Oaxacan Rice and Beans

7 May

Dinnershare proportions…

2 cups finely chopped carrots

2 small onions, chopped

4 fresh poblano peppers, seeded and minced

2 fresh serrano pepper, seeded and minced

8 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup canola oil

4 cups long grain white rice

9 cups water + Better than Bullion

1 tsp salt

1# frozen cut green beans, thawed

4-15 oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained

 

1. In a large pot, sautee carrot, onions, peppers, and garlic in oil. Stir in the uncooked rice. Stir and cook constantly for 2-3minutes, until the rice is browned.

2. Stir in the broth and salt. Bring to boiling, reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 15 minutes. Add green beans, cover and cook 5 minutes, until liquid is absorbed. Stir in black beans and heat through.

 

 

Biscuit Soup, a.k.a. Chicken and Dumplings (without the chicken)

13 Dec

(based off this recipe, which the lovely Hannah Ford first introduced me to)

Adjusted for a 6-qt crock-pot. Of course you can make this in a big ol’ pot, just adjust the cooking times and methods accordingly.

  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 cup chopped potato
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup all-pourpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried tarragon
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried sage
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 10 cups water + 1/4 cup “Better than Bullion” No-Chicken Base
  • 1 1/2 cup white wine (Chardonnay?)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Biscuit dough (see below)
  • minced parsley for garnish if you remember
Biscuit Dough for the Dumplings
  • 3 cups all-purpouse or ultragrain flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening or not-melted coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cups rice or soymilk + 1 Tbsp vinegar

Turn your crock pot on high, and place the margarine in there. Put the lid on. Chop up the veggies and add them, keeping the lid closed as much as possible to retain the heat. While the veggies are softening, measure out the spices, flour and liquids.

Sprinkle the flour and spices over the veggies and stir in. Slowly add the liquids, stirring so there are no lumps. Return the lid and let cook on high for 3 1/2 hours. Towards the end of the four hours, prepare your biscuit dough in the food processor. Start with the dry ingredients and pulse a few times to mix together. Then add shortening and pulse until crumbly. Then add the soymilk/vinegar mixture until cohesive.
When you are ready for the dough, stir in the peas first. Then, drop the biscuit dough evenly over the top of the soup.  Sometimes I use a cookie scoop for this, sometimes I pat the dough out on a floured surface and roughly cut it up into 1″ squares. If you run out of surface area,  makes sure the dough drops are dunked in the soup a bit before dropping more in so they don’t stick together. Replace the lid and let cook for about 30 minutes to one hour. The dumplings should be steamed through and through by then.
Stir in minced parsley and enjoy.

Decoupage yo’ flo’, yo

6 Nov

I  just decoupaged my floor. Pictures soon. I read a million things online, and after a good deal of trial and error, this is how I will do it in any other room. This was enough to do my big living room (approx 16×18′) and hallway, with supplies left over. (this is also assuming you have carpet with concrete underneath like I did – there are a million tutorials for ‘brown paper floor’ online I if you had wood). This is amazingly cheap as far as flooring options fog, looks good, and feels good on your feet. And you can easily do it yourself with no crazy tools. The most annoying thing is not having furniture in the room for about 3-4 days.

  • Chisel ($3)
  • concrete patch mix ($15-20)
  • trowel ($4)
  • concrete and masonry binder and primer* (in a paint can, $25)
  • 9″ paint roller
  • 3-4 9″ paint roller pads (I used one for adhesive and some for smooth surfaces)
  • 1 3-4″ paint roller c pad
  • paint tray
  • 2 gallons universal wall paper paste * (2x $19)
  • 1 roll of brown builders paper (35″x140 ft), cut into approx 3′ squares ($10)
  • squeege or scraper (the cheap plastic ones for drywall worked great)
  • 3 gallons Titebond II premium wood glue* ($18 each)
  • 2 quart mixing container with measurements ($2)
  • 2 8 oz bottles Rit Cocoa Brown liquid fabric dye $2.88 ea)
  • 1 8 oz bottle Rit Wine liquid fabric dye ($2.88 ea)
  • 2 gallons polyurethane *for floors* ($25 ea)
  • microfber/fuzzy socks and towels
  • a fan if you a have one
  1. Remove carpet or old floor. Remove any stuck carpet tacks using the chisel. patch the holes left by the carpet tacks and any other large holes. Remove any large bits of carpet foam or other bumpy objects from the floor. Sweep it thoroughly. (don’t worry about removing carpet glue or paint splatters or anything like that).
  2. it would be prudent to remove your baseboards and tape up around your floor. I didn’t do this. I regret that.
  3. paint it over with 1-2 layers of masonry binder. I read about this for painting the concrete and it seemed like a good step, and plus I’d also already bought it. I’ve read nowhere else of anyone doing this for decoupage, so do what you will. It says to wait four hours before painting, so I waited for hours before decoupaging. 
  4. Roll wallpaper paste evenly on the backs of the brown sheets as you use them (1 at a time). Other online tutorials use 1:1 Elmer’s glue all and water (homemade mod podge), and I tried that, but it wasn’t working great, and ahead some leftover wallpaper paste, so I used that. It worked well.
  5. line up the paper sheet with the wall into stick it into place. squeegee it until it is as flat as it will be (it might be a bit wrinkly, but get it as flat as possible.
  6. move on to your next sheet and continue until your floor is covered in paper. while the paper is drying, mix up some of the wood glue (4 cups glue: 2 cups warm water. Roll this over the edges and corners of your paper sheets and squeegee down. All of the online ‘recipes’ used Elmer’s glue all and water, but home depot didn’t have it. i went to hobby lobby and got some but it was $8/pint and really didn’t work great. I tried the Titebond on a whim because home depot had it, and it was much cheaper, easier and worked great). HINT: the wet paper sticks to bare skin. Wear fuzzy socks, and everywhere you need to rest your palms, put a microfiber cloth underneath.
  7. wait for that to dry. This is a good before bed activity, so you can sleep and not mess with it.
  8. In the morning when the glue is dry the paper should look nice and taught. Mix up Another batch of 4c glue:2 c warm water and cover the entire floor with a thin coat, applying special attention to any edges that might not be adhering. You want to start in the corner farthest away from your “exit point” and work towards the exit point so you don’t have to walk on it. A fan is helpful to help it dry. It dries pretty quick if there’s no puddles, about 30 minutes to an hour.
  9. You might notice some of the paper getting wrinkly when wet. Thats ok. It should get flat again when it’s dry.
  10. mix up another batch of 4c glue : 2c water, this time substituting 2 tbsp cocoa dye and 1 tbsp wine colored dye for 3 tbsp of the water.
  11. roll a thin coat of the glue/dye mix, again starting away from the exit point and working towards it. mix  it up whenever you need more.
  12. wait for that round to dry, and then add another coat of the glue/dye mix. If you rolled right-left the first time, try going up- down the second time. I like to work in small 3×3 squares sitting on the floor.
  13. wait for the glue to dry and do another coat if you want. Keep doing coats until you like the way it looks and feels.
  14. Once you’re satisfied with the glue and the last round is dry, start the coats of polyurethane. These go by fast. Roll the polyurethane in thin coats. They take about two hours to fully dry. cover the floor with as many coats as you’d like for the right look and feel and durability. I’ve heard anywhere from 2-10. I would say at least 4 coats, 2 hours apart each.
  15. and ta-da, you are done!

