j

JasFoodie's Profile

Title Last Reply

Impact of plastic bag ban?

I'm in CA but not in the areas that have banned plastic bags. That said, I've carried my own totes for years - I started because fabric totes hold more and are easier to lug up three flights of stairs than a dozen plastic bags. And these days I walk to the store and back, so fabric totes I can sling over my shoulder are easier to carry on the trek home. Also, some of the stores would deduct 5 cents a bag if you brought your own bag in. Not significant, but it adds up over time.

When I started doing this, cashiers looked at me funny. I'd even have some who would bag things up in plastic and then load the plastic bags into my totes. *facepalm* For the most part they've gotten better about it over the last few years as it becomes a more common thing. Though today at the dollar store when I handed over my tote bag to the cashier and said I don't need her to bag my stuff into a plastic bag she got totally befuddled. "You mean you want to put the things in the bag yourself? or you want me to do it? or.. I don't get it?"

When I buy meat, I put it into one of the plastic bags for bagging produce, and then put that into one of my tote bags. My totes go through the washing machine regularly so if they got a little bit of 'meat juice' leak out of the bags into them, I wouldn't freak out. In fact I'm considering making up a bunch of reusable produce bags from something extremely lightweight like cheesecloth or mesh of some sort. I imagine my produce could then just be left in the bags when I store it in the fridge too.

For anyone even half way handy with a sewing machine, this is the pattern I use to make my tote bags - I taught myself to sew by making totes, so if I can do it so can you.!
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index....

Mar 15, 2014
JasFoodie in Not About Food

was this a social faux pas?

Good grief. What a spoiled brat. Send him to my sister's place to eat, and I'll come eat with you guys instead. I'd appreciate som tum that isn't spiced to the point where my ears ring for a chance.

My sister would be the perfect host for him. We both grew up in Thailand, but she eats much spicier food than I do, and she knows my tolerance for spice is not nearly as high as hers. Yet when I visit her, she cooks the food full on spice the way she likes it, and then proceeds to mock me for my inability to keep up with her. And when I gulp down water, she reminds me that water doesn't help the heat. Yes, I know.. but it's all that's available since she's convinced that carbs are evil so she doesn't serve rice with thai food. When both my mom and I visit her, and my mom is doing the cooking, she'll make the food slightly milder (but still fairly hot - hitting the edge of my tolerance levels) so I can eat it, and my sister complains under her breath that they're having to eat 'baby food' because of me. Her attitude (and not just about food) makes visiting her torturous and she then gets mad at me because I don't fall over myself telling her how grateful I am that she took the time to cook a meal for me. And god forbid I mention eating something similar elsewhere that I enjoyed, she takes it as a personal insult that I didn't LOVE her food, even after being fully aware that she prepared it to her and her husbands tastes, thus making it barely edible for me.

THAT is a social faux pas. What you did was a very gracious way of making sure your guests would be able to enjoy their meal no matter what their tolerance for heat levels are. Someone who reacts the way that guest did has issues that have nothing to do with you.

Mar 15, 2014
JasFoodie in Not About Food

What Foods have You Eaten That Were Past The 'Best By' or 'Expired Date'

Dry goods like rice and pasta, I totally ignore dates on. Most canned goods, are the same. Condiments? They last forever. Most things when still sealed are just fine.

Bags of potato chips and tortillas and taco shells however.. they get tossed when they start to smell or taste off. I found a box of taco shells shoved to the back of my pantry recently. Woah.. I could smell the rancid funk through the plastic wrapping around the tacos. Those got tossed in the outside trash right away.

Mar 15, 2014
JasFoodie in General Topics
1

What Grocery Store Sales or Bargains Have You Bought Recently?

I am a member of my local Gleaners organization - 75 bucks for the year and I bring home a bag of groceries every Thursday, so for under $2 a week I can count on bread of some sort, a few potatoes and often a bag of baby carrots. Other than that it's total potluck. This week - 3 half gallon cartons of frozen eggs, 2 lbs of turkey pastrami, some baby portabella mushrooms, about 10 bananas, some chicken nuggets, a few single serve packs of peanut butter and a box of instant grits - all in all a fairly good haul compared to other weeks.

To round it out I bought hte following..
From Food4Less I got 1 bunch asparagus for 99 cents, 1 bunch kale for 99 cents, 2 green peppers for $1.

From Target 6 kiwi for 99 cents (using their $1 off fruit mobile coupon), and a couple of onions for free (using $1 off vegetables mobile coupon)

From Smart & Final, 2 lbs of sharp cheddar for 5.99 (costs 13 bucks for the same thing at food4less!!)

From Town & Country (a local store that has a good asian selection in addition to other stuff), some frozen edamame, frozen peas, and a pound of miso for a total of $7

This should feed me for the week with plenty of leftovers - one carton of eggs is being cooked up into quiches and breakfast burritos and frozen in single serving potions to eat when my bag has no protien in it (which is the norm. 3 kinds if protien this week was unheard of!) and the miso will see me through numerous bowls of soup over the next 3 or 4 months - I already have the other ingrediants on hand.

This was actually an expensive week for me compared ot most, but the miso and cheese were not items I buy on a weekly basis, but will continue to feed me for several weeks to come. I'll say this much.. eating on such an extreme budget has lead to being extremely creative in the kitchen, and I still manage to come up with some pretty tasty meals.

Mar 15, 2014
JasFoodie in General Topics

Using up an obscene amount of eggs - help!

Alright, a trip to the store found some lovely skinny asparagus for 99 cents a bunch, so that'll go in a quiche with some smoked turkey I have in the freezer. I'll do a savory bread pudding with cheese, sausage, sauteed mushrooms and caramalized onions. The rest will be scrambled and made into breakfast burritos with a bit of bacon, onion and green peppers, and if I run out of tortillas, I'll try freezing some scrambled eggs in single serving potions to see how they fare.

Then I can toss the bones from the smoked turkey legs into a pot of bean soup that I can also freeze in single servings. A bowl of soup and a serving of quiche will make for a quick and easy dinner on days I don't want to cook!

Mar 14, 2014
JasFoodie in Home Cooking

Too much chicken stock!

Sorry for the extremely delayed response. I'm sure you've used up the stock by now.. but I just put it into a jar and stick it in the fridge. It's kinda a thick paste when refridgerated so you can scoop out what you need with a spoon.

Mar 14, 2014
JasFoodie in Home Cooking

What is the best sauce/condiment you've ever made?

Tomato Jam is one of my go to recipes - I put up anywhere from half a dozen to a dozen jars each summer and use it all year long, smeared on crackers, as a dipping sauce for fries, to top burgers, etc. There's a number of different versions out there - I got my recipe from FoodInJars.com and doubled up on the ginger.

I also make a mighty tasty corn salsa (also from Food In Jars - from the cookbook this time, not the website) that has a wonderful puckery tartness to it that makes me happy no matter what I put it on.

Then there's a strawverry vanilla key lime sauce I make. It started as a vanilla jam recipe that I subbed out the lemon juice with key lime, increasing it and adding some of the zest... that never quite set as a jam. I have issues with getting a good set on jams so I opt for more saucy rather than rubber that will bounce off the floor.. and I serve it over icecream, or add a couple of spoonfuls to my oatmeal or cream of wheat in the mornings. So yum. I can't wait for strawberries to start showing up cheap so I can make more, I only made 2 half pints last year.

Mar 14, 2014
JasFoodie in Home Cooking

Using up an obscene amount of eggs - help!

Yup. I am trying to save my unecessary calories for where I really crave them - icecream. I won't miss the crust off a quiche, and I'm likely to have a slice of tasty bread with a bit of butter on the side to go with the meal anyways, no need to double up unless I really crave the crust.

Thanks for all the great ideas everyone - I'm off to the grocery store in a bit to get the items I need to get started cooking.

Mar 14, 2014
JasFoodie in Home Cooking

dehydrating

I oven dry a number of things. Top on my list is tomatoes - cut romas in half and place cut side up on a sheetpan covered with parchment or a silpat, drizle with the slightest bit of olive oil (a mister does well for this) and toss a few cloves of garlic or some sprigs of fresh tyme or rosemary on the sheetpan wit them, crank oven up to 400 degrees, and roast for 15 minutes before turning oven OFF, an letting it cool down with the door propped slightly open. This first blast of heat roasts the tomatoes slightly to make them sweet and really bring out the flavor. Then I dry them at 150 degrees till leathery an still pliable. 5 lbs of tomatoes fits into a andwich sized ziplock baggie when all is said and done, and stores beautifully in the freezer for up to a year.

