Crest Cottage Creations

Food, Family, and Fun in our little cottage…


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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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An Exploration into Hyssop

In our CSA last week we received hyssop.  I had No. Idea. what it was or what to do with it.  Some quick Googling (is that how you spell it?  Drop the “e” add -ing?) showed me that it was an herb with a minty taste that either works well with licorice flavor or tastes like it.  Not sure.  
Anyway, most of the recipes were with carrots.  My favorite was this one.  I didn’t have olives, but that was the only thing I didn’t have.  Perfect!
I shredded up a bunch of carrots in the food processor.
The leftover pieces were perfect for a salad!
Anyway, I mixed it together with a ton of hyssop.
To season and dress it, I used balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
John couldn’t quite place the flavor of the hyssop, but he really liked it!  Now I am excited to find other uses for it!


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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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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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Fermenting Again!

It’s so nice to have the energy to devote to creating.  We haven’t started any fermented veggies in FOREVER, so I tackled that today. 
First on the list?  Dill Pickles.  Don’t the cucumbers look so pretty in the jars?
We had fresh dill from our last CSA delivery, so I added that to the jars, along with sea salt, mustard seed, and whey.  
The other thing I got fermenting was a sauerkraut concoction.  I started out shredding a head of cabbage and 2 apples.  I read in a few different places that adding apples will give it a different taste, so I am trying it out. 
It needed more color, so I added in a ton of carrots.
I sprinkled salt on top to get the juice out of the produce.
After mixing it together and letting it sit for a little while, I smushed it all up.
Into the jars it went, with some whey and water!
Since our house is relatively chilly, it will take more than a few days for them to get going, so I’ll keep you posted!

This post was shared on Real Food Wednesday with Kelly the Kitchen Kop and Simple Lives Thursday at GNOWFGLINS!


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Easiest Side Dish Ever.

This has to be the easiest side dish ever.  Well, at least if you have a food processor it is.  
Step 1- Shred a whole bunch of carrots.  Forget to take a picture.
Step 2- Melt coconut oil in a pan.  Add a little bit of smashed up garlic.
Step 3- Add in the shredded carrots.
Step 4- Enjoy with dinner!  Grassfed beef and home made garlic bread, perhaps?
This post was shared on the Hearth and Soul Bloghop and Simple Lives Thursday!


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Beef Sorta Stir Fry

One of our favorite take-out foods in Chinese Food.  Unfortunately, now that our bodies are no longer used to junk, Chinese take-out doesn’t love us.  I have been trying to recreate things, and most have failed.  This particular dish doesn’t taste like take out, but it is reminiscent of it. 
I started by sauteeing onions and garlic in butter.  Most of my recipes start like that. 
I added in some grass-fed beef that I sliced up pretty thinly. 
Once it was starting to brown, I added in some celery. 
 When the meat was just about cooked, I added an egg to one side of the pan and fried it up.
By then, it was time for the sauce!  It is just a 3:1.5 mix of soy sauce and rice wine vinegar.  That’s it!
The fast-cooking ingredients were added in last… mushrooms and beet greens!
Just  before I was ready to serve it, I added in some cooked rice.  
Now, normally, I would add in carrots when I added the celery, and ginger when I added the sauce.  THIS time, I just added the lactofermented ginger carrots on top at the end!