I've been cooking up a storm around here lately. "Storming" is what I wish the weather would be doing because we sure could use some rain. Yesterday was a bit cooler and with the house being cool without the aid of an air conditioner running 24/7 prompted me to cook something in the oven INSIDE the house. During the heat-wave I'd been cooking most things outdoors either with a propane camp stove or with a small portable oven which my Mother In Law found for me at a yard-sale.
Blueberry and Lemon Muffins
Like these Blueberry and Lemon Muffins I whipped up! They turned out wonderfully - without heating the kitchen up.
So what did I cook INDOORS?
I had a roast intended for the crock-pot outside, originally, but chose to move it to the 'real' oven. I wanted to try something new and I was aching to use some of the homemade pesto I whipped up in the magic bullet (see two blog posts ago) So, I cut "pockets" every 1/2 inch into a roast and filled each section with a tablespoon of pesto and halved garlic cloves.
Pesto and Garlic filled Pot Roast
I pressed it back into a roast-like shape and then browned it over medium heat. Next I turned it fat-side up and then slooooooww roasted it at 275 degrees F. for many hours, until it was fork tender. The pesto/garlic made a wonderful caramelized sauce. Needless to say today's lunch will be pulled beef sandwhiches with sprouts on multi-grained bagels.
And I also cooked up some Quinoa the other night and I've been dying to share it with YOU! If you don't know what Quinoa is, its little seeds which cook up like couscous. Quinoa is a healthy food - it's a grain but a complete protein so if you are a vegetarian this would be a good dish for you to investigate. It's also gluten free so if you are celiac this also would be an ideal addition to your diet.
I learned about Quinoa from The Splendid Table podcast which I faithfully follow:
You don't have to download the show as a podcast though, simply click on the graphics above and it will take you to the site. I've set this blog to index the page where the show on Quinoa is featured (look to the bottom where it says Two Grains) Just hit the LISTEN feature and you can enjoy the show right from your computer! You can go to their home page to find listings for all their shows - warning, its addictive. I've fund many great recipes here and learned a great deal about food and cooking.
I cooked the grains in the way that Lynne describes on The Splendid Table, like this, basically:
1 cup Quinoa
2 cups water
Rinse Quinoa in water several times before you cook it, then spread it in a big skillet and toast over medium heat until it has a nutty aroma - about 3 or 4 minutes. Simmer for 15 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
This is the basic recipe just to cook the grains. While the grains were cooking I sauteed a few onions, zuccinni and peppers in a tablespoon of olive oil. When these were ready I added some black olives and then folded this into the Quinoa. I let this stand for 5 more minutes until all the flavours were absorbed. And of course, I added pepper (as I always do!)
I'd love to know if you have any recipes using Quinoa - I am confident we will be eating this often!
And if my blog has got your mouth watering and your oven mitts on ready to bake something delicious, then you may want to wander over to Gina's Blog to check out her YUMMY Apricot Scones (recipe feature!) Click on her blog graphic to be transported!