cheddar, garlic, and dill biscuits

Savory bread is the bomb.
I know people don’t say the bomb anymore, but it really is.
Honestly, I don’t even know what people say anymore. I’m getting old. (Please enlighten me, Internet).
Anyway.
These biscuits are savory and cheesy and delicious and EASY to whip up. Even in the wild rumpus of dinner-making madness. Also, they pair perfectly with Fire-Roasted Cream-Of-Tomato Soup or Roasted Acorn Squash Soup. Either one. Both. NOMNOM. The bomb.
Sorry.
I’m old.

CHEDDAR GARLIC AND DILL BISCUTS

This is one of those recipes that works best with a few extra tools, though they aren’t necessary. If you have a stand mixer, definitely use it. It will save your arms. Also one of those nifty scoops. What do you call these, even?

 They release the dough which is soft and super-sticky, in a nice neat dollop on your baking pan. —I like as little as mess as possible.

1 cup butter, softened
2 heaping teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons onion flakes
1 teaspoon dill weed
1 teaspoon garlic
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
2 3/4 cup flour
1 3/4 cup whole milk

In a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, blend dry ingredients and cut in softened butter until well incorporated. Add milk and mix vigorously until a very soft dough forms and all of the dry ingredients are completely blended.

Scoop dough in roughly two-inch sized dollops onto a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-22 minutes, or until golden brown across the top.

Keep in an air-tight container as they will dry out quickly.

 

root-veggie pot pie

I love meals you can make in advance, either days in advance or mere hours.
Basically I love meals that make the dinner hour a little easier. Because at my house it is typically “the bewitching hour” —that mysterious time of day when everyone is transitioning from physical location and varying degrees of emotional stability. (Getting home from school/going to activities, getting home from work/going to meetings, getting up from naps/going to fall-apart on the floor, etc).

That said, even if your house boasts a considerably more calm dinner hour, this recipe is particularly tasty, easy to make, good for you, and pretty. All the necessary qualifications for a great meal.
Enjoy!

ROOT VEGGIE POT PIE 

1 large rutabaga (peeled and cubed)
2 sweet potatoes (peeled and cubed)
3 parsnips (peeled and cubed)
4 large carrots (peeled and cubed)
3 turnips (peeled and cubed)
1 cup + vegetable broth
1 onion, (peeled and diced)
1 teaspoon diced garlic
3 tablespoons clarified butter
salt and pepper top taste

CRUST:
1  3/4 Cup flour + 2 tablespoons (or as needed should the dough be too moist).
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil

Start with this pie crust recipe and method. Mix it up, use the waxed-paper method to roll out and fit the bottom crust to the pie plate, and set it aside.
I use this recipe and method for every pie I make—sweet, savory, fruit, cream, or otherwise. It’s the only fail-proof pie crust recipe I’ve ever found and I’ll love it forever.

Once all of your root vegetables are peeled and cubed, melt butter in a large fry pan, add garlic and diced onion, and sauté until caramelized.
Then add all of the cubed root veggies, about 1/2 cup vegetable broth, cover, and simmer until broth is absorbed by the veggies. Add the rest of the broth, cover again, and cook. Veggies should be fork-tender by the time the remainder of the broth is absorbed. Feel free to adjust quantity of broth as needed. It will vary a bit based on the size of your veggies. Ultimately, your vegetables need to be tender enough to pierce with a fork but not mushy as they will continue to cook once inside the pie.

Once the veggies are ready and all of the broth is absorbed, sprinkle salt and pepper over the cooked vegetables until the flavor is to your liking. Then gently scrape the vegetable from the pan into the prepared crust. Roll out and fit the top crust to the pie using the waxed-paper method. Trim and crimp the edges, lightly sprinkle to top with salt and pepper, and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for about 40 minutes—until the crust is golden brown across the top.

Allow to rest and cool slightly for about 40 minutes. This will help the juices be re-absorbed into the cooked vegetables rather than spilling out of your crust when you cut into the pie.

