theboxexperiment

Attempting to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

Buttery Corn Bread June 30, 2011

Filed under: Bread,Dinner — theboxexperiment @ 9:44 am
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Last night we were going to grill pork, make garlicy green beans, and corn bread. The green beans were a bust- a few bad ones spoiled the bag so we had to resort to a bean and corn salsa  for our veggie. The corn bread turned out FANTASTIC, it is so light and airy. Fresh out of the oven it didn’t need any extra butter, this morning it still doesn’t need anything extra. This recipe doesn’t have a strong corn flavor. If you want it to taste more like corn, increase the amount of corn flour and decrease the amount of regular flour.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup sugar (I made it a short cup and the bread still turned out sweet, next time I may use even less, say 2/3 cup)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 2/3 cups milk
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Steps
  1. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.
  2. In a separate small bowl, combine the eggs and milk.
  3. In yet another small bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt
  4. Alternating, add the egg mixture and the flour mixture to the butter sugar mixture.
  5. Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking pan.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees  for 22-27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  7. Cut into squares; serve warm.
  8. Enjoy
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Flank Steak Marinade June 22, 2011

Filed under: Dinner,Meat — theboxexperiment @ 10:40 pm
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It was taco night and who doesn’t love taco’s? Well we had ground turkey AND we had some flank steak that was calling our names. So we made both and had way more taco fixin’s than 3 people should ever have. The flank steak turned out fantastic. So fantastic only JEM put it in taco’s, AbEm and I ate it on its own without all the extras.  It is so simple to make and so very very good.

Ingredients

  • flank steak
  • 1 1/2 Tbs soy sauce
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 3 tbs green onion (optional)
  • tabasco to taste (optional)
Steps
  1. Score the steak.
  2. If you didn’t buy a clean piece of steak you will need to clean it- this means cutting off as much fat, skin, and veins that you can. Not removing as much excess can leave you with a tougher piece of meat.
  3. Mix the soy sauce, olive oil, thyme, lemon, onion, and tabasco.
  4. Put the steak in a plastic zip lock bag (for easy clean up) or into a sealable dish.
  5. Pour in the marinade, make sure the marinade hits every part of the steak.
  6. Store in refrigerator for about 4 hours (or as close to it as possible!)
  7. Grill for 4-5 minutes total (2.5 mins per side). Keep a close eye on it, this is a thin cut of meat and will cook very quickly.
  8. Let rest for 10 mins before cooking. This will help them meat retain some of it yummy juices.
  9. Cut on the diagonal, across the grain, about 1/4 inch slices. This is very important-cutting the meat wrong will lead to tough pieces that you won’t want to eat.
  10. Enjoy
 

Cake Pops

Filed under: Dessert,Snack — theboxexperiment @ 11:29 am
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JEM read an article about cake pops and became pretty excited about making them. So, I told AbEm about them and she got also got excited. What’s a woman to do when 2 people in your house are excited about a desert? Get them the means to make them and then put them to work. That is exactly what I did, helped them prep, found a recipe, and then directed 🙂 Cake pops are somewhat time-consuming and definitely messy. But well worth it, JEM and AbEm had fun making them and had fun eating them (so did I!).

Ingredients

  • 1 box of cake any flavor you like (we used chocolate- I have heard it is denser so the balls hold better to the stick…it was also what we had in the house at the time)
  • 1 can of frosting (or if your more skilled at baking have the time, make your own. We used cream cheese frosting but you can use any flavor you like.)
  • chocolate for melting
  • popsicle sticks
  • sprinkles
Steps
  1. Make a 13×9 cake.
  2. Let it cool. Crumble the cake and mix in 1 can of frosting.
  3. Throw it into the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  4. After refrigerating, roll the mixture into balls.
  5. Place a sucker stick into the top of each cake ball. (If you have a styrofoam block, you can hold this step until after you dip them in chocolate. See step 10)
  6. Put them back into the refrigerator for another 15 mins-24 hours.
  7. Once your ready to finish making them, start melting your chocolate. (We used a microwavable variety- Baker’s.)
  8. Dip and swirl each pop into your candy melt.
  9. Once you’ve got an even coating on the cake pop, roll them in sprinkles or sprinkle on top.
  10. Place upside down on a cookie sheet covered in wax paper (for easy cleanup). If you have a styrofoam block- you could stick the pops in there and there avoid the flat top they’ll get from sitting on a cookie sheet.
  11. Put back into the fridge until the chocolate hardens.
  12. ENJOY
 

