Posts tagged ‘cooking’

Thanksgiving Recipes

This year for Thanksgiving, we’re hosting my parents, Nice-Nice and her husband, Renaissance Woman and her husband — and the Happy Mathelete and her husband and kids are stopping by afterwards. For the second (or maybe third?) straight year, my parents will be here for Thanksgiving but not Christmas, so we’re opening presents early. My kids are getting a Wii. I have given up — or maybe I’ve just recognized that I’m having a baby and will be trapped nursing on the couch or in My Chemical Romance’s battery charger and want to keep them relatively docile and incapable of burning down the house. So they’re getting a Wii. Also, this means I’ll be able to cook in relative peace!

My portion of TG is turkey, gravy,  green bean casserole, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. Renaissance Woman is making broccoli casserole, sweet potatoes, and cranberries. Nice-Nice is making rolls and pie. This may sound like a ton of food for eight adults and six kids (most of whom don’t actually eat) but I’m worried it’s not enough. I was raised Jewish after all; I really love you only when I try to stuff food down your throat 24/7.

The turkey is coming from Creekside Farm. We were invited to view the turkeys before they were processed but I thought that might be a little traumatic so I said no. In a nod to my heritage, I’m using the recipe “Homestyle Turkey, the Michigander Way.” Is there a more dorky word than Michigander? I’m not sure. I used this recipe last year and it was awesome — same free-range turkey although from a different farm. The only thing that went wrong was that my parents transported the turkey from my house to Wii’s house, and in the process managed to get turkey all over their relatively new car interior, which was mostly cloth. It smelled, and cost a fortune to get it all out.

Ingredients

  • 1 (12 pound) whole turkey
  • 6 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 4 cups warm water
  • 3 tablespoons chicken bouillon
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 2 tablespoons dried minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons seasoning salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Rinse and wash turkey. Discard the giblets, or add to pan if they are anyone’s favorites.
  2. Place turkey in a Dutch oven or roasting pan. Separate the skin over the breast to make little pockets. Put 3 tablespoons of the butter on both sides between the skin and breast meat. This makes for very juicy breast meat.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the water with the bouillon. Sprinkle in the parsley and minced onion. Pour over the top of the turkey. Sprinkle seasoning salt over the turkey.
  4. Cover with foil, and bake in the preheated oven 3 1/2 to 4 hours, until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 180 degrees F (80 degrees C). For the last 45 minutes or so, remove the foil so the turkey will brown nicely.

Gravy is Easy Turkey Gravy

Ingredients

  • 5 cups turkey stock with pan drippings
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup — I MAKE THIS MYSELF FROM SCRATCH.
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

Directions

  1. Bring the turkey stock to a boil in a large saucepan. Stir in soup, and season with poultry seasoning, pepper, seasoned salt, and garlic powder. Reduce heat to low, and let simmer.
  2. Warm the milk in the microwave, and whisk in the flour with a fork until there are no lumps. Return the gravy to a boil, and gradually stir in the milk mixture. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute, or until thickened. Be careful not to let the bottom scorch.

Green Beans are Grandma’s Green Bean Casserole. My Chemical Romance is not happy that I’m not using the recipe on the back of Camp*bell’s Cream of Whatever Soup, but I refuse to cook with anything that includes Partially Hydrogenated Heart/Brain Killer anymore. He claims he only eats Partially Hydrogenated Heart/Brain Killer once a year — at Thanksgiving! — but I put my apron down.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 (14.5 ounce) cans French style green beans, drained — I USE ORGANIC FROZEN GREEN BEANS
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup crumbled buttery round crackers
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth, and cook for one minute. Stir in the salt, sugar, onion, and sour cream. Add green beans, and stir to coat.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish. Spread shredded cheese over the top. In a small bowl, toss together cracker crumbs and remaining butter, and sprinkle over the cheese.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top is golden and cheese is bubbly.

Stuffing is Slow Cooker Stuffing (I’m trying to save room in my oven)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 12 ounces sliced mushrooms — I MAY SKIP THIS; MUSHROOMS ARE NASTY.
  • 12 cups dry bread cubes
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram — I’m borrowing this from someone…
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 1/2 cups chicken broth, or as needed
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Directions

  1. Melt butter or margarine in a skillet over medium heat. Cook onion, celery, mushroom, and parsley in butter, stirring frequently.
  2. Spoon cooked vegetables over bread cubes in a very large mixing bowl. Season with poultry seasoning, sage, thyme, marjoram, and salt and pepper. Pour in enough broth to moisten, and mix in eggs. Transfer mixture to slow cooker, and cover.
  3. Cook on High for 45 minutes, then reduce heat to Low, and cook for 4 to 8 hours.

Mashed Potatoes is going to be really unexciting — my dad likes very bland food, so I’m not going to put anything fancy like the aged cheddar cheese with garlic that I just got at Cost*co last night that is so freaking delicious I could die — I’ll add it to mine.

Day Before Mashed Potatoes (although mine will probably be “Day Of” Mashed Potatoes. I have made potatoes the day before and you basically end up re-cooking it anyway to get it creamy and hot, so there’s no point.)

Ingredients

  • 9 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in potatoes, and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes.
  2. Transfer potatoes to a large bowl, and mash until smooth. Mix in the cream cheese, sour cream, onion powder, salt, pepper and butter. Cover, and refrigerate 8 hours, or overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a medium baking dish.
  4. Spread potato mixture into the prepared baking dish, and bake in the preheated oven about 30 minutes.

 

Now I’m hungry. I just made a quiche with broccoli, bacon, and the above-mentioned Cost*co garlic cheddar. I made two so that I can stick one in the freezer.

 

November 22, 2010 at 11:09 am Leave a comment

The first recipe I’ve written myself

… after playing around with ripping it off from several different other quiche recipes.

Yes, it’s for a quiche. A vegetable/cheese quiche. If you succeed, your quiche may look like this (only maybe not quite so yellow/green. I’m still not great with my new Nikon D3000 camera.)

Ingredients:

Pre-made crust (I use Wholly Wholesome or Trader Joe’s brand)

1/4c butter

1/2 onion, chopped

whatever vegetables you have on hand

1 container Boursin cheese

4 eggs

1c milk

dash of salt (I skip this because I am an “over-taster,” according to My Chemical Romance. And he is a “person who is going to have a heart attack at age 40 from high blood pressure issues due to excessive salt intake,” according to me.)

Preheat oven to 375*F. Melt butter in a saucepan on low/medium heat. Add chopped onions and cook slowly until onions are soft and translucent. (Do not burn! It makes your whole house reek! And then you’ll wonder if you — and therefore your unborn child — are inhaling carcinogenic burned-pan smell and maybe you should start over with an entirely new pan. And then you’ll remember this is your fifth kid, and you probably did much worse with the first four.) Add veggies and cook for about 5 more minutes. Add boursin cheese and cook until melted.

In a small bowl, beat eggs and milk. Pour a small amount of eggs/milk into pie crust. Cover with the veggie/cheese mixture. Pour the remainder of eggs/milk on top.

Bake for 40 – 45 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

August 8, 2010 at 11:22 am Leave a comment

Friday Night Jugs

Every Friday night, My Chemical Romance goes to Nerd Night; Animal, Mineral, The Informant, and My Masterpiece watch a movie, and I have my girl friends over for Friday Night Jugs.

I have no idea how FNJ officially started. I love playing cards — my parents are actually professional card players, so games are part of my vernacular — but I refuse to play with My Chemical Romance because he is smarter than me and usually wins, and I’m a sore loser. Wii, on the other hand, is more my intellectual equal — at least when it comes to cards. Wii’s husband works very late most nights, so we were probably hanging out on a Friday night with our kids and they were bogarting the TV, so we decided to play cards like intelligent adults (SNORT).

Then we invited Nice-Nice, because she lives very close to me now, and she brought her baby, E, who still refuses to eat anything that doesn’t have Nice-Nice’s nipple attached to it.

I think next we invited Renaissance Redux — there! You officially have a nickname, RenRedux! I’ll explain it later — and Das Goofendorfer, both of whom have nursing babies.

In fact, everyone but Wii is either pregnant or nursing. I do not think she feels left out, though. She did nurse for four straight years.

Finally, Wii brought in The Mathlete, because we needed someone smart. She has the youngest baby, less than three months.

Occasionally we have She’s Super Sweet, and once we were graced with Six Degrees of Lora. She’s a photographer and everyone in the crunchy community “knows” her.

