Monday, October 29, 2012

Easy Homemade Veggie Broth

I hate wasting money. In fact, I hate spending money AND I hate wasting money. Because of this, I have starting making my own vegetable broth. This broth saves on money, uses things that are usually wasted, and cuts way down on the sodium going into most of my recipes. This isn't so much a recipe, though, but more like guidelines.

How to make vegetable broth on the cheap
1. Save scraps of vegetables from other recipes. I save the peels of onions, the stems of broccoli, the ends of carrots, celery leaves, and the tops of green and red peppers mostly. Put them in a freezer bag and keep them in the freezer until you are ready to make your broth.

2. Before vegetables go bad, freeze batches you won't be able to use. I tend to buy bags of carrots and celery that I don't get all the way through, but the smaller bags are more expensive, so I always buy the big bag, and freeze what I won't get through.

3. I make my broth in the Crockpot because, 1. My Crockpot is bigger than any pots I have, and 2. I can leave it go all day and not worry about it. I simply pour my frozen vegetables in and cover them with water. Sometimes I sort through the vegetables a bit, to keep the ratios in check. For example, this last time I went to make broth, I had a lot of broccoli stems, so I left a few out. I think you can never have too many carrots or celery in your broth.

4. Add spices if you feel so inclined. I usually add a bay leaf or two, but nothing else. I like to leave the salt out, and just add salt into individual recipes instead, but you could add salt and pepper too.

5. If using the stove, simmer for 1-2 hours. In the Crockpot, cook on low for 8-10 hours. Cooking time isn't super important, you just want all the veggies to cook and be very soft, so you know you got all the flavors out of them.

6. Let the broth cool a bit before trying to pour it into containers. The way I found easiest (as you can see in the picture) is to place a colander on top of a small bowl and scoop using a measuring cup. I only do about a cup at a time, and press the veggies firmly against the bottom of the colander to get most of the liquid out. Then simply pour the broth into containers and refrigerate or freeze.

The batch I made this weekend made 10 cups of broth, which would cost $10+ from the store. My batch probably cost me less than $1, considering most of it is just scraps that normally get thrown away.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I'm not dead

I'm trying to get back on track, get back to blogging about, not only food, but other beautiful and fun things too. Lately things have been hectic and I haven't been getting posts up, but I have still been doing plenty. I don't have pictures for everything, but I have a few definate recipe recommendations.

1. Eggplant Focaccia(via the Curvy Carrot). This recipe was delicious and simple. The only thing I did differently from the recipe was using swiss instead of Emmentaler and rolling it round, rather than square. AMAZING. If you don't follow the curvy carrot, I suggest you do so immedinately.

2. Cheesy Spinach Soup(aka Witches' Brew, via Annie's Eats). Again, all I did differently was change the cheese to Cheddar(since that is what I had on hand). This soup was very tasty, and I felt so healthy eating it(since it really is mostly spinach anyway). I could not get it smooth enough using my immersion blender, so I used the regular blender, and it turned out great.

I've also been knitting a bunch recently, and even attempting to crochet a bit(though the project was very simple). I crocheted this simple single chain scarf, and I love it. The picture really doesn't do it justice, and I will try to take a better one later on(it is 80 here today, so not really scarf weather).

I also knitted a simple baby hat and mittens for my soon to be niece or nephew. I went with gray, hoping it could work for a boy or girl.

I'm still a very inexperienced knitter, so I try to do simple projects. Next I'm hoping to do a ridiculously adorable blanket I saw on raverly(I'll share the name once I get all my supplies).

So, I am not dead, and will hopefully be back to posting on a regular basis very soon. I should have lots of pretty things to share from the baby shower I am planning, which is coming up in just 4 short weeks.