Breakfast Scramble

If you can’t tell, I love breakfast. All the best people do.

This particular breakfast came about one day when I was feeling particularly hungry, and lazy, and had a bunch of stuff that was about to go bad if I didn’t use it, and… well, didn’t have a whole lot else. It builds up quickly to feed a lot of people, stores well for a few days if you end up with way too much, and warms up well– especially in a skillet with a little butter or olive oil.

It also goes particularly well with biscuits and gravy either on the side, on top, or mixed all up together!

You can use whatever you have lying around, really– remember that half of my recipes came from just cutting things up, throwing them into a pan, and hoping for the best. But here is how I did it, add, subtract, or ad lib as you see fit, the best cooking comes from experimentation!

WHAT YOU WILL NEED

  • 1 spatula
  • 1 veggie-chopping knife
  • 1 stove
  • 1 fork

 

  • 1/2-1 tube ground sausage (1/2 is enough for you for a few days, 1 tube is enough for a few people or however you want to slice it)
  • 3-6 eggs (depending on how much you want to make)
  • 1/2 onion (try using the onion you had left over from your breakfast cake!)
  • 1 green or red bell pepper (or both if you like lots of bell pepper)
  • 1-2 potatoes (washed, unpeeled)
  • shredded cheese (optional)
  • Lawry’s seasoning salt
  • pepper

Step 1: Squish your ground sausage out of the tube and into your skillet. I usually cut the tube in half plastic and all, then squish it out of the open end. Keeps your hands fairly clean and saves on hassle. Make sure your heat is on medium and come back occasionally to chop/swish the sausage around the pan with your spatula. Your end result should leave you with small-to-medium chunks, though ultimately how big your sausage bits end up is up to your discretion! (My general rule is, the spicier the sausage, the smaller the chunks I want.)

Step 2: While your sausage is browning, rinse your knife from cutting open your raw sausage tube, then cube your potato(es).  I have another blog post on how to chop veggies that I keep up to date– don’t be too proud to admit if you have trouble with this, it is seriously one of the things I struggle with most in the kitchen.

Step 3: Once your po-ta-toes are all cut up and your sausage is no longer pink, toss ’em into the pan and mix it up. Sprinkle in some Lawry’s if you like (sometimes the sausage is flavourful enough to season the potatoes without any outside help) stir some more, and put a lid on it. This will trap the moisture between the pan and the lid and steam the potatoes so that they cook more thoroughly, faster, and without you having to burn the outsides to a crisp.

Step 4: Leave your sausage and taters to sizzle a bit and chop up your veg (onion and bell pepper.) I recommend checking on/stirring up your sausage between chopping each veggie.

Step 5: Once everything is chopped, throw the rest into the pan, stir again (make sure your taters and sausage aren’t burning– at this point it may be wise to reduce the heat a bit) and replace the lid.

Step 6: Crack your eggs into a bowl, splash in just a little water (turn on  your tap over the bowl, count to two, and turn it off again) and take up your fork to whisk things up.

Step 7: Remove the lid from your pan and stir things around with your spatula again. Then pour in your whisked up egg, turn down the heat, sprinkle in a little pepper (if you like) and just start spatula-ing things around until everything is coated in egg. Stir occasionally, keeping an eye on things and making sure the egg doesn’t burn. At some point here, if you want to add your cheese, you can do that. Stir stir stir until the egg is all the way cooked, then turn off the heat.

Step 8: Dish your masterpiece up into bowls or onto plates or whatever your preference is. Top with ketchup, hot sauce, barbecue sauce, or whatever your condiment of choice, or enjoy without dressing it up! Don’t forget to take pictures and post them for us to admire!

Thanks so much for reading, guys and gals! Don’t forget to like/comment/subscribe/share, and let us know how your cooking adventures are going!

 

-Molly

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Hangover Noodles – With Love from Lady Sazarac

I am very excited to announce my very first guest blogger– Lady Sazarac!

This dear friend of mine hails from the steamy south, calling New Orleans home and always dishing up the most mouth-watering recipes when she visits us here in Detroit. Her dinner parties are legendary…

And, like the rest of us, she prefers cooking on a budget.

