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Rattle ‘em Bones

Every year we end up with a large amount of deer meat, which is awesome. We love venison. Normally this deer is already processed into ground, steaks and sausage. Last year though, we were given a skinned back half. After a crash course in deer butchery we ended up with a few roasts and some “steaks”. Unfortunately, a novice deer processors we left a lot of meat on those bones. We decided to keep them for stewing, and you know what? They are freaking delicious.

I fished out the last stew bone the other day and I figured I’d share my easy stew with you. Now, it is easy, but the cook time is long. Most of that is hands off though.

Here is what you’ll need:
Deer Bone (beef works too, actually you can adapt this recipe to any meat)
1 small yellow onion
2 tbsp Chopped garlic (I use the stuff in the jar to avoid stinky fingers)
2 tbsp olive oil
One package of mushrooms
3 Medium carrots
4 Medium potatoes
Salt, black and red crushed pepper

Get out a big stock pot. I use a 10 quart. Throw your bones in with a good pinch of salt and fill with water until just covering the bones. Boil over high heat with the lid on. You need the lid so your water doesn’t dry up. Allow to boil hard for about an hour then turn down to medium.

Double, double, toil and trouble...

Double, double, toil and trouble…

Did I mention I started this around 3pm for a 7pm dinner time?

Grab a small frying pan and add a couple tbsp of olive ad heat. Chop the yellow onion, I like mine chopped into small pieces. Saute the onions over medium heat until they start to caramelize. Add the chopped garlic and saute for another 2-3 minutes. Be careful you don’t burn the garlic, it can get very bitter. Don’t forget to add a inch of sale with each new ingredient you introduce. You could saute in the stock pot before adding the bones and water

The best smell ever.

The best smell ever.

Add the garlic and onions to the pot and continue to simmer. Peel and chop your carrots to the size and shape you like. You can leave the mushrooms whole, but I like to remove the stems and cut them in half. (Don’t throw the stems away, you can use them to make an easy cream of mushroom soup that’s way better than the canned stuff and costs about the same.) Toss them in the pot and continue to simmer over medium heat.

yes, I washed the mushrooms after I cut them.

yes, I washed the mushrooms after I cut them.

About an hour before dinner time, take out the bones and allow them to cool, about 20-30 minutes should do it. Pick the meat and add it back to the pot. Leave the lid off and allow it to simmer. You want it to reduce by about half. My stock pot started about 2/3 full, at the end it was a 1/3.

You want to time your potatoes so they don’t get mushy. I try to get mine in about 30 minutes before I want to serve dinner.
taters

Salt and pepper to taste, really add whatever flavors you like. Before I go nuts, I take out a few baby sized portions to freeze for later.

Voila!

Voila!

So that’s it, it takes awhile but well worth it. I use the same method for chicken noodle soup well, I just substitute noodles for potatoes and throw in some celery with the onions. It’s a great use for that left over baked chicken.

Cake!

Last year the Boy discovered the banana split. It soon became a favorite treat. When his birthday rolled around I asked him what kind of cake he wanted. “Too bad you can’t make a banana split cake” Challenge accepted! Considering I was 7 weeks away from Little Bee’s arrival I didn’t do anything from scratch.

It was still good.

It was still good.

I used a box cake mix, store bought icing and mixed crushed pineapple with “whipped topping”. I did however cut up all that fruit myself.

I researched a lot of strawberry cake recipes and it’s surprisingly difficult to find one that doesn’t involve a packet of jello or something else decidedly not from scratch. In the end I’ve settled on this one. Ignore the frosting because we aren’t using it.

Batter up!

Batter up!

The batter smelled and tasted yummy, but I may have done something wrong. It just didn’t seem to rise. Maybe my milk and eggs weren’t room temperature enough or my baking powder is too old. I tend not to go through it very fast but we did use it in cookies recently and they came out beautifully.

Vertically challenged.

Vertically challenged.

All of that aside the pineapple filling and fudge frosting came out great! I think it looks pretty good too…

but how does it taste?

but how does it taste?

General consensus was that although very dense, it was delicious. I have a ton of left over frosting and a little bit of pineapple filling I’m sure we can find something to do with!

Burn it with fire!

Burn it with fire!

Peanut Butter Cookie Time!

Lately the Boy has shown an interest in baking. Specifically incredibly easy, delicious, chewy peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. His school requires a week of summer school so he decided to treat his classmates to his favorite cookie. Much too his chagrin I decided to document it.

This is my variation on a recipe I found online a few years ago. I’m sorry I don’t have a link but it was so easy I committed it to memory.

So let’s start with ingredients.

Eggs, baking powder, brown sugar, peanut butter, chocolate chips

Eggs, baking powder, brown sugar, peanut butter, chocolate chips

2 Eggs
2 TBSP of Baking Powder
1 18 oz Jar of Peanut Butter (crunchy or smooth) About 2 cups
2 Cups Brown Sugar
1 Cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips

You will need a mixing bowl, whisk, wooden spoon, tablespoon and cookie sheets.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together the eggs and baking powder, then add the brown sugar. Mix until blended.

sugar mix

Add the entire jar of peanutbutter and mix with a wooden spoon. It doesn’t have to be a wooden spoon, it could be a rubber spatula or whatever. The whisk just won’t work because the peanut butter is too gooey.

peanutbutter

Hey, don’t throw that jar away, you can use it to make overnight oats!
save that jar
I do this for my husband regularly so he can grab and go a decent breakfast. When I don’t have a nearly empty jar I just use a mason jar and improvise. Be warned though, there is a such thing as too much Nutella.

Go ahead and add the chocolate chips. Fold them in until they are well distributed.

chocolate chips

Now it’s time for the fun and messy part. Roll your dough into balls, about the size of a ping pong ball and place on an un-greased cookie sheet. Not too close together because they’ll spread out as they bake.

sheet balls

Bake for 7-9 minutes. Sometimes the peanut butter smells like it’s burning but unless you’ve accidentally set your oven to incinerate they are fine. . Here’s the tricky part, when you take them out of the oven you must let them cool on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes.

rest

Remove them to cool on racks. If you don’t have a cooling rack you can put them on a plate but they may be a bit soggy bottomed.

And voila! Easy peanut butter chocolate chip cookies from start to finish in about 20-25 minutes. This recipe makes about 24-32 cookies, depending on how big your balls are. I’m sorry, I had to. I have no regrets.

done