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lamb burgers with homemade pickles

Once upon a holiday, I made lamb for the first time. You know, so wise. Having company for a holiday, Heather? Oh, let’s try something you’ve never done before with an audience that isn’t super adventurous, said me. Yes, of course. 🤦🏻‍♀️

It wasn’t my favorite, and from the number of leftovers, it wasn’t anyone else’s either. But it was the first try done. First try results rarely stop me and good thing since lamb has become one of my favorites. Roasted lamb chops, lamb meatballs and lamb burgers? I’ll order it over beef most days.

We love these burgers with a bun or plate of spinach greens and always topped with sauce and homemade pickles. And by pickles, I don’t mean canned, jarred, or Grandma’s anything. I wouldn’t just throw that careless comment in there like that, I promise. These you can make in 15 and eat immediately or better yet, an hour or more later. And if you have no time for this or you forget, try these even easier pickled onions.

Since I’ve been scratching down notes for these lamb burgers in multiple places, it’s time I put it here for you AND me.

Lamb Burgers with Lemon Yogurt Sauce
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Ingredients
For the burgers:
  • 1.5 lb ground lamb
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • pepper - 20 cracks or ½ teaspoon
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil, more for frying
Lemon yogurt sauce
  • 1 cup of yogurt
  • ½ lemon zested
  • ½ lemon juiced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped mint or dill
  • ½ teaspoon of salt & a pinch of pepper
  • 1 small garlic clove crushed (optional for a little punch.)
Instructions
  1. In a bowl break apart your meat with two forks lightly.
  2. Add all the spices and oil.
  3. Gently mix ingredients into the meat with two forks, not stirring or mashing the meat, just enough to combine.
  4. When all is mixed, form 4 - 6 patties about ¾ inch thick.
  5. Heat oil in a pan, enough to lightly coat the pan surface.
  6. Fry lamb burgers 3-4 minutes a side, until cooked medium or longer as desired.
To make the yogurt sauce
  1. Whisk yogurt, lemon zest, juice, olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt & a few cracks of pepper. Lastly, stir in 1 tablespoon mint or dill.
Option: I like to make small versions of this recipe under the broiler for an appetizer. Broil 3-4 minutes on each side. Top the cuties with tzatziki sauce and lemon zest on little toasts, and they fly off the plate.

My family’s favorite way to sandwich this burger, or any burger, is on a toasted English muffin. But this summer, my family and clients have been eating those delicious looking Euro brioche buns from Whole Foods that are gluten-FULL and smell like heaven. Every once in a while I’ll have the multi-grain, gluten-free Rudi’s English muffin toasted or no bun at all, and I’m not sad about it.

A slice of a seasonal tomato, spinach greens, lemon yogurt sauce and these pickles? Yes. It’s what’s been on our summer table but this one we’ll take with us all year long.

homemade quick pickles
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Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • ½ cup white distilled vinegar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 English cucumber sliced thin (1/8-1/4 inch on my Mandoline)
  • ½ teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 6 pepper berries
  • 1-2 tablespoons of roughly chopped fresh dill
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon of sugar
Replace cucumbers with red onion slices or fennel slices. Or a combination of all.
Instructions
  1. In a small saucepan whisk together vinegar, salt, water, caraway seeds and pepper berries until salt dissolves and liquid comes to a boil.
  2. Place your chopped cucumbers and dill into your jar.
  3. Pour hot liquid over cucumbers and dill and put on the lid.
  4. Let it cool on the counter.
  5. When cooled to room temperature, tip upside down a few times and then place in refrigerator.
  6. Pickles can be eaten an hour after refrigeration but are best after 24 hours and up to a month.

Enjoy!

~Heather

 

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how to turn dinner into a cooking lesson

Last week Cole and Ev were home at the same time, the kale and cucumbers were overflowing in the garden, I had a story to finish for W.E.L.L. Insiders, and we needed a salad to go with dinner. Dinner time, cooking lesson, story inspo and pictures needed? Grab available kids and do all the things!

How to hold a knife safely? #ontheblog #shemadeit #recipe #lemons #vinaigrette #mealprep #mealprepping #sald #eatinghealthy #eattherainbow #chopping #whisking #teaching #cookinglesson #whatsfordinner #onthetable #knifeskills #cuttingveggies

As with any cooking class I teach, impromptu or scheduled, it doesn’t matter your age or skill as there is always something to learn. Read Cooking WELL With Kids: How to Make the Best Green Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette for the first post in a series I’m doing for W.E.L.L Insiders. Keep reading for the actual questions I asked and how we made a salad which led to a cooking lesson for Cole and Ev with these questions:

  • Is this veggie ready?
  • Can you de-stem the kale, please?
  • How do you hold and cut with a knife SAFELY?
  • What’s an emulsion?
  • Have you ever tasted a purple carrot? Thyme? Mint?

Is this veggie ready?

I ask myself this every time I walk by the garden. Googling garden questions has become my everyday practice, as I’ve mentioned I can’t pay friends to share what they know when it comes to gardening!

Cooking with kids! #ontheblog #shemadeit #recipe #lemons #vinaigrette #mealprep #mealprepping #sald #eatinghealthy #eattherainbow #chopping #whisking #teaching #cookinglesson #whatsfordinner #onthetable

How do I know kale is ready? Here are a few things I do that may or may not be in the garden books, but they’ve worked for me, and I’ve shared them with my kids.

  • Pinch off a piece and taste it!
  • Harvest outer leaves when they are the size of your parent’s hand.
  • Keep inner and top leaves intact for the plant to keep growing.
  • If kale is bitter, I’ve read about reversing the order to what you or I usually do which is first wash then cut, to instead, massage leaves to soften, then cut, then rinse to remove some of the activated bitter taste.
  • Still bitter? I have found most kale and chard very edible by sauteeing with a little butter and balsamic. You’re welcome.

Can you de-stem the kale, please?

This job is perfect and fascinating for all the ages. Me! While some (eh hem, Whole Foods) don’t bother, I like a salad better without the chewy, fibrous stem. We love to do it this way:

How do you hold and cut with a knife SAFELY?

How to hold a knife safely? #ontheblog #shemadeit #recipe #lemons #vinaigrette #mealprep #mealprepping #sald #eatinghealthy #eattherainbow #chopping #whisking #teaching #cookinglesson #whatsfordinner #onthetable #knifeskills #cuttingveggies

  • Notice that Cole knows how to hold something he’s cutting with his fingertips down and his knuckles in front, creating a safe place for a knife to line up (safely bump), preventing any cutting of fingers. Eek.
  • Cole holds his knife in the grip of his hand, keeping pointer finger wrapped around the handle. While some find it easier to put pointer finger on top of the blade to guide it is an easy way to cause the knife to slip off balance and cut fingers.

