auntiemeesh: (pumpkin pie)
I'm hosting a very small Thanksgiving gathering tomorrow for [livejournal.com profile] ani_no_mouse and me. Like I said, very small, which since I'm doing cooking this year for the first time, I'm pretty happy with. I picked up a few things yesterday at the local corner market but still needed some things that they don't carry. Conveniently, worked closed a couple hours early today so I had plenty of time to get to the grocery store.

After taking a bit of time to relax and eat, I got to work. Emptied the dish drainer, washed all the plastic food containers that had accumulated in the sink. Got the store-bought pie shells in the oven to brown. Made some cranberry sauce, mixed up the pumpkin mixture and got that in the oven, washed another round of mixing bowls and such, ran the dishwasher, cleaned the counters. That's all the food prep I'm doing tonight.

I thought it would be yummy to mix some apple in with the cranberry sauce, but couldn't find a recipe in the admittedly short amount of time I dedicated to the task of searching, yesterday, so I mostly just winged it.

Cranberry Sauce:

one bag of fresh cranberries
1/2 large apple, finely chopped
3/4 cup of sugar
approx 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup water

I let it boil a little too long, so it got a leeetle burned on the bottom. I'm hoping it doesn't set too hard or taste burned, but the little taste I had of it before I put it in the fridge to cool tasted nicely sweet and tart. The apple seems to have blended in well.
auntiemeesh: (spices)
I managed to plan ahead this week and gather the ingredients for some crockpot Chicken and lentils.

Approximately 1lb of chicken breast
1 cup of lentils
several baby redskin potatoes
half a bag of babycut carrots
1 can diced tomatoes
half a large onion
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground ginger
.5 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp salt
4 cups of water

Throw it all in the crockpot and let it cook all afternoon. Yum! And now I have lots of leftovers for lunches this week.

Cooking

Dec. 24th, 2012 07:19 pm
auntiemeesh: (holiday star)
I spent today in the unusual (for me) pursuit of cooking. The recipe and the pic to prove it )
auntiemeesh: (spices)
I've got beef stew bubbling away in the crock pot and it smells soooooo good. I hope it tastes good, too. It's yet another thrown together recipe.

1 lb beef cubes
2 potatoes
1 large onion
1 large green pepper
handful of babycut carrots
1 can of diced tomatoes
2 cups of beef stock
1 1/2 tablespoons of flour
liberal dash of Worcestershire sauce
salt
pepper
dried basil
dried garlic

It's been cooking on high in the crock pot for almost four hours. I guess it's time to turn it down and let it simmer for a few more. I got a really late start on it, so it won't be ready in time to eat tonight, but I'll have deliciousness for dinner the rest of the week.
auntiemeesh: (spices)
It's only noon and I'm already all tired out.

Because I'm lame and last week was exhausting (although hey, not expensive or terribly stressful) I was in bed by 9:30 last night, which meant I was awake by 6:30 this morning. Gave up the hope of going back to sleep by seven and went for a run, instead. The path through the park was not as bad as I feared it would be after yesterday's storm, but it did experience some damage and footing wasn't great. But I forced myself to take the long path and ran 3.25 miles.

After relaxing over breakfast, I went back out to get groceries, and I've just now put together some random ingredients in my crock pot. I was going to make chicken and sweet potato stew, since I liked that last time. Unfortunately, my sweet potato was nasty moldy (it was only a week old - if anything, it should have sprouted a few roots, but it definitely shouldn't have been moldy). I discovered this once I'd already cut up the chicken and put it in the pot. I've been thinking lately of making Redwing Stew ([livejournal.com profile] ani_no_mouse's lentil recipe) so I sort of combined that with the chicken, but I didn't really have everything I needed for that, either. So it's really a hybrid mutation of all sorts of scary.

Chicken and Lentils:

One pack of chicken tenders, cut into bite sized pieces
one (non-sweet) potato, cut into cubes
three garlic cloves (ANM's recipe calls for eight but that's a bit too much for me)
1 cup lentils
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can chick peas
1 cup chicken stock
1 tbsp curry
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
fresh ginger (maybe three-quarters of an inch cut off the root? the recipe called for a tsp of ground and I don't know how to translate that to fresh so I just cut off a chunk and minced it)
dash black pepper
a bit of extra water

ANM's recipe includes split peas (I subbed chick peas - not the same thing, but I like chick peas) and brown rice (I already had a potato cut up so no rice), and no chicken.

It is now cooking away and should be ready to take off the heat and pack away by the time [livejournal.com profile] eve11 picks me up for shenanigans at her place tonight.
auntiemeesh: (spices)
I bought chicken yesterday and so I dug out my crockpot cookbook and found a recipe that seemed to work with the ingredients I had to hand (I realize it is possible to find a desirable recipe first and then buy the proper ingredients, but I never seem to do things in the proper order).

