Though I’m a soup aficionado (though more so on the enthusiasm side than the knowledge side), I’ve never made my own stock. I cooked a 6 pound turkey- nicknamed Bradley- for my second Thanksgiving on Saturday, so I figured I’d give stock a test-drive with the leftover turkey carcass (sounds appetizing, huh?).
I just placed the turkey remnants in my Crockpot and added in carrot peels, the dark green tops of leeks, onion skins, and celery tops. I covered everything with water and let it stew overnight on low.
The next morning, after straining all the big pieces out, I had a richly colored, flavorful stock to use as a base for soups!
Haha, you can see the apple icon from my computer in the reflection!
Here are a few tips:
- Be sure to clean your vegetable scraps thoroughly before adding them to the stock
- Keep a Ziploc bag of meat and vegetable scraps in the freezer to add to as they come. Once you have enough, make a pot of stock
- Once the stock is cooled, you can skim the fat off the top and dispose of it
- Wilted vegetables and herbs are great for stock
- Seafood shells (crab, lobster, etc) can be used for seafood stock
- Cheese rinds can be used for a slightly cheesy stock
- Freeze stock in a silicone muffin tin. When frozen, pop out and put in a Ziploc bag for individually-sized stock portions
P.S. Here is a helpful roundup of posts about making homemade stocks and broths from TheKitchn
Nothing says fall to me like butternut squash. I’m so obsessed that my friend once told me if I had a word cloud for my life, butternut squash would be in big letters (“That’s what she said” would probably be in huge letters too…).
And leeks in soup? Such a delicious way to get a creamy texture without dairy. If you’re my friend, you’ve probably heard me go on and on about potato leek soup.
You could even play around with this soup by adding a potato for an even creamier texture. Or mix up the spices by subbing basil and oregano for the nutmeg.
Or just follow my recipe
- 1/2 large butternut squash (peeled, de-seeded, and chopped into bite-sized chunks)
- 1 1/2 leeks (trimmed, cleaned, and sliced)
- 1 medium onion (chopped)
- 1 clove of garlic (diced)
- 4 chicken bouillon cubes and 4 cups of water or 4 cups of chicken broth or 4 cups of vegetable broth
Prep vegetables. Combine broth and vegetables in Crockpot. Sprinkle 2-3 dashes each of salt, pepper, and nutmeg on top. Cook on low in Crockpot for 6-7 hours. Allow to cool for several minutes, then blend with an immersion blender (or leave chunky if desired). Serve hot with a dollop of sour cream, if desired.
P.S. Do your hands ever get itchy, red, and start peeling when you handle butternut squash? Mine do and I found out why: butternut squash dermatitis! The best solution is to wear gloves or buy pre-chopped butternut squash.
If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that my first eggplant purchase was a mere 46 days ago. I’m now hooked, so I picked up another one at Trader Joe’s the other day. Originally, I planned to make this Indian Eggplant recipe, but I came across this recipe for Eggplant Moussaka instead.
Despite the less-than-raving reviews, I decided to give it a try- partially because I’m obsessed with my Crockpot. And I loved it (maybe because I don’t know what “real” moussaka tastes like?)!! To my surprise, I especially liked the unique little pop from the cinnamon.
- 1 large eggplant, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1 lb ground turkey (or ground beef)
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 onion, sliced
- 5 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste,
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces feta cheese with garlic and herbs
Prep Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 1/2 day
- Place peeled and sliced eggplant on the bottom of the Crockpot
- Brown the ground meat in a large skillet until there is no pink remaining
- Add meat mixture to the crock pot on top of the eggplant
- Add the remaining ingredients- except the feta cheese- to the Crockpot
- Cook on low for 6-8 hours
- Sprinkle feta on each serving
I was looking for a recipe to use up the chicken drumsticks that were in my fridge. My sister forwarded me a recipe from her friend’s blog, BlissfulMindWellness, so I decided to adapt it and make it in my slow-cooker.
- 5 drumsticks- $1.80
- 1 can of corn- $1.00
- 1 can of black beans- $1.09
- 1/2 onion- $.74
- 1 orange pepper- $1.39
- 1/2 yellow pepper- $.70
- 1 can of cream of mushroom with roasted garlic soup- $1.69
- homemade fajita seasoning [minus cornstarch]- approx $1.00
Combine all ingredients in Crockpot and heat on low for 6-9 hours.
$9.41 would be about the cost of a to-go lunch at a local restaurant like Nando Peri Peri.
But this recipe yields about 5 servings, so each serving only costs $1.70! That’s $1.70 for a delicious meal full of vegetables, protein, & seasoning. Pour it over a tortilla or rice and you have an even better meal- for only about $.50 more.
I feel antsy this week/weekend for a few reasons. I’m still adapting to my new job. I’m exhausted at the end of the day and have been going to bed around 9pm. I feel like I’m getting sick. My friends are all out of town or busy. I have so many things I’ve been neglecting to do. I feel frustrated when I feel like I’m not living up senior year. I haven’t been able to work out because of my hurt tailbone.
So my plan to combat all this: Know I’ll be adapted to my new job soon- I’m only in the second week. Go to bed early if I need to. Drink less coffee [free coffee has been readily available to me- not good haha]. Appreciate my free time [recognize that I lament it when I don't have any]. Reach out to other friends I don’t usually hang out with. Get slowly back into working out. Do fun things that I enjoy- browsing books at the library, plan a fun trip, read, watch a quality movie, etc. Slowly tackle my to do list.
Tip of the Week
Establish a fun tradition with friends. Freshman year my friends and I established two traditions, one which we still do as seniors. We call it “Destress Dinner.” We get together on Sunday night and either order in from Mei-Wah [Chinese] or throw together the contents of everyone’s fridge and make a stir fry. We then sit in a circle; first, everyone shares one thing they’re stressed about. Then, everyone shares something they are excited about for the week. We’ve found it helps us go into the week with a healthy outlook. And from experience, I recommend keeping the group small because having too many people takes away the intimate feeling.
- Form a “Sunday brunch club”
- Rotate hosting a Friday night potluck
- Coordinate a Saturday morning coffee date
- Visit Eastern Market every Saturday or Sunday
- Form A food co-op (a friend of mine does this. Every Friday, he and his friends meet to exchange food. Each person brings 4 or 5 containers of a recipe they’ve made and walks away with 1 dish from each friend]
- Visit a different museum each week
Moroccan Chicken and Potato Stew
Two girls and I got together for a small potluck dinner last night. It was the best meal: green beans with almonds, roasted pepper and white bean dip, spinach salad, basmati rice, and my contribution, slow-cooked Moroccan Chicken and Potato Stew, based off this recipe.
As usual, I made several changes, which are below:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
- 1.5 lbs chicken breasts [despite the warning not to use them, they turned out great]
- 1 potato, cut into big chunks
- 2 sweet potatoes, cut into big chunks
- 1 1/2 cups cut carrots [cheaper than baby carrots!]
- 4 stalks of celery
- 1/2 onion
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 can (14 ounces) chicken broth
- 1 can (14 ounces) stewed tomatoes, un-drained
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
1. In 10-inch skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and garlic. Cook, turning chicken occasionally, until browned. Drain grease.
2. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, onion, and celery. Top with browned chicken and garlic. In small bowl stir cumin, ginger, ground red pepper and crushed red pepper until well blended. Sprinkle over chicken and vegetables. Add chicken broth. Cover; cook on LOW heat for 6 to 7 hours.
3. Stir in tomatoes. Increase heat to HIGH. Cover; cook for 15 minutes. Stir in lemon juice just before serving.
[Cross-posted to GW Bites]