You know what sucks? Finding out you are out of mayonnaise when you want to make coleslaw for supper. You know what is awesome? Not having to put your shoes back on and walk to the store because you know how to make mayonnaise from scratch.
The key to making a stable emulsion, which all mayonnaise is, is adding the oil slowly to start with, by slowly, I mean literally a drop or two off the end of a spoon, and whisking like crazy. You don’t have to add the whole cup of oil a drop at a time. Once you have added enough oil for the mayonnaise to start to thicken, you can start to add the oil a teaspoon or two at a time. I know this sounds like a lot of work but it really doesn’t take more than 5 minutes from start to finish. It tastes so much better than store bought it is totally worth the effort.
1 egg yolk
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 cup neutral oil
salt and ground black pepper
Put the egg yolk and mustard in a bowl. Beat together with a wire whisk. Begin to dribble the oil into the egg yolk mixture very slowly while you keep beating. Add more oil as it is incorporated. You will notice when a thick emulsion starts to form, then you can start adding the oil a little faster. It is done when you can pull your finger through it and the track doesn’t fill in. 1 cup mayonnaise
Adapted from Daphne’s Dandelions
My foodie love for Mark Bittman is well known. My friends will clip his recipes for me and I always get a phone call or two to let me know when he is going to be on the Today Show. A meal with Mark Bittman is on my bucket list.
I love Mark Bittman for a lot of reasons but the biggest reason is he is the first cookbook author whose food philosophy is the same as mine, which is fancy food is great but food doesn’t have to be fancy to be great.
I like that I can open his cookbooks to just about any page and find a recipe that uses things I have in my pantry right now. If for some reason I am missing an ingredient from the initial recipe, chances are I have every ingredient for one of the variations.
Mark Bittman is the one who turned me onto chicken thighs, a seriously underrated part of the chicken. Chicken thighs are cheaper than chicken breasts. Chicken thighs are dark meat so they are moister than chicken breasts so they are much more forgiving if they are overcooked, they don’t dry out as fast as chicken breasts.
If you have never tried chicken thighs before this recipe is a good place to start. The sauces are easy and result in a tasty chicken dinner.
Chicken Thighs, 4 Ways
salt and ground black pepper
2 bone-in chicken thighs
Honey Mustard Sauce
1 TBS melted butter or canola oil
1 TBS Dijon mustard
1 ½ tsp honey
1 ½ tsp minced fresh ginger
1 TBS plus 1 ½ tsp soy sauce
1 TBS dark sesame oil
1 TBS plus 1 ½ tsp olive oil
1 TBS fresh lime juice
1 ½ tsp chili powder
¾ tsp smoked paprika
1 TBS coconut milk
1 TBS smooth peanutbutter
¼ tsp curry powder
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Move the oven rack to the middle, if it isn’t already there. Mix the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl. Put the chicken in the roasting pan, skin side up, sprinkle with salt and pepper and brush with your sauce. After the chicken has cooked for 10 minutes, baste again with the sauce and turn the pieces; brush the other side and roast for another 10 minutes. Turn the chicken over, brush again with the sauce, and roast for another 5 minutes or until the chicken is done.
Adapted from How to Cook Everything
This afternoon I couldn’t decide if I wanted pizza or pasta so I went to my big, white binder and pulled out this recipe. It is good as is but you could easily adapt it to include any of your favorite pizza toppings or even use pizza sauce instead of tomato sauce.
Pizza Pasta Casserole
½ lb ground beef
½ cup chopped onion
1 recipe Italian tomato sauce
2 cups spiral pasta
1 cup Mozzarella cheese
17 turkey pepperoni
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In s skillet over medium heat brown the ground beef until the meat is no longer pink, drain. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package directions, drain. Combine the meat, pasta, and sauce, mix well. Transfer to a 6 cup baking dish. Top with cheese and turkey pepperoni. Bake 35-40 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Adapted from Taste of Home Magazine
A few weeks ago my friend, Steph, texted me this message “have you ever made a recipe, and four dozen muffins later you’re like, holy shit this is not what I meant to do.”
Yeah, I can relate. I bought two pints of blueberries on sale yesterday. I ate some on the way home. They were so good I went and bought 4 more pints today. That is 12 cups of blueberries I have to eat before they go bad. This is my “holy shit! This is not what I meant to do” moment.
Of course, the first thing I think of when someone says blueberries, is muffins. I decided to make the whole wheat blueberry muffins from Great Whole Grain Breads cookbook. The muffins are lightly sweet, moist and full of blueberries and way, way better than the muffins you by can buy at the store.
Can I tell you all how much I love the Great Whole Grain Breads cookbook? Every thing I have made out of it has been wonderful. If you have any interest in baking with whole grains, check this book out. Just so you know, I have received no compensation for my opinion on this book. I just wanted you to know it is a great cookbook full of great whole grain recipes.
Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins
6 TBS all-purpose flour
6 TBS whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup well packed brown sugar
3/4-1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter or canola oil
3 TBS lightly beaten eggs
Spray a muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, salt,brown sugar, and blueberries, mix well, being careful not to mash the blueberries. In another bowl, combine the milk, butter or oil, and egg. Mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, mix until just moistened. Fill the cups 2/3 full. Bake at 400 degrees for 15- 25 minutes or until golden. Remove from the tin and allow to cool.
Adapted from the Great Whole Grain Bread Cookbook
When I started adapting recipes for 1 or 2 I decided to find homemade substitutions for as many processed ingredients as I could. I wasn’t into the health aspects of it as much as I was the financial aspects of it. Many of the recipes I wanted to adapt had 2 or more processed ingredients. This resulted in a lot of partially used packets spilling and making a mess in my pantry. Some ingredients, like condensed soups, don’t store well and had to be thrown away immediately. It was incredibly wasteful.
So why make you own spice blends and seasoning packets when there are so many to choose from on the store shelves.
1. I control the ingredients. That mean things like salt, sugar, additives and preservatives.
2. I can add or subtract things to make the blends truly my own.
3. I can make the blends in amounts that are reasonable of a solitary cook.
4. You won’t believe how much better spice blends you make yourself taste compared to the store bought one.
Most of the spice blends I make make about 1/4 cup of seasoning. I store them in 4 oz jars I had left over from making cranberry jam. You could also store them in snack sized plastic bags if you wanted to.
Chili powder and poultry seasoning are the two spice blends I use most frequently. Please feel free to adapt them as you please.
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp garlic powder
Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container.
3/4 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp rosemary
Mix all ingredients together. Store in an airtight container.