I've dried tomato peels that were left over after canning crushed tomatoes - dry completely and then powder in a spice mill and add to pastas, salads, and soups for a wonderful rich tomato flavor. I actually stuck all the peels in a ziplock baggie when I was canning tomatoes and shoved them in the freezer and forgot about them. It was probably 6 months later that I found them buried and dried them after thawing them out. The time in the freezer didn't hurt them any.

I dry slices of pears that are splrinkled with a little bit of cocoa powder, cinnamon and sugar. Granted these tend to go straight in my mouth from the oven.

You can make fruit leathers - puree any combination of fruits, cook for a short while, add a little sugar if needed to taste, and smear onto a sheet of parchment or on a silpat and dehydrate. I only add suggar if the fruit is very tart, and even then, very little is needed.

Onions are a staple here - Chop into small pices and just put in a layer about 1 inch thick on the sheetpan and be prepared to stir it around often. Eventually it will shrink down to almost nothing - if you started with a single layer of onions, you'd need a sheetpan per onion, not very efficient. I do the same with scallions too.

Mar 13, 2014
JasFoodie in Food Quests

Stupid easy recipes you really love

Couscous or quinoa salad - make up a batch of the grain, then in a large mixing bowl add whatever veggies are in the pantry or fridge - usually a can of artichoke hearts, corn (canned or frozen) a can of beans, diced up cucumber, peppers, tomatoes, onions, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms etc, you name it. Toss in a handful of fresh herbs if you have them. Mix up a quick vinegrette of some sort and pour over and toss together. I aim for 2 parts veggies, 1 part couscous or quinoa. It's a great way to clean out the fridge, uses minimal thought, and always comes out tasty.

Pasta carbonara is another basic for me - so tasty and fast.

I know some people scoff at ramen - but 1 brick of duck flavored MaMa brand ramen noodles (I'm particular, I only like the MaMa brand), a handful of frozen mixed seafood (I get a blend of shrimp, clams, mussels, squid, and baby octopus at the vietnamese grocery store for $3 for a lb!), a little shredded cabbage and the seasoning packets from the noodles - all in a bowl, nuke for 5 minutes and top with some toasted sesame oil and a shake of sesame seeds. This has become a staple - especially when I can have seafood ramen for about $1.00 a serving.

Mar 13, 2014
JasFoodie in Home Cooking

Help me ID this herb/spice/item~

I don't know what it is, but I warn you.. don't do a search for 'hard nut, smells like garlic' .. some of the search results that were seen can not be unseen. And I'm not even talking about image search, but just the titles of some of the results.

It isn't longan for sure though.. too big, and looks too woody.

Mar 13, 2014
JasFoodie in General Topics
1

Using up an obscene amount of eggs - help!

Carbonara is one of my favorite dinners to make as I always have the ingrdients on hand. In fact that's what I ate last night, before this bounty of eggs landed in my lap! I make it with 3 rashers of bacon - I'm working off a pack of 150 rashers bacon that I have in my freezer - they came to me cooked and frozen, and I just crisp it up a bit further and go from there. Never heard of using garlic with it though - I'll try that next time!

Mar 13, 2014
JasFoodie in Home Cooking

What's for dinner #283 - MARCHing towards spring? [through Mar 16, 2014]

Gotta feed the craving tonight. I have 4 different kinds of pasta in the pantry, but no little elbows or shells so I walked to the store to get some so I could make a pasta salad. Will toss in some peas, corn, mushrooms, capers, bacon, olives, and yellow peppers and make a mustardy/mayo dressing with a good splash of the liquid from the jar of yellow peppers.

Yum.

Mar 13, 2014
JasFoodie in Home Cooking
7

Making bland health foods taste good on the cheap??

Lots of great ideas here.

A couple of suggestions for meals that I enjoy..

Roasted <insert vegetable here> soup - my current favorite is carrots and onions. I chop both into large chunks, roast with a bit of salt and a few cloves of garlic and eat for dinner. Then the next day I add just enough stock to cover the leftovers, simmer, and then use an immersion blender to liquify everything and season. I intended to go with the classic of ginger/carrot combo the first time I did this, except I couldn't find my container of powdered ginger so I subbed in chinese 5 spice powder WOW! Instant new favorite. I served with a little bit of sour cream swirled in the soup, but you could easily omit that and it would still be fantastic. Try this with just about any other veggie - I've done caulifower with cumin, broccoli, tomatoes, etc.

Another thing I like to make are either couscous or quinoa salads. Prep a batch of the grain of your choice, and mix with an assortment of veggies and beans. I often do a can of artichoke hearts, a can of kidney, black, or garbanzo beans, diced up red and/or green peppers, some corn, some cucumber, lots of tomatoes (fresh in season, sundried out of season) - I aim for a total of about 1/3 or less grain, 2/3 veggies. Include whatever other veggies/herbs you have on hand, cooked or raw - this is a great way to clean out the fridge - and then make a vinegrette of some sort to drizzle over and toss. I can eat off a batch of this for 3 - 4 days, and it just gets tastier as all the flavors meld together. Sometimes I'll add a bit of meat to it, other times make it without. The combinations are endless - you could make the flavors fit any profile you want using the ingrediants in your orignal post - thai, chinese, italian, greek, etc.

Another way to make healthy and cheap is to make your own basic ingrediants. You can buy sun dried tomatoes, but they're expensive and I find they always have a somewhat chemical like after taste to them. Instead I buy tomatoes superr cheap at the peak of summer when they cost $1 for 3 lbs and dehydrate them in my oven. 5 lbs of romas can fit into a single sandwich sized ziplock baggie, which I then freeze. I probably dehydrate about 15 - 20 lbs of tomatoes each summer and use them liberally through the rest of the year any time a dish needs tomatoes rather than paying $3/lb for crappy tomatoes. You can do the same with plenty of other items too. i

Mar 13, 2014
JasFoodie in Home Cooking
1

Using up an obscene amount of eggs - help!

Actually.. they were donated to the local Gleaners organization that I'm a member of and that's where I got them from. It's not quite a foodbank - we pay an annual membership fee, and we get a bag of whatever comes in each week. I know that the people in charge already donate and do trades with all the local food programs in town and even some as much as 100 miles away. My bag of groceries makes up the bulk of what I eat each week, and whenever possible I freeze the excess to eat on weeks that the bags are light on nutritional value. For example a few weeks ago, I got bread, poptarts, ketchup, hot chocolate mix, a bag full of cilantro and three potatoes. That was an interesting week foodwise!

Mar 13, 2014
JasFoodie in Home Cooking

Miso soup problem

I think I read that overheating the miso will cause that? I admit, I use instant dashi granules for my soup (though I have some kombu and bonito waiting in the wings for when it runs out) ... so I nuke the dashi granules and water together in a bowl.. then put some miso in a ladle, dunk that into the dashi and use a fork to mix the miso with the dashi right in the ladle, dumping out the bits that dissolve into the bowl and refilling it with liquid until all the miso is mixed in. This is when I add my dehydrated seaweed and nuke for another 30 seconds just to reheat it and give the seaweed a chance to hydrate. Top with green onions and I've got dinner. Yup, I often drink a large bowl of the stuff for a meal.

Mar 13, 2014
JasFoodie in Home Cooking

Using up an obscene amount of eggs - help!

Good grief, that math makes it seem even more obscene. I usually go through a dozen eggs every week to 10 days since it is one of the cheapest protiens out there so I've got 10 - 12 weeks worth of eggs in my freezer.

Thanks for all the recipe links - I think I'll use the freezer breakfast burrito recipe as a starting point for mine and load it up with some more veggies. I do have a huge can of spinach in the wings, maybe I should pair it with all the eggs!

Mar 13, 2014
JasFoodie in Home Cooking

Single serving microwaveable meal suggestions

One thing you could do is make your own 'frozen TV dinners' of a sort. Get those Ziplock baggies for steaming foods in, and put in a scoop of rice/pasta, top with a handful of frozen veggies, a bit (or a lot) of meat - precooked, cut into bite size pieces, and frozen) and top with your favorite sauce - bbq, sweet and sour, etc. Zip it up and freeze. When you're ready to eat, nuke and dump into a bowl or plate. You can vary the veggies and the sauce from one bag to the next so you're not eating the same thing every day.

