Keurig coffee – wonderful. The K-cup – not so much. Concern about the plastic coffee pods started almost as soon as the Keurig coffee maker came on the market. Each one is very small. But add up one household’s consumption, then another’s, in a week, a month. Doesn’t take long to have a mountain of them.
Coffee pod manufacturers responded. You can now buy many types of pods packaged various ways. They are recyclable and compostable, in part or whole. But you have to read the box, and the pods…
The other night, my husband said he was going to make pizza. What kind, he asked. Pineapple and ham, I said without hesitation. They’re small, he said, so anything else? Pepperoni and pineapple. That’s what Sam Panopoulos likes…
Several years ago, my husband grew beets and decided to pickle and can them… He printed labels for the jars: $40 Beets. He said he’d calculated that is what each jar cost him in time spent… This year he moved on, with a new garden, to freezing…
These beautiful little eggs are from my great nephew’s Phoenix hens. They’re maybe half the size of a large supermarket egg. But they’re twice as flavourful. I think that has more to do with the fact that the hens live a normal chicken life instead of being in a small cage in a battery chicken farm. These hens live in an outdoor coop with a run so they can move and peck and do normal chicken things…
I’m a self-taught cook, and not a great one. But I enjoy it, find it relaxing (usually) and like to experiment. I have cookbooks and use them, but also know you can take ingredients and come up with something delicious and all your own. When you do, write down what you did so you can make it again!…
It’s not hard preserving food and doesn’t have to be especially time-consuming. You can freeze, can or dry foods for use later. It’s a good way to make use of harvest time when local foods are plentiful and cheap…
My mother-in-law made us a book of family recipes. One is her mother’s recipe for cream cheese, olives and nuts sandwich spread. I made it only recently. Oh, l regret those wasted years!
This recipe is Elizabeth (McDonald) Smock’s, written down by her daughter Marji Stewart (my late mother-in-law). It is Elizabeth’s grandson who is cooking the Swiss steak here.
This asparagus and cheese casserole is my mother-in-law’s recipe. It was one of her potluck favourites because it travels well and easily warms up in a microwave. And if it can’t be warmed up, it still tastes good.
A can of tuna and presto, you’ve got fish cakes. Quick and easy, they make a simple or dressed up dinner or lunch. Tuna, bread crumbs, an egg, and onion. That’s all you need.
One thing I thank a long ago boyfriend for is introducing me to ratatouille. He used the Joy of Cooking recipe, but added ground beef and cumin. Both are equally, but differently, delicious…
When only a giant zucchini will do: to make zucchini noodles. Zoodles some call them. Use them the same way you use pasta. They taste great, and they are gluten free, wheat free and carb free.
A zucchini that escaped, hiding under foliage in order to grow huge. Stuff it. With what? What about a cheese stuffing? Something light and summery. Light, soft cheese. Maybe egg too.
In my never-ending spring search for things to do with rhubarb, I found a Robin Hood Flour cobbler recipe in my recipe scrapbook. A cobbler has fruit on the bottom with a cake-like topping.
Any time is avocado time, but sunny summer days especially. Here are two really easy side dishes. One maybe unfamiliar, one you know. Avocado half with oil and vinegar, and guacamole.
Beef stew is one of the easiest things to make. Brown meat cubes, add veggies and liquid and let it cook slowly. Plan on a couple of hours of cooking time. A one-pot meal or served on rice or noodles.
With salad or garlic bread on the side, tamale pie makes a perfect winter’s night meal. It’s a Tex-Mex type of shepherd’s pie or baked polenta with tomato sauce.
I made baked cauliflower cheese with cherry tomatoes for supper one night. It was so pretty that I had to take a picture. It tasted so good that I made it again right away while I could remember how I did it.
Basil is easy to grow, and each plant produces a lot. So make pesto with that abundance. On its own, it’s a light sauce for pasta or a topping for baked potatoes.
Fruit Crumble is one of the easiest desserts to make – and very, very delicious. This one is rhubarb and black cherries. The recipe comes from the Joy of Cooking.
“Hi Dorothy… I also checked the part with the recipes and decided that one is missing.” A comment posted by a friend, with his recipe. Photos followed. Wunderbar!
This stove-top macaroni and cheese recipe from James Thorne’s Simple Cooking is the best ever. I’ve made mac & cheese a lot of different ways, and love this one. It is easy and consistently good.
Got huge zucchinis? Stuff them. Here is how my husband makes them using left-over spaghetti sauce. The quantities below are for one 10 in/25 cm zucchini.
The trick to fluffy steamed rice, with grains nicely separated, is wash it first. Put the amount of uncooked rice you want in a pot and add water.
KD is the ultimate comfort food/fast food, especially for Canadians (says Wikipedia) who have grown up on it since it came on the market in the 1930s.
