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Thread: ZaGranny's Cooking Thread

  1. #1
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    Default ZaGranny's Cooking Thread

    Thought I'd start a thread of special meals. Please add your special meals to it.

    We celebrated our 30th anniversary today. I had planned to do adobo chicken tacos yesterday, and the chicken parts weren't thawed so I moved the tacos to today. Then I realized that chicken tacos weren't special enough for our anniversary. So I thawed two rib steaks, and marinated them in garlic, mustard, and soy sauce (I used our foodsaver to marinate them in a few minutes). Mr. ID grilled them, and cooked the corn on the cob in the microwave. I made a great spinach salad with shallots, yellow and red raspberries (pilfered from our neighbor's garden since she wasn't home to ask), feta cheese and a dressing made by reducing white basalmic vinegar.

    My main goal was to have a special meal without making Mr. Id go to town--and I think I succeeded.

    ZaGranny
    Formerly ID ZAGFAN--now officially ZaGranny.

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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by ZaGranny View Post

    Thought I'd start a thread of special meals. Please add your special meals to it.

    We celebrated our 30th anniversary today...


    ZaGranny
    Congratulations, ZaGranny to both you and Mr. ID ZAGFAN!!!

  3. #3
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    Default Not a meal but...

    Found this recipe in the Missoulian today!

    Icebox Blueberry Cheesecake

    Total time: 20 minutes (not including chilling time) Adapted from “Icebox Desserts” by Lauren Chattman.

    Crust

    1 1/3 cups regular or chocolate graham cracker crumbs

    5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

    1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

    3 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar

    1/8 teaspoon salt

    Filling

    1/4 cup cold water

    1 envelope (1/4 ounce) unflavored gelatin

    12 ounces (1 1/2 eight-ounce packages) reduced-fat cream cheese, softened

    1 cup heavy whipping cream

    1 3/4 cups fresh blueberries

    1 cup granulated sugar

    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

    Optional sauce

    2 pints fresh blueberries or raspberries

    1/2 cup sugar or to taste

    To make the crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl mix together all the crust ingredients. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 8 minutes or until crisp. Remove from oven and cool.

    To make the filling: Place the cold water in a heatproof bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Let soften, 2 minutes.

    In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the cream cheese, heavy cream, blueberries, sugar and lemon juice; process until smooth.

    Bring 2 inches of water to a simmer. Place the bowl of gelatin over the pan with the water and heat, whisking constantly until it just melts, about 1 minute.

    With the food processor running, pour the gelatin through the feed tube into the cheese mixture and process until smooth. Scrape into the prepared crust. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely set, about 6 hours or overnight.

    To make the sauce: In a medium bowl combine the berries and sugar and stir, mashing about half of the berries with the back of a spoon and leaving the remaining berries intact. Let stand, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. You can refrigerate this for up to 6 hours. Bring to room temperature before serving.

    Release the cake from the pan. Slice and serve the cake with the sauce on the side.

    • Makes 12 generous servings

    Nutritional information: 323 calories (50 percent from fat), 18 grams fat (10 grams sat. fat), 38 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams protein, 207 mg sodium, 55 mg cholesterol, 1 gram fiber.

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    Sounds really good! Think I will try it with Huckleberries!

    ZaGranny
    Formerly ID ZAGFAN--now officially ZaGranny.

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    Default Adobo Chicken tacos

    Well the chicken tacos I made turned out pretty special..I had gotten the recipe at foodnetwork.com/mexicanmadeeasy. The show was taco bar.

    I made a paste of guajillo chiles, onions and garlic and rubbed some chicken thighs and drums and refrigerated them for a couple of hours. (The recipe called for a whole chicken, but they didn't have a special on them, so I used what I had in the freezer.) I grilled them on direct heat until they were nicely seared, then moved them to indirect heat until they were done. And here's the easy part--chop some cilantro, slice some limes, and crumble some queso fresco. Heat tortillas, then have each person shred the chicken meat and assemble their own tacos. I had salsa out, but it was so good, we didn't need it.

    They reminded me of the tacos I ate in Mexico when I studied Spanish in Cuernavaca. The woman I stayed with made them, and also, when I went hiking up a mountain, women made them on the side of the trail.

    Muy sabrosa!

    ZaGranny
    Last edited by ZaGranny; 08-01-2013 at 12:18 PM.
    Formerly ID ZAGFAN--now officially ZaGranny.

