The Bored Girl's Kitchen











{April 3, 2016}   Leftover Ham Casserole

One of my favorite things about casseroles is the fact that they’re so open to interpretation.  You can throw almost anything together in a baking dish and call it a casserole; and on top of that it’s a great way to use up random leftovers that you’re not 100% sure what else to do with.

We recently celebrated Easter, and with Easter comes  a lot of Easter ham.  If your family is anywhere near as awesome as my family you also got sent home with an abundance of leftovers from both events you attended.  I made a few omelets, but mostly stared at the ham for a while before I shrugged my shoulders and decided to do what I’ve become quite adept at lately: throwing things in a casserole dish with some cheese and seeing how it turns out.

What I used to make this is pictured below, but boils down to:

  • leftover ham – if I had to guess, I’d say it was probably in the neighborhood of a pound
  • an onion
  • pasta
  • one packet of pot roast seasoning mix
  • one 8oz package of cream cheese
  • one 8oz package of shredded cheddar cheese
  • milk
  • some butter
  • one pint of french onion soup (not pictured because I forgot the canning jar after I used it)

DSCN0017

I started out by putting a pot of water on to boil.  While that was working, I set to chopping up the onion.  I went with more of a rough chop but you can cut them down to whatever size you like. They went into a separate pot with some butter while I started cutting up the ham.

 

Unfortunately that’s the only picture I managed to get of the ham before it made its way into the rest of the mix.While I was cutting, I periodically checked the onions to stir and make sure they weren’t burning. As you can see there was a fair amount of fat left on some of those pieces. You can choose to discard or keep as much of that as you want; I got rid of most of the big pieces of it. The water had finished boiling before this point, but I waited to add the noodles until I had finished dicing up the ham and had turned my attention back to the onions. This is also about where I set the oven to 350 to start preheating.

The pictures above take you through making the sauce I used. To the now softened onions I added the packet of pot roast seasoning and 1 1/4 cup water and mixed it in.  Once it started heating up I added in the cream cheese.  This is where it started getting really thick, so I added in a cup of milk and a pint of a beef broth based mushroom onion soup I had previously made and canned. Once everything was mixed up and seemed pretty even I added in the ham chunks and the noodles so I could transfer everything from the pot to the dish.  If you used a smaller pot to make your sauce in, you can mix it all together in a large bowl or even just in the baking dish if you’re feeling extra risky.

I like to spray my baking dishes with a non-stick spray just to be safe most of the time, it’s up to you if you want to do the same thing. On the left you see it all mixed together, and on the right is the extra cheese that I added to the top before baking. Cover in foil, bake for 20 minutes covered and an additional 15 minutes uncovered then let it cool for a while before eating.

DSCN0018

This is what it looks like as it comes right out of the oven.  Husband got home shortly after this picture was taken and proclaimed the house to smell wonderful. After digging in, I think I could have used all of the ham my mother-in-law sent me home with instead of half, but it was delicious either way!



{June 17, 2012}   Take one at tacos

Verdict: Coulda been better, but weren’t terrible.

Every now and then I get some serious cravings for tacos, and not the kind with ground beef.  I’ve never really made them before and always sought them out, but being on a bit more of a budget than I have been in the past I decided to give it a shot.  What you see below is what I was able to do with what I found around the house.

To copy me exactly, you’ll need:

– Some really freezer-burned meat masquerading as steak

– Various veggies: I used a sweet onion and some avocado

– Seasonings: I used garlic powder, roasted garlic red pepper, and celery salt

– Butter

– Tortillas.  I usually prefer flour, but all I had was corn.

– Cheese

Step 1: Cook the meat.  You can defrost it completely first, or do what I did and try to defrost it a bit then toss it in the pan with a lid on low heat to have it cook and defrost at the same time.  Once the outer edges are at least no longer frozen and can accept seasonings, you can season your meat now if you’d like.

Step 2: While the meat is cooking, go ahead and get your veggies and the like sliced up.

