Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Second attempt at Homemade Pasta Sauce....

and it came out pretty good. I purchased some tomatoes from the Farmer's Market and used some cherry ones from our garden, added some garlic, salt, a little bit of sugar, oregano, and basil. I put some of the tomatoes in the food processor and others I just chopped up.

The sauce has started to reduce after a little while.

This was the amount that I got after the sauce was all done to our tastes.

I liked the sauce consistancy this time, as you can tell from the sauce for the breadsticks. It worked good for that as well as with the spaghetti. I used the Barilla veggie pasta with carrots and tomatoes, it was a healthier version instead of regular pasta.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Quite a Haul....

about two weeks ago at the Farmer's Market. We got a few items that were a little pricey, such as pickled carrots $8 and a habernaro sauce for $5, but we wanted to try something a little different. The pickled carrots are great and could even be eaten as a tangy/sweet snack. The potatoes I got were 0.33 cents a pound. The potatoes, tomatoes (I got about 8 good sized ones), green beans, zuchinni, and peppers together were all $9. The apples were a little more pricer, I think around $4-$6 for all of them.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Healthier Eating...

I love carbs, tons of creamer in my coffee and some junk food a few times a week. While this might not sound so bad, do to several different reasons I am not in the best shape. So, I am going to try to change a few things of how I eat. I will still eat pasta but (not as often) try whole wheat or some other healthier version such as quinoa, have less coffee, and trying to eat fruits or veggies instead of snacking on chips, etc. I will stillneat some items but in a lot smaller portions, and others perhaps only once a month. I still plan on participating on the King Arthur's Bakealong though. I haven't decided yet if I am going to be on a specific diet or lifetsyle plan. I have one that I am looking into, and I think it might be pretty good, but want to some more research. I have already scratched the idea of starting one diet mostly because of allergies or foods that interact with medications that are part of the main eating on the diet. So this was my breakfast last Friday, which is better than what I normally eat which is nothing.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Some new recipes...

I like to find some new recipes every now and then. Last week I found this pork chop recipe and then a potato and green bean salad (or what I might call a german salad). We had a few issues with the pork chop recipe, some of this might have been because I used a food processer and not a blender. The marinade ended up being more of just chopped ingredients, although I have made fresh pesto before and never had a problem. The recipe needed more garlic we thought. We both loved the german salad, however it needed a lot less of the olive oil and LOTS more of the mustard. Anymore, I realize that in recipes for marinades or dressing they use way too much oil, so I now always use less and then taste, gradually adding more if needed.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Pizza taste test...

Normally, I make my own pizza dough, just because it is usually cheaper and tastes better. However, the last few times the crust hasn't been light, so I saw a brand new fridge pizza dough at the grocery store and decided to try it out. The company Wewalka had two different versions, a family style and then a bistro one. I got the family style which at my grocer's was $3. I made a pepporini and added some fresh basil from the garden. We thought the crust was pretty good, however I did cook it a little bit longer than the directions. I think I added too much sauce and cheese, so just be careful depending on your oven or when it gets close to the time per the instructions.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Mini Carrot..

I know this carrot is more of a baby carrot, or what I have been calling so far is the mini carrot. This happened to be the biggest carrot from my garden. I have learned a few things, that I will definitely in a few weeks grow more carrots. I will plan on making them the baby size and full grown size as well. I have never grown carrots before, and not sure if the super sweet taste of them (which does not compare by any means from the store bought versions) was do to them being baby size or homegrown. Does anyone else know? Do you have a garden? Hope it is going well!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Joy of Bake Alongs...

I am sadly missing the Great British Baking Show (otherwise known as the Great British Bake Off) and wish we could get all of the previous seasons. Since I am across the pond it doesn't start at the same time, they just showed season three here (which is technically season 6). Anyways, I highly recommend this show if you love baking and enjoy watching competitions were the people are nice to each other. To my relief last weekend I found out about the monthly Bakealong that King Arthur's Flour company started this month. I saw the picture and thought of two things, it looked good and I had never heard of the bread which is called Pane Bianco.

Here is the picture of me allowing the dough to rise longer. This recipe had sun dried tomatoes, garlic, cheese, and basil for the filling. 
The end result of my bread. The bread was good, it had a little bit of a soft chewy crust. We ate this with some olive oil as a dipping sauce. If I make it again, it will need more basil, cheese and garlic. I wasn't a fan the sun dried tomatoes, which I figured I wouldn't be anyways, so I might leave those out in the future. 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Trial and Error on Homemade Pasta Sauce...

I had some cherry tomatoes that weren't sweet, (I guess there are different kinds apparently, most are sweet but some aren't) but didn't want to waste them. I looked up different ways on how to make your own homemade pasta sauce. I saw that several people but a wide variety of ingredients in theirs, here is what I put in mine:

Tomatoes - (I used about 8 regular size and 20 cherry)
Garlic (I minced about 6 cloves I think)
Onion (I just used a small one leftover from our farmer's market trip)

These were per taste:
Dried oregano
Dried and fresh basil

It didn't take that long for the sauce to break down, some of this might have been since I did purée some of it, while cutting the other tomatoes in somewhat small size. Most recipes I had seen said it would take about 3 hours, however they were going be a recipe and I think making more sauce. Mine was about two hours, but since I wasn't going by a recipe, and never made this before it took awhile to get it per our taste.

If you get anything from this post, and are inclined to make your own sauce, DO NOT MAKE THESE TWO MISTAKES I DID;

You can kind of tell when it is almost done as the sauce has reduced so much, therefore DO NOT DUE ANYTHING ELSE!!! I decided to use a store bought sourdough bread and then make it into garlic bread, I only spent about five minutes doing that, and wasn't paying attention to the sauce. Thinking five minutes wouldn't matter since as previously it would take a half hour or more for the sauce to reduce a little more than half the size. That five minutes reduced the size of the sauce to half again, so there wasn't enough for all I wanted for the pasta (I had thought perhaps I might have extra to freeze too).

Never make the pasta without the sauce being done first. I made the whole angel hair pasta package thinking I would have lots of sauce, per the above that didn't really pan out. I then just decided to put it all in one pot, thinking it would be easier to distribute but then it looked like there wasn't any sauce at all.

Here are some of the pictures while the sauce was cooking. It still had quite a ways to go, as I like the sauce to be in between not think and chunky but not thin either.

 As you can tell the sauce has already reduced for a little while, but still had a ways to go.

I tried to multi-task in making the bread and finishing the sauce. I don't recommend. 

The sauce was good but this was the end result of trying to multi-task and using too much pasta.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Lapghan Quilt Update...

here is the progress so far of my Grandmother's Flower Garden lapghan quilt that I have been making off and on for a year. There has been several months were I have not been working on it at all, so I think it is coming along pretty good. I am about halfway done I think, I need to take into account that I am quite a bit shorter than my Grandmother who will be getting this.

The humble beginning of this project.

This is the current progress, I think I have the width ok, and will need to add another 4-6 rows perhaps for the length.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Dinner Rolls Turned to Biscuits?

I have only made homemade dinner rolls one other time, and I made a mistake of not allowing a second rise, they tasted pretty good. I couldn't find that same recipe, since it has been more than a year ago, so I found a new recipe. This time I watched the video and would pause as I went along. When I made these last week, when it was really hot here, so of course we have the air conditioner on. I wanted to ensure that the dough would rise so after I covered it I put it in the oven with the light on. After the alloted time from the recipe it had doubled, once I had shaped the rolls I put them in a container and back in the oven with the light on. After waiting more than two hours, the rolls had rised but not doubled. I figured from all of my previous times of making breads it would rise when being baked, this however ended up not being the case. They were not light and fluffy but rather tasted more of biscuits that needed more salt. I had thought at the time the recipe needed perhaps more salt and maybe a little bit more yeast. Normally, for any type of new recipe be it bread or otherwise I always go by it to a T. Then, after about one or two times I adjust the ingredients per our tastes. I guess I should have done this when I had the thought this recipe needed additional measurements. Has anyone had a problem like this before?

 The dough waiting to rise the first time.

The rolls/biscuits after being cooked.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Farmer's Market Finds...

The last two weekends we have went to our local Farmer's Market. We hadn't been there in a few years, and it had vastly changed for the better. There were more vendors, better variety and better prices. The first weekend we got; about 7 peppers, half a dozen corn, 3 carrots, 3 onions and 8 potatoes. The carrots were some of the biggest I had ever seen, but this past weekend I saw even bigger. It's like these carrots are on steroids or something. All of the pictures of these veggies we got for a total of $11.

This is a meal that I made using just some of the produce. I only steamed the carrots and it didn't need anything else for flavor. I had previously never had homegrown carrots before and they had a lot of flavor.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Classics Club Spin 13, Kidnapped Book Review

I completed the book Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson for the Classics Club. This book told the tale of David Balfour and the many adventures he goes on at the sea and in Scotland after the Rebellion. It is a very small book and it seems like we are just kind of getting to know David when the story ends. In some places this book doesn't have a whole lot of dialogue but more of the adventures and their surroundings, so in mentioning any of the characters I feel that I would give some of the story away. At the end I did feel that I wanted to know what else happened to everyone and in fact Stevenson did write a sequel, which now I can't wait to read. I rank this book a 4 out of 5.