Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New Resolution

I recently started cooking again.  I am not sure why I ever stopped.  If it was due to buying our house or too much work, who knows?  Probably too much work.  Anyway....I have rekindled my love for cooking/experimenting with food yet again (hooray!) and have come up with some pretty yummy stuff.  So I figured I would share.

Tonight's dinner was pretty darn tasty so here are the recipes:

Caprese Salad:
This one is pretty easy, buy yourself some fantastic fresh buffalo mozzarella (Costco has a pretty decent one, you want the stuff that comes in the water), pick some basil from your herb garden, and slice up some vine ripened tomato.  Drizzle with olive oil and spread around some fresh cracked pepper.  If you are feeling really fancy, pour some balsamic vinegar in a pot and boil until it lightly coats the back of a spoon.  Voila! you have a sweet and tangy balsamic vinegar reduction to add to your salad.  Just a couple drops here and there should do the trick.

To go with the super easy caprese salad, slice up some sourdough into thin 2 inch pieces, drizzle it with copious amounts of extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle on some garlic powder, salt, and pepper and bake in an oven at 375 for 15-20 mins.  Now you have a beautiful platform upon which you may eat your salady goodness.  I cut some of the bread into smaller pieces and made it into garlicy croutons for my soup which was.....

Pureed Carrot Soup:
Take about 4 carrots peeled and sliced and throw them into a saute pan with some olive oil and a quarter of a diced onion.  Saute them on medium high until they caramelize a bit.  Add in two cloves of garlic at the end and let it cook until you can smell the garlic in the pan. Next, dump all of that into a blender with 2 cups of hot chicken stock, blend and salt and pepper to taste.

It creates a super creamy, low fat yet hearty soup.  Sprinkle your croutons on top and you are set.

Lastly, saute another diced quarter onion with  3 sliced carrots in olive oil.  Add in a clove of garlic, diced small after everything else has turned yummy and brown.  When you can smell the garlic, add in one can tomatoes, a tablespoon of sugar, salt and pepper.  Let that stew for about 10 to 15 minutes then attack the sauce with a potato masher.  Once everything has been smashed into tiny bits, add in a handful of diced fresh herbs (Mine consisted of chives, marjoram, thyme, basil, oregano, and parsley) and a very generous handful of finely grated parmesan cheese.  Mix it up with about a quarter cup of olive oil and pour it over a half pound of whole wheat spaghetti.

Here's a good cheese tip.  I buy my cheese from Costco.  Which means, in bulk.  The way I keep it from going bad is by cutting up the cheese into smaller chunks and feeding it through the grater plate on my food processor.  I then take the gigantic amounts of cheese and store it in freezer bags, and throw it in my freezer.  When I need cheese, I just pull it out and sprinkle away.  It usually doesn't stick to itself, but if it does, you can bang the bag on the counter a couple of times to loosen it up.

Now you may ask yourself, "why doesn't she just buy pre-shredded cheese?"  The answer is that it is more expensive and just as easy to take five minutes to shred it myself.  I also do this with hamburger and turkey meat so that I know what is really going in my burger.  You just cut up the meat into 1x1 cubes, freeze for 10-20 mins and then pulse it in the food processor.  It makes perfectly ground meats with no mystery.

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Thanks for commenting on my blog, I love to hear words of encouragement, experiences with using my recipes, and ways they could be improved. Keep em' coming!