Saturday, July 2, 2011

Sugar Plums Dancing In My Head

   Once again I am having trouble sleeping. Tonight the thought of being back in my kitchen is what is taunting me. Recipes I have yet to try, appliances I want to buy and even just chopping an onion sounds delightful.

   It is summer, which means fresh veggies and fruits. I cook with a lot of vegetables, you know, try and keep it healthy, so knowing that my grandma will be handing out fresh goodies from her garden is killing me. I really want some corn on the cob, tomato and cumber salad, potato salad, baked potato, squash, carrots and beets. Excuse me while I go wipe the drool off my chin.

   A thought crossed my mind while laying in bed before writing this blog was about the cutting devise which is known as the mandolin. Not the instrument, this thing.
  So what it does is cut your vegetables into perfect slices. It can do crinkle cuts, julienne, super thin slices and perfect tomato slices for your sandwiches. It sounds like a dream right? Wrong! DO NOT BUY THIS! You will cut off your finger. You will stay up at night thinking about all of the blood loss. You will cringe every time you think about them ever again. Oh and you can't cut cheese on this so don't even try.
  Soups! I love soup, I think that it is my favorite way of delivering foods into the mouth, plus homemade soups are WAY easier than I ever thought possible. All you need for a good soup is left overs, stock, onion, celery and carrots and maybe cream. Pretty much anything can be recycled into soup and then frozen. I shared my grandma's potato soup recipe with you all, that is my absolute favorite but my second is creamy tomato bisque. It sounds really fancy but its not, all you do is this.
  Get a 14oz. can of stewed tomatoes, the chopped ones that are in basil are my personal favorite. Bring that and 1 cup of chicken stock to a boil. Add in salt, pepper and a bit of honey to taste, (the honey is for the acid in the tomatoes.) Then let that simmer for about 10 minutes. You can choose to leave it this way and enjoy, I like mine with a bit of cream though so I add about 1/2 cup of cream or I will serve it with a generous dollop of sour cream. It's so good and couldn't be more simple, plus you know exactly what went into it.
Bring a big spoon!
   The other thing I think about a lot is Mexican food. Since moving from Idaho, I haven't had one decent Mexican meal, oh wait that's a lie. On Pam's birthday we went this restaurant in Birmingham that was really pretty good but Ryan and I had to wait two hours to get our party a table, which kind of ruins it for me, just saying. But anyway, I think about recipes a lot, I have a lot of family that is really good at making Mexican cuisine but I am not the greatest at it myself.  My cousins down in Utah make this pulled pork that tastes just like the stuff you get from Cafe Rio, it is so heavenly and Lana shared her enchilada sauce recipe with me. But that still leaves out tortillas. I don't know what to do without MiPeblo bakery, after having their fresh baked goods I can't even think about buying the ones at the grocery store, they always smell weird.
   My crock pot has been on mind. I had this really awesome thought one day about how when I am in the states living in a different hotel, how I could bring it along and make food in it! I am sure that someone will complain about the smells but seriously, I can't be expected to eat food that has been pre-made for me all the time. It really is one of those frustrating things that I have to deal with every single day. I am a picky eater, its sad but the way I like my food is just simple. I like clean, simple foods, the other stuff gives me heartburn lol.
   I don't own a microwave. Ryan and I re-did our entire house and started with the kitchen because we had been eating out for what seemed like an eternity. There was a microwave already in there but it was pretty gross like the rest of the stuff and it was white and I just didn't want to take the time to clean it. I decided not to get one right away because I wanted cook, actually cook. I figured if I can remember a time when there wasn't one in my parents house then I might be able to make it without one. Its actually really easy to live with out them and you don't get so much junk food either, I mean I guess that frozen dinners can go in the oven but who seriously does that? I will probably get one soon, because I do dirty pots and pans more then I would if I could just re-heat food in the containers I put them. I have put glad ware in the oven, the result was melted glad ware...
   I have a favorite thing that I can't wait to get back home to, its a baking stone. I got it for like $14 bucks, it makes all the difference in the world with my baking. Pizza, bread, cookies, I am simply in love with it. I got it because the cookie sheet I have sucks the big one, so I started using this Les Creuset small casserole dish that I had got at TJ Max for like $12 dollars, I love that pan, it cooks evenly, never burns the sides of my foods, cleans easily and its a really cute shade of green. The only down side is that well its small and to find the bigger stuff for that cheap is impossible, it all retails for $100-$200 a piece! So I looked for a cheaper alternative and thats how I came to find the baking stone.
   I am getting really tired now. I think it helped me out to write all of these things down, I needed to tell someone since Ryan is well, sleeping. Let me know if you try making tomato soup or if you eat any delicious vegetables this summer. I love you!

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