Archived entries for Uncategorized

Let Them Eat Cookies! Holiday Baking List 2013

Its that time again! I’ve got John Denver and The Muppets christmas album blaring on the stereo.  I’ve got my two little toddler helpers in their aprons and we’re mixing up some holiday cheer 1 cup at a time.  Here’s our list of cookies we’re making for this year.

For more of our tried and true family favorites, check out these cookies!

 

 

Fifth Forkable Anniversary!

This month Forkable turns five! Let’s celebrate, starting with a photo from my first Forkable photo shoot!

I look great.  My photo skills sure have improved.  5 years!  1,507,705 page views, 383 posts, 1,195 comments, readers from 209 countries.  We’ve been covered by TimeOut Chicago, featured on Bon Appetite.com, The Kitchn, Gapers Block, Boing Boing (twice!), and been retweeted by the official Showtime Dexter page.  I’ve had a post go viral (700,000 unique hits)!

We’ve hosted underground supper clubs, cooking classes in our kitchen and catered events including my own wedding!  Not too shabby. My photos have gotten better.  I’ve become a better writer.  Sort of.  And we’ve eaten lots of amazing food.

Whats next for Forkable?  Readers may have noticed I don’t post as much over the past year or two as I did in the past.  Well, having 2 children under the age of 3 will do that to you!  Am I going to quit writing Forkable?  NO!  I just may only post once every other month.  But this site is such a repository of recipes, its got almost all of my favorite recipes already.  But when I find something truly special, I promise you, I’ll share.

Ok, enough tooting my own horn.  Yay!  5 years!  Ok, serioulsy.  Enough tooting.  Thank you all so much for 5 years of readership, support and love.  Lets continue to make amazing foods!

From The Archives: Lamb and Black Bean Chili

This last cold weather snap has been making me crave this chili.  Yum!  This is my FAVORITE chili, so I thought I should repost! Lamb, black beans and WINE.  Say no more.

Lamb and Black Bean Chili

  • 1 1/2 lb ground lamb
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large 28 oz. can whole tomatoes, un-drained and chopped
  • 1 c. dry red wine
  • 1 Tbs chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 15 oz. cans black beans, drained
  • salt to taste
  • hot sauce to taste

In cooking pot, saute lamb, onion and garlic.

Add tomatoes, red wine, and seasonings up to sugar and bring to a boil. Allow to simmer for 2 hours.

Add black beans and allow to simmer for 30 more minutes.

Season with salt and hot sauce to taste. Done! Garnish with cilantro and fresh jalapenos.

 

2012: Food from Scratch In Review

New Years is all about resolutions, but New Years resolutions are depressing. They are based on what you’re not doing and/or what you want to do better.  This year, Ira and I decided to spend New Years Eve writing a list of achievements of the past year.  It was very empowering to focus on what we’ve done well, not what we haven’t.  So I decided to apply this to Forkable.  Here is a list of foods I am very proud to have incorporated into my daily life over 2012.

1. Raspberry Jam
This summer I was lucky enough to get 6 cases of organic raspberries and I made almost all of them into freezer jam.  I have enough to last all year!  I use it daily to make quick delicious vinaigrette, on toast or as a delicious sweetener to my daily oatmeal breakfast or yogurt snack.  Am I going to get sick or it, you ask?  Sick of raspberries? GASP! NO. I won’t.

2. Yogurt
I finally have figured this out!  Its all in keeping a steady 100 degrees during incubation.  I make yogurt at least once or twice a week now.  Yay! Probiotics have never tasted so good.

3. Granola
I usually make a big batch of this twice a month.  Granola is great with milk for breakfast or on top of yogurt.  It saves me a lot of time and money by not having to go buy so much boxed cereal for our breakfasts!

4. Saur Kraut
This year, I decided to always keep a batch of fresh saur kraut in the fridge to eat and one on deck, fermenting in the crock.  In the past I would just ferment and can a huge batch in the fall, but canning kills the pro-biotics.  And I want healthy intestines!

