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Announcement: Sunday, March 14, 2020: COVID Comfort Cooking
Mar 18th, 2020 by Katekoster

So, I just heard that school is closed and we are moving to online learning for a month.  I’m not sure how I feel about that but decided cooking comfort food would be a good distraction.  Since my mom has probably single-handedly cleaned out Trader Joe’s, I decided to use one of the four boxes of cinnamon crumb cake mix I found in the kitchen.  I love cinnamon crumb cake and while made from scratch is usually better, Trader Joe’s mix is pretty good…and very simple.  Besides the mix, you just need butter, eggs, and milk.

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After you preheat the oven and grease the pan, you combine the eggs, milk and cake mix in one bowl and the topping mix (cinnamon sugar, essentially) with butter in the other.

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Then you layer: cake mix, topping mix, etc.  (you get it)

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Finally into the oven. Delish!  Prepare for more COVID-19 Comfort Cooking!

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Announcement: Saturday, March 7, 2020: Baked Eggs with Tomato Cheese Grits
Mar 15th, 2020 by Katekoster

Today was a cold March day and I wanted something warm and cozy. Plus I wanted to use my Insta-pot (well actually it’s my mom’s, but I gave it to her) so I found a recipe for Baked Eggs + Tomato Cheese Grits in Melissa Clark’s cookbook, Comfort in an Instant.  She has a bunch of good comfort food recipes and that was just what I needed.  This didn’t exactly take an “instant” but it was very easy.  Ingredients are pretty simple: grits, cheddar cheese, chopped tomatoes, butter, olive eggs and milk or cream (or half and a half).

 

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The first step is to saute the grits in the Insta-pot for about 3 minutes till they are slightly brown.

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Then you add water, tomatoes, salt and pepper and cook on the high pressure for 10 minutes.  I included a photo of the actual pot to show that the controls are pretty complicated and you should definitely read the manual before you cook anything. Then you let the pressure release by itself for 10 minutes, before manually releasing the pressure (stand back because steam comes out when you manually release).

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After that you set the function back to sautee and add milk (or cream), butter and the cheddar cheese. You mix that in and while still hot, crack 4 eggs into the cheesy grits (easier if you crack them into a small bowl and slide them in.  You cover the pot and let the eggs cook for 3 to 5 minutes.  (3 minutes is very runny and 5 is very firm, so I recommend 4 minutes).

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Then it’s time to serve and eat. Add a little Tabasco if you want some spice.

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Announcement: March 4, 2020:Blueberry Crisp
Mar 7th, 2020 by Katekoster

Even though it was a cold March day, I was in the mood for one of my favorite summer treats: blueberry crisp, and since I had the day off school, I decided to make it.  Usually, we pick the blueberries at a blueberry farm upstate but this time I picked them up at Trader Joe’s.  Along with blueberries, the ingredients you need are sugar, flour, rolled oats, soft butter and little salt.  The most important (and frustrating) part of cooking is that the butter needs to be soft, which takes at least 45 minutes before you start baking.

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First step is to preheat the oven to 375 degrees

Then it’s time to make the filling.  Rinse the berries and then combine:

  • 6 cups berries
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 1/4 Teaspoon coarse salt

Pour that into an 8 x 8 cooking pan

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Next step is to make the topping.  Mix together the following ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup flour
  • 3/4 Cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 Teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon coarse salt

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Then cream together the following (either in mixer or by hand)

  • 6 Tablespoons softened butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar

Add the flour and oats mix to the butter and sugar and combine to make lumpy topping (use your hands if necessary)

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Spread over the berry mix, put in the oven and cook for about 45 minutes.   The waiting is hard (Koko loves blueberries so she lay down in the kitchen to wait as well.)

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Berry mix should be bubbling and topping crispy and light brown.  Served warm is great (but cold for breakfast is pretty good too!)

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February 8, 2020: Cheese Corn with Eggs
Mar 4th, 2020 by Katekoster

Today I was craving some cheese corn with eggs (I had had it a Korean restaurant with my friends), so I tried out a recipe I found online.  Ingredients are pretty simple: 2 cups corn, 1/4 cup butter, 6 tablespoons mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 cup shredded mozzarella, with salt and pepper to taste.  Plus I topped it with some scrambled eggs.

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First step was to thaw the frozen corn.  Then I heated the corn, mayo, butter and sugar together in a saucepan until they were mixed and bubbling.

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Next step, add shredded cheese and let melt. Once it was melted, I put it in the oven to broil for a couple of minutes.

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Meanwhile, I got to work on the scrambled eggs: I melted the butter, mixed eggs and milk and sauteed.

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Finally, time to put it together and enjoy!

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