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Monday, January 6, 2014

Veggie Soup ( -14 degrees and 12 inches of snow)

 We woke up to -14 degree weather here and this beautiful phenomenon called a 'sundog'. I was calling it a 'snow-bow'. ( If you go to the Weather Channel's Facebook page photos there are amazing photos of this from all over the midwest. You can also check out ' Sundog' on Wikipedia for more info!
 View of snow drifts from our bedroom window.
  I am really trying not to eat meat , especially red meat but the Farmer asked for a big pot of 'veggie soup'. Yes I could have made it w chicken or turkey but he doesn't ask for much and I will try to replicate his mommy's version the best I can. This roast is so big I cut the 'leftovers' in two and am saving in the freezer for two other meals. One will be roast w potatoes and carrots for another day.
  Could do this in the crock pot I wanted to do it 'old school', browned in olive oil w onion, parsley and carrots smells heavenly....a little seasoning, garlic salt, salt and pepper ..( I also snuck in a small clove of garlic, garlic and onions help our bodies fight viruses)....Just remembered I do have celery will add some.
 3 cans of beef broth and 1 can of water.. now to simmer.. later I will add a bag of frozen veggies and one diced up gold potato... for now to simmer until tender..( I would add some tomatoes but not sure the Farmers mom would?)

Friday, January 3, 2014

Easy-Peasy Humus and homemade Tahini.. ( easy and very economical! )

  From the previous post I had on 1/2 tin of leftover garbanzo beans to make easy-peasy humus with.
   I was thinking yesterday that I have bought jars of pre-made Tahini in the grocery that is costly and usually goes bad before I can used it all.. what a waste of money and food, so I 'googled' Home made Tahini and came up w the link below:

But I'm getting ahead of myself I actually started my humus first and to give it more flavor toasted a small clove of garlic ( opt.) , w the 1/2 tin of humus ( if your going to the trouble and like humus as much as I do add another tin (can) 1/2 won't go far..I threw in a handful of sesame seeds and pinch of salt and browned them in about 1Tbsp. of olive oil and then threw them all into the blender. Then  slowly added about 1/2 cup of water or more as needed. If you aren't counting calories or fat add olive oil instead of water or a little of both.. A really good humus has Tahini added so goes another easy-peasy recipe below..
Tahini 1 cup of sesame seeds
1/4 cup of olive oil and a pinch of salt!! That's all!  I did add a little water you could add more olive oil as needed.

 Like I said I have bought Tahini which is just toasted sesame butter in the store before. I can't remember  how much I paid for this big bag of sesame seeds but it was VERY cheap! The above link says to pre-heat oven to 350 degrees, line a baking sheet w parchment, ( I think it would work almost as well w/o but the parchment paper does make it much easier to remove them. Watch closely they may brown quicker.
 The recipe says to roast for 6 minutes X2 stirring in between, mine roasted to a lovely golden brown in 8 minutes! I then added the sesame seeds to my clean and dry blender and blended on 'puree'. After a few pulses I drizzled the 1/4 cup of olive oil, stopping the blender and scrapping the sides occasionally, and added a pinch of salt ( not too much!!) The lovely aroma of the freshly toasted sesame seeds was warrant enough to make your own!!  After I scraped the Tahini into a container. I put my humus back into the blender and scrapped the left over tahini into it.. ( backwards yes..) I added a wee bit more water..
 Of course you can add any flavors to your humus that you'd like, curry, roasted red peppers, anything u'd like just as you'd find in the store..
 This Tahini was so inexpensive to make if I don't use it and end up throwing it away it won't be a 'sin' but I can't imagine not using it as fresh and lovely as it taste.

Learning to embrace Wintery January days.. Quick yummy minestrone soup, ( w what's on hand when you can't make it to the grocery.)

 Totally unrelated to this blog on Wintery days and homemade quickie soup, a photo of 'my' hawk who lives down the road, one of my simple pleasures in life.
 Cinnamon our dog, looking out at the snow and pouting because she can not be out helping the farmers down the road load corn from bags in the field to take to the ethanol plant..

 Thankful for tins of food in the cabinet to make up a quick batch of minestrone soup w whats on hand in the cabinet.. Glad I won't have to go out in the below zero weather to go to the grocery. The foul weather is making me become creative w what is on hand..
   Yummy Quick Minestrone Soup.. when I have the choice , I love using fresh ingredients, like freshly grated romano cheese, fresh parsley etc. but it's great to have shelf safe products on hand, especially when you live in the country and the nearest store is 30 minutes away!
  1 Tbsp of Olive oil, 1 Clove of garlic, 1/2 onion chopped and sautéed, pinch of salt,
 1/2 tin of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed ( I like to brown mine w above for more flavor, the other 1/2 will become humus for tomorrows lunch)
1/2 tin of kidney beans drained and rinsed ( the other 1/2 of these will make help make a small batch of chili for the farmers lunch tomorrow)
1/2 tin of peas
2 Cups of water in a microwave glass container w two chicken bouillon cubes ( heat 2 minutes Be Careful!)
1 cup of jarred spaghetti sauce..
1 grated carrot, ( grating helps cook faster)
add all above and heat gently and sprinkle of basil , parsley if available I had none today
when simmering add a handful of pasta and add more water as necessary ( I added at least another cup)
simmer until pasta is cooked.
salt and pepper to taste and a sprinkle of Parm. cheese or whatever is on hand when served.. Quick, warm satisfying..
                                                    my lunch , it really is good!
                                        Decided to go ahead and make the farmers quick chili
I had a 1/2 pound thawed ground beef, browned in iron skillet w a Tbsp of butter ( this farmer working out in below zero weather could use the fat)
Seasoned w chili powder and a smidge of cumin and salt.
I would have added onions but this farmer is a picky eater.
my other 1/2 can of red kidney beans.
1 cup of water w one beef bullion cube.
 I used 1/2 jar of Red Gold mild salsa since I am low on tomatoes and seasoning and I added a small amount of pasta since the farmer likes it that wasy. I will simmer it until pasta is cooked and add a generous helping of grated cheddar cheese and serve w crackers. 
The Farmers lunch.....