How to hold a knife safely? #ontheblog #shemadeit #recipe #lemons #vinaigrette #mealprep #mealprepping #sald #eatinghealthy #eattherainbow #chopping #whisking #teaching #cookinglesson #whatsfordinner #onthetable #knifeskills #cuttingveggies

Evie uses a butter knife that is sharp enough to cut softer foods. She’s not alone in the tendency to want to use that pointer finger to guide the blade.

Once she heard me notice and compliment Cole’s knife skills, she changed it up below after observing.

How to hold a knife safely? #ontheblog #shemadeit #recipe #lemons #vinaigrette #mealprep #mealprepping #sald #eatinghealthy #eattherainbow #chopping #whisking #teaching #cookinglesson #whatsfordinner #onthetable #knifeskills #cuttingveggies

What’s an emulsion?

The science of food is something I’ve grown to appreciate and understand with age and context. Kids pick up on this right away of course. An emulsion is the mixture of two liquids that would not usually mix, like oil and water.

How to make a simple vinaigrette? #ontheblog #shemadeit #recipe #lemons #vinaigrette #mealprep #mealprepping #sald #eatinghealthy #eattherainbow #chopping #whisking #teaching #cookinglesson #whatsfordinner #onthetable #knifeskills #cuttingveggies

While vinaigrette is a temporary emulsion (after an hour or more it will separate again), there are more semi-permanent emulsions like hollandaise sauce and even more permanent like mayonnaise. Both of the latter requires a third ingredient like eggs or even honey and mustard can help bind the two together. In a vinaigrette, the oil droplets disperse into the vinegar and temporarily create an emulsion. It’s a perfect two kid job so one can whisk and the other slowly pour in the oil.

How to make a simple vinaigrette? #ontheblog #shemadeit #recipe #lemons #vinaigrette #mealprep #mealprepping #sald #eatinghealthy #eattherainbow #chopping #whisking #teaching #cookinglesson #whatsfordinner #onthetable #knifeskills #cuttingveggies

Have you ever tasted a purple carrot? A piece of fresh mint or thyme?

  • Try it!
  • Touch it, smell it, taste it!
  • Never say never (my golden food rule) and try it again next time.

How to make a simple vinaigrette? #ontheblog #shemadeit #recipe #lemons #vinaigrette #mealprep #mealprepping #sald #eatinghealthy #eattherainbow #chopping #whisking #teaching #cookinglesson #whatsfordinner #onthetable #knifeskills #cuttingveggies

I’ve often heard parents say, “My child doesn’t eat ______.” Food rejection IS a part of the developmental process of learning to eat, and some struggle more with this than others. I wonder what happens though when we definitively decide for a little person who they are and what they’ll do long-term when it comes to food, and then we say it aloud on repeat or remove the particular food from their diet for good? Keep at it, give it time. My 2 cents. 🙂

And that goes for me and my lifelong dislike of lima beans too? Ha. While I don’t need to like this legume, I won’t, however, turn down anything YOU think is worth trying again. So bring it on you lima bean lovers? (Is there even such a thing?) Never say never.

For more cooking lessons, check out the full series on cooking with Cole called Before He Goes.

~Heather

 

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instant pot carnitas

Does the world need another carnitas recipe? Probs not but I still have one for you. And you’re welcome. You can consider this my shock and awe share because I didn’t see an Instant Pot sitting on my counter thing coming.

Make these easy instant pot carnitas for your next meal prep or dinner party! #ontheblog #shemadeit #recipe #carnitas #mealprep #mealprepping #tacos #whatsfordinner #onthetable

I’m old enough and smart enough to know that never is NEVER a sure thing. And lately, I’ve been feeling the future of our food and what’s on our plates bending in a new direction. (Towards more plants and less meat!) I guess I  didn’t see that one coming either.

We made One Part Plant's Roasted Cauliflower and Fennel Soup!

Without a plan, I started throwing in plant-based meals here and there and seeing what the family and I noticed. While we did notice, I didn’t hear anybody missing the meat. Hmm. Are we full? What did we like? Do we want it again? Surprisingly, we are all a bit rocked that the answer has been yes, yes and more, please.

My point on eating more plants and yet this post being on carnitas? Bwahaha. I guess it means this one is worth it but not because it’s the only star on the plate. These beans and this rice can be made in your new Instant Pot. Batch make the parts, and you have my kind of perfect meal prep, which in my opinion is to go ahead and prep the parts. Don’t worry about packing it up like this pretty little jar!

Meal prep these easy instant pot carnitas with rice and beans for your next meal prepping session! #shemadeit #recipe #carnitas #mealprep #mealprepping #tacos #whatsfordinner #onthetable

Unless you are walking out the door, in which case this is also perfect.

When at home, put a fresh over-easy egg on top, pass the hot sauce, perhaps a new cassava tortilla and everybody’s happy. Maybe the best part is it’s extraordinary ability to be breakfast, lunch, or dinner for whoever and however you put it together.

Here’s the cheaper 6 in 1 Instant Pot I have but click picture (affiliate link) for more options!

For the curious Instant Pot or the pressure cooker owners, this gem is for you!

Instant Pot Carnitas
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Makes: Serves 8-10
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or bacon fat)
  • 1 3-4 pound boneless pork shoulder
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 oranges zested and squeezed to about 1 cup of juice
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and left whole
  • 2 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup white onion chopped
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
Instructions
  1. Trim large pieces of fat off of pork shoulder. Save fat and add to the pot before cooking for flavor.
  2. Cut pork into 2-inch pieces.
  3. Press [Saute], then press [Adjust] to [More] mode on your Instant Pot. In 10 seconds your pot is ready to saute your meat. Add oil for a few seconds to cover the bottom of the insert and saute all meat sides in batches, placing browned pork in a bowl until all pieces are brown. Keep all meat in the extra bowl to rest and saute onions alone for about 3 minutes. Add some more oil as needed.
  4. Add meat and all the remaining ingredients back into Instant Pot insert, including reserved fat pieces, and stir to combine, scraping up browned bits if possible.
  5. Close the lid of the Instant Pot. Press [Manual] and set time for 30 minutes.
  6. When time is up, let the pork naturally release for about 20 minutes and then release the remaining pressure manually.
Options for finishing recipe:
  1. To eat immediately: Shred meat and use juices to add moisture as you need and skip the sauce thickening process as detailed next.
  2. To cook down sauce with stove and oven: With a slotted spoon, strain out meat pieces onto a rimmed baking sheet with about ½ cup of juices poured on top. Put remaining juices in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer vigorously while the sauce cooks down to a thicker sauce. Broil pan with meat until tops of meat chunks start to crisp. Remove from the oven. Discard fat pieces and shred meat. Pour thicker sauce on top and stir together before serving.
  3. To cook down sauce with stove top only: Remove pork pieces and pour all juices into a saucepan, bring to a boil and cook until thick and reduced as you desire. Add pork pieces back in (removing all fat portions) and stir and shred until meat is pulled apart and ready to eat.
  4. To save or freeze for later: Cool the meat and juices in Instant Pot pan, then package into a storage container and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Proceed with either of the options above, removing the fat layer on top as you wish or use some in your recipe for flavor. Or you can put cooled meat and juices into the freezer once cooled and when you decide to thaw, proceed with oven or stove-top reheating instructions above.

 

If you don’t see yourself getting an Instant Pot, don’t say “never” or you’ll have one by months end. Do, however, click on over to this stove-top crispy shredded pork carnitas or this oven roasted slow roasted pork shoulder for recipes that have not been replaced by the pressure cooker but perhaps given just a little bit of weekly competition.

As for the winds of change and more plant-based meals coming, follow me on @heatherbursch, and you’ll see where it goes.

~ Heather

 

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how to make scrambled eggs in an All-Clad pan

This one was initially for Cole, cooking lesson #3 and scrambled eggs.

how to make scrambled eggs | cooking lesson # 3 | shemadeitshemight.com | #shemadeit #cookinglesson #howtomakescrambledeggs #allcladpans #cooklikeachef #offtocollege #hemadeit #cookingwithkids #beforehegoes

Even if he doesn’t make eggs during dorm life next year, he will eventually. They’re a staple, right? Breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner. They are also economical. (And I’m talking about organic free-range, vegetarian eggs. Still so cheap!) One day he will need all these things – kitchen skills and inexpensive meals, right?  But beyond all this, Cole likes eggs even though he complains about making them sometimes.

how to make scrambled eggs | cooking lesson # 3 | shemadeitshemight.com | #shemadeit #cookinglesson #howtomakescrambledeggs #allcladpans #cooklikeachef #offtocollege #hemadeit #cookingwithkids #beforehegoes

I realized this winter we had an egg situation going on with the whole family. Everyone wanted or needed them but no one wanted to make them, and when they did, there was a messy trail left behind.

how to make scrambled eggs | cooking lesson # 3 | shemadeitshemight.com | #shemadeit #cookinglesson #howtomakescrambledeggs #allcladpans #cooklikeachef #offtocollege #hemadeit #cookingwithkids #beforehegoes

But hey parents, do you ever find yourself doing something you never intended to keep doing but you’re either not aware that you are hustling or the work seems easier than A, B, or C? Well, eggs were one of those things. Without intention, Tim or I were making the eggs for the kids and ourselves at different wake-up times. One of us was also cleaning up after it was all said and done or using multiple pans all morning long. If we weren’t making or cleaning it, no one was making eggs for themselves and egg-less children were hungry by 9 a.m. On approximately December 2017, I had ENOUGH.

I invited the whole fam damily into the kitchen for an egg refresher to get us all on the same page, and we implemented a new kitchen practice for living at the Bursches:

Everyone (except the 6-year-old) will make their own eggs in our All-Clad pans daily, and they shall clean all dishes involved.

Sound simple?

Well, anybody living with another human knows, nothing is that seamless. Cooking and community necessitate empathy, respect, common courtesy and in my opinion, a parent who doesn’t do everything for their children.

And some of you will say, “For crying out loud why doesn’t this family have a non-stick pan though?!”

Well, I’m not going to rant to you about what non-stick pans are or aren’t, how they leach crap into your food, flake off and become part of your omelet, okay? Enough said. You can look up the research and decide for yourself. Or how they don’t allow for browned bits, deglazing or the perfect crusts to develop when cooking everything else besides eggs. Truth.

How I ended up not having non-stick pans was not by reading an article that scared the $%&* out of me. It’s less glamorous. My last non-stick pan died (as they always do) about ten years ago, I couldn’t afford a new one, and someone said to me something like, “Well, you have to have a non-stick pan for eggs don’t you?”  And because I’m stubborn like this, I didn’t buy one. Ha. Instead, I figured out how to use what I had which was a previously bought set of All-Clad pans. Hello.

how to make scrambled eggs | cooking lesson # 3 | shemadeitshemight.com | #shemadeit #cookinglesson #howtomakescrambledeggs #allcladpans #cooklikeachef #offtocollege #hemadeit #cookingwithkids #beforehegoes

When this beautiful pan and a little clarified butter can give you the most beautiful and delicious eggs along with anything and everything else a chef/cook needs, why even bother with the flaking and replacing. Cooking eggs in a metal pan actually taught me how to lock-down the basics of cooking (like egg making) as well as gain high performance skills with heat and timing, how to adjust and learn what is good or even better, about smoking points and different oils, and how having a pan along with the right utensil for every use is annoying when one kind is all you really need. We never went back.

Here’s our recipe. And what to do when it goes awry.

perfect scrambled eggs in an All-Clad pan
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Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoons of clarified butter (see videos for options)
  • 2 eggs whisked well
  • small to medium metal pan
  • salt & pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat pan on high for 1 minute (make sure it's fully heated!), then add clarified butter or oil. Set the timer for 1 minute while butter melts, heats, and easily covers the pan surface. This time can vary but as you learn your pan works with your stove, make sure your pan is hot and that your butter/oil is fully warmed up and ready for eggs to sizzle. Do not let your fat get to the point of smoking. When butter or oil moves around your pan quickly and easily when you use your wrist to tip the pan in a circular motion, your pan is ready. Visa verse, if the oil or butter moves slowly and doesn't coat your pan, wait a little longer as your fat is not hot enough to create a non-stick surface. This will take practice to know, use the 1 minute above as a guide.
  2. When pan and fat are hot and about to bubble, pour in eggs and working quickly with a firm spatula or spoon, scrape eggs toward the middle, so the oil or butter follows your swipe and recoats the pan.
  3. Fold and slightly break apart eggs as needed to maintain fluffy folds but also cook insides as much as you like. Again, learn the kind of eggs you prefer. I prefer mine slightly wet and one last fold to cook the wet layer, then I'm done.
  4. When ready, remove from heat to stop eggs from frying and drying.
  5. Pan should remain clean if the pan and your butter/oil were hot enough.
See problem shooting below the recipe!