If you like Miso soup, keeping the ingrediants for it on hane are easy - I always have an envelop of instant dashi and a small tub of miso in the fridge - you could do one further and prepare miso balls to keep in the freezer - chop some scallions, on a piece of plastic wrap, place a dollop of miso paste, flatten it a bit and place some of the scallions and some instant dashi powder on it, and bring the plastic wrap up around it to wrap it all up. Keep a bag of dried seaweed in a drawer at your desk, and when you want soup, drop a ball of your instant miso mix into a bowl of water, add some dried seaweed, and nuke. You can even get dehydrated tofu.. and I'm sure you can add some more frozen veggies to it to make it a more hearty meal.

What about home made frozen burritos? Make some for dinner one night and make several extra to freeze for lunches.

As for the corn in butter sauce - they tend to have cubes of 'sauce' and plain veggies in the container. I've bought the larger bagged ones before and separate out a single portion, top it with a few cubes of sauce and nuke. Same idea, a fraction of the price. If you wanted to copycat that at home though, I'd make the sauce and freeze it in small icecube trays, and just add a couple of cubes to whatever frozen veggie you want.

You say you don't get to shop often, but how about trying to eat fresh foods the days right after you shop and save the frozen stuff for later in the week. When I was working in an office with a fridge,each week I would take in a bag of salad greens, a tupperwear container full of sliced cucumbers, peppers, and radishes, a can of corn, a can of olives and a can of kidney beans. Drain all the canned goods and mix together in a tupperwear container, and build your own salad for lunch. I was using this to supplement a lean cuisine, but you could just as easily add some sliced turkey or ham to this to make it a main meal. All this stuff will keep a week in a fridge at work easily.

If you like chili - you can easily bake a potato in a microwave - it won't get a crispy skin, but otherwise it's good, and top with some chili, and a sprinkle of cheese. Or be a heathen like me and take in a box of instant mashed taters, make up a batch in the microwave and top with chili.

I think I realized while writing this post that I ate better lunches when I worked in an office. Back then I had to give some thought to what I was going to eat and I prepared accordinly. These days I jjust forage in the fridge at about 2 when I realize I'm hungry and end up eating chicken nuggets or something. Sheesh.

Mar 13, 2014
JasFoodie in Home Cooking
1

Using up an obscene amount of eggs - help!

IT really is a lot of eggs! I'm a member of a local gleaners organization and the food we get each week is very random - today it was eggs, about 3 lbs of turkey pastrami, mushrooms, and candy canes. THe pastrami, mushrooms, and eggs will work great together.. and the candy canes make me laugh (I'm assuming we'll get peeps in july)

Sometimes I'm left wondering what in the world to do with the things I get. I have half a dozen cans of pizza sauce right now. Easy you say? Not when the cans each hold about a gallon or two of sauce. I discovered that it makes a fairly good base for a tomato bisque though!

Mar 13, 2014
JasFoodie in Home Cooking

Using up an obscene amount of eggs - help!

I'm definately making fried rice this weekend - and will try freezing some of that too. The steamed eggs look ike they'd have an interesting texture.

As for breakfast burritos - it's not so much a time issue - I'm just as likely to eat them for dinner as for breakfast - but that it sounds like a great way to make a variety of burritos with various fillings and have them ready to grab and go whenever I want to without having to deal with a little b it of this and a little bit of that each time. I don't keep cheese at home all the time for example, but would buy it to make a large batch of burritos. Same with bacon.

Mar 13, 2014
JasFoodie in Home Cooking

Using up an obscene amount of eggs - help!

I wondered about this too - I haven't opened any of the cartons yet, so I can't say but I'll probably open the first one before it is completely thawed so I can see what exactly is going on in there. If that's an option it will make things easier - I could use half a carton to cook up and seal the rest in a foodsaver bag for the next time.

I imagine a serrated knife dipped in hot water would cut through the frozen mass relatively easily.

Mar 13, 2014
JasFoodie in Home Cooking

Using up an obscene amount of eggs - help!

