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This is the reheated in the micro version, as we had dinner guests when it was originally served and I failed to get a picture.

So, for years, I’ve only had access to the Trader Joe’s grocery store chain on rare occasions when we visited a “big city”. For a long time, Trader Joe’s (TJ) wouldn’t go into states where liquor sales are not allowed in grocery stores, so they were non existent for the 16 years I lived in Colorado. TJ is now much more ubiquitous (and a lot of the liquor laws have changed), but they still won’t go into smaller or less affluent communities. And they always seem to arrive AFTER I move. One opened in Spokane about 2 weeks before we made the move to Walla Walla. Sigh. There isn’t one in the Tri-Cities…yet. So whenever we’re back up in Spokane, or over on the west side of Oregon or Washington, we hit up TJ and stock up on a few things like extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar and, of course, chocolate. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pineapple-Apple slawAs much as I love to cook, I’m often stymied when asked to bring a dish to a pot luck. Everyone wants to bring the big bowl of magic that is empty by the end, where everyone asks for the recipe. But a lot of times, pot luck dishes are just not how I normally cook. Meatballs in a crock pot. Cans of “cream of XYZ” soup in a casserole. Yeah, not so much. Read the rest of this entry »

Ham hock & Bean soupI grew up with bowls of ham hocks and beans, a classic stick to your ribs comfort food that doesn’t break the bank. My guess, given that my mother grew up poor on a southern Idaho farm and my father grew up poor on a middle of Montana farm, is that this was a dish they had in common (and trust me, they didn’t have all that much in common – wink). They divorced when I was 4, but this dish was a staple with both parents for my entire childhood. Read the rest of this entry »

PoachedPearFinishedwatermarkI got this recipe from a friend some 25 years ago, while working at a photo lab in Boulder Colorado. It is still one of my go-to recipes for a simple elegant dessert. Got a half bottle of left over wine sitting around? Try these. Seriously. You won’t be disappointed. Read the rest of this entry »

Thin cornmeal pancakesAfter my dad (1995) and step-mother (1999) passed away, I spent some time cleaning out the house I grew up in, and found a cache of recipes my father had clipped from various newspapers over the years. My step-mom tended to be the meat and potatoes cook of the house, but my father loved to bake. (I just used his Kitchen-Aid standing mixer today). I kept the recipes that sounded interesting, scanned them, and I’ve worked my way through most of them over the years. Read the rest of this entry »

Cranberry Ambrosia MoldThere are certain foods from my childhood that I tend to refer to as “food porn”. You know, those foods that you KNOW aren’t really healthy, and are pretty much nothing like how you eat now, but that when put in front of you, you eat until you can’t see straight. You have no resistance. The combination of sugar, fat, and nostalgia are irresistible. Read the rest of this entry »

PeasI like to think of myself as a bit of a foodie, eschewing any recipe that includes a can of cream of “fill in the blank” soup as part of its ingredient list. But lately, I’ve been having a bit of a love affair with all mayonnaise based salads, be they broccoli, carrot, cabbage, or in this case, pea. Sometimes those church ladies are simply onto something. Read the rest of this entry »

Dandelion w/o flowersI’ve been learning about edible weeds for a long long time. I have a used copy of “Stalking the Wild Asparagus” that I bought almost 30 years ago. But there is one problem. I never actually get around to eating the wild plants. I know you CAN eat them, but I almost never do. And if the situation ever became more critical (I NEEDED to know how to prepare and eat them) I’d be flying by the seat of my pants and challenging my palate while already dealing with a stressful situation. Not a good combination. Read the rest of this entry »

IMG_20151003_181626watermarkOver the years, I’ve tried to find a “go to” recipe for most vegetables. A recipe that takes the vegetable from “I should eat this, its healthy” to “is there any more in the pan” status. Cabbage was a tough one for me. Cabbage is inexpensive. It shows up on the Environmental Working Group’s “Clean 15 List“. That is, vegetables that, even when conventionally grown, don’t have much pesticide residue. And, partially because it’s in the same family as broccoli, cauliflower and kale (the Brassica’s) its super healthy. Full of fiber, nutrition, and anti-oxidants. But, if cooked wrong, it can also be stinky and unappetizing. So, a few years ago, I was searching for cooked cabbage recipes that were not just good, but something I would look forward to. Read the rest of this entry »

StackedEnchiladaCasserole2

OK, so getting it out of the pan intact is a challenge. But it all tastes good.

I can’t remember where I first saw this recipe. Probably an old subscription to Cooking Light or Eating Well. All I know is that it is super easy, super adaptable, inexpensive to make, relatively healthy and very satisfying to eat. It comes together in minutes, unlike traditional enchiladas, with all that messy rolling. If I had to pick just seven dinners to make once a week for the next year, this would probably be one of them. Read the rest of this entry »

Jennifer Kleffner

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