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this is how i cook


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this is how i cook…

APPLE PIE

mmm goodness and so simple! i promise, this is so SO simple! don’t be intimidated to bake.  lord knows i’m much more comfortable cooking as opposed to baking where it’s more feeling and less science, but this is so simple, i can make it from memory.  here is what you need:

4-5 mid sized apples (i use golden delicious because the delicious is in the name!), 1/2 c sugar, 1/2 brown sugar, sprinkles of cinnamon and nutmeg (to taste), pinch of salt, juice of half a lemon, 2 tbps butter cubed up and if you’re like me and lazy when you start baking a pie at 9PM, Jiffy Pie mix.

make the pie crust according to the box’s instructions (hint the box says add water, one tbsp at a time and stir with a fork. i told you this was easy!).  the key is to not add too much water and have it get soggy.  slow and steady my little turtles!

break the dough into two balls (i like to cheat it a little and not split them 50/50, more like 55/45 so that the bottom is a little larger and goes all the way up the sides of the pie plate.  put a whole mess of flour on the counter top and start rolling with your favorite rolling pin. it doesn’t have to be perfect, the ragged edges show people that you made this from scratch. enjoy it!

plop it into the pie plate

be very glad you’re wearing an apron and did not get all that flour on your very nice, expensive t-shirt from old navy that you got on clearance.

start peeling those apples! i like to challenge myself to peel an apple in one giant peel.  sadly on this attempt at pie making i failed. but that is why there will always be more pies in my future…  then start slicing them up, put them in a bowl and sprinkle the lemon juice over them to keep them crisp and delicious.

mix all of your dry ingredients (sugars, spices, etc) in another bowl and then tell them to get ready for more action than prom night: apples + spices & sugar = PIE

throw ‘em in the pie plate, put the butter on top, roll out the other half of the dough and place on top

60 minutes at 375 degrees later…

oh and because i’m fancy, i did an egg wash with sugar in the last 10 minutes of cooking (crack an egg in a bowl, mix it up, add a lil bit of water and spread on the top then sprinkle generously with sugar)

ENJOY!

11:57 pm: bumblemm

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this is how i cook…

Marriage Proposal Pulled Pork

(it is so good, boys will propose to you. trust me. a perfect stranger at this and asked me to marry him. [he might have also consumed approx 48 miller lites])

start with four simple, simple ingredients:

3-4 lb of pork butt/shoulder (boneless), 1-2 cup brown sugar (i just pour it on the top so I didn’t get an exact measurement), half of a red onion chopped, 1ish cup of bbq sauce.  then just layer up your crockpot!

start with the chopped onions:

then add the pork, cover with sugar and bbq sauce

put the lid on, leave on low for 7ish hours, and crank to high for the last hour.  when the pork is shredding on its own you’re done!  look at that! you did about 10 minutes of actual work, let the crockpot take over for the next 8 hours and you get a marriage proposal! pretty sweet deal! (note: do not say yes when strangers ask you to marry them. unless the stranger is don draper)

really bad picture of the spread of food at our tailgate last weekend. but it include the above described pulled pork, italian sausage, peppers & onions, kielbasa & saurkraut, orzo salad, potato salad, coleslaw, chili in bread bowls, rice krispie treats, BC Eagle cookies and lots and lots of paper towels. and lots and lots of beer.

thankfully we had these plates to ensure everyone got their fill of all delicious items

Please disregard the fact that my brother is in an ND shirt at the BC game. 

MUCH better. 

11:50 am: bumblemm3 notes

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Sweet Potato Bacon Frittata!

(yes it is as incredible as it sounds!) ((adapted from recipe seen here))

Start with all of the above: bacon (5 slices, 6-7 if you’re me), 8 eggs, 2/3c milk + 2tbsp melted butter, one chopped onion, one sliced sweet potato and some salt, pepper and rosemary.