The recipe (as I'm using it):

1 package chicken breasts cut into pieces
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 regular potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup of chicken stock
1 can of diced tomatoes
salt
pepper
cinnamon
dried basil

All thrown into the crockpot, where it's been cooking away for almost five hours now. The little taste I had earlier was yummy.

The original recipe also called for celery seed, ground nutmeg, paprika, and maybe a few other things but I made do with what I had.
auntiemeesh: (spices)
I meant to cook up some rice and beans yesterday but I was hungry when I got home so I ended up just eating a sandwich and chips, and then got distracted by other things. So I'm doing it tonight.

Rice and Bean Thing:

2 cups of rice (most of which will be put aside for later in the week)
1/4 large onion
1/4 green pepper
1 clove garlic
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 can diced tomatoes, mostly drained
1/2 tbsp of cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (I may have used a bit more or less than that - I was using a 1/2 tsp spoon)
dash of salt

I've got the rice mostly done in my big sauce pan.
I sauteed the onion, pepper and garlic (man, my kitchen smells like someone who knows how to cook is in there) and added it all to the can of black beans in my small sauce pan. Added in the spices and diced tomatoes and now it's all simmering together to let the flavors blend.

As with all of my cooking projects, this is a very big experiment. I got most of it off a Spanish Rice recipe, but I'm not cooking it like spanish rice. I have no idea how it will taste, but hopefully it will be edible, because I'm starving!

Update: Well, it's not awful, that's the good side. I maybe shouldn't have drained the tomatoes at all, as it was a little dry once combined with the jasmine rice. It was also just a little bit bland. Needs more of the spices to perk it up a bit. But it was good enough to take the leftovers to work tomorrow and that's a huge perk!
auntiemeesh: (autumn)
Woke up slow to a rainy morning and a cat tugging on my hair. I struggled to figure out what day it was before deciding it must be Saturday since my alarm hadn't gone off. No, wait, it's Thanksgiving! Got up, fed the cats (only surefire way to get them to stop poking at me) and went back to bed.

Mal moped around, meowing piteously all morning, before I realized he wanted me to clean the litter boxes. Which meant a walk in the rain to Rite Aid to buy kitty litter. I also picked up a student desk lamp so that I have some form of light in the living room - or at least some form of light in one corner of the living room. This is a fairly unsatisfactory, temporary solution, but it's better than sitting in the dark for the next unspecified amount of time until I'm able to get something better.

Before I headed out, though, I threw an experiment into the crock pot. It's been simmering and smelling delightful all day. The recipe is labeled as chicken curry. )

As it's Thanksgiving, I thought it might be nice to have some wine with dinner and since I don't actually have anything like that at home, I stopped at the state store to see if it was open. But, yeah, this is Pennsylvania. The state stores are almost never open, certainly not on the sorts of days where people might actually be wanting alcohol. But I do have a tiny little single-serve bottle of Absolut Citron (no idea at all where it came from) in my freezer, so I got a bottle of orange juice and I'll have a screwdriver later if I'm in the mood.

This afternoon, I watched a 1993 version of the Secret Garden that I don't remember ever seeing before. I couldn't find any record of the version that I have vague memories of, so maybe I'm just remembering wrong. Anyway, this one was nice enough. A few too many stop-motion montages of flowers blooming and trees greening up in the spring, reminding me of middle school nature films, but I quite liked the girl that played Mary Lennox, and there was surprise Maggie Smith as Mrs. Medlock, so it was okay.

All in all, this has been a very pleasant Thanksgiving-for-one.
auntiemeesh: (spices)
I'm attempting beef stew in the crockpot today.

Ingredients:

.68 lbs beef cubes
1 tbsp flour
salt
pepper
1 beef buillion cube in 1 cup water
two red skinned potatoes
1/2 large white onion
double handful babycut carrots
1 tomato

I wanted to spice it up with a bit of curry but it turns out I don't have any curry powder (my kitchen is woefully understocked due to the fact that I never cook). I have some tikka masala sauce in the cupboard, but that's for chicken and might not blend well. I'm debating. Any thoughts?
auntiemeesh: (spices)
I was starving when I left work - feeling nauseated level of starving. And sadly, I have no magical, instantly ready food at home. So I did something I generally prefer not to do. I cooked.

Vegetable Tikka Masala

Qualifier: This is the easy, very basic, cheating way to do it.

One pack of frozen jasmine rice in the microwave for three minutes. This makes enough rice for two people, so half of it went straight into a storage container in the fridge.

1 red potato, sliced thin
5-6 babycut carrots, chopped into half inch pieces
1/4 - 1/2 smallish onion

All sauteed in a pan until the onion is transparent.

Pour in about 1/3 of a jar of premade Tikka Masala sauce and let simmer about ten minutes.

Combine rice and sauce, enjoy!

It's a bit of a shame that I'm so proud of myself for having done something so very basic as throwing a bunch of pre-made foods together. But it was yummy and simple and I need to remember these things. If I remember to go to the store and buy veggies and things like that, I can put together a yummy and quick meal. That 'quick' is important when I'm get home feeling so hungry I'm sick.

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