Sunday, March 29, 2015

Kaya's Bison Chili

The perfect cure for an unreasonably snowy spring day!

I love chili. Whenever people ask what I'd choose if I could only eat one thing for the rest of my life, I always think about my mom's baked macaroni, but actually say chili. Chili is an extremely flexible dish. You can put pretty much any ingredients or spices into it and create something really tasty. You can serve it over rice, pasta, or just eat it by itself. I'd never had bison chili until we went out west on vacation back when I was in high school, and I pretty much fell in love. I've made things with bison before for the blog, but I just want to say again how good it actually is. It tastes just like beef, but it's better for you in terms of fat and protein, and apparently it's also hypoallergenic! Which is good, because I'm starting to think I might actually be allergic to beef, which is a huge bummer because I happen to like it quite a lot.

Now, obviously this isn't something Kaya would be eating in 1764, but I've been dying to do something like this with her and finally had the perfect opportunity to do so this weekend. For reasons I still don't understand - what did we do to anger you, Mother Nature? - our weekend was cold and snowy, and thus perfect weather for a nice hot bowl of chili.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Josefina's Green Chile Salsa

Another way in which I'm learning to appreciate mostly homemade foods!

Before starting this blog, there are several things I always sort of assumed would be difficult to make because most people I know choose to buy them prepackaged. Things like soup, sauces and salsa were all things I barely ever considered making myself because hey, if it was easy to make tasty, homemade versions of Campbell's or Pace or whatever, why would people - especially people who already love to cook, like my mom - buy them from the grocery store?

Obviously, I've learned my lesson, and this feature is no exception. Although it's definitely easier to just open a jar of salsa and dump it into a bowl - or just eat it straight from the jar - I have a much greater appreciation for the fact that most people choose to buy prepackaged foods because they're faster, not because it's more difficult to make them from scratch. I always assumed speed was just part of the equation, that maybe there was something inherently really, really hard about cooking, and it was only until I started digging in to this blog that I realized it's not that bad at all, really.

Well, most of the time. We can still have mishaps, as you'll hear about in a little bit.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Kit's Goldenrod Eggs

An interesting way to use up leftovers or just change up breakfast!

Despite being the most important meal of the day, I often skip breakfast. I'm rarely up early enough on the weekends to make breakfast at a reasonable hour, and I don't have enough time in the morning on weekdays to whip together anything more complicated than some fruit and yogurt... which Chobani has helpfully mixed together for me. That's more or less as crazy as I'm ever likely to get with breakfast during the week, especially because I'm trying to eat healthier, and most of the breakfast items I really like tend to be more dessert than breakfast.

But I'm still definitely interested in breakfast food, and I find myself flipping through cookbooks fantasizing about enjoying delicious pancakes, waffles and bacon. Sometimes, the promise of some tasty scrambled eggs is more than enough to make my mouth water, and I do enjoy a good hard boiled egg sometimes, too.

Goldenrod eggs are basically souped up hard boiled eggs and toast, both of which are things I definitely enjoy on their own, so I thought hey, this might be great! This didn't exactly live up to my personal fantasy of a delicious breakfast treat, but if you're a fan of hard boiled eggs and toast, this might be an interesting twist if you're ever looking to feed a crowd or try something a little different one morning.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Nellie's Walnut Banana Bread

A tasty treat enjoyed by people of all levels of Edwardian high society.

Did you know banana bread comes from England? I didn't, before doing this blog post! I would have guessed it was an American invention, but according to my new favorite cookbook, it was actually popularized by the English. Good for you, guys! And to think most people don't have very nice things to say about English cooking.

Banana bread is one of those items I usually buy from our local gigantic, commercialized farm stand - they make a really yummy chocolate banana bread I always have to fight my brother off to get a slice of it - and it's not something I'd really considered trying making myself until this recipe caught my eye. Making tea breads is definitely one of my favorite things this blog has taught me how to do, and since banana bread is such an iconic baked good, it seemed like trying my hand at it was long overdue.

So, what makes this something Nellie O'Malley might have enjoyed?

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Marie-Grace’s Chocolate Coffee Molasses Cookies

A cakey, old fashioned cookie with a great frosting!

Sometimes I wonder if I'm just kind of cursed when it comes to food from Louisiana. Most of the recipes I've made for Marie Grace and Cécile - well, okay, maybe not most, because we've definitely had some huge successes - have been time consuming and kind of disastrous to make, and so I tend not to feature these two as much as I should on the blog. That's kind of a bummer, because food from this neck of the woods tends to be pretty tasty, and I'd definitely like to find more room to showcase it here.

Unfortunately, this isn't one of the bigger success stories. While I did have some taste testers who were big fans of this recipe, it wasn't something I wound up enjoying much at all, and I don't think I'll be making these cookies again. That said, if you're into old fashioned cookies that aren't too sweet and have a very subtle spice to them, this might be the one for you! This particular combination just wasn't my favorite.

... And with that stellar introduction, let's move on to the recipe!