 

  • If there is a layer of egg film cooked on the bottom of your pan, try to adjust next time. To quickly remove the film when you are done, immediately put water in your pan and return to high heat, scraping as if you were cooking or deglazing a pan. This habit will remove all egg film in seconds rather than trying to wash it off now or later.

how to make scrambled eggs | cooking lesson # 3 | shemadeitshemight.com | #shemadeit #cookinglesson #howtomakescrambledeggs #allcladpans #cooklikeachef #offtocollege #hemadeit #cookingwithkids #beforehegoes

  • If you notice oil or butter smoking, your heat is too high, or it’s been left on the heat for too long.
  • If eggs are too wet, trying breaking them up more next time and flipping them once or twice rather than just folding.
  • If eggs are too dry, try less breaking and more folding or less time on the heat.
  • If eggs are burning, try a little bit more fat in your pan before you decide to turn down your heat. In a metal pan, even if you cook with more fat, it doesn’t just get stirred into the eggs. If the pan is hot enough, some fat will stay in the pan when you are done if you let it. See video part 2 below.

And that’s a wrap on Cole’s cooking lesson # 3. He says 3 out of 5 times a week his pan is clean when eggs are done and believe me this ratio I can live with. As for Cole’s cooking lessons? We now have cake, queso and eggs. I mean, what else does the boy need? Snacks! He always wants another snack. Stay tuned!

Check out these old posts on hard-boiled eggs and that time I decided to nail down how to make an over-easy egg, using the All-Clad of course.

~Heather (& Cole)

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beef and potato picadillo tacos with tomatillo salsa

picadillo tacos with tomatillo and avocado salsa | heatherbursch | shemadeitshemight.com #tacos #greensauce #tomatillosalsa #avocados #shemadeit #cilantro #recipes #glutenfree

This is my kind of food. A recipe that is made to take you through the week in almost any form. I mean I ALWAYS start with a taco, but it inevitably ends up on my eggs, or on top of some greens or an avocado, or another version of a taco with eggs, or by itself for a quick snack. Smack your lips right now. Yum.

And that all just depends if it lasts beyond our dinner because it’s tricky when five people love something. I can’t imagine a big enough batch for five sets of leftovers but I probably should because everyone here would just be happy to have their own stash for the week with signs that say don’t touch. It’s precious.

picadillo tacos with tomatillo and avocado salsa | heatherbursch | shemadeitshemight.com #tacos #greensauce #tomatillosalsa #avocados #shemadeit #cilantro #recipes #glutenfree

It’s also a lesson in improving an average pound of grass-fed ground beef with a basic white potato. I love both of these things. I just do. My body craves red meat once in awhile, and I’m not at the point in the spring where my body has full on given up the need for cozy food like potatoes. Basically, I’m still cold.

While I love both of these ingredients mentioned above, it’s the green sauce I’m most in love with and this my friends WILL take me/you the rest of the way into spring.

picadillo tacos with tomatillo and avocado salsa | heatherbursch | shemadeitshemight.com #tacos #greensauce #tomatillosalsa #avocados #shemadeit #cilantro #recipes #glutenfree

You’ve seen my Rick Bayless love over the years, and he’s taught and retaught me all the ways to roast up things like poblanos and tomatillos, with ingredients like garlic, cilantro and maybe a squeeze of lime. Blend and call it a salsa, sauce or spring. You choose. It’s time.

picadillo tacos with tomatillo and avocado salsa | heatherbursch | shemadeitshemight.com #tacos #greensauce #tomatillosalsa #avocados #shemadeit #cilantro #recipes #glutenfree

Here you go, our current family favorite stuffing for your taco needs – breakfast, lunch or dinner.

picadillo tacos with tomatillo and avocado salsa | heatherbursch | shemadeitshemight.com #tacos #greensauce #tomatillosalsa #avocados #shemadeit #cilantro #recipes #glutenfree

Speaking of tacos, I’ve made these tortillas in the picture above and below three times with Otto’s Naturals 100% Natural Cassava Flour (affiliate link). I was trying to replicate a thin grain-free yuca root tortilla like the ones we had at PICNIK in Austin. I’m still working on a thinner version, but these are solid, friends. And easy to whip up!

picadillo tacos with tomatillo and avocado salsa | heatherbursch | shemadeitshemight.com #tacos #greensauce #tomatillosalsa #avocados #shemadeit #cilantro #recipes #glutenfree

They are thicker and more like the flour tortilla texture, which consequently does make them filling. (Or maybe that’s the potatoes?) But anyways, if you are looking for a homemade alternative, I have had better luck with these than with trying to make fresh corn tortillas since I cannot find fresh masa around this city, yet.

Here’s the taco filling, tortilla options up to you.

Beef and Potato Picadillo Tacos with Tomatillo Salsa
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Makes: Makes 12-15 tacos
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1½ pounds white potatoes peeled and small diced
  • 1 small yellow onion chopped
  • 2 tablespoons clarified butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
Salsa Ingredients
  • 8 tomatillos husked, rinsed and halved
  • 8 cloves of garlic unpeeled
  • 1 jalapeno whole
  • ½-1 teaspoon salt & pepper
  • ½ bunch of cilantro
  • ½ avocado
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to broil. On a cookie sheet lay halved tomatillos open side down, unpeeled garlic cloves, and jalapeño. Broil for 10-15 minutes total, turning garlic and jalapeño every 3-4 minutes as skins blacken on all sides.
  2. If garlic is browned or blackened on all sides, remove from oven and return the tomatillos and pepper until there are black spots and vegetables are fully softened. Peel the garlic and let vegetables cool while you continue with the meat and potatoes.
  3. In a saute pan, cook ground beef and a light sprinkle of salt and pepper until browned and crumbled into small bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
  4. In a large metal saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon of clarified butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add potatoes, onions and another light sprinkle of salt and pepper in a single layer and saute. Do not disturb for about 5 minutes. If it seems too hot, turn it down but try not to stir so the potatoes can create the browned coating of hash-browned potatoes.
  5. After 5 minutes, with a sharp-edged spatula, scrape the potatoes thoroughly and continue to saute. Add more clarified butter if the pan seems dry. Cook potatoes and onions, stirring occasionally for 10-15 minutes more until potatoes are just tender but not starting to mush. Do not over stir.
  6. To finish salsa, scrape all vegetables and juices with peeled garlic into a blender. Add the cilantro leaves and ½ teaspoon of salt and a few pinches of pepper and blend until pureed.Taste and add more seasoning, and a squeeze of lime if you like. Remove ¾ cup of salsa from the blender jar and set aside for later. Add ½ avocado to the blender jar and puree for final salsa topping. Set aside.
  7. When potatoes are just done, stir in ground beef and ¾ cup reserved salsa. Salt and pepper to taste as you desire.
  8. To eat: fill tortillas with beef and potato filling, top with avocado salsa.
Other optional toppings: cilantro, avocado slices, and limes.
Makes 12 - 15 tacos

picadillo tacos with tomatillo and avocado salsa | heatherbursch | shemadeitshemight.com #tacos #greensauce #tomatillosalsa #avocados #shemadeit #cilantro #recipes #glutenfree

Enjoy!

