Friday, November 18, 2011

Sometimes I Amaze...

As I've said before, I love to cook. I will often take whatever I have in pantry or fridge and concoct a dish or a meal...what's so amazing about that you say. People usually cook their meals from what they have in the pantry or fridge. Okay, you are so right!

Here's what I mean....I was supposed to supply a dish of "Green Bean Casserole" for the school's Thanksgiving dinner last night.
Because I'm such a rebel (actually it was because I had no cream of anything soup in the house) I decided to go against tradition and make roasted green beans.
Yep, ROASTED! Of course I can't just bring a dish of roasted beans, I have to make it look pretty!
So in the pantry I had: Garlic bulbs, cans of mushrooms (would have preferred fresh baby Bella's but remember I'm working with what I have on hand), olive oil and red potatoes.
In the fridge green onions & cherry tomatoes. My beans were in the freezer!

Here's an idea of the recipe. Altho' I'm not big on being a stickler for following recipe's.

8-10 green onions, cut into 1- 1 1/2" pieces
2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes
8 cloves of garlic, peeled but left whole (I will definitely put more in next time)
1 small can of mushrooms drained well (I even patted mine down with a paper towel)
4-5 medium red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into bite size pieces
1 large bag of green beans (mine were whole, cause it's prettier that way!) thawed and          patted dry

I drizzled olive oil on my baking sheet (must have sides on it), and layered my veggies. Tossed them around to coat them as best as I could, drizzled a bit more where needed (remember when roasting veggies you want them oiled or they will just get dried out). Then I grabbed some sea salt, pepper and some rosemary. Sprinkled over and mixed it around again.
Had my oven heated to 450 degrees F. Put the pan in for 3/15 minute increments and stirred it (3 times).
They looked delish, just the way they were, and tasted yummy too!
But I can't be outdone by all those fancy, schmancy chefs....I had to add a little som'n som'n.
                                                  GOAT CHEESE!
Not kidding, I had that in my refrigerator and didn't have cream of mushroom soup in my pantry! Nuff said!
It.was.the.perfect.addition!! Just a little salty, just a little creamy, just a lotta yummy!
Let me tell you something else that is awesome....the leftovers I had for lunch today were superb!! I wished there had been more!!

Do you often have to come up with your own dishes out of your cupboards? Do you enjoy it or do you get stressed? I love suits my creative side!

On another cooking note...Tuesday was the start of deer hunting in our neck of the woods (and yes I come from a family of prolific hunters. We eat what we kill or donate to veterans, food pantries etc.). Monday night a distant cousin of mine and his wife stayed at my parents to get an early start in the woods the next day. I invited everyone down for chili and corn bread at the last minute. I made my usual chili recipe (only using one lb. of turkey and a lb. of venison I had) and added a little something extra. I was getting rave reviews from everyone at the table, so I decided I would reveal my secret ingredient: grape jelly! Yep, I had read it quite a while ago in a chili cook off recipe book I was given. So I tried a big ole spoon of it.  It was yummy!! I have  7 mouths that will testify to that!

Do you find yourself "spicing" up an old recipe? Have you ever tried something in a recipe that wasn't on the recipe card? How has it worked for you? Let me know, are you a conformer or a transformer when it comes to recipes?

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