Tess' Kitchen--Seasoned with Love 2021


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Tess' Kitchen--Seasoned with Love 2021

Fev 21, 2021, 2:57 am

Hi, I'm Tess, a 60-something, semi-retired college prof who loves to cook, kitchen gadgets, and recipes/cookbooks. I hope that you will all inspire me! I'm in the process of getting my personal cookbook ready for self-publishing, "The Sophisticated Farmer's Wife."

Fev 21, 2021, 3:17 am

I'm finding it very difficult to cook for only two people, especially when I'm watching what I eat. My husband will eat literally anything, so he does not complain when we might have the same thing 3/7 days for dinner. My sons have been gone for 20 years, so I should have adjusted. But also, I think we are eating less as we are aging. Does anybody else run into this?

Fev 21, 2021, 6:34 pm

>2 Tess_W: Since I still have a full time job, I tend to do most of my cooking on the weekends. Roasts and vegetables that can be used in soups, salads, rice, noodles or eggs during the week for fast meals. I don't know how to cook for 2 people and not have a ton of leftovers!

Fev 21, 2021, 11:05 pm

Tess, you got number 800!

I cook mostly for myself and don't often have lots of leftovers, by design (I'm used to shopping for fresh food almost daily). Before the pandemic, about once or twice a month it would be my turn to cook for Sunday dinners with 5-6 people; that was much harder to get right, since there would be so much variation in what this or that person may like and want extra of etc.

If you are finding that you and the husband are eating less, perhaps some of those single-person cookbooks might turn out to fit your preferred portions now? At least when it comes to stuff like pasta, salads, rice dishes...

Fev 22, 2021, 1:36 am

I have no problem making bigger batches of things like stew. I just freeze meal portions that we can reheat on nights when we don't feel like cooking.

The other thing that helps me is that if there isn't enough to freeze, he likes to eat supper leftovers for breakfast. I'll do that for spanakopita but not much else.

Fev 22, 2021, 5:01 am

>4 LolaWalser: What does 800 mean?

Fev 22, 2021, 12:25 pm

I believe it means you are the 800th member to join our group?

Fev 22, 2021, 1:18 pm

>7 MrsLee:

Yes! It's fun if you like numbers. :)

>5 MarthaJeanne:

Yeah, me too. I don't believe in "breakfast food", anything can be breakfast.

Fev 23, 2021, 3:49 am

>5 MarthaJeanne: I really don't like sausage, eggs, etc, by themselves, so traditional breakfast if out for me, also. I prefer a taco, burrito, or last night's leftover spaghetti for breakfast!

Fev 24, 2021, 7:24 pm

Tomorrow is my day to take a shut in her dinner meal. She just got out of a nursing home from a broken hip and so the church is providing her with meals for the first two weeks. I signed up late so I got day 14/14, which means my usuals were taken: chicken, mac & cheese, chili, pork chops, spaghetti, lasagna, etc. So I've decided I'm fixing Sticky Asian Chicken with Spinach Rice. In her note she says she likes anything, but not a lot of garlic--will cut the garlic in half for her. Also fixing some brownies with icing. The rest of the brownies will go to make my 7 grandchildren happy! Oh, and hubby and I are also having sticky asian chicken with spinach rice!;)

Fev 26, 2021, 4:30 pm

Got my new 10.25" cast iron baker today and Lodge cookbook! Going to fry chicken in it tonight.

Fev 26, 2021, 7:55 pm

>9 Tess_W: My mom never understood how I could eat cold spaghetti for breakfast or lunch at school. No microwaves in those days, so mom would try to heat it in a frying pan, but I didn't like it that way. I still like it cold!

Fev 26, 2021, 10:23 pm

>12 MrsLee: hubby likes spaghetti and pizza cold--I don't!

Mar 1, 2021, 12:25 pm

>11 Tess_W: I love cooking with cast iron! A couple of Facebook friends posted some cast iron skillet pies that look really good!

Mar 2, 2021, 8:29 am

>14 thornton37814: I haven't tried a pie, but I often cook cobblers and buckles in cast iron.

Mar 2, 2021, 8:47 am

I've only every cooked for just myself, or for the two of us. I still can't cook for 2, and always have at least 1 serving usually more leftover. They go into the freezer for days when I'm not feeling inspired. When I manage to fill the freezer I can have a break for a week or so!

I'm not sure how well I would cope without one, I've always had a microwave (the nuke) for reheating.

Editado: Mar 3, 2021, 2:35 am

I bought a new one--cookbook that is:
Copycat recipes: The complete Step-by-Step cookbook from the most famous restaurants in the world to prepare at home by Lylah Savidge.

I'll be looking through today to find that first one to try!

Mar 6, 2021, 1:09 pm

I cook mainly for myself alone, which can take some careful planning to avoid waste (eg when scaling down a recipe for 4 which requires 1 egg) but does mean I can try any recipe I like!

>13 Tess_W: - I've never understood the love of cold pizza, but then I'm not a big fan of pizza at any temperature (also, stringy cheese - what's so great about something that tastes like greasy rubber and, at its stringiest, can snap back and deposit tomato sauce in one's hair?)

Editado: Mar 7, 2021, 1:19 pm

Blackberries were on sale for $1 a pint this week. So today I made a blackberry buckle, probably one of my favorite desserts. Blueberries also on sale, but froze those. Will make a blueberry pudding cake and muffins later.

Mar 7, 2021, 1:28 pm

My oldest son (41), his wife, and my 3 year old Evie Kaye are coming for dinner on Wednesday. Son has requested homemade mac and cheese. Also going to fix pork chops, coleslaw, rolls, and creme brule for dessert. Evie only "likes" chicken, so we always tell her whatever meat we have is chicken, and she likes it!;)

Mar 7, 2021, 8:05 pm

A Calendar of Dinners with 615 recipes by Marion Harris Neal. This was the original 1936 edition which I picked up for $1 at a Friends of the Library sale at least 5 years ago. Most of the recipes are not something that I would eat or are already something I eat. There was an interesting 20 page section on the "Story of Crisco." (Little did they know about trans fat) Even though I did not get much out of this book that was useable, I did discover that the menus (for the average American) seemed to contain more items that ours today--appetizer, soup, meat, vegetable, salad, dessert---all at one meal! I aim for 3 items for a sit down meal and usually one of those is either a vegetable salad or a fruit salad (which may double as a dessert). 231 pages

Mar 8, 2021, 1:55 am

>21 Tess_W: This was an essentially worldwide phenomenon, going back to Victorian times and beyond. The British Museum Cookbook has a description of a Georgian (18th-century) with a plan of the table, which is mind-blowing. Mrs Beeton has menus from c. 1870-1905, which are awesome. Even the dining cars on South African Railways could whip up a 6- or 8-course meal on the move! Some of the menus are reprinted in Railway Dining Cars in South Africa (which probably won't help -- the book is as rare as hens' teeth.

Mar 8, 2021, 4:02 pm

>22 hfglen: Though dinner in the 18th century worked a bit like a sit-down buffet - there were a lot of dishes on the table at once, but the expectation was that each diner would only sample two or three of them. What was going on with the ridiculous late Victorian & Edwardian menus seems to be less clear - it's hard to imagine anyone working their way through the whole lot. The dishes did tend to be grouped though (as it might be, two kinds of soup, two kinds of fish, four roasts &c) so maybe people just picked one option from each group.

Mar 8, 2021, 7:52 pm

Example of one of of the menus:

Little Neck Clams
French Onion Soup
Veal cutlets
Mashed Potatoes
Spinach & Chicory Salad
Biscuit Tortoni had to look this one up--it's a dessert with amaretto cookies, vanilla ice cream, and maraschino cherries

That's a lot of food--I would be full after the soup!

Editado: Mar 9, 2021, 5:44 pm

My "newest" cookbook, bought it off Ebay about a week ago. 1956 edition. Will pick out something to try next week.

Mar 10, 2021, 9:04 am

>25 Tess_W: That looks interesting; I look forward to your report in due course! My collection is a bit lacking when it comes to Germany/Austria/Eastern Europe other than the former USSR.

Mar 17, 2021, 7:21 pm

I was digging in the freezer for some ground beef, and a big chuck roast fell out onto my toes--ouch! So, I just decided to keep it out and unthawed it. I found the ground beef and made taco meat from it. That same afternoon I browned the chuck roast, put it in the crockpot, put a packet of onion soup on it and 1 cup of water. Cooked it on low for 6 hours and then added a jar of barbecue sauce and cooked 2 more hours. So, I got 4 meals for very little work in the kitchen yesterday! (Of course, 2 will be leftovers).

Mar 20, 2021, 1:34 am

Pleased with myself this week....used up some food in the fridge.....had 1 lb. of fresh green beans--cooked them up with some bacon, S&P, and then during the last 40 minutes added 2 potatoes (redskins), the only 2 I had. It was scrumptious!

Also had 1 honeycrisp apple and a handful of grapes, so made some apple salad--also added walnuts. (had no celery).

Ordered a new cookbook on Kindle, it was cheap, but it was a copycat recipe book and I specifically wanted recipes from Applebee's and I got the recipe for their Asian Salad salad dressing. There are dozens of recipes in this book I will try.

