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 Post subject: Whatcha been cooking lately?
Post Posted: May 2, 2020 11:21 am 
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Whatcha been cookin??? Tried any new recipes lately?

I'm making apple butter today.
Surprising even to myself, I've never made any before (probably because it takes 10+ hours to cook and then another hour+ to deal with all the canning stuff).

A few weeks ago I bought a 5 lb bag of organic Gala apples from Safeway. They were not very good. Obviously had been sitting in storage for much too long. The flavor was okay but the texture was terrible.

So I thought what's something new I can make with them? I'd usually just make a crumble/crisp.
So apple butter it is. It's a slow cooker version and the house smells amazing!!!

Apparently Gala is not the perferred variety for apple butter. But hey we are talking apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice... how bad can it be???


What are you cooking Pinecammers?


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 Post subject: Re: Whatcha been cooking lately?
Post Posted: May 2, 2020 12:08 pm 
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Been trying to clean out the freezer a bit for prior recipes but thinking of doing baked Ziti tomorrow with hot Italian sausage, Kalamata olives, mushrooms, Garlic and Havarti, MozZarella and Parmesan cheese. With stewed tomatoes in a convection oven. Similar to this one I made sometime last year but with more ingredients.

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 Post subject: Re: Whatcha been cooking lately?
Post Posted: May 2, 2020 12:49 pm 
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I've got some spicy sausage in the freezer needing to be used.
Soooo maybe Red Beans and Rice tomorrow when the sausage thaws.

Then later in the week, I want to make a Spicy oven-baked chicken thigh
recipe shared by our daughter. It uses an overnight buttermilk/hot sauce
marinade and a spicy breading before baking. I have modified it to gluten
free and found it's even better that way!

Oops. Now I am getting hungry...
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Post Posted: May 2, 2020 12:57 pm 
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Chicken in Buttermilk and hot sauce overnight is a great way to tenderize the poultry. Do that often in non-reactive containers with other spices too.


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 Post subject: Re: Whatcha been cooking lately?
Post Posted: May 2, 2020 2:40 pm 
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Just cooked up a big pot of gumbo with chicken, shrimp and sausage. But, I also have a couple of turkey thighs in the icebox needing to be cooked, so that'll be today when I get the woodstove stoked up.

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 Post subject: Re: Whatcha been cooking lately?
Post Posted: May 2, 2020 3:41 pm 
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Made crackers, focaccia, biscuits, cookies, several awesome casoroles, bread (without yeast ... damnit!).

We have been trying out baking breads and other items, usually don’t want to take time for.

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Post Posted: May 2, 2020 5:08 pm 
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Definately need to have enchiladas soon, very soon. Must have some. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Whatcha been cooking lately?
Post Posted: May 2, 2020 7:30 pm 
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TrednWatr wrote:
Just cooked up a big pot of gumbo with chicken, shrimp and sausage.


Oh yum! Cajun/Creole food, that's what I want! :eat:

I'm not a big fan of traditional gumbo as okra is not my thing so I always fish it out and that just seems terribly rude. :lol: When I make it for myself, I leave out the okra and usually add extra andouille.

But I'm thinking jambalaya or étouffée should be on the menu this week. Yes!

Since I make jambalaya several times a year (a great pot-luck dish), I think shrimp étouffée will be the special menu item this week. And best of all, I already have everything here that I need for it!!

But wait, I also have a recipe for a gluten-free cajun crab cakes I've not tried yet (now where did I put that recipe?). But that would require a trip to the market for the crab meat (unless I use canned crab meat).

Decisions, decisions...??

Anyway, thanks for the inspiration TrednWatr! I'm doing Cajun or Creole this week!


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 Post subject: Re: Whatcha been cooking lately?
Post Posted: May 3, 2020 1:49 pm 
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Oh my gosh the apple butter turned out perfect. Most people would probably want it a bit sweeter, but to me, it's right on the money.

Yummy goodness!
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Post Posted: May 3, 2020 2:12 pm 
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I used to make it every year. Used whatever apples I had on hand. Mine was sweet and I don't make it anymore--way too much sugar and can't use Sweet n Low or birch bark sweetener for something like that.

Made some seafood salad for today--crab, shrimp, peas, black olives, green onion, celery and mayo. I sometimes add Old Bay, but feel kinda bland today, so cracked pepper and that's all.

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 Post subject: Re: Whatcha been cooking lately?
Post Posted: May 3, 2020 3:27 pm 
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Yes apple butter can be sweet. The commercial stuff is way too sweet for me.

I saw 1 recipe that called for 1 cup sugar per pound of apples. :yikes:

I had a little under 5 lbs of apples and just used 1/2 cup of brown sugar. I figured I could add more near the end if needed.

I tasted it last night when I was jarring it up. Seemed a bit under-sweet and a bit soupy but I was too tired to really deal with it so I let it go.

Today I had some left-over chicken for lunch. Totally not satisfying. Then made a slice of GF toast with the apple butter! Oh man was that good!! The apple butter had set-up and thickened nicely, the sweetness level was perfect (for me). And the flavor was heaven!

I really shouldn't eat sugar/sweets either. My doc that is helping me with my screwed up metabolism, low blood sugar and missing thyroid gland, says even eating a carrot is actually too much sugar for me. But life without carrots (or fruit or rice or all that stuff) is just too boring. I'm willing to gamble with the risks and accept the consequences.

I've done all the low sugar diets from A to Z (Atkins to Zone) but just can't stick to then for long. I am a bad, bad, girl with a sweet tooth. So moderation is the best I can do.
Especially at times like this when I just want to eat my way through this crazy pandemic. :lol:


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Post Posted: May 3, 2020 4:20 pm 
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Pork loin chops cooked in the slow cooker all day with ham broth, onions, garlic, and a bay leaf. It was supposed to be chicken broth but I had ham broth left over.

Now that the chops are done, I'll make a gravy with added bacon bits and server all over cooked noodles. This is a new recipe, it smells great now, but let's see how it tastes.


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