I love to make food from scratch. It always tastes better and I enjoy the process of cooking it more. However, like everyone else, my time is finite so sometimes I compromise. I've often wondered how difficult it would really be to eat whole foods for an entire month. When we get back to PA and I have access to a good farmers market again, I plan to take that challenge.
For now, small changes. This week I tried two new things (new things intimidate me, so two in one week is a big deal!)
I've been making my own chicken broth for a while (aka freezing what's left in the crockpot after cooking a whole chicken) but I'd yet to do anything with it. There were weird floating bits of carrot and potato that I didn't necessarily want flavoring my tortilla soup!
Recently, however, I purchased a very sophisticated, expensive piece of kitchen equipment that allows me to deal with this: a strainer (also known as a metal colander). It was about $3. I originally purchased it to strain Caleb's baby food (which it does nicely in combination with a rubber spatula and some pressure. But I'm also finding lots of other little uses for it like steaming veggies and of course, straining weird bits out of my broth! I love multi-purpose items.
So this week, I used my nicely strained broth to make a big pot of tortilla soup. Since I have a nice case of the sore throat/ sniffles right now (hence the increased couch time and # of blog posts) it really hit the spot.
My next adventure was one I've also been meaning to try for sometime: making my own salad dressing. Most store dressings are full of things I don't really want to be eating, but what actually drove me to make my own was the fact I couldn't stand the idea of buying a special flavor of dressing for one salad (being
Strawberries are in season here in Florida so I decided to make strawberry salad (spinach, red onions, strawberries and feta). I usually pour a poppy seed dressing or balsamic vinaigrette over this. Since I wasn't feeling creative enough to try the poppy seed, I went with the balsamic dressing.
My basic recipe was:
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Honey
Adjust measurements to taste
Shake well in tupperware
It turned our great. Even David thought it was a winner. I'm looking forward to trying other combinations!