Step 3: Once cooked at least pretty much all the way how you want it, pull it from the pan and cut it up.  You can do strips or chunks or whatever you want.  I ended up with strips because I was too lazy to cut everything up into small chunks.  Then everything goes back into the pan for some more frying in butter.  You’ll also add your onions and season to taste here as well.  Once everything’s all done, drop your meat onto a plate.

Step 4: You can choose to heat your tortillas up a bit if you want, or just start building your tacos right away.  I chose to heat mine on the stove for a few seconds.  Once they start moving – changing shape, curling edges, bubbling – it’s probably time to pull them and start building your tacos.

You can assemble with more onions, tomatoes, avocados, whatever you want.  I opted for just avocados and cheese and even more onions.

This was nowhere near as good as authentic tacos, or even how I butcher assembling tacos when friends make them fairly authentically, but it hit the spot for the moment and I was happy enough with it.

If you have any questions or comments you can either leave them below, or email me.  If you have a suggestion for a recipe or any other ideas, that email address is theboredgirlskitchen@gmail.com.

Happy cooking!




There is nothing more delicious than fresh noodles, sea food and fresh veggies on a cool spring night.

And if you’re economic like me, there’s nothing better than all of that on a single plate and in every delicious bite.

After a year of tweaking, I’ve finally found my perfect dish after trying a version of this soup in an instant noodle bowl that has since changed. (saddd faccceee)

I present to you…

Stinky Noodle Platter

Make at your own caution.

Image

Ingredients:

1 package of bonito flakes

1 kombu kelp

2 cups water

1 bottle clam juice

1 tbp sesame oil

1 tsp turmeric powder

5 raw shrimp

6 oz salmon fillet

2 bunches of bok choy, chopped

¼ cup grated daikon

1 tsp grated ginger

3 cloves of garlic, grated

½  onion

8 shitake mushroom, diced fine

½ zucchini, julienne fine

½ package of fresh noodles

Dash of salt and sugar to taste

Dash of mirin (sweet cooking sake) to taste

This recipe calls for a lot of prep work, but once you have that out of the way, you’re golden.

Image

Alright, to start – soak the kombu kelp in the water for a half hour, no heat.

ImageImage

While waiting, cut the onion into bite size pieces.

ImageImage

Cut the bok choy leaves into fine shreads.

ImageImage

Grate the daikon.

ImageImage

Dice the shitake mushrooms.

ImageImageImageImage

By now, the kombu kelp has hydrated, so turn the heat on and let it come to a soft boil. Add the bonito flakes and set on medium low.

Back to veggies!

Image

Grate the garlic cloves.

Image

Charming to look at, huh?

Image

Grate the ginger.

Image

I’m a huge fan of keeping my station clean, so everything onto a plate or dish if you haven’t already.

Back to cutting!

ImageImageImageImage

Cut the zucchini in half. Cut that piece in half.  Cut that half of a half (zucchini inception anyone?) into three pieces width wise. Cut that now length wise.

Image

Onto the plate it goes!

Now we can start cooking.

Image

Add the sesame oil to the largest pan you can find.

ImageImageImage

Add the onions, garlic and ginger to the pan and sauté. Add salt and turmeric.

Why turmeric now?

Oils really bring out the flavor of spices better than any sort of heating or cooking method. If I added the turmeric later, I wouldn’t get as much flavor and I really love the taste of turmeric.

Image

Let this cook until a gorgeous golden caramel color.

Image

Let’s check on our bonito/kelp stock – it looks plenty disgusting, which means it is done.

Image

Add the rest of the vegetation to the pan and sauté until slightly softened.

Image

If you were a quitter, you would stop now and devour this pan.

But you’re not a quitter, are you? You know paradise is just a bit more away.

Image

Separate the stock from the solids, we won’t be using that (I mean, you can if you want, but I don’t).

Image

Add the claim juice.

Image

Add the sugar to taste (shut up, I like it a little sweet).

Image

Add the dash of mirin.

Image

Set to medium.

Image

After 10 or so minutes, I add a little bit of vegan butter (curse you lactose intolerance) for extra creaminess. You don’t have to, I just do.

