Tag Archives: recipes

The Best Lentils Ever

I like lentils.
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Actually,everyone in the Eating Machine household does.

Even the cats. Which I think isn’t normal.

Normally, I just cook them up with curry powder, or cumin and garlic, maybe some diced tomatoes if I’m feelin’ sassy.

But this weekend I made some that weren’t Indian-tastic. And they blew my mind.

They were so good I made them again for breakfast yesterday.

Totally normal right?

Best Lentils Ever:
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  • 1 medium red potato
  • 1/3 c lentils
  • ~1/4 c died onion
  • 1 T minced garlic (or 1 clove garlic, minced)
  • 2 T sour cream (I use light)
  • 1 t butter
  • 2 c chopped spinach
  • salt and pepper to taste

You just dice up a red potato
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(or if you’re me and bought organic red potatoes that were small because apparently things don’t thrive without chemicals, 2-3 itty bitty pathetic organic potatoes)

Add the potatoes, onion and garlic to a pan with your lentils. Add water, and let simmer.

I have two types of lentils mixed together in my lentil jar. Poor choice-one takes WAY longer to cook. Life lessons. You just let it all cook, covered, on medium until the lentils are soft and delicious, adding water if needed-there should be enough liquid in your pan that the lentils are thoroughly covered.

When they’re mostly done you add in sour cream and butter

Stir it all up, watch it get creamy, and let it get to where the liquid is more of a sauce around your lentils than a soup.
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Then add in a ton of spinach
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And fold until the spinach wilts

Then eat the most giant bowl of lentils for breakfast
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So flipping good.

And if you’re me and get rather anemic every month, it’s got about a third of your daily value of iron! Win.

Are you a lentil eater? I’m a bit lentil obsessed right now if you have recipes you wanna share!

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Peanut Butter Cream Cheese

Like I said in the last post, we bought peanut butter cream cheese at Trader Joe’s recently.

(picture from Monica’s blog)

It was delicious.

Amazing.

And gone way too fast.

It said it had 8 servings. Find me someone who can make that last for 8 days. Not possible.

So after sadly tossing the empty container (which I may or may not have licked. It happens.) I set out to make some more. From reading the ingredients I knew I didn’t need much-in fact, it only takes 3 things!

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese

  • 8 oz (1 Block) of Cream Cheese
  • 3/4 c of Powdered Sugar (this makes for sweet cream cheese, but not frosting sweet-adjust as desired)
  • ~1/3 c of Peanut Butter (just like with the sugar, adjust as desired)

(The TJs stuff has peanuts in it-you can use chunky PB or add in some chopped peanuts if that texture is important to you)

Either let the cream cheese soften a bit or beat the heck out if it so that it’ll mix well
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Measure out the powdered sugar. It’s ok to spill a little. Your husband will clean up because he’s happy he’s getting more PB cream cheese.
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Blend the sugar and cream cheese

Add in the peanut butter
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Mix
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Eat
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Eat lots.

Best part?

No nutrition label = no lies about “8 servings”.

Fair warning: this looks a lot like hummus. Which means if you had a bowl of hummus at dinner and you let your husband put it away he may mistake the cream cheese container for the hummus container. And if you’re PMSing and your husband just jacked up both your hummus and your PB cream cheese?

There will be tears.

Guess how I know…

Pulled Pork

It’s been a while since I’ve put up a recipe!

I am not much of a pork eater.

I’m not much of an eater of any meat that requires me to use a knife to cut it.  I have meat issues.

But slow cooked super tender pork?  I have learned that is delicious.  And Lisa blogged about eating some last week the night I was making this.  So I figured it should share!

We got a recipe for pork rub from my husband’s boss.  I then proceeded to make it very different, because that’s what I do.  But the one thing I did keep is the little bit of cinnamon.  It gives the meat a fun little sweetness, but it’s not overwhelming.

For the rub you just mix:
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  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 t  cumin
  • 1 t chili powder or red pepper

Ideally you wanna put this on the meat the night before, so that it soaks up the flavors and and gets delicious.  This is enough for 1-2 lbs of meat.  To cook it you have two options; crockpot or oven. I usually do the oven, but either way works. If you’re doing it in the slow cooker it wouldn’t hurt to double the spices.

If you do the oven you wrap the pork in foil and cook at at 300 for abou 3 hours.  If you do it this way, put a pan under the meat in case your foil wrapping skills are less than stellar (like mine!)

In the crockpot simply put it on low, add enough liquid to cover (I used beer, if you’d rather you can use stock), and leave it for at least 6 hours.
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Either way when the meat can get pulled apart with a fork (no knives friends, no knives) it’s good to go.

