Crest Cottage Creations

Food, Family, and Fun in our little cottage…

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I’m Back!

I haven’t been blogging much lately, and I’m sure you will understand why.  I spent the better part of last week in Florida meeting my best friend’s beautiful daughter!  Isn’t she perfect?!
Sigh.  I miss her already.  
While we mostly just lounged around, we did do a BIT of cooking.  What did we cook up?  Some yummy sauteed chicken!  
We sliced up some chicken breasts and mixed them together with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, orange juice, salt, and pepper.  We sprinkled flour in to thicken it up and help it stick to the chicken. 
Once it was well-coated, we sauteed it on the stove until it was done but still juicy.  
What did we have on the side?
It was a delicious meal with my best friend and her perfect little girl!


My Mom’s Contribution

Hi!  I know I said I wouldn’t be here this week, but my dad sent me a little recipe/photo courtesy of my mom.  Enjoy!

Orzo and Peas Recipe from Mom
Cook orzo according to the package directions.  
Add a big bag of frozen peas when orzo is done.  
Mix in butter, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese to taste. 

Simple Easy Dinner!

Thanks, Mom!

This post was featured on the Hearth and Soul Bloghop!

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Butternut Soup

Continuing with our soup trend, the next thing I made was Butternut Squash soup.  It was made easy because I chopped up the onions, carrots, and celery when I made yesterday’s soup.  
I sauteed onions, carrots, celery, and sweet potatoes in bacon grease.  
I added in a jar of butternut squash, and a ton of chicken broth and brought it to a simmer.  Just before it was time to serve it, I added in some raw milk, cinnamon, and sea salt.  
The verdict? Not too pretty to look at, decent taste.  Nothing I would make again, but it served a purpose. 


New England Clam Chowder

John loves soup and I don’t make it all that much.  As winter starts to wind down, I figured I better start soupin’ it up!  The first?  New England Clam Chowder.
I love this soup.  It is probably my favorite kind of soup, but I have always been too scared to try and make it myself.  You know what?  That is silly!  It was really easy to make.  I combined a whole bunch of recipes to create this. 
First, I sauteed some onions and garlic in bacon grease.  Our house smelled amazing.  
I added in carrots, celery, and potatoes and let it all saute.  
When it was all bacon-ey, I added 2 cans of clams with the liquid. 
When THAT was warm, I covered it with raw milk and some grass-fed butter.  
It warmed up pretty quickly, and I watched it to make sure it didn’t boil.  It was so good!  I could have used some cream, but I only had a little on the top of the milk on hand.  This is definitely going in our meal rotation!

This post was featured on the Hearth and Soul Bloghop and Real Food Wednesday with Kelly the Kitchen Kop!


Convenience Food Re-do: Chicken Nuggets!

I have mentioned a few convenience foods that I’ve re-done, and I thought it was time to share another.  I have been in dire need of convenience items lately because I have taken on a second full-time job.  I am now constantly on the go (leaving less time for poor little Crest Cottage Creations) and am finding myself with less and less time to create in the kitchen.  Luckily, I have little tricks like this up my sleeve!
I purchased a family pack of chicken thighs from Whole Foods… Not the best available (from local happy chickens), but better than conventionally raised chickens.  Compromise is the name of the game.  
I took those thighs (because they are cheaper and juicer than breasts) and cut them into equal-ish sized pieces.  
I threw a ton of flour into the bowl and mixed it up to coat it all. 
I added in a mixed up egg…
… and then my custom breadcrumb mix.  I took the plain breadcrumbs and added garlic powder, parsely, oregano, and salt.  
The coated up chicken was mixed up and then spread evenly on a baking sheet. 
I baked it up at 350* for about 15-20 minutes. At the end of the baking, they were perfect!!
They were so juicy!!!
Once cooled, the whole baking sheet went into the freezer.  After they were frozen, I stuck the chicken nuggets into a baggie and they are good to go!

This post was featured on Real Food Wednesday, hosted by Kelly the Kitchen Kop, Monday Mania at the Healthy Home Economist, Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade, and  Pennywise Platter Thursday at the Nourishing Gourmet!


