Bison with Spice Rub

Bison with Spice Rub, page 244

Bison isn't readily available in Northwest Arkansas, but beef certainly is. Must I be a bison farmer or know one to get it with ease? No wait, I need to live in the West, not the South. That would probably help.
{Quick tangent -- I knew I'd moved to the south when they served more sweet tea at church than coffee. I'll keep my opinion about that to myself, but it's how I knew.} 

I used a beef tenderloin in place of the bison and rubbed it in the morning, allowing it to sit most of the day before cooking. Below you can see that I used a dutch oven for cooking on the cook-top. This made it easy to place in the oven to finish. 
If you are looking at a new way to season meat, give this a try. It's super easy and gives a unique flavor to the meat. And guess what? CHAS LOVED IT!

Kitchen Action
Lacking in Pantry: Nothing, well Bison.
Additions, Subtractions or Method Changes: Beef for Bison
What I'll try next time: Find a Bison Farmer
How it Scored:
Jonathan: 4
Elliott: 4
'becca: 4
Chas: five, FIVE, 5!


Rustic Pepper and Tomato Soup

Rustic Pepper and Tomato Soup, page 175

Absolutely fantastic and cheery and bright. 
Love it!

Isn't it pretty? Onions, orange and yellow peppers, grape tomatoes cut in two with a little olive oil for shine and no stick. 

Soup, as a main dish at our table, doesn't often satisfy the bellies of the Nimrod fellas. Especially on a soccer night and this was a soccer night dinner. There has been a slight chill in the air as Autumn is upon us and soup was what I wanted for dinner. I had to tweak this recipe into a hearty soup in order to pull it off. 

I had all the ingredients I needed, plus a couple of strip steaks. Perfect, I'd thinly slice the steaks and add them to the soup, making it a bit more filling. Oh and I could serve it on top of brown rice. The addition of Tamari (GF soy sauce) and brown sugar sets this recipe apart from other tomato pepper soups I've made or had in the past. You've got to give it a try. 

I rubbed the steaks with a bit of brown sugar and salt before slicing and adding to the pepper, tomato mix. The steak had great flavor, complimenting and being complimented by the other ingredients. 

I also made Gluten Free drop biscuits, because I wanted bread. My boys, even Chas loved them and didn't realize they were GF until they noticed I was eating them too. No problem, Chas kept on eating his, as Elliott's dripped with honey.

Kitchen Action
Lacking in Pantry: Nothing
Additions, Subtractions or Method Changes: grape tomatoes for roma, steak, rubbed with brown sugar and kosher salt and extra wine. Always extra wine.
What I'll try next time: Double it!
How it Scored:
Jonathan: 4
'becca: 5
Elliott: 4
Chas: 4 for the meat and broth over rice.


Sweet Potato and Egg Burritos

Sweet Potato and Egg Burritos, page 55

 I peel, chop and boil potatoes to make smashed potatoes. How do you do it? Boil whole w/ peel, then cool, peel and smash? Every Thanksgiving it's the question. Apparently, I do it wrong.
 Have you had Chardonnay and cantaloupe this summer? If not, you should. Yummy on a hot afternoon and great snack as you cook. Oh and I met the owner of this vineyard. He was in Arkansas, no wait just across the border in Missouri. Did you know that "dry" counties still exist? Well they do. I live in one. Back to the owner, he was pleasant. He shared the story of his family and their years of wine making. I purchased nearly a case and he signed the bottles.
I'm quite distracted today as I share this recipe; tangent here, tangent there. Not only did I eat and drink as I cooked, I watched Julie and Julia. It took me much longer than 20 minutes to make this meal. I was also making page 70. I make those weekly.

You know I've never watched the film in its entirety. Gasp, but I have seen Julia's kitchen at the Smithsonian. I took my picture with my phone standing in front of it. I'd probably do the same in Biju's kitchen.
 I added my favorite spice to the meat. It goes so well with sweet potatoes, I just had do.
 Dang, he's cute. That's my husband, after a long day at triathlons, sitting down to breakfast for dinner.

Kitchen Action
Lacking in Pantry: I had it all + some
Additions, Subtractions or Method Changes: I used ground turkey sausage, because it has less fat and is more breakfast-y, which is good for a breakfast for dinner meal. I added some mixed baking spices to the meat, left out the cheese and used tamari instead of liquid amino acids. To make it GF I prepared a side of quinoa and made mine into a little bowl, not a burrito.
What I'll try next time: Have some corn tortillas to enjoy mine.
How it Scored:
Jonathan: 5
Chas: 3 (meat in tortilla only)
Ian, our guest: I didn't ask him for a number, but he had seconds, so I'm guessing at least a 4
'becca: 5, loved it!

Not a FZ recipe, but it looked like one. Sticking to my randomness today I thought I'd share it.


Spanish Chicken and Tomato Stew

Spanish Chicken and Tomato Stew, page 159

 Love it when I am able to find local produce. We live near the Missouri state line, so these are kinda local, right?
 I considered using diced green chilies, but decided to leave them out, using extra bell peppers instead.
 I seasoned the chicken the way my mother in law does -- salt, pepper and at least an hour or 2 on the counter top covered with a towel and then cooked it. I've always been cautious when cooking chicken, not leaving it out too long and washing all areas well after. After the compliment I received from Jonathan and knowing his mom has cooked this way for years and is still alive, I thought I'd be a little more risky.

I guess only time will tell. Are you risky with food prep at home? What about eating as you travel? We as a whole tend to be risky eaters in foreign lands and less risky at home. Just last week, Chas said, I sure would like to have some of the goat brochettes we buy on the roadside heading form Kigali to Musanze {in Rwanda} and their potatoes too. I do too Chasie, I do too.
I needed something green. After the stew was cooked, the beans were added, I turned the flame off, topped it with spinach and placed the lid on the pot. I allowed it to sit until the boys returned from soccer, I waited on the rice to finish & made a side of quinoa.

Energy exploded through the door, stinky soccer boys showered and again at 8pm, we sat down to dinner as a family. I think we have found a routine that will still allow meals together, it's just going to have to be late for a few months. I'll take it anyway I can get it.

Kitchen Action
Lacking in Pantry: chorizo or Italian sausage, chile peppers
Additions, Subtractions or Method Changes: I used chicken sausage in place of the other sausage and added spinach for some green. Oh and I added the white beans too.
What I'll try next time: I'd like to try chorizo and also the chilies. I also think the apple cider vinegar would add a nice flavor.
How it Scored:
'becca: 5
Jonathan: 4
Elliott: 4
Chas: 4, meat only and some broth over rice

 I went on tri* state, half iron distance bike ride on Monday with my FF. He'd just received a new order from Skratch and brought me a sticker. How do my pals have cool SkratchLabs schwag and I don't? I saw a sticker on the roof rack of another friend that same day. Maybe that's what I get for buying in bulk & saving the shipping when I stopped by their office in May. What Skratch schwag do you have? Where do you show it off? It may seem odd, but really it's an honor to be on the inside of the cabinet door, just above my cookbook stand. I promise.

*Arkansas to Missouri to Oklahoma and back to Arkansas