theboxexperiment

Attempting to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

Thanksgiving Post December 1, 2011

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted- mainly because we haven’t really been trying many new recipes. I’ve got a couple new ones that I’ll post when I’ve got the time. But the main purpose of this is to post my Thanksgiving recipes! We are trying several new ones out that I’m pretty excited about!

Desserts:

Apple Crumble Pie (my family recipe)

Filling:

  • 1 Regular pie shell
  • 4-6 large granny smith apples (peel and cut)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 teaspoon cinnamon
Topping
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup butter ( 1 stick) — do not melt

Mix apples, sugar, and cinnamon. Put in pie dish. Mix flour, butter, and sugar by hand. Crumble on top of pie.
Bake at 400 for 45-50 min.

Texas Pecan Pie (JEM’s family recipe)

  • 1 9″ Unbaked pie shell
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 3 well-beaten eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups pecan (or more)

Mix sugar, corn syrup, melted butter. Add eggs and pecans. Fill pie shell. Bake 10 minutes at 400 then 30-35 minutes at 350. Cool thoroughly.

Pumpkin Pie

recipe coming soon…

Sides

Slow Cooker Candied Sweet Potatoes (adopted from Stephanie O’Dea: A Year of Slow Cooking)

  • 3-4 peeled and chopped sweet potatoes
  • 1 tsp t vanilla
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • a scant pinch of Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup of orange juice
  • (optional) enough mini marshmallows to dot on top
  • (optional) roasted chopped pecans

Dump the chopped sweet potatoes and all ingredients into your slow cooker. Toss together. Dot enough marshmallows on top to satisfy young children. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hrs or 2-3 on high. Top with toasted pecans and serve.

Roasting Pecans will bring out their flavor and is quite simple. Pre-heat oven to 350*. Lightly spray a cookie sheet with Pam. Spread out the pecans, pop in the oven. Pull them out once they become aromatic (~ 5 mins). Keep a close eye on them, they can scorch easily.

Chive and Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes

recipe coming soon…

Roasted Red Potatoes

  • 8 baby red potatoes
  • EVOO
  • chopped rosemary
  • chopped garlic
  • Salt and Pepper
Pre-heat oven to 400*. Peel potatoes (if you like, we normally don’t) and cut into bite sized pieces. Drizzle with EVOO till lightly coated. Sprinkle rosemary and garlic evenly, salt and pepper to taste. Really, all the spices are taste. Pop in the oven for ~45 mins. Half way through, toss the potatoes so all sides get nice and crunchy.

Cranberry Sauce 

  • 12 oz bag of fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 c sugar
  • zest of 1 medium orange
  • juice of 1/2 a medium orange (~ 2 tablespoons)

Empty the cranberries into a saucepan and transfer 1/2 cup to a small bowl. Add 1 cup sugar, add orange zest and 2 tablespoons orange juice to the pan and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the cranberries are soft, about 10 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and cook until the cranberries burst, about 12 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the reserved cranberries. Add sugar, salt and pepper to taste and cool to room temperature before serving.

Roasted Asparagus

  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • EVOO
  • S&P
Pre-heat oven to 350*. Trim the asparagus. Drizzle with EVOO, S&P to taste. Pop them in the oven until roasted till desired tenderness. About 15 minutes.

Homemade Bread

recipe coming soon…

Gravy

recipe coming soon…

Main Course
Brined Turkey 
recipe coming soon…
Advertisements
 

Apple Bread May 4, 2011

Filed under: Bread,Breakfast,Dessert,Fruit,Snack — theboxexperiment @ 9:16 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

This recipe is amazingly good and amazingly unhealthy. It’s a recipe that I brought with me from home, though Mom doesn’t have it so I’m not sure where I originally found it. You shouldn’t mess too much with the ingredients in baking recipes like you can with cooking recipes, baking is more about chemistry than cooking it. So this post is the original recipe in all its unhealthy glory. As I made the bread tonight I adjusted the measurements of the sugar and the oil to make it slightly healthier, if it turns out just as good I will update with a “better-for-you” recipe.

Note: this will make 2 loaves.

Ingredients

  • 3 c. flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 c. fine sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 c. vegetable oil**
  • 2 peeled, cored, and chopped apples (I always use 3 but it’s a lot of apple.)
**A good replacement for oil in any baking recipe is applesauce. It can be replaced in a 1:1 ratio with the oil. Ex: the recipe calls for 1 cup of oil, you can sub in 1 cup of applesauce. In baking oil helps to keep the muffins/cake/bread moist, from what I understand applesauce will keep the moistness without leaving an apple-y taste.
Steps
  1. Preheat oven to 350*
  2. If needed oil bread pan (don’t do this on non-stick pans!!)
  3. Mix the dry (flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon) ingredients in a bowl.
  4. Mix the wet (sugar, eggs, vanilla, oil) ingredients in a separate bowl.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture and stir till joined.
  6. Add the chopped apples and mix until just combined.
  7. Spoon into bread pan.
  8. Cook for 60 mins (1 hr).
  9. Enjoy!!
UPDATE: I used 1.5 c of sugar and 3/4 c. of vegetable oil + 1/2 c. of water and it is fantastic!!!
 

