Summer Salad – A Redwall Recipe

Redwall summer salad recipe

Summer salad appears in many of the different books in the Redwall series. Pretty much whenever there’s a meal during summer, it includes summer salad. However, the specific ingredients of the salad are never mentioned, so I had to get a little creative with this one.

I started with lettuce, of course, then decided I wanted to include some fresh summer produce. Well, my very favorite fruit is strawberries, and I love strawberries on salad, so that was an easy choice. I knew this salad had to have some nuts and cheese on it, since Redwallers are all so fond of those two ingredients. Almonds are my favorite nut, and they taste great with strawberries. Finally, for the cheese, I went with crumbled bleu cheese to really give the salad a punch of flavor.

This salad is so easy to make, and you may just feel like a squirrel or a mouse while you eat it.

Summer Salad - A Redwall Recipe

Summer Salad – A Redwall Recipe

Ingredients

  • Lettuce or leafy greens of your choosing, chopped
  • Strawberries, sliced
  • Bleu cheese crumbles
  • Sliced almonds
  • Balsamic vinaigrette dressing

Directions

  1. Slice the strawberries and chop the lettuce.
  2. Add all the ingredients into a big bowl and toss to combine. Easy!

 

Cock-a-Leekie Soup – A Narnia Recipe

 

Narnian cock-a-leekie soup

The meal — which I suppose we must call dinner, though it was nearer tea time — was cock-a-leekie soup, and hot roast turkey, and a steamed pudding, and roast chestnuts, and as much fruit as you could eat.

-The Silver Chair

In The Silver Chair, the children, along with Puddleglum the Marshwiggle, become hopelessly lost in their quest to find the prince. They are tired and freezing cold when they find the House of Harfang, which they soon discover is a royal court filled with giants. The giant king and queen take them in and give them warm clothes and a hot meal, including cock-a-leekie soup.

Pole, Scrubb, and Puddleglum are super creeped out by these giants, even though they are being nice, and it turns out they have good reason to be creeped out, as the giants are not as nice as they seem! Still, the soup seemed hearty and comforting, so I wanted to recreate it.

Outside of the Narnia books, I had never heard of cock-a-leekie soup before, and I actually had no idea what it even was. So, I did some research and found out that cock-a-leekie soup is a traditional Scottish dish made of chicken and leeks (hence the name). Before making this soup, I had never purchased or cooked leeks before in my life. I don’t even think I had ever eaten leeks before, though it’s possible I have and just didn’t realize it or don’t remember. Either way, this was a new and interesting experience for me!

Cock-a-leekie soup is traditionally thickened with rice or barley. I love barley in soup, but I couldn’t find any barley in the store I normally shop at. I had rice at home, but I have a strong aversion to rice in soup (the reasons for which I will not get into on this blog!). In my research, I did find one source that stated potatoes could be used in place of barley or rice, so I went with that.

Traditionally, cock-a-leekie soup also contains prunes, but my sources say that it is acceptable to leave them out, and I went with that because prunes are gross 😉 .

This soup was rather unique and very enjoyable. I look forward to making it again when I can get my hands on some barley.

Cock-a-Leekie Soup - A Narnia Recipe

Cock-A-Leekie Soup – A Narnia Recipe

Ingredients

  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 large potato, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3 bone-in chicken thighs (or 4 bone-in chicken drumsticks)
  • 1 leek, sliced (see bottom of page for more info)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley

Directions

  1. Place the chicken stock, carrot, celery, potato, onion, and chicken in a large pot, cover the pot, and cook on medium-high heat for 30 minutes.
  2. Remove the chicken from the pot, remove the meat from the bones, and place the chicken meat back into the pot. Discard the bones.
  3. Add the leeks, salt, pepper, and parsley to the pot.
  4. Cook for 30 more minutes on medium heat.

For anyone like me who has never cooked with leeks before, here’s how to slice a leek: Cut the bottom root off the leek (about 1/2 inch off the white bottom). Cut about half of the green part of the leek off the top. Discard the roots and the tops of the leaves. Wash the leek well, as it may have dirt in the little crevices. Slice the remaining parts of the leek, white parts and green parts. The white part of the leek resembles an onion both in taste and appearance.

Anastasia’s Stroganoff Recipe

I never cared for stroganoff.

-Anastasia

stroganoff recipe

Did you read that like a Romanov?

Alright everybody, it’s time to make a recipe inspired by one of my favorite animated musicals, Anastasia! This is one of only a handful of non-Disney animated movies that I actually like, and I think the best part of it is the music. Yes, this movie is grossly inaccurate, historically speaking, but if you look at it just as a work of fiction, not based on real life, it’s a great story!

