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thanksgiving stuffed turkey breast

We've used this recipe the past two years and will again this year. I make a cornbread dressing, instead of Kenji's sausage dressing. It turns out great every time.

Nov 23, 2014
onrushpam in Home Cooking

The Crockpot Holiday Dinner? First Timer Needs Help!

If your family wants beef, the ATK eye-of-round recipe is easy and very good, though it does cook in the oven. Here's a Chowhound thread about it. You can find the recipe several places, if you don't have access to the ATK recipes. I've made this several times with great success and the left overs make wonderful sandwiches.
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/608907

Rice-cooker mashed potatoes sound great, or there are tons of good slow cooker potato recipes out there.

Slow cooker bread pudding sounds great and I've also seen several good looking pumpkin desserts for slow cookers.

Just do whatever you are comfortable with and enjoy your family!

Nov 16, 2014
onrushpam in Home Cooking

Logistical help needed for bring a meal to friend

Put some towels in the bottom of a cooler and set the foil-wrapped pan on top of them. This keeps the pan from scooting around and contains the liquid, should there be any spillage.

The Crockpot Holiday Dinner? First Timer Needs Help!

You might want to take a look at my recent thread about a dinner I just did almost totally make-ahead and transported 4 hours to be served a couple of days later. I did all the prep/cooking on Thursday night after work, we made the drive on Friday and didn't actually serve the meal until Sunday. It was a big hit. I don't think anybody thought they were eating a microwave meal (I could've reheated almost all of it in crockpots, but didn't need to do that). The evening we served the meal, I just reheated everything except the ham and the rolls. A couple of people commented they felt like they'd been served a holiday feast. (made me smile!)
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/993374

Critique my menu -- make ahead dinner for 8-10

Coming back to report...

Dinner was a success all around, though I was a little bit sorry to have not made shrimp or grits. The chef offered neither for our Sat. night dinner, though what he did have was very good.

Did the spiral ham (Kirkland) in an oven bag with just a little orange juice poured over.
Mustard sauce
Succotash of lady peas and creamed corn
Collard greens
Roasted root veg (sweet potatoes, turnips, Yukon golds and beets, with shallots and a bit of garlic)
Caramel apple topping for Blue Bell ice cream with ginger snap crumbs on top

We ran very late on the field, so grabbed some Sister Shuberts, which we used with dinner. But, my frozen roll experiment worked great (they just weren't ready in time for dinner). We made sandwiches with them for lunch the next day. I'll definitely do that again when I want to bring make rolls ahead of time. Once thawed and brought to room temp, they behaved just as if I'd made them a few hours earlier!

Thanks to all of you for your input. It helped a lot!

Edited to add... All of this was done Thurs. night after work, except the ham and finishing off the rolls. We transported it 4 hours North on Friday, then finished it all on Sunday evening when we returned from the field.
And, I didn't mention the snacks, but everybody loved the pimento cheese/tomato jam combo and the pickles were a big hit. Our British friend had never eaten field peas and wondered what might be similar in the UK. I couldn't come up with anything.

The simplest applesauce

I've been making lots and lots of applesauce the past few weeks. I've used a mix of varieties each time, depending on what looked good at the produce place. I think my favorite was a mix of Empire, Gala and Fuji.
I just peel and quarter about 8 apples (enough to fill my pan almost to the top), pour in a little bottle of organic apple juice (single serve size), a little bit of brown sugar and quite a bit of Saigon cinnamon (1-2 TBS). When they're soft, I mash them with a potato masher and add some vanilla (if I remember). It doesn't take long. I don't understand the need for the slow-cooker, but maybe I'll try it leaving the peels on.
We ate the last of the last batch a couple of days ago. Need more. I've been taking it in my lunch every day.

Nov 05, 2014
onrushpam in Home Cooking
1

I really like <fill in chain> and I look forward to returning

Newk's
I'm going there for lunch today. Love their soup/salad and soup/sandwich combos.

Nov 04, 2014
onrushpam in Chains

Turkey breast roasting

You could probably use this from the Food Lab (I've made it three times and it's a winner), substituting your rice for the stuffing:
http://www.seriouseats.com/2012/11/th...

Nov 03, 2014
onrushpam in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #333 - The end of Daylight Savings Time Edition [through Nov. 10, 2014]

Last night I did a stupid simple braise/stew thing that was SO good... just chunked up half a chuck roast I'd thawed, seasoned and browned well, then braised for an hour in some Better Than Bouillon. Added chunked up carrots, turnips, celery, mushrooms, little new potatoes, small onions and let that all simmer until the veg was tender. Griddled some slices of nearly stale sourdough to sop up the juices. Dayum, it was good and I have lots left for lunches next week.

Tonight is butterflied roast chicken, mashed taters and pole beans from the farmers market, plus some gravy made with my homemade stock. Left overs will be chicken cottage pie in a day or so.

