Spicy Cheesy Cornbread

This isn’t really like my other cornbread recipes that I’ve posted at all. My other two cornbread recipes were pretty cut-and-dry, cornmeal-and-some-other-stuff, cornbread-flavored cornbread. This is a little different from those recipes, in that you get both the texture of the whole corn and the kick from the spicy cheese and chili powder. Here’s what you’re going to need:

- 1/2 cup cornmeal

- 1/2 cup flour

- 15 oz. whole kernel corn

- 1/2 cup milk

- 1/2 cup oil

- 2 eggs

- 4 oz. either pepper jack or habanero cheese, or a mixture of both

- 1 tsp. chili powder

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Mix your meal, flour, corn, milk, oil, and eggs. You’ll have slightly lumpy batter and that’s okay. Spray your square, glass casserole dish with nonstick spray. Bake for 20 minutes, and then sprinkle your chili powder and add your cheese in an even layer over the top. Turn your oven to its broil setting and pop the bread back in for about five minutes, or until the cheese has melted and is starting to get a little color.

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Easy Spaghetti Bolognese

Bolognese is such a weird word. If you look it up, it’s just a sauce that comes from the Bologna region of Italy, but still. Also, if you google “bolognese,” lots of pictures of fluffy white dogs come up, so apparently that’s a dog breed too. But I’m talking about the sauce today, not the dog, although I’m sure the dog might be more fun, but the sauce has more nutritional value. It was kind of run-of-the-mill for me, and I don’t think it was as thick of a sauce as it was supposed to be, given the fact that I forgot to buy tomato paste at the store. It was overall tasty, though, and the fiance ate it, even though he did verbally question my choice of giving him “a four-foot tall pile of vegetables.” Pretty sure that was an exaggeration. Here’s what you’ll need:

- 1 lb. ground beef

- Half an onion, chopped

- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

- 1 can sliced carrots, drained

- 1 can sliced mushrooms, drained

- 1 can diced tomatoes, drained

- 1/2 tsp. basil

- 1/2 tsp. oregano

- 1/4 cup milk

- Salt & Pepper

- 1 lb. spaghetti

In a large saucepan, brown your beef. Meanwhile, cook your spaghetti in a pot of salted, boiling water. When your beef is cooked, turn the heat down to low, and add the onions and garlic, stirring to cook until the onions have become translucent. Then add the carrots, mushrooms, tomato, basil, and oregano. Stir to combine and turn the heat up again until the mixture begins to simmer. Allow it to simmer for ten minutes. Then, add the milk, salt, and pepper, and simmer for another ten minutes. Drain and rinse your spaghetti and pile onto your plates. Top the pasta with your bolognese sauce and you’re good to go!

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Crepes and Breakfast Potatoes

So I didn’t really mean for these to be crepes, I meant for them to be regular ol’ American flapjacks. However, when I found the recipe and then started making them, I realized that I was not, in fact, making pancakes. I was making crepes. Crepes are a little bit intimidating, I understand that. They’re foreign, they’re thin, they’re not as much of a breakfast staple in the US. You can’t go to McDonald’s and get a platter of crepes. But really, why would you want to go to McDonald’s anyway, unless you’re on a road trip or you’re drunk or both. So here’s what you’re going to need, both for the non-pancake crepes, and for the breakfast potatoes, which were delicious, by the way.

- Breakfast Potatoes -

- 9 medium red potatoes, scrubbed not peeled

- 1 medium onion, diced

- 1 Tbsp. rendered bacon fat

- 1/4 cup shredded green onion cheese

- Salt & pepper

Firstly, yes, shredded green onion cheese is, in fact, a thing. If you can’t find it where you live, regular cheddar will do, but it won’t be the same. Boil your potatoes whole in a pot of boiling, salted water for twenty minutes. Meanwhile, saute the onion in your rendered bacon fat until the onion is translucent. Drain all of the water off the of the potatoes, halve them, and add them to the pan with the onions. Season with salt and pepper, add your cheese, and cook, stirring, until the cheese has started to melt.