Though none of us really need a reason to earn ourselves a hangover, there is a festival happening in her hometown that inspired the delicious dish she has so generously elected to share with us. Here is a bit about French Quarter Fest from the lovely Lady Sazarac herself:

While most people are familiar with our heavily marketed festival of debauchery and excess, Mardi Gras, only those in the know come for the Annual French Quarter Festival, a three day celebration of all things New Orleans. Dozens of stages, hundreds of musicians, food vendors lined up on every block, and thousands of people in linen, seer sucker and floppy hats roaming the streets of the French Quarter sipping tasty tasty adult beverages. And it’s all free. Best weekend ever. In honor of the festivities this weekend, please enjoy my following mini dissertation on the greatest of New Orleans traditions, the hungover, far too big a bar tab breakfast.

So, without further ado I invite you to devour her words (and recipe!)

Hi! I’m Molly Stewarts friend Lady Sazerac and I live in the butter and spice drenched world that is New
Orleans. New Orleanians are known for our love of strong beverage and rich food, and often I find that
grocery money is far better spent on a bar tab, so I’d like to share with you one of my all time favorite
hangover curing foods.

When Yankees have a bit too much, they wake up and think fish is a great idea for breakfast and
have bagels and lox. In the dirty south, we like spice and grease. One of the top traditional New
Orleans hangover breakfasts is called Yakamein, a spicy, greasy, savory stew, made out of super
cheap ingredients, and easy to cook in a crock pot. Traditionally served from corner stores or food
carts, Yakamein is such a staple of the New Orleans food world that the “Yakamein Lady” herself Miss
Linda Green was featured by Anthony Bourdain, and won the Food network show chopped. (This is her!)

You will need:

  • A medium sized, super cheap beef roast, with or without bone. You’ll be boiling this thing for hours, so go with the cheapest cut you can find, and make sure it has plenty of fat. If it’s not fatty enough add some bacon to the pot.
  • One small can tomato paste
  • Garlic (fresh if you can)chopped
  • One small onion chopped
  • Bay leaves
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Red pepper
  • Spaghetti noodles
  • A hard boiled egg or two
  • Dried shrimp and green onion,  cajun seasoning, soysauce, and a splash of vegetable oil if you like

Put the meat right in the crock pot. Don’t even brown it. Wash your hands. Pour yourself a drink. Throw
in a few bay leaves. Add the onion. Now one or two cloves of chopped garlic. A healthy sprinkle of salt.
Some black pepper. A little bit more red pepper than you think you should. Add the can of tomato paste.
Cover the whole thing in water. Turn the crock pot on. Go out drinking.

Let it cook all night. By the time you get home from the bar it will smell amazing. Stir it, but don’t eat it
yet. Wait til morning.

Wake up. Make coffee. Drink a bloody mary. Make a big pot of spaghetti noodles. Take a few forks and
stab at the meat in the crock pot until it shreds. Ladle some of that beefy spicy greasy stew over your
spaghetti noodles. Put a hard boiled egg on top. Add some hot sauce. Slurp and enjoy.

Protein, spice, carbs and grease. The sublime beauty of a complete meal in a cup, made from scratch.
Plus, this will make enough to feed you for multiple hangovers, and freezes well. (I suppose this would
also make an awesome dinner or lunch)

Thank you so much for contributing, Lady S, I look forward to many more edible entries from you! All my love to you and your beautiful city.

To those of you considering trying this– thank you for reading! Let us know how it turns out for you, and don’t forget to like/comment/subscribe/share!

If there is something that you would like to contribute to Molly Stewart Living, let me know in a comment and I will tell you where to send your stuff!

-Molly

How to Chop Veggies

So I realized that I might not be the only one who is horrible at chopping vegetables. When I can have my way, I usually make someone else do it, and I certainly try to never do it in front of anyone. Last time I tried, I bled all over the cutting board.

In order to improve my techniques on things, I sometimes turn to people who are better at whatever I am trying to do than I am. But sometimes I don’t feel like being made fun of or looking inept, so I turn to the Internets for help.

I have compiled here a list of instructional videos that I hope to keep updating and adding to as time goes on. I hope it helps at least one person perfect their veggie-chopping technique!

