Saturday, August 19, 2017

Creamy Stove Top Potatoes

I am by nature a planner--spontaneity is not my middle name. 

Not only do I prepare a grocery list based on the sale items in our weekly supermarket ads, but I also frame an entire week of menus based on those purchases. And (taking it one step further) I consider which days of the week will require a 30-minutes or less meal and which ones provide the luxury to play for an afternoon in the kitchen.

...Therefore the genesis of this recipe is nothing short of miraculous. Typically I go to the market with a goal; I know before I take one step outside my door what grocery items I will be searching for.

Today however I had no plan, and allowed the lure of bargain-hunting to rule what I would purchase. At my local Farmers Market I found Yukon gold potatoes, yellow onions and smoked Gouda. When I arrived at home I looked at what was stored in my kitchen. Hmm, there's an opened box of vegetable broth in the frig, and in the pantry is a cluster of fresh sage I picked just yesterday from my herb garden.

I don't want fried potatoes today--I'm in the mood for something creamy and comforting. So, let's see if I can put all of these things together to satisfy my tummy.


Ingredients
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 Yukon gold potatoes, thinly sliced
  • about 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced
  • 1/2 cup smoked Gouda or other smoked cheese, shredded
  1. In a large saucepan with lid saute onions in butter and olive oil over medium until they begin to soften. Add the potatoes, and stir a few times so that oil lightly coats all slices.
  2. Pour broth over potatoes--just enough to cover. Turn the heat to low; cover and simmer 20-30 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Remove lid. Sprinkle fresh sage and smoked cheese over simmering potatoes. Simmer for about 5 more minutes, or until cheese is melted and almost all liquid is absorbed by potatoes
  3. Stir gently and serve.

What makes this recipe work?

  • SauteĆ©ing the onions over medium heat makes them soft and golden and tames their fire.
  • Yukon gold potatoes retain their shape even after they are cooked.
  • Simmering the potatoes in broth makes them soft and the starch from the potatoes lends a bit of thickening to the casserole.
  • Fresh sage gives the dish a pop of flavor.
  • Smoked cheese provides a creamy savory balance.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Thought for Today



God didn't add 
another day to your life 
because you needed it. 

He added it because 
someone needs you.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Leftover Cereal Bread

My parents were young adults during the Great Depression of 1929-30. For them the words "Use it up, wear it out, make it do" was more than a catchy phrase or thoughtless mantra. It was a way of life that they carried with them each and every day until the end of their lives in the latter part of the 20th century.
In my growing up years, we were frugal long before living green was "in".
We re-used aluminum foil. We saved the heals of loaves of bread to make our own bread crumbs. We didn't purchase oil for frying--mom had a little pot sitting on the back of the stove into which she poured the grease that remained from frying bacon. (By the way, I still hold onto two of those three habits--I'll let you guess which one I have abandoned).
And in keeping with that family tradition, I am loath to toss out perfectly "good" dry cereal if (1) it is stale, (2) there are only 2 tablespoons left, or (3) ....we're tired of it!
I am going to assume that you have the same cereal issues at your house. Here is one remedy.


Equipment you will need

  • large mixing bowl
  • two 9-inch x 5-inch loaf pans


Cook Time

Prep time: 2 hours 50 min
Cook time: 1 hour
Ready in: 3 hours 50 min
Yields: 2 loaves


Ingredients

  • 2 cup boiling water
  • 1 1/2 cups dry cereal, any kind*
  • 1 cup oatmeal, (not instant)
  • 1/3 cup cooking oil, (I use extra virgin olive oil for its health benefits)
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup, (NOTE: if using sweetened cereal, substitute 1/4 cup water for the 1/4 cup corn syrup)
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 envelopes active dry yeast
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Directions
  1. Mix the water, cereal, oatmeal, oil, molasses and corn syrup in a large bowl. Cool to lukewarm.
  2. Stir in the yeast until dissolved; let stand 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs, then 3 cups flour or enough to make a stiff dough.
  3. Cover and let rest 30 minutes.
  4. Turn out on lightly-floured surface; knead 8 to 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Divide dough in half. Place each half in a greased 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.
  5. Cover and let in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size (1-2 hours).
  6. Bake in preheated 350 degree F oven 1 hour. Remove from pan; cool on racks.

*Want a sweet loaf?


  • use pre-sweetened cereal
  • You can also add nuts, dried chopped fruits (raisins, dried cranberries, apricots, etc.)

*Want a savory loaf for dinner?
  • use whole grain and/or unsweetened cereal
  • add savory herbs (chives, chopped rosemary, thyme, oregano)