In one of the songs, Anastasia comments that she “never cared for stroganoff.” So, for this recipe, I figured I’d alter it a bit by taking out the only ingredient in stroganoff that I hate: mushrooms. Maybe it’s the mushrooms Anastasia never cared for. In that case, I bet she’d love this version, and I hope you do, too.

Anastasia's Stroganoff Recipe

Anastasia’s Stroganoff Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup sour cream

Directions

  1. Brown the ground beef in a large pan, and drain off the excess grease.
  2. Add to the ground beef the butter, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper and Worcestershire sauce, and mix well.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the beef broth and flour until no clumps remain.
  4. Add the broth/flour mixture to the pan with the seasoned beef.
  5. Heat the beef mixture over medium high heat, stirring constantly until the liquid thickens.
  6. Turn the heat off, and stir in the sour cream.
  7. Serve on top of egg noodles.

Chop Suey – A Lady and the Tramp Recipe

Chop Suey - A Lady and the Tramp Recipe

When most people think of Lady and the Tramp, they think of the iconic scene with the spaghetti and meatballs. While I love spaghetti and meatballs, I don’t feel like it’s an interesting enough recipe to warrant its own blog post. So, in seeking to do a recipe based off of Lady and the Tramp, I went a little more obscure.

When Darling is pregnant, there’s a scene where she asks Jim Dear to go out and get her some foods she’s been craving in the middle of the night. One of those foods is chop suey. I love this detail, because it is so authentic to the time period. Chop suey was one of the first American Chinese food dishes, and it was immensely popular in the United States in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Chop suey is a simple dish, and it can be made with a variety of meats and vegetables, so feel free to switch up this recipe according to your tastes.

 

Chop Suey Recipe - Lady and the Tramp

Chop Suey – A Disney Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. chicken, cut into bite-size pieces
  • olive oil
  • 3 cups of chopped vegetables, such as:
    • broccoli
    • carrots
    • onions
    • bell peppers
    • baby corn
    • cabbage
  • 2 Tbsp. oyster sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. chicken broth

Directions

  1. Cook the chicken pieces in the olive oil on medium-high heat, turning until they are just cooked on each side.
  2. Add the vegetables to the pan with the chicken, and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. In a small bowl mix together the oyster sauce, soy sauce, cornstarch, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and chicken broth.
  4. Add the sauce mixture to the chicken and veggies in the pan, stirring well.
  5. Coook for an additional 5 minutes.

Serve this yummy dish over rice or noodles. Enjoy!

 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission for sales made through those links. Rest assured, this does not cost you any extra money, and it helps me buy ingredients to make delicious recipes for you 🙂

Meat Pie – A Downton Abbey Recipe

Meat Pies - A Downton Abbey Recipe

In Downton Abbey, most of the food we see is the fancy stuff that the “upstairs” folks eat. A lot of this fancy food looks beautiful and delicious, but some of it just sounds gross. However, we don’t see a lot of what the “downstairs” servants eat. So, when I saw an opportunity to recreate some more common English foods, I knew I had to take it.

In one of the episodes where Alfred is learning to cook, Jimmy makes fun of him for cooking such fancy things. As a retort, Alfred says, “We can’t all live off of battered fish and meat pies.” Well, that actually sounds pretty good to me.

English meat pies can be made with a variety of different meats and vegetables, but the most common vegetables are potatoes, carrots, and peas. I left the peas out of this pie because my husband hates them (which really stinks because peas are my absolute favorite vegetable!) But I’m going to include peas in the list of ingredients for you because they really give an added element of authenticity to these pies. You can make one big pie, like I did, or you can make smaller individual pies. It’s really up to you.

Meat Pie - A Downton Abbey Recipe

Meat Pies – A Downton Abbey Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground beef, browned
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup sweet peas
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp. worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup beef gravy
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 pie crusts
  • 1 egg

Directions

  1. Boil the potato pieces and carrot pieces in a pot of water on the stove for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables start to get soft.
  2. Drain the water from the carrots and potatoes.
  3. Combine the browned beef, cooked potatoes, cooked carrots, peas, onion powder, worcestershire sauce, gravy, and salt and pepper into a large bowl, mixing well.
  4. Line a pie dish or a deep pan with one pie crust, and pour the meat mixture on top of it.
  5. Place the second pie crust on top of the meat mixture, sealing the edges closed.
  6. Cut some slits into the center of the crust.
  7. Whisk the egg in a small bowl, and brush the top of the pie with egg.
  8. Bake the pie at 375 degrees F for about 45 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.