Mar 21, 2021, 8:20 am

>28 Tess_W: I often make "Whatever's Left in the Fridge/Veg Rack" soup on a Sunday and take it to work for the following week's lunches. Sometimes it's pretty bland, sometimes it's frustratingly good (frustratingly because I can seldom remember what went into it, so can't reproduce it ...)

Mar 21, 2021, 11:33 pm

>28 Tess_W: & >29 Sovay: That is the magical everlasting meal. Today I used chicken carcasses from last week's roasted chicken, some beef drippings, half an onion, as well as the peel and skin of another onion, some ends of asparagus I had saved, and some very sad looking carrots and celery. Now I have almost a gallon of strained delicious broth to cook rice, noodles, lentils or beans in. Or just warm as soup. But 29, you are right, some wonderful things can never be replicated.

Mar 26, 2021, 1:45 pm

>31 Tess_W: Doing the same today........when I stopped by the grocery yesterday for a head of cabbage, I went to the marked down meat section and found stew beef, 5 pounds for only $4.17! It's usually $6+ dollars per pound. It didn't even expire until 4-30. I came home, divided into 1 lb. freezer bags, froze 4 bags and tonight we are having beef stew. I didn't buy anything to put in it, but I have an onion, 3 red potatoes, 1/2 bag frozen carrots, and 1 bag of peas. I'm good to go. I will add some biscuits. That meal probably cost less than $2 and we will have enough left to make it a meal again in the next few days.

Abr 2, 2021, 7:05 pm

Been finding bargains at the grocery the last few days...in the right place at the right time. We normally don't eat beef more than once a week, if that. While I was walking down the meat aisle I noticed the meat guy with a marker in his hand and a cart full of meat he was marking down. The meat was T-Bone steaks, which we never eat. If we buy steaks, which we do only 1-2 times in the summer to grill out, we usually buy sirloins or strip streaks. The price for 2 was orginally $27.99. He was marking the packs of 2 down to $12.00 I picked up 2 packs and he said, "because he are such a good customer, and marked all the packages $10. So I picked up two more. So I got $118 of steak for $40. When I got home and was going to put in freezer bags, these things are just so big---I cut them up, and my husband and I will eat only 1 T-Bone steak between us (if that). So I think I got a bargain! That effectively makes our T-Bone meals about $5 plus a potato/veggie/salad!

Abr 11, 2021, 10:52 pm

My son has requested turtle cake for his birthday. I need a bag of wrapped caramels. Neither grocery near my house has them. Never been a problem in 40 years. Hmmm....

Abr 12, 2021, 7:17 am

>33 Tess_W: I'm curious - what role do the wrapped caramels play?

Abr 12, 2021, 6:15 pm

>33 Tess_W: You could make caramel? Not as easy as the wrapped version for sure. I have found caramel hard to come by in other seasons than fall.

Abr 17, 2021, 2:52 pm

>34 Sovay: "Turtles" (in the US) are caramels and nuts covered with chocolate. Hence, turtle cake. A regular chocolate cake, bake 1/2 for 50% of the time, then melt caramels & sweetened condensed milk and spread over the first layer, top with chocolate chips, and then the rest of the cake batter. Bake again. The middle resembles turtle candy.

>35 MrsLee: I could, however, it seems to be much thinner than just the melted store bought caramels. I suppose I could adjust that, though. However, I found one bag of caramels (9 oz and I needed 15 oz), but I made it work!

Abr 18, 2021, 6:56 am

Today I'm going to make a sourdough starter--never done that before!

Abr 20, 2021, 7:23 am

>36 Tess_W: Interesting ... no Turtle Candy over here. I was envisaging a turtle-shaped cake, with a dome studded with the wrapped caramels to make the shell pattern.

Abr 21, 2021, 9:36 pm

Editado: Abr 22, 2021, 11:16 am

Always buy a bargain (if it's worthy!). My grocery had 1 lb. Butterball turkey breast cutlets on sale for 99 cents. I bought all they had. Just the right size for us two, with probably some left over. I took one pack out today and noticed this was flavored lemon-pepper. I'm game! Going to serve it up with cut sweet potatoes and asparagus that has been oven-baked.

Abr 22, 2021, 12:25 pm

>40 Tess_W: I much prefer baked asparagus to boiled or steamed - has to be watched carefully though, to get just the right amount of crispness on the tips ...

Abr 22, 2021, 6:35 pm

>40 Tess_W: and >41 Sovay: Oven roasted asparagus lightly drizzled with olive oil is a favorite in our house, although I have never found a way I don't like it except possibly canned or overcooked.

Abr 23, 2021, 11:19 am

End of the week...leftover peas, carrots, bottoms of asparagus spears, onions, 2 potatoes, 1 quart vegetable juice, 1 handful of frozen corn, and we have vegetable soup. Just add a lil chicken stock and it's dinner! Wish my sourdough starter was ready and we would have a loaf of sourdough with that, but it's only on day 3 of 10!

