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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Stir Fry with an Unexpected Side

Hey, that title kind of rhymes!  A nice change from my love of alliteration.  Anyway, the stir-fry is pretty boring, the real star is the side dish.  
The stir fry is just:
Chicken
Red Pepper
Mushrooms
Bok Choy
… All cooked up together in nama shoyu, rice wine vinegar, and ginger.
The REAL star of this meal was the side dish.  Roasted sweet potatoes and pineapple!!
The were cut into bite-sized pieces, tossed with salt and olive oil, and roasted at 425* until they were lightly browned.
They were a delicious complement to the main dish. 


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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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Cranberry Dressing with my Christmas Present!

For Christmas, I found an immersion blender in my stocking!!  I couldn’t wait to try it!!  I decided that a salad dressing would be the perfect thing to make first.  Since I have been looking for ways to use up fresh cranberries since I got them in our CSA, I settled on a cranberry dressing.  
Using the included mixing jar, I added 1/3 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup red wine vinegar.
Then, I measured out 1/4 cup of the darkest cranberries.
Lastly, I added in 1 T water, 2 T dijon mustard, and some salt.
Since I never used an immersion blender before, I had no idea how easy it was!  3 or 4 quick pulses and the dressing was done!
I can’t wait to try it on our salads! 
Anyone have any idea how long fresh cranberries last?  I still have a few left after some muffins and this dressing.


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Lemon-Creamy Chicken and Macaroni… with a salad!

Monday Macaroni this week featured some leftover chicken… How delish!
The first thing I did was saute some onions and leek in olive oil.  I bet you thought I was going to say onion and garlic in butter.  Hah!  I tricked you!  Really, I used olive oil because we were out of butter.  
When it was smelling good, I added in 1/2 cup of chicken broth. 
I let it come to a boil and then added in 3/4 cup of the cream from the top of the milk, some thyme, salt, and a few splashes of lemon juice. 
When it was all nice and warm, I added in leftover roasted chicken
I turned the heat up a bit, and let the chicken warm up.
It was perfect served over macaroni!
Although it had some onions in it, this dish really needed a salad with it.  What kind… hmm….  Dandelion Greens!
I whipped up a quick dressing by chopping up some garlic and leeks…
… and mixed it with a 1:1 ratio of olive oil and rice wine vinegar and a bit of salt.
Topped with dried cranberries, it was a good mix of bitter and sweet.
This post was shared with the Hearth and Soul Bloghop and Fat Tuesday!


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Easter Eve Breakfast

In our house, I cook during the week (except for the nights I work late) and John cooks on the weekend.  He is especially good at whipping up weekend breakfasts.  That is a good thing, because by Saturday morning, I am too exhausted to even crack an egg.  This past weekend, he made a simple feast that was SO good I had to share.  
Runny fried eggs cooked in bacon grease, crusty bread toasted with sausage grease, bacon, and strawberries. 
I’ll tell you the secret ingredient to his yummy eggs, but you have to PROMISE not to tell!  He sprinkles the eggs with salt and CINNAMON!

This post was featured on “Let’s Do Brunch” with the 21st century housewife and The Pennywise Platter with the Nourishing Gourmet!


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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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Apple Chips

We were recently gifted with a ton of apples.  No, not really a TON, but lots of apples!  Now, we love apples, but after a week or so, we realized that they wouldn’t all be eaten fresh before they went bad.  I decided to try drying them.
Now, in a perfect world, I would have a dehydrator.  Or an oven that went below 170*.  And maybe one of these:
Alas, I have none.  I wasn’t about to let that stop me, no siree!  I started with 9 apples and went to town.
Coring them…
Peeling them…
Yes, I know I could leave the peels on.  I don’t care for the taste of the peels on the dried apples.  Don’t worry, I saved them for something, you’ll see!
 Finally, I chopped them into pieces that were small enough to fit into the food processor and then sliced them thin with the machine.
Onto the baking sheets they went.  It took 4 huge sheets to fit them all!
I set the oven to the lowest temperature I have (170*) and went to town.  Whenever I had to leave, I just shut the oven.  I took them out whenever I had to cook something else.  I taste tested throughout the process.  Once they were crunchy and dry, I decided they were done.  
I stuck them in a jar, and have been snacking on them.  They went into yogurt, onto peanut butter sandwiches, and straight into my mouth.

This post was featured on Midnight Maniac’s Meatless Mondays, Healthy Kids Meals at Creating Nirvana, and Tuesday Twister at GNOWFGLINS!


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Breakfast Buffet

In my family, the fall is full of birthdays.  While that is super fun, it is also super busy.  It is hard to make time for everyone to feel special and to be given their own day.  This year was especially challenging, because we had my grandfather’s 85th birthday celebration on the same weekend as my father’s birthday.  I wanted to do something to recognize my dad’s day, but there are only so many nights that everyone can get together for dinner.  My solution?
Breakfast buffet!
On Sunday morning, my parents arrived at our house. 
The granola/yogurt station was set up.  (Home made granola/yogurt, dried bananas/cranberries/pinapples/strawberries/coconut/pomegranate seeds, walnuts, pecans, local honey, maple syrup, and agave nectar)
The fruit appetizer platter was constructed. (Starfruit, kiwis, and strawberries)

The pancakes were mixed and ready for their add-ins. (My not-so-secret mix recipe that I will share someday, if you are lucky.  The add-ins were the same choices as for the granola.)

The eggs were waiting to become omelets. (Pastured eggs with your choice of raw mozzarella, raw cheddar, tomatoes, kale, mushrooms, and/or onions)

I manned the electric griddle flippin’ pancakes…
While John handled the eggs.
 The finished products were customized for each person!  I apologize for the shadow-ey photos.  It was very early, and very bright. 
It was such an easy (and inexpensive!) way to celebrate his birthday.  He got a delicious home-cooked breakfast customized to his tastes.  We all got to enjoy time together without having to rush home from work to make it to dinner reservations.  All in all, it was a win!

This post was featured on Midnight Maniac’s Meatless Monday and Let’s Do Brunch!