 

Enterprise Meatloaf – A Star Trek Recipe

Enterprise Meatloaf - A Star Trek Recipe

I was born in the mid ’80s, so I grew up watching Star Trek: TNG and Voyager with my family. Recently, I’ve been binge watching all the different Star Trek series on Netflix. Of course, I started with TNG and Voyager for nostalgia’s sake, but then I moved on to the original Star Trek series. Before a few weeks ago, I had never seen an episode of the original Star Trek series. While it wasn’t my cup of tea, there were things about it that I did enjoy, particularly the kitsch factor! I love how this show is so heavily influenced by the culture of the 1960s.

In one of the early episodes of Star Trek, Captain Kirk mentions that it’s Thanksgiving Day back on Earth, so he wants the normal meatloaf served in the mess hall to be shaped like turkey. Ummmm…okay? Where do I even start with this? First of all, I love that they serve meatloaf in a futuristic mess hall. That just screams “mid-century” to me. I honestly contemplated trying to make a turkey-shaped meatloaf for this blog post, but I couldn’t figure out how I would accomplish that, so instead I just used ground turkey instead of ground beef…bonus: ground turkey is half the price of ground beef. Ka-ching!

When deciding on a meatloaf recipe, I wanted to find one that was typical of the 1950s and 1960s, since the culture of that era is all over the original Star Trek universe. In an extensive Google search, I found a forum where someone mentioned they used squished-up Wonder Bread in their meatloaf in the ’60s. Score!

I did a lot of research on Wonder Bread and learned some really interesting things about it. First of all, did you know that Wonder Bread was one of the first companies to sell their bread pre-sliced in the 1920s and 1930s? But the reason Wonder Bread was so popular in the 1950s and 1960s is because it was marketed as being healthy! I’m not even kidding. Wonder Bread was one of the first companies to enrich their bread with vitamins and minerals. In their defense, this actually did lead to a reduction in a lot of diseases caused by vitamin deficiency. Anyway, I know those things have nothing to do with Star Trek or meatloaf, but I found it so interesting I had to share!

This meatloaf recipe was fun to make and it tasted yummy, but it did not look pretty. But, I just went with it and photographed it in all its hideous glory, because when is meatloaf ever cute looking anyway?

Turkey Meatloaf - A Star Trek Recipe

 Enterprise Meatloaf – A Star Trek Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 5 slices Wonder Bread (make sure it’s fresh and not stale!)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp. worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 small can tomato sauce

Directions

  1. Put all the ingredients, except for the tomato sauce, in a bowl.\
  2. Using your hands (yeah, it’s gross, but it’s effective), smoosh all the ingredients together until they are indistinguishable from each other. This should form one large mass.
  3. Place the turkey mixture into a greased loaf pan.
  4. Pour the tomato sauce on top of the meat.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F for one hour.

Goopy Carbonara – A Sims Recipe

Goopy Carbonara - A Sims Recipe

One of my favorite game mechanics in the Sims is the cooking! I love that you can level up your Sim’s cooking abilities, and I also love that the available recipes to cook change according to the time of day. Another fun thing about the cooking on the Sims games is when one of your Sims craves a certain food.

One food that seems to be popular with my Sims when I play is Goopy Carbonara. I don’t blame them, as this recipe is delicious. Plus, it’s just fun to say “goopy carbonara.” I made this recipe a bit different than traditional spaghetti carbonara, as I knew I had to make it extra “goopy” to live up to its name.

Goopy Carbonara - The Sims Recipe

Goopy Carbonara – A Sims Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup parmesan
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb. spaghetti
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • parsley, fresh or dried, to garnish

Directions

  1. Melt the butter in a pot on the stove.
  2. Stir the flour into the melted butter.
  3. On medium heat, add the milk to the butter/flour mixture, whisking until well incorporated.
  4. Allow the sauce to cook on the stove until it is thick and bubbly, making sure to stir constantly to keep it from clumping.
  5. Add the parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to the sauce, and set aside.
  6. Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions.
  7. Drain the water and return the spaghetti to the pot.
  8. Add the olive oil to the spaghetti, tossing until it’s well coated.
  9. Add in the crumbled bacon.
  10. Pour the sauce over the spaghetti and bacon, and sprinkle with parsley.

There you have it! A goopy spaghetti dish that’s delicious and filling.

Summer Vegetable Soup – A Redwall Recipe

Vegetable Soup - A Redwall Recipe

Ever since I first discovered the Redwall books about 15 years ago, I’ve always wanted to be transported to Mossflower wood to live at Redwall Abbey. Life just seems so simple and beautiful there. To me, the food these peaceful creatures eat perfectly embodies the magically simple lifestyle they lead. The creatures of Redwall are vegetarian, with the exception of fish, and most of the food they eat is either grown right on the Abbey grounds or foraged in the surrounding forest. I often wonder what my role would be if I lived at Redwall Abbey. Gardener? Cook? Record keeper? I don’t think I’d mind doing any of those things, especially if it meant I could live in comfortable simplicity.