There are a few rules:

1. It’s always at my house and I make the best food. It’s at my house because four kids — and a half — trumps two (the next closest), and those two are Wii’s kids, who can hang with my kids if her husband isn’t home. Everyone else has not-quite-mobile babies. Also, Nice-Nice, RenRedux and She’s Super Sweet live very close. So it’s easy to get together for a game of four.

I make the best food because… I just do. Last night I cooked baked potato skins (sans bacon), mashed potatoes (made from the insides of the baked potato skins for Nice-Nice, whose baby doesn’t tolerate cheese), and black forest chocolate cake with overly-sweet vanilla frosting that I’d made for Nice-Nice the day before, when she watched my kids. Prior to that, I spent a few weeks experimenting with various deviled egg recipes.

I love cooking for FNJ because they appreciate my food!

2. When we have food, it stays in the kitchen.

This rule was instituted after a game-less game week in which we brought the food into my dining room and rather than play cards or games, we all stuffed our faces and yacked like girlfriends do all night. Wii said it was because the food took up the table, so we didn’t have any room for games.

3. Nice-Nice finds something offensive.

Nice-Nice herself isn’t actually offended; she merely points out that a certain phrase, gesture, word, look, food, child, joke, story, name, picture, internet site, magazine, book, movie, article, or Face*book game could be considered offensive. And how.

4. We offer three invitations to Friday Night Jugs; if you are invited and turn us down three times — without good reason — you are crossed off The List.

Honestly, I can’t see why anyone WOULDN’T want to come back after they attend once. The Mathlete drives over 25 miles one way for FNJ. Because it’s that awesome 🙂

I love Friday Night Jugs. It’s very refreshing after a long week, to hang out with my girlfriends. I look forward to Daylight Savings ending, when I can put my kids to bed even earlier and get more girl time!

August 1, 2010 at 7:13 pm 4 comments

Weird things I like/don’t like

LIKE

1. Organic Milk. 2%.

This isn’t that weird — except for the fact that I’m craving non-raw milk right now. Maybe it’s the consistency of raw that is turning me off. The first few cups of raw milk are practically cream; the last few cups are like drinking skim ::vomit::  Sometimes the place I buy my raw milk runs out, which is how we’ll end up with a gallon or two of organic, and I’m totally hoarding it.

2. Nonfiction.

I just finished Orange is the New Black and it was the best book I’ve read in a long time. Which is really saying something when you consider that I probably read two books per week. Another recent nonfiction winner? Women, Food, and God by Geneen Roth. I’m on a wait list for the Oprah bio; I can’t wait for that one either. Along with The Imperfectionists, which is supposedly creative non-fiction.

3. Baking.

I love to cook, that’s not a secret. Baking has never been my thing because it’s so scientific; you really can’t play around with it. You can see or taste if you put in too much flour or not enough baking soda *Not that I would ever do that. Perhaps baking is appealing to my current control-freak tendencies, leading us to #4…

4. FlyLady

Yes, that evil witch with her stupid fairy wings and lace-up shoes — and her ridiculously clean house. I’m trying to form a long-lasting relationship with my “swish-and-swipe” routine. FlyLady is probably improving my marriage: she has taught me that expecting My Chemical Romance to do all the dishes is futile; six people plus a Dog Without a Downside use more plates and bowls than one person can keep up with. Even when using that modern convenience called a dishwasher — and we always use a dishwasher. I am morally opposed to washing dishes by hand. It is perhaps the one way in which I’m totally not-crunchy.

5. My Sixth Sense for Pregnancy

Recently I’ve noted that two women were pregnant long before they even announced it. One, I realized it on the very day she peed on a stick. Another was from a Face*book status. I thought it was abundantly clear to everyone who read it, but so far I’m the only one who has even guessed. Clearly I’ve got some ESP going on with my fellow breeders.

DON’T LIKE

1. Fiction

Oh, whine. If I pick up one more book that involves a “birth gone wrong” scenario, I’m going to live webcam my homebirth so that people can see that birth is normal. Seriously, even that bestseller that I waited on a library lists for months for, The Postmistress, somehow brought in a HORRIBLE TRAGIC BAD BIRTH STORY. The most frustrating thing is trying to find a book that (1) is well-written (2) doesn’t involve HORRIBLE TRAGIC BAD BIRTH STORIES (3) is well-written. Seems like you get either well-written or you get normal birth/no birth.

