Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Cooking update!

As for cooking, things are great. We got new mats for the kitchen that have padding- one for in front of the sink, where most of my time in the kitchen used to be spent, and now also one for in front of the stove, where much of my kitchen time is now spent! :)

I have a friend who has a friend who grows their own vegetables and has far too many and does not sell at a market, and so I have received varieties of zucchinis and cucumber and eggplants and whatnot. I was not sure what to do with the eggplant, so I tried a recipe for something like an eggplant lasagna that came out quite well. Upon my next shipment of eggplant, I got brave and altered the recipe to add ground beef as well, and it came out incredible!

I also received some pampered chef stoneware from my very generous boyfriend's parents, and they cooked this dish perfectly- crispy on the edges,bubbling sauce, cheese browned on top. Couldn't have asked for more! Well actually, I should have made one twice as big, we finished it off in two meals!

With another eggplant I tried a simple pan fried eggplant recipe that I found scrumptious though I almost over-salted it! They even tasted great from the fridge later :)

Also made some more of my weekday breakfast favorites including my cluck-moo sausages and spinach bacon cheese egg muffies

I gave these mini shepphard's pies a try, but it did not end up working as the recipe indicated!!! Firstly, adding the stock to the beef made it much too liquidy to form cakes with (maybe I had way too small of a potato and parsnip mash?) Secondly I added the egg and almond flour right in (accidentally) rather than dipping the unformable cakes into it to bread them for frying. I ended up sticking the mixture in a muffin tin to make mini meaty pies and they are quite good :)

We continue to make dried peaches, pears, nectarines, strawberries, and apples- absolutely delicious. It is cherry season MMMM! I also started my first batch of soaked and then dried almonds that are so much fresh and crunchier! I followed this recommendation and dried them in the dehydrator for best results, but have yet to try making them into flour!

We also continue to dry the zucchinis using our new mandolin (that I don't touch, not until I get one of those chainmail glove things anyway) and tossing them in coconut oil when they are chilled- these are a huge hit with anyone I share them with. We even tried it with the cucumber and they were pretty darn good too.

We tried our first attempt at fresh Swiss chard- I washed and tore into bite sized pieces and pan fried in bacon grease with red pepper flakes and garlic. Though good, it was still a tough veggie, like many bitter greens are, and I used too much bacon grease. John was not a huge fan :) It is crazy how such a huge bunch of greens are reduced to so little once wilted in the skillet.

I intend to make another batch of my split pea soup tomorrow! I still haven't typed up that recipe, but I wrote it down :)

Finally, we went on a tour of a local farm (Tanaka Farms) where we learned so many cool things, tried delicious organic veggies right out of the ground, and picked and ate fresh strawberries to our hearts' delight. What a pleasure it was! I highly recommend it- you ride in a tractor trailer and even get a free 1lb of strawberries at the end. Depending on the season, they do pumpkin tours, watermelon tours, and cook out (pick your veggies and they grill em up!) tours!

Food porn- one of John's typical Primal lunches :)

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