This vegetable soup recipe was inspired by a scene in Doomwyte, where the characters have a glorious summer picnic by the banks of a river in the middle of the woods. A vegetable soup is mentioned briefly, and I knew immediately that I wanted to recreate it. Since this was a summertime picnic, I knew this soup had to be light and summery, rather than a heavy winter soup, so the ingredients reflect that. Also keep in mind that in order to remain true to the source, I used vegetable broth to make this soup truly vegetarian. Chicken broth or beef stock would taste wonderful in this soup, but then it wouldn’t be something out of Redwall, so keep that in mind if you’re tempted to make substitutions 🙂

Summer Vegetable Soup - A Redwall Recipe

Summer Vegetable Soup – A Redwall Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 large celery stalk, diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can sweet corn
  • 1 cup green beans, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Melt the butter in a large pot on the stove.
  2. Add the onion to the butter and cook until translucent (this should only take a minute or so).
  3. Add the broth, potato, carrot, and celery to the onion.
  4. Cook the broth and root veggies on medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until the veggies start to become soft.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients to the soup, and stir well.
  6. Cook the soup for an additional 10 minutes.

This soup is light but delicious, perfect for a summer feast. I do hope that cooking and enjoying this soup will help to transport you to Redwall Abbey, even if only for a moment.

 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission from sales made through those links. Rest assured, this costs you nothing extra!

Rey’s Sauteed Spinach – A Star Wars Recipe

Rey's Sauteed Spinach - A Star Wars Recipe

I’m back with another Star Wars recipe for this month’s Fandom Foodies theme, hosted by My Main is a Cook. #MaytheFork be with you!

In The Force Awakens, Rey’s Portion Bread seems to get all the attention, and with good reason! It’s pretty neat to see the bread bubble up from just powder and water. But, along with the bread, Rey cooks up sauteed greens of some kind to eat with her bread. They’re only shown on screen for a brief moment, so I’m not entirely sure what kind of plant this dish comes from in the Star Wars universe, but I figured spinach was a pretty close approximation in our world.

I love spinach, and I don’t understand how anyone could dislike it! This sauteed spinach recipe is so easy to make and is perfect as a nutritious side dish to any meal. You can change up the ingredients however you like, too.

Rey’s Sauteed Spinach – A Star Wars Recipe

Ingredients

  • spinach, 1 block frozen or 1 bag fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Place the spinach and water in a frying pan.
  2. Heat the spinach until it is wilted and warmed through, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients, and mix until combined.
  4. Serve hot with any meal you like!

You can use either fresh or frozen spinach for this, but I used frozen spinach since it more closely resembled the portion packet Rey receives. This is very basic food, but that’s perfect because it’s what Rey lived off of for so long. It still tastes great, though. Enjoy, and may the force be with you!

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission for sales made through those links. Rest assured, this does not cost you any extra money, and it helps me buy ingredients to make delicious recipes for you 🙂

Lentil Soup – A Little Princess Recipe

“…they removed the covers of the dishes, and found rich, hot, savory soup, which was a meal in itself…”

-A Little Princess, chapter 16

Lentil Soup - A Little Princess Recipe

In A Little Princess, when Sara and Becky find a feast waiting for them in their room, one of the items on the table is a delicious soup. Since this soup is described as being rich and “a meal in itself,” I knew it had to be something loaded with veggies and protein. Since we later discover that this meal was provided by “the Indian gentleman” (who is actually an Englishman who just spent a lot of time in India), I wanted to make a soup that had some Indian influences.

I chose lentils as the base of this soup, to give a nod to the Indian gentleman and to give the soup the richness described in the book. Root vegetables round out the simple flavors of this soup, while adding richness on their own as well.

I’ve tried making this soup with Indian spices (i.e. garam masala) as well as without it, and I prefer it without, so the recipe below reflects that. But, if you enjoy traditional Indian flavors, add a couple of teaspoons of garam masala to the mix to give the soup a warm, rich flavor.

Lentil Soup – A Little Princess Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup red lentils, dry
  • 6 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Rinse the lentils and place them in a slow cooker with the 6 cups of water or broth.
  2. Turn the slow cooker on high, and cook for one hour.
  3. Add the vegetables, including the whole can of tomatoes with the juices, and cook for another hour.
  4. Add the seasonings, and cook for one more hour to allow all the flavors to come together.
  5. Serve with bread or rice.

I hope you enjoy this hearty soup. The flavors are simple, but satisfying. I can definitely see this soup being a meal in itself!

 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission for sales made through those links. Rest assured, this does not cost you any extra money, and it helps me buy ingredients to make delicious recipes for you 🙂