2. My therapist

Actually, I love her. Possibly too much; I want to know how much longer therapy is going to continue. I started seeing her because I needed a note from a psychologist clearing me for weight-loss surgery; two years later I’m skinny and still problem-plagued. At least in my mind. But having a therapist is a bit of a crutch for me: I use her to gauge where I am, and I need to trust myself to gauge where I am. She says I’ve made progress. Eh, I probably have, but who’s to say I wouldn’t have progressed on my own without her and her $10 copay?

3. Pregnancy brain

What was I just typing about? Where am I? What time is it? I got on this computer to do something, and now I find myself doing something completely different with absolutely no recollection of what I am supposed to be doing, and a vague sense that I’m forgetting something important when I go out in public, like my purse. Or a bra.

4. The Library’s New Hours

Or lack thereof. Due to city budget cuts, my local library is currently open four days per week, two of those days only until 5pm. All I want to do is read (nonfiction; or well-written fiction about non-breeders) and I get agitated when I realize it’s going to be three days before I can even browse paperbacks again. The next closest library is 20 minutes away.

5. The Heat.

GO. AWAY. Seriously.

July 29, 2010 at 11:43 pm Leave a comment

Tweaking Out

No, not me. I’m fine. I’m actually better than fine lately — I’m past exhaustion. I can actually function reasonably well, and my brain cells seem to be regenerating. Who knew? The biggest problem I’m having is global warming. Screw the conspiracy theorists; my breasts could melt icecaps right now. The weather is making my lose my mind: it’s hot and humid and sticky. As Wii would say, The local infrastructure is not equipped for these extremes in temperature; I cannot get my weak A/C’ed house — with it’s entirely-east-or-west-facing windows — below 78* which just plain sucks. Pregnant or not!

I’m tweaking my vitamins around a little bit, trying to get my levels up as high as I can get them without poisoning myself. For example, I take 200,000 IU of vitamin A per day. That’s toxic for the average person who hasn’t had a biliopancreatic diversion with a duodenal switch. Meanwhile, my A-range is low/average. I’m adding some helpful-for-pregnancy supplements like Red Raspberry Leaf, Chlorophyll, Stinging Nettles, and Alfalfa. I’m also trying to keep my pills below 60 per day — I have a hard time when I take more than five doses a day. I’m in touch with my surgeon, as well as VitaLady — yes, that’s her actual name — for input on my lab results. I have labs drawn every three months. It’s like sixteen vials of blood; some of them are light-sensitive so they have to be wrapped in medical-grade tin foil, some of them are heat-sensitive so they immediately go on ice, some of them have to be taken in weirdly-shaped tubes. Whenever I go in and hand the order to the tech, she always looks at me like, Seriously?!?!?!  I wanted to spend my day handing out urine cups and reading InStyle.

I’m back to cooking, thank gawd. I thought we would all starve. I have no idea how we spent years with My Chemical Romance in charge of the kitchen. We ate a lot of tacos. Last night I made slow-cooker chicken with dumplings; I had marinaded the chicken overnight in homemade Italian dressing and made the Cream of Chicken soup from another recipe rather than using the stuff out of a can. It cooked for about eight hours and the chicken fell apart it was so tender. The kids, of course, hated it, particularly Mineral. He was deeply offended that his chicken collapsed. I have no problem with my children not eating their dinner, but I hate when they insult my cooking. Making Cream of Chicken soup is not easy; marinading in homemade dressing takes time and effort. And yet, they’d be happy to eat fast food or something frozen you stick in the microwave. I love cooking. When I have time to myself, I like to cook or bake without interruption; I find it very soothing to create something. I find that especially true with baking. We are regular Cost*co shoppers and most of the samples are microwavable food. I remember once the spokeswoman was saying, “breakfast burrito, ready in 60 seconds or less!” and I thought, How good can it taste if it only takes 60 seconds to cook?!?!? I’ve become a slow-cooking snob.

July 28, 2010 at 9:36 am 3 comments

How to burn onions and melt the food processor

In several easy steps:

1. Decide to make favorite dish — Shepherd’s Pie — for monthly local midwives’ luncheon.

2. Chop onion in beloved, beloved — beloved I tell you — food processor, which I received as a baby shower gift when I was pregnant with Animal and Mineral. It’s small, but very efficient. I use it mostly for chopping onions, but as you know, I like cooking with onions.

