Monday, October 25, 2010

Millet Garden Medley

This meal is great, it's gluten-free and vegetarian!!

My husband went to the farmer's market and came back with a bunch of sweet potatoes.  This is a meal that includes sweet potatoes, so it was perfect.

I *try* to follow recipes .... it just doesn't work!!!  I copied a grocery list right off the recipe and somehow missed buying several of the items.  : /  Here's the "official" recipe of what I made:

Here's what I forgot .... chicken broth!!  Garbanzo beans!!  Oops, hang on, forgot to put in the chili powder, be right back ....

I seemed to have recovered.  

I used my handy-dandy cheater chopper from Pampered Chef (no, I don't represent them!) to chop the carrots (a handful of baby carrots, or maybe three handfuls), a couple stalks of celery and an onion.  I sauteed it in some unmeasured olive oil.  When the onions were close to translucent, I added roasted garlic out of a jar (I don't like messing with garlic).  

I added the little chicken broth I had and two cans of kidney beans.  ALWAYS rinse canned beans!!!!  No, I didn't make them from dried beans, takes too long.  I added some water.  I chopped up things one at a time and added as I went along .... 3 sweet potatoes, 7 fingerling potatoes, a few kale leaves, a bag of corn, one broccoli top, but no tomatoes, I don't like them, and no parsnips because Whole Foods was out. Then I topped it off with enough water to cover.  Here's what it looked like:

Since I was low on chicken broth, I'm going to dissolve some miso in some water at the end and add it for flavor.  I'm not cooking the miso for hours because it is fermented and has beneficial properties that are destroyed by cooking it for too long.

I currently have the veggies simmering on the stovetop (Aga owners can put it inside the upper left oven, but I didn't because I like the veggies to soften.  To keep them crisp, put it inside the oven.).  I also have the millet cooking in my rice cooker.  If you don't have one of these, it's a must-buy!!!!  I have a Rival, but it's similar to this one: 

You need a rice cooker because it cooks things like rice, of course, but also millet and quinoa.  It makes grains a breeze and you don't have to worry about them becoming sticky.

This was great topped with some salt and Bragg's Liquid Aminos.

As you can see, you don't have to be a genius or super-organized to cook a good dinner, you just have to be willing to experiment!!  This is a great recipe ..... of course, I've never followed it to the letter!!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pizza Night!!

Yum!!  We went to Dewey's for pizza tonight and it was delicious!!!

The front one was the one I ate.  That is a 17", has olive oil and garlic for sauce, topped with cheese, feta cheese, spinach, black and green olives, red onions and tomatoes.  It was SO good!!!!

I had a harvest salad before dinner.  It had field greens, romaine, figs (I thought that was original!!), pumpkin seeds, bacon, boursin cheese, and apple cider honey vinaigrette (on the side).  YUM!!!

I also had a pumpkin spice beer.

Nice eating out on a busy weekend!!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Mac and cheese!!

Last night my kids wanted mac and cheese.  I'm starting to see the end of this bug .... I've hardly been eating, but the mac and cheese was so mild that it was perfect for me.

First, start boiling the water!  It can take forever, so get it started!  You can always turn it to a simmer if it boils before you're ready.  Get out a baking dish and grease it.  I just use a paper towel to rub some oil on it.

While the water is boiling, melt some butter.  Remember, I'm cooking for a crowd, so I melt a whole stick, organic of course!!  While it melts, get out the flour .... spoon some into some cold water.  I use several tablespoons.  I don't measure, you can always add more later if you want.  (I know I'm not specific, but if you learn by trying, you won't be so reliant on a cookbook or recipe!!  This is how our grandmothers cooked!!!).  Stir the flour into the water (about a cup, I mix this in a coffee mug) with a fork.

Next, pour flour mixture into the butter and whisk.  Have the milk ready when you do this.  When it thickens a bit (it takes like a second to thicken!!), the pour in milk.  Think about the size of your baking dish.  You will want enough liquid to cover the pasta in that dish.  Add grated cheddar cheese.  I also added some parmesan last night.  I used about 2/3 of a large package, the amount isn't that important.  You can taste it as it melts to see if you want more.  Whisk as this heats up over low-med heat.  Don't bring it to a boil, but to a simmer.  It will thicken a bit as it warms.  Set aside.

Cook your noodles according to the directions on the box.  They can be gluten-free, or whatever noodles you want.  I like elbows or spirals.

Drain noodles and put them into the baking dish.  Then pour cheese mixture on top.  Sprinkle the rest of the cheddar over the dish and bake until bubbly ... probably about 20-30 min. depending on how brown you want the top.  Let sit for 10 min, then serve.  If you serve it early, it will be watery, which tastes just fine.

