Crest Cottage Creations

Food, Family, and Fun in our little cottage…


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Strawberry Frozen Yogurt Pops

The strawberries we have been getting from our CSA are so delicious.  I probably eat a pint on the drive home!  Luckily, they are having a great year for strawberries and there are always plenty to go around.  
 I wanted to make some into frozen yogurt.  I didn’t really make a specific recipe.  I just put a bunch of strawberries into the blender with yogurt…
Blended it…
Poured it into the ice cream maker…
And froze it!
Unfortunately, I found it a little too icy for my taste.  I still wanted to eat it, though, so I let it melt in the fridge.
I poured the melted no-longer-fro-yo into ice pop molds and refroze it…. Perfect!  It was a great pre-work snack!


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Seafood Ravioli

I am really into making the soaked whole wheat macaroni lately.  It does take a little time (more than opening a box, that’s for sure!) but it isn’t hard.  I have to get better at the texture, though.  Sometimes it is too doughy, sometimes it is too soft.  I am having trouble getting it al dente, which is how we like it.  The texture was the biggest stumbling block with this ravioli.  I am open to suggestions!!!  
Anyway, the flavor of everything else was great.  I wanted to make the filling with clams, but we didn’t have any.  So, I sauteed some shrimp in butter and olive oil.
When they were done, I toasted up some bread and crumbled it in the pan with more butter, a can of anchovies, and some garlic.
I put the shrimp and the breadcrumb mix in the food processor with an egg and some parsley.  
Once this was done, I rolled out the dough.
Then, I spooned the mixture on.
I covered the raviolis, pressed the air out, and sealed them.
 To go with it, I sauteed some spinach in lemon and LOTS of butter.
 I forgot to take a picture of the raviolis topped with the lemon-butter spinach, but I did snap a picture of the raviolis John fried in coconut oil!
We enjoyed the Macaroni Monday meal with an arugula tomato salad with balsamic vinaigrette and shaved Parmesan cheese!
The whole thing wouldn’t have taken too long, but, as always, I get easily distracted!


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Two Quick and Easy Meals

Lately I have been coming up with quick and easy meals…. Probably because I have been busy with these two!

One quick meal is really just another sauce for my home made fettucine.  I took leftover tomato sauce and added in sauteed mushrooms and raw milk cream.  

It was a great and easy sauce, especially topped with some cheese!
 The second quick meal I made this week was roasted asparagus with fish.  For the asparagus, I mixed together olive oil, oregano, sea salt, and thyme.
 I bushed it on the asparagus and topped it with sliced lemons.
I roasted it, along with some fish, and it was quick and easy.
This post was shared with Traditional Tuesdays and the Hearth and Soul Hop!


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Steak, Wine, and Mushrooms

As some of you may know, I often watch The Chew when I am at home.  I love the mix of talk-show banter and cooking goodies.  My favorite co-host is Michael Symon, because he isn’t afraid of butter, steak, or bacon.  A few weeks ago he did a Pan Roasted Steak with a Red Wine Sauce.  John has started making his own wine, so I decided to make this recipe with his wine!  He even built a wine rack!
Since then, he has filled a few more rows up with his white wine.  It is pretty good, too!  I’m so proud of him.
Anyway, back to the food.  I started by defrosting some steaks, seasoning them with salt and pepper.
I cooked them in our enameled cast iron pan in tallow… MMMM!
When they were seared and cooked I added a few cups of sliced up mushrooms to the pan.
When they started to cook, I added in sliced spring onions and garlic.
Once they were browning nicely, I added John’s delicious red wine, oregano, and red wine vinegar.
I took the steak out, let the sauce start to reduce and added butter.
It finished reducing the sauce while the steaks rested.
While all of this was going on, I also cleaned all the random leafy greens we had in the fridge.  Beet greens, rainbow chard, carrot tops…
I had another pan going that I used to saute onions and garlic for the greens.
Together, the steak with mushroom sauce and garlicky greens were a perfect match!
This post was shared on Pennywise Platter!


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Butternut Squash and Arugula Macaroni

This Macaroni Monday post comes to you from my pre-Jemma photo archives.  I made this back in January and I just realized I never shared it.  I guess I got preoccupied with pictures like this, instead!
Sorry, just had to share!
Anyway, on to the food, which is the real reason you are here, right?  I started by taking the top off of a head of garlic and slicing up a butternut squash.
I mixed together some olive oil and rosemary to brush on the squash.
Once the squash was coated, I put it in the oven at 400*.  
In the meantime, I melted butter in our cast iron skillet.  There are few things that smell better than hot butter!
I added tons and tons of sliced onions to caramelize.
It’s crazy how small and tasty they get!
I took the onions out of the pan and added in more butter.  I used it to wilt down arugula.
I added in the cooked butternut squash and roasted garlic.
The tastiest part was the Parmesan cheese!
The whole concoction sat on top of macaroni and was perfect!
This post was shared on Simple Lives Thursday!


