Monday, March 29, 2010

My Food Creations

 I've been getting into creating my own things in the kitchen... discovering and using herbs and foods in new/different ways. I don't buy processed foods, pre-packaged meals, or canned soups.  I make my own soups, spaghetti sauce, and various creative dishes.  I use to go through mayonnaise and ranch dressing fairly rapid... now I barely touch the stuff.  I don't buy that pre-sliced processed bread either.  I either make it or buy Artisan or hearty fresh baked loaves.

I use to have some basic herbs and spices that I kept around... each had it's purpose.

  • Sage and Thyme for meats and soups.
  • Dill for tunafish sandwiches.
  • Paprika for deviled eggs.
  • Cinnamon for toast or cinnamon rolls.
  • Then the standard salt, pepper, garlic salt and seasoning salt.
 Then I discovered Rosemary, Basil, Parsley, Mediterranean Oregano, Crushed Red Pepper, Ginger, Ground Mustard, Celery Flakes, Cloves, and Fennel Seed.  Olive oil is just about the only oil I use anymore.

I discovered that cabbage could be used for more than cole slaw, stuffed cabbage, and boiled dinner.  I can go through a head or two in a week.  I eat beans now, and I'm not talkin' green beans, I've always eaten them.  The only time I ate beans was when I ate kidney beans in chili or baked beans at a bar-b-cue.  My favorites are black beans and cannellini beans.  I love romaine and spinach salads, but I started keeping frozen chopped spinach in the freezer to throw into omelets, soups, pasta dishes, sauces... whatever I desire. 

Here's a pasta dish I made.  I put fresh garlic, garlic salt, pepper, basil and extra virgin olive oil in my Magic Bullet and blended it well.  I used that to sautee some cubed pork (added some crushed red pepper), when that was well cooked I tossed in some pasta and dried parsley. Sprinkled shredded parmesan cheese, tossed, and a served with brussel sprouts.

I also made some rosemary/garlic bread.  Made a small 'oops', but it worked out well.  When I laid the dough out on the pan to raise, the two loaves puffed out into each other.  I moved one to another pan and centered the other.  When I moved them they fell (deflated).  I figured they would puff back up while cooking... wrong!  They came out about an inch or so high.  I'm thinking, "Oh great, what a waste."  I hate waste so I was trying to figure some way to use them.  I thought I could use them in a savory bread pudding, but when I sliced it... it was fine, it wasn't all hard and dense.  It looked like the shape of biscotti... so I brushed some slices with EVOO and stuck them in the oven.  Made FANTASTIC breadsticks.

So I'll be adding my recipes and pics of my creations to my blog.  If you try any of them, let me know what you think... or any changes you've made.