Category Archives: Non-recipes

Vegetable Couscous Salad

Please note: this post was written last week, so the “today” and “yesterday” are not literal. Thank you for understanding.

ImageDon’t you love the concept of devouring a huge salad? It’s a gorgeous concept—dozens of flavors, textures, and colors, all tossed into one enormous mound. For you. For your hunger and your health. And if salads make you happy, it’s for your happiness, too.

I’ve become a salad fanatic lately, but I have a hard time coming up with new combinations. Sometimes a salad is a salad is a salad. Our side salads are usually lettuce, carrots, purple cabbage, avocado, and nuts. My main dish salads consist of…well, whatever I feel like putting on them. (If you’re really interested, my lunch salad today was lettuce, cucumber, grated carrot, meatloaf, orange bell pepper, and poppy seed dressing. It was fantastic.)

Right now, however, I’m going to tell you about yesterday’s salad. The salad mentioned above is not the All-Gong Oriental Salad of the title. Let me tell you about that one.

I feel like making a huge salad and eating it like a starving herbivore. (Well, not exactly.)

I grab The Two Sisters’ Cookbook and go to the Salad section.

I see the All-Gong Oriental Salad.

I start mixing. Not sure how much of all the ingredients, so this is a non-recipe.

Be advised: This recipe is NOT the same as the All-Gong Oriental Salad in the Two Sisters’ Cookbook! I just used that recipe for ideas and inspiration.

Vegetable Couscous Salad

Salad:

Lettuce, chopped

Carrots, diced

Green onion, sliced

Black olives, sliced

Broccoli, chopped

Frozen peas, thawed

Purple cabbage, chopped

Couscous

Fresh ginger, grated

Dressing:

¼ cup water

1 – 1 ½ tsp. cornstarch

Soy sauce

Lemon juice

Brown sugar

Rice wine vinegar

Fresh garlic, minced

Toss desired amount of salad ingredients in a large bowl. As you can tell from the pictures, I went heavier on the vegetables and lighter on the couscous. But that can change!

For the dressing, combine water and cornstarch. Microwave a minute or two, stirring frequently, until the mixture is bubbly and thick. Whisk in several tablespoons (each) of soy sauce, lemon juice, brown sugar, and rice wine vinegar. Toss in a little garlic. Drizzle over the salad and toss well. I would recommend chilling the salad for awhile, but yesterday I didn’t have time.

Now you can devour the salad!

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In case you’re wondering, I don’t like the calories of normal oil-and-vinegar dressing, so I prefer to thin them out a little with a cornstarch-and-water mixture. Thinner dressings go farther on my salads.

I’d like to know…

What do you like to add to your salads?

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Ah. It’s so satisfying to post, isn’t it?

See you next time!

rachel

“Not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord” (Romans 12:11).

Pizza Night!

As I concocted pasta sauce a couple of hours ago, I thought, “I should write this recipe down and post it.” Then I started taking pictures…of Corrie’s pizza crust dough, the mushrooms, and on and on. Then I got to adding things and on and on and I forgot about taking pictures. Then I remembered again. Yum.

It was goooood pizza. Especially the veggie one (that’s because it’s the only one I had). So….I’m not writing down Corrie’s pizza crust dough recipe (I don’t know exactly how she did it). You can just do whatever dough you like and add some spices. Corrie did whole wheat pastry plus some gluten. Whatever.

Here’s pictures, and I’ll give you the pasta sauce recipe when we get to the pasta sauce.

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The beginning of the dough. Carbs are so good.

Then the mixer did all the work. And you can go do other things while it kneads. Hah.

Check it out. Hands in the dough.

Blob of dough. Sorry about all the dough pictures. I must be obsessed with dough or something.

Here’s the pasta sauce. Roll out your dough. Put the wonderful herby sauce on.

1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes

1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. onion powder

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 tsp. sugar

1 1/2 tsp. basil

1/2 tsp. oregano

1/2 tsp. parsley

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

1/4 tsp. thyme

1/4 tsp. marjoram

1/4 tsp. rosemary

Stick everything in a blender or food processor. Blend until desired chunkiness.

Now add the toppings….

This one had chopped bell green peppers, homemade beef sausage, and cheese. Traditional and favorite.

This one had green bell peppers, mushrooms, spinach, pineapple, and spinach. I like veggies, too.

Look at your kitchen. Isn’t it a mess of love?

Make some chubby breadsticks if you have extra dough. Thanks, Corrie!

Corrie said it looked good, so I came and took a pictures. Pizzas are beautiful….

View no. 2. Same pizza, though. You knew that.

Here’s the sausage pizza. Of course, it’s already after we cracked into it.

Cheeezzzy. Great pizza, by the way. And I’m not bragging. I just say so if I like what I make. That’s okay, isn’t it?

