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An Empty Sack

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Cooking

start with an onion…

Beautiful handmade spoon from:

mebskitchenwares.com

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Waffle-tots

Anything can be waffled.

Ingredients

Waffle iron
Tater tots
Directions

Take out the tots. Let them hang out. They need to be soft.

Maybe let them hang out in a skillet on lowish heat.
Plug in the waffle iron.
When the taters are not really cooking, but not too stiff (heh, heh) throw them in the waffle iron. I put like 23-26. Leave it on low to medium.
Let them hang out for a while. Like 10 minutes or something. Then turn the heat to the highest for like 3-5 more minutes.
Done!
Lessons Learned
I thought about putting them in the toaster to reheat.

Steak1

Gravy-less, easy, perfectly medium/rare steak.

Ingredients

Steak
Salt
Butter
Directions

Preheat oven to 420. With cast iron pan in the oven.
Pat steak dry. Put some salt on it. Put it in the freezer for like 10 minutes.
Take cast iron pan out of the oven and put on the stove at like 8/10. Put oil (NOT OLIVE) in the pan and let it get nice and hot. (Be careful)
Place steak in hot oil and leave it for like 3 minutes.
Turn steak over and leave for like 3 more minutes.
Throw a pad of butter on top of each steak and put cast iron into the oven for like 5 minutes.
Remove cast iron from oven and steaks from heat. Leave them alone for 5 minutes to cool and set. Maybe put them on the plates and start piling the plates with sides.
Bonus Round Gravy
Deglaze the pan. Make gravy.
I like some horseradish sour cream sauce on top of this. And mushrooms and onions and some green vegetable and some delicious potatoes.

Potato Spinach Sausage Soup

Stove Time.

Ingredients

Sausage
Onions
Potatoes (red)
Water/Chicken stock
Spinach
Cream
Seasonings
Directions

Cook the ground sausage on the stove. Don’t ground the sausage up too much; try to keep it in bite sized pieces.

Definitely drain the fat.
Add chopped onions and garlic and cook until it smells good.
Add potatoes and water/stock and give it a cap, then bring to a boil.
Leave it alone for like one episode.
Throw in the spinach and cream.
Serve with some crusty bread.
Lessons Learned
*

Definitely, definitely drain the fat. Definitely.

Salty Mushrooms

Soy Sauce and Mushrooms. Who knew?

Ingredients

Mushrooms (any kind)
Butter
Soy sauce
Directions

Cut up the mushrooms if they aren’t already. Medium to thin slices.
Put in a wide, shallow pan. Piled is fine; shrinkage happens.
Add a lot of butter. The more the better. Maybe half a stick.
Splash some soy sauce. More if it’s green/light.
I cap it for like 5 minutes on 7/10, and then remove the cap and let simmer for the rest of the time it takes to cook the meal. (15-40 minutes).
Lessons Learned

Sometimes they come out soggy when I cap them for too long. If they’ere soggy, just raise the heat and let the water evaporate off (no cover, duh).

Mashed Potato Casserole

Oven at 420, preloaded with bacon.

Ingredients

Boiling water
Salt
Red Potatoes
Cream
Butter
Milk
Cheese
Sour cream?
Bacon
Chives?

Directions

Grab that nifty old boiling water.
Cut potatoes into small cubes. I leave the skin on, but you don’t have to.
Preheat the oven to 420. While the oven is preheating, throw in the bacon. I flip it in ten minutes, and take it out after 20.
Boil potatoes until they’re soft. Stir them every few minutes until you feel them soften a bit. Maybe 25 minutes?
Strain potatoes and put in a bowl with a few pads of butter. Stir with a wooden spoon or a fork. Add a little cream, and stir more. Add a little more sour/cream and stir more. Add more cream and stir more. Until the potatoes have the consistency and creaminess you prefer.
Salt and Pepper and throw in some shredded cheese.
Put mixed potatoes in a glass casserole dish. Top with more cheese, and chopped bacon and chives? Cover loosely with foil.
Put in oven for like 30 minutes. Or longer.

Lessons Learned

Maybe take off the foil and leave in the oven for 15 more minutes for a browner top?

Crispy Onions

Still a work in progress.

Ingredients

Onions
Oil
stove pot
Flour
Salt, pepper, seasoning
Milk/cream

Directions

Thinly slice the onions. Use a mandolin slicer.
Drench in some milk/cream.
Put some oil in a pot and heat on highest until oil is hot. I put a piece of onion in the oil to test.
Move onions into seasoned flour pan. Toss around.
Put some at a time into the hot oil. Let fry until crispy.
Lessons Learned

If you add egg to the milk/cream wash, you get thicker, onion ring style onions. Also delicious.

Corn Cobs

Oven at 420.

Ingredients

Corns on the cob
Foil
Butter
Salt
Garlic
Directions

Unwrap corn husks.
Rewrap in foil. Put some butter in there too. And salt. And why not some chopped garlic while you’re at it.
Put on a cookie sheet in case of drippage.
Oven for 20-35 minutes. Or something.

Carrot Spinach Salad?

Boiled and sauteed. But still easy.

Ingredients

Carrots
Spinach
Olive Oil Salt
Directions

Put a pot of water on the stove at high.
While you’re not watching it start to boil, cut up some carrots. I grated mine and kept the skins and ends for my frozen veggie broth bag.
Slice fairly thinly. I used a mandolin slicer on “thick”. Heh. Heh.
Boil sliced carrots for around 10 minutes. Turn off burner.
Strain. Or, use a slotted spoon to pour out the water and don’t wash an annoying strainer.
10-15 minutes before you’re done cooking everything else, pour some olive oil and salt into the pot and toss to coat. (Or stir, but that’s boring.)
Sautee carrots at ~6/10 for 5 minutes.
Add fresh spinach. Wait 3-4 minutes. Stir until spinach starts to break down. Remove from heat and keep stirring until spinach is as cooked as  you like it.
Lessons Learned

If you don’t want the spinach cooked entirely, don’t stir much. 20 turns will thoroughly cook half a bag of spinach.

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