Crest Cottage Creations

Food, Family, and Fun in our little cottage…


Saffron Orzos

I had a 2 coupons for free boxes of macaroni.  Now, if you could see our pantry right now, you would know we have a LONG position in macaroni.  Unfortunately, I can’t pass up free macaroni.  I decided to use the coupons to get macaroni I don’t usually buy.  I grabbed some pastina (for quick and easy comfort food) and orzo (for quick and easy side dishes).  
As I meal planned for this week, I found a cool recipe in Giada’s Everyday Pasta.  While we didn’t have shrimp, I thought it would make a cool side dish.  Now, you may be wondering how we ended up with saffron threads in our spice cabinet.  I mean, we are C-H-E-A-P.  Well, my dad is VERY generous.  And he likes good food.  Dad- this recipe was a winner.  Thanks! 
First, I brought 3 cups of broth and 1 cup of water to a boil.  Why the mix?  Because I forgot to defrost another jar of broth, simple as that.  
When it was boiled, I added some saffron threads and let them simmer.  When they had released a good amount of flavor, I added in a box of orzos, along with some parsley, salt, and pepper.  
That’s it!  To reheat it, I added some water, salt, and butter.  John helped out BIG time with the rest of dinner… pork and balsamic roasted asparagus!
This post was posted on Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen’s Country Cottage!
 It was featured, too!


Toothpaste Update

If you haven’t already, check out the original “Toothpaste” post.  
I have been using the toothpaste for just about a month now.  I have pretty much adjusted to the taste and texture of the paste.  I want to add in some more peppermint oil next time I make it, because I want a stronger flavor.  My teeth and gums still feel sparkly and clean. 
I went to the dentist for a checkup.  I am cavity free, which is great, but there is more good news!  When I went for my check-up a year ago, they found a teeny tiny cavity.  I asked them NOT to drill-n-fill it, just as a personal experiment.  I had read a little about the body’s ability to re-mineralize teeth and I wanted to see if it was true.  Now, I don’t recommend doing this, of course.  I made the decision because I have exceptionally strong teeth, the cavity was VERY small, and I trust my intuition.  
When I went back to the dentist 6 months later (6 months ago), the cavity had morphed into a “slightly sticky spot.”  Good news!
When I went this time (now, a year after it was first discovered) it was gone!  The tooth was totally healthy!!!!
Now, I know the toothpaste didn’t fix my tooth.  But, I had no new cavities, the existing one healed, my gums bled WAY less than usual when the hygienist scraped around, AND both my medical doctor and my dentist commented on how white my teeth are.  
With all those positives, I’m sticking with it!

This post was featured on Simple Lives Thursday at GNOWFGLINS, Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade,  and Pennywise Platter Thursday at The Nourishing Gourmet!

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Cheesey Broccoli Bite Fail!

So.  This isn’t really a faaaaiiiill per say, because it is still really yummy.  It is more of a “failure to read” on my part.  I just realized this as I re-read the recipe in order to post it.  Let me explain…
You may have noticed my love for our new freezer.  We keep it well-stocked with all kinds of goodies and are always on the lookout for new ideas.  I stumbled upon this recipe for Broccoli and Cheese Nuggets and I was sold. 
First, I shredded up lots of raw milk cheddar cheese.  

Then, I added in 3 eggs.

1 big bag of frozen broccoli got chopped up and added in.

Then, I mixed it all together.

The mixed up yumminess was formed into nuggets and frozen.  The problem was, they didn’t really stay together.

We did bake a few of them to see how they were.  They were supposed to bake at 375*  for 15 minutes, get flipped, and bake for 10 more minutes.  Check out the original recipe to see what they were SUPPOSED to look like.  Ours didn’t look like that.  In fact, we couldn’t flip them at all.  They just cooked for about a half hour on one side and we called it a day.

Tasty like crazy, yes.  Nuggets, no.  Not at all.  In fact, they tasted like this!!

As I read the original recipe, I realized that we didn’t add the breadcrumbs!  The original recipe called for BREADCRUMBS.  I feel so silly, but I had to share it.  I can’t be the only person that does ridiculous things like this, and I want you to know, you are not alone!


Goat Cheese and Apple Quesadillas

I made tortillas a few days ago in preparation for our quesadilla extravaganza.  I knew I wanted mine with goat cheese.  Well, I knew I was going to have it with goat cheese because it was the only cheese in the house.  I took that idea and ran with it.  
Goat Cheese.
Thinly sliced apples. 
Onions.  I would have preferred to have them cooked, maybe even caramelized, but I didn’t think of that in advance and was NOT waiting to do it now.  I was HUUUUUNGRY!
Quesadilla Maker.
Served with red beans and rice and cortido?  Yeah, man!


