Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Really easy Unmashed potatoes - organic, unprocessed and cooked in the microwave!

This is unpretentious weeknight cooking to be sure, but also very tasty!

1) wash potatoes  (mine were organic from the CSA)
2) cut them up in bite size pieces (don't peel)
3) place in microwave safe large bowl, cover with water
4) cook until tender (took about 16 minutes in my microwave with about 8 cups of chopped potatoes)
5) pour off water (doesn't need to be too thoroughly)
6) mix in some butter, thyme, paprika, salt  (if you forgot to take butter out of the freezer until now, microwave for one more minute)
7) stir and serve in the same bowl!

So easy, so good ... and don't worry about adding some butter - its still MUCH better for you than most processed foods!

In a pickle? or jars of lovely quickles ...

I don't know why, but it wasn't until AFTER my daughter was born that I started really enjoying pickled foods.   With the weekly bounty of vegetables arriving from the CSA each week, plus my fondness for visiting farmers market in high summer, I've had plenty of fresh produce recently ... sometimes a bit too much.   So I started looking into pickling.   But as a full time working mom, spending 8 precious hours with my hot water canner was a no-go.    But then I started coming across the phrase "refrigerator pickle" and "quickle".   

As I read more recipes, many seemed to have a basic theme:  2 cups vinegar, 2 cups water, 1/4 cup kosher or pickling salt, brought to boil and poured over a jar of prepared veggies and spices (peppercorns, whole allspice, garlic cloves, cloves, hot peppers, etc).     We later discovered that any that don't have a distinct garlic bite needed more sugar, so I added a sugar syrup the next day to the beets and the tupperware container full of mixed veggies that didn't fit in the jars.    

Here's my results: 

Beets, with some freeze dried ginger, allspice, cloves, sugar, peppercorns in jar:

Greens beans, carrots with minced freeze dried garlic, peppercorns, allspice, mustard seeds, little sugar, onion:

cucumber slices with significant garlic, peppercorns, mustard seeds:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My top secret brownie recipe

This gets really good reviews every time I bring it to work, so I figured I would share.  

1)  buy a box of brownie mix (or better yet get it practically free with a double coupon on sale)

2)  store on shelf for really long time

3)  open brownie mix, preheat oven

4) replace "oil" listed on box with equal quantity of melted butter

5) replace "water" listed on box with equal quantity of cold leftover coffee

6) add eggs per instructions, stir it all together

7) add a handful of roadkill bunny (i.e. chopped dark chocolate - the lindt store sells broken bunnies cheap post Easter)

8) add a handful of mini marshmallows

You will have to bake this a bit longer than the box says because of the extra gooiness from the added chocolate and marshmallow.      I like it served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.