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    ZaGranny, was it you that posted awhile ago about someone not selling herb packets you liked anymore? I saw these instructions for how to make your own the other day and thought I'd post. Congrats on 30 years together!

    How to: Freeze & Preserve Fresh Herbs in Olive Oil

    1. Choose fresh herbs from the market or your own garden.
    2. You can chop them well, or leave on branches and leaves. In the photo, the herbs are finely chopped.
    3. Place on trays of ice cubes (about 2/3 full of herbs).
    4. You can mix herbs (sage, thyme, rosemary).
    5. Place extra virgin olive oil or unsalted melted butter over the herbs.
    6. Cover with plastic and freeze.
    7. Remove frozen cubes and store in small containers or bags to freeze.
    8. Do not forget to label each container or bag with the type of herbs (and oil) inside!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzgirl_127 View Post
    ZaGranny, was it you that posted awhile ago about someone not selling herb packets you liked anymore? I saw these instructions for how to make your own the other day and thought I'd post. Congrats on 30 years together!

    How to: Freeze & Preserve Fresh Herbs in Olive Oil

    1. Choose fresh herbs from the market or your own garden.
    2. You can chop them well, or leave on branches and leaves. In the photo, the herbs are finely chopped.
    3. Place on trays of ice cubes (about 2/3 full of herbs).
    4. You can mix herbs (sage, thyme, rosemary).
    5. Place extra virgin olive oil or unsalted melted butter over the herbs.
    6. Cover with plastic and freeze.
    7. Remove frozen cubes and store in small containers or bags to freeze.
    8. Do not forget to label each container or bag with the type of herbs (and oil) inside!

    It was me. Trader Joe's sells only the basil and garlic, even though the company makes probably a dozen varieties. Thanks for posting--I'll be able to freeze my basil, thai basil and rosemary this fall.

    ZaZGranny
    Formerly ID ZAGFAN--now officially ZaGranny.

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    I wish I could add special recipes to this thread but I haven't used recipes for my special meals in years i pretty much go by feel. One of my favorite meals is Italian drip beef. People have told me Pioneer Woman has a really good recipe for Italian drip beef.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eroop22 View Post
    I wish I could add special recipes to this thread but I haven't used recipes for my special meals in years i pretty much go by feel. One of my favorite meals is Italian drip beef. People have told me Pioneer Woman has a really good recipe for Italian drip beef.
    I found her recipe, and since Safeway had a good price on chuck roast, I now have it cooking in the crock ###. She recommends cooking it the night before and cooling it to be able to get the fat off. The bonus of doing it in the crock ### (she recommends that as an alternative to 6 hours in the oven) is that the entire house is permeated with an Italian seasoning perfume--kind of a pleasant smell to go to sleep with.

    The second bonus is that tomorrow's dinner is essentially done!

    ZaGranny
    Formerly ID ZAGFAN--now officially ZaGranny.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZaGranny View Post
    I found her recipe, and since Safeway had a good price on chuck roast, I now have it cooking in the crock ###. She recommends cooking it the night before and cooling it to be able to get the fat off. The bonus of doing it in the crock ### (she recommends that as an alternative to 6 hours in the oven) is that the entire house is permeated with an Italian seasoning perfume--kind of a pleasant smell to go to sleep with.

    The second bonus is that tomorrow's dinner is essentially done!

    ZaGranny
    I hope you like it. Letting it sit overnight does make it easier to remove the fat. But I also think its one of those meals that tastes just as good if not better second day.

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    Current face in the house is Cilantro and Beer Chicken... Stolen from relatives in Ecuador...

    Finely chop onioins and peppers and sauté them in oil until they are approaching tender and set aside. Take boneless breasts and thighs and cube them up. Season with salt and pepper and I like to add paprika. Toss them into the pan you just took the onions and peppers out of. Cook just until they change color the add about 3/4 of a bottle of beer... We usually use Corona... Drink the remainder of the beer because you can... And toss onions and peppers back in and cover on medium low heat. While that is simmering chop fresh destemmed cilantro and toss it in. Leave on heat until chicken is cooked through. That is it. I'd highly recommend serving over yellow rice. I'd also recommend serving with Maduros (sweet plantains) or fried plantains.
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    Default Great left overs

    Mr. ID and I are both small eaters, so we had a lot of steak left over after our anniversary dinner, so I decided to do a steak hash.

    I cubed up some of the rare steak and browned it in butter, than I added chopped red onions, and diced partially cooked potatoes. A little salt and pepper, and when the meat and potatoes were just about done, I put three eggs on top and covered the pan until they were cooked to over easy. A little toast, and some catsup--a great breakfast.

    ZaGranny
    Formerly ID ZAGFAN--now officially ZaGranny.

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    We just had the Italian Drip Beef. It was delicious. I used Italian seasoning I mixed from an online recipe that had crushed red peppers in it--I halved them on the advice of a reviewer and it was plenty spicy. I toasted my hoagie bun with garlic butter, since I had some left from making garlic bread last night. And i used Monterey Jack cheese.

    And I have enough left over to freeze for at least 2 more meals.

    Since I made it last night, it was a super easy dinner after a tough workout at the pool.

    Great suggestion, Eroop.

    ZaGranny
    Formerly ID ZAGFAN--now officially ZaGranny.

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    Today was a day I tried to use up a lot of fresh veggies. We leave for Alaska on the 11th, and Canadian customs will not let you bring in any fresh produce--I was very sad a couple of trips ago when I had to get rid of my garlic, onions, and potatoes at the border.

    So I decided to make scalloped potatoes and ham which used the potatoes, an onion, and some cream and half and half along with some ham from the freezer. I used the Pioneer Woman's recipe. It made enough for 6 men and 2 boys, so I made 4 small casseroles and had one tonight and froze 3. I plan to take 2 with us in the motor home freezer, and leave one here for a quick dinner when we get back. It is delicious!

    http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2...atoes-and-ham/

    Then I had an ear and a half of corn and some spinach I wanted to use, so I used Rachel Ray's recipe for Garlicky Creamed corn and Spinach, which cunningly used up the corn, the spinach, some garlic and little more cream

    It was delicious, also.

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/r...ipe/index.html

    Stay tuned for tomorrow, when I use some more veggies up.

    ZaGranny
    Formerly ID ZAGFAN--now officially ZaGranny.

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    As promised, another day of cooking up veggies and leftovers, I had a half bag of carrots, some celery, and a large red onion. So I had the idea to make up a bunch of mire poix--celery, carrots, and onion cooked in olive oil and used mainly to season other dishes. I divided it into 3 and froze 2 dishes to put in the freezer in the motor home--how to make cooking on the road easy. The other third, I cooked up with the rib steak bones to make a great broth, and then a soup with some more of the left over beef and some whole wheat pasta.

    A great meal with some nice bread.

    ZaGranny
    Formerly ID ZAGFAN--now officially ZaGranny.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LongIslandZagFan View Post
    Current face in the house is Cilantro and Beer Chicken... Stolen from relatives in Ecuador...

    Finely chop onioins and peppers and sauté them in oil until they are approaching tender and set aside. Take boneless breasts and thighs and cube them up. Season with salt and pepper and I like to add paprika. Toss them into the pan you just took the onions and peppers out of. Cook just until they change color the add about 3/4 of a bottle of beer... We usually use Corona... Drink the remainder of the beer because you can... And toss onions and peppers back in and cover on medium low heat. While that is simmering chop fresh destemmed cilantro and toss it in. Leave on heat until chicken is cooked through. That is it. I'd highly recommend serving over yellow rice. I'd also recommend serving with Maduros (sweet plantains) or fried plantains.
    Are those hot peppers or bell peppers? I am going to make this tonight, so let me know. If you have any idea about amounts, let me know.

    ZaGranny
    Formerly ID ZAGFAN--now officially ZaGranny.

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    Well, I had to wing it, and it was highly successful. I used 1 1/2 lbs cubed chicken, 1 chopped Jalapeno, 1/4 each of red green, yellow and red bell peppers, chopped, and 1/2 chopped white onion. I served it with lime and cilantro rice--adapted Rachel Ray's recipe to use my method of cooking rice in the oven from a Thai cookbook.

    *2 cups boiling water poured over 1 cup rice in a baking dish that is sprayed with baking spray--cook at 350 degrees for an hour, then turn it down to 225 if the rest of your dinner (or your guests) aren't ready. Then I added 4 TB chopped cilantro, 1/4 cup lime juice and 4 TB oil.

    It was great, and I have enough left over for a couple of meals, frozen to use on the road.

    ZaGranny
    Formerly ID ZAGFAN--now officially ZaGranny.