3. Saute onions with 3 tablespoons of butter, over low-medium heat. Note that recipe says “until onions are tender, approximately ten minutes.”

4. Go to bathroom. Get involved in good book. Read for approximately eight minutes.

5. Come back to kitchen and find that onions are BLACK AND SMOKING. Shriek loudly! Take pan off heat and stick it in sink — and here’s where the story takes a very dark, twisted turn into tragedy — not realizing that the food processor’s plastic top is underneath the smoking pan.


6. Quickly grab another onion to chop in the food processor. Note that the top of the food processor is missing. Scan the kitchen, and then, with a feeling of dread, realize that it’s beneath the still-burning hot saute pan. And that the plastic has twisted. In such a way that it will no longer fit the top of the processor.

7. Take out cutting board and begin chopping onion by hand, unsure if crying onion-tears or mourning loss of beloved beloved — beloved I tell you — food processor.

8. Debate how to tell My Chemical Romance that I’ve killed the best kitchen utensil we have. Seriously. We don’t have sharp knives, an electric can opener, or even a salad spinner. We don’t have a Kitchenaid Mixer. We have a small, yet efficient, food processor. Had.

April 9, 2010 at 12:06 pm 1 comment

One stop shopping

I used to spend approximately half of My Chemical Romance’s paycheck at a large warehouse-type store.

I looooooathe driving to multiple stores, so I filled my house with store-brand everything, from paper towels to crackers. You would not believe how many items come in warehouse store brand.

And then things changed. First, we watched a documentary on W*l*Mart called The High Cost of Low Prices, and stopped shopping there completely. (Thus, the move to Kirkl*and, which may or may not be better.)

Then My Chemical Romance became interested in growing his own vegetables. Soon we had a beautiful organic garden, and slowly — really, really slowly; like at the pace of a dying tortoise — I started incorporating greens into our food.

Then I met my friend Wii, who is very particular about what her family eats. Nothing with high-fructose corn syrup, nothing partially hydrogenated, no trans fats, and a variety of other rules that can be summed up best in Michael Pollan-speak: Eat food.

I can’t say for sure whether or not I wouldn’t have needed weight loss surgery if I’d learned to eat real food sooner; I can only say I feel better when I eat it, no matter what I weigh.  Learning to eat real food has been a gift.

However, this whole real food thing means I spend my weekends driving all over Charlotte and Fort Mill to buy my family’s food.

In my utopia, where things like anal fissures don’t exist, there exists one store where I can buy an entire (grass fed only) cow, mechanic towels, c*ttonelle wet wipes, handmade organic tortillas, organic bread, chocolate chip cookies, Che*rios, Wholly Wholesome pie crusts, frozen organic vegetables in bulk, organic chicken, printer ink, crayons, raw milk cheese, organic fresh produce, Tri-Spy, tshirts, organic canned chicken, legos, spices, pasta, Tom’s of Maine flouride-free kids’ toothpaste, raw milk, underpants,  Duke’s Mayonaise, kids’ craft supplies, and my often-obscure vitamins, like Tender Dry A in 25,000 IU tablets.

That is seriously my utopia. I call it “Cream of Mommyland.”

Instead, I buy certain things at certain stores: bulk organic meat and frozen vegetables (and Cheerios) at C*stco; bread/cheese/cooking/baking ingredients at Tr*ader Joe’s; produce and toothpaste at E*rth Fare; the rest at my local T*arget, which has a large variety of organic items.

I buy 1/4 of a grass-fed cow every few months from a Cow-pool. I use a DivaCup and cloth pads (also known as “mama cloth”). I buy my vitamins from Vitalady — who carries the most obscure vitamins for the post-weight loss surgery set — and Vitacost, which is somewhere in North Carolina, so they deliver fast.

And I dream about my store that carries everything from grass fed cows to cray*la.

April 5, 2010 at 10:24 am 3 comments

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About Mommy Soup

Wife and homeschooling mom of five, including my Christmas Day homebirth baby. Not Catholic, Amish, or quiverfull; we just like to... you know!

Writing about my interests: natural pregnancy and birth; attachment parenting; cooking; baking; homeschooling; green living; human rights; child passenger safety; dog training, and life after weight-loss surgery.

In my free time I try to figure out how I can promote world peace while wasting time on Facebook.

NaNoWriMo 2010

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