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how to make homemade mayo in less than 30 seconds

A few years ago I was looking for a mayonnaise without soy, sugar and other strange ingredients for shelf life. I knew that it should be mostly eggs and oil but nowhere was this to be found at the time. I began making my own here and there. The only time it didn’t work was when I used extra-virgin olive oil. Lesson #1: You need light tasting oils, or the strong flavor will overpower and taste bitter. 

A couple of summers ago I shared my recipe on Instagram, and my good friend Jen had zero success with it. This discrepancy drove me nuts, so I repeated what I had communicated, and it worked for me. Wait, what? You know this version of cooking crazy, right? How does it work them and not me, or this time and not that?

One weekend at the cabin I made it in Jen’s food processor, at least three times with ZERO success. I realized that the food processor Jen was using had too big of a bowl for the blades to reach the ingredients. Lesson #2: the blades have to touch all ingredients since the key to making homemade mayo is to slowly add the oil so the liquids can emulsify and thicken properly.

And then last fall I re-discovered the immersion blender. While I don’t like to acquire tools and additional kitchen tools, and previously gave one of these away as part of my small kitchen survival strategy, I am so glad I now stow this Smart Stick (affiliate link).

While you can whisk mayo in a bowl or blend in a food processor by adding oil drop by drop, immersion blenders are the way to go.

And you know how I feel about homemade activities, right? Satisfied, smart, accomplished and set up for success. While using the right oil is essential every time, this method gets dumped together all at once and has worked every time.

Here’s Ev’s latest favorite way to help me in the kitchen.

This one’s for you, Jen. But I won’t rest until you’ve had success. 😉

Homemade Mayo in 30 seconds
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Ingredients
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of sunflower oil (I also use light olive oil or avocado oil)
  • ½ lemon squeezed
  • 1-2 garlic cloves crushed
  • salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Crack an egg into your immersion blender cup or tall mason jar.
  2. Next, pour oil and the juice of a ½ lemon squeezed and strained.
  3. Crush garlic clove into the mixture.
  4. Using an immersion bender hold it to the bottom of the oil and blend gently moving it slightly up and down.
  5. Once the liquids start to emulsify, slightly tip blender stick to let oil from the top move under the blades to be incorporated.
  6. After about 30 seconds total, the mayonnaise should be ready and thick. Turn off blender stick and gently remove.
  7. Add salt, about ¼-1/2 teaspoon to taste, stir and store in a jar with a lid for up to about five days in your refrigerator.

Here are a few of our favorite additions:

  • Red Pepper Mayonnaise – Once emulsified, I pushed a roasted red pepper to the bottom of the blender and pureed the pepper into the mayo.
  • Herbed Mayonnaise – Try adding a tablespoon of chopped herbs at the end.
  • Chipotle or Sriracha Mayonnaise – add a teaspoon of adobo sauce, chipotle powder, sriracha or any spicy sauce you like for a dip or sandwich spread. Taste to determine the amount of spice!

Why mayo? It uses whole food ingredients, and we love deviled eggs, this salad, this dressing for any impromptu salad, chicken or tuna with crackers, greens or bread for lunch, a swipe on sandwiches and burger buns, and more to come here or at @heatherbursch.

Let us know how it goes!

~Heather (& Ev)

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queso fundido with roasted poblanos and chorizo verde

Trying to fit in a cooking lesson, a photo shoot and a blog post with a senior in high school is like cooking from scratch without making a mess. Impossible. I did get this boy in the kitchen since the crazy-cake day and cooking lesson #1, just not on video or in a pic until now.

queso fundido with roasted poblano and chorizo verde | Melty warm cheese dip with chips, what more could you want? The perfect party food! #shemadeit #hemadeit #queso #chorizoverde #Mexicanfood #appetizers #cheese #chipsanddip #tortillachips #chipsandsalsa #glutenfree | shemadeitshemight.com

The first few times Cole and I tried recipes for an ATX Cucina inspired queso was for post-game snacks last fall. His high school team was on fire and seemed headed for the playoffs. But the Hawks lost by one point, one game before they made it to the state tournament.

queso fundido with roasted poblano and chorizo verde | Melty warm cheese dip with chips, what more could you want? The perfect party food! #shemadeit #hemadeit #queso #chorizoverde #Mexicanfood #appetizers #cheese #chipsanddip #tortillachips #chipsandsalsa #glutenfree | shemadeitshemight.com

Our latest melting cheese experiment happened this month when, Cole, the only true Viking’s fan in the house, watched the Vike’s lose one game away from the Super Bowl.

queso fundido with roasted poblano and chorizo verde | Melty warm cheese dip with chips, what more could you want? The perfect party food! #shemadeit #hemadeit #queso #chorizoverde #Mexicanfood #appetizers #cheese #chipsanddip #tortillachips #chipsandsalsa #glutenfree | shemadeitshemight.com

But sports and loss have been something this kid knows. He was often on the team that came oh-so-close but not quite.

I’m not a sports fan, but I grew up in a household full of them and with the movie Hoosiers on repeat. I love a great play or an unexpected win; I just could never commit to fan status with sports.

That is until I saw Cole play anything.

I remember the hill I was sitting on when that ball went high and long for his first home run. And that year when his football coach played him as the quarterback, and he ran that ball himself for a couple of touchdowns when the passing game didn’t come together for those 12-year-olds. The screams!!

But for three straight years, Cole’s football team lost every single game. And the first time his baseball coach put him in as the pitcher they were down by a few runs already. I was begging heaven for a strike, just 1, for the love of all things, please. He walked the first 5-6 batters, but he did not give up. I asked him later, what he was thinking and how did he do that? He said, “What choice did I have, Mom, but to keep going?” I could think of a few options.

First tries and repeat losses. Home runs and touchdowns. I can’t name it all and know what each thing meant, but somehow it all does add up to a childhood of life lessons and experiences that grew him and go with him. I feel a good weight. While I’m not going to tie this to the meaning of queso, I will take all these memories and celebrate how they built courage and created resilience.

