It's another kitchen tip Tuesday and since we just got back from our Memorial Day weekend trip to Sunriver Oregon (check my post on that) I thought I'd share about one of my favorite things...vacation rental Kitchens. We love to go on vacations but we really hate always having to eat out...well I could like it, but the cost and the fact that it just isn't home cooked or really healthy makes us love staying in places that have their own kitchens. Often times hotel units have small kitchenettes and vacation homes are wonderful. We try to choose homes that are well stocked (many come with lots of herbs, oils, etc...) They often have everything you need as far as utensil, baking and cooking pans, etc..All we do is bring the food. If our vacation is planned around our paydays, we use our already allotted grocery money for food for the trip. We still go out to eat now and then while on vacation, but he majority of our meals are eaten at home with foods that are good for us and that we enjoy: salmon, chicken, oatmeal, cereal, crepes. You name it, we have it. I know some people think "cooking on vacation....yuck". But I truly love to cook, so I don't mind at all. So next time you vacation, look into a vacation rental with a kitchen and cook for yourself! It can be as simple or as glamorous as you want. I also thought I'd share a few really quick recipes.
QUICK BISCUITS AND GRAVY
(Printable Recipe) I don't make biscuits and gravy very much, usually when we go on vacation (to a rental) or on the holidays. But this is so simple to make and super yummy....
Take 2lbs of ground breakfast sausage (I have used turkey sausage as well and it's great). Brown in a pan. Do not drain. Add about 1/4c. flour and stir till mixed in with the meat. (It should be pretty thick so add more flour if needed). Add enough milk to cover the sausage by about an inch. Stir well. Add garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. Cook on Med. high heat stirring frequently till thickened. We like ours thicker than the restaurants. This is so easy and quick and honestly tastes better then the restaurants. Serve over drop biscuits.
QUICK SEMI-HOMEMADE PIZZA My family has been wanting pizza and I thought I'd make it last week. However I had grocery shopping to do and knew I wouldn't have time to make my own crust, so while at the store I picked up some "fresh" pizza dough from the deli section of my grocery store. When I got home I simply had to roll it out and add the toppings. Done in about 30 minutes. Often I'll make my own sauce with tomato sauce, Italian seasonings and crushed garlic. Then add lots of yummy toppings. So when in a pinch try finding "fresh" dough in the deli section.
Last Tuesday I needed to make dinner but to be honest I really didn't want to. It was running late and I needed something. So I threw together this minestrone. I had some leftover ground turkey that I had thawed out. I threw that in the pot, then I added chopped celery, carrot, zucchini, onion, broccoli, and green beans (all fresh). Then I added a can of tomato sauce, a can of Cannelini beans and a can of diced tomatoes. I added enough chicken broth to cover veggies and make it the consistency I wanted. I seasoned it with Italian seasoning, pepper and garlic powder. Cooked till veggies were crisp tender and served with Parmesan cheese. I froze the rest and we ate it yesterday with cold sandwiches after returning from our weekend trip.
A TIP: Noodles tend to absorb liquid, so I cook my noodles separately and we add them to our individual bowls when we're ready to eat. I store them separate as well. So no more going back the next day and finding no liquid in your soups.