Monthly Archives: January 2014

Spinach Burgers

Mark used 2 bags of our frozen spinach to make these spinach burgers, again.  They are so good!  Mixed with feta, shredded carrot, etc then fried.  Again, the onion buns are a must.  Rather than mixing up the special mayo, we used thousand island dressing tonight.

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Brenda doesn’t like cooked spinach- yuck!  But these are delicious.  They don’t have the nasty stewed flavor or the slimy/stringy texture that makes cooked spinach so disgusting.

I think tonight’s burgers would have been even better if they were a little smaller.  We ate 2, and Mark froze 2 for later (hooray!).  I think there was plenty to make 5 nice-sized spinach burgers.

Mark and Brenda both rate these spinach burgers highly.  Sean was not home for dinner, so he’s been “spared” the ordeal again.

Here’s the link for the recipe:

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/member/reviews/SPINACH-FETA-BURGERS-50086501

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Taco Ring

Cook up some hamburger, add taco seasoning, shred in some cheese.  Then roll up in crescent roll dough.

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Sean loves this meal.  The seasoning tonight (with our home-mixed taco seasoning) was just about perfect!  I bought Meijer brand crescent roll dough- the rolls came out of the package in many broken pieces, and didn’t cook up as well as the name brand, or HyVee brand, either.  But it worked out fine- dough, after all, can be pieced together.

Brenda likes this meal fine, although it’s not at all healthy.  It is fairly easy to make, eat in shifts, and even transport for busy nights (like basketball game night).

Mark hates this meal.  He ate leftover spaghetti for dinner tonight.

We were all happy.

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Grilled ham and cheese, french fries, and ketchup

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Sourdough bread (Meijer brand)- seemed more sour-smelling than other brands we’ve tried.  After the bread was grilled, though, it tasted fine.

Boar’s Head ham (from the freezer, leftover from subs a few weekends ago), and Monterey Jack cheese.

I put the lid on the skillet while cooking the first side of the sandwiches on low.  I think the cheese melts better that way, without taking so long that the bread burns.

Mark cooked up another batch of French Fries from the freezer.  This bag was made from a mix of varieties.

Tonight’s vegetable was… ketchup.  Sometimes, that happens.

Everyone liked dinner.  It wasn’t very satisfying, though, without any veggies or color.  Except the ketchup- which is Simply Heinz, which I love.

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Bangers and …. Hash

We planned on “bangers and mash” for dinner tonight (which was requested, at least our version of it).  In the middle of the night, I had a brilliant thought- maybe we would have bangers and hash …BROWNS, instead!  Suggested it to the guys, who heartily approved.

So, smoked sausage, two jars of home-canned green beans, and home made hashbrowns. 

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Last year’s potatoes are still keeping ok in the basement, so we shredded several with the food processor.  Mark squeezed out the liquid (I use the ricer, he can use his hands), and fried them up.  He and I have different hashbrown cooking techniques, resulting in different textures, but it all tastes good.  I think tonight’s potatoes  were Norland reds. 

Oh, I see bread in the picture.  We had homemade bread.   Still snowed in, we’ve run out of milk (but still have coffee, so no worries), and bread.  Happily, we do have yeast and flour, so I made the “best ever bread machine bread” this morning to use for sandwiches.  Sean ate his bangers and hash as a sandwich for dinner, in fact.

Side note:  When the remaining potatoes start to go bad, we’ll cut them into dices, fries, and hash browns, blanch, and freeze.  The frozen hash browns won’t get as crisp,  but they are pretty good, and they are great in casseroles.

Cookies!  Dessert!  Not in the picture, but also made on this snowy and bitterly cold day.  Mark mixed up the chocolate chip cookie recipe, throwing in between 1/2 and 1 cup of oatmeal leftover from breakfast.  The salt from the oatmeal is noticeable in the cookies, but they are delicious.  Sean baked the cookies after Mark mixed them.  He filled the first sheet with LARGE cookies- they cooked up well (eventually), and are a bit more cake-y than the rest of the batch.  I would say that we’ll have cookies for days to come, except they’ll probably be gone tomorrow (another day without school, and too cold to work outside).

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Snow Day Spaghetti

We all like spaghetti.  When we make the sauce ourselves, meatsauce is the favorite.  When kind neighbors bring us homemade sauce, we eat it as is!  I boiled up the spaghetti, heated the sauce, opened the package of breadsticks (all from our neighbors!), and made a salad out of the end of a head of lettuce.  We had peas and applesauce, as well.  Quick and easy meal- good way to end a bitterly cold day.