Eat all the pizza you want [need]. Put the rest in the refrigerator for breakfast tomorrow morning. Or maybe stray brothers that come in late and haven’t had pizza yet. Leave a happy pizza stone and pizza cutter.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the pizza night tour. It was a great night. Love cooking with and for my family. What about you?

~rachel~

“I have come that they may have life, and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roasted Broccoli

Oh, how I love broccoli. Oh, how I love broccoli. Oh, how I love broccoli.

Please don’t tell me you torture your broccoli. Broccoli has feelings, just like the rest of us.

It doesn’t mind being served raw. It likes making you feel healthy as you munch and graze through it.

It loves being steamed until crisp-tender, then flavored with butter and herbs. Just loves it.

Broccoli, however, hates being fully cooked and then served all limp and sick-green. Just hates it. That’s how you torture broccoli….you cook it on high for 20 minutes until it mushes in the bottom of the pot. Please don’t.

But Broccoli’s favorite way to be cooked is this: ROASTED. It just can’t be happier than when it’s tossed with olive oil and minced garlic and roasted in a hot oven until it’s seared, tender, and crispy on the edges.

I realize that this broccoli doesn’t look happy. It’s hard to make it look happy when you take a picture of it. But just know that it is, all the same.

Roasting broccoli is so, so easy.

1. Cut your broccoli into medium-sized florets.

2. Place it in a baking pan and drizzle with olive oil.

3. Mince up some fresh garlic and sprinkle it over the broccoli. Add a little salt and pepper if you’re so inclined.

4. Stick it into a 425- or 450-degrees oven. Let it roast for around 10-15 minutes until it’s just tender. Don’t overdo!

5. And there you have it. Dump it into a serving bowl and feed it to your ravenous family before it gets cold.

You will love it as much as the broccoli does.

Forever and always,

~Rachel~

 

Pear-Cranberry Crisp

Don’t be afraid of pears. They are delightful in the utmost sense. That’s why we made a crisp with them. Not only a crisp, but a healthy crisp. The healthy part actually happened on accident but turned out rather nicely. It became our Sunday dinner dessert.

I started out using Pioneer Woman’s Pear Crisp, but you know I can’t follow a recipe. So this Pear-Cranberry Crisp is the result. And because I was dumping and pouring, it has to be a non-recipe.

I know this isn’t the greatest picture. I’m still learning about food photography. And sad to say, Pear-Cranberry Crisp isn’t the prettiest food in the world to begin with.

What you’ll need:

Pears

Cranberries

Apple juice

Honey

Cornstarch

Salt

Flour

Oats

Butter

Cinnamon

Walnuts or Pecans

Start with 4-5 pears, a cup or two of cranberries, and a greased 9×9″ baking dish. Peel the pears (optional, as you can see from the picture), then dice them or slice them, whatever you prefer. Throw them in the pan, add some cranberries, and just do what looks right. =) Now for the thickener. Mix about 1 T. cornstarch with 1/4 cup apple juice, then pour it over the pears. Drizzle in some honey. Sprinkle in some salt and cinnamon to taste.

Yay! The pears are all done! Set the pan aside and get out a bowl for the crispy topping. Measure out 1 to 1 1/2 cups flour, a couple cups of oats, and around 1/2 cup nuts. Mix it together and don’t forget to add more cinnamon! Now cut in 1/4 to 1/3 cup melted butter and some more honey. (Hint: the honey mixes easier if you heat it in the microwave first.) Taste it. A little dry? Add some more honey or butter. A little sticky? Add some more flour or oats.

When your crispy topping is perfected, sprinkle it atop the patiently waiting pears and cranberries. Stick it in an oven preheated to 350 degrees, and bake for about 30 minutes, or until bubbly. It’ll be best when it’s warm, and to make it even better, top it with whipped cream or a little vanilla ice cream.

Enjoy greatly!

~Rachel~

Tostadas, Tostadas!

Our family loves food. More specifically, Mexican food. More specifically, beans.  More specifically, tostadas.

Have you ever tried a tostada? It’s like a big, round corn chip. See?

You toast it in the oven, then cover it with refried beans, cheese, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, tomatoes, olives, lettuce, green onions, or whatever you feel like. Devour. Repeat. Repeat again if needed (usually is needed).

We had tostadas for New Year’s Eve. Forget the black-eyed peas and shrimp cocktails and wine. We’d rather have tostadas any day!

The unadulterated tostada shells, right out of the oven: hot and crispy. And greasy. Mmmm.

Tomatoes: one of the optional toppings. I’m not a fan of tomatoes, but they’re too pretty not to take a picture of.

Olives, another optional topping. What a hypocritical food blogger I am – I don’t like olives either. But they are photogenic; that’s why they’re on my blog.

The preparation of a perfect tostada.

Meet the perfect tostada.

Everyone likes them a little different. But we all enjoy them.