My niece: I was making Gramma’s corned beef pasta stuff and couldn’t remember if potatoes went in! Me: I dunno. My niece: All is well, it turned out ok. :) Me: How’d you do it?
My dog Jack loved carrots. For his 7th birthday, I made him a carrot cake from my mother-in-law’s recipe. He, and we, loved it. The cat too. While I was giving the birthday boy his cake, she was eating mine!
This is essentially homemade Beefaroni. This was what I liked best that Mom made. I’ve recreated this recipe from what Mom told me: “you cook macaroni and hamburg, pour in tomato juice and heat it.”
If you’re vegetarian or not, TVP is your friend. TVP is short for ‘textured vegetable protein’. It’s a soy product that looks like bacon bits or small cat kibble. You can buy it in most grocery or bulk food stores.
This is a really easy, fast and light meal. Once, while a friend and I were talking, I had the veggies sliced, everything mixed and the dish in the oven before she even realized I’d started preparing dinner.
Years ago, a friend and I used to go the Newfoundland Hotel’s main dining room, the fancy one, for one thing. Caesar salad. The waiter would come with a trolley filled with the makings and create it at the table.
This is my mother-in-law’s recipe and it’s the best meatloaf I have ever tasted. The addition of pork makes it juicier than those made with beef only. Marji used a cast iron skillet to bake it, I like a loaf pan.
My sister told me an easy way to make pickled eggs. She uses a large jar with a regular style lid because they go through them quickly. If you figure you’ll have yours longer, use a jar with a sealer lid.
Bought a juicer. A Cuisinart, on sale. More precisely, it’s a juice extractor. Fruit or vegetables go in, spin around while little blades separate the pulp from the juice. First to go in is rhubarb.
Apples left over from a good crop this year from our trees. Maybe apple chutney? I found a recipe I liked, myheartbeets Instant Pot Indian Apple Chutney. I used a regular saucepan – perfect!
An excellent medium tomato salsa. You can make it chunky or smooth, hot or mild. The tomato sauce and paste give it a nice, thick texture. You can make it to eat straight away or can it – or do both.
I’ve always liked dill pickles, but I didn’t like homemade ones. They just didn’t have the crunch. Then I tried dills that Helen Erskine made. Wow! Helen asked me ‘what is it, dear?’ It’s good, that’s what it is!
It’s hard to find a recipe for these pickles that doesn’t include sliced onion, even green pepper. I like only cucumber in them, like the store-bought kind. So I adapted a good recipe I found online.
Making apple jelly is like making any other fruit jelly except you don’t need to add pectin. Apples have loads of pectin. Basically, just add sugar and lemon juice to the apple juice and boil until it gels.
It’s been a good year for our apple trees. Different kinds – red, yellow, crab and not. Why couldn’t I make apple juice? Cook and strain, just like I did for rhubarb juice. I googled and, yep, you can.
Last summer, looking at my still flourishing rhubarb patch, a friend said “We used to make rhubarb juice.” Really? Just cook it down a bit and strain it, she said. So I did. It’s like pink lemonade, only better.
If God has blessed you with so much zucchini that even the chickens run away when they see you coming, here is one solution. Grill and freeze. It’s easy and is great in tomato sauce or casseroles.
If you’ve been watching your rhubarb plant get bigger and bigger but you don’t feel like making a pie or jam, here’s what you can do. Just cook the rhubarb. Eat it as is, use it as a topping, can or freeze it.
Making jelly is more time consuming than jam. I hadn’t done it in a long time and never with rhubarb. With this recipe from Bernardin the canning people, it is easy and the jelly is excellent.
Freezing is probably the easiest way to prepare a supply of tomatoes. In season, buy a large quantity of them or grow your own. And look in the reduced food bin for bags of tomatoes priced for quick sale.
Entertaining with Ease – or not
Years ago when I knew something about cooking but not about dinner parties, I wanted to have one. We were renovating a house. The kitchen was ripped apart. We cooked on a two-burner Coleman stove.
When you’re making a meal, buy the right parts and remember all of it. I cooked dinner for friends. Roast beef, potatoes and carrots roasted with it, gravy, green beans. I bought eye of round roast. No fat – good!
When I was young and foolish, I invited a young man I was trying to impress for dinner. He liked liver. I didn’t. But I decided to make liver for him, despite not even knowing how it should taste.
Author of Entertaining at Home With Ease, Dr. Marjorie Stewart (my late mother-in-law), says making dinner parties easy for yourself makes it easy for everyone. Prepare beforehand and involve guests.
My partner and I were alone one Christmas. We realized a few of our friends would be too so we invited them for Christmas dinner – “bring anyone”. We thought probably eight total. Ha!