I had always thought that spam was super gross and never had any interest. But as I became more aware of the different cuisines of the world, I noticed that there were a few that really (REALLY) love spam. So when I saw spam musubi on the menu at my favorite local cafe, Megabytes, I decided to try it. You guys - spam is delicious! It's like ham plus bacon plus sausage all in one. I'm kind of obsessed now, like bought-a-case-at-Costco obsessed. No, processed meat is not good for you; but as a special treat in the place of bacon or sausage, it's not going to kill you (probably). Especially if you buy the low sodium kind, which I prefer.
Anyway, pressing musubi seems like a lot of work, and I am more of a freeform girl; so I decided to make a rice bowl for my first spam experiment. I cooked short grain rice and topped it with furikake seasoning, then seared spam, fried eggs, seaweed, scallions, and toasted sesame seeds. It. Was. Awesome. I wasn't sure that Jasper would be into it, but he loved it, too, and wants me to make it all the time!
Spam and Rice Bowl
1 1/2 cups dry short grain rice (I use Botan)
2 cups water
1/4 cup furikake seasoning (check your labels, not all furikake is gluten free)
1 can low sodium spam, sliced into 8 slices
salt and pepper
scallion greens, sliced
toasted sesame seeds
Combine the rice and water and cook according to directions, usually simmer covered for 20 minutes, then let stand for 10 (I use a rice cooker). Fluff with a fork and add the furikake seasoning, you can start with less and more to taste, if you wish. Set aside.
Meanwhile, sear the sliced spam on each side in a nonstick pan over medium-high heat. You won't need any extra fat, and you may have to work in batches. Set aside.
Pour out most of the fat from the pan, then return to medium heat and fry the eggs you your liking. I prefer sunny side up. Season the eggs with salt and pepper.
To assemble divide the rice among the desired number of bowls, top with the spam, then the eggs. Sprinkle nori, scallions, and sesame over the top. Enjoy!
One Year Ago - Lentil Salad with Walnuts and Herbs
Two Years Ago - S'mores Treats
Three Years Ago - Turkey and Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie
Four Years Ago - Beef, Sweet Potato, Spinach, and Cheddar Turnovers
Five Years Ago - Couscous Dinners
I have been really digging the slow cooker lately, I think it's the long dreariness of the middle of winter. This soup is sure to brighten even the dreariest day, warm you up, and make you smile. Plus it is easy and mostly hands off.
Tomatoes, onion, celery, and carrots soften for hours with chicken broth, oregano, basil, and bay. Then you make, essentially, a bechamel and stir it in along with Parmesan to make it thick and creamy an luscious. This simple but lovely soup was met with rave reviews from the friends I served it to. I hope you enjoy!
Slow Cooker Parmesan Tomato Soup
adapted from Today's Mama
2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes, with liquid
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced carrots
1 cup finely diced onions
4 cups chicken broth (use vegetable broth to make it vegetarian)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried basil
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup flour (use sweet rice flour to make it gluten free)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup Parmesan cheese
2 cups whole milk
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Add tomatoes, celery, carrots, onions, chicken broth, oregano, basil, and bay leaf to a large slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 5-7 hours, until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft.
About 30 minutes before serving, melt butter over low heat in a saucepan and add flour. Cook, stirring, for a few minutes until the floury smell is gone. Slowly stir in the milk, a little at a time, until the mixture is smooth.
Add to the vegetables along with the Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Taste for seasoning and add additional basil and oregano, if needed.
Cover and cook on low for another 30 minutes or so until ready to serve.
One Year Ago - Apple Galette with Salted Bourbon Caramel
Two Years Ago - Daube Provencal (French beef stew with red wine)
Three Years Ago - Spiced Carrot Soup with Crispy Chickpeas and Tahini
Four Years Ago - Roast Beef Sandwiches
Five Years Ago - Aji de Gallina; Kheer
Jessie is a wife and mother of 3, she started her blog as an encouragement to write regularly. She also hoped to support women who feel imperfect, writing that she is an awful housekeeper and lazy. I love that, because I am also those things and I don't even have the excuse of being busy with kids. She is really down to earth and I like that about her writing.
I felt like there weren't a ton of recipes for me to choose from, but the ones that I liked, I REALLY liked. My top picks were Oxtail Stew, Sweet Potato and Sausage Hash, Honey Parmesan Pork, and Boozy Chocolate Butterscotch Cookies.
I've been really digging the slow cooker lately, so I decided to go with the Honey Parmesan Pork.
Start by browning a boneless pork roast on all sides (I made a half recipe, so this roast is only 2 lbs).
I actually made this Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie back in March for Pi Day with Melissa from Smells Like Brownies. We made it with Irish Stout beer so that it would also be appropriate for St Patrick's Day. But I was in the middle of moving, and so never actually posted about it. The weather right now is making me crave warm comfort food, and I thought that this dish would be appreciated. So here I am!
One of the tricks to this recipe is to use grated tofu, which is accomplished by freezing the tofu, then thawing slightly so that it will be the right firmness. So make sure to freeze your tofu at least a day ahead of when you want to cook.
Next, saute an onion, and add toasted walnuts and the shredded tofu. Add soy sauce and lemon juice, and cook until the liquid is gone.
I want to A) introduce you to my "famous" brussel sprout recipe and B) apologize for the terrible photos that I don't have time to re-take if I want to get this recipe out to you before Thanksgiving. I call this recipe famous, because my husband requests it all the time. My husband who does not like vegetables. *EDIT - Jasper has informed me that he does too like vegetables!* This week he asked me if we could have steak and brussels for dinner, or even just brussels, and I just about fell over in shock. Let's roast some brussels sprouts!
