July Bon Appetit – Cook the Cover

I don’t bake pie. My aunts (wonderful cooks themselves!) and my dad know how to make good pie. I enjoy eating a good pie, but I’ve never been able to master pie. It’s the crust that screws it up. I’ve tried several different methods – all butter, butter/crisco mix, food processor, by hand, with knives, with a pastry tool – to no avail. So when I looked at the cover of July’s Bon Appetit, I thought my time had come. A pastry with a fairly forgiving crust that I could use to kick off my “cook the cover” posts for 99cookbooks. Needless to say it would turn out to be a bit more challenging than I thought – primarily due to my parenting skills. (Or lack of, it turns out on this day.)

blueberry galette

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The Mayo Clinic Williams-Sonoma Cookbook

Last week we used the New Mayo cookbook – so I thought it would be fun to check out the old Mayo cookbook! The original. Going old school. When I pulled this one off the shelf I was a little disgusted by the amount of guck on the cover book jacket. I suppose that’s evidence that this book had a lot of use when I first picked it up – probably in 2001 or 2002. This is another early member of my cookbook collection and I definitely remember reading through the introduction to learn more about healthy cooking techniques as well as good baking substitutions. To this day, I always keep applesauce in the house. (And you should too! Especially if you have a dad who loves to stock your freezer with applesauce every fall.)

This was the first week of the summer that I’ve been legitimately home all day with H and C. My first week off the kids had drama camp and last week we were in Kansas, so I’ve had more time – and more meals – to prepare. To engage the kids a bit more in the process, I let them pick out the recipes.
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I gave them sticky notes and they marked recipes they wanted in the same way I do each week. It was pretty entertaining to watch them work – and after cooking some of their choices, I have a much greater understanding of how they make selections. It has nothing to do with the actual ingredients – but everything to do with color. Is the food their favorite color? If so – then let’s make it. As we all discovered this week, there were some hits and some definite misses.

The Recipes
Roasted Red Potatoes with Chive Sauce
Herbed Carrot and Beet Salad
Curried Potato, Leek, and Apple Soup
Corn and Lima Bean Medley
Roasted Vegetable Fajitas
Fettuccine and Summer Tomatoes
Wild Rice and Chicken Salad
Spiced Muffins with Golden Applesauce
Quick Brown Bread
Papaya Agua Fresca
Banana-Chocolate Shake  Continue reading

Spiced Muffins with Applesauce

My kids went crazy for these muffins. I made a spice substitution from the original recipe as I really hate cardamom, but cinnamon and nutmeg do the trick. Even pumpkin pie spice works. The ingredient list is fairly basic, but you’ll probably have to buy some dry milk. Who really keeps that around anymore? While these little gems are tasty, the texture is a little heavier – these are not cakeish muffins. But overall, a healthier choice for the kids to sneak! Tip: using an ice cream scoop makes filling the muffin tins super fast and mess-free!

Spiced Muffins with Applesauce
Adapted from The Mayo Clinic Williams-Sonoma Cookbook  Continue reading

Where’s the beef?

In my freezer. 200 pounds of it. I have a good friend who is interested in supporting local producers and asked who would be in for sharing a cow. Four families jumped in, sharing 800 pounds of grass fed, local beef for our grills this summer. I knew we’d have some meat for the freezer, but I wasn’t fully anticipating the mass of 200 pounds. Of course it arrived the week I was in Kansas, so Jeff threw it in the freezer and we organized it when I arrived home.

This is what the freezer looked like.

This is what the freezer looked like….what was left after the meat filled up the rest.

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