Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I'm So Far Behind!

The Hubs and I have been so busy (and lazy)lately that we have been eating out a lot. We buy groceries, then end up throwing stuff out because we just don't eat it up fast enough. Well, the other day when we got ANOTHER milk delivery and realized how far behind I am in using stuff up I decided that I was going to pull out everything that needed to be used up and USE IT. So this posting and the next will be dedicated to using up everything in my refrigerator before it has to be thrown away.
Here are some of the ingredients I have to work with today........Buttermilk, eggs, hard boiled eggs, bacon, ground turkey, asagio cheese, parmesan cheese, romano cheese, sour cream, and an acorn squash.

I know your all saying..........hard boiled eggs why does she have a bag of hard boiled eggs??? Family reunion, deviled eggs! Yes, folks you can buy already boiled and peeled eggs are your local restaurant supply store. I buy them at Cash and Carry here in the Seattle area. It makes putting together deviled eggs for a crowd a lot easier. Not to mention people think your a freakin Super Martha for making that many deviled eggs. I'm not going to tell them I didn't cook and peel them all. You will of course have 190 of them but who cares! It's not a party until the deviled eggs come out! We didn't use all the eggs, I have 1 dozen that needs to be used up. These babies have a 3 month shelf life. I bet they are really good for us!

So I started with bacon..........Just cooked it all up. I have a hard time not eating it all when I do this. I did manage to save a few pieces. Here is a little something I learned with years of bacon consumption(that everyone else probably knew already) that I'll pass on to you. I use center cut bacon for precooking and reheating, or using on sandwiches. Center cut doesn't seem to get super hard when cold and it stays crisp even after reheating. Thick cuts (Fletcher's my most favorite) isn't a good one for cooling and using again. It gets super hard and stays that way. It turns in to a tooth breaker.

Next..........so I don't have to wash a pan because I'm super lazy........I'm going to make a spinach, bacon, mushroom, cheese crustless quiche. I make these a lot to use up cheeses, meats or veggies. I find that no crust quiche is easier (DAH!), it keeps better because it doesn't get soggy, and.....well sometimes I'm just too lazy to make crust. I don't measure when I cook so if you need an exact recipe...............sorry! Walk on the wild side.........just start throwing stuff in a pan. It's fun! You know what flavors you like together, just start experimenting. I have made some really nasty tasting quiches and they have gone from the cooling rack to the garbage. It's all a learning process.

In the same pan that I cooked the bacon (draining out most of the grease) I threw in half a chopped onion (sweet or white works best), and what was left of some mushrooms I found in the back of the fridge. Sauteed them together in the bacon grease (I added a little more along with what was left in the pan) until tender, put in a little garlic powder and then threw in a small package of thawed drained(half ass drained) spinach. Let this all cook, saute or whatever you want to call it together until you don't have any liquid left in the pan from what didn't drain off the spinach. Then put in crumbled bacon. Set aside to cool

Next whisk together your eggs. I used about 10 eggs for a 10" deep dish pie plate. I chopped some provolone and Swiss cheese that were floating around in the fridge. I also had about 1/4 of a bag of shredded cheddar cheese that I threw in.
Whisk eggs good, throw in chopped cheese, add a little pepper and whatever other spices you want to use. Spray your pie plate or quiche dish with some non stick spray, put in your mixture from the fry pan (it needs to be pretty cooled so it doesn't cook your eggs) then dump your egg and cheese mixture over the top. Mix it up a little and bake.Bake at 350 for about a half hour or 45 minutes. Until it's golden brown or when you slice the middle with a knife you don't have any liquid coming up. SUPER EASY! This is great for breakfast and lunch. I know The Hubs will take a slice of this every morning with him to work for breakfast. I like it with a little salsa on it.

I had to take a little slice out and try it.

Next up on the cooking list..............Acorn squash.

This is a recipe I found in one of my FAVORITE magazines Hobby Farm Home But as usual I didn't measure and had to make some modifications. So I'm giving you the original recipe first then I'll show you what I did.

Food & Kitchen - Baked, Stuffed Acorn Squash
Celebrate the harvest with a recipe for baked, stuffed acorn squash.
1 medium acorn squash, halved and seeded
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 lb. ground beef or turkey
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
Parmesan cheese
Preparation Place squash halves face down in a baking pan filled with H-inch of water. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender (easily pierced with sharp knife). Cool until comfortable to the touch. While squash is cooling, sauté onions in olive oil until translucent. Add ground meat and cook until no pink remains; remove from heat. Scoop some of the squash into a large bowl, but leave enough in the shell to help the squash hold its shape. Mash removed squash with a fork. Add ground meat mixture, bread crumbs and poultry seasoning; mix well. Scoop mixture back into squash shells. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees F until cheese is lightly browned. Serves 2.

Here's my half ass lazy cook version.................
I just cut the squash in half, threw a little salt and pepper on it and baked them on the center rack at 350 until it was fork tender. No dish, no water, just threw them in the oven.

