Saturday, September 5, 2015

Homemade Vegetable Broth

Several years ago, Michelle the Cook taught me how to make homemade turkey stock. It was such a fabulous lesson, that I continue to make broth throughout the year and freeze it for later use...turkey, chicken, ham, and beef.

However, the one kind of broth that always escaped me was vegetable broth. I decided this weekend, I was going to learn how to make it.

I filled my big pot halfway with water, probably 9-10 cups of water. I didn't happen to have any veggie scraps or peelings to use (I'm going to start saving them in the freezer though, for future use), but I had some leftovers.

I had a cup of a green bean/potato mix (I cut those up quickly), edamame and quinoa mix, half a bag of frozen asparagus (I cut those up too), half a bag of frozen turnips, and I threw in half a bag of frozen corn. For seasonings, I used thyme, parsley, rosemary, and basil. After it was done cooking and I was letting it cool, I added powdered garlic.

I brought it to a boil and then reduced the heat. It simmered for about a half hour.

Normally, this is where you'd scoop out the veggies and toss them, leaving you with the broth. Instead, I tried something a little different. I left about half of the veggies in, as is. The other half I scooped out and pureed them in my little Bullet blender, and then just added them back into the broth. It just seemed like such a waste for this first batch to toss out good veggies.

Because of the veggies I used, this did not become a healthy brownish veggie broth color. Instead, it's green: asparagus, green beans, edamame, thyme, basil, parsley and rosemary. I did taste it and it's good, but I think the real taste of it hasn't had a chance to really take hold yet. Soups are always better once the all the flavors have had a chance to really meld together.

After the broth had cooled enough, I poured it into a large plastic container. I had to reuse a pretzel container from BJ's for this, because all of my good containers are already in the freezer! Once this has cooled completely, then I can go ahead and stash it in the freezer too.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

I don't remember where I came across this recipe for peanut butter "cookies," but I finally got around to making them tonight.
  • 1 cup of peanut butter--Super Chunky Jif
  • 1 cup of sugar (These were extremely sugary. If I make them again, I want to try brown sugar, or at least, 3/4 cup of white sugar.)
  • 1 egg
Put the peanut butter, sugar, and egg together in a bowl and mix until the dough is fluffy and fully blended together. There was no way in hell this dough was going to come out fluffy. After a few minutes, it was like mixing cement! Then spoon out pieces of the dough, roll them into thumb-sized balls, and spread them out on a cookie sheet. Use a fork to press down and crosshatch the top of each round. Bake them in the oven at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. When they’re ready, they should look nice and golden brown.

My take on these is that they are good for a quick sweet-fix. My husband even liked them, but he prefers chocolate chip cookies. But I wouldn't make these as a large batch.

However, as far as making them goes, I agree with the size of the balls described above: the smaller, the better. And you definitely have to flatten them out. They also will taste better and firm up after they've sit for a few minutes, after coming out of the oven.