Thursday, July 31, 2014


Arrived home yesterday afternoon after a morning of errands at several stores and finally at Costco for paper products, etc. (it's the "etc" that kills the budget at Costco, I need to invent "Costco Blinders.").  About 2:05 received a text regarding unexpected (but oh so welcome) guests for dinner.  It was about 2:15 before the time of 6:00 was set.  So hubby and I put our heads together (we were determined to use what we had on hand and NOT go back to the store) this is the time when a well stocked pantry, freezer and fridge comes into play.  Here is the menu we quickly came up with - probably not the menu I would have prepared had I had more time to plan but it worked out great.  I don't have too many photos today as I was busy fixing and not shooting photos but I will post the recipes.

Wednesday Dinner for Seven

Carrot Sticks & Spicy Ranch Dip
Assorted Drinks

Green Beans w/Bacon
 Vermicelli Nests with Onions & Tomatoes
BBQ'ed Marinated Pork Cubes with Peppers & Onions on Skewers
For the more discriminating diner, Plank Fries & Chicken Nuggets, lots of catchup!

Homemade Dinner Rolls with Honey Butter

Blackberry Sour Cream Pie with Whipped Cream

Freezer - Pork loin completely sealed in plastic so we just filled half of the sink with warm (not hot) water and put the loin in to defrost. Also had a jar of homemade chicken stock, put that in the water too. Had a pkg of blackberries, the fries and chicken nuggets (keep on hand always for the discriminating diner, AKA, my sweet grand-daughter).

Pantry, pkg of Spicy Ranch Dip, canned beans, yeast, bread flour, vermicelli nests, honey, sweet onions, catchup & bottled marinade.

Fridge, drinks, tomatoes & peppers (from the garden), sour cream, whipping cream and pie crust (all leftover from the Friday night dessert for Alzheimer's Idaho) butter,  crumbled bacon, carrots and sour cream.

I made the pie first as it needs to cool, it is served cold.
The pie shell is baked until lightly browned before filling and still has some time to go in the oven so it is really important that you place foil around the edges when baking. 

Tip: Make the crust thicker than normal for this pie because the crust bakes for a very long time.

Out of the oven, ready to set aside and cool and serve with homemade sweetened whipped cream (or whatever you choose to top it with, Cool Whip, cream in a can, etc).

Blackberry Sour Cream Pie
8 servings

Pie crust for one pie - use your favorite recipe, buy crust or use purchased pie crust in the tin.
16 oz Frozen blackberries or about 3 1/2 cups fresh
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 450°
Frozen berries may be thawed or set out for about 20 mins
Prepare your pastry and bake in oven until just starting to turn brown - do not overbake
Turn down the oven to 350°
Combine the sour cream, salt, cinnamon, sugar, flour & vanilla
Very gently fold in the berries until combined, be careful not to tear the berries
Gently spoon the berry mixture into the prepared pie shell
Tear narrow strips of foil and & fold over the edge of the pie crust so it will not burn - leave on for the rest of the cooking time.

Bake for approximately 60 minutes, the pie is done when it is nice and bubbly all across the pie - it will set as it cools. Put on a rack and let it cool before serving. This recipe is so much better with fresh berries (or better yet wild berries, isn't that right Bernie?) but is still very good with frozen berries.

Green Beans with Bacon & Onions
The green beans are about as easy as it gets and people love these simple canned beans! You can use regular bacon but I keep the Costco product on hand (see yesterday's post) - always.  I do not like it as is, it's value to me is as a low-fat, low calorie big flavor enhancer. The flavor needs to coaxed out with heat so for the beans (I used two cans of French cut green beans) I put two full tablespoons into a sauce pan, let the bacon cook for awhile then added some diced sweet onions and let them cook until the onions are translucent then add the beans (do not drain), bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to low and let them just cook and become flavorful.
Two more quick and easy items - homemade rolls and the vermicelli Nests.

I had a recipe for quick rolls using the super fast yeast but I did not have that product on hand so I went hunting and this is what I found - hard to believe but these are delicious and only take 30 minutes!

30 Minute Dinner Rolls

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 1/2 cups flour (either bread flour or all-purpose will work)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the warm water, oil, yeast, and sugar. Allow the mixture to rest for 15 minutes.
  3. Mix 2 cups of the flour, the salt, and the egg into the yeast mixture using a dough hook. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups flour 1/2 cup at a time.
  4. Shape dough into 12 balls and place in a 9x13 pan. Let dough rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes or until tops are just golden brown.

Honey Butter is just a ratio of 3/4 butter (softened) to 1/4 honey, whip until combined.

Vermicelli Nests with Onions & Tomatoes

(Sopa seca de fideos)

1/2 Pound vermicelli or angel hair nests - no substitution

2 large tomatoes, peeled and small dice (do not need to seed)

1 medium sweet onion, small dice

1/4 cup good olive oil

2 cups homemade stock

Put 1/2 of the oil in a medium fry pan, brown the nests on both sides (be careful not to burn) you want them toasty brown not dark brown, remove from the fry pan and set aside. Add the remainder of the oil to the pan and cook the onion and chopped tomato until the onion is translucent.  Add the chicken stock and the browned vermicelli nests, put the lid on the pan and cook until the liquid is absorbed about 20-30 minutes.  Test for seasoning and add salt and pepper if you like. Enough for (4).

Carrot sticks w/Spicy Ranch Dip - follow package directions and let sit in the fridge for a few hours for the flavors to meld and serve with fresh veggies.

Marinaded Pork & Veggies -  when thawed trim fat off the pork if necessary, cube into nice size cubes and put in Zip Lock bag with the marinade and turn the bag over every once in a while. When ready put the pork in a colander to drain the excess marinade and then string the cubes on the skewers with veggies, we used chunks of sweet onion and bell peppers. Bar-b-Que until the pork is done. One of my oh so adorable grandsons asked twice for "more chicken."

Bacon, Costco
Recipe for Rolls, Kitchen Meets Girl, Link
Homemade Chicken Stock, Link

Thank you for stopping by!



  2. Thank you anonymous - we always enjoy a challenge when it includes family and dear friends. j.