Trim and halve some sprouts, chop some bacon, and toss them around in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes. So far - pretty easy, right?
When they are done, toss in a dressing of balsamic vinegar, honey, and stone ground mustard. The end. Seriously, that's all there is too it! They are tender and crispy, sweet and savory, and pretty much just all-around awesome. Whether you make these for your holiday spread or a weeknight dinner - enjoy!
Earlier in the month, I helped Melissa of Smells Like Brownies with her Secret Recipe Club recipe - Prosecco Poached Salmon. (My October SRC post is here.) It was so delicate, creamy, and yummy that I wanted to make sure to share it with my readers as well!
First, make sure that you are using good quality salmon. I refuse to eat farmed Atlantic salmon, and wild caught Alaskan can be expensive. So I usually opt for the farmed Norwegian or Icelandic, which never fails to be thick and fatty - yum.
First you will cook shallots in butter, then add Prosecco and thyme to make a poaching broth. Then, you will carefully place the salmon into the broth and spoon hot liquid over the top until cooked to your liking (Melissa and I both prefer medium).
It's my first Secret Recipe Club post!!! I had been wanting to join the SRC for a while, but wasn't sure that I met the posting requirements, because I don't always post every week. I also didn't have a recipe index for a long time, so that is something that I have been working on. I finally felt like the time was right and asked to join, and here I am with my first post! Yay!
My assigned blog was Renee's Kitchen Adventures, and I had such a great time looking through it. Renee is a stay-at-home mom and former nurse (labor and delivery - what a special unit!), and her story reminded me a lot of my mother. She talks about trying to be healthy and lose weight, and posts healthy recipes based on Weight Watchers points. I, too, am trying to be healthy and lose weight, so I loved that about this blog. Even though our ideas of what constitute healthy food are a bit different (I think fat is healthy), I think this blog will be a great resource and inspiration for me. I also love how accessible and family friendly Renee's recipes are. I think I tend to only post about the really complicated stuff, which maybe isn't so great.
As I was reading through Renee's most recent recipes, I saw a lot that I wanted to try. I love that she has a lot of s'mores recipes, and especially that she made s'mores krispy treats - because I did the same thing! I also really liked the sound of this Almond Joy Poke Cake made with coconut oil, coconut oil is the best! She writes that she isn't ashamed to use boxed cake mix as a shortcut, and I feel the same way! I don't post about them much, but I love to make poke cakes or dress up cake mix in other ways (pro tip: use 1 extra egg, milk instead of water, melted butter instead of oil).
I've been baking way more than usual lately, though, and what jumped out at me the most was this Creamy Lemon and Fresh Basil Chicken Salad. It has been super hot and humid lately, so this is exactly the kind of thing I want to be eating right now.
Everyone knows that crab legs go perfectly with drawn (melted) butter, especially if it had lemon and garlic in it. But what do you do if you are craving that combo in a lighter dish? Melissa and I decided to make a quinoa salad incorporating those flavors, along with fresh avocado, to keep things nice and light. Yum.
Step 1 - acquire crab legs. I got a pretty good deal on pre-cooked king crab legs at Costco.
Step 2 - remove crab meat. This was both thrilling and frustrating. I felt compelled to extract every last shred of meat from those suckers - not an easy task, but very rewarding. This will take a while, so start cooking your quinoa in the meantime (Step 1.5? 2.5? I give up). We used a 3:1 mixture of white and black quinoa because we thought it would look pretty (we were right), you can use whatever you like.
I was making dinner for a vegan friend of mine and found this quick and easy recipe that sounded good. Using mostly canned products, I was not expecting it to turn out as well as it did (hence no preparation photos). We were both surprised at how much flavor this chili had. I added in some chopped leftover steak for Jasper, and he loved it too. This is definitely going into my records as cheap, easy, customizeable, and well-loved.
Vegan Three Bean Chili with Pesto
adapted from Real Simple
1 tbsp plus 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, diced
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with Italian spices, including liquid
kosher salt and black pepper
1 15.5oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 15.5oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 15.5oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 clove garlic
3 tbsp pine nuts (you can use a less expensive nut)
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and carrots and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes and their liquid, 2 cups water, 1 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper and bring to a boil.
Add the beans and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes.
Either finely chop the garlic, pine nuts, and parsley and combine with remaining 1/4 cup oil, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper in a small bowl OR put everything into a mini food processor and pulse.
Divide the chili among individual bowls and top with the pesto.
I give full credit to Melissa (Smells Like Brownies) for this idea. I'd heard of cauliflower pizza crust before and thought I should try it, but I never got around to it. So I was really glad when she brought it up and suggested we try it.
It turns out that cauliflower crust is really easy! It doesn't taste or feel like traditional crust, but it is yummy and chewy - I liked it! I was surprised that I could actually pick up a slice and it held together. So whether you are gluten-free, looking for low-carb, or just like to try new things, I highly recommend this pizza crust!
The first step is to pulse the cauliflower in a food processor until very fine. Then place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave to steam. Carefully remove the plastic wrap and transfer to a cheesecloth lined colander to cool. Once it is cool enough to handle, twist the cloth and squeeze to release as much moisture as possible. Like really squeeze this thing to death, I'm not joking. You may need to take turns with a cooking buddy like we did.
When you've removed as much moisture as you can, add mozzarella, Parmesan, oregano, garlic powder, red pepper, salt, and an egg. Use your hands to combine into a dough.