Meanwhile, in the Kitchen

The last time I started writing a post, it was all about election anxiety including possibly too much information about how this anxiety was manifesting as multiple physical symptoms and, well, I just decided to set it aside. And now, after a deep breath, here’s some kitchen stuff.

First, I need to thank my sister for pointing me toward Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures, and in turn I have to thank those ladies for instructing me on how to cook perfectly fluffy quinoa. The girls often requested quinoa, but then I’d make it and they’d say, “Oh, yeah, you’re right, this isn’t good.” And I’d try again, because of course, it’s a whole grain that’s an excellent source of protein, so I aspired to like it, but it just always tasted bitter and gross whenever I made it. But thanks to the sorcery that is a deep rinse followed by a dry sauté and some veggie broth, I’m suddenly loving quinoa. And what’s even better is that the one way that we could tolerate quinoa as a family was in this broccoli/sundried tomato/cashew quinoa salad, and turns out that it’s WAY better now, since the quinoa has improved so much. So that’s awesome.

Yesterday, after multiple family requests, I made two more family favorites. First, an autumn dessert classic, Apple Crisp.

Apple Crisp

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

The crisp part:

  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ cup oatmeal
  • 3 T chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • ½ t salt
  • ½ cup butter, softened or melted
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup

Mix it all together in a bowl.

The fruit:

  • 5 apples, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 2 pears, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 3 T maple syrup
  • 1 T flour

Mix the fruit in casserole dish, pour syrup over it, and sprinkle in flour. . Put the crisp mixture on top of the fruit mixture. Bake it for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees

I’m not sure where the heck we got the original recipe for this, but meanwhile, it’s evolved over the years, anyway.

Then, for dinner, I made a recipe from this old book:

I’m a little bummed out that I couldn’t find the recipe somewhere on the internet. In fact, the shorthand that we use for this meal at our house is “Mexican Stuffing,” and, word to the wise, don’t Google that phrase.

In the McCall’s Cooking School book, the recipe is called Mexican-Style Chicken in Black Bean Sauce, but really, we just use it as a start to make the, well, the Mexican stuffing. It’s:

  • 6 oz. pepper jack, grated
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 – 4-oz can of chopped green chiles
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 1/4 t chili powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/8 t black pepper

We mix that up and then use it to stuff chicken breasts and/or mushrooms and/or quarters of red pepper. Then we bake it all for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees and serve with lime wedges and maybe a side of black beans or guacamole. It is very tasty. I think the mushrooms are the favorites.

Of course, lately my cooking is a little discombobulated because we’re down to a household of three. But more on that later.

One Comment

  1. Claire

    Oh wow, talk about a cliffhanger! I can’t wait to hear more about the latest development. As far as election anxiety, I feel your pain. The lack of a smooth transition is really scary, especially with the virus raging out of control.

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