Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tuesday Trimmings

Well, I have no particular agenda today, so I thought I'd give you random updates about what I have been cooking and scheming. I don't really know where else this stuff would go, hence the "trimmings." Lame, I know. Deal with it.

I've actually started a number of cooking projects lately. :)

Sometime in the last week or so I turned almost 6 lbs of cabbage into sauerkraut. It's "sauering" on my counter as I write this. I love love love sauerkraut now, which is crazy because I used to think it terrible. The first time I made sauerkraut, I wasn't that crazy about it, so it languished in the back of my fridge for months until December when I pulled it out again and tried it and "yum" was the only word-sounding noise I could get out in between mouthfuls. So I now I am making a big batch and I am excited. I'm also a lot less paranoid about leaving food out on the counter this time around. (Eating fermented food cures you of some paranoia, apparently).

I also bought a bottle of kombucha and started growing my own SCOBY so I can make my own. If you don't know, kombucha is basically a superfood. It's filled with good bacteria for digestion (like yogurt) along with all kind of other stuff for energy, etc. It's really good for your liver. It's slightly carbonated and my husband says it tastes like beer (what? he's weird). Read more about this good stuff, here. Or you can google it and come up with hundreds of other sites. Unfortunately it takes like 3 weeks to grow a SCOBY so it will be at least that long before I can make my own. *Sad*

Just this weekend I made a huge pot of homemade chicken noodle soup with real bone broth that I left to simmer overnight on Saturday. The soup is delicious and hopefully just what the doctor ordered to help us sickies get over the rest of this annoying cold... Hmm, I should post a recipe.

A week or two ago I made pasta which turned out better than ever before. This is ironic since 2 things happened differently: for one, I set out to follow the directions, for two, life got in the way and I left it abandoned in the "resting" stage for about 6 times as long as the directions say to. Haha, I love irony. Seriously, best pasta I've made. So much flavor and it kept its shape really well even when being cooked extensively in soup. I'll be making more soon, I bet.

This weekend I made 2 casseroles and froze them for those "menu plan, menu shman." nights. It's a recipe I adapted from my mom--who knows where she got it. It's basically an egg and bread casserole, but with yummy things like mushrooms, cheese, and onions (and for me, spinach). I love it. I had a hard time not chowing on the filling when I was layering the casserole because it tastes sooo good. It turned out really well this time. (another recipe? ... Hmm)

This weekend I also made another loaf of sourdough bread, as well as quasi-sourdough sweet potato "quick-bread." It tastes amazing. This all started because I had half a sweet potato from like, 3 months ago that I put in the freezer with the intention of "getting around to it." Ha! Success.

Finally, this weekend, I made a half-batch of yogurt--Much more manageable. I'm doing it this way from now on. I also used the whisk attachment on my blender to mix in my yogurt starter and it was convenient. Good trick for next time.

^Most of the above things fall into my "continue eating better" annual goal DH and I set a week or two ago. A "sub-goal" beneath that was to eat more fermented foods--both sauerkraut and kombucha fall into that category, yeah! We noticed a huge difference in our digestion and general well-being when I bought several bottles of it from the store and were drinking it everyday. At a little over $3 per 16oz bottle though, it's definitely not in the budget. This was also one of my January goals. So far I think breaking down goals into "baby steps" to do each month is going to be great. Sauerkraut is great for you and it's also got good bacteria for digestion. It's also stupidly high in vitamin C, yay. And yogurt, well, that's another healthy food, especially since it's just milk, bacteria, and a little sugar.

Ah well, I was going to post about other stuff, but it looks like I've got more than enough random stuff to talk about just with food so I'll save the others for another day...

(This post wound up being much more focused and much longer than I was expecting...)

What about you? What cooking have you done?

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