my mom’s pasta salad 

so apparently it’s spring,  although here in Denver you wouldn’t have known it this past mothers’ day. 

  

Seriously.   It was pretty awesome! 

  

Because I got to make a snow lady! 

Today I’m sharing what is pretty much a basic pasta salad.  My mom made this growing up all the time.  Now I do! We pretty much always have a bowl of this in the fridge from spring to summer. 

  

mom’s pasta salad 

1 box of small macaroni ( shells, elbows, etc) 

2 celery stalks, chopped 

2 carrots, peeled and chopped 

1/2 red onion, chopped 

Hellman’s mayonnaise ( anywhere from 1/2 cup-1cup) 

***Powdered garlic ( 1/2tsp minimum, more if you really like garlic) 

Sea salt and pepper. 

Cook pasta in salted water, just until tender.   Drain ( don’t rinse). While hot sprinkle  with salt, pepper and garlic . Let cool . 

Mix all ingredients together. 

  

And that’s it! Season woth salt and pepper!

When my daughter’s friends come over they eat this like candy. 

My niece  once stole the bowl off the counter and I had to chase her! 

she and my daughter actually sat in my oversized tub ( empty tub ) with the bowl and two spoons. 

I couldn’t make this up if I tried! 

*** I once made an incredibly over garlic dip…  It was insane.   Ever since then Scott claims I tried to kill him with garlic…  So I tend to use less garlic than most.  Season to your own family’s tastes!

I have a few other pasta salad recipes, but this one here…. It’s the family favorite! 

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basic beef stock 

hiya, friends!  How’s your Thursday going? 

Sooooo… Remember earlier this year when I told y’all about my jawbone up24

Yeahhhhh.  It’s disappeared. Like off the face of the Earth. 

And I’m obsessed. Completely obsessed with finding it. 

I know the day and the time that I lost it.  And since it was the day of the NCAA men’s’ hockey semi-final, I even know what I was wearing ( YAY PC!)

But I cannot find it. And it’s frustrating.  

Ugh. 

Anyhooooooooo….

After a very long conversation with my eldest son last night about the benefits of Bone broth , I’ve decided to share my basic beef broth recipe. 

It’s quite similar to my Chicken stock recipe, but there are a few more steps. 

Start by getting some beef bones from your butcher.  I usually ask for them and the cut them for me.  I get a mixture of marrow and knuckle.  And they are really  inexpensive! 

***( I usually have him cut my an inch thick marrow to give to my pup as well) 

basic beef broth 

2-3 pounds of assorted beef bones from your butcher 

( optional.. Tomato paste) 

1 large onion

1 large carrot

A few celery stalks 

Tomato 

Garlic cloves 

Handful of fresh parsley,,,  stems and leaves 

Bay leaf 

Healthy splash of Apple cider vinegar 

Preheat oven to 375

Place bones, a carrot,onion and celery on a baking sheet , toss with salt and pepper and of you desire, tomato paste 

  

Roast for an hour or two until the bones get some color..  Color equals flavor! 

Remove from oven and let cool completely. 

Add everything from the pan including drippings and anything you can scrape to a large Dutch oven 

Add a healthy splash of apple cider vinegar ( it helps extract the minerals from the bones) 

  

Add bay leaf, fat handful of parsley Chopped tomato, garlic cloves ( no need to peel) celery stalks and ice cold water to the top of the pan 

Bring to boil over medium heat, skim any foam and Reduce to simmer. 

And wait.  Like a long time .  I usually start mine early in the morning and let it cook allllll day long. 

At the end of the day, remove from heat, let cool and refrigerate overnight. 

In the morning, this will look pretty gross.  Don’t be discouraged.  It’s all part of the process 

 

All of the fat will have floated to the top and congealed. Gross. 

Using a slotted spoon, remove as much fat as possible ( a little bit is ok…. You will be straining it a second time.  Don’t stress) 

 

 Return to heat and once again…  Cook over low heat all day. 

Pour through strainer, into a bowl, this time discarding all bones and veggies 

Cool completely. 

 

  Finish by straining through a fine mesh strainer ( I strain it into a large Pyrex measuring cup because the pourer- thing makes life easy ) 

Pour into jars and enjoy ! ( it will also freeze beautifully for up to 6 months) 

  

It may seem like an awful lot of work, but the flavor that you develop is insanely good! Like great!   And these two jars are half of what I made.   I froze the other half. 

Let me know if you make this! 

Have you ever lost something and drove  yourself crazy trying to find it? 


**** bone marrow and dogs.   I’ve done a lot of research,  you can give a dog a fresh marrow bone, and trust me, he/ she will love you.   But the bone HAS to be raw.   Any sort of cooked bone dries out and can cause slivers and shards and hurt your pup. 

Some dogs may have GI issues if you have a bone woth a lot of marrow (  from what I’ve read) 

My pup seems to do ok with it. 

  

 My favorite little old lady 💞

home-made chicken stock 

good morning, friends!

It’s a rainy Sunday morning here in Denver, and I’m starting my day by sipping on  a giant mug of chicken broth.

Its a perfect combo 🙂

Last week I was chatting with y’all about BROTH BOWLS and the health benefits of bone broth. (Stock)

Making stock is really quite easy.. And inexpensive ( bonus!)

A few months back, I started saving all of my veggie scraps ( onion tops and skins, carrot tops and shaving, parsley stems, pea pods, potato skins, celery leaves and ends… Basically anything except for peppers or cauliflower)

I save them in a Tupperware dish and when it’s full, I make broth

For veggie broth, simply add all of your scraps to a pot, fill with cold water, a few pepper corns, sea salt  and a bay leaf.  Bring to a boil and simmer for about an hour.  Once liquid is cool enough, drain through a colander ( into a bowl ) and voila! Free veggie broth!

Chicken stock is quite similar, but there are a few more steps.

Start with a ROAST CHICKEN.  Pull off and discard any excess skin.  Remove as much of the meat as possible and reserve for another dish.  Add bones to a large stockpot and add vegetable scraps

( if you don’t have scraps, use one onion, chopped ( don’t bother peeling) a carrot or two, a few ribs of celery )

Add ice cold water … This is very important,  you need the cold water to properly extract the minerals from the bones

add either some white wine, lemon juice or vinegar. ( healthy splash ) it also helps extract the minerals

Add a bay leaf or two, some peppercorns, sea salt and place pot on  medium high heat and slowly bring to a boil. If any foam should arise, skim off and discard .

Once pot reaches a boil, reduce heat to low and allow stock to simmer for 2-3 hours.

When stock is cool enough, drain first through a colondar ( into a bowl…. Once I forgot the bowl and poured the soup right down the drain. )

Pure.

Genius.

Not.

Once stock reaches room temp, refrigerate until fully chilled.  The fat should float to the top.

Strain again, this time through a fine mesh strainer to remove excess fat.

Test for salt and pepper and voila! Enjoy as is or use in your favorite recipe!

Click for more soup recipes

Basic beef stock 

 

Creamy roasted tomato and garlic soup

Crock pot potato cheese soup

Chilled cucumber soup 

Autumn mushroom soup with cognac

Kale soup

Creamy curried butternut soup 

Veggie chili

one pot roast chicken with vermouth sauce 

hiya friends! 

I’ve been roasting chickens for what feels like my whole life…..  It’s such a homey meal and I’m positively addicted to Making bone broth with the leftover bones.

But the mess after roasting a chicken. Oiy. Vey. The cleanup was never something that I look forward to. 

For about the last year, I’ve been roasting a tad differently, and it’s worked great for me, cleanup is almost nothing, and well, it’s just awesome 

ONE POT ROAST CHICKEN WITH VERMOUTH SAUCE 

1- 4-5 pound chicken, giblets removed

1/2 onion, roughly chopped

2 carrots ( no need to peel) rough chop 

1 celery stock, rough chopped ( I didn’t use in this recipe, but I usually do ) 

Sea salt and pepper 

Flour ( I like brown rice flour ) 

1/2 cup dry vermouth 

1/4-1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth 

Meat thermometer ( under 10 at most stores) 

**Cast iron skillet 

Start by preheating over to 425 degrees.   

Salt and pepper both inside and outside of chicken 

Place all veggies in cast iron skillet 

  I’ve thrown in a few over ripe tomatoes here….  Not necessary, but added another layer of flavor. 

That’s the fun part of this recipe.. Use what you have, make it your own.   You can add fennel bulb, parsnips, lemon, Potatoes..  Herbs..  Have fun with it! 

Place seasoned chicken on top of chopped veggies, strategically placing so that there is a little bit of space underneath 

  

Place in preheated oven and roast for about 20 minutes, until crust looks brown and crispy.   Turn temp down to 325 and continue to roast until thermometer inserted in deepest part of thigh ( without touching the bone ) reads 165. ..  

( juices Should run clear, not pink,from where you insert thermometer) 

Using potholders, remove pan from oven.  

 

* here’s a napkin for you * 😉 

Let rest for a few minutes, then carefully transfer chicken to cutting board, allowing it to rest longer. 

Making the sauce…….  

Using a slotted spoon, remove veggies and set aside. 

Drain all but about 1-2 tablespoons of accumulated fat. Add flour and using a fork or whisk,  mix flour and fat together until it looks crumbly.  Stir mixture continuously for about a minute, 

Turn heat off, add vermouth slowly mixing the whole time, then turn heat back on to medium, and allow to thicken. Add broth a little bit at a time, until desired thickeness. 

  

(Ps… You are  Cleaning the pan as you go!) 

You can serve the sauce like this, but for a smoother sauce, strain through a fine-mesh strainer, using a spatula to get out every last bit . 

  

Cut the chicken breast off each side In one pieces, then slice vertically.   Remove wings and legs. 

Serve with sauce and veggies! 

Finished photo here

Simply rinse your cast iron skillet under warm water, using a brush to remove any last bits, wipe down with a pair towel and brush with a little bit of oil.   

Cleanup done! 

***. Cast iron skillets…  

Ove my years I have used many different kinds of cookware,   In my opinion, there is none superior to the same thing our grandparents used, cast iron. 

They are inexpensive, ( under 20 at your local hardware store) 

They do need to be seasoned, but this is easy and once you do it properly, you should rarely have to do it again 

You can also find them at yard sales ( I would love to have know this magic earlier, because I would have treasured a cast iron skillet from either mine or my husbands’ grandparents ) 

Don’t let rust on a pan at a sale  scare you! You can easily scrub it off, and re season.  A cast iron skillet should last forever! 

Never ever, ever use soap on the skillet.  This is so important . 

Seriously….  This might be the best 20 bucks you’ll spend in your kitchen! 

Save all of your bones and scraps… Next up.. Fail-proof stock! 

baked spaghetti squash… via true food kitchen

friends. If you are connected with me on my  Facebook page , then you’ve had a sneak peak at what’s cooking in my kitchen

Get yerself a sketti squash, because trust me, you will want to make this!

I mentioned in my massaged kale salad post how I am obsessed with True Food Kitchen

I’ve eaten here many times and have tried many things on the menu. ALL fabulous.

Twice now, I’ve had friends order the spaghetti squash casserole, and both have raved about how good it was.

( truth be told, both friends offered me a bite, of which I accepted  and wow! I just knew I had to make it at home)

I did a little research * puffy heart google* and voila! found the recipe!

click the link for complete recipe

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Ingredients
1 spaghetti squash
2 large carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
Red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Pinch of ground allspice
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 pound part-skim mozzarella
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheesenow since I’m home with a healing pup, I had to improvise the recipe just a littleI did not have the peppers, but I did find a sad little jalepeno in my crisper drawer, and we like it hot 😉 so I used that in place of the red and yellow peppers. 