Broccoli and Cheese Strudel

I found this recipe in my recipe binder.  I’m not sure where it is from nor how old it is.  I do know that I started the binder when I moved out on my own (early 2006, I think), so it is somewhat more recent than that.  
To make this go more quickly, I chopped up an onion and 3 garlic cloves earlier in the morning.  When it was time to make dinner, I sauteed them in some butter.  
When it was smelling yummy, I added a bag of frozen broccoli.  I did have fresh, but I had it in mind for another meal.  I sprinkled some salt on top, too.
When it was all melded up, I removed it from the heat and let it cool down a bit.  In the meantime, I rolled out a sheet of phyllo dough. 
FYI-  Phyllo dough is really really tough to work with.  It did get better the more I worked with it, though.  I mixed 1/2 an egg with some melted butter and brushed the sheet with it.  Then I repeated it 4 more times so I had a total of 5 sheets ready to go.  
Once the broccoli mixture was cooled, I added in 2 cups of shredded cheese (Pecan Jack and Garlic Chive Cheddar) and the other half of the egg.  
I poured the mix onto the bottom of the phyllo stack.  I only used about half.  
I rolled it up, and it popped!  If you are trying this at home, that’s not supposed to happen. 
I took the other half of the mixture and stuffed it into these super cool premade spinach phyllo cups that my dad bought me.  
I baked it up for a half hour at 350*. 
SUPER YUM!  This made enough for John and I to have for dinner AND there are enough bowls for John to take for lunch.  Aside from the phyllo difficulties, this was super easy.  Next time, I think I am going to make it more like a stromboli with pizza dough, but I will make it reeeeally thin.  


Beet Kvass Update!

Happy Valentine’s Day!
Just a quick note today!  I opened the beet kvass!!! 
When we last saw our beet kvass, it was early January and it was salty beet juice on our cold, cold counter.  
I moved the beet kvass (along with the saurkraut) into our utility room, which houses the boiler and is a few degrees cooler.  BEST MOVE EVER.
I checked on the beets today and it looked promising.  The top of the mason jar was bulging out a little, which made me think it was a little bubbly!  When I opened it up, it was!
It tasted like salty beet soda!  Not perfect (John thought it was too salty), but definitely a step in the right direction!

This post was featured on Tuesday Twister at GNOWFGLINS and the Hearth and Soul Recipe Exchange!

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Clams Orega-NOT

This quick and easy dinner is my lazy version of clams oreganata and macaroni in clam sauce mixed together.  
John helped out and made it WAY faster.  He smashed up 8 cloves of garlic.  I threw them into a pan with a ton of butter.  
Once the garlic was fragrant, I scooped out half of it to make the orega-not.  What’s in that, you ask?  Well, remember the hot dog bun fail?  I turned them into bread crumbs. 
Said breadcrumbs were thrown into the food processor with the garlic, 2 cans of clams (1 with the liquid, 1 without), parsley, oregano, salt, and some olive oil.  
When it was all mushed up, I put it into a Pyrex bowl and baked broiled it a bit.  
In the meantime, a ton of spinach went into the pan with the other half of the garlic. 
When it was all wilted and yummy, I took it out.
To serve, I put the orega-not on top of spaghetti with the spinach on the side.
With a little Parmesan cheese shaved on top?  Yum!


Teriyaki Salmon with Noodles

So, this recipe?  Kind of a fail.  Not a HUGE fail, like this or this… or this, but a fail nonetheless.  Part of the problem, I think, was the marinade.
You see, I was sort of following a recipe and it called for marinating salmon in teriyaki sauce with extra ginger and scallions.  I was happy because I wanted to finish up the teriyaki sauce we had since it had some ingredients I wasn’t crazy about. 
So, I threw the salmon on a dish and covered it with teriyaki marinade, some grated ginger, and some scallion-ish things.
Then, since I didn’t read the directions, I cooked it just like that.  I baked it.  In the oven.  With all the sauce.  
Then, I read the directions and found out that the marinade was supposed to turn into the sauce.  Oops.  Lesson learned?  Read the recipe and retain it before you begin. 
So, I had to use more of the teriyaki sauce to make the sauce itself.   I added ginger, soy sauce, rice vinegar, scallions, and some garlic to the teriyaki and brought it to a simmer.  
 Next, the yummy step!  I shredded up some cabbage and carrots and added it to the sauce with peas!
Yayyyy!!!!!!!  Hahaha, sorry I was just excited about something working!  Anyway, that deliciousness got mixed together with some macaroni.
Ehh.  It was okay.  The sauce was too thin even after I thickened it up with some corn starch.