Monday, February 28, 2011

Pizza Sauce, from your pantry

I like to do it myself, most of the time anyway. However I like being able to do it myself, even more. I don't care to get caught up in reliance upon others (things or people) for everyday living.There is a lot of "hurry up and wait" with that option. This is especially true in the kitchen. A few basic skills and a sense of wonder, coupled with my desire to be independent, is how I like things to roll. And I can usually produce what we want, or at least what is acceptable.

We had homemade pizza for our dinner on Sunday. When I went to the pantry cupboard there was no tomato sauce. Around here tomato sauce is usually purchased as part of a recipe that is planned for, except for that lone can in wait for "those times" and apparently I had already used it! Not wanting to send Honey back to the store a third time (yes He did go twice, short story, I forgot the pizza cheese on the supplies list, for Pete's sake!), I improvised.

And as luck would have it, this is now our pizza sauce. Worth the little bit of extra time, and the bonus? I always have cans of diced tomatoes, I could not get along without them. This sauce is flavorful with just the right touch of tomato goodness.

Pantry Pizza sauce
by the seat of my pants

1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes - do not drain
1 T sugar
1/2 t oregano leaves
1T basil leaves
1/4 t garlic salt
1 T olive oil

Empty tomatoes into a medium sized saucepan.

Mash the tomatoes with a potato masher, to break up.

Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until thick, 30-45 minutes.

 This is at the 15 minute mark. Just beginning to thicken.

This is done, 30 minutes. Thick enough to stay
where the spoon pushes it! The smell is so good!

Now your pizza is ready to be made, choose your favorite flavors and bake! Pizza is fun, easy to personalize and then all you have to do is enjoy!

Recipe rating:  Oh Yes! (will make again)

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello.
I appreciate your visits, and your comments!

This post is shared with:
Hearth n Soul @ a moderate life
Full Plate Thursday @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Simple Lives Thursday @ GNOWFGLINS
food on friday @ carol's chatter

A Gallery of Favorites December 2011

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Our Sunday Cafe, February 2011

Submarine Sandwich Pizza, I have written about this delicious pizza before, having remembered it for so many years, and becoming brave enough to make it myself. I added some pepperoni this time around, for a little added zip!

Homemade dough and sauce.

Sliced ham and pepperoni.

After it is baked, add green pepper strips.

Then top with sliced tomatoes and pepperoncinis. 

BBQ Chicken Pizza, this is for those that want things a bit more on the mild side. BBQ chicken breast, red sauce zipped up with a splash of BBQ sauce, and cooked bacon.

Gingered Green Beans with Chicken, this is my "just because" offering. Maybe someone won't want to fill up on pizza and prefer a bit more vegetables and some brown rice. I was going to serve this with Quinoa, but I could not find it in the chest freezer, to refill the pantry jar. So brown rice it is! Oh yes, and thanks LeAnn!

Stir fried, right before the ginger sauce.

Red pepper strips and cucumber slices

Tossed greens in vinaigrette

Apple and Floozie Cranberry pie cake. This delicious treat adapted from this one posted by Beverly of Beverly's Back Porch. I did adapt her recipe to use up my cranberries left from making liqueur.

 Served with vanilla ice cream. 

This does not look like much , but this is an espresso float, topped with brandied prunes. Yummy!

About 1/3 c hot espresso strength coffee in a bowl, add a scoop of ice cream and top with brandied prunes. Rich flavor and delicious. 

As always thanks for stopping to say hello, 
I appreciate your visits and your comments!

Today is Sunday Cafe

Usually I have a post on Saturday with the menu for our Sunday dinner. But yesterdays menu planning was set aside to do something more important. We went to a wedding! Congratulations to Nick and Carolyn and may everyday here after be as happy and love filled as your wedding day. These lovely kids live on the big island of Hawaii where they live and work in paradise. They came to our area and had a wedding in beautiful Cannon Beach Oregon, complete with white snow. Honey was the proud father of the groom! We had a lovely time, with visiting, toasting and well wishes.

We drove back at about 11:00pm last night, finally getting in at 2:00 am, tired and road weary. We drove into the snow and we were not completely sure we could get home, at one point. Then finally, when we were at the eastern most point from the coast, and ready to head south, it became clear and homeward we came.

I knew that today's dinner would be a fairly simple offering. Here is the menu and a snippet of some of the cooking in progress.

I finally got organized and now have my lap top in the kitchen for cooking! Thanks Jess and Arron!

Homemade pizzas, Submarine Sandwich pizza and a BBQ Chicken and Bacon pizza

Pizza dough, rising now on the warm stove top while the dessert bakes. 