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    I am getting ready to leave for Alaska tomorrow. Since we will go through Canada, I am roasting a bunch of jalapeños--we can take them roasted, but not fresh. After they are done I am going to roast some bell peppers and onions to freeze and take. Then I will roast 2 garlic bulbs and freeze. Lots of stuff in the motor home freezer to cook with on the road...and no throwing them away at the border.

    ZaGranny
    Formerly ID ZAGFAN--now officially ZaGranny.

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    Last night for our out-of-town guests, I cooked bison burgers with tomatoes and lettuce, Spring Macaroni Salad (with onions, cheese cubes, thawed frozen peas sweet pickles, mayonnaise, salt pepper), and Ina Garten's brownies baked in mini-iron skillets with ice cream. If you don't have the mini skillets, use a muffin tin, but these are really cute, and you can serve them hot right in the skillet. And as a bonus, after I splurged on the skillets, I realized that by hanging them under one of my cupboards, I could disguise all of the ugly cords (crock ###, can opener, etc.) I have hanging from a power strip built into the cupboard. I made 6 brownies rather than the 5 in the recipe. I make the batter in the morning and refrigerate it, then take them out an hour before I plan to bake them.

    http://www.barefootcontessa.com/reci...cipeID=848&S=0

    If you have tried to grill bison burgers and they fall apart, look at the directions at this website.

    http://www.bisonbasics.com/recipes/b...sonburger.html

    I followed them for the medium rare, but made 6 instead of 5 out of the 2 lbs. These are way bigger than I usually eat, so I had half of mine for dinner tonight, and Mr. ID had the extra one.

    It was a really popular meal with our guests from Florida.

    ZaGranny
    Formerly ID ZAGFAN--now officially ZaGranny.

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    Default Two easy meals while traveling

    While we were in the Fairbanks RV Park, I noticed the manager had an herb garden with some great basil and parsley. So I planned two easy meals--I got some smoked Alaska salmon, a shallot, a mini bottle of cognac, and cream to make a great smoked salmon pasta with the parsley. I served it last night over penne.

    Then this morning chopped some tomatoes from my sister's garden, added some garlic, slivered basil, olive oil, salt and peppers, and let the flavors marry all day into an uncooked pasta sauce. I thawed some shrimp and marinated them in lemon, lime, garlic and olive oil with basil. Going to grill them, and serve fusilli with the pasta sauce and and the grilled shrimp.

    ZaGranny
    Formerly ID ZAGFAN--now officially ZaGranny.

  21. #21
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    Default Our first meal of Mr. ID's salmon

    Mr. ID caught 12 salmon and had them frozen and shipped home. (Actually that is over simplifying -- three guys got 36 salmon in two days. Mr. ID shipped the first 12 home, and my brother in law kept the second 12, and the third guy kept 6 from the 1st day and 6 from the second. It was so crazy, nobody really knew who caught what.)

    Anyway, I wanted to try it, so we thawed a small filet. I brushed it with lemon juice, olive oils, S & P, and chopped parsley from the RV park in Fairbanks. Then Mr. ID grilled it.

    I made a salad with orzo and frozen peas, sliced shallot, parsley from the RV park, basil ( from my planter), olive oil, lemon juice and S & P. I chilled it just a bit while the salmon was grilling.

    It was outstanding! Fish always tastes better when you catch it yourself (or somebody you know does). Fast freezing and immediate shipping helps. We arranged for our neighbor to be at the house when it arrived, and put it immediately into our freezer. A freezer full of salmon is a beautiful sight!

    ZaGranny
    Formerly ID ZAGFAN--now officially ZaGranny.

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    Default Bison Chili on the wood stove

    So here I was, in the middle of a power outage, wondering what I could cook for dinner on our wood stove. Luckily, I still had all the ingredients for Bison Chili in the motor home from our trip to Houston, so I sent Mr. ID out to "shop" in the motor home. (We had little gas in the motor home to run the generator and little propane for the stove, after our trip, so I couldn't cook out there.)

    Ingredients:

    2 tbs. olive oil
    1 lb. ground bison
    1 large chopped onion
    1 can black beans (sometimes I use chili beans or kidney beans or one of each)
    1 can chopped tomatoes
    1 can tomato soup
    1/2 can black olives halved*
    1 small can chopped mild green chiles
    1 tbsp. chili powder or to taste
    1 tbsp. ancho chili pepper or to taste
    salt and pepper to taste

    I heated the olive oil and then browned the burger--time consuming because it was still frozen, added the onion and cooked awhile, then added everything else and cooked on the wood stove.