5. Fresh pickles
I’ve also got a jar of refrigerator pickles going at all times.  Mainly cucumbers, but I’ll do green beans, garlic, or whatever I have on hand. Its fun to taste the transition they go through from the light dill taste of an early pickle to the full Briney flavor of a mature one.

6. Fresh Bread
Its amazing to wake up every day to the smell of fresh baked bread that I only spent 5 minutes making!  Thank you bread machine!

7. Apple sauce
This is the best baby food ever.  I’m so lucky to be able to get organic apples every year from my family.  For the past few years, I’ve been able to can a few gallons of apple sauce every year.  Its so wonderful to be able to know I’m giving my baby the best food he can get.

Ok, well, that is enough shameless self aggrandizement for one day. 2012 was a great year.  I hope I can make 2013 just as amazing!

Holiday Baking 2012 Cookie List

Its that time of year again.  With two little trouble makers underfoot, I’ve decided to keep my holiday baking as simple as possible without skimping an the amount.  I’ve focused on choosing my favorite easy cookies.  We’ve got our aprons on and our holiday baking list ready to go.  We’ve got a pantry full of flour, sugar, cinnamon and chocolate!  So lets get baking.  Here’s our list of cookies for this year.  Also, check out our holiday cookie archivefor more inspiration!

  1. Heirloom Maple Meltaways
  2. Cranberry Lemon Sandwiches
  3. Oatmeal Lace
  4. Dark Rummies
  5. Pfefferneuse
  6. Anise Puffs
  7. Choco-gingersnaps
  8. Palmiers
  9. Mudballs**
  10. Marshmellow Wreaths
Lets have some fun!
**I use the same recipe to make the mudballs as the eyeballs, but just use plain semi sweet chocolate instead of the white chocolate and the decorations.  However, you could use white and dye a few different colors, like red and green and make colored christmas bulbs.

 

Forkable Favorites: Cheesy Onion Casserole

Cheesy onion casserole is always a favorite every Thanksgiving, so we’re digging back in our archives to re-feature this recipe.  For more great Thanksgiving recipes and tips, check out our Thanksgiving thread.

This dish is so delicious the left overs are always fought over.  No Thanksgiving is complete without a casserole and this one is literally as easy to make as it is to eat!

Cheesy Onion Casserole

  • 2-3 Tbs butter or margarine
  • 3 large sweet onions or 4 medium white or yellow onions
  • 2 c. shredded Swiss cheese (8 oz.)
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup, undiluted**
  • 2/3 c. milk
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 8 or so slices of French bread

Slice onions. Know any tricks not to cry while cutting onions? I whistle which works pretty well, but you need a lot of onions for this recipe. Check out the comments on the original post for some great tear saving tips!

Melt butter in a saute pan over medium heat, and add onions. Saute onions until clear, a little brown is ok. In a shallow 2 qt. casserole pan, layer onions, 2/3 of cheese and pepper to taste.

In a sauce pan, heat soup, milk, and soy sauce, stirring to blend. Pour soup mixture in a casserole and stir gently to mix. Top with bread slices. Bake at 350 uncovered for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, top of bread should be nice and toasted.

Push bread slices under the sauce and top with the remaining cheese.  Bake for 15 more minutes and you are done!

Sooo good!

**You can make this vegetarian by substituting cream of mushroom soup instead of cream of chicken.

For more great

Tempting Treats To Terrify

::Halloween Food::

Its that time again this year.  If you’re looking for some disgustingly delicious delicacies to stuff your ghoulish guts this Halloween, don’t forget to check out our Halloween Archive for some great last minute Halloween food ideas!

Tomato Juice

Not only is homemade tomato juice awesome and delicious, its a great way to get rid of ulgy damaged tomatoes.  I usually make this last, after processing my whole tomatoes and marinara, so I can use any excess juice or scraps from the other tomatoes.  Nothing makes for an amazing spontaneous brunch party then a quick bloody mary with your own juice.  Let’s get juicy.