We like to mix it with BBQ sauce.  BBQ sauce is one of the things where I’m lazy and buy it.  It’s cheap (especially in the summer-I think I paid 50 cents a bottle for this?), yummy, and sometimes you gotta be lazy.
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It also has HFCS.  Details.

We eat it on buns
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Or make nachos.  Either way, it’s delicious.

This sauce has a nice smokiness, and the smoked paprkia adds in more smokiness.  So you ge the wonderful smokiness of BBQ without buying your husband the $800 smokers they have on roadshow at Costco.

What’s your favorite way to eat pork?

I love my Ducks?

Friday, my husband said he needed to bring “yellow and green snacks” to work today.

It’s the BCS championship game today.  Seems when a team from your state is playing, it’s kind of a big deal.

Being from Washington, I am not used to local teams winning, so it’s all new to me.  (The only college football game I’ve been to was at WSU.  There’s a reason “coug it” is a phrase-sorry Genesis!)

In an effort to make something that’s not sweet (doesn’t it seem like “bring something” translates to 90% of people as “bring cookies”?) we bought yellow and green veggies
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THEMED VEGGIE PLATTER YO.

To go with the veggies I made hummus and ranch.

(I did this while making my dinner with jarred pasta sauce.  Balance my friends, balance)

Forever ago I posted about homemade ranch, and Amanda asked about my recipe.  Months later, here it is.

This is probably not good for you.

But it is good.

Homemade Buttermilk Ranch:

  • Equal parts mayo and plain yogurt (greek is fantastic, but other stuff works as well).  I generally use about 1/3 c of each
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • dried parsley-about 1  t
  • garlic-either minced or powdered, spoonful of minced or 1/2 t of powdered
  • Buttermilk-enough to reach desired consistency (this can totally vary depending on what you like, but I’d make sure I had at least 1/2 a cup)

In a bowl combine yogurt and mayo.  Mix well.
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Add in black pepper.  If you’re me, this is the best part.  So you add a ton.
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Add in garlic and then parsley.  I add parsley cause it looks prettier.  If you have none, you can leave it out.  (And fresh parsley, finely chopped, would be extra pretty I bet)
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mix it all up.  It’s super thick
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Introduce buttermilk to your dressing.
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I love super thin ranch on salads, so homemade is great because I can control that.  Since this was for dip, I went thicker.  Whatever way you like, add a little buttermilk at a time until it’s the right consistency for you.

Taste test and add more spices if desired, and salt.
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(Taste it on something.  Mouthfuls of ranch start to taste weird fast)

It’s pretty quick to make, and if you’re picky on ranch like me, it saves you from buying bottles of weirdness and throwing them away. This is tangy, peppery, and easily adjusted to what you like.

And it lets you feel like a way better wife than you would sending your husband with a bottle of Hidden Valley.

Go Ducks?

Molasses Cookies

Do you ever fixate on a random ingredient?

I got it in my head this week that I needed molasses
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Not wanted.  NEEDED.

Something about molasses just seems so Little House in the Big Woods to me.

(That’s right, In the Big Woods-there’s no molasses on the prairie  friends)

(Last year there was a job teaching at a one room school house in Eastern Oregon, several hours from much of anything.  I kept telling the husband-who was at the time my boyfriend-that we could go “be little house n the prairie!” He said no.  Dream killer.  I should try for being Little House in the Big Woods instead.)

I bought a bottle, and then realized I had to make something with it.

The Williams Sonoma Baking cookbook is a favorite of mine.
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It gave me the best biscuit recipe I’ve made.  And I found a recipe for ginger cookies that used oil-not butter.

No butter = no mixer needed.  Score.  Wooden Spoon = even more Little House.

I changed it a bit, because I can’t leave well enough alone.  Also because I lacked crystalized ginger.  I’m pretty sure Laura wouldn’t mind.

Flour (white and WW pastry), spices
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Mix mix mix
If you measure oil then the molasses, it doesn’t stick as much.  Life lessons.  Photobucket
Then you mix up the oil, molasses, sugar and egg into something that looks a lot like tar
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Tar meets the dry ingredients
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And they become friends
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The batter was a little weird looking to me when I put it on a cookie sheet
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But they came out all lovely and pretty
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Personally, I like these best warm out of the microwave in front of my electric fireplace
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You know, just like Laura would’ve done.

Little House Molasses Cookies

Adapted from Williams Sonoma Essentials of Baking

  • 1 c each white and whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 1/2 t baking soda
  • dash of salt
  • 2 t pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 t ground ginger
  • 3/4 c oil
  • 1/2 c molasses
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 1 egg

Heat oven to 350.  Mix together the flours, spices, soda, and salt.  In a second bowl, mix the remaining ingredients.  Add the dry to the wet, and stir until thoroughly mixed.  Drop spoonfuls onto baking sheet and bake about 11 minutes.  They’ll be soft, so wait a few minutes to transfer from the baking sheet to the cooling rack.  These are extra yummy warm.

