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Archive for the ‘Freezing’ Category

Well, this is today’s batch of pesto, ready for the freezer. I didn’t originally plan on making any, but the food processor was out, the basil plant was bountiful, and so it was time… I love pesto, and I love being able to take some out of the freezer come wintertime. Pesto pizza is always tasty, as is a pesto pasta with mushrooms, but my favorite is simply pesto on a toasted bagel with some melted cheese on top. I always end up tweaking the recipe a bit differently for each batch, depending on how it’s tasting, and often I’ll add sun-dried tomatoes (but not today – I went purist style). Pesto has always frozen very well for me, so I try to stock up the freezer during this time of year. Here is today’s recipe:

  • 4 large cloves of Garlic
  • 3 cups Fresh Basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup Pine Nuts
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan

In a food processor, chop garlic cloves and basil leaves first.  Add remaining ingredients and pulse until blended.

That’s my balcony basil from about six weeks ago… It was definitely time to use some of those yummy basil leaves!

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I didn’t originally plan on doing much, if any, cooking today. But in the car this morning on the way home, I was trying to figure out what I might be able to make for dinner this evening… an extra bonus would be if there was enough for some lunches too for the next day or so. I didn’t feel like going to the grocery store, so I was trying to find something where all the ingredients were on hand. I came up with Macaroni and Cheese, or Rotini and Cheese, as it turned out. It should be interesting, because I gathered up several types of ‘leftover’ cheeses from the fridge… this version has blue cheese, smoked cheddar, mozzarella and sharp cheddar cheese in it. There’s also some mushrooms and bacon too. It was a fitting way to use up those straggler items in the fridge, and it’ll definitely be around for a few days.

Then, while I was at it, I decided to make some Turkey Meatballs for the freezer… because those are always good to have around too. So, soon I’ll be bagging them and tucking them away. For now though, it’s about time to start cooking the mac and cheese dish. (It turned out very tasty, by the way. The blue cheese added some deep flavors to it.). So, nothing new here, just some oldies but goodies from the kitchen…

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This is one of my favorite fresh veggie meals… Ratatouille! I know there are all sorts of versions of it, but this one here is the one I enjoy. It also freezes fairly well, usually ending up with a bit of extra liquid which is easily drained off once thawed. When the winter months are knocking and I’m in the mood for some veggie goodness, a bit of liquid is usually something I can deal with. Actually, it’d probably be quite tasty over rice… letting the rice soak up some of the juices. I’ll have to try that. I should try some other versions of this recipe too, but this is the one I’m sticking with for now…

  • 1/3 cup Olive Oil
  • 2 Medium Onions, chopped
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 2 Good-Sized Eggplants, peeled and cubed
  • 4-5 Medium Zucchini, cubed
  • 3 Yellow or Red Peppers, cubed (or a combination thereof)
  • 2-3 cups Fresh Tomatoes, chopped, or 1 Big Can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1+ Tbsp Fresh Basil, chopped  (or substitute dried herb)
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Herbs, as desired – I like Thyme and/or Oregano  (again, substituting dried herbs if needed)

1. In large pot, heat oil, cook onions til soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic & cook one minute. Stir in eggplant & zucchini, and season with salt.

2. Add 3/4 cup water, cover and simmer, til vege’s begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in peppers and simmer another 5 minutes.

3. Stir in tomatoes and seasonings, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover partially and simmer, stirring often, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat, and do with it what you will…,

I serve this over whole-wheat pasta, adding a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. I will have to try it over rice one of these days. As I said, this does freeze fairly well, for up to 3 months. That’s what they tell me anyway. None of ours has lasted quite that long yet. 🙂

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