Serve warm.

 

fire-roasted cream-of-tomato-soup

I love food with history—food that invokes a memory, both with its preparation and its enjoyment. This particular soup recipe comes with story and memory and a long history for me. It was passed down from my great-grandmother, to my grandmother, to my mother, and to me. It has some inherited some variations along the way, specifically in regard to the tomatoes.

(It can be easier to pick up a couple cans at the grocery than it is to head down to the cellar and grab a couple jars off the shelf from last summer’s canning session —as my great-grandmother did. I love canning and tomatoes are definitely on that list, but for this recipe, feel free to get yours at the grocery store, unless you happen to have a few Ball canning jars of summer’s bounty tucked away).

I have this distinct memory of my mom with her hands on her hips, my sisters and I lined up in front of her, while the classic question was posed:
“What should we have for lunch, girls?”
I was probably no more than nine or ten at the time. But I remember the smile on her face when she suggested, with a mysterious grin, “How about Cream-of-tomato soup?”
At that point, we had never had cream of tomato soup, but the look on her face told us it would be wonderful, so we agreed happily and helped as she pulled out a saucepan, a couple cans of tomatoes, whole cream, garlic, onion, butter, and cheese. And I distinctly remember thinking, this is how memories are made.
So from my family to yours,
Enjoy!

3 cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons clarified butter
1 teaspoon diced garlic
1 teaspoon diced onion
3 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette
3/4 cup cream
salt and pepper to taste

In a sauce pan melt butter over med-high heat. Add the garlic and onion and simmer until both caramelize and begin to brown. Open tomatoes and empty all three in the the pan with the garlic, onion, and butter. Stir to combine. Add broth and heat through. Turn off heat and balsamic and cream. Stir and taste. Adjust salt and pepper to liking.
Serve hot the grated cheddar on top (and with a side of grilled cheese!)

sweet potato hash with a soft egg

Potatoes and eggs are usually the ubiquitous American breakfast food, but if eating clean has taught me anything, it’s that anything can sub-in when it comes to meal norms. And this ‘typical’ breakfast food works just as well for dinner. Especially if you throw in a grilled steak topped with arugula, or something similar.

But for today, this was breakfast. And it was beautiful.
You can mix up the sides endlessly because sweet potatoes play nice with so many flavors and textures. Salad . . . fresh fruit . . . crudités . . .pickled beets . . . a few slices of uncured salami . . . there really is no end to the options.
In my case, it was yellow tomatoes and a slightly overripe avocado.
Hey, whatever works!
Enjoy.

SWEET POTATO HASH WITH A SOFT EGG

1 peeled and shredded sweet potato
1 teaspoon onion flakes
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 eggs
salt and pepper to taste

Peel and grate/shred one sweet potato and set aside.

In a skillet over med/high-high, heat olive oil until hot (but not smoking). toss in onion flakes and allow them to caramelize. Then toss in grated sweet potato and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Turn to coat with olive oil and allow the heat to brown the edges before scraping the pan, turning again, and allowing to brown once more. Scrape and brown the potato until it begins to crisp. Then, with a spoon, hollow out two “nests” in the bed of hash and crack one egg into each nest.

Slide the skillet into a 400-degree, preheated oven and bake the hash and eggs until the egg yokes are covered with a thin while film and the whites are firm.

Remove from oven and plate with fruit, veggies, or meat.

 

garlicky chicken and fresh tomato scramble

You know when you’re so hungry because you forgot to eat breakfast or plan for lunch and it’s 2pm and you’re ready to eat your arm?
Yah. Good times.
Well, this one’s for you.
Prep and cook time: 10 minutes flat. Boom.
You can eat and just tuck that Hangry back in a little.
The world is safe for another day.
I love how a good scramble can do that. *wink*
Enjoy!