Critique my menu -- make ahead dinner for 8-10

Oh, Jezebel! Good idea. I tasted some pear relish (that's what they called it) at an organic farm event over the weekend and I'm kicking myself for not buying any. I had already paid for other purchases when I spied/tasted it and didn't want to get back in line to make another purchase. It was so good. I kept thinking it reminded me of something... that's it. It was similar to Jezebel sauce.

Oct 28, 2014
onrushpam in Home Cooking

Critique my menu -- make ahead dinner for 8-10

We're getting some really good corn and tomatoes again. I'm thinking I'll do a maque choux type dish with the field peas (or some of my frozen baby butter beans). I think if I go light on the corn in relation to the peas and tomatoes, it should be okay for our diabetic friend.

Oh, and I'll get some sugar free Blue Bell for the dessert and will make the apples with the Splenda/brown sugar blend. Won't need much of that, if I choose the right apples.

Critique my menu -- make ahead dinner for 8-10

I don't really measure any of this, so here's my best guess on the mustard sauce:
Saute a minced shallot in 1-2 T butter.
Whisk in 2-3 T Dijon mustard (I like to use the coarse kind) and add a good sploosh of white wine
After it burbles a bit, add a cup of chicken stock.
Let it simmer until it's reduced by about half.
Stir in a cup of cream and let it simmer until thickened to your liking.
If you have fresh parsley, mince it up and add at the end.
This is good warm, room temp or cold.
One of my favorite tote-to-work lunches is left over pork warmed up in the microwave a bit, then dunked in this sauce cold.

This is enough for a pork tenderloin. I'll probably quadruple it or more for the ham.

Critique my menu -- make ahead dinner for 8-10

Oh! good idea! I'll put celery on the list. :-)

Critique my menu -- make ahead dinner for 8-10

Oh, I'm definitely keeping the field peas. Venison? No access to that and I'd really have no idea how to prepare it.

Oct 26, 2014
onrushpam in Home Cooking

Critique my menu -- make ahead dinner for 8-10

New menu:
Sweet Grass Dairy pimento cheese
Tomato jam
Crackers
Roasted pecans
Cheese straws

Baked ham with mustard sauce
Field peas and rice (the field peas will be cooked with tomatoes)
Collard greens
Assorted local-made pickles
Cornmeal yeast rolls

Ice cream with warm caramel apple topping and ginger snap crumbles

Critique my menu -- make ahead dinner for 8-10

I laughed at this one! Who wouldn't eat a pile of cheese, butter and cream thickened with ground corn? :-) But, as I said in my other post, I have to rethink this because there's no way I'd serve grits when we're going the next night to a place where they serve the best grits I've ever put in my Southern mouth. :-)

Oct 26, 2014
onrushpam in Home Cooking
2

Critique my menu -- make ahead dinner for 8-10

Well, I need to start over on this one. I just learned we'll all be going to dinner the next night at a place where the chef specializes in Southern fare. His shrimp and grits are awesome and most folks will probably eat them. So, I'll put my thinking cap on and come up with another idea.

Maybe I'll get a couple of deboned, stuffed chickens from a local place and roast them after we get there. I've done that before, but it will be a repeat for only a couple of these people. They were a big hit with the UK contingent, though they found the boudin balls I served as an app too spicy. :-)

I could still do field peas, collards and rolls with the chickens. If I get the rice stuffed version, it should be okay for our diabetic friend.

Or, I could do a ham.

Oct 26, 2014
onrushpam in Home Cooking

Cleaning out cabinets

I'd agree with the four year rule, except the other day my daughter was thrilled to learn I still had my 1974 electric skillet when her cooktop quit the night before she was to serve dinner for 12! She didn't actually have to USE my skillet, as the cooktop was brought back to life. But, she was very glad I had it available for delivery to her house. :-) I keep it around because it will work on our portable generator's power. We have had 10+ day power outages when it came in handy!

So, yes, I periodically purge. But, a few seldom-used items still find a tucked-away place to hide.

Oct 25, 2014
onrushpam in Cookware

Trader Joe's "pumpkinundation" 2014

I've been munching the biscotti all week. They are SO good! I hope I'll be able to get more this week.

Oct 25, 2014
onrushpam in Chains

Critique my menu -- make ahead dinner for 8-10

These are greyhound peoples and it's a field event, though we do a little lunch-time conformation match, just for fun.

Everybody will be there at the same time and there won't be any extra peoples added in. This is the field chairman, the judges, the lure operator and their significant others.

I'm going to think on this... honestly, I think this crew would prefer seafood to ham. So, I may just add on more shrimp and/or some blue crab claws/fingers (lots less expensive than the shrimp). And, I'll add some meat to the arrival-time snacks. We just got some awesome summer sausage/bologna from a local grass-fed beef farm. I could bring some of that.