Tomato Juice

  • Tomatoes, juiced
  • optional: salt

Core tomatoes and remove any bruised or damaged bits.  Place tomatoes in a pot and simmer on the stove top for about 20-30 minutes to soften up and allow for easy juicing.  Pour into a food mill to remove skin and seeds. If you are lucky enough to have a juicer, you can just use that and skip the simmering step.  However, I would still suggest running the pulp waste through a food mill to get as much juice as you can out of the tomatoes.

Bring tomato juice back up to a boil.  If its a bit watery, you can cook it down until you get the flavor you want.  Salt to taste.

Wash enough glass canning jars needed for tomato juice.  Temper by dipping in the boiling water of your canning pot.  Sterilize canning lids in boiling water.

Pour tomato juice into hot jars Wipe edges of jar to remove any materials which might impede lids from sealing.  Top with sterilized canning lid and ring

Process in boiling water canner 15 minutes for pints and quarts.  Beginning timing when water in canner comes back to a rolling boil.  When time is up, remove from water and allow to cool on counter top.  Do not jostle jars as it can impede a proper seal.

Once jars are cooled and sealed, mark with contents and date.  Put in your pantry and feel good about a job well done!

Easy Roasted Marinara

Have a ready to go marinara in the pantry is one of the best time savers for an easy weeknight pasta dinner.  After spending an hour or two skinning tomatoes for canning my whole tomatoes, I very rarely have the patience to do any more putzy work.  I love my roasted marinara, because its super simple and requires very little work.  I just throw a bunch of cored tomatoes into a roasting pan with a few onions, garlic and a bit of spice and slow roast until nicely cooked. Blenderize into a sauce and then can.  EASY!  I’ve blogged about it before, but here’s my general recipe.

Easy Roasted Marinara

  • 10-20 lbs tomatoes
  • 2-3 onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • head of garlic, husks removed
  • 1-2 Tbs dried thyme
  • 1-2 Tbs dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Core tomatoes and remove any bruised or damaged areas.  Cut into large chunks.  Mix ingredients together in 1 or 2 large roasters. Lightly coat in oil.

Place in oven and roast 3-5 hours.  Mix occasionally.  I roast until excess tomato juice has been reduced and there is a light crust of blackened tomatoes/onions.  Remove from oven and allow to cool down enough to touch.

Start water boiling in your canning pot.  Heat enough water to cover jars 1″ when placed in canner.  Allow for water displacement of filled jars.

Using an immersion blender or a food processor, blend until you a desired consistency.  Season to taste. Bring marinara back up to a boil on stove top.

Wash enough clean glass jars for your marinara.  Dip in boiling water to temper glass for boiling marinara.  Sterilize canning lids in boiling water.  Pour marinara in jars leaving 1/2″ head space.  Wipe edges of jar to remove any materials which might impede lids from sealing. Remove air bubbles from jar. I usually use a chopstick. Top with sterilized canning lid and ring.

Process in boiling water canner. 40 minutes for pints. 45 minutes for quarts. Beginning timing when water in canner comes back to a rolling boil. When time is up, remove from water and allow to cool on counter top. Do not jostle jars as it can impede a proper seal.

Once jars are cooled and sealed, mark with contents and date. Put in your pantry and feel good about a job well done!

5 Quick and Sweet Raspberry Recipes

This blog post is sort of just a way for me to gloat about my weekend raspberry exploits.  I mean its only a partial gloat.  A REAL gloat would probably involve me picking gallons of wild raspberries from my wooded property in the U.P. However, since I live in Chicago, I will settle for scoring 6 cases of organic raspberries from my local fruit market for $3 each!  Yus!

I love raspberries!  So does Thora.  So we’ve been having fun.  Yesterday we made 4 gallons of freezer jam and today we’re going to make pie.  So…what’s my point, you ask?  Why am I wasting your time?  Well, here’s a collection of 5 quick and fun raspberry recipes so if you have an amazing raspberry haul yourself, or even just a pleasant pint, you can make the most of it!


I’m also gloating that I was able to get all 6 cases home on my motorcycle!

Radical! Raspberry Recipes
(Please say Radical in as obnoxious of voice as possible)

 

 



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