I decided to get all fancy pants and use my mandolin to slice my sweet potato since I got it on sale at Bed Bath & Beyond over 2 months ago and for some reason have been scared to use it. I don’t know why, it. is. awesome! the slices were incredible and all the same size! For someone who is still working on her manual slicing skills, this is a godsend.

I then “chunky cut” an onion, which in my kitchen vocabulary mean not caring if the pieces are different sizes and wanting the pieces to be a little bigger than the average dice.

then start sizzling that bacon. mmm there is nothing better than the sound of bacon hitting a hot skillet.  that’s what i imagine the alarm clocks in heaven must sound like. and they’re only waking you up to say “there’s bacon! come and get it!” once your incredible slices are cooked, put them to the side on a plate w/ a paper towel to soak up some grease and crumble.

leave some of the bacon fat in the pan (because why would you do anything else with it?!) and put in your veggies and let them cook down.  Keep stirring, scraping, etc so that nothing sticks to your skillet.  If they need it (and mine did) add a few tbps of butter or a dollop of olive oil.  I didn’t have fresh rosemary, so I added some dried, which was OK, but I went a little overboard, so be careful…if you have fresh, take the sprig out before adding the eggs to the pan.

In the step I forgot to photograph, crack 8 eggs and whisk together.  Add 2/3 cup milk (since I had skim, I also added 2 tbsp melted butter), salt and pepper.  turn your burner down to low heat and add the eggs.  The heat still in the pan will help the eggs start to set.  Add your bacon to the top, then if you’re feeling crazy, shred some fresh Pamesean cheese and a few handfuls of Monterey Jack cheese.

pop this bad boy in the oven (and learn that iron skillets are really heavy and you have approximately 0 upper body strength) for 10-12 minutes, let sit for a few minutes (if you can…) cut into 8 pieces and enjoy!

note: you don’t have to eat all 8 pieces at once, but i’m not going to judge you if you do.

09:29 pm: bumblemm

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Ole Chicken!  

start with a smattering of nom-inducing ingredients.  for my portion (enough for two people or my dinner tonight and lunch again tomorrow) I used one large chicken breast (seasoned with s&p), half of those beans, 1 cup of corn, a precious tiny jar of salsa verde, the juice of a half lime, cumin and taco seasoning for flavor and heat and a dollop of sour cream at the end to cool it back down =)

i prefer to chop my chicken before cooking, but that’s really all up to you.  or if you prefer to use canned chicken, that’s fine too.

brown on both sides and add the spices, some water (about 1/4 cup) and let it reduce down

or if you’re me you add waaaay too much water and then spend 10 minutes letting it reduce because you know it will ultimately make the chicken super duper tender and delicious (which it did) and easier to shred (which it did).  while this is reducing you can add the beans, corn, salsa verde and about 2 tbsp of cumin to a pot on the back burner and let it start hanging out, warming up and becoming increasingly delicious.

when your chicken is done and most of the liquid has reduced, toss it in the big pot, which has just been promoted to front burner, squeeze in half a lime (nails in rimmel, steel gray, my new fave color), stir in any additional taco sauce (warning: trader joe’s taco sauce is very spicy. very spicy! not for the faint of heart!), another shot of cumin and let it simmer on medium heat for about 6-8 minutes or to your desired liquid level.

personally, i like it a little soupy.  I get to pretend that I need the assistance of tortilla chips to consume it.

pour it into a bowl, a pinch of shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream (man i love that word) and voila! you have ole chicken!

next time i make this, i’ll probably chop some onion and throw it into the last few minutes of cooking the chicken and wait to put in the corn so it’s a little crunchier.  i love the salsa verde in this, but i’ll admit it needs some additional texture (can you tell i’ve been od’ing on the top chef finale?) so suggestions welcome! ejoy!

10:14 pm: bumblemm

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Turkey Meatballs!

Part of my “save as many dollars as possible for Iceland” plan includes limiting grocery shopping and eating what’s already in my house/fridge/freezer.  Enter meatballs.