I have just been given an insane amount of eggs - 4 half gallon cartons of eggs, frozen. Not individual eggs, but a solid brick of beaten up eggs in a carton. I'm assuming that once I let a carton thaw out, I really ought to use it all up fairly quickly rather than refreezing the eggs. So while the first carton thaws in the fridge, I'm on a mission to find recipes.

I'm feeding just myself, so most likely I'm going to want recipes that I can freeze. I'm on a very tight budget, so no expensive ingredients please! I'm also trying to lose weight, so cakes/cookies/desserts are low priority. Though I am thinking I need to make atleast one batch of rice pudding.

My ideas so far are egg noodles, crustless quiche (isn't that just an egg casserole?) and breakfast burritos that I can freeze individually. I've never frozen cooked eggs before, so if anyone's got any tips to keep my breakfast burritos from turning into a rubbery mess I'd appreciate it too. And I'd really like to find something a little out of the norm.. there's only so many times I can eat a breakfast burrito before I get completely sick of it!

Mar 13, 2014
JasFoodie in Home Cooking

What is your "go to" meal when there is too much month left at the end of the paycheque - past or present

This is way way way late.. but here's the recipe -
http://www.handjobsforthehome.com/201...

I use my grocery store's $2 red wine to keep the cost from getting too high and it comes out great.

Nov 18, 2013
JasFoodie in General Topics

what's your favorite sandwich?

I don't have a particular sandwich to recommend, but I keep a bunch of tasty add ons on hand to add to a sandwich which can escalate even a regular deli meat sandwich to something great. Some ingrediants I almost always have on hand to throw together a great sandwich:

Mustards - play with different types, my current obsession is a jar of garlic mustard I found at Kohls of all places.
Tomato Jam (home made) - sweet and spicey - works so well to amp up a blah ham or turkey sandwich.
Red Onion Relish (homemade) - the perfect addition to a grilled cheese sandwich, a burger, or just about anything.
Roasted sun/oven) dried tomatoes (home made) - adds a great punch of flavor, especially during cooler months when there isn't a good tomato to be found in the stores - I dry about 10 - 15 lbs of tomatoes each summer and store in the freezer to use all year long..
Fruit - slice up an apple or a pear and add to your sandwich
Greens - try different greens and even herbs rather than boring lettuce.

I don't have a go to sandwich - usually mine are a matter of putting leftover bits together between two slices of bread for a quick/easy meal when I don't have the time to cook, so having tasty add ons and condiments on hand keep them from getting boring.

That said - a BLAT (bacon, lettuce, avocado, and tomato) is mighty tasty!

Nov 17, 2013
JasFoodie in Home Cooking

Lunch (or dinner) in 10 minutes.

What? There is ready made dosa batter? Not in my dinky town, but the next time I'm visiting friends in a larger city I'll have to give the indian stores a try.

Most of my meals are 10 - 15 minute meals. A lot of pasta - Spaghetti Carbonara is one, spaghetti with sardines is another. I use the thin spaghetti so it cooks faster, and prep the sauce while the pasta is boiling. Once the pasta is done, combine and serve!

Breakfast for dinner can be made in just about 10 - 15 minutes too. Oatmeal in the microwave, Cook up a batch of sausages or bacon in a pan, then use it to fry eggs. Add some fruit, and dinner!

Miso soup is a fast/easy meal if you keep all the ingrediants on hand - I use instant Dashi granules, dissolve and heat up the broth, add a generous amount of cubed tofu, dried seaweed, and miso and heat again. Top with green onions. And while this isn't traditional (I don't think!) I like a couple of drops of sesame oil too. I use enough seaweed and tofu to make it a filling meal, though you can look up other ideas for add ins for miso soup and customize to your tastes.

Nov 17, 2013
JasFoodie in Home Cooking

Best way to make apple sauce?

For me apple sauce is just something I pass through on the way to apple butter. I use a mix of apples and used to peel them but the most recent batch I skipped the peeling entirely. Filled up the crockpot with apples, added some no-sugar-added welches white grape juice - you could use water or apple cider I suppose. I just like the way the white grape juice tastes. Tossed in a couple of star anise and let everything cook till the apples were soft. Fish out the star anise, and using an immersion blender, puree the heck out of it until even the skins vanish. You could stop at this point or keep going, letting it cook down further till it is about half in quantity, and thick enough to be spreadable. By then it will be a rich brown color. This is apple butter. and it's divine. I don't bother with cinnamon or nutmeg - for me the star anise give it just the flavor I want. Depending on the apples you use, you might find that you want it to be a bit sweeter - in which case add a bit of brown sugar while cooking. I use a mix of granny smiths and whatever red apples I can get myhands on and love the sweet/tart flavor that it has without any sugar added. Perfect to swirl through my morning oatmeal or yogurt.

