Tuesday, September 10, 2013

On Food

Although I've always been a decent cook, my cooking over the last few years has been a bit limited, as every other member of my family has at least one (and, in some cases, several) limiting allergy/sensitivity/etc. Dairy. Eggs. Wheat. Peanuts. Etc, etc, etc. For the record, I agree with them that just about any dish can be modified to be just as tasty and allergen-free, as long as you're willing to do a little research and testing. But easy? Notsomuch.

Since moving out into my own place, I've been able to dig out some of my favorite recipes that include such sumptuous ingredients as cheese. And milk (and cream). And bread products with all their gluten fully included. And... did I mention cheese? :)

And of course, I've discovered some new favorite recipes. Like my favorite brussel sprouts, ever. I think I could eat them for breakfast. And tomato tart - I have eaten this for breakfast! :)

Here's a roundup of some yumminess I've been munching on lately:

I found the recipe for the best pot of chili this past week, so I thought I'd post the recipe so I don't lose it and cry you can also share in my good fortune! ;) It makes enough for a giant crockpot (enough to feed my family plus a guest and stick a few servings in the freezer for later).
  • Brown 3 pounds ground beef in a skillet; drain, and dump meat in crockpot. Cook 1 large chopped onion until soft; add 1 tablespoon crushed garlic and cook until fragrant. Add to crockpot. Chop and add 2 large red bell peppers and2 large green bell peppers. Add 1 bag frozen corn, 2 large cans crushed tomatoes, 1 small can tomato sauce, and 2 cans kidney beans (and next time, I will add black beans, too. Because I like bean-y chili). Add salt and pepper (and hot sauce, if you're like me!) to taste. South African Smoke Seasoning makes it to die for, just sayin'. Cook on low for at least 6 hours and voila! Amazing chili. Not too thick, not too watery, just perfect.
I at this for the next three days in the form of Cincinnati chili and it was so good. Btw, if you've never heard of Cincinnati chili, do go check it out, and make yourself a bowl. It's kind of amazing. For the record, I like mine "four-way bean" (no onions - ick!).

And speaking of that South African Smoke Seasoning... Mm, mm, mm, mm, mm! I picked it up on my trip up to Trader Joe's and it's easily the best $2.67 I've spent in a long, long time! So good. I can't wait to try it on a brisket in the crockpot.

I made my own pizza this week! Although I have yet to try making my own dough from scratch (this amazing dough was part of my Trader Joe's haul) I was able to get it to cook in my RV oven well enough (this is the only bad thing about being an RV full-timer - the oven sucks. Seriously, take a second, go to Google, and put in "rv oven". At least 90% of the hits will be the same complaint - burns on the bottom/outside while the top/inside remains almost raw). I did take the time to implement some tips from Julie at The New Lighter Life (lovelovelove this blog! I may have stayed up way too late a couple nights last week reading every.last.post.) and it turned out way better than I've been able to achieve yet. On my to-do list this week is a stop at Lowes to hunt for unglazed tiles, which will hopefully improve my baking experience even more.

And last, but not least, I couldn't leave you with a list of my loves of lately without including this recipe for a single-serving microwaveable brownie. This has become my go-to recipe for when I want something sweet without heating up the oven, washing more than a mug, or have company. It works with rice milk and oil in place of butter just fine, so the kids love it, too, when they come to visit. I prefer a more cake-like, less dense end result, so I add about 2 tablespoons more water at the very end. Sometimes I also add a heaping tablespoon of cherry preserves, which is just lovely. :)

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