Category: Food

The Easiest Vegetable Stock Ever

It feels like I need to write this grand amazing start to my post on vegetable stock, but I am coming up at a great loss. Making one’s own vegetable stock… it will change your life. Not true, but it will reduce your trash output, save you money, give you nutrients, and make your other food taste better. The only thing it won’t do is your laundry or sexual favors. The start to a great vegetable stock is great scraps. The only vegetables I don’t recommend using are starches like potatoes; acidic foods like tomatoes, or ones that stain things pink such as beets or red onions. Maybe not asparagus either, it might make the stock smell strong. The most often used vegetables in my stock are: onion peels and tops, bell pepper ribs, carrot ends and peelings, celery bits, corn cobs (uncooked), eggplant, squash, zucchini bits, garlic skins and errant pieces, and stems from any savory fresh herbs. My collection method is to keep a gallon sized freezer bag in the freezer and fill it as I go. If I have a large amount of scraps from say, vegetable soup or fried rice night, I’ll pull the whole bag out and dump in the scraps. Other times I use the Rachel Ray method and employ a scrap bowl dedicated to vegetable peelings and hunks. Then those get put...

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Thirsty Fellow Review – Quenches Your Appetite Too!

Oh Thirsty Fellow, you would have been a welcome addition to my life as an commuting undergrad journalism student who would have been much less stressed with beer close(r) at hand. Situated behind the Coliseum and associated parking lots, to the side of the Colonial Life Arena, and as the closest bar to the Carolina Stadium, the Thirsty Fellow is in an ideal location to cater to sports fans and beer lovers of all flavors. Husband and I went to eat there for the first time last night, which was the NCAA basketball championship game. It was adequately filled with groups of men, then there was us and the friends we met up with that evening. Despite the basketball fans, we got a seat on their large porch with no trouble at all. Husband ordered a pitcher of Skull Coast macadamia nut flavored beer, which he said I would probably like because it didn’t taste very beer-y. To his credit, it did not in fact taste beer-y, but the macadamia nut flavor hit you once you swallowed each sip. It reminded me of how hazelnut coffee tastes. All in all, not a bad beer, but I couldn’t finish my pint. Luckily we got our appetizer relatively quickly- Gorgonzola covered chips. Ohhh these were delicious. The chips were crispy, the kitchen was generous with the Gorgonzola chunks, and the Gorgonzola...

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Man food – sodium overload = decent fare

My husband sucks when it comes to eating on my timetable. He married a perfectly good woman who loves to cook and gain approval from words like “Mmm this is delicious,” or seeing him go back for seconds. On a rare occasion he will go back for seconds, and that occasion is usually cheese laden and/or a quiche. I am always on the look out for recipes that will appeal to both of us and meet all of our needs, which are complex. I am a vegetarian with a bend towards eating healthy and for my recently more active lifestyle. I prefer to eat pretty soon after getting home from work or the gym because I am HUNGRY. I do love sweets and to bake and make my own cookies, brownies and ice creams. Husband is a Type I diabetic who bicycles 3+ miles to work nearly every day and doesn’t like to eat until rather late at night and gets so caught up in his tech-geek work that he loses track of time. You can see how I have problems getting our eating schedules and tastes aligned. The ideal situation that I would like to someday achieve is that we would both eat at the same time, together(!) at the dinner table at least on most weeknights. I can count how many times I’ve accomplished this on one...

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When Recipes Suck

About a month ago I checked out two books from the Moosewood Collective from the library (apologies to anyone in Lexington County that may be wanting them too) and bookmarked a ton of recipes to try. Yesterday was cold and gross and rainy and had me in the mood for something warm and filling, so I thought I would try French Ragôut from Moosewood Restaurant New Classics. It has fennel seeds in it, which taste vaguely of black licorice, which I hate. I used just a tad less than the recipe called for, but in the end the fennel took over the dish and made it completely unappealing to me. Other ingredients in the ragôut included navy beans, sundried tomatoes, garlic, bell peppers, onions, red wine vinegar and goat cheese. The goat cheese saved it enough for me to eat a bowl full of it, but it wasn’t enough to save it. I immediately removed the bookmark from that page and let the room mate taste it, to which she said the same thing, “I’d eat it, but I wouldn’t make it again.” I threw it away without even photographing it because I had to get it away from me ASAP and will possibly never use fennel in a recipe again. The Moosewood cookbooks are great, but this one recipe is one I would consider a bust for me....

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Vegan Vednesday?

We’ve all heard of Meatless Mondays, the yuppie craze that has swept the nation with its promises of saving the Earth, making your kids healthier, and your waistline smaller! Being that every day is meatless for me, I am going to take it one or two steps further. Starting next week, I am going to have Vegan Vednesdays. And really, I doubt I’ll keep it to a strict every single Wednesday thing, but at least one day (or two!) from Sunday-Saturday will be vegan. I say next week because I need to work out the logistics, and the biggest logistic is my morning coffee worship. I put half and half in it every. day. with. out. fail. I don’t want to buy a container of Silk (or other substitute) just for one day a week, and I’ve already done this week’s shopping. I will research some dairy free options in the meantime, and who knows, maybe I’ll like the dairy free creamer enough to do it daily (ideal situation!). (Photo credit: Photobucket) The motivation behind trying to adopt a bit more vegan of a diet is that I am trying to lose 8 pounds by Memorial Day. I know that I can completely blow that out of the water easily, but I don’t totally want to give up my eggs, creams and cheeses. I feel like this is a...

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About April Blake

April Blake edits web content by day and writes by night, usually about local food, unusual flavors, and craft beer. Please follow me on Twitter, but not in real life.

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