Maio 27, 2021, 3:44 am

I had to pitch my first batch of sourdough starter--it wasn't starting! However, on day 3 of my 2nd batch and it's fermenting away! I want to make bread, rolls, and pancakes from the sourdough, for starters.

Jun 18, 2021, 6:38 am

Two failures on sour dough........don't know that I will keep feeding as the flour is costing money! The first loaf of bread I made was like a ton of bricks and the center was hollow. I think I'm done with the whole sourdough experiment!

Today I was ambitious in the kitchen. I fixed stuffed peppers Bolognese style--takes about an hour, but well worth it. Lots of pans/dishes for this one! While I was at it, in the same skillet that I browned the meat for the peppers, I later browned hamburger for tomorrow's taco salads. It's in the fridge already seasoned, just need to warm up. Since I had vegetables out, made homemade vegetable soup: carrots, celery, tomatoes, corn, peas, green beans, and lima beans. Made some vegetable broth first with the ends and tops I had left over after cleaning said vegetables. It is also cooked and in the fridge for Saturday. I feel "accomplished" when I'm efficient in using all the food scraps and when I cook multiple meals at once.

Jun 18, 2021, 1:08 pm

>45 Tess_W: If you aren't quite ready to give up on sourdough, you could call the Baker's Hotline from King Arthur. They are usually pretty helpful even when all I do is tweet them. heh.

Jun 18, 2021, 1:21 pm

>46 lesmel: I just might do that!

Editado: Ago 10, 2021, 10:41 pm

Processed 50 lbs. of peaches last week: peach butter, peach muffins, frozen peaches, frozen spiced peaches, and for the hubby: a peach cobbler.

Also was gifted 4 large zucchini's so we had fried zucchini 2 nights, zucchini on kabobs over the grill with tomatoes, meats, and small onions, and about 10 loaves of zucchini bread.

Set 8, 2021, 4:52 pm

Just canned 10 quarts of tomatoes and 3 pints of salsa. The salsa is too runny....but after opening 1 jar I strained it through a sieve to get out the excess liquid and it was quite good! Will have to tweak the recipe for next year. This is my first year canning.

Out 3, 2021, 7:27 pm

Bought 30 lbs. of apples today. Was going to make baked apples for freezing, but they got too done, so know I have applesauce!

Out 13, 2021, 10:32 am

Today I'm cooking for 3 families, one meal: pasta salad, turkey/cheese wraps, Snickers apple salad. One for a shut in how fell and broke her hip, one for the pastor's family for pastor appreciation week, and one for us!

Out 29, 2021, 4:46 pm

Bought several cases of glass canning jars. Until next summer using several of them to store dried beans and such.

Dez 3, 2021, 4:07 am

Thanksgiving Dinner: Turkey (not my fav!), sage/celery dressing, sweet potato casserole, layered salad, succotash, green bean casserole (also not my fav--but the grands love it), yeast rolls, apple salad, pumpkin and pecan pies.

Dez 16, 2021, 7:54 am

Begin my Christmas baking today. The menu: Mexican Wedding cookies, chocolate fudge, peanut butter fudge, jam thumbprint cookies, decorated sugar cookies (trees & stars), southern tea cakes, toffee bars.

Dez 16, 2021, 2:00 pm

>54 Tess_W: Sounds wonderful! I began tentatively to plan, but didn't get very far. Life isn't allowing much baking time for me this year. I am determined to make a fruitcake for myself though. I use more dried fruits than candied, and I love it.

Dez 28, 2021, 3:35 pm

I have a big hambone left. Tomorrow I'm going to make some broth, get every last piece of ham from the bone and make split green pea soup with ham. (and iron skillet cornbread, of course!)

Jan 3, 2022, 7:22 am

I have decided to participate in a Youtube challenge of No Spend/Low Spend January and February. The challenge is to eat from your freezers and pantry. I have more than enough (I think) to do that. I'm allowing myself $10 per week for things like milk, lettuce, etc. During the first week of January I spent only $1.43 on a green pepper.

Jan 3, 2022, 9:35 am

>57 Tess_W: It's a good thing to do every few years, to make sure things are fresh. It's been awhile since we did such a thing. We weren't strict about it, but I was dedicated. I think it took me a couple of months to use everything up.

When I did it, it was because I was ridding the house of artificial flavors and highly processed foods. Towards the end, I pulled out the last few items from the pantry and then had a lot of fun planning the type of food I actually wanted to keep on hand. The hardest part was keeping my husband from buying canned/processed foods! He is the main food shopper in our home.