Hey Guys, I am back. Did you miss me? I always miss you when I take my blogging vactions but I need those vacations to recharge my creative culinary batteries.
I didn’t get nearly as far in my blog redesign as I hoped because somehow, while was redoing my index , I managed to delete my index entirely. Now I have to organize, type and link 536 recipes. Thats going to take a while to fix. Sigh.
While on my blogging vacation, I did a lot of experimenting with a bunch of small batch spice blends I found in a cookbook called the Frugal Paleo Cookbook. Each blend makes 1 tablespoon of spice blend which is enough to season 8-12 oz of meat and a bunch of vegetables. I am creating as many recipes as I can come up with using these spice blends.
The best thing I did over my blogging vacation was cook a lot out of ChiYu Smith’s amazing Asian Paleo cookbook. This recipe is so good, I ate the majority of it with my fingers while standing standing in front of the fridge. You know thats some seriously good stuff.
Beef With Broccoli
From the Asian Paleo Cookbook
1 lb skirt steak
2 TBS coconut aminos
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 to 3 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp arrowroot
1/2 tsp baking soda
Stir Fry Sauce:
2 TBS coconut aminos
1 TBS fish sauce
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 to 2 heads broccoli, broken into florets
1 1/2 ghee
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 TBS finely minced ginger
Thinly slice the beef about 1/4 inch thick. Place on a bowl and add the rest of the beef ingredients and mix well. Set aside in the refrigerator.
Meanwhile prepare the sauce. Combine the the coconut aminos, fish sauce, toasted sesame oil and black pepper in a small bowl; set aside.
Melt the ghee in a saute pan over medium-high heat then lower the heat to medium. Add the ginger, garlic and a small pinch of salt. Stir- fry 8 to 10 seconds. Be careful not to burn the garlic and ginger.
Increase the heat to medium-high. Spread the beef over the bottom of the skillet in a single layer and cook until the edges of the beef are slightly crispy. Flip and do the same thing for the other side, cooking the meat until its 3/4 done.
Add the sauce and the broccoli. Cook until the broccoli reaches the desired doneness and the beef is cooked through.
This morning, I forgot one critical thing, I am a wimp. So when I am making a recipe for 6 muffins that calls for 1 small jalapeno I probably should cut that down just a bit. Holy Hanna, those muffins packed a punch for 5:30 am!
The recipe came from Christina Lane’s new cookbook, Dinners Just For Two. Of Christina’s four cookbooks, Dinner Just For 2 is my favorite.
Things I like:
1. There are a large variety of recipes from the fancy Steak and Scalloped Potatoes to the simple, comforting Sloppy Joes with Tater Tots, my personal favorite.
2. Very few of her recipes call for any processed ingredients.
3. The ingredients lists and cooking times are generally not excessive.
4. If you follow Christine’s instructions, the recipes always come out. They are absolutely reliable.
5. There are extensive lists if how to use leftover ingredients. I am starting to think these kind of lists are absolutely vital to a cooking for one or two cookbook.
6. There are actually things I want to eat in this cookbook.
What I didn’t like about this book: Honestly, there isn’t anything I don’t like about this book. I have cooked from it at least one meal every day this week and I am still finding recipes I want to try.
If you’re looking for a cooking for one or two cookbook you will actually use, pick up a copy of Dinner Just For Two.
In the interest of full disclosure, my copy of Dinners Just For 2 was a gift from the author but my opinions are my own. If you have been hanging around here awhile you know my love for Christina Lane and her recipes has run deep for a long time.
I am always looking for resources for 1 or 2 to share with you. It’s hard to find cookbooks and blogs for 1 or 2 and much harder to find ones that are worth recommending. It seems that most cookbooks and blogs for one or two think of small batch recipes in terms of special occasions like Valentines day. They forget we need to eat the other 364 days of the year.
Other small batch cookbooks fill their recipes with partially used packets of processed ingredients like we don’t deserve anything better just because we are single. I am rather picky about my small batch cookbooks and blogs. If I wouldn’t personally use them, I am not going to recommend them. So today, I am excited to be able to recommend to you Betty Crocker Right Size Recipes Delicious Recipes For 1 or 2.
Things I like about Right Sized Recipes:
1. While a few of the recipes use processed ingredients, most don’t.
2. The ingredients are easily found at most grocery stores.
3. The recipes are for food I would actually like to eat.
4. The recipes don’t have an excessive amount of ingredients or take an excessive amount of time to make.
5. They include some recipes for a small slow cooker.
6. There is an extensive chart showing what other recipes use your leftover ingredients.
What I don’t like:
1. The portions are very small
So does the cookbook meet the criteria I have for including the book in my library? Does the food taste good? Yes, every recipe I tried tasted good. Will I cook out of this book on a regular basis? Yes, the cinnamon frosted molasses cookies and no knead Parmesan Rosemary bread are already on my list to make again. I also have a list of more recipes I want to try.
The recipes are easily doubled or fleshed out with a salad or other vegetable sides.
Skillet Taco Spaghetti
From The Right Sized Recipes Cookbook
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 lb ground beef
2 tsp finely chopped garlic
1 cup water
1 cup chunky style salsa
2 oz raw spaghetti, broken in half
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent. Add ground beef and garlic. Cook 5 -7 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink. Stir the remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling and reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for 10 – 12 minutes until the pasta is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed.
I am so excited!! I finished my new scarf today and just in time for cold weather too. Yeah, I make my own scarves. I have to. I don’t drive and learned very early on that those fashion scarves that are barely long enough to reach your boobs are cute but not very warm. I need warm.
Since I couldn’t find it to buy it, I decided to make it myself. I have crocheted since I was 12, so I decided to put the skill to use and make myself a warm scarf. I have made several over the years. Whenever I get a new jacket or just feel like a change I make a new one and give a way the old one to the first person who admires the new one. That way nothing goes to waste.
Do you have any old-fashioned skills you put to use today?
Chicken Thighs, 3 Ways
If you aren’t doing a Whole 30 you can find my original non compliant adaptions here.
Adapted from Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything
salt and ground black pepper
2 bone-in chicken thighs
1 ½ tsp minced fresh ginger
1 TBS plus 1 ½ tsp coconut aminos
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 almond butter
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.