What Katie Cooks

Repurposing

Posted by on Jan 13, 2014 in What Katie Cooks | 0 comments

I’m in the midst of repurposing this blog a bit. Before, it was called “Budgetarian”, in which I would attempt to post meals on a budget. I’ve lost a lot of interest in that and now have been developing much different recipes. I’ll keep up the old posts, and I won’t change them, but expect the posts to come to be focused a lot more on the quality of the food instead of the cost of the food. Most of these recipes will be easy, because I’m pretty lazy. In the meantime, while I’m getting my act together, feel free to check out my Instagram for my food postings! Almost all of the food I post is food that I have cooked or contributed to in some way. Follow me @thegreenefaerie. I also tweet about food fairly often, so follow me @KCooperWriting for more info. I have a few recipes and photos that I hope to post in the next few days. Let’s hope, together, that this blog will be more of an inspirational piece in the future!...

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Peanut and Cheese Loaf

Posted by on Sep 14, 2012 in What Katie Cooks | 1 comment

Peanut and Cheese Loaf

For two weeks in May, my husband and I visited England together. We visited London, Charlbury, and Stratford-Upon-Avon. During our stay in Charlbury, we were housed in a lovely little spot called the Stable. The Stable is a self-catering cottage with full amenities, including an oven and stove top. During some of the rainy days, I would take the opportunity to shut in and do a bit of cooking. The Stable’s owners had thankfully supplied the building with cook books–we didn’t have internet access, so the cook books were my only way of finding recipes. I found this one and made it once, then made a couple of alterations so it suited my purposes more! Prep time: 20 minutesServes: 4Cooking time: 40 minutesDifficulty: easyCost: About $10 Ingredients-1/3 cup chopped peanuts-1/3 cup chopped mushrooms-1/2 cup breadcrumbs-1 tbsp dried mixed herbs-1/2 onion, chopped-1 small potato, grated-1 medium carrot, grated-3/4 cup grated cheddar-2 eggs, beaten Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl, then spoon into a greased loaf tin or ring mold. Cook in oven for 40 minutes. TIP: Sprinkle some extra cheddar on top for an extra cheesy taste. Garnish with salad ingredients if on its own–see picture for what I did with nasturtiums. Try substituting with cashews for a “meatier” texture. This dish is ridiculously easy and is a fantastic substitute for meat loaf. It’s very filling and one loaf will serve a large slice for 4 people. Double it up for an easy potluck offering. A quick blog-related note: I know I haven’t been updating much, but we recently moved into a house and I’ve been cooking up a storm, so more updates should be coming before...

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The growing autumn

Posted by on Aug 31, 2012 in Life in Writing, Uncategorized, What Katie Cooks | 0 comments

I had a beautiful dream this morning, just before I woke up. The dream’s setting was a spot that my friends and I used to visit when we were in high school. It would usually be three of us–me and two others–but sometimes another would join us, too. We would spend full days up there, climbing trees, talking, playing games. It was a special spot only we knew about. Years later, one of those friends is now my husband. Just this past week, he and I took a visit to this spot to see if it was still there. While a large quarry has formed nearby, disturbing some of the peace and removing a large part of the path to the spot, the spot itself remained completely in tact. A circle of stones rested perfectly at its entrance, almost undisturbed by time, save for a few fallen branches. A staff from years before was sitting by a tree, the only hint of time being the light moss that had begun to cover it. One of the biggest differences from before was a collection of multicoloured mushrooms that had popped up here and there–some of them were bright orange, though we also found a few black-purple ones. In this dream, I was alone, walking through the area and gazing up at the trees and sky. For some reason, I could see the sky a little better than I could if I were really there. It was the bright blue of a clear day, with only a few white, fluffy clouds. A large spruce tree heavy with cones towered over me. In my dream, I thought to myself that I should go there alone more often. It was cut short when I woke up, but it lasted long enough to leave me with a pleasant mental image. Maybe it was the pure blue of the sky, but something made me think of summer. When I woke up, I was met with the jarring darkness that comes from the end of August: the sunrise coming later in the morning–the orange-gold morning light that comes from a waning existence. Seeing light of that colour reminds me of a section of Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead: GUIL: It’s autumnal. ROS: (examining the ground) No leaves. GUIL: Autumnal — nothing to do with leaves. It is to do with a certain brownness at the edges of the day… Brown is creeping up on us, take my word for it… Russets and tangerine shades of old gold flushing the very outside edge of the senses… deep shining ochres, burnt umber and parchments of baked earth — reflecting on itself and through itself, filtering the light. At such times, perhaps, coincidentally, the leaves might fall, somewhere, by repute. Yesterday was blue, like smoke. The last days of summer are melting away, but 21 days of September remain before the equinox hits and the summer is considered truly over.  Those 21 days still have a remaining possibility to them, as though there is still so much left to accomplish. Though it’s all but officially over, I’m still not ready to give the summer up. I didn’t always (or, really, ever) like summer as a child, but now that I’m an adult I have grown to really love it. I’m not even sure why. Maybe I just need a good winter hobby to get me through the rougher months. Do you have any plans while it’s still warm? Maybe you enjoy the fall and winter months and you’re looking forward to the cooler weather. I went canoeing and hiking with the hubby earlier on this week, and I’m hoping we can squeeze in one last full beach visit before. I also wouldn’t mind having another pretty dream like last night’s, but  I suppose I could do that any time of...

