Friday, October 12, 2007

Whoa, and we're back

Next time we have out of town guests in, remind me that I DO NOT cook for them. No matter what I think/want/wish I will do, I just don't. Unless it's breakfast and/or sandwiches. Geez. My Father-in-law doesn't eat any non-breakfast meal without a beef product of some kind, so that was out when they were visiting. I don't care if you make your own beef product at my house, but I'm not cooking it for you, dig? Then there were just so many places we wanted to take my parents, that I barely cooked at all. Plus, I didn't want to "stick" anyone with the baby while I cooked. I felt odd about that, but there it is.

So after three weeks of mostly eating out, we were only too happy to get back to local food and cooking for ourselves!

Some recipes I've tried lately...

Creamy Broccoli Tahini Pasta Bake from Vegetarian Meat and Potatoes Cookbook. It was pretty good the first night all by itself, but it improved a lot when we had it as leftovers and added homemade marinara! It was kind of like super-protein baked ziti. With broccoli. Not particularly local, except for the broccoli and breadcrumbs. But it made a ton and was good for lunch the whole week.

Another night I made sauteed veggies in TJ's spinach simmer sauce over jasmine rice. I used local red pepper, red onion, broccoli, parsnip. I also made asian baked tofu (local tofu!), using a recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance. And let me just say that marinating tofu is for suckers. I didn't marinate it at all, just tossed the marinating ingredients into the pan with the tofu, covered with foil and baked it for 15 minutes. Then I removed the foil, baked for another 10 minutes, then broiled it for 3 minutes. The marinade totally bakes into the tofu. No need to press or waste your time marinating.

Another day I made Pasta with Arugula Pesto. It was good! I was surprised. I've made it in the past and thought it was pretty "eh." But this recipe I found substituted garbanzo beans for nuts, which made it really creamy and bonus, the baby could it eat. I also used TJ's Quattro Formaggio cheese blend instead of straight parmesan, which couldn't have hurt. We had it tossed with red pepper, mushrooms, garlic and onion (all local, plus the arugula was local). The recipe made a ton of pesto, so I think I'll have it on pizza this weekend.

We also have a bumper crop of apples, so I made an apple crisp the other day, which is SO good. We had it with local vanilla ice cream. yum!

And of course we've been enjoying green salads with fresh local lettuces and tomatoes from our garden.

I can't believe how much of the frozen marinara we've blasted through already! Two quarts and one pint, so far. Holy crap.

Food related stuff we need to do:

Dry our italian plums in the dehydrator.
Make applesauce with the apples.
Bake bread (check! Rye Caraway bread is in the breadmaker as we speak!)
Harvest all the backyard basil; make pesto or dry it
Harvest/transplant the thyme
Harvest/transplant the oregano
Harvest the mint
Use up our:
  • eggplant
  • beet greens
  • arugula
  • peppers
  • mushrooms
  • broccoli
If anyone has any great recipes they'd recommend that utilize any/all of the above (especially the greens!!!), puh-leeze pass them on.

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