Crest Cottage Creations

Food, Family, and Fun in our little cottage…


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Cheesey Broccoli Bite Re-do

Last March I attempted to make Cheesey Broccoli Bites, but I forgot an important ingredient.  They were still delicious, but I never tried to make them again.  Last week, I was making a list of foods that would be good to make now and freeze for after the baby comes, and I remembered this.  I made it again, doubling the recipe, and stuck them in the freezer.  
First, I shredded up a 1/2 lb of raw milk cheddar.
Then, I added in tons of frozen broccoli.
Once it was all shredded and chopped, It went into a huge bowl with breadcrumbs, eggs, and some sea salt.
I shaped them into meatball-type bites, and froze them on a cookie sheet.  Once I bake them, I’ll let you know how they come out!
This post was shared with Make Ahead Monday and Fat Tuesday!


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Carrot Potato Soup

Yet another warm and yummy soup for this chilly winter.  I have really been on a roll with making soups using the new immersion blender.  It’s so much fun!  This particular soup was just a mix of veggies we had lying around.  Onion and Garlic, of course…
and carrots and potatoes!
While I chopped them up, I defrosted 2 cups of chicken stock
When it was all melted, I added in all the veggies and some sea salt and let it all cook up.
When the veggies were nice and soft, I blended them all together with the immersion blender.
I stirred in some milk and butter to make it extra tasty!
This soup was a great way to use up extra veggies!
This post was shared with the Hearth and Soul Hop!


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Tomato Bisque and Spinach-Beet Salad

John tried tomato bisque for the first time and LOVED it.  Of course, I knew I could make it easily at home, so I tried it.  
To start, I sauteed some lightly crushed garlic in butter.  
Then, I added in some sliced leeks and onions and let it cook until soft.
I sprinkled the mix with some fresh thyme, and it smelled so good!
Into the pot went 1 big can of whole peeled tomatoes, 2 cups of chicken broth, and some salt.  I let that cook for about 15 minutes.
I didn’t have any cream, aside from what was on the top of the milk, so I used rice to thicken the soup.  1/4 cup went into the pot with some balsamic vinegar and cooked until it was tender.
When it was all cooked up, I used my immersion blender to mix it.  Actually, John mixed it.  Thanks, John!
In a bowl with shaved cheese and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar?  It looked beautiful!
We ate it with a spinach-beet-goat cheese salad and cranberry dressing.  Yum!
This post was shared on Real Food Wednesday!


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Beef, Acorn Squah, and Red Wine Risotto… MMMMM!!!!!

I have no idea where I got this recipe from.  All I know is that it has to be one of my favorite meals of this winter.  
Our most recent produce delivery included an acorn squash.  John isn’t the biggest fan of dishes that feature winter squash, so I knew it had to be a supporting character.  I sliced it up to roast it while I figured out what to make with it.
After brushing each slice with olive oil, I threw a bulb of garlic in to roast, too, for good measure.  You never know when you are going to need it!
For the main dish, I decided to go with the old standby of beef cubes.  To start, I melted down leftover bacon grease on our cast iron pan.

I added 2 BIG sliced up onions and cooked them down to nothingness.
While they were cooking, I started up some risotto as a side.  The strong autumn flavors called for a red-wine risotto.  That, and the fact that we had an open bottle of red wine that needed to be used up.  To start the risotto, I sauteed some onions in butter.
Then, I added 1 cup of arborio rice and let that get a little buttery.
Next, I added in 1/2 cup of red wine and stirred it until it was fully absorbed.
Then, about 1/2 cup at a time, I added in leftover whey and chicken broth.  Each time, I would alternate whey and broth.
When it was almost done, I turned my attention to the steak cubes.  By this time, the onions were nice and brown, so I removed them from the pan and added butter instead. 
Into the pan went the beef cubes!
When they were getting brown and tasty…
I sliced up the roasted acorn squash into cube-sized pieces. 
I added them to the pan, along with the onions, and let the flavors melt together.
 As the steak mix danced together, I added in some butter and Parmesan cheese to the risotto.
The meal was complete!  It was the perfect combination of flavors, and we enjoyed it more than almost anything we have made lately.
This post was shared on Fat Tuesday, Dinner on a Dime, and the Hearth and Soul Hop!


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What To Do With Whey

After making ricotta cheese the other day, I was left with more than a quart of whey.  I wanted to use it, but I already had a plethora of lacto-fermented veggies, which is what I usually use it for.  After some extensive research (Google), I decided to try making bread with it.  I found a recipe that seemed hard to screw up, which was important to me after my last bread disaster. 
To start, I melted 5 T of butter in 1 cup of milk and 3/4 cup of whey. 
As it melted, I mixed together 5 cups of flour, 2 t salt, 1 T coconut palm sugar, and 4 1/2 t yeast.
When the butter was melted, I added it to the dry ingredients.
I used the stand mixer to knead it together for about 5 minutes.  Then, I shaped it into 2 funny-looking loaves.
I placed the loaves on the toaster oven, crossed my fingers, and hoped it would rise.  It did!
It baked in the oven 425* for about half an hour.  I would show you a picture, but John dug into it before I could.  It is a simple-tasting bread, but I like the idea that the whey added a little something extra.  Even if there is no nutritional value to it, I used a byproduct of cooking that would have otherwise gone to waste. 
Other things I used the whey for? 
Soaking Beans
Cooking Rice for this delish risotto!  I will share THAT with you next time.
This post was shared on Your Green Resource and Pennywise Platter Thursday!


