Monday, August 11, 2008

Domestic Diva

This past weekend was spent in the kitchen! With the summer semester over, I now have some time back to do a few of the things that I enjoy. One of these semi-hobbies is trying new recipes. I am not a great cook by any means. In fact, a fair share of what I have attempted to make has ended up in the garbage. However, our garden is overflowing with vegetables and since I hate to waste anything, I figured I would try a few new recipes. Heck, it cost next to nothing for most of the ingredients, so time was the only potential loss.

Most of what I did turned out great. I am now dubbing myself a Domestic Diva. Not only did I make all of the recipes below using mostly ingredients from our garden, I also did four loads of laundry, tons of errands, and went running. We also had neighbors over Saturday night. Outside of catching up on personal email and blogging (which I am still working on), I did a heck of a lot of stuff in two days!

On Saturday, I used up all of our old frozen bananas to make three loaves of Banana Chocolate Chip Bread. I highly recommend this recipe. It was so good! I think Todd liked it, too, since we ate 1.5 loaves in three days!

I also boiled, peeled, and cut up about four dozen tomatoes. We have so many in our garden and I wanted to be able to use them. So, I decided to make homemade marinara sauce. I looked around for a recipe I liked, but didn't find just the right one. So, I combined two different recipes to come up with my own creation. It was pretty good. Todd loved it because it was sort of a spicy marinara.

Christan's Spicy Marinara

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper powder or chilli flakes
  • ~2 pounds ripe tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoons dried basil

In a large pot, bring 2-3 L of water to boil. Place the washed tomatoes with cross slits in the water. Bring to a boil. After 5 minutes, switch off the gas. Remove tomatoes from water and let cool. Once cool enough to handle, peel of the tomatoes and quarter them.

In a saucepan, heat the olive oil and saute the chopped garlic for a few seconds. Do not brown. Put the chilli flakes/powder in the oil and immediately put in the quartered tomatoes. Season with remaining ingredients. Stir around the contents of the pan until the moisture has evaporated and continue to cook until the tomatoes make a nice thick sauce. If it is too runny, you can add tomato paste. This recipe doubles well. You can add other ingredients to taste if you like. Examples might be mushrooms, onions, meat, etc.

And then I made even more stuff...

Sunday night for dinner, I made Stuffed Green Peppers using more vegetables from our garden. Todd wanted them without meat, so filled them with chopped mushrooms and tomatoes instead of meat. The turned out okay, but not great. If we make this as part of a meal again, I would definitely try a different recipe. Below is a mixture of the stuffed pepper before they were baked. I added the marinara and some cheese just before putting them in the oven.

On Sunday night, I boiled, peeled, and cut up even more tomatoes to make salsa. I wasn't sure how this would turn out, but it is freaking awesome. I feel like I could sell this stuff to the local Mexican restaurants. We made tacos for dinner this past Monday and had chips and salsa, too. Between the two of us, we ate almost 3 cups of salsa. I highly recommend the recipe for D's Famous Salsa and if you don't want to use fresh tomatoes, you can even buy the canned kind to make this.


Nikki said...

Wow, I am so impressed! Everything looked and sounded soooo good! I've already dubbed my parents' salsa (all from their garden) the best around, but yours looked great. Definitely going to have to try the banana chocolate chip bread!

Lana said...

I was a fan of the marinara! :) I'm definitely going to try the banana choc chip bread too - we made some banana bread on Sunday (and of course, it's already been eaten!).

Anonymous said...

Rock on! I wish I could cook!