And about that queso. If you love cheese, this one is for you.

queso fundido with roasted poblano and chorizo verde | Melty warm cheese dip with chips, what more could you want? The perfect party food! #shemadeit #hemadeit #queso #chorizoverde #Mexicanfood #appetizers #cheese #chipsanddip #tortillachips #chipsandsalsa #glutenfree | shemadeitshemight.comqueso fundido with roasted poblano and chorizo verde | Melty warm cheese dip with chips, what more could you want? The perfect party food! #shemadeit #hemadeit #queso #chorizoverde #Mexicanfood #appetizers #cheese #chipsanddip #tortillachips #chipsandsalsa #glutenfree | shemadeitshemight.comqueso fundido with roasted poblano and chorizo verde | Melty warm cheese dip with chips, what more could you want? The perfect party food! #shemadeit #hemadeit #queso #chorizoverde #Mexicanfood #appetizers #cheese #chipsanddip #tortillachips #chipsandsalsa #glutenfree | shemadeitshemight.comqueso fundido with roasted poblano and chorizo verde | Melty warm cheese dip with chips, what more could you want? The perfect party food! #shemadeit #hemadeit #queso #chorizoverde #Mexicanfood #appetizers #cheese #chipsanddip #tortillachips #chipsandsalsa #glutenfree | shemadeitshemight.com

The good news is you can’t lose with queso unless you leave it in the oven for too long or forget to eat it right away. For a more blended gooey mixture, increase your melting cheese and decrease the crumbling cheese in the recipe below. Play with what your favorite cheese combinations, we liked everything we tried. Win!

Queso Fundido with Poblanos and Chorizo Verde
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Makes: 6-8
Ingredients
  • ½ pound of green chorizo, recipe below. Store-bought fresh chorizo not cured works as well.
  • 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • ¾ pound Mexican melting cheese like quesadilla or Oaxaca, shredded or cut into small pieces
  • ¼ pound Mexican melting cheese like Chihuahua cheese which is more like a cheddar, shredded
  • ¼ pound fresh cheese like queso fresco or an aged crumbly cheese like cotija, crumbled
Substitute 2½ pounds of any cheese combination you like making sure you have a good melting cheese as the base.
Optional: jalapeno and cilantro slices to top
Serve with tortilla chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to broil.
  2. Roast 1 poblano pepper for 1-2 minutes a side under the broiler, about 6 inches from the top. Keep turning until all sides are blackened. Remove roasted pepper and put into a paper bag rolled down or a bowl covered with a towel for 15 minutes to create a steamy environment.
  3. Turn oven to 400°.
  4. To remove blackened pepper skin, run under cold water while you rub off the skin and remove inside seeds and stem.
  5. Cut roasted pepper into strips and dice into small pieces.
  6. Heat olive oil in a cast iron or oven proof pan over medium-high heat and saute onion for 5 minutes until starting to soften. Add poblano pieces and saute for 2 minutes or so.
  7. Next, add ½ of the recipe for green chorizo or ½ pound of fresh chorizo to the pan and sauté until lightly brown and starting to crisp.
  8. When meat is ready, salt and pepper to taste keeping in mind the cheese will be salty as well.
  9. Add all 3 kinds of cheese on medium heat, stirring for about 1 minute to melt and combine all the ingredients.
  10. Put skillet into the oven until cheese is bubbling and melted, 5-7 minutes should be just right depending on your cheese selection.
  11. Top queso with fresh jalapenos and cilantro if you like. Serve immediately with chips.

The first time we made the recipe above we used fresh store bought chorizo, and it was good. I knew the dish I had in Austin was with Chorizo Verde and I wanted a similar green chile and cilantro flavor with the salty cheeses. This chorizo recipe makes double and would be great with scrambled eggs, hash, or breakfast tacos!

Chorizo Verde | Melty warm cheese dip with chips, what more could you want? The perfect party food! #shemadeit #hemadeit #queso #chorizoverde #Mexicanfood #appetizers #cheese #chipsanddip #tortillachips #chipsandsalsa #glutenfree | shemadeitshemight.com

Chorizo Verde
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Makes: 1 pound of chorizo
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground turkey or pork. I use ½ white and ½ dark organic turkey. Ground pork is traditional.
  • 1 roasted poblano, skin and seeds removed, diced (See roasting instructions above in queso recipe.)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 5 garlic cloves crushed
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a food processor combine roasted poblano pieces, black pepper, ground coriander, cumin, oregano, salt, and garlic until finely chopped and mixed. Add apple cider vinegar and cilantro, puree until combined.
  2. Place your meat into a large bowl and add your chile spice mixture. Using two forks gently combine your meat and spices.
  3. Divide meat into two parts, saving one portion to freeze or refrigerate and use later.

queso fundido with roasted poblano and chorizo verde | Melty warm cheese dip with chips, what more could you want? The perfect party food! #shemadeit #hemadeit #queso #chorizoverde #Mexicanfood #appetizers #cheese #chipsanddip #tortillachips #chipsandsalsa #glutenfree | shemadeitshemight.com

Stay tuned for Cooking Lesson #3 and eggs, our entire family and a few friends are getting in on this lesson. 😘

~Heather (& Cole)

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Korean Beef Bowl

I’m not sure what came first, the kimchi or the beef, but we’ve spent a couple of winters with this one.

Korean Beef Bowl | bowls of beef, spinach, rice or veggies, kimchi, peanuts, cilantro and an over easy egg. #shemadeit #Koreanbeef #healthyfood #instantpot #foodie #glutenfree #foodblogger #reacipe #protein #spinach #grainbowl #putaneggonit #winterfood #onthetable #foodgawker #dinnertime #mealprep #whatsfordinner #whole30 #loveyourlunch #feedfeed #f52grams #realfood #buzzfeedfood @thefeedfeed #instafood #eater #tacos #beefbowl | shemadeitshemight.com

When I have kimchi in my fridge, I want this beef bowl. When I make this beef, I wish for kimchi. And sometimes these two things come together at the same time, and I actually snap a picture before we eat it!

This recipe here is my meal prepping evolution wrapped up in a bowl. It goes like this, make the parts, store them in the fridge, and for every time someone asks what they can eat whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner I can say, something with the delicious beef. Done.

Here’s my thing about meal prepping, I cannot make it all on Sunday, divide into dishes, and cruise through my week like I love it. And it’s not because I haven’t tried it, or that I don’t like the way it feels. I have, and I do! I’d suggest to anyone that eats, to give meal prepping this way a try at least once in their life. You’ll learn fast what you like and what works for you, and what doesn’t. When you set yourself up for the week, whatever it looks like, you’ll reap the benefits and learn something about YOUR best ways to feed yourself. 

Why does this prepping this beef bowl work for us? We can prep the parts and make it work in every situation and for every person who lives here. 

