Sunday, December 11, 2016

Hearty Artichokes with Garlic and Olive Oil

I've tried artichokes stuffed, roasted, steamed, boiled and the list goes on, but the best crockpot recipe I've discovered in quite some time came from a somewhat unlikely source... Muscle & Fitness Magazine. You have to try this one! (Even recipes that taste just as good in the end will NEVER be this easy!)

Hearty Artichokes with Garlic and Olive Oil

3 large artichokes
2 cloves crushed garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 fresh squeezed lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

Clean and cut the tops of the artichokes. Place them stem-side down in 2 cups of water in the crockpot. Drizzle tops with lemon juice, garlic and olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Cook on low for 7 hours.

Serve with melted butter in individual small dishes for dipping with a dash of lemon juice and Parmesan cheese on top.

I love recipes like this that make you re-think the idea of the crockpot as the go-to tool for those who too oft used cream of something cans as crutches. Sweet potatoes in the crockpot started me on this quest. (Where else can you just put potatoes in - no washing, no foil, no prepping - just put it in and put it on low and when you come home from work eight hours later, it's perfect?!)

What is your favorite crockpot recipe?

Low-Carb Bagels

I had ordered a three-pack of Bob's Red Mill Low-Carb Bread Mix on Amazon, so I had some extra for experimentation. (I didn't have much luck making the bread mix in my bread machine. It was like a brick.)

I decided to try bagels instead because of the consistency of the bread. I used Elana's Paleo Bagels as a starting point.

2 cups Bob's Red Mill Low-Carb Bread Mix
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon sea salt
5 large eggs
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Grease a donut mold. In a medium bowl, mix together bread mix, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl, beat five eggs and add to dry mix. Add vinegar.

Place batter in a resealable plastic bag, snip off one corner, and pipe batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle bagels with poppy seeds.

Bake at 350° for 25 minutes.

(These were pretty good. I was excited to have a use for all of my leftover bread mix - and to have a go-to recipe for a low-carb bagel. This recipe is a good starting point for future experimentation!)

The Poet's Occasional Alternative

The Poet's Occasional Alternative
by Grace Paley
From Begin Again

I was going to write a poem
I made a pie instead      it took
about the same amount of time
of course the pie was a final
draft      a poem would have had some
distance to go      days and weeks and
much crumpled paper
the pie already had a talking
tumbling audience among small
trucks and a fire engine on
the kitchen floor
everybody will like this pie
it will have apples and cranberries
dried apricots in it      many friends
will say      why in the world did you
make only one
this does not happen with poems
because of unreportable
sadnesses I decided to
settle this morning for a re-
sponsive eatership      I do not
want to wait a week      a year      a
generation for the right
consumer to come along

Friday, December 2, 2016

Puttin' on the Ritz

Eva Davis had a radio show in Vicksburg about cooking - and published this cookbook collection, Mississippi Mixin's, of her recipes and the best from a weekly contest she held on her radio show. Some strange winners boiled eggs in beet juice.

I tried this recipe tonight, with Ritz crackers. I dubbed it Puttin' on the Ritz. And it really could work with anything. Use sauteed spinach underneath. Shrimp. Or broccoli. But the oysters were good too. 

You could also use this basic recipe for a topping for oysters on the half shell. Just top the individual oysters with crushed Ritz crackers, melted butter and paprika.

It looks like the biscuits recipe was beloved.

And the Virginia Tea Cakes.

The sugar cookies, though...not so much.

The cocoa icing seems like it was well loved.

And the chocolate fudge was OK.

A handwritten ice cream recipe... You know that's gonna be good.

And here's my very own Puttin' on the Ritz Oysters.

1 quart select oysters
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1/2 cup green onions
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 cups of crushed Ritz crackers (Three of the half sleeves)
3/4 stick butter
Salt, Pepper, Red Pepper & Paprika
3/4 cup of Half and Half

Butter a square casserole dish and put oysters on the bottom. Top with parsley, onions, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and red pepper. Crush crackers and place on top. Slice butter thin and dot on top. Sprinkle with paprika. Just before baking, pour half and half over and let soak in.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.