 

 
Bell Peppers (video by simplecookingrecipes on YouTube)

Jalapenos and other hot peppers (video by Tasted on YouTube)

Lettuce (video by MonkeySeeVideos on YouTube)

Onions (video by GoodHousekeepingMag on YouTube)

Potatoes (video by ChefTips on Youtube)

Tomatoes (video by ExpertVillage on YouTube)

I will be back to add more as they come up in future posts! Enjoy, like/comment/subscribe/share as you see fit, and have a great day! Thanks for stopping by.

-Molly

Breakfast Cake!

Everyone’s favourite excuse for not eating breakfast (especially good-for-you breakfast) is lack of time/energy.

NO MORE EXCUSES. This is the easiest and cheapest thing in the world to do, you make it Sunday night and just cut and nuke another piece every day (pairs very well with a delicious glass of veggie juice!) If you find yourself with extra time one morning, scramble your slice up in a pan with some cheese or something.

The name is a little misleading, and the ingredients are super flexible. My recipe is gluten and lactose free, but you can add things like cheese and ground sausage or whatever else you want. Just…make sure to thoroughly cook any meat before you throw it in!

WHAT YOU WILL NEED

  • 1 bowl
  • 1 fork
  • 1 knife capable of chopping veggies
  • 1 cake or pie pan, or a small square baking pan…just make sure it’s smallish and the sides are high
  • 1 oven
  • Non-stick cooking spray (I use Pam baking spray)
  • 6 eggs – ~$1.50/dozen
  • water – free!
  • 1 each red and green bell pepper – ~$.30 each
  • frozen (or fresh– NOT canned, ew) peas – ~$2.00/bag
  • frozen (or fresh) broccoli – ~$2.00/bag
  • 1 quarter onion (cut it in half, then cut one of the halves in half, and put the rest in a ziploc in the fridge for use in something else) – ~$.10/piece
  • Some ground pepper

Step 1: Set your oven to 350 to preheat

Step 2: Chop your veggies up. Let me help, because this is something that I still struggle with, and make people like Bassvocals do at every opportunity so I don’t mess it up or cut my hand off.

Step 3: Crack all six eggs into your bowl and add a bit of water. Don’t drown it, just a splash or two of water will do. Take up your mighty fork and whip it around inside of the bowl until all of the tasty yellow yolks are broken and blended into the clear snot-like part of the egg. Now shake in some pepper.

Step 4: Take all of the veggies you just chopped up and dump them into your egg soup. Stir them up! (Note: I didn’t give an exact measure of peas or broccoli… just add however much you want. I usually add until it’s like there are more veggies than there is egg, but that’s me and you’re the one who has to eat it!)

Step 5: Spray your pan!

Step 6: Pour your eggaliciousness into the pan and stick it in the oven.

Step 7: Set your timer for 10-15 minutes. Check on your eggy cake after 10ish minutes– once it looks cooked and kinda puffy and is firm to the touch/warm all the way through in the center you should be good. If it starts browning on the edges just throw some foil on top until the rest is cooked.

Step 8: Let it cool a bit, then throw it in the fridge with some foil for consumption throughout the week, or dig in and share with your friends right away!

Nice and easy. Remember, you can add whatever you think will taste good. Try different combinations and report back with your findings!

Something else I’ve done in the past is pour the egg batter stuff into the cups of a greased cupcake tin and had mini egg pie things (like crustless quiche!) I prefer the egg cake method because I could never get the timing right for eggie cupcakes, but maybe you will have better luck.

Thanks for reading! Remember to like/comment/subscribe/share, and keep your eyes peeled from more from Molly Stewart Living.

-Molly

PSA Regarding Mustard Greens

So, I usually get kale as a dark leafy green to add to my delicious breakfast juice every morning, but last week Kroger was out and so I grabbed some mustard greens instead.

Usually I only add one or two leaves– you can’t really taste them though their nutrients are there– but this morning I grabbed about six so I could make sure to use them up before they started wilting. I balled them up, stuffed them in the juicer, and went about my juicing routine like normal. Except that, when I took my first sip, I made a horrible discovery that has been haunting me today with every burp (or would be, if ladies burped, which we do not.)