I forgot to take a picture last night, so the picture below is of the last time I made mac and cheese.  That time I put bread crumbs on top!  Try different things!!  Take chances!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Been sick :(

Sorry I haven't been blogging, I haven't forgotten, I've just been sick.  I've had no appetite.  My kids have taken advantage of the opportunity and have walked over to Subway for dinner the past couple nights (yes, the kids who brought this bug home to me!!!).  I have never been there since it opened, LOL.  We have passed this bug through the whole family.  Three of us have it now .... I had one home with me today.  Two others were home with me last week.

Since I haven't had anything interesting to write about, that is unless you find Blue Diamond Nut-thins (gluten-free) topped with Justin's Maple Almond Butter for "dinner" to be interesting, I'll show you a grilled cheese I had recently that WAS interesting!!!

There is a local, organic restaurant outside of Cincinnati called Wildflower Cafe.  It's a wonderful little place with all organic food, grass fed beef, local eggs, etc.  It's in a little victorian house and run by a local couple.  Not the friendliest staff (and by that I mean the owners), but they do have great food, and it's nice to get this kind of food out at a restaurant and not just at home.

Now THAT'S a grilled cheese sandwich!!!!  Normally it comes with potato chips, but I got a side salad. Yes, I told you that a lot of raw food gives me a stomach ache .... and this did, haha, but once I took an HCL I was just fine!!

What you are seeing is butter toasted rosemary bread, melted provolone & cheddar, organic blue, organic feta, shaved onion, fresh tomato, organic greens, and bacon.  The sandwich is cut in half, stacked, then a toothpick holds it together with a couple pickles speared at the top.  The side salad has a balsamic vinaigrette that was delicious.  I can't wait to have another!!!

Thanks for stopping by!!


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Buckwheat pancakes!!

For Sunday breakfast today, we had buckwheat pancakes .... mmmmm!

I just used Arrowhead Mills buckwheat pancake batter, four cups of batter, one cup kefir, three cups milk (plus more milk to thin batter), and four eggs.  I stirred with a whisk.  I use a ladle to pour the batter right on the oiled simmering plate (or a skillet).  Wait until the bubbles on the top start popping and look dryish, then flip.

We had choices for toppings - organic butter, organic ghee, coconut butter, coconut oil, and real maple syrup.  I prefer grade B syrup .... yes, not grade A, but grade B!!!  Grade B is not only cheaper, it's less refined so has more flavor.

I'm just getting used to this batter, it's a little on the thick side, but if you water it down with more milk, then it lacks flavor.  I might try mixing it with the buttermilk variety next week to see how well that works .... and I will give you a report.

We had lattes with our pancakes .... yum!!

Chili leftovers

For leftovers, if you want them to taste leftover, then use the microwave!  Microwaved food tasted GROSS!!  Do a test.  Take some frozen corn.  Heat up a dish of it in the microwave with some butter and heat up a second serving in a pot on the stove in some water, then butter.  See which tastes better and which takes longer to make.  It's a myth that the microwave saves time.

For the leftover chili we had for dinner last night .... well, it had gotten a bit dry.  I didn't have any canned tomato sauce, so I used some chicken broth to freshen it up.  I just heated it on the stovetop and stirred while it was heating.  For Aga owners, if you have the time, stick it in the upper left oven and it will heat up on its own.  

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Popcorn!! Hummus!

Yesterday my daughter couldn't go to school due to pink eye (poor kid!), so we watched a movie and had some popcorn!

Please don't use that icky microwave stuff, it's just as easy to make your own!

Here's what we had - organic popcorn, otherwise it's probably GMO (, popped in an air popper.  We topped it with melted ghee, organic butter, and coconut oil.  If you want to use coconut oil, it's best mixed with butter or it doesn't absorb into the popcorn and the popcorn will taste dry with an oily coating.  We also squirted on some Bragg's Liquid Aminos and some sea salt.

We are always sharing popcorn, so we have one person pop and the other melt the butter, so both are ready at the same time!

Another regular snack and one I just had today is hummus.  I bought some hummus the other day after not having bought it for a couple weeks and my 17 year old daughter said, "Yay!!  Hummus!!" when she saw it!  Natural snacks can taste good!  I like to eat it spread with a knife on rice crackers, but my daughter prefers to dip organic corn chips in it.  Either way .... YUM!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Goup! Okay .... chili mac!

My great-grandmother Biggie used to make a dish whenever we came to visit called "goup".  Basically, it was chili with macaroni in it, and my husband insists that's called chili-mac.  Well, Biggie made hers in a large cast iron skillet, but I have eight people eating tonight, so mine is simmering in a large cast iron pot.

This is one of those nights that one - I don't feel like cooking, and two - everyone is busy with activities and is eating in shifts.  It's a good night for a one pot dish that I can just leave for hours in the Aga .... a crock pot also works, but, be sure it doesn't have lead.  Many of the older versions have lead.