 

Who else had a pioneer obsession when they were little?  Is there anything else I can make (besides a lifetime supply of gingerbread and cookies) with molasses?

Learning to Share

I’ve said it before.  I’m not always the best at sharing.

I’m especially bad at sharing the kitchen.  My husband will try and do things in it while I’m cooking (horrible annoying things like emptying the compost, or setting up the coffee maker.)  I shoo him out because really, I just can’t share.

I’d flunk kindergarten if I went back.

But I try to share sometimes.  Because I know I should.  And because if someone else helps, they have to help put things away too.

So the other night, I let my husband make cookies with me.  Because really, I spend my days telling children to share.  I need to practice what I preach.

We mixed together butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla
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Then added egg, baking powder and soda, salt, and flour.

We used whole wheat flour
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Because we all know, if it’s whole wheat, it’s healthy!

And some peanut flour
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I’m impressed with how I opened it upside down.  Clearly I went to college.

Then oats.
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Oats are also whole grain.  So we’re basically making heath food here friends.

Chocolate and peanut butter chips
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You need peanut butter chips and peanut butter in the cookies.  It’s science.

I shared the beater with my husband
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Because it makes him happy. And because when I eat dough I think about getting salmonella.

Glooped it out
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And look what we had!
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Cookies!

And I didn’t yell at my husband ONCE!

Sharing is Caring Cookies

  • 1/2 c butter
  • 1/3 c white sugar
  • 1/3 c brown sugar
  • 1 t vanilla
  • dash of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t baking powder
  • 1/3 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/3 c peanut flour
  • 1 1/2 c oats
  • 1/3 c each peanut butter chips and chocolate chips

Cream butter sugars and vanilla

Add egg, salt, baking powder, peanut flour, and flour.  Mix.

Add oats, and chips, stir until combined.

Drop spoonfuls onto cookie sheet, and bake at 375 for about 9 minutes.

Makes about 2 dozen.
I am having some trouble sharing the cookies though.  I’ve eaten far more than my fair share.  Whoops.  Photobucket
Can you share the kitchen?  I really wish I could.  But I’m terrible at it.

I do, however, always share the dishes!  Those I am AWESOME at sharing.

Easy Peasy

When I student taught kindergarten, one of the things my cooperating teacher would say a lot was “easy peasy”

The kids would then add “lemon squeezy” and laughhh their little heads off.

She’d use the phrase after showing what they’d be doing; “so you draw a picture of the setting in the story, then write a sentence about it.  Easy Peasy”

I realized after a while, she was tricking the kids.  Not everything was easy peasy.  But the biggest thing that stops kids is thinking something will be hard.  We do it as adults too-if it seems hard, or labor intensive, or whatever else, we’re likely to try and skip it.

But if you stop thinking it’s too much, and tell yourself it’s easy peasy, you’ll be surprised how many things are, well… easy peasy lemon squeezy.

I used to rarely rarely make brownies.  They involved too many dishes-melting the butter, putting the chocolate on a double boiler. I’m a messy enough cook already, I didn’t want more to clean up.

But brownies are delicious.

So I set out to make them easy peasy.

Easy Peasy Brownies

  • 1/2 c oil
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 c white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • splash of vanilla (i pour it into the lid, i guess it’s about a teaspoon or so?)
  • dash of salt
  • 1/4 t baking powder
  • 1/3 c cocoa powder
  • 1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • about 1/2 c chopped up chocolate or mini chocolate chips

Heat the oven to 350

Mix up the oil, sugar, and vanilla
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Add eggs and stir
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Add in flour
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(Whole wheat = healthy.  So you can eat half the pan. Right?)

Cocoa powder
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(I buy the Trader Joe’s because it has a pretty canister)

Salt and baking powder. Stir.

Chop up chocolate
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or use mini chocolate chips.  The idea is to add little extra bits of delicious in there, rather than full on making chocolate chip brownies.

Mix all together, and pour into a greased square pan.

Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 25 minutes.

Easy peasy
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The best part?  It takes maybe 5 minutes to mix this up.  And if you set the tray in the freezer when it’s done, their cool enough to eat in just a few minutes.  So in under 45 minutes you have brownies.
This is extra good as the pan has a pesky habit of going from full to this Photobucket
Way too fast

What’s something you avoid doing because it feels like it’ll be to much work?

In my head the dishwasher takes foreveeeer to unload, so I always put off doing it.