Mustard greens are very spicy. Now that you have read this, never, ever forget it.

Say it to yourself in the mirror as you’re brushing your teeth before bed.

Leave sticky notes for yourself on the fridge.

Record yourself saying it and make it the sound that plays whenever you get a notification from my blog, which you should make sure you are following right now!



Do not let the ambush that fell upon my mouth this morning trip you up when you are bleary-eyed and not yet caffeinated.

I added an apple to smooth out the taste, but the spice just kept creeping back in and I didn’t have time to doctor the juice further. This is not to say that I won’t be using mustard greens again, only to say that I will be using them in moderation and perhaps with different juice recipes. I do rather like spicy V8, so I may go for something like that next time.

You have been warned…



Stay tuned for another recipe tomorrow, and don’t forget to like/comment/subscribe/share!

-Molly

Biscuits and Gravy

I was raised in a place that would like to consider itself a country town, among relatives and classmates that would like to consider themselves rather country, by a mum that was raised on a farm.

Naturally, many of my favourite things have a bit of a country flavour to them.

One of the best things she ever made for breakfast was sausage gravy, served over hot buttermilk biscuits. This is a really easy meal to accomplish and doesn’t take very long either. (Consider sipping some veggie juice while things simmer and bake!)

Some advice for beginners: read the entirety of every recipe you are attempting before beginning. For all you know you could be baking the biscuits while you make the gravy (hint) or you only have two eggs, and while that’s enough for component one, component two also calls for two eggs… you get the picture.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED

For the gravy:

  • 1 tube of ground sausage (I recommend Bob Evan’s zesty-hot sausage, it comes in a red tube like this) – ~$3.50/tube
  • milk (fat content is totally up to you) – ~$2.00/gallon
  • 3-4 tbsp corn starch – ~$5/container (will last you for. ever.)
  • some water – free!

Yeah. That’s it.

Step 1: Brown the sausage in a big frying pan. Make sure it gets crumbled, but not too crumbled. You want to go for medium-sized chunks, between the sizes of dimes and pennies.

Step 2: Turn your burner down to medium heat and slowly pour milk into the pan, just until it covers the sausage

  • The milk will probably begin to turn orange due to the grease in the sausage. Do not panic.
  • Be -very- careful and watch your pan closely from here on out. It is far too easy to burn milk and ruin the world.
  • Now would be a super good time to check on your biscuits if you’re already baking them, or put them in if you forgot.

Step 3: Spoon your corn starch into a small bowl and add just enough water so that it’s loose when you stir it

  • Corn starch is weird stuff, for those who don’t know. It’s like a liquid, but it’s a solid if you try to make it move faster than it wants to. It’s used as a thickening agent, in this case to turn your sausage concoction from weird soup to tasty gravy

Step 4: Slowly stir the wet corn starch into your milky sausage pan. It will seem like nothing is happening, but what ever you do, do not add more corn starch (like I did the first time I tried it) because it will turn into a gritty glue-like substance that no one will ever want to eat and you will have to add more milk and pray that no one notices that it’s blander than it should be. Just be patient and keep stirring occasionally, and do not let the heat get too high.

  • You might want to check on your biscuits again if you forgot about them.

Step 5: It will eventually turn into gravy. Taste it, directly out of your stirring spoon if you like (because it’s your damn kitchen) and when it meets your specifications, pour it over the biscuits that have been baking throughout this entire process and are now cooling peacefully on the counter.

This should serve approximately four very hungry grown men, so if you are cooking for yourself I recommend only using half or even a quarter of the tube (and only 1-2 tbsp corn starch in that event) and packaging the rest up tight, OR making the whole batch and living off of the leftovers until they’re gone.

For the biscuits:

  • 1 tube or packet of biscuits or biscuit mix

Step 1: Follow the directions on the package. Most of these only take 10-15 minutes to bake and almost 0 prep time.

  • If you want to bake your own, I recommend looking up a recipe online.

To those of you down-home country mamas that are about to scold me for my biscuit recipe– bite me. We are on a time crunch and/or budget and/or lazy. Also I only post recipes I’ve tried, and I have never made homemade biscuits.

