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Posted by on Sep 10, 2011 in Store-bought Remix, Try Something New | 0 comments

Carrots Carrots Carrots

Take 5 lbs of carrots.

Wash well, peel, cut off ends, cut in half length-wise, cut top half in half cross-wise.

Steam for 20 minutes.
Remove steamer basket and set aside to cool.
Once cool, process in batches in a food processor to achieve a puree. Add water if necessary to thin. Don’t use the cooking water because it can contain higher levels of nitrates.
Spray ice cube trays with cooking spray, Using a spatula, fill each “cube” with the carrot puree. Scrape along the top to reveal the sections between the cubes. This will make it easier to pop them out. Very GENTLY, tap the tray on the counter to settle any air bubbles. Don’t go crazy or you’ll get carrot everywhere (I speak from experience). Place in the freezer overnight.
 To store, pop out the frozen cubes and keep in a plastic storage bag or container. I still had a little remaining puree that wouldn’t fit, so I got nearly a third tray full with this batch. Label and date the contents of the bag.

A few notes: Yes, this is the same process used to make homemade baby food, but I want it handy to drop into recipes to get a little more undetected veg in our meals. The puree is incredibly tasty, and I think it could go head to head with those little jars any day! I’ll be experimenting with uses. I know that it will pair well with tomato based dishes, and I have a friend that uses purees in her tacos (either carrot, sweet potato, or butternut squash). I’ll pop a few cubes in every now and then and report back to you when I’ve found our favorite uses

Also, the orange color is incredibly concentrated so make sure to clean all of your utensils and work surfaces immediately. My ice cube trays are white, and they are stained a little. I don’t really care about this. The cooking spray helps to minimize the discoloration.

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Posted by on Sep 9, 2011 in Try Something New | 0 comments

Cooking with Wine

This is a new concept for me…cooking with wine. I must say that I really like the depth of flavor it lends to dishes.

Wine + mushrooms = lovers forever

I like red wine in spaghetti sauce. I add 1/3 cup to my recipe.

I like white wine in cream based sauces.

Of course, I like to drink wine, too.

I get this wine for cooking at the grocery store. Can you believe it? (For those of you outside of Tennessee, a.k.a. normal places, we can’t buy wine at the grocery store…only the liquor store. No Two Buck Chuck for us.) I can hardly choose which wine to drink so I’m glad to know I can just get the basics at the store. Is that bad? It’s kind of screw-up proof. You have to show your ID to purchase just like any other alcohol. In my store, it’s on the oil/vinegar/salad dressing aisle.

Do you cook with wine? What are your favorite recipes?




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Posted by on Sep 8, 2011 in Mr. J | 0 comments

Itty Bitty Burgers

I make hamburger steaks for Mr. J quite often, and one day, I decided to play a little prank on him…I made them TINY. Honey, I shrunk your burgers.

I form the patties, making an indentation in the middle of the burger to allow for it to shrink. Add a little Worcestershire sauce and some hamburger seasoning, and cook until the internal temperature reads 160 degrees.




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