When done I cut is on a grid so it would be easy to scoop out. Being careful to not cut through the skin.

Remember my frying pan that I did bacon in???? I'm using it again because I'm too lazy to wash it and it's just going to get it dirty again. I did wipe it out with a paper towel before starting this next cooking step................I'm going to cook up the ground turkey. First I used a little of the bacon grease that I drained off the bacon to (I come from a long line of bacon grease users, it makes everything good) saute the other half of the chopped onion I had in that little bit of bacon grease until it was tender. Then I threw in the ground turkey with some poultry seasoning, salt and pepper.

NUMMY! Can you smell it? I tried to capture that for you.

I divided the turkey in half because it's too much for just 2 halves of the acorn squash. I put the other half in a container in the fridge to use later. I'll probably mix it with BBQ sauce one night, put it on onion rolls with some provolone or Swiss cheese melted on it and call it dinner. Or....mix it in some casserole.

Back to the ground turkey in the pan...........

I mixed in 1 can of chicken stock, some bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, more poultry seasoning and the flesh of the squash.

We never finish a loaf of bread before it gets stale so I make bread crumbs out of it when I can. I always have a plethora of bread crumbs that need to used up.

The can of chicken stock just seems to make it a little more moist. The first time I made it, it was a little dry for me. So you mix it all together and stuff it back in the squash skins and top with more Parmesan cheese. If you have a crowd to feed this would work well as a casserole too.
Bake until golden brown and heated all the way through.

WAHLA!!! Dinner at home tonight!

So I have to tell ya, I had this big ole fantasy about being able to do this fantastic step by step with the recipes and pictures like some of these other fantastic blog ladies do. My fantasy was that hopes that I would get discovered(the next Paula Deen) by someone for my hidden talent of cooking.

SHIT! It's too hard! I can't take good pictures, I don't follow recipes exactly, and........well it's just too hard, takes twice the amount of time and is just a lot of work! Next time you read a blog that has lovely pictures and exact step by step instructions.............APPRECIATE IT! It's harder then it looks.

Next up................Chocolate Buttermilk Cake.........First time making this recipe.


1 c. butter (2 sticks butter)

2 1/4 c. sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

2 c. buttermilk

1/2 c. cocoa

3 c. flour, sifted

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

Cream butter; add sugar gradually and beat until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, then add vanilla. Sift dry ingredients together and add alternately with buttermilk to creamed mixture. Pour batter into 3 (9 inch) layer pans which have been lightly greased and floured. bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in pan 5 to 8 minutes. Finish cooling on racks then frost with the following (or your favorite icing).

2 1/2 c. sugar

1 c. evaporated milk

6 oz. chocolate chips

1 c. marshmallow cream

1/2 c. butter
Cook sugar and evaporated milk to the soft-ball stage. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients. Stir until all ingredients are melted and well blended. Frost between layers as well as top and sides, frosting top last.

I didn't make the frosting because I didn't have any marshmallow cream and The Hubs and I are big fans of warm cake and milk.

Butter and sugar mixing together. For this recipe I'm just giving you a few pictures because when I bake........it's a mess and I don't measure precisely like your suppose to. Martha would have a stroke watching me!

Folks do as the recipe says not as I do.
WAHLA! Chocolate Buttermilk Cake batter! The batter is really good

I know your suppose to grease and flour the pans but that's a lot of work. My mom always did it this way and it seems to work. Spray pan with cooking spray and line with wax paper. When cake has completely cooled, flip it out, and peel the paper off, and flip it back in the pan. This is a skill! It does work every time. IF YOU LET IT COOL COMPLETELY

I know I know I know!

This cake looks like crap! I didn't (couldn't) wait until it was cooled all the way. I flipped it out, it broke in half and I had to do some quick fixin. But we had cake while it was still warm! My main goal was to get some buttermilk used up and this cake used a lot with it's 2 cups.

I thought the cake was FABULOUS! Super moist, very crumbly, and just damn good! The Hubs didn't think it was sweet enough. He thought it had a good chocolate flavor but didn't have the sweetness he was looking for (he's so use to me, the sweetest thing on earth!) is what was reported after the empty plate was put on the counter. I'm guessing if one was to make the frosting recipe that went with this cake it would have been sweet enough for him. If you try it let me know how it is. I'm probably going to make this recipe again in a couple days with the frosting and send it to work with The Hubs.

Sooooooooooo next up..........................Orange Cranberry Scones

These will be featured on the next posting! They are very good and The Hubs most favorite!


Amber Rose said...

You are a cooking machine!! I was given 5 dozen eggs on Sunday..I think I will be a copy cat and make quiche for dinner tonight!! Thanks!

Donna said...

I can vouch for the the stuffed acorn squash - I had it at Timi's one night - it's freakin awesome!!!!

Wow girl, you've been busy!!

Donna said...

I forgot - what about the pumpkin chocolate chip scones???