Keep checking back for more recipes, and if you like what you’re reading make sure to like/comment/subscribe/share!

-Molly

Veggie Juice!

I know what you’re thinking.

Actually, no, I have no idea what you’re thinking. But I know that veggie juice sounds “ew”, or expensive, or out of reach, or just isn’t exactly cooking.

You’re wrong. I mean, I guess it might be “ew” to you if you juice things that don’t taste good to you, but it’s really not that expensive to do (I can afford it!) and it’s really good for you. I kind of wish I had stuck to drinking veggie juice once or twice a day like I started to a few months ago, and I plan to go back to it. I was feeling great, I had a ton of energy, I was dropping some pounds, and I stopped craving the fast food that I learned cooking to avoid in the first place.

My juicer isn’t the greatest, but it functions. It was $30 at Meijer and is pretty easy to clean.

I usually have a glass at breakfast and one before class. Other people I know like to have a glass after their workout. The point is, this stuff is quick, gives you all the nutrients you could ask for, avoids the pesky chewing involved with eating your veggies, and fills you up just enough to keep you from making non-delicious food choices you’ll regret later.

There are tonnes of other blogs and articles and stuff about all of the magical benefits of juicing and how to do it and all of that. But that’s not my mission here. My mission is to tell you how to make a delicious, quick, easy, and cheap beverage that is tasty and will make you feel good.

So, due to their cheapness and general deliciousness, I usually juice:
1/2 cucumber (rinsed but unpeeled) – ~$1/cucumber
4-5 balled leafy greens (can be kale, mustard greens, or any other leafy things you find in that part of the produce aisle) – ~$.89/bundle
a handful of balled parsley and/or cilantro – ~$.49/bundle
3-4 celery stalks – ~$3/bundle

That’s a big glass of veggie juice for ~$1.60, you can make one every day for a week and, if you purchased in reasonable quantities, it’ll all be gone before your produce ever goes bad, just in time to go grocery shopping again.

If you want something that tastes like something other than green, try adding things like:
1 carrot (washed/peeled) – ~$3/bunch
1/2 apple (washed/cored) – ~$.50/apple
1 beet (washed, unpeeled) – ~$2/bunch

You can add other fruits, roots, leafy bits, or anything that fits your palette/budget. Experiment. Report back with your findings, and check back soon for some actual cooking-type recipes 🙂
-Molly

I’m broke, but I like delicious food…

…and there’s nothing wrong with that.

I have lived on ramen and microwave burritos before. I have lived on the Dollar Menu and have the thighs to prove it.

Then one day someone told me that I could eat delicious food without tapping into my getting-to-work-and-school gas fund. And get this– most of it even has some nutritional value!

So, I decided to start a blog for other people who have sat in the Taco Bell drive-thru wondering why they raised the price of soft tacos again. People who have made ambitious grocery lists with the best of intentions, gotten to the grocery store, and just filled their cart with the noodle equivalent of cardboard out of anxiety and/or general laziness.

Cooking tasty food doesn’t have to be stressful, and doesn’t have to take a lot of time or ingredients or specialized knowledge. I had to figure all of this out on my own, so here’s hoping that this blog helps someone, somewhere figure it all out.

First, put these things on your next grocery list. They’re what we call staples, and are either necessary for almost everything I know how to make, or have a long shelf life and come in quantities large enough to last you for some time.

butter
eggs
rice
flour
sugar (granulated and brown)
canned tomato sauce
canned tomato paste

The other thing you need in order to make delicious food is spices. They vary in price depending on where you buy them, but many grocery stores (especially ones with “value” in the name!) sell them for around $1.00 each. I recommend at least having the following, though more spices means more flavours you can choose from!

black pepper (the regular stuff, used in shakers everywhere)
garlic powder (not salt!)
onion powder
oregano
basil
Lawry’s seasoning salt

I will probably come back and add to these lists as I think of things, but these should be enough to get you started!

Thanks for reading, and come back soon for recipes and cooking tips and random anecdotes that have nothing to do with anything we’re trying to accomplish here!

-Molly