Saturday, January 10, 2015

Goings on about the Cottage

It's been rather cold out around here for the past week. As of right this moment, it's 18 and I just actually said out loud "hey, it got warm out-it's 18". Yeah, it's been cold. That means it's a perfect time to cook and bake! Right now there is fresh bread in the oven and we're softening up some kidney and great northern beans for chili. We just pulled some hamburger soup off of the stove and we're soaking some dried lima beans for vegetable soup. The hamburger soup was pretty easy to make, and it was pretty good. We might add a little more spices or garlic and onion powder next time.

Here's the recipe:
a dash of olive oil
a pad of butter
(those two are to taste)
1 medium onion (chopped)
1 clove garlic (chopped)
1 1/2 pound ground beef
32 oz tomato soup
32 oz beef broth
1 1/2 cup of ditalini pasta
1 1/2 cups of corn (we'll probably add a little more next time)

In a skillet (we use cast iron), warm the oil and butter, the add the chopped onion and garlic, cook down until soft. Add the ground beef and cook until browned. In a soup pot, add the tomato soup and broth, bring to a simmer. Add the onion, garlic and beef. In another pot, cook the pasta. Add the cooked (and drained) pasta and corn (we used frozen) to the soup pot and simmer for another 10-15 minutes. Done. Easy peasy and yummy!!

Here's the soup. Sorry, I didn't do a whole photo shoot set up but you get the idea!

The bread (I'll have to get the recipe from Mr Eclectic, he is the baker here) This is an enameled cast iron pan. We also have a regular cast iron bread pan that's from Lodge. The enameled one came from a yard sale for $10, and also has a lid. It's Klafrestrom. We have a smaller version as well, that we picked up at an antique shop for $5. What a deal! It has risen:

And it's in the oven:

So here's an illustration of just how cold it is. This is the storm window in the kitchen. Nice view, huh?

Despite the cold temps we don't have much snow-the grass is visible pretty much anywhere the wind could blow the snow away. I'd like to see a few more inches so that the gardens have a "blanket" to help insulate against the freezing temps. The ice has grown on the lake from pretty much a tiny bit on the shoreline to quite a bit floating about. I've got to recharge the batteries on my little camera, then I'll take a photo of that to add.

And now...the finally food tally of the day!  Bread is out and done, chili is cooking in the slow cooker.  We made roast beef and roast a whole chicken.  That is one of our favorite meals.  So easy.  One whole chicken in a cast iron dutch oven for an hour and a half at 350. Tomorrow the rest of the chicken will become chicken pot pies and or chicken soup (after I boil the bones for stock).  We'll also make the vegetable soup and maybe some chicken nuggets to freeze (also easy-bread some cut breast or thigh meat and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, then cool and freeze for quick meals later).