks ago. If you bought the enamel cast iron pot you got a roast, salsa, and tortillas for free! I’ve wanted an enamel cast iron for awhile. They are usually really expensive. This is a knock off of the Le Cruset so it was a lot cheaper. This is what I did with the free roast and the pot. I made a post roast. I didn’t write down the recipe because I was busy cleaning and dealing with washing machine repair men. But here are the photos and a general outline of what I did.

Seasoned the roast with garlic powder, kosher salt and fresh black pepper.

Browned the roast in a little fat.

Removed the meat and added two chopped red onions. Cooked them down till starting to get clear.

Added about a cup of dry red wine, a can of chicken stock, a few sprigs of fresh rosemary, pinch of thyme, a pinch of mace (spicier version of nutmeg) and the meat.

I cooked this in the oven at 300 for about 2 hours covered. Then added some carrots and yellow bell pepper. then returned it to the oven for another 2 hours but uncovered this time.

Then I made gravy from the juice of the roast and a flour butter roux.

Nothing is more classic than pot roast and gravy. So delicious.


Salmon and Mussels

I don’t care for seafood. I didn’t grow up eating it. It’s strange, and always tastes like fish to me. T and I joke about statements like “this fish is not so fishy” because you would never say that about any other meat. “This beef tastes beefy”. T however, LOVES seafood. There isn’t a water critter that he doesn’t like. Since I don’t care for it the only time he usually eats seafood is out at a restaurant or someone’s house. This last weekend, T decided to buy and cook up a large salmon and some mussels. Here he is telling us how to make it:

“basics: a sack of mussels, about 2# or so. Half an onion chopped, stick of butter, and cilantro roughly chopped as garnish. and wine.  always wine.

Dump mussels into a colander give a good rinse and discard any that are open.


Stirring the onions and butter until they are right. looking for a nice browning of the butter and light caramel of the onions.

Dump the mussels into butter and onions with about 1/2 cup dry white wine, cover and steam until all are open.

When all are open, halve shells and discard scraps. Strain remaining liquid into a light roux then drizzle on the meat and garnish with cilantro.

This is Mark Bittman’s “Salmon roasted in butter” and it is one recipe i rarely deviate from how it was written.  Good work Mr. Bittman.

Take a nice skin on fillet of salmon, ~2-3# and liberally spice with fresh cracked salt and pepper.

In an oven safe dish brown about 1/2 stick of butter at 475 until the foam settles down then place the salmon, skin side down, in butter and roast about ten minutes turning occasionally.

The way i like to gauge the doneness of fish is by inserting a metal skewer into the meat for a moment then placing the bare skewer on my lip a time or two until the metal is warm to the touch.  This was about 10 minutes or so for this particular cut of fish.

I also make it a point to buy whatever i am going to cook the day i am going to cook it, usually on the way home to cook it.  Fresh is key.

When the meat is done, simply remove it from the pan and serve as is.  the skin is delicious but easy to separate if not to a particular taste.

So there we have it.  Fish and mussels for me, Asian style ribs for her, and zucchini for the both of us.

Not too shabby… ”
I hope you enjoy T’s fish meal!


Pecan Apricot Spice Cookies

I swear I’m eating more than just cookies lately. It’s just that I’m not making anything new or interesting. You don’t want to read about how I grilled another chicken part and had another salad. You want new, interesting ideas. That’s why I read food blogs anyways, for new ideas. I’ll assume you do the same.

Today’s recipe is something new. I even have a mess to prove it! I used my last cookie recipe and made some tweaks and changed up some of the ingredients. I think I almost have a perfect cookie ratio when using nut flours. The smell in my house right now is amazing. T even liked them! He used some expletives to describe them.

Pecan Apricot Spice Cookies

1 cup of shredded coconut

1.5 cups of pecans

1.5 cups of almonds

3 eggs

3/4 cup honey

2 tbsp almond butter

2 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 tbsp butter

1 1/2 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ginger

4 dashes of clove (~1/8 tsp or a pinch)

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup chopped apricots

Process coconut, pecans, and almonds in a food processor until you’ve made a meal. It will look like sand when it’s ready. You can use regular nut flour that you bought at the store too just measure a scant cup instead. Mix flour with all remaining ingredients. Spoon dough on to greased cookie sheet (I used bacon fat, of course!) and bake at 350 for 15 min.

 

That bowl came to me all the way from Afghanistan! Thanks Adam.


Coconut Almond Cookies

This is my first attempt at making paleo baked goods. I have been craving cookies. I wasn’t about to go and buy anything new to make these either. So, I guess you could call them lazy craving cookies. I think they came out pretty good. They are moist and not dense like I had worried they would be. They are not very sweet which is okay by me. The ones I made with raisins were obviously sweeter. After checking out a few sites for paleo cookie recipes I realize I’ll need to double the honey to get the desired sweetness. This is the recipe I made today without any changes. If you want a sweeter cookie increase the honey to 1/3 cup up to 1/2 cup.

Coconut Almond Cookies

2 1/3 cups shredded coconut (divided)

1 cup whole almonds

1/3 cup almond butter (I made my own with honey and coconut oil)

3 eggs

1/3 cup honey

1 1/2 tbsp butter

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

Pecans and raisins optional I used about 1/2 cup of each

Process 2 cups of shredded coconut and all of the almonds until a fine meal is produced. You could go the easier route and buy coconut flour and almond flour, but like I said I was lazy and didn’t feel like buying anything. This way is also a little cheaper. Add your meal to a mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until incorporated. I actually removed half of the batter and placed it back in my food processor to make it finer. I’m so impatient when blending things that often it’s still too chunky. Aside from making it finer I don’t think this step did anything. If you are more patient than me I doubt you’ll need to do this.

I scooped out the dough with a large tablespoon onto a greased cookie tray. I rolled one cookie out and it was pretty and prefect and round but I didn’t really like it looking that way. I preferred the haphazard look to the plopped cookies. After I plopped down as many cookies as would fit I pushed a pecan in the middle. I baked these at 350 for 12 minutes rotating halfway through. (My oven is old and heats unevenly. If your oven was made in this decade it might not be necessary to rotate. ) Half of the batter was made without raisins for T the other half had a handful thrown in and mixed in.

In the time it has taken me to take pictures and type this up I’ve eaten 3. I think T (who said they weren’t sweet enough) has had an equal number. These are good. They’ve satisfied my cravings for a cookie and now I’ll have to find a way to ration myself to only one cookie a day instead of half a dozen.