Monday, April 23, 2012

Bad blogger, but I have a good reason!

This blog has been sitting pretty empty lately, so I wanted to stop by to make sure that anyone who is looking for an update knows that updates will be coming ... eventually. I haven't been updating much lately because I haven't been cooking much lately.

I haven't been cooking much lately because I haven't been feeling like eating lately.

I have been feeling like eating lately because the hubs and I are having a baby and I have been plagued with a pretty nasty case of morning (aka all day) sickness. This means our meals have been either a) toast, b) soup, or c) a hodge-podge of whatever things I feel like I can stomach at the moment. My plan is to be updating as soon as my stomach will allow me to spend more than ten minutes in the kitchen.

In the meantime, I appreciate all your patience during this hiatus. :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Orange Apple Carrot Juice


What is there to say about juice?

First, I don't buy it. I bought some apple juice juice boxes last summer and still have them in the pantry. I used a few when I made jam - Aspen drank half of one when she was sick once. I think we maybe brought a couple camping and I probably drank them. Needless to say, we just don't drink a lot of juice.

Reasons? I don't like the amount of sugar in juice and I really don't like how processed the juices are. There is pretty much no nutritional value left in most shelf-stable juices AND it's really expensive! Especially considering the other two things I mentioned.

So, allow me to step off my soapbox for a moment and get to the point of this post.

I borrowed my friend's juicer yesterday because I wanted to give juicing a try. I've heard a lot about it, read a lot about it, and thought a lot about the pros/cons. Last night I decided to give it a shot and boy oh boy was I pleased! Here is the first recipe I came up with - it's just sweet enough and it tastes raw. That's probably my favorite part. It tastes like real food should taste. If you have access to a juicer, I definitely think it's worth giving it a try.

Orange Apple Carrot Juice
6 medium carrots
1 apple, cored and quartered
1 orange, peeled and quatered

Wash all produce and feed it all through the juicer. Whisk juice together to ensure ingredients are well combined. Serve immediately. This made ~12oz juice.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Pear Syrup/Glaze/Sauce

This was supposed to be a compote for the top of our pancakes last week. The result of too much butter is a delicious sauce. This is probably one of the best mistakes I have made in the kitchen in a long time. The hubs loved it, as did I. The toddler would have loved it, but no way was she getting any of this sugary mess poured over her pancakes. Do as I say, not as I do, right?

Pear Syrup/Glaze/Sauce

3 ripe pears, any kind, cut into 1/2" chunks
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 stick butter
5 tbsp cinnamon

Combine pears, sugar, butter, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan. Cover and place over medium-low heat. Once the butter and sugar start to melt, uncover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pears break down and a thick syrup forms.

We used this as a pancake topping the first night and a filling for dessert crepes the next day. I am also envisioning this over a couple scoops of vanilla bean ice cream. Eat your heart out ... and maybe go for a run before making it. :)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Meaty Marinara Sauce

I have gone through my ups and downs with pasta sauce in my life. My mom always made her own from tomato sauce and tomato paste, which I loved. However, even on my best days, mine always turns out a little watery. I can't seem to get the sauce:paste ratio correct. I've also gone the jarred pasta sauce route, but it's pretty expensive and not always the best quality.

Then, as I was perusing the canned tomato aisle, I stumbled upon something that has revolutionized my marinara sauce: crushed tomatoes.

Yes, I know I'm a loser. How could I not know about crushed tomatoes before now? I simply never had a reason to use them. So in case anyone out there is under the same rock I've been under all my life, here you go. (Or, if you knew they existed and just never thought of making your own marinara sauce, this is also for you.) Super easy. Super delicious. Super hearty.

Meaty Marinara Sauce

1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
5 gloves garlic, roughly minced
1 onion, chopped
1 lb lean ground beef
3 tbsp extra  virgin olive oil
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp dried basil
3 tbsp dried oregano

3 tbsp Italian seasoning

Brown meat. Drain excess fat and season with 3 tbsp Italian seasoning.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a thick bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Saute garlic and onions for 2-3 minutes. This will leave the onions somewhat crunchy, so if you want them more tender, saute longer. Reduce heat to low. Add crushed tomatoes, basil, and oregano. Stir together. Add meat once it is cooked through.

Simmer on low for 20-25 minutes, or until hot.

Serve over your favorite noodles or with bread for dipping.

Note: This will make pretty chunky sauce, so if you want it more saucey, you may want to use 2 cans of tomatoes instead.