Steel Cut Oatmeal

6 Nov

How could something so simple become my favorite food? I make a big batch and heat it up in the microwave PRN. I usually add almond milk and a dollop of fruit spread, fruit, or fig butter on top. Maybe some nuts or dried fruit if I’m feeling crazy.

2 c h-e-b quick cook steal cut oats
6 cups boiling water
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp coconut oil or EB
2 tsp cinnamon

Bring to simmer, simmer uncovered 7 minutes, almost continuously stirring. Wait at least 1 minute before eating.

Spicy Creamy Gnocchi Soup

30 Jan

I am going to try and recreate the flavors of Italian sausage without a sausage simulator in this soup.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
8 cloves garlic, diced
4-5 oz cremini mushrooms
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp oregano
(1 Tsp fennel seeds)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 qt no-chicken broth
1 can canellini beans, drained
1 red bell pepper, roasted*, skinned and diced
1/2 bunch dinosaur kale, cut into thin ribbons
1 lb gnocchi homemade** or prepared
1 cup almond milk or non-dairy creamer, unflavored
(Pesto to stir in)
Red pepper flakes to stir in

Sauté onions and mushrooms in olive oil until starting to become soft.
Add in spices and garlic and sauté a few minutes longer.
Add broth and bring to simmer. Simmer 20 minutes or so.
Stir in beans, diced red pepper and kale. Drop in gnocchi one at a time. Simmer until gnocchi floats to the top.
Reduce heat to low. Stir in almond milk and heat until just warmed. Season to taste.
Served with pesto and red pepper flakes.

*To roast a red pepper: place pepper on a greased sheet in the toaster oven at 400′. Turn every 10 minutes until there are charred parts all around.
**Cook 1# potatoes in boiling water until very tender. Boiling time depends on how/if you cut the potatoes. You can either boil them peeled or peel them after they boil. Knead the peeled potatoes together with 1/2 tsp salt, 1/3 cup flour and 2 tbsp cornstarch until a pliable, uniform dough. Shape into dumpling shapes.

Sugar Cookies

22 Nov

Cream together until light and fluffy:
1 cup Earth Balance margarine
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup vegan yogurt
1/4 tsp salt

Mix together in separate bowl:
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 – 3 cups all purpose flour*
(1 Tbsp minced lemon zest)

*use the smaller amount if you are making drop cookies, use the larger amount if you want to roll them out. If you roll them out, you will need to chill them 45 minutes before rolling.

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a large baking sheet with a silicon mat or parchment paper; set aside. Mix the flour mixture into the creamed mixture 1 scoop at a time, until just combined. Using a 1 1/2 teaspoon cookie scoop, drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with sanding sugar, if desired. Bake at 350˚F for 8-9 minutes. Cool completely before decorating as desired.

Quick Yeast Dinner Rolls

21 Nov

makes 24 rolls
1 cup water (110 degrees F)
1 1/2 TBS active dry yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Earth Balance margarine, melted
3 Tbs flax seeds + 9 Tbsp water, whisked together
1 teaspoon salt
4 1/4 cups “white whole wheat” (or all-purpose) flour

(I use my kitchenaid for this recipe. Make adjustments as needed if you don’t use a similar thing for doughs)

Preheat oven to 375′.
-Whisk together water, yeast and sugar, let stand 5 minutes.
-Stir in EB, flax mixture and salt.
-With dough hook on Speed 2, Add flour, 1 cup at a time. Let the dough hook knead it until it’s a nice dough.
-Grease a 13×9 baking pan.
-Turn dough out onto floured surface, and divide into 24 equal pieces, rolling each into a smooth ball.
-Place in rows in prepared pan.
-Cover and let rise if you have time. If not, bake them. They’ll rise in the oven.
-Bake until golden brown, about 17 minutes.

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