Tossed Salad greens with vinegarette

Gingered Chicken and green beans, served with Quinoa

Apple Cranberry Pie Cake, served with vanilla ice cream

The last of the cranberries from making liqueur, and 3 apples past the "crunch test" for fresh eating. 

I am a little concerned about the volume, but we shall see!

Brandied Prunes over vanilla ice cream in a pool of hot coffee (I can't wait to try this!)

I will hopefully be back with photos of the finished dishes,
as always thanks for dropping by!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Weekend Cat Blogging, Dad's campaign

"I really don't like this color, but I think Dad wants a yellow truck with gray interior".

As always thanks for stopping by.
I appreciate your visits and your comments.
This post shared with:

Friday, February 25, 2011

Green Chili Burritos

I few days ago I made a small roast in the crockpot. It was good for a roast that was cooked with almost no preparation. Frozen meat in the crockpot, dry seasoning over the top, add lid and cook. That evening we had pot roast and potatoes for dinner. A couple of nights later, we had a re-run of the roast and potatoes dinner. That left about 2 cups of mostly beef and gravy. A perfect opportunity to try out my idea of an Encore meal. I had noticed this delicious looking plate of food at Sheila's blog, and I knew I wanted to try a baked burrito that was not tomato based.

Roast beef and green chili burritos
by the seat of my pants
350 oven
2 cup roast beef and gravy - more beef than gravy
1 can black beans, drained
1 c green chili salsa, purchased or homemade your choice
6-8 tortillas - depending upon size
1 c grated cheddar

Warm the beef and gravy, gently separating the beef into shredded meat.

Add the beans and 1/2 c of the salsa. Stir gently to combine.

Fill your tortillas, leaving about 3/4 - 1 cup of the meat mixture in the pan. Add remaining salsa to the meat mixture, stir to mix. Spoon over the rolled burritos in your baking pan.

Sprinkle with the cheese, bake 30 minutes.
Serves 4-6 

Serve with additional salsa, sour cream. olives etc as your family prefers. I enjoyed mine as baked with nothing more. These were delicious and I will make these again.

Recipe rating:  Oh Yes! (will make again)

As always thanks for taking the time to stop by.
I appreciate your visits and your comments.

This post is shared with:
Foodie Friday @ Designs by Gollum

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Garden Tuesday

I have decided to copy cat Pam @ sidewalk shoes and also show a garden shot on Tuesdays. I have enjoyed her photos for many months and wanted to join the fun. Although I never started out to be a urban homesteader, I did want to have enough growing for a little kitchen fun as well as some berries for jam or a pie. I use to show regular garden updates, it will be fun to get back to that in an organized schedule.

Our journey to have enough sun coming into the yard to actually grow food, included taking the bottom 20 feet of limbs off the huge trees in the backyard. As a point of reference the bottom 20 feet of limbs started about 40 feet from the ground! The majestic trees are beautiful but do not allow for the sun needed for berries. Also the limbs when they fell during a wind storm were 20-30 feet long. It has been much safer in the back yard, and the wind fall was greatly reduced this winter.

We also have a little compost cooking up and I want to compost more and more. Honey, not so much. But it is the perfect answer for the rising costs of garbage/yard debris pickup service. I know that due to the acidic nature of the evergreen trees, we don't want to compost all of those needles, but everything else I am open to trying.

I don't have any great knowledge base for growing food, except I want to. I want the grandchildren to pick berries in my back yard. I want the jam I put in the Christmas baskets and stockings to be not only homemade but home grown if possible. Unfortunately I am not my father's daughter in that I can simply scratch a line in the dirt, drop a seed and get food. It seems like that is all he had to do when I was growing up. Because of this, I continue to have such a small crop that some days my harvest is 2 strawberries or 1 small stalk of rhubarb. But I will keep on learning and growing and hopefully improving.

With that said here are my first photos, proof that spring is coming. Oh yeah and we expect snow here in Vancouver on Wednesday or Thursday.......

There are four blueberry bushes in the garden. They have leaf buds.

There are 2 current bushes in the garden. They have leaf buds.

The garlic chives are growing, uh, yes that would be leftover chive seed stalks in the way of the new growth. It is definately time for a little garden clean up..........

As always, thanks for stopping by.
I appreciate your time and your comments.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Corn Bread with Broccoli and Cheddar Cheese

I have been a bit absent here, yet so very busy at work with a web-based software conversion that turned out to be a train wreck. Two years lost at conversion upload. I needed to discharge past tenants, admit the current tenants and rebuild all the financial records in order to bill for services. I have been a bit busy, oh and yes I also needed to run the building while learning the new software and rebuilding the files.Whew!