Korean Beef Bowl | bowls of beef, spinach, rice or veggies, kimchi, peanuts, cilantro and an over easy egg. #shemadeit #Koreanbeef #healthyfood #instantpot #foodie #glutenfree #foodblogger #reacipe #protein #spinach #grainbowl #putaneggonit #winterfood #onthetable #foodgawker #dinnertime #mealprep #whatsfordinner #whole30 #loveyourlunch #feedfeed #f52grams #realfood #buzzfeedfood @thefeedfeed #instafood #eater #tacos #beefbowl | shemadeitshemight.com

If Cole needs a second lunch or after school snack, he might just eat a couple of tacos.

Korean Beef Bowl | bowls of beef, spinach, rice or veggies, kimchi, peanuts, cilantro and an over easy egg. #shemadeit #Koreanbeef #healthyfood #instantpot #foodie #glutenfree #foodblogger #reacipe #protein #spinach #grainbowl #putaneggonit #winterfood #onthetable #foodgawker #dinnertime #mealprep #whatsfordinner #whole30 #loveyourlunch #feedfeed #f52grams #realfood #buzzfeedfood @thefeedfeed #instafood #eater #tacos #beefbowl | shemadeitshemight.com

Did Ella dance through dinner time? Then she can make a bowl and put an egg on top. When all the parts are available, anything is possible. Spice it up, cool it down, make a salad, put it in a corn tortilla or create a bowl.

Korean Beef Bowl | bowls of beef, spinach, rice or veggies, kimchi, peanuts, cilantro and an over easy egg. #shemadeit #Koreanbeef #healthyfood #instantpot #foodie #glutenfree #foodblogger #reacipe #protein #spinach #grainbowl #putaneggonit #winterfood #onthetable #foodgawker #dinnertime #mealprep #whatsfordinner #whole30 #loveyourlunch #feedfeed #f52grams #realfood #buzzfeedfood @thefeedfeed #instafood #eater #tacos #beefbowl | shemadeitshemight.com

Here’s our Korean Beef Meal prep list:

  • Korean Shredded Beef – recipe below 
  • Rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice 
  • Spinach or kale greens washed and ready 
  • Eggs – fried or hard boiled 
  • Jalapenos or Thai Chilies 
  • Kimchi 
  • Peanuts 
  • Avocado slices
  • Cilantro 
  • Hot sauce or spicy vinegar
  • Optional: shredded cold carrots, strips of daikon radish, edamame beans shelled, sliced scallions, etc.

Meals we can make with our prepped parts:

  • Tacos with beef and kimchi
  • Breakfast tacos with eggs, beef, and kimchi
  • Bowls with all or a few parts
  • Salad with all or a few parts
  • Hash- add beef to potatoes or a root vegetable hash, kimchi, and an egg on top
  • Sandwich – shredded beef and kimchi on toasted bread or bun with spicy mayo and hot sauce

Here’s the recipe using an instant pot!

Instant Pot Korean Shredded Beef
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Makes: 8-12
Ingredients
  • 1 lime zested and squeezed
  • ½ cup coconut aminos or tamari
  • 3 inches of ginger peeled
  • 1 Asian pear peeled and seeded
  • 1 large handful of cilantro leaves
  • ½ teaspoon of gochugaru (or red pepper flakes to taste)
  • 4 garlic cloves peeled
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons of toasted sesame oil
  • 3 pounds of top sirloin beef roast (chuck beef roast works too, see note below)
  • 1 white onion cut into large chunks
Bowl Options:
  • Rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice
  • Spinach or kale greens washed and ready
  • Eggs - fried over-easy or hard boiled
  • Jalapenos or chilies
  • Kimchi
  • Peanuts
  • Avocado slices
  • Cilantro
  • Hot sauce or spicy vinegar
  • Other options: shredded cold carrots, strips of daikon radish, edamame beans shelled, sliced scallions, etc.
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine all ingredients except meat and onion.
  2. Process until pureed and all the garlic and ginger is finely minced.
  3. Cut sirloin into 2-inch chunks and place into a glass dish or plastic bag with the marinade. Coat all the pieces. Refrigerate covered or sealed for at least an hour and up to 4. (You can skip this part if you are in a hurry.)
  4. In the bowl of an instant pot, place all the meat and marinade, plus the chopped onion. Stir and close the lid.
  5. Lock the lid into place and press [Manual] and then use the [+] button to choose 40 minutes pressure cooking time.
  6. When time is up, let steam release for about 10 minutes and finish with a quick release.
  7. Remove meat pieces with a strainer spoon to a plate or large dish to rest.
  8. Take leftover juices and sauce and bring to a boil in a large saucepan on the stove. Once boiling, turn down the heat slightly but keep it simmering and moving.
  9. While sauce is cooking down, shred the meat with 2 forks. When all meat is shredded, and the sauce has started to thicken, add the shredded meat to the pan of sauce and combine.
  10. Turn heat down, remove from heat if the meat starts to burn on the bottom of the pan. If the liquid is still too thin and watery, continue to cook it down.
  11. When the sauce is thick enough to coat all meat, remove from heat. Ready to serve.
  12. If saving for later, store cooled meat in a covered dish with all the sauce in the refrigerator. Heat as needed.
I've made this recipe multiple times with chuck beef roast. It shreds easily and is flavorful but sometimes too marbled with fat. Sirloin worked the best for me in the Instant Pot.

I’ve made this recipe with 3-4 lbs of chuck beef roast using the oven and the crockpot. All three ways work and especially if you cook down the sauce and stir back into meat at the end. For roasting in the oven, keep meat whole, salt and pepper both sides, sear meat on all sides in roasting pan heated with oil, pour pureed ingredients on top of meat, bring to a boil, cover and move to the oven and roast for about 2 1/2-3 hours at 350°, flipping meat halfway through. Meat should pull apart with 2 forks when it is done. If it does not, it will need more time. I usually don’t marinade the meat before cooking but you could.

Korean Beef Bowl | bowls of beef, spinach, rice or veggies, kimchi, peanuts, cilantro and an over easy egg. #shemadeit #Koreanbeef #healthyfood #instantpot #foodie #glutenfree #foodblogger #reacipe #protein #spinach #grainbowl #putaneggonit #winterfood #onthetable #foodgawker #dinnertime #mealprep #whatsfordinner #whole30 #loveyourlunch #feedfeed #f52grams #realfood #buzzfeedfood @thefeedfeed #instafood #eater #tacos #beefbowl | shemadeitshemight.com

Enjoy!

