Crest Cottage Creations

Food, Family, and Fun in our little cottage…


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More Hyssop Fun!

After the success of the last hyssop recipe, I decided to try and experiment a little.  We received radishes and asparagus in our CSA, and I saw a recipe for a cool salad using both. 
First, I chopped and steamed a bunch of asparagus.
While that was cooking, I mixed up the dressing.  It was rice wine vinegar, olive oil, nama shoyu (which is like soy sauce), salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and a splash of sesame oil.  Sesame oil is strong!  
Once the asparagus was done and chilled, I mixed it into the dressing along with lots of scallions, leftover chicken, and chopped up radishes.  Then I thought about the hyssop.  It is kinda like anise, which is the flavor of the Lebanese liquor Arak.  Arak is often enjoyed with radishes, so I thought the hyssop might work well in the salad. 
It did!  It was so light and perfect for a hot day.

This post was shared with Real Food Wednesday and Fight Back Friday!


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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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Accidentally Delicious

Once a week John is in charge of making dinner.  Usually we make it on the day that I work the latest, so he has time after he gets home to cook and relax.  The other day, he had to butcher up a huuuuge chunk of beef after work for us to freeze (more on that another time) and didn’t have time to make dinner.  When I got home, I threw something together, and it was more delicious than anything I could have planned.  It was so EASY too, which was the best.  
First, I sliced up a bunch of onions and started them cooking down in butter while I got out of my work clothes and into relaxing home-mode.
A little while later, I was ready to cook and they were deliciously brown.
I added on a layer of leftover roasted chicken and a layer of raw milk cheddar.
I popped it into the oven to melt down for a few minutes.
When it was done, we ate it with some pickles and marveled at how easy and yummy it was.  I’m so glad we keep roasted chicken pieces in the fridge!

This post was shared at Pennywise Platter Thursday!


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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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Egg Drop-ish Soup

I’ve been fighting a cold (apparently I can’t grow a baby AND fight germs at the same time) so I decided to make soup.  I wanted to fill up on some yummy and healing chicken broth and John loves soup… WIN-WIN!
I had a weird feeling that John wanted eggs for dinner (turns out I was right, he did) so I decided to try a variation on egg-drop soup.  Before I could do anything, though, I had to defrost some chicken broth.  6 cups worth, to be exact.
While they got to work, I sauteed carrots, celery, onions, garlic, and green onions in butter.  
When they were soft-ish and delish, I added in leftover turkey that I had frozen from Thanksgiving.
By the time that was done, the broth was nice and hot.  I added the pan of veggies-n-poultry to the broth.
I added in some soy sauce, ginger, and sesame oil and brought it to a boil.
As I waited for it to boil, I scrambled up 5 eggs.
Now here was the tough part… I had to sloooooooowly pour the eggs into the boiling soup.
It boiled for a little longer…
… and then was ready to enjoy!

This post was shared with Fight Back Friday on the Food Renegade!


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Leftover Casserole Supreme

If you know my kitchen habits at all, you know that I love to cook with leftovers.  Combining our limited finances with my love of experimentation, leftover cooking is the very picture of why I love to cook.  This week, I invented a casserole that John wanted to marry.  No, really.  He said that it was so good he wanted to marry it so he could have it all the time.  I replied that he married ME, and I made it, so he COULD have it all the time.  His reply?  “Not ALLLL the time.” 
The leftover elements in this?  Macaroni from the liver meal and seasoned ground beef from the quesadillas.  Oh yeah, and bacon grease.  The other easy ingredient was Cream of Nothing Soup.
I started out by defrosting some Cream of Nothing Soup
I shredded in 1/4 lb of raw pecan jack cheese and sprinkled in some salt.
The night before I sauteed 3 shredded up onions in bacon grease leftover from breakfast
I added in a ton of home made breadcrumbs to the onions and let them brown up. 
Once the “cooking” was done, I mixed together the leftover macaroni and the leftover ground beef.
I poured the now-cheesy cream of nothing soup mix on top and stirred.
Then, the onion/breadcrumb mix was smoothed on top.
John baked it at 350* for about 20 minutes.
Then, the finishing touch!  Extra cheese grated and sliced on top, then broiled.
With a little salad on the side?  MmmMMm!!!