Month: December 2014

Campfire Popcorn

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Hello friends…yet another Sunday post.  But I’m sure with the leftover Christmas Spirit you can forgive me–plus, I think it should be back to Thursdays again after this week!

Campfire popcorn is the best kind of popcorn.  It’s so smoky and crunchy and fluffy and melt-in-your-mouth.  Not to mention buttery–and the biggest surprise (especially hearing this from the queen of dairy, me) is that you don’t even need butter!  The coconut oil is buttery enough.  Yes, I said coconut oil.  Some popcorn fanatics at my college turned me onto it.  It’s solid at room temperature, buttery, tasteless, and has a high-enough smoking point to make it eligible for popcorn popping.  In fact, I’ve heard that this is what movie theaters use to flavor their popcorn–but theirs has added artificial flavoring.

Coconut oil blob.

Coconut oil blob.

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I like to melt the coconut oil a bit before adding the kernels.

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Kernels!

If I were a bigger popcorn fanatic, I would have also bought a fancy version of popping corn–the biggest popcorn aficionado I know is quite fond of black popcorn.  But I just used what was in the cabinet.

It should be noted that you will need some special equipment for this, mostly a popcorn popper suited for open flame.  And of course a fire suited for making food (none of those fancy chemically-colored fires).

The whole lot of supplies--minus salt.  Can't forget salt.

The whole lot of supplies–minus salt. Can’t forget salt.

 

Grab your friend (especially any that haven’t had campfire popcorn before), make a fire in your fireplace or outside…wait for it to die down a bit, and then make popcorn! In the words of my father, “Wait for it to be mostly coals so it’s hot without getting burn-y”.

"I've never had campfire popcorn before," she can no longer say.

“I’ve never had campfire popcorn before,” she can no longer say.

Nice to have a buddy so I can get close-ups without multi-tasking.

Nice to have a buddy so I can get close-ups without multi-tasking.

Campfire Popcorn

Yield: 1 kettle (feeds about 2 people)

Ingredients:

1-2 T. coconut oil

1/4-1/3 c. popcorn kernels of your choice

Salt to taste

Method:

Once the campfire has reached the stage where it is mostly coals, add the coconut oil to the fire-safe kettle.  Melt oil over fire for about 30 seconds, swirling it around the bottom of the kettle.  Remove from the heat and add popcorn kernels.  Extend handle of kettle all the way, close the lid, and place back over the fire.  Once the corn starts popping, it is important to keep shaking the kettle so nothing gets burned.  (Even if a few do get burned, it’s all part of the experience!).  The kernels will pop quickly.  As soon as you hear a pause of 1 or 2 seconds between pops, remove from the heat immediately.  Add salt when still hot, tossing to coat. Enjoy…with a nice glass of milk!

Leftovers Quiche

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Hello Friends.  In the midst of my being busy (and it being my birthday in two days), you get this post instead of one last Thursday and one this Thursday.  Mid-week post! It is the end of the semester, as you all probably know, and things need to get wrapped up.  Including the contents of my refrigerator.  So, for the annual Tech Christmas Dinner on Saturday, which happened to be breakfast themed, I made cheesy bacon quiche trying to use up a lot of my ingredients.  Some things were measured, some things were not.  Some things were experimented with.

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Butter cut in the pie crust.

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Water added to pie crust.

 

A half a pound of bacon is too much for one quiche, not that I heard anyone complaining.  Also, if you don’t have heavy cream laying around (which I surprisingly usually do but didn’t this time), you can use a little bit of sour cream in its place.  Some day I will try this substitution with a not-leftover-quiche recipe and see how it compares.  I’ve done it twice in quiches before and I think it gives it a texture that is quite pleasing, especially considering you’re cheating.  Okay, so here goes the recipe as I remember it being.  If you take something away from this, take away the tip about the sour cream…I only leave the recipe here to look back on and prove that things can be tossed together into something lovely.

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Leftovers Quiche

Yield: 1 9-inch quiche

Ingredients for Crust:

1/2 c. butter

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 c. cold water

Pinch of salt (which I neglected to remember to put in)

Ingredients for Filling:

The rest of your eggs (3 large eggs)

Probably about 1/2 c. milk

1/4 c. sour cream

1 pinch salt

1 pinch pepper

1 small pinch nutmeg (don’t you dare leave this out…even if you don’t think you like nutmeg)

The rest of your bacon (1/2 lb bacon, chopped and cooked until crispy…as mentioned, this is a LOT. 1/4 lb would have been better)

The rest of your cheese (About 1 c. grated cheddar cheese)

Butter for dotting the top

Method:

Make the crust pastry– With a pastry blender or a fork, cut the butter into the flour until it looks like lumpy sand.  Add the water a little at a time until the dough can be squished into a ball–you may not need all the water.  Form the dough into a ball and wrap with plastic wrap, setting in the fridge for at least half an hour (I say that as a convention–I left mine overnight).  Feel free to cook the bacon in this time.

After the dough ball has chilled, roll it out and crimp it into a 9-inch pie dish.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Make the filling– Combine eggs, milk, sour cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and mix with a fork until smooth.  Add the bacon and cheese.  Pour filling into the prepared pie shell.  Place little blobs of butter over the top to dot it.

Place in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes or until filling is set (jiggles slightly when dish is bumped).  Since this did not lead to much browning on top, I briefly placed it under the broiler to get some color after it was set.  Watch closely if you do that!

…And enjoy this haphazard quiche.

This Instant’s Best Grilled Cheese

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Quite the title, I know. This was part of my dinner on Wednesday… minus the cream cheese, because there apparently isn’t any in the house. Thus, the pictures are also lacking in cream cheese. Darn. But I promise, this is the best way I’ve found yet to enjoy a nice grilled cheese. This would be grand with cheddar, too.

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And yes, you need to use sourdough bread.  Don’t ask questions, just enjoy this lovely combination of cheese and sourdough.

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This Instant’s Best Grilled Cheese

Ingredients

1 blob of cream cheese (about a 1/2 oz)

1 dash granulated garlic

1 dash oregano

1 pinch black pepper

1 small pinch salt

1 slice muenster cheese

2 slices sourdough bread

Butter, for greasing

Method

Heat up a panini press or a frying pan.  Mix the spices, including the salt, with the cream cheese.  Spread the cream cheese mixture on one slice of bread.  Top with the slice of muenster and the other slice of bread.  Butter the outsides of the bread and place in the panini press/frying pan.  If it is in a pan, put a plate on top of the sandwich and add some weight on top of the plate (such as a can from the pantry).  Cook until cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown.