Friday, May 6, 2011

Hello Stranger

I have a confession....
Ever since I 'started' this blog (i.e. avoiding it for a few months), I have made a point to not buy organics. I have had to give myself pep talks outside the grocery store, telling myself that it is OK to buy non-organics.
I, also, started reading Jonathon Safran Foer's book, "Eating Animals". Wowzah, it is intense!!! And, for christmas, I received Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything" and "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian" cookbooks. Both books have offered innumerable amounts of really good information on cooking and grocery buying.
So, since starting the blog, buying non-organics, and reading a really intense book and yummy cookbooks, I am now at a loss to what to buy at the grocery store!!
Starting a few months ago, I have not had any interest in eating meat. (Chopped Applegate Farms pepperoni on friday night pizza night doesn't count). I'm not sure what happened. But, I have definitely come to the conclusion after reading "Eating Animals", I will either be vegetarian or ONLY eat local meat from farms that allow me to see their facilities.
This week, I cut myself off milk. I can't say no to eggs, butter and cheese!! I tried coconut milk yogurt the other day and it wasn't bad. Most milk out there is so over pasturized that it isn't really milk anymore, just a milky liquid that used to be milk. Its weird. I still cook with buttermilk and heavy whipping cream.
I watched "Food, Inc" and was deeply disturbed but there was something much more moving in Foer's research that hit me even more. If you can find the intro to his book online, read it. Read the entire book!
I am still on the fence about organics in the grocery store. Did you know that if organic produce isn't separated from non organic produce it will be contaminated with the pesticides from wash off? Duh! I guess that is a no brainer, but i was stunned when I read that in Mark Bittman's cookbook.
If I had it my way, I would grow all our produce. But, we don't have the space. And, unfortunately, we don't have the money to buy into a CSA (community supported agriculture).
So, I promised you a list of things in my kitchen. Keep in mind, I love to bake.
In my Kitchen
All purpose flour
Semolina Flour, for pasta and pizza making
Canned beans, ususally black, kidney, great northern, and chickpea
Brown rice, its better for you than white even though it takes longer to cook
Panko breadcrumbs
Seeds, usually walnuts, almonds, and/or sunflower
Flax seeds, easy way to add some nutrients to just about anything
Homemade Granola
Semi sweet chocolate morsels
Olive oil
Coconut oil
Toasted Sesame Oil
Soy sauce
Various vinegars balsamic, white wine, red wine, apple cider, distilled white
Cooking wine
Lots of spices, i use oregano, thyme, basil, s&p, cumin, cinnamon and paprika the most
Various kinds of flour, I like to play around with recipes and different flours (coconut flour is my favorite)
Baking soda
Baking powder
Dry active yeast
Ginger root
Organic frozen veggies
Organic frozen fruit
Backup butter
Eggs, I try to buy local eggs
Butter, I prefer salted butter (organic)
Organic Whole Milk, locally when available
Coconut Milk (i think its the best non dairy alternative, especially in coffee)
Buttermilk, my secret ingredient!!
Heavy whipping cream
Cheese, I am addicted to the WholeFoods under $2 basket of various cheeses
homemade yogurt
Meat for the boys
Mushrooms for me

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

You cool with it? Cause, I'm cool with it...

SO... Here's the deal: I really just want to share my food with you and take pretty pictures. But!! Aren't ya'll sick of those blogs? I mean, I read about 8 of those blogs everyday. And, while my food has a budget (I bought the food and I try to follow some budgeting practices) not everyone that reads this lives where I live. I know food costs are different in different places. And, I do intend to share articles and information about food news and that kind of stuff. What do you want to see? Of all the blogs you read everyday, is there something you are missing???? Let me fill that empty space! I just don't want to have the same blog as the other 5 million food bloggers out there.
SO... if you don't mind reading another food and pretty picture blog. Stay tuned. Also, I am thinking I need another title. Maybe I don't. Gimme your thoughts.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pitaya Power!

Hey y'all!
Check out the new 'IT' fruit, pitaya. The bright red fruit originates from Central and South America, yielding some pretty amazing super powers. This fruit can jump start your immune system, get your digestive system flowing, and zap those free radicals away in a single sip!! Well, maybe not one sip. The second sip is the best and it just gets better from there. The asian variety of pitaya is the dragon fruit, which has a white flesh and much lower nutrient levels.
All my lucky readers that live in Colorado, you are in luck!! WholeFoods just stocked up on Pitaya Plus, the super fruit in juice form. If you are not in the colorful state, you can buy their products online on their website.
The company, based in Sand Diego, has set up (one of the only) solar energy factories in Nicaragua and the company only hires single mothers to process the fruit. Super company empowering supermoms to make super juice!
Check them out here:
Picture used from

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Chocolate Ganache

Okay, so to all of you that didn't get exactly what you were hoping for for V-Day (i got a card that said "you're the mutt's nuts), here's a little recipe that will ensure that you will at least have a spoonful of chocolate a day, until you run out...
What you will need:
Fourth to half a bag of semi sweet chocolate chips (or if you have chocolate powder and sugar, mix 1:2)
Half a cup of heavy cream

In a double boiler (I use a ceramic bowl over half-ish cup of water in small sauce pan. Make sure the bowl rests on top of the pan) over medium heat, place chocolate chips in bowl. When chips start to melt, add cream and stir until the chocolate melts. Use warm right off the stove top on ice cream or whatever suits your fancy, put bowl in fridge and let harden (my favorite! i have at least one spoonful a day). or if making cupcakes or anything needing chocolate frosting, use a hand mixer and whisk the chocolate until light a fluffy.
This is a life changing recipe! Never go without chocolate!!

V-Day Grocery Shopping

I forgot that it was Valentine's Day and I went grocery shopping at 5pm. I had a minor panic attack just driving into the parking lot.
I just got food for dinner, lunch for Wally for the week, and fruit, veggies, milk and essentials. Sorry.
I will be shopping again soon and let you in on my shopping habits.
Happy Valentine's Day y'all.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Staple Pantry Items and where to shop

My pantry is in desperate need of restocking.
I'll deconstruct my grocery list with you tomorrow, with prices and why I chose the items I did and where I purchased them. I usually shop at various stores for certain items. I downloaded 'Out of Milk' app for my phone which is supposed to help me with grocery shopping. I can scan the barcode of items I need and I think it will tell me different prices within the area???? Not sure.. if any of you smart people with smartphones have more experience with the out of milk app, I'd love a tutorial :)
Also, this week I am going to attempt to make cheese!! Should be interesting, I'll post pics and the recipe if it turns out to be a successful venture.
Hope everyone has a great Monday!

Saturday, February 12, 2011


These 4 recipes are staples in my kitchen. I make these at least once a week and they are totally delicious, contain superpower ingredients which are cheap when you buy in bulk, and super easy to make.
Bon Appetit!
I've listed them from easiest to less easy (none of them are in the hard category)
(Please forgive my recipe writing skills. I'm one of those 'go with the kitchen flow' kind of cooks and really try hard to follow the recipes but I often forget the cookbook is sitting on the counter. But, I do think I make decent food so I'm doing something right)

Kale Chips
* Lacinato Kale, de ribbed, washed and dried (use a salad spinner)
* Splash of olive oil
* Pinch of salt

Preheat over to 250 degrees

De-rib the kale, wash and dry it. Put kale, olive oil and salt in a mixing bowl. Coat the kale with the olive oil and salt. Lay out kale (make sure they don't touch) on a cookie sheet. Place in preheated oven for 25- 30 minutes until the kale is crispy.
My son begs for these at dinner time! You can also use any sturdy green leafy produce. Spinach is what I use most often (no need to de-rib), if I don't have kale in the fridge. I've also used beet greens.

Basic Granola
* Two cups rolled oats
* Handful of your favorite nuts, coarsely chopped
* 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
* 2 tablespoons mild flavor oil or melted butter
* Cinnamon to taste
* Pinch of salt
* 1/2 cup of dried cranberries

Preheat oven 300

Mix first six ingredients in a mixing bowl. Spoon mixture on cookie sheet. Cook until oats are slightly browned in color. Let cool, stir in dried cranberries.

Many, many different variations for granola!! This is a great recipe to clean out the pantry! Coconut flakes, any kind of seeds, use different kinds of oils or sweetners, like coconut oil or fruit juice make excellent additions to basic granola.

Or, if you don't want to make it but would like to buy it go to and buy it from me!

Sweet Potato Fries
* Sweet potato
* splash of olive oil
* pinch of salt

Preheat oven 375

Wash sweet potatoes. Slice into wedges. In a mixing bowl, coat potatoes in olive oil and salt. Place on cookie sheet. Bake until crisp on outside (depending on thickness of wedge 20-45 minutes)
I sometimes add cinnamon to bring out the sweetness of the potato. Curry powder does wonders to these tasty fries!

Homemade Yogurt
(You will need a yogurt machine. I bough mine for $15)
*One gallon on milk
*One single serving of plain yogurt, make sure it has live cultures in it

In a large pot, SLOWLY heat the milk until it reaches a temperature of 110-105 degrees. At this point, add the yogurt and stir (not whisk!) until the yogurt has incorporated itself into the milk. Pour the mixture into your yogurt maker. Wait until the desired time (the longer you wait, the firmer the yogurt will be).
If you are a Greek yogurt lover- after the yogurt has incubated in the yogurt maker, spoon the yogurt into a cheesecloth and let the yogurt drain the whey off.
Serve with honey and some homemade granola and you've got an excellent breakfast!!