It's been almost a month since I posted any videos here, along with their stories (which you can't get on YouTube - those are only here or in a different version on Patreon). I'll get back to the weekly posting; it's been a challenging few weeks with very limited internet and some family upheaval. Remember, though, that these videos are ALWAYS on YouTube on Thursdays, and if you're a Patron over on Patreon, you get them early along with extra strories (and a few patron-only videos to boot!).
Breakfast. Well, actually, it's eggs. Eggs for a crowd.
In my eternal (and usually unsuccessful) quest to stick to a grocery budget, I try ever more complicated options. What I'm finding working the absolute best, though, is simply staying away from the store. If I don't go in, I can't spend money.
This seems insanely obvious. It can also be insanely frustrating at times, like when I want to make something amazing for dinner and have forgotten to take anything out of the freezer or black beans for the third time in a week sounds boring and unappealing. Double down when your daughter invites a friend over to spend the night . . .
I was about to cave and order a pizza. And then I opened the fridge and saw the eggs. PERFECT! I had a slice of ham (enough to season those eggs), about 4 mushrooms, an onion, and (always) cheese. Who wants what in their eggs?
- You can make and scramble enough eggs (I count on 2-3 per person) in one larger container, then pour just what you want in the pan.
- Crack the eggs separately, one at a time into a smaller container, before adding them to the larger bowl. This way, if you get a bad egg, you have not ruined the entire batch.
- Push the egg mixture around in the pan by using a single stroke and not circular motions, and tip the pan so the liquid egg fills in the gap. This will help keep the eggs from getting tough.
Scrambled eggs for a crowd - or not. You decide!
- 2-3 eggs per person
- 1/2 and 1/2 butter
- Your choice of additional stuff!
- Crack eggs. If you're worried at ALL about the viability, crack each one into a different container before adding it to the main bowl.
- Scramble LIGHTLY. Pour in 1-2 TBS of half and half (this helps with texture, flavor, and creaminess. Who doesn't love creaminess?)
- Melt butter in pan, then season the butter with salt and pepper (this helps the seasonings not CLUMP. You could also season the eggs after you've poured them in the pan)
- TURN DOWN THE HEAT
- Pour in the amount of eggs needed for the flavoring you want. This is the other time you can season!
- Scramble by pushing the eggs around the pan to allow liquid to flow to the hot pan.
- To finish cooking without overcooking, cover the pan and turn off the heat, letting steam finish cooking the eggs.
FAJITA MARINADE - make it all delicious!
I may or may not have decided that the name of this video series, once we leave on the boat, will be called Travels with Tasty Thursday. It's a play on a book title by an author I love, will get to the heart of what I'm after with a new lifestyle, and will hopefully get you psyched to continue to follow along.
As you can see, we're not at home. We're in Averill, Vermont, on a lake where loons nest and moose wander. When we're up here, we alternate cooking duties so everyone gets a chance to shine in the kitchen, and this night I was on duty with a couple of amazing young women as we marinated, chopped, grilled, and served. Nobody went hungry, I can tell you that!
I love this marinade. The combination of salt in the soy sauce, citrus with the lime juice, and the additional seasonings combine, especially when you add in the tequila if you are not opposed (the alcohol does cook off, in case you were wondering) . . . it's fabulous.
Fajita Marinade for a crowd:
- 1/2 c olive oil
- 1/4 c vinegar
- 3 dashes worcestershire sauce
- 1 TBS dijon mustard
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp cumin
- (optional: 1/3 c tequila)
Mix ingredients together and add meat (or tofu, or veggies). Marinate for 2-6 hours, then grill to perfection. YUM!
Lemon Whippersnappers - all you need is a shoebox
When I was a kid, we used to come to southern Vermont and stay with one of my 2 grandmothers, both of whom lived in the little town of Dorset. Nana, my mom's mom, lived in a white house on the corner of Meadow Lane, and what I remember most clearly about her kitchen was the color yellow. Bright yellow, which I think was in the table (a round one topped with an early form of Formica, I think - it looked great and held up admirably) and in the tops of the stools.
Bright yellow is also the color of these cookies. Nana would make them for me endlessly, and there was no better care package when I was at boarding school then getting a shoebox filled with these, layers separated by wax paper.
I was thrilled when Mom and her sisters agreed to make these for Tasty Thursday at the lake this time around. Are they the healthiest things going? No. Coolwhip and lemon cake mix won't win any nutrition awards. Still, I think you can feel the love and joy that comes with family in this video. Given the choice between a love-filled cookie like this and a soul-less salad, my bet for "better for you" lands squarely on the shoulders of this cookie.
I love you, Mom!
- 1 box lemon cake mix
- 1 egg
- 8 oz (1/2 container) Cool Whip
- powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350, and grease a cookie sheet
- Mix cake mix, egg, and cool whip together in a bowl.
- Form into small balls, then roll balls in the powdered sugar.
- Place on the cookie sheet.
- Dip a fork in the powdered sugar and press into the balls of dough, forming a hatch pattern.
- Bake at 350 for 10 minutes, or until just starting to brown on top. Don't overbake!
Apple Crumble - treat your loved ones!
My husband, my 6'3", 140 lbs soaking wet husband, loves dessert. He can polish off a container of Ben and Jerry's ice cream in a sitting (or he used to be able to, anyway). He grew up in Algeria, in a household where desserts were a daily occurrence, and they were all made from scratch. No box mixes (sorry, Lemon Whippersnappers!). His favorites, both accompanied by the very British topping of warm custard (Bird's, preferably - I guess they smuggled back packets of that every year when they had home leave).
He mentioned this to my aunt Mary Ann the other day when she was bustling around the kitchen at Snare Camp, creating some amazing dessert (I think it was a berry pie, with pastry from scratch and from her head). His eyes lit up. "Do you make apple crumble? It's my favorite!"
Though the apples were purchased in anticipation, the apple crumble never got created. Before we all left on Friday morning, MA pulled me aside and tucked a couple of packets in my hands. "I brought these from England," she whispered. "Make sure you mix it with BOILING water."
Bring on the happy husband.
Apple crumble (serves as many as you want!)
For a 7x9 pan:
- 5-6 apples (tart ones, granny smith work well in the US)
- 1/2 c flour, 1/2 c oatmeal or quinoa flakes
- 4 TBS sugar
- pinch salt
- large pinch of cinnamon
- 5 TBS butter
- Peel and chop apples, then place in a baking pan.
- Mix topping: combine all ingredients except for the butter. Add in butter and knead with your fingers to work into the rest. Alternately you can do this with forks, a pastry cutter, or a food processor.
- Put topping on fruit.
- Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes or until brown and bubbling.
- Serve with vanilla ice cream or custard YUM!
There's a roundup of the latest Tasty Thursday videos. I'll get back on a schedule of weekly posts, and meanwhile, go play in the kitchen.
Yes, you can. Deliciously.