Now, you could stop right here, add the noodles and be done with it. But we’re going full stop here.

Onto the seafood goodness!

Image

Peel the shrimp from their shells.

Image

I don’t mind the skin from the salmon (and it holds it together), so drop that right into the stock.

Image

Nestle that shrimp in there good.

Alright, I forgot to take pictures of this, but add the noodles straight into the broth once the shrimp and salmon are about down. It’ll take only a couple minutes and really thicken up the soup into a sauce.

Serve on a single plate with a nice garnish of black sesame seeds.

Image

Enjoy.

Fin.

Rating:

I’m still dreaming of the next time I can make this.

Now, this is a very flexible recipe – you can use whatever vegetables, spices and meat you want. You can make it spicy, you can add cheese, you can make it into a completely different taste. The choice is up to you.

Good luck!




Verdict: Not too bad.

Fair warning, this is a long post.

Every now and then, my friends and I get together with a random mix of ingredients, see what we can make, and then eat it.  So far these have all been varying degrees of successful, and I wanted to start chronicling them for all of you.  Since I’m not usually the one cooking for these, and the kitchen is usually a bit of a hectic area during them, the picture taking isn’t always the greatest.  However there should be enough information to get the gist across.

So the basics on what we do are as follows.  For the White Elephant ones, everybody brings one or so things from their pantries or kitchens that aren’t getting used.  Once everything is all laid out, we attempt to reach a unanimous decision as to what to make, but it usually ends up falling on MacKenzie.  She refuses to do a Russian Roulette Potluck (where everything gets tossed into a pot and we hope for the best), so we end up with something resembling real meals.  We try to use everything that gets brought, but that doesn’t always work since we’re allowed to add in other things to make it an edible dish. Also, this particular one was a bit lame.

At this particular event we ended up with:

– Avocados

– Red peppers

– Tomato puree

– French Onion Soup

– Quinoa

– Instant potatoes

– Stovetop stuffing

– Swiss Miss

– Shredded Wheat

– Vegan beef stock

– Ground beef

– Angel hair pasta

Initially we were going to also make a dessert that utilized the sweeter elements, but ultimately decided not to because of time and everybody deciding to leave. So not everything on this list got used.  MacKenzie took over, and grumbled about having to document everything anyway, so just read along to figure out what she did.  Also bear in mind that we had a few different things going on at once, but I’m going to tackle them one at a time.

First up, I made guacamole.  This was not my best batch, so I’ll end up making a better batch in a single post later.  I think the downfall was the avocados being too ripe and mushy. I bought them a few days ahead of time meaning to make something sooner but didn’t get around to it.

For the guac I made at this event, you’ll need:

– 2 avocados

– Seasonings: I used roasted garlic and pepper, celery salt, and garlic powder

– Worcestershire and lime juice

(Not pictured: the garlic powder I forgot to grab until later)

Step one:  Halve the avocados and remove the pits.  I also cut out the dark parts. Using your knife, make a few slices lengthwise down each half on the inside, and use a spoon to scoop them out into a bowl.  When the avocado is harder, I usually have my husband mash it up for me but this time I just took that spoon and stabbed at all the big chunks until they were smaller chunks.

Step two: Add the lime juice and Worcestershire sauce and stir well. Then add in the various seasonings to taste.

Step three: Chill, serve, and enjoy!

Next we have the Quinoa. For this you’ll need:

– The Quinoa

– The vegan beef stock

– Water

Step one:  Combine all ingredients into a pot.  Cook until the Quinoa is fluffy.  She said that it goes a lot better with vegetable stock, but that it wasn’t all that bad.  A somewhat decent “finished” picture will be located at the end of the post.

And for the main event! For this we used:

– Ground beef

– 1 sweet onion

– 1 red pepper

– Olive oil

– French Onion Soup

– Tomato puree

– Instant potatoes

– Angel hair pasta

– Half and half

– Various seasonings.  I believe she used salt and garlic powder the most

Step one: Chop the onion and the red pepper.  MacKenzie has a fancy shmancy way of cutting the onion that taught me how I want to do it in the future. Saute them in about a tablespoon of oil in a large sauce pan (you’re going to add everything eventually) onion first, then the pepper.

