Monthly Archives: February 2010

Cleaning House

So, this is not a recipe post, but I think it goes along the theme of this blog.

I love buying in bulk and it doesn’t help that I work only a few hundred feet from a Sam’s. What I love about buying in bulk is splitting it up and putting some in the freezer for later. I tend to hate going to our local grocery store, but I don’t mind Easy Way, which sells fresh produce. So if I can pull a meat out of the freezer and just stop at Easy Way to fill in with a veggie or two, I’m a happy camper.

But I tend to buy more than I use, which leads to a cluttered freezer, fridge and pantry. For the last few weeks I’ve made an effort to use what we have already and I’ve been impressed with the outcome.

We’ve had pork tenderloin, various chicken dishes, taco salad, lamb, beef tenderloin, fish, and much more. Bryan and I have been downright impressed with what we can put together without even going to the store. I haven’t been to the grocery store for three weeks now! (Don’t worry, I stock up on milk and eggs at Easy Way once a week.)

So not only is it decreasing my grocery bill, I’m also cleaning out the old. I am loving how easy it is to find things in the freezer and pantry now. Hopefully I can keep things on a minimum, buying only what I need.

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Oven Baked Ratatouille p. 373

Lately I’ve had a craving for fresh vegetables. Probably because we’ve been eating out as well as eating our of the freezer a lot lately.

I was never sure what exactly Ratatouille was, but I guess its more of a mixture of vegetables. For this dish I used onions, eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, and garlic. Chop your vegetables up and layer them in a deep casserole dish generously adding olive oil.

After an hour in the oven you have a delicious mixture of vegetables.

I served ours over rice, which Bryan appreciated since he had maybe two bites of the vegetables.

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Flash-Cooked Collards with Lemon Juice p. 308

This was Bryan and my first time to have collard greens. My mom never served them growing up since she didn’t like them herself. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I went into this experiment with an open mind.

This recipe is much the same as how I cook fresh spinach. The exception though is that Mark Bittman suggests cooking the stems as well. Collard leaves are much thicker than spinach and that didn’t change after they were cooked. Bryan actually liked that the leaves were thicker and distinguishable as opposed to spinach.

The flavor was nice, I added some red wine vinegar as well as a little lemon juice, which, to me at least, made the collards edible.

It may not be my favorite vegetable, but at least I gave it a fair shot.

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Vinaigrette p. 199-200

The basics of vinaigrette are these: oil. vinegar. salt. pepper. You can use different oils, different vinegars, and whatever other mixins you have on hand.

The other night I added whocestershire sauce, parmesean cheese, and honey as well as a smashed garlic clove.

Simple, yet delicious.

The beauty of vinaigrettes is that you can use whatever you have and whatever your tastes prefer. I had thought about added some fresh yogurt, but I when I went to fetch it from the fridge, discovered it wasn’t fresh. Mark Bittman lists more than 20 different things you can add to your vinaigrette to spice it up. I had a hard timed editing the items I wanted to add to our dressing.

The proportions for this vinaigrette make enough for about 6 salads.

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Apologies

Sorry guys, I haven’t done much cooking lately. Will have some new posts in the near future. Until then, check out a few of my favorite blogs:

The Pioneer Woman: always amazing. Her photography of cooking steps is how I learned to overcome my fear of cooking.

Food in my Beard: His recipes always impress me. I’ve bookmarked about a dozen to try later.

Recipe Deviant: My best friends blog about how she doesn’t follow recipes.

Swanky Aprons: Where I get my cute aprons.

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