- Crepes -

- 1/2 cup flour

- 3 tsp. sugar

- 1 cup milk

- 2 eggs

- 1/4 cup melted butter

- 1 tsp. vanilla

Mix all of your ingredients well, then put the batter into the fridge to sit for ten to fifteen minutes. While that’s happening, spray a medium-sized frying pan (that’s vague, I know, see the picture below to see what I used) with non-stick spray and bring up to medium-high heat. When your batter is out of time-out, pour a third of a cup of your batter into the pan, and give it a good swirl around the pan to coat the bottom. Let it sit for about five minutes, then flip it over and cook the other side for about five minutes. You can flip it a few more times to get the right amount of golden brown that you want, then flip it out onto a plate and fold it in on itself and drown in maple syrup.

Here are some helpful pictures:

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Italian Seasoned Green Beans

So this is a short and simple recipe that you can mix up real quick to add a new side dish to your weeknight dinners.

- 12 oz. frozen green beans

- 1/2 cup water

- 4 Tbsp. rendered bacon fat

- 1/8 cup breadcrumbs

- 1/8 cup grated Parmesan

- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder

- 1/4 tsp. oregano

- 1/4 tsp. basil

- Salt & pepper

Bring your water to a simmer and add the green beans, cooking for about ten minutes, or until done. Drain the water off and toss the green beans in the bacon fat. Mix the breadcrumbs, cheese, and seasonings together. Toss the green beans in your seasoning mix and serve hot.

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Lemon Garlic Spaghetti

This was a really easy dish to just throw together on a weeknight. It was even a hit with the fiance, and he asked me to keep the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Here’s what you’re going to need:

-16 oz. spaghetti

- 1 Tbsp. olive oil

- 1/2 cup butter

- 3 Tbsp. garlic powder

- 16 oz. sour cream

- 1/4 cup lemon juice

- 1/4 cup chopped parsley

- 1/2 cup farmers cheese, separated in half

- Salt & pepper

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Cook the spaghetti, drain, and toss in your olive oil. Return to your pasta pot and add the butter and garlic, stirring to melt the butter. Add the sour cream, parsley, and lemon juice, and stir again. Pour into a greased glass square casserole dish. Add half of your cheese to the top and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for thirty minutes, checking on it momentarily and stirring to mix the cheese into the pasta. After the thirty minutes is up, remove the foil, top with the other half of your cheese, top with some salt and pepper, and bake for another five to ten minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly on top.

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Cauliflower Gratin

Yay! More adventures with cauliflower! This was for sure better than the cauliflower alfredo sauce fiasco, but not as great as the cauliflower mock mashed potatoes. It’s very cheesy and the sauce is great, but it thankfully isn’t too heavy due to the lightness of the cauliflower.

- 12 oz. frozen cauliflower

- 1 1/2 cups milk

- 1 1/2 cups grated swiss cheese

- 4 Tbsp. flour

- 4 Tbsp. butter

- 1/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs

- 1 tsp. nutmeg

- Salt & pepper

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Cook the cauliflower in a pot of boiled water until done. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, melt the butter, then add the flour, whisking to make a roux, and then your milk. And about three-fourths of your grated cheese, the nutmeg, salt, and pepper, and continue whisking until the cheese is all melted. Pour your drained and cooked cauliflower into the bottom of a square, glass casserole dish, and pour your cheese mixture on top of it. Then top with a mixture of your remaining cheese and the breadcrumbs. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Egg Butter

So egg butter is this Finnish thing. Apparently it’s a really big deal over there, called “munavoi.” And it’s actually pretty good, just proving that sometimes it’s nice to try things you’ve never heard of before.

- 2 eggs

- 2 Tbsp. butter, melted

- Salt & Pepper

Bring a pot of water to a boil and then add your eggs, cooking them for about ten minutes. Run them under some cold water and then peel them, careful to get all of the nasty shell pieces off. Using a fork or spoon, mash the eggs and butter together until it’s of a spreadable consistency. Spread onto toast, or just eat it straight out of the bowl because you’re an adult and you can do things like that.