Macaroni and Cheese June 21, 2011

Filed under: Dinner,Lunch,Vegetable — theboxexperiment @ 10:47 am
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My youngest sister, AbEm, is in town and is a very active kid, so yesterday she and I went on a hike at Great Falls on the Maryland side. We had planned on doing the Billy Goat Trail Section A but I ran a 10 mile race on Saturday and my legs were still very sore. The B.G. trail is supposed to be a good hike, but with some steep rock scrambles that I was worried about being able to do. So we went on a flatter hike, the Gold Mine Hike. It was so beautiful, everything was the bright green and because it was a weekday without many people there we got to see 15-18 deer. The first on our drive in, then one that was about 5 feet from us on a trail, and a family of 5 (2 babies, 1 mom, and 1 male)!  The gold mine is slightly disappointing (mostly because we didn’t do enough research about it before we headed out.) It was in operation from the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s. The mine doesn’t look like much, at this point its a falling down shack with a chain link fence around it. Post-hike research says the mine shaft is dangerous so the average hiker is prohibited from getting close to it.

It was a good long hike so we were quite hungry by early afternoon and were very excited for the mac cheese that we planned to make. This is by far the best macaroni and cheese recipes I have ever made. It came from JEM’s family and both AbEm and J love it. It is flavorful, cheesy, and very easy to make (though a bit time consuming). This is a make ahead type dish. Depending on your schedule you could make the pasta ahead of time or make all of it ahead of time then seal it and bake it later. If you need to travel with it, you could also make it, bake it for half the time, wrap it up, and finish baking it when you get to your place.

 

 

Farmer’s Market and Surprise Box June 15, 2011

Filed under: Box,Vegetable — theboxexperiment @ 8:16 pm
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We went to the farmer’s market again last Saturday. As we get further into summer there are more stands and more shoppers at the farmers market. There are big sellers (one stop produce shops with the longest lines), your small sellers (just a few items and no line), meat, cheese (run by an Amish family), bakeries, plants, and a lettuce speciality stand. I always want to buy things from everyone…and want to buy much more than we actually need. This past Sunday I kept myself in check and only grabbed 2 zucchini (forgetting we had 1 zucchini at home) and 2 lovely tomatoes for a very reasonable $4.92. I had to pull myself away from the strawberries and from the asparagus we had both at home already but fresh strawberries taste so much better and the asparagus at the farmers market was nice and thick (perfect for grilling) unlike the stringy asparagus we had from Teeter (which when cooked did not taste very good).

Tuesday we came home to a surprise box! I went onto WGG a while ago and like I told everyone, canceled several weeks of boxes, unbeknownst to us- we caught up and got a box.In the box: butter lettuce, green beans, eggplant, 2 more zucchini (we recently made Zucchini and Rice using 2 of them), a green bell pepper, bananas, peaches, nectarines, blueberries, and blackberries. I need to admit I ADORE peaches, nectarines, and plums so I was quite excited. I also love blueberries and blackberries so this box was very welcome. If it had apples, oranges, bananas, and mangos I’m not sure what we would’ve done. We definitely need a time out from those.

Apologies for the lack of recipes- we haven’t made much new stuff recently just revisited some old favorites. Monday we made the Zucchini w/Rice and tonight we reheated the leftovers. I was going to use it as the filling of stuffed red bell peppers but the peppers we not stuffable ( too skinny and would not have sat flat). So I halved the bells, drizzled them w/ evoo, salt and peppered and baked them at 350* for 15 mins then 400* for 5 mins until they were tender. The combination was fantastic!

Tomorrow we’ll be doing a new creamy pasta and eggplant dish that I will definitely post for you!