Crest Cottage Creations

Food, Family, and Fun in our little cottage…


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Kids Can Cook: French Toast

Kids Can Cook: French Toast

Jemma has been cooking with me for a looooong time.  We started when she was a toddler, and now at 3, she can do quite a few things on her own.  One of our favorite things to make for a quick weekday breakfast is “French Toast.”  I put it in quotes, because we don’t do a custard.  We keep it simple, but it is pretty good.

The most basic version is just eggs cracked and beaten with a pinch of salt and a splash of water to help it mix.  Sometimes we add vanilla, maple, or cinnamon but on busy mornings it is just the basics.  Then we dip the bread into the eggs, throw them on the griddle, flip, and eat.

Jemma helps by:

  • Cracking the eggs
  • Mixing the eggs
  • Dipping the bread
  • Placing the bread on the griddle
  • Helping flip (I still help with this one)
  • Putting it on the plate
  • Bringing the plate, utensils, napkins, fruits, and maple syrup to the table.
Jemma Cracking Eggs

Jemma Cracking Eggs

Jemma mixing eggs

Jemma mixing eggs

Jemma dipping bread

Jemma dipping bread

Sneaking a bite!

Sneaking a bite! ( By the way, princess dresses and sequin bows make it taste MUCH better!)

Cooking it up!

Cooking it up!

Jemma flipping

Jemma flipping

Ta-da!

Ta-da!

Honestly, this is one of the most hands-off breakfasts for me.  I’m basically there to remind her of safety and to keep her on task.  She loves helping and it is one of her favorite dishes!

What about you?  Do you have any helpers in the kitchen?  Any other ways she can help out?

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A Fresh Start

It has been a long time since I have shared anything here.  Life got in the way, and this just became another thing on the to-do list.  Now, three years later, I realized how much I missed it.  So many things have changed, and I’m sure I will be sharing that as time goes on.  Now, I am just happy to be back.

So, what’s next for me, and Crest Cottage Creations?

Well, expect lots of edible creations, of course!  Some featuring a fantastic little cook-in-training…

JB

I’ll also be sharing tidbits about our lives.  Since we last spoke, we added another little one to the crew.

Baby J

As our family grows, I’m learning as much as the kids!  I’d love to share the ups, downs, lessons, and wins while I work out the tough stuff.  After all, creations come in all shapes, sizes, and forms.

I’m excited to be creating, sharing, and learning again.  I hope you will be along for the ride!

whole family


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Garlicky Buttered Radishes with Scallions

We had two bunches of radishes in our crisper.  
 I do love having lots of fresh produce, but I’m not a fan of radishes.  John, on the other hand, LOVES them.  I usually leave them for him to eat raw, but this time there were too many to eat in time.  I decided to try buttered radishes.  I melted down butter and added in sliced garlic to brown.
While the garlic became fragrant, I sliced the radish thinly.
Once the garlic was ready, I added the radish to the pan and stirred it until it was softened.  Then, I seasoned it with salt.
To make it extra special, I topped it with scallions and shaved Romano cheese and served it with a roasted chicken leg.  
John wasn’t a fan, because he likes them fresh.  I loved them, though, so I think it is a good way to eat radishes if you don’t like them raw.


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Quinoa and Carrot Top Soup

Yes, I know it is summer and soup is the last thing you want to make.  That’s okay.  I am going to share it anyway and you can store it away in your memory bank until the next time you get carrots with the tops on and have no idea how to use them.  You’ll thank me then!
This is one of the easiest soups to make.  First, saute carrots and onions in butter or olive oil.  If you have any other veggies (like celery!), add it in.
Then, add in carrot tops and let them suck up the buttery goodness.
Throw rinsed/soaked uncooked quinoa on top.
Fill the rest of the pot with chicken broth and let it cook down.  Serve over tasty bread (sourdough?) and top with cheese!


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Garden Pizza Friday

John planted some garlic a while back, and he pulled one out early to check it out.  Look how little and cute it is!
For Pizza Friday, he incorporated it into the dough, along with fresh parsley.
I coated the dough with lemon olive oil, sea salt, and cheddar cheese.
While it baked, I chopped up some tomatoes, more garlic, more parsley, and some scallions.  I really need to remember to use a different color bowl when I photograph tomatoes.
Once the dough was cooked, I took it out.  Obviously.
I cut it up with kitchen shears and topped it with the tomato mix.
 The perfect finishing touch was shaved Parmesan cheese…. MMmmmm!
What would the perfect beverage for this pizza be?  Limoncello and seltzer, of course!


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Revisiting the Roasted Whole Chicken

Since my last post on the crockpot roast chicken, I have adapted my technique a bit.  Check it out, complete with new pictures.
To start, I stack the whole chicken on top of some veggies.  Onions are my favorite, but carrots are good, too.  Potatoes and celery also fit the bill.
I season the chicken with salt, pepper, and whatever other flavors I am in the mood for.  This one was paprika.  I cook it on low for about 8 hours.  Once it is done, I now crisp up the skin.  To do that, I place it on a roasting rack and broil it in the oven for a few minutes.
That is it!  Easy and it tastes great.  Now, I like to stretch out a chicken as much as possible.  The first night, we eat the legs (most recently, with onions and hyssop salad).
Then, I save the breasts for something else.  I usually use it on salads or in leftover cooking.
Then, I pick apart the rest of the chicken for scraps.  There is typically about a pint, sometimes more.  That is best suited for stir fries, soups, salads, or leftover cooking.
Now, I put the bones, skin that wasn’t eaten, and other scraps into the crockpot with all the veggie scraps I have saved in the freezer for this very occasion.
I fill it with water and apple cider vinegar and let it soak.  It is said that doing this extra step helps the nutrients in the bones become more available.  I’m not sure if it is true, but I figure it can’t hurt.  After it has soaked for a while, I cook it on high for a long time (usually until I have time to strain it).
Once it is cooked, I pour it through a mesh strainer into a big bowl and stick it in the fridge.  If a thick layer of fat forms, I skim it off.  Not because I don’t want it, but because I can then cook with it.  Free cooking fat!!
I typically end up with more than a half gallon of stock!
All in all, I get a dinner for 2 the first night, a dinner for 2 and lunch for 2 with the breasts, lunch or dinner for 2 with the scraps, cooking fat for a meal or two, and broth for a while!  Not too bad for one chicken, huh!This post was shared on Make Your Own Monday and  Simple Lives Thursday!


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Jackie McMuffins

When I was a kid, my dad used to make me Jackie McMuffins.  I hope we don’t get in trouble for calling them that, but it is what we named them. I was feeling sentimental and my parents gave us some English muffins, so I made them again.
First, I lightly cooked up 2 eggs.  I tried to make them perfect circles using mason jar rings, but it didn’t work.
While they cooked, I buttered up the muffins and toasted them.
When the eggs were done, I placed them on the muffins and topped them with some raw cheddar.  
They were a perfect start to the day!

This post was shared on the Hearth and Soul Hop and Scratch Cookin’ Tuesday!