Food Goodness-The Weekend

It was an amazing weekend for food. I can’t even tell you.

But I really want to tell you… so here are some photos.

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Meatloaf “Cupcakes” (made with local, grass-fed beef) with Mashed Potato “Frosting” and rutabaga fries.

The meatloaf cupcakes and rutabaga fries were served with Farmer Ben’s ketchup and NYS Red Wine. Homegrown goodness all around.

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Grilled Cheese on Homemade Basil Bread with Monterey Jack  Cabot Butter and Ben’s Maple Horseradish Pickles/pickled onions. Mind=Blown.

The Grilled Cheese was served with the spiciest tomato-like soup I’ve ever eaten (I say tomato-like because it actually had stewed tomatoes, vegetable juice, butternut squash, rutabaga, scallop squash and a million other things in it…including about half a jar of hubby’s super spicy chili sauce). So good!!!

Another win? Ben & Jerry’s BOGO! Hello Coffee Heath Bar Crunch (for me) and Boston Cream Pie (for him)!!!!

I also drank way too much coffee …but that’s nothing new.

Food-Winning all around.

What did you eat this weekend? 

Happy Monday!


What Did I Eat?

I’ve been eating a lot of delicious food lately. Seriously.

I would call it major (over) indulgence on my part…but then I would feel guilty…

Anyway, I’ve been holding out on you… The hubby and I have done some cooking. Like this delicious macaroni and cheese, complete with jalapenos and caramelized onions.

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Melted cheese gets me every time….

While I was in DC, I ate some seriously good food. Like the Pesto Burger from Silver Diner.

Silver Diner is a 50’s style diner, jukeboxes on every table and really great staff. Seriously, I don’t think I have ever been into one and had an unhappy server. One thing that I love is that in the last few years they have gone local. They also try to do organic/minimally processed foods, making everything super delicious.

My first night in DC, I knew we had to go. So we went. And I ordered this burger.  Pesto. Goat Cheese. Roasted Red Peppers. Grass-fed beef. I couldn’t resist.

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Pesto Burger. Life is good.

I also had to have lunch at Potbelly… we don’t have any in Plattsburgh, so I HAD to go…and eat a lot of processed meat. Yum! If you’ve never been to one, please go. Now.

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A Wreck on Wheat. Loaded.

There were a couple of other places that I revisited/had delicious meals at …but I didn’t get photos.

That’s one thing I really miss about living in DC, so many wonderful places to eat for whatever your mood.

But then I remember that I am married to a chef, who makes me things like Birthday Paella (complete with chicken, shrimp and cod) in a flash…

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This is love.

And takes me out for an apple cider margarita at one of our favorite restaurants (and they use our favorite local cider)….

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Magic in a glass. Local cider makes everything better!

And allows himself to be dragged apple picking on the last day of apple picking season…and then goes a little apple crazy, resulting in this….

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A bushel of apples…Empires, Cameos and Macs, NBD.

But it’s fine because I know we’ll use them…

And lastly, he makes homemade ravioli. With local flour, squash, butter, cider, shallots…you get the picture.

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Acorn Squash Ravioli, apple cider reduction and caramelized shallots…just a typical Sunday lunch.

I guess I don’t need to live in a big city to eat well. I just need to run…everywhere… and then run some more.

So yeah, that’s what’s been happening on the road/in the kitchen. Any recipe requests?

What’s going on in your kitchen? Or at your favorite restaurant?

Happy Friday!


Dirty Little Secret (Boxed Mac and Cheese)

Hi Friends!

Hope you all had a great weekend! Mine was a win for the most part. Saturday consisted of sleeping in, going shopping and having a giant lunch.

I was pretty excited because I am finally creeping out of “in between sizes” and settling into the smaller size. I also picked up an awesome new t-shirt, along with some work pants and a sports bra. All were much needed!

Sunday was my day off with Farmer Ben…and let me tell you, we both needed it! We started out with church, some napping (okay, I was the only one who napped…but who’s keeping track?) and an amazing lunch.

It was the kind of lunch that you have when you want something hearty but don’t have a lot of time….or just don’t feel like “cooking.”

As you know, I’m not big on boxed foods…but I have a serious weakness for Annie’s Mac and Cheese…especially with greek yogurt. So good!

Sorry for the lack of photos… I was in too much of a hurry to stuff my face. Oops.

Anyway, here is what I call “the Dirty Little Secret.” I justify it by telling the world that everything was local/from the garden except for the mac and cheese mix and olive oil.

Dirty Little Secret (Or Lunch in a Pinch)

Ingredients

  • 1 box Annie’s Mac and Cheese-choose your own adventure on this one.
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 2 Jalapenos, seeds removed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • about a tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • Optional:1 lb ground beef (or chicken sausage, turkey, beans, bacon, etc.-again, choose your own adventure)
  • Optional: shredded cheese

What to do:

Cook your pasta as directed on the box of mac and cheese (to save time, boil water while you are prepping the rest) and set aside. Reserve cheese packet for later.

Roughly chop onion, jalapeno and garlic.

Throw them in a hot pan with some olive oil. Cook until softened, stirring occasionally so they don’t burn/stick.

Add in ground beef (or whatever you decide on)

Cook until your beef is browned, stirring occasionally to break up any big clumps.

If necessary, drain out excess oils/fat (we used a 90/10 grass-fed beef, so there wasn’t really anything to drain).

Add cooked macaroni and seasoning packet, along with some Greek yogurt…or sour cream if you’re feeling naughty. Stir until well combined.

We ate our’s like this, BUT if you want even more crazy goodness, pour your beefy mac into a casserole dish and top with shredded cheese. Cover with foil, removing for the last few minutes of bake time. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 until cheese melts/begins to bubble-maybe 15-20 minutes.

This will serve 4 people (better with a salad) or two extremely hungry people. We ate our’s in two sittings.

Again, this is just a quickly thrown together option, you could add in bell peppers, diced tomatoes, olives, whatever you want!

Enjoy!


Lentil Burgers

Lately, I haven’t been eating as well as I would like. It’s partly because I’ve been eating on the run and partly because I’ve been lazy about planning ahead.

It’s been all about beef, bacon, nachos, potatoes and cupcakes. Granted these are all grass-fed/local/from the garden…but I admit, I have been over-indulging.

Don’t get me wrong, I love greens but I have just wanted something a little more… meaty and cheesy.

So, in an effort to cut down on my carnivorous binge, I made some veggie burgers. I served them over greens with a quick yogurt sauce (greek yogurt, lemon juice, honey, dill and garlic powder).

These are super easy to make AND go really well with salad….so you’ll have plenty of room for shredded beef nachos later on… I’m only sort of kidding…

So much color and goodness!

Lentil burgers are also totally good for you-packed with iron, protein, potassium, fiber and good fats!

Anyway, I used orange lentils in this batch but I would advise using black lentils instead–they are a bit firmer and will hold up better to mashing/mixing. You’ll need to rinse your lentils before cooking them to make sure any little stones are picked out.

Lentil Burgers:

Adapted from 101 Cookbooks

2 cups cooked lentils (I cooked mine with our favorite Thai Stock from Wegmans)

1 15 0z can beans –I used great northern beans- garbanzos, black beans or pinto beans would also work

4 large eggs

1 to 1-1/2 cups bread crumbs

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

a few good cranks/pinches of black pepper and sea salt

Parsley-I used about a tbsp

A few squeezes of lemon

1-2 tsp. Smoky Paprika

1 tbsp. Olive Oil

Optional:

  • Olives–Ben and I stumbled upon Lindsay’s Naturals Green or Black Olives and they are amazing! We had a can in our cabinet so I threw some in for some added texture.
  • Jalapenos–I’ll probably make these again just so I can throw in some fresh japs from the garden! YUM!
  • Your favorite cheese-I used about 1/4 -1/2 cup of Cabot Mozzarella

What to do:

Combine lentils, eggs and salt in a large bowl– use your trusty dough blender or a fork to combine until your mixture is still slightly runny but chunky-it’ll look like really wet/chunky hummus.  (You can also use a food processor).

Add in remaining ingredients (except olive oil), stir until just combined. Let sit for a few minutes so the breadcrumbs absorb excess moisture.

Your mixture should be wet, but still able to be formed into patties.  If necessary, add in more breadcrumbs a little bit at a time. Or, for more moisture, add in more water/egg.

(I mentioned using black lentils instead of orange-I found my moisture to be REALLY wet/mushy with the orange and was out of breadcrumbs, so I added in some unbleached flour-it worked just as well).

When you have the right consistency, heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat, form patties and add to skillet.

Cook covered until bottom begins to brown-this took about 7 or 8 minutes. Flip and cook another 7 minutes until other side is lightly browned. 

Serve over your favorite salad or on a bun as a veggie burger.

Makes about 12 burgers ~177 calories per burger. You can store uncooked patties in the fridge for up to a week.


All I Really Want…

Is a burger and a beer. What foods are you craving right now?  

 

Hand-cut fries, grass-fed beef, Red Hen roll, bacon, braised kale, caramelized onions, arugula, house-made pickles and Vermont Cheddar.

I know a just did a post about the Farmhouse Tap & Grill, but seriously. Go there. This is their handiwork. I dream about this burger. 

Have a great day, everyone!  

 

 


This Is Why…

Hello, hello, hellooooo!

As you can probably tell, I am feeling much better. I am finally getting over whatever it was I had, thanks in part to lots of tea and tissues, homemade soup, my wonderful husband and a ridiculous amount of sleep. One more day and I think I will be completely healthy again.

I am excited to bring you new posts, as briefly detailed in my last entry…and more! Again, I apologize for the lack of writing on my part, having been out of work for a few days last week things have been ridiculous.

Anyway… I saw this article yesterday. I think it pretty clearly outlines yet another reason why I try to avoid fast food, processed food or factory produced meats.  In case you missed my post on this the first time around, here is the link.

Basically, McDonald’s said that they would stop using ammonia treated beef (or as my friend BG put it, “Ghostbusters’ slime”)… my question? Why the heck were they using ammonia treated beef in the first place?! The answer: ammonium hydroxide is used as an anti-microbial, making (very) low quality meat okay for consumption.

The chemical is also used in many every day household cleaners and to darken wood. Yum.  The FDA has determined that the use of ammonium hydroxide is safe… regardless, I don’t personally believe that eating cheeseburgers-and other foods-containing a substance used in my window cleaner is very appetizing…or healthy, for that matter.

If you read on in the first article, it also discusses other substances used in everyday processed/pre-made/frozen/fast foods. Nothing wrong with eating shellac or sand, right? Thanks, but no thanks.

In short, I’ll be sticking with my local, grass-fed meat, vegetables from our garden and homemade breads… Buy local!

Sources: 

Yahoo! The Sideshow- http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/mcdonald-confirms-no-longer-using-pink-slime-chemicals-171209662.html

Wickipedia: Ammonium Hydroxide– http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammonium_hydroxide

FoodInsight.Org: Questions and Answers about Ammonium Hydroxide Used In Food Production- http://www.foodinsight.org/Resources/Detail.aspx?topic=Questions_and_Answers_about_Ammonium_Hydroxide_Use_in_Food_Production