Ha....I don't know what to say. I just spent over 2 hours editing all my back photos that have accumulated since March 1st. Kinda makes my head hurt actually!
First off, news! I quit my job as a vet tech (long story) and I have been off for the past month getting stuff ready for the wedding (which is less than 3 months away!!!!). As of May 2nd, 2011, I will begin my career as a professor! I am in the process of finishing up paper work at a local private university to be an adjunct biology professor (with the potential to go to full time in the fall). How awesome will that be! I loved teaching so much when I was in grad school, so much that I cried after teaching my last lab before I graduated. This will actually be a career for me instead of jumping from job to job and being treated like I have no education. Exciting!
Second, an explanation....for the title. Since I have so many photos to dump on you poor people, I am going to be kind and break it up into 3 sections: Food, Crafts, and Garden. I don't know if I will get them all done today, but sometime in the next 3 days for sure since I already have all the photos edited!
If you recall in my last post eons ago I mentioned a book call "The Food Matters Cookbook". An awesome cookbook for those who may not want to go completely vegan or even vegetarian (which Mike just cannot do). Right now the only meat I stock the freezer with is organic chicken which I use very sparingly because of the price and fish that Mike has caught during this fishing trips to Sarasota.
The cookbook also has some good recipes for pantry staples. How about some homemade crackers?
The basic whole wheat bread recipe from the cookbook:
Next from the cookbook, Roast Potatoes and Chicken with Romesco:
Panko breaded fish fillets (I forgot which kind it was!) with roasted carrot spears in a general tso's glaze:
And the last recipe of the bunch from the cookbook:
These photos are not really in chronological order just because I wanted to group that first set together. Let's see....what's next....
I still get the Food Network magazine and still enjoy it, though I don't make a lot of the meat dishes any more.
A pile of cookies:
Oooh....this is a good one:
I also still get the Better Homes and Gardens magazine:
Sometimes I like to grab a free copy of Creative Loafing, and I actually tried a recipe from it:
Buttery Lemon Bars, not in any way healthy, but super delicious and homemade!!
Can you recall the last time I cooked a whole chicken? I cannot, but I did save the carcass from it and I finally made stock from it:
1 chicken carcass (with some meat, cartilage, and what not left on it) or saved chicken bones (can be frozen)
2-3 washed and chopped carrots (no need to peel, just wash)
1 medium onion roughly chopped (any kind will work, use an older one that is about to go bad if you have it)
3-4 medium celery stalks chopped (leaves can be left on)
1 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
Various seasonings (whatever you have or like): parsley, garlic powder, dried basil, etc
1.Saute your chopped onions in the 1 tbsp of oil for about 5 minutes just to bring out more of the flavor.
2. Add all veggies and chicken to the pot and cover with water (enough to just cover everything). Stir in your seasonings. Bring to boil. Now some people say to skim off the fat at this point and while the stock cooks. I do not. I like to have a layer of fat on top of my stock so that is stores longer in the fridge. Plus the cold solidified fat is easier to remove right before you use the stock.
3. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for about 30-60 minutes, pretty much till all the meat and what not has fallen off the bones and the veggies are really tender.
4. Allow stock to cool for 10-20 minutes.
5. Strain (I use a mesh metal strainer) stock into a large bowl (I do this so I don't make a huge mess trying to strain it into jars). Don't worry if some of the seasoning makes it through, it will make the stock taste better when you use it later.
6. Pour into your containers. I reccomend old glass jars for storing in the fridge. If you want to freeze it, which you can, I would use a plastic bag or plastic container but wait till it has cooled a more (you don't want to melt the plastic bag!).
7 After pouring into desired container, allow to cool to almost room temp before placing in the fridge or freezer.
Ta da! Homemade chicken stock! I use mine in soups, rice dishes, to poach things, to make healthy mashed potatoes. There are a lot of uses for it. And it's nice because you can control the salt.
I was craving coconut one day:
Coconut Lime Wedding Cookies. Loved them! Never thought lime would be good in cookies, but I was wrong. If you are adventerous when it comes to cookies you need to try these!
And another craving: strawberries:
That same lazy Sunday, Mike and I went to some local markets in the area and came home with this:
recipe on Dr.Oz's website, of all places. And it was a great place to use some of the homemade chicken stock!! The chard cooking:
One of the Borders near us went out of business, but before they did Mike and I picked up some books (and Kobos!) at some great prices! One book I got is "Home Made Simple". I still had puff pastry in the freezer so I picked this:
Fish was getting low in the freezer, so we had to go fishing last weekend (well Mike fishes and I sit there and read and tan). Look what we came home with:
Bread was running low in the house and I didn't want to go buy more:
Whole Wheat & Rye Yogurt Flax Bread. I ommited potato flakes and gluten and used ground flax seed in place of both of them. As for the yogurt, I used goat yogurt we picked up from a local farmer. The balsamic vinegar was something I had never tried in bread before. Again, this bread came out very dense, but had an excellent flavor! It has been great for breakfast toast.
And lastly, in the food section, orange cupcakes!
page and the buttercream frosting from this one.
Until next time, part 2, please enjoy this photo of something magical Mike found at the local Goodwill: