Tag Archives: Cooking

Finally getting around to my Hanukkah post

Sometimes I feel like years of cooking for my family growing up was all for naught. I learned a certain way to cook as a girl, but cooking consciously for a family requires some new skills. It’s like trying to learn to write with the wrong hand. I know how to do this cooking thing, I really do…but you can’t tell from my disintegrating felafels or burnt-in-places-but-raw-in-others fish fillets. I gave myself the challenge to cook fish every week until I had it. Then it happened. My Cajun flounder was well done, slightly dry but very tolerable! I did not even have to offer to cook the boys something different! This momentous evening happened during the week of Hanukkah, a Jewish holiday celebrating light defeating darkness. While I don’t know if my cooking challenge would really count as darkness, I sure did defeat it! Like a boss!

In celebration of light, Jewish use oil in everything; oil lamps to light the house, oil in menorahs, and plenty of deep fried foods. The same night as my fish success, I conquered latkes. Latkes are a traditional deep fried potato pancake (similar to hash browns) that I have tried to make more times than I care to mention. This time, I read an amazing tutorial on them by a woman who understands the struggle that comes with learning a new style of cooking. http://theshiksa.com/2013/11/27/how-to-make-crispy-latkes/   I did everything exactly as she said. It took much longer than it should have, because I had to wash my hands every few minutes and pull my phone out to check that I was following her directions precisely. I pulled out my ancient food processor, grated potatoes, rinsed them, squeezed them out in a cheesecloth to perfect dryness, and mixed them with eggs and bread crumbs. Dinner was beautiful. Maybe I can master this cooking thing after all! I hope you had a happy Hanukkah!

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Veggie Master List

As we have been becoming more vegetarian, it has been so much more important to me to keep the veggies fresh! I found that many veggies will keep for a long time if you treat them right, and I have created a master list of every veggie I regularly use, and how to keep it. I get the veggies home, and after a day or two in the fridge, they often look better than when I bought them! I hope this is as helpful to you as it is to me!!

 

Asparagus- Upright, loosely placed in a glass of water at room temp

Bell Pepper- Airtight container in the fridge

Broccoli- In fridge, wrapped in a damp towel

Carrots- Cut off tops, place in closed container with damp towel

Celery- Wrap in foil

Cucumber- Wrap in damp towel in fridge

Green Beans- Damp cloth placed over open container

Green Onions- Loose in crisper

Lettuce and greens- Wash, shake or spin dry, place in airtight with place paper towels

Mushrooms- Open container, covered in a towel

Onions- Cool, dark, dry place, spread out so they aren’t touching

Potatoes- Cool, dark, dry place

Snow Peas- Wash, place in airtight container with paper towel

Spinach- Loose, open in fridge

Tomatoes- Counter top

Have fun!!

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Tortilla Soup

Hey peeps! I’m a little late getting this post out, but better late than never, right?

Part of living at peace, is to live at peace with the people around us, and our environment. Part of this environment is the animal kingdom. I’m not saying we all have to be vegan! But I to strive to avoid meat that was not raised and processed in a humane way. This means we have to purchase more expensive meat, and to balance that, much of our diet is vegetarian. The boys were more excited about this new recipe than I had anticipated!

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I made lots extra, and froze it in ziplocks. This makes for super easy and very yummy dinners later!

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The recipe;

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

1½ t. cumin
1 t. chili powder
½ t. garlic powder
½ t. salt
1 T. olive oil
1 c. diced onion
½ c. diced red bell pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (10 Oz. Can) Rotel tomatoes and green chilies
32 oz. (4 c.) low sodium vegetable stock
3 T. tomato paste
4 cups hot water
2 cans (15 Oz. Can) black beans, drained and rinsed
½ c. frozen corn
3 T. cornmeal

garnish ideas
sour cream/greek yogurt
tortilla chips
diced red onion
grated monterey jack or cheddar
cilantro

Heat olive oil in a pot over medium high heat. Add onions, red pepper, and minced garlic. Stir and begin cooking, then add the spice mix. Stir to combine.

Pour in tomatoes, stock, tomato paste, water, and black beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes, uncovered.

Mix cornmeal with a small amount of water. Pour into the soup, then simmer for an additional 30 minutes. Check seasonings, adding more if needed—add more chili powder if it needs more spice, and be sure not to undersalt. Add the frozen corn. Turn off heat and allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

Ladle into bowls, then top with whatever garnishes you like!

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