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How we buy our produce and Salmon with Salad

I have a love-hate relationship with grocery shopping.  I love to do it because I enjoy checking out all the amazing foods and getting new ideas.  I hate to do it because I get so frustrated by all the non-food concoctions being advertised as food.  I love to do it because I enjoy seeing how much money I can save.  I hate doing it because I always want to save money and it hurts sometimes to spend more on the good ingredients I love.  Complicated, huh!
To solve the problem, late last summer I joined a CSA.  This one, in fact.  There were only a few weeks left, so I figured it was a good time to just try it out. I loved it!!!!  I was so upset when it ended around Thanksgiving, but I signed up for a bigger box for the next season.  That left me with the winter to contend with.  I did a bit of research and decided on produce delivery services Suburban Organics and The Fruit Guys.  I alternated between the two each week, and kept myself in fresh, sometimes organic, sometimes local, sometimes seasonal, produce.  It was great all winter, and I will probably do the same thing next year. 
Luckily, the CSA season has begun again, and I am back to the farm each week, now with little Jemma.  I am excited that she will be seeing the farm her food comes from, meeting animals, and enjoying the experience (hopefully!!).  I know she is too young to appreciate it much now, but she loves to hear birds making noise and feel the wind, so she is getting something out of it.  
We picked up our first box last Thursday, so I wanted to clean out our fridge first.  The only things left from our previous deliveries were a grapefruit and an avocado.  We don’t really like either of these, so I put them together into a salad.  Not the best idea, but if you like both you would probably love it!
 The first thing I did for the salad was to make the dressing.  I mixed lemon juice, salt, pepper, dijon mustard, and lemon juice together until it was combined.
Then, I peeled and sliced an avocado, and put the in the dressing to marinate.
Just before dinner, I mixed it with a peeled and sliced grapefruit and some lettuce.
I served the salad with salmon and couscous.  There was some extra dressing that I drizzled over the couscous, and that was probably the tastiest part!


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Cheesey Beaney Chili Pie

I have had this recipe saved since January and I am just now getting to it.  Does anyone else ever do that?  Every so often I really need to go through all the recipes I have marked to try and make a few!  This one was pretty easy and verrrrrry tasty.
First, I had to make chopped meat.  I put about 3/4 lb of meat in the food processor…
…and chopped it!
While it was in the food processor, I melted tallow in our cast iron skillet.
I browned the meat and set it aside.
Since the skillet still had tallow in it, I added in onions, garlic powder, cumin, salt, and red pepper flakes.
When the onions were soft, I added the beef back in, along with 3 cups of red beans, a smidge of tomato paste, and 1 1/2 cups of diced tomatoes.
When all of the flavors were combined, I added one HUGE shredded potato.
After a sprinkling of salt, I added lots and lots of shredded cheese.  I used up all of the bits and pieces of cheese that were in the fridge.
 It baked in the oven for 20 minutes at 400*, and then we threw it under the broiler to brown it up.  
I loved almost everything about it.  The only thing I would tweak would be the potatoes.  I didn’t like the way they cooked up.  I think next time I would add some fat to the potatoes so they crisped up a bit more.  All in all, I would say it was a success!

This post was shared on Real Food Wednesday!


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Homemade Fettucine with Alfredo Sauce

For Macaroni Monday this week, I made fresh soaked whole wheat fettucine. I used this recipe as my blueprint.  I mixed together the whole wheat flour, water, whey, and salt the night before . 
I kneaded it up, coated it with olive oil, and let it sit overnight.
 In the morning, I rolled it out thinly in batches.
I then rolled the dough up loosely to slice.
I sliced up the dough log into fettucine-width slices.
Each piece of dough was then unrolled and hung to dry.  Yes, in case you were wondering, that is my clothes drying rack… and yes, I washed it before and after.
When it was time for dinner, I served it with our home made alfredo sauce and parsley.


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Cheesey-Creamy Shrimp and Veggie Dish

I didn’t put the names of the veggies used in this dish into the title on purpose.  It is a yummy meal or side dish and could be made with a variety of vegetables and I didn’t want anyone to write it off because I chose to make it with turnips.  For many people (including my father… sorry Dad!), turnips constitute an automatic no-go.  I beg you to try the recipe anyway, changing the veggies if need be.  If you can, though, try the turnips.  You can’t even really tell they are turnips!
On to the recipe…
First, I chopped up carrots and turnips and simmered them in a little chicken broth to make them nice and soft.
I took them out of the pan and set them aside while I did the next step.  I sauteed onion and celery in butter until tender.  
I set THAT aside and sauteed shrimp in butter.
When they were ready, I added in the celery and onion mix along with a little flour, salt, and pepper.
When it was mixed together, I added in about a cup and a half of milk and the broth the root veggies cooked in to the pan.
I cooked it down until it was nice and thick.
When it was thick enough to coat the spoon, I shredded in lots and lots of cheddar cheese.
Topped with a little fresh parsley, this was so tasty and filling.  I would DEFINITELY make it again.
This post was shared on Fat Tuesday!


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Balsamic Chicken with Arugula Salad

This was so easy that I am almost embarrassed to share it.  It was a great thing to have on a night that I work late, but still, hardly worth sharing.  The only reason that I am is because it was incredibly tasty.  
The magic part, in my opinion, was the marinade/dressing.  It starts with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
 The only other ingredients are smashed garlic and salt!
I mixed it all together and put 1/4 cup of it in a bag with chicken thighs to marinate.
When John got home from work, he baked it at 350* until it was done.  I had already made up a quick salad of arugula, cherry tomatoes, and shaved Parmesan Cheese.  I tossed it with the rest of the dressing right before we ate.
The chicken (shown here with John’s hummus and baba ghanoush) did not photograph very well, but it tasted great!  Next time I will probably slice the chicken and serve it over the salad.
This post was shared with Simple Lives Thursday!