If you don’t believe that, look at the above picture.

And sometimes, tostadas are best with just beans and cheese.

The point is: however you dress up a tostada, it’ll still be a tostada.

Enjoy your tostada.

Happy New Year!

~rachel~

“The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; yes, I have a good inheritance” (Psalm 16:6).

 

Catch-A-Cashew Salad

Hi. My name is Catch-A-Cashew Salad. Nice to meet you, too.

I’m a little different. But I’m yummy. I originate from a recipe in the Two Sisters’ Cookbook, but Rachel’s putting me down as a non-recipe.

I’m very adaptable.

P.S. Rachel’s excited to be taking pictures of me with her new camera.

You’ll need:

Cauliflower

Cashews

Green onions

Carrots

Green peas

Mayonnaise/Yogurt

Lemon juice

Worcestershire sauce

Basil

Salt, pepper, garlic

Chop up some cauliflower and throw it in a salad bowl. Whatever looks right. Do the same thing with the cashews, green onions, peas, and carrots. Wait. Grate the carrots first. Or peel them into strips…however you like it. Now for the dressing. A little mayo or yogurt, then the lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and herbs. Stir it together, and then taste it. Need a little more mayo? Or lemon juice? Whatever tastes good.

Enjoy. But you won’t enjoy it as much after it sits in the refrigerator a day. Enjoy it now.

Have a super day.

~Rachel~

Blessed be the name of the Lord….

Golden Zucchini Bread

No. It’s not really zucchini bread. It’s summer squash bread. But doesn’t Golden Zucchini Bread sound enchanting, exotic, intriguing?

Doubtful. Can anything with zucchini sound “enchanting”? Fat chance.

I’m too lazy to pull out the recipe and tell you how I changed it, so this is a non-recipe. Have fun!

You’ll need:

1. Your favorite zucchini bread recipe.

2. Yellow squash.

3. Candied ginger.

First of all, replace the zucchini in that favorite zucchini bread with grated summer squash. First golden part.

Next, when you get it all mixed up, add some chopped, candied ginger. About 1/4 cup for 2 loaves, or more!

If you like raisins in your bread, you could enhance the goldenness by adding some golden raisins. Wow.

Bake normally. Eat normally. See if anyone notices it’s golden. Fat chance.

Enjoy your abundance of zucchini!

God bless!

Rachel

Easy Herb Focaccia

Focaccia is a flat oven-baked Italian bread which may be topped with herbs or other ingredients (Wikipedia).

It’s incredibly easy. So easy, in fact, that it can be a non-recipe!

Incredibly yummy too. So yummy, in fact, that you’ll want to get another piece.

Would you believe that it’s a very popular as a snack in Italy and school children will often purchase a slice from a baker on the way to school, to enjoy at break time? That’s from Wikipedia too.

Here’s the non-recipe.

What you’ll need:

1-2 pounds your favorite bread dough

Olive oil

Salt, pepper, garlic powder

All your favorite Italian herbs

Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, or another cheese you think might be good

What you’ll do:

Spread the dough out in a jelly roll pan. Brush with olive oil. Now sprinkle with all those spices and all that cheese! Let it rise for 20-30 minutes, then bake at 350 for about 15 minutes or until light brown.

Remove from the oven, cut, and devour.

~Rachel~

Cherry Chocolate Trifles

Here’s another non-recipe recipe! I could write out everything I did, but you’d probably just go and add your favorite chocolate pudding and cherry filling to make these babies. Wait…I’m giving the whole point of this post away.

Simple.

In pretty glass cups (they really don’t have to be pretty or glass, but it’s prettier and glassier if you use pretty glass cups), layer:

Graham cracker crumbs (or other similar crust-crumbles…wouldn’t Oreo’s be good?)

Cherry pie filling

Chocolate pudding

Repeat.

Top with a cherry and piece of chocolate.

(That last ingredient is optional, but very nice)

See? You didn’t want me to write out the whole long recipe for cherry pie filling or the whole long recipe for chocolate pudding. Maybe you didn’t want me to write this recipe at all. Anyway.

Hint: if you make them, you’ll probably like them.

Unless you don’t like cherries.

Or chocolate.

Or graham cracker crumbs.

Fruity Yogurt

Yup. It’s fruity. It’s yummy. Would you believe, it’s yogurty? We make it frequently for a quick and easy (and yummy!) supper. Give it a try!

Do I even need to give directions?

Fruity Yogurt is simply…

Yogurt.

Fruit.

That’s where you get creative, my friends. Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, pears, bananas, peaches, pineapple, mango, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, dates, raisins, honey, vanilla, cinnamon. The list goes on and on. (Or does it?)

This is a non-recipe recipe. I hope you can use it sometime!

And when you’re done cutting up all that fruit, this is what you get.

Isn’t it beautiful? I thought so too.

~Rachel~