Disclaimer: I forgot to take pictures through most of this because my hands were covered in raw turkey meat and I’m forgetful sometimes.

Start with the following:

One of my favorite things about cooking meatballs/meatloaf/hamburgers/etc is that you can really use anything you have on hand.  It’s basically unheard of for me to cook anything without some garlic, so I grated two cloves in, as well as dicing about 1/4 of an onion.  All other spices are just dumped in until things look good.  But I added approximately 1/4c bread crumbs, 1/3c parmy cheesy (because cheese is way better than bread crumbs), 2-3 tsp italian seasoning, 2-3 tsp oregano and 5 dashes of worchester sauce (10 points to anyone who can conclusively tell me how to say worchester) and one egg.  This was all added to 1lb ground turkey (90/10 lean).

(this was taken after i scooped about half of it out and realized that i should be snapping pictures because who doesn’t want to see pictures of raw meat?! i know lady gaga does. now if only i could get her to follow my blog…)

and then (this is where I share my genius with you!)  roll up your little meatballys and put them into…MUFFIN TINS!

I only have regular sized muffin pans, but I have heard that mini muffin pans are really best.  And this wasn’t my idea. I stole if from the incredibly brilliant Shannon who wrote about the idea here.  In related news, are you following her blog? Because she. is. amazing!

Anyways, send your meatballs into a 375 oven for about 40-45 minutes (I like a chubby meatball).  And since you’re too lazy to wait and started this cooking project at 9PM in the middle of the finale of Bachelor Pad and aren’t going to wait to cook a second batch, I recommend using the extra meat to create a burger and cooking it in a skillet.

(always put a little dent in your burgers so that they become level as they cook and you can avoid the dreaded burger bulge. rachel ray, my bff who signed a cookbook for me taught me that)

then if you put your turkey burger in a pita with cucumber, tomato and feta cheese you can call it “greek style” and pay yourself on the back for being so darn healthy

the jury is still out on where the 2.5 glasses of wine i had with this burger fall on the health-o-meter.

Enjoy!

12:10 pm: bumblemm

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Spinach and Artichoke Dip!

First, make a pile of delicious ingredients, and since one of them is frozen chopped spinach, you’re allowed to think for a few minutes that this dip is healthy. Spoiler alert: is not healthy.  Double spoiler alert: it is so delicious you won’t care.

(also if you buy your mayo from whole foods you are allowed to think you are healthy)

start by putting the cream cheese in the microwave for a few quick secs (30-45ish) just to soften it so that your hand mixer you got from CVS for $5 on black friday in 2005 doesn’t have to work too hard (don’t judge me).  Add some sour cream and some mayo and some parmesean cheese.  What? You want actual measureable amounts? Ugh. Fine. Add about 1/2c of sour cream, 1/3c of mayo and 1/4c of parmey cheesey.  (I made all of those up).  Let your hand mixer go to town on all of this white goodness.  Put your spinach in the microwave to defrost (follow instructions on the package) and chop up your artichoke hearts.

I’m really glad I took a picture of that. It needs a photo to fully understand the instruction “chop your artichoke hearts.”

Add these bad boys and your defrosted and drained spinach to the bowl of white deliciousness

I am a world class photographer. Damn.

Add in just under 2c shredded mozz cheese and mix thoroughly with your trusty hand mixer.

If you’re taking this to a housewarming party and want to be fancy, put it in a pretty pie plate.  Otherwise, any type of pyrex/aluminum pan will work.  Sprinkle the rest of the shredded mozz on top and put in a 325 oven for about 20 minutes.  Make sure everything is bubbly and heated all the way through.  Personally, I eat it with pita chips (or my bare hands) in copious amounts. Enjoy!

And yes, those are my precious owl salt & pepper shakers that belonged to my great-grandma. She would have loved this recipe too =) 

02:42 pm: bumblemm