Korean Beef Bowls! All the delicious parts made however you like: shredded beef, spinach, grain, kimchi, peanuts, cilantro, over-easy egg and pass the hot sauce! | shemadeitshemight.com

~Heather

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best chicken vegetable soup

I’m living in a new I-have-broth-on-hand stage of life and our soup season is better than ever. This is not because my soup is better than your soup, okay? I’m just saying we are actually eating soup these days and without a lot of effort. And on cold days and nights, our Minnesota souls are begging for it.

best chicken vegetable soup

With the richest broth ever just staring at you in the fridge or freezer, you will end up with no excuses, and it will taste as if you went out of your way. But, you didn’t, and isn’t that what makes it the best?

After writing about broth and remembering how comforting it can be, all I wanted was some chicken noodle soup without the noodles. Without the noodles though am I just eating broth and chicken in every bite? More carrots? And this question led me to the grocery store hoping a forgotten vegetable would reveal itself to me. And it did! A random rutabaga.

best chicken vegetable soup

I don’t remember the last time intentionally buying a rutabaga, and now I seem to have 2 in my fridge at all times. Does EVERYONE need to try more rutabaga? The answer is yes. Tim, however, thinks everyone now needs a puppy, I say just rutabaga. 🙄

The rutabaga originated as a mix of cabbage and turnip, sometimes called a swede which seems fitting. While sweeter than a turnip, and larger, they are covered with a little wax to keep the moisture in the root vegetable, so it doesn’t dry out. Vegetable peel off the skin, and when cooked it transforms into a slightly sweet and savory potato-like texture (but better?!). We LOVE them.

best chicken vegetable soup

Between the homemade stock and the rutabagas, this simple soup has risen to be our fall and winter favorite so far. And without the noodles, you won’t be hungry but completely satisfied with every bite.

best chicken vegetable soup

Here you go!

Best Chicken Vegetable Soup
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Makes: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 chicken breasts with skin on and bone in
  • 1 small yellow onion chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery chopped
  • 3 carrots chopped into thin coins
  • 1 rutabaga peeled and chopped
  • 8 cups of homemade or store-bought chicken stock or broth
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • chopped thyme and parsley
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Rub chicken breast with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast for 35 minutes until juices run clear, and skin is lightly starting to brown.
  4. Cool to the touch and remove skin, bones, and cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Save the bones, skin, and pan juices for chicken broth!
  5. In a large stockpot heat oil and sauté onion until translucent and starting to brown.
  6. Add broth and bring to a boil. Turn down heat to simmering and add chicken, celery, carrots, and rutabagas.
  7. Cook for 15 minutes and taste to see vegetables are soft.
  8. Add salt & pepper to taste and add chopped parsley and/or thyme before serving.
Options: Add noodles and cook until just tender, add ribbons of kale for the last 5 minutes, and or as many other vegetables as you like.

Enjoy!

~Heather

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Thanksgiving Menu Ideas for 2017

Perhaps you saw me numbering things on my Instagram story this weekend. Well, that was just me basically brainstorming what I was planning for Thanksgiving. It ended up with me asking for you to vote on my dessert dilemma. I mean is dessert ever really a dilemma on Thanksgiving? Nope, just a given.

Results for dessert below!

And since I am hosting this year, it’s going to be a classic mix of old and new. Here’s the list, the links, and if you were sitting at my table (I wish you were!), this is what we’re passing.

  1. Jaime Oliver’s Oven Roasted Turkey and Stuffing -Best part? You’ll stuff a sausage, chestnut, apricot, bacon, rosemary stuffing between the skin and breast meat to keep the meat moist, and each piece that cut has a layer of delicious stuffing, crunchy skin, and juicy meat. It’s our favorite.
  2. Ina Garten’s Classic Mashed Potatoes – Easy, delicious, and can be kept warm by placing the mixer bowl over a pan of simmering water for up to 30 minutes.
  3. Make-Ahead Gravy from Bon Appetit – I’m in love with this pro-tip. I’ll use my chicken stock from Sunday and cornstarch to keep it gluten-free. (I changed my mind on the cornstarch, see note below!👇)
  4. Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Brown Sugar Pecan Topping from Bon Appetit 1997! I first made these ten years ago, and no one will let us stop bringing them. Oh well, twist my arm, it’s on the menu, and my mom is making them. Best part? The topping! For the whipped sweet potatoes we cut the sugar in half, and we don’t pack down the brown sugar for the topping. 😉 It’s not needed!
  5. Simple Salad – greens, roasted pears, toasted pecans, blue cheese, and dried cherries or cranberries. I’ll use this easy lemon dressing. Toss a mix of your favorite greens with dressing and fill a large platter. Top with these roasted pears (different salad), slices of blue cheese, toasted pecans, dried cherries or cranberries if you wish. I’ll drizzle more dressing to top it all. Best part? I’ll make dressing and pears one day ahead.
  6. Smitten Kitchen’s Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Onions Ella’s request and find. She’s making it gluten-free by using my crispy shallots on top instead of the floured onion ring type pieces in the original recipe, and we’ll sub cornstarch for thickener. (I changed my mind on the cornstarch, see note below! 👇)
  7. Bread – the jury is for sure out on this! I’ll see how my Tuesday experiment goes with gluten-free artisan bread.
  8. Cranberry Chutney – From a last-minute text query to my family, I see that they DO like cranberries, so since I asked (don’t do this after today) I added this highly rated chutney to my list. It turns out all I needed to put on my list was cranberries. Done.
  9. Dessert: The winners from my Instagram story poll were the Pumpkin Custard Pie from Martha Stewart and Ina Garten’s French Apple Tart. The pumpkin will be new to us, and the apple tart is a family favorite we haven’t had in a few years. I’ll be making both twice, one gluten-free and one regular.
  10. Beverages – Tim, handing this one off to you, ok? A fall released Beaujolais Nouveau or cranberry punch with options for a little spirit? You decide.

What am I missing, friends? Nothing I hope, I feel stuffed and satisfied already. Tag your delicious food pics with #shemadeit or #hemadeit on Instagram, so I can see what you are making for 2017. I’ll be looking for you. 😉

Happy Thanksgiving!

~Heather

*Last Minute Notes: If ever I need to thicken something for gluten-free, I’ve usually whisked a little cornstarch and water and added at the end. I don’t worry too much about making a gluten-free roux as I’m not trying to replicate something, but more maintain a great flavor of drippings or sauce even if it’s runnier. However, I see that both my gravy and green beans recipes call for a technical roux. I did some last minute research (oh Heather), and it seems that sweet rice flour or King Arthur’s Multi-Purpose Flour rises to the top for gluten-free flours that thicken into a roux when cooked with fat to thicken. I love learning from another’s experiments. I’m going to grab both at my last minute grocery store run today and see what comes! May the force be with anyone going back into a grocery store today. 🙏

 

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