Tag Archives: recipes

Filling my time during the Covid-19 stay at home

9 Jul

Before the virus outbreak, I had been socilizing every day and it was quite a change to not see anyone for weeks. This probably wasn’t as hard for me as some people, though, because I like change, in fact I thrive on it.

But as the weeks turned into months, I begin to get a little stir crazy. Somewhere along the line, I started cooking again. As I started searching for different recipes, and experimented with different dishes, I became a little dismayed that I had let other activities rob me on my joy of cooking.

I haven’t been a grocery store since the middle of March, only do curbside pickup every 2-3 weeks. (My tiny refrigerator doesn’t leave me much room for perishables.) I’ve taken liberal advantage of foods from Amazon, ordering different flours, legumes, seeds, and spices.

In late February, I started an indoor window garden (I hope to post about that later) and have had greens of some form and fixed some way at about once a week since they started producing in April. I also have tomato, pepper, eggplant, and melon plants in buckets outside.

I’ve read some books online. I thought I would do more art, but that hasn’t yet become a reality. The same with playing my ukulele and accordian. In spite of not doing any art or music, I’ve done a lot of online browsing on each, plus food, garden, books, etc. I still have many different interests.

And now, I’ve finally started blogging again. When I first thought about blogging this summer, I was astounded that my last post was in 2017! I guess I’ve been so busy living, I didn’t take the time to blog. As I started trying to post and work on my new blog, I realized WordPress had changed somewhat since I had last posted. It was another learning curve to get going again, another learning experience. Like cooking, I’m finding blogging very fulfilling, wondering why I let it slide. What got me going again was the fact that, especially during this epidemic, Facebook just wasn’t enough to satisfy my social interaction needs, nor my love for the written word.

And speaking of the written word, I’ve been doing indepth Bible studies. I’ve completed studies on angels, the Holy Spirit, and am currently on Revelation.

Hot Pepper Sauce

9 Jul

I have a few Hungarian Yellow Wax pepper plants that are really producing! They are spicy, but not too hot. While I’ve decided to leave some on the plants to turn red, I’ve been searching online for ideas of what to do with the rest. After enjoying a sweet jalapeño sauce that came with a burrito from La Chica Loca, a local cafe, I decided to try making my own.

I found this recipe. https://gardeninminutes.com/brown-sugar-candied-jalapenos-recipe-garden-to-table/

For as much as I usually tweak recipes, I did very little to change this one. Well, I didn’t use jalapeños, and I substituted ancho pepper seeds in place of the cayenne. I don’t really care for cayenne, and had the seeds on hand, leftover from making another recipe (to be posted later). But I mostly followed the recipe. Except I wanted the sauce thicker, so cooked it down quite a bit before adding the peppers. Also, after cooking the peppers in the sauce for 5 minutes, I fished them out, added the honey and cooked it down some more.

It is delicious! Sweet, spicy, with a bit of vinegary zing. Definitely a keeper recipe. I’ve * it on my bookmarks. After enjoying it on the half of buritto leftover from yesterday, I have a half pint left to use, either as a sauce or in other recipes.

In an earlier search, I found a recipe for a filled Turkish flatbread that I’m thinking this sauce would be good with, maybe as part of the filling or as a side.

Hungarian Yellow Wax Pepper Sauce

Creating new meals

8 Jul

After a recent inventory of the upper storage cabinet in my kitchen, I started browsing for ways to combine the canned foods I have on hand.

I started with green beans. I don’t know why I have so many cans of them, because they are certainly not a favorite. I suppose I purchased some when they were on sale, thinking they were a bargain. After which, they get pushed to the back of the cabinet when I choose something else.

I found lots of ideas and created a list of combinations to try. Like most times when I find a good recipe, I tweak it. I nearly always have to downsize the recipe. Often I make substitutions to fit either what I have on hand, or to satisfy my desire of the moment.

Yesterday I decided to try a recipe that combined summer squash (I have a small one left that needs eaten), green beans and tomatoes. I choose this recipe because, beside green beans, I have several cans of tomato products. I also liked the recipe because it had herb, although I usually add some, even if the recipe doesn’t call for them. The recipes said to cook the beans, tomatoes and squash together, adding coriander, parsley, and pepper.

I liked the sound of the recipe, but I wanted a cool dish. So I only cooked the squash, sautéing it in a bit of olive oil. While the squash was cooking, I drained the cans of green beans, and put them in the bottom of my bowl. Next, I used my slotted spoon to drain the tomatoes (using about a third of the can) which I layered on top of the beans. The squash was tender, so I added it for the next layer. I decided some of the leftover canned ripe olives that I had in the fridge would be good, and also some crumbled some feta cheese. The recipe had called for coriander and parsley, so I used the mortar and pestle I had recently purchased and ground them. (Next time I will chop the parsley, as it got kind of mushed.) After sprinkling them and freshly ground pepper on top, I decided it was ready to eat.

Appealing Green Bean Salad

It was very good. It had just enough liquid to moisten the dish, yet not become runny. Even though it looked pretty layered, I mixed it all together before I ate it. When I will make it again, I will let the flavors blend awhile in the refrigerator before eating.

Yummy bean salad

Raw Food Update

7 Apr

Although I am certainly not 100% raw, I have been adding LOTS more raw food to my diet.  However there have been some challenges.  Since I like variety–in my food as well as in most everything else–I have been searching the web for raw recipes.  There are tons of them!  But many take quite a bit of time to create or use equipment which I don’t have and presently have no room to store.  And unfortunately I have become somewhat spoiled by the abundant availability in this area of resturants where I can quickly get a little something that satisfies my taste buds for the moment.

I have tried a few recipes, with varying degrees of success.  I do ok for breakfast.  Often I will blend up a mix of greens, fruits, and veggies and nuts.  Sometimes I add sprouted grain that I have on hand.  I can’t really call these smoothies (they are more like a thick drink) becuase I am only using my Osterizer blender which I’ve had for several years.   The only other equipment I have is a tiny food processor which does about a cup at a time.  It works for me becuase that way I can eat what I fix in one setting.

Another breakfast I make with my little processor is grated soaked almonds, apples and a slice of ginger root.  Very fresh and filling!  Since I am still trying to use up the un-raw food I have on hand, I have added Grape Nuts cereal to the apple/almond breakfast.   Sometimes I made a wonderful mango pudding, adding a little coconut,  bananas and ginger root.

One of the reasons I have been frequenting restaurants is because I still haven’t broke myself of the habit of buying too much produce at one time.  Some of the raw sites even say to purchase lots of food so you always have something on hand whe a craving strikes.  But this hasn’t worked for me.  I will buy food items thinking I will make some recipe, only when the time comes I either don’t want to take the time to fix it or I’m not in the mood for that food.  Then before I know it, the food has spoiled.  And I am again berating myself for wasting food and money.  Other times I will sprout beans, greens, and grains, but leave them too long before using and they get tough.

At times, I will buy food that I have rarely if ever used–like mangos.  The first ones I purchased were the large kind which seemed to have an aftertaste.  I added them to my morning drink.  But then I discovered the smaller mangos and found they were wonderful.  That is also case with the fresh coconut.  Once I finally got it opened, I found several uses for it.  I ate some fresh and cut the rest up in pieces and stuck in the freezer.  I do this with my ginger and turmeric too.  It makes it so easy to slice off a bit and add to a dish.  So, yes, there have been some successes.

Someone at my last Raw Food Potluck had fixed a great cauliflower recipe.  Although I had never been a big cauliflower fan, I purchased one at my last grocery visit.  And it has set in the refrigerator for nearly a week.  But today I decided I am going to use it.   So I searched for raw cauliflower recipes.  Some where it is chopped into a rice like size and used like rice as a base for sauces.  Other recipes for different salads.  I finally found one on www.food.com titled Raw Cauliflower Korma.  I’m not sure  what Korma means but I liked the list of ingredients.  I’ve been frequenting Indian resturants lately and this recipe seemed to fit right in.

Yes, the recipe sounded good.  The fact that I didn’t have some of the ingredients didn’t stop me.  I hardly ever follow a recipe exactly!  So I went about substituting and mixed up a spice mixture that apealed to me using sumac seasoning, dried mint, dried thyme, coriander seeds, cinnamon, and galangal.  It seemed to need a little more sweetness so added some crystallized ginger.  I used 4-5 cauliflowerettes, about a half cup of carrots, some tamarind paste, two dates–hey I followed the recipe on the dates– a clove of garlic, two green onions.  Oh, tomatoes–no sun dried tomatoes in cupboard.  But I did find a can of garlic herb pasta sauce and a can of tomato soup.  After considering I decided on the tomato soup.  For liquid I used the water from soaking the nuts. Directions always say to discard tries water, but I’ve developed a taste for it.  It tastes a little like the fermented drink rejevenic made from spouted grain.  Anyway, I added that.   And today I created enough (nearly raw) tasty Cauliflower Gaspacho for two meals!  Probably in the time it would have taken to drive to a restaurant.  Plus saving money, I know what all the ingredients are and know it is fresh!  And, hopefully, since the cauliflower didn’t really taste like cauliflower, I will be able to find other recipes that I like and make them before the rest the head spoils.

Another success was the dish I made for the Raw Food Potluck.   I call it Butternut Slaw. Raw grated butternut squash, fresh squeezed orange juice, ginger and turmeric root.  I let the flavors blend overnight.   The recipe, which I changed completely, called for cranberries.  But I liked the flavors of the slaw just as it was.  So I made a relish side dish with cranberries, apples, oranges, olive oil, rice vinegar, a bit of stevia and some of my espresso vinegar.  Both were a hit and the slaw especially was so pretty and fresh looking!

Butternut Slaw with Cranberry Relish

Butternut Slaw with Cranberry Relish

 

 

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