Patchwork Cooking

Adapting recipes from across the world

Mac and Cheese!

Ever look in your cabinet and all you have is Mac and Cheese from a box? But no milk in the fridge? Never fear! You CAN have a complete, filling meal with a box of mac and cheese. The secret? Cottage cheese. Yup, you read that right.

Tuesday night’s dinner went like this:

Boil macaroni from box and strain. Add cheese packet and cottage cheese. I used probably about a cup. The more you add, the creamier it will be. We don’t mind if the curdles are in there, but if you do, simply keep heating it over low heat until it melts all the way down, or run it through a food processor before adding to the pot. The breadcrumbs shown below are a couple of slices of stale bread mixed with Italian herbs and run through the food processor.


So yummy!

Leave a comment »

A new life for this blog

Trying to figure out our menu for the next week, we realized we have a lot of stuff hanging around in our freezer and our cabinets. We decided to revive this blog to show that you don’t always need to have “real food” laying around in order to be able to eat!

We found the couscous in the back of the cabinet – Mediterranean Curry flavored. Not sure where it came from, or why we holding on to it, but out it came! 5 minutes later – the base for our meal was complete! While the couscous cooked (say that 5 times fast!), we cut our pork chops into bite sized pieces and pan fried them with a little bit of salt, pepper, and cumin. We also boiled half a bag of frozen veggies just until they were heated through. Put it all on a plate and voila! A quick, delicious meal with very little effort and no money spent!


Mmmmm delicious

Leave a comment »

Veggie Enchilada Stack

Today, we made our own recipe from scratch!

We started with some lovely farm veggies, which we cubed and mixed together:

Included in this mix was summer squash, zucchini, onions, tomatillos, corn, tomatoes, and black peppers. The corn came from a roadside farmstand, and the tomatoes came from the grocery store; everything else came from our CSA. In case you don’t know what a black pepper is, this is it:

It is similar to a jalapeno, but much milder. If you don’t have black peppers, you can also use jalapeno, or habanero, or even ghost if you have the courage, or plain green bell, if you lack it. The corn was boiled ahead of time on the cob, and then removed. You may also use canned or frozen, just be sure to drain or defrost it ahead of time. We had plans to add black beans, but both forgot and ran out of space. If you have a larger dish than we do, by all means add those as well.

All of the veggies were sauteed together with salt, pepper, adobo seasoning and cumin, while a whole wheat tortilla was laid out in the bottom of a pan that was lightly greased with olive oil (we used a cake pan because it was the most appropriate size for us.)

We  added the sauteed veggies on top:

Then some cheese:

Another tortilla:

Enchilada sauce:

More veggie mix and cheese:

One last tortilla, enchilada sauce, a bit of filling, some more cheese, a dash of cumin and adobo:

Baked at 350 for approximately 25-30 minutes it came out bubbly and super delicious:



Recipe: Veggie Enchilada Stack


1 summer squash

1 zucchini

2 small onions or 1 large

3 small tomatillos

1 tomato (from the vine)

2 ears of corn, pre-cooked and removed from the cob

2 black (or jalapeno) peppers <– to preference

2 tablespoons Adobo seasoning

2 teaspoons cumin

3 tortillas (we used whole wheat, but flour is fine too)

1 can enchilada sauce

Cheese of choice (we used Mexican blend, and only a little because we ran out), a good helping of queso fresco after baking would have been perfect, but apparently we have no foresight

oil for sauteing and greasing pan

salt and pepper to taste


Directions: Preheat oven to 350. In the meantime, saute the vegetables in olive oil with the adobo seasoning, cumin, salt and pepper, about 10 minutes, or until everything is soft. In the pan, layer: tortilla, veggie filling, cheese, tortilla, enchilada sauce, veggie filling, cheese, tortilla, enchilada sauce, cheese, and a little bit of filling for garnish. Bake for 25-30 minutes.



Dobrú chuť!

Bon Apetit!

~Corey and Tonka

Leave a comment »

Colcannon with Caramelized Onions, Chard, and Ham Steak

Our first recipe started with the Colcannon recipe in this book :

If you don’t have this book, you can always use any other base Colcannon recipe. This is basically mashed potatoes with some other delicious items thrown in. Ours called for potatoes, cabbage, scallions, butter, light cream, salt and pepper.

Here are our lovely farm potatoes shortly before cooking:

Since we didn’t have any light cream or butter, we used skim milk and Country Crock. We also added some fresh summer savory that we got from our CSA share.

This created the base for our dinner, and was quite delicious. We are looking forward to using it again in other recipes.

The topping is where we got far more creative. We started by caramelizing some onions:

Once the fire underneath our burner went out, we added the ham. (Note: please be sure to avoid this by checking your drip plates for boil-overs from a previous meal)

While Tonka decided last minute to add some chard to the mix, Corey set the onions and ham on fire, this time on purpose, flambeing with Jameson Irish Whiskey. We then added the chard to the pan, and allowed it to wilt, about 5 minutes.


It was then flambeed again shortly before serving.

We absolutely loved this meal, and would definitely recommend it. It took us about 30 minutes from start to finish, so it was nice and quick. Everything except for the ham steak came from our CSA share, so overall it was a cheap meal for us. We even had the ham on hand already!

If you decide to make this, let us know how it went!


Dobrú chuť!

Bon Apetit!

~Corey and Tonka

Leave a comment »