In Which I Pretend To Be Vegetarian But Am Really Just Too Poor To Buy Meat

Hello my darling readers,

I recently visited one of my friends in our great nation’s capital. It was a totally kick ass, ridiculously booze filled weekend that left me completely impoverished. No joke I just paid for gas with a roll of quarters that I counted out from my piggy bank….I literally walked into the gas station and handed the cashier $10 in quarters, which is some how not as awful as a grown woman with a piggy bank….

So I had to figure out a way to feed myself on the cheap this week without going on a pasta fueled carb-bonanza. SO obviously I decided to make something with pecans. For anyone who doesn’t know, pecans are foolishly expensive, I bought a quarter cup and it cost $2.50! Please excuse me while I quit my day job to become a pecan farmer. (For real though a quarter cup is probably like, what, 5 pecans. That’s 50 cents a pecan people, outrageous!)

While I lament the state of my finances here’s a recipe for goat cheese and pecan stuffed acorn squash (because clearly goat cheese is also my idea of a “price friendly” food, no wonder I’m broke)

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Ingredients

1 acorn squash
1/4 cup pecans
2 oz. goat cheese
1 tbsp melted butter
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp dried thyme

Instructions

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Brush with melted butter and place cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes.

2. Mix pecans, thyme, and maple syrup together. Cut goat cheese into two 1 oz rounds.

3. spoon half of the pecan mixture into the hollow of the two squash halves put 1 oz of goat cheese in each half and the cover with remaining pecan mixture. Bake for another ten minutes.

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Then just enjoy! It works as a meal in itself or as a side dish if you are less poor than me. It’s got a great, sweet, salty, crunchy, smooth thing going on. Shout out to The Georgia Pecan Commission for the recipe, also if they are hiring I will work for pecans.

Have a cheap cocktail for me (but not a PBR, I do not condone ironic liking of things, enough hipsters, we get it)

-Audrey

recipe from http://www.georgiapecansfit.org/recipes/item/acorn-squash

Pop Over for Popovers!

What’s cooking my readers.

Today we are talking popovers. What’s a popover you ask? Well to answer that I give you my apologizes that you have had a sad life deprived of these fluffy, crunchy (flunchy?) breakfast pastries. I have made these on many an occasion, most of the time the occasion is “hey you know what sounds like a healthy breakfast…an entire tray of popovers”

The hardest part of making popovers is resisting the urge to open the oven and check on their progress. Unless you are fancy and have a window in your oven or you know a full size oven of any kind (congratulations on your successes I hope to some day join you in the lap of luxury).

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look at these beauties.

Ingredients

1 1/4 Cup Flour

1 1/4 Cup Milk

3 Eggs

2 tbs Melted Butter

2 tbs cold butter

Instructions:

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees (really give it time to heat up it needs to be extremely hot in there)

2. Whisk your flour in a mixing bowl (you all know my feelings on whisked flour but head on over to Helpful Tips if you need further explanation). Then whisk in milk, eggs and melted butter, you will have a very liquidy batter.

3. Place muffin tin in the oven for a few minutes to heat up

4. Cut cold butter into twelve even pieces. Remove muffin tin from oven and place a piece of butter into each cup.

5. Pour the batter into each cup filling them about halfway.

6. Bake for twenty minutes. (DO NOT open the oven, if you do you will just have flat sad eggy biscuits and not delicious flunchy buttery popovers) Reduce heat to 300 degrees and bake for an additional ten minutes.

7. Enjoy while warm with your favorite topping!

I love them with honey butter, just mix honey with slightly softened butter at a ratio of 1:4 (that means one part honey to four parts butter for the mathematically challenged) or with apple butter (recipe coming soon for y’all!) OR if you want to get real serious about following this blog (or have just fallen down the rabbit hole that is my wit and charm) you could make the Cranberry Jam that I posted about and then put it on popovers.

As always readers, have a cocktail for me!

-Audrey

In a Jam With Lots of Cranberries

Hi there Readers.

Here in New England in addition to unpredictable weather patterns (it snowed a week ago and today it’s 61 degrees) the late fall is all about the Cranberry. We have more Cranberry bogs per capita than anywhere else in the country, according to this study I just made up. (Really though we do have a lot of them, there are about eight within a fifteen minute drive of my house and I do not live in a rural area)

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Tell me those don’t look delicious

A co-worker gave me a pound of cranberries that she got from her friend who owns a bog. The only things I have ever done with cranberries is to put them on a string to decorate a Christmas tree and use them as garnish in the whiskey punch I made for last Thanksgiving. Cooking them was so far off my radar that I wasn’t even sure it was a thing you could do.

But I wanted to bring something fun and homemade to my parents this year for Thanksgiving to remind them of their New England roots (they live in the south now) so I did what any girl would do and took to the internet!  I found many, many recipes for things like chutney and compote that required zesting and chunks of things and double straining and I was not into it. Where was a nice little recipe for something simple and delicious that would keep and travel well and have myriad uses?! It was over at willcookforsmiles.com that’s where. Using this brilliant and simple recipe that required only four ingredients I endeavored on my first foray into jam making.

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The Oh So Few Ingredients

1 lb Cranberries

1 cup fine sugar

1 apple peeled, cored and chopped

1 tbs lemon juice

Directions

1. Throw all the ingredients into a pot bring to a boil while stirring to prevent sugar from burning.

2. Reduce heat and simmer covered, stirring frequently, until mixture cooks down (about an hour)

3. Place in a blender and mix until smooth. Transfer to jars and let cool before refrigerating.

4. Eat half a jar with a spoon over your sink (this step is optional unless you are a blogger named Audrey in which case your body will just take over and demand that you eat this tart delicious jam)

and Voila

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lovely smooth jam that is extremely easy to make.

A couple of quick notes

-Fine sugar is somewhere in between granulated sugar and powdered sugar. Rather than buying a whole separate kind of sugar I just pulsed some granulated sugar in my blender.

-I would put the jam in the blender on a lower setting, it is extremely thick and if, like me, you have a blender with a motor that has less juice than your hair dryer, you will need to start it out slow with something like this.

-You can tell that cranberries are ripe based on their bounce-ability! It makes them super fun to pour into a pan. (This is a completely true fact and they do actually bounce test cranberries for ripeness.)

Until we meet again dear readers, have a cocktail for me!

-Audrey

(full recipe from willcookforsmiles http://willcookforsmiles.com/2012/12/homemade-cranberry-jam.html)

Sweet PotatOH My Word That’s Fantastic

Hello dear reader. If you are looking for a food blog written by a housewife about the every day foibles and triumphs of domesticity then I have to apologize because you have stumbled upon the blog of a slightly dysfunctional, deeply unorganized, chronically single weekend lush with a penchant for cooking and an occasional desire to clean something. But be honest, that second thing sounds like a lot more fun right? 

If you’re still with me then lets get to it! I have recently discovered the majesty of the sweet potato whilst simultaneously deciding that eggs are far too often relegated to the breakfast table (presuming you have a separate table upon which to relegate breakfast foods…I do not, my house could fit in a pita pocket). 

The Culprit

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Look at it there all sweet and unassuming

And the delicious recipe for my very own Sweet Potato and Bacon Hash with spinach and poached eggs. 

Ingredients 

1 medium sweet potato

8 strips bacon

4 handfuls baby spinach

4 eggs

Instructions: Peel and shred, slice, dice or otherwise chop up your sweet potato and set aside. Cut bacon strips into quarters and fry in a large skillet. Add sweet potato to the skillet (with the bacon grease and all) and cook while stirring occasionally until tender and slightly crispy, around ten-fifteen minutes. Remove potato/bacon mixture from skillet and set aside. Add enough water to just coat the bottom of the skillet and add spinach, cook until just wilted (this only takes about 3 minutes). 

Bring a small pan of water to a low boil and poach the eggs until whites are set and yolk is still slightly runny (this is just my personal preference, please feel free to poach the crap out of your eggs if you so desire). A quick note on poaching eggs, you will have a better and more picture-esq end result if you crack each egg into a small, shallow bowl first and then slide into the boiling water (this keeps the whites from spreading too much). I like to poach one egg at a time because the thought of poaching four eggs in one pan is terrifying to me and I have really small pans BUT if you do have a wide pan or are a wizard I have heard a rumor that you can poach multiple eggs at once. Just make sure to give them enough room to breathe or stretch or something. 

Separate the potato/bacon mixture onto two plates and top each with a heap of spinach and two poached eggs. Salt and pepper to taste. 

The end result

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(as previously stated I am single so I made one sad person serving and saved the rest of the hash for another day)

The utterly fantastic thing about this meal is that it is good for breakfast, dinner, lunch, brunch, linner, or any other combo meal you want to imagine. It is also highly customize-able, you could change up the meat you use or add peppers, onions, top it with kale. Hell it’s got sweet potato in it drizzle it with maple syrup and throw some cinnamon in there if you want to get really crazy. It’s also fairly cheap, low on the cals (except for the bacon) and pretty simple to make. 

Until next time readers, 

have a cocktail for me! 

-Audrey