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Quarantine Cooking

So I've been M.I.A. for some time, but here I am again.  My eventual goal is to get back into AFBA.  I totally fell off the wagon when I had John in terms of my blogging.  I have had a few cooking and recipe group chats with friends and family and it re-awoken my passion for sharing my recipes.  Most of these recipes are just from my family and friends, so it's such an easy way for me to keep track and share the foods and recipes and cooking methods that have been shared with me.

I hope you readers (mostly my friends and family members) enjoy them!

Ravioli Lasagna #2

This meal has been on repeat since the start of COVID-19 stay-safe-at-home orders.  It's easy to throw together and is easily adjustable for whatever you have on hand.  I've used fresh pre-made ravioli, and have tried it with frozen ravioli.  My husband, my 3-year-old, and I will actually all eat and enjoy it.

It goes great with red wine, per my sister.

Super Easy Ravioli Lasagna

2 cups diced roasted vegetables (I like an onion, a root vegetable, and/or hearty greens like kale or tomatoes)  You can use your imagination/whatever is in your pantry or freezerOne 12 oz. packages of refrigerated ravioliOne 24 oz. jar of marinara pasta sauce or stewed tomatoes1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheesesalt and pepperoptional: 1 tbs. grated parmesan cheese and 1 tsp. dried oregano
Roast vegetables-Preheat oven to 425*F.  Toss vegetables with 1 tbs. olive oil and salt and pepper.  Roast on a pan for 20-25 minutes, turning the vegetables half-way through roasting.  Set asi…

Maple Butter Biscuits with Honey Salt

I have always been a little intimidated by making biscuits from scratch. And the biscuit mixes I've tried thus far have been lacking and gummy (Bisquik=bisyuck). Making some nice, yummy, country-style biscuits with flaky butter layers without resorting to 'pop'n fresh' containers has eluded me.
Until I found this recipe from Chrissy Tiegan's Cravings cookbook. Equal parts delicious and non-fussy. I did do a few adjustments, such as make maple butter glaze instead and I don't generally keep buttermilk on hand so I make my own.

Chrissy Tiegan's Cravings Pull-Apart Buttermilk Biscuits
1 1/2 c. whole milk1 TBS and 2 tsp. white vinegar1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes3 cups plus 2 TBS. all purpose flour1 TBS. baking powder1 tsp. sugar1 tsp. salt1/2 tsp. baking sodaFor maple butter glaze: 5 TBS. butter, 3 TBS maple syrup, 1 tsp. salt

In a measuring cup, combine milk and white vinegar and set aside to 'sour' …

English Muffins: hate 'em or love 'em?

A few months ago, heck, maybe a year ago, I bought some English muffins. I've never been a huge English muffin fan, but after experiencing gestational diabetes, I became much more aware of my carbohydrate intake.

I made a goal for myself to try to finish a whole sleeve of English muffins before they molded or went bad. I'm really the only person in my household that eats much of a breakfast at home, so it was particularly challenging.

Here are a few of the meals or combos or ideas I came up with.
English muffin with 'Love'dip from Central Market. English muffin with canned sardines in tomato sauce with pickled onions English muffin breakfast sandwich with honey ham, backyard eggs, arugula, and mayonnaise. English muffin raspberries, honey, and Greek yogurt   English muffin with fresh strawberries and condensed milk

Bo Luc Lac: Shaken Beef

Made a super quick dinner of Bò Lúc Lác (Vietnamese Shaken Beef) over greens, tomatoes and cucumbers with Ranger Cattle sirloin. Served with jasmine rice for my little man (and the big man, too). Old recipe that I use time and time again. Everyone is happy and it's super quick.
Bò Lúc Lác

1.5 lbs beef sirloin cut into 1″ cubes1 Tbs minced garlic1.5 Tbs sugar2 tbs oyster sauce1 Tbs fish sauce 1 Tbs sesame oil1 tsp soy sauceDirections:

In a shallow bowl or container, mix together garlic, sugar, oyster sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, and soy sauce.  Marinate beef for at least 2 hours, or overnight for maximum flavor.Heat a large wok or pan over medium-high heat. Add about 2 tbs cooking oil and when it begins to smoke, add an even layer of beef and allow to sear for about 1 minute, before “shaking” to sear the opposite sides for about another 1-2 minute more to brown all the sides. Do not overcook! The goal is medium-rare beef. If overcooked, the meat will be tough.…

Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese and Cucumber Sushi

I started this post about 5 years ago, when I was living in College Station and really into making sushi at home. At the time, there were not many good sushi restaurants in the area, and I was homesick for any and all kinds of ethnic food. There is just so much Lane's fried chicken tenders and delicious crinkle-cut fries or Sodalack's chicken-fried steak or McAllister's one girl can eat.

So a few of my friends and I started rolling sushi at home. I'd done it once or twice before starting veterinary school, but hadn't busted out my bamboo mat very often. Because fresh fish was a bit hard to procure in College Station without being an angler or restauranteur myself, I stuck with smoked salmon. Also, as a beginner sushi-maker, cooked stuff is much less intimidating. And probably safer for everyone partaking. Hah. Sushi is pretty easy to make. As long as you can roll things (burrito, spring rolls, cigarettes, jelly rolls, etc.), you can probably roll sushi.

Ranger Cattle Wagyu Beef Ranch Visit

Reid and I know some of the coolest people. Maybe I'm biased, but we think our friends are cool. One of our friends is named Josh Eilers and he has a Wagyu beef ranch in Austin.

For those who aren't huge meat eaters, Wagyu beef is a very special, very expensive type of beef with insanely high intramuscular fat marbling. That's what makes beef really tender and flavorful. So Wagyu beef, which is a Japanese breed of cows, make really good and amazing steaks. Among other things.

My son, John, is about 2 years-old. He is going through that, "the cow says..." phase of his development. We know dogs bark, and cats meow, and chickens...make chicken noises. And tigers ROAR!!!! As do dinosaurs. As do bears...etc.

John's been to a few zoos. So we've seen some of these animals in real life, but besides our long car rides through the Texas state, we've never introduced John to a cow up close. And I want my son to know about food. And where food co…