What do farming and running have in common?
What about any form of work and any form exercise? What do they have in common?
My answer to both is “food!” You need food to fuel everything you do. I usually have great intentions in the kitchen, and I’m also lucky to have a giant deep freeze full of meat, plus assorted frozen and canned veggies, fruits, and sauces. (Most of the produce is thanks to the hard work of my parents and my sister Linda because my garden was almost non-existent this past summer.) Our spice cabinet is always fully stocked, and JR and I rack up what I think is a ridiculous grocery bill for just two people. We love to eat.
Even being blessed with plenty of food, it’s easy to get stuck in a food rut. Combinations are endless, but sometimes I still go into panic mode because “I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO MAKE!”
This anxiety is compounded if we’ve had a late night at the farm. Wondering what to make at 9:00 p.m. when you’re completely ravenous is way worse than 6:45.
We do share cooking duties some, just depending on who gets home first and who’s feeling inspired to make something. I try not to take my husband’s cooking skills for granted, even though they rarely extend to clean-up. :-)
If we plan ahead it’s usually me, and I’m also the one who mostly uses our beloved slow cooker.
The point to all this is I suspect I’m not alone when I stew about what to make! When I do have a good idea or just cook a tasty staple, I’ll try to share it here on the blog. Maybe it will be a dish you want to try, or maybe it will just give you ideas on seasonings or flavors to incorporate in your own meals.
I’m not promising there will be a “Cooking Spot” on a super consistent schedule, but watch for it at least once a month.
With that, I give you a mushroom creation JR and I collaborated on earlier this year. We made a big batch that almost doubled as a meal. You could easily halve this to serve with a regular meal or double it for a larger gathering appetizer. We used venison summer sausage because it was in our fridge, but bacon would also be excellent. Measurements on seasonings are approximate. Use your own taste as your guide!
16 oz. whole mushrooms
1 small sweet onion, diced
1 tube of crackers, crushed
1 cup cubed salami/summer sausage OR cooked and crumbled bacon
3/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tsp parsley flakes
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Lots of fresh cracked pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash mushrooms thoroughly. Break stems out of mushrooms, leaving just the caps. Set aside the caps. Chop up stems and put them into a mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl and stir to combine. If you like you can also add 1 tsp red pepper flakes for some more zip.
Set mushroom caps on a baking sheet greased or lined with aluminum foil. Fill each mushroom cap to heaping with the prepared mixture.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until mushrooms are soft and golden brown. You can turn on broiler for the last few minutes of baking if desired.