IMG_3833

 

Start by cooking the squash. The recipe says to add entire squash into a big pot of water, bring to a boil for 50 minutes.

 

check on pup 

Now, I usually cook squash in the oven but I was intrigued to try this method. So I did.

My only comment would be that cooking it in the oven it was easier to separate the seeds from the flesh, but over, I would cook the squash either way.

while the squash is cooking ( whichever way your little heart desired) Chop up your veggies

Add a small amount of olive oil to a pan ( I’m a die hard believer in cast iron.. I’ll explain why if ya wants to know 😉  )

 

add the onions and carrots to hot oil, season with a bit of salt and cook for 5 min

 

check on pup 

next, I  added the the pepper and celery with a dash of red pepper flakes

 

IMG_3835

 

allow to saute for about 10 minutes, until veggies were soft. Taste for salt, if it needs a little more, go ahead and knock your self out 😉

* I kept adding little bits of water throughout so that the veggies didn’t dry out and stick while softening.. maybe 2 tablespoons at a time each time I stirred it ? )

 

check on pup 

The recipe called to squeeze the garlic in, but I rid myself of my garlic press years ago, as it only had that one purpose, and its easy enough to smash garlic with the side of a chef’s knife. garlic smash

If you have a press, by all means use it

add the crushed tomatoes m sprinkle of allspice (the secret ingredient, we discovered) , the garlic.

now you may have noticed the dish of roasted tomatoes.  I had some maters that were to ripe to eat raw, so I roasted them like I did when I made my

Creamy Roasted Tomato and Garlic soup

I  added these sweet babies  in addition to the crushed tomatoes

I also added a sprig of rosemary.

I hate to follow directions 😉

 

IMG_3838

and btw~ this smelled heavenly 

Next I used a pair of tongs to remove squash from boiling water ( CAREFULLY) and place on a cutting board until cool enough to cut

IMG_3842

 

scoop out seeds ( if you cooked it in the oven, you’ve already done this. great job, you overachiever, you  😉 ) spaghetti squash filling

 

add to tomato mixture and stir

 

check on pup 

Now full disclosure… since I was cooking this for just Scott and myself, I spooned out half of the tomato mixture and reserved for another recipe ( veggie chili, perhaps? ) and only used half of the spaghetti squash itself.   Had I known I could have halved the recipe, but being my first time making it, I wasn’t thinking.

IMG_3846I mean just look at this! Incredible.

 

next, layer 1/2  the squash mixture in baking dishes , add 1/2 the cheese, the rest of the squash mixture, and top with remaining cheese

baked spaghetti squash

guess which one was mine 😉

 

As far as the cheese goes, I used shredded because I had it and on Sunday when I played around with

SMOKED TOFU, I smoked a few mozzarella balls as well ( just curious how it would come out) so I cut those up and topped  our dishes with a bit of that crazy cheese flavor.

I baked it in a 350 over for about 20 minutes, topped with shredded basil and a tiny drizzle of olive oil

Baked Spaghetti Squash

do I have your attention yet?

 

baked Spaghetti squash

yeeeeeaaah…  this was pretty awesome.  and healthy? CRAZY healthy!

If you would like to make this vegan, substitute Daiya cheese. simple!

My friend, Cindy stopped by yesterday to visit with me and brought me lunch. From where? True food of course!

I had the edamame dumplings and they were incredible. Together we disected the taste and came up with what we think would be a good recipe.

 

I have my next challenge!true food edamame dumplings

 

 

Thank you, Cindy, for lunch and the company 😉

My next immediate project is making Frozen Pup treats or Home made Peanut butter biscuits  With all of the treats I’ve been given Fen, I’m starting to run low and need to last until the weekend when Scott is home

 

IMG_0820

 

My sweet girl ❤

Congrats, friends.. you’ve almost made it through humpday!

 

oxox

 

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