    The power was off for an hour and 50 minutes. When it came back on, I moved the chili to the stove to simmer for a half hour.

    *Magic way to halve olives, cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, grapes etc: put them between 2 lids--cottage cheese, sour cream, or pyrex container--whatever you have. Then run your knife between the lids. I learned this on the food network.

    I also grated some cheese and saved a few chopped onions to put in the bowls before I put in the chili. I am heating flour tortillas by putting them in foil on top of the dutch oven. (Can't believe they won't let me say ###!)

    Dinner should be ready in about 15 minutes.

    ZaGranny
    Last edited by ZaGranny; 09-28-2013 at 08:48 PM. Reason: I forgot a couple of things.
    Formerly ID ZAGFAN--now officially ZaGranny.

  23. #23
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    Default Soups

    I've been busy cooking and freezing it so we'll have quick meals when we bring home baby #2 in November. Last week I made chili and spaghetti sauce for my husband, this week I'm making soups for my little boy. Yesterday I made chicken noodle. I'm going to make Potato Soup and a Chicken & Gnocchi knockoff in the next few days. I'm not sure which I'll tackle first, or if I'll try to do them both on the same day since they use the same base.

    Potato Soup
    8 slices of bacon fried until crispy, drained on paper towel and later crumbled (Reserve 3 Tbsp of fat from the bacon)
    1 large onion coarsely chopped
    6 large potatoes peeled and diced (cut 1 extra potato into small pieces to cook separately and mix into after soup is finished, I also cook some cubed carrots separately)
    5 cups chicken broth
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/2 cup sour cream

    1. Put 5 C chicken broth into large stockpot, add 3 Tbsp of the reserved bacon fat, add coarsely chopped onion, and salt and simmer for about 20-30 min. until the potatoes can be mashed against the side of the pan.
    2. At same time cook the small potato and carrot cubes in a separate p0t until tender and then drail.
    3. Remove large p0t from heat and use a wand blender to blend potatoes to a smooth broth. Then add in sour cream and blend again.
    4. Lastly add in the separately cubed potatoes And crumbled 8 slices of bacon and stir. Reheat on stove top. I sometimes skip the bacon and put ham in instead because the bacon tends to become chewier than I like it.

    Chicken and Gnocchi
    Make the same potato/broth base as the above recipe's Steps 1 & 3
    Boil package of gnocchi and bake chicken and chop into small pieces, throw both into p0t and heat thoroughly
    Lightly steam spinach (as soon as I throw it in the p0t of boiling water I turn off the heat, stir and drain), stir into soup at end of cooking.

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    Both of those sound great! I think I will do some this week. I love to have home made soups and and casseroles in the freezer for quick meals.

    ZaGranny
    Formerly ID ZAGFAN--now officially ZaGranny.

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    I cooked one of my favorite meals tonight--Thai Basil Chicken. It was a perfect storm in the kitchen. 1. I needed to cook white meat, since we had had so much beef and liver in the last week. 2. I have a basil plant which was getting really leggy, and I needed to pinch it off. 3. I had some leftover rice, which I knew would heat up perfectly in the micro-wave.

    Start cooking your rice using your favorite method.

    3 or 4 tablespoons seeded and finely chopped canned green chiles
    2 tablespoons soy sauce
    1 teaspoon each vinegar and sugar
    1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
    1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
    1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
    About 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
    2 cloves garlic, chopped
    1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into 1/4 by 2 inch strips
    1 large onion, cut in thin slices

    Mix together chiles, soy, sugar, vinegar, basil, mint, cornstarch. Set aside.

    Heat skillet or wok. Add half the oil. When it is hot, add garlic and half the chicken and stir-fry until the chicken is opaque (about 3 minutes). Remove form pan and set aside. Repeat with remaining chicken, adding oil if needed.
    Add to first batch of chicken. Reheat pan and add 1 tablespoon of oil and the sliced onion. Stir-fry until the onion is limp, about 1 minute. Add chile mixtures and return chicken to the pan. Stir until sauce boils and thickens slightly (about a minute).

    Serve over rice.

    ZaGranny
    Formerly ID ZAGFAN--now officially ZaGranny.

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