This is what I did.  I should tell you I go to the grocery every day that I'm cooking (last night's pizzas doesn't count as cooking!).  I bought 3 pounds of grass-fed ground beef, two 28 oz cans of Muir Glen fire-roasted crushed tomatoes, 4 cans of Westbrae chili beans, and a box of Quinoa macaroni elbows, which brings up a point ..... most of my meals are gluten-free.  I don't have to eat gluten-free, but I am not a big believer that it's great for you, so I avoid it much of the time, or I eat sprouted grains like the Ezekiel tortillas I made pizza with last night.

I browned the ground beef in the cast iron pot the chili is simmering in.  I poured off the grease/water.  I meant to saute an onion with the ground beef, but oops!  So, I added the chopped onion and about 2 dozen chopped baby carrots to the pot.  Then I added the tomatoes and beans .... stirred.  I brought it to a simmer, then moved it to an oven that is 250 degrees ... it can simmer on the stove or can be put into a crock pot if you make it early enough (good luck with that, LOL, I never can manage to be that organized, though I try!).

I cheat when I chop!  I have a Pampered Chef food chopper and it makes it soooo easy!!!  I used it for the onions and carrots.

As I sit here, I realize that I didn't season it, so I'll get up when I'm finished telling you about dinner and go do that.  I don't really measure.  I know what herbs and spices I like and I know what they taste like and how much to use.  When you use an herb, I would suggest first taking it easy and maybe making dishes with one herb so you can learn what it tastes like .... like, sprinkle it over a chicken breast.  Also, smell your herbs to remind you of what they taste like.  Over time, you'll know how much to use and which ones, so you can read my recipes and say, "Yuck, I'll leave that herb out!"  :)

I will go back to the kitchen and add some salt, chopped garlic, chili powder (lots!), and chipotle powder (I love it and almost always put it in chili, it has a nice smoky flavor).  I use Simply Organic brand chili powder and it has other herbs in it, like garlic, oregano, cumin, coriander, etc., so I don't really need much more than that!  I'm generally heavy handed with herbs and spices because I love them!!!  I would recommend putting in how much you think you want, then let it simmer for a few minutes, then add more.  Once I made the chili so hot because I used a pre-packaged mix from a trade show my husband had gone to that none of us could eat it!!  I just dumped the whole package in!!  Yikes!!  You can't take the spices out once they're in!  (This time I probably put in 1 tbsp per pound of beef, and an additional half tbsp of chipotle chili powder per pound .... but that's a guesstimate).

A little while before I am ready to serve the chili, I will boil the pasta and add it.  Simple!

Off I go to add herbs ..... thanks for stopping by!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hahaha!! We're having quick and easy pizza!!

I've just spent so much time getting this blog set up, it's now 5 PM and I haven't thought about dinner yet!  How ironic!!

So this is what we're having - PIZZA!!  I'm taking an Ezekiel tortilla, coating the top of it with extra virgin olive oil.  Then I'm spreading organic garlic on it out of a jar of already minced garlic.  I'll cut up some organic leeks to sprinkle on top, then top with lots of organic cheese.

I have an Aga:

You can put your pizza on your oven rack, but I will be putting mine on the floor of the 450 degree oven for about five minutes, or until it looks done.  When it's cooked, I'll top it with basil, oregano, salt, and hot red peppers.  Yum!!!

The great part about this is my kids can assemble their own.  My kids prefer flatbreads instead of the tortillas for their pizzas.  Some use olive oil, some spaghetti sauce, some barbecue sauce.  Some add ham, some add leeks, sun-dried tomatoes or roasted red peppers.  I keep all this stuff stocked in my refrigerator so that we can have this delicious snack/meal whenever we want!!


Hi, I'm sixhungrykids and I have another blog at that talks about my battle with Lyme Disease.  Because I am active in the Lyme community and people know I cook from scratch, I get asked all the time how I make things.  I don't use many recipes .... I know what flavors I like, and generally make something up using the foods I want for that meal.

There are plenty of evenings I wish I could just click on a website and be told what's for dinner tonight.  I hope to become something like that with this blog!

Sometimes I spend a long time cooking dinner using a complicated recipe, sometimes I throw something together quicker than you could heat up a frozen meal.  I'll tell about both here.  I'll try to post pictures, but I can't post smells, sorry!!

I have been told several times that I should do a cooking blog.  Every time I say no because I'm really not a trained cook and really don't think I have any business writing a food blog.  However, I do have a large family, eat a lot of things that are gluten-free, eat healthy, and have learned all this on my own over the past decade.  So, I do have things to share and look forward to sharing them with you!

Thanks for stopping by!