Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Recipe review

Creamy Mashed Potato & Leek Soup

This hearty soup was a success, but I ended up letting everything simmer for significantly longer than the recipe called for (a good two hours more). It yielded enough to have leftovers for lunch and plenty  to freeze for later.

Start by cooking and mashing one pound of baby reds

chop one fennel bulb

chop three leeks (these are from my garden)

Add all ingredients to 6 cups broth (I used the chicken stock I made last week), bring to a boil and lower the temperature to simmer for a few hours if you can

Puree in food processor

Serve with fresh rosemary sourdough bread


Friday, September 14, 2012

Weekend ideas........

Soup or Sauce- you decide

I just hate waste and I try my very best to and use everything in my garden and fridge (and if that is not possible I compost).  That being said I had 6 overly ripe tomatoes looking at me every time I poked around in the kitchen and I new what I had to do ~ sauce.  Making it from scratch is so easy, and it doubles as a great tomato soup.

2 tablespoons olive oil
6 large very ripe tomatoes
1 can organic tomato sauce (optional)
1 large onion
3 cloves garlic
Salt/Pepper to taste
fresh rosemary, Italian parsley, basil
Heat olive oil in large frying pan add in garlic, allow garlic to brown in the oil and remove.
Add onions and cook for 10 more minutes and add diced tomatoes.  Bring to a boil for 10 minutes stirring frequently.  Add salt and pepper (a pinch of this, a pinch of that) and let simmer, the longer the better.  I usually let it stew for at least an hour.  Taste the sauce, if it is too sweet, add a little more salt and pepper.  Add rosemary, parsley and basil and let simmer for 1/2 hour.  This recipe yields 2 large jars!  Puree and freeze!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

What do those vegetable stickers really mean?

Last night my husband referred me to  a great article in Men's Health Magazine titled Sticker Secrets.   As educated as I try to be when it comes to shopping for my family I never knew, nor really paid much attention to what those little stickers on fruits and vegetables meant.  Yes, its quite obvious that the numeric codes serve as a tag for item and price but beyond that I knew not of any deeper meaning.  I found this short article fascinating and wanted to share the gist of it with all of you.

Know your numbers!

Fruits & Vegetables with  5 digits starting with 9 are ORGANICALLY GROWN

Fruits & Vegetables with an 8 digit number starting with 8 are GENETICALLY MODIFIED (yuck!)

Fruits & Vegetables with 4 digits are CONVENTIONALLY GROWN

I hope this will allow you to make better choices when shopping...especially helping to avoid genetically modified food (GMO), as there is yet to be any clear labels on packaging today.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Burlap love part Deux

If burlap is starting to grow on you or if you are already a fan here are some great DIY ideas.  Click on the links below for more details.

Kara's Kottage

Dooley Noted Blog
The Virginia House

Jill Ruth
Dream Green DIY


Monday, September 10, 2012

Burlap Love

I am obsessed with burlap right is a beautiful eco-freindly fabric.  Not only is it heavy duty but gets softer more durable with wash and wear and is also kid/pet friendly and resistant to stains.  Here are some of my  burlap faves....

Ballard Designs

Restoration Hardware

Pottery Barn

Ballard Designs


Sunday, September 9, 2012

A week of Meals

Every Sunday I sit down to plan out our meals for the week.  It saves us all time during the week and is much more cost effective than running to the store every day.  I look to see what I have in the fridge and the garden before and add on what I will need to complete the upcoming meals.

Here is whats cooking this week~

Monday:  Creamy Mashed Potato & Leek Soup
Garlic Bread

Real Simple
Tuesday:  Chicken Enchiladas
Spanish Rice & Roasted Peppers

It's Whats For Dinner

Wednesday:  Braised Pork Chops
Green Beans & Mashed Potatoes

Thursday:  Chicken Marsala with Penne Pasta
& Green Garden Salad

What's Cookin' Chicago

On Friday we stick to take out pizza and leftovers...stay tuned for new recipes next Sunday!