However, I am glad the project is far enough along for there to be a point of sanity and I can resume some sort of normal life, and just to clarify, normal is very underrated! Needless to say, during this time we ate what ever the hand touched. It might have been leftovers, or if I was lucky, something I threw into the crock-pot before going to work for the day.

This smelled so good baking! 
Now I get to dig right in!

Today I found some broccoli in the vegetable drawer that still needed to be used. For me the term "needing to be used" indicates this is still fresh enough to be edible, and should be used up right away. Broccoli does tend to stay fresh for a longer time when refrigerated than many other vegetables. And I found this recipe over at Claudia's blog and wanted to give it a try with our favorite cornbread recipe as my starting point.

Corn bread with Broccoli and Cheddar
inspired and adapted from:  Claudia @ What's Cookin Italian Style Cuisine
425 degree oven

1 c corn meal
1 c flour
1/3 c sugar
3 t baking powder
3/4 t salt
1/2 t granulated garlic
1/2 t oregano
1 t basil
2 T dried parsley

3 eggs
1/3 c oil or melted butter or bacon drippings (use your preference)
1 c milk

heaping 2 c chopped broccoli, steamed until tender - I used 1 large crown.
1 c grated cheddar cheese

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients, stir well to combine. Set aside.

In a small bowl beat the eggs, beat in milk and oil. Stir in broccoli.

Add milk mixture and grated cheese to dry ingredients and stir together quickly, lumps may/will remain.  Scrape mixture into a 7X11 baking pan. Bake 25-35 minutes or until tests done in your oven.

Serve hot with plenty of butter.

Recipe rating:  It's Ok. (tasty but not special)

As always thanks so much for stopping by!
I appreciate your time and your comments especially.

This post is shared with:

Make it with cornmeal @ Couscous and Consciousness
Hearth n Soul @ a moderate life
Sunday's at one @ Cocina Diary
Potluck Sunday @ Mommy's Kitchen

Monday, February 14, 2011

Parsley, Garlic and Almond Pesto

A simple salad of quartered tomatoes, sliced cucumber and croutons, tossed with 
Parsley, Garlic and Almond Pesto.

I like parsley, and have spotlighted it in a few previous posts. If you would like you may see the posts for Parsley pizza dough, or a Parsley Cucumber salad and Parsley Yeast bread, by visiting the links provided.

Is it not surprising that I would use parsley in this Make it with.......Monday post, actually requiring almonds! I guess that is how I roll here in Vancouver USA!

This pesto is different than standard basil, yet fresh and delicious. It would make a great spread on a sandwich instead mayo or mayo on one side and pesto on the other! Add some turkey or ham, sliced tomatoes and anything else you might require in your sandwich, then enjoy! It is also delicious in the usual pesto places, over pasta, stirred into soup, folded into cooked rice for a shockingly good dish.

Parsley Garlic and Almond Pesto
by the seat of my pants

3 bunches parsley - I used 2 curly leaf and 1 flat leaf

4 large cloves garlic - minced

 I make minced garlic logs and freeze them. When I need garlic, I slice off what I need and return the remainder to the freezer. These are very handy, and save peeling fresh garlic each time garlic is needed.
2 t salt
1 1/2 c sliced almonds - spread out on a sheet and toasted until fragrant and beginning to turn golden

1 c Parmesan cheese - yes I really do use the green cardboard can kind
1 - 1 1/4 c olive oil
1/4 - 1/3 c water

Wash, shake and pluck leaves from parsley. Lay out on a towel, roll up and twist in opposite directions and fold in half, you want to dry the leaves as completely as possible.

You should have enough leaves to fill your processor bowl.

Add salt, garlic and almonds. Add 1 c olive oil and begin processing.

Stop motor, scrape down sides, add remaining 1/4 c oil and the cheese. Process until all ingredients are mixed and a paste has formed.

Add water slowly while running processor motor, and when a creamy texture is achieved, stop adding water and stop the motor.

Scrape down sides of bowl and package for keeping.
Males approximately 3 cups

I prefer to keep my pesto in the freezer, I have found a sharp knife easily cuts a slice of pesto to use. Laid on hot pasta or in a bowl of soup it melts almost immediately. Keeping the pesto in the freezer keeps it bright green in color and fresh in flavor.

Recipe rating:  Oh Yes! (will make again)

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello.
I appreciate your time and your comments.

This post is shared with:

Make it with almonds Monday @ Couscous and Consciousness

Tuesday Night Supper Club @ fudge ripple

Full Plate Thursday @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage

Pennywise Platter  Thursday @ the nourishing gourmet

Foodie Wednesday @ daily organized chaos