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Kale chips

Posted by on Jun 25, 2011 in What Katie Cooks | 0 comments

Kale chips

One of the most annoying things about eating healthy while on a budget has to be coming up with simultaneously delicious snacks. I’ll go into detail with that in a further post. For now, though, I have a recipe for you. Kale is a cabbage-like vegetable frequently grown for ornamental use, due to how pretty it is! It is a very healthy vegetable, however, that tastes much like broccoli. It’s high in vitamins A and C, and also is a source of manganese, calcium and iron. Kale can be used in any number of dishes, particularly salads. It does, however, make a fantastic and easy snack that only takes about twenty minutes to make. Most of that time is spent baking! Honestly, I never knew that a vegetable could melt in your mouth until I tried these. Prep time: 10 minutesServes: the same amount a large bag of chips will serve! (1 if you’re snacking like a fiend, 4 if you’re not!)Cooking time: 12-15 minutesDifficulty: super easyCost: Under $5 Ingredients-kale-1 tbsp. olive oil-a sprinkling of coarse salt TIP: You can half this recipe if you are making it for only yourself. If you’re going to eat the kale chips over the course of a few days, don’t make it all at once or you’ll risk having some soggy kale chips. The oil will seep in completely and make them quite chewy. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Take a bunch of kale. You can buy kale at the grocery store for roughly $3, or you can grow your own. Make sure the kale is well washed, but let it dry. Separate kale in to small pieces and place in large mixing bowl. Pour olive oil and toss, then add a small amount of coarse salt. Toss until all kale is covered with oil and salt is evenly distributed. Take kale and spread evenly on a baking sheet. Bake for 7 minutes, then remove, turn once, and bake for another 7 minutes. If kale chips are crispy, they are done! If not, bake them for another few minutes. Do not overcook or they will taste and smell burnt and nasty. Let them cool a bit and dig in! To me, the flavor is a cross between dulse and potato chips. I hope to have more on inexpensive healthy snacks in the week to come! To add, I will also likely be doing another cooking video in the future due to… demand? That’s right. People actually enjoyed the video. The only thing is that I need stuff to cook! So… ideas, if you...

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Using your noodle

Posted by on Jun 10, 2011 in What Katie Cooks | 0 comments

Using your noodle

Being on a constant fiddlehead binge of late, I knew a couple of weeks ago that I wanted to make a pasta dish with fiddleheads next. I’d tried them as a side dish and in a soup, and it was time to mix them in with a pasta. What I produced was a light-tasting dish that was filling and satisfying, and of course beautifully cheap! If you look at the picture to the right, you’ll see that it’s also got a cute curliness to it. (Matching bowl not included!) Prep time: 30 minutesServes: 4-6 peopleCooking time: under an hourDifficulty: moderateCost: Under $10 Ingredients -spaghetti noodles-fiddleheads-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped-1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil-1 tsp. lemon juice-1 tbsp. basil-salt and pepper, to taste-1 tsp. white wine (optional) Start by chopping the garlic. Cook very slowly on low heat in 1/2 tsp. olive oil, the lemon juice, and the white wine, if you opted for white wine. Add a sprinkle of salt. Allow to cook until the garlic becomes plump and golden brown. While the garlic is cooking, prepare and cook the fiddleheads in the fashion I mentioned before. When they have finished, briefly cook them (only for about five minutes) in the garlic. Boil the spaghetti until it is cooked to your liking, then strain it. Add 1 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tbsp. basil, and toss until the basil is evenly distributed. After, toss in garlic and fiddleheads as well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add some parmesan cheese if you want! And there you have it. A lovely spaghetti dish with lots of omega-3 fatty acids and tons of flavor. The secret lies in slow-cooking the garlic so it soaks up the lemon juice and wine flavors, which complement the piquant garlic perfectly. Now then, if you’re a little confused by the whole process of cooking fiddleheads, I’ve created a very handy video guide. The only downside is that you have to put up with my inane prattling for about five minutes. I put some music in to make it marginally entertaining for you. Enjoy! I will also be updating the “how to cook fiddleheads” post with this video so you can see my ugly mug every time you search for how to make fiddleheads. Do have fun. This will probably be my final fiddlehead post until next year, as fiddleheads are sadly almost out of season, and thinking up another recipe probably requires more brain power than I have...

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Fancysimplecheap Strawberry Sauce

Posted by on Jun 8, 2011 in What Katie Cooks | 0 comments

Fancysimplecheap Strawberry Sauce

How do you know I’m happy? I cook. And cook, and cook, and cook. Case in point, the other night my fiance brought home good news from work. I was so happy, I cooked his favourite meal (curry with rice), then proceeded to get creative and make a strawberry sauce to put on ice cream. The results were pretty good, so I thought I would share with all one of you who are reading this! This is a surprisingly easy to make, but still decidedly fancy, sauce. Do whatever you please with it, for it is also very versatile. Prep time: 5 minutesServes: 2-4 people (depending on what you do with it)Cooking time: 30 minutesDifficulty: SUPER easyCost: Under $5 (use whatever liquor you have in your cupboard! Ingredients -1 pint strawberries, chopped finely-1 tsp vanilla-2 tsp sugar-splash of dark rum (or champagne, vodka or fruit wine… whatever you have lying around, really! I used dark rum) Cook SLOWLY, covered on low heat. Do not boil. 30 min. When the mixture appears to be half solid and half liquid, remove from heat and leave covered to stand and thicken. Try adding raspberries or rhubarb. Pour over ice cream, frozen yogurt or sorbet, or add to strawberry shortcake! Good fresh and hot, or chilled. A quick note to add that I am doing another fiddlehead recipe before the season is over, and I’m currently editing a video to accompany that! Yes I did a cooking video. It should be up within the end of the week. The video may come before the recipe, in fact, because I’m weird like that. Keep an eye...

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