October 28, 2011

Guest Post: Easy Dinner Recipes for Two Hungry People

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Today we have a guest post here on Grub Post. Our first ever! It's very exciting, and I hope you enjoy the topic and author: Easy Dinner Recipes for Two Hungry People by Brett H.

Easy Dinner Recipes for Two Hungry People

Sometimes cooking for only two people can be even more challenging than cooking for a large family. Especially if both work or go to school during the day, as time can be tight to make a meal that is nutritious and filling. Well, don’t be discouraged, as there are some easy dinner recipes for two that do not involve a lot of prep time and that are good for you as well. Some of these recipes can even be saved for leftovers. Here they are:

1. Casseroles are one of the easiest and healthiest dishes a person can make. The person on the run can add a cup or two of their favorite cooked meat and some chopped frozen or canned vegetables. They can then mix those ingredients with a small can of cream soup or sour cream and bake at 350 for about 35 minutes. You can also add some quick twists, such as dry ranch dressing, shredded cheese, or canned fried onions as a topping.

2. Don’t wait for the pizza guy to deliver when you can make your own in less time! And if you’re looking to trim down, you can also create your own healthy pizza pie without going out of the way or paying extra for it. Many stores carry pre-made pizza crusts already formed or in a refrigerated can in thick and thin varieties. Instead of buying pizza sauce, try your favorite jar of pasta sauce such as marinara or vodka. You can buy your veggies canned or fresh, pre-cut and if you like, try the turkey versions of pepperoni and Italian sausage. While you’re in the deli section, you can also switch things up by adding shredded cheddar cheese or pepper jack, either alone or combined with skim mozzarella. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees while you assemble the pizza ingredients. Then place your creation directly on oven rack or on large shallow pan, if you do not have a pizza pan. Cook for 15 minutes or until cheese has browned slightly.

3. Frozen meat patties are designed for convenience, as most are packaged individually and can be taken out to thaw at the beginning of the day. Even frozen, these can be cooked to well done in 25 minutes or less. Remember that it is cooked meat, so you are not limited to placing it between two slices of bread. Meat patties can be crumbled and added to canned baked beans, burger meal starters, or even pasta and rice entrees.

Finally, keep in mind that if the special person in your life wants to help out in the kitchen, then give them a chance. If they are handy with a knife, let them chop vegetables. Or they can drain the pasta while you are browning meat or cooking vegetables. It may not be easy to coordinate at first, but try to have a sense of humor about it and give them an “A” for effort. If it works out, you can ask them to alternate cooking duties with you.

Brett H. is a guest writer on healthy living, eating, and lifestyles

October 24, 2011

Challah Bread: 4 Ways

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Doesn't that just look delicious? 4 ways of doing light, fluffy, eggy challah bread. All of these recipes are from the same basic Challah Bread recipe from a while back.


Above are the two sweet varieties: raisin and chocolate chip. I'll let you guess which is which. Personally, I liked the raisin one more, and a certain someone really liked the chocolate chip challah bread. In either case, I would add more raisins and chips.



The two above are the savory ones. A plain one like we made before and a rosemary and olive oil one with sea salt on top. Out of all four the rosemary one was my favorite. It went with everything at any time of day. It was perfect.

Use the basic recipe below for each loaf and follow the substitutions and extra ingredients for each type.

Raisin:
Add 1/4-1/2 cup soaked raisins when kneading during step 3.

Chocolate Chip:
Add 1/4-1/2 cup chips when kneading during step 3.

Rosemary Olive Oil:
Use olive oil instead of canola oil. Add 1-2 tablespoons dried rosemary when kneading during step 3. Sprinkle extra sea salt or kosher salt on top before baking.

Yields 1 loaf

Ingredients

3/4 tablespoons active dry yeast
1/2 tablespoon plus 1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup canola oil, plus more for greasing the bowl
3 large eggs
1/2 tablespoon salt
4 cups all-purpose flour
7/8 cup water

Directions

1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and 1/2 tablespoon sugar in the lukewarm water.

2. Whisk oil into yeast, then beat in 2 eggs, one at a time, with remaining sugar and salt. Gradually add flour 1/2 cup at a time. When dough holds together, it is ready for kneading (you may not end up using all the flour).

3. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. Grease the bowl, then return dough. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until almost doubled in size. Punch down dough, cover and let rise again in a warm place for another 30 minutes.

4. Form the dough into 6 balls. With your hands, roll each ball into a strand about 12 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide. Place the 6 in a row, parallel to one another. Pinch the tops of all 6 strands together. Then:

Move the outside right strand over 2 strands.
Then take the second strand from the left and move it to the far right.
Take the outside left strand and move it over 2.
Move the second strand from the right over to the far left.
Start over with the outside right strand.

Continue this until all strands are braided, then tuck ends underneath. Place braided loaf on a greased cookie sheet with at least 2 inches in between.

5. Beat remaining egg and brush it on loaf. Let rise another hour.

6. If baking immediately, preheat oven to 375 degrees and brush loaf again.

7. Bake in the middle of oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden. Cool loaves on a rack before enjoying.

October 18, 2011

Yellow Watermelon

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Local food is kind of amazing, isn't it? We took part in a CSA for the first time this year, and the amount and variety of fruits and vegetables have been amazing. I've had some things through this experience that I've never had before. One of them is that beautiful yellow watermelon above. Perhaps the juiciest, most flavorful watermelon I've ever eaten.

Was it because it was local? Fresh? Yellow? I like to think it's a mix of all those things, and perhaps the extra care the farmer put into it. We also had the best cantaloupe because of this CSA. Imagine the greatest cantaloupe you've ever had. Now stop. This cantaloupe was better than that. Guaranteed. It was like eating cantaloupe for the first time, nothing else before or since has seemed to have any flavor.

Give local food and/or CSAs a try. You'll probably love it.

October 05, 2011

Homemade Cream Cheese

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If you've made labneh or greek yogurt or yogurt cheese before, then you can most likely make your very own homemade cream cheese.


This homemade cream cheese resulted from the leftover whey after making labneh. The whey was still milky in appearance and not that yellow/green hue we've all come to know and love and feed our pets, plants, smoothies, etc. So I tried to strain the rest of the whey as much as I could, and the result was a cream cheese as tasty as any I've ever had. It doesn't even have that yogurt taste to it. Enjoy!

Ingredients

yogurt from whole milk

Directions

After making yogurt from whole milk, and making labneh or greek yogurt or yogurt cheese or at least straining the yogurt for 6 hours or more, strain the whey for 24 hours through cheese cloth. If it's still not the right consistency, strain some more or add a splash of whey back in. The result will be fantastic!