No Box This Week February 7, 2011

Filed under: Box,Fruit,Vegetable — theboxexperiment @ 8:09 pm
Tags:

Last week was a sick week in the JE/BLM household. This week isn’t shaping up to be better with hockey games and dinners out with families. That means we have plenty of left over veggies, a pretty stocked fridge, lots of fruit, and plenty of ideas of what to do with it all. So we decided to take a week off from the box. That’s one of the perfect things about Washington Green Grocer, we can pause and there’s no penalty for it.We have butternut squash soup left over from the last squash, tons of red potatoes from last weeks box, plenty of oranges, bananas, cantaloupe and apples. Neither of us is at all interested in cooking beets so they would have been swapped with something else. The only thing I am interested in are the green beans and the red leaf lettuce.

This week we would have received:

  • Butternut Squash NJ
  • White Mushrooms PA
  • Yukon Gold Potatoes FL
  • Green Beans FL
  • Red Leaf Lettuce CA
  • Red Peppers MEX
  • Red Beets CANADA
  • Fuji Apple WA
  • Bosc Pear WA
  • Navel Orange FL
  • Mango SA
  • Banana SA

Since it’s not the growing season the current selection of veggies is, more or less, the same from week to week. The only thing that is different on this list from other weeks are the beets, everything else we’ve seen before, even the mango. So we decided, in keeping with the spirit of the box, if there are any items on the list that we want we’ll get those and try to keep those to our produce content for the week. Well, I went to Giant today and picked up red peppers, white mushrooms, and mangos (which were on sale 4 for $5!!). But I cheated and picked up some avocados (10 for $10!!!). Clearly that idea went down the tubes pretty quick. Though I know no one who can pass up on sale avocados.

It was 50* out today and gave a beautiful glimmer of the coming growing season: Georgia first, then the Carolinas, and finally Virginia! We are definitely looking forward to different and more local vegetables.

Recipes to look forward to: homemade humus and salmon marinade.

 

 

Snow Day and 6 Ready to Go Bananas January 27, 2011

Filed under: Bread,Breakfast,Dessert,Fruit — theboxexperiment @ 9:02 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

…sounds like the beginning of a bad joke. Wonderfully, DC had its first snow day today and just in time for my birthday! I brought tons of work home to do but instead JEM went out to a birthday lunch and then I did some serious baking.

My baking from scratch recipe list is pretty limited but I can make a mean apple pie, banana bread, and Uncle Pete’s Dessert (a pudding-y goodness concoction that is all together awful for you but sooo good). We had 6 bananas that were about to turn into compost so I searched and found these recipes on For the Love of Cooking.net.

Banana Cinnamon Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup of mashed bananas, about 3 small bananas
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp fresh nutmeg, grated

Steps:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Pull out a non-stick baking sheet (or a sticky one and coat with Pam)
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla
  4. Continue to beat until the mixture is well combined.
  5. Mash the bananas in a bowl with the baking soda. Let sit for 2 minutes. (This gives the cookies their lift.)
  6. Mix the banana mixture into the butter mixture.
  7. Mix together the flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  8. Add to the butter and banana mixture then stir until just mixed.
  9. Drop by the spoonful onto the cookie sheet.
  10. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until nicely golden brown.
  11. Let cool on wire racks.
  12. Mangia.

Like I’ve said, I’ve never really done baking from scratch. All the cookies I’ve done are Tollhouse and generally the pre-made stuff that you just need to drop onto a cookies sheet. I ALWAYS over cook them and they come out flat and crunchy. These are exactly the opposite, fluffy and moist–SO good.

Banana, Blueberry, Lemon Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups of blueberries
  • 2 tbsp grated lemon zest, divided
  • 3 tbsp sugar

**Mentally replace the baking soda w/ baking powder 🙂

Steps

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Coat a muffin tray with cooking spray.
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon of lemon zest together in a small bowl.
  4. Beat together the bananas, eggs, brown sugar, melted butter, lemon juice, and vanilla until well blended. (Probably easier if you have an electric blender, I don’t but it worked just as well to do it by hand.)
  5. Stir in the dry ingredients until just mixed.
  6. Carefully add 1 cup of blueberries and gently mix together.
  7. Scoop the batter evenly into the muffin tray.
  8. Sprinkle the remaining blueberries evenly over the tops of each muffin (push them down a bit).
  9. Combine the sugar and remaining tablespoon of lemon zest together and sprinkle evenly on top of each muffin.
  10. Bake for 25-27 minutes or until a knife (or toothpick) comes out clean.
  11. Let cook on a wire rack.
  12. Consume

 

Banana Bread January 23, 2011

Filed under: Bread,Dessert,Fruit — theboxexperiment @ 3:52 pm
Tags: ,

I also want to use this site as a way to track and manage the recipes JEM and I are collecting. We currently have a Google Docs “Family Recipes” document which is good for now, but it isn’t the easiest document to manage. We’ve also had family and friends ask us for recipes. If they are listed here, we can be lazy and say: go to the blog!

So here is a banana bread recipe that I used to finish up our bananas that we had pre-box. I suspect I’ll be making another banana bread, or looking for a banana based recipe. We typically buy 4-5 bananas for the 2 of us for a week, the box brought us 10…

Ingredients:

Wet

  • Mash 3 rip bananas
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 2 eggs (blended)

Dry

  • 1-1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Fun

  • 1 c of chocolate chips (I used mini chips and it turned out awesome. Use more than 1 c if you want über chocolately bread)
  • 1 c of  chopped walnuts (I didn’t use for the most recent batch)

Steps:

Pre-heat oven to 375*, grease a bread pan (9″ x 4″ x 3″)

Mix wet and dry ingredients

Add nuts and chocolate

Bake on middle rack for 1+ hour

Let cool for ~ 1 hour

Enjoy….