My Version of Mexican Rice and Beans

I struggled with the name of this post.  This is by NO means an authentic Mexican recipe.  It is just something I threw together that is reminiscent of Mexican flavors, at least to me.  We love it, and I hope you will!
First, I sauteed onions and garlic in butter.  I really believe that anything that starts like that can’t be bad.  It just smells so good!
Next, I added rice that I cooked earlier in the week…
…and red beans I cooked up in the crockpot.
After adding in some more yummy butter, I threw in some chopped up scallions. 
Once it was all warm, it was time to season it!
The last 2 things I added in were frozen corn and chopped tomatoes.  YUM!
This post was featured on the Hearth and Soul Hop!


Home Made Tortillas

My cooking goal right now is to make as many things as possible from scratch.  The next project I’m sharing is a home made tortilla.  I have made them in the past, and they are fun and easy.  
I pretty much use the recipe from this site, with a few minor tweaks.  
First, I mixed the dry ingredients together (2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 t of baking powder, and 1.5 t of salt) with 2 t of coconut oil.
Then, I added in 3/4 cup of warmed raw milk.  It didn’t check a thermometer, but it felt warm to the touch.  
Once it was mixed in, I kneaded it until it formed a loose ball and let it rest about 20 minutes.  Then, I separated it into 8 smaller balls and let them rest for about 10 minutes.  
From there, I rolled each one out into a rough circle.  
To cook them, I just stuck them on a small dry skillet for less than a minute per side.  
They are done when they are speckled with brown spots. 
Now, I make them a little before I plan on using them, and store them in the fridge.  When it is time to use them, I throw them back in the warm skillet to soften them back up.  
They are so tasty, use so few ingredients, and are easy to make!

This post was featured on Pennywise Platter and Make Your Own Monday!


Makeshift Pizza

Here at Crest Cottage we have a few traditions.  One of my favorites is “Pizza Friday.”  Now, we don’t have Pizza eeevvvvvery Friday, but we have it often enough.  When I’m meal planning and out of ideas, sticking Pizza Friday on fixes everything.  
This past Friday I didn’t plan for what KIND of pizza we would have.  John likes a traditional pie, with tomato sauce and mozzarella, while I usually just throw whatever leftovers we have in the fridge on top and cover it with whatever cheese scraps are lying around.  The dough is easy, I make a lot of it and keep it in the freezer.  John defrosted it the night before and we let it rise while we were at work.  What we didn’t defrost, however, was the tomato sauce. So that takes care of John’s pizza… and we had no leftovers in the fridge because we didn’t overcook this week. 
Solution?  John took some canned unseasoned tomato sauce out of the pantry, mixed it with some seasonings and goat cheese, and topped it with mozarella.  I put a layer of goat cheese on the dough, sliced up some tomatoes, and added herb garlic cheddar on top. 
They were both so yummy I forgot to take a picture!  Bad Blogger!
I guess the point of this rambling post is that, with a little ingenuity and a LOT of creativity, a pizza full of nothing can turn it to a meal full of yum. 


Chinese Food Take-Out Chicken ::UPDATE::

After trying to make the Chinese Food Take-Out Chicken last week, I decided I wanted to try it fried.  You know, see how close it was to the real deal.  
I coated the chicken with an egg, flour, cornstarch mixture.  
Then, I fried it in coconut oil.  
When it was done, I let it drain and then tried it.
This was it.  It was a more delicious version of take out Chinese Food.  It had a crispy outside and a moist, amazing inside.  
The sauce I used was nothing to write home about, so I will not be sharing it.  The chicken without the sauce could have used some salt, but soy sauce has enough as it is, so if you are using a soy sauce-based sauce, don’t salt it!

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Super Easy, Fast and Yummy Veggie Side

Here at Crest Cottage we tend to food shop once every 2 weeks.  This is fine for most things because we cook so much from scratch.  The only thing we haven’t been able to master is getting our produce to last 2 full weeks.  Trying to balance the items on sale with the items that will last that long, all while staying under budget, is challenging.  We tend to supplement our fresh produce with frozen toward the end of that second week.  This week, I came up with this CRAZY easy veggie side to have with our salmon.  Check it out!
First, I toasted some slivered almonds in a pan.  
When they were brown, I added in a box of frozen succotash and a box of frozen peas to defrost.  
When they were warm, I added in some brown rice I had made before (I always make extra to have on hand for the week), the juice of 3 small lemons, and sea salt.
When it was all warmed through, it was served with salmon.
It was that easy!  Minimal effort, maximum taste.  John even went back for seconds of the side dish!  He never does that!!!  He couldn’t believe that it was just lemon juice and salt.  WIN!

This post was featured on Midnight Maniac’s Meatless Monday!