I was told recently that I’m very thrifty and resourceful when it comes to food in the house. Why, thank you! I’m not sure if I’m actually thrifty or it’s that I just hate wasting food or throwing live things away. For instance, I really don’t like spider plants but can’t bear to toss the little spikey babies, thus I have loads of spider plants (Would anyone like one? Please?). The same goes for the ends of green onions and lettuce too. A little water in a dish (changed daily to avoid funk) and the end of your cut romaine/iceburg/butter lettuce will quickly begin to sprout new edible greens. Not only is this a great way to stretch your food budget but also cheers your kitchen too!
I am also in the process of sprouting an avocado (just for giggles), and we have some onion sprouts to throw in our salads this week. Onion sprouts are deliciously oniony without the large chunky crunch of real onions, though take 2-3 weeks of care before being edible.
We have been going crazy lately over my tomato soup, which, if you know me, you know I have kinda hated tomatoes with all of my being for all of ever. Tastes seem to be changing though and this soup doesn’t have that acrid, acidic tomato taste I have disliked for so long.
- Saute 1 chopped onion, 3 chopped celery stalks, 2 chopped carrots and 1 half chopped pepper in 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil for 5-10 minutes
- Add 3-4 cups of vegetable or chicken stock to your veggies (we make our own) and simmer for 10 minutes – add 1 teaspoon dried basil in this step too
- Add your 6 pound can of whole skinned tomatoes including the juice (Costco! $2.50!) and continue to simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally
- Taking an immersion blender puree your soup. Salt & pepper to taste
- We add 1/4 cup of sour cream to the mix and then finish it off with 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda mixed with 2 tablespoons of water (to cut the acidity)
- Top with chopped green onion and perhaps a little grated parm and serve!
It’s just so good….makes a big batch for 2 but can also be frozen if you aren’t going to make it through!
Making your own stock is not only far cheaper than store bought broth and those silly melting stock cubes, but super easy as well. We save all of our veggie scraps (the peelings from carrots, celery ends, onion bits, etc) as well as any bones from chickens or in today’s case, our Thanksgiving turkey. Instead of boiling the goods down like most folks do, we use our super sassy pressure cooker. Throw in your scraps and 3-4 cups of water and set to high pressure for 80-90 minutes. After it has cooked down, stir and set for another hour. At this point your bones should be soft enough to have released all of the nutrients and yummies from the marrow and your veggies should be pretty unrecognizable. Strain all the gunk out and cut with 4-6 cups of water. Freeze in baggies and use in the place of the store bought stuff. The tomato soup I made yesterday with my stock instead of a Costco box of chicken broth was the best batch I have ever made!
I did actually do some crafty things on Monday, namely I finished knitting a Gryffindor scarf to add to the pile either going to the airport shop or my upcoming holiday craft shows. But those things are boring, and cooking is more fun. So I bring you, potstickers and crab rangoon!
I have done potstickers in the past but this was by far the best batch yet. The secret is a wee bit of sesame oil and pre-cooking your cabbage just a bit. I used this recipe loosely but added some chopped shrimp and fake crab to the mix.
This was however my first time making those delicious little pillows of crab and cream cheese – crab rangoon. Using a food processor blend together 5 ounces of cream cheese, some big chunks of crab, 3 drops of Worcestershire sauce and some garlic salt. Drop into wonton wrappers and seal with water – bake for 8-10 minutes at 400* and enjoy.