Nov 17, 2013
JasFoodie in Home Cooking

CSA Cooking

I don't have a CSA share, but I have a Gleaners membership - similar idea - but more of a whatever is surplus at the moment.

Right now I'm drowning in potatoes, carrots and onions. Made a really nice cream of roasted carrot and onion soup the other day - roasted up 5 carrots, a large onion and a few cloves of garlic till starting to brown, tossed in a saucepan with some stock, added some 5 spice powder and wizzed it with the immesion blender till completely smooth.Stirred in a bit of ricotta to make it 'cream of' since that's the only dairy I had on hand, and it ended up being to die for. The 5 spice powder (which I grabbed because I couldn't find the ginger, which was my initial idea) really hit a homerun here.

Rest of the onions are going to be cut up in 1/8th inch pieces using the mandoline and then dehydrated - that should keep me in onions for soups and stews etc for the next several months. I've aready made and canned several jars of red onion and balsamic relish.

Taters are just being cubed and tossed with EVOO and whatever herb I feel like that day, and roasted till crispy on the outside and soft on the inside - that's been my side dish witn dinner everyday almost for 2 weeks now.

Nov 17, 2013
JasFoodie in Home Cooking

Evaporated Milk - how do you use it?

My mom uses it quite liberally - she uses it to mix her tanddoori chicken spices in and marinates the chicken in it - the chicken ends up wonderfully tender.

Also, she uses it in a thai crab curry dish - I don't know the exact recipe, but from what I recall, saute some curry powder and tom yum paste together, add crab (or shrimp) and cook till nearly done, toss in a small handful of celary leaves and some small dice tomatoes. Add the evaporated milk and cook just long enough to heat it through (don't want to overcook the seafood) and serve with rice. The evaporated milk + curry powder+ tom yum paste make for an amazing curry to eat with the rice.

I may have to try making this sometime - it's one of my favorite dishes she makes and I've never even tried to make it. All I use evaporated milk for is in my iced coffee.

Nov 16, 2013
JasFoodie in Home Cooking

Using up pizza sauce

I've been given a few HUGE cans of pizza sauce - food service type cans. Since it's just me, there's no way I'm making enough pizzas to use it up, and I'm short in freezer space so I need ideas to use it up reasonably fast once I open a can. I'll use some to make a lasagna but I still need ideas, preferably ones that don't use any expensive ingrediants (cheese for pizza and lasagna gets expensive!)

I was wondering - what about using it as a starting point for tomato bisque soup? I mean pizza sauce is simply pureed cooked down tomatoes with seasonings added right? So if added some chicken stock and a bit of cream or other dairy (I've been using ricotta to make my 'cream of whatever veggie on hand soup creamy lately) and adjusted seasonings if needed would that make a passable soup? Any suggestions what else I might want to add to make this into a tasty soup? It's definately soup weather!

Nov 16, 2013
JasFoodie in Home Cooking

too many Granny Smiths

I had a similar problem recently - ate lots of turkey, apple, onion relish, swiss and garlic mustard sandwiches. And used up the rest to make sugar free apple butter. I bought some regular red apples to help cut the tartness - twice as many green to red.

Core and roughly chop up apples (no need to peel) and fill up a crockpot, add just enough no sugar added white grape juice to cover the apples and cook for several hours till soft. Use an immersion blender right in the crockpot to puree the cooked apples till completely smooth and the peels 'vanish' - at this point you have apple sauce. Continue cooking further until thick, and you've got apple butter. Using lots of granny smith apples gives it a sweet/tart taste that isn't as cloying other versions I've made. Perfect to smear on some toast or swirl into oatmeal or yogurt. Or if you want it sweeter, you can always add some brown sugar. And if you want, add spices - any mixture of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and star anise would be lovely.

Nov 16, 2013
JasFoodie in Home Cooking