GARLICKY CHICKEN AND FRESH TOMATO SCRAMBLE

 Note: This recipe is super versatile. Fresh out of chicken? Turkey works. Or pork. Or last night’s steak. Or even a can of tuna. Not a meat person? No biggie. Leave it out.

Meat of some kind, about 1/2 a cup, or not! (See note above).
1 fresh tomato
1 teaspoon diced garlic
1 teaspoon onion flakes
Pepper to taste
1 teaspoon clarified butter

In a frying pan over medium heat, melt butter and toss in meat. Turn and coat and then toss in garlic, onion, and diced tomato. Simmer and mix until everything is heated through and smells AMAZING. Crack two eggs right into the pan, and using a spatula mix it around a little to combine all the ingredients. Then allow the whole thing to cook, covered, for about three minutes or until everything has set. You shouldn’t have any runny eggs.
Serve hot with your favorite fruit or veggie.

 

skillet-baked lemon-garlic chicken breast with sautéed arugula and spinach

“Winner winner chicken dinner.”
That phrase originated, or so the tale goes, from a chicken dinner served in Las Vegas that used to cost less than $2.00. The usual bet at the time was $2.00, so when you won, you could afford the chicken dinner. Hence “Winner, winner, chicken dinner!” 

This particular recipe costs less than $2.00 a serving, and considering how good it tastes, I’d say that definitely makes whomever cooks and eats this particular recipe, a winner.
So, there you have it. Congratulations!
Enjoy!

SKILLET BAKED LEMON-GARLIC CHICKEN BREAST
WITH SAUTÉED ARUGULA AND SPINACH

4 chicken breasts
2 cups fresh arugula
2 cups fresh spinach
1 teaspoon clarified butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

for the marinade:
1 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh garlic
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons white cooking wine

In a glass dish with a lid, (or a gallon-sized ziplock bag) mix up the marinade and immerse chicken breasts. Allow them to soak, refrigerated, for 8 to 12 hours.

Heat your oven to 400-degrees and warm a large cast-iron skillet. Drizzle in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until the pan is well-coated and then lay the marinated chicken breasts evenly in the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven, turn the chicken, sprinkle the other side with salt and pepper, and return to the oven for another 10-to-15 minutes, or until the breasts begin to brown.

Will the chicken is finishing, melt clarified butter in a pan over med-high heat and toss in arugula and spinach. sprinkle lightly with salt and toss again until the greens begin to wilt. Remove from heat and plate with finished chicken.

roasted acorn squash soup

I very nearly destroyed dinner last night.
This happens to me sometimes when I forgot that I put something in the oven and it overcooks. In a big way.
Fortunately, I was cooking squash. And squash are redeemable. I mean, with a name like squash, they almost have to be, right?

They were going to be a side dish, but instead they became the main dish. And it was serendipity all around. —A happy accident. And also delicious. Worthy of sharing.
Enjoy!

ROASTED ACORN SQUASH SOUP

IMG_0244

2 medium-large acorn squash
32oz/1 qt chicken broth
1 15oz can of whole-fat coconut milk
1 tsp onion flakes
1 teaspoon fresh garlic
3/4 teaspoon of salt (moire or less, depending on taste preference)
2 tablespoons clarified butter

In a 400-degree oven roast the squash until the rinds are blackened. About an hour or more. —I simply pierce the rinds with a sharp knife so they can vent while cooking, and place them whole right on the rack (with tinfoil underneath to catch drips). I find they are easier to de-seed post roasting. I’m all about simplifying the process.

When they have finished cooking and the rinds are blackened, remove from the oven, allow to cool, then slice open, and scoop out the seeds. scoop the cooked squash from the blackened rind and set aside.

In a soup pot over med-high heat, melt clarified butter and simmer garlic and onion flakes until cartelized. Add the acorn squash, broth, and can of coconut milk. With an emulsion blender (or in a standard blender) emulsify until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with rosemary, or parmesan, or both!