Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Now For The Play By Play

So now that you understand a bit more about what I write in my journal the natural question is of course - what are you eating? Well, lets delve into my Tuesday night for a great example of this.

Last night I had a free evening with nothing planned so it was time to cook up all the food in the fridge. If you hate cooking this might sound like the worst thing ever, but it really wasn't hard and the results were totally worth it. No cooking again for probably a week and tasty food that is easy to find and costs me pennies in comparison to the packaged versions!

I made:
homemade tomato sauce
stuffed peppers
stewed okra
homemade whole wheat bread
spicy chicken and corn chowder

You might notice that a lot of the ingredients overlap. This is what makes this even easier. And what made it even easier-er (that is SO a word) is that I own a stick blender, a slow cooker and a bread maker! Now you're thinking - she spent the evening in the kitchen and she has invested in all these appliances. No way are you, my fair reader, doing this. Well, let me just say, that my fiance, a connoisseur of calories, believes that bread maker changed our lives. In fact, it is the only thing that has him eating bread at all - he hadn't eaten bread for 2 years prior. So you just go and belittle my appliances while I sit over here and eat tasty food (which doesn't contain a lot of crap, you can keep your methylcellulose and high fructose corn syrup, thanks).

First, a side note, I chopped up big red tasty farmer's market tomatoes in the morning and tossed them in the slow cooker with about 4 cups of water, 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of basil and 2 tablespoons of parsley. If you do this, make sure you remove all the tomato seeds and clear goo around the seeds. Putting them in will make your sauce really bitter. Also, you can make the tomato pieces as big as you want so long as you can blend them later.

So last nights play by play:

5 pm Arrive home.

5:10 pm Consume bowl of watermelon while reading the newspaper.*

5:12 pm Turn off slow cooker. Attack tomatoes with stick blender. You could probably put the entire thing in your regular blender if you wanted but the stick blender gets out some pretty great aggression from the work day!

5:15 pm Discover that 4 cups of water was WAY too much. Put sauce in a wide pan with about 4 inch deep sides. BOIL THE CRAP OUT OF IT. If you ever deal with this excess water problem be sure to cover the pan when you boil it and keep it at high heat until it looks like actual sauce. If you don't cover it you'll have a nice terra cotta colored wall behind your stove!

5:20 pm Eat 4 crackers with almond butter on top while reading the paper.*

5:30 pm Complain to fiance about an apartment maintenance problem. Make him call the building people.*

5:45 pm Place chicken bones from last week's roasted, organic, CAFOs-free chickens into a giant stock pot. Cover with water.

6 pm Cut corn off the cob (doesn't need to be cooked, although it can). Chop okra. Cut peppers in half and get rid of the gross inedibles.

6:20 pm Pour the chicken bones through a strainer and into another pot. Sort through the bits, saving the meat and tossing the bones. Put corn in the pot. Put the pot in the fridge, top on.

7 pm Clean various dishes so the pile of bowls in the drying rack doesn't get taller than me.

7:30 pm Watch Jeopardy.*

8 pm Get my act together and go to Harris Teeter (turn off all your burners) for milk, eggs and paper towels - the essentials. Run into former roommate and her boyfriend looking like crap (Why does this always happen?!).*

8:10 pm Stand awkwardly, for what seems like a lifetime, waiting for someone in the store to find a gallon of organic whole milk. Yes, I drink organic and yes I drink whole. Also, yes, I'll tell you about that decision another time.*

8:30 pm Finally return from HT (What? Its next door to my apartment building and I believe trips there should never take more than 6 minutes.).* Place bread maker on counter. Put the following in it, in this order: 1.25 cups of water, 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of brown sugar, 1.5 cups of all purpose flour, 2 cups of whole wheat flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, one packet of dry yeast. Yep, that is it. Please, go find your loaf of bread in your house. I'll wait. I guarantee yours has at LEAST twice as many as ingredients, doesn't stay fresh as long and isn't as tasty.

8:32 pm Walk away from bread maker.

8:33 pm Stir together leftover brown rice and leftover ground beef and pork (yes, also organic and CAFOs-free) with some of my now less watery tomato sauce. Place green pepper halves in pan. Place spoonfuls of beef, rice and sauce mixture in them. Place the rest of the sauce on top. Leave to simmer for about 10 minutes with the top on.

8:40 pm Place some of the okra and some of the leftover sauce (I have no ratios for you on this one, I eyeballed it) in a small pot. Simmer for 15 minutes until the okra is soft but not mushy. Put it in a tupperware container to be mixed later with leftover ground meat and some pasta - is my thinking ahead making you nauseous yet?

9:00 pm Clean random things in the house. Collect fiances shoes strewn about. Shower. Try to find something on television and quickly give up.*

9:20 pm Plate two stuffed peppers. Grate fresh gruyere on top.

9:21 pm CONSUME. (While reading the paper of course.)

9:35 pm Lick my lips.*

9:40 pm Clean up the last bits. (From the kitchen, not my face.)


Really, not hard. Also, I kind of took my sweet time with this. You could probably do this in much less time if you weren't traipsing about and complaining about the lack of organic whole milk in your grocery store.

So now you want to know what I did with the soup in my fridge. Well, this morning I put it on to simmer in my stove while I got dressed and ate breakfast. I put the rest of the okra in it along with some cayenne pepper and curry powder. When I say some I mean I put way too much so don't trust me on eyeballing spices, I'm not always good at it. I let it simmer for about a half hour. It is currently resting in two tupperware containers - one in the fridge and one in the freezer - for easy consumption!

*You don't have to do these to get tasty results but you're smart and probably figured that out.


EJ Takes Life said...

Oh hush, you looked just fine. And it was really nice to see you last night! Also, after reading this I am super-hungry despite polishing off leftover ragu for lunch.

Lizzy said...

With regard to the tomato sauce, you can use canned whole peeled tomatoes and run them through a food mill. Saves oodles of time and removes 97.9% of the seeds.