Step two: When they’re soft, add the ground beef.  We had about two pounds.  Once the beef is cooked, heat up the French Onion Soup and pour it over the beef mixture.  Let it simmer for a few minutes, and then add the tomato puree.  Let it simmer until slightly reduced on medium high.

Step three: If you want to thicken it up a bit, you can add some of the instant potatoes.  We also added a bit of half and half for a slightly creamier consistency, but it’s totally not necessary to add either of those. Oh, you should probably start your spaghetti now too.  Ours was about done at this point.

Step four: Serve meaty concoction on either the spaghetti or the quinoa, and enjoy!

If you have any questions or comments you can either leave them below, or email me.  If you have a suggestion for a recipe or any other ideas, that email address is theboredgirlskitchen@gmail.com.

Happy cooking!



{April 13, 2012}   Hamburger Potato Casserole

Verdict: Super nommy

I have something like 3 crockpots.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that since I’m pretty sure they’re all different sizes at least, and at least two different shapes.  The part that’s wrong is that I’ve never actually used any of them.  I got one as a wedding gift and it ended up in storage, I got one from my dad that we cleaned out and has been making the kitchen table its home for a while now, and I recently picked up an awesome crockpot from Target.  Well, I was determined to use at least one of them, and I love that damask print one a lot, so I sat down with The Everything Slow Cooker Cookbook and decided I was making a meal.

What you need:

– 1 pound lean ground beef

– 3 medium potatoes

– 4 medium carrots

– 1 medium sized yellow onion

– 1 cup fresh peas

– 2 tablespoons dry white rice

– 1 teaspoon table salt

– 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

– 1 cup tomato juice

– Prep time is listed as about 20 minutes for a pot size of 4-6 quarts.  Cooking time is 7-9 hours, and should serve about 4.

– My notes: I used 4 potatoes because the one looked kinda wimpy and small, I used a sweet onion instead of a yellow onion, and I used tomato puree instead of tomato juice.  Also, I’m pretty sure the rice I used wasn’t white, or at least wasn’t bleached white.

(Spot my sweet crock pot in the background?)

Step 1: Brown the meat in a medium skillet on medium high heat.  I used a pot because it was handy.  Unless you happen to be a real ground beef connoisseur it probably isn’t going to make much of a difference.  Mine took a while to cook because despite putting it in the fridge from the freezer the night before it still wasn’t fully thawed.  Oh well.  It all turned out ok in the end.  Once it’s all cooked, drain the excess grease.  I poured mine into a canning jar, because once it’s all solidified I can just dump it into the garbage.  If you have a disposable cup anywhere those are also great because you can just dump them when it’s cooled.

Step 2: While the meat is browning, and probably for a bit afterwards (depending on how fast it cooks and how fast you can peel), peel the potatoes, carrots, and onion. The potatoes should be cut into 1/4″ slices, the carrots into 1/4″ rounds, and the onion into 1/4″ pieces.  I didn’t measure mine, and I’m pretty sure they’re bigger than 1/4″, but I like chunkier veggies.

Step 3: Combine all the ingredients except the peas in the slow cooker and stir well.  Cover and cook on low for 5-7 hours.

Step 4: Go do something productive to kill the next 5-7 hours. Or sit on Facebook and watch a movie.  That sort of counts.

Step 5: Add the peas.  I had a can of peas and had already washed my measuring cup, so I just dumped the whole can in and went with it.  If you like mushy peas, you can add them when you add everything else.  Cook for about 2 more hours. I forgot the camera when I did this step (blame being hungry and in a rush), but I assure you it went off without a hitch.

I cooked it for about another hour and a half or so and it came out just fine. I garnished mine with some cheese and that made it super nommy, but you can serve it without cheese and it will also be tasty.

If you have any questions or comments you can either leave them below, or email me.  If you have a suggestion for a recipe or any other ideas, that email address is theboredgirlskitchen@gmail.com.

Happy cooking!



et cetera
%d bloggers like this: