Dog Days Replays: Knitting with a Side of Cooking

By Kay Gardiner
July 30, 2020

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  • This one is a favourite in my house. You can switch out the spinach and feta for whatever you have on hand – ham & swiss, broccoli & cheddar – the possibilities are endless.

    • Frittatas, quiches, omelets have all been on frequent rotation. Pretty inexpensive, delicious, and nutritious. Rhyming was always hilarious when the kids were little. They were very proud of rhyming delicious.

    • Wow! I’m trying this one tonight!

  • Grilled feta and butter beans on the side. My husband grills and I make the butter beans early (when it’s cool) and they can simmer for a bit before the stove goes off for the rest of the day.

  • We are in love with baby back ribs cooked in the Instant Pot (don’t know how I lived without the IP!). Slap some spices on a rack of ribs and smack them in the IP for 25 minutes and yer done. You can broil them with BQ sauce for a few minutes if you want the sauce to set up on the ribs, but that part is purely personal choice.

  • This time of year, I find nothing but corn on the cob rolled in olive oil, salt, and pepper makes a perfectly fine dinner. Maybe a tomato if you want to live it up. And then a cold cob or two for breakfast….

  • Whenever a recipe calls for pan-frying vegetables, I cook them in a cast-iron skillet in the oven. The vegetables come out soft and sweet with less oil, less work, and less mess than stove-top frying.
    1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
    2. Dice the vegetables and coat with oil in a bowl.
    3. Place the dry cast-iron skillet in the oven for 5 minutes.
    4. Dump the cold vegetable mixture into the hot skillet.
    5. Return the skillet to the oven and roast until cooked, turning the vegetables once.

    • This is the best advice I have had in such a long time!
      (This long time = viral event of unknown proportions!)

    • I’ll wager that they would be delicious even if you nixed the oil.

  • My very favorite recipe is from the Smitten Kitchen. Hers are simple and use ingredients I probably already have on hand. This is a great way to eat up lots of zucchini. Toast some slivered almonds in a table spoon of olive oil in a frying pan til brown, throw in julienned zucchini and cook for 2-3 more minutes. That’s it! Delicious!

    • Love the Smitten Kitchen.

      • Me, too.

  • Tip #1. Don’t wait until 4 o’clock to think about what’s for dinner. Too stressful. Tip #2. Instant pot. Or, how about tabouli and hummus. Though BLT sounds like a great plan.

  • What is that cake you have pictured? It’s making me hungry.

    • Yes: please tell us about that cake pictured above….or is it a pie?

  • Ah ha: I found the cake recipe in your slow cooker odyssey: cake. It’s the Dump Cake! I had forgotten about that.

  • This is one of the best stir fry recipes I’ve found. The hint on how to tenderize (she calls it velveting) chicken is amazing! I was concerned the tenderizing would add additional sodium to the chicken. Nope – careful rinsing in cold water is the key. If you do not eat meat, the sauce with vegetables may be appealing.

  • A grain bowl, using farro and the abundance of fresh veggies this time year is healthy. Make dressing light, farro has some protein so a little added protein, some dried fruit, too.
    A stir fry, which I was taught by an Asian chefs wife to cook in layers. Never tenderized my chicken and everyone loves it. I cook mine in a wok. Of course, you can use any meat you choose.
    A chef salad, a salad Nicoise, deconstruct chicken salad on a bed of crisp lettuce with additional vegetables.
    Use the bounty of fresh vegetables and fruits along with your imagination and your family’s tastes!

  • Tuna melts, suggested by hubby for tonight. Toast bread, top with tuna salad, heat in toaster oven, top with cheese and heat until as melted as you like. It’s warm, but it doesn’t take long, and doesn’t use the stove top or oven – though you can do it in the oven if you haven’t got a toaster oven. Our daughter hasn’t used her big oven since she got a large-ish toaster oven, even baking cookies in it.

    • Love my toaster oven – less energy to run and doesn’t heat up the kitchen. Tuna-melts are a go-to for us as well.

  • One of my new summer go-to’s is an adaptation of 2 Yum &Yummer salad recipes (a super Canadian cookbook by Janet Podleski). I make a quinoa & black bean salad, with whatever veggies I have: tomatoes, corn, peppers, celery, red onion, etc. It has a nice dressing and is both refreshingly light and meal-worthy (or a side). It’s nice with some feta on top. I follow the recipe, sort of, and then meander off. And it’s a great cookbook!

    • Grilled shrimp. Put the amount of shrimp you want to cook in a bowl. Cover with bottled Italian salad dressing. Marinate all day. You want the shrimp to absorb the dressing. Grill using aluminum foil on the grate. Or a special grilling pan if you have one. When we first started making this, we were buying the shrimp straight off the boats in Gulfport and using cheap supermarket dressing. You can make it fancier if you want, but there is no need.

  • Ploughman’s lunch, for any meal of the day: a pretty plate with sliced cheese(s), veggies cooked or raw, olives, nuts, hummus, whatever bread is available with a slather of butter. A glass of wine on the side, perhaps. No cooking other than toasting the bread and steaming veggies in the microwave.

  • If ease of getting dinner on the table is a priority, but you are also a foodie, I would recommend almost any recipe in the two cookbooks written by Molly Gilbert, “sheet Pan Suppers” and “One Pan And Done”. Her hearty ratatouille with goat cheese is what I am making these days, using the vegetables from my garden and the farmer’s market