Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Traditional Carrot Salad

Another comfort food growing up was my mom's carrot salad. This simple heavenly delight is good at any time of year, and so easy to make! We never waste apples or carrots (I'm sure the horses would not consider giving the old apples and carrots to them a waste, but I prefer to use them if they are not too far gone!) because we can always make this dish which never stays around the house long!

Use several large carrots (enough for about four cups of shredded carrot) peeled and shredded
One can of crushed pineapple (drained but reserve juice)
3 medium apples (more if you prefer), cored and diced into large chuncks
1/2 cup mayonaise
1 cup raisens
Soak raisens in reserved pineapple juice for about 5-10 minutes (do this first and then prepare carrots and apples)
Mix carrots, apples, crushed pineapple, raisens(drained from juice), and mayo together. Chill and serve! I've seen several versions of this over the years including adding nuts, coconut and other items but this simplistic country version holds my heart ...and TASTEBUDS!!

Homegrown Pasta Sauce

Even though I have not been as consistent as I should be, I promise, I have been cooking, gardening and creating. We have not starved in any way, shape or form! (I could probably stand to starve for a few days and shed some pounds!) I have actually been cooking quite a bit and have made several quite healthy meals! One of our favorite things is home made pasta sauce. We had a profusion of tomatoes last year in our garden and I was able to freeze (I haven't gotten the hang of canning everything, so freezing is still my quickest option) several gallons of both tomatoes and sauce. Here is my garden tomato sauce:

Start with several large ripe tomatoes (depending on how much you want to make but I normally do about 10 or more at a time), preferably a mixture for better taste. My sauces consist of Red German Johnsans, Yellow Boy and a few Roma's. Blanch tomatoes (place for 30 seconds in boiling water and immediately place in cool water to remove skins). Put tomatoes in food processor (a blender will work as well) (for a thicker sauce or salsa drain tomatoes for a few minutes in collander and use a chopper).
Finely chop one medium yellow onion, one green pepper (small) and one yellow or red pepper, set aside.
Use one small clove of garlic finely chopped (approx. 1 1/2 tbs) and place in sauce pan in approx. 1 tbs butter or light olive oil (two tbs chicken broth will work here as well) and saute on medium high. Add in your onion and continue to saute. Stir in your peppers. Add your herbs. I used dried herbs and go heavy on the oregeno, italian seasoning, salt and parsley, light on the pepper, thyme and basil. Add your tomatoes and simmer for a few hours (or transfer to crockpot for a few hours). For a heartier version add browned ground hamburger. Serve of a variety of pastas. Perfect for spaghetti and tortellini (thicken it up and add mushrooms for lasagna) and even great in a chunkier version as a salsa (add hot peppers and spice). This is also great to add in chuncks of squash, zuchini, eggplant etc for a veggie version! I love this dish because it is so versitile and in the summer I can literally go out in my garden and PICK everything to make it! ENJOY!

Shown here over cheese tortellini in the chunckier version:

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I had this plan one day two or three weeks ago (yes, I am THAT behind in updating my blog) to make deer roast. So I put my deer in the crockpot with onion, salt and pepper, and water and let it cook all day. I ended up working late....so I did not get the potatoes and carrots in the crockpot in time to be done for dinner. What's a girl to do? Throw something together completely last minute! I chopped up the deer (which was falling apart and needed very little chopping), cooked some brown rice (uncle ben's bagged rice is fab for this) mixed with a 2 tbsp butter, made some peppered sawmill gravy and mixed all together for a casserole style dinner, served with garlic bread. For a throw together meal, it wasn't bad at all and may be something I try again with different variations(such as adding sauteed onion and broccoli florets, so I felt it worth a brief mention on the blog.


Remember that strawberry pie I posted about previously? The following morning, I had a yearning....for pancakes. So I made a nice stack (followed directions on the Hungry Jack box...so hard I know) and smothered them in the strawberry pie syrup, topped with whip cream. YUMMO......IHOP eat your heart out!

Easy as Pie!

I had a fight with my freezer. ...It won! I have a really old standup freezer in my basement where I keep veggies etc. and it periodically develops an ice monster that must be tamed. The most recent appearance attacked some of my veggies, incasing them in pristine whiteness, so with my trusty sword (actually a screwdriver), I began chipping away to free my zuchini, but there was a casualty....a defenseless bag of strawberries that I didn't even know was there. Needless to say, I couldn't leave them to collect freezer burn since I had punctured the bag so I freed them from their icey prison and thawed them out. What to do now? Easy....a PIE. This doesn't even require a RECIPE! I had about 3 cups of strawberries that I cooked with 1 cup of sugar over medium heat for about 30 minutes. Drained most of the juice off and stored for later. Used Pillsbury roll out pie crusts, one in the bottom, add strawberries, and I cut the other into strips that basketweaved on top of the pie. Sprinkled with sugar and baked for 20 minutes on 450 till crust was lightly browned. SCRUMPTIOUS, quick, and EASY!! (best served with whip cream or icecream).