Crest Cottage Creations

Food, Family, and Fun in our little cottage…


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Black Bean, Chicken, and Cilantro Soup

While summer has officially started, the weather here has been weird.  We had a few scorchers (when the frozen yogurt pops came in handy!) followed by crazy thunderstorms.  Some of them were warm, but there were some unseasonably cool days, too.  I had cilantro from our produce delivery and wasn’t quite sure what to make with it.  When I stumbled upon this recipe, it seemed perfect.  Of course, i was missing some of the ingredients, so I improvised.
I used dry beans to make this soup, so I started the prep well in advance.  I make a whole bag when I cook beans and freeze the rest for later.   Once the beans were cooked, I started on the soup itself.  After browning  onions in oil and butter, I seasoned them with cumin, garlic powder, celery salt, and red pepper flakes.  Then, I added in a pint of leftover crushed tomatoes, a pint of concentrated chicken stock and some water.
It cooked down for quite a while.  Once it was pretty thick, I added in 3 cups of black beans and 2 cups of leftover crockpot roasted chicken.
I let that cook for a little while, and then added lots of cilantro on top.
Once it was cooked up, I served it with a copious amount of shredded cheese on top.  That was my favorite part!
This post was shared with Make Your Own Monday and The Hearth and Soul Hop!
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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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Macaroni Monday: Spinach, Shrimp, and Beans

Happy Monday!  This Macaroni Monday recipe is quick and easy.  
1.  Melt butter in pan
2.  Cook shrimp in butter and garlic
3.  Add more butter and garlic (roasted if you have any lying around)
4.  Add spinach
5.  Add beans
6.  Put shrimp back in and season as desired (I just used some sea salt and butter)
7.  Serve over macaroni (or rice… or quinoa… or anything, really) and enjoy!
This post was shared with 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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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.
Perfection. 
Served with red beans and rice and cortido?  Yeah, man!


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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!


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Southern Fun!

Somehow this whole meal came together like something out of the south.  Granted, the only southern state I have ever been to is Florida, which is not exactly the stereotypical south, so I don’t have any firsthand knowledge.  Everything in this meal just SOUNDS so southern.
Black Eyed Peas, bacon, and spinach baked with a side of cornbread!  WOW!  I don’t know how it came together, but I am sure glad it did.  
The night before I made this I soaked 1 cup of black eyed peas in water with a splash of whey
In the morning, I rinsed and drained the beans, and then boiled them in fresh, salty water until they were soft.  While that was going on, I cooked up about 7 strips of nitrate free bacon, chopped unto pieces.  
 In the meantime (can you say, “multitasker?!), I got together the ingredients for the cornbread:  Cornmeal, baking powder, salt, milk, and eggs.
First, 2 pastured eggs were beaten.
Next, 1.5 cups of cornmeal, 1 t baking powder, and 1/2 t sea salt were added.  
When they were well combined, 1/4 of souring milk and 1 cup of raw milk were mixed in. 
By this time, the bacon was cooked. 
I saved the bacon grease and put it into my cast iron pan.  It was about 2 T worth of grease. 
The pan then went into the oven for 5 minutes. When it was hot, I poured the excess grease into the cornbread batter, and sprinkled cornmeal onto the greasy pan.  
When the cornmeal was brown, the rest of the batter went in over it.
It baked for 25 minutes at 400*.

Looks perfect, no?
While the cornbread baked, I sauteed an onion in the pan I cooked the bacon in. 
When they were all nice and soft, I added the black eyed peas, 3 minced garlic cloves, a few sprinkles of red pepper flakes, the bacon, and 1/4 cup of turkey stock.
I let them all cook up together for a few minutes, and then transferred them to a baking dish.
It baked for an hour at 350*.  When it was done, I added a bunch of organic baby spinach, a little at a time.  It wilted into the baking dish. 
When it was all in, fresh Parmesan cheese was shredded allllll over it. 
Into the oven it went for another 15 minutes.  At that point, I broiled it for the last 5 minutes to get it nice and crispy.

The finished product?

Not bad.  At least, the casserole wasn’t bad.  The cornbread?  Not so great.  Apparently I didn’t read the recipe carefully. 
It called for:

  • 1-1/2 cups corn meal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

I used:

  • 1.5 cups of cornmeal
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t sea salt

NOT AT ALL THE SAME THING!!!
They didn’t rise correctly and they were dry and flavorless.  FAIL!

Also, this meal did not reheat well.