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Baked Ziti

Just stopping by with a quick post today.  If you remember my post from a few days ago, I have some home made ricotta in the fridge waiting to be used.  Easiest use?  Baked Ziti. 
Step 1: Boil ziti until it is just short of al dente
Step 2: Add John’s magical tomato sauce (there is no link to that because John doesn’t like me to take pictures of his food when it is cooking, so I don’t get to blog it often).
Step 3: Add home made ricotta.
Step 4: Bake at 350* until it looks done.  If you are lucky, John adds a mini step 3.5 and shreds some cheese on top!
It was super tasty!
This post was shared on Fat Tuesday!


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Home Made Ricotta

There is a restaurant/store in our town that has the most delicious ricotta ever.  Unfortunately, they had a huge amount of damage during Hurricane Irene and have been closed since.  I hear they will be opening sometime this month, and I can’t wait!  In the meantime, I decided to try making my own ricotta.  Here’s the scoop:
First, I warmed a half-gallon of grass-fed milk until it was about 190 degrees.
While it was heating up, I juiced a lemon.
When the milk was at the right temperature, I added in 4 tablespoons of lemon juice. That is supposed to get the cheesey curds to separate from the whey. 
It didn’t really work, so I added in 4 more tablespoons of white vinegar.  Then, we got some action.
I strained out the curds and placed them gently into cheesecloth over a colander over a bowl to let the whey drain out.
The finished product?

It was very tasty, but not as good as the restaurant ricotta.  That is probably because theirs is REAL ricotta, made from whey left from making mozzarella, and mine wasn’t.  Either way, I ate it and it was delish.  AND I had all this whey leftover!

Stay tuned to see what recipes all these goodies made it into.

This post was shared with the Hearth and Soul Bloghop, Real Food Wednesday, and Your Green Resource!


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Accidentally Delicious

Once a week John is in charge of making dinner.  Usually we make it on the day that I work the latest, so he has time after he gets home to cook and relax.  The other day, he had to butcher up a huuuuge chunk of beef after work for us to freeze (more on that another time) and didn’t have time to make dinner.  When I got home, I threw something together, and it was more delicious than anything I could have planned.  It was so EASY too, which was the best.  
First, I sliced up a bunch of onions and started them cooking down in butter while I got out of my work clothes and into relaxing home-mode.
A little while later, I was ready to cook and they were deliciously brown.
I added on a layer of leftover roasted chicken and a layer of raw milk cheddar.
I popped it into the oven to melt down for a few minutes.
When it was done, we ate it with some pickles and marveled at how easy and yummy it was.  I’m so glad we keep roasted chicken pieces in the fridge!

This post was shared at Pennywise Platter Thursday!


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Citrus Rainbow

Recently we received rainbow chard in our produce delivery, and I didn’t want to prepare it in my usual way (sauteed with garlic and onions).  A quick search revealed this recipe, which I had most of the ingredients for.  Yay!  A jumping-off point!
I gathered up all the ingredients.  I didn’t have enough rainbow chard, so I added in a small head of red cabbage.  That turned out to be the best decision of the meal!
To start, I chopped up a tangerine and onion and sauteed them in olive oil. 
While that cooked, I removed the stems of the chard and chopped it.
When the onion/tangerine mix was done, I added 2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar and the stems.
While THAT cooked, I sliced up the purple cabbage and added it in.
 The last thing left to slice was the chard leaves.  I cut them once in half and then rolled them up.
Then, I sliced them all up at once.  It gave me ribbons quickly.
They went into the pan with all of the other colorful veggies.
When the chard wilted, I added a little more vinegar, and some salt and pepper.  We ate it with salmon, and it was so beautiful… and TASTY!


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Yummy Brownies!

The other night after dinner, I decided that I needed brownies for dessert.  We didn’t have butter, so we came up with a coconut oil type.
First, John mixed together 2/3 cup of coconut oil, 2 medium eggs, and 1 cup sucanat together with the hand mixer. 
Then, we added in 1 cup of flour, 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, some salt, 1/2 a teaspoon of baking powder, and some vanilla. 
We spread it into a buttered pan and threw it in the 350* oven for 25 minutes.
The result?
Perfection.  Lightly coconutty, nicely chocolatey, and the texture was perfect. Success!

This post was shared on the Hearth and Soul Bloghop and Simple Lives Thursday!