I really do appreciate the feedback!
I'm a little concerned with whether or not I can do the grits ahead of time and reheat, and with transporting the rolls, then baking them off after we arrive. I've done these rolls as overnight/refrigerated many times, but the 4-5 hour transport in a cooler is a bit worrisome.

Oct 25, 2014
onrushpam in Home Cooking

Critique my menu -- make ahead dinner for 8-10

LOL! I did fried chicken the last time we got together with some of this crew. :-) (It was a picnic and I let Publix do the frying. I just made a lot of go-with stuff.)

Oct 25, 2014
onrushpam in Home Cooking
1

Critique my menu -- make ahead dinner for 8-10

Hmmm... I guess we tend to eat a more veg-heavy diet. To me, field peas ARE the protein/main, especially with a fair amount of cubed ham added. But, I may decide to do a ham and leave the it out of the field peas. (They'll still be well-seasoned, but I'll leave out the bigger pieces of meat.) Or, I may just up the amount of shrimp.

Critique my menu -- make ahead dinner for 8-10

The rolls are basically this recipe, except I do use more yeast. It's important to use coarse, stone ground cornmeal. Otherwise, you don't ever notice it's there. And, I just make into regular rolls, not the pull-apart style.
http://chickensintheroad.com/cooking/...

Oct 25, 2014
onrushpam in Home Cooking

Critique my menu -- make ahead dinner for 8-10

Yes, we're in the South, but not country ham area (at least not where I am). However, that's a thought... 86 the shrimp and just do a big ol' ham. We'd have leftovers for breakfast sandwiches the rest of the weekend.

Oct 25, 2014
onrushpam in Home Cooking

Critique my menu -- make ahead dinner for 8-10

She should be able to eat everything except maybe the jam and, of course, the rolls. She loves all things pickled. The cheese is just cheese/housemade mayo/peppers, no sugar at all. I'll use flat-bread crackers that are very low-carb.

Oct 25, 2014
onrushpam in Home Cooking

Critique my menu -- make ahead dinner for 8-10

All are adults, but none are huge eaters.
I wasn't really thinking of the shrimp as the main. Was planning on about 3 lbs total. I'd love to do stone crab (it is the season), but it's too dear. I might supplement with some quick fried blue crab claws.

Oct 25, 2014
onrushpam in Home Cooking

Critique my menu -- make ahead dinner for 8-10

We're part of the field committee for a dog event taking place about 5 hours from where we live. We'll be staying with friends and other friends will be arriving from England or driving from several states away. The friends we are staying with don't cook much and I thought I'd offer to make dinner for the Friday night before the event. (Some will be arriving after a long drive, others will have been setting up the event site all day.) I've done this before and know it will be welcomed, so no worries there. I'll need to do almost all the prep/cooking the day or two before we make the drive, then transport everything in coolers.
I can do some last-minute preps, but there really won't be a lot of time.

I have some really good field peas (lady peas) in the freezer and thought maybe I'd do a real Southern comfort food meal. Everything on the menu will be made by me or purchased from local sources. There are no food issues, except one person is diabetic.

Too much? Not enough? Issues for make-ahead? Alternative suggestions?

Snacks as people arrive:
Sweet Grass Dairy pimento cheese
Tomato jam
Crackers
Roasted pecans
Cheese straws

Dinner, to be served family style:
Steamed Gulf shrimp w/ Remoulade sauce
Field peas with ham cubes
Collard greens
Cheese grits
Assorted local-made pickles (green beans/okra/cucumbers)
Cornmeal yeast rolls

Ice cream with warm caramel apple topping and ginger snap crumbles

Oct 25, 2014
onrushpam in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #331 - the Pumpkin Carving Edition [through 10/26/14]

Well, it's not for dinner tonight, but will be going into several future dinners... I had almost a gallon bag of chicken wing tips saved from making grilled wings all summer. I through those into the stock pot, along with several bits and bobs of chicken pieces that had been in the freezer too long, some carrots, celery and onion. It simmered all afternoon yesterday, then spent 24 hours in the fridge. I just skimmed the fat (saved it) and divvied up the stock (5 quarts) into freezer containers. I really need to get a pressure canner so it could go into the pantry instead of the freezer. It was a squeeze!

I think this might be the best stock I ever made. It's so rich and glutenous, probably due to the high ratio of wing tips to everything else. It's yummy!

Tomorrow, when the hubs returns from a trip, I'll make chicken and biscuits. (I simmered a couple of breasts in with the stock, taking them out after 45 min. or so.)

Subbing fresh lima beans for dried?

I totally agree! I put up a bushel of butter beans and a half bushel of lady peas. I may go get a half bushel of pink eyes before they're all gone. But, nothing beats eating them fresh!

Oct 19, 2014
onrushpam in Home Cooking

Halfway point restaurant?

Mi Dia from Scratch in Grapevine.

Oct 19, 2014
onrushpam in Dallas - Fort Worth