Crest Cottage Creations

Food, Family, and Fun in our little cottage…


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Beef, Acorn Squah, and Red Wine Risotto… MMMMM!!!!!

I have no idea where I got this recipe from.  All I know is that it has to be one of my favorite meals of this winter.  
Our most recent produce delivery included an acorn squash.  John isn’t the biggest fan of dishes that feature winter squash, so I knew it had to be a supporting character.  I sliced it up to roast it while I figured out what to make with it.
After brushing each slice with olive oil, I threw a bulb of garlic in to roast, too, for good measure.  You never know when you are going to need it!
For the main dish, I decided to go with the old standby of beef cubes.  To start, I melted down leftover bacon grease on our cast iron pan.

I added 2 BIG sliced up onions and cooked them down to nothingness.
While they were cooking, I started up some risotto as a side.  The strong autumn flavors called for a red-wine risotto.  That, and the fact that we had an open bottle of red wine that needed to be used up.  To start the risotto, I sauteed some onions in butter.
Then, I added 1 cup of arborio rice and let that get a little buttery.
Next, I added in 1/2 cup of red wine and stirred it until it was fully absorbed.
Then, about 1/2 cup at a time, I added in leftover whey and chicken broth.  Each time, I would alternate whey and broth.
When it was almost done, I turned my attention to the steak cubes.  By this time, the onions were nice and brown, so I removed them from the pan and added butter instead. 
Into the pan went the beef cubes!
When they were getting brown and tasty…
I sliced up the roasted acorn squash into cube-sized pieces. 
I added them to the pan, along with the onions, and let the flavors melt together.
 As the steak mix danced together, I added in some butter and Parmesan cheese to the risotto.
The meal was complete!  It was the perfect combination of flavors, and we enjoyed it more than almost anything we have made lately.
This post was shared on Fat Tuesday, Dinner on a Dime, and 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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Chicken and Rice

John loves chicken and rice.  I am trying and trying to perfect the recipe, but I have been failing.  This try was pretty close to perfect.  Check it out!
First, I sliced up some chicken thighs.  I made sure they were really thin so they would cook quickly.  
Then, I had to create a marinade.  It was supposed to be made with barbecue sauce, but I wanted to make my own.  Unfortunately, I didn’t think of this in time, and didn’t have a good recipe ready.  I ended up just winging it.  How?  With one small can of tomato paste and an equal amount of vinegar.  
I mixed it up and added in brown sugar, salt, and garlic.  
I mixed it with the chicken and let it marinade.  The next day, I threw it all in a pan to cook.
In the meantime, I melted down chicken stock.  
When it was melted, I added 2 cups of brown rice and the cooked chicken (and the sauce it was cooking in).
Then, it just cooked and cooked on low.  Occasionally, I stirred it. 
John liked it with toasted slivered almonds…
… But I like it just plain!


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Lemon Risotto with Roasted Broccoli

When I posted my meal plan on Monday, I mentioned that Monday was going to be risotto with roasted broccoli/asparagus/carrots.  It turned into lemon risotto with roasted broccoli.  Why?  Because roasted broccoli makes everything delicious.  
The risotto was based on Giada’s Lemon Risotto.  
First, I brought a quart of chicken stock and 1/4 cup of lemon juice to a boil, and then reduced it to a simmer. 
While that was going on, I melted 2 tablespoons of butter in another pot.  
When it was melted, I sauteed some chopped up onions until they were nice and soft.
Then, I stirred in 1.5 cups of Arborio rice.
I added in 1/2 cup of lemon juice and stirred until it was absorbed.  During this step, I added in my secret ingredient.

What is it?  The rinds of Parmesan Cheese.  I add it to the pot while the rice cooks and it makes it SO creamy and delicious!

Then came the part that people hate about making risotto.  I stirred in the chicken stock/lemon juice mixture, 1/2 cup at a time.  
After about 20 minutes, it was rich and creamy.
While all of this stirring was going on, I roasted broccoli with a little olive oil and salt at 400*.
The finished product?


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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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Super Easy, Fast and Yummy Veggie Side

Here at Crest Cottage we tend to food shop once every 2 weeks.  This is fine for most things because we cook so much from scratch.  The only thing we haven’t been able to master is getting our produce to last 2 full weeks.  Trying to balance the items on sale with the items that will last that long, all while staying under budget, is challenging.  We tend to supplement our fresh produce with frozen toward the end of that second week.  This week, I came up with this CRAZY easy veggie side to have with our salmon.  Check it out!
First, I toasted some slivered almonds in a pan.  
When they were brown, I added in a box of frozen succotash and a box of frozen peas to defrost.  
When they were warm, I added in some brown rice I had made before (I always make extra to have on hand for the week), the juice of 3 small lemons, and sea salt.
When it was all warmed through, it was served with salmon.
It was that easy!  Minimal effort, maximum taste.  John even went back for seconds of the side dish!  He never does that!!!  He couldn’t believe that it was just lemon juice and salt.  WIN!

This post was featured on Midnight Maniac’s Meatless Monday!