October 19, 2012


I had a hankerin' (do people even have hankerin's anymore?) for quiche last night, so we made it happen today. I did not meal plan this week, much to my disorganization and detriment. Anyway, this quiche kicked much butt. Here's my recipe.


Filling ingredients:
  • about 10 golden cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • a handful of wilted spinach
  • a handful of sliced fresh mushrooms
  • about 4 ounces grated sharp Cheddar
  • a quarter of a yellow onion, sliced thinly
  • 5 beaten eggs
  • a tablespoon or so of Emeril's Essence, plus a good dash of garlic powder
  • 3/4 cup (soy)milk
Plus a pie crust for a 9-inch pie

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Whisk your eggs in a bowl, then fold in everything else you want in the quiche(in this case, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, spinach, spices, cheese, milk). Pour into your crust (which you have carefully laid into a pie pan), and bake for about 50 minutes covered in foil, then 10 more minutes uncovered. Let it cool and settle a bit, then slice up and enjoy like crazy. I made the filling in the morning, then worked all day and asked the mister to pour the filling into the crust and bake it. Presto, dinner in a hurry! Now, go listen to Stevie Wonder records and have a hard apple cider, because you worked hard today. Go you!

October 10, 2012

The verdict on my homemade laundry soap

It works!!! My clothes smell nice and don't make me itchy or anything. I haven't tried it out on heavily soiled clothes yet, but I am feeling confident. I did accidentally leave a load in the washer for 2 days and the clothes did not smell mildewed. I think that has more to do with the cold front that parked itself over my town over the weekend, but I digress.

I think my next homemade conquest will be edible, perhaps apple butter? Maybe limoncello or vanilla extract? Hmmm... I am pretty stoked. :D

October 7, 2012

Meal plans: week of Oct 8

Monday: leftover magic (crock pot beef burritos made from last week's steak fajita meat)
Tuesday: Fish Tacos!
Wednesday: Spaghetti Squash Casserole
Thursday: Homemade pizza of unknown topping
Friday: Pumpkin Risotto

October 3, 2012

Chicken and dumplings, revisited

I know the meal plan totally said burger night for today, but Zach was so hungry at lunch today, we went out for 5 Guys and decided to make dinner. I thought about everything we had in the fridge and freezer, and realized we had everything needed for chicken and dumplings!!! Here's how I did it.

Chicken and dumplings
  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs
  • about 12 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons of Emeril's Essence
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • a couple tablespoons of white wine
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • dash of salt
  • 1 tablespoon cold butter
  • slightly less than 1/2 cup milk

Put your chicken thighs in the water with a dash o' salt. Turn the heat up to a medium-low setting and let those babies cook for a while, until chicken reaches an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees. Add your Essence shortly after the water starts to bubble.
Once the chicken is cooked, remove it to a plate and let it cool off a bit. Once it's cooled some, pluck the meat off the bones and pull it into nice small pieces. Strain your water (that has become chicken broth, you genius you!) through a sieve into a bowl, so you don't have as much junk floating in the broth. Save back about 6-7 cups for your meal, and freeze the rest. Put the newly-strained 6-7 cups of broth back into the pot and get it back up to simmering. Add your vegetables and garlic; let them soften a bit.
Meanwhile, you can prep your dumplings. Put your flour, baking powder and salt into the food processor. Add the butter and pulse until it looks like a fine crumbly mixture. Stream in the milk while the processor is running, keep mixing until the dough forms a ball. Turn out your very sticky dough-ball onto a very floured surface and roll the dough out to about 1/4" thick. Slice into little squares, about 1" or so.
Pop the wine into the simmering veggies, and then start dropping in raw dumplings, one at a time (to avoid them sticking together). Once the dumplings are all in, go ahead and add your chicken. Taste your broth and season as needed. Serve hot alongside some cornbread!

Homemade WHAT?!?

I made laundry soap today! The raw components cost approximately $7 and made about 7 cups of soap, with leftovers to make many more. It was 3 ingredients and took me about 30 minutes all together to do. It smells awesome, and I'll let you know how it does when I test it out. Here's what I did:
  • 1 bar of Zote (I found mine at Lowe's for $1.09 on the cleaning/laundry stuff aisle), finely grated
  • 1 3/4 cups Borax(a couple bucks on the laundry aisle)
  • 1 3/4 cups washing soda(Sodium carbonate, also called soda ash. Can be found on the laundry aisle for about $3.25, or in the pool chemicals as a pH lowerer for about $8.)

Grate (yes, with a grater! you can wash it and it won't taste like soap later)your Zote(fels naptha, ivory, whatever soap you like. just not a super oily soap, you don't want it to ruin the clothes) into the smallest bits you can manage. Mix together with your dry ingredients, then run the whole shebang through the food processor(probably a few batches) to make the soap bits smaller and to also "marry" the mixture together a bit better. Store in a dry, cool place, use about 2 tablespoons in a regular load of clothes. You'll probably wanna do less if you have one of those fancy high efficiency washers.

Like I said, I haven't tested it out yet, but I have positive feelings about it. I'll keep you posted. Next, I think I'll attempt dishwasher soap and deodorant. :D