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Well, I guess we really ended it with the last of Sunday night’s lemon cake and hot chocolate.

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Pizza and Cake

We remain snowed-in; it must be pizza season.

We had one of our favorites for dinner last night: homemade pizza cooked in our fireplace oven.  Small pizzas, customized toppings, cooked to perfection in the “ovenplace”.

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Sean had meatlovers; Mark chose sausage, onion, mushrooms, and peppers (very light sauce); Brenda had meatlovers + peppers, mushrooms, and green olives.

The sauce was almost perfect, this time.  New recipe, but I used a pinch of baking soda, then less sugar, to make the tomatoes less tangy.

The crust is our standby, and very good.  It seemed a little bitter last night; I may try to increase the rye flour and decrease the wheat.  Or not.

Pizza is so filling, but we made dessert, anyway.  Lemon cake from the Italian Dish blog: http://theitaliandishblog.com/imported-20090913150324/2012/5/8/from-capri-lemon-cake.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheItalianDish+%28The+Italian+Dish%29

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And all of this led to someone’s very interesting leftovers-breakfast (yes. that’s bacon with lemon cake):

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Fish and Chips

Mark and Sean loved tonight’s dinner!

Brenda ate 2 bites, which, for fish, is very good.

We had a piece of whitefish left in the freezer from Jake’s Country Meats.  Mark used our own Indian Corn Bread Mix and dried lemon thyme in the breading.  He fried it perfectly.  See how lovely it is?  Anyone who likes fish would love this!

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The “chips” are baked french fries, frozen from our Megachip potato crop last year.  They were the best of the french fries we froze last fall.  Nice and crispy with no mushy-bits.  Green beans from the pantry rounded out the meal.

Thumbs up from Mark and Sean.  Brenda just doesn’t like fish.

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Blueberry Muffins

Dinner tonight was leftover chickens… Chicken and noodles from the freezer (just 2 servings), and chicken pot pie left from last night.  We liked both meals the first time around, so they were just fine leftover.

An unexpected snow day today, with lots of cold and blustery winds, led us to try a new recipe for blueberry muffins. Definitely a hit!  we’ll make them again.  I was concerned that they would be dry, but they were fine.  The batter was very heavy, so the blueberries remained distributed throughout the muffin rather than sinking together to the bottom of the muffin.  The muffins, themselves, baked up to be lovely; not too heavy at all.  Thank you Alton Brown!

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/blueberry-muffins-recipe.html

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Chicken Pot Pie Reprise

Tonight (rather- this afternoon, between futile attempts to get flu shots and getting back to school for basketball) we ate chicken pot pie and home-canned applesauce.Image

Sean says it’s good.  He even ate 2 pieces!

I love the dill in this.  I used dried winter savory leaves from the herb garden instead of ground summer savory;  it worked just fine.  Next time, to make it a little healthier, I may substitute some of the butter with olive oil. Maybe add a bit more flour to make up for the loss of butter?

Rice Krispie treats for dessert (they speak for themselves)!

Everybody liked dinner and dessert.

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Goulash and Anadama Bread

When Sean asked what was for dinner, I said Homemade Hamburger Helper.  That’s pretty much what we ate.

Because our home canned tomatoes are so acidic this year, I have trouble adding enough sugar to take the bite away without making the dish too sweet.  I tried a new trick with the goulash- baking soda.  Based on what I read, a very little will do or else the dish loses it’s flavor.  For 2 pints of tomatoes and 1/2 pint paste, I added 1/4 tsp baking soda.  It was fun to stir it while it bubbled!  And, it worked pretty well!  I think I could have added 1 tsp sugar to the goulash after the soda, and it would have been perfect.  Except, Mark thinks less soda would have been better. Next time, I’ll try 1/8 tsp per 2 pints + sugar.

I added some onion from the freezer, garlic (+ garlic powder, because we ran out of regular garlic), paprika, chili powder, and a little salt.  Macaroni and ground beef.  Oh!  And I added the rest of the tomato sauce from the Mexican chicken stew- adding a little pepper flavor.  There you go.

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The loaf of Anadama bread left from Tuesday night happened to pair nicely with Goulash.  About the bread: Sean can’t decide if he likes it.  Brenda thinks it’s unusual (strong molasses flavor without being sweet) and strangely addictive.  Mark loves it.

Sean said it was fine and he would eat it.  Brenda thought it was fine.  Mark liked it.

Sean asked why we never have the sausage and shells version of homemade hamburger helper, anymore.  I thought he had stopped liking it, so now we have something else to add back to the menu rotation.

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